2019 Vegan Spice Guide For Vegan Cooking

2019 Vegan Spice Guide For Vegan Cooking | Herbal Academy | Using this vegan spice guide can add depth and flavor to your vegan meals and open up a whole new world of opportunity to be creative in the kitchen.

Vegan foods can get a bad rap for being bland and tasteless. In the Western world, meat has become a predominant part of every meal. Many people have become so accustomed to the salty, fatty flavor offered by animal protein that they find it difficult to imagine how a person could subsist on a diet of vegetables and legumes alone.

Using a vegan spice guide to add the appropriate spices to a dish can mean the difference between cooking that keeps you coming back for more, and boiled, lifeless veggies in a pot. Not only does it add depth and flavor to vegetables, but using herbs and spices in vegan cooking can also open up a whole new world of opportunity to be creative in the kitchen.

When my partner and I transitioned to a plant-based diet and lifestyle, we stopped eating meat cold-turkey (pun intended). Learning to cook with a variety of herbs and spices from the get-go allowed us to be creative in the kitchen and get to know and understand the types of flavors that went well with the foods we were now eating on a regular basis. We both became familiar with combining spices such as cumin, turmeric, garam masala, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper, for example, to create a spice blend to cook down with onions to form the base of a curry dish.

Creating A Vegan Spice Guide

One of the first things we did when we went vegan was to prepare a vegan spice guide: a list of the essential spices we would always have in our pantry. We opted for organic spices stored in mason jars for easy cooking. Now, we cannot last long when we run low on cumin, turmeric, or nutritional yeast. Taking the time to develop a vegan spice guide and using it to stock our pantry has been integral to our success in transitioning to plant-based eating and helping us to make some beautiful, healthful meals within the comfort of our home.

It can be overwhelming to know which spices to include in your pantry, especially if you are beginning the journey of home-based vegan cooking. With new vegans in mind, I created this vegan spice guide which will walk you through 8 essential spices which can jazz up any vegan dish.

2019 Vegan Spice Guide For Vegan Cooking | Herbal Academy | Using this vegan spice guide can add depth and flavor to your vegan meals and open up a whole new world of opportunity to be creative in the kitchen.

Turmeric

Turmeric tops the list as one of my favorite herbs in my vegan spice guide. I’ve written a whole post about this beautiful spice. Turmeric is a prominent spice in Indian dishes such as curry and dahl. Turmeric also has many health properties, which make it a must-have in the kitchen. At this point in our vegan journey, we add turmeric to everything. It has a slightly bitter taste; however, it pairs well with other herbs such as ginger, garlic, and cumin.

Cumin

Cumin is one of the most versatile herbs in our pantry, which make it a must-have for my vegan spice guide. Cumin makes a great base for most curries. Use cumin seeds fried on medium with some coconut oil for 30 seconds before adding in diced onion, garlic, and ginger for the beginning of delicious curry. My favorite way to use cumin is in homemade veggie chili. Find how to make your own chili spice blend below.

Chili Spice Blend

[recipe_ingredients]

1 tbsp. ground cumin
1.5 – 2 tbsp. chili powder
½ tbsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 pinch smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste

[/recipe_ingredients][recipe_directions]

  • Combine herbs together in a bowl and mix well.
  • Store in a labeled, airtight glass jar.

[/recipe_directions]

Add this blend with chopped onions to a large pot until fragrant and then throw in the remainder of the chili ingredients. Another tip to enhance the depth of flavor in chili is to add a tablespoon of dark cocoa powder to the pot of chili along with the chili spice blend featured above.

2019 Vegan Spice Guide For Vegan Cooking | Herbal Academy | Using this vegan spice guide can add depth and flavor to your vegan meals and open up a whole new world of opportunity to be creative in the kitchen.

Mustard Seed

I’ve only recently become accustomed to using mustard seed in my vegan cooking, and now it is a staple in my vegan spice guide. Mustard seed can be toasted using coconut oil similar to cumin seed which lends a deep, earthy flavor to dishes.

