Jeannie Dunn, director of Red Moon Herbs and Jennifer Flynn, Blue Ridge Naturally Coordinator enjoyed teaching Making Edible Holiday Gifts to benefit NC Natural Products Association at Fifth Season Gardening Co. in Asheville. The students got hands-on with herbal sumac vinegar, bliss balls, edible body butter, a unique tea blend, herbal salts and a quick elixir. Students sipped on nourishing linden infusion and Loco for Local tea while crafting their herbal gifts.
Chia Cacao Balls w/ Turmeric, Black Pepper & Coconut
by Jennifer Flynn
1 ½ C. Raisins
½ C. Figs
3/4 C. Nuts or seeds
¼ C. Shredded coconut
½ C. Sorghum
2 T Chia seeds
1-2 T Coconut Oil
¼ C. Cacao powder
1 T Tumeric powder
½ t Ground black pepper
Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Once blended and/or set, roll 1 tablespoon (or teaspoon for smaller balls) at a time into balls. This recipe lends itself to rolling in more cacao powder, shredded coconut, or beautiful, pink hibiscus sugar (see below)
¼ C Organic sugar
3-4 T Dried hibiscus flower
Place sugar and hibiscus in a food processor. Pulse until well blended. (Careful taking the lid off, as the blending will create a “sugar cloud”)
Herbal Salts by Jeannie Dunn
A simple salt is a thoughtful, nutritive gift.
1/2 cup coarse Himalayan pink salt
1 cup sea salt (selinanaturally.com)
2-4 dried herbs (heaping TBL of each) such as parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, lavender, cilantro, cumin, oregano, marjoram (lightly grind to break up the pieces of the coarse herbs into “pinch and sprinkle” size)
Incorporate a wild food like ground sumac berries, ramp tops or wild garlic tops.
If the Himalayan salt is a little too coarse for sprinkling onto food, grind a little with mortar and pestle or coffee grinder, careful not to powder too fine. If you still have rosemary, thyme, sage or oregano in the garden, consider putting 1/4 cup each of 4 fresh herbs chopped finely directly into your salts and dehydrating together to infuse the flavors as they dry.