Switchel

Right now we have a few summertime drinks brewing in various locations in our kitchen: Ginger Switchel, Kombucha and Nettle Mint Tea.

In this post I will share the recipe I like to use for making switchel, and will share my kombucha and nettle tea making techniques in upcoming posts.


Switchel is a delicious, refreshing and good for you summertime beverage that you can easily make! I have a batch in my refrigerator right now. I utilized this recipe below from Wellness Mama, using honey from Wolf Honey Farm who houses some of his bees on our property. We have enjoyed learning more about honey bees and being a part of this process! (especially since I don’t have to don a bee suit myself!)

Dale Wolf setting up his hives on our property

Ginger Honey Switchel Recipe

A fermented drink that combines the benefits of apple cider vinegar, raw honey (or molasses), and ginger for a refreshing and electrolyte drink.

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP unfiltered apple cider vinegar with “the mother”
  • 3 TBSP  raw honey or blackstrap molasses
  • 2- inch piece of fresh ginger root peeled and finely minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 of a fresh lime juiced and zested

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients in a large jar, cover, and shake well.
  • Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To serve, pour over ice or add seltzer water if desired.

Benefits of Switchel

Wellness Mama says… Like other fermented foods and drinks, switchel has its share of benefits, depending on the ingredients. There are endless ways to make this tasty drink and all of the ingredients offer their own benefits. In my favorite recipe, I use:

  • Apple cider vinegar: A great natural source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, as well as beneficial bacteria and acids. While many people don’t love the strong flavor of vinegar by itself, it is perfect in this recipe when balanced with ginger, honey, and lime.
  • Honey: A versatile natural remedy in our house that I use as a face wash, to help speed healing of cuts and burns, and even as a natural sleep aid. Raw honey is a source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes that makes it a nutrient powerhouse with antiviral and antibacterial properties. It is often recommended for digestive health and there is some evidence that it may benefit the skin when taken internally.
  • Ginger: A powerful natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant due to the presence of an oil called gingerol. It has a long history of use as a remedy for digestive problems, nausea, and illness. In this recipe, it adds both flavor and a slight spicy balance to the sweetness of the honey. Ginger root is found in most grocery stores and its skin can be peeled off easily with the edge of a spoon.
  • Lime: I add some fresh lime juice purely for flavor but it is also a good source of vitamin C.

Above and additional information found at Wellness Mama HERE.

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

I keep going back to this recipe from Wellness Mama when I want to make Elderberry Syrup for our family. I’ve used this recipe many times, and just this past fall I purchased some tiny silicone ice tray/muffin pans to pour the syrup in, then froze them into little mini elderberry ice cubes. After they froze, I popped them out and put them in freezer bags, in the freezer. When we are ill or I think we might become ill, I pull out the bag, pop a few cubes in our tea pot, add hot water and we sip on it as elderberry tea.

We got the elderberries from our friends last year who grow them. I dried them in our dehydrator and put them in a jar for storage. This year we are planting our own bushes to give it a try here at Medley Acres. Thankfully all our kids seem to enjoy drinking the syrup or tea, as elderberries are very beneficial at helping to ward off and fight colds and flu.

See the full blog post with link to the recipe here, via Elderberry Syrup Recipe

I also found a helpful and informative poster about elderberries online that I thought I’d share:

Homemade Honey Lip Balm

Best-Homemade-Lip-Balm-Whole-Fed-Homestead

Recently, I purchased some beeswax from friends of ours who used to have bees (Cindi and Pete from Rush River Fiber). I had intended to use it to make lotion, and when I was looking for recipes online, I ran across all kinds of interesting and fun looking lotion and lip balm recipes. I tried my hand at it and while I think overall it was a success, the beeswax had a very high honey content and it wound up quite soft for the little twist tubes I had purchased to put it in. BUT… it tastes DELICIOUS! 🙂

So when I ran across this post by Whole-Fed Homestead, I thought – hey, this is the route to go!!! I have not used their method/recipe yet, but the next time I make a batch, I’m going to follow their method. Thanks to Crystal from Whole-Fed Homestead for letting me repost her recipe here to share with you! (her recipe even made it into Mother Earth News Magazine!)

