cacao + herb
Whew. What a trying year, and what a crazy beginning to a new one. Slowing down for a moment to collect my thoughts and B R E A T H E is so very beneficial, I find, to be able to more productively tackle day-to-day and deeper challenges in our personal and wider world.
Sipping a cup of flavorful steaming tea helps draw me into the moment, and blending up aromatic herbs is a welcome meditative process that fills up a room with comforting and energizing fragrance.
Cacao has long been recognized in various traditions as a mood-enhancer and energy booster, and recent studies have pointed out its health benefits*. Keep in mind that what we are talking about here is chocolate made with pure cacao and cacao butter that is sugar-free or made with a small amount of unrefined sugars like panela, honey and maple syrup, or cacao nibs that naturally do not contain sugar, and not chocolate bars or bonbons made with added fats and oils, dairy and refined sugar which add calories and take up the space of pure cacao and its benefits.
And more specifically, for these recipes we are using cacao nibs, the fermented, roasted and cracked cacao seeds (aka “beans”) that can be brewed with hot water, giving tea blends and coffee blends a roasty, wine-like and light, earthy chocolate flavor.
When blending teas use organically grown, thoroughly cleaned and dried ingredients from a respected source, and pure cacao nibs. Coarse grinds can be used in a tea diffuser, a tea ball or strainer, a resusable or compostable cloth tea bag or in a coffee filter.
Stir ingredients in a large bowl until evenly distributed, then store in a jar with a lid or metal canister in a cool, dry dark place and enjoy within one year.
To make a pot or cup of tea, use approximately 1 heaping Tbsp of the blend per cup of hot water. Pour hot water over the tea and steep for 3-5 minutes covered, then remove the bag or strainer and sip while hot, breathing in the bouquet of steam.
Below are blends we’ve come up made with some of our favorite herbs, flowers and fungi, with the base cacao nibs and cocoa powder to be available in our online shop in the near future!
breath of forest air blend
herbs and cacao traditionally used to help support the respiratory system*
1/2 cup dried mint
1/2 cup dried mullein leaf
1/8 cup dried spruce needle
1/4 cup dried elderberries
1/4 cup cacao nibs
vie en rose blend
florals high in vitamin c and cacao traditionally used to help support mood and enhance immunity*
1/2 cup dried rose petal
1/2 cup dried hibiscus blossom
2 Tbsp dried and coarsely ground rose hips
1/4 cup cacao nibs
the earth below my feet blend
roots, mushrooms and cacao traditionally used to help support cleansing, detoxifying and boosting immunity*
1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup roasted dandelion root coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dried coarsely ground chicory root
1/4 cup cacao nibs
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped cinnamon stick
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
mindful mountaintop blend
herbs traditionally used to help support clarity and brain function*
1/2 cup tulsi
1/2 cup lemon balm
1/4 cup dried sage leaf
1/8 cup dried turmeric coarsely chopped
1/2 cup gunpowder green tea
local artisans featured in this post:
Breton stripe linen table runner by Amsonia Made
white ceramic mug by Carol Ross / Rock River Studio
matte black trigger mug and coffee/tea pot by Bennington Potters
locally foraged herbs from Halifax Hollow
earrings by Mariah Perkins
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and recipes are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.