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Vibrant Botanicals

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.

Pages: 240



When it comes to using herbs, many home cooks focus on their flavor rather than their health benefits, writes food blogger McGruther (The Nourished Kitchen) in this illuminating guide that encourages readers to consider both as being crucial to supporting one’s body’s needs. McGruther organizes herbs into categories—warming and cooling, drying and moistening, stimulating and relaxing—to describe their effects and how they’re best utilized. Her method is to mix and match herbs with complementary properties to produce a desired effect. To lift one’s spirits, she suggests a tulsi and lemon balm lunar infusion, and for a good night’s sleep, vanilla rose petal honey. While this kind of open-ended approach might seem daunting, explanations of each herb’s health benefits (thyme and sage help “fight off viruses”; fennel “combat inflammation”) and accessible recipes (slow-roasted saffron chicken with rosemary, ginger mint fizz, stone fruit salad with lemon balm) make easy work of gradually expanding one’s regimen. McGruther encourages readers to “explore what you enjoy,” but not without emphasizing that herbs are “an adjunct to medical care, and not a substitute for it.” This will work well for anyone looking to reconsider their approach to cooking, as well as those wanting a more health-focused repertoire that doesn’t sacrifice flavor. (Apr.)

Publishers Weekly

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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