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Herbal Chai Tonic & Review of Tonic by Tanita de Ruijt

Tonic is a book all about the medicinal value of ingredients. It’s mostly based on Jamu, a traditional Indonesian medicine that de Ruijt learned about when visiting an organic farm in Bali. She now owns Jamu Kitchen, a tonic supplier around South London. 

Let’s talk about the look of this book first - it’s so, so good. One of my favorites I’ve seen in a while. the design & photography are really top notch. I love what Patricia Niven, the photographer, did with the mix of color and light and how she styled the beautiful whole ingredients. The color scheme of the pages and the typefaces chosen all work together so incredibly. If you’re a design-minded or visual person, this is definitely a book for you. 

Herbal Chai Tonic & Review of Tonic by Tanita de Ruijt

The first part of the book goes into flavor principles, tips on making your tonics taste really great, tools recommended for the more involved recipes, and an in-depth exploration of the important ingredients. The book does include a couple of non-vegan ingredients, like honey and ghee, but are easily replaced with other recommended ingredients, like maple syrup, coconut sugar, and coconut oil. 

Herbal Chai Tonic & Review of Tonic by Tanita de Ruijt

The second half of the book has an interesting layout. It’s divided into five sections of ailments - you can choose your recipe based on how you’re feeling or if you feel something coming on. Stressed? Tired? Hungover? Bloated? Sick? All of these are covered in Tonic.

The recipes for the most part have short ingredients lists, and short instructions. I made four of the recipes in just one hour, but they were all very flavorful and delicious. There are more involved recipes, like the turmeric cream soda or a recipe for making your own probiotics.

This is a book about ingredients over recipes, really. Get yourself a few good ingredients that promote health, and their combinations can create joy in your tastebuds and in your well-being. If you’re looking for a book of preventative, beautiful blends of flavorful ingredients, you should definitely pick up Tonic for yourself.

Herbal Chai Tonic & Review of Tonic by Tanita de Ruijt

where to get it

Hardie Grant Books (ISBN 9781784881412)

https://www.amazon.com/Tonic-Delicious-Natural-Remedies-Health/dp/1784881414

Herbal Chai Tonic & Review of Tonic by Tanita de Ruijt Herbal Chai Tonic & Review of Tonic by Tanita de Ruijt

who this book is for

people who emphasize health & whole ingredients

design & photography lovers

the best part

the ease and full flavor of all the recipes 

standout recipes

love potion - a spicy hot chocolate

Z & T - matcha made with homemade almond soy milk

salvation shrubs - flexible vinegar based drinks (if you’ve never had a shrub before, you must try!)

turmeric cream soda - a kombucha-like vanilla & lime soda

turmeric pepper milk

Herbal Chai Tonic & Review of Tonic by Tanita de Ruijt

Recipes excerpted with permission from Tonic by Tanita de Ruijt, published by Hardie Grant Books January 2018, RRP $19.99 hardcover.

Herbal Chai Tonic

Chai infused with perky lemongrass and mint. This recipe is designed for that transitional time of year when the lingering summer warmth starts to fade and the need for a warming yet reviving beverage starts to resurface.

The scent of herbs alone can be incredibly energising. Lemongrass paired with mint creates a clean and crisp aroma that has a powerful purifying, refreshing and energizing effect on the body. 

Makes 1 serving

Ready in 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1 clove
  • 1/2 a cinnamon stick
  • 1 black tea bag or 1 tbsp black loose leaf tea
  • a few slices of fresh ginger root
  • 5 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 lemongrass
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) water
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) milk of choice
  • sweetener of choice 

METHOD

  1. Follow the Chai Turmeric Tonic recipe (see below), but leave out the turmeric. There’s no need to make a ginger paste either, just slice it finely. Instead of turmeric, we’re going to add fresh mint and lemongrass.
  2. Spank the mint leaves, and bruise the white end of the lemongrass, with the flat side of a cleaver or pestle, and cut into thin slices.
  3. Add them to your saucepan, along with all your chai spices and tea and brew on a low heat as usual. Remove from the heat and strain into a mug, to serve.

Herbal Chai Tonic & Review of Tonic by Tanita de Ruijt

CHAI TURMERIC TONIC

This Chai is a spicy and invigorating blend of medicinally active spices such as turmeric, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and black pepper. Chai can be a personal thing, so feel free to use this recipe as a guideline to find your perfect brew – adjust it to suit your sassiness.

This complex concoction not only wakes you up, it calms the mind, improves digestion, enhances the immune system, fights inflammation and is loaded with antioxidants.

Chai has been cherished in Indian households for centuries. Grandma – the household caretaker – would brew a blend of plant roots, bark and seeds if a family member became ill or as a tonic to stay healthy through the changing seasons. Eventually, tea, with its energy-giving medicinal properties, made its way into Grandma’s spice tonic, and made chai what it is today. 

Makes 1 serving

Ready in 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1 clove
  • 1/2 a 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
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) water
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) milk of choice
  • sweetener of choice

METHOD

  1. In a frying pan (skillet) 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 5 minutes.
  4. 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.

Herbal Chai Tonic & Review of Tonic by Tanita de Ruijt