Wellness Encyclopedia: MCT Oil + Morning MCT Matcha Latte

Wellness Encyclopedia: MCT Oil + Morning MCT Matcha Latte

That’s medium-chain triglycerides… Read on to learn why MCT oil might be what’s missing from your routine, and how to use it…

My favorite season is finally here, guys. Nope, not fall (though I do love the cooling weather and vibrant trees), I’m talking hot coffee season. While some may swoon at iced coffee, I crave the ritual of blending up my morning cup. That’s right, I said blending. Coffee-making has reached new heights in my kitchen, with daily adaptogens, collagen, a dash of cinnamon, and brain-boosting MCT oil for good measure. Toss it all into the blender with a cup of strong coffee? Doesn’t get much better. That last ingredient has been a favorite these past few years, and it’s not just me. Look up “MCT oil” and you’ll find post after post extolling the benefits. But what, exactly, is it?  Today I’m diving into the specifics — and sharing a great alternative to your morning cup of joe. Read on to learn why MCT oil might be what’s missing from your routine, and how to use it:

What is MCT?

MCT, which stands for medium-chain triglycerides, is an essential fatty acid commonly derived from coconut oil, but also present in grass-fed butter and palm oil, and most other foods that contain saturated fat (though in smaller amounts). Easier to digest than long-chain triglycerides, MCT oil is beneficial for the entire system. Most MCT oils on the market are derived from coconut oil because coconut oil is such a rich source — roughly 60-65% MCTs — however, the distilled oil is a great choice for harnessing the pure benefits of MCTs, as it has a higher, more potent amount of medium-chain triglycerides. Coconut oil still has an important place in our diets, but for those looking to get a diverse and concentrated array of MCTs, a specialty oil is a great choice. Just be sure to choose a high-quality, organic formula.

Benefits of MCT oil

So, why are MCTs so special? Medium-chain triglycerides are easier for our bodies to absorb and digest than long and short-chain fatty acids — they’re sent right to our liver, creating a thermogenic effect that could boost metabolism. MCTs have also been found to increase satiety, keeping us feeling fuller, longer. Good quality MCT oil could help boost energy and stamina, especially when used in place of carbs in a low-carb diet (such as Paleo). MCTs could also help boost mood, as healthy fats are an essential part of brain function. Additionally, the fats in MCT oil aid the body in properly absorbing vitamins (which is why salad should always have a little healthy fat in it), promotes gut health and balances gut bacteria (which has recently been linked to healthy brain function). And — good news — like coconut oil, MCT oil also boasts many of the same antibacterial benefits, with the ability to potentially protect against streptococcus, straphylococcus, and more.

How to use MCT oil

MCT oil can be taken by the spoonful, like you would a daily vitamin, or added to recipes. Because it’s digested differently and used quickly by the body, it’s important to start with small doses of MCT. Start with ½ to 1 tsp and work your way up to avoid potential stomach upset. MCT oil blends easily into warm liquids and is the perfect substitute for butter or coconut oil in bulletproof coffee recipes (check out the version below for a coffee-free MCT-powered bulletproof). Since it stays in its liquid form, MCT oil also mixes seamlessly into salad dressings and can replace olive oil in most dressing recipes. Add a spoonful to smoothies, chia puddings, or overnight oats for added healthy fats. MCT oil is super versatile and can be used as a finishing oil on almost anything, from sweet desserts to savory dishes, or subbed for coconut oil in baked goods — for a dose of healthy, brain-boosting fat!

Morning MCT Matcha Latte

Ingredients

8 oz plant-based milk or water (or a mix of both)

1 tsp matcha powder

1 tsp – 1 tbsp organic MCT oil (start slow)

½ tsp ashwagandha

½ tsp rhodiola

¼ tsp cinnamon

Optional: Collagen peptides

Method

In a pot over low heat, heat the milk or water over the stove until hot but not boiling. Combine milk with remaining ingredients in a high speed blender and blend on low to medium until mixed and frothy (be careful blending hot liquids, a blender with a locking lid is recommended). Pour into your favorite mug and sip slowly. Enjoy!

+ Be sure to check out more Wellness Encyclopedia posts!

Follow Julie on Instagram + check out her blog.

