Oxalis Cooler

The weather has begun to warm up here in Topanga Canyon. I am a naturalist guide at Malibu Lagoon State Park and it’s really starting to get hot standing in the sun at the beach for long stretches. Consider a new strategy in keeping cool for the upcoming warm season….Oxalis spp. coolers! The Oxalis will be harvestable virtually all year long and is a wonderful thirst quencher, sometimes likened to lemonade, during the hot summer months. The kids (K-12) are absolutely enthralled that I am drinking this plant that we are seeing all over the place.

Every day in the US more than 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away!!! I use my Oxalis cooler in a glass mason jar as a teaching tool for those kids. It’s madness to be paying for water, which has lower water quality standards than that coming from our tap, in expensive earth-damaging plastic bottles. Click here to visit the Container Recycling Institute website. They have a real-time clock running as to how many beverage containers have been thrown away in the US this year alone. Click here to read a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the real cost of water. Click here to visit BIOTA Spring Water. They are the first company here in the US to manufacture a 100% biodegradable water bottle (except for the cap).

In virtually every wild food book, you will see a warning message about not consuming too much Oxalis because of its oxalic acid content. Those suffering from kidney stones, gout or rheumatism definitely need to be aware of over-consumption of this chemical. But we do not receive warning messages every time we purchase a bunch of parsley, chives, or rhubarb….and those foodstuff also contain oxalic acid. So, what seems to be a resounding theme in life…everything in moderation. Don’t let fear keep you from an amazing food source. Listen to your own body and see how your own body does with this plant. No one I have ever known has had a problem with it.

Oxalis Cooler
1 quart water
1/2 cup Oxalis leaf/stem/flowers/seedpods
1 T agave nectar or honey
dash of salt

Mix all ingredients in a blender. If possible, let sit overnight in refrigerator and enjoy!

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