Elderflower Syrup

Both elderberry and elderflowers have amazing health benefits. They are a natural remedy for cough, cold and help to improve immunity. Elderflower syrup taste also really nice, so it is also a pleasure to have such a remedy:) My friend Ewa told me few days ago, that coctails with elderflower syrup got really popular in Poland this season, so why not try it this or the other way:)

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Young Walnuts Tincture

Orzechówka, Nalewka z zielonego orzecha

My mum used to cure her stomach aches with this young walnuts tincture. Once I was grown up, she wanted me to use it too. I hated it, it was bitter and dark, but as we say in Poland the bitter cure heals best:) I have to agree that it really worked.

Now I’m making young walnuts tincture myself and I always have at least a small bottle in the kitchen cupboard. I add honey, so it has much better flavor, I can say it’s actually a pleasure to have such a medicine. You need to wait about a year for it to mature, so you’ll be able to try it next year. Start planning now, as you need to collect young walnuts while they are still green and soft, in Poland the best time to collect them is second part of June, in your part of the world it could be different!

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Hop Shoots in Butter

I have read about it last year, but it was to late to forage, this year I remembered to collect young hop shoots and I made hop shoots in butter and garlic. I steamed it first and then sauteed on frying pan. Recipe is easy, while the main ingredient is not so obvious. One can associate hops with beer production, but with delicious dish? Never!

Hop shoots for me taste a little bit like asparagus and a bit like string beans, I would say something between them. They even look like asparagus and can be served the same way. You may try them with white sauce like the one in this recipe.

Hop Shoots in Butter served on the plate
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Wild Garlic – Ramps recipes

I decided to make a summary on wild garlic and let you know about a range of their names, how they are beneficial to our health and finally I will present few wild garlic – ramps recipes.

Wild garlic - ramps - bear's garlic plant and dishes
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Creamy Horseradish Soup

The story of my Creamy horseradish soup is short – I heard about in a tv show by Magda Gessler – she is doing this popular show on restaurants makeover in Poland – Kuchenne Rewolucje, I just thought this soup must have been good. One day I put a pot with water and chicken on the stovetop and then I checked that I didn’t have any carrot left at home! I had only white vegetables, so I decided that this is the moment, I’m gonna make my own version of horseradish soup. And you know, it turned out just perfect:) A little bit like Easter Żurek, I added fresh sausage and hard boiled egg on the side – they suit so good here!

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Dandelion Syrup

I’ve made Dandelion syrup few times so far. It’s so tasty. My children like pancakes splashed with Dandelion syrup just as much as with maple syrup.

In Polish folk medicine it is know from ages as a cure for cough and a help with liver cleansing. Dandelion syrup recipe can be found in Saint Hildegard of Bingen’s books and she lived in XII century:) It is sometimes called Dandelion honey, but actually it is a syrup. Try this easy recipe for homemade Dandelion Syrup. For more immunity booster recipes check: Immunity.

Important Note: Dandelion syrup should not be used by people suffering from hyperacidity nor with dandelion allergy.

Collected Dandelion flowers
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Onion Syrup for immunity

It is always worth to care about your immune system, not only while coronavirus pandemonium. Onion Syrup for immunity will help you to stay healthy, strong and not to get ill. In my family it is a first help for my children while first moments of caught. And surprisingly- they like it’s taste!

Recipe is easy, there are only two ingredients. Onion is widely available all over the world and is a source of taste in many culinary dishes. Onion is also very healthy, as it has strong antibacterial effect, it contains vitamin C, magnesium, silicon and zinc for immunity boost. It’s not only folk medicine, it really works.

Remember, if you are sick you need to contact your doctor. Do not ignore fever and other flu symptoms. Onion Syrup will help you not to get sick, but if you do – you need professional medical advice.

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Rosół and Drop Noodles

Rosół z kluskami lanymi

Rosół with Drop Noodles is a special homemade soup in many Polish families. It reminds our Grandmas and childhood. One of the readers on facebook said: “First soup and noodle making lesson I had, standing on a stool, at the stove with my babciu”. Thank you DaMo!

