Saturday, December 22, 2012

Herbal Treats

Happy holidays, blog readers!!!  Since I am enjoying my own family for the holidays, I wanted to share three of our family favorites that are *kindof* good for you. ;-)  If your family calls up and they need you to bring something yummy, any of these three recipes are sure to be loved.

Lavender Hot Chocolate

Serve this to the kiddies an hour before bed and between the sugar low and the lavender they should be well asleep before Santa makes an appearance. ;-) For Grown-Ups: Coffee is quite a tasty addition if you don't want to snooze right away.

4 cups whole milk or 4 cups half-and-half
1 Tbsp dried lavender
2 Tbsp chocolate chips
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:  Pour the milk into a medium saucepan; add the lavender; set over medium heat and bring just to a boil. Then, remove from the heat, cover and steep for 5-8 minutes. Strain out the lavender with a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.  Return the saucepan to heat; whisk in the chocolate until melted and smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt; remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Enjoy!!!

Herbed Cheese Balls
I'm not joking when I say these are fanfreakintastic!!!  My son told me they were "so awesome, they had extra awesome on top!"  I made these last Thanksgiving and it was eaten up in a hurry.  I'll be making these for just about every family function from here on out. The recipe in the video makes about 2 softball sized cheese balls that I suggest you store in the fridge, wrapped in wax paper.  Serve with your favorite crackers or veg.

Hawthorn Cider
I really love using Hawthorn in the colder months since it goes so well with other winter and autumn spices.  It's good for the heart, reduces stress and spreads good cheer.  For more info about the benefits of hawthorn, read the post Hawthorn for Holidays & Heartbreak. 

Make or buy your favorite apple cider.
Bring to a boil, then add your dried hawthorn berries:
1/2 tsp of dried & powdered hawthorn berries per cup of cider
1 tsp of whole hawthorn berries per cup of cider
1 hawthorn tea bag per cup of cider
 Let the herbs steep in the hot cider for a good 15 min.  If you are using powdered hawthorn, I like to lightly simmer it to really get the hawthorn soft and then you don't have to strain it out.  The texture of the cooked, powdered hawthorn turns out the same as the sediment in not-from-concentrate apple juice.

You can also add other herbs for taste and medicinal benefits.  My favorite additions are: rosehips, cinnamon, schizandra berries, cloves, orange peel.

So that's it! I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we have.  May you all have a happy holiday season!

Brightest Blessings,


  1. These sound wonderful! I'm bookmarking, sharing, and hoping for a chance to try them soon!

  2. I'm way late commenting on this, but I just wanted to say: These sound AMAZING, I'm going to try all three recipes, festive season or no! Thank you :-)
    Much love! xx

  3. Popping in from the Goddess Circle. These recipes look delicious, especially the lavender hot chocolate!


Try our slideshow maker at Animoto.