Tag Archives: syrup

  1. Charred Cauliflower with Balsamic Dark Chocolate Sauce and Almonds

    Charred Cauliflower with Balsamic Dark Chocolate Sauce and Almonds

    If you are like me, there is never a shortage of super dark chocolate in your house. Since I’ve been experimenting and making my own dark chocolate bars the last few weeks, I have had more chocolate in the house than ever! Not at all a problem I am complaining about, but I am finding myself extra inspired by this gorgeous, silky, velvety, homemade dark chocolate.

    This unique side dish take classic roasted cauliflower to new levels. Crisp-tender with a smoky char, the cauliflower gets the red carpet treatment with this luxurious, silky sauce, featuring the most unsuspecting of ingredients. Dark chocolate.

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  2. How-to Make Elderberry Syrup

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty YummiesHow-to Make Elderberry Syrup

    We aren’t out of the woods just yet, cold and flu season is very much still upon us! Rather than going into hiding, I suggest you arm yourself. Your first line of defense being a nutrient-dense, properly prepared whole foods diet, eliminating sugar and processed foods and of course, minimizing stress and maximizing your rest and relaxation time. That said, extra boosts to your immune system, also never hurt. Elderberry Syrup is an incredible, all-natural remedy that is high in immune-boosting compounds, research (and my own personal experiences) show that it is an effective therapy for shortening the duration of colds and flus.

    I swear by this stuff, you guys! It works. I always have it on hand for the onset of symptoms, but I also take it as an immune boosting player as part of my maintenance plan during the cold and flu season and/or during high stress periods where my immune system may be more compromised. While I have loved elderberry for a long time, after attending an herbal medicine workshop here in Long Beach a few weeks ago, where we learned all about elder, I was inspired to share with you just how easy it is to make. I really enjoyed spending time learning all about elderberries, their healing properties, meditating with the plant, learning it’s history and sampling various preparations. Elderberry syrup is one of my favorite ways to receive the healing powers of elder, because of course, the sweetness from the honey is delicious and it really brings out the sweetness of the berries, but honey in it’s own right is also very healing and soothing.

    Store-bought elderberry syrups can be quite expensive and often times they contain high-fructose corn syrup, some contain food dyes, preservatives, and so on. Making your own syrup means that you not only save some money, but you also can control every ingredient used and once you make this yourself at home, you will wonder why you have ever bought it.

    Elderberries – What Are They?

    Elderberries (family Caprifoliaceae) are large deciduous shrubs or small trees native mostly to the northern hemisphere, although they have become naturalized throughout much of the temperate and subtropical regions where humans live. Elderberries or Sambucus Nigra L., have long been used for centuries by indigenous cultures to treat wounds, respiratory illness, viruses and more. Elder may have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anticancer properties. The berries of the plant are often used for preserves, syrups and tinctures, while the bark and flowers are also useful for treating allergies, creating salves, toning the skin and more. The leaves, stems are toxic.

    Besides lots of flavonoids and free radical-scouring antioxidants, elderberries contain 87 percent of the daily value in vitamin C, and high amounts of vitamin A, potassium, iron, vitamin B6, fiber, and betacarotene. {source}

    Elderberries add a bright, tart, and delightful flavor to various foods, making it a great choice for sauces, syrups, dressings and they can also be used to make wine. I suggest buying high-quality organic dried elderberries, this is a great brand, I also recommend these and finally, this brand. You can also use dried elderberries to make a quick tea. 1 tablespoon of dried berries, to every 8 ounces of filtered water. Bring to a boil, them simmer for 15 minutes. Strain out the berries and enjoy.

    How-to Make Elderberry Syrup

    Treatment and Prevention of Colds and Flu:

    In a human clinical trial, a significant improvement of influenza symptoms, including fever, was seen in 93.3% of the cases in the elderberry-treated group within 2 days, whereas in the control group 91.7% of the patients showed an improvement within 6 days. (Zakay-Rones, 1995)

    The beautiful, deep rich purple elderberries are rich in antioxidant flavanoids believed to stimulate the immune system, reduce swelling and fight inflammation. The benefits seem to be greatest when started within 24 to 48 hours after the symptoms begin. One study found that elderberry could cut the duration of flu symptoms by more than 50%. {source}

    The anthocyanins present in elderberries are similar to those found in other deeply hued foods like blueberries, acai berries, raspberries, red cabbage, grapes, black rice and others.  These antioxidants may neutralize free radical buildup, also known as oxidative stress. Free radicals are linked to the development of a number of degenerative diseases and conditions. Free radicals are by-products of normal bodily functions and are inevitable in daily life. However, it is the delicate balance of antioxidants and free radicals that determine our state of health. {source} One laboratory study demonstrated that the anthocyanins taken from elderberries helped protect blood vessels from free radical damage, suggesting it could also be beneficial against cardiovascular disease.

