Archive for the ‘Recipes and DIY’ Category
Posted by|15 April 2014
I’ve been making a lot of liquid soap blends for around the house this week, much more than usual because we just moved! With the move came an extra bathroom which meant, yep, I needed more soap. I love using Castille Soap in as many ways as possible, it lasts forever, and is an affordable natural product. I’ve used it on my hair as shampoo, as dish soap, and as a general house cleanser. I learned that diluting it is the best way to go and adding other ingredients like essential oils can create fun scents or extra anti-microbial action.
This week while I was playing with castille soap and my favorite blends from our Spring Aroma Sprays blog it dawned on me just how wonderful the Thieves® blend would be for a hand soap! The lingering warm and spicy blend of cinnamon, cloves, and cleansing lemon and eucalyptus are sure to please guests and help keep my home healthy and happy. This blend is full of powerful herbs that legend tells us held strong even against the plague! That is exactly the sort of force I want in my hand soap — and dish soap too! For this hand soap blend, I also added a tiny bit of vegetable glycerin, feel free to add more if you like your hand soap more moisturizing. I found just 1 Tablespoon in an 8oz container worked wonders! My hands were smooth and soft and smelled amazing!
What you’ll need:
8oz container - or you can reuse an old container!
1oz container (travel size)
2 1/8 cups distilled water
5 Tbsp organic Liquid Castille Soap
2 Tbsp organic Vegetable Glycerine *optional
Pitcher for blending essential oils
This essential oil recipe will bring you to a total of 120 drops, which is enough essential oil blend to make two 8oz bottles of herbal hand soap, plus two travel size herbal hand soaps to store in your purse or in the glove box of your car.
40 drops organic Clove Essential Oil
15 drops organic Eucalyptus Essential Oil
10 drops organic Rosemary Essential Oil
*If you have Cinnamon Bark at home, that will work fine for non-sensitive skin – however, Cinnamon bark is very strong and may cause irritation if using on the skin, so reduce the amount by half. I went with CInnamon Leaf for a more delicate hand soap.
In a medium pitcher or small bowl mix together distilled water, liquid castille soap, vegetable glycerin if you are using it, and your blend of essential oils. Stir lightly, don’t agitate too much or you could be quickly consumed by bubbles! Using a funnel, fill your two 8oz bottles and lastly your two 1oz travel size bottles!
The castille soap will give you the suds necessary to really scrub off any dirt or grime you may get on your hands this spring season, and the wonderful blend of antiseptic essential oils will leave you feeling that much more refreshed and cleansed.
* Essential oils are highly concentrated, strong, and powerful liquids that can be harmful if not used carefully and properly. This is an especially potent blend of essential oils which could cause irritation when applied to the skin, even in diluted amounts. We advocate caution when using them, and do not recommend using essential oils internally. Please keep essential oils out of reach of children. We do not advocate usage of this recipe on babies, toddlers, or children.
Thieves® is a registered trademark of Young Living Essential Oils, LC. Mountain Rose Herbs is not affiliated with Young Living Essential Oils, LC in any way.
Posted by|14 April 2014
Clucking happily atop rolling country hills and bustling city backyards, our precious hens provide the richest and most delicious protein nuggets around. Here’s one of my favorite herbal infused egg recipes to help inspire you when that basket fills up. Especially festive this time of year, the sweet and spicy beet brine imparts this gorgeous shade of magenta while the creamy curried yolk filling brings a pop of gold to the plate. Show up to the potluck with these beauties and watch everyone’s eyes grow wide with wonder. They’re super tasty too!
Pickled Curry Deviled Eggs
2 cups water
1 cup organic white vinegar
3 small organic beets, washed and sliced
1 organic shallot, roughly chopped
2 tsp organic sugar
½ tsp organic fenugreek seed
6 hard boiled local organic eggs, peeled
6 egg yolks
2 Tbsp organic mayo
2 tsp organic Dijon mustard
1 tsp organic curry powder
1 tsp fresh organic lemon juice
¼ tsp organic cayenne powder
Fresh cilantro leaves or chives for garnish
Combine all of the pickling ingredients (except for the eggs) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 10 minutes. Allow the brine to cool slightly and then add the peeled hard boiled eggs. Use the beet slices to submerge the eggs in the brine. Let the eggs marinate for at least two hours in the fridge or overnight.
