Adaptogens taste like summer

Roots

And the earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed… and God saw it was good.
-Genesis 1:12

The summer solstice is here and Teresa and I are preparing for the afternoon festivities. Today we will be having a medicine making open house during which herbal school alumni and family friends are invited to harvest from the garden, process their own plants, and leave with a batch of homemade medicine. But if we weren’t in the celebratory spirit before, we both are now… I’m making bonbons!

The yurt comes to life with the very utterance of these two syllables. A well-known favorite among her students, the restorative treats are a recipe for delectable health and wellbeing. Basically, a combination of nut butters, raw honey, coconut oil, and dried fruits create a variety of euphoric taste sensations. Then we add a medicinal dose of adrenal adaptogen herbs and the result is a sweet tasting powerhouse to help the body combat symptoms of fatigue and exhaustion.

After scouring the Herbal School library, I found several books that explain why these herbs have such a soothing effect on the body. In Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief, I read the following physiological explanation:

“Adaptogenic herbs support the entire neuroendocrine system, in particular the adrenal function, thus counteracting the adverse effects of stress. Adaptogens also help the body with its natural adaptive responses to stress. They do this by exerting a biochemical influence on the hypothalamus and its two main systems to signal stress—the HPA [hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal] axis and the SAS [sympathoadrenal]” (Winston, 72).

Adrenal adaptogens are all about bringing back a sense of homeostasis to the body. For the solstice recipe, our adaptogens of choice are ashwagandha and maca powder. Although I was previously more familiar with maca, I am curious to learn that ashwagandha in particular a calming, rather than stimulating, herb and is known in ayurvedic medicine as prolonging life and increasing stamina (Winston, 141). When mixed with sunflower seed butter and honey these herbs make medicine an indulgent experience.

Bonbons

Sunflower Solstice Bonbon Recipe:

Adrenal Support in Celebration of Summer Health and Vitality

Ingredients:

½ cup sunflower nut butter
¼ cup raw, local honey
2 T. ashwaganda powder
2 T. maca powder
½ cup coconut flakes
½ cup chia seeds

Directions:

Mix the nut butter and honey in a bowl until the contents achieve a fluid and homogenous consistency. Then add the maca and ashwaganda powder until the mixture becomes more firm and dry: comparable to that of cookie dough.

Prepare the topping by placing the coconut flakes and chia seeds in their own separate bowls. Using a spoon, melon scooper, or gloved hands, scoop a quarter sized ball of bonbon mixture and place it into your topping of choice: coconut flakes, chia seeds or both! (Note: the toppings can be substituted for other dried nut powders, cocoa powders, or dried fruits).

Roll the bonbon in the topping until it is round, firm, and evenly coated. Place the individual treat in a mini baking wrapper. Offer with love and devotion and savor the blessing of tasty medicinal treats.

Yields approximately 20

Warning: yield is subject to fluctuate. You may have to add more powder to the mixture if the desired consistency is not achieved. Firmness is correlated with the oiliness of nut butters, viscosity of honey, etc. and therefore not standard.

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