Archive for April, 2012
Posted by|30 April 2012
Mother’s Day offers a wonderful opportunity to celebrate people who share motherly love with us. Whether she’s a friend, aunt, grandma, sister, or the woman who gave you life, these recipes will surely express your loving gratitude. And what better way to celebrate “Mom” than with the gift of pure relaxation? These herbal formulas will leave her feeling nourished, grounded, peaceful, and ready for the daily challenges and triumphs of motherhood.
. . . . . .
Mom’s Relaxing Room Mist
This easy to make aromatherapeutic blend of pure essential oils will refresh any space with calming fragrance. Spray liberally in the air, on mattresses, pillows, or on bed linens before retiring for the night. The gentle perfume will help inspire relaxation and peaceful sleep after a busy day being Mom.
Pour all ingredients into a 16oz spray bottle, shake well to distribute the oils, and spray as needed.
Mom’s Bliss Tea
This tea is perfect for frazzled nerves or any mom in need of a mood boost. The skullcap and oat tops are classic nervine tonics that help support the nervous system during times of stress. Raspberry leaf is considered an important tonic herb for women’s health that’s a delicious source of nutrients like iron, manganese, and niacin. The tasty addition of roses, vanilla, and cinnamon offer floral spiciness and inspire feelings of wellbeing. This tea can be sipped daily to maximize the pleasant effects.
Mix all ingredients together until the herbs are evenly distributed and place in a lidded glass container. Store in a cabinet away from heat, moisture, and light. To make a cup of Mom’s Bliss Tea, pour 1 cup of just boiling water over 1 tablespoon of the herb mixture. Allow to steep for 5 to 10 minutes, strain, and enjoy.
Mom’s “Me Time” Bath Salts
Who wouldn’t love to finish the day with a warm herbal bath? This luxury is the only opportunity most moms have for alone time. Even if she soaks for just a few minutes, these bath salts will leave her feeling relaxed and rejuvenated – both body and spirit.
- 1 cup Salt (Epsom, Sea Salt, Dead Sea Salt, or a mixture)
- 1/4 cup Baking Soda
- 10 drops organic Lavender essential oil
- 5 drops organic Geranium essential oil
- 5 drops organic Sweet Orange essential oil
- ½ cup organic Calendula, Rose, or Lavender flowers
Mix salt and baking soda together in a large bowl. Add essential oils and flowers, then blend well. Package in a lidded jar along with a cotton muslin bag. To use, simply add ¼ cup to a ½ cup bath salts to the muslin bag, drape over the faucet, and allow hot water to run through the bag as the tub fills. Toss the bag in the tub once filled with water and soak your stress away.
This recipe is based on Rosemary Gladstar’s famous Magic Zoom Balls and has been modified to offer adaptogen magic, rather than zooooom magic. Although, these surely provide a burst of energy too, the eleuthero, ashwaganda, and rhodiola help improve Mom’s ability to cope with stressful situations by reducing stress-related anxiety and fatigue caused by overwork. She can enjoy one or two of these delicious bon-bons a day between meals.
•3 cups organic Tahini (drain excess oil from the top)
•1 cup organic Cashew or Almond butter
•2 cups local Honey (more or less to taste)
•2 oz organic Rose powder
•2 oz organic Eleuthero powder
•1 oz organic Ashwaganda powder
•1 oz organic Rhodiola powder
•1 tbsp organic Cardamom powder
•1/2 oz organic Cinnamon powder
•1 oz Bee Pollen
•1 package organic Carob or bitter Chocolate Chips
•8 oz unsweetened organic Shredded Coconut Flakes – toasted
•1 cup finely chopped organic Almonds
•unsweetened organic Cocoa powder
•2 lb organic Bittersweet Dipping Chocolate
1. Mix tahini, nut butter, and honey until smooth. Combine the herbal powders and bee pollen and add to nut butter mix.
2. Add chips, toasted coconut, and almonds to the mixture and mix well using your hands.
3. Mix in enough cocoa powder to bring the dough to the desired thickness.
4. Roll the dough into small balls about a tablespoon in size. If you want to coat the balls with chocolate, chill them in the refrigerator for easier dipping. You can also spread the mixture onto a baking sheet, allow to cool, and cut into squares.