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In the July 4th Kitchen: FP Blueberry Pie

In the July 4th Kitchen: FP Blueberry Pie

Need a last-minute knockout for your July 4th festivities? You’ve come to the right place…

From the magic of our merchandiser Kristina, a customized party favor sure to please both the eyes and tastebuds of all your friends/fam this holiday. Plus, it’s good for you!

Filling Ingredients:

6 cups of fresh blueberries
½ cup sugar
3 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
2 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
Pinch salt

Crust Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour*
2-3 tbsp cane sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp cold butter alternative (I’ve used Earth Balance)
3 tbsp palm shortening
4-6 tbsp cold water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

*I opt for coconut flour as it’s rich in protein and fiber. It’s also a good source of lauric acid, thought to support the immune system and thyroid.

Method

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
For the crust: In bowl of stand mixer, whisk together dry ingredients. Add in cold butter alternative and palm shortening. Using the whisk attachment, mix until well combined – the dough should be crumbly.
Add in cold water and apple cider vinegar. On medium, blend mixture until dough starts to come together. If your mixture seems dry or doesn’t stick together when pressed, add more water. Mixture should hold together when pressed between your fingers, but not be too sticky.
For the filling: In a large bowl, combine the sugar, coconut flour, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Add the lemon juice, zest and blueberries, stirring gently to combine. Set aside.
Lightly dust parchment paper with flour. Form the dough into a round disk with your hands. Place another piece of parchment over the top and roll the dough out evenly until it is 9-10in across. Grease pie pan with a bit of shortening and dust with coconut flour. Flip your rolled-out pie crust into your pie pan, pressing it gently into the bottom of the pan. Should it crack, gently press it together with your fingers. Crimp or scallop the edges by hand or with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 and bake about 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden and the filling is bubbling. Allow to cool least 4 hours before serving.

+ Ready to play master chef this summer season? Check our more recipes here! 

Photos by Jana Kirn.

HAPPY AND SAFE JULY 4th, EVERYONE!!

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In the July 4th Kitchen: Rice and Quinoa Salad with Fresh Berries

In the July 4th Kitchen: Rice and Quinoa Salad with Fresh Berries

If you’re one of those folks who could just eat a whole slew o’ sides for dinner (or not), be sure to add this amazing dish to your repertoire…

Remember that weekend black bean burger recipe we shared with you last week? Well, to dress up that plate, and any others you’re planning to serve this holiday, may we present you with this easy and oh-so-delicious rice and quinoa salad, courtesy of our own chef Greg.

Ingredients

½ cup wild rice

½ cup basmati rice

½ cup short grain brown rice

½ cup quinoa

3 tbsp avocado oil

1 red onion, sliced 1/3” pcs

½ tsp garlic, minced

1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds

1/3 cup sliced almonds

¼ cup lemon zest

¼ cup lemon juice

3 tbsp avocado oil

½ cup basil, shredded

2 tbsp tarragon, chopped

3 tbsp parsley, shredded

4 cups baby arugula

½ cup pitted chopped cherries

½ cup blueberries

Method

Cook wild rice, basmati rice, short grain brown rice and quinoa in separate pots. (I prefer to ignore the cooking instructions on the packages.) I like to use ten times the amount of water to the amount of grains. So, in this case, I fill 4 separate pots with 5 cups of cold water, then adding ½ cup of the different rices and quinoa to each pot with a heavy pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer. Taste every ten minutes to check for tenderness. (Make sure they taste very tender, as grains will harden slightly when cooled.) Drain off rice as they finish and place in a large bowl. Toss with avocado oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper.

In a sauté pan, caramelize 1 red onion, sliced in short pieces, in 3 tbsp avocado oil. When onions are sweet and slightly charred add to the rice mix. When rice mixture has fully cooled, add basil, tarragon, parsley and arugula. Next, add toasted sunflower seeds and toasted almonds. Present on a platter topped with cherries and blueberries.

Photos and GIF by Jillian Guyette.

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In the Kitchen: Weekend Black Bean Burger Recipe

In the Kitchen: Weekend Black Bean Burger Recipe

Looking for something healthy and easy to serve up this weekend? Chef Greg Glowatz has something that’s sure to become a summer staple — vegan and gluten-free bean burgers!

