BABY, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE!
Since the hubs and I got home from a weekend in Colorado, we've both been fighting off the cold from H-E-double-hockey-sticks. On top of that, we just got hit with a blizzard and it's been ridiculously cold outside! Cold and a cold don't mix! Luckily, while we were in Denver, we stopped at our favorite coffee shop and I decided to forgo my usual green tea order for a Lemon-Ginger Tonic. It just sounded so enticing--like maybe it would give me superpowers! Tonic, tonic, tonic, the word kept echoing in my mind as we glided through the four-story Restoration Hardware in Cherry Creek. With every sip, my body became more invigorated and warmed to the core. I knew I had to figure out how to craft this digestive delight for myself at home!
The Root of All Good
Ginger is the real star in this cold weather detox tonic, but if you want to really give it some oomph, I've provided a few other spice cabinet staples that you can throw into the mix! Think of ginger as the Beyonce, and the remaining ingredients as the rest of Destiny's Child. Bey can't be touched, she's in a league of her own, but we all know there are a handful of classic Destiny's Child songs from way back in the 90s that wouldn't have been possible without the combined sass of the whole group!
What's In A Name?
ton·ic ˈtänik/ noun
a medicinal substance taken to give a feeling of vigor or well-being.
something with an invigorating effect.
An herbal tonic is a preparation of carefully selected plants, or herbs, that are known to promote detoxification and invigorate and tone the body's systems. The best part is, there are no negative side effects!
Ginger, Spice, & Everything Nice
Ginger root has been a staple ingredient in Indian and Chinese cuisine and a key component in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger has been used to aid in treating a variety of ailments, from the common cold to muscle soreness and joint pain. It's intense, spicy taste and floral aroma hints that this superfood is indeed potent and effective. Ginger is also a warming food that can help to elevate the body's core temperature, making it the perfect cold weather staple.
When lemon is added into the mix, you get a healthy dose of vitamin C, as well as antioxidants, and an alkaline boost that helps to cleanse and neutralize acid in the body.
Just a Dash!
Like ginger, turmeric root has long been revered for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Underneath it's thin skin lies a vibrant orange colored flesh that has a distinct scent that you just don't quite get from the spice jar version. Turmeric stains almost everything it comes into contact with, including your fingers! Again, the strong scent and color lends to its potency.
Apple cider vinegar is a jack-of-all-trades kind of elixir. Made up of fermented apples, this cloudy liquid contains live and active cultures that can do wonders for your digestion and gut health. It can also be used to deep clean your hair, balance the pH of your skin, and the list goes on! (I'm thinking I may just have to do an entire separate blog post on this one!).
Cayenne adds a spicy kick to any drink or dish with just a dash--tongue twister! :P Turn up the heat, rev up your metabolism! Cayenne has also been said to boost your metabolism and curb cravings.
And last, but not least, the ultimate cold weather "cherry on top" has got to be cinnamon. This spice is yet another "warming" ingredient with a calming aroma. It is also effective at regulating blood sugar levels and boosting the metabolism.
Lemon Ginger Tonic
Whether you're fighting a cold or just trying to warm up, this tonic is just what the doctor, err, plant-based health-nut ordered! Kick your pain relievers to the curb and enjoy a warm mug full of this restorative, invigorating, and anti-inflammatory delight that's sure to sooth your throat and warm your core.
- half lemon
- 2 tsp ginger grated
- or 1 ginger tea bag
- 1.5 cups water
- Bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil in a pot on the stove and reduce the heat to a low simmer.
- Add grated ginger to a mesh tea ball and place in pot of water and cover. Alternatively, you can used a ginger tea bag if you don't have fresh ginger root. Let steep for 6-8 minutes.
- Remove lid and tea ball from pot and pour water into a mug. Add a squeeze of lemon, stir, and sip!
- Add honey or maple syrup for a hint of sweetness
- Add a splash of apple cider vinegar, a dash of cayenne, turmeric, or cinnamon--or all of the above for a serious tonic that's sure to clear you up! I'm an all or nothing kind of gal, and I think it tastes fantastic with a bit of everything included!
- If available, feel free to add fresh grated turmeric root to your tea ball along with the ginger!
Depending on when you're reading this post, I hope everyone has, or had a fantastic Super Bowl Sunday this weekend! I know I'll be watching--at least the commercials and the halftime show! Make sure when you run to the grocery store to grab your party trays to stock up on ginger, spice, and everything nice so you can make yourself a warm mug of digestive delight Monday morning! Cheers!
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