The easiest way to extract flavour from herbs and spices and to create a shelf-stable product, is to use alcohol. Alcohol is both a very effective a solvent and preserving agent.
To create an essence, choose your alcohol from vodka, being the most commonly used, or Bacardi, which has a slight vanilla flavour or another spirit, then select your herb and add it to the alcohol and allow it to steep for anywhere from a few days to weeks or months.
Making vanilla essence using Bacardi is quick and easy. Fill a small jar or bottle with Bacardi, e.g. an old maple syrup bottle is good. For a bottle of that size you will need to add two vanilla pods that you have cut open and scrapped the seeds from. Add the pods and the seeds to the bottle, shake and allow to steep in your pantry for a month or two before using. Leave the pods in the bottle and as you near the bottom of the bottle, top it up again with Bacardi and add a new pod. I usually have three or...
This is a homemade non-alcoholic version of blue curacao using the blue butterfly pea flowers to create the blue-purple colour. It is lightly-spiced and delicious. Use the syrup to create interesting alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.
As the syrup is heavier than most other beverages, it will sink to the bottom of the glass when added to juice or soda. It is best to add the syrup to the glass first, then add ice, and slowly add your other beverage on top to create a layered effect.
This recipe is a delicious, quick and easy syrup that can be made into a non-alcoholic drink with the addition of soda water or created as an alcoholic beverage with the addition of both soda water and gin or vodka.
If you live in New Zealand, visit our website: www.NewZealandHerbalBrew.co.nz to purchase certified organic herbal teas and see more herbal recipes: https://newzealandherbalbrew.co.nz/lemon-verbena-lemon-syrup/
To purchase lemon verbena tea: https://newzealandherbalbrew.co.nz/product/lemon-verbena-whole-leaf-tea/
Using spearmint tea, it is easy to create a delicious mojito-style of syrup that can be added to soda water to create a non-alcoholic beverage or made with the addition of white rum for a classic mojito.
If you live in New Zealand, visit our website: www.NewZealandHerbalBrew.co.nz to purchase certified organic herbal teas and see more herbal recipes: https://newzealandherbalbrew.co.nz/spearmint-lime-mojito-syrup/
To purchase Spearmint Tea: https://newzealandherbalbrew.co.nz/product/spearmint-tea/
One of the simplest and very vibrant ways to decorate your baking is with dried and fresh edible flowers. Using flowers such as:
Try colouring your icing with different colours to enhance the flowers or petals. Using a combination of fresh and dried flowers, along with a crunchy component such as chopped nuts or coconut flakes, crushed meringue, crushed freeze-dried fruit or shards of toffee brittle can also add interest to your baking decorations.
If foraging for fresh edible flowers from your garden, always ensure correct plant identification first before using the flowers in food preparation.
Certified organic dried rose buds in pink and yellow, dried cornflowers, hibiscus and elder flowers are available via our online store.
If you live in New Zealand, visit our website: ...
Based on the shortbread recipe from the 1986 version of The Edmonds Cookbook, the possibilities for shortbread flavour creations are endless by adding herbs (fresh or dried), spices, nuts, seeds, peppermint candy canes or other boiled lollies.
Elderberry syrup is an ancient and traditional remedy, most commonly used to assist with coughs and colds. Elderberries are tiny, dark burgundy-coloured berries that are sour in taste and contain many nutrients, in particular, high levels of antioxidants. Elder trees grow well in Auckland and can be propagated from cuttings. The flowers are often used to make cordial or wine and are typically ready in early-mid summer, with the berries being ripe in mid-late summer. Trees will often contain both flowers and berries at the same time.
Elderberry syrup can be taken by the teaspoonful daily as a tonic or at the onset of a cough or cold several times a day, or mixed with chilled carbonated water to make a soda drink.
½ cup elderberries (dried)
2 cups water
approximately 1 cup of honey
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
This is a delicious recipe using elderberries and roses in their dried form. Any kind of your favourite herbs or fruits could be used instead and you can change up the liquid component to plain water or even wine. The amount of agar agar used, creates a firm-textured jelly. If you prefer something a little softer to serve as a dessert rather than as sweets, try using a lesser amount.
This is a very simple yet delicious and versatile recipe with a very vibrant colour. This is great for use in both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, and is also excellent for sweetening sour apples in apple crumbles or stewed apples, giving them a lovely pink colour.
A healthier, less shelf-stable version could be made using fresh or dried stevia, although it will not thicken to a syrup and would require a thickening agent such as agar agar or corn flour.
Delicious is an understatement for this dessert. The Hibiscus & Orange Syrup can lend itself to many different desserts and perhaps even a chicken dish.