drinks juices, smoothies & healing teas

easy pomegranate juice

14th September 2019

Looking for a sparkling, refreshing drink? I was heading out to the garden to pick some rhubarb to make the sparkling rose rhubarb, when Donna suggested pomegranate.

Living in Israel, we had the luxury of an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. In the Jerusalem markets, it was wonderful to walk past many stall-holders using a hand squeezer to release the vibrant ruby-coloured liquid. Inspired by this memory, I instinctively reached for the hand squeezer used for lemons and oranges. Two squeezes later and there was a ½ cup of that ruby-coloured liquid…..

Pomegranate is often referred to as the ‘Divine Fruit’.  It is considered as a sattvic fruit, with restorative properties and promotes appetite. Sweet pomegranate is tridhātu sāmyabalancing all three doshas. Sour pomegranate is especially useful in reducing heat in the body.

Pomegranate, if of good quality, is especially beneficial for yogic practice.

~The Sacred Tradition of Yoga – Dr. Shankaranaravana Jois~

easy pomegranate juice

Preparation  – 2 minutes

Serves 2

ingredients

2 pomegranates

2 cup/500ml sparkling water

1 -2 tsp sugar or sweetener of choice (optional)

preparation

1.  Cut the pomegranate in half and use a hand juicer or citrus press to extract the juice. Squeeze out as much juice from the pulp and seeds.

2.  Strain and pour into glasses. Drink as is, or add sparkling water and sweetener.

Enjoy!

a traditional Ayurvedic herbal drink – Kashaya

3rd December 2016

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Kashaya is a deeply nourishing and soothing drink that brings calmness to the mind and supports the general health and balance of the system. Kashaya is appropriate for all constitutions and in all seasons.  It is recommended to consume at the end of a meal and to have once-twice a day. Kashaya balances vata, pitta and kapha, helps maintain the digestive fire and reduces heat in the body.

There are many variations of Kashaya – below are two very simple and easy to prepare recipes for everyday use. They require only two of the main spices – cumin and coriander.  The first is a Kashaya powder which involves lightly roasting and grinding the seeds and the second, a simple infusion using the whole seeds.

Considering your constitution, it is good to keep in mind that jaggery is more heating for the body than brown sugar.

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coriander seed

Coriander effectively supports healthy digestion.  Bitter, pungent and sweet in taste, it evokes the digestive fire while simultaneously cooling and soothing. Coriander seed removes excess heat in the body, making it useful in cooling Pitta-related imbalances associated with menopause.

cumin seed

A common household spice, its Sanskrit name literally means ‘promoting digestion’. Cumin seed is bitter, pungent and astringent. It is carminative, aromatic, and on the whole, cool in action.  Cumin evokes the digestive fire, promotes healthy absorption and eliminates natural toxins.  It enhances immunity and invokes good sleep.

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Coriander-Cumin Kashaya Powder

This recipe was shared by our teacher, Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Sadvidya Yoga Programme.  It came about as an aid to reduce Pitta disturbances in the body and to assist with interrupted sleep due to menopause.  It is a deeply nourishing and satisfying drink to have after a meal and satisfies that sweet craving, as well as benefiting from its wonderful medicinal qualities.  The key to opening up the real flavour is making sure that you get the kashaya to a rollicking boil just before straining – the heat changes everything.

Preparation 10 minutes

Makes approximately 18 – 20 cups kashaya

ingredients for kashaya powder 

⅓ cup/35g whole cumin seed

½ cup/35g whole coriander seed

preparation 

1.  On a medium flame, heat a skillet until it is hot to touch, dry-roast the cumin seeds until their colour deepens and they become aromatic – approx 1 minute. Seeds may start popping, be careful not to burn the spices as they can ruin the taste of the kashaya.  Set aside to cool.  

