Archive for the ‘Recipes and DIY’ Category
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.
Posted by|19 October 2014
As much as I always hope the end of summer will bring on easy relaxing times, it actually seems that my world gets even busier as the leaves start to fall! There is still plenty to do in the garden and the last of the preserving (the figs are just getting ripe and the persimmons look quite promising this year!) Meanwhile, between trips to the pumpkin patch, parties, and the autumn blast of fundraisers and community events, I find that extra boosts of nutrition, antioxidants, and vitamins are definitely in order.
Tea is such a delicious and easy way to inoculate myself throughout the day and this combination has some of my favorite flavors and good-for-you elements…
Berry, Oat , & Mint Tea
1 teaspoon organic Acai Berry powder
1 Tablespoon organic Oatstraw
1 teaspoon organic Spearmint Leaf
1 teaspoon organic Yarrow Leaf & Flower
I like to make this tea in my Tea-to-Go infuser, so I can take it along with me and make a nice big bunch at a time. Put all the ingredients into the bottom of the glass infuser, fill with boiling water and allow to steep for 4-5 minutes before tasting. These herbs can stay for quite a while in the infuser as they do not really get bitter. If you’d prefer to make a cup in the more traditional sense, add the herbs to a nest, tea bag, or small infuser and pour 1 1/2 cups or so boiling water over and allow to steep for 3-4 minutes.
Posted by|14 October 2014
Here’s a question we’ve heard a lot from our Facebook and blog friends:
“What’s the deal with powdered herbs and how can I use them differently from cut and sifted herbs?”
There are a number of different ways you can use powders, but one really awesome thing about powdered herbs is that you can easily add a bit of herbal magic to your smoothies!
The herbs listed below are often called superherbs, superfruits, or super foods - although, we think all plants are pretty super! However you choose to define them, be sure to do your own research to see how they will best fit into your daily health regime. It’s always a good idea, and fun, to diversify. So, with that said, I’m excited to offer my master list to help you herb up your smoothie!
Here’s the master list of herbal boosts for your super smoothie!
Acai Powder – Acai berry is relatively new to the US and has quickly become a popular fruit used in smoothies, sorbets, capsules, and juices. The dark purple Acai berry is a source of antioxidants and anthocyanins, and contains protein, fiber, vitamin E and iron. It is naturally low in sugar and the flavor is a mellow mixture of red wine and chocolate. This amazing fruit powder is certified organic and quickly freeze dried after harvest.
Amla Powder – This is a dried and pulverized berry of a sacred tree in India known for being a source of vitamin C and having a sour, bitter, and astringent taste. The dehydrated Amla pieces will easily re-hydrate in water, creating a fibrous texture similar to dehydrated apples with a much tarter taste. You could also use the whole dried berries to make a juice as a base for your smoothies. This berry is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine practices and is considered a cooling pitta herb.
Barberries (juice base) – These dried, red Berberis berries are often used in Persian and Afghan cooking, or made into jam or pickles. Barberries are known for their citric acid content, vitamin content, and contain the active compound berberine. Super tasty berry power!
Bee Pollen – Bee pollen has a long and storied past throughout human history. Hippocrates and Pythagoras both prescribed bee pollen for its healing properties. Native Americans wore pouches containing pollen around their necks on long journeys to eat so they could sustain a high level of energy. Bee pollen has a complex flavor that’s sweet, spicy, and floral with hints of honey.
Beet Root Powder – Beets have been used in folk medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments since the time of the Romans and was popularized by the French for its culinary value. The natural sugar content makes this powder a great sweetener! It also offers fiber, magnesium, potassium, zinc, beta-carotene, calcium, and B vitamins.
Bilberries – A close relative of the blueberry, cranberry, and huckleberry, bilberries have a wonderful blue/purple color from natural anthocyanosides, which has earned them a rich medicinal history. Bilberries have a flavor very similar to blueberries and offer antioxidant bioflavonoids.
Cacao Powder – Who doesn’t love the mood boosting properties of chocolate? The Mayan, Olmec, and Aztec civilizations used the entire cacao fruit medicinally. Cacao contains caffeine, flavonoids, phenylethylalamine, anandamide, magnesium, sulfur, oleic acid, theobromine, and tryptophan. Cacao beans and nibs are a source of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and potassium, and are a good source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and pantothenic acid.
