Did you know there’s a powerful herbal medicine chest in your kitchen?
Imagine being prepared for that next cold, scrape, headache, digestive issue, stressful day, or sleepless night with simple ingredients from your cupboard. Instead of pills, reach for: Cinnamon Tea to soothe your throat . . . Garlic Hummus to support your immune system . . . Ginger Lemon Tea for cold and flu symptoms . . . Cayenne Salve to relieve sore muscles . . . Cardamom Chocolate Mousse Cake for heart health . . . A glass of Spiced Cold Brew Coffee as a powerful antioxidant . . .
Alchemy of Herbs by herbalist Rosalee de la Forêt, will show you how to transform common ingredients into foods and remedies that heal. What were once every day flavorings will become your personal kitchen apothecary. While using herbs can often seem complicated or costly, this book offers a way to learn that’s as simple and inexpensive as cooking dinner.
You’ll understand how to match the properties of each plant to your own unique needs, for a truly personalized approach to health for you and your family. In addition to offering dozens of inspiring recipes, Rosalee examines the history and modern-day use of 29 popular herbs, supporting their healing properties with both scientific studies and in-depth research into herbal energetics.
One common roadblock on the path to health is that many people assume a “healthy” life is a boring life, devoid of their favorite pleasures. But that is far from the truth, especially when it comes to herbs and spices. Eating pleasurable food that is filled with nutrients and antioxidants that keep you feeling great is what transforming your health should look like. And this book is filled with recipes to do just that.
Chocolate lovers can celebrate this exceptionally dark chocolate mousse cake. Each bite slowly melts in your mouth while the cardamom spice enlivens the senses. This is Rosalee’s family’s go-to dessert recipe for potlucks. If you don’t have a double boiler, fill a pot with 1 to 2 inches of water and place a tight-fitting bowl over the top.
Yield: 1 9-inch cake, approximately 16 small servings (or 8 large servings)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup coconut oil
½ cup honey
½ cup cocoa powder (plus extra, for garnish)
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
1 Tbs. cardamom powder
2 Tbs. vanilla extract
Sliced almonds, for garnish (optional)
This is Rosalee’s go-to recipe for a quick snack that she can bring to the lake on a hot summer’s day or a last-minute appetizer for a potluck. It’s easy to whip up and full of flavor. She likes to serve it with veggies like carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, and celery sticks. It also goes well with bread and crackers.
Yield: 2 ½ cups
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas
½ cup tahini
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
4 garlic cloves, mashed and minced
2 tsp. cumin powder
2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. smoked (or regular) paprika powder, plus extra for sprinkling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
One of Rosalee’s favorite recipes from herbalist Rosemary Gladstar is her recipe for the “Perfect Cream.”
This may be the most complicated recipe in the book, but if you love decadent and nourishing facial creams, learning how to make them yourself will open a whole new world of luxury. Most facial creams you can buy at the store—even the “all natural” ones—have all sorts of weird ingredients. This cream is filled with the best and most nourishing ingredients for your skin.
Many of the ingredients in this recipe are oddly shaped, so you will need a scale to measure by weight.
Because this cream doesn’t have any harsh preservatives, make sure you use clean utensils, bowls, blenders, etc. Also, make sure all instruments are dry; you don’t want to put any water in the mixture since this can increase the likelihood it will spoil. In many years of making this recipe, I’ve had only one batch ever go bad on me. You can tell a batch has spoiled if you see mold growing on the cream.
Jojoba oil is very luxurious. It is shelf stable, and it readily soaks into your skin. It’s also expensive. Almond oil, grapeseed oil, and apricot kernel oil will all also work.
Here’s a tip for an easy cleanup; Wipe down all oily surfaces with a paper towel before using hot, soapy water to wash them.
Yields: 1 ½ cups
1 cup jojoba oil
30 grams green tea leaves
10 grams dried rose petals
1 gram alkanet root (optional; turns the oil red to make a pink cream)
20 grams beeswax
25 grams coconut oil
20 grams shea butter
1/3 cup rose hydrosol
1/3 cup aloe vera gel
1 tsp. rosemary antioxidant extract
15 drops geranium essential oil (optional)
10 drops grapefruit essential oil (optional)
8 drops clary sage essential oil (optional)