The cold winds and snow are upon us making it the perfect time for some warming winter beverages! This time of year it is easy to forget to maintain our fluid intake. We may not be as thirsty as in the heat of summer but that does not mean we should not keep up on our liquids. Water continues to be vital to the health keeping skin soft, our body functioning at its peak and removing toxins from our system. Medicinal teas are wonderful choices, easy to prepare and enjoy but sometimes we need something special. I find by adding herbs and spices to our wintery drinks we can add more flavor, nutrition and keep ourselves wanting to drink more! Here are 3 of my winter favorites that will keep you asking for more! I enjoy these seasonally making them extra special and something to look forward to enjoying.
Morning Pick Up
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon fenugreek seed
1 -3 teaspoons of turmeric
Pinch of cayenne
1-2 tbsp of lemon juice or lime juice
Blend all ingredients in a cup of hot water and drink each morning. Crew the softened fenugreek seeds for a digestive aid. It wakes up your liver and your tongue.
Dandelions are best harvested in the early spring or fall after a frost as most of nutrition is in the root. A 5 gallon pail of roots should get you about 3 cups when completed. The bigger the roots the less time to process. Be sure to pick where no one sprays their dandelions and away from road sides. Once you have roots washed, cleaned and chopped, roast in a 200 degree oven until they start to become slightly brown and fragrant. Store in air tight jar until ready to use. Roasted roots are stored with these herbs….
2 cups of roasted dandelion root
½ cup cinnamon bark
½ cup ginger root (dried or candied is best)
½ cup cardamom seeds
½ cup star anise
6 tbsp fennel seed
Use 3 Tbsp of chai mixture to 2 cups of water. Simmer gently for 10-20 minutes covered. Strain the dandelion chai adding 1 cup milk (almond, coconut) and 1 Tbsp of honey and continue to heat through but do not boil. Serve Hot or iced.
I got this recipe from an Old English cookbook. A great find, it has become a favorite in my family and a gift for the holiday. It is a wonderful beverage for cold and flu season also!
1 quart Elderberry juice (Either purchase or prepared from wild harvest of elderberry)
2 cup honey/maple syrup or raw sugar (Can add less or mix and match for flavor variety. I also leave out entirely for those who do not want sweetner)
1-2 cinnamon stick
6 cloves whole
1 star anise
1 tsp nutmeg
2 allspice whole
Cook juice down with additives and can to preserve or store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Recipes using Elderberry Cordial
Cordial will contain bits of spices may wish to strain before drinking.
- Cordial can be taken as a daily tonic to enhance the immune system. Just enjoy 1 tablespoon per day.
- Serve hot mixing 1/8 to 1/4 cup with 1 cup hot water. May add a jigger of rum or brandy.
- Mix 1/4 cup with 11/2 cup mineral water or clear soda for a spritzer.
- Mix cordial ½ cup to 1 cup water, pour in ice cube molds adding to your favorite punch.
- Add 1/8 cup of cordial to 1 cup vanilla yogurt, ½ cup berries (any kind), 1 cup dark juice such as cherry, pomegranate, cranberries and ice. Blend for a great antioxidant smoothie.
I hope you enjoy these winter treats as much as I do!