Another purchase I made at the farmers market last weekend is a bag of yomogi leaves.
I first learned about the yomogi plant (known in other countries as mugwort) a few years ago, when I asked one of my Japanese friends why yomogi mochi, or kusamochi, seemed to be so popular. Apparently, the yomogi plant grows everywhere in Japan, and because it’s so abundantly available, it’s commonly used to make mochi.
While yomogi leaves are great for making delicious rice cakes, they can also be utilized in many other ways and they are actually believed to contain significant anti-inflammatory effects. One way I use yomogi leaves is by adding them to my smoothies; the leaves do have quite a distinctive taste but I don’t find it unpleasant at all.
Yomogi leaves – a decent handful
Fresh ginger – cut a generous piece
Grated carrots – 1/4 cup
Frozen (small, or half) banana
Frozen strawberries – 1/4 cup
Camu camu powder – 1 tsp
Chocolate protein powder (I use Vega Protein Smoothie Choc-A-Lot) – 1 scoop
Almond milk -1/4 cup
Water – 1/2 cup
Throw everything in a blender and process till smooth and creamy.
If a “yomogi smoothie” doesn’t sound like it’s for you, then you can always try some kusamochi; I bought this one with the sweet azuki beans inside and coated with kinako powder – yum!