Get Your Cleanse On with These Delicious Recipes
Does the word “cleanse” send you into a panic? It doesn’t have to. The fact is, you can enjoy delicious foods and detoxify your body at the same time. A cleanse doesn’t have to mean starvation, cold food, raw food, tasteless meals, fasting, or even juicing. It can be a satisfying experience that doesn’t involve hunger. Try these tried-and-true recipes from across the globe for a pleasant detox with foods and drinks you’ll love!
Turmeric milk (or “golden milk”) is a traditional Indian tea made with healing herbs and spices to ignite your digestive fire or “agni,” as it’s called in Sanskrit. This particular recipe calls for almond milk instead of cow’s milk (which is believed to cause excess mucus and impede digestion). Two super roots used in this deliciously soothing drink, ginger and turmeric, are known for their anti-inflammatory benefits as well as for boosting digestion. Add just the right amount of cinnamon, black pepper, and coconut oil and you’ve got a healing potion sure to give your system a nice reset. If you want to make this recipe truly vegan, then swap out the honey with stevia for the sweetness we all crave. Think a hot chai tea without any of the added sugar or syrups. Yum!
- 2 cups of homemade almond milk
- 1 tablespoon local honey, optional
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, optional
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- small pinch of black pepper and grated ginger (fresh is best)
- Simply pour all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a light boil. Whisk to combine ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer for up to 10 minutes.
- Strain the milk if you have large pieces of ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, etc. To serve, add honey or a dash of cinnamon.
- Enjoy warm is best!
One easy way to cleanse is through cultivating optimal gut health by ingesting probiotics. Kimchi, a fermented Korean side dish, is chock-full of probiotics and chilies to enhance immunity and cleanse your system. It can even make you sweat a little from all that spiciness. This vegan adaptation has all the cabbage-y goodness without the added fish (which tends to leave a funky smell throughout your home).
- 1 medium Napa cabbage, about 2 lbs (savoy, green or any combo works too)
- 1/4 cup kosher, sea salt or other course salt
- 6 cups water
- 3/4 sweet apple (I used fuji), chopped
- 1/2 small white onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 inch ginger, chopped
- 1 – 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons Korean chili powder (gochugaru) or 1 tablespoon each cayenne & Hungarian paprika
- 3 – 4 scallions (green onions), sliced 1 inch
Preparing Cabbage: Quarter cabbage and chop laterally into about 2 inch pieces. Place cabbage in a an extra large bowl or pot. Combine salt with 2 cups of luke warm water, stir to dissolve salt. Pour salt water over the cabbage and add remaining 4 cups, stir to mix. If you can, place a plate or circular baking dish of sorts on top to submerge the cabbage (I used a pie dish), place something with a good amount of weight on top to hold down if necessary (it’s not completely necessary but will help to evenly wilt the cabbage). Give cabbage a good mix every now and then. Let set for 2 hours, up to 12 if you like. I found that 2 – 4 hours was enough and didn’t see much change between the two times.
Ayurveda, yoga’s “sister” science, originated in India as a form of alternative medicine that is now catching up to acupuncture in popularity. Kitchari is one of Ayurveda’s quintessential cleansing foods. It consists of mung beans and an array of healing spices. It’s extremely easy to digest, meaning minimal effort from your body to process. Sprinkle in the healing spices of mustard seed, cumin seed, cardamom, turmeric, and asafetida, and you’re in for a seriously detoxifying culinary delight.
- 1 cup yellow split mung beans (not the whole green ones!), washed and soaked at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, see note
- 2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seed
- ½ teaspoon cumin seed
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- pinch asafetida, if available, otherwise omit it
- 6 cups water
- salt to taste
- 2-3 cups turnips, sunchokes or other mild root vegetables, thinly sliced into half moons
- ½ bunch of kale or the reserved turnip greens from the turnips, sliced very thin
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 cup basmati rice, preferably soaked for one hour, otherwise rinsed
- 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 4 cardamom pods
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups boiling water
- cilantro leaves
- shredded coconut
- sesame seeds
- melted ghee
- ginger tonic, recipe follows
- Drain and rinse the mung beans in a fine mesh sieve and leave them to drain of their excess water.
- In a medium pot, heat the ghee or coconut oil, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick over medium heat until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Immediately add the turmeric, asafetida and mung beans and cook, stirring frequently for about a minute. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially covered and cook for about 45 minutes or until the mung beans have broken down, loosing their district form. Add the root vegetables and salt and cook for 15-20 minutes more, until they are quite soft. Add the greens and cook about five minutes more. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice. While the dal is cooking, make the rice.
- Drain the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse a couple of times.
- Heat the ghee or coconut oil, cumin seeds and cardamom pods over medium heat and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently for a minute or two more, until the rice is well toasted but not yet browning. Add the boiling water and boil the rice, uncovered for five minutes. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer until all of the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
- To serve put some rice into a bowl and ladle the dal over top of it. Garnish with cilantro, a hearty squeeze of lime juice, the coconut, sesame seeds and melted ghee, if using. Top with a couple of teaspoons of the ginger tonic.