Vibrant Botanicals: Transformational Recipes Using Adaptogens & Other Healing Herbs [A Cookbook]

Vibrant Botanicals: Transformational Recipes Using Adaptogens & Other Healing Herbs [A Cookbook]

by Jennifer McGruther
Vibrant Botanicals: Transformational Recipes Using Adaptogens & Other Healing Herbs [A Cookbook]

Vibrant Botanicals: Transformational Recipes Using Adaptogens & Other Healing Herbs [A Cookbook]

by Jennifer McGruther


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70+ nourishing recipes using adaptogens, herbs, and botanicals to heal, energize, and calm.

“With unique and enticing recipes, Jennifer McGruther shows readers how easy it is to welcome healing herbs into their homes and food traditions.”—Rosalee de la Forêt, author of Alchemy of Herbs and Wild Remedies

When used properly, plants provide a wealth of healing powers. Adaptogens (plant extracts that help the body adapt to stress) and herbs are some of the most potent sources of such energy and immunity—plus they have a host of additional health benefits. Cookbook author and blogger Jennifer McGruther of Nourished Kitchen expertly guides readers through the properties of herbal energetics and how to gain the most from these dynamic sources. Jennifer explains each function and application, and how to extract their benefits into tinctures, infused oils, teas and tisanes, vinegars, and more. And while store-bought adaptogenic powders and elixirs from popular retailers may be a hefty investment, Jennifer’s creations cost only a few dollars to make at home.

Vibrant Botanicals provides more than 70 recipes for helping you feel your best when using herbal infusions. You’ll discover how cacao and licorice naturally awaken the body and can be incorporated into granolas, beverages, and breakfasts to jump-start your day. Garlic, astragalus, reishi, and more are showcased in homemade broth and fire cider to help build immunity; while passionflower, ashwagandha, and chamomile are mixed into creamy milk blends and teas to ensure peaceful sleep.

Whether you are looking to fortify digestion, lift your spirits, or just enjoy a good night’s rest, Vibrant Botanicals provides the natural solution, through nourishing and herbal-rich recipes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984858955
Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed
Publication date: 04/27/2021
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 669,088
Product dimensions: 8.19(w) x 9.31(h) x 1.02(d)

About the Author

Jennifer McGruther, NTP, is a holistic nutritionist, herbalist, and the author of three cookbooks, including The Nourished Kitchen and Broth and Stock. She’s also the creator of Nourished Kitchen, a popular website that celebrates traditional foodways, herbal remedies, and fermentation. She teaches workshops on natural foods and herbalism, and currently lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Read an Excerpt


Growing up, I had a fascination with plants. I sipped sweet honeysuckles freshly plucked from the vine, nibbled on violets and dandelions, and sampled the herbal tisanes an elderly neighbor brewed. Each herb resonated for me on an energetic level. They spoke to my hunger for nature, connection, and deep nutrition.

Later, I began growing my own herbs: I tended terra-cotta pots filled with odd mints, speckled sages, lemon thyme, purple basil, and rose geraniums. Feverfew and chamomile grew like tiny daisies in the garden alongside angelica, valerian, anise hyssop, lavender, and unruly bushes of rosemary. By the time my oldest son turned four, he could recognize a few dozen plants by their leaves alone. In spring, we’d head to the woods to gather nettles, wild rose, and self-heal. Then in fall, we’d pick rosehips and cinnamon-capped bolete mushrooms.

Herbs are essential in our kitchen, and they satisfy a genuine hunger for connection. More than just satisfying flavor, herbs hold a profound and transformational power, tapping into your body’s innate healing wisdom. Moving with intention and grace, you can harness these properties to support immunity, ease a headache, boost your energy on drowsy mornings, or help you relax on restless evenings. When used as an adjunct to a nutrient-dense diet, adequate sleep, and gentle movement, herbs can also enact even more powerful transformations: lifting the mood, boosting memory, and blunting the effects of stress.

While herbs aren’t cure-alls, they are powerful tools that bring life to your meals while drawing on ancient healing traditions. Most important, they empower you to get in touch with your intuition, take the lead in your health, and reclaim lost culinary traditions in which food and medicine were synonymous.

As you work through this book, remember that every herb you toss into your stockpot or scatter over a platter of freshly sliced fruit brings a gentle botanical medicine to your dishes. The botanical profiles throughout these pages will help acquaint you with the herbs you can use in the kitchen, what they do for the body, and how they work energetically.

