Dandelion Spicy Chai Root Tea

There can be a great joy of foraging for one of your first crops of the season. Bitter foods such as dandelion leaf and root, chicory, rocket, and other bitter green foods can have a great digestion-enhancing effect! These bitter vegetables help to support our digestion by increasing bile flow, increasing gastric acid and improving our overall digestive function, which improves our nutritional capacity. It’s the bitter flavour of these foods (which sometimes we need to take time to a bit of time to get used to), which we need to taste to get these benefits. Bitter foods also play an important role in our immune system due to the increased gastric acid from eating bitter foods; it helps to create a more unfriendly environment for pathogens (as part of our first line of defence), as well as improving how well we break down food, which is important for our overall health as well. There is an herb we are blessed with in early spring, which is dandelion. The dandelion root tea has helped many get over the cravings for coffee. It’s a satisfying healthy alternative to coffee. Dandelion root tea continues to gain popularity. It has an earthy and somewhat a slightly bitter taste. This morning brew is a divine organic tonic for the morning, offering a rainbow of minerals for the body’s integrity and health. Here is a creative recipe to warm you and spice up your life.

Dandelion Spicy Chai Root Tea

1 cup of hazelnuts soaked (or other nuts: almond milk, hemp milk or cashew milk)

½ cup dandelion root

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon cardamom

1tsp. spicebush berries (optional – for extra heat, ¼ teaspoon cayenne or black pepper)

1 tablespoon ginger root

Honey to taste

4 cups of filtered water

Blend all ingredients in the blender until well mixed. Place the dandelion root and spices into a pot and cover with the water. I recommend stirring often so as not to let it boil, it is best with all the enzymes intact. Strain into a quart jar using a fine mesh strainer. Pour into mugs and sweeten to taste with raw honey or your favourite natural sweeter.

Homemade Hazelnut Milk

1/2 cup hazelnuts

3 cups of filtered water

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Pinch sea salt

Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend for approximately 45 – 60 seconds or until ultra-smooth. Place a nut milk bag into a large jar or pitcher and pour hazelnut milk through the bag, squeezing out the milk, and leaving the pulp behind. You can compost the leftover pulp. Store your hazelnut milk in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Use it in recipes wherever milk is called for.