recipes

3 Delicious Recipes for a Happy, Healthy Heart—With Herbs We Love!

3 Delicious Recipes for a Happy, Healthy Heart—With Herbs We Love!
3 Delicious Recipes for a Happy, Healthy Heart—With Herbs We Love!
Recipes provided by Lily Holmberg, Gaia Herbs’ Director of Learning, dedicated home herbal enthusiast, herbal chef extraordinaire, and all-around plant fan!

February is all about showing love, to our partners, friends and family members, ourselves, our communities, our planet, not to mention our hearts. That’s why we’re sharing three tasty, indulgent recipes made with natural ingredients and herbs that nourish the heart physically and emotionally—and even help set the stage for a little romance.* Whether you make these sweets to treat yourself or others, they’re sure to bring heartfelt joy.

Salted Hawthorn & Rose Hot Cocoa

Makes 2 cups

Is there anything better than a steaming cup of hot cocoa on a cold night—or morning or afternoon? Yes... a piping cup with Rose and Hawthorn!

The earliest records poetically, and also it seems scientifically, declared the Hawthorn tree a symbol of love. Indeed, Hawthorn has been traditionally used across cultures as a heart tonic—to support the emotional heart, especially during times of loss and transition, as well as the physical heart muscle, helping to keep it functioning at its best.* Our Hawthorn Supreme formula contains a synergistic blend of Hawthorn berry, leaf, and flower. But to bake with Hawthorn, the berries are your best bet; they can be ordered online or purchased at your local health food store (you’ll usually find them whole and dried).

Cacao contains antioxidants and has long been used for heart support; it’s also traditionally regarded as an aphrodisiac.* Rose is traditionally used to support the emotional heart.* Fittingly, Hawthorn is in the plant family Rosaceae.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup organic Cacao powder
  • Big pinch Himalayan salt (or gray sea salt, red Alaea salt, or other salt you love in your spice rack)
  • Sweetener of choice (coconut palm sugar, agave, brown rice syrup, coconut sugar, cane sugar, date syrup, stevia, monk fruit, etc.)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2-1 tsp organic Rose powder, to taste
  • 1 heaping tsp organic Hawthorn berries

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together milk, Cacao, salt, sweetener, and vanilla in a small pan over medium heat. Whisk in Rose powder and continue whisking constantly, until both the Cacao and Rose powder are fully incorporated.
  2. Add Hawthorn berries and continue to whisk or stir, if stirring is easier after adding the berries.
  3. When the mixture starts bubbling, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors have infused, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust, adding more sweetener or salt as needed.
  4. Strain cocoa through a fine mesh sieve into mugs. Serve topped with sprinkles of Cacao and Rose powders.

Notes from Lily:

  • Any dairy or plant-based milk works with this recipe. Personally, I love oat milk for warm beverages.
  • If you have organic, food-grade rose petals on hand, these could be used in place of the rose powder (which can be purchased online; this brand is a favorite) and then strained out at the end with the Hawthorn berries.
  • When sweetening, start with a single teaspoon and adjust from there to your taste.

Maca–Miso Cookies

Small-batch recipe: Makes 1 dozen; 1 serving = 1 cookie

Move over classic peanut butter cookies, there’s a new sophisticated standard in town, elevated with the help of miso and Maca.

Maca is a tuberous root that grows in the high elevations of the Andes Mountains. It’s naturally caffeine-free and used to help maintain healthy energy levels (key now, since it can be difficult to stay motivated and keep up physical activity in these cold, dark months).* It has also been traditionally used to support a healthy libido, which is why you’ll find it in our men’s and women’s libido formulas.* At Gaia, our organic Maca is sustainably sourced from trusted Peruvian partners and gelatinized for easier digestion.*

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup organic Gaia Herbs Maca powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar, plus a spoonful or two for rolling
  • 1/8 cup miso (white, yellow, red, brown; use whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/8 cup peanut butter, or other nut butter of your choice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰F.
  2. Combine flour, Maca, baking soda, and baking powder in a food processor. Add butter, sugar, miso, nut butter, vanilla, and the egg. Pulse quickly a few times to bring the ingredients together, then a few longer pulses until the dough forms.
  3. Portion dough into 12 even balls, approximately 1-inch each. Dip and roll the top half of each ball in coconut sugar.
  4. Place balls on a baking sheet, sugar side up, and gently press down so the balls become thick, sugar-topped circles on the sheet.
  5. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until lightly browned.

Notes from Lily:

  • This recipe is a new take on traditional peanut butter cookies, with a deep, nuanced caramel and umami flavor. However, any nut butter works!
  • The cookies can be made gluten-free using a GF 1:1 flour blend.
  • Likewise, they can be made vegan by substituting vegan butter and using an egg replacer or flax egg.
  • Reminder: 1 serving = 1 cookie. Because the recipe contains Maca powder, be mindful of how much you consume at once.

Warming Turmeric Vitality Truffles

Vitality Truffles

Small-batch recipe: Makes 6-8 truffles

Who said truffles have to be chocolate? These are made with nuts, dates, seeds, and herbs and are designed to show the body and the taste buds some love.*

You’ve surely heard that Ginger can help support healthy digestion.* But did you know this herb and aromatic spice is also traditionally used to support the immune system and the heart, as it is believed to promote healthy circulation?* Likewise, Turmeric has been traditionally used to help maintain cardiovascular health and to support overall wellness.* Black pepper supports the bioavailability of Turmeric’s beneficial constituents such as curcuminoids, which is why you'll find it in many of our Turmeric formulas.*

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Brazil nuts
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2-1 inch organic Ginger, roughly chopped
  • 5 Medjool dates
  • 3 heaping tsp organic Turmeric powder
  • Several grinds black pepper, to taste
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut or Cacao nibs for rolling

Instructions:

  1. Add nuts, seeds, Ginger, and dates to a food processor and pulse until everything is pebbly and starting to hold together—let these ingredients get nicely ground up and sticky.
  2. Add Turmeric and black pepper and pulse until incorporated. Taste the dough. Add more Turmeric, Ginger, or black pepper if desired. If the dough isn’t sticky, add an extra date; if it’s dry, add an extra Brazil nut or teaspoon of sunflower seeds.
  3. Add coconut or cacao nibs to a small bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and then roll in coconut or cacao nibs (or both!).
  4. Refrigerate to solidify the truffles and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to enjoy.

Notes from Lily:

  • Don’t feel like you have to eat them right away. In fact, they’re even better the day after they’re made, once the Turmeric, Ginger, and black pepper have had some time to come together. Yum!
  • Turmeric is full of brightly pigmented plant compounds that offer wonderful support for the body, but it can stain kitchen surfaces and clothing, so be mindful when preparing.*
  • Brazil nuts are a fantastic natural source of selenium, but you can substitute ¼ cup of another nut you have on hand.
  • This is a small-batch recipe, but if you’re planning to give them away and spread the love, it can easily be doubled.

More Recipes for the Heart

Find additional heart-healthy seasonal recipes in our blog Homemade & From the Heart: Warming Winter Herbal Recipes for Self-Care & Gift-Giving.

Of course, these recipes aren’t just for the month of love/American Heart Month. Enjoy them and their beneficial ingredients all winter long—and beyond!

If you make any of these delicious treats, we hope you’ll share your results with us on Instagram or Facebook.

These recipes serve as alternative dosage regimens to supplement your diet and wellness routine.