My favorite recipe that calls for mustard seed is a take on a traditional ayurvedic dish, kitchari, which you can find here. In this recipe, mustard seeds are toasted along with coriander and cumin seeds until they become fragrant. My favorite part about this recipe is that the mustard seeds dance out of the pot!

Another interesting way to incorporate mustard seeds into your diet is to add them with oil and onion to the bottom of a pot to fry. Then I add in some basmati rice and turmeric, covering the rice with oils from the toasted seeds and onion. After that, I cook the rice as usual. This is a simple way to add some interest, color, and flavor to the rice.

2019 Vegan Spice Guide For Vegan Cooking | Herbal Academy | Using this vegan spice guide can add depth and flavor to your vegan meals and open up a whole new world of opportunity to be creative in the kitchen.

Garlic

Although I prefer to use whole, fresh garlic cloves, it can never hurt to have garlic granules in your pantry for times when you’re in a pinch. Even if you are using garlic cloves, who said you can’t double up? If you’re a garlic lover, you’ll find that this spice becomes a part of your everyday life when you’re cooking plant-based meals.

Recently, my partner cooked a simple, slow-cooked stew in which he incorporated large cloves of fresh garlic and garlic powder. It was delicious! When you are purchasing garlic powder, opt for the granules as opposed to the powder. The powder tends to stick and clump together over time, whereas the granules remain separate.

Smoked Paprika

Before transitioning to a plant-based diet, my only familiarity with paprika was that it was the orange spice sprinkled on top of potato salads or deviled eggs at backyard barbecues. Now, it is a go-to for most recipes. The benefit of paprika is that it lends a smoky flavor to vegan dishes which mimics the savory taste of meat. If it is available where you are, choose smoked paprika over the regular spice.

Garam Masala

Next in the vegan spice guide is the beautiful spice blend, garam masala. While you can make a garam spice blend (ground coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg),  it can also be easily purchased at your local health food store. Think of this blend as a finisher for curries like chickpea-based chana masala or other Indian dishes that incorporate tomato. Season your curry with garam like you would salt or pepper, just before you serve. Although it is traditionally used as a finishing spice, feel free to add it to mashed chickpea sandwiches with vegan mayo, chopped pickles, and salt and pepper.

2019 Vegan Spice Guide For Vegan Cooking | Herbal Academy | Using this vegan spice guide can add depth and flavor to your vegan meals and open up a whole new world of opportunity to be creative in the kitchen.

Cayenne

Bear with me on this one. Becoming vegan requires a level of openness to trying new foods. While you may be hesitant to venture into the realm of spicy foods, I can assure you that it is worth giving it a shot. Adding just a dash of cayenne to dishes like vegan spaghetti can add a level of brightness your dish might be missing. Build your spice tolerance up over time by adding small increments of the spice into dishes throughout the week. Before long you’ll be putting cayenne on everything.

2019 Vegan Spice Guide For Vegan Cooking | Herbal Academy | Using this vegan spice guide can add depth and flavor to your vegan meals and open up a whole new world of opportunity to be creative in the kitchen.

Salt and Pepper

Although this might seem obvious, salt and pepper are two necessities in the kitchen. Do not be afraid of using a little salt and pepper in your spice blends as they will help to tie all the flavors together. You do not want to go overboard on salt and pepper. However, I have read that seasoning with a little of each of these seasonings at each step of the cooking process can help to meld individual flavors resulting in a more savory and satisfying dish.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast, or “nooch,” as it is so fondly referred to in the vegan community, is an indispensable component of any vegan spice guide. Though nutritional yeast is not technically a spice, it has quickly become as familiar to us as ketchup in a 1980’s refrigerator. We keep a jar of nutritional yeast on our kitchen table at all times. We use it as a seasoning as we would apply salt and pepper. Sprinkle it over everything from salad to noodles, pasta, and curry. It adds an “umami” flavor which vegans often miss out on when they stop eating rich foods like cheese. Nutritional yeast also forms the basis of many vegan “cheese” sauces and can be used to make a delicious baked mac and cheese.

