Category Archive: Herbal Remedies

Hibiscus Lavender Iced Tea

Hibiscus Lavender Iced Tea Banner

After a long day of working in the garden, an icy cold beverage is always a welcome sight.  Iced coffee, lemonade, and iced tea are in a regular rotation on the front porch and back patio here at the farm during the warm months.  This summer, we’ve been featuring lavender hibiscus iced tea when we want something cold and refreshing.  It’s as beautiful as it is delicious and perfect for beating the summer heat.

As a bonus, this iced tea is simple to make once you have the tea concentrate and lavender simple syrup on hand in the refrigerator.  I like to make the concentrate on the strong side to prevent the drink from becoming waterlogged as the ice melts on a hot summer’s day.  I also love to add our favorite lemonade to the iced tea.  Together, the herbal tea, lavender, and lemon combine to create an absolutely delicious drink full of flavor. 

I cold brew our tea concentrate.  It’s such a simple process and saves me the step of heating up water, timing the brewing of the tea, and cooling down the tea before using.  Instead, I simply fill a large Mason jar with two cups of cold water, add the tea bags, place a lid on the jar, and store the jar overnight (or longer) in the refrigerator.  The resulting tea concentrate is just as colorful and full of flavor. We love the flavor of Tazo Passion herbal tea with its hibiscus, passion fruit, and orange undertones, but any tea that would benefit from a touch of sweetness and the floral notes of the lavender syrup would be delicious in this iced tea drink. 

Have a little fun, adjusting the components for your perfect iced tea drink.  Try out a few different teas, up the amount of tea concentrate or lavender syrup to create a drink that is exactly what you want to be reaching for on a hot day.  Most importantly, enjoy every single sip.  Like summer, it won’t last forever so we might as well enjoy it while it lasts!


A few of the ingredients and tools we use when making this recipe:


Hibiscus Lavender Iced Tea
The tea concentrate can be kept for several days in the refrigerator. With the tea concentrate and lavender syrup at the ready in the refrigerator, you’ll be able to make this delicious drink any time you need an icy glass of refreshment. You can adjust the components based on your taste preference, adding more tea, syrup, or lemonade to create your perfect summer drink.
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For the tea concentrate
  1. 2 cups water
  2. 5 Tazo Passion tea bags
For the lavender simple syrup
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 2 sprigs fresh lavender (including buds) or 1 Tablespoon dried lavender
For each drink
  1. ice
  2. 1-2 Tablespoons lavender simple syrup
  3. ½ cup iced tea concentrate
  4. 1 cup Lemonade
To make the tea concentrate
  1. You can make the tea concentrate using either heat or time. The warm brew will be a little more flavorful while the cold brew has a milder flavor but requires 8-12 hours of resting time. Both are delicious.
  2. To warm brew the tea, bring 2 cups of water up to just below the boiling point (around 212 degrees Fahrenheit). Add the tea bags and allow them to steep in the warm water for five minutes. Remove the tea bags and allow the tea concentrate to cool to room temperature before using or storing in the refrigerator.
  3. To cold brew the tea, place 2 cups of cold water in a container with a lid. Add the tea bags, cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours. Remove the tea bags. The cold brew tea concentrate can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for several days.
To make the lavender simple syrup
  1. Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Place over low heat and stir the sugar and water to help prevent the sugar from settling on the bottom of the pan and burning. Warm the pan, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the lavender, stirring lightly to help infuse the syrup with the oil released from the lavender. Allow the liquid to cool to room temperature. Remove the lavender before transferring the syrup to a container with a tight fitting lid. The syrup can be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks.
To assemble the iced tea
  1. Add a cup of ice to a large glass. Add the 2 Tablespoons lavender syrup, ½ cup tea concentrate, and 1 cup lemonade to the glass. Stir and enjoy!
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Lavender Simple Syrup

Lavender Simple Syrup BannerI first met lavender simple syrup in a cocktail at Moxy many years ago. It was such a delicious addition to my martini. It added a subtle flavor and aroma that was surprising and delightful. Long before I finished my drink I had decided that figuring out how to make my own lavender syrup had to be added to my to do list.

Luckily, making lavender simple syrup is, well, simple. It comes together in minutes and tastes delicious made with summer’s bounty of fresh lavender or with dried lavender during the cooler months of the year. I snip stems of lavender from our herb garden to hold over the fall, winter, and spring to make sure that we can still create batches of this delicious syrup to enjoy all year long.

Lavender simple syrup tastes delicious as a sweetener in cocktails, iced tea, and other cold beverages. I love to use it to sweeten my hibiscus lavender iced tea on a hot summer’s day. We also flavor glasses of lemonade with a Tablespoon of lavender syrup for a nice change of pace.

