Creamy Wild Watercress & Nettle Soup

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Wild watercress and nettles are sprouting in Wisconsin, and they are quite the culinary treat!

High in calcium, iron, vitamin c, beta-carotene, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, vitamin E, vitamin K, lutein, b vitamins, and many more, watercress is rich in potent antioxidants that help to fight cancer. It’s been found to help smokers or those exposed to secondhand smoke excrete the toxins found in cigarettes from their urine in just 3 days.  It’s also good for liver problems.

Stinging nettles are my go-to safe alternative to allergy drugs. They help hayfever and any type of allergies, supporting the immune system and anti-inflammatory response naturally, instead of just covering up symptoms like drugs. This mint can be used for prostate problems, PMS, asthma, bronchitis, sciatica, tendonitis, multiple sclerosis, gout, hives, kidney stones, sciatica, high blood pressure, & eczema. Just about one cup of this veggie will give you half the calcium you need for the day, with good amounts of magnesium, manganese, iron, b vitamins, vitamin k, beta carotene, and potassium.

Both greens are excellent for treating anemia, purifying the blood, and for arthritis.   Note: Be careful not to touch the nettles without gloves- they bite!

Ingredients:

2 cups MSG-free vegetable broth

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or organic butter

1 small onion, roughly chopped

1 bunch of watercress

1 bunch of nettles

2 medium potatoes, peeled & chopped

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives

¼ cup organic whole plain yogurt, extra to garnish (eliminate to make vegan)

Sprinkle of chives to garnish

Himalayan salt & black pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Bring the broth to a boil, and add the potatoes. Meanwhile in a large saucepan, heat the butter/oil over medium heat. Add the nettles, watercress, and onions. Turn heat down a bit and cook until the onions are translucent. Once your potatoes are tender, add the cooked greens mixture to the pot and boil for a couple minutes. Place in your food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add the yogurt, then season to taste with the salt & pepper. Ladle into bowls immediately and enjoy!

Megan M. Kerkhoff, CHC, AADP, CFH

http://www.aayushealth.com

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Get Even Healthier!
Are you curious about how easy-to-make changes with professional support & guidance can make a huge difference in your health, happiness, stress levels, and overall wellness? Let’s talk!  
Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today, and see how your life can change. 

Wild Ramp & Egg Bowl with Lemon Herb Sauce

Tis the season for wild ramps-  here’s an incredible recipe that can be eaten as a breakfast or dinner. Tastes like a kind of gourmet eggs benedict!

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Ingredients:

  • 10-15 ramps
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of fresh parsley
  • About half cup of your favorite mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Pinch of chili flakes or powder
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Pinch of paprika

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Place the ramps, mushrooms, 4 tbsp of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt in a baking pan or cast iron pan and bake for 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are golden.

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While it is cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil and poach/soft boil the eggs for about 3 minutes.

Blend the parsley, 1 tbsp pine nuts, lemon juice, ½ cup olive oil, and chili in a food processor until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt.

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Place the mushroom/ramp blend in a bowl, topped with the eggs. Drizzle with the lemon herb sauce, and then the remaining 1 tbsp pine nuts. Sprinkle the egg with paprika if desired. Enjoy!

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Get Even Healthier!

Would you like support in making your own health dreams come true? Are you curious about how easy-to-make changes can make a big difference in your health? Would you like help in making healthier food choices and replacing bad habits with good ones? Let’s talk!  Schedule a complimentary health counseling consultation with me today – or pass this offer on to someone you care about!  Schedule your consult by contacting us at  http://www.aayushealth.com,  megan@aayushealth.com, or 920-327-2221.

Megan Kerkhoff is a Certified Health Counselor and Certified Family Herbalist at Aayus Holistic Health Services in Neenah, Wisconsin, and resides in Little Chute, Wisconsin.

I’d So Tap That

Today my dad and I tapped the maple trees in my yard.  This was a first attempt for both of us,  and I’m pretty sure we tapped a tree that wasn’t a maple… but I think we came out pretty good overall!  😉

You can see our process below. 36 gallons of sap will make approximately 1 gallon of syrup.  I already have 2 big producers,  so fingers crossed!  The very last picture is the amount of sap collected from one side of my better trees after about an hour.

Follow my blog to get updates as it is transformed into maple syrup!

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Wild Grape Juice (The real stuff!)

Yesterday I was invited to a friend’s property to do a plant walk with her.  Lucky for me she had more fruit than she knew what to do with!  I left with a nice supply of autumn olives and wild grapes.

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We love to eat the autumn olives as a snack, or mix with local yogurt.

After getting rid of the bad grapes,  I ended up with about 40 oz. Straight to the juicer!

