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Delicious Plum Syrups, Sauces & Jams

Do you have an abundance of PLUMS? Try any one of these four delicious recipes: Immune Boosting Apple Plum Sauce, Sweet & Sour Plum Sauce, Vanilla Rose Plum Syrup, and Spiced Plum Jam. Preserve to enjoy all year long.

By: Candice Brunlinger; Clinical Herbalist, Fermentationist, Health Consultant

Summer is a great time for preserving fruit. Some of my fondest memories from childhood were harvesting from my grandma and uncle’s fruit trees with my brothers. Then helping my family preserve the food we watched grow.

It is becoming increasingly important for us to be preserving food and reduce our reliance on the food chain by growing and making what we can. Try preserving your extra summer fruit into jam/jelly, syrup, alcohol preserves, and/or fermented sauces and drinks.

Below are four delicious recipes to help you process your abundant plum harvest or shopping. Turn your fresh fruit into sauces, syrups, jams, and other preserves to enjoy throughout the year.

Ideas for using the recipes below

  • Enjoy them mixed in or drizzled into desserts and baked goods like ice cream, cake, frosting, and muffins.
  • Drizzled on ice cream, pancakes, crepes, and waffles
  • Spread on toast or biscuit
  • Mix into sparkling water, cocktails, or mocktails
  • Flavor your own ferments such as yogurt, kefir, and kombucha
  • The Plum Sauce makes a delicious chicken stir fry dish

Lets briefly highlight the nutritional benefits of this extremely juicy, tart, and sweet fruit.

Nutritional Benefits of Plums

Plums originated in China, thousands of years ago, and spread throughout Asia, Europe, and America. There are more than 2,000 varieties varying in size and color.

Plums are rich in antioxidants–supporting healthy cells, brain, and skin. Antioxidants protect our cells and have anti-aging benefits. Enjoy this fruit for many other micro-nutrients like Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Vitamins A, C, K, Folate, and more.

The natural sugars, fiber, and nutrients feed our beneficial flora and support healthy elimination. Prunes are plum varieties that are less juicy and are a classic remedy to regulate bowel movements.

high angle view of fruit bowl on table
Photo by Pixabay on

Making Fruit Syrups & Jams

As a general rule for making simple syrups, use equal parts sugar to liquid. I find that to be so sweet and unnecessary, especially when using fruit as the base. I use anywhere between 1/3 to 1/2 part sugar or honey to sweeten and help preserve. When using sugar, I often replace half the sugar with monk fruit sweetener to help reduce the overall glycemic index. Allow your palate to guide your recipes.

For every 2 cups of puree, start with 1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup monk fruit sweetener). Add 1-2 tbsp lemon juice and spices. Taste, and adjust the sugar and other ingredients if needed.

Add pectin to proportion, to turn the syrups preserve into a jam. If you want to avoid the pectin, cook the mixture up to 20 minutes longer to reduce the liquid and thicken. This may affect color, texture, and flavors.

Spiced Plum Syrup or Jam

  • 8-12 Plums (approximately 4 cups of plum puree)
  • 1/2-1 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
    • Or replace half the cane sugar with Monk Fruit sweetener to reduce the glycemic index
    • Or substitute with honey to avoid the sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1 thin slice of Ginger, 2 inches long
  • Add Pectin to proportion or cook longer to turn into jam

Cut plums in half, remove the pit, and mix in a blender until skins are pureed. Pour mixture into a pot on medium heat. Mix in sugar (or monk fruit sweetener or honey), lemon juice, cinnamon, and fresh ginger slices. Stir frequently and bring it to a simmer. Reduce heat and allow the mixture to gently simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat source. Use a fork to remove the slice of ginger. Pour it into warm sterile bottles or jars.

Vanilla Rose Plum Syrup or Jam

  • 8-12 Plums (approximately 4 cups of plum puree)
  • 1/2-1 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
    • Or replace half the cane sugar with Monk Fruit sweetener to reduce the glycemic index
    • Or substitute with honey to avoid the sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp vanilla extract (or add in 1 vanilla bean cut in half, lengthwise)
  • 2-3 tsp rose hydrosol or rose water (organic food grade)
    • Or take 1/4 cup fresh or 2 tbsp dried organic, pesticide-free rose petals and puree into plum sauce
  • Add Pectin to proportion or cook longer to turn into jam

Cut plums in half, remove the pit, and mix in a blender until skins are pureed. If using rose petals or powder, blend into the plum puree. Pour mixture into a pot on medium heat. Mix in sugar (or monk fruit sweetener or honey). This is where you can add a cut vanilla bean if you are using it. Stir frequently and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and allow the mixture to gently simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat source. Stir in rose hydrosol and/or vanilla bean extract if you are using them. Pour into warm sterile bottles or jars.

