I am very proud of myself this year. Very little in the garden went to waste or ended up in the compost. I managed to find a use for just about everything. Snow is around the corner. Not much is left thriving but calendula, horehound and sage. I have such an overabundance of Sage. I am stumped with how to use it all up. When I did an internet search “using sage medicinally” all that came up was tea. I have used sage in mouthwash and incense. Occasionally it ends up in a bath or wash. I found many culinary recipes. This one I adapted and made gluten free. The grains and nuts give it a nice texture. I was able to use up the last of blackberries. It was not too sweet. If you get tired of the savory use of sage it can be an adventure to experiment with it in desserts.
Blackberry and Sage Breakfast Bars
For the crumble base and topping add to a large bowl…..
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
2 TBSP of honey
1/2 cup of brown or coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup of ground oats
1/4 cup of cooked quinoa
1 TBSP each of ground hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds
1 cup of brown rice flour
1 cup of buckwheat flour
3/4 cup of whole hazelnuts, then coarsely ground
Mix well and then set aside
Line a 20cm x 20cm tin with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang that will allow you to lift the bars out later.
Take 8oz./1 cup of cold unsalted butter. Chop it into coarse pieces. Add it to your larger bowl of dry ingredients then
Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it all looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Tip three-quarters of the mixture into the lined tin and press it down evenly.
Add 8-10 medium size sage leaves, finely chopped, to the remaining crumble mixture in the bowl and use your fingers to mix it together until it starts to clump. Set aside in a small bowl. Chill both the base and the topping for 20 minutes.
For the filling place in a bowl and mix enough to just coat
2 cups of fresh blackberries with….
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp arrowroot powder
Juice of ½ lemon
Heat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/gas 5, then bake the chilled base for 20 minutes, until it looks just set and the edges are starting to brown. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes. Then….
Drop your filling onto the base in small piles. Fill in any “holes” with your crumble mixture.
Bake for a further 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden and the fruit has softened and turned jammy. Remove and let cool. Then cut into generous rectangles. Can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer until consumed.
Sage is a shrubby perennial that is native to Europe. It grows well and overwinters even in my climate. In any garden that I have had it establishes itself as a “mother plant”. The stems are square, woody, long, finely haired and often leggy. With time and age my plants become less attractive but more productive in leaves. This herb can be sensitive. If you offend it, neglect it, damage it when harvesting-you may not see it the following year. The downy, oval shaped, crenated, opposite arranged leaves have a “sage” green color. The flowers are purple (sometimes white) tube shaped, two lipped, and grow widely spaced on terminal racemes. High in aromatic essential oils and botanical features clearly place it in the mint family.
Salvia is thought to be good for stress, depression, vertigo, hot flashes, digestive issues, gas, diarrhea, headaches, flu, congestion, menstrual problems, arthritis pain, blood clots, fever, and staph infections. She is a wonderful gargle for laryngitis, gum disease, bad breath, and sore throats. If you need to clear phlegm in any organ this plant is a good choice. As a bath Sage has been used externally to address eczema, insect bites, wounds, acne, rashes, and poison ivy/oak, dandruff, and vaginal discharge. There is a long history of using this plant as a symbol of wisdom, clarity, longevity, purification and protection. I like hanging bundles of the fresh herb in my house, washing the floors with the tea, or burning dried leaves to clean out energy from a space.
Parts used: Leaves
Energetics:bitter, dry, pungent, warming
Spiritual/Emotional Uses-to remove negative energy, disturbances and bad luck. Helpful when one is struggling with the natural process of aging.
Contraindications:Large does in pregnancy. Do not use while nursing as it may dry up your milk supply. Do not use in therapeutic doses long term.