Bitter as a Way of Life


Herb schooling has taught the importance of bitter herbs and vegetables in a healthful and vibrant diet. The bitters keep the digestives system rolling: key to our wellbeing. 

Folks are often surprised to hear that the digestion is so critical: we have cramps, sluggish bowls or gas...and take a Tums, Senna or some anti-gas over the counter quick fix. But the real deal is to incorporate bitter qualities into your diet on a daily basis.

It took almost two years to correct a ragged digestive congestion: the "patient" here had suffered from constipation and gas for many many years. The reasons were both physiological and psychological: sugary white diet and high degrees of stress respectively. A healthy dose of slippery elm (primarily) in supportive combo with a few other herbs (in powder form) slowly healed the dietary rigidity and got the bowls responding in a healthy way. A bit of therapy and readjustment of life priorities reduced the stress load.

Food is our best medicine. Each recipe I post from Jennifer McLagan's BITTERS cookbook and educational sweet experience guide incorporates bitters in one way or another. This a variation on her Rony's Brussels Sprouts and Chickpeas. (YOU SHOULD OWN THIS BOOK.)

YOU'LL NEED: Chickpeas (soaked and cooked), sea salt, ground black pepper, olive oil, a finely chopped shallot, 1 cup of veggie stock, brussels sprouts, a touch of dry sherry.

WHAT YOU'LL DO: Heat olive oil in a pan and, when hot, add the shallot and cook until soft. Add the chickpeas and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until lightly browned and add then add the veggie stock and bring to a boil (deglaze by scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Remove from heat. In another pan, sauté the brussels sprouts in olive oil until they are fully cooked—and even browned on several sides. Add all ingredients to one pan and toss with a little sherry. Enjoy!!