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Rose Cacao Elixir

Week 3 honeys - medicine as an elixir!

I've struggled a bit this week for inspiration on the honey front. It was a busy & tiring week. Each day I mulled over options & none of them just quite hit the right note. I tried not to sweat the days passing with no post. As a recovering type A that's not been easy. At the same time, I am embracing going with the flow and inspiration did hit the right note today. We just won't fret that it's Saturday - haha!

Anyways... with love being a running theme of February & the fact that I keep getting reminders to be kind & loving in my interactions, I decided what better time to start a heart opening elixir that's also heart healthy (assuming no health conditions that make that untrue for you). This takes about 2 weeks to infuse, so it'll be ready just in time for Valentine's if you observe it. It's also still in the window to use (just barely) for Candlemas/Imbolc practices. To make this alcohol free just omit the alcohol for an infused honey. You could add some vinegar (none of that distilled stuff - that's just for cleaning) to make this an oxymel that'll cut the sweetness of the honey a bit and gain the health benefits of the vinegar, too.

My elixir is layered with roses from my gardens using some Rugosa, Knockout & Abraham Darby. Each type of rose has a different flavor. When choosing roses for your edible recipes, look for ones that are fragrant. The fragrance will translate into flavor so go for the scents you are drawn to. I love all 3 of my varieties, but the Darby is by far my favorite so far with a light apple minty flavor. I added 4 new varieties to my gardens that I can't wait to explore & play with as they start blooming!

To make you’ll need:

~ about 1 cup fresh food grade rose petals (1/2 cup dried)

~ 1/4 cup cacao nibs

~ 16 oz (pint) sterilized jar with lid

~ local raw honey

~ 80-100 proof (40-50%) alcohol of choice - I prefer brandy for elixirs

Loosely place rose petals in jar. Add cacao nibs. Pour in alcohol to fill jar about 3/4. This just covered the roses & nibs for me. Add honey to fill jar. Gently stir so everything is well blended. Label jar with ingredients & date. Let infuse for at least 2 weeks. Give the jar a love flip top to bottom (& then bottom to top) once a day to make sure the goodies stay submerged & any bubbles surface. You can start tasting at any time. When you like the flavor, strain out the bits & start adding to your menu! The longer it infuses, the stronger the flavor will be. This does not need refrigerated since no moisture was added.

Ways to use: Take a teaspoon at a time, add to tea/coffee or mix with carbonated water/tonic for a fizzy drink.

Some benefits of rose & cacao: Roses aid in soothing sore throats, ulcers, asthma, coughs, cramping & constipation. They are rich in antioxidants helping reduce free radicals. Roses ease headaches, menstrual cramps, aid in digestion & can enhance mood. Cacao nibs are packed with nutrients, are a good source of fiber, protein, many minerals and healthy fats. They support immune health, have anti-inflammatory properties, may improve heart health.

Added notes: All roses are edible as long as they are pesticide/herbicide free. If you have sulfur allergies or sensitivities, you'll want to be sure that yours haven't been treated with sulfur, which is a common practice to deter powdery mildew & black spot. The sulfur treatment doesn't affect edibility unless you have a sulfur issue.

I’d love to hear about your honey adventures this year! Comment or use #yearofhoney on IG or Facebook so I can see your posts.

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