I was so excited to think of the possibility of using herbal syrups (that I usually only make when there is an illness) as a daily sweetener!
- It’s fat free and contains about 12 calories per 1 tsp (or 5ml) based on the profile of honey provided at the end of this article and divided in half because the syrup is 1 part honey, 1 part water. (Honey alone = 1,021.44 calories per cup, divides by teaspoons = 48 tsp. in 1 Cup = 21.28, then divided in half for the syrup here).
It is made with honey, water and your favorite herb. The one you see was made using rose hips, but I will share a few other ideas on which herbs you can use and tell you how it’s made, first, lets see what we can use it for….
1. Keep a little bottle with you, in your purse, diaper bag, pocket…anywhere! You can use it to sweeten iced tea (so you don’t have to load up on sugar which is hard to melt in cold liquid, or use other harmful fake sweeteners such as sweet-n-low, or Splenda).
2. Use it on pancakes!! Kids love syrup on pancakes, why not try an herbal syrup that they’ll love! Pure maple syrup is excellent, but sometimes it can be too costly or hard to find good quality. Herbal syrup is a good alternative, especially to get extra nutrients in.
3. Flavor your water! You can add it to still water or sparkling as an alternative to soda pop.
4. Use as an alternative to store bought juices which are loaded with sugar.
5. Use it to sweeten (homemade) plain yogurt.
6. Use as an alternative to honey, which can be hard to well actually, it IS honey, but it has been made into an herbal syrup!
7. Easy for kids to use! You can re-use a honey bear, or other jar and let kids do it themselves, rather than trying to pull honey out of the jar, making a MESS.
8. Use it on oatmeal
9. Use to sweeten milk (you can even add cocoa powder for chocolate milk)
Use it as a liquid sweetener for ANYTHING! Start out with 1 tsp. per 1 Cup liquid (water, ice tea and so on) and add more until desired sweetness is achieved.
REMEMBER, don’t overdo it, too much of a goo thing can be bad. This is a “sugar” still in essence, so over consumption is not good.
I have listed brief benefits below, but the list is not limited to what I provided. There are so many more, I just wanted to give ideas, the options are endless.
- Ginger root; good for digestion, immune booster and infections
- Rose hips; use for extra vitamin C, 5 times more than oranges
- Elderberry; Great for beginning flu and colds; boosting immune
- Goji berries; extra vitamin C, anti-oxidant, iron, and other vital nutrients
- Echinacea root; immune booster
- Milk Thistle seeds; Great for strengthening liver
- Coconut flakes
- Pomegranate (fruit or flowers)
- Lemon with rinds
- Orange with rinds
- Orange blossoms
You can use anything you can think of! You can use more than one herb or fruit, combine flavors. You can even use medicinal herbs for a specific health ailment and take it 1 Tbs. at a time, straight up.
Don’t forget the benefits of raw honey!
- Benefits: (To name a few) antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal substance
- Contains: vitamin B2, vitamin B6, iron and manganese, among other nutrients.
1/2 Cup dried herb/fruit OR 1 Cup fresh herb/fruit
3 Cups water (you may realize with certain herbs you need 1 more cup water, 3 Cups is a good start)
1 Cup honey (you can use real maple syrup or organic cane sugar, if you must).
1. Place herbs/fruits in a pot (crushed if seeds or fresh fruit, chopped if roots or dried fruit) cover with 3 cups boiling water, cover with a lid and leave it on the counter to soak for 4 -12 hours, (less for fresh fruits, more for seed and roots) depending on strength desired.
2. After soaking the herbs, heat them and the water to boiling, then simmer on low, uncovered for 20 – 45 minutes, or until liquid is reduced to half the original amount. The herbs will be stronger the longer they simmer. Be careful that the water does not fully evaporate. NOTE: Final product should be 1:1 ratio (1 cup liquid, 1 cup honey). You can thin it out if you like and use 1 cup liquid to 1/2 Cup honey.
3. Take off the heat and let it cool down before straining (about 30 minutes).
>>The temperature of the liquid should be just warm enough to melt the honey, you don’t want to heat the honey<<
4. Strain the liquid into a stainless steel or glass bowl and add the honey. Blend well, that’s it!
Store in a glass container, or re-use a honey bear, or any other ideas you may have.
It can be stored for about 1 month, if it forms mold, discard.
Remember that the quality of honey is a function of the plants and environment from which pollen, saps, nectars and resins were gathered. Other substances found in the environment—including traces of heavy metals, pesticides, and antibiotics—have been shown to appear in honey. The amount varies greatly depending on the area. It is best to buy local from small farms.