Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Build Your Immune System the FUN Way: Simple Herb-Infused Popsicle Recipe

April 9th, 2014 · 9 Comments · Recipes

DIY Immune-Boosting Herbal Popsicles



Since this is my first contributor post here at Kitchen Stewardship, I’ll tell you a little about myself! I was raised in a Christian home on white bread, hot dogs, homemade roast beef and homegrown fruits and veggies. I thought it was normal for everyone to have 4 gardens and a small orchard at their house. And along with my parents, I also didn’t question any of the highly processed, prepackaged foods I ate.

Somewhere along the line I became more conscious of what I put into my body and changed the way I ate. I also fell in love with herbs, experimenting on myself and family members. Since then I have evolved into the bone broth making, kombucha brewing, coconut oil for everything, lifestyle. You’ll usually find me in the kitchen, cooking up something delicious, creating an herbal remedy, or crafting an all-natural body care product for my business.

(Please give a huge welcome to our first regular KS contributor, Jamie Larrison! –Katie)

Carrying on Childhood Memories

When I was little one of my favorite things about summer were the ice cream and popsicle treats my mom stocked up on. Once a year she’d go to Save a Lot and buy half a chest freezer full of frozen treats which we’d happily lick and slurp down the rest of the summer.

I was always sad to see the stock get low as summer wound down, leaving a few fudgesicles and unwanted grape popsicles behind (no one in my family liked grape). I never gave a second thought to what was actually in the popsicles. As much as my mom loved me and wanted to provide us with a fun treat, I know she never thought to question the ingredients either.

Now that I’m a mom myself I won’t touch the artificially colored and flavored, high fructose corn syrup laden, hyperactivity inducing toxins on a stick. But I still want to provide a fun and tasty treat for my son.

Unfortunately, I can’t protect him from every potentially bad situation. Little ones will be exposed to germs at public places and even from other family members. However, there is a way to boost their immune system and give them a yummy treat they’ll love: Herbal Popsicles!

Winter is finally over, but this is the time of year when the spring/summer bugs start to hit. We’ve had a nasty attack of intestinal flu in our area, with several families we know succumbing to it. Just because it’s warmer doesn’t mean you can let your guard down!

Immune Building Herbs to Use

(Katie’s note: Mountain Rose Herbs is a great place to find these ingredients!)

Echinacea

This is probably one of the most popular, if not the most popular immunity herb. You’ll find Echinacea in many store-bought natural preparations. This is a great all around immunity herb because it targets bacterial, viral and fungal infections. It’s best used short term and before a cold/flu is well on its way. Echinacea stimulates white blood cells and the lymphatic system. Do not use in someone with ragweed allergies.

Rose hips

These have a tangy, almost citrusy flavor due to their high vitamin C content. Especially good for diarrhea and constipation.

Alfalfa

This nutritive herb is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. The name means “the father of all foods.” Alfalfa supplies 8 essential amino acids and has the highest chlorophyll content of any known plant. This helps the body absorb and utilize nutrients faster and better when used in conjunction with other herbs.

Orange Peel

High in vitamins A and C, this is an anti-inflammatory that also increases blood circulation. Orange peel also helps with lung health by acting as a natural antihistamine and expelling congestion from the lungs.

What Else is in There?

For these popsicles I made some with coconut milk and some with yogurt. I also added some raw honey and frozen berries. Berries, especially blueberries, are high in antioxidants and vitamins. Raw honey is also an important addition. It not only helps mask any bitter herbal flavors but is packed with nutrition. Many have sung the praises of raw honey, especially in its use for soothing sore throats.

Not everyone can or wants to have dairy, but I like the idea of including probiotics from the yogurt. You could also substitute coconut milk yogurt if it’s available in your area. I actually prefer the taste of the coconut milk ones though, as they seem richer and creamier. You can buy organic coconut milk (found on Amazon), or if you don’t like the idea of using canned, make your own.

