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Ashwagandha and Cacao Adaptogenic Pancakes

Autumn is the season for all things warming and spiced, as the seasonal wheel creeps towards the colder, darker and wintery times ahead, it's our natural instinct to bring life in, harvest, preserve, rest and savour energy. It's time to swap cooling summer smoothies and warm up with the first meal of the day to ignite our digestive system, support gut function and immunity. Here at West Apothecary, we have created a pancake recipe that packs power from the medicinal powders of Adaptogenic herbs. Buzz word and popular health term 'Adaptogens' are simply medicinal plants and herbs that stabilise, rebalance and restore many essential functions in the body. Adaptogenic herbs support homeostasis and equilibrium within the human form, evidence has shown that regular consumption of adaptogenic plant medicines protect the long terms effects on the body when it comes to stress, anxiety and worry.

Adding herbs enriched with Adaptogenic properties, monitors hormone function - the governing function of our bodies, supports and promotes cognitive and mental health, reduces high blood sugar levels and are a preventative for diabetes, enhances reproductive health and fertility and is an effective remedy to nourish the nervous system, Adaptogenic herbs act as a nervine, known to soothe and support us, encourage restful nights sleep and prepare us for deep rest and recuperation. With Science still running studies on this intelligent purpose of plant medicine, Adaptogenic's have always been a core importance in traditional eastern medicine and ancient practice, Ayurveda. Adaptogenic herbs are prescribed as a first go-to for many ailments and conditions in the east before advising pharmaceutical drugs. Throughout history, this form of plant medicine has been used by the many, knowing its trusty and powerful benefits, Adaptogens are now seen in many herbal food supplements today!

Popular adaptogenic herbal food supplements that are commonly used are Ashwagandha, Cacao, Maca, Shatavari, Astragalus, Rhodiola, Turmeric and many more.

Adding Adaptogenic herbs into food to regularly supplement your body is a simple and effective way to add extra nourishment, absorbing these potent plants through food, especially during the start of your day as a breakfast is a supportive way to enhance your health and wellbeing.

You will need:

- 1 large banana

- 1 medium/large egg

- 3 tablespoons of gluten free oats

- 3 tablespoons of buckwheat flour

- half a teaspoon of gluten free baking powder

- half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder

- 1 teaspoon of organic Ashwangandha powder

- 1 teaspoon of organic Cacao powder

- half a cup of plant based milk (oat is best, add more milk for a runnier mixture if needed)

- Cacao nibs

- Fresh berries such as, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc.

- tahini or any other delicious and healthy toppings!


In a food blender add your banana broken into pieces, then add your egg, oats, buckwheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, ashwagandha powder, cacao powder, plant based milk and blend together until mixture is smooth, if you wanted a less thicker mix add a splash more of milk. Place a large pan on your hob on a medium heat, add a small amount of oil, melt and warm up the pan (coconut oil is best). With a spoon add pancake mix to the pan, making small heaped circles (you can fit about 4 in a large pan), add cacao nibs and berries on top of each pancake mix, after 2 mins flip the pancakes with a spatula and repeat the same time on the other side. Remove pan off the heat, place the pancakes on a plate and add your favourite healthy toppings. Vanilla plant based yogurt, tahini, fresh berries and a sprinkle of cinnamon is a can be creative!

A simple and easy way to consume adaptogenic herbs through food, a delicious warming breakfast that provides extra nourishment, setting you up for the day ahead with many health benefits and those plant medicine adaptogenic properties!

This recipe is celiac friendly and gluten free. If you are vegan you can make this recipe without the egg or use an egg substitute binder that works well too.

Plant medicine blessings, Harriet Coleman - Medicinal Herbalist and Founder of West Apothecary.

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