The CBD Kitchen author Leah Vanderveldt has taken CBD oil for over a year and is convinced it has helped her with anxiety, pain and to improve sleep. In her new book, her easy recipes include smoothies, teas and coffees, snacks and desserts, light savoury meals, and even mocktails and cocktails.
What is CBD and why has it become such a popular ingredient?
Many advocates of CBD oil have pushed its medicinal value. There are thought to be many benefits of CBD oil, predominantly its pain-relieving properties. Cannabis has long been thought of as a pain reliever – Queen Victoria even used it to cure her period pains. These days it’s used all over the world to help ease the symptoms of several diseases and ailments, such as anxiety, headaches and arthritis, and has become one of 2019’s hottest ingredients along the way.
I think there are a lot of people who are curious about it, but a little intimidated about how to take it. My book is partly an introduction for the beginner who just needs some friendly, practical advice from someone who’s experienced the benefits first-hand, but it’s also for people who are already taking CBD but may be looking for new ways of incorporating it into their routine.
Cooking with CBD is a great way to add the ingredient to your morning, afternoon or evening — depending on what works best for you. In the morning, I love to add it to my lattes. For afternoon I steer towards treats like raw brownie or pistachio tahini bites, and in the evenings, I'll have it in something savoury like a bowl topped with CBD chimichurri or in a drink of some kind, either a cocktail or a herbal tea.
Does it really work?
CBD can be subtle. With something like pain reduction, I think it has a cumulative effect, but you really notice it, whereas for something like anxiety, the effects can be a bit gentler. I think it can be as simple as realising you just feel generally better or are aware of an absence of symptoms, like the feeling of a knot in your stomach.
What does it taste like?
It tastes like marijuana smells. For those unfamiliar, it’s a strong herbal scent and flavour, which isn’t appealing to a lot of people. That’s why I try to find ways to blend it into recipes so you can enjoy the benefits without noticing the strong taste. That being said, I’ve found some brands to be more floral and naturally pleasant tasting than others. Some oils have flavours added — like mint chocolate — for the same reason.
Does CBD-infused food taste the way it smells?
If you do it right, no. The smell and flavour can be quite strong but keeping the dose on the small side (one dropper-full can go a long way) and finding complementary or bolder flavours to accompany it really help. I love it blended with other herbs (mint, basil, and parsley are favourites) and chocolate.
So, CBD comes from the same plant as weed—does it get you stoned?
No, it definitely doesn’t. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main chemical compound that gets you high or stoned. CBD will contain some trace amounts of THC, which actually help the CBD work more effectively in the body, but the amounts are so small — less than 0.3% — that they have no psychoactive effect.
What should you look for when buying CBD oil to cook with?
I’m seeing more and more health and supplement shops selling it, but online offers the most options. The things I look for are:
- A full-spectrum whole hemp oil, meaning they use the whole plant in the process of making the oil, so you receive the maximum benefits.
- A grower that’s transparent about exactly how many milligrams of CBD there are in each bottle, and their growing practices. The more information they provide, the better.
- Brands that use organic growing practices, although there is no official regulation for this at the moment, so it can be tricky territory. And if you’re cooking with it, don’t buy CBD with any flavourings added.
What’s a good starter recipe to try?
Pick a simple recipe that just serves one or two and seems like something you’d enjoy. A couple of my favourites are the CBD hot cacao and a pineapple and mint smoothie, which are both in my book. If you’re concerned about dosage, start small and see how your body reacts.
Can you overdose on it?
I’ve personally never had that experience, but I have heard from friends who have — which either led to feeling over-tired or having an upset stomach. I try to follow three simple rules when eating CBD food: buy good quality CBD oil, start with a small dosage, and listen to your body.
CBD Pistachio & Tahini Bites
(Makes 10 bites)
Tahini is one of my favourite ingredients. Made from ground sesame seeds, it’s a grown-up alternative to peanut butter and is great in both savoury and sweet dishes. When combined with dates, cacao and pistachios, these little bites have tons of unexpected and addictive flavour.
