It’s not just in the beauty world that CBD has become a key ingredient, our obsession with it has now moved to the kitchen.
After taking CBD oil for over a year and finding it helped to improve her sleep and with her anxiety and pain, wellness expert Leah Vanderveldt created a book of more than 50 easy plant-based recipes for smoothies, teas and coffees, snacks and desserts, light savoury meals, and even mocktails and cocktails. Here she shares two of her favourite recipes and her top tips for cooking with CBD…
Leah says: “When I first started taking CBD oil, I just did a simple dropper under the tongue. I still do that, but cooking with it can be really helpful if the taste doesn’t agree with you.
“I was excited by the idea of combining two things that have made a big impact on my well-being: plant-based nutrition and CBD hemp oil for mental and physical health. I wanted to explore the way the ingredients could support each other and have some fun with CBD as an ingredient, rather than just treating it like a supplement.”
If you’re looking to follow in Leah’s footsteps, she recommends using unflavoured CBD and starting with a smoothie recipe, which can make a great snack or quick breakfast.
She adds: “The flavour of the oil can vary but it’s generally on the herbal side. I love it with chocolate and anything with fresh herbs.
“When cooking with CBD don’t heat it above 350 degrees Fahrenheit, which might start to break down the beneficial compounds in hemp oil. And don’t overdo it on the dose if you’re just starting out – you can always take more if you decide you want to.
“Avoid adding the oil too early in a recipe, too. Again, you don’t want to raise the temperature of the oil too high, or mess with it too much in general, so adding in the later stages of a recipe can help prevent that.”
If you’re interested in trying one of her recipes, here are two from The CBD Kitchen: Over 50 Plant-Based Recipes for Tonics, Easy Meals, Treats & Skincare Made with the Goodness Extracted from Hemp by Leah Vanderveldt, Ryland Peters & Small, 2019:
CBD Banana & Cinnamon Smoothie
Leah says: “I couldn’t help adding a sneaky vegetable into this simple and classic smoothie combination. With the sweetness of banana and cinnamon, a little frozen cauliﬂower goes by undetected and adds to the nutrient content and creamy texture.”
1½ frozen bananas, peeled
95g/½ cup frozen cauliﬂower ﬂorets
355 ml/1½ cups plant-based milk of your choice
1 tablespoon chia seeds
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon CBD oil
Pinch of ground nutmeg, to serve
1. Combine all the ingredients (apart from the nutmeg) in a blender and process until smooth.
2. Top with the pinch of nutmeg and serve.
CBD Coconut & Pecan Bites
Leah says: “Pecan pie meets energy bites — I love to have these little snacks on standby, especially as the weather gets colder when their autumnal ﬂavours make a welcome treat.”
Makes 10–12 bites. Recommended serving is 2 bites.
10 Medjool dates, pitted
115g/1 cup raw pecans
75g/1 cup desiccated/dried shredded coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 teaspoon CBD oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until everything is ﬁnely chopped and well combined into a dough of sorts, scraping down the sides of the machine once or twice as you go.
2. Scoop out the mixture and roll into ping-pong sized balls. Place the bites on a large plate lined with baking parchment and put into the freezer for 20 minutes to ﬁrm up.
3. Transfer the bites to a sealable container and refrigerate until needed. They will keep for up to one month.
For more of Leah’s thoughts on CBD, her next book, Magical Self-Care for Everyday Life: Create Your Own personal Wellness Rituals Using the Tarot, Space Clearing, Breath Work, High Vibe Meals, and More, is out in March.