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These 5 Chinese Herbal Teas Will Heal You

Healing yourself naturally is one of the nicest things you can do for your body. These 5 Chinese herbal teas will heal you. So, read on and see which ones you need right now.

10 teas you didn't know you should be drinking

Tea Is One Of Nature’s Best Medicines

I never used to be a huge tea drinker. I always thought it tasted like water and I didn’t find it satisfying. Ugh… what was I thinking? It wasn’t until I began practicing Chinese medicine that I fully began to understand the amazing benefits of healing teas.

When you learn to combine different tenets of the various healing modalities available, you can truly heal yourself with food, herbs, supplements… and teas. The combination of principles from western medicine, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and Mother Nature allows us access to everything the body needs. But, I know how hard it is to sift through all of this research and all of these ideas.

But, that’s what you have me for…

There are so many teas with so many healing super-powers that it was hard for me to choose my top five.  I tried to choose the ones I think will benefit most people and heal some of the most common health concerns. But, if you want more information for some of your more specific concerns, be sure to sign up for a free phone consultation with me and I’ll be happy to suggest a tea more specifically geared toward your needs… I love to do this!

I’m aware that some of these ingredients will be foreign to you. That’s okay. Trying new things is one of the things that keeps our minds and our bodies healthy. Don’t be hesitant to ask me any questions you have or to ask me where to purchase an ingredient you can’t find… just leave a comment below or CLICK HERE for a free phone consultation… can you tell how much I really want you to try these awesome healing teas???

Below, you’ll find a list of 5 Chinese herbal teas that will heal you. Really. From the inside out.

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Chinese Herbs Are Incredibly Healing — Which Ones Do You Need Now?

1. Honeysuckle (Jin Yin Hua)

10 healing teas you didn't know you should be drinking
The Why: This Chinese herb has traditionally been used for swelling and sore throats, but recently there’s been a lot of talk about it’s chemo-protective abilities.

The How: Take a handful of these dried flours, pour boiling water over them and let steep for about seven minutes. Drink it as is, or you can add honey or lemon.

Optional Combinations: If you are feeling like you are getting sick, steep some dried mint leaves along with the honeysuckle.

 

2.  Jujube Fruit (Da Zao)

10 healing teas you didn't know you should be drinking

The Why:  Da Zao is an amazing fruit.  Sometimes I eat them straight from the bag… but the healing power created by steeping them in tea is extraordinary. These Chinese dates give you energy, while simultaneously calming your mind. It’s good for when you are feeling weak and lethargic and also when you are feeling really irritable.  Caution: don’t use Da Zao if you are exceptionally bloated or have an intestinal parasite.

The How:  Using a sharp knife, make a few slits in 2 of the dates. Pour boiling water over them, let stand for 5 minutes, then drink up and eat the fruit when the water is gone.

Optional Combinations:  Put a few slices of fresh ginger into your water as it boils (let it boil for 15 minutes), and pour this ginger water over the Da Zao — this can be a great tea if you are feeling weak and a little out of sorts. Another thing I like to do sometimes is to add about a teaspoon of goji berries (Gou Qi Zi) to the dates and let them steep together. This super red tea is great for energy.

3. Chrysanthemum Flower (Ju Hua)

10 healing teas you didn't know you should be drinking

The Why:  This is a magical tea  for eye problems. If you have tired eyes, a stye, pink-eye, red eyes, etc., this is a tea for you. It’s also great if you are feeling week with low energy.

The How:  Boil some water and pour it over 5 or 6 of these beautiful dried flowers.  Let steep for about five minutes. If you have an active eye irritation, put a 3 or 4 flowers into a small ramekin and let it sit about 15 minutes. Soak a cotton ball in this mixture, then dab your eye with it. Soak the cotton enough so that you can squeeze some of the liquid into your eye, then close your eye and place the soaked cotton on the closed eyelid for about 10 minutes.  Repeat this a few times a day.

Optional Combination:  Add some goji berries (Gou Qi Zi) if along with the eye problem you also have a headache or dizziness.

4. Scallion And Ginger (Cong Bai And Sheng Jiang)

10 healing teas you didn't know you should be drinking

The Why:  The roots of scallions are a very powerful Chinese herb (Cong Bai). Fresh ginger is another powerful Chinese herb (Sheng Jiang). When you combine these two together in a tea, you have one of the strongest immune-boosting, cold-and-flu-busting potions available. This tea, will make your body sweat out the sickness. This works amazingly well at the first signs of sickness; if you are already a few days into the sickness, then this won’t work as well. Caution: do not use this tea if you have a fever.

The How:  Fill a small pot with about three cups of water. Cut up 2 scallions into 2-inch pieces, making sure you use the root (I know, this is usually discarded, but it’s the most important part of this healing tea). Slice up a finger of fresh ginger root — you’ll need about 6 quarter-size slices (no need to peel it). Add these cut up scallions and ginger to the water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain into a large mug and drink it while it’s hot. It’s best to do this right before bed at night. Drink the tea, put on some warm clothing, including a sweatshirt with a hood and a pair of socks. Then get into bed and let the tea work it’s magic.  You will sweat; this is good. In the morning, take a shower to wash off all of the toxins, and you will feel so much better.

