I recently reached out to SloFoodGroup in Hawaii, because I wanted to feature some of my favorite herbal recipes, for food as well as medicinal, and they’re simply one of the best for the quality of their ingredients, and their prices (especially in bulk) are hard to beat. They were thrilled to team up and were very kind in sending some of their Tahitian Vanilla Beans, as well as their Persian Saffron Threads, Sri Lankan Ceylon Cinnamon Quills, and Sri Lankan Cloves.
For starters, I created my own Tahitian vanilla bean extract, which must mature for many months to become as strong as possible. I suggest doing a double-fold if you plan to bake with an homemade extract. To make your own, use 10-12 vanilla beans per 4-8oz of 80 proof vodka. To begin, simply boil a glass mason jar to ensure it’s sterile, then cut the beans longways to make sure the tasty insides of each bean will be soaked up into the vodka. Place the sliced beans in the jar, fill with vodka, and close tightly. Do not open until your desired timeframe has passed, but be sure to shake vigorously once weekly. Some bakers suggest letting your homemade vanilla extract age for a whole 12 months, but that is up to you. You are the one in charge, of course.
Now, the tea… This tea was influenced by traditional Indian recipes, and is perhaps the best thing I’ve ever had in my life. The medicinal effects are powerful, and so this tea can be relaxing, yet invigorating at the same time, while also providing you with potent nutrients and medicinal properties from each of the plants.
Saffron Tea Recipe:
To begin, boil 16oz of water in a pan on the stove, then once boiling, include all ingredients, and simmer for 5 minutes until aroma properties are strong and color of liquid has darkened. Strain tea with a cheesecloth and then enjoy. Serve hot with a bit of raw organic honey, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic homemade tea blend.
-16oz Boiling Water
-1-2 tbsp Organic Sugar
-0.25g Saffron Threads
-1-2 Cinnamon Sticks
-3-5 Whole Cloves
-1 tsp Grated Ginger
-1 tsp Lemon Peel
-2 tsp Mint Leaves
When you’re all done, the tea will be a lovely yellow-orange color and will smell like exotic and delicious. Enjoy this tea daily for a pick-me-up or for when you’re jonesing for something special.
Saffron Beauty Balm Recipe:
In a double boiler, infuse Saffron threads and Calendula flowers in organic Avocado oil and organic Olive oil, with a little Argan and/or Jojoba oil, too. Extract the medicinal properties on medium heat for 1.5-2 hours. Let cool, then strain with cheesecloth. In a clean pan, combine infused oil, wax and butter and heat in double boiler until melted. Remove from heat, let cool one minute then stir in essential oils. Pour into glass jar or metal tin with tight fitting lid. Leave untouched to cool and set, then once cool, rub on face or other skin conditions. Always do an allergy test by placing a small amount of the salve on the inside of the arm, and if there’s no reaction after 30-60 minutes, feel free to use a bit more liberally as you see fit.
-3oz Infused oil of Saffron and Calendula, in Avocado, Olive, Argan and Jojoba oil
-1oz organic Beeswax
-0.5oz Mango butter
-Essential oils: Lavender (20 drops), Helichrysum (5 drops), Tea Tree (5 drops), Frankincense (10 drops)
All in all, I came away very impressed with SloFoodGroup's ingredients, because their quality, taste, and scent all come through beautifully, as well as their medicinal properties. The vanilla bean extract is brewing and smells amazing so far, the saffron is spicy and amazing to work with, the cinnamon quills are easy to shred and taste delectable, as do the cloves. SloFoodGroup is a grassroots family business that takes quality to heart and that passion and much more comes through when working with their products.
If you would like to learn more about SloFoodGroup, click here.
*This article is for entertainment use, and should not replace the diagnoses of any disease or the subscribing of any medication. Always consult with your doctor or a medical professional for any and all health-related advice.
(Photo by ps_sahana via Flickr)