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.
- 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!