So amongst the turmeric, moringa and various other superfoods, adaptogens have made their way into the spotlight this year (hey we picked it). Bragging rights aside, adaptogens have some pretty cool benefits and also make an amazing hot chocolate (if you haven't had reishi and cacao powder together yet then get on it). So we asked the gorgeous Lauren Haynes from Wooden Spoon Herbs to share her golden knowledge on all things adaptogens with us. Plus she added in a delicious mushroom elixir recipe.
About Lauren Haynes
Hello Fit Foodies! I’m Lauren Haynes, a wellness practitioner and herbalist from the Appalachian Mountains of America. I make high-vibe herbal remedies via my company Wooden Spoon Herbs, lead workshops, write, tend biodynamic gardens and love a good face mask. Hi! So nice to meet you.
I’m going to share with you a favourite recipe of mine for an adaptogenic tonic that’s perfect for the crisp weather of spring and fall. We’re in the spring and y’all are in the fall! I love it. It’s the only time the weather mirrors itself in each hemisphere. But moving on...
So, what are adaptogens anyway? Adaptogens are plants that help your body maintain homeostasis. They’re smart. They get you. They can either calm you down or give you energy, and they can protect your internal systems from overload. Adaptogens are great for transitional times, whether that means a breakup, moving to a new city, or a change in seasons. Aka right now. All adaptogens have comparable broad-spectrum action, but each plant has its own affinity for different aspects of calming the body. A great book to read is Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina and Stress Relief by David Winston and Steven Maimes, if you want to learn more.
On to the recipe. This recipe features my favourite type of adaptogens: medicinal mushrooms. You can use any medicinal mushrooms for this recipe: shiitake, maitake, cordyceps, reishi, chaga, turkey tail - the list is long. All medicinal mushrooms have super similar actions! You can use them interchangeably, though certain varieties have affinities for certain parts of the body, like cordyceps for the lungs and reishi for the spirit. They are safe, gentle, and have a building action when used over time, so drink this tonic daily for best results. (There’s also maca in this tonic, which is an adaptogen that has an affinity for balancing the endocrine system.)
Maca Mesquite Mushroom Milk
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 tsp maca
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp mushroom extract powder*
- 1⁄2 tsp organic mesquite powder
- 1⁄8 tsp vanilla bean powder
- splash of cream or nut milk to taste
- In a high-speed blender, combine all of the ingredients.
- Make sure your water is a safe temperature to blend, or leave the lid off slightly to offer a vent.
- Add a splash of cream (my preference is full-fat grassfed dairy) to taste and enjoy!
*A note on extract powders vs. powdered mushrooms. Mushrooms have a tough skin, made from keratin. Keratin is the same stuff lobster shells are made out of - totally indigestible! To unlock their magic, you must extract them in some way, either by simmering for hours or extracting into alcohol, and preferably both. You can find extract powders from many companies these days, and it will explicitly say that it’s an extract powder. I like Sun Potion for this. If you only have the powdered mushroom, simmer the herbs in the water for 20 minutes to one hour before you add the cream, and skip the blender aspect.
Want more like this? Then check out this delcious Golden Mylk Recipe
Do you currently use adaptogens? If you do then let us know your favourite recipes in the comments below
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