5. Reishi/Ganoderma (Ling Zhi)

5 Chinese Herbal Teas You Need Now

 

The Why:  Reishi mushrooms are a longevity superfood. They truly are incredible. They are good for sleep disorders, they help calm the mind, boost your immune system, and nourish your blood and qi. These mushrooms nourish your brain and help with memory. Recent research has show them to be effective at fighting cancer and at detoxifying your liver… so what are you waiting for?

The How:  These mushrooms are available in many different forms — capsules, tablets, powders, and teas. Have a cup of tea before bed and it will do you wonders. I suggest buying this in one of the now readily available powder elixir forms on line. All you do is pour some boiling water into a cup, stir in the elixir powder, and drink it up.  This is also good first thing in the morning. Sometimes I’ll brew a cup and then blend it up with a little coconut oil and ghee for a real boost of energy.

Chinese herbs are amazing. They are truly healing. And, if you combine them with the right food and supplements, you really have a powerful healing protocol. One of my favorite things to do is to introduce newbies to Chinese herbs because they help so much with so many things. If you’d like a free phone consultation, please go to my calendar now and pick a time slot that works for you. We can discuss herbs and food that will help whatever your concerns are. It’s only food — it’s not rocket science — together we can help you live your best life.

download free ebook now

Download your free copy of my Radiant Skin Ebook now!

Another article you may be interested in is: How To Fight Seasonal Allergies With Food And Herbs.

How To Fight Seasonal Allergies With Food and Herbs

You can fight seasonal allergies with food and herbs… and you can win this fight! You often hear me say that food is medicine… but food is also the best allergy medicine! Read more

Vegetable Noodle Lo Mein

vegetable noodle lo mein

I think vegetable noodles — of all kinds — are the new kale. Remember last year when kale was everywhere and in everything in every form? This year it’s veggie noodles. There are sweet potato noodles, zucchini noodles, squash noodles, beet noodles, carrot noodles and every other type of vegetable noodles you can imagine. To me, this is a great development. I can’t even look at a pasta recipe without mentally replacing the pasta with some type of veggie noodle or faux pasta. And I LOVE pasta… so my grain-free self is very happy. And, this vegetable noodle lo mein is the perfect recipe to try out your favorite type of veggie noodle. You can even mix it up and use a few different kinds here.

Confession time. My all-time favorite thing to do when I’m home alone for dinner is to order way too much Chinese food, sit on the floor, and eat it in front of the TV. I don’t mean I order a few too many containers. I mean I surround myself with a ton of white containers. I dig in with chopsticks — plates are forbidden — and I chow down.

And then I feel disgusting.

And bloated.

And a little sick.

But, wow, do the noodles and egg foo young taste so good going down…

But only on those rare occasions when I forget how sick I get from it, do I allow myself take-out Chinese food.

But — and this is a big but — I can cook myself Chinese food whenever I want, and feel just fine. And, let me just say, that this vegetable noodle lo mein tastes better than take-out. And there’s no bloating or nausea or self-loathing afterwards. Okay… so now I’m just being dramatic… I don’t think I’ve ever hated myself because I ate something I shouldn’t have… haha.

Anyway, I have to thank Michele at Paleo Running Momma for posting her awesome recipe for this type of lo mein, because her’s looked and sounded so amazing, that I just had to make it too!

When I am in full recipe creation mode, I peruse lots and lots of sources — yes this is how I get my jollies… Anyway, here’s a more traditional lo mein recipe from Jen Reviews.  I find that some of my clients  like to look at a traditional recipe, and then healthy-it-up a bit for their specific needs. If this is you, go for it, and don’t be shy about asking me any questions in the comments below.

And, if you want to try another great vegetable noodle recipe, try my Zoodles With Creamy Avocado Pesto.

vegetable noodle lo meinvegetable noodle lo mein

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this vegetable noodle lo mein:

Butternut squash is more than just a delicious vegetable; it’s really good for you. It’s a good fever reducer, it can lessen stomach pain and it can be a comfort during pregnancy when the baby feels like she’s doing acrobatics. It’s also rich in carotenoids and Vitamin B6. This means it’s good for your heart and can help lower bad cholesterol. And, because butternut squash can help reduce inflammation in the body, it benefits almost everyone. I used some butternut squash noodles in this lo mein.

Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. In China, mushrooms have been used for many years as part of a natural cancer treatment. They are one of the best immune-boosting foods around. I used shiitakes in this recipe. Shiitake mushrooms are probably the variety of mushroom that I use most. I love the way they taste and they help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These shrooms also promote healing and have been found to fight tumors. In Asia, shiitake mushrooms are often fed to a patient who has just had surgery to help the healing process.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Ginger is also a Chinese herb (Sheng Jiang). It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Ginger is also great for some digestive issues. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

In Eastern medicine, bok choy is used to quench thirst, aid digestion, prevent constipation and treat diabetes. It is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and fiber. And there are only 20 calories in one cup of Bok Choy. So, it’s good for you, it’s easy to prepare, and it tastes good.

