Mandarin Orange Gummies, A Nutrient Dense Winter Treat

Healing Wisdom from The Yellow Emperor’s Classic on Chinese Medicine

gummies

The three months of winter, they denote securing and storing… Go to bed early and rise late. You must wait for the sun to rise. Let the mind enter a state as if hidden {as if shut in}, as if you had secret intentions, as if you had already made gains.
(Unschuld, Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen, Ch.3 p49.)

This passage is from an ancient Chinese medical text called The Yellow Emperor’s Classic on Chinese Medicine. The Yellow Emperor, Huang Di ruled in the middle of the third millennium.

Following the Energy of the Seasons

This ancient wisdom guides us to follow the energy of the seasons.  It gives us permission to hibernate, rest, consolidate, contract and slow down in winter, which is so contrary to our western cultural rhythms.

It gives us permission to rest in what we have done and slow down our minds from trying to always create something new. It seems we all must be doing something, or we feel unproductive or useless.  Winter is a time for less social engagements.

Deeply Nourishing Foods

It is also a time for deeply nourishing foods that are slow and well cooked, warm and easy to digest. Foods that go deep such as roots, broths from bones, marrow and gelatin nourish us at our core.

Just as the plants have retracted their energy to their roots, so do we:

In winter the true qi of the depots descends into the kidneys. The kidneys store the qi of the bones and of the marrow.
(Unshculd, Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen, Ch 18, p307.)

It is a good time to store up so that we have the force and vitality to expand into the spring and summer rays of the sun. Using seasonal ingredients is another way to align our bodies with nature’s rhythms.

Gummies: a Nourishing Treat

Gummies are a deeply nourishing treat that are especially appropriate during the winter as our energy contracts deep into our body.

The most important ingredient in gummies is gelatin, made from long-simmered bones, marrow, and cartilage. Gelatin and bone broth are some of the most healing and easiest foods to digest, commonly thought of as convalescent food (hence jello given in hospitals).

I have been making these for my kids for some years, and it was always hit or miss, for I am just not a recipe follower. With the help of Nourished Kitchen (see her Glowing Ghost Gummies here), I did follow the bones of this one and made my own creative additions and flavor adjustments.

Gummies are the most satisfying treat I can give my children where I know I am supporting their healthy growth. They are loaded with grass-fed gelatin (Great Lakes is my favorite), seasonal fruit, and sometimes herb flavors.

Gelatin contains

  • High amounts of protein
  • Amino acids
  • collagen for strong bones, teeth, hair, and nails

In Chinese Medicine, gelatin is an essence (Jing) tonic. Gelatin is what makes a good bone broth gel. In our own bodies, Jing is our bone marrow, our brain matter, the deepest part of our beings.

Jing is the source of all of our vitality, emanating into yin, yang, qi and blood and spirit. From deep within, if our Jing is strong then our spirit (Shen) emanates vitality.

Gummy Recipe

  • 1/4 cup gelatin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed mandarin orange juice (I add the juice of 1-2 lemons as well, for my kids like it tart)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (for color and a little medicine!)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  1. Put your gelatin into a mixing bowl and pour on the water to soften.
  2. Heat your juice, turmeric, salt, and honey on low heat until honey dissolves.
  3. Pour over gelatin, and stir stir stir.
  4. You can put your mix back over a very low flame on the stove to aid in dissolving. You may have to strain out some of the lumps. I eat these gelatin globs because I know what’s good for me!  Nourished Kitchen suggests using a mixer. For me, this aerates the gummies and changes them to a less-pleasing texture.
  5. Pour into silicon molds or a square food storage container.
  6. Put in the fridge to chill for about an hour.
  7. Pop them out of the molds, or cut into squares if you put in a food storage container.
  8. The recipe makes between 25-30 gummies. And let your children have at them!

You will feel good as they gobble up this healthy treat, knowing you are nourishing them deeply.

Gummies are a healthy treat for

  • The elderly
  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding women

It is also beneficial for fertility enhancement.

Note: It is not advised to give raw honey to children under one year old.

Other seasonally appropriate flavors could be

  • Elderberry
  • Rosehip
  • Persimmon
  • Quince
  • Yerba santa

Allow your inner alchemist to create and concoct. I would love to hear what you come up with!

 

 

 

 

Violet Gelatine!

Violet Gelatine!

VIOLET GELATINE

violetsMy favorite food to make for dear friends who are recovering from any major life transition is gello! I spell it with a “g” because it is different than our childhood treat. It is made with grass fed gelatin (available at HAALo) and because you can create your own amazing flavors as wild as your imagination can get. I am very into using seasonal medicinal plants in my food. In this blooming spring, the violets are out, in three colors, purple, fuschia(!) and white. They are everywhere around town on people’s lawns, roadside, wafting their sweet fragrance within a several feet distance from where they bloom. They impart their odor as flavor to all sorts of delicacies. I have two dear friends who are recovering, Megan from childbirth and Shea from major back surgery. They both need the same types of foods! Nutrient dense, easy to digest potent foods. So I have been feeding them gello.

Violets have been used traditionally to decrease inflammation and help one sleep. Perfect for these two dear lady friends! They are called “zi hua di ding”  translating to “purple flower ground spike.” They clear heat toxins, nourish blood, and regenerate flesh.

Here is my latest recipe: VIOLET GELATINE

violetgelatine

 

 

 

2 Tbsp gelatin grass fed, I like Great Lakes beef or porcine

1 1/2 c water

1 c heavy whipping cream (raw, or pasteurized, but NOT ultrapasteurized if you can help it). Alternately you can use coconut cream, it is just not as subtle.

A handful of freshly harvested violets, destemmed

2-3 Tbsp raw honey, or choice of sweetener, add to taste, really

pinch sea salt

DIRECTIONS

Pour gelatin into your mold container

Add 1/2 c cold water and let it dissolve.

Heat 1 cup water.

Meanwhile pour cream into a saucepan on low, immerse your violets in the cream. Do not let it boil. When warm almost hot, add honey and stir til it dissolves. Again honey is to taste.

Add hot water to dissolved gelatin in a mold, stir to make sure it all does dissolve. Then add your violet cream to your mold. Stir. Make sure your violets are nicely arranged on top. Chill.

The cream will separate creating a two-toned gelatine. Slice and eat with your fingers, or serve in quaint little bowls. Eat as much as you want. It is lovely subtle, gentle, nourishing heart blooming healing food. Enjoy.

violetgelatinslices