Healing Elderberry Tea

elderberry Tea side © 650

Elderberry has so many benefits for us.  Antioxidant activity to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Sauce: http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-elderberry.html  Affinity/ Systems affected: Lungs and liver Sauce: https://www.holistichealthherbalist.com/the-benefits-of-elderberry/

I never saw real Elderberries till we went to North Fork, California.

Since all the commercial Elderberry Tea/Syrup has sugar and I did not find dried Elderberries in any stores. Thanks for Linda in North Fork to gave me her Elderberries two years ago first time so I could make it my own. She also told me how to make it too.

When I first tasted it I felt so healing earthy taste and I could tell my cough will be gone very quickly.

It is delicious and simple to make it. If you like you can add rice syrup and is made with dried elderberries, herbs and spices.

It is super immune-boosting.
Let’s make Elderberry tea! You can purchase them

You can purchase dried Elderberries from

Mountainroseherbs &    Sunburst

 

Recipe for Simple Elderberry Tea

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces of filtered water (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons dried elderberries
  • 1 tsp rice syrup or maple syrup (optional)

Instructions

  1. First, put the water and elderberries into a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20~30 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let it sit for 3~6 hours. This helps bring out the beneficial properties of the elderberries.
  4. Finally, strain through a fine mesh strainer and heat it up and pour into individual mugs.
  5. If you want to have sweetener then add rice syrup or maple syrup.
elder1

Photo: Beautiful Elderberry

 

Hope you enjoy homemade elderberry tea!

 

Love, Sanae 💖

Furofuki Daikon

650 Furofuki Daikon ©

Daikon means “big” (dai) “root” (kon) in Japanese. It is a big white radish you see at Asian markets and most health stores and farmers’ markets now.

 

When I was a child, up to 20 years old, I did not like to eat daikon unless it was made like spicy kimchee pickles. But my mother said, “Don’t worry: I did not like to eat daikon, either. I love them now, so you will love eating them when you grow up.” She was right.

 

Now, daikon is one of my favorite vegetables. Daikon grows in spring, summer and autumn/winter, but I love the autumn/winter (the end of October to February) ones the best. Many different kinds of daikon are available in America. Each has a slightly different taste, and the harvesting season also affects the taste. I think the summer daikons are a little bitter and winter ones are sweeter, but you can taste and find out for yourself.

 

Daikon helps eliminate excess water and animal fats from the body and has a wide range of medicinal uses. It also aids in the digestion of whole grains and vegetables. Here’s a quick breakdown of the health benefits:

 

Health Benefits of Daikon

Respiratory Health: The combination of antibacterial and antiviral activity with the expectorant properties of daikon and daikon juice make it ideal for clearing up respiratory symptoms. Daikon juice not only clears out phlegm, but also eliminates bacteria and other pathogens, keeping your respiratory system healthy.

Digestive Health: Daikon juice has been shown to possess enzymes similar to those found in the human digestive tract, including amylase and esterase.

Detoxification: Daikon has a diuretic benefit; it helps keep the kidneys clean and functioning at a high level by stimulating the elimination of excess toxins, fats, and even water through urination.

Cancer Prevention: Daikon not only has a high nutrient content, but it also possesses certain antioxidant phenolic compounds that have been shown to reduce various types of cancer, particularly of the stomach.

Immune System: The high concentration of vitamin C in daikon makes it an ideal partner for your immune system.

Anti-Inflammatory Action: Research has found that the level of anti-inflammatory compounds in daikon juice and the normal roots and leaves can significantly decrease inflammation throughout the body, lower the chance of developing arthritis, treat gout, and ease discomfort and pain from injuries and strained muscles.

Bone Health: Daikon is a rich source of calcium, which is essential for bone health. If you are at risk for developing osteoporosis or are beginning to feel the pain of your age, adding some daikon and calcium to your diet can definitely improve your conditions and slow the natural aging process.

Weight Loss: It is low in calories and contains no cholesterol, but it’s high in fiber and nutrient content, making it a weight-loss aid. It fills you up and gives you essential nutrients for your day without significantly boosting the number of consumed calories or cholesterol in your diet.

