“Tonic” by definition is “a medicinal substance taken to give a feeling of vigor or well-being”
I first formulated this drink when both myself and hubby were feeling a little under the weather one day. It does happen around here sometimes even though we are usually pretty good to ourselves. Skipping breakfast two days in a row didn’t help. I knew I needed a healthy dose of fats, spices, Chinese herbs, and a few super foods. A large bag of gorgeous green pistachios caught my eye and I knew they had to be included. I’ve used pistachios in so many recipes Cultured Pistachio Hummus but never considered them drink material before. Pistachios, you were destined to take the beverage world by storm. Or at least my kitchen.
I was surprised at how pivotal pistachios were in this drink. The hint of savory made them a perfect partner for the other rustic sweet and salty flavors; in fact all of the flavors mingled together beautifully. The shake was thick and creamy and golden (thanks to turmeric and bee pollen) with just a hint of garish green. It reminded me of salted pistachio candy. Rich, warm, and crave-worthy, it filled my mason jar and was emptied within seconds. But sip slowly, there’s simply too much here to relish. This drink is a heavy hitter.
One of the key ingredients (although it’s optional) is carob. It acts like a buffer to the strong pistachio flavor and just seems to mellow the whole thing out. I have to be honest, I really enjoy carob a lot. In fact, I’m predisposed to it. It’s dark, mild, and distinct, yet often gets accused of trying to be something it’s not. No, it isn’t chocolate and never will be, and deserves to be appreciated for what it is. BUT there are times, in the right recipe Spice and Hearth Chocolate Elixir Pudding, when the taste is pretty darn close to chocolate. In this recipe I was going for a drink that was more healing than stimulating so carob was my choice.
Carob is such an interesting ingredient. It’s grown in a pod like a pea. In fact, carob is a legume and not a bean (as I once thought). That accounts for the higher starch content. Not for the impatient grower, carob can take up to 15 years from planting until the first beans are available. But the results are worth it. Carob has a pleasant flavor, deep color and natural sweetness and contains no caffeine. When harvested, carob is broken down into separate seeds from the pulp and the pod. All three parts of the pod are used:
- The pulp is used as an emulsifier for the confectionary process
- Seeds can be used in animal foods
- Pods are dried and crushed into powder
Most carob powder is dried and crushed pods which are heated to fairly high temperatures, then ground into powder. Truly raw carob is never subjected to temperature exceeding 118 degrees. I try to get raw carob when I can but toasted carob works just fine.
The many health benefits of carob include:
- Used in the treatment of infant diarrhea
- Soothing an upset stomach
- Alleviating intestinal disorders such as diarrhea
- Abundant vitamins A, B1, B2, C and calcium
- Excellent source of fiber
- Minerals such as potassium and magnesium, as well as several trace minerals
I also incorporated two specific Chinese herbs, I was making a lot of demands on this formulation. The Chinese herbs help increase productivity, mental clarity, and overall well-being but they aren’t just herbs; they’re also natural flavor enhancers.
We both sipped my little concoction and when the last drop was gone, something had already happened. The mental fog had cleared and I suddenly felt my old buoyant self again. The nourishing spices, herbs, healthy fats, pistachios, and natural sweeteners make this rich and creamy drink a tonic to savor with intent. Drink slowly to assimilate all the potent ingredients. I hope you enjoy it.
This recipe is raw, dairy and gluten-free, and serves 2 – 4 persons.
Pistachio Honey Superfood Tonic
- Nuts are routinely soaked for optimum digestibility, however I make an exception with this recipe as I think it tastes better with fresh shelled pistachios. Prepare however you feel comfortable, it’s delicious either way. Whether you soak them or not, I recommend always rinsing nuts, seeds, and grains before using to remove impurities, dust and debris.
- Depending on which brand of reishi powder you purchase, the bitterness can vary. Real reishi is in fact very bitter. You may want to start with a very low dose and increase the amount per taste. You can also substitute with milder tasting chaga.
- 2 cups warm water
- 2/3 cup pistachios
- 2 tsp carob powder or cacao powder (or equal amounts of both)
- 2 1/2 Tbsp bee pollen
- 1/4 tsp ashwagandha root powder (optional)
- 1/4 tsp reishi powder or chaga powder (optional)
- small piece of fresh turmeric, peeled or 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla-flavored stevia to taste
- 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- stevia to taste (optional)
- Add pistachios, water and salt to a blender and blend on high speed until smooth and frothy.
- Add remaining ingredients and blend on high-speed for about a minute until creamy and smooth.
- Serve immediately. I like to garnish with cacao nibs, salt crystals, and bee pollen.
- Yields about 2 1/2 cups.
- Can be stored refrigerated up to 3 days. Will thicken when stored. Re-blend to warm and frothy before serving.