Lemon-Ginger Detox Infusion

Lemon Ginger Detox Infusion
And…we’re back!  There’s a very good reason that Urban Chickpea has been on hiatus.  During May and June, I had the opportunity to spend time in the kitchen of Ananda in the Himalayas, a breathtaking destination spa in Northern India.  The spa specializes in Ayurvedic treatments, Ayurveda being the traditional healing practice in India.  Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of diet when it comes to health, so while Ananda provides luxurious spa treatments, massage, detoxes, yoga, meditation and Vedanta study, to me, the true heart of activity was in the kitchen.  In the coming weeks, I’m excited to share stories and recipes on Urban Chickpea inspired by my stay there!

Amphitheatre at Ananda

I arrived at the spa nestled in the Himalaya mountains via a stop in India’s capital city.  Speeding up the winding mountain road, I began to regret downing that espresso at the Delhi airport.  Although I’d given up coffee a year ago, all the rich mithai and chaat (that’s “sweets” and “snacks” to all you gringos) in Delhi had turned me into a tired little slug.   The espresso did give me the kick in the pants that I so desperately needed, but it also gave me a good deal of nausea and dizziness, which is what happens when you flood a tiny body with an elephantine dose of caffeine.

Upon arriving at the doorstep of Ananda, I was greeted with showstopping Indian hospitality and the house signature drink: a chilled concoction of lemon, ginger and sugar, which did its best to comfort my overstimulated stomach.  After a cup of this drink and a well-deserved nap, I was ready for weeks of learning and relaxing in what has to be one of the most beautiful, peaceful places in world.

Grounds at Ananda

Inspired by that soothing beverage, I created my own hot, unsweetened version to have at home.  Lemon is a known detoxifier: it supports liver function and helps the digestive and circulatory systems eliminate waste.  Fresh ginger is a classic folk-remedy for nausea, and it also boosts circulation, which promotes the elimination of toxins through the skin, digestive tract and kidneys.  Together, these two create a mild infusion that wakes up your body and promotes gentle, natural detoxification.  Since you use the peels in this recipe, it’s a good opportunity to seek out organic lemon and ginger. Regardless, make sure to give the outsides a good scrub.

Try drinking this infusion first thing in the morning about 30 minutes before breakfast. Your body will thank you, particularly if you just exposed it to a hearty night of drinking or a ride up a winding mountain road.

Lemon-Ginger Detox Infusion
Serves 1

1 lemon
1-inch piece of ginger (unpeeled)
1 1/2 cups of water

1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel two strips of zest off of the lemon and place the strips in a small pot.  The peeler will remove the flavorful, yellow zest and leave most of the bitter, white pith behind.

2. Take the ginger and cut it into 4-5 slices.  Put these in the pot with the lemon peel and cover with the 1 1/2 cups of water.  Put on the stove and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.

3. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from one half into a mug. Pour the ginger-and-lemon-infused hot water through a strainer into the mug with the lemon juice.  Find a cozy corner and enjoy.

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11 responses to “Lemon-Ginger Detox Infusion

  1. Welcome back, Urban Chickpea! As you know, I hate tea…but I love lemon and ginger. I’m excited to try this infusion.

  2. I was worried you were going to keep all of your adventures in Indian to yourself. Welcome home and I look forward to reading more about your trip. I want to make this tea, right now!

  3. ah! Welcome back! Can’t wait to try this 🙂

  4. both of my favorite things “hearty night of drinking or a ride up a winding mountain road.” 😉 I need to share this on facebook.

  5. That’s so cool! My mom does that! She actually swears by it! Thanks for sharing! I’m new to blogging and love that there is a foodie community! If you have time, please check out my blog: http://shecooksandheeats.wordpress.com/. And of course! Any advice would be great 🙂

  6. Hello Alia. i was so surprised to see you on my Cooking Light email. This is Mary Ann (formerly of Starbucks). Congratulations on your success. I am anxious to try the detox drink , but as you can guesss, can’t quite give up the coffee yet. I look forward to following your blog. Your trip looks amazing!

    • Mary Ann!! So good to hear from you! Yes, I bet it was a surprise to see me in your supper club email of all places. Thanks so much for the support. Hope you and your daughters are doing well and hopefully I’ll run into you soon in Clarendon Hills!

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