Herbs for Natural Detox – Traditional Medicinals – Herbal Wellness

As we shift from the holiday season, it is an excellent time to take a few days to simplify, clear and pave the way to receive the bounty of the new year. This can mean making space for creativity, resetting intentions, or cultivating healthy habits that support the body and mind. Symbolically, it is no … Continue reading Herbs for Natural Detox – Traditional Medicinals – Herbal Wellness

The Herbs and Spices of Thanksgiving!

Without the herbs and spices, we associate with our traditional Thanksgiving spread the food would be rather dull.  What would the turkey be without incorporating sage (Salvia officinalis) in our stuffing?  Cinnamon is a must-have for apple pie.  For pumpkin pie, we need cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. And I’d rather not drink my eggnog without a dash of freshly ground nutmeg. Many of us use the familiar Old Bay Poultry seasoning and often, along with sage, this herb and spice mix also includes nutmeg, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and black pepper.

Kate Erd, manager of the Spice House on Old World 3rd Street in Milwaukee explains that “Herbs are the leafy part of the plant, like sage leaves, rosemary needles, and parsley.” “Spices are the hard part of the plant, so it’s the bark or the seed or the root. For example, cinnamon is bark, nutmeg is a seed, and ginger is a rhizome. Spices only grow about 15 degrees above and below the equator, where herbs, on the other hand, can be grown anywhere.” Erd says. “We grow them here in the Northern Hemisphere. There are some exceptions,” she adds. “Coriander and dill seed are spices from plants that are grown as herbs — cilantro in the case of coriander.”

Often, “pumpkin pie spice contains cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, mace, cloves, and allspice, and sometimes buds from the cassia tree from which cinnamon is produced.”

Below are three Thanksgiving recipes that I’ve made for years, which have now become a tradition in my family. And here is a great site with wonderful recipes to try as well.  https://theherbalacademy.com/12-herbal-thanksgiving-dinner-recipes/

Creamed Onions with White Wine and Herbs

  • 2 pounds small white boiling onions, peeled (you can use frozen– much easier!)
  • 1 (750 milliliters) bottle decent Chardonnay wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Place onions in a 2-quart pot. Pour enough wine to cover half of the onions. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and salt. Simmer and stir for 25 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Remove bay leaf and serve.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Cranberry Chutney

Makes about 4 ½ cups (Note–Makes the whole house smell wonderful– it’s a joy to make)

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 pound fresh cranberries, washed
  • 6 ounces dried cranberries
  • 8 ounces dried cherries
  • 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 good sized garlic cloves, minced well
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup apple cider

Remove the zest of the oranges (a vegetable peeler works very well!) Cut the zest into fine julienne, and set aside a small amount to use later for garnish. Juice the oranges. Using a large non-reactive pot, combine all ingredients (except a few reserved orange juliennes) and give a good stir. Simmer the mixture for 25- 30 minutes over a medium /low heat, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is evaporated and the chutney is thickened. You can garnish the finished chutney with the cinnamon sticks and reserved zest. Cool well before storing it. I have found this freezes quite well in small batches.

Adapted from The Martha Stewart Cookbook : Collected Recipes for Every Day

 

Lemon – Ginger Cheesecake

12 TO 14 SERVINGS

CRUST

  • 2 cups finely ground gingersnap cookies (about 9 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

FILLING

  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • Lemon slices (for garnish)

FOR CRUST: Preheat oven to 325°F. Generously butter a 10-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 and  3/4-inch-high sides. Double-wrap outside of pan with heavy-duty foil. Blend ground cookies, sugar, and ginger in a food processor. Add melted butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press mixture onto bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of prepared pan. Bake until crust sets, about 10 minutes. Cool. Maintain oven temperature.

FOR FlLLING: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in sugar, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream and whipping cream, then crystallized ginger, fresh ginger, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Pour filling into crust. Place springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come one inch up sides of the springform pan. Bake cheesecake until filling is set and golden brown on top (cake will rise slightly above the edge of pan), about 1 hour 25 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon. Let cake stand in the oven one hour (cake will fall).

Remove the springform pan from the water bath. Remove foil and cool cheesecake completely on rack. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Can be prepared ahead and refrigerated four days or frozen up to two months.) Defrost frozen cake overnight in the refrigerator.) Release pan sides from cheesecake. Transfer cheesecake to platter. Arrange lemon slices decoratively around the cake and serve.

TEST KITCHEN TIP: Use a processor to grind the gingersnap cookies finely for the crust. Adapted from Epicurious


 Susan Leigh Anthony is a longtime member of the New England Unit of HSA. She runs a garden design business named Doveflower Cottage and is a perennial buyer and expert at Kennedy’s Country Gardens in Scituate, MA.

