Moonshine Popsicles: Frozen Digestif Treats By Aisling Badger, August 4, 2017

What if you could soothe your sweet tooth with a popsicle treat that improved your gut, curbed your sugar cravings and gave you relief from any other digestive upset?

Incorporating the bitter flavor into your daily diet supports normal secretion of digestive enzymes and bile, both of which are essential to proper digestive functioning. Not only do bitters provide immediate relief from the irritation of occasional indigestion gas, bloating and heartburn, but they support our digestive system health over the long term.

Because it’s summer and we are hit with a wave of ice cream treats and frozen drinks, we have some inspiration for how to keep it cool, fresh and healthy during the dog days of summer.

These bitter pops have been a favorite and are quite enjoyable as after dinner treats.

The digestive and carminative herbs paired with doses of our herbal bitters make for a delicious digestif that is loved by the whole family. Finding ways to get creative with taking herbs, not only improves your experience with using them in everyday life but provides creative activity, which we could all use a little more of! So unplug, get into the garden and whip up some of these easy digestive popsicles to enjoy throughout the rest of the summer.

Recipes:

Healthy Herbal Popsicles Recipe Bitters

Lemon Drop Bitter Pops

A refreshing lemony herbal popsicle

makes 5 pops

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Verbena leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • Juice of 2 lemons.

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Simple Herbal Cocktail Recipes for Summer By Aisling Badger, July 21, 2017

Herbal cocktail spritzers excite the taste buds, offer a refreshing treat on those humid summer days and are one of our favorite ways to use plants during the summertime.

They can be made as a mocktail or cocktail, depending on your personal preference and are always an enjoyable way to entertain guests or treat yourself while you lounge in the hammock with a good book.

One of the ways in which we create balanced boozy cocktails or mocktails is with bitters. Ingesting just a small amount of the bitter flavor stimulates healthy digestion and supports our overall body systems, and is a nice way to combat the summer drinking season with something that’s a little healthier (you don’t have to feel so guilty.)

We have been blending bitters for many years, experimenting with some of our favorite local herbs and with a few worldly exotics. Overall we believe in the power of bitter flavor across the culinary experience—in cocktails for sure, but also they also have a place in our teas, soups, salads and liquid extracts. 

Here are a few simple recipes that we enjoy throughout the hot summer months.

They are cooling, dazzling in flavor and contain herbs and medicines we can find in our everyday kitchens and gardens. We like to switch it up and alternate between our traditional cocktail recipes, and non-alcoholic mocktail recipes when we want a night off.

 

summer herbal cocktails bitters spritz

The Bitters Spritz

A twist on the classic Italian aperitivo or Aperol spritz which was a cocktail made with bitters to aid digestion. […]

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Spring Nettles: DIY Recipes By Aisling Badger, May 19, 2017

Nettles are one of spring’s most enticing traditional herbs, and are also a delicious wild food. Nettles are an annual plant found in wooded areas and forests, in natural grasslands, along fertile fields and riverbanks, and along shaded trails. Nettles can be thought of as springtime’s green superfood, packed with minerals and vitamins.

Nettles are a great source for wildcrafting in terms of sustainability since they are a naturally spreading weed. If you have a nettle patch that you visit often or one growing in your garden, frequent harvests will ensure second growths, making it a viable plant all summer long.

When they are young they are full of fresh juicy goodness just waiting to be eaten!

stinging nettles diy harvest

Adding nettles into your wellness routine and diet not only gives you essential nutrients that your body needs but they support healthy tissue states and sinuses. Fresh nettle is always found on an herbalists’ lists when it comes to supporting healthy eyes, nose, lungs, and sinuses. Some favorite ways to use them include a fresh nettle tea, cold infusion if you can or fresh nettle juice!

Cooking with Nettles

Nettles are delicious in many spring recipes — from soups to salads, pizzas, and pastas. They are a great stand-in for greens like chard or spinach in certain recipes—soups, pastas and warm grain dishes, as well as treats like nettle tart or quiche.

Harvesting tips:

– Harvest the top cluster of young nettles (the top 5” or so) as they are the most juicy. They are tender when young and easy to harvest!

– Wear […]

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A Wild Foodie’s Guide To Sustainable Harvesting By Aisling Badger, May 2, 2017

As herbalists, one of the first things we think of when we feel the season shift is that in a matter of weeks, there will be an abundance of medicine to harvest, eat, and preserve. Plants we don’t grow in our gardens can be wildcrafted in surrounding areas and we enjoy what the earth provides. As herbalists, we know the plants intimately, and we deepen our relationship with them each year. Knowing how to use wild medicine, and where to find food, also bears a significant commitment to being an herbal steward and to be radical in our approach to preserving the wild plants around us.  

While the growth of the herbal and wellness industry is exciting and ever on the rise, what has come with it is a mass production of herbs and a severe increase in over-harvesting.

sustainable harvest nettles bowl

Wild foods have become hip and are sought out in trendy restaurants that will pay a good price for a few pounds of local wild edibles. What isn’t always apparent is that this has been resulting in the over-harvesting of popular favorites—like Wild Ramps, Fiddleheads, Ginseng and Goldenseal.

Instead of thinking with money on the mind, we need to retrain ourselves to think about what happens to these populations of edibles that are quickly becoming at risk. Is it worth it?

It is important to think about this delicate relationship as we approach the peak seasons of abundance. If we are harvesting our food and medicine, we then become accountable for the wild gardens, their health, and their upkeep.

At Urban Moonshine, we make conscious decisions to […]

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