Winter is in full swing and keeping us warm with her special winter food recipes inspired by organic ingredients from mountains is passionate greenie and culinary expert Ines Leonarduzzi who has become a wonderful contributor to the UrbanMeisters community with her invaluable tips on seasonal foods and sumptuous recipes taking fresh seasonal ingredients! In the beginning of the winter season we gave you a lavish Winter Foods Special by Ines Leonarduzzi and today we bring to you some more of her secret recipes inspired by her recent trips to the mountains. She tells us about three powerful mountain growing ingredients that make delicious and healthy herbal infusions to keep us going strong this winter. So get inspired and whip up a winter feast this week end! Over to Ines.

Magic recipes with ingredients from mountains

Last weekend, I was with some friends in the French Alps, in Samoëns, in a secluded and eco-friendly chalet, where I met Anne, a lovely 32 years-old french ex-urbanite passionnate by hiking and phytotherapy- the use of plants and plant extracts for therapeutic purposes. As two healthy food and botanic lovers, we shared a lot of tips…or rather she shared her secret tips with me 😉
Mountains are great for recuperating and therapeutic. Their rejuvenating and fresh air quality, reinforcing your metabolism (indeed, the lack of oxygen in high altitudes forces your body to increase the quantity of red blood cells) and, bright sun shine giving us full dose of Vitamin D. Then there are the rich beautiful forests.
Actually, forests in mountains are like a big organic food shop. You have plenty of wholesome plants and flowers. The only thing is knowing and recognising them.
As a good Parisian foody girl, I came back with some fabulous recipes from ingredients found in mountains. Of course my new friend Anne was most helpful in sharing her knowledge with me.
Here are 3 of Anne superb secrets to make revitalising, organic and local herbal infusions. You can be sure I shall be adding these healthy and sumptuous drinks to my brunch!

Mountain Ingredient 1: Wild Garlic  – The Strong

Called in French ‘ail des ours ‘ (literally,  ‘bear’s garlic’) it has traditionally been known for its medicinal value. It has the same properties as common garlic, but more concentrated : purifying, antibacterial – for health and even skin beauty – helps blood circulation and breathing issues. It is full of Vitamin C and allicine, a powerful natural antibiotic. 
Wild Garlic Infusion Recipe : Put one hand of wild garlic leaves in 1 liter of hot water.
Advice : add some slides of fresh ginger which is a great source of manganese.

Mountain Ingredient 2: Meadowsweet – The Beauty

In French, we call it ‘Reine des près’ (literally, Queen of Meadows). Meadowsweet is know for its detox powers – you often find this ingredient in diet medicines. So it is a very natural beauty ally, specially for slimming and fighting cellulite. Meadowsweet, is also the mother of all Aspirins- a great pain killer (headaches, toothaches, etc). This plant is full of minerals like calcium, iron and Vitamin C as well, which make it a power packed winter food.
Meadowsweet Infusion Recipe: Put one hand of meadosweet leaves in 1 liter of hot water
Advice : If you can, add one spoon of carrot honey (pure madness). This is full of betacarotene and fibers which makes of it a powerful natural antioxidant. With meadowsweet you’ll be surprised to find a light and delicious vanilla taste in your herbal infusion.

Mountain Ingredient 3: Blackberry Bush- The Healthy

Known in French as ‘ronce’ and we French people love this one. Blackberry bush actually embellishes your skin and your hair. Plus, it is a powerful antiviral and antibacterial. In winter, it helps you to remain healthy and is soothing for your sore throat thanks to its astringent and inti-infammatory properties. For sore throat and mouth ulcer, you can use the herbal tea as a gargling solutions. Blackberry bush contains tannins of Vitamin C- again, great for winter.
Blackberry Bush Infusion Recipe: Put one hand of blackberry bush leaves in 1 liter of hot water
Advice : If you can, add one spoon of onion honey (so delicious). This is a real natural antibiotic excellent against cough and sore throat.
You can find these plants everywhere in forests and mountains. If you can, use fresh leaves to make your herbal infusions but the good news is you dry them and store for prolonged use.
Anne also gave me fabulous secret weapon to identify the right plants- a plant identifier app PLANT NET.  It enables you to scan any flower, plant, flora and identifies the species. This app was indeed a fabulous discovery!
It’s hard to find pure organic leaves in the market, and if you’re not sure what you’ve found is fully organic then use this water which rids fruits and vegetables of pesticides without altering their nutritious food properties. Another great discovery!
P.S. If you are wondering where else can you find these quanit herbs, roots and plants, try a farmers’ market! We bring you a guide on some of the popular farmers’ markets, farmshops and online organic hotspots in Paris & London right here! Be it edible flowers, meat, seafood, dairy, cheese, fruits or vegetables, find it all here.
Hope you UrbanMeisters liked the mountain magic herbal infusions by Ines! Do try them at home and tell us what you think! If you have some winter food special recipes that help fight pollution and keep one healthy then do write to us on

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