2.  Place the coriander seeds into the skillet and repeat the process – approximately 1½ minutes.

3.  In a blender/coffee grinder, grind first the cumin seeds to a fine powder. Pour into a bowl and set aside.  

4.  Repeat with the coriander seeds – these may take slightly longer to grind.  Pour into the bowl with the ground cumin and combine well.  Store in an airtight container.  

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To preserve the medicinal qualities of the spices, make fresh every 10 – 14 days.

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prepare the kashaya 

1 cup water

1 heaped tsp kashaya powder

1 heaped tsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 – 2 tsp/5-10ml milk (less milk is easier for the digestion, especially in the evening)

preparation

1.  In a small pan, pour in 1 cup water and bring to boiling point.  

2. Add the Kashaya powder and sugar – simmer for a few minutes.  

3. Turn off the heat, add the milk, stir and pour into a cup (drinking the powder which collects at the bottom is beneficial for its medicinal properties).

4.  Set aside to cool until moderately warm.  Enjoy.

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Whole Coriander-Cumin Seed Kashaya

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1 serving

Don´t throw away those leftover seeds after straining, place them in a garden pot outside your kitchen or in the garden – in no time you will have fresh greens to harvest for your cooking.

ingredients 

½ tsp whole coriander seeds

½ tsp whole cumin seeds

1 cup water

1 tsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 tsp/5mL milk (optional)

preparation 

1.   In a small pan, pour in 1 cup of water and bring to boiling point.  

2.  Add the whole coriander and cumin seeds and sugar – allow to simmer for a few minutes.  

3.  Turn off the heat, add the milk (if using), and strain the kashaya.  

4.  Set aside to cool until moderately warm.

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rhubarb rose sparkle

9th June 2016

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The inspiration for this fragrant rose rhubarb drink was a conversation I had with my friend and guest Abi, on the day of my son´s birthday, when she was here with her three lovely boys. In a low whisper, she related her joyful tradition of popping champagne each time it´s her child’s birthday, to celebrate her anniversary as a parent.  With this thought and a showy abundant display of rhubarb and delicate pink roses opening up in the garden, I set about concocting a flowery ‘mock – champagne’ for us all to enjoy that afternoon, accompanied by birthday cake and ice-cream.

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Sweetened rhubarb has a wonderfully uplifting flavour; when muddled with rose, it becomes positively enchanting. The hint of mint gives a balancing base note.

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rhubarb rose sparkle

Serves 4

I find that the sugar is perfect with the rhubarb, but if inclined, you could use a mild-tasting honey, adding it after it has been strained, and keeping in mind it will change the overall flavour. After making this the second time I used different coloured rose petals from the garden that have been left to dry completely on a baking tray. It takes just a few days.  

For tips on how to harvest rhubarb; read here.

ingredients

480g rhubarb, sliced into ½-inch pieces

1½ cups water

¾ cup/140g natural cane sugar

2 Tbsp dried rose petals

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

1½ cups fizzy water

ice, for serving

preparation

1.  Place the rhubarb, sugar and water in a pot, bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rhubarb has fallen apart, 12 – 15 minutes.  Stir once or twice to help dissolve the sugar.

2.  Remove from the heat, add the dried rose petals and fresh mint.  Cover, and steep for 10 minutes.

3.  Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth, and using the back of a large wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.  Pour into a glass bottle and place in the fridge to chill.

4.  When ready to serve, add the fizzy water, stir and pour into glasses.  Garnish with a sprinkling of rose petals and on really hot days serve with a few ice cubes added to each glass.

I recommend doubling the recipe!

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Sparkled by Abi

lemon barley water

27th March 2016

barley water table

Barley has a cooling thermal nature; sweet and astringent in taste.  Traditionally given to calm sore stomachs.

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-Marguerite daisy, also known as the Argyranthemum frutescens

barley water closeup

lemon barley water

Makes 5 – 6 cups

Recipe adapted from Spring.

