Natural Throat Elixir

The Inevitable Winter Curse

It seems like there is no escaping the cold and flu season when you have 3 kids who are magnets for germs. Especially during the colder Winter months. What’s a natural mama to do? Well, I am not completely opposed to using some medication when necessary. After all, there is nothing worse than watching your baby cry and moan with discomfort and having nothing to offer them. Motrin does make an infant drop Ibuprofen that is at least dye free for times when medicine is necessary to make your little one as comfortable as possible. That being said, of course, I would prefer to have a natural source to remedy their discomfort that actually works with their body to help fight off whatever nasty germ or virus has gotten them in this condition to start with.

One of the most painful, aside from the raging headaches and body aches, as well as longest lasting, conditions of the flu, is the ever present sore throat. Gosh. Aren’t they just the worst? And what the heck? They just linger and linger and linger! Generally speaking, the sore throat is the first symptom to creep in and the last foe to go, usually a few days after all other symptoms have finally dissipated. Because it goes on for so long, this is the enemy I tend to focus on. A day or so of some Ibuprofen for aches and pains isn’t nearly as concerning as a week or more of a sore and painful throat! My daughter literally just said that it feels like she is swallowing a fire ball every time she swallows! Ouch.

The Remedy

Everyone knows that a warm tea with lemon and honey is great for the throat. But did you know ginger is also an ultra superstar when it comes to aiding the body in kicking an unwelcome intruder to the curb? A few benefits of ginger;

  • Induces sweating, helping detoxify and aids a fever in running it’s course
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Helps the tummy by aiding digestion
  • Helps the tummy by breaking down proteins which rids the intestines and tummy of painful gas
  • Relieves the feeling of nausea

While ginger is a key component, it doesn’t taste so great to a kid. Luckily raw honey is another helpful throat antidote, is delicious, and has so many wonderful benefits. It has been found to be very effective as a cough remedy (a common sidekick to our buddy the sore throat). Raw honey has wonderful antibacterial and anti fungal properties. Honey has been used for centuries as a remedy for throat aches and pains, so this is nothing new for humanity,  just a sweet reminder (get it…sweet? Har, har, har…). Here is a great article, written by Leah, over at Freedom and Coffee, that goes into greater detail about the many benefits of ginger, and more great ways to incorporate it into your family’s health regime.

Last, but certainly not least, is the almighty lemon. Side Note: did you know, that squeezing fresh lemon juice into your drinking water first thing in the morning is one of the best ways to help alkalize your body’s Ph? Preeety cool, eh? Alright, back to the issue at hand. Ahem. How lemons can help, specifically, with a sore throat.

  • Lemons have a high amount of anti-oxidants and vitamin C, which helps support and boost your body’s natural immune system
  • Lemons have a wide range of vitamins
  • The citric acid in lemon juice helps naturally break up the mucus that causes sore throats
  • Lemons have natural antiseptic properties which aid in killing the bacteria or viruses in the throat

Putting it All Together

Great! Now that we have all of our whys about the key ingredients to this sore throat elixir, let’s put everything together so that we are prepared for the next wave of cold or flu to run through our families. Here’s what you will need:

  • organic lemons (organic is important here because the skins will be remaining on)
  • A good sized chunk of fresh raw ginger
  • Raw, unheated, honey (unheated is extremely important! If the honey has been heated most of the benefits explained here will be lost.)
  • Glass jar with a lid

Directions

  1. Peel ginger root, slice lemons and portion out your raw honey into the glass jar
  2. Coarsely chop your ginger
  3. Add the chopped ginger and slices lemons to your jar.
  4. I add warm water (not hot) to top off the jar. This helps the honey warm up and mix with the lemon and ginger, but does not hurt the properties like boiling hot water would!
  5. Give it a good shake and stir

You’re done! Now let the mixture sit for at least 12-24 hours so all of the ginger and lemon can infuse into the honey. Next time your little one (or you!) complains of a sore throat, give them a spoonful of this yummy elixir, or mix it into warm ( not boiling hot) tea or water.

