My Gift to you! Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Also known as The Christmas Syrup by my family

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup dried Elderberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root, or ½ tablespoon dried ginger pieces, or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger root.
  • raw local honey (or organic blue agave syrup for a vegan recipe)

Note: You can use this for toppings, like on ice cream, pancakes or waffles. Just keep in mind that it is thin syrup. We use one tablespoon all by itself for health purposes.

Directions:

  1. Combine the berries and herbs with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and mash the berries in the liquid mixture.
  4. Strain the berries and herbs through cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice. Or use the spoon and tiny strainer like I do as I rarely keep cheesecloth in the house.
  5. Measure the liquid, add an equal amount of honey or blue agave syrup, and stir in the juice for a few minutes while the berry mixture is still warm, until well combined. Do not boil! Try half the amount of sweetener first and see if you prefer a tarter taste.
  6. Bottle in sterilized glass and keep in the refrigerator.

I make this syrup around the time flu season begins. Back when we lived in New Mexico and lived next door to a B&B, I made Elderberry Syrup for the owners. Neither of them caught colds or flu that season and it was a bad year for flu.

This recipe is based on one from Mountain Rose Herbs. I’ve used their products for years as I tend to have poor reactions to many medicines.

When I first made this recipe, my hubby asked me what it tasted like. I said, “It tastes like Christmas.” I make mine with the Blue Agave. The honey is wonderful but our family preference is for agave. If you decide to give this a try, let me know what you think.

I am not a medical professional and am not giving medical advice. Do not use this if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.

Below are some interesting articles about the elderberry.

Blessings to all.

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/e/elder-04.html

http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/elderberry

Body image, Peer pressure and Social Media

 

How Peer Pressure and Social Media Impact Body Image

 

Peer pressure is not always a bad thing.

Positive influence to do something pro-social like getting together to clean up a park to make it a friendlier place for children to play, would be fantastic. Social recognition is important to teens and preteens.

picking up trash – Shutterstock

The need for social recognition can be a problem, particularly because teens and preteens are not concerned with risk and often don’t think ahead. What is this thing you call consequences?

 

Children spend more time using social media than any other waking activity.

Whatever they are exposed to will affect their thoughts about the world around them, as well as their self-view. Teens and preteens are body conscious and highly susceptible to suggestion. Think about the many ads in magazines aimed at teens about hair, skin, clothes, body size and odor.

mercatornet.com

Don’t even get me started on diet ads. “Eat this and lose ten pounds in one week, no exercise needed!” “You too can have flat abs this summer!”

Body image is an especially important matter to preteens and teens. They are sensitive to peer pressure as well as pressure sent via electronic and print media. The beautiful people on and in the magazines are retouched, “manufactured” so-to-speak. What is shown is a false representation of reality. It is good to be fit and healthy. But perfect? Nah.

mirror.co.uk

The TED talk on the YouTube link at the end of this blog explores body image image and related issues further and is well worth viewing.

Resources:

American Academy for Pediatrics. (2013) Managing Media: We need a plan. https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Managing-Media-We-Need-a-Plan.aspx

Buikema, Ellen L. (2014) Parenting . . . A Work in Progress

Current Internet facts http://www.webwisekids.org/

Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model. | Cameron Russell https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=KM4Xe6Dlp0Y

Save

Save

Save

Save

Chocolate –History, Health Benefits, and Industry Changes

Love of Chocolate

Personal History

My first taste of chocolate was unhealthily early.

Mom left my dad in charge of me while she was out for a while. When she came home, she freaked out because there were brown smudges all around my mouth. Thinking I was hurt, she confronted my father.

“What happened?”

He smiled and said, “I was eating some chocolate kisses and thought since I like them, Ellen probably would too, so I let her taste one. She loved it! See, I held it to her lips and she had a great time snacking on it.”

“Don’t you now that babies aren’t supposed to have chocolate!”

“No, but . . .”

At least, this is how I was told the conversation went. Thus began my very early love of chocolate.

Food of the gods

The Mayans honored a cocoa god. Eating and drinking chocolate was confined to the ruling classes, for sacred ceremonies. The Aztecs used cocoa beans as a form of currency, consumable for the privileged. Montezuma, a 16th century Aztec emperor, drank three gallons of chocolate a day to increase his virility.

Enter the Spanish conquistadors, who brought home chocolate after their search for precious metals in Mexico. The Spaniards kept chocolate a secret until a Spanish princess wed a French king. She brought her love of chocolate to her new home. Chocolate’s popularity spread quickly through Europe.

European powers established plantations in Mesoamerica, depleted the labor pool with European diseases, and imported African slaves to work the plantations.

24-k-chocolate.com

Slavery continues

After eating countless pounds of chocolate, and sharing it in baked goods and candy with family and friends, I discovered that child slaves were being used in the making of chocolate. I felt sick.

I researched candy companies to see what happened, staying clear of those that continued the practice of child labor and slavery. Children are working long hours with no pay. During an interview with a BBC filmmaker, “one who said he’d been working on a cocoa farm for five years was asked what he thought about people enjoying chocolate in other parts of the world. ‘They are enjoying something that I suffered to make,’ the boy answered. ‘They are eating my flesh.’”

The industry is working on its agreement to reduce child labor in the Ivory Coast and Ghana by 70% by 2020. I hope they follow through. This deadline has already been pushed back several times. In the meantime, I vote with my wallet, purchasing ethically produced chocolate.

Chocolate. What is it good for?

 

The health benefits of chocolate are many, particularly dark chocolate.

According to Rashed Latif’s article in the Netherlands Journal of Medicine, “chocolate has tremendous antioxidant potential.”  This may have a positive effect in aging, oxidative stress, blood pressure regulation, and atherosclerosis. Chocolate may lower cholesterol, prevent memory decline by improving blood flow, and lower the risk of heart disease–all terrific health benefits.

Chocolate might make us smarter. Caution here. This is a small amount of chocolate, preferably dark. Too much sugar, which is highly addictive, causes cavities and a long list of health problems. Moderation is important, albeit not as much fun as indulging in big bar of chocolatey goodness.

Resources:

http://theartofsimple.net/chocolate-2-3/

http://www.history.com/news/hungry-history/the-sweet-history-of-chocolate

https://delishably.com/desserts/legend-of-chocolate

https://delishably.com/desserts/legend-of-chocolate

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23462053

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270272.php

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270272.php

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save