Ayurvedic Yogi Tea

At Soul Of Yoga, we always finish our Saturday kundalini yoga class with homemade yogi tea, courtesy of my beautiful friend and teacher Sarah Sang.  Today, I want to share her recipe which has been adapted from Yogi Bhajan’s recipe

Who is Yogi Bhajan?

He was an inspirational teacher of holistic living who came from India to the West in 1969. Yogi Bhajan shared with his students his wisdom and knowledge of healthy living and the beneficial properties of herbs while serving a comforting and aromatic Ayurvedic spiced tea they affectionately named “Yogi Tea”.

Eventually, this blossomed into the Yogi Tea Company in 1984 which now offers over 60 unique blends that aid to help with stamina, relaxation, circulation and endurance. You’ve probably seen these products in the major grocery stores. Their packages include instructions for short meditations and words of wisdom.

Benefits of Yogi Tea

This tea is a remedy and preventive measure for colds, flu and sinus problems. The black peppercorns are a blood purifier. The cardamon is for the digestive system, particularly for the colon. The cloves are for the nervous system. The cinnamon is for the bones. The ginger  adds flavor and aids in strengthening the nervous system while energizing the entire person. And finally the black tea which acts as a catalyst for the other ingredients.

Making Your Own Yogi Tea

While buying it already packaged is convenient, there is nothing like preparing a fresh batch of yogi tea from scratch. The species will leave a beautiful aroma in your kitchen. I can guarantee it! Hope you enjoy this recipe.


Ayurvedic Yogi Tea
Serves 6
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
  1. 6 cups of water
  2. 3 large cinnamon sticks
  3. 6 green Cardamom pods
  4. 6 cloves
  5. 20 black peppercorns
  6. 1 thumb length of ginger, thinly sliced
  7. 4 dried Jujube (optional)
  8. 1 pinch of black tea ( you can use 1 tea bag)
  1. non-dairy milk and sweeterner
  1. Bring water to boil and all all spices ( except for black tea)
  2. Turn down the heat, let it simmer for 20 mins.
  3. Add black tea and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Strain it into a warmed teapot or directly into teacups.
  5. Add milk and sweetener of choice ( optional)
  1. Tip - Make the tea early in the morning and let it sit for at least another 40 minutes after turning off the heat. The tea turns sweeter with a stronger earthy aroma as all the ingredients continue to release their flavor and healing nutrients.
  2. Enjoy it throughout the day or store in the refrigerator in glass bottles. I always warm up my tea in a pot (not microwave)
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/


Yogi Tea – Chai Tea – Masala Chai – A funny anecdote

While I was visiting Hyderabad a few years back, I was asked if I wanted tea. I replied “YES, please!”. Then I was asked “Well, what kind of tea?”.  “Chai, please”. The server smiled “Yes, tea. What kind of tea?”. It took me a few minutes to realize that the Indian word for tea is simply “chai”. Saying “I want a chai tea” is like saying “I want a tea tea”. What we know in the United States as chai or yogi tea is actually called “masala chai” in India

Also, I just want to point out that this Ayurvedic recipe has been around for centuries, especially in the northern state of Punjabi. But it was  introduced in the US relatively recently, if you think about it.  Of course, you don’t need to be a yogi to enjoy a delicious cup of yogi tea.

Thank you Sarah for sharing this recipe with us.

Namaste. Sat Nam!

Hari Singh Bird’s Website
Yogi Tea Website

If you live in San Diego and you want to experience kundalini yoga, come to Sarah Sang’s free Sadhana at the Soul Of Yoga. It’s the second Sunday of every Month!

Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchari

Kitchari ( pronounced kich-uh-ree) is a staple of Indian cuisine and Ayurvedic medicine. It is considered a cleansing and detoxifying food. It’s traditionally prepared with yellow mung dal, basmati rice, seasonal vegetables, ghee or oil and spices. 

According to Ayurveda, we are all composed of three doshas: vata (air and ether), pitta( fire and water) and kapha ( earth and water). Kitchari balances the three doshas.

It really is the perfect one-pot meal. It’s easy-to-digest and provides a complete protein ( the 10 essential amino acids our bodies cannot make and we must get from our food). 

To learn more about your dosha type, you can take a test at The Chopra Center 

To make the perfect kitchari consider the following guidelines published by Kripalu School of Ayurveda:

For Vata:

  • Use twice the amount of  oil.
  • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper while cooking.
  • Add about ½ inch of chopped, fresh ginger to the oil when cooking the spices.
  • Use quinoa instead of rice to increase the protein content.
  • Use double the amount of rice.
  • Best veggies for a vata variation are carrots, zucchini, peas, sweet potatoes, and asparagus.

For Pitta:

  • Use half the amount of mustard seeds and black pepper, or omit mustard seeds altogether.
  • Best veggies for a pitta variation are leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, and carrots.


