Archive for the ‘Recipes and DIY’ Category
Posted by|24 November 2014
Aromatic herbs and spices like sweet cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla define our culinary palate this time of year, and that goes for cocktails too. Thankfully, you don’t need to stock the cabinet with a fortune’s worth of pretty liquor bottles to enjoy these delights.
Infusing your own spirits at home and making flavored syrups are easy ways to build ingredients for your home bar. It’s fun to have a few specialty drinks on hand that will wow your guests when hosting parties. After all, tis the season for cups filled with cheer, making memories, and merriment!
Here are 5 of my favorite herbal sipping treats for winter celebrations…
Rose & Cardamom Eggnog
Beat farm fresh eggs in a blender or food processor for one minute on low speed. Slowly spoon in the sugar and continue blending for one minute to combine. With blender still running, add cardamom, brandy, rum, milk, and cream. Blend the ingredients together for one minute. Chill thoroughly to allow the flavors to meld. Stir in the rosewater and serve in two chilled glasses, grating nutmeg on top before serving.
Orange Spice Manhattan
- 2 oz orange spice infused bourbon*
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Fill a glass with ice and pour in the infused bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters. Stir to combine and then strain the cocktail into a chilled glass. Garnish with a candied orange peel. Serves one.
* To make the Orange Spice Bourbon, combine 8oz of bourbon with the outer peel of one orange, one organic cinnamon stick, one chopped organic vanilla bean, and two organic cloves in a glass jar. Allow to infuse for 2 weeks and then strain.
Elderberry Champagne Cocktail
- 1 oz gin
- 1 oz elderberry syrup
- Lemon peel garnish
To make the syrup, combine the berries and herbs with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and mash the berries in the liquid mixture. Strain the berries and herbs through cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice. Measure the liquid and add an equal amount of honey. Gently heat the honey and juice for a few minutes until well combined. Do not boil! Bottle in sterilized glass.
Pour gin and elderberry syrup into a flute glass. Top with chilled champagne and garnish with a lemon peel.
Spiked Vanilla Bean Cocoa
Gently simmer milk and half-and-half in a saucepan over medium heat until just warm. Do not boil! Whisk in the cacao powder, add the syrup, and stir. Divide between two mugs and add 1 ½ oz of infused brandy to each. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.
Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
Add all ingredients to a quart sized mason jar and tightly screw on the lid. Shake the jar for several minutes until the liquid stops sloshing. Open periodically to check for a fluffy consistency. Be careful not to over shake, or you’ll have vanilla butter instead!
Chai Snow Punch
Combine the milk, half-and-half, loose chai tea, and cinnamon in a pan and bring the temperature up to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Stir constantly. Cover with a lid and remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature before straining out the herbs. Whisk together the chai infused milk, booze, sugar, and vanilla. Pour into a covered glass bowl and freeze for 12 to 24 hours, stirring several times to break up large ice crystals. Stir well before serving to make the appearance of snow. Spoon into chilled glasses with a sprinkling of cinnamon. Serves 6 to 8.
Posted by|23 November 2014
It’s coming! In fact, for many of us, it’s already here.
This week marks the start of some busy, invigorating, stressful, and downright overwhelming days as we plunge headlong into the holiday season. It’s going to take some focus to make sure we take care of ourselves, get plenty of rest and give our bodies the nutrition and support we need to carry us through the coming weeks. For me, oatstraw, red clover, and lavender are musts for a nourishing, calming cup of herbal tea! I call this recipe my “Do All The Things” tea blend; it even has a boost of Lemon Balm extract or tincture for a little extra concentrated feel good!
Do All The Things Tea Blend
1 teaspoon organic Oatstraw
1/2 teaspoon organic Lavender flowers
1 teaspoon organic Bilberries
1 teaspoon organic Red Clover herb
1 dropperful organic Lemon Balm extract
Combine the herbs in a tea infuser, nest, or bag and pour 1 1/2 to 2 cups of boiling water over. Allow to steep for 3-5 minutes. Squeeze in the dropperful of Lemon Balm extract and taste. I find this to be rather sweet, but you may want to add a little honey to taste.
Sit back, put your feet up, and glance over your “to do” list one more time!