Camu Camu Powder – This nutrient dense fruit from the Amazon rainforest is attracting the attention of many for its Vitamin C content. Camu camu has a highly acidic flavor that can be easily sweetened to taste. Use in your smoothie as a source of magnesium, potassium, Vitamin C, beta carotene, iron, and amino acids.
Carob Powder - Made popular as a caffiene-free substitute for chocolate, carob powder was once deemed essential to the opera for saving the voices of performance-weary sopranos. This pea family pod has been used as a food source for over 5,000 years, offering dense nutritional value and a naturally sweet and slightly bitter flavor.
Cayenne Powder - The Capsicum family includes bell peppers, red peppers, and paprika, but the most famous medicinal members of the family are cayenne and chilies. Careful to use the slightest amount, unless you handle heat well! The capsaicin in these peppers has been used medicinally for its anti-inflammatory and diaphoretic properties. Try freezing our Lemon Tea in an ice cube tray and then blending them up with apple slices, fresh greens, fresh ginger, and a 1/8 tsp of Cayenne Powder.
Chaga Powder – Chaga is a parasitic carpophores mushroom that looks like the charred remains of burned wood on the side of a birch tree (sometimes growing on Elm and Alder, but Birch is its favorite). Chaga is commonly made into a tea, taken by tincture, or put into capsules for its antioxidant content. Why not give your smoothie some mushroom power?
Chia Seeds – Chia seeds rule! They are great for making homemade puddings, gel juice, or easy jam recipes. They also rule in smoothies. Chia was a staple for Incan, Mayan, and Aztec cultures. “Chia” is the Mayan word for “strength” and Chia seeds used to be referred to as “Warrior Running Food” because they are so energizing.
Chlorella Powder – Some scientists believe these single celled algae may be among the Earth’s oldest living organisms. Natural health enthusiasts know chlorella well as an excellent source of nutrients. Its bright green color would make it a perfect pair for leafy greens like kale or dandelion. You can also use it instead of fresh greens in your winter smoothie recipes!
Cordyceps Powder – Cordyceps is an adaptogen and has been used to create stimulating tonics and maintain a healthy functioning immune system in times of stress. Contains Adenine, adenosine, uracil, uridine, guanidine, guanosine, hypoxanthine, inosine, thymine, thymidine, and deoxyuridine.
Cranberry Powder – A diuretic and wonderfully flavorful herb, its fruity tartness and beautiful color is perfect for your berry filled smoothies. Conventional cranberry juice from the store often has lots of added sugar that can actually negate the benefits of this powerful fruit!
Damiana Leaf Powder – Historically used as an aphrodisiac, this is one of the best herbal mood boosters out there. Light floral taste with a spicy finish and lovely green color, damiana leaf powder would go great in a smoothie to help you deal with those day-to-day ups and downs we all experience.
Elderberry Powder – Elder flowers and berries have a long history in traditional European medicine. Elderberries are traditionally made into a syrup for ingestion during the fall and winter months. The berries have a gorgeous dark purple red color and a sweet and rich flavor. You can make a syrup with the berries to add to your smoothie or boil the powder in some water and add to your liquid base.
Flaxmeal – Flax seed is an important and very popular ingredient found in the world of herbal health foods as a source of omega fatty acids and fiber. Add some to your smoothies or use the meal in bread and muffin recipes!
Garcinia Fruit – This dark red fruit can be rehydrated and blended up with your smoothie base. It is said to make recipes more filling and satisfying, which can be helpful to extend your morning shake! It has a distinct sour fruit flavor.
Guarana Seed Powder – Guarana is thought to be the highest source of caffeine available in nature, containing 2.5 times the amount of caffeine as coffee. A lovely addition to your morning smoothie!
Hawthorn Berry Powder – The fruit of this rose family tree has been used traditionally to support a healthy functioning cardiovascular system. It offers antioxidant flavonoids!