  • Use leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, and carrots.
  • Add about ½ inch of chopped, fresh ginger to the oil when cooking the spices.

This is my favorite recipe for balancing vata-pitta during the winter time. I hope you enjoy it!

Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchari
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  1. 1 cup yellow mung dal beans
  2. 1/2 cup basmati rice
  3. 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  4. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  5. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  6. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  7. 4-6 curry leaves (optional)
  8. 1 tsp ground cumin
  9. 1 tsp ground coriander
  10. 1 tsp ground turmeric
  11. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  12. 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  13. 4 cups of seasonal vegetables: 2 cups of green veggies ( spinach, kale, celery) + 2 cups of orange veggies ( carrots, sweet potato, squash)
  14. 2 cloves
  15. 2 cardamon pods
  16. salt and pepper to taste
  17. Handful of fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
  1. Soak the mung dal beans in water for 4-8 hours (this helps with digestion). Rinse and strain until the water runs clear, about five times.
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a large pot over medium to high heat.
  3. Add all the seeds and toast until the mustard seeds pop.
  4. Add the grounded spices and a asafoetida.
  5. Stir in the mung dal and rice.
  6. Add 6 cups of water, cloves, cardamon pods and vegetables
  7. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  8. Cook at least for one hour, until the beans and rice are soft and the kitchari has a porridge-like consistency.
  9. Serve warm with fresh cilantro on top, if desired.
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/

Julia’s Vegetarian Restaurant

During our recent trip to Carmel By The Sea, we came across this wonderful restaurant. It’s mainly vegetarian but almost everything can be ordered vegan.  It is the perfect place to grab a healthy bite and carb-load before the Big Sur International Marathon. It’s conveniently located in Pacific Grove, only a few miles from the running expo. Their motto is: 

“We are a bunch of fun, loving, festival going, home-cookin’ folk here to provide you with quality vegetarian food with flare”

We ordered fresh watermelon & mint “agua fresca” to drink. For entrees, I had their seasonal wild mushroom pizza with a gluten-free crust. 

My husband ordered a scrumptious tamale pie – a layered Mexican style casserole with polenta, spinach, mushrooms, pinto beans, poblano red sauce, served with a tomatillo guacamole and roasted vegetables. Is your mouthwatering yet?

Because I was only running the first leg of the marathon ( 5 miles) the next day, I decided not to order dessert. If I would have known that I would end running 17 miles, I would have also tried their Ginger Apple Spice Cake. I guess I have an incentive to come back next year 🙂    

I am glad we found this place. No doubt it would be our mandatory eating stop every time we visit the Monterey – Carmel area. I highly recommend it!

For more information about this restaurant, check out their website Julia’s Vegetarian Restaurant – Pacific Grove, CA

It’s “Mint” To Be

After practicing yoga for almost 17 years, I just made the decision to enroll in the Yoga Teacher Training program at CorePower Yoga, starting this summer. It seems like all planets are finally aligning.

Photo Credit: All About Space magazine

At the start of the RnR Seattle Half Marathon #run #yoga #roga

To celebrate, I am sharing my favorite smoothie recipe. I am calling it “It’s Mint To Be”. This is my go-to recovery drink after an intensive hot yoga class or long distance run.

It’s simple, cool, refreshing, delicious and nutritious. I promise you won’t taste the spinach at all!

It's Mint To Be
Serves 1
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  1. 1 cup of almond milk *
  2. 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  3. 2 dates
  4. 1 large ripe banana, cut into chunks and frozen overnight
  5. 1 cup of ice cubes
  6. 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract**
  7. 1 teaspoon of Om, Organic Mushroom Nutrition Fit (optional) ***
  8. 1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs ( I like the brand Navitas)
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender, except the cacao nibs. Blend until smooth. Add the chocolate nibs and blend for 10 seconds to break them down.
  2. Pour into one large glass and garnish with mint leaves and chocolate nibs.
  3. Serve immediately.
  1. * For a nut-free version, use hemp milk and vanilla extract.
  2. ** You could use 1 drop of Young Living EO instead of the peppermint extract.
  3. *** OM: https://ommushrooms.com/mi/superfood-blends/fit.html
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! 

Love and Light!
~ Ciry at SunshineandKale

Earthbound Farm’s Farm Stand Market & Organic Cafe

If you live in the US and you consume organic produce, most likely you are familiar with Earthbound Farm. I personally love their organic arugula, spinach, and mixed greens. 

During a recent trip to Carmel By The Sea, we came across the Earthbound Farm’s Farm Stand, located just down the road from the original 2.5 acres farm.

As we walked into the Farm Stand, we learned from one of the employees that Earthbound Farm was established in 1984. Over two decades later, the company employed 150 growers on 30,000 acres. By 2015 nearly 50,000 acres were in production.  This is the largest producer of organic salads in the US.  It was the first company to produce pre-washed  and packaged salad greens on an industrial scale.

