ELIXIRS are my jam! ESPECIALLY during the chilliest months of the year! Who doesn't love a flavourful and cozy hot beverage when it's cold and snowy outdoors?! If it can be a health-promoting, nutrient-packed and immune-supporting beverage, EVEN BETTER!
I consider an elixir, in the context of culinary nutrition, to be a strategically-crafted beverage (enjoyed hot, or chilled) that is nutrient-dense and therapeutic in nature. Each of the strategically-chosen ingredients contributes health-promoting benefits.
My elixir concoctions typically have a few staple ingredients, including hemp seeds, cacao butter or coconut oil, raw/unpasteurized honey and cinnamon! With each concoction, I like to experiment with and add in a unique ingredient that I've recently come across and would like to learn to use in various ways!
In this case, it's organic, beetroot powder! While traveling in Australia recently for the first time, I came to learn that beetroot is UBER POPULAR and used in so many menu items, from juices and smoothies to hot beverages, to sandwiches, spreads/dips and desserts. Given how much I enjoy beets, I just couldn't get enough!
The Beetroot Powder I came across while traveling in Australia...
So, here I am, back in Canada, and loving the process of using this powder in various ways. When combined with Reishi Mushroom Elixir and the other ingredients appearing below, the beverage yields a beautiful pink colour that I LOVE!
The Four Sigmatic "Reishi Mushroom Elixir" is composed of: organic reishi extract, organic star anise, organic peppermint extract, organic licorice root extract and organic stevia leaf extract. Beyond being an organic product, it is also suitable for vegan, paleo and gluten-free diets, containing no caffeine. While you can purchase the packets in boxes of 20 packets (online and in various health food stores), I also find them sold as individual packets at my local health food stores - Community Natural Foods and Blush Lane Organic Market. They typically sell for approximately $2.50 per packet. This option comes in handy, as it allows me to experiment with this company's different products in small amounts at a time, so as to discover what I enjoy most (I enjoy them all)!
According to the Four Sigmatic website, the Reishi extract used is that of organic, dual-extracted, Red Reishi mushroom. You may learn more about the dual-extraction progress, Reishi mushroom, and the above-named other ingredients in this elixir powder, here.
I hope you enjoy the recipe! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch!
Yield: 1 serving (~1.5 cups)
Prep time: ~5 minutes
Total Time: ~5 minutes
1 packet Four Sigmatic "Reishi Mushroom Elixir"
1 tbsp. raw cacao powder
1 tsp. beetroot powder (sample Canadian source)
2 tbsp. hemp seeds
1 tbsp. organic, virgin coconut oil
1 tsp. raw, unpasteurized honey
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1. Dissolve 1 packet Reishi Mushroom Elixir powder into 1 cup hot water. *I typically do this in a mug and set it sit for a minute for two, before continuing on with the recipe.
2. Pour the Reishi Mushroom Elixir liquid into a high-speed blender and add all other ingredients. Blend thoroughly to combine.
3. Pour the mixture into your favourite, cozy mug and sprinkle with additional beet powder or garnish of your choice! Enjoy!
About Some of the Therapeutic Ingredients...
Benefits of this wild, medicinal mushroom include the ability to enhance energy level, reduce blood pressure, slow the aging process and fight cancer[i]
They are also capable of reducing inflammation, detoxifying the body and improving one's cognitive ability[ii]
A good source of plant-based saturated fat; is unrefined
Is required in the body for a multitude of reasons, including for optimal brain and Central Nervous System function, cell communication, protection of organs from trauma and temperature change and for transport of fat-soluble vitamins throughout the body
A rich source of the magnesium (the anti-stress mineral), supportive of muscle relaxation and energy production
A good source of both iron and zinc
Iron supports red blood cell production and oxygenation to the muscles, energy production and the metabolism of protein in the body
Zinc (an antioxidant nutrient) supports the Immune System, skin health, enzyme activity and detoxification
Has a slightly sweet and earthy taste[iii]
One teaspoon of this powder is equivalent to approximately one beet[iv]
Is dense with the same nutrients as the red beets it comes from[v]
Particularly rich in dietary fiber, antioxidant nutrients, calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, manganese and potassium[vi]
Are naturally rich in nitrate compounds, which can help improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure[vii]
Also contributes to improved stamina; this effect may be attributed to the ability of the nitrates to regulate the uptake of oxygen and presence of magnesium, therefore exercise feels less exhausting[viii]
A source of plant-based protein
A complete source of protein (contains all 8 essential amino acids)
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein; essential amino acids must be obtained from the diet, as the body is unable to manufacture them on its own
Organic, Virgin Coconut Oil:
Contains Lauric Acid and Caprylic Acid (fatty acids called Medium-Chain Triglycerides)[ix]
Lauric Acid and Caprylic Acid contribute anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-viral properties to the body, helping to support the immune system and protect the body from disease-causing organisms[x]
The saturated fat coconut contains, given it is a plant-based source, is easier to both digest and absorb than saturated fat stemming from animal food sources[xi]
Your body requires high-quality sources of fat for many reasons, including: cell communication, brain and Central Nervous System function, holding our organs in place, protection of our organs from trauma and temperature changes (acts as protective covering/insulation), transport of fat-soluble vitamins through the body (vitamins A, D, E & K) and energy storage in the body[xii]
Also, the presence of fat in the body frees up protein for tissue repair[xiii]
Raw, Unpasteurized Honey:
A natural (unrefined) sweetener possessing anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties
Contains the mineral chromium
Chromium is a key nutrient that supports regulation of blood sugar (seek out true cinnamon for the nutrient benefits - Ceylon cinnamon variety)
[i] Organic Facts: Reishi Mushrooms - Benefits, Uses & Side Effects. Retrieved January 5, 2018 from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/reishi-mushrooms.html
[ii] Organic Facts: Reishi Mushrooms - Benefits, Uses & Side Effects. Retrieved January 5, 2018 from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/reishi-mushrooms.html
[ix] Haas, Elson M. (2006). Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine. New York: Random House Inc.
[x] Haas, Elson M. (2006). Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine. New York: Random House Inc.
[xi] Haas, Elson M. (2006). Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine. New York: Random House Inc.
[xii] Haas, Elson M. (2006). Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine. New York: Random House Inc.
[xiii] Haas, Elson M. (2006). Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine. New York: Random House Inc.