Monday, March 23, 2015

Dara's Vanilla Peppermint Tonic

Tonic drinks are amazing mood enhancers and a great alternative for those who enjoy the ritual of morning coffee. Watching one of my favourite Youtubers, Dara Dubinet, introduced me to the world of tonic herbs: reishi mushroom, chaga, schizandra, maca, camu camu, mucuna, etc. They have been used throughout human history to enhance everything from mental clarity to relaxation to libido. Certain combinations of herbs will yield different results, and building up one's pantry of rare powders can become a really fun pastime. Add them to smoothies or simply stir into a hot drink, or get creative and make them uber palatable using specific tonic recipes. Dara came out with an Intro to Tonics e-book which totally rocks. Today's drink is steaming beside me as I crunch through essays in the final weeks before university exams. It's very close to her "Vanilla Peppermint Tonic." I used a hot tea base called "Mint to Be" from David's Tea, vanilla bean, peppermint extract, lucuma, mucuna, chaga, stevia, a few dates, and coconut oil. Everything gets put in a blender, covered with steeped tea, and mixed on high for a minute. When poured out, it looks just like a creamy dairy drink. Sprinkle on more vanilla bean or cinnamon.


While I do still drink coffee, I have a rule about it. If I am craving its effects, then I will not drink it. If it's the taste I'm after, then coffee is allowed. (Avoiding dependency on things...) A once per week pre-gym coffee is a treat, and the rest of the days these tonics tide me over. They travel well in a thermos and last all morning through classes.


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