Becoming vegan has added excitement to my time spent in the kitchen. Plant-based foods are often critiqued as being boring or flavorless, but I can tell you that if you begin to experiment with some of the spices in this vegan spice guide, you will find that vegan cooking is anything but dull.

2019 Vegan Spice Guide For Vegan Cooking | Herbal Academy | Using this vegan spice guide can add depth and flavor to your vegan meals and open up a whole new world of opportunity to be creative in the kitchen.

A Warming Turmeric Cauliflower Soup For Chilly Winter Days

A Warming Turmeric Cauliflower Soup For Chilly Winter Days | Herbal Academy | There is nothing better than a warm bowl of soup on a chilly winter’s day. Give our Turmeric Cauliflower Soup a try and stay warm!

Winter is here, and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably craving soup! There is nothing better on a chilly evening, wrapped in a blanket with loved ones, than sipping from a bowl of warm, soothing soup. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and cauliflower are gaining popularity in many healthy recipes as they have a plethora of nutritional benefits, are versatile, and are delicious. In this article, we will share the benefits of this healthy and nutritious root and vegetable pairing and offer a recipe for a warming, turmeric cauliflower soup that you can enjoy on cold winter days.

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric has been used for centuries as food and as an herb to assist with many imbalances. Its tough, fibrous root (the rhizome) is where its beneficial properties lie and give it its yellow color. Curcuma longa, whose Latin binomial comes from the Arabic name Kurkum, has also been called The Yellow One and Golden Goddess in Sanskrit (Gallant, n.d.).

Besides giving Indian curry its beautiful golden hue, turmeric has been used as a dye in packaged foods such as mustard and chicken broth (Gallant, n.d.). Turmeric can even be used as a natural, plant-based dye for fabrics like silk, cotton, and wool (Kayne, 2016).

Where wellness benefits are concerned, turmeric is most well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties (Gallant, n.d.). Turmeric is in the Zingiberaceae family, which is also home to its cousin ginger (Zingiber officinale). Turmeric is native to India (and a staple in Indian cuisine), but it can also be grown in other warm climates around the world. In ayurvedic herbalism, turmeric is commonly used to balance the doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha (Gallant, n.d.).

A Warming Turmeric Cauliflower Soup For Chilly Winter Days | Herbal Academy | There is nothing better than a warm bowl of soup on a chilly winter’s day. Give our Turmeric Cauliflower Soup a try and stay warm!

Benefits and Uses of Turmeric

As mentioned earlier, turmeric is most commonly used to assist the body when inflammation is present. It is believed that turmeric helps to inhibit an inflammatory gene by helping to lower histamine levels, subsequently increasing natural cortisone production by the adrenal glands (Rathaur, Raja, Ramteke, & John, 2012).

It has been found that turmeric can aid in health issues such as osteoarthritis (Kuptniratsaikul, Thanakhumtorn, Chinswangwatanakul, Wattanamongkonsil, & Thamlikitkul, 2009), back pain, and general inflammation (Rathaur et al., 2012), and according to a 2006 study, curcumin is also considered an antioxidant (Khor et al., 2006).

Turmeric can also benefit digestion by assisting the body in producing digestive enzymes that help the body to digest fats, thus supporting liver detoxification (Rathaur et al., 2012). While turmeric has been found safe for many to take in high amounts without side effects (Rathaur et al., 2012), some individuals can be more sensitive to turmeric so it’s best to start at the low end of a suggested dosage and slowly work up from there.

