Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Immunity Solution

Back when my beloved Borders was closing I scored Homemade Soda by Andrew Schloss. After  playing with some root beer and concocting my own herbal sodas last summer this tome of 200 recipes, well, you can imagine how excited I was at the prospects. The first one I attempted, Immunity Solution is nothing like the infamous cure-all, cod liver oil and way less sugar-y than Emergen-C. Full of vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, bioflavnoids and polyphenols you need this as you battle the balance of cold season.

Here we go....pay attention cuz this is really involved. Throw your whole fruit - this recipe calls for blueberries - and juice along with a bit of sweetener, in this case honey, into a pan.

Add a squeeze of citrus for brightness.

Mash the berries to to release flavor then sprinkle over a bit of fresh ginger and cinnamon.

Heat the mixture slowly over low heat, stirring often so the berries release their juice then allow this potion to sit at room temperature before straining through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the solids and store the syrup in a mason jar so it's always at the ready. Pre-mixed in an up-cycled bottle it makes a great gift for under the weather friends. They'll lub you.

You'll never buy soda again. (except for Pepsi Throwback because, my world would be dim once a month without it). I've also found this healthy habit is really, really good with true ginger beer as an afternoon pick-me-up.

I am also certain the addition of your favorite clear libation would make for a terrific cocktail - with health benefits. Remember these are not just for sickness but in health, too. You'll never look at a cold the same way again.

Achhoooo! Is it 5 o'clock?

Immunity Syrup
Homemade Sodas by Andrew Schloss

1 pt. blueberries or elderberries (I used blue)
1/2 c. carrot juice, preferably fresh
1/2 c. unsweetened purple grape juice
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 c. honey
1 cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces
1" length of fresh ginger root, coarsely chopped

Combine the berries, carrot juice, grape juice, lemon juice and honey in a small saucepan. Mash the mixture with a vegetable masher (or the back or a spoon), then stir in the cinnamon and ginger. Heat over low heat, stirring often, until the berries have released their liquid. Let cool to room temperature, and strain. You should have about 2 cups of syrup.

This syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. (though I keep it longer)

Enough for 3 servings

To mix with seltzer:
2/3 c. immunity syrup
2/3 c. seltzer

Pour the syrup in to a tall glass. Add the seltzer and stir just until blended. Add ice and serve.

Yield: 1 serving.

Cheers to health!

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