Since ancient times, poets, artists and musicians have sung the beauty and sophistication of the beauty of Russian forests – birches. Birch is a symbol of Russia. But she is able not only to please people with her appearance. This tree annually, in spring, gives the very first forest delicacy – birch sap, which has a pleasant taste and a whole range of vitamins and nutrients.
Collection of birch sap
With the first thaws, you can start collecting forest treats. It continues until the buds of the trees swell. In different regions, the collection period is different. This is due to the climatic features of the area.
On average, about 3 liters of birch sap per day are obtained from one tree, and under certain conditions up to 7 liters. The amount of juice depends on the moisture content of the soil. With good humidity, up to 50 liters per week are collected from one large birch.
It is not recommended to extract juice from young birches, this can lead to their death. Mature trees will give it much more. To extract birch sap, the bark of the tree is cut a little and a plastic or aluminum gutter is inserted into the resulting slot, through which the liquid will drain into the substituted container. More gentle for the tree is the method in which a hole in the bark is made with a screwdriver. Then a plastic tip of the same diameter is inserted into it. After finishing work on the extraction of juice, the damaged places of the birches must be treated with wax or plasticine, and a branch should be inserted into the drilled hole, which will swell over time and fill the void inside. These measures are necessary to protect trees from disease and death.
Secrets of storage and procurement
Fresh birch sap is not stored for a long time. Having brought it from the forest, you need to start harvesting for the future almost immediately. It can be used to make thirst-quenching kvass, a syrup that perfectly complements any dessert or simply preserves a tasty, healthy, and most importantly natural drink. And you can save all the useful elements with the help of shock freezing.
- How to freeze juice
To freeze the drink, it must be poured into dense plastic bags, tightly tied and carefully folded into the freezer. Plastic bottles can also be used, but they take up too much space. The juice preserved in this way will not lose its miraculous properties, and even in the winter months it will be possible to pamper yourself with your favorite healthy drink.
- Recipe for delicious birch sap.
Birch sap for conservation should be fresh, not cloudy. To get rid of trapped particles of bark and debris, it is filtered through several layers of gauze. After that, they start preparing.
For one liter of juice, you will need about two tablespoons of granulated sugar and a little citric acid, approximately 1/5 teaspoon. To give the drink a certain flavor, you can add pieces of lemon, orange, mint or currant sprigs to it. Having added sugar, citric acid and aromatic ingredients to the juice as desired, it is brought to a boil, after which it is quickly rolled into pre-sterilized jars.
- Birch kvass will save in the heat.
To prepare kvass, you only need pure birch sap. Before sourdough, it is filtered and poured into glass bottles, which are placed in a cooler place for fermentation. In just 5 days, a delicious drink will be ready, which will perfectly quench your thirst and refresh you on hot summer days. Such kvass can be used to make okroshka. To give kvass a richer taste, you can add raisins, lemon slices or brown bread to it. After the end of the fermentation process, the bottles with kvass are corked and placed in a cool dark place. The resulting drink can be stored until late autumn.
- Preparation of birch syrup.
Birch syrup is becoming increasingly competitive with maple syrup, which is well-known and beloved by Americans. This sweet delicacy is obtained by evaporation. Birch sap is poured into a large pot or basin, placed on the hob and boiled for a long time. The foam formed during boiling is periodically removed, and a new one is added to the boiling juice. The process continues until the sugar meter shows 65%. The resulting concentrate must be poured into jars and rolled up.
Benefit for health
Birch sap contains a lot of useful trace elements, tannins, organic acids and vitamins necessary for the human body. Due to its healing properties, it has found wide application in cosmetology and traditional medicine. The phytoncides contained in it create antibacterial protection, which makes it a valuable product in the treatment. The drink can help with the following ailments:
- Colds, tonsillitis;
- Headaches, migraines;
- Rheumatism, diseases of the joints;
- Respiratory diseases, cough, tuberculosis;
- Gout, acne, furunculosis;
- Kidney disease and urolithiasis;
- wound healing;
- Hair loss;
This forest drink has a strong diuretic effect, which allows you to safely cleanse the body of toxins and accumulated harmful substances. It also has a calming, tonic effect.
When and how to drink
Fresh juice is more useful than canned, but it is stored in a cold place for no more than two days. To cleanse the body and enrich it with all the beneficial substances contained in the juice, it is better to drink it fresh, 200 ml at least five times a day. It can be used when cooking fruit and berry compotes and jelly, and porridge cooked on it will become even tastier and healthier. Drinking birch sap is recommended before meals.
During colds, they drink it with boiled milk and flour. It is the basis for incredibly useful infusions of mint and rosehip.
Particular attention to this drink should be paid to people with the problem of excess weight, as it is low in calories and can be used in compliance with even the most strict diets. Due to its ability to support the immune system and the low degree of causing allergenic processes, many pediatricians recommend this drink to young children.
Contraindications for use
Like all products, birch sap has some limitations:
- It should not be used by people who are allergic to birch pollen;
- It is contraindicated in patients with ulcers and those who have problems with kidney stones;
- The use of this drink in chronic diseases should be strictly agreed with the doctor.
How to choose a drink in a store?
First of all, you need to pay attention to the color of the juice. It should be colorless, transparent, a slightly yellowish or straw shade is possible. The product should be harvested in the first half of spring, information about this is needed …