5. Melt the dipping chocolate gently in a double boiler. Drop the balls 1 at a time into the melted chocolate, remove, and place on waxed paper to cool.
6. Store the bon-bons in baking tins in a cool place. They will last for weeks if properly stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Mom’s Last Nerve Tonic Tincture
This nervine tonic tincture formula will help Mom keep her cool during stressful situations. Oat tops in this recipe provide mild nourishment to strengthen the nerves. Both oats and skullcap – which tends to have a more immediate, yet gentle calming effect – are indicated for nervousness, exhaustion, some types of headaches, and restless sleep. Skullcap is also anti-spasmodic and helps relax tense muscles. Holy basil is an important adaptogenic herb in India that allows the mind to adapt and react to incoming stress with calm, perhaps thanks to its antioxidant content including flavonoids, phenolics, and carotenoids.
You can make your own individual herb tinctures and mix them according to the ratio above, or blend our pre-made tinctures in a glass dropper bottle. Take 3 droppers up to three times a day to help prepare your nervous system for unexpected stressors as you balance family, friends, work, love, hobbies, finances, and more each day.
Happy Mothers Day!
Posted by|27 April 2012
With a growing interest in natural textiles and plant based dyes, we are happy to introduce you to Madder Root! Considered an ancient or heirloom dye plant, Madder Root (also known as Dyer’s Madder) has been used throughout history for the brilliant orange and red hues it can produce.
To learn more about this color rich root, visit our Madder Root Profile on-line.
Want to learn more about creating beautiful, natural, and colorful dyes at home? Check out The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes. Through step-by-step instructions and color-saturated photographs, textile designer Sasha Duerr will show you how to utilize natural dyeing methods using herbs and botanicals for your fabric, yarn, and other natural materials. It’s a wonderful resource for any crafter looking to incorporate plant dyes into their work.
Posted by|26 April 2012
Little blue Forget-Me-Nots are blooming again now that spring has sprung in Eugene. Here’s a photo of my homemade botany flashcard for the pistil nestled in a patch of them – to help me remember the essentials while identifying plants in the wild.
You might remember a post I wrote a few years ago about the poetic nature of botanical language and the disappearing art of keying plants called In the Key of Flowers. The post includes information about plant identification resources if you’d like to learn more. Happy keying!
Posted by|24 April 2012
Did you hear the exciting news?
Our friends at LearningHerbs.com have just announced a new herbal learning experience for kids!
Kimberly Gallagher (the creator of the Wildcraft Board Game) has written 13 interactive books that teach children about plant identification and herbalism through the art of storytelling. In this series, a group of friends discover that herb fairies and other magical beings exist all around them. Together they learn about medicinal plants and work to restore healing plant magic to the world.
This special collection of herbal children’s stories has been in the making for over 3 years and includes activities, coloring sheets, recipes, and more!
Here’s a sneak peek…
Visit HerbFairies.com now to watch a video about the Herb Fairies and learn more about this upcoming series!
Posted by|23 April 2012
I woke up Sunday morning to soft rays of light pouring through windows, illuminating each room with warm sparkle. After what feels like uncountable months of cozy gray skies and cold Oregon drizzle, the first burst of warm sun is a welcomed shock.
I run outside only to become nearly blinded by the gorgeously bright rainbow of weeds all abuzz with honeybees and big fuzzy bumbles in the garden. After my sleepy eyes adjust to the dazzling smorgasbord of color, I feel deep belly growls anticipating breakfast. A really amazing breakfast.
I grab my gloves, my clippers, and begin gathering inspiration…
First in the basket go some of my favorite greens this time of year…Nettles! The nettle tops are young and tender, turning their broad leaves out to greet the emerging sun. I snip several tops and move on to collect…
…dandelion flowers! A few handfuls of these beautiful yellow blossoms go into the basket and a smile shines on my face. Yessss. Time to make a garden frittata!
Garden Frittata Recipe
This recipe is so easy and satisfying. It can be adapted for just about any edible plants growing in your garden. Of course, any veggie, cheese, herb combination can be substituted as well. Some good ideas include fresh spinach or spinach powder, peppers, kale, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, tomatoes, peas, fennel, chives, shredded zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, and the list goes on!