It’s a powerful feeling to toss a palmful of wild and unruly herbs into your sauté pan with the knowledge that you’re nourishing yourself and the people you love in a deeply connected way. Choose the herb-forward recipes with mindfulness and strategy. Sip on a mug of Immunity Broth (page 108) when you feel under the weather. Start your day with a bowlful of granola spiked with cacao and stress-busting adaptogens (page 28), or make a batch of Iced Sencha tea (page 59) when you need to concentrate.

Lastly, keep flavor at the forefront of your mind because good flavor is good medicine, too.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Kitchen medicine 3

Chapter 2 Recipes to start your day 23

Herbs for the morning 25

Cacao 27

Dark chocolate granola with raspberries 28

Licorice 31

Cherries poached in licorice and black tea 32

Flaked rye porridge with sautéed apricots 34

Eleuthero 35

Energizing morning elixir 37

Chicory and dandelion latte 38

Rhodiola 39

Bircher muesli with rhodiola-strawberry syrup 40

Stinging nettle 43

Baked eggs with nettle-pumpkin seed pesto 44

Nettle chive vinegar 47

Breakfast salad with lox and herbs 48

Nettle mint infusion 51

Chapter 3 Herbs for mental clarity 53

Herbs to enhance memory and concentration 55

Tea 57

Iced sencha with spearmint and ginkgo 59

Melon in matcha-honey syrup 60

Ginkgo 63

Three-herb ghee 64

Rosemary and sage oil 67

Roasted butternut squash soup with sage and rosemary 68

Maple-rosemary pecans 71

Sage 72

Garlicky white beans with sage and tomatoes 75

Blackberry sage limeade 76

Saffron 78

Slow-roasted saffron chicken with rosemary 79

Raspberries with saffron-rose cream 81

Turmeric 82

Honeyed turmeric-cardamom milk 85

Turmeric turkey meatballs with cilantro-chile sauce 86

Chapter 4 Recipes to support immunity 89

Herbs for immunity 91

Garlic 92

Roasted garlic and onion bisque with sage and thyme broth 93

Honey-fermented garlic with bird's eye chile 94

Fire cider with rosemary and sage 97

Fire cider-roasted chicken breasts 98

Thyme 99

Garlic and thyme oxymel 100

Thyme and sage tisane 103

Medicinal mushrooms: reishi, shiitake, chanterelle, and oyster 104

Sautéed wild mushrooms with garden herbs 107

Immunity broth 108

Wild mushroom pâté 111

Hibiscus 112

Hibiscus rosehip popsicles 113

Hibiscus pineapple punch 114

Elder 117

Elderberry hibiscus jelly dessert 118

Elderberry ginger syrup 119

Astragalus 120

Echinacea and astragalus tincture 121

Spiced astragalus tea 122

Chapter 5 Recipes to support digestion 125

Herbs for digestion 127

Ginger 128

Ginger mint fizz 131

Citrus ginger bitters 132

Cardamom 135

Spiced ghee 136

Mulled cranberry cider 137

Sweet potatoes and apples with fennel-cardamom dust 138

Fennel 141

Herbed new potato salad 142

Roasted carrots with dukkah 145

Mint 146

Honeyed oranges with cardamom, coriander, and mint 149

Carrot salad with mint and cilantro 150

Snap pea salad with mint and feta 153

Dandelion 154

Braised dandelion greens with white beans 155

Dandelion green salad with lemon-caraway bread crumbs and herb dressing 157

Chapter 6 Recipes to lift your spirit 159

Herbs to lift your spirit 161

Tulsi 162

Cinnamon tulsi chocolate pops 164

Tulsi and lemon balm lunar infusion 165

Raspberry tulsi vinegar 167

Lemon balm 168

Stone fruit salad with lemon balm 171

Grapefruit lemon balm tonic 172

Peach compote with almonds and herbs 175

Lemongrass 176

Lemongrass turkey bowls with fresh herbs 179

Oysters with lemongrass mignonette 180

Schisandra 182

Strawberry shrub with shisandra and chamomile 183

Motherwort 184

Joy tisane 186

Motherwort tincture 187

Chapter 7 Recipes for a good night's rest 189

Herbs for sleep 191

Ashwagandha 192

Ashwagandha white chocolate bark with berries and rose 193

Lavender ashwagandha milk 194

Rose 197

Vanilla rose petal honey 198

Sour cherry and rose sorbet 201

Passionflower 202

Passionflower pear chia puddings 205

Bedtime tisane 206

Lavender 207

Blackberry lavender tonic 209

California poppy 210

Sleep dust 213

Midnight flower tisane 214

Chamomile 217

Chamomile poached pears 218

Blueberry apple compote with chamomile whipped cream 221

Bedtime bitters 222

Herbal safety 224

Resources 226

Bibliography 227

Gratitude 228

Author bio 229

Index 230

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