When wellness expert and recipe developer Leah Vanderveldt sought out CBD oil to manage her anxiety, inflammation, and severe menstrual pain, she found calming relief—and culinary inspiration. After loads of recipe testing, the cookbook author has devised dozens of ways to make the hemp-derived compound more inviting to those who’ve experienced cannabis’ notorious skunky aromas.
In her new book, The CBD Kitchen: Over 50 Plant-Based Recipes for Tonics, Easy Meals, Treats & Skincare Made with the Goodness Extracted from Hemp, Vanderveldt shows that you can make tasty dishes with CBD. With delectable recipes like her Mango & Ginger Smoothie, she offers inspiration to others seeking wholesome relief for everything from stomach issues to arthritis to depression to headaches.
NatuRx: What is the typical dosage of CBD oil for cooking?
Vanderveldt: If you’re serving one person, a dropper-full or about 1/4 teaspoon would be a typical dosage. [Editors’ note: The percent of CBD varies widely from product to product. Experts suggest 10mg to 20mg per person per day.]
Any tips on creating a CBD culinary schedule?
Pay attention to how your body and mind are feeling. Figure out what works best for you with your personal rhythms and needs. I know a lot of people want a prescribed way of doing things, but you’re the expert on your own body and how it feels at any given time. If you find yourself waking up anxious every morning, maybe you want to start with adding it to a latte or your breakfast. Or if sleep is a challenge, try taking something before bed.
What benefits do cacao add to your CBD recipes?
Magnesium is a huge factor in why I think cacao is so great in tandem with CBD. The magnesium in the cacao eases muscle tension and the CBD works the anti-inflammatory angle—making it great for managing pain or just relaxing. My CBD Hot Cacao recipe is great for the cramps and uterine tension. I love the taste of cacao, too, of course. I try to use flavor to my advantage in all these recipes because I do want to try to diminish the strong taste and smell of CBD.
Speaking of flavorful, why is your CBD Turmeric Latte—which includes plant-based milk, coconut butter, and agave syrup—recommended for nighttime?
You could have it anytime, but the double anti-inflammatory action from the CBD and turmeric (and cinnamon and cardamom, too) can be extra calming in the evening and helpful for prepping your body for rest.
What are some other foods in your recipes that help fight inflammation?
Beetroot/beets, as featured in my Beet Berry Smoothie, are great anti-inflammatories and are particularly great post-workout for muscle recovery. And my Leek & Courgette (aka zucchini) Soup is packed with green vegetables and powerful herbs like kale, parsley, basil, and courgette—so you’re getting a bunch of alkalizing, anti-inflammatory ingredients.
What is your favorite everyday herbal infusion?
It’s a toss-up between the Green Vitamins & Minerals Infusion or the Anti-Anxiety Infusion. The Green Vitamins & Minerals is so simple and nourishing with nettles and peppermint. And the Anti-Anxiety Infusion is beautifully calming. It includes lemon balm, which is my favorite herb for a gentle soothing of the nerves.
How do you make a CBD Anti-Inflammatory Face Mask?
I made my mine with honey, cinnamon, and CBD. Cinnamon is an additional anti-inflammatory and acts as a gentle exfoliant. It’s meant to be mixed together right before you apply it. You can combine these ingredients in a small bowl or I sometimes just do it in the palm of my hand.
CBD Cherry & Kombucha Mocktail
Kombucha, a kind of fermented tea, is one of Vanderveldt’s favorite alcohol alternatives (keep in mind that many brands do contain trace amounts of alcohol, but that’s less than 0.5 percent per bottle). It has ﬁzz and complex ﬂavor and it packs in those natural probiotics for better gut health. Cherry juice brings a tangy-sweet ﬂavor that makes this drink pop.
1. In a medium-sized serving glass, stir the cherry juice, lemon juice, and CBD oil.
2. Fill the glass with ice and top off with the kombucha, giving everything another ﬁnal swizzle.
3. Garnish the drink with pomegranate seeds and enjoy.