Skin Health: The antioxidant properties of daikon help to prevent the effects of free radicals, the harmful byproducts of cellular metabolism. So, you can use daikon juice or a slice of daikon for bug bites and other skin irritations.

A Word of Warning: Some evidence suggests that daikon and other radish varieties shouldn’t be eaten by people with gallstones. Other than that, daikon is not commonly known as an allergen and is generally considered healthy for anyone.

Source: Organic Facts

 

Furofuki Daikon (Simmered Daikon) Recipe

From Love, Sanae

650 Plant Based School Furofuki Daikon 700

 

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

 

8 rounds (each 3/4″ thick) daikon radish

2 strips (each 7″ long) kombu

4–5 tablespoons tamari

2–3 tablespoons sesame seeds, washed

2 tablespoons barley miso

4–5 cups spring water

 

  1. Put the kombu in a pot; layer the daikon on top.
  2. Add water to half-cover the daikon, and bring it to a boil.
  3. Add 1–2 tablespoons tamari for each cup of water. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until daikon is tender, about 30–40 minutes.
  4. To make sesame-miso sauce, dry-roast the sesame seeds in a heavy skillet over medium-­high heat, until lightly toasted and fragrant. Stir constantly.
  5. Place toasted seeds in a suribachi and grind to a paste.
  6. Blend in miso, and thin the mixture with 2–3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid.
  7. Serve the daikon topped with the sesame-miso sauce.

 

Enjoy!

Love, Sanae 💖

New Year Recipe: Omedetou

Azuki bean's sprout is so cute! 小豆の芽が出て可愛い!

In the macrobiotic world, azuki bean congee has a special name: omedetou.

(Azuki beans are strengthing beans and the sprout is beautiful as the front photo.)

The word means “congratulations” and is used especially in the New Year and for happy occasions like having a baby, passing a big exam, etc. George Ohsawa (founder of the macrobiotic philosophy) named azuki bean congee omedetou for when you get well from illness. Eating this porridge in the New Year will help you have a positive mind.

 

650-%e3%81%8a%e3%82%81%e3%81%a6%e3%82%99%e3%81%a8%e3%81%86-br

photo: Omedetou in my cat rice bowl

 

Makes 4 servings

 

1 cup brown rice

½ cup azuki beans

5–10 cups purified water

1″ square kombu sea vegetables昆布 (2cmx2cm)1枚

Roasted sesame seeds

 

Pressure Cooker Method:

  1. Wash the rice gently, about three times. Roast till golden brown. Wash the azuki beans and remove pebbles, etc.
  2. Place the rice and beans in the pressure cooker. Add the water and kombu, cover, and heat over a medium-high flame.
  3. When the pressure is up, turn the flame to simmer and cook for 60 minutes.
  4. Remove from the flame and wait till the pressure is down.
  5. Serve with roasted sesame seeds.

 

Non-Pressure Method:

  1. Wash the rice gently, about three times. Roast till golden brown. Wash the azuki beans and remove pebbles, etc.
  2. Place the rice and beans in a stainless or ceramic pot, add water, and heat over a medium-high flame.
  3. When it starts to boil, add the kombu, cover, turn the flame to simmer, and cook for 2 hours.
  4. Remove from the flame, and wait till the pressure is down.
  5. Serve with roasted sesame seeds.

 

Enjoy your omedetou and chew well!

Love,

Sanae💖

Bancha Twig Tea (Kukicha)

kukicha-apple-juice

I love tea.
Yes, I am Japanese.
I’ve also been told that I was English in a previous life so that naturally gives me the title of “Tea Lover.”

 

Since I was about 7 years old, one of my favorite things was taking a tea break with my mother’s housekeeper, Mrs. Kato. We usually had bancha (harvested from the same tree as sencha grade, but it is plucked later than sencha, giving it a lower market grade). It is considered to be the lowest grade of green tea. There are 22 grades of bancha. Its flavor is unique; it has a stronger organic straw smell than sencha (a type of Japanese ryokucha/green tea prepared by infusing the processed whole tea leaves in hot water). Mrs. Kato said sencha was too strong for a child, and usually, it is for guests. I tried some, but I did not like it because it tasted bitter.

