“Finding balance is something we all struggle with,” says Laura Lea, a Nashville, Tennessee-based certified holistic chef who left the corporate world behind in 2012 to launch LLBalanced.com, with the goal of increasing awareness about the relationship between food and wellness. Lea has created more than 120 simple vegetarian, vegan and paleo recipes for The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook (Spring House Press, 2017), which seeks to cut through the nutritional noise for health-conscious home cooks who don’t follow a specific dietary program.
The author practices what she preaches. “Whenever I feel the slightest little throat tickle or notice that I’m sniffling, I start making this Green Immuni-Tea in the morning,” says Lea, who selected each ingredient for its healing abilities. Cinnamon is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory heavy hitter that fights infections and viruses, lowers blood sugar and boosts brain function; turmeric, which gives the tea its yellow color, contains potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds; the potassium in black pepper aids digestion; and lemon juice contains B complex vitamins, vitamin
C, citric acid, flavonoids and numerous minerals. Of course, the superstar ingredient is green tea, which reduces cholesterol, inflammation, blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, while improving memory and bone density. Now that’s what we call a wholesome sip!
Yield: 1 serving
1 3/4 cups filtered water
1 green tea bag
1 tsp. grated ginger root (or a pinch ground ginger)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Pinch black pepper
1 tsp. honey (or maple syrup)
Splash coconut or almond milk (optional)
Place water in a small sauce pot, turn heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer. Add remaining ingredients except milk, and stir to evenly distribute. Simmer for three minutes, then remove from heat and strain liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a cup or mug. Pour in milk, if using, and serve. Multiply quantities as needed.
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–by Vicki Arkoff