Posted by|21 November 2014
Creating thoughtful, hand-crafted holiday gifts doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. I don’t think of myself as a very craftsy person, but I do challenge myself to give those closest to me at least one handmade gift every year. Some years, everyone gets the same thing, while other times, I have the energy to make more personalized gifts for those on my list. These seasonally inspired gifts are easy to put together, not the slightest bit fussy, and perfectly-suited for the range of folks you have in your life. And the best thing? None of them have to be made far in advance, so you can spend one afternoon crafting these delightful and useful gifts and then put your feet up and enjoy a nice, hot cup of tea…
Body & Bath Treats
Spearmint & Eucalyptus Lip Balm
1 Tablespoon organic Cocoa Butter or 4 Cocoa Butter Wafers
2 Tablespoons Shea Nut oil or Sweet Almond oil
1 Tablespoon organic Baobab oil
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon beeswax pastilles
Vitamin E oil
10-15 drops organic Spearmint essential oil
10-15 drops organic Eucalyptus essential oil
Have lip balm tubes, jars, or tins ready as this process will move quickly. Melt cocoa butter, shea nut oil, Baobab oil and beeswax in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until combined. Remove from heat and quickly stir in a few drops of Vitamin E oil and essential oils. Pour into tubes, jars, or tins and allow to solidify prior to use.
Midwinter Body Wash
This body wash has a cool, crisp scent that isn’t too overpowering. Not to mention, it is full of ingredients that are actually good for your skin during the drying winter months!
8 ounces or 1 fluid cup Castille Soap
½ fluid cup of organic Lavender Hydrosol
½ fluid cup of organic Rosemary Hydrosol
1 Tablespoon organic Jojoba oil
1 Tablespoon Aloe Vera Gel
10 drops organic Douglas Fir essential oil
5 drops organic Lavender essential oil
5 drops organic Nutmeg essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a jar or bottle with a snug cap, close, and shake well. Our flip top plastic bottles or plastic bottles with the lotion pump work well and won’t shatter in a slippery shower! To use: shake to mix ingredients and then squirt onto a an ayate washcloth, loofah, or other washing implement. Lather and rinse.
Winter Spice Bath or Massage Oil
This amazing oil feels so good on the skin! It absorbs well without feeling greasy and the combination of scents is festive and invigorating.
Pour oils into an 8 ounce bottle (our flip top plastic bottles work well for this). Add essential oils and carefully add 2 drops of Vanilla Absolute. Vanilla Absolute is rather thick, almost like honey or molasses, so it doesn’t take very much. Shake well to combine. Drizzle a little of this oil in a warm bath or use as a massage oil.
Warm Milk & Cookies Bath Salts
This bath salt mixture looks as lovely as it smells and makes for a silky-scented bathing experience. Great for a foot soak too! The recipe mixes up in just minutes and is easy to multiply if you want to make a bunch to give as several gifts.
1 cup Epsom salts
½ cup Dead Sea salt
½ cup dry nonfat milk powder
1 Tablespoon organic Orange peel, dried
1 Tablespoon organic Ginger Root, dried
1 Tablespoon organic Sweet Cinnamon chips
5 drops organic Sweet Orange essential oil
5 drops organic Ginger essential oil
Combine the salts, milk powder, and dried herbs in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Add essential oils and stir well to combine. Store in a jar or bottle with a cap. Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of mixture to a cotton muslin drawstring bag, hang bag over faucet, and run warm water through for a soothing bath. You can also toss the bag into the water while you soak.
In the Kitchen
Italian-inspired Infused Oil
For the pizza and pasta lover in all of us – but you don’t even have to be a cook! This infused oil is perfect for dipping a little crusty bread or using for a simple sauce over cooked pasta. Since this is made with Pumpkin Seed oil, it is best not cooked. Use in raw dishes or over already cooked food. Makes a wonderful drizzle for veggies or a salad dressing. Store in a cool, dark place or in the fridge. If you are giving as a gift, consider adding to a gift basket with a fresh loaf of bread and some homemade marinara sauce…
16 ounces organic Pumpkin Seed oil
1 Tablespoon organic Fennel seed
1 Tablespoon organic Oregano leaf
1 teaspoon organic Marjoram
1 teaspoon organic Rosemary leaf
½ teaspoon organic Thyme
½ teaspoon organic Garlic granules
½ teaspoon organic Chili Pepper Flakes or 1 large whole Chili pepper
1 large Bay Leaf
1/3 teaspoon Onion, minced
½ teaspoon organic Sea Salt, Pink Himalayan or Red Alea salt
Put all the herbs into a glass jar or bottle, such as our medium or large cork top bottles. Carefully pour Pumpkin Seed oil over and shake well to combine. Let age in a cool, dark place for 1-2 weeks before using. You can also keep this in the fridge while it ages.