Lovely soothing, yet thirst-quenching, drink.  You can add other flavourings to it besides lemon and honey – lemon verbena or ginger would work well.  Don’t discard the cooked barley.  Recipe to follow, or stir through a vegetable soup, or dress it simply with a little olive oil and lemon juice and add to a salad.

ingredients 

1 cup /200g pearl barley

10 cups/2.5 litres filtered water

3 – 4 Tbsp light-flavoured honey

3  Tbsp lemon juice, or more to taste

preparation 

1.  In a large saucepan rinse the barley until the water runs clear, drain, pour in the water, bring to boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the barley is tender, this will take about 35 – 40 minutes.

2.  Strain, reserving the cooking water and set the barley aside.

3. Run the barley water through a thinner strainer into a pouring jug, set aside to cool before adding the honey, stirring until dissolved.  Allow to cool.

4.  Add the lemon juice, taste, adding more honey or lemon as needed.

barleywater closeup

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moong dal juice

5th August 2015

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What can I say…….refreshing, cooling and deliciously cleansing.  It’s like drinking cool silk and the cooling effects on the body feel immediate.  This is a wonderful drink that I have been having three times a week to reduce the heat and pitta imbalance in my body.

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full moon twilight

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moong dal juice

Serves 4 medium glasses

I recommend using fresh cardamom pods rather than powder to really benefit from the aromatic and medicinal qualities.  If you have time and the use of a juicer, make your own apple juice to benefit from the freshness and nutritional value of the apples.

ingredients 

¼ cup whole moong dal (mung beans)

3 pods cardamom (¼ tsp)

1 apple, cored and quartered

1 cup freshly pressed apple juice (approximately 2 apples) or unsweetened organic fresh apple juice

1 cup filtered water

pre-soak 

1.  Place the dal in a bowl and rinse with water, cover with 3 cups of water and soak for 10 -12 hours.  Rinse, drain and set aside.

preparation

2.  Remove the outer pods from the cardamom, place the seeds in a mortar and pestle and grind until you have a fine powder.  Set aside.

3.  In a high-speed blender, place the dal, cardamom, apple pieces, apple juice and water – blend on high speed for 1 minute or until completely smooth.  The juice will be frothy.  I like to enjoy as is, or it can be strained for a smoother consistency.

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peach chia breakfast shake

23rd July 2015

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Peaches left to ripen on the tree is a kind of sweet bliss, with their golden flesh and rose-like scent…..

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Remember these little guys? and this one below, thinking I have something for him!  Which I always do.

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peach chia breakfast shake

Serves 4 medium/3 large glasses

Recipe slightly adapted from ‘At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen’.

For best results, it is essential to use home-made almond milk and the freshest, ripest local peaches. This shake is very smooth, creamy and subtly sweet, with the delicious flavour of the peaches and a delicate hint of coconut.  The chia seeds give it a luscious consistency.

This shake can be transformed into a delicious peach-flavoured chia pudding. Increase the chia seeds to ¼ cup, serve with sliced peaches on top and a sprinkling of her toasted maple-coconut flakes – you will need to buy the book for that recipe.

ingredients 

1 Tbsp chia seeds

2 cups homemade almond milk – divided

560 grams/3 – 4 large, very ripe peaches, pitted and quartered

1 Tbsp coconut butter/oil/coconut manna

1 tsp vanilla essence

tsp cinnamon powder

1 Tbsp honey

preparation 

1.  Place the chia seeds in a bowl and cover with ½ cup almond milk – set aside to soak for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, so that the seeds are evenly distributed and covered.

2. Wash the peaches, and remove any bruised or spoiled spots. Cut them in half, remove the stone, and cut in half again.

3.  Place the pieces in a blender with the remaining almond milk, coconut butter, vanilla essence, cinnamon powder and honey – blend on high for 1 minute, or until completely smooth.

4.  Add the chia mixture and blend for a few seconds, until just combined.  Enjoy as is, or place in the refrigerator to thicken and chill for 1 hour.

