Thursday, January 7, 2010

Shilajit & Diana's Mineral Mochaccino

It's a NEW YEAR - 2010. Wow. Coming to terms with this strange sci-fi fact (2010? Impossible: that's the future!), I can't think of a better reason to introduce you to something really, really OLD! I'm talking about ancient minerals. Earthen minerals. Life-born minerals, concentrated into the form of a highly revered, Ayurvedic power herb/superfood/supplement, Shilajit.

Shilajit comes to us from the sacred Himalayan mountains, 10,000 to 12,000 feet above sea level. The substance is said to contain all known minerals and trace minerals in bioavailable ionic form. Yes, you read that right: ALL known minerals. In our world of demineralized soil, demineralized food and acidic bodies, its outstanding mineral content alone gives Shilajit incredible potential for health.

The origins of Shilajit are fascinating. Two hundred million years ago, during the time of drifting tectonic plates, the Indian subcontinent collided with the landmass of Eurasia. This impact not only created the Himalayan mountains, it caused entire rain forests to crumple and become trapped between and below the two land masses. Buried under the massive, newly formed Himalayas and subjected to millions of tons of pressure, the lost rainforests–once teeming with plant and animal life forms–became transformed over time into the nutrient-rich substance we call Shilajit.

Shilajit escapes from it’s deep, dark abode during the hot Indian summer months, when in molten form, the ancient substance rises to the surface and literally oozes through cracks in the stone face of the Himalayan mountains. Appearing first as a thick, sticky goo, liquid Shilajit quickly dries and can be collected, powdered and purified for use as a human medicine and food supplement. Compressed over millions of years, composed of fully stabilized, broken down organic plant matter, traces of fossilized life forms, rock dust and stardust, Shilajit represents a uniquely energetically complete and balancing substance.

The minerals in Shilajit are carried by fulvic acid, a natural electrolyte also found in humus. Fulvic acid forms complexes with the elemental minerals in Shilajit and holds them in the ionic form that supports their bioavailability. As such, fulvic acid is considered the primary "active ingredient" in Shilajit. It can help restore and maintain critical electrical balance in cells and also offers antioxidant and detoxification support, as the ionic minerals it carries serve as cofactors for several vitamins and enzymes involved in free radical scavenging and detoxification.

Long famed in Ayurvedic medicine, Shilajit is best known as a superior mineralizer with adaptogenic (stress-balancing) and immuno-modulating qualities. The herb is said to support memory and cognition, boost detox and enzyme activity, and offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

That's all very interesting, you may be thinking, but how does it taste?! Well, in a word, earthy. Bitter. A cross between coffee and, well, soil.

O-Kay, you respond. So how do I consume this earthy powder and enjoy it? Easy! You use it sparingly, like any true superfood powder, in servings of one-half to one teaspoon at a time. You can take it straight: simply stir one serving into a cup of hot water for a coffee-like beverage. Or mix it up: blend Shilajit into smoothies or puddings, especially those containing raw cacao.

On that note, you may like to try my amazing Mineral Mochaccino! It’s basically a warm, sweet nutmilk beverage blended with raw cacao and Shilajit. (Reminder: chocolate + coffee = mocha.)

For a quick, simple version, simply combine one cup of warm almond milk with ½ to 1 teaspoon of Shilajit, 1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder and 1 teaspoon of raw honey or agave. That’s yummy, but if you have the time, I suggest the official, scrumdillyicious version below, made with freshly blended hemp and chia seed milk and soft dates for sweetness. It is SOOOO good, you won’t believe your tongue!

Diana’s Mineral Mochaccino
Makes 2 servings

1/3 cup hemp seeds
2 Tablespoons chia seed
3 soft dates
2 cups warm water
2 Tablespoons raw cacao powder
1-2 teaspoons Shilajit
½ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch Himalayan pink salt

In a high speed blender, soak hemp seeds, chia seeds and dates in warm water for 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and blend well, until frothy. Continue blending until desired temperature is reached OR pour into saucepan, set on stove and heat gently to a comforting 100 degrees Farenheit.* Pour warm Mineral Mochaccino into two mugs and sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Then, sit back, sip and enjoy the New Year!

