Spring

Spring Tonics Recipes: Adopt a Seasonal Approach to Promote Good Health

Technology makes seasonal living a challenge. We have 12 months of access to almost all produce and bright light any time of day in our climate-controlled homes is a light switch away.

Yet understanding our biological clock and how it is influenced daily, monthly, and seasonally allows clinicians to optimize prevention and health promotion strategies. By focusing on new health goals at different times of the year, we can stay connected to the changing seasons around us.


Coffee Cutter

Ingredients

  • 5 oz Burdock Root
  • 4 oz Chicory Root
  • 5 oz Dandelion Root

Directions

  • Dried roots will likely be chopped into pieces.
  • If you are harvesting fresh roots, chop into small chunks and dry for a few days before roasting.
  • In a cast iron skillet set over low to medium heat, add the dandelion, chicory, and burdock roots. Roast for 15 minutes or until a toasted smell begins to develop. Remove from heat and spread the roots out until they cool to room temperature.
  • Then grind to the desired coarseness in coffee grinder
  • Store in tightly sealed Mason jar. Brew as you would coffee, 1 TBSP per 8 ounces.
  • Can also be mixed in any proportion with ground coffee, and can be brewed in French Press or drip coffeemaker

Spring Tonic Teas

Ingredients

  • 1 TBSP burdock root
  • 1 TBSP dandelion root
  • 1 TBSP nettles
  • 1 TBSP dandelion leaf
  • 1 TBSP red clover

Dandelion Tea

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp dried dandelion root
  • 1 TBSP fresh dandelion leaf
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  • Combine dandelion root or leaf in glass and add water, cover, and let soak overnight.
  • Strain and drink.

*Stinging Nettle Infusion with Mint and Clover

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh stinging nettles (or 1/2 cup dried)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint (or 1/4 cup dried)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh red clover (or 1/4 cup dried red clover)
  • Raw honey or other sweetener to taste

Directions

  • Bring 2 quarts of filtered water to a boil.
  • Toss nettles, mint, and clover into a 1/2 gallon, wide Mason jar and fill with boiling water.
  • Allow the herbs to steep in water for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.
  • Strain them from the infusion using a fine-mesh sieve or tea strainer.
  • Sweeten the infusion with honey as you like it, and transfer to the refrigerator.
  • Serve over ice.

Nourishing Nettle Infusion

Ingredients

  • 28 grams dried nettles (about 2 cups finely crumbled)
  • 1 large pinch of lemongrass (flavor)

Directions

  • Bring 4 cups of water to boil
  • Place all herbs in a 1 quart jar or French Press
  • Pour the just-boiled water over the herbs, stir well, and then cover with a lid
  • Allow herbs to infuse for 4 hours or overnight. If using a French press, do not press with plunger until done infusing.
  • Strain, then drink warm or cold within 36 hours.

Nettle and Cleavers Tea

Ingredients

  • 2 -3 TBSP cleavers
  • 2-3 TBSP nettles

Directions

  • Combine nettle and cleavers in warmed ceramic or glass teapot.
  • Add boiling water, cover, and let steep

Chickweed, Calendula, and Nettle Tea (eczema, hives)

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh chickweed
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh calendula flowers
  • 1 TBSP dried stinging nettles
  • 16 oz boiling water

Directions

  • Combine chickweed, calendula, and nettle in a warmed ceramic or glass pot.
  • Add boiling water and cover.
  • Let steep for 10 minutes, strain, and drink hot. Can also be applied to skin.

*Bitters and Soda

Ingredients

  • 4 -6 dashes (1/4 tsp) bitters
  • Sparkling water, club soda, or seltzer

Directions

  • Combine and enjoy.

    Energizing Green Tonic Juices

Watercress

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 bunch/handful of watercress
  • 1 lemon peeled
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Dandelion

  • 3 -4 dandelion leaves
  • 2 small or 1 large cucumber, peeled
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1/2 lemon peeled
  • 1 small red apple

Bitters Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine, cider, or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp bitters
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in a pint Mason jar, and shake them until emulsified.
  • Can be stored for up to 1 month in the refrigerator.

