So we have been mixing up some delicious herbal candy balls around here lately. It is one of the best ways to get herbs into children, and well, adults too. Why should it feel like duty when it can be pure pleasure? The basic recipe comes from Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes For Vibrant Health and more recently we have been very much inspired by Rosalee de la Foret's Stress Support Ball recipe available at Herbmentor. So, after much tweaking we have our gut healing, allergen free version for the kids and an adaptogenic chocolate concoction for my adrenal health. Mix up a batch, substitute for your own needs, and enjoy at least 3 a day!
Basic Candy Balls:
3/4 cup tahini
1/2 c sunflower butter (or almond if nuts are not an issue)
a generous 1/2 c raw honey
1 t cinnamon (we omit this and use more of the other two spices)
1 t nutmeg (find nutmeg boring? grate your own! the rich, heady flavor is superior to pre-ground)
1 t ground cardamom (sometimes we add ginger as well)
1 T coconut oil (sneak in a little good fat wherever you can!)
a little less than a 1/4 c of carob (you could use cocoa)
1 1/2 c powdered herbs
nuts, seeds, or ground dried fruit can also be added as you like
Our herb choices for this particular recipe were intended to sooth and heal mucous membranes, intestines specifically, and aid immunity for those with food allergies. I do not use exact amounts, but I will try to estimate...
1/2 c slippery elm
1/2 c astragalus root
1/4 c finely ground flax seeds
My herb blend is more for energy and supporting my adrenals.
1/2 c ashwagandha
1/2 c shatavari (a great choice for lactating moms)
1/2 c spirulina
Place tahini, nut butter, honey, coconut oil, and spices in a 2qt saucepan. Warm gently, just enough to soften the ingredients so they can be mixed. Remove from heat and add all other ingredients, stirring until well mixed. Use a tsp size portion to roll into a ball, and then roll in shredded coconut, cocoa, or crushed walnuts.
Most of these herbs have bitter/sweet flavor profiles so they blend well with the nut butters and spices. The point is not to completely mask the flavor of the herbs (we want to taste them) but compliment them and make it fun. Roots like burdock and dandelion work well and are exceptional when mixed in a "Chai Ball". I think a straight spirulina ball is delicious, too.
This is a great project to do with kids (herbal clay!) to get them involved in their health and herbalism, not to mention it is much more fun to eat something you have made yourself. So scavenge the pantry and get some herbs, and get rollin'!