Lifestyle Tips, Recipes, Uncategorized

Forsythia Syrup

I have had wicked bad seasonal allergies since I was very young. My eyes would be so itchy I would give myself black eyes rubbing them in my sleep, I could not be outside without being a big ball of ick, itchy throat to the point of no relief… In high school, I started getting allergy shots over 5 years or so, but still need to take regular allergy meds. That is just how bad my allergies are. Still, no medicine would alleviate my itchy throat! The only thing that would help is a teaspoon of honey a few times a day. When I went vegan, I did not know what to do instead of honey. This year, I noticed a bunch of my friends posting about foraging, especially with dandelions and forsythia flowers. I started to look more into some of these recipes and found blogs saying using forsythia flowers can help with allergy relief! Luckily, I have forsythia bushes in my backyard that already bloomed and were not treated with fertilizer or any other chemicals, so I tried right away! (For more seasonal allergy relief tips, check out this blog post: https://www.earthpothecary.com/blogs/news/allergy-season)

 

I use the syrup to sweeten teas and other foods. Sometimes I will have a spoonful of the syrup if my throat is itchy.

 

Why is honey not vegan? Here are some main points, but you can read more here: https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/honey-industry

  1. It is a product that comes from a living being. Vegans do not eat animal flesh or anything that comes from a living being.
  2. Many bees can die or be badly injured when humans collect their honey.
  3. Commercial industries and some local producers artificially inseminate (rape) the queen to breed more worker bees.
  4. Bees make honey to survive through hibernation. It is not ours to take, they are not our slaves, working to make something for us to steal from them.

 

Tips for how to harvest:

  • Make sure there are no bugs on the flowers you are picking! I found a few bees close by and some ants in the flowers. It would not be vegan if I accidentally got bugs in it!
  • Just pick the flower, no twigs.
  • Do not press the flowers down into the measuring cup. Just pluck them and put them right in the cup.
  • Make sure the flowers you are harvesting have not been treated with any chemicals.
  • When you bring the flowers in, do not rinse them! Having the pollen on the flowers helps your allergy relief just like local honey has pollen in it.
  • The recipe calls for 2-3 cups of flowers. I like to use 3 cups for a slightly stronger flavor, darker color, and potentially slightly more relief. The relief part is probably mental.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups forsythia flowers
  • 4 cups water
  • 1-2 cup sugar (I prefer 1 cup of brown sugar which very closely resembles the sweetness and taste of maple syrup.)
  • something to steep tea in
  • small/medium sauce pan

Directions:

  1. Pick 2-3 cups of flowers.
  2. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a tea kettle or saucepan. (You can add less water if you would like a bit of a stronger flavor and your mixture to be more syrup-y and less watery.)
  3. While boiling, place the flowers in a tea pot or a heat-safe bowl to steep. I have a tea infuser so I can pour the liquid out without having the flowers come out too. If you do not have one, any heat-safe bowl is fine as long as you can cover it. You can strain the flowers out later.
  4. Pour the boiling water over the flowers.
  5. Steep overnight to make it nice and strong.
  6. Strain the flowers out of the “tea.”
  7. Pour the “tea” into a saucepan and add sugar.
  8. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for about 30 minutes stirring frequently to avoid burning.
  9. Allow the mixture to cool and pour into a Tupperware container or mason jar.
  10. Store the syrup in the fridge.

Enjoy! I hope this helps soothe your allergies as well!

Syrup
This recipe yielded about 6 of these jars

FDA Disclaimer:  The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act require this notice.

Recipes, Uncategorized

Corn Chowder

I have missed chowder so much! A perfect mix between the New England and Rhode Island style chowders. Feel free to substitute more non-dairy milk for water and add extra cornstarch for a chowder that is more creamy.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or butter flavored coconut oil
  • 1 cup white onion, diced (about 1 small onion)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup celery, chopped (about 4-5 stalks)
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped (about 4-5 carrots)
  • 2 cups unsweetened, original non-dairy milk
  • 4 1/2 cups of canned sweet corn (about 28oz)
  • 2 cups potato, diced (about 1 medium potato. Peel potatoes if you prefer, I leave them on because a lot of the nutrients are there.)
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Chowder Ingredients | Vegan Living by Danielle

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, over medium heat, sauté the onions in oil until soft.
  2. Once the onions are soft, add the water, celery, and carrots. Cook for 12 minutes.
  3. Add non-dairy milk, corn, potatoes, and spices. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over medium-low heat.
  4. Serve warm. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.

Enjoy!

Meal Prep Tip: Let the chowder cool, stir, and portion into 8oz – 12oz Tupperware to take with you for lunch! I can normally eat the same thing for lunch for the whole week and not get tired of it, but if you like more variety, throw a couple of the Tupperwares in the freezer. Just be sure to leave about an inch or more of space because liquid expands when it is frozen and you don’t want to crack the Tupperware. Also, I have found that soup can look a little strange as it defrosts, so don’t be alarmed if it does. Stir it up and thoroughly heat in the microwave or on the stove.

Corn Chowder | Vegan Living by Danielle

Recipes

Green Goddess Guacamole

Green Goddess Guacamole | Vegan Living by Danielle

Ingredients:

  • 2 hass avocados
  • 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 small, red onion, diced
  • 2 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin

Directions:

  1. Cut the avocados in half.
  2. Remove the pits and cut the avocado into square sections, then scoop from peel into the bowl. (You really don’t need any fancy avocado cutters for this. You can get the pit out by prying it out with a butter knife, and cut it with a butter knife too. That way you don’t go through the peel and cut yourself. Scoop out the meat of the avocado with a spoon or the butter knife. To tell if an avocado is ripe, it should be slightly squishy, but not so squishy that your fingers leave dents. There shouldn’t be much resistance at all when cutting the avocado in half. If the avocado is ripe, the pit should come out easily.)
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the avocado and mix.
  4. Mash the avocado with a fork, spoon, or potato masher. (Mash to your preference. I like my guac a little chunky!)
  5. Add salt, pepper, and any other spices to your preference! Every tastebud is different.

Enjoy!

(Healthy Tip: the appropriate serving of an avocado for one person at one meal is 1/3 of an avocado. Keep this in mind when consuming the guac, I have to think about this to stop from eating the whole thing!…and licking the spoon…)