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Candied Angelica – A Recipe and Introduction

Angelica Archangelica flowering -Apothecary's Garden, May 2013

Angelica Archangelica.

Angelica Archangelica flowering -Apothecary's Garden, May 2013
Angelica Archangelica flowering -Apothecary’s Garden, May 2013

There was no waffling or indecision when whoever it was, came up with the name for this stately and aromatic plant, Angelica Archangelica. Ruled by the Sun, Angelica is a fragrant, medicinal and culinary delight in all its parts.

  • Medicinally it is a specific for all things digestion related, yet also excellent  for respiratory complaints such as Bronchitis, cold, cough and flu. Angelica is considered carminative, stimulating, a diaphoretic, stomachic, tonic, and expectorant. It is traditionally used to heal and tone the urinary tract and is a comfort in the winter when one has a chill. Taken hot as a tea it helps produce a sweat and break a fever.

Like the Sun, its energy and effects are warming, uplifting, stimulating and energizing.

  •  A tincture made from the root of Angelica makes an excellent natural perfume musk, a warm and spicy base note if one does not want to use animal derived musks
  • From a culinary point of view, the seeds when dried, keep well, and are incorporated in recipes for liqueurs, cakes, cookies and confections. Angelica has been widely used historically for liquors and beverages. Chartreuse and Vermouth are among some of the traditional liqueurs distilled with Angelica, while most digestives and “Bitters” include Angelica in their ingredients. Angelica leaves have been an additive to beers with, and instead of hops. Stalks, seeds and root, when thinly sliced can all be candied, used medicinally or for flavouring.

    All parts of the Angelica plant are healing, warming and balancing to the gastrointestinal tract, stimulating appetite and digestion, settling a stomach after eating and eliminating flatulence.

   If anyone is familiar with the fragrance of Angelica , they will know immediately what a culinary delight it would be if candied.Though it’s said only the tender Spring stalks,(available till mid-May),  are recommended for candying, I plan to test this theory shortly in the month of June. I will post my findings when I have finished the process.
Until then I will leave you with a wonderful recipe for candied Angelica stalks which I adapted slightly and recently used with great results. Candied Angelica is excellent before and after a meal, when one is feeling bloated or “gassy”, it can be incorporated in candies, cakes and ice cream, or used to add flavour to shakes and other treats. In short, candied Angelica stalks are really yummy and make a lovely treat at any time of the day or night.

The syrup of Angelica, used for the candying process should not be wasted. It can be thinned a bit for use as a pancake or ice  cream syrup, or used to “feed” ones  Spring Dandelion Wine if it is still hungry for sugar to turn into alcohol, or if it requires a little extra sweetness and flavour before bottling. (Be sure to read up on the proper way to add sugar to wine when one does not want further fermentation but only a higher sugar content). I am sure creative minds can find many useful applications for this fragrant sweet liquid.

Young Angelica stalks waiting in water for Candying
Young Angelica stalks waiting in water for Candying

One of the secrets to making nice-looking candied Angelica stalks, is to use a little baking soda in the blanching process. This keeps the color a vivid green. Boiling the sugar syrup till it reaches 140-145 degrees Hi Joanna. Yes you are right. I corrected this in a later version, but not in this post.
The sugar water will heat above the boiling point of water once the water evaporates from it. So; When you blanche the stalks, it is 100 Celcius.
When you “cook” them the first time,,before the second and final cooking, assures a translucence and high sugar, (low water), content in the stems. If using this method for candying, I find it is usually easiest to split the stalks lengthwise in half. Though keeping the tubes whole and round does look nice, it is difficult to find a balance between keeping their shape and bringing them to the desired tenderness without having them collapse on themselves. I opted for tenderness.  I will leave it to you to decide whether to keep them as whole tubes or flat strips. Also, I have found that cutting them to 4 inch lengths, works better for me than 6 to 8 inch lengths as some of the old and traditional recipes call for.
Candied Angelica will keep for at least a couple of years if properly stored in a sealed dry container preferably in a dark cool place, though rarely will it last that long before the last sweet crumbs are gone..

I think that is it for insights and comments, I have tried a few recipes over the years, this is my favourite for this traditional and delightful treat. Enjoy! And please feel free to let me know how your Candied  Angelica stalks turn out or if you have any questions along the way.

Dan Riegler

 A Recipe for Candied Angelica Stalks

(Yields about 400 Grams of candied Angelica stalks).

  • Harvest enough young green Angelica stalks to give you 500 grams, (approximately a pound) or so when cleaned. If you harvest the thicker, large stalks, they will work well and are firm enough to keep their shape. The narrower tubes, all the way up to the leaves, will be firm enough to use and will work well. So stay away from the more delicate offshoots of the plant, or plants that are very young. Second year plants or older should be used. You will need;
  • 2 cups sugar,about 500 grams.
  • 2 cups water about 1/2 liter.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda.
  • Enough water to just cover stalks for blanching.
  • Sugar, granulated, or fine confectioners sugar for coating.
  • An airtight container.


