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Immune Boosting Cocktails? Yes!

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Since I shared the recipe for Fire Cider I thought you would like the Cider with Fire Bloody Mary recipe. The holiday season is upon us and if you like to enjoy the occasional cocktail why not make it healthy and immune boosting! This drink is heart healthy, anti-inflammatory, immune system boosting, bone building, cancer fighting, blood pressure lowering, and packed with vitamin C goodness.

Here is my recipe:

  • 1 3/4 cup of low sodium V8 juice
  • 1/4 cup of Hibiscus Cider With Fire
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed.
  • Mix the above ingredients together and pour into glass over ice
  • Add 1 shot of vodka per glass
  • Black pepper and Tabasco can be added to taste.
  • Garnish with olives, bacon or celery sticks.
  • Makes 2, 8 oz servings. Enjoy and here’s to your health!!

 

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Benefits of Cedar

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Ever seen a Cedar Tree, you know the tall evergreen that smells and looks lovely this time of year? Did you know that Cedar has wonderful properties that’s good for your skin and body?

Emotionally, cedarwood is said to have a grounding, calming affect on the nervous system and can help by rooting a person and opening their heart. Physically cedarwood can help:

  • improve skin conditions like eczema
  • help relieve arthritis
  • as a natural deodorizer
  • as a natural sedative
  • improve focus and ADHD
  • as a bug repellent
  • stress relief
  • fight fungal infections
  • fight acne

You can buy Cedarwood Essential oils or you can make an oil infusion to use for soaps or salves. There are several ways to make an infusion but here is the one I most commonly work with.

Cut the new tips off cedar branches, or if you have access to a newly cut cedar tree or branch you can use some of the shavings or cedar chips. Pack the cuttings or chips into a mason jar and add oil of you choice. Make sure the oil covers the entire plant and the ratio I use is 1 part plant to 2 parts oil. The oil depends on the end use. Olive oil is a good choice for soap making but I like to use sweet almond oil, apricot kernel or jojobo oil for salves or creams. Label the jar with the oil and date created and let it sit for around 4-6 weeks. Make sure you shake the jar at least once a day. When you are ready to use your oil strain it with either a fine mesh strainer or with cheesecloth. Be sure to squeeze out all the oil! Enjoy the smell and create your soap or salve.

Warning! Cedar oil should never be consumed and avoid the essential oil if pregnant. Always test any oil on a small patch of skin to make sure you do not have any allergic reaction.

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Immune Boosting Tonic

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I started a few fresh batches of Fire Cider the other day. Have you heard about Fire Cider? If you have ever heard of Rosemary Gladstar I’m sure you know the story and all about how wonderful this tonic is and how important it is to our immune system. I have been making a variation of her original recipe for a while and thought I would share some of the benefits as well as how to make it.

Fire cider is made with organic apple cider and is packed with such immune boosting herbs and root vegetables like red onion, horseradish, garlic and more. The list of health benefits is long but includes:

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-viral and natural flu destroyer
  • Heart healthy
  • Boost immune system
  • Antioxidant
  • Helps with joint pain
  • Digestive aid
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Decongestant
  • Circulatory boosting

It’s easy to take, a tsp. a day, and can be used a variety of ways to make it better to digest. Of course if you like a little heat and spice take it straight but never on an empty stomach (because of the acid of the cider). That’s a tough one for me so I like to add it to an 8 once glass of water, which just adds flavor. Others use it anyway you would use vinegar, as part of a salad dressing, on greens, fish and chips, etc. It’s just a great way to keep your immune system healthy and strong. Warning! Please do not consume if you are pregnant or have stomach ulcers.

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Here is a standard recipe:

Homemade Fire Cider Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root
1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root
1 medium organic onion, chopped
10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped
2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
1/4 organic turmeric root
organic apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of raw local honey, or to taste
Directions
Prepare your roots, fruits, and herbs and place them in a quart-sized glass jar. If you’ve never grated fresh horseradish, be prepared for a powerful sinus-opening experience!
Pour the apple cider vinegar in the jar until all of the ingredients are covered and the vinegar reaches the jar’s top. Use a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal, or a plastic lid if you have one. Shake well.
Store in a dark, cool place for a month and remember to shake daily.
After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the pulp as you can while straining. Next comes the honey. Add and stir until incorporated. Taste your cider and add more honey until you reach the desired sweetness. Enjoy!

There are many variations out there, some use Lemon, Rosemary, Echinacea, Cayenne Pepper, etc. I add Hibiscus Flowers in mine to help with taste as well as blood pressure and cholesterol and call it Hibiscus Cider With a Little Fire! Experiment and see what works for you.

Have you made Fire Cider before? Let me know what you think and please share if you start a batch yourself!

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The Quiet Time

We have entered the time of year when the garden is most dormant, one season has ended and reflection begins. This past year was very busy as we established the Medicinal Garden, the Culinary Garden, the Vegetable Garden and the Fruit Garden. Luckily I have a very handy husband that loves to build things and a teenager that needs to learn what hard work really is. There were many successes and a few fails along the way but we did enjoy the “fruits of our labor”!

While the garden is mostly quiet there are a few things planted for the fall and winter season. I walk through each garden everyday and take note as to what is still hanging in there, what has died and what needs to be worked on. Currently we have Kale, Collards, Turnips, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Lettuce and Beets growing well and even if the cold stunts their growth I know they will hang in there until early spring. There is nothing like the taste of a fresh, organically grown vegetable and I can not wait to see what we grow next season.

The successes were numerous and I experimented with herbs and vegetables I had never grown before. Keeping the bugs, worms and rabbits away posed more of a problem than I had been use to in the past but with perseverance and maybe a few curse words the plants survived. This past season we were able to grow, sugar peas, green beans, black beans, lettuce, radishes, carrots, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, apples, peaches, grapes, purple potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, tomatoes, several varieties of peppers, cabbage, corn, okra (oh boy did we have okra), pumpkins, cantalope, watermelon and eggplant. Our medicinal and culinary plants included yarrow, lemon balm, chamomile, tulsi basil, basil, thyme, lavender, rosemary, peppermint, chocolate mint, sage, clary sage, borage, stevia, elderberry, roses, foxglove, comfrey, bay leaf, cilantro, tumeric, ginger, marshmallow, butterfly weed, echinacea, indigo, feverfew, motherwort, lemon grass, red hibiscus, mullien and elcampane. We were also blessed with our wonderful land that has allowed me to forage golden rod, passion flower, chickweed, cleavers, self heal, mugwort, plantain, violet, yellow dock, dandelion, mimosa, black walnut, pokeweed, wild black cherry, sassafras, wild lettuce, turkey tail and other mushrooms, and wild strawberry.

I have already started to plan next years gardens. So much to do in this quiet time to prepare so stay tuned as I share our adventure. image