If you don’t know about adaptogens are, don’t worry! They’re relatively new to the western world, plus there is a whole slew of herbs and substances that fall under the adaptogenic umbrella.

Adaptogenic herbs (adaptogens) are simply plant-based products used in medicinal fashion. In fact, many of these plants have been used for thousands of years in ancient medicinal practices such as Ayurveda and Chinese medicines. Adaptogens focus on the body’s stress response, referring to the natural human response to urgent situations in which the cortisol hormone is released.

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Why do we need to address a natural bodily response? Per the American Psychological Association, “one-third of Americans are living with extreme stress,” which manifests in “health problems, poor relationships and lost productivity at work.” Long-term elevated cortisol levels “can affect every physiological system in your body, including your thyroid and adrenal glands.”

Adaptogens seek to “balance, restore, and protect the body.” They focus on a whole-body function approach to healing by normalizing physiological functions. While each adaptogen or group of adaptogens treat particular health issues, the entire family of adaptogenic herbs have been known to boost immunity and brain function and provide a great source of antioxidants.

Try these 15 adaptogenic recipes from the Food Monster App to get started!

1. Tulsi Chai Concentrate

Source: Tulsi Chai Concentrate

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Holy Basil is a “powerful antioxidant with demonstrated antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties,” which makes it a wonderful adaptogen. This recipe by Courtney West will result in a quick, powerful, and spicy concentrate to use for your very own DIY chai and chai lattes. With a mixture of powerful spices including cloves, anise, allspice, and peppercorn, this may be your new favorite concentrate!

2. Chaga Mushroom Tea

Source: Chaga Mushroom tea (Chai and Vanilla)

Chaga mushroom can be consumed either in its raw form or via the traditional adaptogenic way in tea, such as this Chaga Mushroom Tea recipe by Jesse Lane Lee. Plus, Jesse has offered up two varieties of this chaga-rich recipe: chai chaga mushroom tea with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, anise, and black pepper, for that spicy chai flavor and vanilla chaga mushroom tea with vanilla stevia.

3. Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups

Source: Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups

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Maca is hitting the western world like a whirlwind, which means it’s easy to find at your local health food store. It also means that wonderful ingredient is easy to find and cook with. This also means that there are creative minds conjuring wonderful ways to use this adaptogen, such as these hibiscus and maca inspired chocolate cups by Stephanie McKinnie. They are not only delicious but also super simple!

4. Strawberry Maca Milkshake

Source: Strawberry Maca Milkshake

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Maca is so wonderful, I had to put it on here twice! From delightful marzipan to Olivia Budgen‘s sweetly satisfying Strawberry Maca Milkshake, this adaptogen can adapt effortlessly. Along with the potassium-rich banana, fiber-rich dates, and vitamin C-rich strawberries, maca root offers a rich source of phytonutrients, free-form fatty acids — such as “lauric, linolenic, palmitic acid, oleic, and steric acid” — all eight essential amino acids (plus an additional 12 more amino acids) and a host of vitamins and minerals.

5. Goji Berry and Ginger Smoothie

Source: Goji Berry And Ginger Soothie

This sweet and savory smoothie by Nikki and Zuzana uses the delicate, rich, and luxurious flavors of goji berries (one of my favorite adaptogens!) coconut, banana, and vanilla, along with a bit of savory ginger! Plus, it’s a raw recipe, which means you’re getting one hundred percent of the nutrients and health benefits from this wonderful adaptogen.

6. Raw Raspberry Licorice Mini Cakes

Source: Raw Raspberry Licorice Mini Cakes

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Natalie Yonan‘s delightful Raw Raspberry Licorice Mini Cakes aren’t simply a decadent and nutrient-rich treat, but they are also rich in healthy sourced fats and licorice root, one of the most powerful adaptogens. Licorice root also referred to as sweet root, is wildly popular in sweet recipes, but is also known for its medicinal benefits including soothing and healing gastrointestinal issues, treating respiratory problems, and even reducing stress. 

