Recently, I spent some joyful time in my home kitchen experimenting with a delicious treat that deeply nourishes and strengthens the brain and nervous system.
These slightly sweet confections are more medicine than dessert, but can satisfy the sweet tooth. They are filled with rich oils, minerals and nutrients for the brain including delicious coconut, said to be the food of Gods and Goddesses, and as one of my Ayurvedic teachers says: If someone is feeling nuts…give them nuts!
Brain candy is especially nourishing for stressed and depleted vata and pitta types and good for anyone who wishes to optimize cognitive function, resilience, sleep and stable moods. Like all things sweet and nourishing, best for kapha types to eat in moderation. These candies can increase ojas (our vital reserves and contentment) and bring about a sattvic state of mind.
Ayurveda tells us that ultimately the purpose of eating is to nourish the five elements and tissues of our body. It’s through food we remember our deep interdependence with seed, sun, rain, soil, air and all that is. In that way, eating can be a truly delightful and sacred engagement with life.
BRAIN CANDY (adapted from Melanie Sachs)
1 Tablespoon of solid (not melted) ghee
1 Tablespoon of organic solid coconut oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons of raw local honey
1 Teaspoon vanilla powder (or ½ tsp of vanilla extract)
Blend together these 4 ingredients at room temperature.
Add to this blend:
3 Tablespoons coconut flour
1Tablespoon shredded coconut
2 Tablespoon ground raw seeds & nuts: sesame, sunflower or almond. (use in combination or just one at a time)
1 pinch of fine sea salt
Blend all ingredients thoroughly into a sticky batter and roll into small bite sized balls. Roll balls in shredded coconut . If the batter is too sticky add more shredded coconut or ground seeds before rolling balls in shredded coconut. These brain candies will melt in the heat and best kept in the fridge.
- Experiment with the raw honey amount and reduce or increase based on your taste for sweet. As a rule, use different amounts of ghee and honey. Equal amounts are said to create ama (toxins).
- Use all coconut oil or all ghee if you prefer or depending on what you have on hand.
- Use cardamom powder or raw cacao powder in place of vanilla powder.
I’m sensitive to cacao and despite all the wonderful brain nutrients, I can find it overstimulating . You can add half sattvic cardamom powder and half raw cacao. Experiment to find a good balance of texture, flavor, medicine and sweetness for you. Trust yourself.
Many thanks to Ayurvedic teacher, Melanie Sachs, who introduced me to brain candy.
From the ayurveda home test kitchen of
Gina Mastroluca, Portland, Maine