Ingredients

½ cup scallions, chopped

½ tsp garlic, minced

¼ tsp fresh green chilies, minced

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 cups drained, canned black beans, dried and mashed

1/3 cup black bean liquid (from can)

3 tbsp ground flax seeds

½ cup crushed gluten-free corn tortilla chips

1 tsp ground toasted coriander

½ tsp ground toasted cumin

¼ tsp Pink Himalayan sea salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Optional: shredded red cabbage, lime for garnish

Method

Sautee the scallions, garlic and fresh green chilies in olive oil for 1 minute. Add to mashed black beans along with the rest of the ingredients. Stir until combined and scoop out mixture into 1 cup portions. Form patties and sear in a hot pan with a drizzle of EVOO.

Serve on bun or alone with vegan lime aioli, sliced tomatoes, lettuce and pickles, or serve with shredded red cabbage, cilantro and lime juice.

Photos and GIF by Jillian Guyette.

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Wellness Encyclopedia: Benefits of Papaya + Papaya Breakfast Bowl

Wellness Encyclopedia: Benefits of Papaya + Papaya Breakfast Bowl

There’s a reason papaya is a major player in the skincare industry…

Summer is officially-unofficially here (technically there are still a few days left of spring, which is difficult to believe). Along with sun, blue sky and sweltering humidity, comes my complete inability to turn on the stove. Hot temperatures I can deal with, but I have zero desire to make things any warmer than they already are with a hot oven. But as markets are brimming with fresh produce and fruits, who needs heat? Summer is the perfect time to cool your body down with everything fresh and crisp — from bright green local lettuce to more exotic tropical fruits coming into their prime season. To me, papaya is the taste of summer all wrapped up in one convenient package. Peeled, cubed, and drizzled with a little lime juice, this exotic berry (yup, not actually a fruit!) makes a simple meal that nourishes while it cools from the inside out. There’s a reason papaya is a major player in the skincare industry — the antioxidants and enzymes present provide vital nutrition internally while boasting the ability to resurface and renew skin externally. Today I’m diving into the beautiful papaya — what it is, the benefits and, most importantly, how to eat it. Scroll on to learn more and find a cooling recipe, no heat required.

What is it? Believed to be native to Southern Mexico or Central America and originally cultivated in Mexico, the papaya is a large berry with bright orange flesh and greenish-gold skin when ripe. Similar in texture to an avocado (a very juicy avocado), when sliced in half a ripe papaya will reveal dark brown seeds that are easily scooped out. Papaya is available year-round but peak in summer and early fall, making them the perfect addition to fresh fruit breakfasts and snacks on those 90-degree days when you can’t bring yourself to turn on the stove.

What are the benefits? Rich in vitamin C, folate, fibre, antioxidants, beta-carotene, and beneficial enzymes, papayas can benefit the entire body, from head to toe, internally and externally. The vitamin C present in papaya can help boost immunity, and help resurface skin when applied as a mask. Rich in fibre and the enzyme papain, when combined these two nutrients can aid in digestion, helping to break down proteins and scrubbing the digestive tract (papains) and moving food through the system faster and more efficiently (fibre). The presence of fibre also aids in heart health by potentially lowering cholesterol. A popular ingredient in over-the-counter skin care products for good reason, papain, the beneficial enzyme in papaya, can help slough away dead skin cells when applied to the skin, and the vitamin C and other antioxidants can help resurface and smooth skin.

How do I use it? When choosing a papaya, the skin should be a mix of light green and gold tones, and it should be about as soft as a ripe avocado. Papaya is delicious fresh, especially topped with a bit of lime juice and honey, and it blends easily into smoothies. It’s also a great topping for chia puddings, yogurt, smoothie bowls, oatmeal, and banana ice cream. Create an easy face mask by mashing fresh papaya together with a bit of raw honey and applying to clean, dry skin (always do a patch test first). Create a hair mask by mixing mashed papaya with jojoba oil and applying to hair before rinsing.

Papaya Breakfast Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients

½ papaya

½ banana, frozen

½ cup frozen cauliflower

1 tbsp coconut butter

⅛ tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup nut milk or coconut water

Dash of cinnamon

Optional: Scoop of vanilla protein powder of choice

Chopped almonds and blueberries, to top

To prepare the papaya, slice lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Set ½ aside or freeze for later use.