7. Healing Turmeric Smoothie

Source: Healing Turmeric Tea

This Healing Turmeric Smoothie offers an anti-inflammatory one-two-three punch with turmeric powder, ginger powder, and ginseng powder. In this recipe, we’ll focus on ginseng, a powerful ingredient containing adaptogenic compounds ginsenosides and gintonin. Ginseng is mostly used to fight fatigue, which is why this creamy, earthy, and slight sweet smoothie by Marquis Matson is the perfect breakfast or mid-day snack.

8. Chocolate Reishi Latte

Chocolate Reishi Latte/One Green Planet

Using mushrooms in a latte may seem bit strange, but in reality, it’s one of the most delicious and healthy ways to consume adaptogenic mushrooms! Along with raw cacao powder, another adaptogen, healthy fat filled coconut butter, and dairy-free almond milk, this latte by Maria and Alyssa Tosoni, energizes, satisfies, and balances your body for the day.

9. Lion’s Mane Mushroom ‘Liver’ and Onions

Source: Lion’s Mane Mushroom ‘Liver’ and Onions

This hearty mushroom (and powerful adaptogen!) has been likened to sea-food, making it a great meatless substitute in vegan recipes. This Lion’s Mane Mushroom ‘Liver’ and Onions by Wicked Healthy uses a slew of powerfully flavored plant-based ingredients such as onion, garlic, beet juice, and potatoes to replicate an age-old liver recipe.

10. Maitake Mushroom Sandwich with French Onion Soup Dip

Source: Maitake Mushroom Sandwich with French Onion Soup Dip

Humans are obsessed with dipping food and this French onion recipe doesn’t disappoint! Maitake Mushroom Sandwich with French Onion Soup Dip recipe by Carla Rendon and Jessica Ruiz is the perfect use of this hearty mushroom. If you’re itching for a bit of healthy gluttony, this is your recipe! In just under an hour, you’ll turn this adaptogen into a satisfying feast!

11. Blackened Maitake Steaks

Source: Blackened Maitake Steaks

It’s just too good to use only once on this list of adaptogenic recipes! Another maitake mushroom-based Wicked Healthy recipe, these blackened mushroom steaks are incredibly dietary friendly as they are dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, wheat-free, refined sugar-free, and soy-free, plus low in carbs. With just seven all-natural and fresh ingredients and in under an hour, this may be your next go-to adaptogenic dinner recipe!

12. Raw Chocolate Energy Bars

Source: Raw Chocolate Energy Bars

Raw cacao is a must-have in any kitchen, no matter if you’re vegan, vegetarian, or a plant-based dieter! Cooking, baking, or whipping together a raw recipe with raw cacao is super simple and, for newbies, it’s pretty hard to mess up! For example, this Raw Chocolate Energy Bar recipe by Sirke Reivo is protein-rich, dairy-free, packed full of that adaptogenic raw cacao, and is done in just three steps.

13. Shiitake Mushroom Soft Tacos

Source: Shiitake Mushroom Soft Tacos

These Shiitake Mushroom Soft Tacos by Shanna Laychuk use four whole cups of shiitake mushrooms. To put that in nutritional perspective, just one cup of cooked shiitake offers over 2 grams of protein, over 3 grams of dietary fiber, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, folate, choline, and a healthy dose of magnesium, phosphorous, and selenium.

14. 4-Ingredient Raw Aloe Vera Brownies

Source: 4-Ingredient Raw Aloe Vera Brownies

Never knew you could actually consume aloe vera? This is a great way to start! Lia Ryerson‘s 4-Ingredient Raw Aloe Vera Brownies not only provide a great way to ingest this wonderful adaptogen, but they also use healthy fat filled sunflower seeds and adaptogenic raw cacao. Aloe Vera is both an adaptogen and a superfood that contains “vitamin B-12 and folate,” as well as an array of “essential minerals, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, chromium, sodium, copper, zinc, and selenium.”

15. Raw Superfood Chocolate

Source: Raw Superfood Chocolate

Think of this recipe as the super-powered adaptogen meal. This Raw Superfood Chocolate recipe by Emily Von Euw uses four adaptogens including raw cacao, maca, goji berries, and reishi mushrooms. Mixed with some healthy fat filled coconut butter and a dose of sweet coconut nectar (or your choice of sweetener), this is one amazingly healing and body empowering treats you can have on hand!

For a host of other adaptogen-recipe, we highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!