For Olympian and professional snowboarder Elena Hight, routines that support her "joints, muscles, and tissues are imperative." This recipe highlights Eucommia, a traditional tonic herb that works with the tart cherry to support flexibility and muscle recovery - the perfect adaptogenic treat for athletes!
A note from Elena
As an athlete who strains my body on the daily, having a routine that supports my joints, muscles, and tissues is imperative. These delicious nuggets are full of high potency ingredients that do just that. The main tonic herb is the Eucommia, a traditional Chinese herb used for its bio-available latex that has been shown to support joints and connective tissues. Eucommia is supported with tart cherry, known to help muscle recovery; antioxidants from cacao, which is known to reduce muscle soreness; and seeds that are full of good fats and are known to help inflammation within joints and all over the body.
I use these as an after workout/after riding treat and recovery tool. Getting something delicious and nutrient-dense into my body quickly after a hard workout or a long day on the hill aids in my ability to recover and continue to push myself day after day!
(makes about 12 nuggets)
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened tart cherry juice
2 tbsp. Eucommia
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
In a small bowl combine chia seeds and cherry juice. Place in refrigerator to set for 30 minutes
In a blender combine Eucommia, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, coconut and cocoa nibs. Blend until chopped into smaller pieces, do not over blend into a paste
Melt coconut oil in hot water
Add dried cherries, melted coconut oil, honey, and chia seed mix from the refrigerator to blender and blend until everything has completely combined
(Ingredients should stick together like a dough)
Hand roll dough into 1/2 inch balls
Place in refrigerator to set for 6-8 hours
Enjoy after a workout or long day of play!
...More on Eucommia from Sun Potion
Eucommia is often used by athletes as a means of increasing energy and supporting muscles and bone health.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it works to tonify the kidneys and liver while also supporting our overall skeletal system.
Eucommia has been studied for supporting flexibility, especially for the elderly to maintain overall flexibility and supporting joint health.
In studies conducted by Alternative Medicine Review in 2011, Eucommia was used to treat individuals who had high blood pressure, results showed that Eucommia "may reduce blood pressure by blocking the action of epinephrine (a hormone known to raise blood pressure when released into the bloodstream)."
A 2016 review of Eucommia, published on the National Institute of Health, showed that this Traditional Chinese Herb has supported individuals with Osteoporosis and was also reported to "induce the release of growth hormone (GH) responsible for bone maturation and bone remodeling."*
*If you are interested in using Eucommia to support these conditions, we recommend consulting your healthcare practitioner or herbalist if possible.
Photos courtesy of Elena Hight