Lately, I have been researching herbal sodas, cordials and ciders. I have been experimenting with fresh fruits to make fruit syrup with tea infusions and making them carbonated with my ginger bug, or my newly acquired distillers yeast.
My initial experience with herbs for the last couple years, I have delved into decoctions and teas, so trying to go for a herbal soda did not seem that hard to try. I recently bought a good supply of herbs to get this project and my supplies started.
I bought some root herbs for my experiments like Dandelion Root, Burdock Root.
My husband bought me some stainless steel pots; a set of a 6,12,14,16 quarts so I can make any size infusion that I need. I am excited because I am starting to collect reusable bottles for saving soda in the fridge as well.
I am now working on making home brews of cordials and decoctions with carbonation somehow.
Here are some pictures of my experiments lately.
I have found some amazing research ie recipes on some old herbal decoctions and infusions.
I have learned a whole lot simply from hanging out at the farmers market. Granted it did get me a job, I ended up selling artwork for 3 years, but the best part of being a part of the market, was learning about new food. I got to know the most amazing farmers and people. Who would show me new fruits and veggies and even tell me how to prepare and cook them properly. I was blessed to say the least. I want to share some of that knowledge with you. I learned so much that its actually nice to think about all the crazy things that I tried making and remember how I cooked and liked them. For I will start another garden soon and most of these are easy to grow at home, even from seed.
I am going to focus on one kind of new vegetable to me that I got all my knowledge from at the market. Those would be Root veggies. Now we all know about Carrots and potato, they grow underground and you harvest them from the dirt. Now Did you know about burdock, parsnip, Daikon and Salsify? Or even Celeriac and Leek?
Well even if you do know a thing or two, I am going to share what I know about these odd Root Veggies and some pictures and recipes to go with it, cause this couldn’t be a great blog without those.
Burdock Root- I love Burdock. It has high Iron, which is great for anemia. It apparently can be cooked like a noodle, I have never tried this, but I included some recipes.
Salsify Root- Although I have tried salsify once, I have not had the pleasure of getting any again. I was told to saute with garlic and olive oil and I put it into a baked fall casserole. I included some recipes to follow.
Celeriac/Celery Root: I love celery root. I personally found a celery growing in my yard once and it accidentally got mowed over, the result was finding the hugest celery root. We made the most amazing soup out of it and I love to cook it with potato as the taste of celery and potato mesh well. You can use it in an Au gratin. You can use it in a soup. You can shave it on top of salad. You can do a lot with it and it is quite yummy. Prep it by peeling the outer layer of skin and then cutting the greens off. Save your greens for celery stock/veggie stock. And use your celery root insides that are nice and white. Try steaming it and adding it to a stir fry even. I include some recipes for celery root here.
Jerusalem Artichoke/Sun-choke- Another one of my favorites. Resembles a small potato but different. I love to shave them into an au gratin. Or include in any potato dish along side celery root. Here are some sunchoke recipes.
Daikon/White Radish– I have tried daikon greens.. very tart. I have also used daikon in juices but its a tough root to juice and very unique taste. Very much like a radish. If you like white radish, you could enjoy japanese daikon which is longer. Here are some recipes for daikon.
Fennel-fennel is sweet. But tart. I have used fennel but it’s more of a licorice taste so use sparingly unless you are familiar with how it tastes. It can be cooked. Or eaten raw. I have included some fennel recipes here.