Remove the eggs from the brine and slice them in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and in a separate bowl mash them together with mayo, Dijon mustard, curry powder, and a touch of salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the yolk filling into the eggs and then garnish with fresh cilantro and a dusting of curry powder.
Posted by|13 April 2014
Some Sundays are about resting up, recharging, and giving the immune system a chance to recover. When I’m feeling a little worn down and wanting to ward off any inkling of illness for the coming week, this tea gives me a medicinal vitamin boost, as well as the yummy herbal flavors I crave…
Perky Boost Tea
1 tsp. organic Echinacea angustifolia Root
1 tsp. organic Rose Buds
1 tsp. organic Rosehips
½ tsp. organic Wild Cherry Bark
½ tsp. organic Dried Lemon Peel
Scoop all ingredients into a tea infuser or tea bag. Pour boiling water over and let steep for 5-6 minutes. This makes enough for one cup, but feel free to multiply for a full pot. Put your feet up and enjoy!
Posted by|09 April 2014
Spring flowers are blooming and that means the Herb Fairies will be returning soon!
To celebrate their arrival, let’s make one of their favorite tea recipes…
Plantain Fairy Tea!
Plantain is thought to be the 2nd most common weed we find here in the US after dandelion, and thankfully it offers wonderful food and medicine. The leaves can be eaten in salads when young and tender – before they become tough and stringy with age. When used medicinally, the soaked seeds offer slimy demulcent action and the leaves are often used to make a “green bandage” or chew poultice for drawing out splinters and relieving bug bites. Dried leaves can also be infused to make a nice soothing and nutrient rich tea.
Posted by|07 April 2014
It may have been made famous by New Orleans coffee shops and cafés, but roasted Chicory root beverages made from this blue-flowered perennial have been created for centuries. Recipes for hot Chicory coffee beverages were brought to the U.S. from Europe and Scandinavia in the 18th century. According to legend, however, it became a New Orleans staple during the American Civil War. Because of the inability to get their beloved coffee due to Union naval blockades, the citizens of Louisiana took to adding roasted Chicory to their coffee blends to make the mixtures stretch. The coffee-like flavor made it the perfect substitution.
Chicory (Cichorium intybu) is actually a relative of the dandelion and it is high in Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, and has the highest concentration of inulin of any other plant that contains inulin (not to be confused with insulin). Despite its coffee-like depth and flavor, it does not contain the caffeine so prevalent in traditional coffee beans. Chicory lends itself well to experimentation and can be taken as a tea, mixed into a tonic, or you can try creating your favorite coffee drink with Roasted Chicory as the sole substitute.
The part of the Chicory plant used for roasting is the root.The plants grow wild throughout the U.S. and tend to be found in ditches, hillsides, and other similar spots. They do not grow well in mowed fields or high traffic areas (but they can be found in many abandoned urban areas.) The roots tend to grow deeply, so digging can be a bit of a chore, but completely doable! Once you’ve dug the roots, you will need to clean them well before chopping the roots into smaller pieces. They can then be roasted at the lowest oven setting for 8-10 hours—or until all the moisture has evaporated and the root pieces are dry and brittle. They can then be stored and ground up for use.
Of course, if searching, harvesting, cleaning, and roasting your own chicory root is not in your schedule, we’ve created the following recipes using our Certified Organic Roasted Chicory Root!
Chicory Café au Lait
For each cup, add 1 teaspoon each ground Fair Trade coffee and Organic Roasted Chicory Root to coffee maker of choice and brew with water.
Meanwhile, heat milk of choice (almond*, coconut, soy, and rice milk are particularly tasty with this beverage) to just below scalding—little bubbles will start to form around the edge of the saucepan and the milk will be steaming, but do not allow to boil.
