With the summer heat, it’s worth the effort to make some tasty, nutritive drinks on hand to quench thirst and provide nourishment. 

I especially enjoy having shurbs on hand, because  as much as I love coconut water as an electrolyte and thrist-quencher, I can’t seem to enjoy single use cans and bottles anymore knowing that recycled items are more and more likely to end in the land-fill! The vinegar in shrubs are a great alternative as an electrolyte, especially when combined with mineral rich herbs like oat straw and nettle.

These are some of my favorite potions from this summer that I hope you will enjoy, too.

Take the liberty to experiment with these recipes and discover your own favorite combinations!

Lastly, I wanted to share something I wished I’d known earlier in my herbal practice – many caffeine free herbs are diuretic! Nettle, mint, (OTHERS), They help move the water OUT of your body, which can be therapeutic, but they can also dry out your system if tea is all that you drink.  So just a reminder – whatever time of year, don’t drink teas exclusively and get that water down!

Cherry Mint Cooler
This is a delicious, naturally sweet tea with mineral-rich nettles

1 cup fresh or frozen cherries

¼ cup dried mint (or ½ cup freshly chopped)

¼ cup dried nettle (or ½ cup freshly chopped)

4 cups water

Honey to taste

Method:

-In a saucepan, bring water and cherries to a gentle boil, and let simmer for 15 -20 minutes

-Strain cherries, put remaining water back in saucepan (with heat off), and add the herbs.

-Strain herbs, add honey to taste

-Drink over ice or chill in refrigerator and serve

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Tulsi Berry Shrub
Shrubs are so nutritive and delicious, they make great “mocktails” that everyone can enjoy

4 oz local honey (or more, depending on preference)

2 oz apple cider vinegar

2 oz balsamic vinegar

4 oz chopped seasonal berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries)

4 oz dried tulsi (a little more if fresh, a little less if dried)

1 tablespoon gin

Method: Mix all ingredients in bowl, apply gentle heat if needed to soften the honey.   

Put in a glass jar (about a quart size), keep in the refrigerator and shake daily.  Strain after 2-3 weeks.  Then add desired amount to iced or sparkling water.

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Rachel’s Summer Tea Blend

I make a lot of this tea and friends often ask me for the recipe. Alfalfa, nettle, and oat straw help make it rich in minerals and tonifying for the nervous system; red rooibos gives it a robust flavor rich in antioxidants; tulsi is a lovely adaptogen, and calendula makes it beautiful and it’s an easy way to get my garden into my tea! I usually blend the dried herbs in a quart size jar so it’s easy to make a cup (or several) at a time.

3 tablespoons nettle

3 tablespoons alfalfa

3 tablespoons oatstraw

2 tablespoons rooibos

1 tablespoons tulsi

A sprinkling of calendula blossoms

1 teaspoon stevia (dried leaf, not processed powder))

Method: Mix ingredients well, and use 1 tablespoon for each 8 oz of tea desired.  Let tea steep for several hours (or overnight) to extract the most nourishment (but its tasty after just a few minutes of steeping). Recipe makes about 8 oz of loose leaf herbs, or 64 ounces of delicious tea.


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