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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

eat your medicine


My husband has a varicose vein running down one leg that concerns me. So, he now has a couple of pairs of men's compression leggings to wear under his work trousers, and I am also trying a couple of new herbs on him, hoping they help at least prevent the problem from growing worse.

I bought powdered herbs from The Bulk Herb Store, eleuthero root and butcher's broom and ginkgo. I also already had flax seed, chia seed and powdered psyllium seed from BHS, which I like to buzz up in my Magic Bullet into a fiber mix. Chia is left whole in this one, to scrape the gut and colon for a good cleanse as it passes through, and flax and psyllium are best ground or powdered for use as fiber.


 The plan is to make nut butter bites with the powdered herbs mixed in, so that my husband can easily grab one each morning from the fridge and eat his medicine. This is far from an original or new idea. Several sources and books on herbalism I know detail some variation of making herbal medicine balls, pills or candy, which are basically all some form of doughy base with ground herbs mixed in for ready consumption. Rosemary Gladstar has published several variations of this recipe, all a nut or seed butter base with herbs mixed in, in her book, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. These bites are a really great way to eat your medicine, along with a good dose of healthy gut fiber and fatty acids, and the recipe is so easy and so adjustable. Maybe all you want is a yummy nut butter snack that you can hand to a toddler without mess instantly going everywhere. I like to make non-medicinal peanut butter fiber bites with my two year old son, and he usually eats one or two a day.

Here is what I do.

2 Tbs fiber mix in the bottom of Kitchen Aid mixer bowl
approximately 1/2 c peanut butter on top
approximately 2 Tbs raw honey on top of that
2 Tbs mixed powdered herbs

Turn on the mixer with the flat wand (not the whisk) and mix on low until it forms a dough. Adjust texture as needed, by adding more nut butter or honey if it is too dry, or adding more ground matter. If you don't want to add more herbs or fiber, you can use milk powder or coconut flour.


Once you have a dough that sticks together well enough to form a ball without sticking to your hands, much like kids' playdough, divide up into balls of your desired size. I went with bite size balls. More particularly, I want my husband to consume 1/2 tsp of herbs each day, so I know I needed 12 balls: 2 Tbs = 6 tsp = 12 half tsp. Do your math as needed for your medicine quantity and frequency of dose.


Variations

Nut butters:
  • peanut 
  • almond 
  • cashew
  • tahini (sesame seed paste) with another nut butter
  • chickpea 
  • sunbutter (sunflower seeds) 
 Sweeteners, or nut alternatives:
  • honey
  • maple syrup (will need more powder to absorb)
  • date sugar (dried whole dates ground into a paste in the blender)
  • apricot sugar 
  • sticky banana sugar 
Flavorings:
  • cinnamon
  • allspice
  • nutmeg
  • powdered citrus peel
  • raisins or chopped dried fruits
  • chocolate chips
  • cocoa powder 
  • carob powder
  • coconut manna 
  • ground dried coconut flesh
Coatings:
  • cocoa powder
  • carob powder
  • dried milk powder
  • melted chocolate
  • finely chopped dates or apricots
  • ground dried coconut flesh

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