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.


  1. Oh my goodness those knitting patterns are darling! Congrats on becoming an Auntie! Best job in the world, I say.

    As for the dandelion root, do you dig that up in your backyard? I just love the idea of being able to use what's outdoors and dandelions have lots of uses. My mom even showed me how to play hacky-sack with them and even make fresh kimchi out of their leaves.

    I understand what you mean about Chia seeds. I felt the same way, but a co-worker made a chia seed pudding by soaking them in Almond and Coconut milk, added a little bit of agave nectar and fresh fruit and by golly, it was delicious, so long as you can get over the fact it kind of looks like fish eggs.


    1. Hi Jenn! I do indeed dig the dandelion roots out of the backyard :) Kimchi from dandelion leaves sounds AMAZING. I'm planning on trying to juice some wildharvested greens this spring and summer :)

      Chia pudding IS really good! They sell fruit juice chia "smoothies" at the co-op - really just chia soaked in fruit juice and poured into a bottle. I want to try that with the next bag of raspberries I defrost!