Recipes and DIY

  • Natural Cleaning: DIY Toilet Bombs

Natural Cleaning: DIY Toilet Bombs

While many of us may be trying to cut out toxic chemicals from our cleaning regime, there are a few areas where it can be tough to feel confident in cleanliness with homemade cleaning options. The bathroom is a prime example of a room where we’ve been conditioned to think in terms of strong bacteria-killing, disinfecting chemicals. These toilet bombs may look cute and adorable, but they are also packed full of strong cleaning power. The Baking Soda, Borax, and Citric Acid all serve well as cleaning agents and the essential oils add more beneficial cleansing properties, as well as a wonderful clean scent! To use, drop one bomb into the toilet bowl and allow to fizz and dissolve. Scrub and flush. You do not have to restrict their use to just the toilet, either! You can drop one in a bucket of cleaning water and use as a surface cleaner, use one […]

  • elderberries

The Sunday Steep!

If you are an herb junky like me, you may have bags and jars of herbs you purchased, grew or gathered filling your pantry shelves and yet you reach for the same "comfortable" ones time and time again. It can be a little intimidating and confusing wondering what else one can do with those beautiful crimson elderbrries besides making elderberry syrup once a year? We tend to reach for the leaves and flowers to make our trusty cups of herbal tea because that is what we know. But deeply flavored tree berries, woody bark, and dehydrated roots carry good medicine and make for wonderful soothing beverages too! It just might take a little more steeping time and provide you with an opportunity to use your mortar and pestle! This tea is a beautiful amber color, has a nice aroma and a spicy sweet taste… Berries, Roots & Bark Tea 1 […]

  • Learn to make your own soap!

DIY: Herbal Soap Making From Scratch

Handcrafting soap from scratch is a mesmerizing and enchanting process.  Watching the transformation of oil and water makes you feel like a scientist, chemist, alchemist, or perhaps an herbal magician.  There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of lathering up with a luscious bar of your own homemade soap, and I’m beyond excited to share this DIY skill with you! After bathing with your homemade soap, you’ll be hooked.  Industrial soap companies remove the glycerin from soap in order to produce bars that are firmer and longer lasting.  Glycerin occurs naturally during the soap making process, providing a moisturizing quality to soap. Since handmade soap retains glycerin, it is gentler and more moisturizing to the skin than conventional store-bought soaps.  This is also why handcrafted soap should be placed on a well-draining surface, and not left standing water where it will quickly dissolve. Making soap is a little dangerous because […]

  • Bee Pollen

The Sunday Steep!

I just finished mowing the grass in the back garden and flopped down on the hammock to survey my fine work. Watching the busy honeybees zooming in and out of the hive and flying up over the sprawling rose hedge gave me an idea for this delicious tea recipe. I feel so fortunate that seasonal allergies do not keep me indoors during this beautiful time of year, but where I live in the Willamette Valley of the Pacific Northwest, the sneezing and sniffles that come with tree and grass pollens are common. Many folks add Bee Pollen to their diet to help. Bees coat their legs with pollen while they are out gathering nectar and I love seeing our bees working around the yard with these golden yellow "saddlebags"–spreading pollen from plant to plant. This combination of herbs and black tea makes for an aromatic and delicious cup of caffeinated […]

  • How To Make Tinted Lip Gloss

How to Make Naturally Tinted Lip Gloss

Many of us au naturale gals forgo sticky chemical lipstick for a nice homemade lip balm. While always soothing and moisturizing, sometimes a little pop of color strikes your fancy and you want a hint of rosy tint. Thankfully, it is surprisingly easy to make a gorgeous pot of red lip gloss with a few simple ingredients. Alkanet root has traditionally been used as a dye plant for fiber arts, soaps, cosmetics, wood stains, and was even employed in the past to give cheap wine a deeper garnet color so it would appear to be higher quality (although, alkanet is not recommended for internal use as a food dye). This incredible color from the root is easily drawn out by oil, making it the perfect herbal choice for lip balms, gloss, and lipstick!  While this recipe won't color your lips, it will provide a silky shine with a natural pink to red hue that will make your kisser look […]

  • Spring Body Wash Ingredients

Make Your Own Herbal Body Wash!

Purchasing body wash from the store might sound like an easy task, but sometimes it just isn't. Researching ingredients, reading labels, re-reading labels, and considering company politics, I always want to use my wallet as a vote for a healthier world. I've gone through my exploration of soaps and body washes and settled on a basic organic castille soap for quite sometime. Pure, natural, and easy – especially when you buy in bulk. If you properly dilute castille soap with water you only need to purchase one large bottle every couple of weeks or months, depending on the size of your family.  Finding a great organic castille soap is a huge transition point for so many people looking to fill their cabinets with natural body care products. However, only using castille soap for a bit, I started to miss those lovely floral or woodsy scents, as well as the extra moisturizing ingredients. We shared a Midwinter Body Wash recipe on our DIY Holiday Gift Guide and it got […]

  • moringa tea brewing

The Sunday Steep!