I continue to discover new ways to use this syrup with delicious results. Just the other day, I used a bit to sweeten fresh berries before spooning them over a slice of homemade pound cake. With every bite, I was reminded of how glad I am to have discovered this delicious lavender syrup years ago.

 

Lavender Simple Syrup
This recipe is so simple to make and only contains three ingredients. You can adjust the amount of lavender in your syrup to suit your taste. I find that adding the lavender off the heat creates the best syrup. Remove the spent lavender from the cool syrup before storing it. Doing so will extend its shelf life.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 2 sprigs of fresh lavender including buds or 1 Tablespoon dried lavender
Instructions
  1. Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Place over low heat and stir the sugar and water to help prevent the sugar from settling on the bottom of the pan and burning. Warm the pan, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the lavender, stirring lightly to help infuse the syrup with the oil released from the lavender. Allow the liquid to cool to room temperature. Remove the lavender before transferring the syrup to a container with a tight fitting lid. The syrup can be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks.
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Golden Milk with Turmeric, Ginger, and Ghee

Golden Milk with Turmeric Ginger and Ghee at 1840 FarmAs a student in the Intermediate Herbal Course offered by The Herbal Academy of New England, I have spent a lot of time reading about theFlavor of the Earth Organic Turmeric use of herbs to boost natural immunity and support good health.  One of the preparations that continued to appear in my search results was Golden Milk.  I was intrigued by its color and interesting components.  I couldn’t wait to give it a try.

Each recipe I that read seemed to include turmeric and some form of milk, but that is where the similarities ended.  There was a wealth of different recipes for golden milk, each with a slightly different base of ingredients to draw upon for flavor.  The more I read, the more I discovered that there were as many different ways to create golden milk as there were people who loved to incorporate it into their daily diets.

A few constants seems to remain true throughout the recipes.  They each used some form of milk for a base and incorporated a source of healthy fat to enrich the flavor.  Each one contained turmeric which contributed the beautiful golden color the drink was named for.  Luckily, I had a bag of Flavor of the Earth’s Organic Turmeric that I couldn’t wait to use sitting right in the farmhouse kitchen. I just had to decide what other ingredients I wanted to work into the recipe.

The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGrutherI was drawn to a recipe from The Nourished Kitchen which also included ginger and ghee.  I loved the idea of adding a buttery element to the recipe.  I had a supply of candied ginger slices in the refrigerator, which seemed like a wonderful way to incorporate the gingery zing that I love with a touch of sweetness.  I had a copy of The Nourished Kitchen’s cookbook that I received to review, so I was also eager to try one of Jennifer McGruther’s recipes for myself.

I tried several different versions of this recipe before deciding that this one was my clear favorite.  The rich flavor of the ghee and bright note of the candied ginger really enriched the herbal notes from the turmeric.  Together, it was the perfect blend of flavors paired with a beautiful color and intoxicating aroma.

I have found this drink to be a wonderful way to warm up on a brisk fall day.  The aroma and taste are so rich and luscious that I find myself coming back for more.  With the long New England winter fast approaching, I’m certain to be reaching for this drink often.

Golden Milk with Turmeric, Ginger, and Ghee

This recipe is quite simple to prepare once you have created the base ingredients.  I like to use turmeric paste rather than dry turmeric as I find that it is much easier to fully incorporate into the milk.  The ghee adds a delightful buttery flavor that I love.   I keep a steady supply of candied ginger slices in our refrigerator, so they were an easy choice for adding ginger to the mix.

Each of these components can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator.  If you prefer, you could substitute dry turmeric powder, freshly grated ginger with a touch of honey, and a teaspoon of either butter of coconut oil.  I use cow milk when preparing this recipe, but you can substitute whatever kind of milk you have on hand.  Feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your taste buds.

1 teaspoon turmeric paste
1 teaspoon ghee
2 slices candied ginger slices
1/2 teaspoon ginger simple syrup or honey if desired
1 cup whole milk

turmeric pastePrepare a batch of turmeric paste by combining 1/4 cup turmeric powder and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir (using a spoon that you don’t mind turning a lovely yellow color from the turmeric) until the turmeric is fully incorporated into the water.  As the mixture warms, it will become a lovely thick paste similar in consistency to natural nut butter.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.

Prepare the ghee by placing one stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat.  I use organic, grass-fed butter when available, but you can prepare the ghee using whatever kind of butter you typically use in your kitchen.   Melt the butter and continue to cook, stirring occasionally as the butter solids begin to separate and a foamy layer forms on the top of the mixture.  The butter will make a popping sound as it cooks which signals that the solids are separating.  The sound will subside when the ghee is finished cooking.  Using a spoon, you can part the foamy layer to inspect the butter below.  It should be golden-yellow and clear..  The butter is now clarified.  Remove the pan from the heat to cool for 15 minutes.

gheeOnce the ghee has cooled, you can either strain it through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove the butter solids or carefully remove the solids from the top using a spoon.  The ghee can be stored in the refrigerator for use in any dish that calls for butter.  Ghee has a much higher smoking point than butter and a more intense flavor.  You’ll find that it adds amazing flavor to any recipe that calls for butter.