  • Cut Angelica stalks into 4 inch sections. You can use many of the narrower diameter “tubes” closer to the leaves.
  • Bring enough water to just cover your cut stalks, to a boil.
  • Add baking Soda
  • Add your cut stalks and boil for 5 minutes or so, or until they are noticeably tender when pricked with a fork.
  • Remove from boiling water, plunge into cold water or cold running water till cool.
  • Use a knife to strip away or peel the stalks from the fibers that run their length. Much like Celery. See photo.
    Angelica for candying-Stripped of leaves, cut into 3"-4" sections
    Angelica for candying-Stripped of leaves, cut into 3″-4″ sections

    Angelica-  Cut, Blanched, peeled, for candying -2013
    Angelica- Cut, Blanched, peeled, for candying -2013
  • For each 500 grams of uncooked Angelica stalks take 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water, bring sugar and water to a boil.
  • Boil peeled Angelica stalks in sugar syrup for 5 minutes, (only). When cooled remove and cover the stalks with the syrup in a glass container or pan, cover and let stand for 1-2 days.
  • Separate the syrup, boil it till it reaches 125 degrees Celcius.
  • Let cool and pour syrup over stalks in the glass vessel or pan again and let stand again covered for 1-2 days.
  • Separate and pour syrup into a pot. Bring to boil, and boil it until the temperature of the syrup reaches 140- 145 degrees Celcius.
  • Add stalks and boil for 5 minutes or so until they are translucent, (partially see through).
  • Use tongs and remove stalks from syrup. Let them drip dry on a rack.
  • Pour granulated or confectioners sugaronto a plate. Coat them with sugar. press each side in firmly if you sliced them into flat strips.

    Candied Angelica- Boiling in syrup @145 till Translucent
    Candied Angelica- Boiling in syrup @145 Celcius-till Translucent
  • Put them on a rack and dry them in the oven at a very low temperature. (90 Celcius).
  • After 1/2 hour to 2 hours when they are not sticky, but before they get brittle, pull the rack out of the oven, let them come to room temperature and pack them loosely in a sealed jar. Note, make sure you let them cool to room temperature first, otherwise they will release moisture into the jar which will condense and may spoil them after a few weeks.
  • Store and enjoy.
Candied Angelica translucent & sugar coated to oven for drying at low temperature
Candied Angelica translucent,(an experiment), & sugar coated to oven for drying at low temperature
  • Candied Angelica & Dandelion Wine 2013
    Candied Angelica & Dandelion Wine 2013. Only part of the yield of candied stalks. Leftover flavoured sugar syrup from Angelica feeds the Wine in primary fermentation.
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Ladybugs and Daffodils

IMG_4048 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 Well, we apparently are still in the season of toothaches and heartaches.   Winter.
  Myrrh and the moon took care of the first.
Frankincense and the Sun will, I hope do well for the second. 
    So on that note…..…….
  According to my friend’s emails, spring is already in full swing in England.  I assume, because they are graced by warm Gulf waters. We, in Ontario, however, have no such buffer and will wait for weeks yet till ice, snow and permafrost  move on and allow us to engage the soil productively.  You can’t sow seeds in soil that is as hard and cold as ice.
       This post is for us poor ice-bound farmers and gardeners, still waiting and longing for  warmer fertile days, for Ladybugs and Daffodils.  On the bright side, it gives us more time to plan, be creative, prepare ourselves, to anticipate,,,and, I wonder if we enjoy our summer more than those spoiled Brits with their extra month of summer and their balmy winter. Ha!    Either way, best to enjoy and make the most of what we have .  This post is for those who wait with me, living physically close to  “The Apothecary’s Garden” at the Teaching gardens at Churchill Park. Those who can plan, dream and break soil with me in Westdale when it is finally released to us again.
Butterfly Bush and Viceroy Butterfly, Hamilton 2010
Butterfly Bush and Viceroy Butterfly, Hamilton 2010
Hi everyone;
 Another season is about to start. We can all feel it in the air. Though we may yet get a late March or April dump of snow, I am sure I’m not the only one smelling that inspiring aroma of the soil stirring and waking beneath our feet. Not the only one already preparing strategies for this years gardens.
    Between roots, shoots, seeds and cuttings, we will have a bounty of new young plants to share with the community. Spring culling will be one of our first jobs in the garden. As a teaching garden our focus is on maintaining a representative plant or grouping of each specimen showcased in the garden. This means we will be composting or giving away a variety of medicinal, culinary and aromatic plants. Our first choice is to share as many as we can.
  So tell your friends, share a link to this page, spread the word. There is no obligation associated with the plants we are sharing, though we do need volunteers in the garden for  spring and fall “cleanups”, and for ongoing summer watering and care.
If anyone can contribute in some way to the garden this season, we would welcome the support.
If not, no worries, just enjoy the plants. This is after all a community garden.
 We will post the dates of the culling and plant “giveaway”, ( and call for volunteers), on this Facebook page once we get our calendar organized.

