You’ve probably been hearing the words ‘adaptogenic’ and ‘adaptogens’ being thrown around lately in the world of health and wellness, but what the hell do they mean anyway? What are adaptogens? Well, adaptogens come in all weird and wonderful forms such as mushrooms, roots, and herbs that are available to purchase as powders, tinctures, and capsules. Adaptogens help the body to adapt to stressors and restore homeostasis (balance) promoting stabilisation of all physiological processes. Simply put, they help you to keep both your mind and body in check; reducing inflammation, anxiety, stress, insomnia and boosting mental clarity, focus, menstrual/hormonal health, energy levels, and even sports performance and recovery. But, there’s a little bit of a drawback – most adaptogens taste pretty bitter and aren’t so easy to consume, which is why I came up with this sweet and velvety hormone balancing Adaptogenic Activated Nut and Seed Butter.
This hormone balancing Adaptogenic Activated Nut and Seed Butter uses maca, mucuna, and ashwagandha to fight oxidative stress, energise, and calm the mind.
DISCLAIMER: Please note, I was sent some wonderful goodies from Indigo Herbs, and paid real money, to create a delicious recipe for you all. All opinions are my own and 100% honest. For more info scroll to the bottom of this post.
I’ve been seed cycling recently in an attempt to balance out my post 35 years old hormonal glitches so I thought I’d include a little bit of information about seed cycling and adaptogens in case that this helps any other of my fellow ladies out there but first of all here’s a little note on why you should activate your nuts and seeds…
Why Activate Your Nuts and Seeds?
Okay, there are about a million jokes floating around my head right now but I’m going to pretend I’m not a complete child already. Activating nuts is simply a process of soaking them and allowing them to germinate then drying them out at low temperatures to mimic sun drying them as our ancestors did. In fact, a lot of cultures still do this today and it’s not just some daft hipster trend. It results in a more nutrient and enzyme-rich end product that’s easier to digest and also super light and crispy – not dense and heavy at all. The process of soaking also removes phytic acid and other anti-nutrients that damage the lining of the gut and prevent the absorption of key nutrients. So, although it may sound utterly ridiculous, and an arduous process, it’s actually pretty simple, super tasty, and loaded with nutrients so when I get the chance I always activate my nuts and seeds.
Seed Cycling for Hormonal Health
Flaxseeds/linseeds and pumpkin seeds are a super-rich source of lignans, phytoestrogen compounds, that positively affect hormone-related problems and help to naturally produce estrogen in the body. Flax and pumpkin seeds are great for helping the body to prepare the uterine lining for implantation, balancing estrogen levels and boosting fertility. It’s advised to consume 1-2 tablespoons of each from days 1-15 of your cycle, known as the follicular phase or ‘new to the full moon’. Day 1 counts as the 1st day of your period and day 15 being right through to ovulation. You can also supplement with omega-3s and tonic herbs such as Dong Quai at this time.
Sesame and sunflower seeds promote progesterone production which, unlike the follicular phase, is the dominant hormone of the luteal phase. Both are super high in zinc and vitamin E which are precursors to progesterone production. It’s advised to consume 1-2 tablespoons of each from days 16-30 of your cycle, the day after ovulation until just before your period starts again. It’s a great idea to supplement with evening primrose oil at this time along with progesterone promoting tonic herbs such as chasteberry.
But, it’s not just seeds that are great for hormonal health which is why I’ve included walnuts into the mix. Walnuts contain heaps of magnesium, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B6 which all help to regulate your hormone levels for a healthier menstrual cycle. The cashews used in the nut and seed butter, however, are just there for helping to balance out the flavour and create a little bit of added creaminess.
Adaptogens for Hormonal Health
There are so many adaptogens in the world that can help with hormonal health but I’ve included my 3 favourite ones in this nut and seed butter:
- Maca Root – Maca can help your body to adapt to stressful situations that life throws at you which often results in your body’s hormone production being thrown out of balance, which is actually what causes hormonal symptoms in the first place. Maca is also great for increasing libido, alleviating menopausal symptoms, and improving mood. It has a nutty but sort of earthy yet toffee like taste to it.
