Foraging from the garden – Nasturtiums

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Here at Clavelshay, we are passionate about using fruits and plants from the garden, fields and hedgerows.

Nasturtiums have always been a favourite of mine, bright and cheerful - a somewhat chaotic plant – spreading everywhere, but such a riot of colour that I don’t mind.

We are using the peppery flowers and leaves in salads this summer and customers are loving them. Our talented Head Chef Phil Verden, said he had found a recipe to make Nasturtium Vodka. As we already make fruit vodkas I thought I would give it a try and it was so easy.

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Step 1: Pick your flowers – enough to fill a large jar

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Step 4: Strain and bottle

Step 5: Drink with tomato juice for the ultimate Bloody Mary - this will blow your head off!

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Nasturtium originates from the Andes, where the fresh herb was originally used as an expectorant for coughs and catarrhs. The leaves contain mustard oil glycosides, which break down into a substance with antibiotic properties called benzyl mustard oil. This has been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi. For this, Nasturtium is used in the treatment of respiratory and urinary tract infections. It is contra-indicated for gastro-intestinal ulcers, kidney disease and should not be given to small children. (Black’s Nature Guides – Medicinal Plants of Britain & Europe)