Becoming Healthy Chicken Soup


I have been a vegetarian for a long time now however my family are a long way off being veggie.  So whenever themselves are unwell, as the case has been over the past week, then we get to brewing up a big pot of chicken soup.  Chicken soup has long been a ‘kitchen cure’ for colds and flu, even the scientists have proved that it does have benefits, and it is quick and easy comfort food when you are feeling under the weather.


Homemade soup and bread for lunch.

Hot fluids in general are great for helping clear all those ‘blockages’ in the sinuses and re-hydrating you.  If you pop in a whole heap of other kitchen cures you will have a great healing meal.  Thyme for coughs, Sage for sore throats, garlic for its antibacterial properties, ginger for its anti-inflammatory  properties (and loads more beside) and a whole heap of vegetables along with chicken on the bone makes an awesome meal to help the healing along.  If nothing else though soup is incredibly comforting when you are feeling yuck.

Lots of families have their tried and true recipes however if you don’t here is one to start you off.  After that experiment and enjoy!!

Becoming Healthy Chicken Soup

  • Chicken on the bone (I use 2 chicken breasts with the skin on)
  • Garlic (the more you can sneak in the better)
  • 1 large onion
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried sage leaves
  • Ginger (fresh is better however ground is fine)
  • Vegetables of your choice – chopped or diced depending on your preference.

-Chop the garlic and onion finely.  Fry off little with some olive oil in a large pot.

-Add in the chicken and brown a little.

-Add in the vegetables for a quick fry then add in the herbs, stirring to ensure they don’t stick to the bottom.

-Cover with water and gently boil until the vegetables are soft and the chicken cooked through and is beginning to come away from the bone if knocked.

-Take the chicken out of the pot and get all the meat off, including the skin, then chop and return the meat only to the pot.

-Allow to sit for a bit before serving.


Hope this finds you all healthy, happy and enjoying your home comforts




Apple Cider Vinegar Uses


Recently a video came up on Facebook while I was in the midst of procrastination and being the dutiful procrastinator that I can be I watched it of course 🙂  It was all about Apple Cider Vinegar and 16 uses for it.

Turns out it was a really great video.  It was full of good quick tips about using Apple Cider Vinegar along with information about ACV as well as offering me something to blog about – seems my procrastinating was really working in an alternative way after all!.  It also fits nicely with my upcoming blog about the Apple Cider Vinegar I have on the brew at the moment.


My first attempt at Apple Cider Vinegar!  So excited 🙂

The link for the website and  video is here however if you are like me and prefer to have something written down I thought I would outline the 16 uses of Apple Cider Vinegar below.  Do watch the video though if there is one point in particular you think you’d like to try as I may have left out a bit of information you need.

16 Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

  1. Banish Break outs: Use ACV at an antibacterial toner
  2. Soothe a sore throat: Gargle ACV with warm water (this one works and is one himself uses all the time)
  3. Get rid of Dandruff: Make a mix of 1 part ACV to 3 parts water and spray onto hair.  Leave for an hour and then rinse off.
  4. Remove a wart: Soak a cotton ball in ACV and tape onto your wart/verruca and leave overnight. Repeat for a few nights and the wart/verruca will go.
  5. Deodorant: Kills the odour causing bacteria
  6. Clear a Sinus infection: Mix 1/4 C unfiltered ACV, 1/4 water, 1 Tb honey, 1 tsp cayenne and a the juice from a wedge of lemon.
  7. Whiten your teeth: 2 parts ACV to 1 part Baking Soda then rinse thoroughly with water as highly acidic. NB: Use caution with this one due to the high acidity
  8. Heal a sunburn: Apply with wash-cloth to the area.
  9. Clean make up brushes: 1 cup water mixed with 1 tsp ACV and pop brushes in.
  10. Soothe Eczema and psoriasis: Add some ACV to bath water.
  11. Prevent ingrown hairs: rub on the area with a cotton bud
  12. Detoxify your skin: Mix ACV with bentonite clay and use as a mask
  13. Get rid of stinky feet: Soak feet in a mixture of 1 part ACV to 4 parts water. This can be used to clear up athlete’s feet too.
  14. Boost your energy: ACV is rich in vitamins and minerals to making a drink of it with water is great for your system.  1 tb ACV to a mug of hot water with honey to taste or 1 tsp to a glass of cold water.
  15. Improve digestion: Create a salad dressing using 1/4 C ACV, 1/4 tsp pepper, 2Tb water, 1 tsp salt, juice from a lemon and 1/4 C olive oil
  16. Support Weight Loss: Pop some ACV into your water in the morning and throughout the day.

