What are adaptogens in the first place?
Adaptogens are natural substances that may increase the body’s ability to resist the damaging effects of stress. They help us to adjust ourselves to change. I mention how much I have benefited from them here, especially to treat my insomnia and to balance hormones. There are different kinds, and depending on your unique conditions, you might have different needs. Below, you will find easy recipes containing some of these adaptogens that have helped *me*. I do recommend consulting your trusted healthcare provider before taking any herb, including these adaptogens, and especially if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you are on any medication.
1. adaptogenic, low calorie, gluten-free, protein brownies
You will like this one especially if you are counting your macros, or watching your caloric intake.
To be honest with you, I was not expecting these to be this yummy. They are so light with such low calories that you can satisfy your sweet tooth without having that crush afterwards. Okay, here is what you do:
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup nut butter (I’d use PBfit for much lower calories/fat)
1/2 cup Orgain vegan chocolate protein powder (use code IVYCHAN for a good discount on your first order)
1/4 cup any powdered sugar or sweetener (I used coconut sugar)
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp maca
I also added 1tsp Moodbeli Blissbooster. (If not, use a tsp cacao and cinnamon).
Blend all this, bake at 325°F for 20-30 minutes. For the “frosting” I simply mixed choco protein powder and a little bit of choco almond milk!
2. nut-free adaptogenic “Nutella” with only 5 ingredients
I …ahem… “know” people who would finish a whole jar of Nutella in one sitting. Okay, I admit that I am one of those people. But I do have friends who share this Nutella obsession (it is beyond love at this point)! And yes, I am working on mindfulness, balance, and mindful eating, but, I swear the whole world stops when chocolate enters. So I have been searching for various adaptations to one of our favourite indulgences. We did like this one a lot. Give it a try, for the sake of chocolate and these incredibly healthy ingredients!
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/3 cup cacao
1-2 tbsp maca powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 tbsp carob molasses – or any other liquid sweetener. I just love the molasses my mum brought from our village.
Place all in a food processor, and mix. Be patient. Like, vacuum the house, have a shower, do yoga, go to the store to grab a loaf of bread for this yummy “Nutella” patient. Once it reaches the desired consistency, sit at the table, put on Netflix, and never ever feel guilty if the rest becomes a blur.
3. incredibly soft and delicious, carob brownies
Full of nutrition, including a good amount of fiber and iron. These are so very yummy, I have to warn you that you might not be able to stop at one slice. Home is where brownies are!
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch (60g)
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1 cup carob powder (I used the one brought from back home again, which is my favourite😋)
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp ashwagandha.
Mix, and bake for half an hour or so at 325°F- it was still too soft after 25 min so I let the tray sit in the oven for another 15 min, after turning the oven off. You don’t want it to be too stiff! It’s supposed to be a little on the soft side. I made the “chocolate” sauce with carob powder also: simply mix carob powder with some coconut oil, coconut sugar (or agave) and coconut milk and pour on the brownies. An alternative is to blend the carob powder with ground dates and water.
4. adaptogenic hazelnut crunch recipe
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup tahini. (I use Artisana brand, which is pricier but they have the cleanest ingredients and all their products are yummy!)
1 cup crumbled hazelnut (do not completely grind them)
a little more than 1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp chia seeds
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 tbsp maca.
Mix all really well, make a cookie or bite-size shapes, and place in the fridge for a full hour. You can then bake for around 15 minutes at 325°- I let them cool in the oven, so these hot babes actually lived through some heat themselves.
5. adaptogenic banana vanilla smoothie
Now, tell me if you think otherwise: This is the easiest and the most delicious protein smoothie, served with adaptogens for extra goodness. Again, my fellow flexible dieters out there, you will love to have this smoothie for breakfast, pre-workout, postworkout, on a Sunday while Netflix’ing. Just blend one serving of your favourite plant protein with a banana (frozen banana works best) until it reaches the desired consistency. Stop the blender a couple of times to spoon the scraps from the sides of the blender. This makes the smoothie even fluffier! Top it with cacao, maca, and cinnamon. In the summer I make the popsicle version of this which is as fun! If you like this recipe, have a look at the one below as well.
7. adaptogenic chocolate “pudding”
This is one of my absolute favourites when I watch my protein intake. Luckily, as an adult, I get to decide how much dessert I can have and when. Seriously, though: Seriously delicious, easiest to make, fabulous macros chocolate-pudding.
For this, you will just mix half a pack tofu (semi-firm) with 2 tsp of maca and 2-3 servings of your favourite chocolate protein powder. I used Orgain chocolate protein powder (again, use the code IVYCHAN on your first order!). You can add your sweetener of choice also, but I did not find it necessary. Ah, the entire world of adaptogens is ours! If you do decide to give any of these recipes a try, do let me know how you like them, and whether or not you experience the benefits of adaptogens as much as I do.
Editor’s note: The information in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programme.