An Ancient Beverage (Wine mixed with Honey, Water and Lemon)

The ancient cultures, Hebrews, Greeks, Romans and the like, used to mix wine into their tepid water to try to kill any bacteria or other living organisms in the water. Reports from Ancient texts show that this could be anywhere from 20 parts water to one part wine to as little as 3 parts to one.

Because the quality was poor and because in the Greco-Roman period people began enjoying sickeningly sweet wines, honey was often added. Illustrates Augustine regarding the Holy Trinity, “…one drink is made from wine and water and honey, and each single part extends through the whole, and yet they are three things…there is no part of the drink that does not contain these three things…”

In later periods, lemon and spices began to be introduced as the culinary arts developed, turning this old world survival mechanism into a new world treat. Please enjoy my contemporary version and adapt any way you like.

Heat a small amount of water to just warm enough to mix in the honey. Add it to a jar with the rest of the water. Let cool to room temperature.
Squeeze the lemon into the mixture.
Fill to a total of 1500 ml with the dry white wine-I used Sauvignon Blanc.
Get it good and cold in the fridge. Serve with a wedge of sweet lemon and, if you like, a sprig of mint.

Warm Sweet Milk

My boys love sweet milk and beg for it as a treat in the cold winter months. It’s very soothing, and I often turn to it on those nights when I’m having trouble sleeping.

Whisk together all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until it reaches the desired temperature. (To avoid killing enzymes in the milk, do not heat it over 118 degrees. I find that 110 degrees is about the perfect drinking temperature for me!)

Honey-Sweetened Hot Cocoa

A great way to warm up after playing in the snow or leaves!

Put cocoa, vanilla, and a scant 1/4 of the milk into a saucepan.
Stir together until the ingredients form a paste.
Add honey and stir until smooth.
Gently whisk in the rest of the milk and put the pan on the stove.
Heat until it reaches the desired drinking temperature.
(To avoid killing the enzymes in the milk, do not heat the cocoa over 118 degrees. For me, 110 degrees is about perfect!)
Pour into mugs and serve!

Coconut Vanilla Steamer

A special treat for me and my girls is to go to the local coffee shop and sit and sip a warm drink. Most of the time the girls like to get a hot chocolate. But they also like steamers, warmed up milk with flavoring. This is a simple treat that doesn’t have to come only from a coffee shop, or include artificial ingredients. You can make them quick and easy in your own kitchen. There are many flavors you can come up with using ingredients in your own kitchen. This is one I came up with after making up a batch of coconut cream. Steamers are great alternative to high sugar and caffeinated drinks in the morning, or a great way to wind down at night.

Place all ingredients in a saucepan, except vanilla extract.
Warm over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until it is as warm as you would like. If using raw milk and you want to keep it raw do not warm above 105 degrees.
If using vanilla extract add right before placing in cups and stir to combine. You can use a sick blender in the pan to froth the milk a little if you would like or, once in the glasses use your whisk to froth. For an extra special treat, top with whipped cream.Some other ideas to try:
Substitute almond extract for the vanilla and have a coconut almond steamer or do half vanilla half almond.
Simply add some vanilla extract for a vanilla steamer or almond extract for an almond steamer.
Add pumpkin puree instead of coconut cream and 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice for a pumpkin pie steamer.
Experiment with what you have in your own pantry I would love to hear what you have created.

Homemade Fizzy Ginger Ale with Lime

Ginger is both refreshing and a helpful digestive aid. It also can help ease a queasy stomach. Enjoy a cool glass of this fizzy beverage on the hottest of summer days to quench your thirst.

Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart Fido jar. Cover with a tea towel to keep out the light.
Leave the jar at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
Strain into individual 12 oz flip top bottles and store in the refrigerator.
These will keep for several months. Do not open for at least a week in order for carbonation to build up in the bottles.

Raw Lavender Lemonade (GAPS & Paleo Friendly)

Lavender not only classes lemonade up and gives it a smooth finish, it renders it’s soothing, stress-relieving properties to de-frazzle the nerves. This soft purply herb has a very strong flavor, so all you have to do is drop a bouquet of it into a jar of lemonade and it will infuse beautifully. If you don’t have access to fresh lavender, simply use one of those reusable tea bags, fill it with dried lavender, and place into the recipe.

Place all ingredients except lavender in a blender (you’ll get the smoothest results from a high-speed blender like a vita-mix). Blend on hight for 45-60 seconds. Pour into a pitcher or a 2-quart mason jar.
Use cooking twine to tie together the lavender. Drop into the lemonade & allow it to steep a few minutes before serving. The longer it steeps, the stronger the flavor gets. Once the lemonade is gone, you may tie up the lavender in cheese cloth (pictured below) and place it in the tub to bless the next bather with a soothing, fragrant bath.