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strawberry raspberry goji smoothie

18th June 2015

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One of many favourite flowers is the poppy.  Each year, I haphazardly throw seeds around the garden, they flower, and then I collect the dried pods and replanted them.

And now, every morning, I come out and find all sorts of colourful poppies surprising me in the garden.  The petals are soft, delicate and dancing about full of happiness.  There is something in seeing the gentle gracefulness of the poppy that softens the heart in its presence.

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strawberry raspberry goji smoothie

Serves 6 small/3 medium glasses

For the best results in making smoothies, use your own homemade nut milk.  Nutritionally, it is higher in quality and the taste is incomparable.  Use very ripe strawberries that are in season – the maceration process really makes a difference to bring out the luscious flavour in the berries.  You could easily use fresh coconut milk instead of the almond milk,  grind ½ cup of the white flesh with the juice for a real coconut flavour.  The addition of goji berries provides an extra boost of antioxidants, trace mineral, amino acids, Vitamin C and beta-carotene. Combined with the red berries, it is a power-house, nutrient-rich smoothie.

ingredients 

450g very ripe strawberries

2 Tbsp goji berries

½ cup raspberries

3 Tbsp maple syrup

2 tsp lemon juice

1½ cups homemade almond or nut milk of choice

2 Medjool dates

pre-soak 

1.  Top the strawberries and cut into quarters, place in a bowl with the raspberries, drizzle with maple syrup and a squeeze of lemon – allow to sit and macerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.  (For a very cold smoothie place the berries in the freezer for an hour after it has macerated.)

2.  Soak the goji berries in water until soft – 15 minutes.

preparation

3.  Place the berries and their juices into a blender and puree for a few seconds until smooth.  Pour the puree into a jug and set aside.

4.  Rinse out the blender and place the nut milk and dates – blend until smooth and frothy.

5.  To serve, fill a little more than half of the glass with the strawberry puree, then add the frothy nut milk on top.  For a decorative swirl, stir the puree with the nut milk, so that it creates a swirling design.  Use a toothpick on top to create a finer decoration.  Decorate with fresh mint and a spoon of heart-shaped strawberry pieces on top of each glass.

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rich & creamy chocolate nut shake

22nd February 2015

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right knowledge + right action = good result

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~plus I got to spend the afternoon doing silly stuff~

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rich & creamy chocolate nut shake

Serves 2 

The frozen banana makes this shake rich and creamy.  If you don’t like the taste of banana, half an avocado will work just as well.  The protein from the almond butter leaves you feeling satisfied and full. The maca powder is rich in mineral content and a natural hormone balancer for both men and women. Raw cacao is full of healthy antioxidants.  

If you would like a little chocolate chip crunch in your shake add 2 tablespoons of raw cacao nibs at the end and blitz for 5 – 10 seconds.

ingredients

1 medium frozen banana

2 Tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder

2 Tbsp almond butter (or any unsalted nut butter)

1 Tbsp maca powder

1 Tbsp maple syrup (or 2 fresh dates)

1 cup almond milk

tiny pinch of Himalayan salt

preparation

1.  Place the banana, cacao powder, almond butter, maca powder, maple syrup, almond milk and a pinch of salt in the blender – mix on high speed until you have a smooth consistency.

2.  Pour into 2 glasses, sprinkle with cacao powder and enjoy.

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creamy oat cinnamon banana smoothie

11th January 2015

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My son had dental work done the other day and found it difficult to eat anything solid. This is where this smoothie came in, inspired by Donna’s breakfast oat smoothie.  Creamy, filling and wonderfully nutritious for a liquid meal.

Oats are a wonderful source of protein, high in folate, vitamin E, iron, magnesium and zinc.  They are also known for their cleansing properties.  The soaking of the rolled oats increases their digestibility, enabling the nutrients to be better absorbed by your body and creating a creamier consistency.  The nut butter boosts the protein in the smoothie…great for two growing hungry, happy teenagers.

