We are constantly learning from Joanas, from macro- and micronutrients, to the benefits of fermentation, he dissects and explains vital aspects of food down to the smallest details, exemplifying their bioavailability. His attention to detail is brilliantly apparent in the presentation of his creations, as well as the ingredients included. Read on for more about Joanas and an Immunity Potion recipe to drink all Autumn long!
Sun Potion: We are so inspired by your culinary endeavors and plant-based creations! When did you start incorporating adaptogens into your recipes, specifically your savory ones?
Joanathan Riccardi: It all started in 2014 for health reasons. I suffer from a liver condition that causes me to always feel tired. I started incorporating Ashwagandha and Reishi from Sun Potion into my smoothies. During that time, I was also practicing a lot of yoga and meditating which sparked my curiosity for a deeper connection with food and myself. So I began experimenting and adding adaptogens in salads, dressings, crackers and my plant-based cheese which is one of my favorite creations.
What is one of your favorite recipes you have created?
I really love the maqui tostada with reshi chipotle crema and wild mushroom ceviche. The chipotle sauce is made out of activated cashews, so it's plant-based.
What are three staple ingredients that you can't live without?
Cashews, Reishi and Matcha. All great for immunity.
Tell us about your morning routine. Do you have any current rituals that help you stay balanced?
I love morning rituals. I get up at 6:15am and I start with a big glass of water and a full dropper of Sun Potion's Ashwagandha Transcendent Elixir. I exercise for about 30 minutes and I meditate for a bit. Then, I make breakfast and my matcha elixir with Reishi and Chaga. I try to practice this ritual as rituals ground me and lead to self-mastery. On the weekends it's harder as I try to sleep in and enjoy some pancakes gluten-free with my wife.
You are the culinary director for Matchaful, can you tell us about that and what you are currently working on? PLUS where can we find these goods?
Yes I am. I'm currently creating new recipes for our cafes and making sure that they are executed correctly. I create new elixirs that are part of our menu, you can also order them online through our website. Currently, I just completed the Matcha Granola and Rose Matcha Lemonade. You can buy all these goods on our site (https://www.bematchaful.com) and at Wholefoods Hudson Yards.
Matchaful Café at 359 Canal St. NYC
How did you first hear about Sun Potion?
Back in 2014, when I started to research and read about adaptogens, I recall that Sun Potion was one of the best recommended brands on google. As soon as I saw it, I immediately fell in love with the branding and with your mission.
What is your favorite Sun Potion herb/adaptogen?
Reishi for sure! Ever since I've been using Reishi, believe it or not I never get sick. It's been six years.
We would love for you to share a recipe we can recreate at home this holiday season… What do you suggest?
I'll suggest an immunity elixir since cold and flu start to attack our immune system and Qi. I'll recommend some Hibiscus flowers great for immunity, Reish to strengthen your immune system, and Astragalus to protect your Qi. (recipe at bottom of interview)
What are some of your favorite places in NYC to eat, get desserts, potions, etc.
My favorite place to get potions is Matchaful in Soho, we use a lot of adaptogens, plant-based milk and herbs. I also love Pizza because I'm Italian, Double Zero in the East Village has an amazing plant-based pizza.
What is something you are looking forward to?
Launching my own plant-based brand… working on it!
Anything you are reading or listening to that is inspiring you at this time?
I'm a nerd for culinary nutrition books and chef books. Currently, I'm reading Adaptogens, Herbs for Stamina and Stress Relief from David Winston and Steven Maimes. I'm deeply inspired by Rene Redzepi and his Noma Guide to Fermentation.
8oz filtered water
1 tbsp. hibiscus flowers
1 tsp. schisandra berries
¼ tsp. Astragalus (Sun Potion)
¼ tsp. Reishi (Sun Potion)
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. rose extract
½ tbsp. lavender coconut syrup*
Add hibiscus and schisandra to water.
Allow to steep for about 10 minutes.
Once tea is brewed, remove the herbs.
Add Astragalus, Reishi, liquid sweetener, vanilla extract and rose extract.
Serve it cold or drink hot.
*Lavender Coconut Syrup
100g (1 cup) coconut sugar
100g (⅜ cup) filtered water
20g (~½ cup) dry lavender flowers
Add coconut sugar and lavender to water.
Cook the syrup at low to medium heat for 20 minutes.
Once it is cooked strain the syrup to remove lavender flowers.
More recipes by Joanas on the Sun Potion Journal...