Add milk to coffee, stir, and enjoy! If it’s not creamy and rich enough for you, consider adding a Tablespoon or so of organic coconut oil, stirring to dissolve. Luscious!
Coffee-Free Chicory Cacao Mocha
If you prefer to omit the coffee altogether, this is just the herbal beverage for you:
Heat 1 cup milk of choice (see above) until steaming and hot, but not boiling. Stir in 1 Tablespoon Organic Roasted Chicory Root powder and 1 Tablespoon Organic Roasted Cacao powder. If you want it a little sweet, add 1 teaspoon raw organic sugar or honey to taste. Stir to dissolve and incorporate. Pour into cup and serve.
*I like to make homemade almond milk: 1 cup almonds covered with water and soaked overnight, then drained. Toss plumped almonds in the blender with 3 1/2 to 4 cups water and blend well. Add 1/2 scraped seeds from an organic vanilla bean, a few scrapes of fresh nutmeg, and a dash or two of organic cinnamon. Blend a few seconds more and then strain well using a strainer and cheesecloth into a glass pitcher, jar, or bottle.
Posted by|06 April 2014
This delicious tea recipe came to our Events Coordinator, Mason, in a dream! We wanted to call it Mason’s Dream Tea, but that name implies a soothing sleepy tea and this blend will definitely stimulate the senses.
This recipe mixes smooth black tea with a strong flavor of extra rich vanilla and peppy orange peel. We liked it with a little sweet honey and milk for a super delectable treat – the perfect beverage for a Sunday morning brunch!
Mason’s Orange Vanilla Wake-Up Tea
1 Tablespoon organic Vanilla Black Tea
1/2 chopped organic Vanilla bean or vanilla extract
1 teaspoon organic dried Orange Peel
Milk of choice and raw, organic honey to taste
Place Vanilla Black Tea and dried Orange Peel in a tea infuser. Chop the Vanilla bean into the dried tea mix. (or add ½ teaspoon good Vanilla extract to the tea once it has steeped) Pour boiling water over and allow to steep for approximately 2-3 minutes. Add milk, cream, and/or raw organic honey to taste.
Posted by|03 April 2014
During a walk to the wetlands across the street from our facilities, we were so happy to see one of our favorite herbs, Dandelion, already going to seed! These seeds will soon be swooped up by the wind or blown away by a sweet child – beginning their journey to one day become part of delicious and healing recipes. Leaves, roots, and flowers, the whole plant offers us so much!
If you would like to start growing your own Dandelions, you can find their seeds here. If you are lucky enough to be surrounded by this precious plant, here are a few fun recipes for you to enjoy and share!
Posted by|02 April 2014
Don’t let a big word like “fermentation” intimidate you…it is easier than you might think!
If you can chop and stir, you can create delicious, healthy and amazing fermented vegetables–right in your own kitchen! You do not need fancy crocks and equipment (although a good crock is a delight) and you can use all sorts of vegetables, spices, and salts - there is no one right recipe!
We love to use dill, cumin, coriander, fennel seed, celery seed, pickling spice, red chili flakes, peppercorns, cloves, juniper berries, fenugreek, bay leaves, garlic, onion, rosemary, and so much more!
Fermentation is technically the anaerobic conversion of sugar to carbon dioxide and alcohol by yeast. You may have heard that fermented foods are good for you and it’s true; fermenting can make foods more nutritious and digestible, as well as add helpful bacteria and organisms to your digestive process. You may be surprised to learn how many foods we eat are actually fermented: pickles, of course, but also cheese, bread, tempeh, yogurt, cider, beer, wine, and more!
A few of us here at Mountain Rose thought it would be fun to share our favorite Sauerkraut and Kimchi recipes–it inspired a little experimentation and a lot of tasting. We’ve got a little bitter, a little sweet, a little salty and a whole lot of yum!
