A Reishi-Based Smoothie For Workout Recovery (Or For THAT Time Of The Month)
Lately, I've been into experimenting with teas and herbal infusions as smoothie bases. As much fun as all of this kitchen witchery is, sharing the findings makes it even more so. As I discover them, I'll post new recipes based on the results of my kitchen playtime. Here's the last smoothie post, which shares a recipe that uses extra-potent green tea as a base.
This reishi smoothie post has been a long time coming, but I promise it will be worth the wait. After I found a huge reishi mushroom a few weeks ago, I've been playing around with reishi as a smoothie base. I'm a big fan of reishi hot chocolate, so I knew that flavor combo would be the best route to take, but I wasn't sure what other flavors to layer in until I remembered a combo I discovered back when I worked in a health food store: beet and banana.
One day, a customer came in and asked if I could juice a beet and then combine it with banana in the Vitamix. I was skeptical, but something about it just works. Beet and banana are both flavors that sort of take over every other smoothie they're in, but when you put them together their most offensive attributes are neutralized. Throwing a little chocolateness in takes it up to divine level.
Beyond getting the flavor right, I also make sure any recipes I share can be executed easily. As much fun as I've been having with this whole reishi mushroom, it's kind of a pain to grind it up and steep it in the crock pot for a few hours. Conveniently, we can all buy reishi tea bags on Amazon Prime and move on with our lives.
After some trail and error, I came up with what might be the easiest and the most delicious smoothie of all. Just chill some reishi tea overnight, then blend with almond milk, 2 small beets ( I always use those Love Beets that require no prep), 2 tsp cacao powder, and one small banana. So easy. So good.
A few of the benefits: reishi is an adaptogen. That means it helps combat the effects of stress, including depleted energy levels, hormonal imbalances, and increased inflammation. Reishi is so revered in in traditional Chinese medicine that its Chinese name means "success, well-being, divine power, and longevity". An added bonus: reishi, beets, and bananas all help regulate blood pressure. But that's not all.
Can we talk about periods here? I say we can, and I want to because this smoothie just might make it suck less. AND it's not just because it has chocolate in it!
On a hunch, I started googling "beets during period." I knew from my high school and college track days that the b12 in beets helps runners with blood flow, so I thought perhaps they're also good for the time of month where the blood actually does flow. Here's the verdict: beets are a period superfood for a few reasons. Not only do the B vitamins support blood flow to the uterus, the high levels of iron support red blood cell production. Plus, iron helps with oxygen absorption, from our skeletal muscles to our brain cells.
The B vitamin benefits that make this smoothie amazing for periods also make it a great pre-workout or post workout smoothie. If you use a chocolate-flavored protein powder, try using that instead of the cacao powder. I used one called Rockin' Wellness a few years ago that would work well in this.
Scroll on for the very, very easy recipe!
1 cup reishi tea, chilled
1 cup almond milk
1 small banana
2 small beets (see photo above for reference)
2 tsp cacao powder or chocolate-flavored protein powder
Add all ingredients to blender and run until smooth.