I started to learn Japanese tea ceremony when I was 17 years old. I used macha, a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea. It was very creamy, and its aromatic taste matched the Japanese tea ceremony sweets. Macha is for special times, but it is high in caffeine. I am not able to drink it most of the time since I am sensitive to caffeine now, so my favorite tea became non-caffeinated herbal tea, like rosehip tea and bancha twig tea (kukicha).

Kukicha is very low in caffeine. Most of the caffeine is in the leaves, which are not used, and the rest is reduced by the aging process. Kukicha is called “three-year bancha” in Japan, because after the stems, stalks and twigs of the tea are picked, they are dried in the sun and aged for three years before roasting. I usually do not feel any caffeine effects, and it is safe for children to drink.

Kukicha has a unique flavor and aroma among teas, due to its aging process and becoming more alkaline. And the benefits of kukicha are numerous. It is an important part of the macrobiotic diet and is thought to lead to stable health and longevity.

It also good to add apple juice when you want to have a little sweet taste when your body gets too tight and need to relax. I usually add a half purified water and a half apple juice and heat up. You can add a slice of apple too.

650-apple-juice-kukicha-mix

I use Eden’s Tea Bag for when I am traveling or going out for lunch/dinner. It still give a good taste of Kukicha.

 

Benefits of Kukicha Tea

Most of the benefits of kukicha tea stem from its alkalizing properties. Prevention of numerous diseases is achieved through alkalization of bodily fluids and tissues and consequent balanced levels of acidity. A diet containing white flour, sugars, dairy products, eggs and meat raises the body’s acidity and eventually results in fatigue, premature aging, weakened immune system, heart, kidney or bladder conditions, and problems with weight, joints and bones. A body containing too much acid draws minerals from bones and other organs and stores fat.
Twig tea (kukicha) is abundant with minerals like copper, selenium, manganese, calcium, zinc and fluoride, as well as A, C and B-complex vitamins and flavonoids. Like green tea, it contains polyphenolic catechins, which are famous for their anti-cancer action. The most powerful of these substances is epigallocatechin, which prevents cancer by discouraging the growth of tumors and stopping it from spreading within cells. Kukicha is also known to promote digestion. Moreover, it has a high content of tannin, which helps clean the body from toxins. Tannin can even free the body from nicotine and radioactivity, which is why it is recommended for people who take many medications.

Similarly to green tea, kukicha regulates the levels of blood sugar, and by lowering high blood pressure, it prevents strokes and heart disease. Being an immunity booster, it helps combat virus-induced colds and flu. Kukicha can also promote weight loss, slow down the aging process, and prevent ulcers. When brewing twig tea, it is important to use hot water, but not boiling. Once boiled water has cooled, the tea is steeped for three minutes at the most. It can also be served cold, with the addition of apple juice, and enjoyed throughout the day—even by children.

Many health benefits may be gained from drinking kukicha, including:

  • Contains six times more calcium than cows’ milk, helping to build bone density
  • Contains 2.5 times more vitamin C than oranges
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Helps with digestion
  • Combats fatigue
  • Benefits people suffering from bladder infection and heart diseases
  • Reduces the risk of certain types of cancer
  • Fluoride helps reduce plaque and bacterial infection
  • Helps lower cholesterol levels
  • Low in caffeine
  • Burns fat

Source

How to Make Twig Tea (Kukicha)

2–3 cups purified water (depending on how strong you want to make the tea)

1 tablespoon twig tea (kukicha)

Place the water in a teakettle, and bring to a boil. Place the twigs directly in the pot or in a tea ball. Reduce the flame to low, and simmer 3–5 minutes. If adding the tea directly to the pot, strain through a tea strainer when serving.

 

650-umeboshi-kukicha

Umeboshi Plum With Twig Tea (Kukicha) Remedy

http://www.sanaesuzuki.com/2016/11/30/california-organic-umeboshi-plums-and-recipe/

 

 

California Organic Umeboshi Plums and Recipe

650-kazukos-umeboshi-plum-with-our-blue-bowl

Umeboshi plums offer really good medicinal benefits for everyone. During the holiday season, most of us eat too much; Umeboshi Twig Tea (Kukicha) Remedy Drink helps our intestines and alkaline levels (recipe below).