    Experts think that elderberry reduces the path of flu simply by suppressing an enzyme known as neuraminidase, a proteins that enables flu to spread. Some studies also show that elderberry may have distinct ability to bind with viruses, halting their ability to mutate, change or multiply, thereby shortening the duration of illness or halting the virus before it’s effects are felt by the body.

    The antiviral components of elderberry fruit extract were tested and found to effectively inhibit Human Influenza A (H1N1 virus) in vitro, possibly by blocking the ability of the virus to infect host cells. The extract was so effective, that researchers compared it with the prescription medications Amantadine and Oseltamivir (Tamiflu). {source}

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  3. Honey Lavender Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup and Martini

    Honey Lavender Vanilla Bean Martini

    Homemade simple syrups have become a staple in my kitchen, much like homemade nut milks, nut butters and even sprouts. It’s a simple treat that you can easily make with your favorite fruits, herbs and/or botanicals. Occasionally, I will make them with organic raw sugar, but since I really adore the lovely the depth of flavor that you get when you use good local raw honey, I usually opt for that instead.

    The possibilities are really endless for flavors, you can experiment with whatever you like best and expand your flavors and combinations from there. This particular flavor combination is one of my absolute favorites. Lavender and vanilla bean together are what dreams are made of, add in the honey and just forget it. It really doesn’t get any better.

    Honey Lavender Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup

    Sweet, fragrant, earthy and unique. A few teaspoons of this syrup is wonderful topped with sparkling water for a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage. You can also use it as a traditional syrup, pouring it over yogurt or ice cream, cereals and granolas you can even add it to a homemade almond milk latte, which I am telling you – is life changing!! I am kind of obsessed.

    Honey Lavender Vanilla Bean Martini


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  4. Rose Infused Honey {Guest Post by Homegrown & Healthy}

    I am very excited to introduce you guys to Aubrey of Homegrown & Healthy today. Her site is an amazing curated collection of all that is healthy, homemade and fresh. Aubrey scours the internet to bring you healthy recipes and ideas, including her own recipes and crafts into the mix as well. If you want live healthier and be healthier without having to sacrificing your favorite foods or your budget, you have to check out her site. Today she is sharing a wonderful and simple recipe for Rose Infused Honey which couldn’t fit in more perfectly around here, since I only recently just share a recipe for homemade honey-sweetened ginger syrup. I have roses growing like crazy so I will be making this very soon, I love rose flavored soda water.

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    Rose Infused Honey {Guest Post by Homegrown & Healthy}

    “I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.” Emma Goldman

    Roses: the iconic flower representing romance, love, beauty and appreciation. However, those beautiful, softly scented petals are for more than just show.

    Did you know that roses are edible?

    Not simply edible, but beneficial?

    Roses having a soothing property and have long been regarded as a sedative, anti depressant, and all around stress reducer. From a nutritional standpoint it’s reassuring to know that roses are high in organic acids and nutrients, offering a ton of vitamin C.

    (Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll want to eat every rose you come across. Especially avoid anything that comes from a florist–they cover those things in all kinds of chemicals–or eating flowers from a garden that utilizes pesticides or other chemicals. But you already know that, right?) Read the rest of this entry »

  5. Strawberry Honey Simple Syrup – Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-free

    Strawberry Honey Simple Syrup - Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-free

    I am a sucker for summer beverages. I love a good refreshing cocktail, beer, sangria, champagne or prosecco cocktails, agua fresca, etc. Most times it is either the bubblies or the fruit that really attracts me. If you can get them both together in one drink, even better. I love a good, subtly sweet carbonated beverage.

    I don’t drink much alcohol these days, I reserve that for special occasions, but I still love having fun with my drinks at home. Although making fruit infused simple syrups is one of my favorite things, I really don’t love consuming refined sugar, even if it is organic and raw, etc. Sure, you can absolutely just let the fresh fruit infuse or you can muddle it right into water, sparkling or flat, without any sweetener. But, there is something about the subtle sweetness from an infused simple syrup, even in the smallest amount, that gets me every time. Obviously I don’t consume traditional HFCS laced soda’s anymore, so I prefer to just make them myself at home.

    In an effort to try making a fruity simple syrup without my usual raw organic sugar, I gave some local raw honey a try instead and I am sooo excited about the results. This strawberry honey syrup is thick, perfectly sweet and full of incredible flavors from both the fresh strawberries and the good quality local raw honey.

    I would personally suggest always consuming raw honey over the processed stuff. Even though you cook it down in this recipe, raw honey is still the better choice. Raw honey provides a slew of amazing benefits, but regular pasteurized honey is processed with damaging levels of heat stripping it of these beneficial properties through the heating process, making it just as unhealthy as refined sugar. Also, many times store bought pasteurized honey is actually cut with corn syrup. YUCK! I prefer to get my raw honey from a local farmer, either at the farmers market or a local grocery store.

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