Solstice Spice Tea Blend
The recipe for this tea blend was inspired by the sights, sounds, and realities of the winter season. Our immune systems need a boost, the cold winds call for something warming, and the stresses of hectic schedules sing out for some calming herbs…
1/2 cup organic Blackberry leaf
about 1/4 cup Cedar Leaf tips
1/4 cup organic Cinnamon Chips
1/2 cup organic Damiana Leaf
1/4 cup organic Hawthorn Berries
1/2 cup organic Linden Leaf & Flower
1/4 cup organic Rosehips
Combine all the herbs in a bowl and mix well. I like to crumble up the Cedar Leaf tips so they are smaller and incorporate into the rest of the blend. This recipe makes about 2 cups of the blend. Tuck into a tin or jar, or scoop into one of our lined tea bags for a thoughtful gift!
For more wonderful DIY holiday gift ideas:
Posted by|16 November 2014
I recently reorganized our “tea and herb station” at home for the upcoming season. This is the time of year when we are drinking hot tea just about every day and it was time to refill jars, freshen the stores, and get things reorganized to make creating tea blends easier and more fun. Organizing excites me, but I was also reminded of some of the amazing herbs that have been pushed to the side and neglected. It’s sort of like the seasonal organizing of my closet–things get moved to the front that I forgot about and it’s like discovering them all over again! Plus, I just love seeing all those gorgeous herbs lined up in labeled jars!
This was one of the first teas I created from the newly tidy shelves (three full shelves of jarred and labeled herbs, mind you) and it was so sweet and delicious!
Sweet Oat Tea
1 teaspoon organic Elder Flowers
1 teaspoon organic Orange Peel
1 Tablespoon organic Oatstraw
Combine all ingredients in an infuser, nest, strainer or tea bag. Pour 1 1/2 to 2 cups boiling water over and allow to steep for 3-5 minutes. This is a naturally sweet tea and doesn’t really need any honey, but feel free to add if you’d like. A little wedge of lemon is nice too!
Posted by|14 November 2014
These classic texts from the herbal community’s beloved Rosemary Gladstar are hot off the press. This collection of new 2014 editions have a wealth of herbal knowledge and how-to information with updated looks.
Previously sold under the title Herbs for the Home Medicine Chest, this informative guide profiles more than 50 herbs that are safe and effective for treating common ailments and injuries. Discover recipes for salves, teas, tinctures, and more, along with instructions for making an herbal first aid kit.
This new edition was previously titled Herbs for Reducing Stress & Anxiety. Throughout this text, Rosemary Gladstar shows you simple herbal remedies that strengthen and build a healthy nervous system. She profiles 21 herbs proven to be effective at soothing common stress symptoms. Enjoy the herbs in tea decoctions and infusions, take them as capsules or tinctures, and relax in warm baths enhanced by their calming scents.
Formerly known as Herbs for Longevity & Well-Being, this exciting guide outlines the rejuvenating and healing properties of dozens of specific herbs. There are herbs to support heart function, aid your mind and memory, strengthen and soothe your nervous system, activate your metabolism, support your bones and joints, and improve your ability to handle stress. You’ll learn how to choose the right herbs for your needs and how to prepare and use them safely and effectively, improving your vitality and wellbeing, whatever your age!
Visit our website to see all of our favorite books on Herbal Medicine.
Posted by|09 November 2014
Elderberry syrup is delicious and oh-so-good-for-us, but what if you haven’t had time to make up a batch? Maybe you’ve just drizzled your last drizzle and are in need of some elderberry boost right now! There’s something a little decadent about this fruit and spice tea, but there’s also a lot of soothing deliciousness. Why not brew some up and snuggle in for a blustery day? (This recipe makes enough to share and can be made ahead and refrigerated too!)
