Every once in a while, I come across a recipe that lights up my imagination.
When at the International Herb Symposium 2 years ago, I had the pleasure of tasting one of my friend Susan Belsinger’s delicious concoctions. A few herbgals were having a visit prior to heading over the the ‘herbalists ball’ on the Saturday evening. Susan, always so generous and eager to share her ideas, brought out a little amber jar and some cups. With a twinkle in her eye, she poured a little into each cup, and well.. my love affair with her ‘Habanero Shrub’ * was born.
I had heard of ‘shrubs’ many years ago in classes with Rosemary Gladstar, who loves to experiment with scrumptious herbal combinations and has taught me many a fabulous recipe over the years. Shrubs are often made with fruit, and are a delicious way to enjoy the ‘harvest’ year ’round. To celebrate ELDER as ‘Herb of the Year 2013’, I made a fabulous Elderberry shrub last summer. Rhubarb is another favourite. NO LIMITS!!
Habaneros are among the hottest of commercially grown chili peppers. They contain over 300% more vitamin C than an orange. They are a great source of potassium, magnesium, and iron and a good source of A and B vitamins.
Capsaicin (found in all hot peppers like cayenne, habanero etc.) acts an anti-inflammatory agent within the body, and can help treat the symptoms of inflammation-based conditions like arthritis and headaches. Capsaicin stimulates blood flow through the body, which can also help relieve the congestion associated with the common cold and sinus infections. Research indicates that these hot peppers possibly have an anti-ulcer protective effect on stomachs infected with H. pylori. Known for supporting the cardiovascular system, members of this family of plants are excellent heart tonics. Bring on the cold weather! I am ready!
The Habanero Shrub is SPECIAL. I am thrilled with how it tastes. I am a wimp when it comes to HOT stuff…and so am so happy that, despite the kick of this potion (knock your socks off BLAST), I do enjoy it. I love watching others try it ~ I love watching the look on their face, if the truth be told. It’s got a kick, for sure but the heat feels good. I can only imagine how powerful it’s going to be as a winter remedy! I have bottled it but I’ve also put some into a 50ml cobalt blue bottle with dropper for quick access, on the run.
Shrubs make great gifts. This one is very popular!
HABANERO SHRUB RECIPE:
1/4 cup of ripe blemish-free Habanero peppers
1 cup apple cider vinegar
Less than 1 cup raw honey (local when possible)
Cut slits in the Habaneros (Suggest wearing rubber gloves for this delicate job!)
Put the chiles in a sterilized pint-size jar and pour in the vinegar.
Cover tightly. Place the jar in the fridge for a week or more.
I left this jar infusing for 2 months
Strain out the chiles.^
Measure the Habanero vinegar.
Add an equal amount of honey.
Label + store in a sterilized jar, in a cool place, away from children.
^authors suggestion: Cover these remaining chiles with more vinegar or cook up into a whiz-bang hot sauce!
Here’s to your health! Please leave a comment ~ Have you made any SHRUBS?
What do YOU make with Habaneros? Please leave a comment!
*The habanero shrub recipe is from the creative herbal home
by susan belsinger and tina marie wilcox, ©2007.
It’s filled with super ideas and easy herbal projects with a wide range of topics!
Available: www.susanbelsinger.com or www.tinamariewilcox.com.
Check out my eBook “Cold + Flu Season ~ Are YOU ready?
For more info re how to create your own herbal medicine winter remedies collection!
Have a peek here.