When life throws you a curve ball and you have no choice but to trudge through the rough spots in order to see the light of day again, there’s no better support than adaptogenic herbs and making sure to take time for ourselves each day by having a cup of tea, going for a walk, or getting comfy with a good book. These are all excellent ways to help shed stress and untangle our nerves.
Using herbs that help defend our bodies against chronic “fight or flight” mode is one key element to staying sane in this busy world we live in. They can help nourish us with vital nutrients, shield us from catastrophic recirculating thoughts, help us sleep better, and of course, ease the effects of stress.
One of my favorite ways to do this is by making a quick, easy, and tasty recipe to get those adaptogenic herbs in – Stress Support Date Balls!
Stress Support Date Ball Recipe
In case you’ve never heard of an “adaptogen”, allow me to enlighten you.
An adaptogen is a class of herbs which are defines as substances that help the body adapt to stressful situations while also normalizing our physiological state.
Sounds great to me! But here’s the thing, adaptogenic herbs don’t necessarily take away stress, they strengthen our resilience to it. This means that certain situations that used to leave you frayed around the edges will no longer have the same effect on your stress levels. You will instead be able to react much more calmly and with better mental clarity and calculation than you would have before.
This is what makes adaptogenic herbs so amazing!
Now, you can certainly use the tincture form of the herbs I’m about to list below, but I think it’s much more tasty and enjoyable to make my stress support date ball recipe because who doesn’t love a little mid-afternoon snack for a pick-me-up right? And these go well with tea.
Here’s what you’ll need to make my stress relief date balls:
Makes approximately 24 date balls
• 2 cups of your favorite nuts (I used a mixed nut medley)
• 2 cups soft medjool dates (if the dates are too dry you will need to soak them in boiling water for 10 minutes before use)
• 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• 2 TB coconut oil (use refined if you don’t like the flavor of coconut oil)
• 2 TB maca powder
• 2 TB ashwagandha powder
• 1 TB shatavari powder
• 1 tsp vanilla extract or ground vanilla bean powder
• ½ teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan salt
• A food processor (I use this one)
• A baking tray that can fit in your freezer
These can be added as you like to the actual date ball dough or used as a topping to roll them in.
• Cacao nibs
• Cacao powder
• Chia seeds or other seeds like pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds, etc.
• Chopped nuts
• Dried fruit like apple, apricot, cranberry, etc.
• Lemon, lime, or orange zest
• Other powdered herbs like turmeric, rose petal, matcha tea, etc.
• PB2 or PBFit
• Powdered fruits like raspberry, strawberry, etc.
• Pumpkin Spice
• Rolled oats or granola
• Your favorite protein powder
Loving Preparation – Stress Support Date Ball Recipe
1. Begin by making sure your medjool dates are nice and gooey. If they aren’t, your finished date balls will be too crumbly and won’t hold their shape. To remedy this, simply submerge the dates in boiling water for 10 minutes then drain well before use.
4. Process until you get a nice uniform “batter” that holds together well when formed into a ball.
5. Use a tablespoon measure to carefully scoop out some mixture to make uniform balls.
6. Place them on a baking tray that you can fit in the freezer.
7. If desired, you can roll the balls in whatever “toppings” you like. I’ve listed a bunch of optional additions above that you can use for this.
8. Once your date balls are formed and lined up nicely on your baking sheet, toss them in the freezer to chill for 1 hour.
9. You can either keep them stored in a sealed container in the fridge or in the freezer to keep them fresh.
10. Eat one a day for one dose of adaptogenic stress relieving herbs.
Why These Ingredients Work for Stress Relief
Aside from the healthy fats and energy boosting sugar provided by the nuts, coconut oil, and dates, these date balls have a little something else up their sleeve – adaptogenic herbs!
I’ve written about the amazing properties of ashwagndha before, but suffice to say that this handy dandy little root makes for an excellent restorative tonic for those experiencing nervous exhaustion. I especially like it for its stress relieving, hormone balancing, and slightly warming properties. You can get the ashwagandha powder I use here.
Maca is the perfect example of an adaptogenic herb in the sense that it flourishes in tough conditions where no other crops can grow. In fact, not even weeds can grow where maca root is cultivated so if that doesn’t scream stress resistance I don’t know what does!
Maca root grows more 14,000 feet (4,300m) above sea level in the Andean highlands of Peru where temperatures rarely exceed 60 degrees Fahrenheit and are often below freezing. It is this resilient root that despite how tough things get, perseveres and offers deeply supportive properties that increase energy and stamina, balance hormones, and reduce stress and anxiety.
I recommend using a gelatinized form of maca root because it’s much easier to digest and assimilate. This is because the tough fibers of the root have been removed which improves absorption.
Shatavari is an amazing herb for those who need a nutritive immune support tonic, but that’s certainly not all this relative to asparagus is good for.
Shatavari is known to:
• Balance female hormones
• Have a soothing effect on the digestive tract
• Increase milk supply for breastfeeding mothers
• Moisten and nourish the respiratory system
• Promote healthy energy levels and stamina
• Support a healthy male and female reproductive system
This is the shatavari powder I use.
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