One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my 15+ years of working with customers who want to get healthy using natural remedies: if something tastes gross to any degree, or is difficult to prepare (meaning it takes more than 30 seconds or requires special equipment) it’s going to sit there on the counter until someone gets around to throwing it away.
It doesn’t matter how amazing or effective it might be for healing whatever is ailing you, either; the sad truth is that most people would rather stay sick than drink something that tastes nasty.
This isn’t a judgment; it’s normal human response to discomfort. Sigmund Freud identified the tendency to seek out pleasure and avoid pain whenever possible, and called it the Pleasure Principle. It’s just how we’re wired. Be honest: how many people do you actually know who enjoy a raw dandelion greens smoothie.
Hopefully you will enjoy the following recipe way more than a dandelion greens smoothie. If you’re debating what to try first, dandelion greens or these Autumn Herbal Energy Bites, I would say DEFINITELY go with the latter. Not to say there’s anything wrong with dandelion.
Here are some of the health benefits of this recipe:
It contains herbs that are classified as adaptogens. This term means that it will lessen the impact of stress while strengthening basically every function of your body. Maca, astragalus, reishi, and ginseng are all adaptogens, and along with their ability to protect you from stress, each has its own unique benefits.
- Maca helps balance hormones in both men and women. It’s used to promote fertility, and help women ride through the hormonal changes of menopause. Men and women can use it to help build muscle during strength training and bodybuilding.
- Astragalus strengthens and supports the immune system. If you catch every cold that goes around, astragalus can help build immune resistance so that you stay healthier year round.
- Reishi is a medicinal mushroom that not only helps regulate the immune system, it also protects the health of the liver. The American Cancer Society states that medicinal mushrooms have antitumor benefits.
- Ginseng is a tonic for the immune system, heart, lungs, hormones, and digestion. Ginseng is associated with living a long and healthy life.
The fall spices are great for your digestion; the protein and good fats from the nut (or seed) butter and coconut oil are energizing, and the dried fruits contain lots of vitamins, iron and other minerals.
Snack on these whenever your energy starts dragging and you need to feel more alert. Keep some in your refrigerator at work for the lull between breakfast and lunch, or if you feel your eyelids growing heavy toward late afternoon.
You will need:
- 2 tablespoons Maca
- 1 tablespoon Astragalus powder
- 1 – 2 teaspoons Reishi powder
- 1 – 2 teaspoons Ginseng powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp ginger powder
- ¼ tsp clove powder
- ¼ tsp nutmeg powder
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil, melted
- ¾ cup peanut, almond, or sunflower seed butter
- ½ cup honey or to taste
- ¾ cup shredded coconut
- ¾ cup thinly sliced almonds
- ½ cup dried apple slices, chopped finely
- ½ cup dried sweetened cranberries
Blend all the powders together in one bowl, and make sure to crush any lumps so that everything blends up nicely. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil, nut or seed butter, and honey. When mixed, stir in the powdered ingredients, and then finally the coconut, almonds, and dried fruit.
Scoop a teaspoon of the mixture, and roll into 1” balls. Place them in a single layer on a dish and store in the refrigerator. If you like, you can roll them in coconut or finely chopped nuts for a finished look.
If you prefer to make this into bars, spread the mixture into a shallow baking dish in an even layer and refrigerate for 60 minutes. Slice into 2 inch squares, and enjoy any time you need a boost of quick energy.
Keep these in the refrigerator, and eat them within 7-10 days.
Feel free to substitute your favorite fruits, nuts, and spices, as well as adjusting the amount of sweetness. If the mixture needs to be firmer, add extra coconut. If it’s too dry, use more coconut oil or nut butter.
And if after all this, you still don’t like healthy flavors, there are always dandelion greens.