DIY: Delicious herbal vinegars

 

Spring is a good time of year to seek wild plants like dandelion and fresh chickweed, calcium-rich nettles and vitamin C packed douglas fir tips. You can only eat so much fresh plant material in a day however-so making an herbal vinegar is a great way to extend the bounty of spring and it’s nourishing gifts. Making your vinegars is so easy and they are incredibly delicious. I find them a really great delivery system of minerals to my 3 year old too. She loves vinegar and vinegar-type foods. I use these vinegars mixed with carbonated water and a little honey, with olive oil for salad dressing, as a marinade for cucumbers, as a hair rinse, and if burdock root-as an anti-fungal spray.

Some favorites for spring time vinegars:

dandelion flowers, violet flowers, apple blossoms, nettle leaf, burdock root, fir needles, chickweed, cleavers, hawthorne blossoms, elder blossom, roses, rosemary, thyme, wild onion, garlic, and any combination of the above.

Directions:

  • Select plant parts desired and discard any unwanted parts. Do not wash unless you are using roots. If using roots, chop as finely as possible, if using leaves like nettles, I like to take the leaves off and discard the stems. Violet flowers I use with the leaves too-as they are packed with nutrients too.
  • Loosely pack a canning jar with plant material
  • Pour vinegar over plant material ( apple cider, red wine, or champagne-but not white)
  • Use a chopstick or other non-metal object to loosen air bubbles in jar
  • Cap jar with either a plastic lid or cork. If using a metal lid, place a piece of plastic wrap over jar before screwing on lid. Vinegar is acidic-and will rust your lid.
  • Shake jar often. Steep for 2-6 weeks.
  • Strain off plant material and store in glass bottles.
  • Keeps for about 1 year. Enjoy!