Health tonic's may seem like a thing of the past but Tanita de Ruijt would strongly disagree. Her story starts out something like a movie. Girl falls in love, gets her heart broken, and ultimately discovers her life's calling in Bali. Now, she's bringing health-boosting tonics back to the UK with her new book Tonic.
Enjoy three of our favorite health-boosting tonics below and let us know in the comments if you try some yourself!
1. Chai turmeric tonic
Makes 1 serving
2 black peppercorns
2 green cardamom pods
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 black tea bag or 1 Tbsp black loose leaf tea
A few slices of fresh ginger root
A few slices of fresh turmeric root
4 fl oz water
4 fl oz milk of choice
Sweetener of choice
In a frying pan set over a medium heat, dry roast your peppercorns, cardamom pods, clove, and cinnamon stick until they become aromatic, then lightly crush them with a pestle and mortar.
Blend your slices of ginger and turmeric with a little bit of water in a blender to make a paste. You could also grate them or mash them in a pestle and mortar.
In a saucepan set over a medium heat, add the water, ginger and turmeric paste, tea, and crushed spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for five minutes.
Add the milk and sweetener to taste. Turn the heat up to medium, and bring the mixture back to a boil. Remove from the heat and strain into a mug, to serve.
2.Turmeric cream soda
Makes 70 fl oz
To make the “bug”
7 oz piece of fresh turmeric root, unpeeled
3-5 Tbsp raw cane sugar
26 fl oz filtered water, plus about 28–32 fl oz to top up
1/2 vanilla pod
1-inch piece of fresh turmeric root, sliced
1 tsp crushed black peppercorns
5 1/2 fl oz turmeric “bug”
5 1/2 fl oz fresh lime juice
1/4 cup raw cane sugar
Make the “bug” by chopping the unpeeled turmeric root up finely or mashing it in a pestle and mortar. Transfer to a container with the lid left slightly ajar and keep on your kitchen counter.
Take one tablespoon of the turmeric paste and add to a glass jar with one tablespoon of the sugar and three tablespoons of filtered water. Mix well, cover, and place in a warm spot, around 72°F is ideal.
Every day, add one tablespoon of turmeric paste, one tablespoon of sugar, and three tablespoons of filtered water to the mixture, mix well, and leave to stand again.
Repeat until the turmeric bug is nice and bubbly. It can take between three to five days. Once you have at least five-and-a-half fluid ounces or more of bubbling turmeric bug starter, then you can start to make your soda tonic.
Make turmeric tea. Fill a small saucepan with 26 fluid ounces of filtered water. Add the vanilla, turmeric, and pepper. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for ten minutes. This process extracts as much flavor from the ingredients as possible.
Allow the tea to cool completely, and pour it (without straining) into a sterilized mason jar. The boiled ingredients will continue to infuse. Stir in the turmeric bug, lime juice, and sugar. Then top up the rest of the mason jar with filtered water, leaving about two inches of head room at the top.
Cover with a cloth and rubber band and leave in a shady spot away from direct sunlight. Allow it to ferment for around three days. It should taste sweet and sour when ready.
Strain and pour into sterilized swing-top bottles. Leave the filled bottles in a shady spot, and let the natural yeasts get to work. Yeast releases CO2 gasses that will make your soda fizzy. An overly hot room will accelerate the fermentation process, so it’s worth putting your bottles into a cardboard box to contain potential explosions.
Check bottles daily for build up of fizz. Once they are fizzy (this should take two days), place them in the fridge, as they’re ready to drink.
3. Turmeric pepper milk
Makes 1 Serving
1 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
9 fl oz pure coconut milk
3 fl oz filtered water
1 Tbsp grated fresh turmeric root or 1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
2 tsp coconut blossom nectar
Pinch of sea salt
In a frying pan over a medium heat, dry-toast the black peppercorns until they become aromatic. Crush them in a black pepper grinder or a pestle and mortar.
In a small saucepan, bring the coconut milk and water to a light simmer, then add the turmeric, ginger, coconut blossom nectar, and salt. Continue to simmer, stirring, for about five minutes, until well infused.
Filter the tonic through a fine mesh sieve. Add the crushed black pepper to the mixture and it’s ready to serve.