Midnightmom

Allergies? Try Switchel

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Found this on a friend's FaceBook feed today.
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Spring also brings flowers. And pollen. And if you suffer at all from allergies, you’ll want to know about switchel. Also known as Harvest Drink, Harvest Beer, Swanky, Haymakers Punch, and a host of other aliases, switchel is a refreshing beverage that has been fortifying the American immune system since at least the founding of this nation.

 

This is a remarkably refreshing beverage that I would easily make any time of the year. The vinegar and the ginger give it a nice bite, while the molasses keeps it from being overpowering.

 

I can see the centuries-old appeal of switchel. You don’t need to heat anything. You’re using ingredients that don’t need to be prepared. It comes together quickly and can be stored for a decent amount of time.

 

The variations on switchel can be plentiful. Let your imagination guide you and once you’ve tried it on its own, play with it. Remember that each household made it to their own tastes.

 

Harvest Drink. Mix with five gallons of good water, half a gallon of molasses, one quart of vinegar, and two ounces of powdered ginger. This will make not only a very pleasant beverage, but one highly invigorating and healthful.

 

Reduced Adaptation:
5 cups of cold water
½ cup of blackstrap molasses
¼ cup of apple cider vinegar (preferably raw, unfiltered)
3 tablespoons ground ginger

Mix ingredients thoroughly. Store in jars, jugs or bottles. Shake before serving. Serve cold.

From Practical American Cookery and Domestic Economy, Elizabeth Hall (Miller, Orton & Co: New York, 1853) [Link to 1860 edition]

Full article here: http://www.americantable.org/2014/05/recipe-switchel-1853/

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Awesome. The only place I've heard of it has been in books. Apparently it's the prairie Gatorade.

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"Prairie Gatorade" :lol:

 

Thanks for this, Midnight! DH has been experimenting with different things to drink. He's eliminated his beloved diet Pepsi. Currently he's made a weak version of lemonade. After my recent major heat-meltdown, he's been adding a good pinch of Hawaiian natural sea salt. Which is getting close to "gatorade" with minerals and salts. It's not enough to make it taste salty but cuts down on the sour.

 

However this year everyone's allergies are roaring. Early, warm spring with moisture. Now we're crispy dry and everything is going to seed early. Pine tree pollen is still flying thru the air, as well as DUST from dry roads. Aieeee...

 

So I think we'll try this. I've had a recipe for Switchel [very similar] but .....I'd never heard the allergy connection.

 

 

Here's something else if allergies have you very clogged:

 

Breathing steam for respiratory congestion....not for drinking

 

1T lemon juice

1 t ginger

1 t fennel

1 t cinnamon

Mix in 2 qt pan of water...boil it with lid for 3 min. Remove lid and breathe the steam [careful of burns....can also use teapot but don't burn it dry]

 

 

MtRider :thumbs:

Edited by Mt_Rider
kain't spel cinnnnammmon

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INTERESTING article. Gives ideas of other ingredients to add or substitute. Honey was one so here is the recipe I had recorded:

 

 

Second version of Switchel:

 

8 c water

1 c raw honey [if for allergies, it will help if the honey is from bees local to your area]

1/2 c raw organic apple cider vinegar

1/2 c black strap molasses

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

 

Mix all and heat til honey dissolves. Serve hot or as iced tea.

 

 

MtRider .....only change is the addition of honey if that interests anyone :shrug:

Edited by Mt_Rider

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Yum! I have always loved switchel, it is just the right amount of tart to slake thirst very nicely. Especially good made with cold well water....beats the stuff with all the artificial flavor and color all to pieces (though I have been known to crush a No-Doze caffeine pill and dissolve it in there when I needed some with an extra kick on a hot summer night shift....)

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What's the difference between regular molasses and black strap?

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What's the difference between regular molasses and black strap?

Here ya go. :)

 

Molasses labeling can be a bit confusing, so here's a guide to the three most common varieties so you pick the right one!

 

How Molasses Is Made

The most common forms of molasses are made from either sugar cane or sugar beet juice which is boiled down to a syrup. Sugar crystals are extracted from the syrup, and the remaining dark liquid is molasses.

Light Molasses - Light molasses is made from the first boiling of the cane or beet juice. It is the lightest in color, sweetest, and mildest in flavor.

 

Dark Molasses - Dark molasses comes from the second boiling of the cane or beet juice. Thicker, less sweet, darker, and stronger in flavor than light molasses.

 

Blackstrap Molasses - Blackstrap is made from the third and final boiling of the molasses. It is considered the healthiest of all molasses since it retains the most vitamins and minerals.

 

http://www.thekitchn.com/a-guide-to-molasses-ingredient-intelligence-210864

 

The wonderment of blackstrap molasses is that it’s unlike refined sugar, which has zero nutritional value. Blackstrap molasses contains vital vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.

 

Blackstrap molasses is touted as a superfood. While it’s no miracle cure, it does have strong nutritional value with many benefits.

http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/benefits-blackstrap-molasses#2

 

Edited by Midnightmom

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Thanks, Midnight!!!!! And can I assume in the old days, this was 'cheap, rough' food? Folks used to go for the 'refined' foods but now the popularity has swung back the other way. Somebody has let the cat outta the bag about how the unrefined, rough foods are so good for you. This sounds like another example.

 

MtRider :feedme:

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For allergies increase vitamin C.. your body uses vitamin C during a reaction and so by increasing the vitamin C your reaction will decrease. I can manage most of spring and summer just by increasing vit. C.. there's still some days I need a benedryl or so but that's better than all the time.

 

And speaking of old time drinks. I saw this link the other day for "shrubs".

 

http://thesurvivalmom.com/shrubs/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=facebook_page&utm_medium=The%20Survival%20Mom&utm_content=Cherry%20Shrub:%20A%20Different%20Kind%20of%20Summer%20Drink

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I always buy a jar of local honey to use during allergy season.

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I've been trying to either eliminate or find a use (or even a name) for this weed for years and years.  It's called Sida.  It's usually made into a tea, for relief of congestion and asthma.

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