Sweet and Sour Plum Sauce (with a Spicy Variation)

  • 4 lbs of Plums (about 12 large plums)
  • 1-2 cups of brown sugar (I use less and/or substitute with monk fruit sweetener to reduce glycemic index)
  • 1 cup sugar (can also substitute with monk fruit sweetener)
  • 1 medium onion (white for more spice or yellow for more sweet)
  • 2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1-inch piece of ginger root, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Optional: Add anywhere between 1-4 tbsp of any minced hot pepper of choice for a spicier plum sauce
  • 1 cup Vinegar (5% acidity) ACV, White, Rice, etc.

Wash and cut plums in half to remove pit and blend in a blender until skins are pureed. You can remove the skins and chop plums instead; however, I prefer to get the nutrients from the whole fruit, as many many nutrients are concentrated in the skin.

Add all other ingredients (vinegar, sugar, spices) into a saucepan and stir on medium-high heat, until you reach a simmer. Reduce heat to low, add in your plums (chopped or pureed), and return to simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Pour into warm sterile bottles or jars.

Apple Plum Sauce (with optional immune boosting ingredients)

I usually do not use an exact recipe or keep track of measurements when I make fruit sauces. Have fun combining different fruits and spices together to make your own delicious creations. Explore adding in additional herb boosting herbs and spices for added benefits to support you and your family through fall and winter.

  • 6-8 Plums
  • 4-6 Apples (using more apples will make a sweeter sauce)
  • 2 Pears
  • 1 x 2 inch piece of fresh ginger root (or use 1/4 tsp of ginger powder)
  • 2-3 tsp cinnamon powder (or use 1-2 sticks)
  • pinch of cardamom seeds or powder
  • 3-4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Optional: You can add in a little sugar, monk fruit sweetener, or honey to taste if needed. I usually like mine a little tart.
  • Optional Herbs for Immune Boosting Benefits. I almost always include the top 3 listed and sometimes include other things I have on hand.
    • 6-8 astragalus slices or 1/4 cup powder
    • 1/4 cup elderberries (fresh or dried, whole or powder)
    • 2 tbsp of rosehips
    • Include other fresh or dried berries such as goji, strawberry, blackberries, etc.
    • You can even include immune-supporting flowers such as calendula, tulsi basil, and other culinary basil varieties

Add fruit into a blender and puree. You can add in any powdered herbs and spices or small seeds at this time to blend too. Wait to add any larger herbs and spices until after blending.

Combine into a large pot (stovetop, crockpot, or pressure cooker) and slowly cook on low heat for at least 2 hours. Remove any larger herbs and spices with a utensil. Puree again if you need to.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.

Preserving & Storing Syrups/Jams/Sauces

Sterilize glass by soaking jars or bottles in recently boiled water for 30-60 seconds before filling. Using a funnel and ladle, spoon into containers. Clean the rim and do a very gentle tap on a soft surface like a towel on the counter to allow the preserve to settle into the container and release air bubbles.

If you are not preserving, allow the containers to cool for 12 hours and store in the fridge. The syrup preparations and plum sauce often store up to 6 months ( I have had some last longer but it will be best to use within 6 months). The storage for sauces in the fridge will vary but will not last as long as the sugar preserved syrups.

If you would like to preserve your syrups/sauces for pantry storage, use canning jars. Fill jars until 1/2 inch from the top. Secure lid and ring. Place on a rack in a water bath with 1 inch of water above the lid. Boil for 20 minutes to preserve. Remove and allow to cool for 12 hours before storing. Store in a cool, dry, and dark place for up to 18 months. Store in the fridge after opening.

Comment and let us know what you think of these recipes. Share with us your favorite plum recipes and how you like to enjoy your fruit preserves.

Interested in more delicious recipes, healthy substitutions, creative meal ideas, cooking with herbs, how to use food as medicine, and general health tips? 0

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (Recipe)

Make Summer Salads for the Entire Family to Enjoy…

By: Candice Brunlinger; Clinical Herbalist, Certified Fermentationist, Health Educator

Summer often means an abundance of fresh strawberries and salad greens. I recently took some extra strawberries and made a balsamic vinaigrette. It was AMAZING to say the least!

I love to experiment with making my own dressings. They often taste so much better than store bought dressings. I have discovered my family will eat more salads if there are some delicious dressings around.

Do you have picky eaters? I have found a good salad dressing or sauce to be a good way to encourage or entice those picky eaters to eat more veggies. You may want to try this recipe to see if your kids will enjoy that small summer salad with a berry dessert-like dressing.

The salad in the picture has various salad greens, spinach, radicchio, purple cabbage, carrot, green onion, chevre goat cheese, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, flower mixture of calendula, pansy, snap pea, borage, and roses.
Use whatever salad greens and edible flowers you have on hand and add any additional fixings you enjoy. Then drizzle on some of this delightful dressing and ENJOY!