4 local, organic, free-range eggs
1/2 cup grated organic parmesan, feta, or white cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp plain organic yogurt
1 bunch of fresh nettle leaves, stems removed and chiffonade cut using gloves
1 to 2 handfuls of fresh dandelion flowers, washed and dried
1/2 organic onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves organic garlic, crushed
2 organic sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp organic capers
Sea salt and fresh cracked organic black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Sauté onions in olive oil using a small cast iron or another oven-safe skillet over medium heat until they become nice and caramelized. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Toss in the nettle leaves and dandelion flowers and sauté with onions and garlic for another minute or two.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, and cheese. Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and season with salt and pepper.
Spread veggie mixture evenly on bottom of the skillet. Pour egg mixture into the skillet and gently stir together until the veggies are covered, then allow to cook for a few minutes.
When the egg mixture is about half set, put the whole pan in the oven. Bake for 7-10 minutes, until your frittata is puffy and golden around the edges. Remove the pan from the oven using oven mitts and let stand for several minutes.
Cut in half or in quarters and garnish each plate with a dandelion flower.
Posted by|20 April 2012
We are thrilled to offer you this powdered organic superfruit! Packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, carotene, and essential fatty acids, Sea Buckthorn Fruit Powder makes a wonderful addition to your medicinal herb and spice cabinet.
Traditionally used as a staple throughout Chinese and Tibetan medicine, preparations of the fruit and seeds cover a wide variety of applications. Considered a superfruit, this berry is becoming widely popular as a general skin healing and overall health boosting botanical.
The Sea Buckthorn Fruit is naturally bitter, but with a little sweetening it has a passionfruit-like flavor. This powder is a wonderful addition to herbal smoothies or yogurt. Try adding it to some of your favorite sauces or dressing, baked goodies, or even your homemade beauty care products.
The possibilities don’t end there! Learn more about this amazing superfruit by visiting our Sea Buckthorn Fruit profile online. Click on “Contemporary Info” to read the details.
Posted by|19 April 2012
Keeping with the “dandelion love” theme we’ve had going for the past few weeks, here’s a photo of a happy little dandelion growing on one of our first sunny spring days. Check out those style-ish curly stigmas emerging from individual ray flowers!
We’ll have more delicious dandelion recipes “coming up” next week to help you celebrate this beloved plant. If you’re looking for new inspirations before then, be sure to browse through the comments from our Bitter Giveaway, where plenty of amazing ideas, tips, and recipes for using dandelion (and other helpful weeds) are posted!
Posted by|17 April 2012
While I like to call these “Flourless Salted Chocolate Chocolate Chip Coconut Hemp Seed Brownie Cake Cookies” in my mind, I went with the short moniker Salted Chococonut Chip Cookies even though it doesn’t quite express just how out of this world they taste.
Deliciously rich, crunchy, salty, sweet, and gooey all at the same time, these cookies are also gluten-free and packed with amino acids, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, B-vitamins, flavonoids, fiber, and oh, yeah…some sugar too.
The original dough recipe is the perfect blank canvas for any chocolate-based cookie creation you can dream up, like Ginger & Cinnamon, Almond Butter Cup, Dried Cherries & Walnut, or maybe Cardamom & Rose? Yum! The flavor possibilities are endless. Here’s my favorite version of the recipe which brings cacao, coconut, hemp seeds, and a touch of salt into harmony.
Salted Chococonut Chip Cookies
- 3 cups organic powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup organic raw cacao powder or baker’s cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3.5 organic free-range egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon organic vanilla bean extract
- 2 Cypress Salt flakes per cookie
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease with organic butter.
Using a large glass bowl, sift powdered sugar with cacao powder and salt.
Add egg whites, vanilla extract, and beat with a wooden spoon until the batter is moist. You’re looking for a fudgy brownie batter texture, so if it seems too thick add another ½ of an egg white. If the batter is too loose however, the cookies will spread across the pan while baking.
Gently fold in the mixture of chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and hemp seeds until evenly incorporated throughout the dough.