Many studies show that turmeric should be combined with black pepper to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin. Curcumin is a curcuminoid most often researched as turmeric’s primary active compound. The addition of black pepper will aid in the absorption of curcumin in the body and also facilitate the production of digestive enzymes (Shoba, 1998). Traditionally, most recipes with turmeric also include black pepper.

Curcumin is also fat-soluble, meaning that in order to obtain the benefits of the herb you should combine it with a portion of fatty food or substance. This means, if you simply put turmeric in water, you may lose out on curcumin’s benefits (Higdon, Drake, & Delage, 2005). For this reason, coconut milk is used in the recipe below.

It is also believed that turmeric should be heated in order to make the curcuminoids more bioavailable to us (Kurien & Scofield, 2009). This is likely why we most often find turmeric in traditional recipes of soups and curries.

Nutritional Benefits of Cauliflower

A Warming Turmeric Cauliflower Soup For Chilly Winter Days | Herbal Academy | There is nothing better than a warm bowl of soup on a chilly winter’s day. Give our Turmeric Cauliflower Soup a try and stay warm!

If you shop in a natural foods store, you may find that a growing number of packaged items are made of cauliflower these days, from pizza crust to mashed “potatoes” to cauliflower “rice.” The list goes on. The use of cauliflower has become very popular in the low-carb diet world as a substitution to grains or legumes making it a fantastic way to increase your vegetable intake. Cauliflower is extremely versatile; I personally enjoy it steamed, raw on a salad, or dipped in hummus. The turmeric cauliflower soup recipe below offers the option to roast and puree the cauliflower, creating a warm, creamy, and delicious soup.

Cauliflower is a wonderful dietary addition as it is widely available and affordable. It is also an excellent source of antioxidants and nutrients (Elliot, 2017). While it is low in calories, it still packs a punch with its high nutritional value and vitamin content with one serving of cauliflower containing over 75% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C (SELF Nutrition Data, 2018). According to Dr. Joseph Mercola (2014), cauliflower is a great source of vitamin K, protein, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese. It is also high in fiber which supports healthy digestion and also aids in the detoxification process in the body (Mercola, 2014).

Cauliflower is rich in choline which plays an important role in brain health and development (Elliot, 2017). Another reason cauliflower is known to be a nutritional powerhouse is that it contains the potent antioxidant sulforaphane. Research shows that sulforaphane may also help to reduce high blood pressure and support overall heart health (Yang et al., 2015).

According to the National Cancer Institute (2012) and Abdull Razis & Noor (2013), cruciferous vegetables contain many unique antioxidants and compounds that may reduce inflammation, help protect against cancer cell growth, and even shrink existing cancer cells.

A Warming Turmeric Cauliflower Soup For Chilly Winter Days | Herbal Academy | There is nothing better than a warm bowl of soup on a chilly winter’s day. Give our Turmeric Cauliflower Soup a try and stay warm!

How To Make Turmeric Cauliflower Soup

[recipe_ingredients]

2 heads cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 medium yellow onions, diced
1 bunch carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1-1 ½ tablespoons fresh minced ginger (Zingiber officinale)
8-10 cloves of minced garlic (Allium sativum)
1 dried bay leaf (Laurus nobilis)
1 small bunch fresh thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
1 small bunch fresh sage (Salvia officinalis)
2 tablespoons dried ground turmeric (Curcuma longa)
1 teaspoon black pepper (Piper nigrum)
Juice from 2 large lemons
32 ounces of broth (chicken or vegetable)
32 ounce carton of unsweetened coconut milk
1 can full-fat coconut milk
½  cup gluten-free flour (King Arthur’s or Bob’s)
½ cup coconut oil
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (to taste)

[/recipe_ingredients][recipe_directions]

  • Cut cauliflower heads into pieces while removing large stems and toss with olive oil and salt. Roast on a sheet pan at 450 degrees F for 25 minutes or until brown.
  • On a separate sheet pan, roast carrots, celery, onion, and garlic with bay leaves, sage, and thyme at 450 degrees F.
  • While vegetables are roasting, sweat ginger (sauteed on low heat) in olive oil.  
  • Combine gluten-free flour to coconut oil to make a roux (thickening base).
  • Slowly add in the stock on low heat while whisking vigorously to make veloute (savory sauce made from a roux and stock).
  • Blend roasted cauliflower, vegetables, and ginger in a blender with coconut milk until extremely smooth.
  • Add lemon, pepper, and salt to taste and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Additional water or milk may be added during this process to maintain the desired thickness.