8 Medjool dates, pitted
25g desiccated/dried shredded coconut, plus extra for decorating (optional)
45g shelled unsalted pistachios
25g cacao powder
1 teaspoon CBD oil
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
1. Combine all the ingredients (apart from the extra coconut) in a food processor or high-speed blender and process until you have a well combined dough of sorts, scraping down the sides of the machine one or twice as you go.
2. Scoop out the mixture and roll into ping-pong sized balls. Roll each ball in a little extra coconut to decorate, if desired.
3. Place the bites on aligned plate and put into the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up.
4. Transfer the bites to a sealable container and refrigerate until needed. They will keep for up to one month.
Soba Noodles, Kale & Cashews With CBD Garlice & Chilli Oil
I love this simple noodle dish served warm for an easy dinner or at room temperature the next day for lunch – the leftovers taste even better because the flavours have had more time to meld.
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon chilli flakes/hot red pepper flakes
60 ml avocado or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon CBD oil
60g raw cashews
225g of buckwheat soba noodles
200g roughly chopped kale
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. In a medium frying pan, combine the garlic, chilli flakes/hot red pepper flakes and oil over a low heat. Heat through for about 4–5 minutes, giving a couple of stirs, until the garlic begins to sizzle and become fragrant, then remove from heat. Stir in the CBD oil and set aside until you’re ready to use.
2. Spread the cashews out on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 8–10 minutes
3. Meanwhile, cook the noodles in salted boiling water for 1–2 minutes less than the package instructions state, adding the kale in the last 30 seconds of cooking. Drain the noodles and kale well and transfer to the pan with the garlic and chilli/chili oil. Toss to combine the ingredients and serve in portions scattered with the roasted cashews.
4, Refrigerate and store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to five days. Bring to room temperature or reheat until hot all the way through before serving.
CBD Super-Powered Yoghurt Bowl
I like to make this recipe the night before so that breakfast is waiting for me in the morning. You can even make three or four of these yogurt bowls for the week ahead and place them in individual jars in the refrigerator. Don’t add the CBD oil until the last minute though.
25g/ rolled/old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds
215g plain plant-based yogurt
1 teaspoon maple syrup, to taste
Splash of almond or coconut milk (optional)
1/4 teaspoon CBD oil
Berries or other fresh fruit
Toasted coconut flakes
1. Combine the oats, chia seeds, yogurt and maple syrup in a medium bowl. Stir to mix everything
together. You can add a splash of milk if you don’t want your mixture to be super thick.
2. Place the mixture in a jar or simply cover the bowl and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour or overnight.
3. When you’re ready to serve, stir in the CBD oil, then top with an array of your favourite toppings.
Grilled Lettuce, Chickpea & Radish Salad With Miso & Garlic CBD Vinaigrette
This is a great hearty salad with protein from the chickpeas, green leaves, peppery radishes and lots of umami flavour from the dressing.
Avocado or olive oil, for brushing and frying
1 head of romaine/cos lettuce, washed, dried, trimmed and split down the middle lengthways
400g of cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 radishes, thinly sliced
For the vinaigrette:
4 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons light miso paste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated on a microplane
Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon CBD oil
1. To make the salad dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl or jar until combined. Set aside.
2. Brush the cut inside of the romaine/cos lettuce with avocado or olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Heat a cast-iron frying pan over a medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, place the lettuce halves oiled-side down in the pan. Use a spatula to press the lettuce wedges into the hot pan, they should sizzle. Continue to cook for 3–4 minutes until the lettuce is charred and lightly wilted but still vibrantly green in parts. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Add a little more avocado or olive oil to the pan, keeping the heat at medium-high. Add the chickpeas with a generous pinch of salt and the cayenne pepper. Cook for about 3–5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are heated through and golden in spots.
4. Serve the romaine/cos lettuce, grilled side up, scattered with chickpeas and sliced radishes, with the dressing drizzled on top.
DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.