Elderberry Spice Tea
1 Tablespoon dried organic Elderberries
1 teaspoon dried organic Wild Cherry Bark
1/2 teaspoon organic Whole Cloves
1 teaspoon organic dried Echinacea Roots (if needed)
1-2 organic Cinnamon Sticks
Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and add 1 quart water. Heat to boil and then turn down and simmer for about 30 minutes. Strain berries and herbs, add honey to taste, and enjoy!
Posted by|03 November 2014
I was really craving a “super fruit” jelly the other day, but with the bounty of summer long gone, I had to get creative. So, I set out to make some tasty spread with my favorite dried and powdered berries. The results were phenomenally delicious!
When making jams and jellies from dried berries or herbs, you generally want to use half as much as you would when using fresh herbs or berries. So, if a recipe calls for one cup of fresh lemon balm or elderberries, you will want to use 1/2 cup of dried instead. The reason for this is that dried herb will absorb liquid and expand, producing less herbal tea or berry juice base to turn into jam. While I made two “superfruit” jellies from dried berries, you could easily combine these ingredients with your favorite fresh berry jam recipe. For example: Cherry Bilberry Jam or Blueberry Acai Jelly. Yum! I recently tried some of Peggy’s Blueberry Lavender jelly and that was a true treat.
An easy way to incorporate herbs into your jams is to make a strong tea in place of water or apple juice in a given recipe. If you want to make a Strawberry Holy Basil jam, you could follow a recipe for Strawberry jam, but replace any required water with a strong Holy Basil Tea! It’s that easy! Have fun with it!
A few berries to begin the jam journey…
Acai Berry Powder - These berries are delicate and start to ferment within 24 hours of harvest so they must immediately be turned into juice, wine, or be frozen or freeze dried (like the powder we offer). Acai berries contain antioxidants and anthocyanins, protein fiber, vitamin E and iron. They are naturally low in sugar and the flavor is a wonderful mixture of red wine and chocolate.
Goji Berries - These bright red, chewy berries have been used as a general nutrient tonic (Yin tonic) for many years and Chinese medicine refers to them as a “cooling tonic”. A member of the Solanaceae family, these fruits offer a complex flavor with layers of sweet, umami, bitter, sour, and salty.
Bilberry – Also known as the European blueberry, this fruit is a close relative of the blueberry, cranberry, and huckleberry, with a wonderful blue/purple color from natural anthocyanosides. Bilberries have a flavor very similar to blueberries and offer antioxidant bioflavonoids.
Barberry - This bright red berry has a wonderfully sweet/sour taste and contains citric acid, vitamin C, and the alkaloid berberine. Often used in Persian and Afghan cooking, or made into jam or pickles, barberries add a delicious little surprise to your unique herbal jam.
Acai & Goji Berry Jelly Recipe
yields 4 (4oz) jars
1/2 cup organic Acai Berry Powder
1/2 cup organic Lycii (Goji) Berries
1 1/2 cups water (or strong Herbal Tea of choice)
1/2 cup organic lemon juice
2 TBSP low sugar pectin
3/4 cup organic sugar
Bilberry & Barberry Jelly Recipe
yields 4 (4oz) jars
1/2 cup organic Bilberries
1/2 cup organic Barberries
1 1/2 cup water (or strong Herbal Tea of choice)
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 TBSP low sugar pectin
3/4 cup organic sugar
1. Place dried berries, water/tea, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Smash the berries gradually as the water heats up and the berries begin to rehydrate. Once the water comes to a boil, turn off and smash thoroughly for fifteen minutes.
2. Strain berry juice until you have about 1 1/2 cups liquid. Let drip undisturbed for thirty minutes.
* This is a good time to get your sanitized jars warming up in a water bath, not boiling, just heating up. Your lids should be heated as well, to a boil, and removed and dried just before using.
3. Pour juice into a stainless steel saucepan, add pectin and bring to boil Add sugar all at once and bring back to boil. Allow to boil hard for 1 minute stirring constantly.