In Chinese medicine, lamb is known to be the most warming meat. We recommend it for a lot of ailments caused by cold conditions. It’s great for some arthritic conditions, weakness, and back pain. Lamb also helps with insufficient lactation and impotence. I happened to have some leftover cooked lamb (from a doggie-bag in my fridge), so I cut it up and added it here. Feel free to add whatever you have in your fridge!

Coconut Aminos is used as a substitute for soy sauce. This simple ingredient is vegan, gluten-free, and it’s good for your heart, aids in weight loss, and helps strengthen your immune system.

vegetable noodle lo mein

Vegetable Noodle Lo Mein
Author: 
Recipe type: Asian, Chinese, paleo, whole30, vegetable noodles
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Paleo Running Momma
Serves: 6
 
The next time you are in the mood for Chinese take-out, try this recipe. It tastes better than any take-out, it's grain-free, healing, and you will love it!
Ingredients
  • For Pork:
  • 2 boneless pork chops, sliced thin
  • 1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar (I buy this one)
  • 1 Tbs coconut aminos
  • 6 oz butternut squash noodles
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • ½ lb cooked lamb steak, sliced thin (optional -- you can use whatever leftovers are floating around in your fridge)
  • 3.5 oz shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 heads baby bok choy, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 6 scallions, sliced
  • a big fistful of spiralized carrots (or any other vegetable noodle you like)
  • 4 oz pea pods
  • ½ lb fettuccine (I used a grain-free almond fettuccine), cooked al dente
  • For Sauce:
  • ⅔ cup coconut aminos (you can buy this one)
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil (here's one)
  • 2 tsp tapioca flour (I like this kind)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine the sesame oil, vinegar, and aminos in a small dish. Add the pork and set aside to marinate.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the squash noodles out on it.
  4. Drizzle these noodles with 1-Tbs olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  5. Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until they are just a bit softened, but not mushy.
  6. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over high heat and add 1-Tbs olive oil.
  7. Remove the pork from the marinade and it it to the pan and stir until browned on all sides -- this will be fast.
  8. With a slotted spoon, remove the pork to a plate.
  9. Make the sauce by whisking all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
  10. To the pan, add the mushrooms, bell pepper, bok choy, garlic, ginger, carrots, scallions, and pea pods. Stir continuously until the veggies are softened a bit, but not overcooked. Stir in the sauce and continue stirring until it's hot and a bit thickened.
  11. Stir in the butternut squash noodles, lamb (or any other cooked leftover meat you are using), and the cooked and drained fettuccine into the veggies. Stir over low heat just until everything is warm.
  12. Enjoy!

vegetable noodle lo mein

Buckwheat Ramen Soup

buckwheat ramen soup

What is it about ramen that makes it so good that I will eat it even on a hot summer day? I mean, usually, if you told me I was going to have hot soup for dinner in August, I’d run the other way. But not with ramen. It’s just so good! And this buckwheat ramen soup is one of my all-time favorite recipes.

I like to eat grain-free whenever possible. I also love pasta and noodles of all kinds. Now, I could make this soup using all different types of vegetable noodles, like zucchini, carrot, parsnip, etc. This recipe from feedfeed is awesome if you want to give the veggie noodle ramen a try. The buckwheat ramen noodles that are available in stores now are amazing, so I say give this a try! It’s close to real, authentic ramen noodles.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, buckwheat (despite its name) is not a grain, it’s a seed. So, it’s like hitting the jackpot with these packaged noodles.

The other day, my niece was coming over for dinner. I didn’t give this dinner any thought at all during the day. Then, all of a sudden, at about 4pm, I realized I better make sure I have the ingredients to make something. Anything edible would do. I looked in my pantry, and saw a package of buckwheat ramen noodles. And, I have to tell you that even though it’s hot here in New York in August, nobody complained — it was the perfect dinner.

I served the hot bowls of ramen with cold old-fashioned tomato sandwiches. Can I just say, this was an amazing dinner. So, I’m telling you that you have to make this buckwheat ramen soup. And soon. Don’t wait til winter.

And, if you want another great summer noodle dish, try my recipe for Szechuan Zoodles.

buckwheat ramen soup

There are a bunch of great healing ingredients in this buckwheat ramen soup:

Buckwheat is great to eat if you have diarrhea. It also helps lower blood pressure, stops some types of sweating, and has a good amount of vitamin E. It also contains antioxidants that can help fight cancer and heart disease. Buckwheat is a seed, not a grain, so no inflammation here!

Ginger is a Chinese herb (Sheng Jiang). It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Ginger is also great for some digestive issues. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

In Eastern medicine, bok choy is used to quench thirst, aid digestion, prevent constipation and treat diabetes. It is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and fiber. And there are only 20 calories in one cup of Bok Choy. So, it’s good for you, it’s easy to prepare, and it tastes good.

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. The main component of hot peppers is capsicum. Capsicum actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people. I used a hot pepper sauce in this recipe (Sriracha) and I added some sliced jalapeños at the end — do whatever makes you happy!

