SOUP, SMOOTHIES AND SALADS, OH MY!
3 Eastern Medicine Detox Recipes
Everyday, our bodies cleanse themselves of toxins, waste, and old cells. In the last few years, products like teas, face masks, and pills to help you detox your body have sprung up everywhere. But really, we don’t need all that stuff, thanks to 3 things:
- The Liver
- The Colon
- The Kidneys
These organs are built-in detoxifiers to help protect our bodies from harmful substances. Your liver filters out toxins from the food we eat before it travels through our bloodstream, your colon flushes out waste products and harmful bacteria, and your kidneys filter your blood, flushing out toxins via your urine.
No matter what an Instagram influencer might tell you, you don’t actually need to buy an expensive juice cleanse or mysterious detox tea to flush out your body. Our organs were made to keep our bodies clean.
But that doesn’t mean our detoxing organs can’t use a little help now and then. If you’re feeling like your body needs a reset, you can focus on supporting those organs and systems that are already working hard to remove toxins.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this is a well-established technique. When our body’s natural detoxification process weakens, we can jumpstart them by using one of a few methods, including
- eating foods that clear out heat,
- supporting your digestive system,
- provoking crying to support the Liver,
- eating sour foods for Liver health,
- and cutting out alcohol.
But luckily, you don’t need detox teas from an influencer. While the Chinese are more likely to detox with soup than smoothies, these eastern medicine inspired recipes can help support your liver and colon so they can keep your body naturally toxin-free.
3 Eastern Medicine-Inspired Detox Recipes
Carrot Ginger Smoothie
This smoothie is a bright, fresh way to support your liver’s detoxification process. The ginger and turmeric in the recipe are loaded with antioxidants to help fight off free radical toxins in your body. And according to TCM, one way to support your liver is by eating sour foods so it’s got lemon juice, too. You can play around with the flavors by adding more banana and pineapple for an extra sweet kick, or more turmeric and ginger for spicy warmth. It is considered better in TCM to use room temperature fruits.
- 2 cups of carrots
- 1 1/2 cups of filtered water
- 1 large ripe banana, chopped and frozen
- 1 cup of pineapple (fresh or frozen both work)
- 1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
- 1 cup of your milk of choice
*If you have pre-made carrot juice, replace the 2 cups of carrots and 1 ½ cups of filtered water with ½ cup of carrot juice.
- To make your own carrot juice, chop up the carrots and combine them with filtered water in a blender. Blend on “puree” setting until smooth, scraping down the sides when necessary.
- Strain by placing a cheesecloth over a bowl and pouring the mixture into the bowl. Gather the ends of the cheesecloth and apply pressure to squeeze any liquid out of the cloth. The juice will collect in the bowl underneath.
- Rinse out the blender and combine ½ cup of carrot juice with the banana, pineapple, ginger, turmeric, lemon juice, and milk. Blend until smooth. Makes 2 servings.
Fennel Apple Salad
This salad is flavorful, easy to whip up, and great for your digestive system. Both good and bad bacteria can live in your colon, so staying regular is a great way to help your body flush out any waste and toxins that might accumulate.
Apples are loaded with soluble fiber called pectin that’s known for relieving constipation and encouraging a healthy colon, and fennel has fiber plus antispasmodic properties that nix uncomfortable bloating and cramping. And as an added bonus, the walnuts are great for your yang or liver health. So whenever you feel like your digestion needs a boost, this is the salad for you.
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- Black pepper
- ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large fennel bulbs
- 2 Granny Smith apples
- 3 celery stalks
- ⅓ cup fennel fronds
- ½ cup toasted walnuts
- ⅔ cup of shaved Parmesan
- To prep your salad ingredients, wash the fennel bulbs and thinly slice them using a knife or mandolin. Halve and core your apples and thinly slice as well. Wash 3 celery stalks and slice using mandolin.Roughly chop fennel fronds.
- Whisk lemon juice, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Once combined, drizzle in olive oil, whisking continuously. Once the mixture is combined, taste and season with lemon or salt.
- Combine apples, fennel bulbs, and celery in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Add fennel fronds and walnuts at the end. Top with cheese and enjoy!
Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
To keep your kidneys healthy, the most important thing you can do is stay hydrated. One way to do that is with a broth-based soup, like this delicious Thai Chicken Noodle Soup.
- 2 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, chopped
- ¼ cup lemongrass
- ¼ cup of galangal root
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 8 cups of chicken stock
- 2 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 ½ lbs boneless chicken thigh
- 4 oz sliced mushrooms
- 4–6 oz. vermicelli rice stick noodles
- 2–3 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice to taste
- 2–3 teaspoons chili paste (optional)
- Prep your ingredients by dicing the onion, finely chopping the lemon grass, peeling and chopping the ginger, dicing the garlic cloves, and slicing the mushrooms and galangal root. Chop chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces.
- Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Pour oil in the pot. Once warm, saute chopped onions until translucent, 2-3 minutes.
- Turn heat down to medium and add ginger. After another 2-3 minutes, add lemongrass, galangal root, and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook for 5 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add chicken stock, water, salt and kaffir leaves to the pot. Increase the heat so the mixture boils.
- Once the soup is boiling, turn down heat to a simmer and cook with the lid off for 15 minutes.
- Add chicken to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add noodles and mushrooms and simmer for 5-8 minutes until both chickens and noodles are cooked. Stir occasionally.
- Finally stir in fish sauce and chili paste. Top with scallions, cilantro, or bean sprouts and enjoy!