Adding Flavor to Every Day by Sweet Tarnation
Dreaming up drinkable concoctions is a joy, especially when there are so many beautiful cups to drink from! Alternative mylks have been a wonderful tool in this obsession and the incredible ingredients available to us in this modern day make it easier than ever to treat ourselves while having all the fun with flavor and trying new things. It’s the perfect opportunity to incorporate ingredients and herbs into our daily routine while giving ourselves a delightful snack.
Check out some drinking vessels here!
I usually start with a base, such as a mylk. Then I add my big flavors, such as fruit or even a vegetable on the sweeter side (like pumpkin), then I’m free to add my flavorings. These are usually infused herbs or powders. There are so so so many to choose from. If you can afford to be concerned with origin, look into the potency and process of your powders, even making your own if you’re so inclined! This can be a fun way to add some really interesting, unexpected flavor combinations to your day. Think about what you want to feel when you drink this. If soothing is what you’re going for, choose foods that soothe you. For me, that would be warming things like ginger and cardamom, basil (Tulsi, aka Holy Basil, is known for soothing the nervous system), and cinnamon. What a neat flavor combo that would be! If you want something to hit that sweet craving, maybe you add some cacao powder for the hit of chocolate and half a banana, perhaps a little nut butter. The beauty to whipping these blends up is you get to choose what you want to feel and tailor it to your needs, adjusting the sweetener to your liking or restrictions. Have at it! Try something you wouldn’t have considered and see how you like it. I think it will surprise you when unexpected flavors complement one another.
Recipe for Mango Mugwort Mushroom Milk:
1 cup of your favorite milk (I used oat mylk for this one, animal milk works just as well)
1 mango, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon, or a healthy pinch, of rose petals (dried or fresh)
1 tablespoon, or healthy pinch, of mugwort (dried or fresh)
1 teaspoon powdered lion’s mane mushroom (or dried mushroom of your choice, just know that darker mushroom powders will darken the color of your drink)
1 teaspoon sweetener of your choice, maple syrup, honey, etc. (I used 2 teaspoons of lucuma powder, which requires 2x as much to get the desired sweetness level)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- Heat your milk/mylk in a small saucepan over low heat until it’s just simmering. Add your herbs and, using a spoon, make sure the herbs are submerged and saturated. Take it off the heat and put a lid on the pan, letting it infuse for about 15 minutes. You can also do this in the microwave, by heating your milk in a microwave-safe container until very hot, but not boiling (times and power levels for microwaves will vary), adding your petals + mugwort, then covering for 15 minutes.
- Strain your infusion into a blender or blender cup if you have a smoothie blender. Add your mango and powdered mushroom, sweetener, and cardamom + ginger, if using. Blend until smooth. It will be warm and that can be lovely for bedtime, or you can add ice cubes while blending for a cold drink.
- Pour into your favorite cup and enjoy!
Mugwort has been shown to stimulate bile production, helping with digestion. It is known to aid sleep. Historically, mugwort has been used as a tea or incense when preparing for lucid dreaming, dream recall, and astral projection while asleep. Please note it is not safe for use while pregnant as it can stimulate uterine contractions.
Rose petals are associated with self-love and soothing the nervous system. They also smell and taste delicious!
Lion’s mane mushroom has been shown to improve cognitive function, protecting against dementia, reduce mild symptoms of anxiety and depression, and help repair nerve damage. It also has strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-boosting properties. It has also been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, ulcers, and diabetes in animals. (Healthline, healthline.com, May 2018)
However much I love herbs and making drinkable concoctions, I am not a doctor. Please always do your own research with herbs, especially those you haven’t encountered or tried before. Also note that some herbs/mushrooms require regular, extended use to see the benefits. You are the owner of your health and you have agency! Look for herbs that fit into your lifestyle and make sure they don’t interfere with medications or supplements you’re already taking. You are intelligent enough and you can do this, all while having fun and playing with flavor. You got this.