Posted October 22, 2019
By Shana Weddington
Recipes to Nourish
Harvest season in Michigan is a favorite season for many because of the great abundance, vibrant colors, and the days of dreamy weather. As much as we try to enjoy the gifts that autumn brings, it seems that we’re also acutely aware of another message that autumn brings: winter is coming. Using our harvest abundance wisely to stock our pantries and freezers is one way that we can help nourish ourselves all winter long. When I’m feeling less than optimal, my go-tos are bone broth, tea and elderberry syrup—which I’ve compiled to share here. Not only are these recipes easy to make, you can easily make large batches to put away for winter.
Nutrient-Dense Broth Supports Vital Organs
Bone broth has become a recent buzz word in the alternative medicine world, but the use of bone broth can be traced back several generations in cultures all around the world. In fact, there’s an old South American proverb that says, “Good broth will resurrect the dead.” I don’t know about going that far, but when we make our own bone broth, we’re not only using the waste from a dinner or two, we’re creating something deeply nourishing. Electrolyte-rich, collagen dense, and chock full of gut-healing amino acids—bone broth has the power to support our vital organs and strengthen our defenses.
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Bone-Broth Recip-easy
Use a slow cooker or large stock pot and cover the leftover skin and bones from a roasted chicken (store bought or homemade) with water. Add half of a lemon or just the skin of an already juiced lemon, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion, pepper and other herbs in moderation to taste.
Cook in slow cooker for 12-24 hours, adding water as needed to keep the bones mostly covered. A minimum of 12 hours is recommended to get the full potential of the bones pulled out and into the water, creating a gelatin rich broth.
Strain once cooled, add salt, then pour into clean jars or freezer safe containers and use within a week or store.
Evening Tea to Improve Sleep Quality
Including a nourishing tea into your evening routine can positively affect your sleep quality and overall wellness. During a recent family crisis that I was in the thick of, a close herbalist friend of mine asked me this one question that gave me pause to consider my nighttime routine: “What plants are you allied with?” After considering my needs and my family’s needs, I switched up my nighttime tea from a basic chamomile and plantain to a calming, anxiety-reducing and resilience-building tea made of lemon balm, chamomile, lavender, milky oat tops, nettle, skullcap and rose. This simple change improved sleep quantity and quality while providing support during a stressful time.
Stress Less, Dream More Resilience-Tea Blend
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon balm
- 1 Teaspoon Chamomile
- 1 Teaspoon Milky Oat Tops
- 1 Teaspoon Nettle
- 1 Teaspoon Skullcap
- ½ Teaspoon Lavender
- Dash of Rose
Boil 32 oz. of water and pour over the dried herbs. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Strain and enjoy plain or with honey.
Tip: Mix up a larger blend and store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Add ¼-½ cup of the blend to 32 oz. of boiled water.
Elderberry Syrup Reduces Cold Duration
We all have our own tell-tale signs when we’ve caught a bug and our immune system is hard at work trying to restore balance. If we pay attention to these initial signs and reach for the elderberry, we can help to shorten the duration of the cold or flu by as much as four days, according to medical research. In fact, elderberry has become so well-known that there are a plentitude of elderberry syrups available at your local pharmacy or health food store. But if you have an hour and some elderberries handy, you can make enough to support yourself through winter! At the first signs of a cold or flu, take 2 tablespoons of elderberry every hour for up to five days.
Knock-Out DIY Elderberry Syrup
Makes approximately 1 quart—will keep in fridge for 6 months.
- 1 Cup Dry or Fresh Elderberries
- 2 Cups Water
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1 Cup 40%-Alcohol (optional)
- 1 Cup Raw Local Honey
- 1 Quart-Size Canning Jar
In a large saucepan, combine the water, elderberries, ginger and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Press and strain elderberry mixture into a quart-size canning jar. Stir in 1 cup honey and 1 cup alcohol to preserve the mixture. Shake well to mix.