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Essence of Spring

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
~John Muir

Imagine seeds sprouting in the earth, buds opening on branches, and bright yellow daffodils smiling in the sun. The air is light and refreshing, as life stirs and awakens to the dawn of spring. You can harmonize with this essence of spring by including foods with upward rising energy in your macrobiotic diet: wild plants, sprouts, fresh baby greens, lightly fermented foods, lentils, fresh peas, and grains like barley, wheat, oats, and rye. Cooking styles for spring also include light cooking such as blanching, quick saute, and light pickling.

Because the liver is the organ for spring, this time of year is ideal for cleansing the liver. Along with upward growing plants, sour flavor supports liver function in digesting fats that have accumulated during winter. You can nourish your liver by including sour condiments, such as sauerkraut and umeboshi plum. Or enhance your dishes with a splash of lemon juice or grated lemon peel (zest).

A colorful and delicious recipe that supports liver energy is Essence of Spring Salad. This refreshing salad highlights spring plants like sprouts, herbs, and edible flowers. Edible flowers were used for centuries by Roman, Chinese, Indian, and Middle Eastern cultures in cooking. Bring your garden indoors by adding edible flowers for color, flavor, and texture to your dishes. (Consult a reliable source to make sure they are edible before consuming.) Use fresh herbs to alleviate symptoms and improve physical and emotional well-being.

Essence of Spring Salad

You can include freshly-picked, delicate herbs like basil and tarragon. However, harder herbs such as rosemary, lavender, and savory have stronger flavor and are tougher to chew. Grated orange, lemon, or lime peel (zest) also adds color and flavor to your salad.

Serves 6

1/2 bunch organic flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup organic sprouts (kohlrabi, red cabbage, tatsoi, mizuna, & arugula)
1/2 cup sprouted beans (garbanzo, pea, aduki, & lentil)
2 medium scallions, sliced thin or 1/2 bunch chives, sliced thin
1/2 cup organic edible flowers (nasturtium, pansy, borage, or lavender)

Dressing:

1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt, to taste

In a bowl, add herbs, sprouts, and flowers. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve.

Enjoy this salad at the end of a hearty meal to balance heavy energy, cleanse your palate, and aid digestion.

A Taste of California Sun

Imagine sitting in a citrus grove, the warm California sun beating down, and the smell of orange blossoms wafting in the breeze. This warming beverage will take you there.

Orange Peel Tea has been used for centuries by the Chinese for clearing out congestion in the lungs and large intestine. This brew is very helpful for soothing bloating, gas, nausea, or indigestion. It also improves blood and lymph circulation, promotes digestion, and eliminates excess fluid in the body. (If you were wondering about remedies for too much New Year’s Eve partying!)

Orange Peel Tea

1 tablespoon organic dried orange peel
2 cups spring water

  1. In a saucepan, add orange peel and water.
  2. Bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer until one cup liquid remains.
  3. Strain.
  4. Drink one cup everyday until congestion clears.

Cheers!

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