Umeboshi Plum with Twig Tea (Kukicha) Remedy

The combination of umeboshi plum and twig tea (Kukicha) is good for strengthening the blood and circulation through regulation of digestion.

MAKES ONE SERVING

one-half or one umeboshi plum
1 cup Kukicha (twig tea), brewed

To make the drink:

  1. Place the umeboshi in a tea cup.
  2. Pour in hot tea and stir well. Drink while hot and eat the plum.

Resource from Love, Sanae cookbook which has  many recipes of Umeboshi plums.

650-umeboshi-kukicha

Photo: Umeboshi Plum with Twig Tea (Kukicha) Remedy

 

We have been offering California organic umeboshi plums since 2011. My longtime friend Kazuko and her husband, Jyunsei, planted about 450 ume plum trees after they move to the US in 1968. It was their dream to make California organic umeboshi plums. They also grew organic red shiso leaves (Japanese medicinal herb beefsteak) on their property in order to make umeboshi plums (the plums’ color comes from red shiso leaves).
They made their umeboshi plums in the truly traditional way: They grew the ume trees organically, picked the plums by hand, and sun-dried them for three days under California’s long hours of sunshine. When I went to help them make the plums, I learned to continuously turn each one for hours so it wouldn’t get burned or stick to the bamboo mat.

650-umeplum-drying-on-bamboo-mat

Photo: Drying ume plum before pickling with red shiso leaves

 

For many years, Jyunsei and Kazuko have used only selected sea salt and organic, home-grown red shiso leaves to make their premium hand-made California organic umeboshi plums.

Jyunsei passed in 2000, and Kazuko kept up the work by herself, but she eventually retired in 2008. Since Jyunsei passed, Kazuko was not able to promote her umeboshi plums widely. Settled in a retirement home now, she still has the plums but no access to sell them. We decided to help her and seize this opportunity to spread the love and care with which she and Jyunsei prepared these plums. We have sold at least 400 pounds of them all over the US. I even gave them to Japanese friends as gifts, and they said they never see such high-quality aged organic umeboshi plums in Japan anymore.

The plums we received from Kazuko were made in 2003–05, so they are aged. They contain more alkaline and super enzymes with high healing properties than any umeboshi plums you can find anywhere.
Umeboshi plums are like wine; the aged ones are rich in enzymes and have a naturally sour, delicious flavor. Most companies limit their production to a yearly basis, and many of them are not organic, while others use preservatives. So, this is a rare occasion to find aged, organic umeboshi plums.

 

We have a limited quantity, so if you want to get these special California organic umeboshi plums, click here to order.

650-umeboshi-plum-in-a-container

 

When you receive the plums, transfer them to a glass jar or container and keep them in a cool dark place—but not in the refrigerator—to preserve the enzymes and healing properties. They have not been in a refrigerator for about 10 years.

 

Hope you get to taste these rare umeboshi plums before they are all gone.

Love,

Sanae💖

 

Pumpkin Season’s Healthy Tips and Recipe

650-pumpkin

Happy pumpkin season to all of you!

650-many-pumpkins-cr

Here are the Pumpkin Benefits for you:

  • Good for eyesight: Pumpkin is high in beta carotene and contains vitamin A, which is good for our eyes.
  • Helps weight loss: Pumpkin is high in fiber and low in calories, so we can get a full feeling with fewer calories.
  • Supports the heart: Pumpkin seeds help reduce LDL, or bad cholesterol.
  • Protects the skin: Pumpkin’s orange hue is from carotenoids, wrinkle-fighting plant pigments that help neutralize free radicals in the skin.
  • Mood booster: Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid L-tryptophan, a compound that improves mood naturally and may even be effective against depression.

 

Seasonal Recipe:

MILLET with KABOCHA (Japanese Hard Squash)

This is one of my favorite recipes for this season. It is easy to make and very delicious!

650-millet-kabocha

 

1 cup millet
3 to 4 cups purified water
1 cups Kabocha, diced
1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
 or 1″ square kombu sea vegetable
roasted pumpkin seeds as you like

① Wash the millet and lightly dry roast the washed millet in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until it smells toasty.
② Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium- high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add millet, kabocha and sea salt, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20       minutes.
③ Serve with roasted pumpkin seeds as garnish.

 

Hope you try it.

Love,

Sanae 💖