[/recipe_directions]

REFERENCES

Abdull Razis, A.F., & Noor, N.M. (2013). Cruciferous vegetables: Dietary phytochemicals for cancer prevention. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 14(3):1565-70.

Conrozier, T., Mathieu, P., Bonjean, M., Marc, J.F., Renevier, J.L., &  Balblanc, J.C. (2014). A complex of three natural anti-inflammatory agents provides relief of osteoarthritis pain. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 20 Suppl 1:32-7.

Elliot, B. (2017). Top 8 health benefits of cauliflower. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-cauliflower

Gallant, L. (n.d.). Turmeric: “The golden goddess.” Retrieved from http://www.ayurvedacollege.com/articles/students/turmeric

Higdon, J., Drake, V., & Delage, B. (2005). Curcumin. Retrieved from https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/curcumin

Kayne, J. (2016). DIY: Dyeing with turmeric. Retrieved from https://www.jennikayne.com/ripandtan/dyeing-with-turmeric

Khor, T.O., Keum, Y.S., Lin W., Kim, J.H., Hu, R., Shen, G.,…Kong, A.N. (2006). Combined inhibitory effects of curcumin and phenethyl isothiocyanate on the growth of human PC-3 prostate xenografts in immunodeficient mice. Cancer Research, 66(2):613-21. https://doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-2708

Kuptniratsaikul, V., Thanakhumtorn, S., Chinswangwatanakul, P., Wattanamongkonsil, L., & Thamlikitkul, V. (2009). Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts in patients with knee osteoarthritis. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,15(8): 891-897. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2008.0186

Kurien, B.T., & Scofield, R.H. (2009). Oral administration of heat-solubilized curcumin for potentially increasing curcumin bioavailability in experimental animals. The International Journal of Cancer, 125(8): 1992-1993. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijc.24547

Mercola, J. (2014). Top 8 health benefits of cauliflower. Retrieved from https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/22/cauliflower-health-benefits.aspx

National Cancer Institute. (2012). Cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cruciferous-vegetables-fact-sheet

Rathaur, P., Raja, W., Ramteke, P. W., & John, S. A. (2012). Turmeric: The golden spice of life. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 3(8), 1987.

SELF Nutrition Data. (n.d.). Cauliflower, raw nutrition facts and calories. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2390/2

Shoba, G., Joy, D., Joseph, T., Majeed, M., Rajendran, R., & Srinivas, P.S. (1998). Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta Med, 64(4): 353–6. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2006-957450

Yang, B., Xiaolu, W., Song, Z., Chunye, M., Jiuwei, C., & Yang, Z. (2015). Sulforaphane protects against cardiovascular disease via Nrf2 activation. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2015, 407580. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/407580

How To Make A DIY Herbal-Infused Broth

How To Make A DIY Herbal-Infused Broth | Herbal Academy | An herbal-infused broth is a tasty alternative way to enjoy herbs and add a nutritious boost to your meals all year long. Learn how to make it here!

Are herbal-infused broths the new tea?! Although nothing can truly compete with a nourishing cup of herbal tea, an herbal-infused broth is a tasty alternative way to enjoy your herbs and add a nutritious boost to your meals all year long. Herbal-infused broths can be incorporated into soups and other dishes or enjoyed on their own as a savory sipping broth on a crisp, cool day.

