Make Your Own Chive Blossom Vinegar

Starting in late May and lasting through June, the garden is speckled with the vibrantly purple blossoms of chives.

Chives are a welcome addition to salads, vegetables, and eggs by adding their mild onion flavor.

Their blossoms are edible as well and can also be added to salads by pulling them apart into smaller bits.


Another simple way to use the flowers is to make a chive blossom vinegar.

Start by snipping the blossoms.  You’ll need a cup or two to fill a pint jar 3/4 full with the blossoms.

After collecting the blossoms, it’s a good idea to soak them for an hour or so in water.  This way any resident bugs can evacuate . We didn’t find any bugs in our freshly-opened blossoms, but if you do find them, consider changing the water another time to make sure they’re all out.

Towel dry the blossoms.

Lightly pack a sterilized pint jar with the blossoms and cover with vinegar.  I wanted the color of this vinegar to be lovely so I used white vinegar,  but generally I make my herb-infused vinegars with apple cider vinegar as if offers numerous health benefits on its own.

Place a piece of wax paper underneath the lid so that the vinegar doesn’t corrode the metal top.


For best flavor, infuse the chives into vinegar for 2-4 weeks before straining them out. After, keep the chive vinegar in a cool, dark location.

24 Hours Later

 

one week later

 

To recap, you’ll need:

  • 1-2 cups chive blossoms, soaked to remove any bugs and then towel dried
  • a sterilized pint jar
  • wax paper
  • enough white or apple cider vinegar to cover the blossoms

And then:

Add the chive blossoms to the pint jar and cover with the vinegar ensuring that all of the blossoms are completely submerged.  Place wax paper over the opening and screw on the lid. Wait 2 -4 weeks before straining out the chives. Store the vinegar in a cool, dark location.

This vinegar can be used wherever you might use vinegar, but I plan to use it mostly for salad dressings.

A simple Chive Blossom Vinaigrette could be made like this:

(for one cup)

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chive vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dried herbs and snips of fresh chives (optional)

Place all ingredients into an empty jar, make sure the lid is on, and shake away!

 

 

 

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Prevent Colds & Flu with DIY Elderberry Syrup

There are so many great ways to support your winter health with herbs.  Starting with simple dietary additions (like garlic!) and ending with soothing choices to make your cold or flu more tolerable and shorter, herbs are my go-to for prevention and treatment.

One of the tastiest herbal allies, however, is the elderberry.

This shrubby perennial plant has been used as medicine for centuries to support health and well-being.  I often see it growing naturally in moist soils, but it has also historically been planted at the edge of gardens as the protector of the garden.  Even its name, Elder, speaks to its wise and respected role in our collective medicine chest.

Elder’s lacy, delicate flowers, and bright purplish-black berries can both be used for their medicinal properties.  The flowers are diaphoretic meaning that they help to lower fevers by inducing sweating.  It is a common ingredient in many cold-care tea formulas.

The berries are rich in vitamins C & A, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, beta-carotene, iron, potassium, and phytosterols.  They are often used in prevention and treatment of colds because of their ability to boost the immune system.  As an antiviral, they are helpful in treating upper respiratory viruses including colds and flu, but have also been used in treatments for other viruses such as herpes and shingles.  Elderberry’s effectiveness is not just an “herban” legend, but its ability to reduce the duration of the flu and to fight viruses has been published in a number of scientific articles (links to abstracts in the resources below).

As a food, elderberry can be consumed as a jam, wine, or in pies, but it’s easiest to use as preventative medicine or for treating cold and flu when made into a tasty syrup.  Luckily, it’s really pretty easy to do, too!  I even made a handy graphic . . .

Elderberry syrup Continue reading

Celebrating Fall: Apple Spice Bread & Corn Necklaces

The Fall Equinox occurred on Monday and we’ve been finding ways to celebrate this change in the season throughout the week.

Although Baby LF isn’t quite old enough to really engage in crafts too deeply, I don’t think it’s ever too early to begin new traditions (plus, I’d do these things even if I were just on my own!).  We tried out two new activities that were inspired by a really wonderful book about celebrating the Earth’s seasons: Celebrating the Great Mother.

The first activity was baking a delicious apple spice bread.  Mmm…fall in a loaf.

apple spice Continue reading

Enhance and remember your dreams with Dreamer’s Tea

Our culture doesn’t talk much about the significance of dreams, but to ignore these nighttime messages is to miss out on a valuable way of understanding and growing in our day-to-day and spiritual lives.

Dream symbolism can seem quite strange if it is taken literally, but the patterns, situations, and scenes we find in the night are the mysterious way our minds process information about our past, future, and place in the universe.  Interestingly, many of the patterns that arise in dreams are common across cultures and among people of diverse backgrounds.  The ability to dream is something that unites us all as humans. Continue reading

Homemade Miso Soup

It’s the time of year where rich, heavy dishes are becoming less appealing and I am longing for cleansing, lighter foods.  However, it’s still a bit chilly out and yesterday it even snowed again!  I thought we had seen the last of the snow, but I suppose not….

IMG_5694

Luckily, the sun was shining so we had one last frolic in the snowy woods with a friend and her little man.  It was a thick snow that clung to the trees and flew off in puffs in the wind.  I have to admit, it was quite lovely although I do think I am ready to move on and embrace spring.  It’s going to be so fun with a little one around!

Continue reading

Immuni-Tea: Herbal Immune Support (that’s Delicious!)

Although we’re getting closer to the end of winter (I think…I can’t tell by looking out my windows today!), it’s still as good a time as any to talk about a tea that was formulated to help prevent the last of the winter (or beginning of spring) bugs that might still be going around.

This tea is very simple to make and it tastes DELICIOUS!

Previously, I’ve provided recipes for a honey and onion syrup to help with coughs, colds, and more, and I have also provided instructions for making an echinacea tincture.  The honey and onion syrup how-to actually remains my most popular post to this day.  Given that, I thought I’d also share this brew that has nipped this family’s winter bugs in the bud.

This tea is composed of three ingredients: echinacea (Echinacea spp.), pau d’arco (Tabebuia spp.), and an herb to flavor the blend (cinnamon, orange peel, licorice root, etc.). I like to use cinnamon — yum! Continue reading

Pumpkin and Lentil Soup

We’ve had some strange days of weather recently.  This photo isn’t the best, but in it you can see a rainbow, really dark clouds to the North over the lake, and you can tell that it is 100% sunny behind me by the way the trees are shining with light.  Add to that some lightning and snow all in the same day and you can see what I mean – strange!  But kind of beautiful, really… Continue reading

Happy Mabon! (And a maple-glazed squash recipe)

It’s Mabon, the fall equinox, and I can certainly tell that the days are starting to wind down into longer nights.

Today, the day and night are equal and everything is in balance.  It’s a wonderful time to reflect on the concept of balance in your own life.  What can you do to find peace between the light and dark parts of yourself?  Continue reading

Zucchini Fritters

It’s a fun challenge to continuously find new ways of preparing the abundance of produce that appears this time of year.

After trying zucchini fritters recently, I’ve realized that they’re nothing new to kitchen pros, but they were new to me and now we’ve already made them several times. They’re delicious and a great way to use up some of that extra zucchini.

Here’s how you can get started with your own Zucchini Fritters! Continue reading