Now, we’re ready to make the golden milk.  You can either prepare it much as you would a cup of hot chocolate by placing all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally until the milk warms to the desired temperature.  Or, you can place the ingredients in the bottom of a mug, and add steamed milk to the mug, stirring to incorporate the ingredients.  Either way, the turmeric, ghee, and ginger will infuse their flavor into the milk as it is heated and the end results will be aromatic and delicious.

I prefer the version made with steamed milk, which I prepare in the following manner.  Combine 1 teaspoon of the turmeric paste, 1 teaspoon ghee, and a few slices of the candied ginger in the bottom of a mug.  I like to muddle the ginger slices a bit with the end of the handle of a wooden spoon in order to release more of the ginger flavor before adding the steamed milk.   Slowly add warm, steamed milk to the mug, stirring gently.  Taste and add a drizzle of the ginger simple syrup or honey to sweeten if desired.  Enjoy!

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Candied Ginger Slices and Ginger Simple Syrup

How to Make Candied Ginger and Ginger Infused Simple Syrup at 1840 FarmAs a student in the Intermediate Herbal Course offered by The Herbal Academy of New England, I have been learning about the use of herbs to promote good health and well-being.  As part of my second unit of study, I was asked to make an herbal preparation that put the unit’s curriculum into practice.

The second unit of the course focused on food.  The central theme was that the food we eat every day holds the ability to be used as a powerful force for promoting good health.  I have subscribed to this theory for years and couldn’t wait to create a recipe to share.

In fact, I was so happy to be in the kitchen using my new-found herbal knowledge that I couldn’t seem to narrow my focus down to a single recipe.  Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing a collection of recipes with you that are packed with beneficial properties and delicious flavors.

The first recipe is simple and delicious. Using only a few ingredients and simple techniques, you can create lovely candied ginger slices and a ginger infused simple syrup.  I have been using both the slices and syrup for a few weeks.  I am still amazed by their incredible flavor and the myriad of uses I am finding for both in our farmhouse kitchen.

I love the flavor and health benefits of candied ginger.  We live and eat around food allergies here at 1840 Farm and were never able to find a brand of candied ginger that was safe for us to eat.  Luckily, our search is over.  This homemade version is delicious and safe for the whole family to enjoy.

Boiling the ginger helps to produce a finished product with a lovely texture and not so much as a hint of bitterness.  Discard the water after each boil in order to achieve a deliciously smooth and sweet flavor with that lovely zing that ginger is known for.

Ginger can be used as a natural pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and to calm an upset stomach.  It can also simply be eaten for its delicious, unique flavor.  No matter the reason, I’m sure that you will enjoy having these candied ginger slices and delicious ginger simple syrup at the ready in your refrigerator just like I do.

 

Component

Characteristics

Actions

Ginger   Warm to combat chills associated with cold or flu, soothing to digestive system Anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antibacterial, fever reducing, analgesic, carminative, intestinal spasmolytic
Honey Powerful humectant, helpful in soothing dry and sore throat Antibiotic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, immune system stimulant

 

Candied Ginger*

8 ounces fresh ginger root
2 cups water plus more for boiling
1 ½ cups (288 grams) granulated sugar
½ cup honey

Peel the ginger root.  I like to use a spoon to easily scrape the skin away, but a sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler can also be used.  Using a sharp paring knife, slice the peeled ginger root thinly.

Place the thin slices of ginger in a nonreactive pot.  Add enough water to cover the slices and place the pot over medium heat.  Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and continue to simmer for fifteen minutes.

Drain the ginger slices and discard the water.  Return them to the pot and cover with cold water.  Repeat the process of bringing the water to a boil, reducing the heat to a simmer, and cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes.  Drain the ginger slices and discard the boiling water.

Return the ginger slices to the pot with 2 cups of fresh water along with the sugar and honey.  Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Adjust the heat to continue cooking at a low boil to gently reduce the liquid.  I like to reduce the liquid until it coats a spoon and is the consistency of slightly thickened maple syrup.  How to Make Candied Ginger and Ginger Infused Simple Syrup at 1840 Farm

When the syrup has reduced to your liking, remove the pot from the heat and allow the ginger slices and syrup to cool to room temperature.  At this point, the ginger can be removed from the syrup, drained on paper towels, coated in granulated sugar, and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

I prefer to simply transfer the ginger and the syrup to a mason jar and store it in the refrigerator.  The slices are delicious on their own and the syrup can be used to flavor recipes for cocktails, desserts, and even with a slice or two as a topping for toasted bread with butter.

