CHICKWEED (Stellaria Media)
I have a big chickweed patch in my vege garden that has kept me going through the winter and has been one of my staple juicing ingredients.
It’s a fantastic mineral supplement and contains: iron, copper, calcium, sodium, manganese, phosphorus and is high in silica and zinc. It also improves the absorption of other minerals. Vitamins include A, some of the B’s as well as C and the ever important D.
There are many traditional benefits and people have used it as an anti -rheumatic, a nervous system tonic, digestive, for the male and female reproductive system, as an anti- inflammatory, for fever, gout and constipation.
As a poultice can be used for: boils, burns, psoriasis, abscesses, ulcers, carbuncles, eczema and even haemorrhoids.
Other uses: Crush into a pesto with half and half basal or sprinkle the leaves, stalks and flowers onto salads.
My patch has just started to flower (with tiny white blooms) and so will soon go to seed, but will self seed and bounce back again next winter. To look at, this annual is a branching plant with leaves forming directly opposite each other with only one line of hairs.
CAUTION – As with anything ingested – natural or not – watch for irritation (in this case due to the essential oils). And always identify your plants!
My smoothie often features chickweed. This one has a big bunch of chickweed, apples, fresh pineapple, carrots, cucumber, ginger, peppermint and celery.
This is my big chickweed patch – it feeds us through the winter and is just coming into flower now.
EDIBLE BOUQUET - BORAGE
With fennel, chamomile, Herb Robert, Nastursian and my favourite - Borage!!
NOT JUST GARNISH!
Borage has so many traditionally used qualities and is beleived to be especially great for PMS and Menopause (especially the hot flushes).
It's a cooling herb - the leaves taste a little like cucumber while the flowers are a tiny bit honeyish.
Sprinkle the flowers over any salad and add finely sliced young leaves into your favourite cucumber salad (with proper yoghurt, salt, pepper, lemon juice and finely sliced red onion) - top with the flowers. This is my cucumber salad tonight!! And While I think the flowers look amazing as a garnish - they are so much more than that. I always 'garnish' my food with edible little power houses.
As always respect natures wisdom and only eat herbs in season! Always identify your plants. (Don't eat if you have a liver condition)
INVITE ROBERT TO DINNER
Herb Robert (otherwise known as Geranium robertianum, stinky Bob – or by Native American’s who have much more romantic names – ‘Crow’s foot’) has been used traditionally as a health tonic to "cure many ailments”.
Now we know that it is the geranium oil that does its magic by carrying oxygen into the cells helping the body fight disease at a cellular level. Two times Nobel Prize winner Dr Otto Warburg always said “the prime cause of cancer is lack of oxygen to the cells”. It contains vitamins A, C and many of the B group, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and phosphorous. It is believed to aid in wound healing, the chewed leaves may help in sore throat and mouth conditions, toothache, diarrhea and for kidney, liver and gallbladder function.
Include this little wonder in your daily salads! ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE CORRECT PLANT!
Try this easy and tasty centrepiece for the Christmas table.
You can also dip strawberries in dark chocolate and pile whole nuts around the base.
Combine the benefits of a delicious raw summer salad with a fresh Nori sheet for a perfect summer lunch.
These bliss balls have been infused with a delicious blueberry powder! Otherwise the recipe is pretty much the same as your standard bliss ball!
½ cup each of
- Sesame seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- ORGANIC BLUEBERRY POWDER
¼ cup each of
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
Soak dates for half a day and toss everything into a food processor. Melt a little coconut oil and add if consistency is too dry, or if too wet add a little dry coconut.
When the mixture sticks together, roll into balls and coat in cocao powder, blueberry powder or coconut. Store in the fridge and eat with your favourite herbal tea. Enjoy the high dose antioxidant the blueberry powder provides, along with protein and fibre.
SAGE LEAF CHIPS
A bunch of freshly picked silver or purple sage leaves
A few tablespoons of good quality coconut oil
Method: Throw the leaves – a few at a time- into the hot oil and fry until crispy – just a few seconds until they stop sizzling – meaning the moisture has been removed. Remove onto a serving platter (or straight on top of a salad) and sprinkle with kelp, sea or Himalayan salt.
These are deliciously crunchy with a delicate flavour.
Benefits: Sage leaves are believed to help lower blood sugar levels, are anti microbial and antioxidant. They contain the vitamins A, C and B and calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and small amounts of manganese, zinc, copper, sulphur, silicon, phosphorus and sodium.
So make this unpretentious herb centrepiece at your next evening meal.
(Avoid if pregnant and breast feeding as they can dry up the flow of milk).
ELDERBERRY FLOWER VINEGAR
My elderberry tree is in full flower now (December) and I am reluctant to take too many flowers because there is so much to be done with the berries later in summer.
Method: Either dry or place fresh elderberry flowers into a jar with a good quality fermented vinegar and place in a dark cupboard for a couple of months. Strain the liquid and reserve the vinegar.
Benefits: Elderflowers (Sambucus nigra) contain flavonoids such as quercertin which gives them potent antioxidant properties as well as antiviral, immunostimulating, anti inflammatory, diuretic and antidiabetic properties.
Note: If you don't have access to an elderberry - think about growing your own tree! Not only is it a beautifully graceful shade tree - it is medicinal!!
ELDERBERRY, APPLE AND WALNUT CRUMBLE WITH CLOTTED VANILLA BEAN CREAM
- Don’t measure anything!
- Pick a handful or more of ripe elderberries
- Core and chop a few apples
- Cook down on a low heat with a dash of water
- Sweeten if needed with Stevia drops to taste
Actually you can just stop here and top with the cream, or...
- Make crumble topping by melting 50gm of butter
- Stir in couple of good handfuls each of shaved coconut, chopped walnuts and almond meal.
- Again sweeten with a little melted honey and/or Stevia to taste
- Pile on top of fruit and back till golden
CLOTTED VANILLA BEAN CREAM
- Mix equal quantities of organic cream and properly fermented yoghurt.
- Place cream/yoghurt into a yoghurt maker or hot water cupboard overnight
- Stir in some unsweetened vanilla bean paste and place a good dollop on your hot crumble
Delicious and healthy!
Note: Elderberries have a similar taste and texture to blueberries – and are like their smaller cousins. Always make sure you identify your trees. Don't eat unripe berries.