A soft pink & frothy night-time beverage with homemade pumpkin seed milk, tart cherry juice, hibiscus tea, and lavender syrup. Each ingredient aids in sleep and relaxation.
Hibiscus tea is incredibly healthy and I’ve known for a while that I need to be having it more often, but for a long time I couldn’t get into the strong, tangy flavor on it’s own. By blending it with a creamy, rich, pumpkin seed milk and adding a touch of lavender syrup to sweeten it up, it has become my new favorite nightly drink.
Autumn can be a very busy time of year, so it’s extra important to take care of ourselves through eating nourishing plant foods as well as making sure to get a good night’s sleep. This cozy, frothy drink is full of nutritious, antioxidant-rich ingredients which each have unique properties that support sleep quality through reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
Pumpkin Seed Milk
Pumpkin seeds have relatively high amounts of the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is the amino acid the body uses to make the neurotransmitter serotonin. Pumpkin seeds also contain high amounts of zinc, which can help the brain convert tryptophan into serotonin. Adequate serotonin levels are related to the ability to stay asleep and not wake throughout the night.
Hibiscus tea, made from the dried petals of hibiscus flowers, is one of the most healthful drinks around due to its high antioxidant & manganese content. It also has a very strong effect on lowering blood pressure. One six-week study found that three cups of hibiscus tea daily lowered systolic blood pressure significantly, without unpleasant side effects (Journal of Nutrition, February 2010).
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherries contain a lot of melatonin which aids in sleep. In a study published in Natural Medicine Journal participants drank 30 ml of tart cherry juice 30 minutes after waking and 30 minutes before their evening meal, thereby boosting their exogenous melatonin intake by 85 mcg a day. The results showed significant increase in time in total sleep time and sleep efficiency with cherry juice supplementation.
Much of the research on the relaxing effects of lavender has been done on the inhalation of lavender oils, and not on ingesting lavender in the form of tea, syrup, or other tinctures, but I’d expect ingesting lavender would still have similar effects and the floral flavor and scent is a perfect complement to the hibiscus flowers.
The recipe for the lavender syrup can be found here, or feel free to use maple syrup or other unrefined liquid sweetener of choice.
Optional Relaxing Add-ins
Ashwagandha root powder
Fresh ginger (grated and steeped along with the hibiscus), or powdered ginger
Green tea, for a day-time version
Turmeric, expect a color change
Reishi mushroom powder
Hibiscus tea and tart cherry juice are both acidic, which means when combined with milk it will curdle immediately. Knowing this, I was hesitant to try making a milky hibiscus tea drink. Then I found this recipe and realized that if I blended it, it will go from curdled to deliciously frothy and smooth.
I experimented with this recipe and blending it definitely took care of the curdling issue, however you should still expect some separation to occur. The pink fluffy latte-like foam will sit on top of the hibiscus tea if it sits out for a while, so this drink is best made right before consuming it, or stirred/shaken well if it sits for a while. If enjoying the drink slowly, it can helpful to keep a tea spoon near by to stir in the frothy layer if the separation becomes a little much.
I hope you enjoy this relaxing night-time beverage!