*Your Vitamix or other high speed blender will heat up raw blended foods. However, it does so rather “violently” as far as the food molecules are concerned, so many prefer to gently heat their raw foods in a more traditional way–on the stove or in a dehydrator.

A HOT RAW NOTE: Some age-old traditional dietary systems, notably Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine, assert that eating raw food is not appropriate in the winter. The presumed reason for this is that because raw food is cold, its digestion will draw warm energy from your body and make your body cold and weak in the process. However, there is a hole in this assertion. Namely, it is a false belief that raw food = cold food. My friends, raw food does not have to be eaten cold! In fact, technically, most raw foods can be heated to anywhere between 110 and 120 degrees (depending on the structure of the particular food - some can withstand even more heat) and still remain alive, with enzyme activity preserved. Therefore, in winter, please make your juices and salads with room temperature vegetables and fruits! Also, feel free to heat up raw soups, sauces, other foods and drinks to a temperature of, say, 100 degrees F, which is distinctly hot to the touch AND well below the 110-120 degree span that most raw foodists recognize as the killing zone for enzymes and life force in our food. In this way, you will promote warmth in your body AND continue to derive the wonderful physical and spiritual benefits of consuming natural, living foods.


avril said...

great recipe, 99% what I was looking for... could you recommend a good source of shilajit, i've never bought it before. much thx, Avi

Diana Allen, MS, CNS said...

hello, avril. i purchase shilajit from ultimate superfoods and sell it at my community superfoods store. (where do you live? if you are close by, you could come stop in and pick up a bag:)

glad you like the recipe. what is the 1% that doesn't fit for you? i am intrigued...!


willamrudins said...

As such I have great craze for coffee and similar other beverages.Hence the Mineral Mochaccino with lots of benefits stated in this post is of great interest.Would surely try it this weekend.
Fulvic Acid

avril said...

thanks for the info - tastewise all is fabulous, its just I'm allergic to dates :[...but substitute organic dried apricots :]...which incidentally taste WILD when stuffed with cacao nibs, like a crunchy chocolate toffee.

Mohsin said...

Hi Diana, Great research. Just a comment the dosage of 1/2 tsp is way too high for pure Indian Pakistani Shilajit which is dark brownish in color. The recommended dosage is 125mg-300mg(size of moong lentil) for limited period of time. May be dosage has evolved due to hot weather conditions there and avg small built.

Diana Allen, MS, CNS said...

Hi Moshin, Thank you so much for leaving your comment, along with the link. I had found it very difficult to find source information about shilajit after first being introduced to the remedy, and your link is excellent.

As for the important dosing information you shared above, the shilajit I have access to is more of a medium than dark brown color, and I wonder if there are different grades of the material, with accompanying variations in dose? Or perhaps we westerners have misapplied the "more is better" philosophy to our understanding of how to best use shilajit, and gone overboard with the dosing. Time for more research....

Yours in health and joy,

Matthew Prineas said...

I'm really intrigued and will seek this out. Minerals are a kind of new nutritional frontier for me. Is magnesium part of this mix? As a vegan who also happens to be an ultramarathoner, I was having an issue with RLS (restless legs) after runs of 6 hours or more. Guessed that a magnesium deficiency might be the problem--and it was. An alternative to supplements would be nice, though.

Thanks for your blog!

diana allen, ms, cns said...

Hi Matthew ~ Nice to see you.

Yes, magnesium is part of the shilajit mix, but because the dosing qty is so low, I wouldn't begin to depend on shilajit to meet your therapeutic needs for magnesium. Cacao is rich in magnesium and might be a better bet, or at least an additional food source. Almonds, brown rice and other whole grains are traditional vegan sources as well.

To learn more about shilajit, try this link to a very good article with research:

Best wishes and thanks for your continued support, Diana :)

Bruce wayne said...

HI Diana, thank you very much for the great recipe of Shilajit & Diana's Mineral Mochaccino, keep posting