I hope you’ve been staying well this month and nourishing yourself with delicious and healthy foods!
Do you have a favorite drink you like to have in the winter? I have many! But, today I wanted to share one that’ll support you in staying healthy this season.
St. Hildegard recommended fennel tea as one of the best teas to drink. But maybe you’re not a fan of fennel? I know it’s definitely an acquired taste for many!
Well, rosehip tea is another tea that St. Hildegard said was very beneficial to your health. Especially good in the winter, rosehip tea helps to detoxify the body, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the immune system.
What are rosehips?
Rosehips are the small, round seed pods of the wild rose flower just below the petals. You’ll see them on the plant after the rose blossoms fade away. They’re typically red or orange in color and ripen in the late summer or autumn. They have a tart flavor, reminiscent of crab apples, and can be used for tea, oil or even jam.
Rosehips are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C available and have a long history of being used in traditional medicine. During World War II, rosehips became popular, especially in Great Britain, when there was a very limited supply of citrus fruits. Volunteers gathered rosehips to make rosehip syrup to distribute, particularly to children, to ensure enough Vitamin C in their diet.
Rosehip tea is wonderful to drink in the winter and is made from steeping crushed or dried rosehips. You can find them at a specialty grocery store if you don’t have any nearby to harvest.
Place 2 tsp. of dried rosehips in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Strain and serve warm with a little honey, as desired. Enjoy!
You can also find rosehip tea, already crushed and in tea bags, from herbal tea companies if you’d prefer an easier method!
You can also make rosehip syrup that’s a wonderful balance of tart and sweet and delicious on pancakes, oatmeal, or yogurt.
First make rosehip tea and cool it to room temperature. Add an equal amount of honey to the tea. One cup of honey to one cup of tea. Stir until combined and store in the refrigerator. Yum!
I invite you to nourish yourself this month with healthy foods and drinks – a way of self care. I hope you enjoy the nourishment of rosehips as they support your immune system and health this winter!
Did you miss my other nourishing recipes this month? You can find them here.
Easing the Discomfort of Illness in Winter
An Easy, Nutritious Snack to Help Curb Cravings
The Nourishing Food That's Good for Digestion and Skin and Even Makes Us Happy!
Have you been feeling under the weather lately? I know that here in Boulder, CO, there are many who are ill with the flu, a cold, or a respiratory illness, not Covid.
One of my favorite spices to use during the winter is cinnamon. It’s a wonderful, warming spice that, with its health-giving qualities, can ease the discomfort of the illnesses that often arise in these cold winter months.
Although this fragrant spice might remind you of the holiday season, it also contains potent antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant properties.
Cinnamon has been used for hundreds of years as a natural medicine. In Ayurvedic treatment, it’s often used to treat respiratory and digestive problems.
St. Hildegard even enjoyed cinnamon as a healing spice long ago, sharing that it was good for sinus issues. She also included it in her yummy Joy Cookies along with nutmeg and cloves.
What is Cinnamon?
Do you know? Cinnamon is harvested from the inner bark of a tropical evergreen plant where it’s peeled and laid in the sun to dry. It curls into rolls which we know as cinnamon sticks. These sticks are ground into a powder form to become one of our favorite household spices.
There are 2 common types of cinnamon:
The distinct aroma and flavor of cinnamon that we recognize are due to the oil in the inner bark which is very high in the compound cinnamaldehyde. Scientists believe that it’s this compound that’s responsible for cinnamon’s powerful effects on health.
The Benefits of Cinnamon
There are many health benefits of cinnamon. Here are just a few to support you during this season.
1. Anti-viral and anti-bacterial - The essential oil of cinnamon that contains cinnamaldehyde has antiviral and anti-bacterial properties.
2. Lowers blood sugar- Cinnamon is known for helping to manage blood sugar, working in a way similar to insulin.
3. Supports brain health – Recent research indicates that cinnamon may support the health of the aging brain, possibly reducing the risk of such conditions as Alzheimer’s.
Simple and Delicious Cinnamon Recipes
Here’s one of my favorite cinnamon recipes to have when I’m feeling under the weather. You can sip it as a tea to help relieve your discomfort when you have a cold, the flu, or a sore throat. You can also store it in a jar to use on pancakes, toast, oatmeal, or even roasted squash or sweet potatoes. So simple and delicious!
1 Tablespoon raw honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
To make tea, simply dissolve a spoonful or two of cinnamon honey in hot water. Then enjoy!
Feeling more adventurous and not sick? Then enjoy roasted squash or sweet potatoes with cinnamon honey.
Roasted Squash with Cinnamon Honey
Prepare butternut squash by peeling and chopping it into 1-inch pieces, discarding the seeds. Place the squash pieces in a bowl. Other varieties of winter squash or sweet potatoes can be used as a substitute, if desired.
Depending on the size of your squash, add 2-3 T. cinnamon honey, 1-2 T. olive oil and ¼-1/2 t. salt in the bowl. Mix until the pieces are fully coated.
Spread evenly on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and roast in a 375-degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Stir halfway through. Serve warm and enjoy!
This is the third post in my series of nourishing foods and recipes for the month of January. A way to support you in taking care of yourself this month. Did you miss the first two? You can find them here:
The Nourishing Food That's Good for Digestion and Skin and Even Makes Us Happy
An Easy, Nutritious Snack to Help Curb Cravings
January, the start of a new year. A fresh start! A time to focus on your intentions and commitments for the year. And a wonderful time for nutritious food to nourish your body. A little self-care!
