Sunday, January 16, 2011

Vinegar for Winter Health

In catching up on some backlogged magazine reading while on vacation this winter, I happened upon a recipe in ReadyMade magazine for herbal vinegar that is supposed to help boost the immune system to stave off winter health woes.  The recipe for the tincture is credited to Trilby Sedlacek, a registered herbalist in Iowa and owner of Green Angels Herbs & Healing Arts.  The recipe is easy - raw apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg) and fresh herbs of your choice (recommended are: nasturtium, mint, garlic, sage and basil).  You simply fill a clean/sterilized canning jar (a Ball jar) with herbs, not overpacking, and then fill the jar with vinegar.  You seal and let it sit for about two weeks at room temperature, shaking gently once in awhile.  Then you strain out the herbs, label and date the jar and start enjoying.  Note:  the Wild*Crafty blog recommends letting ther herb/vinegar mix sit for six weeks before decanting. 

Fresh, organic sage (left) and basil (right)

Bragg ACV
The chopped herbs, loosely packed

I  started my tincture this afternoon.  I chose sage and basil and I would recommend organic herbs if you can find them.  While garlic has many healing properties, unfortunately, both H & I recently tested as sensitive to it.  So, for the time being, it is out of our diets.   This took only a few minutes to make and now I just have to patiently wait for the tincture to be ready.

The finished product - ACV & herbs
Once the tincture has "matured" for a few weeks, you can use a few spoonfuls in salad dressings, sauces, soups/stews.  Or, if you are like me and love vinegar, have a few spoonfuls straight up!  For hot food, it is recommended to add after cooking so as not to destroy the healthful benefits of the raw vinegar. The theory behind the tincture is that the vinegar helps to extract the minerals from the herbs.  Unlike the strictly culinary vinegars that you can buy in gourmet groceries, which use just a small amount of herbs for their flavor properties, this type of tincture is prepared with larger quantities of herbs for their healthful properties - that they taste great too is an additional benefit!

1 comment:

  1. After you strain it, you can use the 'marque' or left over plant material too. Chop it up and add it to salads or whatever strikes you!