The recipes on The Way are intended as an East meets West look at food and its relationship to health and nutrition. Food is powerful, and every bite can either greatly benefit your system or effectively work against it. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, nutrition is tremendously healing in nature and remarkably adaptable to individual needs. Based on 3,000 years of study, Chinese dietary therapy seeks to treat the whole person rather than just the symptom to support and strengthen your body and your energy, or Qi.
Who doesn't love a good smoothie, particularly one that can help boost immunity through the ancient power of Chinese dietary therapy. While I preach the benefits of keeping your stomach and liver "warm" through cooking techniques (here's a primer on my Middle Burner Diet), I'll offset the "cold" aspects of smoothies and juices through "warming ingredients" - in this case cinnamon, which is great for immunity as well.
Some background before we get cooking (and hang in there with me!): our Immunity Support formula incorporates a classic traditional Chinese formula known as "Jade Windscreen". It includes Astragalus Root (“Huang Qi”), Atractylodes (aka “Bai Zhu”), and Siler Root (“Fang Feng”), all of which have been shown to boost the body’s immune response.
Astragalus is a powerful herb for strengthening one's Qi, and supplementing the spleen and lung, all of which, according to Chinese herbal medicine theory, strengthen your exterior. Atractylodes dries dampness, supports the spleen and invigorates Qi, while Siler Root has warming energy for disharmony.
Foods Can Act in a Similar Way!
Foods can act in similar ways if we choose wisely! A delicious and nutritious smoothie in the morning is a great way to start your day - Here we are incorporating an east meets west theme as familiar western ingredients are selected to match the efficacies of the Chinese herbs in our Immunity Support.
Here is one of my favorite combinations of nuts, dates, milk and spice. Leave out the dairy if you can - the benefits are huge! Using almond milk and/or coconut milk gives a great anti-aging boost, contains healthy saturated fatty acids that lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, and prevent heart attacks or a stroke.
Almond butter is a nice change of pace from regular peanut butter and is a great antioxidant to boot. I recommend buying a brand with the fewest number of ingredients and the least amount of salt. Remember that any recipe is only a guideline and making substitutions is not only allowed but encouraged - it’s great way to use extra ingredients around the kitchen and to do a bit of exploring in the process!
Chinese Medicine Benefits of the Ingredients in our Smoothie
|Coconut milk||Qi and spleen support|
|Almond milk||Relieves stagnant Qi energy|
|Almond butter||Relieves stagnant Qi energy|
|Medjool dates||Qi support, helps harmonize lungs and spleen|
|Cinnamon||Yang and Qi support|
|Flax||Immunity building and supports the spleen|
Almond and Date Smoothie with Coconut, Cinnamon and Flax
Prep Time / Cook Time
5 minutes / 5 minutes
⅛ C coconut milk
1 C almond milk
2 T almond butter
4 each medjool dates
Dash or two cinnamon
1 t flax seeds
Blend in blender until smooth, adjusting consistency with water if needed.