The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) can seem so restrictive sometimes! Even though we know it’s helping us heal it’s hard not to throw a bit of a tantrum every once in a while, especially when it comes to many people’s favorite morning ritual, COFFEE. Honestly, this was the hardest for me to give up, so I get it if it feels like a nightmare to live without it. BUT HAVE NO FEAR – this herbal coffee is roasty and brown and satisfying like coffee, and you can adjust it for your own personal taste.
If this is your first AIP rodeo, you may be wondering WHY AIP calls you to give up coffee? Well, #1, AIP calls you to give up seeds, and coffee is technically a seed. #2, If you suffer from celiac or gluten intolerance, coffee could actually be quite harmful. Since coffee is a cross-reactive food to gluten, your body might react the same way it does whenever you consume gluten. And just because you don’t suffer from celiac or gluten intolerance, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear to drink all the coffee you want – coffee can really confuse your adrenal glands. I’ve heard it described best as “borrowing energy from tomorrow”. You can’t get that back! You’re basically always in an energy deficit if you’ve got a daily coffee habit. It can cause you to wake up actually feeling unrested, cause insomnia, and even depression.
You don’t have to be doing AIP to drink herbal coffee! Maybe you’re just looking for a break from coffee for whatever reason – fertility, digestion, hormone balancing – and you want a substitute to help get you through – I’ve got you covered!!
The basic recipe is just 50/50 roasted dandelion root and roasted chicory root. However, if I’m taking a break from coffee, I like to do a little extra somethin’ to help heal my adrenal glands, and “adaptogenic” herbs – and in this case, mushrooms – are some of my favorite ways to do that. You can mix and match whichever mushrooms sound helpful to you for each batch of Noffee that you make.
Here are 7 popular Adaptogenic Mushrooms and their benefits:
- Chaga – high in antioxidants, stimulates and regulates the immune system, reduces inflammation, helps reduce blood pressure, anti-aging, fights against ulcers and gastritis, and even fights against cancer
- Shiitake – strengthens bones, reduces inflammation, boosts circulation, and even helps with weight loss
- Himematsutake – anti-viral and anti-tumor effects, reduces high blood pressure and cholesterol, natural remedy for atherosclerosis, diabetes, dermatitis, and hepatitis
- Lions Mane – stimulates brain function, regulates blood sugar, and boosts the immune system, reduces depression and anxiety, reduces fatigue
- Turkey Tail – reduces inflammation, treats HPV, improves bone health, reduces hypertension, aids in digestion
- Cordyceps – increases resilience and endurance, protects heart health, regulates respiratory function, detoxifies the body, strengthens immune system
- Reishi – helps in relaxation, increases antioxidants in blood, reduces cholesterol, helps cope with stress
Once you’ve decided (and purchased) your mushroomy friends for this recipe, follow the instructions below to get your adrenals some happy!
6 cups – Roasted chicory root
6 cups – Roasted dandelion root
1 cup – Blend of adaptogenic mushrooms (whatever I’m feeling the time – my current blend includes Chaga, Cordyceps, Turkey Tail & Lion’s Mane)
*Note: If you’re using dried mushrooms that aren’t powdered, but are more in bits like the chaga or how we sometimes see Shiitake, you could maybe increase the ratio a little bit, because you’re not going to get that high of a “dose” per cup otherwise.
I use this just like coffee, in my Chemex pour-over, or pack it in tea bags for when I’m traveling. (Note that it does tend to get a little “dusty”, so I put the tea bags in a paper or plastic bag so that it doesn’t get all over my stuff in my luggage.)
If all of this seems way too complicated, there are a lot of AIP compliant coffee substitutions out there! Four Sigmatic is a brand of mushroom coffee that has become very popular (some of their products do contain coffee so read labels). Or you can just do dandelion tea, or Teeccino – just be aware that not all Teeccino products are gluten free (some have barley).
Personally I wanted much more depth of flavor, so making my own blend and customizing it to my taste and what properties I feel I need out of the mushrooms is what works best for me.
Possible contraindications: if you’re pregnant, chicory may not be the best for you – there are differing schools of thought on that… And if you’re currently in an autoimmune flare, just know that the adaptogenic mushrooms listed here can stimulate the immune system so use with caution and consult your health care team.
If you try it and you come up with some cool variations, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!