4. Remove from heat and quickly skim off any foam that occurs at the top.
5. Pour juice into sanitized canning jars and wipe brim to make sure nothing is in the way of the seal. Remove lid from boiling water, dry, and screw on tight. Set aside.
6. Once all of the jars are full of jelly, place in pre-heated water bath. Make sure water is covering jars by an inch at least. Boil hard for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
7. Remove and let sit undisturbed for 24 hours, check seal. After 24 hours, lid should not flex up and down, and if it does, keep it in the fridge for immediate use.
Enjoy and feel free to share your recipes!
Posted by|02 November 2014
We are entering the season of hearty, heavy, rich, and delicious meals! Parties and potlucks abound, as do cozy meals around the hearth at home. I don’t know about you, but that means my digestion could use a boost in helping to make sense of all those delicious treats and homemade goodness. I created this tea recipe for savory sipping either right before or right after a heavy meal. It can be sipped hot or cold and has a nice, savory aroma too!
Hops & Spice Tea
1 Tablespoon organic Hops Flowers
1 teaspoon organic Yarrow Leaf and Flower
1 teaspoon organic Orange Peel
1/2 teaspoon organic Fennel Seed
5 organic Cardamom Pods
If you’d like a delicious, ready-made tea blend, try our Happy Tummy tea - minty and caffeine free!
Posted by|27 October 2014
We had so much fun wandering through the garden with Rosemary Gladstar last summer!
A highlight of our day was when Rosemary spotted this towering elder swaying in the breeze. She shared lots of stories and passed down traditional knowledge about this important plant, as well as her favorite recipes using elderberries. (You can find organic elderberries in our shop by clicking here.) We hope you enjoy the video!
Looking for more elderberry recipes?
Posted by|26 October 2014
We’ll be spending this Sunday at one of our favorite local events…the Mount Pisgah Mushroom Festival! Every year, we look forward to sponsoring and attending this event and celebrating all things fungi. Since we also love serving up free tea to all the attendees, our Events Coordinator, Mason, has come up with this delectable Reishi Chai tea recipe and we will be offering it by the cupful. It is absolutely perfect for a cool fall day, and full of spicy herbs and yummy mushroom goodness…
Mason’s Reishi Chai Tea
First, decoct the reishi by adding 4 slices of dried reishi to a saucepan and add 4 cups of water. Bring this to a boil and then simmer for 1-2 hours (the longer the better.) You can do this the day or evening before or right before you make your tea. Strain out the reishi.
If you make the reishi decoction in advance, reheat and then add to a teapot. Put 2-3 Tablespoons Firefly Chai in an infuser, nest, or bag and add to the pot. Pour 2-4 cups boiling water over and allow to steep. Remove the Chai before serving (if you leave the Chai in the pot, it may make your tea very, very spicy!)
We hope you will join us today for the annual Mount Pisgah Mushroom Festival between 10 am – 5 pm, but if you can’t stop by for a cup of hot tea, enjoy your own version at home!
Posted by|23 October 2014
Alieta braved the rain today to warm folks up with mulled cider! She sampled out 200 cups of hot spiced organic apple cider along with recipe cards, and free bags of mulling spice made with organic herbs at the Kiva Grocery in downtown Eugene. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat!
Want our Mulling Spice recipe?
Posted by|21 October 2014
This is a classic topical formula that can be used to help ease occasional aches and pains associated with activities like hiking and biking or to help warm up the joints when faced with the chill of cold weather. I like to keep this healing ointment handy during the active summer months and throughout the wintertime for just these reasons. Such great medicine! It also makes a wonderful gift that’s super easy to whip up. Simply rub into sore joints and muscles for a little relief, avoiding broken skin, as needed.
Cayenne & St. John’s Wort Salve Recipe
1. Using a double boiler, mix the oil with the cayenne powder and warm very gently. Allow to cool and then heat up again, being sure not to let the oil bubble.
2. Remove from heat and allow to sit and infuse for 24 hours.
3. The next day, strain oil through cheesecloth to remove excess powder.
4. Place herbal infused oil and beeswax into your double boiler and gently warm over low heat until the beeswax melts.
6. Salves should be stored in a cool location where they will remain semi-solid.