This is a second article in my series of nourishing foods and recipes for the month of January. A way to support you in taking care of yourself this month. Did you miss the first one? You can find it here.
St. Hildegard shared many of her thoughts about natural healing, nutrition, and healthy living in her book, Physica, including recommendations for specific foods with health-giving nutrients. Her list of recommended fruits included such powerhouse foods as red and black currants, raspberries, blackberries, and apples.
Yes, apples! The simple, common fruit that’s easily found almost any time of the year.
I’m sure you’ve heard the adage since you were a child, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But you may not have heard of the wisdom of St. Hildegard on this healthy fruit. She shared that apples can be easily digested and eaten raw by healthy people. They’re best cooked or baked for the ill and can also be enjoyed by the healthy in this form.
Apples are quite a satisfying snack, both sweet and crunchy. Eating a raw apple that’s high in water content and rich in fiber will help you feel satisfied and full.
Apples also take time to eat, one bite at a time, so they help you slow down in eating! A wise way to curb cravings.
I love baking apples in the oven in the winter. Such a warm and sweet aroma in the kitchen! Add a few favorite spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves that St. Hildegard shared are inclined to bring joy, and you have a glorious and nourishing treat!
3 Health Benefits of Apples
Apples aren’t only a delicious snack but, eaten as part of a healthy diet, can support health and well-being. Here are 3 health benefits of apples:
There are loads of apple recipes that I enjoy, but besides just biting into a fresh apple picked right off the tree, I love this simple recipe for baking them. And the sweet and spicy aroma that lingers in the house for a while is glorious!
Baked Apple Slices
Core and cut up a couple apples into slices (with the peel). Place them on parchment paper in a baking dish. Drizzle a little unsalted butter or coconut oil over the top and stir to coat well.
Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves over the top and bake in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Stir once or twice while baking. Add more spices, as desired.
Serve warm and enjoy!
St. Hildegard was known to honor the sacred connection that people had with nature. She felt that if this connection was out of balance, then there was a drying up of vitality and illness could arise. One could reconnect with this powerful divine life force once again – filled with vitality and moisture - through creating healthy balance through rest, herbal remedies, and proper nutrition.
So, as you bite into that sweet apple, know that you’re reconnecting to this powerful divine life force, filled with vitality and moisture!
Happy New Year! May it be a nourishing and uplifting one for you!
The wisdom that St. Hildegard shared long ago about natural healing, nutrition, and healthy living has been so helpful for me that I wanted to share a series of nourishing foods and recipes this month with you. I hope you enjoy this first one and it benefits your health in the new year.
In her homeland of Germany, St. Hildegard is well known for her contributions to holistic health and wellness, as one of the founders of alternative medicine. What she shared in her time was truly a seed planted that continues to flourish into our current times in the field of natural medicine.
St. Hildegard considered one of the most important plants to be fennel and wrote of its many health benefits. She recommended that “however eaten, fennel makes us happy, produces beautiful skin, good digestion and good body odor.”
Are you familiar with fennel? Have you eaten it?
Fennel is a wonderfully aromatic and versatile plant that can be used as a vegetable or an herb. It grows to be about 3 feet tall and has small, yellow flowers. With a white-green, crunchy stalk like celery and green fronds like dill, it has a burst of licorice flavor when you take a bite of it raw.
A member of the Apiaceae (carrot) family, fennel originated in the Mediterranean region and has many medicinal and health benefits.
Health Benefits of Fennel
Current research along with recommendations from herbalists indicate that fennel can support your health in these areas:
1. Supporting healthy skin – The beta-carotene and vitamin C support healthy skin including collagen production and tissue repair.
2. As an anti-inflammatory – Rich in antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamin C, helps to reduce inflammation, supporting a lower risk for chronic diseases.
3. An aid to digestion – Helps to relax the gastrointestinal system and reduce gas, bloating, and stomach cramps.
4. Supporting a healthy heart – like many vegetables, fennel helps to lower blood pressure and manage cholesterol.
One of my favorite ways to eat fennel is to roast it in the oven with a little olive and balsamic vinegar. It’s delicious and so simple as a side dish to any meal! Here’s how to prepare it:
Roasted Fennel Recipe
Cut the stalks off the fennel bulb (to use another time, maybe in salad!) and slice the bulb in half, lengthwise. Cut each half in wedges about 1 inch wide. Toss wedges with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add a splash (about 1 teaspoon) of balsamic vinegar. Roast in an oven at 400 degrees F on a baking pan brushed with olive oil for about 30-40 minutes or until the wedges are cooked through. Then eat them! Yum!
Do you love fennel so much that you want to have it handy all the time?
Growing Fennel at Home
Here’s a simple way to grow it right in your kitchen. Before you use your fennel bought at the store, cut off the base with a little of the attached bulb intact – about ¾-1 inch. Place this piece in a shallow dish of water with the base facing down in the water.
Set the dish in the sun and change the water every couple of days. Soon you’ll see green shoots growing from the base and then roots sprouting.
You can continue to grow your fennel in the shallow dish to have year-round or plant in soil in a deep container or your garden outside.
I hope you enjoy fennel as I do and let me know if you come up with any other creative ways to eat it!
I was born in London, England, educated in Switzerland, and am fluent in English, German, Spanish, and French. I hold a Doctorate in Ministry Degree and Masters Degrees in Counseling Psychology and Education. Also, I am an accomplished artist and educator. I use all of this and much more when helping others heal their souls.