My final recipe to wrap-up this month's cleansing series is more of a cleansing ritual than a proper recipe. But I wanted to share it with you and offer a few variations because I know I'm not the only person who enjoys this simple lemon drink. Lemon ginger tea (or some variation of it) is my morning elixir several times a week. I have a mug first thing in the morning on an empty stomach so it can start doing it's job without having to compete for digestive attention that would otherwise be directed towards breakfast.
Lemon and ginger fall into the bitter and astringent category. (If you missed it, check out these posts for an explanation of the 6 tastes found in food). In my workshop "5 Steps to Better Health" last night (hello ladies - thanks for a fantastic discussion!) I talked about how foods with the bitter/astringent flavor (dark leafy greens, lemon, ginger, turmeric, etc) are natural cleansers because they promote regular bowel movements, stimulate appetite, and enhance digestibility by stimulating digestive enzymes, production of stomach acid, and bile flow. And the better our food is broken down the better our body is able to absorb the nutrients and benefit from them. Lemon and ginger also have antimicrobial benefits (when enjoyed raw) so this tea is especially supportive during the cold and flu season.
In other news, Yahoo! Foods published my Mediterranean Bulgur Bowl in a Super Bowls for the Super Bowl lineup. So if you're looking for a not-so-ordinary Super Bowl menu idea (or any casual party menu idea for that matter), check out this recipe! My husband and I love the fun flavors in this bowl, and if you're feeding a group with varied tastes, consider having a Bowl Bar where everyone makes their own bowl. Line up the bulgur salad, olives, red pepper sauce, broccoli, avocado, and toppings for everyone to build their own bowl (although I consider all of these components essential to this dish). You could also add some additional protein components like roasted chickpeas or chicken for people who want to bulk up their bowl even more.
Cleansing Morning Elixir: Lemon, Ginger Tea
Notes: Enjoy a mug first thing in the morning on an empty stomach so it can start doing it's job without having to compete for digestive attention that would otherwise be directed towards breakfast.
- 1 in. (2.5 cm) piece peeled ginger, grated
- Juice from 1/2 juicy lemon
- 1 small mug warm water (NOT boiling)
- Raw honey (optional*)
- Add ginger and lemon to the bottom of a mug. Add warm water and stir to combine. Enjoy right away!
*If lemon is too bitter for you first thing in the morning add a bit of raw honey and reap the sweet benefits of its antimicrobial properties.
- Healing Elixir: Add coconut butter (or coconut oil) for an additional antimicrobial boost, supportive fats, and a tropical, sweet flavor
- Add 1 tsp. coconut butter (or coconut oil) to warm tea - you might need to use the back of a spoon to mash up coconut butter until it melts and disperses in the warm water.
- Anti-Inflammatory Elixir
- Add 1/2 to 1 tsp. ground turmeric (or use slightly more if freshly grated). Whisk well to combine, and continue whisking as you sip since turmeric does not dissolve in water.