Mason’s Black Salt Sauerkraut
Red cabbage, organic (washed)
Slice red cabbage into thin strips. As cabbage is added to a large ceramic crock, sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of Black Lava Salt. Scrunch the cabbage and salt together with clean hands. Pack another layer of red cabbage and then salt–continue layering and scrunching, until you’ve used up all the cabbage. Pack cabbage down as tightly as possible until liquid or brine comes up over the top of the cabbage. You can taste the brine at this point to see if you’d like to add more salt. You may need to add water to the mix to get enough liquid to cover. Cover cabbage with cheesecloth and use something to weight the cheesecloth down over the cabbage and salt mixture. Loosely cover the jar with plastic wrap or a towel and put aside – away from direct light and heat. Check every couple days. You may want to replace the cheesecloth if it gets too damp. After a couple weeks, taste to see how things are going. Once it gets to the taste and texture you like, refrigerate and enjoy.
Kori’s Classic Kraut
Green cabbage, organic (washed)
Slice green cabbage into thin slices. Using a ceramic crock or large bowl (ceramic, glass, or stainless steel), layer sliced cabbage about 1-2 inches thick. Pack down and sprinkle with a pinch of Kiawe Smoked Sea Salt and a pinch of organic Caraway seeds. Continue packing alternate layers of cabbage and seasonings until all of the cabbage is used. Use a plate pressed down over the mixture to press down tightly. Allow to sit, covered with a clean towel over night. Liquid should be extracted and rise up over the top of the cabbage when pressed down, but if it doesn’t, add a little more brine. Add 1/2 teaspoon Kiawe Smoked Sea Salt per 1 cup of water, stir and then pour over cabbage mixture. Once the brine is covering the cabbage, press the plate back down over the top and put a weight on it – a clean jar weighted with dried beans works well. Cover with the towel and set out of direct heat and light. Check every couple days. After a couple weeks, taste to see how things are going. In warm weather, fermentation will happen quicker, while it might take longer in colder months. When it gets to the taste and texture you like, feel free to eat! Refrigerate or you can preserve using a hot water bath method of canning.
Alieta’s Herbal Formula Fermentations
A note from Alieta: I made these combinations specifically to create an ultra tummy tonic and super digestif! If you are prone to digestive tummy aches mid day, this might be a real treat for you! Good for general tummy attention or to help soothe your transition during extreme diet changes.
1 bunch organic (4) purple beets with greens
2 organic parsnips
2 Tablespoons organic Dandelion Root
2 Tablespoons organic Milk Thistle Seed
¼ cup organic Chamomile Flowers
1 Tablespoon raw, organic honey
Cut the green tops from the beets and chop them up into manageable bite sizes. Set aside in a bowl, making one layer of beet greens and then doing one layer of sprinkled salt, repeating until all the greens have been sprinkled with salt. Cover with water and soak overnight. Drain brine – reserving brine liquid for later. Chop up remaining veggies.
Mix together 1 cup of brine with 2 tablespoons of honey, add Dandelion Root, Milk Thistle Seed, and Chamomile Flowers. Place 1/4 cup of your mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart container (or container of choice) and stuff with veggies– making alternating layers of veggies/herbal mixture. Once full, cover with the reserved brine. You want to make sure your veggies are covered with brine at all times. If your container is wide enough, use a plate to weigh the mixture down. Cover everything with a clean cloth and set aside somewhere safe and out of direct sunlight. Do not twist a lid on your container at this point, the fermenting will cause it to bubble up and could possibly explode if you shut a lid tight on here during fermentation! Don’t be surprised if your container bubbles over a bit, if your veggies and brine are within an inch to the top of the container this will most likely happen! You can place your container on a small plate to help keep from cleaning up a big mess every day. Leave for 7-14 days and taste. Add more salt to taste.
Bitter Herbal Kraut
Small head purple Cabbage
3-4 large organic carrots
2-3 organic rhutabaga
2 Tablespoons fresh minced garlic or 2 Tablespoons organic dried minced garlic
1 Tablespoon organic Gentian Root *
1 Tablespoon organic Turmeric Root Powder
1 Tablespoon raw, organic honey
*Go very lightly with the Gentian root or the whole batch will taste much too bitter, I would use no more than a tsp per quart. For this recipe I am using a half gallon (2 qt) ball jar.