Method

Place frozen banana, cauliflower, coconut butter, vanilla, nut milk, cinnamon, and protein powder (if using) in a blender or food processor. Process on high until mixture is smooth. Pour into the papaya half and top with almonds, blueberries, and any other toppings of choice. Enjoy!

+ Be sure to check out more Wellness Encyclopedia posts!

Follow Julie on Instagram + check out her blog.

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. 
Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.

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FP x Moon Juice: Green Shake Blender Recipe

FP x Moon Juice: Green Shake Blender Recipe

Looking for an energy boost to help you through the day? This drink just might do the trick…

Courtesy of our friends at Moon Juice, this recipe offers you a great — and healthy — way to energize throughout the day. Get a lift from green juice, beautifying and brain power from the avocado, and adaptogenic energy and libido boost from maca…

Ingredients

10 oz your favorite green juice (with no apple, preferably… or head here for Moon Juice’s Gracious Greens juice recipe)

½ avocado, pitted, peeled and frozen for at least 4 hours

1 tbsp Tocos

1 tbsp almond butter

1 tsp your favorite Dust – we like Power or Sex for a morning energy hit

2 drops stevia or other sweetener of choice (if you omit Dust)

Method

It can’t be any easier than this — take all ingredients, put in blender/food processor, and blend til smooth. Pour, drink up and enjoy. <3

 + Curious about Moon Juice’s recipes? Buy the cookbook here!

Film and photo by Michael Persico.

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FP Escapes: The Great Kosmic Kitchen’s Adaptogenic Luna Chai

FP Escapes: The Great Kosmic Kitchen’s Adaptogenic Luna Chai

A drink both balancing and absolutely delicious? Yes, please…

This post comes from our friends at The Great Kosmic Kitchen.

This twist on a chai concentrate combines many of our favorite herbal allies for supporting ‘moon-time’ balance, and beats anything you can buy at the coffee shop! Along with classic chai spices, we’re adding in some additional herbs for extra plant power that support the reproductive system. In this recipe, we will also go over what is called a decoction in herbalism.

VITEX

This is our favorite addition to the blend, and why we like to call it a “Luna Chai.” Chaste tree berry, also known as Vitex angus-castus, is often used to balance out hormones (especially for the menstrual cycle) by supporting the pituitary gland, a major gland involved in hormone production. We’ve used this herb for hormone imbalances, including issues around menstrual irregularity.

DANDELION ROOT

This plant is sometimes misunderstood as a weed when, really, it’s an ancient and powerful herbal ally. The root, leaves and flower can all be used as a food or as herbal medicine. Dandelion is a mild bitter, great for the digestive system, liver (which stores and processes excess hormones) and skin. The roasted roots are super yummy, but more medicine can be gained from the root in its pure form — dried and chopped.

ASHWAGANDHA

The root can be used for emotional and physical stress, balancing the endocrine system, immune system support, and as a calming before-dinner treat. The whole plant is commonly used in Ayurveda and is warming energetically.

 

Ingredients

6 cups water – decoct (simmer) down to 3-4 cups

2 cinnamon sticks

2-inch thumb of ginger, chopped

2 tsp whole cloves

1 tbsp cardamom pods

3 star anise

3 tbsp rooibos tea

1 tbsp vanilla extract

3-4 tbsp local honey, or stevia extract to taste

1 tbsp. adaptogenic powder of choice (we chose Sun Potion’s Ashwagandha)

Optional herbs:

1 tbsp dried dandelion root

1 tbsp dried vitex berries

Materials

Large pot

Wooden spoon

Mesh strainer

Cheesecloth

Quart-sized Mason jar

Method

Bring water to a boil in a large pot, then reduce to a steady simmer.

Add in everything except the rooibos tea, honey and vanilla extract.

Allow the herb and spice mixture to simmer (a.k.a. decoct) for 20 minutes or more. A decoction in western herbalism is used to extract the medicinal properties from roots, barks and seeds of plants. Since these plant parts are denser, they take a longer stronger method of extraction, rather than a light brew of a tea. The water should reduce to about 3-4 cups after about 20 minutes.

After your roots have been simmering for 15 minutes, add rooibos tea in the last five minutes of the decoction.

