Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so today we wanted to share some of our most favorite sweet treats to share with your sweetie, including a brand NEW recipe: Chocolate CBD Sea Salt Brownie Bites!
These little brownie bites are simple, sweet, salty, and totally delicious – perfect for a Valentine’s Day dessert. Plus, they contain a secret superfood ingredient: CBD oil! CBD is one of the hottest health supplements right now, and with good reason. For more on CBD and its many health benefits, we’re turning it over to Plant People Founder Gabe Kennedy!
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Gabe Kennedy, co founder of Plant People and also chef by trade. I grew up in Boulder, Colorado in a house of healers: my mother an acupuncturist and herbalist, my father an acupuncturist and chiro. It was from these roots I was inspired to pursue ‘changing the world’ through the medium of food. Over my career, I morphed my mission into doing so through health and wellness products as much as with food. I believe that the answer to so many of our greatest challenges is all around us, in the plants, mushrooms, soil, air and water that we so often take for granted – I find inspiration in unlocking the power of plants, as they unlock the potential in people. I love to cook, to hike, to be outside, take brisk walks and stay inspired by playing new music and engaging my senses.
Many people are still new to CBD, so tell us, what is CBD?
CBD (also known as Cannabidiol) is a natural compound found in cannabis. Cannabis contains 113 different cannabinoids; the most notable ones are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD. THC and CBD share a nearly exact formula, but one critical difference in their molecular structure gives each compound unique medicinal properties. For instance, unlike THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive and won’t make you high. Instead when ingested, CBD not only combats the psychoactive effects of THC, but also relieves pain, reduces inflammation and beyond.
To fully understand the benefits of CBD, we need to be aware of how cannabinoids interact with the human body. Two kinds of cell receptors in our bodies, called CB1 and CB2, comprise the Endocannabinoid system. These cell receptors are found throughout important systems like the digestive tract, central nervous system, cardiovascular system and immune system and are only activated by cannabinoids. Therefore, the human body naturally produces cannabinoids, called Endocannabinoids, to interact with the CB1 and CB2 cell receptors in order to regulate basic functions like mood, appetite, pain and sleep.
What are the benefits of CBD?
The benefits of CBD are vast and research is still proving all of them out. However, we have seen people find support in stress, pain, anxiety, inflammation and sleep when using CBD.
How would someone pick a CBD supplement right for them
I would encourage people to first identify the reason for taking the supplement. And then figuring out the way in which you want to consume; topical, capsule, combustion or tincture. Each provides its own set of benefits. Next would be to pick the product. There are 3 different ways that ‘CBD’ can show up in products. The first is through CBD isolate, which is 99% CBD. The downside to this is that it lacks the other parts of the plant that contribute to its efficacy. Although this is known as one of the purest forms of CBD, this processed product leaves an individual CBD molecule that may nullify a range of benefits the CBD and whole plant extracts are most well-known for.
The second kind of product is often referred to as “Broad Spectrum,” which has a few more minor cannabinoids but does not contain THC. This is better than Isolate, but still lacks the small (and legal) amount of THC which acts as an agonist to the rest of the cannabinoids.
The last way CBD shows up is in ‘full spectrum products’ – compared to other CBD formulations, perhaps one of the greatest aspects of full-spectrum CBD extracts (oil) is that it preserves the nature of extracted compounds such as acidic forms of cannabinoids including CBGa, CBCa, and CBDa. When CBD gets extracted from the hemp plant, it is considered “full-spectrum” and will produce an end product with a full range of compounds such as cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytonutrients still intact, each with their own unique effects.
What’s your favorite Plant People product?
I love the Be Calm – it’s a gorgeous blend of not only CBD, but other uplifting and mood supporting herbs like albizia, ashwagandha, avena sativa, holy basil, schisandra berry, l-theanine. This product helped me through some seriously stressful times and I am so grateful to have the support of powerful plants.
Many people might not know that you’re not only an entrepreneur but also a chef. What are you cooking in your kitchen right now?
I am cooking all the recipes from your cookbook, Jo & Jules! Cashew cupcakes and ginger scallion turkey burgers!
What’s your #1 tip to staying healthy and vibrant?
I have been walking about 15,000 steps a day and trying to get as much sun on my face during the walk. I have also been working on staying hydrated and minimizing sugar and grains. I notice a big difference so far!
Thanks Gabe! That’s some really good info, thank you for sharing your knowledge with our community. If you have any questions about CBD, please make sure to write in the comments below.
These little brownie bites (recipe below) are a great way to treat yourself to a delicious chocolatey treat with some added health benefits. We hope you enjoy! Here are some of our other favorite Valentine’s Day desserts:
Molten Chocolate Cake
(from The Conscious Cleanse Cookbook)
This decadent chocolate cake with a gooey center is sure to delight! Top with fresh berries and Coconut Whipped Cream (also in our cookbook) and you’ve got the perfect V-Day treat.
These yummy truffles will beat out any store-bought candy. They’re free of refined sugars, gluten-free, and vegan. The perfect healthy Valentine’s day gift!
Best Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
(a CCOD exclusive recipe!)
These yummy chocolate chip cookies are full of grain-free goodness! Bake up a batch for you and your sweetie. This is an exclusive recipe from our online membership program. Learn more here.
These yummy vegan caramels are a great replacement for your favorite conventional candies and they taste AH-mazing. Use a heart-shaped mold to make them even more festive!
Have a happy, healthy Valentine’s day!
With love and chocolate treats,
Jo & Jules
Chocolate CBD Sea Salt Brownie Bites
Yield: 20 balls
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 cup dates, pitted
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp maca powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp Plant People CBD oil
In a food processor, combine walnuts, dates, cacao powder, maca powder, vanilla extract, salt, and CBD oil. Process until smooth.
Using your hands, roll mixture into 18 bite-size balls. Place the balls in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator or freezer, and enjoy chilled or frozen.
Note: A standard recommendation for dosage is on average 10 mg of CBD. Since there are so many options available for CBD strength, we’ve given you the amount of CBD in milligrams, which will ensure that if you eat 2 brownie bites, you’ll be getting about that recommended dosage. In other words, each brownie bite will deliver you 5 mg of CBD per bite with a recommended serving size of 2 bites. Of course, if you have experience with CBD oil, feel free to play around with this suggestion.
More about Gabe Kennedy, Co-Founder of Plant People:
The award winning chef turned entrepreneur grew up in Boulder, Colorado where he developed an affinity for plant-based nutrition, sustainability and alternative wellness approaches from an early age. He began his career at the age of 14 working in local restaurants and his passion for health led him to graduate from The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University. After working in private equity with a focus on organic food brands, such as Organic Avenue, Brad’s Raw Foods and Little Duck Organics, he shifted focus as a rising talent in the culinary world. Gabe won ABC’s primetime cooking competition series, The Taste, was named Visiting Executive Chef of Bon Appetit magazine, and reimagined The Little Beet restaurants as Director of Culinary and Innovation. Gabe drew upon his upbringing, experience in food and CPG brand consulting background to create Plant People. He discovered the healing benefits of hemp to treat his traumatic spinal injuries and was inspired to introduce effective, accessible and natural wellness solutions that support the health of people and the planet. He was recognized as Forbes 30 Under 30 talent for this work.