Chop cabbage into manageable slices, make layers of cabbage/salt, completely cover with water and let sit overnight in a ceramic or stainless steel container. Drain brine – reserving brine liquid for later use. Chop the rest of your vegetables into manageable pieces, the thinner the better — I prefer using a food processor with a grater. You will set the rest of your veggies aside for the morning preparation!
Mix together 1 cup of brine with 1 Tbsp. of honey, Turmeric, Gentian Root (be careful of the amount!) and fresh or dried Garlic. Pour a quarter cup of the mixture into the bottom of large glass jar, make layers of Cabbage, Carrots, and Rutabaga with the honey and brine mixture in between. Once full, cover with remaining brine. Let sit on counter for at least 7 days, covered but not shut tight (the fermentation process could cause your jar to erupt!). Since my container was too narrow to use a plate to weigh down my veggies, I filled a small plastic bag with additional brine and placed it on top inside of my jar. Again, if your brine and veggies came within an inch of the top of your jar you will most likely have some bubbly fermentation seep out of your container — this is fine — you can leave your jar on a plate to help catch some of it if you would like. Add more salt if necessary for taste.
Posted by|30 March 2014
Ah…the seasons are changing! I just made my first batch of sun tea this past week and after several months of my cold-weather favorites, it is so lovely to sip on a light, berry-infused glass of tea. If you’re lucky, you may even find a tiny mint leaf to drop into the brew…
Berry Tasty Tea
Light, fruity, and delicious as a hot or cold/iced tea—this recipe is perfect for a picnic, lounging in the hammock, or a day of play…
1 tsp. organic Raspberry Leaf
1 tsp. organic Strawberry Leaf
½ tsp. organic Peppermint Leaf
½ tsp. organic dried Rosehips
½ tsp. organic dried Lemon Peel
Directions: Scoop all ingredients into a tea infuser or tea bag. Pour boiling water over and let steep for 2-3 minutes. This makes enough for one cup, but feel free to multiply for a full pot.
Posted by|24 March 2014
The sun is shining, the days are warming, and we’re ready to make a plan for a very herbal spring! We invite you to join us for a Pin Party over on our Mountain Rose Herbs Pinterest page and we can all pin and plan together for the season ahead.
Whether you are inspired to plant an herb garden, create some soothing body care recipes, craft your own herbal medicines, or bake the most delicious cookies ever, all you have to do is follow us on Pinterest, create your own Pinterest board titled #MyHerbalSpring (don’t forget the hashtag: “#” at the beginning), and then just start pinning! Be sure to include #MyHerbalSpring in the description of each pin and pin at least 10 different projects, recipes, or ideas.
We’ll be pinning too, so feel free to check out our Mountain Rose Herbs board for inspiration. On April 7th, we’ll choose three winners randomly and share awesome prizes including one of our Tea-To-Go Glass Infusers with Hibiscus High tea, an Herbal Facial Kit, and a $50 gift certificate! That gives us all plenty of time to enjoy the herbal pinning inspirations.
Posted by|23 March 2014
Pull up a soft chair and put the kettle on. Sundays lend themselves to rejuvenation and soulful contemplation—activities best done while sipping a cup of freshly brewed tea. We’d like to invite you to join us on Sundays for recipes, serving suggestions, and simple celebrations of all things tea! While it is nice to have go-to tea blends for the stresses of an ordinary weekday, there is just something about the adventure of taking out the herb jars and concocting just the right combination for a delicious experience…
Green & Groggy Tea
Some mornings I just know I’ll need a nap before I ever climb out of bed. A stack of books, a cozy quilt, and a cup or two of this tea and I can give into rejuvenating sleep.