Hemp Seed – With a lightly nutty flavor and healthy fats, hemp seeds make a great addition to any smoothie! Hemp seed contains all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids that our bodies need, which makes it a perfect protein supplement. No other single source provides such a complete protein in a form that is so easily digested and absorbed by the body
Hibiscus Flower Powder – A beautiful flower with a tart taste due to its content of 15 to 30% plant acids, including citric, malic, and tartaric acids in a lovely wine-red color. Hibiscus is used as one of the main ingredients in many tea blends for its color and level of antioxidants.
Kava Root Powder – A beloved herb and a trusted ally during times of trial. Kava tea made from powdered kava root is warming and soothing to the nerves, body, and soul. Pacific Islanders have for centuries used Kava to calm nerves and help with relaxation.
Lycii Berries – A great way to sweeten your smoothies is to soak a handful of these dehydrated berries in water or milk overnight. In the morning, toss the combination into your blender with fruit or veggies! Lycii berry, otherwise known to Chinese herbalists as Goji or Chinese Wolfberry is bright red and almost chewy with a taste very similar to raisins. It has been used as a general nutrient tonic (Yin tonic) for many years and Chinese medicine refers to it as a “cooling tonic”.
Maca Root Powder – Maca is traditionally prepared as a food, particularly in South America where it grows. The root is a highly nutritious staple food, boasting carbohydrates, protein, and a variety of essential minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, sterols, and essential fatty acids. Because of it’s mineral content Maca has been used to rejuvenate tired systems.
Maqui Berry Powder – These berries taste tart like huckleberries and contain powerful antioxidant properties. It is documented that Macqui berries have been used by the Mapuche natives of Chile and Argentina for centuries. Maqui berries are relatively new to the American herbal market, and are primarily being sold as one of the latest “superfoods” with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and other beneficial attributes.
Milk Thistle Seed Powder – Three of the active compounds within milk thistle seed are collectively identified as silymarin. This constituent is credited for much of milk thistle’s medicinal value, particularly associated with supporting healthy liver function.
Rosehips – The fruit of the rose is one of the most concentrated sources of Vitamin C. Rosehips have a tart flavor and are widely used in jams, jellies, and teas.
Spirulina Powder – The concentration of amino acids has made spirulina a popular nutritional supplement for those who are unable to obtain sufficient calories and protein through diet alone, particularly athletes who burn calories at a high rate. A slightly sweet earthy taste, this powder is great taken in capsule form or as an addition to your daily smoothie.
Wheat Grass Powder – Wheat grass sprouts contain a high level of organic phosphates and a potent cocktail of antioxidants. If you are unable to grow your own, a powder is an easy addition to your super smoothies!
Yacon Root Powder – This root is commonly made into a sweet syrup or extract. In powder form, yacon root makes an excellent addition to your blended beverage. It is thought to be one of the “lost crops” of the Incas, who were known to cultivate it and who considered it an important food crop. The fresh root is small and similar in appearance to a potato, and is said to taste similar to a cross between celery and Granny Smith apples.
Posted by|06 October 2014
Have you been searching for an alternative to alcohol-based tinctures? Looking for a way to extract the benefits of herbs and preserve them? Maybe you like your medicine a little on the sweet side?
Vegetable glycerine, the sweet principle of oils, was discovered in 1789 and came into use by medicine makers around 1846. This liquid is obtained by the hydrolysis of vegetable fats or fixed oils. The food grade vegetable glycerine offered by Mountain Rose Herbs is certified organic and kosher, making it a great option.
Sometimes referred to as glycerol, glycerine is a clear, colorless, and odorless liquid with an incredibly sweet taste having the consistency of thick syrup. Glycerine has been used as an ingredient in toothpaste, shampoos, soaps, herbal remedies, and other household items.
Glycerine is also a great solvent for extracting constituents from plants without the use of alcohol. These extracts are known as “glycerites” and are an excellent choice for administering herbal support to pets, children, or people who are sensitive to alcohol for any reason. Glycerine is slightly antiseptic and has anti-fermentative properties that are efficient for preservation. A glycerite has a shelf life of 14-24 months, versus an alcohol extract with a shelf life of 4-6 years.
When making a glycerite with dried herbs, it is common to use water to rehydrate the herbs and loosen up the botanical matter. Generally a mixture with 60% or more glycerin to 40% or less water is a safe ratio. To err on the side of safety, I go with a 75% glycerine to 25% water ratio. If you are working with fresh moist herb, you can go with 100% glycerine for your extract – just be sure to muddle well.
