Tag Archives: Herbs

Herbal Bouillon

18 May

In early March, I finally managed to catch a meeting with my local fermentation meetup group– yes, that is a thing that exists!  I usually miss them because of my work schedule.  The March theme of the month was booze and bitters, inspired by spring and the upcoming St. Patrick’s day.  The woman I was sitting next to was gushing about a relatively new book:  Foraging and Feasting by Dina Falconi.  She was so enthusiastic about it that I later looked it up online.  She was right!  It’s awesome.  I now own the book, and I have taken some time to page through it.  It’s full of gorgeous and helpful illustrations by Wendy Hollander, along with a host of recipes.

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Herbal bouillon is the first recipe I have sampled from the book.  Falconi includes suggestions for all sorts of wild herb combinations.  My own version is composed of what I had to use up in my fridge one week in March.  It’s a great recipe if you find yourself with more greens than you have time to eat before they go bad.  The high salt concentration makes this more of a preserve than a true fermentation:  these greens will keep almost indefinitely.  I look forward to this as a way of adding a splash of  vibrant summer green into my otherwise cabbage-laden winter cookery.  In the book, the recipe calls for sixteen ounces of fresh greens.  Sixteen ounces is a LOT of plants.  I pared the recipe down to four ounces of greens and once ounce of sea salt, because that’s the amount I had on hand.  You can use whatever amount you like, but the ratio of salt to greens is important to maintain for preservation purposes.  Four ounces of greens was was perfect for stuffing into a half-pint mason jar.

A few teaspoons of bouillion goes a long way in dressing up a soup.  So far I’ve used it in an otherwise bland leftover chicken soup from my mother-in-law figure and to dress up my own lentil soup.  The most specialized part of the recipe is that you really need a kitchen scale to get the proportions of salt to greens correct.

Herbal Bouillion

Clean and mince 4 ounces of greens.  I used:

2/3 oz basil

2 oz cilantro

1 and 1/3 oz scallions

Mix the herbs with 1 oz celtic sea salt.

Stuff them into a half-pint jar, and store in a cool, dark place.  The fridge works just fine.  I took this picture today.  Notice how it’s still vibrant green,  six weeks later.  The salt will corrode metal, so it’s best to use a plastic lid, or put a layer of wax paper or plastic wrap between your mason jar lid and the glass jar.

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Flavor of the Day: Rooibos, Rose, Raspberry Leaf Jun

28 Jun
That's not a rose hip ... _this_ is a rose hip.

Rose hip (Photo credit: Zak Greant)

Raspberries

Raspberries: the leaf often gets overlooked, but that’s what I’m interested in for this recipe.  (Photo credit: Kodamakitty)

 

I should call this my flavor of the month, because it’s what I’ve been drinking the most of lately.  Rooibos definitely stands out flavor-wise in this mellow herbal concoction.

This recipe uses the Jun 101 basic brew instructions as its primary fermentation process.  You are NOT brewing Jun with rooibos tea.  Jun is always brewed with green tea and honey.   Once you finish the primary ferment, you can add whatever flavors you want to.  Bottling the Jun and leaving it out at room temperature for a while will create a secondary ferment.  This helps the flavors of the herbs to sink in, and allows the brew to build up some bubbles.

RRR Jun:

Add to a pint sized bottle with a sealable top:

1/2 t rooibos

1/2 t raspberry leaf

1/2 t rose hips

Pour your plain, already fermented Jun (see Jun 101 for details) over the herbs, seal the bottle and let sit for a day or two.  Strain your bottle into a glass as you drink it at room temp or chill in the refrigerator.

 

Rooibos, Aspalathus linearis (N.L.Burm.) R.Dah...

Rooibos, or African red bush. photo credit: Wikipedia.

 

About the Herbs:

Rose Hips are collected in the autumn.  They are the fruits of the Dog Rose. Rose hips are one of natures best sources of Vitamin C, and much of their medicinal value is because of the content of this nutrient.  They aid the body’s immune defenses, help with constipation, and with probelms of the gall bladder, kidneys, and bladder.

Raspberry Leaves are well known in my profession as a doula, because they are a womb herb.  When consumed regularly during pregnancy, they act as a tonic for the uterus.  I have heard some doubts as to the value of its use in the first trimester from prenatal students who were advised by their healthcare providers: particularly in people who have a high risk for miscarriage.  However, in my reading I have not seen it indictated as a uterine contractor, only a uterine strengthener.  I have also read that it helps to counteract morning sickness.  Raspberry leaf is particularly good to drink throughout the third trimester, in preparation for labor and even during labor.  Raspberry leaf also has astringent qualities.  It is good for diarrhea and other ‘loose’ conditions, as well as mouth sores, bleeding gums, or sore throats.  (sources:  Susun Weed’s  Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year and David Hoffman’s Holistic Herbal)

Rooibos, or african red bush tea is a popular drink these days for people who like drinking tea but don’t want caffeine.  My herb books actually don’t include rooibos as a medicinal herb, but it is apparently high in anti-oxidants.   Wikipedia claims that it helps with allergies, nervous tension and digestion.

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