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Susan Leigh AnthonyHappy Thanksgiving

If we are lucky enough, most, if not all, of us have sat down to an annual Thanksgiving feast with our loved ones in late November.  The house is filled with familiar aromas of the season that evoke a sense of warmth, coziness, and well-being. It is the ultimate comfort food meal!

Without the herbs and spices we associate with our traditional Thanksgiving spread the food would be rather dull.  What would the turkey be without incorporating sage (Salvia officinalis) in our stuffing?  Cinnamon is a must-have for apple pie.  For pumpkin pie we need cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. And I’d rather not drink my eggnog without a dash of freshly ground nutmeg. Many of us use the familiar Old Bay Poultry seasoning and often, along with sage, this herb and spice mix also includes nutmeg, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and black pepper.

Kate Erd, manager…

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Sage: The Herb of Thanksgiving

The majority of recipes that we find for stuffing (cooked inside the turkey or other fowl) or dressing (generally cooked separately in a baking dish in the oven), use fresh or dried sage leaves for flavoring, whether the ingredients include sausage, oysters, mushrooms, nuts, dried fruit, traditional white breadcrumbs or cornbread. Besides its traditional uses … Continue reading Sage: The Herb of Thanksgiving

Nutmeg – The Rest of the Story

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Maryann Readal

November2019 HOM Nutmeg

Nutmeg is that spice we use in pumpkin and apple pie and sprinkle on our lattes and eggnog during the holidays.  It is also the spice that we use in béchamel and alfredo sauces and is an ingredient in garam masala and curry.  Its medicinal uses include treatment for diarrhea and gas and a topical treatment for pain. In the mid 1300’s it was thought to combat the Black Death. Eaten in very large doses, nutmeg can cause severe hallucinations which have an unpleasant after effect compared to a two-day hangover. Not to worry, culinary doses of nutmeg are very far from the doses needed to achieve unpleasant results.

The Herb Society of America’s Herb of the Month for November is nutmeg. Nutmeg is made from the seed of the nutmeg tree, Myristica fragrans. The outer lace-like covering of the nutmeg seed is dried and ground…

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Oregano Herb and Oil Adulteration Data Summarized in New Botanical Adulterants Prevention Bulletin

Publication raises the issue of economically motivated substitution of oregano herb with undeclared leaf and herb material from other plants. AUSTIN, Texas (October 28, 2019) — The ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program (BAPP) announces the publication of a new Botanical Adulterants Prevention Bulletin (BAPB) on oregano herb and oregano essential oil. Oregano (Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum; O. … Continue reading Oregano Herb and Oil Adulteration Data Summarized in New Botanical Adulterants Prevention Bulletin

How to Boost Your Immune System with Herbs

The coming cold and flu season is only one of the hundreds of reasons that immune function should always be at the top of your list of health priorities. The immune system doesn’t just keep sniffles away—it also is the body’s best defense against potentially deadly diseases, such as H1N1 flu, and well-known killers, such … Continue reading How to Boost Your Immune System with Herbs

October Herb of the Month, Safflower

Safflower, Carthamus tinctorius Did You Know? • Safflower produces a thistle-like flower ranging in color from yellow to dark red. • It is one of the oldest cultivated plants, originally grown to use the flowers as coloring agents for food, cosmetics, and textiles. • Safflower garlands were found in Tutankhamun's tomb (around 1323 BCE). • … Continue reading October Herb of the Month, Safflower

Food as Medicine: Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa, Rosaceae)

Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), also known as aronia berry, is a member of the economically important rose (Rosaceae) family, which includes other pome-producing plants like apple (Malus spp.), pear (Pyrus spp.), and quince (Cydonia oblonga). A pome is a fruit produced by the Malinae subtribe within Rosaceae. The genus Aronia includes two species of shrubs that are both native to … Continue reading Food as Medicine: Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa, Rosaceae)

Valerian Root Benefits: How to Use Nature’s Wonder Root

When Hippocrates had a headache, it's possible he enjoyed a nice steaming cup of valerian root tea. The ancient Greek physician was one of the first to describe the therapeutic benefits of valerian root. Since the early days in Greece and Rome, people sought the benefits of valerian for everything from head discomfort to heart … Continue reading Valerian Root Benefits: How to Use Nature’s Wonder Root

Ancient Medicine for Modern Women: A Q&A with Herbal Physicians

by Aviva Romm, MD, Tieraona Low Dog, MD Women’s history is woven together with plants and the healing arts, particularly botanical medicine and midwifery. In virtually every culture, women maintained knowledge of herbal healing for the prevention and treatment of common maladies that afflicted their communities, including, notably, treatments for women’s concerns. Because transmission of herbal knowledge historically was suppressed … Continue reading Ancient Medicine for Modern Women: A Q&A with Herbal Physicians