Some days I forage with a purpose and other days I am just strolling in the wild garden to see what is ripe next. Today I definitely had a mission. I wanted to find a great recipe to share on my next foraging tour. Well I think I found it!
I walked into the woods with my shovel over my shoulder stalking the landscape for thistles. I knew I had seen plenty of thistles now I just needed to find some that were about lower knee height that hadn't flowered yet and I found plenty.
If you want to do this at home do not forget your gloves since the thistles are extremely prickly like I did. When I say that I was on a mission today I didn't look around or get distracted by any other plants. I was determined to bring those thistles home with or without gloves. The truth is if you ask their permission to take them and handle them with care you can avoid the thistles.
I dug them out delicately and picked them up by the soft roots to take them home. When I did get home I cut the roots off and soaked them. Meanwhile I juiced,strained and drank the thistle leaves with a squeeze of lemon and some water. There's no need to waste the opportunity for a deliciously refreshing green thistle lemonade.
Once I had my juice I got busy with my thistle root chai. This recipe is creamy, vegan, slightly sweet and spicy, perfect warm or cold, raw or cooked, caffeinated or not. If you can't join us for our foraging tour here is the recipe we'll be sharing that day along with plant information and identification.
Why would you want to add thistle root to your chai you ask?
The roots are an exceptional medicine that support regeneration of the liver and kidney and the greens are one of the most alkaline greens available.
- 1 cup thistle root
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup nut milk of your choice I used almond
- 1-2tbs honey or more if you like it sweeter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1 inch ginger root grated
- OPTIONAL: 1-2 tbs loose black tea or a tea bag if you want it caffeinated
- Cut roots off plant using gloves and soak roots and scrub lightly with fingers
- Dice roots, rinse again
- Blend diced thistle roots with the 1 cup of water in blender
- Strain roots out and keep liquid (thistle root milk)
- Add nut milk
- Ginger root grated
- Optional: if you choose to add black tea and make yours caffeinated and you still want to keep it raw just heat it until it's perfect temperature to drink and if you want it cold add ice
- Without black tea just simply add ice shake or blend and Enjoy
- Recipe inspired by Katrina Blair author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds