Learn to make Finnish Glögi for Christmas

Christmas is coming very soon !!! Have you have any new idea about hot drink for winter time? You can try to make Glögi, the traditional Finnish warm drink in winter and Christmas. This traditional drink is tasty and healthy and little bit same style with mulled wine. I usually buy a ready-made Glögi but this winter I made it for myself. I thought it is difficult to make Glögi but it is very easy to make. Here is how I make Glögi for this Christmas.

Glögi recipe

The traditional recipe for Finnish Glögi includes 5 main ingredients:
–        Dried orange peels
–        Cloves
–        Cinnamon
–        Dried ginger

–        Black currant juices

You can make Glögi with these main ingredients. But I will make Glögi with little more complicated recipe for this year. The ingredients I use are popular and you can find them in everywhere. My ingredients include:

–        1 orange, 1 lemon
–        4 or 5 slice of fresh ginger
–        8 cloves
–        2 sticks of cinnamon
–        4 cardamom seeds (optional)
–        1,5 l of black currant juice ( you can use red grape juice too)
–        2 anise (optional)
–        2 or 3 spoon of brown sugar (optional)

Before making Glögi you can spend some minute to do something:
–        Washed the orange and lemon then peel thin slices of the zest.
–        Squeeze the orange and lemon to use later
–        Press ginger if you want stronger ginger taste
–        Crush or press cardamom seeds

Cook slowly with low heat until the drink is steaming hot about 90oC. Do not let the drink get even close to boiling. Normally people can put all ingredients at the one time to make drink but I put ingredients steps by steps to have little bit complicated taste Glögi.

Step 1: Put cloves, cinnamon, cardamom seed with black currant juice to cook first. At this stage you can put 1 tsp. of dried raisins to make sweet taste to Glögi.

Step 2: After 9 minutes I put fresh ginger into the saucepan.

Step 3: Then put anise and fresh oranges and lemon zest into the bowl at 12 minutes. Depend on your taste, if you like stronger taste of anise you can put it before 12 minutes.

Step 4: At the 14 minutes I put oranges and lemon juices into the bowl. I put orange and lemon juice almost in the end to keep the vitamin and mineral in the juice. As after long time cooking the juice will loss vitamin and mineral so I have to put it in almost in the end.

Step 5: Stop cooking When the bowl little boiling at the 15 minutes. Pour the drink through a sieve and serve with raisins and blanched almonds. You can add brown sugar if you want sweet taste, but normally in black currant juice include sugar already so I don’t put it into my drink. My Glögi now smell good with thick and complicated taste.

Glögi with alcohol recipe

If you want to make Glögi with alcohol you can use the same ingredient but with alcohol:
–        1 orange, 1 lemon
–        4 or 5 slice of fresh ginger
–        8 cloves
–        2 sticks of cinnamon
–        4 cardamom seeds
–        1 l of black currant juice (you can use red grape juice too)
–        2 anise
–        0,5 l of red wine

At the beginning you can do alcohol Glögi in the same way as the recipes above. But in the step 5 before stop cooking you can pour red wine into Glögi. After 1 or 2 minutes you can stop cooking. The wine flavor maybe affected by boiling as Alcohol start to evaporate for less than 80oC.

Alcohol Glögi is meant to be enjoyed hot but not boiling hot. If you want to enjoy more alcohol you can reduce the amount of black currant juice and adding more wine. But make sure that the red wine be warm for a short time. Some people can add some vodka before serving, but maybe it is too strong for me.

  • One thing you should notice when making Glögi is do not use kettle, aluminum or copper saucepans. I only use stainless steel saucepan to make Glögi as aluminum and copper is not good to the health
  • You also should not cook Glögi with aluminum pan as the acidity of the drink can be removed in heating aluminum.
  • If you cook Glögi by kettle it might be dangerous as acidic drink can corrode copper kettle. The kettle copper resistors may be covered by a steel plate. The acidity resistance can dissolve copper into Glögi. So the kettle must not be used for purposes other than boiling water. This is also a reason for not using copper saucepans for Glögi. Copper dissolution of the drink can cause copper poisoning. You might have symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and malaise. The symptoms can be extremely harmful to the elderly.

This is how I make Glögi for this Christmas and winter. This recipe is easy to make within 15 minutes. Pay little more effort you will have very tasty and healthy drink for this Christmas and winter holidays. I wish your Christmas be filled with special moment, warmth, peace and happiness.

Happy holidays and seasons greeting! Hyvää Joulua!!! Chúc Mng Giáng Sinh

5 Health Benefits of Figs

Figs are a sweet fruit and good to your health. In the ancient time, the Greek has been well aware of the medicinal qualities of figs. Today we know that figs are good  to your bones, healthy heart, beneficial to mental ability booster, and be used as diuretic. This fruit is rich in fiber, vitamin and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, calcium and manganese.  You can use both fresh and dried figs in cooking, making desert or making hot figs drink withherbs

Tips for buying fresh figs

First you should always buy figs ripe because they do not ripe fast enough after harvest. Figs can be softened at room temperature, but they will not sweeten. The good ripe figs are plump, tender, and heavy for their size, and smell like honey at the stem. If the figs are stickiness it means they are over ripeness.

Ripe figs are perishable and easily bruised. You can keep figs in the lower compartment of the fridge for up to 10-12 days. If the figs are too ripe and leave them outside the fridge, they will go sour fast.

Nutrient of fresh and dried figs

Figs are not like other fruits, the amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals in fresh and dried figs are big different. Here are the main nutrients you can have when eating fresh and dried figs.

100 g dried figs provide
      248 Calories
      1 g of Total fat 1% DV
      10 g Dietary fiber (39%)
      48 g Sugar
100g Dried figs
100g Fresh fig
Vitamin A
10.0 IU (0%)
142 IU (3%)
Vitamin K
15.6 mcg (19%)
4.7 mcg (6%)
Vitamin E
0.4 mg (2%)
0.1 mg (0%)
680 mg (19%)
232 mg (7%)
100 g of fresh figs
      74 Calories
      0 g of Total fat
      2.9 g of Dietary fiber (12%)
      16.3 g Sugar
68 mg (17%)
17 mg (4%)
162 mg (16%)
35.0 mg (4%)
0.5 mg (26%)
0.1 mg (6%)
0.3 mg (14%)
0.1 mg (4%)
2 mg (11%)
0.4 mg (2%)

5 main health benefits of figs fruit

1. Figs fruit for healthy heart 

Figs fruit is good to your heart as it contain a high amount of potassium. Potassium is crucial mineral to heart function as our heart use potassium in every heartbeat. This mineral also helps to squeeze blood through your body and normalizes heartbeat. A high potassium diet might reduce the incidence of heart arrhythmia and heart attack.

Some studies have linked low levels of potassium in the diet with high blood pressure. Other studies show that the diet with rich potassium can reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. 

2. Reduce Hypkalemia symptoms (low potassium)

Figs helps us to reduce a Hypkalemia symptoms as figs contain high amount of potassium and magnesium. A long with sodium, chloride, calcium and magnesium, potassium is electrolyte. These substances conduct electricity in the body. The balance of potassium in the body depends on the amount of sodium and magnesium in the blood. Too much sodium in diets may increase the need for potassium. When the body loses too much potassium in urine can cause hypkalemia (low potassium). This symptom includes weakness, lack of energy, muscle cramps, stomach disturbances, an irregular heartbeat. We can use figs to reduce the hypkalemia symptoms with sources of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

3.  Mental ability booster

Figs have the rich sources of minerals needed for proper function of all cells, organs and boost mental ability. Especially, potassium in figs plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction. It helps your muscles to move, your nerves to work, and your kidneys to filter blood. The high amount of potassium in figs fruit also can boost the immune system. Potassium keeps the skin healthy and sends oxygen to the brain. Therefore, figs can help to reduce depression, confusion, hallucination, psychosis, and anxiety.

4. Natural laxative and diuretic

Figs can nourish and tone our intestines and act as natural laxative with their high fiber content. Prebiotics in figs support good bacteria in the gut and improve digestive wellness. The high amount of potassium in figs also decreases the risks of kidney stones and stroke. This mineral helps kidneys to remove waste, maintain and balance water levels in the body. Besides, potassium also restores alkaline salts to the bloodstream by neutralizing acids.

5. Bone healthy fruit

The rich sources of vitamin K, calcium and Choline in figs can help to strengthen and enhance your bone. Both fresh and dried figs are rich in vitamin K. Our body uses vitamin K to manipulate binding of calcium in bone and other tissues. The vitamin K supports the proteins and allows them to bind calcium ions. When we have low levels of vitamin K, our bones can be weaken, we might have the calcification of arteries and other soft tissues. 

The high potassium in figs can strengthen the bones, the muscles and faster healing of injuries. Studies show a positive link between a diet rich in potassium and bone health, especially in elderly women. Researchers suggested that consumption of foods rich in potassium may help to prevent osteoporosis. Potassium can keep the calcium in bones and lessens the risk of osteoporosis. For that reason you can use dried or fresh figs as a osteoporosis natural treatment. But remember the high amount of sugar in dried figs might have some effects. And ask your doctor for advice before adding figs in your regular diet. 

Calcium is especially high in the dried figs. In one hundred gram of dried figs you can have 162 mg of calcium that can gain the bone density. Not like other fruits, the amount of vitamins and minerals in dried figs are higher than fresh on. By stewing dried figs we can get more vitamin and mineral in figs. When you stew 100 gram of dried figs you can get.

Vitamin C 11.4mg (19%)
Vitamin K
17.4 mcg (22%)
761 mg (22%)
Calcium 181mg (18%)
75.1 mg (19%)

Those mindful of dried figs is that they are high in sugar content. One hundred grams of fresh figs contain 16.3g of sugar, while dried figs contain more than 48 g of sugar and 248 calories. 

Here are some general information about 5 health benefits of figs. Figs are good to your health with lots of vitamin and minerals such as calcium, vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium. By adding fresh or dried figs into your diet you can strengthen your heart, bones and boost your mental physical. But if you use dried figs, remember that dried figs contain high amount of sugar too. I do hope you find some interesting and helpful information about figs. Don’t hesitate to let me know your idea and experiences when using figs.   

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