Posts in adaptogens
Golden Chai Rice Pudding

With these cold, grey days I've been jonesing for some major comfort foods. Meals made up of bread and roots, avocados and hot sauce - nothing is too rich for me in February.   

I’m not typically a dessert person, but there’s something so sweet and comforting about rice pudding.  It’s reminiscent of my childhood at a Waldorf school in Maine, where we often consume a mid morning meal of rice porridge with honey and cream.  This was always such a treat for me and the smell of that meal is a memory that will always bring me joy.

Now that I’m older and a little plant obsessed, I wanted to try my hand at making rice pudding combined with my two favorite things : turmeric and chai.  I also added shatavari which is sometimes called wild asparagus.  Shatavari is commonly used to aid the balancing of hormones in female bodied people and when translated it is said to mean “she who has a hundred husbands" so it’s safe to say that it has a special affinity for the female reproductive system.  You can also use Ashwangandha, an adaptogenic herb (see previous post for a description).


¾ cup short grain rice
2 cups milk
½ cup cream
A pinch of salt
½ tablespoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
5 cloves
5 cracked cardamom pods
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon shatavari or ashwagandha
1 egg beaten
½ cup honey (or more to taste)
Optional : raisins


Rinse rice and place in medium size pot along with cream & milk then add salt, cracked cardamom pods and cloves.  Let simmer for 25 minutes or until rice has cooked, stirring every 5 minutes or so.  Once rice has cooked and mixture has become creamy, add honey, powdered spices, herbs and vanilla extract. Stir and cover pot with a lid and heat on low for another 10 minutes.  Beat egg and stir into pudding.  Mix constantly for about 2 minutes then cover pot and heat on low for another 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and enjoy.  Store in fridge for 3-4 days.


Spicy Adaptogenic Chocolate Bark

The beauty of chocolate bark is partially due to the ease of its creation. If you were wondering what to do with all that leftover holiday chocolate, this may be your answer. The following recipe is my take (and what I had in my cupboard), but you can add whatever you want.  Milk chocolate, white chocolate, berries, nuts, and aromatic herbs can also be incorporated if you please. Explore your creative side in this herbal chocolate recipe, and let your inner kitchen witch shine!  

Ashwagandha is an wonderful adaptogenic herb that has a long history of use.  Its literal translation from Sanskrit is "strength of a horse" because it's widely known to enhance endurance and strengthen immunity.  Ashwagandha is one of my go to herbs to cook with.  It has a slightly bitter taste that is easily masked with the right flavors.  



2 cups dairy free dark chocolate
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less)
½ teaspoon Ashwagandha powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 pinches pink salt
Vanilla extract
Crystallized ginger
Dried rose petals or calendula


  • Fill a medium sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Find a glass mixing bowl that will sit comfortably on top of the pot and melt your chocolate in that. If you have a double boiler, you should use that instead.

  • Once chocolate has melted, fold in cayenne, Ashwagandha and cinnamon powder, adding a splash of vanilla extract. Heat and stir until all ingredients run smooth and remove bowl from pot.  

  • Pour onto a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Smooth out with a spatula, making it as thin as you’d like.  

  • Chop up desired amount of crystallized ginger and sprinkle ginger and rose petals over chocolate while still warm.  

  • Keep in fridge or other cool spot until hardened. Once chocolate has set, break up and store in jars or other container.

Try adding your own flair to this recipe with chai spices, turmeric or elderberry.