- Mucuna Pruriens – Mucuna contains L-Dopa which is a precursor to dopamine. Dopamine is essential to elevating mood, boosting brain function and increasing mental clarity. Mucuna also promotes a night of restful sleep and overall well-being so kiss goodbye to evil PMS mood swings! It has an earthy, and bitter chocolate like taste to it with maybe a sort of hint of vanilla to it.
- Ashwagandha – Ashwagandha fights off oxidative stress and improves your overall resistance to both emotional and physical stress. It’s great for boosting low libido, supporting healthy testosterone levels and can leave you feeling energised, with better mental clarity, and reduced anxiety. It has a very bitter and almost astringent, grass-like taste to it. It’s my least favourite tasting adaptogen but has some of the best properties.
I also included cinnamon in the mix because it tastes super delicious but it also helps to balance out your blood sugar and avoid any midday energy slumps. If you choose to use coconut sugar don’t expect the nut butter to be super sweet but at the same time do not omit this ingredient. If you’re currently following a keto diet then erythritol works really well instead. To increase the sweetness you could double up the sugar but instead, I’d advise using a few dashes of stevia powder instead as I’ve noted in my recipe.
Don’t be put off by the long prep time – it’s essentially all soaking and drying time for your nuts and seeds and actually takes about 20 minutes of blending if that to make. If you’re wondering how to use it just slather it over your morning toast, dip apple slices into, and even add a tablespoon to milk of your choice then warm and froth for a nutrient boosted latte. Anyway, enough of my rambling here’s the delicious recipe!
Looking for some more adaptogenic recipe inspo using Indigo Herbs products? Why not try my Perfect Adaptogenic Protein Shake or Salted Caramel Lion’s Mane Magnums? Oh, and if you want to keep up to date with my deliciousness then sign up for my newsletter and I’ll love you forever – who am I kidding? I already do!
- 150g/1 cup organic raw cashews
- 150g/1½ cups organic raw walnuts
- 150g/1 cup organic pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- Cold filtered water
- A batch of activated nuts and seeds (see above)
- 2 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil
- 2 tbsp cold-pressed flax oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla powder
- ¼ cup powdered coconut sugar or erythritol
- 2 tbsp organic cinnamon powder
- 2 tbsp maca powder
- 2 tbsp mucuna pruriens powder
- 2 tbsp ashwagandha powder
- A few dashes stevia powder (optional)
- Start by soaking your nuts and seeds in a large non-metal bowl with your sea salt and filtered water. Pour enough water to leave a couple of inches of water covering them. Also, ensure you leave an inch or so from the top of the bowl as the nuts and seeds will expand as they absorb the water. Leave to soak for 8 to 10 hours then thoroughly rinse with cold water. Shake any excess water off and dehydrate in the oven or a dehydrator at 50°C/120°F or less until dried throughout - another 8-12 hours or so.
- Next, add all of your nuts to the bowl of your food processor followed by your oils and vanilla extract. Pulse a few times and blend until the nuts start to come together into a thick paste. This could take around 10 minutes. Scrape down the sides and keep processing until the mixture thins out then add the remaining ingredients and blend until super smooth. Decant into clean jars and store in a cool cupboard out of sunlight for up to 2 months.
For a thicker and more spreadable nut butter use 2-3 tbsp of oil in total.
Disclaimer: Please note that this is a sponsored post. This means that I was sent free products and compensated in return for an amazingly delicious recipe for you all. Any payment I receive I use to purchase more ingredients and equipment to keep this blog up and running, and most importantly to keep creating quality content for you all. I am not an affiliate of Indigo Herbs and any purchases you make via them I will not be compensated for. I am not influenced by the company in any way and all opinions, ramblings, and thoughts are my own and 100% honest. If you’d like to know more, feel free to contact me.