If you’re feeling the mid-winter blahs, this recipe’s for you. These tiny, tasty wellness shots of nutrient-rich juices, spices, herbs and CBD will give you a much-needed immune boost. And don’t worry—spring is just around the corner.
Commercially prepared wellness shots can cost more than $4 (and we’ve seen them go for as much as $8!) for a two-ounce bottle. But you can make a big batch at home for a fraction of that price using healthy, natural ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen. Plus, when you make them at home you can power up your wellness shots with immune-boosting add-ins, like high-quality CBD.
What’s a Wellness Shot?
Wellness shots are very small, highly concentrated concoctions made from an array of nutrient-rich ingredients, and they’re widely praised by fitness and wellness advocates for their ability to deliver a potent brew of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
The wellness shot craze was built on the popular nutrient shots made from wheatgrass and a few other ingredients added for taste. These days, wellness shots come in all kinds of flavors and nutrient combinations, although most of them are built around a core set of ingredients that includes apple cider vinegar, turmeric and pepper.
While some nutrition experts say that wellness shots are too small to make a considerable contribution to your overall daily nutrient intake, they can pack a more powerful nutritional punch—more than an equivalent glass of fortified juice. Other wellness experts also point out that an extra boost of vitamins and minerals is never a bad idea.
How to Build Your Best Wellness Shot
To make your own wellness shots, you’ll need a few basics and a willingness to try different combinations of fruits, veggies and flavours. A juicer works best to blend your ingredients because it immediately produces a pulp-free drink, but you can also use a blender and strain the resulting mixture to eliminate pulp and other chunky ingredients.
1. Start with the essentials.
Wellness shots can taste sweet, spicy or tart, or any combination of these. But just about all of them are built around three nutrient-rich, natural ingredients:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, has been a home remedy staple for years, and now it’s one of the stars of the modern wellness movement. ACV is made from fermented apples that have been further treated with friendly bacteria to create acetic acid, the ingredient that seems to be responsible for its health benefits.
ACV contains potassium and some amino acids and antioxidants, and research suggests it can help balance blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. ACV may also help the skin by destroying surface bacteria and balancing skin pH.
Turmeric, especially its main active ingredient curcumin, has plenty of documented health benefits. This golden spice is a natural anti-inflammatory that can be as effective as some medications, and it can boost the activity of natural antioxidants.
Along with those benefits, turmeric can boost heart health and elevate levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, a chemical that supports memory and cognition. That’s why some research suggests turmeric can help delay dementia and other kinds of memory loss.
Black or Cayenne Pepper
Pepper has been called the king of spices, and with good reason. Ordinary black pepper has a long list of health benefits.
It’s rich in piperine, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that appears to improve brain function, help balance blood sugar, support digestive health and more. Piperine is the ingredient that boosts the body’s absorption of curcumin.
Cayenne pepper is another pepper variety with plenty of health benefits. It’s rich in capsaicin, a compound that boosts metabolism, improves digestive health and may even lower the risk of some cancers. Capsaicin is also a powerful pain reliever often found in topical ointments and balms for sore muscles and joints.
2. Add fresh fruits or vegetables.
To build your wellness shot, start with fresh produce to suit your tastes. Create a tangy, citrusy shot with vitamin C-rich lemons or oranges, or blend with cranberries, blueberries or other vitamin-rich fruits. Adding fruits will deliver a huge shot of immune-boosting terpenes.
Blend pineapples or apples with turmeric or apple cider vinegar, or combine antioxidant-rich spinach or celery with lemon and green apples for a green-shot base. Try sweeter veggies like beets and carrots for plenty of vitamins C and A.
3. Experiment with herbs and spices.
Boost the health benefits of your homemade wellness shots with a variety of immune-boosting herbs and spices that blend well with fruits, veggies and the big three of ACV, turmeric and pepper. Grate fresh ginger into your wellness blend for digestive health and cold relief, or add immune-boosting cinnamon to a sweeter shot.
Add a little honey or maple syrup to taste if you like, but avoid artificial sweeteners and plain sugar.
4. Consider adding CBD.
CBD, or cannabidiol, can add an extra boost to the benefits of your wellness shots. This compound, which is derived from hemp or cannabis, works with the body’s natural system of cannabinoid receptors to balance the body’s many subsystems, support the immune system and regulate mood.
Add a few drops of high-quality CBD oil or a balanced ratio of THC to CBD from a tincture. Add this to any wellness shot recipe to support your immune system, relieve anxiety and promote overall wellness. If you choose to add a tincture with THC, be mindful of your dosage.
Individual responses to CBD and THC can vary, so start small and gradually increase the amount you add until you reach the desired effect. Look for pure tinctures and concentrates without added ingredients from quality retailers and brands.
Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Wellness Shots
This recipe will make four shots. If you’d like to gift them, make them in mason jars, seal well and distribute with instructions to enjoy immediately.
- 1/2 a ripe pineapple
- 2 small lemons
- 1/4 cup chopped, peeled fresh turmeric (much tastier than the ground spice!)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
- a pinch of cayenne
- 2 full droppers of high-quality CBD tincture
- 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 5 tbsp raw honey
Blend or juice all ingredients together. Strain out pulp and other solids. (Most wellness shot recipes don’t require added liquids, but you may want to add some filtered or sparkling water if the result is too concentrated.)
Refrigerate the mixture in a sealed container, or decant it into smaller, shot-sized bottles for a consistent serving size.