An Herbal Peanut Butter Cup Recipe That Supports the Nervous System by Herbal Academy
21 Nov 2023

An Herbal Peanut Butter Cup Recipe That Supports the Nervous System

We’re deep into that time of the year when fall’s golden glow gives way to winter’s short, dark days. During this transition and into the months ahead, we may find ourselves craving warmth, be it in the form of a heavy, comforting blanket, a warm cup of tea, or sweet treats from our kitchen countertops like the Herbal Peanut Butter Cup recipe we have below!

As herbalists, we draw much of our inspiration from the wild and wonderful world of plants, which comes as no surprise. One of the ways we intertwine herbs into our daily lives is through food, which allows us to be creative in the way we sprinkle little doses of herbal support throughout our days. Sweet treats are no exception!

ingredients to make herbal peanut butter cups

This time of the year, as the world outside seems to slow down, we find ourselves reaching for herbs that can support our nervous and immune systems and looking for ways to incorporate more of these in our recipes. Featuring one of our favorite mushroom superstars, lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus), this Herbal Peanut Butter Cup recipe hits home as the perfect fall treat with an herbal twist!

If you don’t have lion’s mane in your herbal pantry, you can replace it with another favorite adaptogenic mushroom with mood-enhancing effects, such as reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) for this recipe. 

lion's mane mushroom sitting on a table

The Star Adaptogen

Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus)

Lion’s mane, which is an edible mushroom used for both culinary and herbal purposes, is the star adaptogen in this recipe. It got its name from the cascading white spines that resemble a lion’s long locks. It is also known as the pom pom, old man’s beard, monkey’s head, and hedgehog mushroom because of the way it grows in the shape of a huge snowball (Stamets, 2005).

Individuals with anxiety and depression may also benefit from lion’s mane’s effects on brain function. In a 2010 study, 30 postmenopausal women who consumed a controlled amount of lion’s mane baked into cookies over a time frame of four weeks demonstrated improved mental focus as well as a decrease in anxiety and despair (Nagano et al., 2010)

To learn more about lion’s mane, see our post: Lion’s Mane Mushroom: What You Should Know.

If you’d like to learn more about mushrooms, be sure to check out The Mushroom Course, which covers 25 mushrooms in-depth! This course also teaches identification, harvesting, growing, storage, and preparation for each species, from cooking to making herbal extracts.

a bowl of peanut butter mixture and pan of chocolate ready to fill the muffin tins

herbal peanut butter cups in a muffin pan with flowers and pumpkins next to it

Herbal Peanut Butter Cups

Lion’s mane in this Herbal Peanut Butter Cup recipe hit home as the perfect fall treat with an herbal adaptogenic twist! Yield: 6.

Ingredients

1 cup (250 grams) natural smooth peanut butter
4 tablespoons (60 grams) coconut oil, divided in half
1 pound (500 grams/16 ounces) melting chocolate of choice, such as dark chocolate or milk chocolate, divided in half
1 tablespoon (13 grams) vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (60 grams) lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) or reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) extract powder
1 tbsp (20 grams) maple syrup or honey (optional)

Directions
  • Line a muffin tin with six muffin liners.
  • Melt half of the chocolate in a double boiler along with half of the coconut oil for thinning. You can also melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between.
  • Pour 1½  tablespoons of melted chocolate into each muffin liner. Use the back of a spoon to move the chocolate upwards around the rim of the muffin liner, so it will completely cover the peanut butter filling once assembled. This will make it look like a traditional chocolate peanut butter cup.
  • Freeze the chocolate for about 30 minutes.
  • While chocolate is setting in the freezer, make the peanut butter filling by combining peanut butter with lion’s mane (or reishi) powder. You can also add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup for sweetness, if desired. 
  • Once the chocolate is set and the peanut butter filling is made, melt the rest of the chocolate with the rest of the coconut oil. 
  • Remove chocolate from freezer.
  • Add enough peanut butter filling to each muffin cup to cover the frozen layer of chocolate. 
  • Add an additional layer of melted chocolate on top of the peanut butter filling, ensuring it’s completely covered.
  • Once all cups are filled with peanut butter filling and have the chocolate top, place them back in the freezer or refrigerator until they are fully set—about 20 minutes to an hour.
  • Remove muffin liners and serve!
  • Store any leftover peanut butter cups in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

a stack of herbal peanut butter cups on a white plate with a basket of flowers and pumpkins in the background

In Closing,

This is a wonderful time of the year to indulge in comforting, warming treats… especially if we can add our own herbal twist to them! We hope you have fun this season by making (and enjoying) these Herbal Peanut Butter Cups and feel inspired by them to try incorporating your herbal allies into your favorite foods and sweet treats.

For another recipe using loin’s mane, see:
Nourishing Matcha Tea Recipe With Lion’s Mane

An Herbal Peanut Butter Cup Recipe That Supports the Nervous System | Herbal Academy | Feel inspired by this Herbal Peanut Butter Cup recipe to start incorporating herbal allies into your favorite foods and sweet treats.

REFERENCES

Nagano, M., Shimizu, K., Kondo, R., Hayashi, C., Sato, D., Kitagawa, K., & Ohnuki, K. (2010). Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Biomedical Research, 31(4), 231–237. https://doi.org/10.2220/biomedres.31.231

Stamets, P. (2017). Lion’s mane: A mushroom that improves your memory and mood? [Online Article]. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mushroom-memory_b_1725583?guccounter=1