A couple months back, I had some blood-work done to see what my hormone levels were. Without divulging too many details, there were a couple things that were a little imbalanced. This came as no surprise to me, as I'd started feeling more fatigued than usual lately.
Upon analyzing the results of my labs and putting a plan of action into place, one of the first things I knew I had to do was give up caffeine for a little while. The reasoning behind this is enough for a whole other post, and if you're interested I'd be happy to explain that on another day.
So, back to coffee. As any coffee lover knows, a big part of the pleasure of drinking coffee is the ritual. Many of my clients will tell me, "I don't even need the caffeine, I just like to have something warm and comforting in the morning". I totally get that, and when I decided to cut down on my caffeine intake, I knew I'd have to replace it with something else that was pleasurable to sip on. Decaf coffee is always an option, but I also wanted a beverage that was highly nutritious and provided some energy without stimulants like caffeine and sugar.
That's why I chose to include an adaptogen as my main ingredient. Adaptogens are compounds that help the body adapt to stress, providing more energy and a sunnier mood without depleting your nutrient stores in the way that caffeine does. Some common adaptogens are herbs such as ginseng, ashwagandha, and rhodiola. (Check out this article on one of my favorites, rhodiola.)
I chose to use cordyceps, as this is an adaptogen I hadn't tried yet. Coryceps is actually not an herb, but a type of mushroom that may help increase stamina and boost testosterone. I also included cacao for its high antioxidant and fiber content (and cuz it's chocolate, duh), collagen for healthy joints, skin, and hair, and carob just because I love the flavor.
I've been making this "herbal mocha" every morning for the last couple of weeks, and I'm kinda hooked! I love the creamy texture and mildly sweet flavor.
Time: 5 minutes
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk of your choice (I have used soy milk and almond milk for this recipe and both are delicious. The soy milk makes the mocha a bit more frothy than the almond)
- 1 Tbsp powdered cordyceps*
- 1 tsp cacao or cocoa powder
- 1 tsp carob powder
- 1 serving collagen (I used this brand)
- Honey, maple, agave, or stevia for sweetness (optional)
*Cordyceps is definitely not your average household adaptogen and may not be easy to find. A great alternative to cordyceps is maca. Maca is also an adaptogen with similar properties as cordyceps and is much easier to get your hands on. I used this brand of cordyceps, and I found it at Sprouts. Four Sigmatic also has various mushroom teas that would make a great base for this recipe.
The best way to make your mocha is to put all the ingredients into a blender and give it a whirl for about 5 seconds. This isn't necessary, but blending gives it a nice froth on top. I've been pouring mine over ice since it's blazing hot this time of year, but you can easily heat it up using a microwave or stove-top.