Savory summer strawberry herb vinaigrette

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Salad dressing recipe best on bed of mixed greens, walnuts and fresh strawberry halves

This surprising, zesty dressing brightens salads and stimulates the senses.  A versatile dressing or marinade, mere modifications change from a tart version to a sweeter, savory sauce that can stand up to poultry, game and some fish.  This recipe was developed to satisfy recent cravings for homegrown ingredients plucked fresh from the garden.

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Recommended fresh ingredients

  • ½ C. rice bran oil
  • 1/3 C. apple cider vinegar, or red wine vinegar, or fresh key lime juice
  • 1 ½ -2 C. washed strawberries
  • 1Tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 1/8 C. fresh basil leaves (cinnamon basil works well)
  • 1/8 C. fresh parsley
  • ¼ tsp. “Reunion Pink” peppercorns
  • Dash of “Penzey’s Baking Spice” or fresh ground cinnamon for depth.

Add all ingredients simultaneously and pulse or blend on high for 10-15 seconds

These fresh, whole foods and savory herbs offer antimicrobial properties and contain water soluble vitamins addressing several common conditions faced today.  Some may argue that an oil-free diet must be maintained when considering cardiovascular conditions.  Others proclaim fermented foods, like vinegars, are detrimental.  In moderation, this preparation is a condiment to enhance flavors, not intended as a meal.  Rice bran oil acts as a nutraceutical, featuring tocotrienols that share a similar tocopherol chemical structure belonging “…to the vitamin E family and are powerful natural antioxidants (Tomeo et al., 1995).”

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Strawberry blossoms

Strawberries are naturally abundant and refreshing during the late spring and summer months.   An effective antioxidant reducing blood pressure, strawberries are high in vitamin C and fortify blood due to iron content.  Strawberries (and apple cider vinegar) contain pectin that reduces painful arthritic inflammation by eliminating uric acid accumulation in joints, causing the painful crystallization of synovial fluid.  Strawberries are a naturally sweet and satisfying fibrous food source.  Allergic reactions to strawberries may be life threatening so take extreme caution.

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Celebrate the Summer Solstice with Sun Infusions

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Sun infused tisane

Celebrate the Summer season with sun-steeped teas.  These light, bright and refreshing recipes are designed to nourish and hydrate our bodies throughout the year.

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Gathered botanicals

I formulated this equation as a framework on which to build a balanced blend.

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Selected plants to steep

  • 1 tsp. Base with earthy or woody constituents.
  • 2-3 tsp. Flavor with fruits and/or florals
  • 1-2 tsp. Green or White tea Leaves for antioxidant properties.

This is a mere suggestion I have found to work well for a full and satisfying, albeit therapeutic infusion.  When using fresh plants, be certain the plants have not been sprayed and are safe to drink.  Some florals are not intended for consumption and other aerial plant parts are toxic.  Stick with pre-packaged tea bags and commercial loose teas to get the feel for creating the perfect blend.  Eventually, this will become second nature as you spend more time with the plants themselves.  You will instinctively choose flavors and herbs that will address your needs, similar to why our bodies develop cravings.

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Various commercial teas and blends

I am a fan of “Traditional Medicinals” brand teas; herbal infusions naturally designed to address symptoms.

v  1 Madagascar Vanilla Red Rooibos

v  2 Black Cherry or Dark Berry

v  1 “Fusion red, white & blueberry tea

v  1 “Traditional Medicinals PMS” blend

v  2 Echinacea Elder by “Traditional Medicinals”

v  1-2 “Fusion red, white & blueberry”

v  2 Orange Spice

v  1 “Traditional Medicinals Think-Q Ginko”

v  1 white tea

v  1 Earl Grey (fermented black tea)  “Twinings” is known for safe, high quality

v  2 “Gypsy Cold Care” by “Traditional Medicinals”

v  1 white tea

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Cheerful florals for tisanes

Give botanical tisanes a try like these fresh growing flowers and herbs whilst it is summertime:

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Spicy Oregano

v  Lavender/Anise Hyssop and Rose Petals

v  Spearmint/Spicy oregano

v  Lemon Thyme/Lavender.

v  Hibiscus or Jasmine

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Anise biscuits & sugared lemon rind Compliments of Inn Walden

Potentiate the potion with dried plants and commercial blends to substantiate these fresh infusions.

Enjoy slow infusions extracted by the sun as well as a steeped, freshly brewed cup.  Be it the Summer or Winter solstice, stay safe and healthy all year long with home brewed infusions, regardless of your hemisphere.

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High Tea
Compliments of Inn Walden