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creamy oat cinnamon banana smoothie

Makes 2 large glasses

ingredients 

cup whole oat groats  (If you don’t want to wait to soak the oats you can use quick-cooking oats)

2 cups almond milk

2 Medjool dates

1 small apple, cored

2 medium frozen bananas

1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds

2 Tbsp almond butter

1 tsp vanilla essence

cinnamon powder, sprinkling on top

pre-soak 

1.  Soak the oats in a drop of fresh lemon juice and cover with filtered water for 1 hour or preferably overnight.

preparation

2.  In a high-speed blender, add the oats, almond milk, dates, apple, bananas, ground flaxseeds, almond butter and vanilla essence – blend on high until you have a creamy consistency – 1 minute.

3.  Pour into glasses, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon powder.

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resources :

Soaked Oatmeal Recipe

10 Life Changing Benefits Of Oats: The Ultimate Guide To Eating Oats

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nasturtiums – a tea, a pesto and a cure

31st August 2014

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How I love this plant. They are such a visual treat.  Especially when my neglected garden is looking somewhat sad in abundance, there are always nasturtiums gracefully filling in the bare spaces to a sparse garden.  They are their own abundant gift!  Neglect is their most valued possession. They go about their own business, trailing through our poor soil and semi-shaded positions, cascading edible bright yellow, orange, and rust-red flowers as they go.  They even self-seed and surprise us in all sorts of places you would least expect.  I add their peppery leaves and colourful flowers to salads, and their leaves to green smoothies when greens are very few and far between.  For the tastiest nasturtium leaves, keep them well-watered, which helps to moderate the spiciness of the leaves and flowers. They make wonderful garlands and colourful decorations on and around birthday cakes.

The flowers were a favourite of the Victorians, and in the language of flowers, they stand for patriotism and fatherly love.

Nasturtiums secrete a mustard oil which insects find attractive and they will seek them out in preference to any cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi and turnips growing nearby.  It is wonderful to have them wander between crops to act as a decoy for insects and as a flavour- improving agent, however, slugs, as I have found, enjoy hiding beneath the shade of their broad leaves.  If you graze or scratch yourself while working in the garden, smearing a bruised leaf over the area will aid in swift healing.

Nasturtiums have a high concentration of vitamin C, iron and other minerals, and are also a natural antibiotic. The gentle antibiotic reaction makes it ideal for treating minor colds and flu.  Eating a couple of leaves a day is said to help clear up acne.  Apparently, it is great for the hair, as nasturtium tea applied to the head scalp, increases circulation and hair growth.  It is also a great toner for oily skin.

Chewing the leaves is a good way to disinfect one’s mouth.  They’re a means for boosting appetite and stimulating digestion.


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nasturtium tea

ingredients

1 cup nasturtium flowers

1-litre boiling water

preparation

1.  Place the flowers, leaves and buds in the boiling water in a jug.

2.  Cover and allow to brew for 15 mins. Strain and drink or use a hair rinse or toner this is also a great spray over plants to protect them against unwanted bugs.

nasturtium pesto

Makes 1 cup

ingredients 

2 cups packed nasturtium leaves

1 cup packed nasturtium flowers

¾ cup cold-pressed organic olive oil

¾ cup lightly toasted walnuts

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

pinch of salt

preparation 

1.  Pick a basket of fresh leaves and flowers without any blemishes.  If you are light on of the flowers, then leaves only are just fine.

2.  Thoroughly wash and dry the leaves and flowers; tear larger leaves in half.

3.  Place the leaves, flowers, lightly toasted and cooled walnuts, olive oil, salt and parmesan into a blender or food processor – blend until smooth.

4.  Ladle into a jar and drizzle over olive oil to prevent browning.

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References :

http://www.alchemy-works.com/tropaeolum.html

http://www.thewoodenspoon.net.au/recipes/nasturtiums/

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