Earthbound Farm’s Farm Stand was established in 1992 as an outdoor seasonal farm stand to sell fresh and delicious Earthbound Farm organic produce. In 2003, they expanded the Farm Stand and opened an Organic Café (at the time, it was just the third certified organic kitchen in the country).

The market offers beautiful organic produce, flowers, earth-friendly gifts and locally-produced specialty organic packaged foods.

The Organic Café features hot meals, sandwiches, smoothies and a great salad bar fully loaded with all Earthbound Farm produce. 

We ordered colorful and organic fresh juices, salads, and dessert.

This raw vegan blueberry cheesecake was surprisingly light and not too sweet. Perfection, in my books!

The surrounding property is wonderful. You can enjoy your meal on their outdoor patio too!

Feeling like an ant in this gigantic chair – with my “sole” sis Wendy

You can also take a tour of their organic grounds or pick your own fresh herbs from the garden and berries from their patch. Since we arrived late in the day, we didn’t have a chance to do this but I am pretty sure we’ll be back next year.  This is a lovely place to stop on your way to Carmel By The Sea ( it’s just 10 minutes away).

For more information about the Earthbound Farm’s Farm Stand, click here

Rouxbe Essential Vegan Desserts – Graduation

I can’t believe it’s been two months since I graduated from the Rouxbe’s Essential Vegan Dessert Course. I just want to send a BIG thank you to all my culinary mentors at Rouxbe for this wonderful experience!

During this course, I learned to make delectable vanilla coconut cakes,  addicting drop biscuits, luxurious chocolate cakes,  graham crackers, rustic fruit desserts and a plethora of “Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts” to quote our fantastic teacher, Fran Costigan  aka Queen of the Vegan Desserts.

In order to graduate, we were asked to prepared five one-bite desserts.  This was my final dessert showcase:

{German}  Black Forest Parfait – Multiple layers of chocolate cake, coconut whipped cream and cherry syrup, topped with a wild Italian Amarena Cherry  preserved in syrup and a drizzle of Kirschwasser. 

{Nicaraguan} Mini Tres Leches Triffle –  Luscious Lemony Cream with vanilla coconut cake, coconut shreds, evaporated coconut milk, condensed coconut milk and aquafaba meringue, topped with a banana chip

{USA} Peanut Butter Mousse in Chocolate Candy Cups – prepared with firm tofu, maple syrup, peanut butter, Dutch-processed cocoa, vanilla and almond extract.

{Thai Inspired} Dragon Fruit and Raspberry Mini Cheesecakes – prepared with pecans, dates, cashews, coconut cream, coconut oil, brown rice syrup, vanilla extract and dragon fruit.

{ Spain – Inspired} Chocolate Cake with Orange Cream – a simple chocolate cake with a soft orange tofu cream topped with a small mandarin and mint

{Spanish Inspired} Mini Chocolate Cake with Orange Cream and Mandarins

Hope you enjoyed it! 
For more information about Rouxbe’s Essential Vegan Dessert Course, check out my previous post here. If you are thinking about joining this course ( who wouldn’t? *:x lovestruck ), drop me a line.  Join me on Facebook and Instagram at @sunshineandkale.






Happy New Year!!

I just want to THANK everyone for your support this year! May the New Year bring HAPPINESS & JOY to you and your love ones!

My hope is that with each post, I was able to bring you a little bit of sunshine and kale  into your life.

Love & Light!
~ Ciry


Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

These Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins are made with Aquafaba. What is Aquafaba? Literally, it means “water bean” in Latin. It’s the liquid that most of us pour down the drain after opening a can of chickpeas. It’s a great egg white substitute for confections such as cookies, cakes, brownies and also savory dishes too like mayonnaise, butter, and cheeses. Aquafaba can act as a binder, leavening agent, emulsifier, and practically anything that an egg white traditionally does.  Needless to say, the discovery of aquafaba has revolutionized the world. Vegans and people with egg allergies can now enjoy meringues, mousses, and macaroons. YES!


My Baked Alaska, prepared with Aquafaba

I recently purchased Zsu Dever’s book, “Aquafaba: Sweet and Savory Vegan Recipes Made Egg-Free” and immediately fell in love with her recipes.


Imagine my surprise when a few days later I learned that she would be speaking at our Rouxbe Vegan Desserts Course lead by Chef Fran Costigan. This is what we call synchronicity!