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

buckwheat ramen soup

Buckwheat Ramen Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup, ramen, lunch, dinner, main course
Cuisine: Asian, vegetarian, grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, healthy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Buckwheat ramen noodles are genius! This ramen soup has everything you want, but none of the usual grains or gluten. This is comfort in a bowl... and so healthy!
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs, boiled for 5 minutes, then cooled in ice water for awhile, then peeled and cut in half
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • sea salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 Tbs yellow miso
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • ½ tsp sriracha sauce
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbs white vinegar
  • 1 large head of bok choy, cut into ½-inch wide strips
  • 3 Tbs liquid aminos
  • 1 cup shredded or spiralized carrots
  • 3 buckwheat ramen noodle cakes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced (optional garnish)
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  2. Saute about 5 minutes, or until the onions start to brown.
  3. Add the garlic, miso, and ginger. Cook, stirring about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the sriracha and cook for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the vinegar, and use it to deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add the broth, bok choy, carrots, and aminos.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the bok choy is slightly tender, about 15 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat back up to medium-high and add the buckwheat ramen noodles, poking them with a fork or tongs to break them up. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until the noodles are al dente (about 4 minutes). NOTE: Do not overcook these noodles, or they may become gummy!
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top each bowl with 2 egg halves and a few slices of jalapeños.
  10. Enjoy!

buckwheat ramen soup

Pineapple Protein Smoothie Bowl

pineapple protein smoothie bowl

The first time I made this pineapple protein smoothie bowl it was a bright summer day.  Ah, I remember it well — shining sun, warm breeze, still daylight when it was time for dinner…  Today, it’s much different.  It’s cold and dreary. And raining. And it’s dark at 4:30. And everyone around me has a cold and a sore throat. I mean, there are tissues everywhere… yuk.

So, I did what I love to do — try to make everything and everyone better with food. That means making dishes with turmeric and ginger and some of my awesome Chinese and Ayurvedic supplements.  But honestly, I was starting to have a hard time making the sickies eat so much soup.  I figured if I went in the opposite direction, maybe it would work.  I took my original recipe for this smoothie bowl and I added some magic.

And, by magic I mean ginger and camu camu powder. These are ingredients that I love to put in my shakes and they worked healing wonders in this beautiful smoothie bowl. The products I used were new ones (and because I like full-disclosure, I will tell you that I received these 2 ingredients free in exchange for my opinion on them) and I loved them.  Anthony’s Goods thought I might like some of their organic products. I offered to try the ginger and the camu camu — so I’m here to tell you that both are awesome.  I can’t wait to try more because sometimes it’s challenging to find all of these supplements in organic versions.  See the ingredients below for a full description of why camu camu and ginger are so good this time of year!

I just love food that lets you be creative. Okay, if I’m being completely honest, I think you can be creative with any food. Yes, any food! I had a cooking instructor who used to say: “It’s not rocket science; it’s only food,” and I agree completely. I mean, what’s the worst that happens — something isn’t completely delicious? Well, anyway, the point I was trying to make is that one of the great things about smoothie bowls is that they beg for creativity. So, you should make them exactly as you like them.

There’s something about the taste of a fresh pineapple that just screams summer. I’ve been on a real fruit kick lately, so instead of my usual chocolate-based smoothies in the morning, I’ve been gravitating towards fruit-based concoctions. So, this smoothie bowl is made with lots of fresh pineapple and is topped with lots of luscious fruit and berries… Sometimes when I make it it’s a little thicker than others, so if your seems thin for a bowl, then just pop it in the freezer while you get your toppings together (or, you always have the option of putting it in a glass).

When I make my chocolate smoothies for breakfast, I generally put a bunch of protein in it to keep me full until lunch. For some reason, when I use fruit, I don’t think along the same lines. So, with this smoothie bowl, I made a conscious effort to create something that was more filling than a bowl of fruit, and it worked out deliciously. I made extra for my daughter, who decided she wasn’t in a smoothie-kind-of-mood and wanted eggs instead, but I stored the extra in the fridge and happily ate it the next morning.

This amazing pineapple protein smoothie bowl is so easily customizable to your personal taste. The second day I had it, I topped it with handfuls of pecans and toasted coconut… this was awesome!

For another awesome smoothie bowl recipe, try my Cherry Berry Smoothie Bowl.

pineapple protein smoothie bowlpineapple protein smoothie bowl

These are some of the great ingredients I put in my smoothie bowl:

Pineapple is great for your digestion and it can help stop diarrhea. It’s especially good in the summer because it fights against heatstroke.

Ginger is  a chinese herb (Gan Jiang) that warms the body. It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when it’s winter or when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of these cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

Camu Camu is a plant-based powder that has the ability to boost your immune system and balance your mood. It has a large amount of vitamin C, can reduce inflammation, and can help improve mental clarity.