Though the Apothecary’s Garden’s focus is on medicinal, culinary and aromatic plants, there is another beautiful old garden on the grounds that we have not had the time or manpower to reclaim.

"Plant Lovers Garden" Churchill Park 2010
“Plant Lovers Garden” Churchill Park 2010
   “The Plant Lovers Garden”, is a  lovely walled-in courtyard that houses a variety of growing environments. Originally built and maintained by the RBG auxiliary, It featured a spectacular collection of exotic and unusual specimens nestled among its rock gardens, stone paths and water features. After years of neglect, overgrowth and theft, it is a sad sight. Each season we manage to keep most of the weeds from choking out what is left of the collection and water it when needed, but it is still in a steady decline and must get a bottom to top renovation before it is too late.
Papaver Somniferum Apothecary's Garden
Papaver Somniferum Apothecary’s Garden
   In conversations with the city 3 years ago, it was suggested that after the Apothecary’s Garden was renovated, the city would work with the community to re-establish the Plant Lovers Garden as well.
If we can get the volunteer manpower and pitch a proposal to the city, it is likely they will support renovating the Plant Lovers Garden and supply whatever materials we need. Perhaps even contribute funds. They have been extremely responsive and supportive of all our efforts till now.
 If anyone is interested, has some ideas, time or resources to share, or would like to take part in re-establishing this beautiful courtyard garden, please let me know, we can use all the help we can get.
If we can get enough volunteers organized for this project, we can approach the city with a plan, and save this unique landmark and peaceful retreat.
    This is a general list of plants we will have available to share with the community in the spring.  We don’t know how many plants we will have, so it will be on a first come first serve basis. We do not have pots or containers at this point so “BYOP” and if you have extra we could probably put a small number to use.

  We also have a wish list of plants we hope to acquire for the garden, it is by no means complete and input from the community is welcome. So if there are any plants you would like to see in our Apothecary’s Garden, or if you have access to one of the plants on our wish list, please leave me a note.

Monarch & Tiger Lily Hamilton Ontario
Monarch & Tiger Lily Hamilton Ontario
Thanks and hope to see you in the Garden this year
Dan Riegler

Spring 2013 Plant sharing list 

Lemon balm

Skullcap, (Lateriflora)
Baikal skullcap, (Chinese)
Anise hyssop


Sweet flag
Blue flag
Hoary Mountain mint
Chocolate Mint


Perennial flax

St. John’s wort

Russian tarragon
Clary Sage

Wood Betony
Prairie sage

Ladies mantle



Plant wish list for Apothecary’s Garden Churchill Park

Arnica Montana
black cohosh
Blue cohosh
Cost Mary

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 “As above, So below”

Flyer Apothecary's Garden 2012

Astrodynamics is a modern term coined for a method of working with plants and Astrology to refine the energetic and physical qualities of herbs and their products. It is a branch of Herbal Alchemy which seeks to sublimate and potentate plant qualities  by working in harmony with Nature . Its goal is to bring plant life to its fullest potential, or in other words to  transmute what is mundane to a higher form of itself. This is reflected in the well-known pursuit of mineral Alchemy,  transmuting  Lead to Gold.

According to Astrodynamics, each plants physical, energetic and therapeutic properties resemble and resonate with different astrological and Planetary bodies. Each plant is influenced by, or “Ruled by” a planet and/or Sign of the Zodiac and there is a resonance, a harmony and an affinity between them. These energies are at their peak in plant life when their ruling sign or planet is prominent or well aspected in the sky. When their ruling planets or signs are at an ebb or in conflict with other heavenly bodies, the corresponding qualities in their subjective herbs will also  be at an ebb. There are different influences that are considered in this approach to herbalism.

The symbols used in Western astrology to repre...
The symbols used in Western astrology to represent the astrological signs (Zodiac) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

-The natal chart which shows the Astrological positions, relationships and influences at each given moment.

-The position of the Moon, whether waxing or waning and in which sign of the Zodiac it is passing through.

-The day of the week, each is ruled by a different planet, as is each hour of the day.

-Care is also given to one’s intent and mindfulness in every step of the process. One cannot separate oneself from the equation or not influence the end product. Each species is accorded the respect and care due to a unique individual, not a commodity. Thus Astrodynamics is about the dynamics of relationships, the interconnectedness and interdependence of all things.

-My experience has shown, that growing, harvesting and processing plants, conscientiously while working with their rulerships and Astrological affinities in this manner, yields products of superior medicinal quality, colour, fragrance and extended shelf life.

The second place we utilize this knowledge is when the medicine is made. This is directed by the organ or area of the body the dis-ease is affecting. Each organ is “Governed” by its own astrological and planetary signs.

The body and organs are supported with herbs that have an affinity with them.   The  medicine is produced at a time these energies are at their peak. While the dis-ease is addressed with herbs that are astrologically opposite in their nature and energy.AG Flyer Inside 2013

These are some basic principles of Astrodynamics,Herbal Alchemy and Medicinal Astrology, in a nutshell.