Move over superfoods, the new superdrinks are made from charcoal, mushrooms and exotic Japanese fruits – Katrina Harper-Lewis has a need-to-know guide
1. YUZU JUICE
- What? A Japanese citrus fruit that tastes a bit like a sour tangerine. You’ll see it mostly in concentrated form in the speciality food aisles of supermarkets, and on trendy restaurant menus as an ingredient in zingy sauces and cocktails.
- Why? It contains three times the vitamin C of oranges and is packed with antioxidant flavanoids that are thought to help break down carbs and reduce inflammation as well as boost immuity.
- Try… SanSu Yuzu are leading the way in drinkable yuzu, with their strawberry, pear and blueberry combinations. Available from Whole Foods and Selfridges. (sansudrinks.com)
- Tastes strong and sour and almost a little vinegary, like a bitter tangerine or mandarin. It’s often described as across between a grapefruit and a lemon or lime in flavour. This is why it’s used as an ingredient (or diluted with other juices) rather than consumed in its neat form. A Korean tradition is to slice the fruit and add honey to make a syrup to add to hot water as a drink, much like we drink honey and lemon as a remedy for colds.
2. MATCHA TEA
- What? Green tea leaves which have been ground down into a vibrant green powder. Buddhist monks drink it to stay alert during meditation. It tastes like a mildly flavoured green tea.
- Why? A cup of matcha has the equivalent antioxident level of ten cups of normal green tea. This is because it’s a powder, made from ground whole green tea leaves. When whisked into hot water or smoothies you’ll consume the full benefits of the leaf, unlike a teabag which is mainly for flavour.
- Try… Teapigs matcha tea powder, £25 for 30g (approx 30 servings) teapigs.co.uk
- Tastes This smells a bit like cut grass, and tastes similar to a green tea but without the bitter aftertaste usually associated with tannins in other brews. (I’m not a fan of green tea but I find Matcha much more palatable). It can be a bit powdery as you get close to the bottom of the mug, but just add a bit more hot water and mix well, so you don’t waste the goodness at the bottom.
3. REISHI MUSHROOM TEA
- What? A type of fungi also known as Lingzhi, it is usually drunk as an infusion made with dried sliced mushrooms, or stirred into hot water in powder form.
- Why? Highly prized in Chinese herbal medicine, for being one of the most effective ingredients for improving general wellbeing. Reishi mushrooms are thought to have immune-boosting, anti-allergenic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, to name a few.
- Try… Reishi mushroom extract powder, £24, detoxyourworld.com
- Tastes The mushrooms are rarely eaten, as they are too bitter, but when brewed in hot water they take on a milder, woody and almost savoury flavour, not unike edible mushrooms. The taste takes some getting used to and isn’t for everyone, but you can add ginger, honey or other natural sweeteners if you’re not convinced at first sip.
4. CHARCOAL JUICE
- What? Medical grade charcoal (not the stuff you chuck on the barbecue) mixed with water and fruit juices or cocounut water to give it some flavour. It’s the colour of tar, but pours like a liquid.
- Why? Acts like a cleanse in a bottle, as charcoal particles attract unwanted toxins from your body (such as alcohol and chemicals in foods) and flush them out, making you feel more energised. Great for hangvovers or recovering from after blowouts!
- Try… Isotonic Refuel activated charcoal drink, (botanic-lab.co.uk)
- Tastes The mushrooms are rarely eaten, as they are too bitter, but when brewed in hot water they take on a milder, woody and almost savoury flavour, not unlike edible mushrooms. The taste takes some getting used to and isn’t for everyone, but you can add ginger, honey or other natural sweeteners if you’re not convinced at first sip.
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