The Munchies. You’ve managed to eat clean healthy food all day, then give a gooey smothering to the end of the day with all the things you said no to while you weren’t tired. Let me first start by saying, late night munchies are tough. I still deal with it at times. But, I do have one simple solution that seems to work almost every time. I say almost, because I can be stubborn and still have what I’m munchy for. Usually chocolate nut butter. I can whip up a small batch of nut butter in seconds.
What are the Reasons for Late Night Munchies? There could be any number of reasons a person is having late night cravings for quick mental reward foods. It could be linked to dehydration, magnesium deficiency, insulin resistance, imbalanced hormone levels, habit, boredom, tiredness that you’re fighting by distraction with food, or other emotional reasons. The reason will surface and become clear if you address the issue with a curiosity for finding the answer.
So What’s the Trick to Stop Late Night Munchies? Herbal Tea.
No I’m kidding, I’ll elaborate. Herbal teas, specifically ones that are for supporting liver and kidney function with an added antifungal kick. I learned a lot, I mean a LOT by reading this book “Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide,” by Rosemary Gladstar. This book is easy to understand, covers basic and easy to find herbs, and explains how they can help you.
My Favorite Herbs. To give you some ideas, I’ve created a list of my favorite medicinal herbs to be used as tea. I prefer these because of the taste, and they are relatively easy for me to forage, grow, or purchase.
How To Choose Herbs and Tea Blends? If you are battling sugar, starch, or crazy hangry cravings, let me introduce you to ginger root (Zingiber officinale). This amazing flowering plant from the family Zingiberaceae whose root is prized for it’s culinary uses in seasoning blends, baked goods, everything pumpkin flavored, candies, and even soda could help you get over the junk-food cravings or sweet-tooth hurtle. If you notice sugar cravings creeping in, give a this simple ginger tea recipe a try to help rebalance those cravings. But aside from my suggestion, choose which herb speaks to you. You can not choose wrongly, and typically the herb that you are drawn to is the one you will benefit from the most. For blends, be creative and practice making your own tea blends. You’ll enjoy being able to alter specific ingredients to make those notes stronger in the tea. One of my favorite blend alterations is using stinging nettle in place of black tea when making my own Chai Tea blend.
Safety? Most herbs are safe to use. However, there are exceptions; mainly for people that are on prescription medications, have disease symptoms, or are pregnant or nursing. Be safe, and double check before you brew any herbs for medicinal uses.
Where Can I Find the Herbs? Herbs can be collected from your own backyard, or while on a nature walk that you know is void of dog pee and herbicide/pesticide spray. Herbs can also be purchased from your local natural health foods store or bulk foods store. You may be lucky enough to have an Herbalist in your community; so look around your area at local farmers markets too. Purchasing herbs individually makes it easier for you to make your own blends.
What Should I Use for Sweetener? When boiling or steeping tea, add dried stevia leaf powder for sweetness. The dried leaf has a tea-like flavor and gives your tea a clean sweet taste. Opt for the leaf in it’s dried original form and not the processed stevia powders or liquids (I know they are convenient). These products are rarely 100% stevia and are commonly bulk sweetened with sugar alcohols. You could also make your own homemade stevia liquid by gently boiling a large bunch of stevia leaves. The homemade liquid is a beautiful bright green. Growing stevia is extremely easy if you live in the correct zone for it, so give it a try. Otherwise, you could look for it at your local health foods store or order organic green stevia leaf powder.
…and Creamer. Coconut milk makes a nice substitute for dairy creamer. I have convinced others that were die-hard users of dairy creamer to switch to this. You could purchase it canned, organic will have the best taste with the ingredients of coconut milk and water. Or you can make fresh coconut cream from a mature coconut, which is amazingly delicious. I will warn you now, yes it’s a bit of work, and you may risk smashing your finger, but once you go fresh you won’t go back. I’ll show you how to make fresh coconut milk and cream, a 2 in 1 delicious homemade treat. There is a shortcut, you could make coconut milk with shredded dried coconut. This does have a better taste than canned, but still not as good as fresh coconut.
But what is the Absolute Best Way to Stop Late Night Munchies?
It’s late, go to bed.
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