Monday, December 20, 2010

It's that time of year... for colds!

Yes, the cold bug has hit our house, so I thought I would share a few of our favorite herbal tea mixes, which have been getting a lot of play around here in the last few days. These would also make great gifts, presented with a tea strainer or holiday tea towel.  Of course, I'm no doctor, but these blends have helped soothe throats and chests and nerves around these parts. I don't have a good local source, so I purchase all of my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs, Starwest Botanicals, and The Bulk Herb Store.

 Cold and Flu Tea
Mix 1 part elder flowers (good for colds, flu and fever) with one part marshmallow root (cough expectorant and the kids like the flavor). Steep for 3 - 5 minutes and sweeten with honey (also good for coughs). These are both soft herbs, so don't let them steep too long or they'll get a bitter taste.

Cough Tea (especially good for calming dry, barking and asthma coughs)
Mix two parts red clover to a scant one part licorice root. Peel and slice a small piece of fresh ginger, and add to tea cup or small pot. Add a teaspoon of the herbs and steep for 3 - 5 minutes (if making this for kids, check after 3 minutes. The ginger and licorice can become too strong if steeped for a long time). Strain into a new cup and add a teaspoon of honey.
Note: licorice should not be used continuously for a long period of time, and never for people with high blood pressure

Relaxation Tea (for those care givers!)
In a mason jar combine two parts peppermint, two parts chamomile, one parts lemon balm, ginkgo, St. John's wort, and licorice. Add dried orange peels (I save orange peels in a jar in the fridge and then dry them in my dehydrator to add to teas).  Steep for five minutes and sweeten to taste.

Wishing you and your family good health this season!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sunday waffles on a Tuesday

Well, it is the season to indulge, isn't it? I made a double batch of my favorite GF waffles on Sunday, and froze the extras. For a school day treat, I simply toasted a few waffles, and while they were warming, heated a thinly sliced green apple in the microwave for 2 minutes. A little butter, cinnamon sugar and whipped cream (also left-over) equals a very happy morning!