Trade your expensive supplements for a salad dressing packed with free, natural medicine from the hedgerow
When you walk outside in the countryside at this time of year, your eyes are filled with the bright green radiance of juicy spring greens emerging from their winter slumber. Did you know you are looking at easy-to-pick, free ingredients for a super-food vinaigrette salad dressing? As plants put all their energy into sprouting new shoots, many of these tender juicy greens are packed with vitamins and minerals. We’ve got a recipe to help you trade expensive vitamin supplement pills for a simple vinegar that you make yourself using plants that grow abundantly in the hedgerow.
Apple Cider Vinegar Medicine
Apple cider vinegar has been used as a panacea medicine, an incredible health-giving agent, for centuries. In fact, it was one of Hippocrates’, the father of medicine, favourite remedies!
There are now contemporary studies that prove its efficacy. In 2012, a Dutch study found that in one North African culture, women who consumed a daily cup of apple cider vinegar lost more weight than women who did not. Another study demonstrated an improvement in insulin action in the skeletal muscle of human adults with diabetes. A 2015 study demonstrated that vinegar consumption in patients with Type 2 diabetes improved blood sugar control, insulin levels, and high triglyceride levels.
Preserving fresh spring herbs in vinegar, like nettles, cleavers and dandelion, is an easy way to capture their nutrients and tap into their healing power. Herbal vinegars can be used in salad dressings or to season stir-fry and soups. Adding vinegar to your food helps build bones because it frees up minerals from the vegetables you eat. A spoonful of vinegar on your broccoli, kale or dandelion greens increases the calcium you get by one-third. It also keeps your veg looking more vibrant even after cooking. We like to take a tablespoon of our herb vinegar in water every morning.
Seed SistAs’ Spring Vinegar
Pick enough fresh tips of nettles (Urtica spp.), dandelion leaves (Taraxacum officinale)and cleavers (Galium aparine) to fill a clean jam jar. Cover the herbs with organic apple cider vinegar. Use a jar with a plastic lid or line your lid with cling film to stop the metal interacting with the vinegar. Strain after two weeks and keep as a daily addition to your diet.
Dandelions, Cleavers and Nettles make a great spring vinegar to support a spring detox. As you can see from this photo, you can put other plants in too. I went to my garden and found Dancelion, Nettle, Rosemary and Lemon Balm to put in mine. Can you spot which plant is which?
Seed SistAs’ Spring Greens Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons of home-made Spring Green Vinegar,
- ½ tablespoon of honey or maple syrup,
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Pour all the ingredients into a small jar, put the lid on and shake well to blend. Add to your favourite salad. Young dandelion and sorrel shoots make a great addition to your salad.
Simply fill a jar with your harvested greens and then cover in apple cider vinegar. Strain after two weeks. Add your spring vinegar to cooking, take a tablespoon in water in the morning or make vinaigrette with our recipe.