Posts Tagged With: alkaline foods

Apple Mint Herbal Vinegar – Health Tonic Extraordinaire!

delicious minty vinegar

delicious minty vinegar

It has been a luscious blossoming blooming year for gardeners across the land. Much sunlight and only occasional rain has kept most of the slug and snail critters at bay, hoorah! And over in Staffordshire, Mum and dad’s apple mint went wild again, and started springing up everywhere in places most unexpected. We were lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time to harvest the lot, bring it back to the Beach House Kitchen and get creative.

When faced with huge armfuls of thick 3ft long mint stems, it is easy to find yourself wondering what on earth you’re going to do with the bounty of furry goodness there in front of you! But luckily there are many ways to preserve herbs – in oils, vinegars, dried in jars; and many uses for the finished product like salad dressings, flavouring for your cooking, teas and delightful herbal baths! Lets face it a whole shelf of different herbal vinegars is pure visual delight – and that’s before you’ve even eaten any!

yummy mint, fresh and dried

yummy mint, fresh and dried

The Bits

Glass or plastic jar with waxed paper and elastic band for lid if metal (vinegar disintegrates metal lids)

Apple cider vinegar with the mother culture (great for your digestive system)

Aromatic herbs, such as apple mint (or all the other kinds of mint too), chives and chive blossom, dandelion flowers and leaves, organic orange peel, lavender flowers, even nettles…. The list goes on…

Do it

Fill a jar with your freshly cut chopped herbs, making sure the jar is well filled but not packed too tightly either… (After a few goes you’ll get the idea, I don’t think I put enough in ours)!

Pour room-temperature apple cider vinegar into the jar until it is full.

Cover jar with wax paper held on with a rubber band and metal lid on top, or a plastic lid, or a cork.

Label the jar with the name of the herb and the date.

Put the jar in a kitchen cupboard not too hot and not too cold but out of direct sunlight and leave for 6 weeks.

Don’t forget it’s there!

Serve

Over salads or beans and grains at dinner, in salad dressings, or to season stir fries and soups.

You can even drink it in the morning in a glass of water as a health tonic, after all what could be more healthy than your own produce soaked in apple cider vinegar!

We love it

There’s a lovely aspect of this creative process too and it’s all about the love and appreciation of food that has come out of your own soil. The very act of stripping the leaves from the stem, drying them, and getting creative all feels like a very natural and heart-warming process; one which our ancestors would have done too, to preserve that nourishing goodness of Summer ready for darker Wintery times. And it is SO good for you! Daily use of preserved herbs gives you a little health boost with virtually no expense or effort.

Foodie fact

Herbs are magic because of the high level of nutrients they contain – mint for example contains a lot of Calcium.

Apple cider vinegar has been known as a health-giving agent for centuries. Hippocrates swore by it, along with honey. It is incredible at lowering cholesterol, improving skin tone, and even for arthritis. It is also very good at dissolving nutrients from plants which water is not so good at, meaning this vinegar is super-healthy and mineral rich.

Ever seen your granny splash some vinegar onto her greens before serving? Eaten with iron rich vegetables like spinach or broccoli, vinegar can increase the amount of calcium you get by a third. Pretty amazing stuff!

Vinegar is highly alkaline, I know that sounds strange, but when it is metabolised by the body, it goes through a serious change.  Alkaline foods are incredible for health and keep disease and other baddies at bay.

minty spiral

minty spiral

Categories: Foraging, Infusions, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Wonders of Honeygar and the Alkaline Body

Hagar (Honey and Cider Vinegar)

Honey and cider vinegar combined with just boiled water is normally called ‘Honeygar’ and a mighty fine thing it is.  This potion is not only a lovely brew (an acquired taste) it also has great health properties and cures many ailments.  Both Hippocrates and the ancient Egyptians are said to have appreciated the healing properties of cider vinegar.  It  has also been used as an anti-aging elixir, which is always popular!

Good cider vinegar is a completely natural product and is normally made by allowing crushed apples to ferment in oak barrels.  It has cleansing and disinfecting properties which self detoxify the body and it is a powerful cleansing agent and healing elixir with naturally occurring antibiotic and antiseptic that fights germs and bacteria.  Honey (unprocessed) is normally added to make the drink more palatable.

Cider Vinegar also helps to keep the body nicely alkaline.  Vinegar is obviously acid but when broken down in the stomach becomes alkaline.  An alkaline body fights germs and disease better and helps to ward off ailments such as bladder and kidney conditions, osteoporosis, aching muscles, low energy and chronic fatigue, and slow digestion.

