It is now cold and flu season, a time when everyone tries to find ways to boost their immune system to prevent catching the next virus making the rounds. My husband recently experienced his first illness of the season – luckily I didn’t end up with it myself. I like to attribute that to my conscious effort to take care of my immune system all year long. A new concoction that I whipped up to do just that is this Immune Boosting Elderberry Lavender Latte. All year long I have been searching for the perfect way to incorporate elderberries into a recipe. I tried elderberry ice cream and even elderberry chia pudding. Both good, but this Immune Boosting Elderberry Lavender Latte is LIFE!
You can leave out the lavender, but I have been obsessed with all things floral lately. I am not just talking about using lavender essential oil (although amazing in a bath) or buying a bouquet of roses. I love using dehydrated flowers in nourishing recipes, too. Flowers can have a ton of health benefits. Lavender is an herb that can promote restful sleep, improve mood, and help reduce stress. The good polyphenols (antioxidants) in lavender can reduce bloating and support healthy levels of gut bacteria. Since much of your immune system is located in your gut it is important to support it as much as possible.
Elderberry is commonly used to boost the immune system particularly during a cold or the flu due to its antiviral properties (1). These little berries have anthocyanidins (which gives them their purple color) that can help stimulate the immune system. The nutrients in elderberries can also support healthy levels of inflammation, which may also benefit someone suffering from a sinus infection.
It doesn’t end there; raw honey also has some beneficial antimicrobial, antiviral and antibacterial properties (2, 3). Much of this is due to the natural vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, and other important nutrients found in raw honey.
Not only can this latte support a healthy immune system but it is free of caffeine. I often recommend my clients avoid all caffeine even if it just for a few months. Caffeine triggers your bodies stress response so it can be hard on the often already stressed out adrenal glands. Your liver also has to work on metabolizing caffeine which can contribute to estrogen dominance. Other great caffeine free alternatives to that morning jolt of caffeine also include my Homemade Herbal Coffee or Molasses Milk.
Hope you have a healthy winter season!
- Add the almond milk, elderberries and lavender to a small sauce pan.
- Warm over low heat and allow the mixture to steep for about 20 minutes.
- Use a fine mesh strainer to strain the milk into a blender.
- Add the coconut butter, honey and collagen powder.
- Blend until smooth and frothy.
- Serve immediately.