Radiant Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric and Ginger Tea

radiant turmeric and ginger tea

“Yellow is the ‘lightest’ of all of the warm-spectrum colors and the color which most resembles the sun. It brings with it hope, and the feeling that everything will be all right. It has an air of radiance, brightness, cheerfulness, and gaiety. Yellow is open-minded and inspiring; it glows and illuminates, and at is most positive vibration it corresponds with knowledge and wisdom.”

~ excerpted from Color Your Life, by Howard & Dorothy Sun

So many of us want to find ways to reduce inflammation in our bodies, seeing as, you know, inflammation is possibly at the root of all disease. That’s a super scary idea, and it makes me want to leap into action. It makes me want to find some kind of superhero to help me fight back. And, the super hero that I have in mind just happens to be a ugly and sort of weird looking, but powerful nevertheless. My super hero wears a yellow cape and goes by the name Turmeric.

Turmeric is one of these superfoods we keep hearing about over and over and for good reason – it’s one powerful little root. And, it’s been proven to be anti-inflammatory, to be a powerful antioxidant (protecting the body from the regular ongoing damage that occurs as a result of breathing, exposure to toxins, aging, just existing, etc), and to have promising potential in treating arthritis and joint pain, preventing some cancers, and possibly even preventing and treating Alzheimers.

And ginger! Ginger is great for digestion and/or indigestion, for nausea, and it’s also known to be anti-inflammatory.

radiant turmeric and ginger tea

And can we talk about the colour of this tea? We don’t often pay attention to colour in our lives but I’m learning that colour has a tremendous influence on us in all sorts of physical, mental, and spiritual ways.

We know we’re supposed to eat the colours of the rainbow; here is a way to boost YELLOW. Colours mean antioxidants, which in turn means protection for your cells, radiant health, and high levels of nutrients. Turmeric is a lovely brilliant yellow when dried and when fresh, it kind of looks like a carrot – bright orange and juicy (under the peel, that is. When it has a peel on, it basically looks like ginger, to which it is related).

And as noted above, the colour yellow links to radiance, glow, illumination, cheerfulness, vitality, and all of the other elements of health that we want and that antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods can help us obtain. Coincidence? I think not.

radiant turmeric and ginger tea

Yellow is also the colour that represents the Solar Plexus Chakra, one of the seven energy centres of the body according to Ayurvedic traditions. In this school of thought, the Solar Plexus Chakra governs personal power, energy, and self-confidence. It’s all about purpose and your inner fire. The colour yellow supports and represents this chakra by encouraging radiance and stability and happiness and confidence.

Fire, pep, energy, radiance, yellow. Sound a lot like turmeric? I think so.

All that’s not bad for one little mug of tea.

radiant turmeric and ginger tea

And if you’re worried about this being too spicy, don’t be. I found it delightfully ‘awakening’ in my mouth but not at all burny or uncomfortable (read a description of turmeric’s taste here if you’re curious for more detail). It’s like a nice spicy chai: peppy and peppery, but not painful.

You can drink this straight as a steeped tea, or incorporate some non-dairy milk as I have done. The ground pepper and coconut oil are to enhance the absorption of the good stuff from the turmeric. I like making my tea into a latte because it mellows things into a more comforting mug and adds a nice smoothness. Plus, if you wanted to go crazy and add some coconut milk, you’re incorporating the healthy fats required to aid with turmeric absorption. Hey now!

Radiant Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric and Ginger Tea

  • Author: Backyard Owl (and everyone else on the internet who has ever made this kind of tea)
  • Recipe Notes: gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free or nut-free (depending on your milk), naturally-sweetened

Ingredients:

  • fresh ginger root
  • fresh turmeric root
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • (optional) stevia for sweetening

Instructions:

  1. Measure out 1 cup of filtered water and place in a saucepan on low heat.
  2. Grate about 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger and 1 teaspoon of fresh turmeric and add to your water.
  3. Simmer for about 10 minutes (you should notice the water becoming, well, orange coloured).
  4. Pour the tea into your mug and strain out the spice pulp.
  5. Add a few shakes of ground black pepper and the coconut oil.
  6. Sir in 1/4 cup of your favourite non-dairy milk. If required, sweeten with stevia.
  7. Sip and enjoy!

Serves 1.

NOTE: Turmeric will stain anything it touches yellow. Just be warned. Your fingers, your counter, the knife you use to peel it, and so on. So I recommend paying attention while preparing this tea so that you don’t discover you’ve accidentally dyed your face, your clothes, or something else you would prefer NOT to become yellow.

© Backyard Owl


Turmeric and Vitamin C ‘New Year Best Self’ Creamsicle Smoothie

turmeric and C smoothie with banana and mango

2016 is here and every blog and its brother will be inundating you with ways to be healthier, more relaxed, more positive, lighter, smarter, faster, more focussed, and a generally more awesome version of yourself. More dubiously, you’ll also have information pushed at you about how to lose weight or become better looking.

Let’s just say this now: wanting to grow, heal, and embrace more joy in your life in 2016 is wonderful. Restricting, dieting, confining, squishing, or otherwise attempting to punish or hate your body or self into being something that fits a very (very!) narrow definition of attractive is not helpful. In fact, it’s harmful. Don’t fall prey to the new year thinking that somehow you aren’t good enough and changing your outside is what needs to happen.

turmeric and C smoothie with banana and mango

Ideally, your resolutions, goals, or priorities for the new year elevate and excite you, and they serve to boost your spirit, not depress you about how much you need to fix, improve, or change. That’s where I think the ‘new year, new you’ concept really falls off the rails. Each year shouldn’t start with a vow to rehaul your entire self. What kind of message does that send to your internal esteem? The idea is to bring more joy, more pleasure, more fun, more laughter, and more healing and growth into our lives to become the best version of ourselves in the process. That’s how to start the new year.

This smoothie is something I’ve been tinkering with over the holidays, and it represents some of these ideals in food-form: it’s boosting, light, energizing, healthy, and is just the kind of the tasty and tangy re-set your tastebuds might need after a more indulgent festive season.

turmeric and C smoothie with banana and mango

The turmeric adds a nice cheerful boost of yellow colour and is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and adding a healthy fat (I like NutraVege Citrus omega oil) helps with absorption and is good support for your brain and skin (every cell in your body needs and benefits from healthy fats – and you have trillions of cells all performing some little but necessary function at every moment. Give them some support!). Orange juice and mango add lots of Vitamin C, which is helpful for your immune system and your skin collagen, and the banana adds potassium and fibre. A scoop of protein powder adds some protein so that your smoothie can keep you full longer.

I typically measure out the juice, almond milk, and powders the night before, and then in the morning just add the mango and banana. Blend it up, and Bob’s your uncle.

Happy New Year to you all! May 2016 bring you joy, peace, love, and laughter, and may you feel that you lived it all in the presence of your best self.

Turmeric and Vitamin C ‘New Year Best Self’ Creamsicle Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (essentially equal parts juice to almond milk)
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 of a frozen banana
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons (or 1 scoop) vanilla vegan protein powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons your favourite omega oil (fruit/citrus flavoured works well)
  • OPTIONAL: 2 teaspoons sunflower lecithin; 1-2 teaspoons maca powder

Instructions:

  1. Measure out all ingredients into a blender or NutriBullet-type device.
  2. Blend ’em up!
  3. Sip and enjoy.

(C) Backyard Owl 2016