In this article, I will show you how to make your own DIY herbal-infused broth at home including a couple of easy recipes to get you inspired.

How To Make A DIY Herbal-Infused Broth | Herbal Academy | An herbal-infused broth is a tasty alternative way to enjoy herbs and add a nutritious boost to your meals all year long. Learn how to make it here!

3 Steps to Making an Herbal-Infused Broth Formula

Step 1: Decide Your Focus

When making your own DIY herbal-infused broth, the first step is to decide your focus. Why are you making the broth? Is there a specific wellness-supporting reason you have in mind? Or perhaps a particular dish you would like to use it for? Choose no more than three core focal points for your broth so the formula does not become too complex or confused in action, energetic, and flavor.

For example, your three core focal points could be:

  1. Creating a nutrient-rich broth to add extra vitamins and minerals to your diet.
  2. Enhancing immune system function during cold and flu season.
  3. Using the broth as a base for your favorite squash soup recipe.

How To Make A DIY Herbal-Infused Broth | Herbal Academy | An herbal-infused broth is a tasty alternative way to enjoy herbs and add a nutritious boost to your meals all year long. Learn how to make it here!

Step 2: Choosing Your Herbs & Base

After deciding your focus, you have the option to choose a base for your herbal-infused broth. This base can consist of animal parts and/or vegetables. Using a base in your herbal-infused broth is entirely optional. If you do decide to use one, make sure you choose the elements of your base at the same time you are deciding which herbs to use. This way the flavor profiles of your herbs and animal parts and/or vegetables can be well-balanced.

For example, a broth using fish bones will have a very different flavor profile than one using mushrooms! Incorporating a base of animal parts and/or vegetables can also offer added nutritional benefits and other wellness-supportive qualities depending on your reasons for making the broth.

Whether you plan on cooking with your herbal-infused broth or not, it is important to keep the overall flavor profile of your herbs in respect to your base in mind. This can take some experimentation to figure out which flavor pairings go well together. When starting out, try sticking to culinary herbs such as sage (Salvia officinalis), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and parsley (Petroselinum crispum) at first. Then you can choose another herb that you feel would pair well in the broth and would be balanced in flavor to add to the formula.

Looking for more creative herbal ideas? Here are a few of my favorite flavorful herbs and mushrooms to draw from when building an herbal-infused broth: sage, rosemary, parsley, thyme (Thymus vulgaris), oregano (Origanum vulgare), lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), cayenne (Capsicum annuum), garlic (Allium sativum), astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus), hawthorn berries (Crataegus spp.), elderberries (Sambucus nigra), chaga (Inonotus obliquus), turmeric (Curcuma longa), anise (Pimpinella anisum), and clove (Syzygium aromaticum).

How To Make A DIY Herbal-Infused Broth | Herbal Academy | An herbal-infused broth is a tasty alternative way to enjoy herbs and add a nutritious boost to your meals all year long. Learn how to make it here!

Let’s use the example I gave in the previous section and build a DIY herbal-infused broth formula for it. Using vegetables and mushrooms as a base for the broth is a great way to boost the nutrient profile of the broth, but, since we are planning on using the broth as a base in a squash soup, we want to make sure that the flavor of the broth will pair well in that dish. In this case, it might be wiser to steer away from more pungent-flavored vegetables and herbs including most mushrooms.

Sage and rosemary are two great kitchen herbs we could use that complement both the flavor-profile of the soup and carry qualities that support the immune and respiratory systems. Incorporating fresh ginger and garlic could add a gentle kick of spice while lending a stronger antiviral property.

A good herb to experiment with adding into this herbal-infused broth would be astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) root. Mostly neutral in flavor, astragalus is traditionally used for long-term immune support and is ideal to draw from before sickness has taken root (Bellebuono, 2016).

How To Make A DIY Herbal-Infused Broth | Herbal Academy | An herbal-infused broth is a tasty alternative way to enjoy herbs and add a nutritious boost to your meals all year long. Learn how to make it here!

