Our elderly neighbor Fred broke his leg back in January and has been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes since. We brought him home last Saturday, where he gets around in his wheelchair, waiting for his leg to heal enough for him to walk again. He's one of those tough, wiry guys who is basically healthy as a horse but for his fragile bones and the rheumatoid arthritis. He's never taken pharmaceuticals, or rarely. It's funny when docs or other medics first talk to him. They always ask him what medications he's on and he always says "none." He does take nutritional supplements, but no drugs. Compare this to many elderly folks who take umpteen meds every day from killer statin drugs to blood pressure meds to this and that and then this one to combat the side effects of the others.... Anyway, Fred.
I put all the dandelion greens, some of the creasy greens, a bunch of the chickweed and a lot of wild onions and chives into a big pot of cold water with a couple of onions, some heads of garlic that were going soft and time to toss 'em, some cayenne pepper, a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar and set it to boil. Once it got a hard boil going, I turned it to simmer for an hour or so. The cider vinegar will help extract all the rich vitamins and minerals from the veggies into the broth. To finish it before straining, I added a tablespoon of some powdered garlic and onion and herbs that I'd made a while back from veggies and herbs I dried. Not bad, if I say so myself. This is a powerful spring tonic, this broth.
Vitamins and minerals in dandelions: beta carotene (more than is in carrots), calcium, iron, vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, C, E, P, D and biotin, inositol, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. And lots of all of those. Plus, in this broth, it's tasty and easily absorbed in the body. It'll do wonders for Fred. Wintercress is also highly nutritious and at this early stage in spring, quite tasty. Later it gets bitter as hell, and to some, it'll be too bitter even now, but not for me or Fred. We know that bitter is medicine for soul and body. You can see a good picture of wintercress here. Once you find this plant and ID it, you'll notice it every spring from now on. My eyes simply know now to look for it in early spring. The bright green lobes of the leaves will catch your peripheral vision easily.
I got three quarts of the broth--good for a start! Tonight I'll cook up the mess of creasy greens with some onion and bacon, and the chickweed, bless its soul, is going to be salad with some red onion and hard boiled eggs. This is fine eating, and free!
Do make some vitamin rich broth for your family. This is easy, simple to do, and your body will much appreciate its cleansing and healing properties.