I love to add bananas to smoothie bowls; they offer a great natural sweetness and a nice creamy texture. Bananas are good for your intestines (an old Asian remedy was to eat a banana every day to relieve hemorrhoids) and your lungs, and they even help relieve the effects of overindulging in alcohol.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Research shows that pumpkin seeds may reduce blood sugar and increase bone density. And, because they are rich in iron, they are good if you are tired or have anemia. In Asian medicine, pumpkin seeds are sometimes used to get rid of intestinal parasites and to decrease inflammation in the body. I buy pumpkin seed protein in powder form because it’s a great easy way to add protein to my shakes and smoothies without adding any extra sugar. (See the recipe below for where to buy it.)

Peaches moisten the body; they can alleviate a dry cough, help with dry mouth, and can be good if you are experiencing constipation. There is a Chinese herb that is made from the peach kernel (Tao Ren). This herb is great for constipation and some menstrual problems. Isn’t it great when something so delicious is also so healthy?

Bee pollen is considered one of the most nutritious substances you can put in your body. It is higher in protein than anything animal-based and it contains an amazing amount of amino acids. It’s good for your energy, your skin, your breathing and your allergies. Add a spoonful to whatever you can. I know there are differing opinions as to whether bee pollen is vegan; so if you would prefer to leave it out, that’s just fine.

Raspberries are an anti-aging fruit. They are great for men who are experiencing frequent urination and for men and women with vision issues. They have anti-cancer and anti-inflammation properties. In Chinese medicine, raspberries are an herb called Fu Pen Zi. This Chinese herb is prescribed for impotence, premature ejaculation, poor vision, and frequent urination. Raspberries are great for you, but if you are experiencing difficulty urinating, that’s when this berry should be avoided.

All berries are good for you and contain antioxidants. As a general rule, the darker the color, the more antioxidants, making blackberries even better than other berries at fighting cancer and other illnesses. Blackberries also can help relieve intestinal inflammation and diarrhea, and they are good for your skin. And, even more importantly, they taste great…

pineapple protein smoothie bowl

Pineapple Protein Smoothie Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie bowl
Cuisine: smoothie, breakfast, summer
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A creamy pineapple and banana base is the perfect vehicle for so many healthy and fresh and delicious toppings... best breakfast ever!
Ingredients
  • 1 whole pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 2 frozen bananas (I peel bananas when they turn brown and then store them in the freezer)
  • ½ tsp turmeric (Here's a good one)
  • 2 Tbs pumpkin seed protein powder (I like this one)
  • 1-1/2 tsp camu camu powder (I got mine here)
  • 1 tsp organic ground ginger (I got mine here)
  • Optional toppings:
  • sliced fresh peaches
  • bee pollen granules (I have this one)
  • fresh raspberries
  • fresh black berries
  • organic toasted coconut flakes (I bought some sweetened with coconut sugar)
Instructions
  1. Put the pineapple, frozen bananas, turmeric, and protein powder into your blender. (I used my Vitamix so it was pretty quick...). Blend until smooth.
  2. If you want your smoothie bowl thicker, pour this mixture into bowls and pop them in the freezer while you are readying your topping.
  3. Top with whatever toppings you like.
  4. Enjoy!

pineapple protein smoothie bowl

Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing

This Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing contains hemp seeds which, among other things, are great for combatting hot flashes!

thai salad with spicy peanut dressing

Many moons ago, I used to work down by Chinatown. There were so many great Chinese restaurants for lunch but my favorite place to frequent was an awesome (although kind of dirty…) Thai restaurant that was a stone’s throw away from the courthouses. All of us Legal Aid Lawyers used to go there. It was cheap and delicious and close. I remember loving the Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing. I’ve tried to re-create it a few times and have had okay results but nothing that was as good as I remember being served at that restaurant.

Until now.

I wish I could take the credit for figuring out the awesome flavors in this dressing, but the credit goes to Jessica at jessicagavin.com. I made a few tweaks to the recipe to suit my needs (like adding hemp seeds to combat my hot flashes), but the original recipe is all Jessica’s.

I used kale, cabbage, carrots, herbs, and hemp seeds in the salad. You can use whatever you like. But don’t forget the nuts. I know traditionally this salad is made with chopped peanuts in the dressing, but I used cashews in the salad too… this really is an awesome salad!

Any salad that has a spicy and creamy dressing is pretty good in my book. But this Thai salad with spicy peanut dressing really takes it to another level. Maybe it’s because peanut butter is a real treat for me because I almost never allow myself to eat it. Maybe it’s because sriracha is awesome. I guess it really doesn’t matter why it’s so good… just try it, okay?

thai salad with spicy peanut dressing

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this salad:

Peanuts, contrary to what some believe, are actually good for many things in your body. I don’t often let myself eat them because they sometimes contain mold and it’s really hard to find reasonably priced organic healthy peanuts. But, these popular nuts are great for lessening edema; they act like a diuretic. They can also help you if you have insomnia or if you are breast feeding. An old-time remedy is to made peanut tea and drink it for bed to promote sleep. And, peanut shells used to be used to help with high blood pressure.