When the rooibos flavor is to your liking, turn burner off and add vanilla extract.

Once your Luna Chai concentrate has cooled down a bit, strain out the herbs and rooibos (using the mesh strainer layered with some cheesecloth), add in the honey, and bottle it up in a quart-sized Mason jar.

Make sure to let the mixture and the glass cool down before you refrigerate it! Otherwise, the glass could break, which sadly, many of us have done before.

You can serve the beverage hot or cold; 1 part milk of your liking to 1 part Luna Chai concentrate.

*When using any form of medication, natural or not, you should always consult your health care provider before use.

XO, Summer + Sarah of The GKK

And a very, very special thank you to Alessandra Olanow for her gorgeous illustrations!

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FP Escapes: The Great Kosmic Kitchen’s Quinoa Bowl

FP Escapes: The Great Kosmic Kitchen’s Quinoa Bowl

Savor this nourishing and colorful recipe, courtesy of the Great Kosmic Kitchen, who will be cooking on our Palm Springs retreat next week!

We know it can be difficult to find time to eat healthy. Luckily, we find the most success when we plan our meals like our meetings. While this might seem like yet another obligation, it doesn’t have be like that! Make it fun. Let yourself have a movie night or some special reward if you craft a home cooked meal for yourself.

Hard-working folks are prone to stress and, in the worst case scenario, burnout. We try to avoid all that by planning our meals and using adaptogens. By definition, adaptogens are plants that help your body adapt to stress. Usually they have an affinity toward a certain body system and can help to bring it back into balance. Adaptogens can strengthen function and therefore help the body resist physiological stressors.

We love using nourishing adaptogens like ashwagandha, shatavari and astragalus in powdered form so that we can easily sprinkle them into our medicinal meals. Adaptogens aren’t an instant “aha” moment for stress — they work best over a few months’ time. If it took years of go-go-go for you to feel the effects of burn out and cumulative stress, do yourself a favor and give adaptogens time to balance you out! Two of our favorite options are listed below.

ASHWAGANDHA (Withania somnifera)

This plant’s nickname is “Indian ginseng,” and while it’s not stimulating like ginseng can be, it does have similar medicinal effects. The root can be used for emotional and physical stress, immune system support, and much more. The whole plant is commonly used in Ayurveda and is warming energetically. Great if you tend to run cold—such as folks with cold hands and feet. Traditional recipes include the root (powdered) in warm milk and/or honey. To get a proper dose, you will need about 1-6 grams a day.

ASTRAGALUS (Astragalus membranaceus)

This medicinal plant isn’t anything new, it’s been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. You may have seen astragalus sold under the name “huang qi,” another common name for it. It’s used traditionally to promote immune system health, especially for those who are prone to getting run down during winter. It’s commonly prepared in broths or soups. You can use about 3-4 grams throughout the day of the powder for best effect.

This dressing is simple to create—you can use one or all the adaptogenic powders listed above. We encourage you to use whatever plants are calling to you. This miso based dressing can be used in a hearty massaged-kale salad, tossed with buckwheat noodles or as part of this balancing quinoa bowl.

Dressing Ingredients

2/3 cup rice vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

4 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp white miso

2 tbsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp adaptogen of choice

1 thumb ginger, grated

2 tbsp honey

Quinoa Bowl Ingredients

3 cups quinoa, cooked

1 watermelon radish, sliced thin

3 bok choy, steamed or sauteed

½ bunch cilantro, chopped

1 sheet toasted nori, crumbled

Method

To make the dressing, add all ingredients into blender. Blend until everything is incorporated. Scrape into a mason jar with a tight lid and refrigerate. Leftover dressing will keep for about a week in the fridge. Note: It will look much more like a dressing when first made and at room temperature but, once refrigerated, it will thicken up.

Makes about 1 pint or 2 cups.

Assemble your quinoa bowl by dolloping a few tablespoons of dressing and mixing in a separate bowl with the quinoa. Making sure the dressing is incorporated into the quinoa, divide between two bowls and add toppings however you’d like.

If you’re looking for more ways to dress up your salads or quinoa, be sure to check out our Creamy Turmeric Tahini Dressing and our Wild Weeds Pesto.

