Article, Recipes and Photographs by Renee Byrd (@willfrolicforfood)
Entertaining with Hemp-Infused Mocktails and Snacks
Anytime I have a gathering of friends I’ve gotten into the habit of serving a mocktail and some sort of epic snack. I love an elaborate-looking spread that’s actually incredibly simple. And if I can sneak some supportive herbs and tonics into the mix, all the better!
I’ve been loving adding Hemp extract to my own treats throughout the week — from lattes to cookie dough to savory dips and everything in-between. Many people never think to add liquid herbal extracts to food and drink. But, hey, we invest so much into our herbal rituals — why not make them delicious?
I recently whipped up this blueberry lavender lemonade — sweetened with honey — for a get-together and I couldn’t resist adding some Gaia Herbs Full Spectrum Hemp extract to each glass. Pairing lavender and Hemp extract seemed like a match made in heaven.* It was the perfect herbal mocktail to serve at the end of a long week.
This lavender lemonade is sweetly aromatic, soothing, tangy and fruity. I love it so much I’ll make a giant jar of it for myself to drink throughout the week — adding drops of Hemp extract to individual servings as needed. I’ve packed it for car-camping trips, festivals and picnics. The color alone is stunning — a real crowd pleaser.
The last time I served this lemonade at a gathering I also made some avocado boats with hemp-infused chèvre. When you plate a bunch of gorgeous avocado halves with crumbly cheese, herbs, flowers and spices be prepared for oohs and ahs from your friends. It looks very fancy but it takes all of 5 minutes to prep.
Because Gaia Herbs Hemp Extract is full spectrum, the herbaceous flavor is very bright and green. Personally, I think cheese and herbs are a great match for that flavor profile. A bit of acid and plenty of other green flavors help to tone down the flavor of herby Hemp extract. Whipping Hemp extract into a soft, crumbly cheese is a great way to throw together an amped-up appetizer in a pinch. You’ll definitely impress your herbalist friends!
Blueberry Lavender Lemonade with Gaia Herbs Full Spectrum Hemp Extract
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins (or longer for stronger tea infusion
Makes: 8-10 cups lemonade
Notes: This is a very tart-sweet lemonade. If you prefer a milder flavor use up to 1/2 cup less lemon juice and add more sweetener to taste. I used the 10mg/mL Gaia Herbs Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, which means it has 10mg of cannabinoids per 1mL serving (1 dropperful). Gaia Herbs Full Spectrum Hemp Extract is added to a base of hemp oil and coconut MCT oil. Hemp extracts should not be used if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or under 18.
- 2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (10-12 large lemons)
- 4 cups water
- 4 tbsp dried lavender buds
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 30 drops (1 dropperful) Gaia Herbs Full Spectrum Hemp Extract (10mg/mL)
- 2-4 cups Ice
- Optional: Sparkling water
- Garnish: more Blueberries and pinch lavender
- Add lemon juice to a large pitcher.
- Add 4 cups water to a sauce pot and add lavender buds, setting over high heat and covering. Bring just to a simmer, then turn off heat, stir in honey and let steep 5 min up to an hour (a longer steep = stronger lavender flavor). The warmth of the tea will "melt" the honey into the water so that it blends well into the final drink.
- Once steeped, strain the sweet tea into a vessel (if still hot) or right into your pitcher (if cool). If the tea is still hot let it cool to room temp before adding to your pitcher. You can always add ice to the tea to speed up the cooling process.
- Combine the lemon juice and tea, stirring it all together. Add 1 cup frozen blueberries and enough ice to fill the pitcher to the top. I usually add some of the squeezed lemon halves back to the pitcher, but it’s not required.
- Taste and adjust sweetness or dilute the mix to your taste with water or more ice.
- To serve, add 30 drops (1 dropperful) of Gaia Herbs Full Spectrum Hemp Extract (10mg/mL) to each serving glass, top with lemonade and garnish with blueberries. Top with sparkling water if you want some fizz. Enjoy!
Avocado Boats with Hemp-Infused Chèvre
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Makes: 10 servings (1/2 avocado per person)
- 5 large avocados, halved and pits removed
- Juice 1/2 lime
- 5 oz chèvre (goat cheese) or unflavored dairy-free cream cheese
- 5 full droppers Gaia Herbs Full Spectrum Hemp Extract (10mg/mL)
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters
- Handful fresh herbs, chopped: I used basil, parsley, fennel
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Arrange halved avocados on your serving dish. Squeeze lime juice over top.
- In a medium bowl, crumble chèvre (or dairy-free cream cheese) and mix in 5 droppers of Gaia Herbs Full Spectrum Hemp Extract (10mg/mL), tomatoes and chopped herbs.
- Scoop the herbed chèvre into the divots in each avocado.
- Top with salt and pepper and serve chilled.
Renee Byrd is a photographer, writer, blogger and yoga teacher based out of Charlottesville, VA. She is the creator and voice of Will Frolic for Food (est. 2012), a food and lifestyle blog celebrating the joy of eating and living vibrantly. Expressing her love for healthy creative food, herbalism, mindfulness and self-care through her blog, Renee posts everything from recipes to lifestyle guides. She creates full time both by maintaining her blog and doing commissioned work for clients. Her recipes and work have been featured by Better Homes and Gardens, Thrive Magazine, The Kitchn, Urban Outfitters, Self Magazine, Shape Magazine, Alive Magazine, The Local Palate and many more. Renee’s days consist of boat-loads of herbal tea, a fair amount of coffee, teaching and practicing yoga, gathering herbs from the garden, cooking, shooting, styling and editing from her home studio. When she’s not working she loves to dance, eat delicious food, host low key dinner gatherings, paddle board and goof around with her husband.