Ginger is actually a Chinese herb (Sheng Jiang). It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is also a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Kale is everywhere these days. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. My cheat for this recipe was that I bought this kale already shredded and washed at the market. If you are using a whole bunch of kale, make sure you clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (me… I don’t really don’t like the if the kale is raw). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

Cabbage helps control a cough and lessens the symptoms of the common cold — in olden times, cabbage tea was given to people who had contracted the whooping cough. It’s also good to combat constipation and can lesses hot flashes. I like to use a mix of green and purple cabbage whenever I have both on hand, so you get the benefits of the green cabbage that I just mentioned, plus you get the benefits of purple cabbage — my favorite of which is that it’s a good stress reliever.

Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: salad, side dish, dressing, Thai, paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: jessicagavin.com
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This dressing is amazing! I made the salad out of kale and cabbage and carrots and so much more, but feel free to use the dressing on whatever you like!
Ingredients
  • For dressing:
  • ⅔ cup peanut butter (preferably organic)
  • juice of 1 large lime
  • 6 Tbs pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs white vinegar
  • 3 Tbs liquid aminos
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbs water
  • For salad:
  • about 3 cups thinly sliced kale leaves
  • red and green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup organic peanuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, chopped
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 3 scallions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and whiz until really smooth.
  2. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss or drizzle with dressing.
  3. Enjoy!

thai salad with spicy peanut dressingthai salad with spicy peanut dressing

Healing Slow Cooker Chicken Soup

healing slow cooker chicken soup

I make some form of a healing soup every time anyone says they feel they might be getting sick. So, last week when Steve was past the point of “almost” getting sick — I mean way into the multi-tissue phase of a cold, I brought out the big guns and made this healing slow cooker chicken soup.

Usually when I make chicken soup, I let it simmer on the stove and go about my business. This time, I just didn’t have the time to stay in, so I broke out the slow cooker. And let me tell you, not only is this soup delicious, but this healing slow cooker chicken soup really lives up to its name! Steve had a bowl that night for dinner, then another for breakfast (this surprised me because, although I would easily do this, I was shocked that he actually ate soup for breakfast), and then again for dinner. This stuff really is better than any cold medicine you can buy.

This is not you mother’s chicken soup. The broth is filled with garlic and ginger and scallions — a whole arsenal of germ and bacteria fighting warriors! I used lots of veggies (I even substituted turnips for potatoes), kicked it up with some Chinese herbs, and made it paleo-friendly by using zucchini noodles instead of traditional pasta.

This healing slow cooker chicken soup is so easy to make, so potent, and so delicious, you’ll never so back to your mother’s soup… ssshhhhh, don’t tell mama….

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a healing soup recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HEREto be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

And, now that fall is just about here, you should also make my Butternut Squash And Apple Soup!

healing slow cooker chicken soup

Here are some of the amazing things this soup does:

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

GingerChinese herb (Sheng Jiang). It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

Turnips are great for indigestion. They help relieve that horrible bloated feeling we all get sometimes and they reduce excess gas and diarrhea. Research shows that turnips contain a substance that may reduce your risk of colon, prostate, and lung cancer. These bulbous vegetables contain a good amount of vitamins B and C and they provide calcium and potassium, and they can help your cough. In Chinese medicine turnips (wu jing) are known to help reduce inflammation and phlegm.

Dill is considered a chemoprotective herb that can help neutralize some carcinogens and it’s also an antibacterial herb.

Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better during those hot days of summer. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.

healing slow cooker chicken soup

If you make this Healing Slow Cooker Chicken Soup recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Healing Slow Cooker Chicken Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: paleo, whole30, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free
Cuisine: soup, one-pot meal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This soup really lives up to its name. Make a pot of this when you are feeling sick and let the healing begin! It's filled with garlic, ginger, scallions and other healing ingredients.
Ingredients
  • 2-1/2 lb. bone-in, organic chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)
  • 1 qt chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 turnips, peeled and diced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into thick slices
  • 3 large (or 6 smaller) garlic cloves, smashed
  • 5 slices of peeled ginger (about ¼-inch thick)
  • 3 scallions, sliced (add the roots of the scallions too)
  • 1 Tbs fresh dill, chopped (use more if you like)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups zucchini noodles (use a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler, or buy them pre- "zoodled")
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients, except zucchini, to the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high heat for 4 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken to a plate and remove the meat from the bones.
  4. Discard the bones and add the chicken back into the soup.
  5. Add zucchini and cook for another 30 minutes.
  6. Ladle into bowls and let the healing begin.
  7. Enjoy!

healing slow cooker chicken soup

Orange Peel Chicken

Chicken and oranges pair so well together and orange peels are great for your digestion… enter: orange peel chicken!

orange peel chicken

This past weekend I was at my son’s college graduation. I’m such a proud mom and I just love that kid so much that of course now in the days past the graduation all I’m doing is thinking about him. He likes to cook, so I love to come up with recipes that I think he would like and that are easy to prepare. This one fits the bill — but when he makes it I’m sure a lot of hot peppers will go into the sauce.