Directions for making your own alcohol-free herbal glycerites:
- Fill a mason jar ½ way with dried herb (2/3 way full with fresh herb). Chop dried herb well before mixing with menstruum.
- In a separate jar, mix 3 parts organic Vegetable Glycerine and 1 part distilled water. Shake to combine.
- Pour liquid mixture over the herb and completely cover to fill the jar.
- Label container with date, ratio of glycerine to water, and herbs used.
- Agitate daily for 4-6 weeks.
- Strain with cheesecloth, bottle, label!
- Note: If you used a fine powder you may need to double filter, and even filter through a coffee filter to ensure that no botanical material remains in your glycerite.
Wondering which herbs to try first? Here’s a list of herbs recommended for glycerite preparation from herbalist James Green’s Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook:
Enjoy your alcohol-free extract!
Posted by|05 October 2014
Preparing a simple decoction is one of my favorite ways to consume roots. While leaves and flowers lend themselves well to a quickly-brewed tea, the roots can take a little more planning. A decoction is a method of simmering roots, barks, berrries, etc. to extract their properties. It takes a little more effort, but it is well worth it – especially when you can enjoy a lovely combination like the following…
Digestion Root Tea
2 Tablespoons organic Burdock Root
2 Tablespoons organic Dandelion Root
2 Tablespoons organic Astragalus Root
1 Tablespoon organic Ginger Root
Combine all the herbs in a saucepan with 3-4 cups cold or tepid water. Bring to a boil for a few minutes before turning the heat down to low and letting the herbs simmer and steep in the hot water for another 5-10 minutes. At this point, you can either strain the herbs and drink the tea or you can let the herbs rest in the water for a longer time (even pouring into a jar, covering and letting sit overnight) for an even stronger decoction. Strain before drinking.
Posted by|29 September 2014
It’s time for a pizza party…
I have been gluten-free for just about a year now. The thing I miss most? Pizza! I used to love bringing home dough from my local co-op and rolling it out with my nieces and nephews for a personal pizza party. Once I had to give up the gluten, I wasn’t exactly motivated to figure out how to make a gluten-free dough that would satisfy my pizza urges. In the past year, I have only had pizza a handful of times, and it was rather expensive when I did – so I set out to finally make some gluten-free pizza bread myself!
This dough is not your normal dough. It’s a twist on a regular gluten-free pizza dough recipe and is easily enjoyed, even by our gluten-loving friends. The mesquite powder (find it here) and teff flour combine to make a subtle sweetness with a soft and chewy texture. Mesquite powder is made from a legume that has long been a staple food of indigenous cultures in the Americas, making it a great wheat-free option for baking. This dough can easily hold up to toppings and is tasty on its own.
It wasn’t an easy task to find a gluten-free flour blend I could stand behind. The recipe below is one I’m very happy with and should work fine as a replacement in your other baking recipes, just add a tsp or two of organic psyllium husk powder or organic guar gum per cup of the Gluten-Free Flour Base.
Gluten-Free Flour Base
- 4 1/2 cups + 1/3 cup organic white rice flour
- 1 2/3 cups organic brown rice flour
- 1 1/3 cups organic potato starch
- 3/4 cup organic Arrowroot Powder
- 1/4 cup organic teff flour
This should be enough flour blend to make 2 (almost 3) of the recipe below.
Mesquite Pizza Dough Recipe
- Using a stick or paddle blender, combine flour mix, mesquite powder, almond flour, psyllium husk powder, baking soda, salt, and yeast. Add in (while mixer is running on low if possible) warm water and oil. Turn to medium speed and mix for about 6 minutes or until everything is well combined and mixture resembles a thick batter.
- Remove bowl from mixer (remove lid if necessary) and cover with plastic wrap, let sit for about an hour and a half.
- Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper/oil. Using a spatula with olive oil, or hands and olive oil, spread dough out to roughly 11 to 12 inch wide circle, leaving a thicker crust at the edge. If’ it’s easier, you can place a piece of plastic wrap on top of dough to help smooth it out.
- Place prepped crusts on middle or lower racks and cook for 45-50 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool.
