Frog Song Organics
Sweet Potato Greens
Ripe Jalapeno Peppers
Clem’s Organic Gardens
High Springs Orchard
OSO Sweet Farms
Sweet Vidalia Onions
New Sprout Organic Farms
Watsonia Organic Farm
The mint in this week’s share follows recent deliveries of powerful medicinal herbs like Tulsi basil and Moringa. Of course these fresh herbs are a delicious, healthy addition to any meal, but they can also be dried for teas or made into tinctures. The process to make tinctures is a cinch! All you need is a jar, high-proof alcohol, and the herbs of your choice. Fill the jar with the herbs, add alcohol, and voilà! Just make sure the herbs are completely submerged in the alcohol and that the lid is tight.
Next, wait. Let it steep for two to four weeks. This is when the magic happens. The alcohol will extract the active compounds from the herbs and create a concentrated tincture. When it’s time, strain the herbs out of the tincture using a cheesecloth or a fine strainer.
Storage is important! Tinctures should be stored in airtight, dark glass bottles in a cool, dark place. It’s also important to label the bottles with the ingredients and date to keep track of their freshness. Done correctly, your tinctures can last for years! We share a recipe for a mint tincture below (you can also use chocolate mint!), along with some yummy ways to use it. Herbal extracts aren’t just medicinal – they’re often delicious as well!
Lightly break up the leaves of one bunch mint to release the natural oils. Place the leaves in a pint jar (full but not packed down). The leaves should have room to swish around and be completely covered by the liquid.
Many recommend using 80 proof vodka to make extracts; since vodka has little to no taste of its own, it allows the extract to fully be flavored by the plant material. Pour the vodka over the leaves, covering completely. Close the jar tightly, store away from natural light, like the back of a shelf or the back of a cupboard.
Every day or so, take the jar out and shake it up gently to distribute the leaves. Place it back in the dark. Repeat and store for 2-4 months.
What to do with your mint extract?
- Use a drop or two in your coffee, tea or hot cocoa
- It is delicious in ice cream! Add a tablespoon to flavor homemade batch of ice cream.
- Use in baked goods along with vanilla extract
Butternut Squash and Kale Stir Fry
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced.
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chile powder (more to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch kale, leaves torn, stalks discarded
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the squash and sprinkle with the salt, chile powder and pepper. Cook for several minutes, turning gently with a spatula, until the squash is deep golden brown and tender (but not falling apart). Remove to a plate and set aside.
- In the same skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat and add in the kale. Toss with tongs and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the cooked squash and gently toss together.
Grilled Japanese Eggplant – shared by CookingWithJacque.Com
- ¼ cup Ponzu or soy sauce*
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar or other favorite vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Slice eggplant very thin lengthwise. Marinate in soy sauce mixture for at least 10 minutes. Lift from marinade and place on preheated grill. Grill for about 2 minutes on each side. Serve with Couscous or rice pilaf and feta cheese.
*Ponzu is a citrus flavored soy like sauce that adds a complex flavor to this marinade. Soy sauce is a good substitute. Both products are a fermented produce that contains probiotics. Produce such as Japanese eggplant is a prebiotic that works with the probiotics to maintain gut health.