I love chicken dishes with fruit. A great friend of mine once made me his version of Caribbean chicken with lots or oranges and lemons and cherries. This was many years ago, and I still think about that dish today.  So, these things had me thinking…

I know, I really should get a life. All I do is think about food…

My favorite lemonade is made with whole lemons (here’s that recipe) — peel and everything. And I absolutely love grating lime zest on everything! So, when I was making orange chicken the other day, I figured why not use the whole orange. Yup, this orange peel chicken uses the entire orange — peel and everything.

All I did was put all of my orange sauce ingredients into my Vitamix, whiz it up and cook the chicken in it. Not only is this recipe delicious, but I underestimated the amount of sauce my ingredients would make and I had enough sauce to freeze half of it for another time… which is definitely a really good thing! There’s nothing better than a freezer stocked with awesome sauces…

orange peel chickenorange peel chicken

Nutritionally speaking, this chicken is awesome:

Oranges will help boost your levels of vitamins A, B and C. In Chinese medicine oranges have been used for many years to help coughs, colds and anorexia. Lately, oranges have been widely touted for their ability to help heal colon cancer. I peel my oranges and lay the rinds in the sun to dry, and save them for tea or for cooking because the orange rinds are an actual Chinese herb. I dry out the peels of oranges, tangerines, clementines… whatever I have. Dried tangerine peel, or “chen pi” as it’s known in Chinese medicine, is one of the greatest and most easily accessible herbs around. It’s especially good for digestive issues like abdominal discomfort, distention, fullness, bloating, belching, and nausea. It’s also great if you have a cough with a heavy or stuffy chest.

Ginger is a Chinese herb (Gan Jiang) that warms the body. It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when it’s winter or when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of these cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

orange peel chicken

Orange Peel Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, poultry, main dish
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Toss some whole oranges into your blender (peel and all), add a few more ingredients, cook the chicken in this delicious mixture, and you will have a delicious and healthy dinner.
Ingredients
  • 8 boneless chicken thighs (about 2-1/4 lb)
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large oranges (organic if possible), washed, unpeeled, cut into quarters
  • 1 Tbs sliced fresh ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup plum sauce or hoisin sauce or korean bbq sauce (use whatever healthy version is available)
  • 1 -1/2 tsp sriracha
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp five spice powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Heat oil in a large sautee pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Brown the chicken on both sides in the oil, about 5 minutes on each side.
  5. Place all of the remaining ingredients into a blender and whiz it up until it's really smooth. (I used my Vitamix so this didn't take too long.)
  6. When the chicken is browned, pour enough of your blended orange sauce into the pan so that the chicken is mostly covered. Stir to coat the chicken.
  7. Cover the pan and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  8. Transfer the chicken, shaking off excess sauce, to a baking sheet.
  9. (I saved my extra sauce and put it in the freezer for another time!)
  10. Place the sheet under the broiler until the sauced chicken starts to char a bit (about 3 minutes).
  11. Enjoy!

orange peel chicken

Simple Baby Bok Choy

This simple baby bok choy is the perfect side dish for everything!

simple baby bok choy

I get yelled at all of the time for not sharing some of my simplest recipes. Okay, yelled may be a bit strong. I get questioned a lot as to why I don’t share some of my simplest recipes.

I’m always so mindful of not talking down to people. I mean, there are just so many things that I don’t do well and I would hate it if someone made me feel bad about those things. So, I don’t post some of my easiest recipes because I never want anyone to feel that I think they are not on the ball.

Anyway, enough rambling… here’s how I make my simple bok choy. And I make it a lot. It’s one of my favorite vegetables. This simple baby bok choy goes so well with so many things. And you can spruce it up any way you like. I love to cover it with sesame seeds. Or sometimes I will drizzle a little toasted sesame oil on it. Or, sometimes I like to pick it up with my hands and dip it in spicy mayo. (I know, it sounds a bit off, but it’s really good!)

Here’s a recipe of mine for Chili With Bok Choy... you’re gonna love it!

simple baby bok choysimple baby bok choy

This really is the perfect simple, healthy side dish:

In Eastern medicine, bok choy is used to quench thirst, aid digestion, prevent constipation and treat diabetes. It is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and fiber. And there are only 20 calories in one cup of Bok Choy. So, it’s good for you, it’s easy to prepare, and it tastes good.

Ginger is a Chinese herb (Gan Jiang) that warms the body. It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when it’s winter or when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of these cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

I am a big fan of replacing regular table salt with sea salt. Sea salt is not processed very much, allowing the minerals (and there are many) to remain in a state in which the human body can easily process them. Salt actually can help with various skin conditions, is good for your teeth, helps with some painful eye condition and can help stave off muscle cramps. It helps with digestion and it lessens the effects of food poisoning. Salt is actually a Chinese herb called Mang Xiao and is used to treat constipation and eye conditions.

