Sarah Kate Benjamin and Summer Singletary are the friends and authors behind The Kosmic Kitchen. After meeting in their community garden, the two bonded over growing food, herbs and “experimenting with the garden’s bounty of wild weeds and aromatic herbs in our kitchen.”
The narrative of Sarah Kate and Summer’s friendship and deep dive into herbal recipes and remedies has captured our hearts and imaginations this summer as we lean in to slower living at home. Honestly, The Kosmic Kitchen is worth swiping up for the cover alone — the ideal coffee table addition for any modern wellness lover. The practical, yet in-depth guide is filled with luscious photography and even better recipes.
Summer and Sarah Kate infuse just about everything with medicinal herbs. Both women have struggled with serious health concerns (more in the book) and have harnessed the power of their own healing journeys to inform this beautifully written guide. “In the midst of marketing and the influencer age, it’s easy to feel pressured to be healthy and vibrant”, they share in the opening to the book. “Many of us feel pressure to maintain the illusion that everything is OK. We found that as we began to be more vocal and transparent about our challenges, we found help when we needed it most.” To set the tone for the book, the women urge readers to learn more about herbalism as an investment in their own well-being and perhaps even the well-being of the community around them.
Consider exploring the The Kosmic Kitchen by cooking your way through it with a far away friend who is also curious about wellness and herbs. In Part One of the book, there is an Elemental Archetype Quiz to help you get started.
To give you a feel for just how practical and delicious The Kosmic Kitchen really is inside, we asked the authors to unpack seven of their favorite herbs and wellness ingredients a bit for us below. Learning to incorporate these kinds of potent ingredients into your daily routine will change the way you cook for life…
Tahini Tahini is a toasted sesame seed paste with a long history being used throughout cuisines in West Asia, East Asia, Mediterranean and North Africa. These tiny sesame seeds pack a nutritional punch and tahini is known for being high vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron and B vitamins. We love tahini because it’s so versatile and can be used in sweet or savory dishes. Try it in our Rose Cinnamon Tahini Milk (pg. 126), Turmeric Tahini Dressing (pg. 105) or in place of your favorite nut butter.
Ghee Originating from Indian and Ayurvedic cuisines, ghee has a long history of use as a food and medicine. Unsalted butter is transformed into ghee through simple heating, which clarifies the butter by removing hard-to-digest fat solids. Because it’s easy to digest (even for many who are lactose intolerant) ghee supports the elemental fire energy of the liver by strengthening it, rather than aggravating it as other oils and fats do. It’s a staple in our kitchens and our go-to fat for sautéing, adding into a warm milky drink or as a nourishing topping for a bowl of soup. It makes sweet treats quite decadent too! Try it in our Ghee Stuffed Date recipe (pg. 139).
Nettles Nettle, or Stinging Nettle, is an spring and summer herb coveted by herbalists for its nutrient dense high vitamin and mineral content. Native to Northern Africa, North America, Asia and Europe it’s an herb used around the world.
When harvesting fresh, nettles need to be handled with care due to their lively stinging hairs, which is also a part of its medicine to bring fresh blood to the skin. Nettle has an affinity for the genitourinary system, helping to support and strengthen the kidneys making it one of the best tonifying herbs to enjoy. We love adding nettles as a base for tea recipes as well as enjoying it like a green in soups, stews or sautés. Try it in our Wild Weeds Pesto (pg. 102) or Nourishing Nettle Soup with White Beans and Shiitakes (pg.134)
Miso Miso, made popular by Japanese and Asian cuisines, is a fermented soybean paste with an addictive salty umami flavor that we find ourselves sneaking into just about anything we can. Like many fermented foods, the beneficial bacteria in miso supports digestive system health, is high in vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, calcium, iron and magnesium to name a few. You’ll find us slathering miso on our morning toast, whisked into a savory porridge or soup and as a base for salad dressings. Try our Adaptogenic Ginger Maca Miso Dressing (pg. 106) to use on everything from salads, to grain bowls or even as a glaze for oven roasted veggies.
Turmeric This golden spice with deep roots to Vedic culture in India, is worth the hype in our opinion. While it’s most notable for its anti-inflammatory properties, it also is a wonderful digestive system supportive herb, helping our bodies breakdown and absorb our food more easily. Turmeric also supports the circulatory, lymphatic and immune systems making it an ally for cold and flu season. We love turmeric for it’s complex flavor and pop of color it adds to any recipe from drinks to soup to desserts. Try it in our Turmeric Spice Honey (p. 109) for a sweet paste that makes an instant hot tea.
Seaweed There are many varieties of seaweed enjoyed in cuisine all over the world from Japan to Ireland. It’s no wonder these sea vegetables like nori, to wakame to dulse flakes, have become a staple for so many with it’s high vitamin and mineral content as well as being a wonderful source of iodine to support healthy thyroid function. We love using seaweed for its briny flavor and texture it adds to everyday dishes to make them feel a bit more special and nutrient rich. Try using wakame in soup or stews, adding kombu to a pot of beans while cooking to make them more digestible, or a sprinkle of dulse flakes on softened butter to make a compound butter. Our Mineral-Rich Seaweed and Mushroom Broth (pg. 113) is a lovely base to give extra flavor when cooking a soup, porridge or grain.
Cover photography for The Kosmic Kitchen: Anna-Alexia Basile | Cover and title page lettering: Alicia Schultz | Cover and interior design: Amy Sly
This story is brought to you in partnership with Roost Books. From time to time, TCM editors choose to partner with brands we believe in to bring our readers special offers. The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.