Food

VIDEO: Medicinal Mushroom Salad Dressing | Plant Based on YouTube with Well+Good

Sorry, mushroom coffee, but this salad dressing makes eating medicinal mushrooms way tastier. Watch the video.

When we think mushrooms, we think of the delicious ones that we love on pizzas and in stir fries…and the psychedelic ones that just got decriminalized in Denver. But fun fact: There are over 270 varieties of medicinal mushrooms, and, as herbalist and holistic health practitioner Rachelle Robinett explains in the latest episode of Plant Based, they’re great for immunity and gut health.

“Medicinal mushrooms are immunomodulators, so that means that they help our immune system to function at an appropriate level,” Robinett says—basically, they can help balance your immune system to potentially prevent it from over- or under-reacting. This is achieved thanks in part to compounds called beta-glucans, which are in the cell walls of many medicinal mushrooms. “When we eat [beta-glucan], it travels into our lower intestine and binds to a certain receptor,” she says. There, the beta-glucans tell our immune system to activiate itself with the “appropriate tools,” Robinett says, like T cells, to stay healthy.

She adds that medicinal mushrooms are also fantastic prebiotics—meaning that they’re rich in the starches and fiber that gut bacteria feed on in order to thrive.

The downside of medicinal mushrooms…they don’t taste very good, Robinett says. “It can be really tough to eat medicinal mushrooms in large quantities,” she admits. “So having it in a liquid extract like a tincture or in a powdered form can be awesome.” Her go-to way to eat medicinal mushrooms: working it into a salad dressing. “It’s super super simple to make,” Robinett says, “and such an easy way to have an even more functional, medicinal lunch.”

But where is this recipe, you ask? Well, you’ll have to watch the full video above for the deets.

For more of Robinett’s recipes and herbal intel, be sure to watch the Plant Based episodes that explore making your own floral-infused water and the benefits of mucuna pruriens.

Video & Recipe: Anti-inflammatory Moringa Avocado Mousse | Plant Based on YouTube

Need an inflammation-fighting pudding in your life? Get the recipe here.

Sadly, the things that are really good for us sometimes don’t taste very good…and the superfood moringa is one of them. The plant kind of tastes like a mix of arugula, mustard greens, and horseradish—which can definitely be an acquired taste. If that flavor profile doesn’t quite pique your interest (but you’re still dying to try it), herbalist, health coach, and Supernatural founder Rachelle Robinett shares her solution in the latest episode of Plant Based.

“Moringa oleifera is a tree and it may be the epitome of food medicine,” Robinett says. “It is a highly nutritions leaf and also plant that is usable in all its different parts. So the root, the bark, the seed pods, the flowers even—all are medicinal or nutritious in different ways.”

Compared to other leafy greens, the moringa leaf is super high in protein. Robinett explains it has 30 percent protein by weight, which is twice as much as kale. It also has awesome anti-inflammatory effects, she says, and is technically a complete protein.

But how to get past the taste and start reaping all of moringa’s benefits? Robinett’s solution: sneaking it into an avocado-chocolate mousse. The cacao, coconut, and avocados blend together into a delicious treat that masks the plant’s bitter flavor.

How to make this magical concoction? You’ll just have to watch the full video above.

If you missed our last episodes of Plant Based, watch Robinett explain why eating cacao before bed is a really good idea, and how these bliss balls will help you eat your way to higher dopamine levels

VIDEO: Mood-Boosting Snack Delivers Happiness in Every Bite | Plant Based on YouTube

Snacking should make you feel good. (Take that, sugar crash!) But what if I told you that you could make your 3 p.m. snack break even better with a treat that can literally improve your mood in just one bite? Intrigued, right?

In the latest episode of Plant Based, herbalist, health coach, and Supernatural founder Rachelle Robinett shares her recipe for “Dopamine Bliss Balls,” (a.k.a. souped up energy balls) which she says are the perfect pick-me-up for any time you’re feeling a bit sluggish.

The main ingredient in these bliss balls is mucuna pruriens, a.k.a. the “dopamine bean,” which is a legume native to tropical Asia and Africa. They’re dark brown and covered with stiff hairs that contain serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes calmness and satisfaction, Robinett explains. The plant is a staple in Ayurvedic medicine, and has been touted as a possible way to help manage depression.

Once dried and ground, the bean produces a powder that contains L-dopa, a direct precursor to dopamine. This helps our bodies naturally produce dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter that the brain releases when you’re happy.

“It can raise your mood a little bit, it can give us a little bit of energy,” Robinett says of mucuna pruriens benefits. “But it feels quite different than caffeine—it’s not quite as high and, for some people, mucuna pruriens can actually help with sleep.” Translation: It can be as good for a bedtime snack as it is in the afternoon.

Thankfully, it’s not super hard to reap mucuna pruriens benefits. You can buy the powder online (SunPotion makes it, as does Banyan Botanicals) or at your favorite health food store. Then, use it to make Robinett’s Dopamine Bliss Balls—which you can get if you watch the full video above. You’re that much closer to a happy-making snack.