Step 3: Herb Proportions

After choosing your herbal formula, consider the proportions of the herbs you are using in relation to your base and/or the amount of broth you want to create. Figuring out the right proportions could take a little bit of experimentation over the course of several batches before you find the ideal balance for your taste palate.

Consider the intensity of flavor or spice in the herbs you chose when deciding how much of the herbs to add into your broth base. Keep in mind with many aromatic herbs and seeds, it is helpful to lightly chop or crush them to release more of their volatile oil content before adding them to your broth base.

How To Make A DIY Herbal-Infused Broth | Herbal Academy | An herbal-infused broth is a tasty alternative way to enjoy herbs and add a nutritious boost to your meals all year long. Learn how to make it here!

2 Methods & Recipes To Try

Here are two of my favorite herbal-infused broth recipes for you to try at home or to help inspire your own personal DIY broth. The first recipe uses a bone broth base and the second is vegetarian. They present two different methods you can use to prepare an herbal-infused broth at home. Feel free to try these recipes as they are or simply use them as a model to branch off from and create your own personalized DIY broth.

Herbal Bone Broth

Recipe adapted from The Herbalist’s Kitchen by Brittany Wood Nickerson

[recipe_ingredients]

1-gallon water (or whatever quantity your crock pot will carry)
4-6 fresh sprigs of parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme (Thymus vulgaris) (or 1 tablespoon dried thyme)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) (or 1 tablespoon dried)
2 sprigs fresh sage (Salvia officinalis) (or 1 tablespoon dried)
1 bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) leaf
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 pounds of animal bones (ex: lamb, beef, fish)

[/recipe_ingredients][recipe_directions]

  • Add the animal bones and vinegar in a crock pot then cover with water until there is 1 inch of water above the bones. Turn on the crockpot to the high setting until the broth is simmering. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 48-72 hours. The water will reduce while the broth is cooking, check on the broth periodically and add hot water as needed to maintain the original water level. If the bones float to the top of the liquid, simply keep the crock pot relatively full with water.
  • Add the parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, and bay laurel leaf when the broth is 2-3 hours away from completion.
  • Turn off the heat and let the broth cool slightly once it is done cooking. Strain the broth into a soup pot then discard the bones and herbs.
  • Allow the broth to cool completely before pouring into a container to store in the refrigerator or freezer. In the refrigerator, the broth will keep for up to 1 week and in the freezer, the broth will keep for up to 6 months.

[/recipe_directions]

Thai Lemongrass Broth

Recipe adapted from The Healing Kitchen by Holly Bellebuono

[recipe_ingredients]

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
10-15 medium-sized shiitake (Lentinula edodes) mushrooms (dried or fresh), chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale), minced
1 teaspoon of dried chopped angelica (Angelica sinensis) root (optional)
2 teaspoons of dried chopped astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) root (or two 2-inch slices of dried astragalus root)
1 tablespoon dried chopped lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
2 quarts water
A handful of fresh parsley (Petroselinum crispum) leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried parsley leaves)
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice per serving

[/recipe_ingredients][recipe_directions]

  • Add the olive oil in a large pot and warm over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, ginger, angelica (if using), astragalus, and lemongrass to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the water and increase the heat to high until the mixture has reached a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer the broth for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the roots have softened.
  • At the very end, add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Strain the broth. Add the lemon or lime juice to each serving and enjoy hot.

[/recipe_directions]

Herbal-Infused Broth For All Seasons

While we are more inclined to enjoy broths and soups during the colder months of the year, you can incorporate an herbal-infused broth into your daily routine throughout all seasons! Herbal-infused broths can add a flavorful and nutrient-rich boost to cook grains in, sauté vegetables with, incorporate into gazpacho, blend into a creamy dip, and more.

Intrigued by herbal-infused bone broth? Learn more about the virtues of bone broth and try another recipe in our post here.