 

 

 

Who Has Time for a Sick Day?

Good reminders!

A Homeschool Mom

Who_Has_Time_for_a_Sick_Day?It got me. I’ve been skillfully avoiding it for the last few weeks, and lacking all subtlety the dreaded virus finally caught up with me. I am now under the weather. Strictly speaking, sick. Doesn’t this ill-timed disease understand I don’t have time for this? I’m a mom. I’m a homeschooling mom. I’m a mom with way too much on my plate to become even the slightest bit tired much less down for the count. I can’t take a sick day. Who has time for a sick day?

Dramatics aside, how does being sick affect our learning routine? It’s one thing for one of my children to be sick. Mom can attend to their needs while keeping the remainder of our household intact. But when I get sick almost everything stops. As we can’t afford to keep this up for too long, I need a plan of attack:

Just How…

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Elderberry Syrup Recipe

By Wellness Mama

Tis the season… for a cold. Darn. Thankfully it’s just a little sniffle but I’m going to finally make the elderberry syrup that I’ve had the ingredients to make for a while now… I have a couple of recipes at my fingertips, but this is the one I’m going to work from today from Wellness Mama.

elderberry-syrup-recipe-1

photo credit: wellness mama

Herbal Infused Vinegars

Another great article from Mountain Rose Herbs on how to make herb infused vinegar. I didn’t realize it but according to their article here, using vinegar instead of alcohol does also work for creating tinctures for health benefits!

See article below, from Mountain Rose Herbs…

How To:

Herbal Vinegar Extract Method

Step 1

Chop or grind your dried herb to a coarse powder. You can also find many powdered herbs available on our website. Fill 1/5 of your sterilized jar with the herb. Pour organic apple cider vinegar over the herb until the jar is filled to the top. Cover tightly and allow to extract for 14 days in a cool, dark place. Be sure to shake the jar daily.

Step 2

After 2 weeks, strain the herb through cheesecloth. Set the strained liquid in a capped jar on a shelf and allow the sediment to settle overnight. Decant the clear liquid layer into another sterilized jar using a strainer. Cap tightly, label, and store for up to 6 months in a cool, dark place.

Step 3

If you are infusing the vinegar with roots or barks, there is one more step you might want to take. Once the mixture has extracted for 2 weeks and the herbs have been strained out, heat the infusion just short of boiling and filter through cloth while hot. The heat will help congeal albumin in the solution that can then be removed when straining. Excess albumin can encourage your extract to spoil quickly.

To Use:

As a general guide, take 1 tbsp of the vinegar extract up to 5 times a day when needed, unless you are working with potent low/drop dosage herbs. Due to the acid content in vinegar, be sure to avoid direct contact with your teeth. You may want to mix each dose of vinegar with water or tea to dilute the acidity.

For more information about making herbal vinegar extracts at home, check out Making Plant Medicine by Richo Cech and The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook by James Green.

 

Coconut Oil Fudge

Ok, um. This is delicious. And since we’re in the middle of an “elimination diet” where we’re not having dairy, gluten, or eggs, a treat like this tastes especially good! The nutritionist where we saw our functional medicine doctor shared this recipe with me, which came from Golden Barrel. Looks like there are all kinds of great recipes over there that I’m going to have to explore! If you like fudge, and want to make it healthy, give this a try! DELICIOUS. Yes.

photo credit: golden barrel

Immune Boosting Drink

I’ve been intrigued by tumeric lately as it seems to be a great herb for many immune system related issues. I recently tried a tumeric latte, which was delicious, and today saw this post by The Simple Times for a “Immune Boosting Ginger Tumeric Lemon Shot.” Head over to their site to see the very simple recipe, and be well!
(photo credit: The Simple Times)