How to make the Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 cups of fresh ripe strawberries
1/4 cup (2 ounces) each of Balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar (or use another preferred vinegar)
6 ounces favorite oil
(olive and avocado are great choices)
1/4-1/3 cup of honey
1/2 small white onion

Blend or whisk until creamy. Store in the fridge and use within 2 weeks. Stir or shake before using.

Let me know what you think of the recipe below. What is your favorite salad dressing?

How to Make a Borage Flower Essence

Use those abundant flowers to make a flower essence for COURAGE and CONFIDENCE…

By: Candice Brunlinger; Clinical Herbalist, Intuitive Healer, and Health Educator

Is borage a beneficial plant for you? I have found most people benefit from these sweet blue flowers, especially when used energetically. If you are interested in learning more about the medicinal and emotional benefits of borage and how to use it, check out my Borage Monograph.

How to Make Borage Flower Essence

Flower essences are made by soaking flowers in water under the sun and preserving their vibrational healing imprint in that water with brandy. These remedies heal and bring balance to the energy within the body, soothing the emotions and spirit. When our energy is free-flowing and in balance, our body can heal physically and emotionally; therefore, flower essences are a way to integrate the healing of our mind, body & spirit. 

For best results, harvest flowers early in the morning from well-established, happy, vibrant plants with an abundance of blooming flowers. First, connect to the plant by taking a moment to meditate with it. Clear your thoughts and sit next to the plant. Pick 1-2 flowers and eat them slowly, allowing the flowers to melt and dissolve in the mouth. Notice the taste, texture, and feeling you experience while eating the plant. Then, take a good look at the plant. Notice the details and characteristics of how the plant grows. The fine hairs, the shape of the leaves, the contrast in colors, the dew gathered on the plant, and whatever else catches your attention.

Take some slow and deep breaths, closing your eyes if you like. Place your hands on the ground next to the plant to connect to its roots and the earth it is growing from. Clear your thoughts and listen for any messages from the plants. What thoughts and feelings are coming to you? Are you experiencing any memories or visualizations? Allow yourself to relax and trust the information as it comes. Ask the plant for its permission to harvest and use it as medicine, stating your intentions for the medicine.

After your meditation, give thanks and honor to the plant for any information you receive. You may choose to offer the plant some herbs, a rock, crystal, or a piece of your hair as an offering. Then very carefully and mindfully pick the flowers, trying not to break their petals. Place the flowers in a bowl filled with spring or filtered water so the flowers are floating on top and spread out evenly, filling the space or diameter of the bowl.  Place the bowl in a safe place under the sun for 4-6 hours. After the peak of the afternoon, the flowers will likely be wilted. Carefully remove them, ideally using a clean borage leaf to scoop them out. Strain any remaining particulates if needed, measure the volume of water and add an equal quantity of brandy to preserve the preparation.

Bottle and take 1-3 drops under the tongue or topically on the skin for vibrational healing, cooling any emotional or physical heat, inflammation, irritation, anger, or depletion and replacing it with lifted spirits, confidence, and courage. I especially enjoy rubbing it on the sternum, wrist points, third eye, temples, or on the soles of the feet.

May the courage of borage be carried in your heart!

 Learn more about Borage

Don’t forget to comment below. Ask questions and share your flower essence experiences with Borage. What flower essences have you made before?

About the Author:

Candice Brunlinger is a Clinical Herbalist, Intuitive Healer, & Health Educator with an integrative approach to health using plants, nutrition, self-care, mindfulness, Juice Plus+, and energy healing including Tai Chi, Qigong, and EFT. Her consultations, classes, workshops, and writings focus on ways of integrating these healing modalities into our daily lives and routine practically and conveniently so being healthy becomes ‘a way of living’.

Nourish your body, mind, and spirit with nutrition, mindfulness, self-care, and plants!

Visit Herbal Living and Healing for classes, workshops, contact info, recipes, articles, Juice Plus+, and more.

SUBSCRIBE, FOLLOW, and LIKE Candice’s health tips, recipes, and inspirations on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube @herballivingandhealing

Playing with plants…

Do you have picky eaters in your home?

By: Candice Brunlinger; Health & Mindfulness Coach, Herbalist, Fermentationist

One of the things I live for is the creative fun I have in the kitchen, especially with my son. We love exploring various ways to enhance the phyto-nutrients and flavor of our meals with whole foods, fruits, vegetables, edible flowers, nourishing weeds, spices, herbs, and ferments.

I am not into diet fads and believe every individual is different but we all need a rainbow of colors, more diversity of plant based whole foods, especially vegetables and edible greens. This can be intimidating when we are very used to the American Standard Diet and its conveniences.

