This is the time of year where I look forward to indulging in my "favorite things." Most of them are provided by my mother, and some of them aren't even that good (like her German stollen or her canned fruit soaked in cheap whiskey). But then there's her lemon bars, spicy chex-mix, brandy slush and of course, WASSAIL.
Wassail is a hot fruit juice drink that is perfect for warming up in -24'F Wisconsin weather while sitting by the fire. Not only is it heart-warming and delicious, it is also packed with herbs and spices that will surely spice up your immunity and cardiovascular health.
Sandy Birr's Recipe:
- 4 cups oranic apple juice
- 2 cups organic cranberry juice
- 2 cups organic orange juice
- 1/2 cup organic lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Agave syrup or honey (optional)
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cloves or allspice
- cinnomon sticks (optional)
- baked apples (optional)
- 2 cans of beer or 1/2 cup whiskey & 1 beer (optional)
If baking apples, core them and place in pan with a 1/2 inch of water, bake at 250' for 1 hour til nice and mushy.
In a large pot, pour in juices on medium heat. Add sweetener, or don't (juices have a lot of natural sugars already). Stir in spices. Slowly pour in beer. Never let boil. Let wassail sit on heat for 13 minutes or so to let spices and juices mull.
Place baked apple into mug, pour in wassail, add a cinnamon stick, grab a few unhealthy sugar cookies and go sit by the fire. Add more whiskey just before serving if you're into it...
Of course I have a few more things to say about a special herb involved!!
Cinnamon as we know it is the bark of the branches of a gorgeous tree. It has magnificent properties beneficial for the gastrointestinal system as well as the blood. Some benefits include:
- Hemostatic- warming agent that stimulates circulation- great for people who find coldness in their hands and feet
- Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal- fight those nasty bugs NATURALLY! Screw unnecessary antibiotics.
- Gastric stimulant- useful in constipation
- Carminitive & Astringent- settling to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (caution- laxative in large doses)
- Diaphoretic- raises heat, helps support a fever (FEVER GOOD! more on that later)
- Blood sugar regulator- especially useful for diabetic patients
- Control lipids and cholesterol! 1/2 tsp a day to lower LDL!
The essential oil aromatherapy is great for: memory and brain health! Candles good and yummy this time of year...
Women who are pregnant or wish to be pregnant are advised to not consume cinnamon as it can be used for delaying menstrual cycles.Happy holidays!