Zsu Dever has an extensive background in the restaurant business and vegan cooking. She hails from a long line of culinary professionals and restaurateurs too. She proved to be very knowledgeable about cooking with aquafaba and was able to answer ALL our questions (YES, there were many of them!). After this live event, I decided to prepare her Vegan Poppy Seed Muffin. I reached out to Zsu to make sure it was ok to share it with you. Enjoy it! 🙂

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins POPPY SEED MUFFINS
Serves 12
The lemon is subtle if you use only the zest, so if you love it with more of a lemon punch, add the optional extract. (from Aquafaba, copyright © 2016 by Zsu Dever. Used by permission.)
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  1. 2 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  3. 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  5. 1/3 cup aquafaba (see Note)
  6. 1/3 cup canola or other neutral oil
  7. 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated organic sugar
  8. 1 cup nondairy milk
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  10. 3/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract, optional
  11. 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from approximately 2 lemons)
  12. 3 tablespoons coarse or raw sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 12-well regular-size muffin tin with paper cups or spray the wells with oil. Set the tin aside.
  2. Combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Place a separate medium bowl on a folded kitchen towel. Add the aquafaba and, using a large whisk, whisk it until it is frothy, about 1 minute. Add the oil slowly while whisking to emulsify. Add the sugar in the same way. Add the milk, vanilla, lemon extract (if using), and zest and whisk well.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the milk mixture and, using a wooden spoon, mix the batter until almost no more flour is visible. Lumps are fine; do not overmix.
  5. Fill the wells about three-quarters full with the batter and sprinkle the coarse sugar on top. Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted into the muffin in the middle well comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
  6. Cool the muffins on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before removing them from the tin. Cool the muffins completely before storing in airtight containers, where they will keep for a few days.
  1. Although aquafaba is best if homemade using the recipe provided in the book, you can use aquafaba from canned chickpeas. Use the organic, low-sodium, canned chickpeas and strain off the liquid into a measuring cup using a fine mesh strainer. Note the amount of liquid you acquired, then add it to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by 1/3. Cool the aquafaba completely before using.
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/
Before serving, I prepared a simple Lemon Glaze (1 cup of organic powdered sugar + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice) and drizzled it on top. The muffins were light, fluffy, lemony and not overly sweet or tart.

This is by far the best lemon poppy seed muffin I’ve ever tasted in my life! Thanks Zsu!


My Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Lemon Glaze Recipe: Zsu Dever Photo Credit: SunshineandKale

To learn more about the history of Aquafaba, click here

To learn more about Zsu Dever, check out her page Zsu’s Vegan Pantry

{Raw | Gluten-Free} Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

I am currently attending the Rouxbe Essential Vegan Dessert Course.
My first assignment is to prepare a vegan pastry or sweet baked recipe that I am familiar with and that is part of my regular repertoire.  
My go-to dessert is cashew cheesecake. In the spring season, I like to prepare cashew cheesecake with lemon and lavender or pineapple and rose petal syrup. In the fall, I like to mix it up a little bit, adding seasonal ingredients and spices like pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. 
For this first task, I prepared my {Raw | Gluten-Free} Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake, a Thanksgiving must-have! Enjoy it!

Pumpkin Cheesecake – Mise En Place


Pumpkin Cheesecake – In Process

{Raw | Gluten-Free} Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
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  1. 1 cup pitted Medjool dates (approximately 8)
  2. ½ cup almonds
  3. ½ cup pecans
  4. 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer
  1. 1 1/2 cup of raw cashews (soaked in water for 4 hours)
  2. 1/3 cup agave
  3. 1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
  4. 1 tbsp cinnamon
To prepare the crust:
  1. Place the almonds and pecans in the food processor and pulse for about 10 times. Add the dates and keep processing until a ball is formed. Press this mixture into the bottom of a mini springform cake. Place in the refrigerator.
To prepare the pumpkin cheesecake:
  1. Blend the rest of the ingredients until smooth. If it’s too thick, add more water or agave. If it's too watery, add more dates. You should have a creamy consistency.
  2. Pour mixture onto your crust.
  3. Let it set overnight or for at least 12 hours.
  1. I like to top my pumpkin cheesecake with maple syrup, whipped coconut cream and nuts.
  2. This recipe makes 2 mini cheesecakes.
Adapted from The Nutty Scoop
Adapted from The Nutty Scoop
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/
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Rouxbe Essential Vegan Desserts

What is my next culinary adventure?  Rouxbe Essential Vegan Desserts.

It’s a 90-day online intensive course led by world-famous vegan pastry chef Fran Costigan. It’s based on her popular  Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive taught at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. 


The course includes 50 videos and  100 hours of coursework focusing on essential techniques and recipes so students can create vegan desserts with confidence. We’ll practice over 85 recipes to prepare decadents desserts ranging from pies, cakes, tarts and cookies to aquafaba, mousses, gels, trifles and sauces. Is your mouth watering yet? 

vegan-dessertsFollow me on this SWEET journey by subscribing to my blog.

I’ll be posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram as well @sunshineandkale.

For more information about this course, check Rouxbe Vegan Desserts