- Top and bake for 10-12 minutes on middle or top rack at 500 degrees. Slice and enjoy!
Vegan Cashew Cheese
Ohhhh for the love of cheese! How I miss cheese! I discovered this delicious cashew “cheese” alternative while dining out for pizza one evening. It is SO easy to make!
Soak nuts in water overnight, rinse thoroughly, and strain. Place in food processor with 3 cloves of garlic, salt, and olive oil. Blend on high for about 3 minutes or until super smooth and chunk free! Add more oil if you would like, and spices if you so desire!
Herb Spiced Pizza Sauce
When I made this pizza recipe, tomatoes were pouring out of everyone’s ears here in Oregon. If they are not in season in your area, don’t feel bad about grabbing a can of organic tomatoes.
- 10 organic fresh Roma tomatoes (or one can organic tomatoes, strained)
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tbsp organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup organic sugar
- 1 Tbsp organic white vinegar
- 2 tsp fine Sea Salt
- 1 Tbsp dried organic Basil Leaves
- 1 tsp organic Oregano Powder
- 1 tsp organic Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp organic Onion Powder
- 1 tsp organic Black Ground Peppercorn
- 1/2 tsp organic Cayenne Powder
Dice tomatoes and place in deep cast iron skillet. Add water, olive oil, and spices. Cook on medium to medium low for one to two hours. Use mashers to break down tomatoes. After most of the water has dissolved, turn off and let cool. Place in blender (if you desire) and blend up to a smooth consistency. I sometimes like to leave it chunky too! It’s up to you!
Spicy Pizza Sprinkle
Mix ingredients together and place in a shaker container to sprinkle on top of your pizza!
Enjoy the party!
Posted by|28 September 2014
The rains are back! At least, here in Oregon, our beloved fall is kicking off with some delightful cloudbursts and puddles for tromping through! Rainy days call for tasty, savory, deeply-flavored tea, and the inspiration for this recipe is taken right from the sky!
Rainy Day Chai
2 Tablespoons organic Firefly Chai tea
1 teaspoon organic Nettle leaf
1 teaspoon organic roasted Cocao Nibs
1 dropper (or more, to taste) organic Lemon Balm extract/tincture
Combine the Firefly Chai, Nettle, and Cocao Nibs in a tea infuser, strainer or bag. Pour 2 – 2 1/2 cups boiling water over and let steep for 3-5 minutes. Add 1 dropper of Lemon Balm extract or tincture and stir to combine. Feel free to add a little milk, soy, and/or honey to taste. Enjoy!
Posted by|24 September 2014
Our new catalog for Autumn 2014/Winter 2015 has arrived!
As cool weather draws us near the hearth, we’re crafting gifts for the holidays, baking treats, and making medicine from this year’s bounty. We’ve filled these pages with new recipes like vegan gluten-free White Chocolate Coconut Bark, Rosemary Mint Elixir, and Herb Roasted Chickpeas, as well as unique homemade gift ideas, herbal profiles, and new products.
As always, we print on post-consumer waste paper with eco-friendly inks so you can recycle the cover and compost the rest, although we hope you’ll keep it around for a bit or share it with a friend. You can also view the catalog online by clicking here!
Want a FREE copy all for yourself?
Posted by|21 September 2014
The garden harvest is waning. While there are still some pumpkins, winter squashes, and tomatoes producing, the rest of the garden is drying up and putting energy into producing seeds. The fruit trees in our back yard are laden with apples, figs, and persimmons, and soon will start losing their browning leaves. There’s a little bit of sadness in the harvest season, but there’s also satisfaction in the abundance of another growing season. This morning’s tea recipe celebrates some of the flavors and nutrients grown and harvested in gardens all over!
1 teaspoon organic Alfalfa Leaf
1 teaspoon organic Artichoke Leaf
1 teaspoon organic Barberries
1 teaspoon organic Blackberry Leaf
1 teaspoon organic Sunflower Petals
1 teaspoon organic Hyssop
Place all the herbs in a tea infuser, nest, strainer, or bag. Pour 1-2 cups boiling water over and let steep for 3-4 minutes. Feel free to add honey, lemon or other ingredients as desired (this is not a very sweet tea.) Relax and enjoy!