 

And a very, very special thank you to Alessandra Olanow for her gorgeous illustrations!

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Wellness Encyclopedia: Reishi + Healing Reishi Energy Bites

It’s hard to say no to a mushroom that promotes immunity and staves off allergies… 

For me, mushrooms have always held an air of mystery and magic. Popping up, seemingly out of nowhere, after a spring rain or a bout of damp weather, their myriad shapes, sizes and patterns have always fascinated me — not to mention the 50/50 chance of a particular mushroom being either really, really good for you… or completely deadly. Luckily, I grew up surrounded by women who knew how to tell the difference. Mushroom foraging was a way of life for my mother and grandmother, a skill that, unfortunately, turned out not to be hereditary when it came down to me. But just because I’m unskilled at finding them in the wild doesn’t mean I can’t incorporate the goodness of medicinal mushrooms in my diet. Instead of rooting them out amidst the damp leaves and bramble of the forest, I turn to powders and supplements to harness the powers of these adaptogenic powerhouses. A recent favorite? Reishi. As the weather changes from winter to spring and seasonal allergies and colds begin to come out of the woodwork, it’s hard to say no to a mushroom that promotes immunity and staves off allergies. The icing on the mushroom-shaped cake? Reishi is anti-tumor, antiviral and antioxidant, too, meaning it just might help prevent certain types of cancer and promotes full-body health. Learn more about this magic mushroom in today’s post and scroll on for an easy, energy-promoting recipe.

What is Reishi? A staple in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years, reishi mushrooms (also known as Lingzhi mushrooms) grow worldwide but are especially partial to Northern hemlock forests (though similar species have even been found growing in the Amazon). While there is a wide variety of reishi in the world, the most common resembles a large ear with a cork-like texture. Thought to boost the body and spirit, reishi was traditionally used as a way to improve meditation practices by bringing the body to harmony. Now known as an adaptogen, reishi works with the body to regulate and balance all systems.

What are the benefits? As one of the most powerful adaptogens, reishi can help the body regulate itself and return to balance. Reishi has been found to be anti-allergenic while strengthening the immune system and improving blood vessel function, helping to not only lower and improve blood pressure but also prevent abnormalities that could lead to some forms of cancer. The beta-glucans present in reishi have been found to protect against tumors and stimulate the immune system, which could be the reason why it so effectively protects against Staphylococci, Streptococci, and Bacillus pneumoniae bacterias. Reishi can help improve memory and cognitive function by improving nerve growth factor, and it’s been shown to reduce stress and systemic inflammation, beneficial for all of us, especially those at risk for cognitive disorders. As an antioxidant, reishi can neutralize free radicals and boost liver cell regeneration. Overall, reishi assists the body in performing its most basic functions, restoring it to its happiest state and boosting

How do I use it? Reishi mushroom powder is created from dried mushrooms, which makes it easily blend into hot or cold drinks and recipes. The taste and texture mixes easily with coffee and tea and chocolate-based desserts, especially raw treats such as the one below. The taste of reishi also lends itself well to broths and soups, or simply add a teaspoon to water and enjoy.

Healing Reishi Energy Bites

Makes about nine 1-inch bites

Ingredients:

½ cup raw cashews

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tbsp tocotrienols

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tbsp goji berries

1 tsp Sun Potion Reishi powder

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp maca powder

1 tbsp dark chocolate, melted

Method:

Place all ingredients except melted chocolate in a food processor and process until mixture sticks together when pinched (about a minute), scraping down sides as needed.

Turn out mixture onto a parchment-lined plate or baking sheet and roll into 9-10 1-inch balls using your hands. Place in the fridge or freezer to set, about 10 minutes.

Once balls are set, remove from fridge and drizzle with chocolate. Allow chocolate to harden before serving. Balls can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about two weeks or in the freezer for up to a month.

+ See more Wellness Encyclopedia posts here…

Follow Julie on Instagram + check out her blog.

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. 
Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.