How to Make Homemade Coconut Milk

To make coconut milk from scratch you will need a young coconut. Pour the coconut water and scraped coconut meat into a high powered blender, like a Vitamix or Blendtec (found on Amazon). Process until smooth.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Herbal Popsicle Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: snack
Serves: 6
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. To make an herbal infusion first boil 1 cup water. Turn off the heat and add 1 Tbs. of each herb. 2-4 Tbs. total herbs is a great range. Cover the pot with a lid and allow to infuse for about 30 minutes.
  2. Use a coffee filter, fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain out the herbs. Be sure to squeeze out all the liquid.
  3. Combine the tea and rest of the ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture out into popsicle molds or paper cups. With cups, use aluminum foil or other options to cover the paper cups and insert a popsicle stick or spoon through the center. I like using these BPA free, portable molds.
  5. This recipe will make enough for about 6 popsicles, depending on the size.

How do you boost your immune system during cold and flu season and beyond?

jamie 150Jamie is the wife of Devon and mommy to Liam. She studied Journalism at Grace College and is currently working on a Master Herbalist certificate. She started an all-natural body care business, This & That Herbal, and is the development director for A’amarna Toothpaste. Follow her as she explores how to be a good steward of her God given resources and shares it at How To Just About Anything.

Rescources
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 5th Edition by Phyllis A. Balch, revised by Stacey Bell
Practical Herbalism by Philip Fritchey
Mosby’s Handbook of Herbs and Natural Supplements, 4th Edition by Linda Skidmore-Roth
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Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to Amazon, Tropical Traditions, and Mountain Rose Herbs from which I will earn some commission if you make a purchase. See my full disclosure statement here.

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9 Comments so far ↓

  • AshleyB

    Welcome, Jamie! Thanks for sharing this simple, nutrient-packed recipe :)

    Jamie Reply:

    You’re welcome :) I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine!

  • Jennifer

    This sounds awesome! My 2 1/2 yr old might just get to try his first Popsicle this weekend because I can’t wait to try these, and I know I won’t be able to eat one in privacy. Plus, I’d love for him to have a fun way to get all those benefits in something besides smoothies that we have all. the. time. Thanks!

    Jamie Reply:

    My 2 1/2 year old loves these popsicles too! We also make smoothies a LOT, but I freeze the leftovers for him in the portable popsicle molds. He likes the popsicle form better so I can get more nutrition into him :)

  • Melissa

    Do you use any combo of the mentioned herbs?

    Also, is mint a good option? We have a bunch in our garden, and I don’t have these other herbs on hand right now! Thanks for sharing! We have been fighting illness ALL winter! This post came around at the perfect time!!

    Jamie Reply:

    You can really use whatever immunity herbs you have on hand. Mint is a digestive herb so it’s especially good for upset stomach, but not so much for the immune system. Some other immunity herbs are garlic, goldenseal, Oregon grape, rosemary, sage and thyme. Most of these wouldn’t taste the best in a berry popsicle though. Our go-to is a small piece of smashed, fresh garlic in a spoonful of raw honey. Not as tasty, but it works great!

  • Hyun

    I made the popsicles and both my 3 yr old and 1 yr old love them. Can you clarify what you mean about echinacea being best used shot term? So unlike elderberries, these echinacea popsicles shouldn’t be eaten daily? Should they be eaten when I suspect the kids have been exposed to a cold or if there is an illness going around rather than just because it’s hot outside? Thanks for the recipe!

  • Jamie

    Echinacea is most effective when it’s used for no more than 2 weeks in a row, and at the very beginning of a sickness or to build immunity. It doesn’t pose any danger when used differently than recommended, but it’s just not very effective.

    I make these for my son frequently, but I only add the Echinacea when he’s been exposed to something, or is getting sick. I love getting the extra herbal nutrition in him on a daily basis!

  • Jamie

    I should clarify that I add alfalfa and rose hips regardless, and only use Echinacea when the situation calls for it.

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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