How was your summer? We squeezed in open-air late night cinema screenings, relaxed meals with friends at local night markets, and picnics and paddling at a nearby river beach along with looking after our gîte guests and getting through the mammoth amount of washing and ironing each week during the season brings.

Our last guests have left and Henry is back at school, and I must admit the slightly cooler weather, routine and structured days, and the ‘fresh start’ feeling the new school year brings suits me. Each morning we do the school run, then Noah and I head home, usually for a second breakfast and cuddles before his nap, when I get to run around and cram as much as I can into those precious two hours before he wakes and it is time for lunch. While Noah nibbles on some banana, raisins or rice cake and nut butter, I’ve been making this latte, laced with ashwaganda powder, almond milk, almond butter, cinnamon and coconut oil. It is warming and nourishing, and will usually see me through until lunch.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb used in Ayurvedic healing. An adaptogen is a healing plant that improves the health of your adrenal system and can help regulate your body’s stress hormone, cortisol. Ashwagandha has been used in ayurvedic medicine for over 2,000 years, where it is revered for its ability to calm anxiety and regulate blood sugar levels, encourage deeper sleep, boost immunity and energy, support a healthy thyroid and enhance brain health. In general, it can be used to bring the body back into balance, making it a good all-round herb for wellness, particularly now we’re heading into the colder months.

In Sanskrit ashwagandha means ‘smell of a horse’, which I’ve read is because consuming it can give you the ‘strength and vigour of a horse’. It could also have something to do with the literal smell {and taste} of the ground root of this herb. I’ve come to realise that the best way to enjoy the benefits of ashwagandha is to mask its flavours with other, more delicious ingredients.

This recipe makes enough for two big comforting mugs, but of course you could easily halve the recipe to make just one. The coconut oil brings healthy fats to the table and slows your body’s absorption of caffeine; I’d really recommend this if you suffer from anxiety or find that coffee can make you feel jittery.

Almond Ashwagandha Latte

Almond Ashwagandha Latte

Makes 2 big mugs

500ml filter coffee
100ml almond milk
1 tsp ashwagandha powder
1 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp ground cinammon

Warm the coffee and milk gently in a small pan, almost until simmering point.

Add the coffee and milk mixture to a blender {I use this one}, along with the ashwagandha powder, almond butter and coconut oil. Blend briefly to combine, until frothy.

Pour into two large mugs, and top with a sprinkling of cinammon. Enjoy!

Some notes:

You can reheat the latte after blending if you need to, over a low heat in a small pan, but you will lose some of the frothiness.

If you don’t have a blender you can and the ashwaghandha, nut butter and oil to the pan and use a small whisk to combine.

Ashwagandha is available here in France from Biocoop and Marche du Leopold shops, and I buy it online from BuyWholeFoodsOnline {who also stock the big 1kg tubs of nut butters our family gets through – Meridian is my favourite brand}, who ship in the UK and Europe.

Do you use adaptogens? I’m interested to try tulsi and rhodiola. I’d love to hear how you use adaptogenic herbs…

 

Emma xx

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