Canning Honey Sweetened Strawberry Lemonade

This strawberry lemonade has a higher ratio of strawberries to lemons so I would not have to add as much honey to sweeten the drink up. For an added treat, use Meyer lemons for their special sweet and tart flavor.

Place the strawberries in a large pot. Add enough water to just barely cover the strawberries.
Boil the strawberries for 5 minutes or until the strawberries turn from red to pale pink.
Strain the berries out of the juice with a fine mesh strainer or a strainer lined with a coffee filter.
Add the berry juice and lemon juice to a large pot.
Add the honey. When adding the honey start off with a smaller amount and taste your juice before adding more keeping in mind that you are tasting concentrate.
Bring the concentrate to a boil.
Add the juice to hot, sterile jars leaving ¼” headspace.
Place lids that have been simmering in hot water on the jars. Screw on the second part of lid.
Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.
Serve cold and diluted with 1 part water 1 part juice.

Canning Rhubarb Nectar

Rhubarb is one of my favorite spring vegetables with its pretty pink stalks and tart flavor. To preserve that wonderful flavor all year long, I usually make a rhubarb nectar that can be drank in place of lemonade or added to yogurt for a quick and refreshing drink. Be sure to use safe canning pracites when canning this recipe.

Zest the lemons and oranges. Juice the lemons and oranges.
Place the zest, fruit juice, and rhubarb to a pot.
Add enough water to barely cover the rhubarb.
Boil the rhubarb on medium high heat until the rhubarb is very soft and falling apart when picked up with a spoon, about 30 minutes.
Strain the rhubarb and zest.
Place the rhubarb nectar back in the pot and add the honey.
Bring the nectar to a boil
Place the rhubarb nectar is hot, sterile jars leaving ¼” headspace.
Add lids to the jars that have been sitting in a pot of hit simmering water. Add the second piece of the lid and tighten the lids.
Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.
To serve, use 1 part nectar to 4 parts water.

Maple Milk Beverage

Raw, fresh, ice cold milk with Real maple syrup! Delicious, and soul satisfying. Maple syrup is rich in minerals, particularly manganese, zinc and iron and can be an important addition to a healthy diet.

Pour milk into a glass.
Add the maple syrup and stir.

Refreshing Peppermint Sun Tea

Just in time for the hot days of summer, here is a simple way to make a quantity of “Sun Tea” to enjoy! Peppermint is particularly refreshing and has many health benefits.

Pour the water into a clear glass jar.
Place the peppermint in a small muslin bag or a square of muslin, and tie it shut.
Put the bag of peppermint into the water and cover the jar.
Set the jar outside in the sunlight and leave it there for 4 or 5 hours, depending on how concentrated you wish it to be.
Remove the peppermint packet and pour your tea into a container to keep in the refrigerator. Add 1/8 teaspoon stevia and stir to dissolve. Refrigerate.
Serve over ice!

Naturally Fermented Mead

This is a recipe for naturally fermented mead, super easy and delicious!

In a one gallon glass jar mix together the water and the honey with a wooden spoon until the honey is dissolved. Add your optional fruit or berries and stir. Cover with a cheesecloth to keep bugs out and let it sit out in a warm place for 5-7 days, it should get really bubbly because the sweet water is attracting yeast from the air. Make sure you stir it with a wooden spoon at least twice a day! If it does start to grow mold, don’t despair! Just scoop it off the top.
Strain the fruit out and pour the mead into a one gallon jug and either seal it with an airlock/carboy (just a few dollars at a brewing store) or you can put a balloon over the top. Basically it needs to be able to let air out without letting air in. Let this sit for 2-4 weeks and then store in the fridge! So far I’ve tried strawberry, blackberry, and regular mead… all delicious!

Sugar-Free Strawberry Lemonade Slushies

Usually we think of lemonade as the classic summertime drink. But lemons have two harvests a year: one in the winter and one in the summertime. Lemons are a welcome aid to our immune systems, especially during those cold, short days. Adding some ice to this blended beverage transforms it to a slushy treat. Normally, I’m not a fan of stevia. The taste and my tongue don’t seem to get along. Except with this recipe. It just… works. Although this treat will loose it’s slushiness after about 30 minutes, the leftovers are still a delicious strawberry lemonade that you can store in your fridge for about 24 hours before it’s flavor starts to change. What I love about this drink (besides it’s refreshing deliciousness)? My kids adore it and I can give them full permission to drink as much as they want since every ingredient is health-promoting.

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 45-60 seconds, or until thoroughly blended.