Spoon a heaping tablespoon of batter in 12 evenly spaced mounds onto each baking sheet.
Place two Cypress salt flakes on the top of each dough mound.
Bake for 14 minutes or until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked, like brownies.
Remove from the oven and carefully slide the parchment paper with the cookies off of the pan and onto a cooling rack. They will be slightly gooey inside and delicate at this point. Let your cookies cool completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Posted by|13 April 2012
Due to popular requests, we are excited to announce our new line of products specifically designed for those precious little ones bringing smiles to our faces!
After months of research and to the benefit of my own little cupcake’s skin, we have put together the most natural, gentle, and botanical ingredient based line of baby and children skin care products that we could find.
Babies and children’s soft skin is delicate and deserving of the most gentle care. You will find no synthetic ingredients or harsh chemicals in this line of care products. All of the delights offered by Mountain Rose Herbs are of earth origin and made exclusively with natural, botanical, renewable, or vegetable based sources. We are excited to offer a large range including bath care, skin care, and diapering needs. And the research does not stop there! We are still searching the botanical world for more gentle products to add.
Some of my personal favorites are the Baby’s Balm, a gentle salve for those sensitive rashes, and the Baby Shampoo, which has a foaming pump to help keep the soap where you want it, and out of your little one’s eyes.
So much goodness! I invite you to try all of the wonderful natural baby and children’s care products we offer.
Posted by|12 April 2012
We welcomed some very special visitors to Mountain Rose yesterday!
Nick and Justin of the Compass Green Project brought their incredible mobile greenhouse for us to check out, alive with a lush garden of edible greens.
This food growing, veggie oil running, composting education truck visits schools, health food stores, and other community centers around the country to teach practical farming tools and raise awareness about sustainability through presentations and workshops. The curriculum is focused on organic and bio-intensive methods of sustainable farming to produce the maximum yield with the minimum amount of resources. Happily growing on the bus were beds of organic kale, chard, spinach, lettuces, amaranth, stinging nettles, quinoa, and more. If they can grow it on a truck, you can grow food too!
“With an ever-increasing population and an alarming decrease in farmable soil, we feel it is important to share practical solutions to turn our situation of agricultural scarcity into one of abundance.” - Nick and Justin
Posted by|11 April 2012
Calling all herb crafters!
Are you aspiring to support yourself by supporting your community with homemade herbal goods? Well, the darlings over at PoppySwap are here to help yet again. This time with a FREE e-book that covers business savvy from online marketing, to product pricing, GMP compliance, business licensing, photography, and beyond. Yep, this e-book of wisdom is their gift to you and it’s totally free!
This free e-book was created by Kiki, the founder of Poppy Swap, and Kristie Nackord of Spirit Horse Herbals. It’s the first edition of something that will become an ever-evolving guide to getting your business up and running on the internet. The goal is to provide the know-how AND the technology to make creative herbal dreams come true.
“We believe, that as each individual herbalist brings their own work forward, there is a greater potential for us to unite and enhance the power of our collective vision.” ~ Kiki and Kristie
Posted by|10 April 2012
These delicious DIY seasoning blend recipes come to us from Katie at Wellness Mama! With a background in nutrition and journalism, Katie’s wonderful blog helps you sort through a sea of health advice on the path to wellness. Be sure to visit her blog for more recipes and tips for natural living. Thanks for sharing, Katie!
If you’ve never made your own spice blends, I’d encourage you to try it! It’s simple, saves money, and you avoid the additives that are in many store bought spice blends. Most are very easy to make, and if you order your ingredients in bulk, you can make 14 (or more) different spice blends using under 30 herbs. You’ll be able to eat the cuisine of another country every night for two weeks. Having quality spice blends can make even the most plain meat and vegetable dish exciting.
Personally, I order all the organic herbs necessary to make these spice blends in 1 pound quantities from Mountain Rose Herbs because they offer a 10-30% discount for bulk orders over 5 pounds. I keep any that I’m not using right away in a cool, dry place and they last for at least a year. I also use many of the herbs in other medicinal herbal recipes so they don’t go to waste.
