Vibrant Botanicals

Transformational Recipes Using Adaptogens & Other Healing Herbs [A Cookbook]

About the Book

70+ nourishing recipes using adaptogens, herbs, and botanicals to heal, energize, and calm.

“With unique and enticing recipes, Jennifer McGruther shows readers how easy it is to welcome healing herbs into their homes and food traditions.”—Rosalee de la Forêt, author of Alchemy of Herbs and Wild Remedies

When used properly, plants provide a wealth of healing powers. Adaptogens (plant extracts that help the body adapt to stress) and herbs are some of the most potent sources of such energy and immunity—plus they have a host of additional health benefits. Cookbook author and blogger Jennifer McGruther of Nourished Kitchen expertly guides readers through the properties of herbal energetics and how to gain the most from these dynamic sources. Jennifer explains each function and application, and how to extract their benefits into tinctures, infused oils, teas and tisanes, vinegars, and more. And while store-bought adaptogenic powders and elixirs from popular retailers may be a hefty investment, Jennifer’s creations cost only a few dollars to make at home.

Vibrant Botanicals provides more than 70 recipes for helping you feel your best when using herbal infusions. You’ll discover how cacao and licorice naturally awaken the body and can be incorporated into granolas, beverages, and breakfasts to jump-start your day. Garlic, astragalus, reishi, and more are showcased in homemade broth and fire cider to help build immunity; while passionflower, ashwagandha, and chamomile are mixed into creamy milk blends and teas to ensure peaceful sleep.

Whether you are looking to fortify digestion, lift your spirits, or just enjoy a good night’s rest, Vibrant Botanicals provides the natural solution, through nourishing and herbal-rich recipes.
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Praise for Vibrant Botanicals

“Herbs are literally the spice of life. They provide vitality, energy, healing—and all in a package that not only provides zing, pop, and flavor but supports digestion, mood, and immunity. Jennifer’s gorgeous cookbook takes the mystery out of using herbs as part of your daily life and gives you the recipes that take them from farm to table, while making your food your medicine; and your medicine, delicious food.”—Aviva Romm, MD, herbalist and author of Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health

“What joy to have an herbal cookbook that combines medicine with pleasure through vibrant, tempting recipes that cater to both body and palate. Jennifer McGruther transports us through the seasons with warming herbs for winter and cooling ones for summer, along with kitchen tips for boosting our spirits, calming our nerves, and staying healthy all year.”—Darra Goldstein, founding editor of Gastronomica and author of Beyond the North Wind

“I’ve always thought of herbs as the lively Border Collies of the food world that can make a vegetable or a fruit go in this or that direction—which they can and do. But this book by Jennifer McGruther goes so much further into the realm of herbs that I am truly humbled. Vibrant Botanicals is exactly that—vibrant plants—and the photographs are equally vibrant (and gorgeous!).”—Deborah Madison, author of In My Kitchen and Vegetable Literacy

“Kitchen medicine is the best medicine. The more herbs you can get into each meal, the better! Vibrant Botanicals is the perfect companion to help you do just that—infuse your food with flavorful healing herbs that dish up health at every meal. From popular standards such as fire cider and turmeric milk to healing elixirs that boost immunity and nourish brain health, these recipes are full of seasonal wisdom and delicious inspiration. This is a gorgeous book destined to inspire nourishing culinary culture for you and your loved ones.”—Kami McBride, author of The Herbal Kitchen
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Vibrant Botanicals


Growing up, I had a fascination with plants. I sipped sweet honeysuckles freshly plucked from the vine, nibbled on violets and dandelions, and sampled the herbal tisanes an elderly neighbor brewed. Each herb resonated for me on an energetic level. They spoke to my hunger for nature, connection, and deep nutrition.

Later, I began growing my own herbs: I tended terra-cotta pots filled with odd mints, speckled sages, lemon thyme, purple basil, and rose geraniums. Feverfew and chamomile grew like tiny daisies in the garden alongside angelica, valerian, anise hyssop, lavender, and unruly bushes of rosemary. By the time my oldest son turned four, he could recognize a few dozen plants by their leaves alone. In spring, we’d head to the woods to gather nettles, wild rose, and self-heal. Then in fall, we’d pick rosehips and cinnamon-capped bolete mushrooms.

Herbs are essential in our kitchen, and they satisfy a genuine hunger for connection. More than just satisfying flavor, herbs hold a profound and transformational power, tapping into your body’s innate healing wisdom. Moving with intention and grace, you can harness these properties to support immunity, ease a headache, boost your energy on drowsy mornings, or help you relax on restless evenings. When used as an adjunct to a nutrient-dense diet, adequate sleep, and gentle movement, herbs can also enact even more powerful transformations: lifting the mood, boosting memory, and blunting the effects of stress.

While herbs aren’t cure-alls, they are powerful tools that bring life to your meals while drawing on ancient healing traditions. Most important, they empower you to get in touch with your intuition, take the lead in your health, and reclaim lost culinary traditions in which food and medicine were synonymous.

As you work through this book, remember that every herb you toss into your stockpot or scatter over a platter of freshly sliced fruit brings a gentle botanical medicine to your dishes. The botanical profiles throughout these pages will help acquaint you with the herbs you can use in the kitchen, what they do for the body, and how they work energetically.

It’s a powerful feeling to toss a palmful of wild and unruly herbs into your sauté pan with the knowledge that you’re nourishing yourself and the people you love in a deeply connected way. Choose the herb-forward recipes with mindfulness and strategy. Sip on a mug of Immunity Broth (page 108) when you feel under the weather. Start your day with a bowlful of granola spiked with cacao and stress-busting adaptogens (page 28), or make a batch of Iced Sencha tea (page 59) when you need to concentrate.

Lastly, keep flavor at the forefront of your mind because good flavor is good medicine, too.

About the Author

Jennifer McGruther
Jennifer McGruther, NTP, is a holistic nutritionist, herbalist, and the author of three cookbooks, including The Nourished Kitchen and Broth and Stock. She’s also the creator of Nourished Kitchen, a popular website that celebrates traditional foodways, herbal remedies, and fermentation. She teaches workshops on natural foods and herbalism, and currently lives in the Pacific Northwest. More by Jennifer McGruther
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