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Wild grapes are an excellent source of catechins, anthocyanins and resveratrol, as well as many vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and other phytonutrients. This gives this fruit anti-oxidant, stroke preventative, anti-allergenic, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Because they are so tart,  I added 3 organic apples to the mix to sweeten.  The end result: what a treat!  My toddler gulped it down.

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Get Even Healthier!
Are you curious about how easy-to-make changes can make a big difference in your health? Would you like help in making healthier food choices and replacing bad habits with good ones? Let’s talk! Schedule a complimentary health consultation with me today – or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Contact me at megan@aayushealth.com, or visit us athttp://www.aayushealth.com

Megan Kerkhoff is a Certified Health Counselor and Certified Family Herbalist at Aayus Holistic Health Services in Neenah, Wisconsin, and resides in Little Chute, Wisconsin.

The Hunt for Wisconsin’s Rarest & Most Delicious Fruit

I posted a contest in my herbal medicine group Megan’s Herbal Apothecary the other day- who could identify this native Wisconsin fruit?

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It took quite a few guesses before someone found it online. This is the delicious, elusive, & highly sought-after Mayapple (Podophyllum), also known as Wild Mandrake. I have been searching for this fruit you see here for TWO years, and I had been tracking this particular plant since spring.

So what’s the hype? Well for starters, it’s difficult to find. The plants are few and far between, and each plant only bears one fruit. The fruits are generally only ripe from the last couple weeks of August to the first week of September.

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Every part of the plant you see above picture is highly poisonous. Until the fruit turns a delicate yellow color and becomes soft, it is toxic. Because the ripe fruits are so tasty, they are a favorite of wildlife and are typically enjoyed before humans ever find them. So even if you DO find these rare plants, and DO visit them during the right time, there are no guarantees you’ll get to enjoy the literal fruit of your labor.

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Wait… do you see what I see??

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Could it be?? A ripe Mayapple! Holy crap! 11888113_10100998573328553_9084070862808076319_n

(My actual face when I found it. The toddler was unimpressed.)

Come to find out, my favorite park for hiking in my hometown of Little Chute is full of Mayapple patches. I located about 15 patches, with dozens of plants. Out of that, I got 2 ripe fruits, and 3 green ones that I’m hoping will ripen on my counter.

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Now this is what blows my mind- a hundred years ago, everyone knew what these plants were. Everyone knew how to walk into their backyard and prepare a salad, pick dessert, or season their dinners. This particular park is full of food and medicine, and wild foods always have more nutrition than anything you could ever buy or even grow yourself. I have prepared dozens of medicinal tinctures from the plants I harvest here, and prepared countless (free!) meals. Imagine how our perception of the environment would change, how our health would change, how our grocery bills would go down, how our stress levels would be dramatically reduced- if only we reconnected with this ancient and innate wisdom and basked in the beauty of it?

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Mayapple plants (on the left) growing right next to the walking path. Hundreds of people pass by them each year, not realizing it’s food.

Well, anyways enough of my tangent- but do consider learning how to identify and use wild plants- it’s an incredible experience!!

So anyways, my first bite of this mysterious and elusive deliciousness.

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The Mayapple has an intoxicatingly deep fruity, perfumey scent. The flesh has the consistency and flavor of banana, paired with the flavor of a very ripe pear and hints of tangerine & lemon. The tender skins have a stronger hint of lemon to them, with a sweetly pleasant tang. The membranes surrounding the seeds in the middle are even sweeter- a deep, perfumy essence with a touch of vanilla. But don’t be fooled by it’s alluring flavor- the seeds are poisonous. I sucked the middle part until I got as much of the membranes off as I could, and spit out the seeds in the woods in the hopes they will become another Mayapple patch next year. (Word of caution- eating too many Mayapples can cause digestive upset. Likely why nature was wise enough to have only one fruit per plant, and make multiple fruits so hard to find!)

What an incredible experience! I know herbalists who have gone years without ever getting to experience the delight of finding and enjoying this delicious Wisconsin treat.

So if you’re out and about this time of year- do watch for the Mayapples!

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One last shot of Heesaker Park. (Ooh, what is that in the bottom corner??) 😉

Get Even Healthier!
Are you curious about how easy-to-make changes can make a big difference in your health? Would you like help in making healthier food choices and replacing bad habits with good ones? Let’s talk! Schedule a complimentary health consultation with me today – or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Contact me at megan@aayushealth.com, or visit us at http://www.aayushealth.com

Megan Kerkhoff is a Certified Health Counselor and Certified Family Herbalist at Aayus Holistic Health Services in Neenah, Wisconsin, and resides in Little Chute, Wisconsin.