1 tsp. organic Catnip
2 tsp. organic Hops Flowers
½ tsp. organic Spearmint
Scoop all ingredients into a tea infuser or tea bag. Pour boiling water over and let steep for 2-3 minutes. This makes enough for one cup, but feel free to multiply for a full pot. If you like it a little sweet, honey and/or milk make nice additions too. Enjoy!
Posted by|19 March 2014
Herbal Dryer Sachets
Conventional dryer sheets contain synthetic fragrances, chemicals, and known carcinogens and neurotoxins. These unnatural substances have been linked to disorders of the brain and nervous system, as well as headaches, nausea, dizziness, depression, loss of muscle coordination, fatigue, drowsiness, and even cancer of the pancreas. Plus, they’re unrecyclable and end up in landfills. Consider ditching the toxic dryer sheets and using homemade herbal dryer sachets instead!
Homemade herbal dryer sachets can be used in exactly the same manner as commercial varieties, but don’t contain the synthetic chemicals or artificial fragrances. Besides making your laundry smell wonderful, they are reusable, and completely natural. Best of all, this recipe is highly customizable, allowing you to add whatever herbs and essential oils you desire.
Begin by filling the muslin bags with the herbs of your choice. Lavender is a popular and well-loved classic which helps relax and calm. Peppermint and Rosemary are rejuvenating, and helpful for studying and other mental tasks. Dried Lemon, Lemongrass, and Orange peel all smell fresh, citrusy, and clean. Eucalyptus is beneficial for colds and sinus conditions. Other popular choices include soothing Chamomile flowers, floral Rose petals, romantic Geranium leaves, and woodsy Cedar tips. Be creative with your blends and use whichever herbs inspire you!
You may add a few drops of essential oils, but do so sparingly and cautiously as essential oils are flammable and potentially dangerous. Each dryer sachet can be used up to 10 times, or until it loses its scent. Before each use, remove the sachet from the dryer and squeeze it to help release its scent. Once the sachet no longer imparts fragrance, the spent herbs can be composted and the bag refilled with fresh herbs. Use homemade sachets in the same way you would use the commercial variety – simply toss it into the dryer with your clean clothes.
Natural Fabric Softener
Vinegar makes wool and cotton fabrics extra soft and fluffy, removes soap residue, and breaks up oils and grease. It also dissolves uric acid, making it perfect for babies’ diapers. Choose whichever essential oils you like best, based on their properties and aromas.
- 1 gallon vinegar
- 10-30 drops essential oil(s) of choice. Some favorites are: Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Mandarin, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Spearmint, Sweet Orange, Tangerine, Tea Tree, or Ylang Ylang.
Add essential oils to the gallon of vinegar. Shake well before using. For regular or small loads, add ½ cup during the rinse cycle, and for large loads add 1 cup.
Other natural and herbal laundry tips:
Make a natural stain remover using borax, white vinegar, water, a spray bottle, and a toothbrush. Place the borax in a container with a shaker top. Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle. To treat stains, shake the borax directly onto the stain, and then spray with the vinegar and water solution. Use the toothbrush to make a paste with the ingredients, and then scrub the stain. Allow to sit for 10-20 minutes, then wash as usual.
Remove any lingering soap residue from clothing or urine from baby diapers by adding 1 cup of white vinegar to your washing machine during the final rinse cycle.
Add essential oils to laundry detergent to naturally scent laundry and utilize their healing and therapeutic properties! Try Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Mandarin, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Spearmint, Sweet Orange, Tangerine, Tea Tree, or Ylang Ylang.
Dryer balls can be used instead of dryer sheets to help fluff up laundry and separate clothes as they tumble dry. As an added bonus they may help to shorten drying times. Dryer balls are available in many retail and online stores, or make your own using felted wool.
Add a few drops of essential oil to a washcloth, and place in a dryer to naturally scent clothing. Make sure to only add a few drops and use caution as essential oils are flammable and adding them could potentially be dangerous.
The book The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier has a wonderful section full of natural laundry recipes and tips. She even includes specific instructions for cleaning troublesome stains such as lipstick, candle wax, mustard, ink, grass, tar, and wine.