Wellness Encyclopedia: Pine Pollen & Raw Lemon Rose Truffles

Working with your body to heal, detoxify and balance…

There are so many ways to celebrate love throughout the year, but I love that February has a day devoted solely to showing those around us how much we care. Valentine’s Day is a reminder to slow down and be mindful of the ways those around us enrich our lives, but it should serve as an opportunity to show ourselves some tenderness too, don’t you think? Far too often, when it comes to allocating our affection, we often give ourselves the very least. We ensure those around us have everything they need, we give our time and thoughts and energy, and then we get really good at ignoring our own needs. But if we’re not at the top of our game, feeling nourished, strong and sharp, we can’t really go all in for those we love, can we? To put it simply, in the words of RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love anybody else?”

Can I get an “amen”?

Whether it’s February 14th or October 10th, your body deserves to be nourished and cared for and loved. Sometimes it can take awhile to get there, but the right ingredients can go a long way in the journey towards self-care. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day and to encourage us all to invest a bit more in ourselves, this week I’m focusing on a special ingredient that not only boasts powerful detoxifying benefits but also might help you feel a little extra sexy, too. And it comes from a rather unexpected source: Masson’s pine trees. Yes, we’re talking pine pollen this week, and if you thought the silky golden powder was only good for making you sneeze and blanketing your car, read on, there’s a lot to learn and a lot to love about this wildcrafted powder.

What is pine pollen? Yes, we’re talking about the same stuff that floats down from pine trees every spring, dusting everything in sight with a thin golden veil (I grew up in “The Pine Tree State”… for the uninitiated, pollen season is no joke). But don’t go scooping it off your car! Sun Potion’s Pine Pollen is wildcrafted from pollen collected from Masson’s pine trees (Pinus massoniana) in Yunnan Province in China, where pine pollen has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine. Pine pollen is unique in that it’s very similar to a seed, containing all the vital nutrients it takes to grow a big, healthy tree. When we ingest that same pollen, the nutrients that make trees grow strong and quick benefit our bodies in a similar way, promoting strength, vitality and hormonal balance. When choosing a pine pollen, it’s important to always choose the best available to avoid contamination and ensure purity.

Benefits of pine pollen… Pine pollen contains a host of micronutrients, vitamins, minerals and adaptogenic properties, meaning it works with your body to heal, detoxify and balance. It contains particularly potent levels of vitamin D3, a difficult-to-get vitamin found mostly in fish, eggs and the sun (so if you’re vegan and living in a cloudy environment, pine pollen might just do some wonders!), as well as amino acids and B vitamins, which make pine pollen popular in the fitness community for its ability to increase stamina and fitness levels. Pine pollen has also been revered for centuries for its use as an aphrodisiac, which makes Valentine’s Day the perfect time to introduce this silky powder to your routine! A powerful androgen, pine pollen stimulates testosterone production and it contains DHEA, which stimulates estrogen and progesterone. While anyone can use pine pollen, its hormone-balancing properties are thought to be especially useful for aging adults because DHEA production decreases as we age. Boosting DHEA leads to better immunity, better moods, and yes, potentially a better sex life, too.

How do I use it? Harnessing the benefits of pine pollen is as simple as adding ½ teaspoon to your daily coffee, tea, smoothie, granola or bowl of oats. It also easily mixes into raw treats like the recipe below — just bear in mind you may want to add a larger measurement depending on the yield of your chosen recipe.

These raw lemon rose truffles are the perfect treat to make yourself or someone you love. Not too sweet, with the tang of fresh lemon and floral hint of rose, they’re super quick to throw together — no soaking! — so you can whip up a batch at a moment’s notice. A sweet, sunny yellow way to bring a little love to your February or any time of year.

Raw Lemon Rose Truffles

{makes approx. 9 truffles}

Ingredients

2 tsp pine pollen

1 cup raw unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup raw macadamia nuts

1 tsp rosewater

Zest from ½ lemon

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp raw honey, agave, or maple syrup

¼ tsp grated fresh ginger

Pinch fine Himalayan pink salt

Unsweetened shredded coconut and/or hemp hearts for rolling

Method

Combine all ingredients, except extra coconut and hemp hearts, in a food processor or high speed blender and pulse until sticky and well combined but still granular, about 5 minutes.

Scoop mixture out by approx. 2 tbsp and roll into 9 rounds — feel free to go smaller or larger! Pop in the freezer to firm up, about 10 minutes. Once hardened, roll each truffle in extra shredded coconut or hemp hearts to cover.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!

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This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. 
Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.