Rosół in Poland is the best medicine, if you are cold or get a flu, your Polish Mama would start making rosół, to take care of you in the best way she knows:)

Kluski lane are easy to make, they will be great in other soups as well. You can prepare them in few minutes, so if you suddenly run out of pasta, you will be fine with this recipe:)

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Goosefoot Soup

Most of the farmers in Poland would say that Goosfoot is just a weed, quite hard to get rid off, and you actually hate it if you plant vegetables. But on the other side, you can have it free, use in the kitchen and have healthy Goosefoot soup – Zupę z młodej komosy.

When I say Goosefoot I mean a herb called in Poland Komosa. To be sure what kind of plant it is, please check wikipedia source: Chenopodium ficifolium.

What is interesting that a Goosefoot plant and Quinoa are very close cousins. While Quinoa is quite pricey and so much appreciated (at least in Poland), usual Goosefoot is still mostly considered a weed.

Pigweed soup served on the plate.
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Polish Half Sour Cucumbers

Ogórki małosolne

This is a classic of Polish seasonal cuisine:) Fresh and healthy Polish half sour fermented cucumbers are easy to prepare and delicious. Once you try them – you’ll love them.

Małosolne often accompany vodka and herring with onion on old style meetings:) During PRL you were not supposed to buy only vodka in restaurants, you had to buy also some kind of appetizer, herring and pickled or fermented cucumbers were the most popular:)

Polish half sour cucumbers in a jar
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Young Pine Shoots Syrup

In May I am preparing syrup from pine shoots. Young Pine Shoots Syrup helps to heal cough and boost immune in autumn. You can stop here or you can take one step further and prepare a pine tincture, and have an immune booze;)

In May you may also like to check my Goosefoot Soup.

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Beets and horseradish – Ćwikła

In my family house beets and horseradish – Ćwikła is served during Easter and Christmas, it usually goes with home made cold meats and vegetable salad.

Check more beets’ Polish recipes on: http://cookinpolish.com/tag/beets/.

Beets and horseradish - Ćwikła served on a plate
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Pokrzywianka – Stinging Nettle Soup

Early spring is a great time for using stinging nettle in the kitchen. Pokrzywianka – Stinging nettle soup is healthy and easy to prepare. Remember to get only top parts of the youngest nettles, away from the motorways.

For the soup I also use other herbs I find. This time it was young sorrel and lovage. I also used bluszczyk kurdybanek: ground- ivy, which is very aromatic. In Old Polish cuisine ground-ivy was as popular as parsley is nowadays (wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glechoma_hederacea).

Stinging nettle soup served in the plate
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Sauerkraut salad/ Kapusta kiszona

Sauerkraut salad is a great immune support during autumn and winter, is a source of vitamins and probiotics. It makes good job for your intestines and your skin condition. You can eat it when you are on diet or just want to stay healthy.

Remember to buy sauerkraut from trusted seller, as it can be cheated and added vinegar instead of traditional longer procedure of fermentation.

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Krupnik – chicken soup with barley

There is just few steps from chicken soup to Krupnik. If you are cooking broth – you can change your mind almost anytime, add barley and potatoes and here it is- Krupnik – chicken soup with barley:). It is ‘all in one’ kind of soup, nutritious, hearty, warming and healthy. If you add millet instead of barley – it would be great for colds, as millet is helping to dry the flegme;)

Krupnik chicken soup with barley served on a plate
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Polish broth – Rosół

What about a rich broth for Sunday dinner? Polish broth – Rosół is the most popular choice in Polish families:)

We buy chicken wings and vegetables on the local market. My husband is a Rosół specialist, my children say he cooks the best broth ever:)

As a kid I hated rosół, probably because my Grandma was making it too greasy and was pouring all the best, as she thought, into my plate. I choose meat carefully, not to be too greasy:)

For more Polish soups, check: http://cookinpolish.com/category/recipes/soups/.

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Kvas/ Leaven for Borscht

Zakwas na Barszcz

If you plan to cook natural, healthy and delicious Polish beets Borscht, for example for Polish traditional Christmas Eve, you need to prepare beets kvas/ leaven for borscht few days before. Kvas is actually a water from fermented beets.

From this amounts of ingredients you will get about 2 portions od kvas to borscht. I usually prepare more leaven. One portion I use for Borscht and the rest I refrigerate and drink everyday half a cup of it. I love this taste, it is also very healthy drink. When you drink kvas, you get vitamins, minerals and probiotics. It’s so good to your immune.

Beets kvas/ leaven for Borscht
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