Spring Bitters Salad

  • 1 cup fresh dandelion leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 head red romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 fennel build, thinly sliced
  • Pistachios
  • Add all greens and parsley to a large bowl, and top with thinly sliced fennel pieces and shelled pistachios to taste.

Dandelion Root Vinegar

Ingredients

  • Fresh or dried dandelion root
  • Apple cider vinegar

Directions

  • If using fresh dandelion root, fill a Mason jar with finely chopped root.
  • If using dried, fill jar 1/3 full (leave room for the root to expand).
  • Fill the jar with apple cider vinegar.
  • Cover with lid (Use parchment or wax paper between lid and jar. Vinegar will corrode metal)
  • Infuse for 2 weeks, shaking once daily.
  • Strain when ready.
  • Use within 1 year. No need for refrigeration

Dandelion Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup shelled pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups chopped dandelion leaves
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

  • Place all ingredients except Parmesan into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. If too thick, add a bit more olive oil.
  • Add Parmesan and continue to blend until the mixture has a smooth consistency.
  • Refrigerate and eat within 3 days

Nettle Infusion with Lemongrass

Ingredients

  • 28 grams of dried nettle leaves (about 2 cups finely crumbled)
  • Lemongrass

Directions

  • Bring 4 cups of water to boil.
  • Place herbs in 1 quart jar or French Press
  • Pour the just-boiled water over the herbs, stir well, and then cover with a lid to allow the herbs to infuse for 4 hours or overnight
  • Strain and drink within 36 hours

Nettle Pesto

Sauté greens (like you would spinach, but blanch first), then add to green juice or make nettle soup


Nettle Leaf Dukkah (Spice Blend)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup whole coriander seeds
  • 3 TBSP whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried nettle leaf
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp find sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • In a shallow pan on low heat, dry toast hazelnuts until they are fragrant and the skins fall off.
  • Stir frequently to prevent burning. Set aside.
  • Dry toast the sesame seeds on low heat until fragrant (about 5 minutes).
  • Stir frequently to prevent burning. Set aside with hazelnuts.
  • Dry toast the coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Set aside with the hazelnuts and sesame seeds, and allow to cool completely.
  • In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Pulse until the mixture is ground finely but before it turns to butter.

Miso Glazed Burdock with Red Lettuce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup walnut halves
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 TBSP plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound burdock (2 roots)
  • 2 TBSP plus
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 TBSP dark vinegar
  • 3 TBSP peanut oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 10 loosely packed cups torn red lettuces

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Spread the walnuts in a pie pan and toast for about 6 minutes.
  • Squeeze the lemon into a medium saucepan and add the water, 1 TBSP of sugar, and a pinch of salt.
  • Peel the burdock under cool running water. Cut it into 1/4 inch slices on a sharp diagonal adding the slices to the lemon water as you work.
  • Bring the water to a boil and cook the burdock over moderately high heat until al dente, about 30 minutes.
  • Drain and let cool slightly, then take the slices and cut them into thin matchsticks.
  • Return the burdock to the saucepan. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of the rice-wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of the miso.
  • Cook over moderately high heat, stirring until glossy, about 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the burdock to a plate and let cool.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 2 TBSP of rice wine vinegar with the remaining 2 teaspoons of miso until dissolved.
  • Whisk in the oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large salad bowl, toss the lettuces, walnuts, and burdock. Add the dressing, toss again, and serve immediately.

Resources

  • Urban Moonshine https://www.urbanmoonshine.com You can find bitters and tonics here
  • Traditional Medicinals Herbal Teas https://www.traditionalmedicinals.com Organic Medicinal Teas
  • Mountain Rose Herbs https://www.mountainroseherbs.com You can order bulk herbs and supplies
  • Herb Pharm https://www.mountainroseherbs.com Tinctures
  • The Book of Greens, A Cookbook by Jenn Louis Healthy Teas by Tammy Safi
  • Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure ALL with Cocktails, Recipes and Formulas Brad Thomas Parsons
  • Alchemy of Herbs Transform Everyday Ingredients

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