Friday, March 28, 2014

Danelion root Chai and Chia Oatmeal

Hello!  Long time no blog!  My love and life and passion and word energy have been all wrapped up in launching my Reiki Healing pratice, teaching yoga, dreaming workshops, and studying healing....  you can check it out on my other blog.  But as the snow melts and the sun warms, my mind is wandering back to the homestead as more than a place to lay my head, to food as more than something to fill my belly after a long long day.  AND.  I have a brand new niece that has me buying yarn and knitting needles on my lunch break and oogling patterns for wee vests and sweaters and tunics and things.  oh me oh my, let the needles fly!

Raif and I did an Ayurvedic kitchari fast recently, which isn't really a fast in the traditional sense of not-eating, since you are still eating hearty fare all day long.  It brought to the forefront for me just how frequently I go to food for comfort, when I'm bored or uninspired at work, when I'm actually thirsty, or tired.  It was a challenging mindfulness exercise to be sure!

Kitchari is, at its most basic, a mix of mung beans (easily digestible) and basmati rice (whose nutritional index is different than that of regular rice, I found out.  Also, did you know that short grain and long grain rice's nutrition are different from each other?  Oh the things you learn when you research other things!), boiled into a mash with hing (aka asafetida) - an ayurvedic herb known as "effective in a thousand ways" and turmeric, the "golden goddess" - an AMAZING tonic herb.  I also used ginger and coriander.  Then we broke the fast with probiotic kefir and buttermilk sweetened with maple syrup.

Coming out of the fast, I made us each a quart of Chai tea with dandelion root.  Dandelion root supports detox and has an overall tonifying effect on the liver.  The chai was really good.  I'll have to experiment a bit more before I can say this authoritatively, but I think that the presence of the slightly bitter root added a depth to the chai that I've felt to be lacking in the last few batches I made.  It may also have been the dried orange peel.  At any rate it was really really good.  
-Take a sauce pot of water on high heat.  Add a stick of cinnamon, some cardamom seeds (generously), some whole coriander (stingily), black peppercorns, whole cloves, dandelion root (broken into peices), dried orange peel.  Let boil for 10-15 minutes?  Or so.  Take off the heat, and add a tablespoon of black tea.  Mix it together and let it begin to cool.  5 minutes.  Strain into mason jars and mix with honey.  Enjoy throughout the day.

For the next few breakfasts, I had soaked oatmeal made with chia seeds.  I dismissed chia seeds as #hypefood for a very long time.  But I've jumped on the bandwagon.  They're great.  There's research into the antioxidants they give, but they won me over when I had a chia seed smoothie before a long night of teaching and healing sessions and it kept me going from after work at 5 pm until 10 pm when I had dinner.