One of my very favorite things to do is to make a big mug of tea first thing on a bright spring morning, and head out into the garden and chicken yard. I wander around the garden with the steaming mug in my hands, looking at my growing plants, picking bits of herbs and veggies to munch on, and stretching easily as the sun warms my stiff limbs. I pull up a lawn chair by the chicken run and sit and watch what we call "The Chicken Channel" as the morning unfolds. Perfection! This is a lovely tea for just such a morning. The pinch of Stevia leaf is optional, but helps to balance some of the stronger flavors of the roots… Sunny Morning Tea Blend 1 teaspoon organic Linden Leaf & Flower 1 teaspoon organic Lemon Verbena 1 teaspoon organic Catnip Leaf & Flower 1 teaspoon organic Raspberry Leaf […]

  • Make Your Own Dukkah Spice!

Make Your Own Dukkah Spice!

Have you ever tried Dukkah? I became infatuated with this spice blend after tasting it for the first time a few years back. A warming combination of toasted nuts, seeds, and spices all whirled together and then swirled in extra virgin olive oil…sooo good. This wonderfully nutty, herby, aromatic blend is a delicious condiment found in traditional Egyptian cuisine, and can be paired with warm crusty bread, tossed on roasted veggies, added to salads and rice dishes, sprinkled on baked potatoes, spread on pizza dough, used to crust tofu and other proteins, or mixed in yogurt as a savory sauce. You can use a variety of ingredients to create different flavor profiles in your Dukkah creations. I like hazelnuts, because that's what grows prolifically around here, but you could use pistachios, cashews, almonds, or walnuts as the base too. You can also play with different spice combinations like cardamom and rose, or cinnamon and citrus, try different mints […]

  • vintage-tea-cups

The Sunday Steep!

This tea has a little zip, a little zing, and a bit of sweet. I love every herb in this recipe and stumbled upon this creation when I wanted something to drink in the morning after a night of festive eating. The Yarrow leaf & flower, Lemon peel, and the Ginger powder have some nice bitters qualities, helping to stimulate my sluggish appetite or to give my digestive system a boost. I can't seem to get enough Oatstraw and Nettle leaf and I always feel like I'm doing something good for myself when I find a way to include them in my teas. Feel free to adjust the amounts if you want a bit more bitter or a bit more sweet.   Bitter Sweet Tea Blend 1 teaspoon organic Yarrow leaf & flower 1 teaspoon organic Rosemary leaf 1 teaspoon organic Oatstraw 1 teaspoon organic Nettle leaf 1 teaspoon organic […]

  • Free Download: Herb Fairies Cookbook

Free Download: The Herb Fairies Cookbook

Spring flowers are blooming and that means the Herb Fairies will be returning soon… To celebrate their arrival, they're sharing a free cookbook with us. You can find it here! Let's create one of their favorite recipes from the book, made with organic astragalus, burdock, ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamom, and cloves:   Rooty Chai Tea Recipe   Want more recipes from the Herb Fairies? Click here for a FREE download of their cookbook!      

  • herbal-beer

Adventures in Herbal Home Brewing

My love of home brewing is over a dozen years old. From my first novice attempt with a beer-making kit, it was a quick trajectory to all grain brewing and some grand experiments (not all of which resulted in delicious masterpieces, mind you!) Now, I grow my own hops on three established hop plants along the edges of the garden, and this provides plenty of plump hops to dehydrate and freeze for use in my creations. While my brewing adventures started with modern-ish beer recipes, I also love experimenting with meads and herbal fermentations. For me, the joy of home brewing is creating beverages that I can’t get anywhere else! Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers is a dense book of almost endless inspiration for a home brewer like me. I picked it up because I wanted to learn more about brewing with fresh and dried herbs and decided to give […]

  • Herbal Tea

The Sunday Steep!

Some weeks are busy weeks full of long days and late nights! While I am not really a caffeine junky, I do like my cup or two of coffee brewed with cacao nibs every morning. On weeks like this past one, however, where we are visiting with lots of people, going to events far and wide, and still putting in a good day's work, I tend to reach for tea more than coffee throughout the day. I think my nerves and senses respond well to the calming ritual of tea, it helps to keep me hydrated, and it's a small way to pay attention to my body's needs when the wild world is calling! This tea recipe is made up of some of my very favorite herb friends… The Extrovert's Balancing Tea Blend 1 Tablespoon organic Skullcap 1 teaspoon organic Lemongrass 1 teaspoon organic Raspberry Leaf, Strawberry Leaf, or Blackberry […]