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  • Kiki Athanas

How to Incorporate Adaptogens into Your Meals


Adaptogens are non-toxic herbs that protect the body from the impact of stressors - be it physical, chemical, or biological - and they work by supporting the adrenal glands, which regulate hormonal responses to stress.


In other words: if you need soothing, they’ll bring you “down”, but if you need energy, they’ll lift you up. They’re magical little herbs that we all can benefit incorporating into our life - even if you’re not “stressed-out” right now, taking them regularly essentially helps to build up your “adaptive reserves” which you can pull from the next time you freak out over your email inbox flooding. Just saying!


The thing is (yes, there’s always a catch), taking them regularly is key. Just buying an overpriced maca smoothie or chaga latte now and again isn’t going to cut it. Instead, working with these herbs consistently can bring benefits that you can actually feel and notice - whether it’s increased mental or physical performance, a sense of calm and improved sleep, or simply not getting run down with the flu!


While tinctures, capsules, and teas are all great - they are...well...BORING!!!


But I also know what you’re thinking - the powders can be intimidating...like we’re not food scientists and ain’t nobody got time to make elaborate smoothies every flipping morning! At least that’s how I felt, so I decided to play around with adding them to my dishes - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and all the bevvies inbetween. The result? Many yucky meals and wasted time and mula...but in the end - I was able to come up with a few select adaptogens that really DO taste great in the RIGHT meals. In other words: you can’t just throw ashwagandha into everything...you WILL taste it, and you WILL regret it. The good news is that there are some herbs that can not only amplify your health - they can also amplify the total deliciousness of your meal! Now that’s what I call a win-win.


If you want to join me in turning your meal prep and time in the kitchen into pure adaptogen health-boosting magic, the answer is more straightforward than you might think. In fact, I’ve created a BEST EVER Adaptogen Recipe Ebook which you can download totally free here. The cookbook includes sweet AND savoury dishes of all sorts - contributed by leading holistic health experts & nutritionists, as well as a little something by yours truly!


Wild Blueberry Maca Cookies

You’ll also get my “adaptogen cheat sheet” which I created to help serve as a quick-start guide on how to incorporate these herbs into your meals in the tastiest way possible. To give you a sneak peak, here are a few tips I share:


Shilajit

A Powerful Mineral BoostTasting notes: Bitter and earthyTip: Use for a smokey beverage or sauce; like a strong full-bodied chocolate coffee, or for an extra-smokey BBQ sauce.


Lion’s Mane

The Brain BoosterTasting notes: Sweet yet savoury flavour, with a crab-like textureTip: This one is for the vegetarians out there who crave a good “fake meat”.


Lycium (Goji)

Anti-Aging SuperfoodTasting notes: Sweet, slightly warmTip: Easy replacement (upgrade) for raisins or chocolate chips in your favourite dessert or snack recipe.


And on that note, I’ll leave you with my... 

Chocolatey Beet & Goji Muffins

Ingredients:

3 medium red beets

1 medium banana (very ripe)

2 cups old fashioned oats*

2 eggs (or use “flax eggs”** as a substitute)

¼ cup almond milk***

4 medjool dates

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extra

1/3 cup goji berries


Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with oil of choice or butter (I used ghee), or set 12 silicone muffin cups on a baking sheet.

2) Cook beets by steaming for around 30 minutes (on high), or until fork tender. Allow to cool and peel.

3) Place beets, bananas, old fashioned oats, eggs, almond milk, dates, cacao powder, baking soda and vanilla extract in a blender. Blend until well combined but not completely smooth. You still want to see some small pieces of oats in the batter.

4) Add the goji berries and blend for a few seconds to mix them in (or simply mix them in by hand).

5) Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffins cups. You can pour the batter directly from the blender, using a small rubber spatula to catch the drips between muffin cups.

6) Bake for 15-17 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then carefully transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. A mini spatula helps to remove the muffins without scratching your muffin tin.

7) Muffins freeze well. Freeze in a zip-top bag for up to 3 months.


NOTES:

Use certified gluten-free oats to make muffins gluten-free.

You may substitute other types of milk as desired. Use non dairy milk to keep the muffins dairy-free.


Want more? Download the full adaptogen recipe book (& cheat sheet!) here.

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