Raw fruits, leafy green vegetables, tea and legumes are examples of alkaline foods.  Interestingly a foods actual pH is not a good indicator of a food that has acidic effects on the body, for example, lemons and limes when processed by the body actually have a very alkaline effect.  All animal products are acid forming, even if they have a alkaline pH prior to digestion.  The ideal ratio of alkaline to acid foods in a diet id 70/30.  High stress levels can also effect the amount of acid produced in the body.  For more on getting alkaline see here.

Cider vinegar is especially good at treating arthritis and with the British national health service restricting the access to arthritis treatments, many people are looking for alternative methods of treatment.  There have been many articles recently in the press verifying these healing effects.

Lillies on the windowsill (nothing to do with Cider Vinegar, but lovely non-the-less)

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the famous explorer and endurance chap, suffered with arthritis in his hand and hip and turned to drinking honeygar.  He says “Without it I wouldn’t be able to have done all the things I have done…it has completely kept my arthritis at bay.”

Honeygar is best drank regularly and can take a while to kick in, so stick with it.  It also must be combined with a low acid diet, that means no nasty foods high in sugar, nothing processed (factory food) and alcohol.  If you have stiff muscles and joints, try taking regular hot baths with epsom salts.

I have a hip that clicks and a dodgy neck, which are probably old injures from when I was young and used to do terrible things to my body, all in the name of sports.  I have started to drink honeygar and will keep you posted on the progress of my dodgy bits.

I think the message is, get off those awful painkillers and other drugs if you can and try something different.  There is enough evidence out there to suggest that honeygar and a huge number of other alternative remedies actually work.   This is not always backed up by medical tests, but who needs that when it works!

When buying cider vinegar, check that it contains the ‘mother’ and is organic.  This ensures that it is completely natural, the good stuff, and has not been distilled.   The distillation process kills of the powerful enzymes and minerals like potassium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, sulphur, iron copper, fluorine, silicon, pectin and natural malic and tartaric acids, which are important in fighting body toxins and inhibiting bacteria growth.

‘Hagar’ Recipe

Add 2 tbs cider vinegar and top up with freshly boiled water, add honey to taste (1 tbs is normally good for us)

Some of the info for this post came from the great benefits of honey site and an article in the Daily Telegraph

*Since writing is article Lee has gone fully vegan and now uses other sweeteners like maple syrup or date syrup to sweeten this drink.  The apple cider vinegar is the main reason for drinking Hagar and can be sweetened with whatever you prefer. 

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Categories: Healing foods, Healthy Living, Infusions, Nutrition | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 76 Comments

Four C’s Juice with Barley Grass

About to get juicy

CARROT, CELERY, CUCUMBER, CORIANDER…….the fours C’s.

Why has nobody thought of this before! Or should I say, why have I never heard of this before, a carrot and coriander juice.

A classic soup recipe will no doubt make a tasty juice, just colder and thinner but still full of all those good enzymes and nutrients we need to keep ticking over.

I’ve made a few additions here to spice things up a little. The cucumber adds some freshness, the celery a more savoury edge and the ginger and nice little POW.

We take the skin off the cucumber as it has a bitter flavour and also turns the juice a peculiar beige shade.

We have been using barley grass in our savoury juices, it is a real super food and also has a pleasant taste.  We’d like one day to start a little wheat grass farm here, but this dried barley grass is a more than adequate substitute for wheat grass.

Fire up the Magimix!

The Bits

Makes two good glasses

4 Carrots, 2 sticks of celery, 1/2 cucumber (de-skinned) 2cm cube of ginger, 1 handful of coriander (celantro, stalks and all).  If your juicer is not great, you may need to mash up the celantro in a pestle and mortar and add it to the juice later.  It can get left behind.  If you have one of those little wheatgrass crushing machines (lucky you) use that instead.

Follow the instructions on the barley grass packaging (don’t over indulge!) we use half a teaspoon per glass.  Add a little juice and mix to a paste, then add the rest of your juice, stirring all the time.  This avoids blobs of intense barley grass surprising you mid-slurp.

Do It

You will need a juicer here unfortunately, we are blessed with a crimson Magimix that is by far the greatest appliance we have ever owned (purrs like a Rolls Royce when started).

Juice your coriander and ginger first, then the rest goes in with the carrots last.  Carrots are a great veg to juice last as they give off alot of juice and really clean out any lingering bits and peices.

Four C’s Juice

We Love It! 

This is a delicious savoury way to start the day, packed with vitality and goodness.

Foodie Fact

Several reasons that barley grass is worth adding to your diet.  It contains:

–  Five times more iron than brocolli.

–  More iron than steak.

–  Seven times more vitamin C than orange juice.

–  Eleven times more calcium than milk.

Our bodies are mainly too acidic for our own good, leading to many health issues.  Barley grass is a strong alkalizer and helps to neutralise the effects of an acidic diet and let our cells get on with their business.

Categories: Breakfast, Juices, Nutrition, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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