Hope this finds you marvelling in the wonders of ACV as I did 🙂



Kitchen Cures for Headaches


Since the last ‘Kitchen Cures’ post was a bit of a favourite I thought I would post another one this week.  I heard this morning  on the radio that anyone who has avoided the flu so far this winter shouldn’t congratulate themselves just yet as they predicate – not sure who exactly this ‘they’ are but anyway 🙂 – another dose of flu to make the rounds.

Herbs are fantastic healers.

Herbs are fantastic healers to have close.

With flu usually comes headaches so if you do find you are being weighed down with ill health and sore heads this Spring then try out some of these simple kitchen cures.

Headaches are usually the body’s response to stress, both physical and/or emotional.  Stress causes muscles to contract and tension to arise; it can even affect blood flow. First and foremost though is using some common-sense.  If you know the cause of the headache then either remove yourself from that or cease whatever is causing it.

Rubbing lavender essence on your temples can work wonders for relieving and clearing away headaches.  Lavender is a well known sedative, antidepressant and relaxant.  Be sure to use a good quality oil when you are applying it to your skin.

Why not try a quick easy cup of tea to relieve that head?  The combination of the compounds with in chamomile which relax you and ease pain and a sit down with a cuppa may just be the ticket to clear that headache for good.

Yes, strange as it may first appear towels can help to relieve and often clear your headaches.  Colour therapist would add to this a purple towel or piece of fabric.  Colour or not this does help 🙂 Tie a towel firmly around your head, covering the eyes and have a quick lie down.  Sleep will come if you need it otherwise just 10-15 mins of fully resting your eyes and body can help.

Making up a tea from dried or fresh basil is a favourite of a French Herbal Folk healer.  It not only relieves the pain, it also eases the restlessness that can accompany headaches.  If you don’t fancy drinking the stuff then try this compress made from 1 teaspoon of dried basil soaked in 1 cup of hot water for 10 mins (then strained) to which 2 Tablespoons of Tincture of Witch Hazel has been added.  Once the basil liquid has cooled apply it as a compress to the forehead and temples for a magical headache reliever.

Chives and Ginger:
If your headache is from sinus congestion then try this teas made from chives  and ginger. Steep 1 ½ Tablespoons of finely chopped chives and ½ teaspoon of finely shredded ginger root into a cup of boiling water for 30 minutes. Cover while the chives and ginger are seeping. Drink lukewarm while sitting for a rest.  In 20 minutes of less your head should feel much better. Repeat as needed.

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and not needing these ‘cures’ any time soon.



Kitchen Cures


So it seems that it is that time of the year here in NZ when the coughs and colds strike, well in this house at least.  With that in mind I thought a wee post about kitchen cures and real foods that can help would be in order.

We have our favourite kitchen cures of course and my list is not everything there is so  I’d love to hear other ‘cures’ from other cultures if you’re keen to share.

This week some kitchen Cures for Coughs:

Coughs can be extremely dehydrating to the body so it is really important to maintain fluids even when it seems we don’t need to. Try some of these:

This has to be our favourite, tried and true, remedy.  Thyme has been an officially approved German treatment for coughs for a long time and there is a good reason of that – it works! 😉 The flavonoids in the herb relax the tracheal and ileal muscles and they also reduce inflammation. Just brew up a strong ‘tea’ with some dried thyme, add honey to sweeten if needed, and then sip regularly especially around times of coughing.

Hot tea:
As mentioned above coughing dehydrates you and so you need to keep the fluids up. Drinks are important and hot teas even more so as the warmth of the drink will relieve your throat while it hydrates. Green tea which is full of antioxidants, Apple cider, peppermint, lemon and honey along with the aforementioned thyme are all good kitchen cures for that pesky cough.

Try some hot herbal or fruit teas to ease your throat and re-hydrate you.

Try some hot herbal or fruit teas to ease your throat and re-hydrate you.

This is a very traditional kitchen cure for coughs and colds and a good one.  Garlic has antibiotic properties which helps healing all-round.  The Cherokee also used it as an expectorant for coughs and croup. My preferred method, and I think the most effective, is to finely diced a clove of raw garlic and then add a bit to a teaspoon of honey.  The honey also acts as an antiseptic which will soothe the throat so benefits abound!

Onions and honey:
I have tried this one when the kids were little and it was pretty effective – probably because they liked the sweetness of the honey and caramelised onion!  Simply chop up an onion and place in a double boiler with ½ cup of honey and some lemon juice. Cook on a low heat till the onion is soft and slightly caramelised.  You can either strain out the onion or leave in. Store in a jar and use as needed.

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and if not cough free at least with a few ideas up your sleeve.