Terra Sura Foraging » Foraging for Life

Spruce Tip Oxymel | Beverage Tonic

Let me just say refreshing, refreshing, refreshing!  Thanks to one of my herbal teachers, Jesse Beldon who introduced me to oxymels.  I absolutely love playing with all of the fresh flavors and knowing that I am doing my body good.

So let’s talk about harvesting spruce tips.  They are what they seem, the tip of the spruce tree that emerges in the spring.  They are good to harvest when you can distinctly can see the bright green new growth.  If you wait too long and they begin to harden, it is too late to nibble on these tender greens.  Yes, nibble away and try out different trees as the taste varies.

Spruce tips can be eaten raw, added to salads, smoothies, flavored water, soups, stir-frys and whatever else you can imagine.  To me they have a slightly bitter citrus and piney flavor being astringent and a bit drying.  It definitely wakes me up with its strong impression.

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Spruce tips are high in Vitamin C and contain minerals such as potassium & magnesium.  Spruce has been used to sooth sore throats and used as a cough remedy.

“Spruce tips contain plenty of chlorophyll, which helps growing and healing tissues, controlling cravings, as well as transporting oxygen to cells. It also neutralizes free radicals, keeps blood sugar balanced, accelerates wound healing and bonds poisonous metals present in your body.” (Nele Liivlaid)

There is no exact science to making this oxymels and proportions should be based upon taste preference with these particular ingredients.  I have close to equal portions of fresh ginger root, fresh mint leaf, fresh lemon with zest and spruce tips.  Next I layered the ingredients in a sanitized pint mason jar.

Lemon alkalizes the body, contains Vit C, aids digestion, removes toxins and on and on we could go!  Mint is delightfully refreshing, improves oral health, natural stimulant, inhibits release of histamines just to name a few.  Ginger really packs in the flavor as well as offering aid in digestion, nausea, dizziness and is warming and stimulating.  I am just hitting the tip of the iceberg with these herbal aids as they could use full pages on their own.  Invaluable and safe herbs to use.

Now its time to add in the honey.  Preferably organic honey, but you already knew that.

Find a stick or a wooden spoon and mix the honey (1/4 c) and herbs.  Then fill about a cm about the plant material with apple cider vinegar.

The apple cider vinegar extracts some of the plant constituents in the infusing period.   There are many benefits to apple cider vinegar of which you can find here.  It is part of my health regime to include it daily.   And this is a much more pleasurable way to do so!

After you are done mixing together; cover, label (ingredients and date) and let steep for 2-4 weeks in cool, shaded area.

When infused to your liking, strain liquid into a sanitized glass container and you can use your oxymel however you please.  My favorite way is to mix with sparking water.  Feels like a complete guilt-free indulgence.  I typically do a 1/6 ratio, but it just depends on how strong you want it.

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Spruce Tip Oxymel Recipe:

  1. Equal parts lemon slices (add lemon zest), spruce tips, fresh ginger, fresh mint
    • layer in sterilized jar
  2. Add 1-4 to 1/3 organic honey
    • mash together with stick or wooden spoon
  3. Fill with apple cider vinegar about 1 cm about herbs
    • mix a little more
  4. Cover, label, let steep for 2-4 weeks in dark, cool area
    • shaking intermittently
  5. Strain out liquid and store in sanitized jar with lid (I store in refrigerator)
  6. If wanting to make a “healthy pop” or  “herbal tonic” then add 1/6 ratio oxymel to a pint of sparkling water

I hope you enjoyed this journey as much as I have.  Cheers to spring!

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~ All information contained within this blog is intended to educate, entertain and inspire only. If you have any specific health concerns, please visit your local herbalist or healthcare provider for the appropriate guidance and support ~

Sources:

http://www.nutriplanet.org/2014/05/5-reasons-to-eat-spruce-tips-8-ways-to-use-them/

http://bragg.com/books/acv_excerpt.html

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