More Ideas

A few other ideas that have proven helpful in times of sickness and sore throats;

  • Gargling warm sea salt water is a time honored tradition around our house. It is amazing how much relief this little trick gives to sore throats! Obviously, this will only work with older children and adults.
  • Sucking on frozen fruit
  • Smoothies
  • Homemade fruit popcicles
  • Sucking on ice cubes
  • Lots of water! Don’t underestimate the importance of keeping hydrated when sick! And please, try to stick to water…juices have so much sugar I’m not convinced that they actually do more good than harm.

Sourdough Pizza

Homemade pizza. NOT as easy as it sounds. At least it hasn’t been for this lady over Pizzahere…I have been trying to get a pizza dough to work for me, literally, for the past 6 years! I’ve given up more times than I’d like to admit, but finally found a sourdough recipe that works! The entire crust cooks up nice and crispy, no more soggy bottoms letting all the yummy toppings fall all over the place. Don’t settle for that nonsense. Try this recipe out and see if it rocks your pizza world like it has rocked ours!

Sourdough Pizza Dough

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups sourdough starter

1 tsp REAL or Celtic salt

1 1/4 – 1 3/4 cups white wheat flour

5 Tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Mix starter, 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, salt and 1 1/4 cups of the flour in your counter top mixer. Add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until a dough like consistency is created.
  2. Let dough sit 8-12 hours (I mix in the morning for that night’s dinner) covered
  3. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees
  4. Roll out dough, using lightly floured board, until it is roughly 1/4 inch thick
  5. I like to wrap the crust around a nice thick layer of cheese along the edges so the finished crust has cheese in the middle
  6. Bake the crust in preheated oven for 7 minutes
  7. Remove crust from the oven and brush with a thin coat of olive oil (this helps prevent the crust from getting soggy)
  8. Add your favorite toppings and bake until crust is browned and cheese is melted (I usually bake mine for 18-20 minutes)
  9. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting (It’s hard to wait, but it’s much better to allow the cheese to “set” for a few minutes so it doesn’t ooze everywhere)

I freeze this and pull out the morning of the night I want to have Pizza. That allows it to warm up and ferment on the counter all day and be ready for baking that night!

Enjoy!

Sourdough Tortillas

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Who doesn’t love burritos? Quesadillas? Or a simple rolled up warmed tortilla with butter slathered in the middle? These tortillas are so delicious, you will wonder how you ever survived without them.

Here is the recipe I have adapted from several different online sources, and I think gives the best flavor, holds together very well, and freezes/thaws perfectly.

Sourdough Tortillas

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sourdough starter

2 to 2 1/2 cups white wheat flour

3 rounded Tbsp bacon grease (you can use coconut oil but bacon grease tastes SO much better!)

1 tsp REAL salt

1/2 cup milk

Directions:

Combine all ingredients using your kitchen aid mixer (or hand-held mixer, but why?) for 3 minutes

Set in a mixing bowl with a towel or plastic wrap covering the top. Let sit 8-12 hours or overnight (make sure the bowl is large enough for the mixture to expand, otherwise it will overflow)

Dust clean counter and hands with flour and divide into 8-10 balls, depending on how large you like your tortillas

Roll out your dough balls until they are fairly thin but will not break when you pick them up

Transfer rolled tortillas into a pre-heated skillet, set on medium heat. DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN THE PAN! You will not need any non stick or oil in the pan, just use it dry

Let the tortillas cook for 30-45 seconds and then flip with a spatula to cook on the other side until lightly browned, 20-30 seconds

Transfer cooked tortilla to a plate and proceed with the next one

If you want to freeze extra tortillas, simply place a sheet of parchment paper in between each one and freeze in large, freezer, zip lock bags.

Enjoy!