Our Group Head Kitchen Gardener, Ollie Hutson is a true expert in the garden, having worked in the Kitchen Gardens at THE PIGs since we opened nearly ten years ago. Ollie has overseen the design and management of all seven Kitchen Gardens at our PIGs and his team of twenty-five gardeners produce upwards of fifty tonnes of produce annually – all of which are served in our restaurants.
There are all kinds of health benefits to be had from leaves found in the garden, herbs can be used to fight off colds and help to detox. All you need to do is add water!
Some of the infusions Ollie likes to make include Blackcurrant leaf, Linden flower and Nettle – but it will work with what ever herbs you might have in your home or garden currently.
Blackcurrant Leaf infusion
Grab a handful of blackcurrant leaves and mix it with boiling water for a lovely infusion. Like many similar plants, when blackcurrant leaf is consumed as an infusion, it can be very rich in antioxidants and in vitamin C. It is said to fight viruses, as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory.
To most people, nettles are seen as a nuisance but what you might not know is the common stinging nettle has a surprising number of health benefits. With the right preparation, the leaves can be consumed raw, but they are far easier when cooked, as the stinging hairs are destroyed by the cooking process. The nettles have a high mineral and vitamin content so when they are drunk as an infusion it can make a fantastic detox drink known to boost the immune system and can also help people with high blood pressure. Grab a handful (carefully) on your next walk and give it a try!
The linden tree, or small leaved lime is one of the most common trees throughout Europe. Many parts of the linden tree were used medicinally since ancient times but nowadays it is the flowers people use in infusions. The infusions can be used to treat coughs, colds, insomnia, anxiety and heart conditions.
There are many other herbs that work as great infusions such as Sage, Thyme, Lavender and Mint. What ever you can get your hands on will work as a relaxing infusion to enjoy.
For more recipes, tips and how-tos why not pick up a copy of THE PIG Book: Tales and Recipes from the Kitchen Garden and Beyond