1/4 cup Chili Powder
1/4 cup Cumin Powder
1 tablespoon Garlic powder
1 tablespoon Onion powder
1 teaspoon Oregano leaf (or oregano leaf powder)
1 teaspoon Paprika with 1/4 cup Himalayan salt or sea salt (optional)
1 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
To make: Put all in jar and shake well or mix in a food processor until mixed. Store in an airtight jar for up to six months. Makes approximately 1 cup. To use: sprinkle on ground beef or chicken as you would any store bought taco seasoning. 3 tablespoons is the same as 1 packet of store bought taco seasoning. Great for lettuce tacos.
Homemade Curry Powder
1/2 cup Paprika Powder
1/4 cup Cumin Powder
1 tablespoon Fennel Powder
2 Tablespoons Fenugreek powder (optional)- gives sweetness
2 tablespoons ground Mustard Powder
1 tablespoon ground Red Chili Pepper Flakes (optional)- adds spiciness
3 tablespoons ground Coriander (optional)
1/4 cup ground Turmeric root
1 tablespoon ground Cardamon (optional)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon Cloves powder (optional) – Adds complex flavor
To make: Mix all ingredients in a bowl, jar or food processor and store in an air-tight container until ready to use. Can be used on meats, vegetables or in soups. Especially good in with chicken, shrimp or vegetables.
Homemade Rajin’ Cajun Seasoning
1/2 cup Paprika Powder
1/3 cup Himalayan Salt or sea salt
1/4 cup Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper (optional- won’t be spicy without this)
2 Tablespoons Oregano leaf
1 Tablespoon Thyme leaf
To Make: Mix all ingredients in jar or food processor and store in an airtight container. Good on stir frys, eggs, casseroles, and poultry. Can add more or less Cayenne to get to your taste.
Healthy Ranch Dressing Mix
To Make: Mix all ingredients together in jar or food processor. To make into Ranch Dressing, mix 1 Tablespoon of this mix with 1/3 cup Homemade Mayonaise or Greek Yogurt and 1/4 cup Coconut Milk.
French Onion Soup Mix
1/2 cup Onion flakes or dehydrated onion slices
2 tablespoons Onion powder
1 tablespoon Garlic powder
1 teaspoon Celery salt
1/2 teaspoon ground Pepper
1 tablespoon Himalayan or sea salt (optional but helps absorption of soup)
To Make: Use approximately 1/4 cup per 2 cups of beef stock to make french onion soup (add 3-4 onions that have been very thinly sliced and slowly caramelized. To use as a mix, you can add 1/2 cup soy-free and MSG free beef bouillon powder and use as you would a packet of french onion soup pix (1/4 cup=1 package). Excellent on roasts or for making french onion soup. I also use as the seasoning for the meat in Shepard/Cottage Pie.
Chili Seasoning Mix
To Make: mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container. 1/4 cup of mix = 1 package of store bought chili seasoning. Great for all types of chili (this one is my favorite).
Herbs de Provence
1/2 cup Thyme leaf
1/4 cup Marjoram leaf
2 tablespoons of cut and sifted Rosemary leaf
2 tablespoons Savory
1 teaspoon of Lavender flowers (lightly ground-optional)
2 teaspoons dried Orange zest (optional)
1 teaspoon ground Fennel seed
To Make: If you are zesting the orange yourself, remove the zest of one organic orange and dry in an oven on lowest setting or a dehydrator until completely dry. Place in a food processor with the lavender flowers and lightly pulse. Remove and mix all ingredients in a jar or bowl until mixed (do not grind up the herbs!). Excellent in soups, on chicken or on roasted vegetables.
Spicy Jerk Seasoning
To Make: mix all ingredients together and store in airtight container. When using, it is especially good if mixed with honey and painted on the meat.
To Make: Mix all ingredients and store in airtight container. Great for recipes like Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry and other Asian themed cuisine.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
To Make: Mix all ingredients and store in airtight container. Use as you would regular pumpkin pie spice. Great in pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, spiced pumpkin lattes or coconut flour pumpkin muffins.
I store all of my homemade spice blends in glass jars or glass bottles (also available at Mountain Rose Herbs) and keep them in my spice cabinet.
Ever made your own seasoning blends? What did you make?