Simple Baby Bok Choy
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetables, side dish
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Japanese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Just plain bok choy. It's simple and it's deliciously healthy!
Ingredients
  • One huge bag of baby bok choy.
  • 10 quarter-sized slices of fresh peeled ginger
  • sea salt
  • optional toppings: sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, spicy mayonnaise
Instructions
  1. Add about 1-inch of water to a large pot. Add lots of sea salt and bring it to a boil.
  2. Drop in the bok choy and the ginger.
  3. Give it a stir to make sure it's all wet.
  4. Cover the pot and lower the heat a bit.
  5. Let cook a few minutes, then uncover and stir it up.
  6. Check your bok choy after a few minutes, because as soon as it's how you like it, shut off the heat and drain the pot.
  7. Make sure not to overcook this delicate vegetable!
  8. Top with sesame seeds or drizzle a bit of toasted sesame oil on top and sprinkle more salt as you see fit.
  9. Me, I'm dipping mine in spicy mayo...
  10. Enjoy!

simple baby bok choy

Acai Bowl

You are going to like this acai bowl better than the ones you buy!

acai bowl

Yesterday, I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw an article about Gwyneth Paltrow and her favorite superfoods shake. I was excited to read this because, well, I just am a sucker for anyone’s superfoods shake (especially someone who looks like Gwyneth). So, I clicked on the link and I was taken to an irate blogger talking about how all of the ingredients in this shake are made-up and fake and that no one could ever really make this “fantasy” shake. Boy, was I annoyed. I use almost all of these ingredients on a daily basis and I think everyone would benefit from their use!! And now, so many people think they don’t exist!

So, here’s my love-letter-to-Gwyneth-Paltow’s-smoothie. It’s my favorite superfoods non-fantasy smoothie bowl. And, if you have trouble locating any of the ingredients, just look at my recipe below and I will point you to some links, or just send me a message and I’m happy to help.

This winter my absolute favorite breakfast was my Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl. But since It’s finally getting spring-like here, my favorite breakfast is a cold smoothie bowl. I just love these bowls. I make so many different kinds, depending upon my mood at the time.

This acai bowl is awesome. It’s easy to make, filled with superfoods, pretty, and tastes divine!

Let this recipe test your flexibility. No, I don’t mean physically (you don’t need to do yoga or stretches while you make it…) — I mean mentally. Use my recipe as a guide, and then feel free to change it up with whatever ingredients you are feeling in the mood for this morning. Remember, it’s only food; nothing bad can happen with this bowl!

Sometimes I make these bowls out of whatever frozen fruit I have in my freezer. Other times I’m really in a chocolate or a peanut butter mood. This time, I wanted acai. Acai is really healthy (see the health benefits listed below) and it has a great tart and sweet taste. Also, now that many markets sell frozen acai packets, these smoothie bowls are a breeze to make.

acai bowl
Here are some reasons to feel great about this breakfast:

Acai is a berry that’s from the Amazon rainforest. It’s a superfood that promotes longevity. Research shows that acai can help to regenerate stem cells; this means it can help your body heal faster. Acai can also help the body absorb bad cholesterol better and it has been shown to help attack cancer cells.

Blueberries are filled with antioxidants and have been shown to help fight cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. In some circles, they are known as “longevity berries.” I used frozen blueberries but use any variety of berry that you like.

Cherries are one of the best foods to combat many types of arthritis and joint pain. Also, because cherries help improve circulation, they can be helpful for post-stroke patients. In Chinese medicine, we also believe that cherries help to maintain the body’s “essence” or life-force. I always keep a bottle of organic black cherry juice in the fridge and I often drink a few ounces before bedtime or put a little in my smoothies. I also keep bags of frozen cherries in the freezer. And when fresh cherries are in season, you can always find a big bowl in my kitchen.

Ginger is a Chinese herb (Gan Jiang) that warms the body. It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when it’s winter or when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of these cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are really good for you because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Chaga mushrooms are a longevity superfood. I use a chaga mushroom extract powder that makes it easy to add this immune-system-boosting mushroom to my smoothies. There’s a lot of research being done on the power of chaga right now and it’s possible ability to help fight cancer. It’s also good for your intestinal system and it can help calm your nerves. (See the recipe below for where to buy this amazing ingredient.)

acai bowlacai bowl

Acai Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie bowl, breakfast
Cuisine: superfoods
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 large bowl
 
Here's the perfect breakfast smoothie bowl. It's so healthy, tastes delicious, is made in the blender, and it's easy to substitute whatever ingredients you have on hand.
Ingredients
  • 1 3.5 oz packet frozen acai
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ of a banana (mine was frozen, but it doesn't have to be)
  • 6 Tbs coconut water
  • 1 slice of fresh ginger, peeled (about ⅛-inch thick, the size of a quarter)
  • 2 Tbs hemp seeds (I like this one)
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds (these are good)
  • 1 tsp maca root powder (you can get it here)
  • ⅛ tsp chaga mushroom extract powder (you can try this one)
  • 1 Tbs raw cashews
  • 2 Tbs black cherry juice (here's one)
  • optional toppings: frozen raspberries, bee pollen, raw buckwheat groats, raw pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients, except toppings, in a blender. I used my Vitamix, so it was quick; I assume it will take a bit longer in a regular blender.
  2. Pour into a bowl.
  3. Arrange the toppings on top.
  4. Enjoy and let the healing begin!

acai bowl