How To Make A DIY Herbal-Infused Broth | Herbal Academy | An herbal-infused broth is a tasty alternative way to enjoy herbs and add a nutritious boost to your meals all year long. Learn how to make it here!

REFERENCES

Bellebuono, H. (2016). The healing kitchen. Boulder, CO: Roost Books.

Nickerson, B.W. (2017). The herbalist’s kitchen. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.

Herbalicious Homemade Granola

homemade granola

Crafting a big batch of homemade granola is such a treat. Pans thinly layered with the goodness of rolled oats and nuts slowly roasting in the oven is wonderful and homey. This not-to-sweet recipe uses only dried fruits along any goodies that you choose to include for sweetness. It is rich in fiber, whole grains, herbs, vitamins and minerals, and makes a fast breakfast for the whole family on those crazy weekday mornings. If you have little ones in your home, invite them to bake with you! Making homemade granola with all the measuring, pouring, and stirring is lots of fun!

Continue reading “Herbalicious Homemade Granola”

Harvest Time Apple Recipes

Each autumn I look forward to crisp days filled with riotously colored leaves and the richness of harvest time, especially the coming of apple season. Apples have always been a favorite fruit in our house. And as a family, we love to get cooking in the kitchen and enjoy the bounty of the season with plenty of delicious apple recipes. After all, what could be better than a big mug of spiced cider on a chilly day or a bowl of freshly made cinnamon applesauce?

Apples (Malus species) are a member of the lovely rose family along with other autumn fruits such as pears, quince, and rose hips. The fruits of this family are chock full of tasty nutrition that is easy to enjoy, which makes them a wonderful autumn food for boosting the immune system in preparation for the upcoming cold and flu season.

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4 Methods of Seasonal Food Preservation

Eating foods that are produced locally is a wonderful way to eat well without spending a lot. Eating locally often means eating seasonally as well, and prices are often lower for fruits and vegetables that are in season. If you are open to exploring methods of seasonal food preservation, you have the option to buy more food at a lower cost upfront to use down the road. As you get started, it might take some effort to locate all of the markets and produce stands in your area, but it is well worth it for the fresh foods waiting to be had at these locations.

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Farm Stand Minestrone With Pesto Crostini

As summer rolls into autumn our local farm stands brim with luscious, incredibly delicious produce. Each year I make up big batches of soup with vegetables and herbs from nearby farm stands to freeze for my family to enjoy during the winter. One of our favorite soups is Italian minestrone. Minestrone means “big soup” and it is a indeed a tasty way to capture the big flavors and textures of seasonal veggies year round (Stradley, 2004). Top off a tasty bowl of minestrone with a warm slice of pesto crostini and you have a full, healthy meal with lots of nourishing veggies to fill up your belly.

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Arugula, Peach, Radish & Corn Salad

Summer produce is still plentiful, even as we head towards September. There are lots of healthy, plant-based meal choices to be created with ingredients like bell peppers, fresh herbs, zucchini, tomatoes, and peaches. And this super corn salad includes lots of them!

A sweet, crunchy, savory, peppery salad base pairs perfectly with a cumin-spiked zesty dressing. Continue reading “Arugula, Peach, Radish & Corn Salad”

6 Health Benefits of Quinoa

Quinoa is a seed that has been cultivated in the Andes Mountains of South America for over 5,000 years. Quinoa is unique in that it contains more high quality protein than any other seed or grain. In fact, quinoa is the only vegetable source recognized by the UN Food Association as a complete protein because it contains all of the essential amino acids.

Quinoa has numerous health benefits! It’s a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorous, magnesium and iron and is quick and easy to prepare. You can serve quinoa as a high-protein breakfast food mixed with honey, almonds or berries, for a healthy and great-tasting meal. You can even make quinoa chili – simply toss it into your favorite chili recipe. Continue reading “6 Health Benefits of Quinoa”