Medicinal Pickled Garlic

Medicinal Pickled Garlic

With the recent outbreak of West Nile Virus in Colorado, I wanted to find some good recipes using garlic.  I’ve found that eating a lot of garlic really helps cut down on the amount of bites I get, and garlic is also a great remedy for colds and flu.  It’s one of nature strongest antibiotics.

This recipe comes from Rosemary Glastar’s book “Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginners Guide”. 

Peeled garlic cloves
Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw Local Honey

Fill a mason jar with the cloves and cover them with apple cider vinegar.  Place in a warm but dark place for 3-4 weeks.  I like to put my jars in a paper bag and then place them in the sun.

After a few weeks, strain the liquid and set aside.
Using half the liquid, place it in a small saucepan over very low heat and add the honey until fully incorporated.
Pour this back over the garlic and allow to sit for another 3 weeks in a cool dark place, like your pantry.
You can eat a clove of the garlic whenever you wish, but for treating cold or flu, you should eat about 3-5 cloves a day.


Compost Tea

Compost Tea

 Directions For Making Your Own Compost Tea


Setting up a home tea brewer is easy. Here are the directions:

Gather these supplies

•a five gallon bucket


•an old pillowcase

•string to tie the pillowcase

•a few tablespoons of molasses (find organic molasses here)

•an aquarium pump (find pumps here)

•a length of air hose long enough to go from the pump to the air stone (find it here)

•an air stone for an aquarium (find it here)




1.Clean the bucket well with water only. Don’t use bleach or detergents.

2.Place a shovel full of compost in the pillowcase and tie it tightly with string. Place it in the bucket.

3.Cover the pillowcase with water. Fill the bucket most of the way to the top.

4.Add the molasses. It will feed the beneficial bacteria and provide the plants with iron.

5.Attach the air stone to the hose going to the pump. Place the air stone in the water and the pump on a surface higher than the water. This will reduce the chance of back-flow if the electricity should be cut off.

6.Turn the pump on. The air stone will bubble, feeding oxygen to the bacteria.

It will take a few days for the tea to be ready. When it is, drain the water into a bucket and water your plants right away. There is no holding time as the bacteria will start to die when the oxygen is cut off. If the weather is cool, it may last a day or two, but no longer.


A Few Tips

Be sure your compost is well aged or set. This will help eliminate weed seeds from sprouting in the bag and inhibiting bacterial growth. The enzymes produced by sprouts are good, but when they break down, there is too much bad bacteria. It will also eliminate large sticks and rocks that may puncture your bag. Additionally, well set compost is higher in nutrients.

If your mixture starts to smell after a while, it’s not getting enough oxygen. It should never smell sour or musty. It should only smell like dirt, maybe stronger. If it develops a smell, pour it into another section of your compost and start over.

You can use burlap sacks, but the weave is usually too loose and some silt will be lost. I use old cotton pillowcases. Cotton will biodegrade after a while, unlike synthetic fibers like polyester. Check your fiber content before you start.

The molasses isn’t totally necessary, but I find it gives microbes a lift. If you feed them, they multiply faster. You can use honey, but it lacks nutrients molasses provides, especially iron. You can add an iron supplement, but that can take a long time to get into the soil. Most plants will start to turn yellowish when lacking in iron.

Are you feeding tomatoes? Soak some eggshells in a bucket of water with a few tablespoons of vinegar. (It doesn’t matter what kind.) The vinegar will help leach calcium out of the eggshells. Add this to your tea water to help prevent blossom end rot. It works well for squash, peppers and eggplant too.


Roasted Beets with Gorgonzola Dill

Roasted Beets with Gorgonzola Dill

4-8 beets, about 1 1/4 pound
2 shallots, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

3 oz fresh gorgonzola


Place unpeeled beets in a baking pan just large enough to hold them.  Pour water into the pan to the depth of 1/2 – 1 inch.  Cover with aluminum foil.

Place in the oven and heat the oven to 375.  Roast the beets, adding water as needed to maintain the original level, until they are tender, about 40 min- 1hour. (can be up to 2 hours for large beets)

Remove pan from the oven, and remove beets.  Let them cool until they are easy to handle, but still warm.  Peel them, slipping off skins using a paring knife.

Cut the beets into wedges and remove stems.

Place the warm beets in a bowl and add the shallots, sprinkle with sugar, salt, vinegar and lemon juice.

Toss and mix well.  Add olive oil and dill to taste and toss again.

Serve with crumbled gorgonzola.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

This is a family favorite – super simple flavors, but delicious.  It highlights the flavors of the peppers, and is incredibly low calorie and healthy.

10 red peppers
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cans chicken broth
1 tsp garlic chili sauce, like Siracha
1 tsp salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Roast the Peppers:

Turn the broiler to high.
Place peppers on broiling pan, and broil them until skins start to turn black.  About 5 minutes on each side.  Turn often.  Total time, about 15 minutes.
Place all the peppers in a large mixing bowl.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap to allow steam to help loosen skins.  Let the peppers steam for at least a half an hour.
Peel the pepper, and chop.
Set the peppers aside.

In a large saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in about 3 tablespoons olive oil.  Cook about 5 minutes, or until onions look clear.

Add the broth, and the chopped peppers.

Bring soup to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, about 15 minutes.

Blend coarsely, either in blender or with immersion blender.

Add the siracha

Stir in the fresh basil, and serve.