A surprisingly tasty way to improve your digestion
Bitter or sweet? Which are you?
I’m all about the sweet e’ry time! While I’ve been able to tame my sweet tooth, you’ll be hard-pressed to get me to each much of anything that is bitter.
But bitter flavors are really good for our digestion! Taken before a meal, they help fire our digestive juices and wake up our liver. If a meal has you feeling weighed down and bloated, digestive bitters on your tongue will ramp up your system to handle it. I’m particularly fond of having them on hand in the winter when an after-dinner walk isn’t as feasible or I’ve indulged in a few too many bites of hearty winter comfort foods. (Hello, pierogies! Just one more…)
A couple of years ago, I formulated an artichoke bitters recipe that is so tasty and effective that I grow artichokes now just to harvest the leaf for this recipe. One plant goes a long way and will give you more than enough for a year’s supply of bitters (even if you have a large family like mine), so be selective and be sure to only take what you need so the plant can set buds for your dinner too!
So you can imagine my excitement when, after the first frost or two shed a few layers from an overgrown corner of my garden and I realized that the artichokes I thought I had planted in another bed were right here, and not only thriving, but I’m going out tomorrow to harvest my first ever artichoke buds! The possibility of diversity in gardening! It never gets old!
Artichoke Bitters Ingredients
Artichoke Leaf- beneficial for liver; bile-producing; helps with digesting fats1
Dandelion Root- high in pre-biotic inulin [content of 25% (Tillotson, 2001) up to 40% (Foster, 1993)]; helps blood sugar (Edwards, 2000; McIntyre, 1996); stimulating the secretion of bile, gastric acids, and pancreatic enzymes2
Fennel Seed- well-known carminitive helps with bloating & gas
Ginger- “home remedy and is of immense value in treating various gastric ailments like constipation, dyspepsia, belching, bloating, gastritis, epigastric discomfort, gastric ulcerations, indigestion, nausea and vomiting”3
Lemon Peel- modulates digestion, calms heartburn & reflux, and tastes lovely4
Vodka- extracting agent; I used 80 proof even though these were fresh ingredients and Everclear would have been appropriate because I want it to be palatable.
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