Over the last few years, I’ve become a little addicted to my morning tonic ritual. It’s a little like a moving meditation where I take a few minutes and focus on the steps of brewing my tea, adding in whatever powders I crave and slowly sip my warm concoction. I think you know I don’t drink coffee, but instead tea is my morning brew. Lately, as I have become more familiar with adaptogens, collagen and other “boosts” as I call them, I’ve had fun experimenting with combining them with tea.
Argentine yerba mate is a favorite tea that I consume regularly for its health benefits as much as the robust flavor and balanced energy boost it provides me in the morning. Originated and grown in Argentina from the yerba mate tree, this tea is chock-full of powerful antioxidants (shown to be even higher than green tea) and nutrients such as vitamins B and C, zinc, potassium and manganese. Yerba mate has been found to be ‘hepatoprotective’ which translates to: ‘protecting your liver cells’ and can help in weight loss. I also love that it provides as much energy as a cup of coffee but isn’t as harsh on your stomach. The traditional way to consume it is to prepare it in a traditional Argentinian gourd and drink through a straw, but I always drink it out of a mug.
The energy I derive from yerba mate is one that I don’t rely on, however, unlike the caffeine in coffee for so many people. If I skip my tea, I can still function, although I might be a little disappointed to miss out on the quiet process of making my tonic and the soothing warmth which comes out of my mug. One of my recent favorite concoctions is this yerba mate blend with cacao powder and mint extract. That’s my base – it’s kind of like a peppermint hot chocolate but with tea instead of water or milk. Then I start adding whatever I need at the moment – often I add collagen for protein and a gut boost, or maca for hormone support, for example. I like many of the adaptogens for their calming nature – a great balance to the energy in yerba mate. See my blogpost on Adaptogens 101 if you’re interested in learning more.
I thought a mint chocolate yerba mate latte would be a perfect morning treat this time of year. It also feels a little indulgent, but it is perfectly healthful. I try very hard to start every day right, but especially during the holidays so I am not tempted to throw in the towel every time I see a Christmas cookie!
I have settled on Argentinian yerba mate as the best quality and flavor. Some brands to look for are Rosamonte and CBSe. Are you Team Coffee or Team Tea? Have you tried yerba mate yet? What do you think?
As always, I love when you make any of my recipes and it is the biggest thrill for me to see them out there. So tag me @pamelasalzman #pamelasalzman so I can check them out!
Shop the tools I used for this recipe by clicking on the images below:
- 1 Tablespoon Yerba Mate leaves, plus ½ cup hot water
- ½ teaspoon sweetener + more to taste, I used date syrup
- ¾ cup unsweetened milk of choice, I used almond milk
- ⅛ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 ½
- Optional adaptogens: ½ teaspoon maca, lucuma or ashwagandha (If you are new to using adaptogens, try one at a time at half the recommended dose)*
- Steep the tea in a cup of the ½ cup hot water along with the sweetener. Let it steep for 5 minutes.
- While the tea is steeping, heat ¾ cup almond milk in a pan or frother.*
- Pour the tea through a strainer into a blender (preferably one with a glass pitcher.) Add the extract, collagen, and any additional powders you desire. Blend at high speed for a minute until all the powders are dissolved. Pour into a mug and top with the warmed milk.
- Add a sprinkle of
cacaopowder on top!
•Adaptogens are Chinese herbs that are non-toxic to the body and combat stress. They are used to improve the health and quality functioning of your adrenal system – the system that is in charge of your body’s reactions to stress. For more info check out my ‘Adaptogens 101’ post.
•Maca has an earthier taste that is <g class="gr_ gr_38 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="38" data-gr-id="38">midly</g> nutty with a hint of butterscotch. It’s a good source of calcium, vitamin C, amino acids, phytonutrients <g class="gr_ gr_46 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="46" data-gr-id="46">and</g> healthy fatty acids.
•Lucuma has a flavor profile resembling maple, caramel or pumpkin. With lots of <g class="gr_ gr_45 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="45" data-gr-id="45">beta-carotene</g> it’s good for the skin, eyes <g class="gr_ gr_47 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="47" data-gr-id="47">and</g> aging. It also has iron, zinc, vitamin B3 and calcium.
•<g class="gr_ gr_39 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="39" data-gr-id="39">Ashwaganda’s</g> flavor is often described as a ‘horse-like’ smell. While it may not be the most attractively smelling <g class="gr_ gr_40 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="40" data-gr-id="40">adatpogen</g>, <g class="gr_ gr_44 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar multiReplace" id="44" data-gr-id="44">it’s benefits</g> include reducing anxiety and depression, stabilizing blood sugar and improving learning, memory and reaction time.
•If using a frother to heat your milk, pour the heated milk into the blender but leave the frothed milk to top on your tonic!