Homemade Cough Syrup

Instant Pot Cough Syrup

Hello to all. I’m still dealing with this nasty ‘bug’ as I create this post. This must really be a BAD ONE y’all. I never get sick! My 4-year old dogs are looking at me as if to say, “What’s wrong mommy? We’ve never seen you like this.” Those little sweet things.

So here I am, trying my best to cope. It started with my husband and he agrees that it’s pretty BAD! (So I’m not just being a weenie-whiner because I haven’t seen sick in a long while.)

When my youngest was small, until we figured out her triggers, she would often come down with respiratory issues. This was my “go-to” recipe for her and even as a small kid she never had any complaints about taking this medicine.

Back then I didn’t have an InstantPot, so I would just put the onions in the honey and allow to soak overnight. Not sure if I ever thought about heating them on low on the stove-top to speed up the process until I found the recipe online today.

My idea is that by using an InstantPot, I could set it on low for an hour and not be concerned that they would burn and it WORKED!

Why onions? Onions are rich in antioxidants which make them anti-inflammmatory agents.

Why honey? Well, it’s sweet and makes it easy to tolerate the onions. Additionally, it has anti-bacterial properties – so it’s simply a good carrier for the other items in the syrup. Some say it allows the medicine to stick to the throat too.

Why rosemary? Science says it has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties.

Here is the recipe I used today:

Homemade Cough Syrup

Instant Pot Cough Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium white onion, sliced (yellow will work too)
  • 8 - 12 ounces of honey
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary

Instructions

  1. Heat all the ingredients in the InstantPot on the "LOW" setting for 1 hour.
  2. Alternatively, you can heat on the stove-top, lowest setting - until the onions become translucent.
  3. Strain into a jar that has a lid.
http://realfoodanddrinks.com/homemade-cough-syrup

BUT, I got to thinking….my original recipe (back-in-the-day) used all fresh ingredients. So I added more fresh rosemary and more fresh onions to the jar. I will let it sit overnight just as I used to do. I need the most potent recipe I can find!

NOW, about those leftover onions…

They remained chewy, as one might guess. I just take a few to munch on when I pass by them.

Another idea: I have also been using some unsulphured ginger candies as throat lozenges for night-time. I think I will try making my own by soaking in honey and then dehydrating.

Note: The links to the InstantPot store are links through which I receive a small commission should you decide to make a purchase. I use my InstantPot just about every day. In fact, I have two of them.

Polenta with vegetables

Polenta is a corn-meal porridge. You can top polenta with anything you like which makes it a delicious options for breakfast, lunch and even dinner.

Polenta is identified as a yellow corn-meal. The way it’s process produces a more whole form of what many know as grits and contains 6 g of fiber. ( The most popular form of grits only have .7 g – yet I believe there is a white corn that can be used to create white polenta “grits” which reserves the whole kernels.

If cooking on the stove-top it takes about 30 minutes. Use 1 cup of polenta to 6 cups of water.

But I prefer the much easier option of using an Instant Pot. This recipe makes 4 – 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 6 cups water or broth

Vegetable Toppings:  (in photo)

  • `1 bell pepper
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 4 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cups spinach
  • Salt, pepper and crushed red pepper (optional)

Directions: (for Instant Pot)

  1. Add polenta, water and sprinkle with a little salt (optional) into Instant Pot and stir.
  2. Cook for 10 minutes (manually set or use ‘Rice’ button).
  3. After time is up, Press ‘Cancel’ to switch to ‘Off’ and allow natural pressure release (usually 10/15 minutes).
  4. Stir to combine water and corn-meal. Using a whisk makes this easier.

Cooking Vegetables:

  1. Heat griddle or pan on stove-top.
  2. Add 1 tsp of oil and/or 2 TBS water to the pan.
  3. Add all vegetables except for spinach and stir-fry (stir-steam) until desired tenderness, sprinkle with seasonings of choice.
  4. Remove vegetables to a plate, turn off heat, add spinach and allow to wilt. (Adding a bit of water to create steam will help spinach wilt.)

Serve by adding polenta to a dish and topping with the vegetables.

Eggplant and Tomato Pasta Marinara Sauce

This was really yummy. The texture of the eggplant mixed with diced tomatoes was right on target in this marinara sauce. I made the sauce in my InstantPot (love that appliance).

I cut the eggplant into cubes and just added it to the pot along with tomatoes and other seasonings and voila! I was done…

…except for the cooking of the pasta. Sometimes I cook the pasta in the Instant Pot too, but lately I seem to have trouble with getting perfect pasta …and my guess is that it’s probably because I was cooking gluten-free pasta. I think the better outcome has been with wheat pasta. (If anyone has any helpful hints on cooking gluten-free pasta in the InstantPot, please let me know. Thanks in advance.)

Back to the sauce..I cooked the eggplant until it was mushy. I liked it best this way because it was easy to combine with the tomatoes. The mixture of these two vegetables are superb. Yet, I call this a marinara because it’s very light vs. being more dense and doesn’t have any tomato paste which would make the sauce thicker.

This recipe makes about 2 – 3 servings. You can easily double it.

Ingredients:
1 small eggplant
1 small can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced onions
1/8 cup of chopped bell peppers (your choice)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp or so of dried herbs (basil, oregano, Italian herb mix,

spinach to stir into pot after cooking or directly onto the plate (I prefer fresh)

Instant Pot Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients into the inner pot.
  2. Press manual, then adjust settings to 6 minutes.
  3. Allow natural release (if you have enough time to wait)
  4. Adjust seasonings
  5. Stir in spinach (optional)
Stove-Top Directions:
  1. Cook onion and garlic on low heat until soft. I prefer using water to steam the vegetables, so that I don’t have to add oils to cook with.
  2. Add eggplant and a little salt to help soften, then cook about 5 minutes while stirring frequently.
  3. Add diced tomatoes and remaining seasonings. Cook, covered over low heat until everything is very soft and (I prefer) mushy. Make sure your pan isn’t too high and use a small burner so the sauce doesn’t burn. This step may take about 10 more minutes. 
  4. Adjust seasonings
  5. Stir in spinach (optional).
Note: That is a corn-based pasta in the photo. Gluten free pastas that contain corn seem to cook the best.

Sweet Potato Coconut Milk Curry

I prepared this in my InstantPot. But I’m sure a pot on the stove top will work just as well. This was quick and easy. The perfect warm and satisfying meal for the cold night on which I prepared it. (Note: this recipe was based on a recipe I saw at Pinch of Yum, but I added a few things.)

Ingredients:

  • 4 green onions (about 1/3 cup), chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (add depending on the spice level you want)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup garbanzo/chickpeas, cooked
  • 1 14-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup water for InstantPot or up to 1 1/2 if on stove top
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped peanuts (or cashews)
  • 2 x 2 strip of Kombu for added minerals
After cooked:
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (or cashew butter) You can also take some of the soup broth and blend with peanuts (or cashews) to thicken the soup.
  • 1-2 cups kale, stems removed, chopped (or any other dark leafy greens: collards, chard)
  • 1 – 2 tsp miso paste (for added flavor)
Directions:
  1. Place all ingredients in InstantPot and cook for 10 minutes or add to a pot on the stove top and cook until potatoes are tender.
  2. Add the “after cooked” ingredients. If using InstantPot, after quick or natural release.