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This is the first entry in my Summer Lemonade Series!
Matcha is the ground whole tea (Camellia sinensis) leaf. The plant is shade grown for a minimum of 20 days. The shading increases chlorophyll and L-theanine content. In animal studies, L-theanine has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier and increase alpha waves in the brain. These alpha waves produce a relaxed but alert state. It is theorized that the caffeine in match works synergistically with L-theanine to produce a focused state without the jitteriness that caffeine alone often causes.
There are different grades of matcha with Ceremonial Grade being the highest quality. It's best to purchase the highest quality matcha that you can afford.
Recipe for one quart of matcha lemonade:
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 tsp matcha powder (sifted and dissolved in a few tablespoons of warm water)
simple syrup (to taste)
In a quart pitcher, stir together the lemon juice and dissolved matcha powder.
Add enough water to almost fill the pitcher.
Add simple syrup to taste. (I used a little over 1/4 cup.)
Many of you use the recipe for elderberry syrup that I posted on my blog a few years back. I'm updating with new information and a new recipe. Please update your bookmarks! (I will have a link to this post on the previous recipe page, as well.)
Elderberry has been shown to inhibit the replication of cold and flu viruses. In studies, it has been shown to be effective as both a preventative and treatment of influenza types A and B (study link here). An article on the Franklin Institute of Wellness website discusses another study on elderberry and its use in preventing colds and flu during travel (article link here). A meta-analysis on elderberries done by the Franklin Institutute of Wellness: (link here).
In clinical studies on elderberry, a 38% concentration of elderberry is used so this recipe has been modified to replicate that concentration.
180 grams of dried elderberries
(if you do not have a scale, this is roughly 1 3/4 cups of elderberries)
3 cups filtered water
1 cup honey
(you can substitute maple syrup or a simple sugar syrup)
Optional add-ins for flavor:
stick of cinnamon
1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
4 whole cloves
Bring water and elderberries (and any optional flavor add-ins) to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer the elderberries uncovered for a minimum of 30 minutes.
( This is an important step as there are constituents in elderberries that can cause nausea and vomiting if they are not deactivated by heat and allowed to evaporate. An instant pot should not be used to make elderberry syrup as it will still contain these constituents with that method. )
The goal is to reduce the liquid in the pot to 1 cup. If the water is evaporating too quickly during the simmer, just add more water. If there is more than 1 cup of liquid after 30 minutes, continue the simmer until only 1 cup of extract remains. Strain out the berries and add the cup of extract to the 1 cup of honey. Mix well. Store in the refrigerator. Use within 2 months (can be frozen for longer shelf life).
Dosing for prevention of cold and flu:
Adults: 1 Tb of syrup up to 4 x per day
Children: 1 tsp of syrup up to 4 x per day
Elderberry is active in the body for only a couple of hours, so during times of illness, the dose can be taken more frequently (every 2 hours) for a short period of time.
Because elderberry is a considered a culinary herb, it is relatively safe for most people. Those with autoimmune diseases or taking immune suppressant drugs should use elderberry with caution as the herb enhances the immune system. In these cases, a smaller dose may be helpful without causing unwanted reactions.
Monograph. Sambucus nigra (elderberry) Altern Med Rev. 2005;10(1):51-55.
This is the time of year where I frequent the local farm stand down the road. I'm loving all the peppers and squash that they have right now and decided to use yesterday's haul to make dinner tonight. I threw together some homemade hummus to add flavor and protein to the wrap. I chose lentils, but you could use chickpeas. I don't really use a recipe for hummus, but this time I tried to pay a bit closer attention to approximate measurements. It can easily be adjusted to your own taste preferences:
1 cup of cooked lentils (I used a mix of three colors.)
2 tsp tahini
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Blend all of the ingredients adding enough water until it is the right consistency.
I roasted the veggies (onions, peppers, and squash) in the oven with a bit of oil (I used avocado), salt, and pepper at 425 degrees for about 35 minutes. I spread some hummus on a tortilla and added the veggies before wrapping it up and eating. Yum!