It does not have to be though.

Practicing this with children can be frustrating and overwhelming at times. There are solutions and easy ways you can begin supporting your family by gradually restoring your family’s microbiome and digestion to support overall metabolism. Then our children begin craving healthy whole foods and are more receptive to trying new things.

One of the things I address with my clients and in my courses is metabolic reprogramming. How we can reprogram our metabolism using nutrition, whole foods, herbs, emotional reprogramming, and a healthy mindset.

Are you interested in learning more?
Check out this 2-part video presentation:

Watch the Replay of Part 1: “How to get Picky Eaters to Eat more Fruits and Vegetables”

Part 2: Meal Planning for Busy Families

Part 2 will be offered live on Wednesday July 15 at 6:00 PM (PST).

Connect with me if you are interested in attending the live event.

Would you benefit from more one-on-one support? Schedule your health consultation to address how you can support your nutrition, create healthier meals, and get inspired in the kitchen.

Are you interested in bridging the gap in your nutrition using Juice Plus+? How about easily growing your own food with the Tower Garden? You can schedule your FREE 15 minute session to explore your options and get started today.

Welcome to Herbal Living and Healing

Hi! I am Candice and I would like to take a moment to connect with you and express my gratitude for you and our healing journeys!!

We are all human and energy beings living in a crazy world full of joy, happiness and peace among a world with stress, chaos, pain, grief, worry and anger.

How do we navigate through all the overwhelm and stress? The toxic feelings and experiences? How do we be healthy in a world that is full of toxins affecting the health of not only us, but all living creatures and the entire planet? How can we support the health of our families and children?

There is no easy answer to those questions but there are simple things we can do to make a shift in our health. That is what I have learned in my 15-20 year long journey of seeking the answers to those questions.

My purpose is to share what I have learned from my ongoing education and training along with my own practical experiences, from my students and clients, and what I have learned from following the research and experts in the fields of plant medicine, nutrition, microbiology, brain-heart-gut healing, energy healing, energy psychology, meditation, mindfulness and more.

I have learned that using only one way to heal is just like trying to heal one part of the self. We may see a little change but we are often not addressing the whole picture. We need to address the body, mind, emotions and spirit for healing. We need to address so much more than what can be cured with a single pill, herb, supplement, or exercise.

Take a step back. Take a breath.

Remember when we assemble a puzzle, the fun is in the process, the journey. Then we achieve the sense of satisfaction and gratification of completing the puzzle. Seeing the whole picture. The same with our healing journey. If you look at each self-care practice along with every moment of mindfulness, positive thought, and healthy choice as a puzzle piece, you will enjoy the journey and have the up-most gratitude for the experience when you begin to see your “healthful” picture forming.

That is the work I do. I enjoy inspiring others to “BE empowered and live to BE well!” More than feeling well, we want to be well, full of optimal health and vitality!! I am also a mom of one amazing son and enjoy integrating healing and mindfulness with my family and in my home.

I have been on a journey of supporting my body from Lyme disease in my mid-20’s and Hashimotos in my early 30’s. I have profoundly transformed my life from a life of chronic pain, high sensitivity, high anxiety, poor digestion and elimination, hormone imbalance, weakness, slow healing injuries, frequent illness, severe brain fog and feeling completely disconnected from my body, mind, spirit and sense of purpose and self.

I am still on my journey. I still have moments of overdoing it and having to listen to my body and take it easy. I am not perfect or claiming I have all the answers but I am a student for life with a open mindset, ready to explore this journey more and ready to support you on your healing journey. If I can feel better than I can ever remember feeling and be full of joy, happiness, vitality and purpose, I know you can too.

Subscribe and follow me. Learn various tips and puzzle pieces for your healing journey. Become a client, attend any of my Herbal, Tai Chi, Qigong, Energy Healing and Stress Management classes and workshops (in Arcata/Eureka, California) and follow my YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram @Herbal Living and Healing.

Are you interested in Juice Plus+, the next best thing to whole fruits and vegetables? Click to learn more about the wonderful way I support my family, students, and clients nutrition with the diversity we need to support all aspects of our health. Send me a message when you have questions and want to sign up. I would love the opportunity to support you and help you explore your options.

I will be continuing to post the various articles, herbal monographs, herbal recipes, culinary recipes, self-care tips, mindfulness practices, audios, videos and more. Keep an eye out for more info and resources and my upcoming online courses and workshops.

I look forward to connecting and healing with you some more!!

Be empowered and live to be well! Many Blessings!

~ Candice Brunlinger ~
Holistic Health Coach, Certified Herbalist, Fermentationist and Tai Chi Instructor
Herbal Living and Healing, Humboldt Tai Chi, Juice Plus+