As the slices and syrup are stored, the sugars will begin to crystallize and form crunchy little bits on the ginger slices.  Look closely at the photo above and you’ll see those tiny crystallized gems clinging to the surface of the ginger slice.  They’re beautiful and delicious!

 

Sources and Related Content:
http://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/the-best-herbs-for-pain-relief.aspx

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72

 

I invite you to learn more about the Intermediate Herbal Course offered by The Herbal Academy of New England. Registration for the self-paced course is still open, so you’re welcome to join me and the other students as we learn more about the benefits of the natural world around us.

*This information is presented solely for general informational purposes only.   Nothing contained on this site is intended to constitute medical advice or serve as a substitute for the advice of a physician or health care provider.

 

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How to Make Homemade Elderberry Cold Syrup

Last month, I announced that I would be taking the Intermediate Herbal Course offered by The Herbal Academy of New England.  As part of my first unit of study, I was asked to make an herbal preparation.  Given that we are in the midst of cold and flu season, I chose to make an immune system boosting elderberry syrup.  I used the Herbal Academy’s post as a starting point.

I wanted to add my own signature to my formula, so I began researching other components that I could add to the existing blend.  I also wanted to incorporate as many ingredients as I could that were produced right here on our farm.  I was able to use locally produced honey along with thyme from our heirloom garden, and maple syrup  produced by my family using the sap collected from our own sugar maples.  As I care for a family member with Type One Diabetes, I also wanted to reduce the sugar content and therefore the carbohydrates of the finished syrup.

I found that orange could be incorporated and was believed to help relieve congestion and add bitter, warm, sour, and dry energetics.  By studding the clementine with the cloves called for in the original recipe, some of the oil from the orange was released and infused into the formula along with the clove. Turmeric and thyme both added a slightly herbal note to the finished syrup.  While I reduced the amount of sweetener by half, the final syrup was still very palatable with plenty of sweetness.

If you are interested in joining me in the Intermediate Herbal Course, you can learn more about it by visiting the course description on The Herbal Academy of New England’s Web site.  Their site offers a full detail of the topics covered in the course and a few fantastic links to posts with recipes and practical applications for the skills learned in the course.

 

Component

Characteristics

Actions

Elderberry Hot and dry-combats damp phlegm and mucus and cold chills Anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, fever reducing, stimulates the production of antibodies
Ginger   Warm to combat chills associated with cold or flu Anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antibacterial, fever reducing
Orange Expectorant, helpful in relieving coughing and phlegm
Clove Antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, antispasmodic to relieve coughing associated with cold and flu
Turmeric Antioxidant, circulatory stimulant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory
Thyme Antiseptic, antispasmodic to combat coughing, expectorant
Honey Powerful humectant, helpful in soothing dry and sore throat Antibiotic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, immune system stimulant
Maple Syrup Delivers high levels of calcium, manganese, and zinc to boost immune system function Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune system stimulant

Elderberry Syrup*

1 cup (4 ounces) organic dried elderberries or conventional dried elderberries
6 cups purified water
2 Tablespoons fresh organic ginger, peeled and grated
1 organic orange
1 generous Tablespoon whole cloves
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon thyme
4 ounces organic honey
2 ounces organic maple syrup

Combine elderberries and water in a small pot over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a simmer.  Reduce the heat and continue to simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

Strain the liquid to remove the berries.  Return the elderberry liquid to the heat.  Stud the orange with the whole cloves before adding to the liquid along with the ginger, turmeric, and thyme.  Return to a gentle simmer, continuing to cook until the liquid has reduced by about half.

Remove the syrup from the heat and strain into a glass mason jar or other container with a lid.  Add the honey and maple syrup and stir to fully combine.  Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.

As an immune system booster, take ½ to 1 teaspoon daily.  At the first sign of infection, take 2 teaspoons every three hours until symptoms have passed.

Sources and Related Content:
http://herbalacademyofne.com/2013/11/quick-and-simple-elderberry-cold-syrup/

http://www.fresh-eggs-daily.com/2013/11/homemade-elderberry-honey-cold-syrup.html

http://www.cloverleaffarmherbs.com/#sthash.Mw4U2ts5.dpbs

http://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/citrus-peel-medicine.aspx#axzz2oh8IuxzK

 

*This information is presented solely for general informational purposes only.   Nothing contained on this site is intended to constitute medical advice or serve as a substitute for the advice of a physician or health care provider.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/12/how-to-make-homemade-elderberry-cold-syrup/