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|01 April 2014
It is our great pleasure to announce our April Matching Gift Challenge benefiting our dear friends at the McKenzie River Trust! We will match your donation dollar for dollar up to $5000 from April 1st through the 30th. Make your donation go twice as far to protect the special places of Western Oregon!
“Whether you want to admit it or not, wild fish, free flowing rivers, and pristine waters chock full of invertebrates is what defines the character of that curious specimen called the Oregonian. Our cultural heritage would be amiss without the rapture and delight that pure rivers provide and thankfully we have organizations like the McKenzie River Trust to protect this cultural heritage born of water, rock, and fish.” -Shawn Donnille, Co-owner and Vice President of Mountain Rose Herbs
Online: To give your tax deductible donation now, please click here!
Mail: Send a check to the McKenzie River Trust at the address below:
McKenzie River Trust
1245 Pearl Street
Eugene, OR 97401
Donate during the April Matching Gift Challenge and you will become a founding member in support of the Trust. If you donate $100 or more, you’ll receive their new ceramic mug as a “thank you” gift!
Local to Eugene?
Join us at the McKenzie Memories fundraiser, Friday, April 4th from 6 – 8:30pm at Cozmic (199 W. 8th Ave. Eugene, OR) where we will kick off the matching gift challenge.
Posted by|31 March 2014
You may have noticed the suggestion across the bottom of our website:
“These pages are best viewed while sipping tea!”
If we had our way, most tasks would be done with a comforting cup of organic tea in hand. This is one of the main reasons our tea blend recipes have always been so important to us. Our oldest tea blend recipes actually came from Rosemary Gladstar and were passed along to Julie Bailey when she bought the company which has grown into our Mountain Rose Herbs. Other recipes have been crafted and created along the way by Julie Bailey, Shawn Donnille, and Julie DeBord, and while they have all been expanded and multiplied, they remain at the heart of what we share with the world.
I sat down with Julie DeBord—a Mountain Rose employee who has been with the company almost as long as we’ve been in Oregon—to chat about the day to day process of keeping our tea boxes and spice jars filled with the recipes and blends our customers love.
You might be surprised to learn that all of our teas and seasoning blends are mixed by just 2 of our herb-crafting staff. These two folks blend teas almost every day (usually at least 2 different teas a day) and before any teas are packaged for selling, a sample is sent to our Quality Control lab for what we call a “brew test”—yup, we actually brew and taste each batch of tea for quality, flavor, and consistency. Once the “okay” comes from QC, the newly blended batch is boxed, bagged, or bottled by individuals who scoop, weigh, and label each container by hand and then send them downstairs for customer orders.
Our beautiful tea boxes—made from 100% recycled newspapers—are filled by hand here onsite too. We measure each ingredient in grams and always keep proportions for our recipes the same. The process hasn’t changed much since Julie DeBord was the only tea mixer whipping up teas in 5 pound batches — the batches are just a little larger now.
The herbs for our spice and tea blends are the same organic herbs we sell in bulk. Sometimes, however, we might need to do an extra milling step specifically for our recipes to make sure that a leaf or root is the right size to blend well in a recipe. While we are committed to consistency, there are natural variations in harvests that we must take into account. Each ingredient goes through stringent testing, which can take some time during the busiest season of the year or “Tea Season” as Julie and her crew call the winter months, but we’re working hard to keep folks in healing hot beverages!
According to Julie, a favorite part of her job is the creation of new teas and blends. She loves being creative with herbs even as her responsibilities have grown over the years. Her recent inspirations resulted in our two newest teas: Mint Chocolate Mate and Green Sunrise. Through recipe development, brew taste tests, and feedback, she carefully crafted the teas and they have quickly become delicious new favorites around here.
When you settle in for a cup of tea from Mountain Rose Herbs or sprinkle some of our Epicurean Organics Cajun Spice or Mediterranean Seasoning into your dish, imagine the love and care that was taken when our team crafted these special blends just for you!
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|27 March 2014
Yesterday a team of six employees from Mountain Rose Herbs spent a few hours in the mist, rain, and sunshine of a beautiful Oregon spring day cleaning up our sponsored section of the Amazon bike path. This is part of the path that many of our employees bike on every day! This was our second clean up since adopting the path and we had a great day beautifying the scenery for all of the walkers, bikers, and local wildlife to enjoy.
I snapped this photo of a recently planted Ponderosa Pine, a native pine tree in the valley, which was likely part of a city/volunteer effort to plant 250 native trees along our bike path, and more importantly, our second largest waterway, the Amazon Creek. In the background you can see our hardworking team of trash detectives!
Posted by|25 March 2014
Spring is upon us and with it comes many adventures from cleaning out all the nooks and crannies of your home to long road trips exploring faraway trails. When I’m coming out of winter blues I need something to help reawaken my spirits, refresh my mind, and help me smell wonderful on the go! I sat down with our lovely aromatherapist Christine Guerts to put together some spring aroma blends for each moment of this blossoming season.
Each of these recipes produces just a small amount, a test batch let’s say. If you have been dabbling your toes in the aromatherapy world, this will be a fun opportunity to play around with making a small test batch and then multiplying it for a recipe of your choice. Below each of the recipes is a suggested use for the blend – by no means are those suggestions the limitations of this scent! Enjoy them however you’d like, use each recipe in a different way, or try all of the blends and pick your favorite to use in all of these recipes.
Recipe 1: Out to Play
A sweet and playful blend bound to excite the senses. Benzoin is a cost effective replacement for vanilla in recipes and excellent for gentle DIY skin care products. The fruity carrot seed and sweet orange combination make this an exciting and delightful blend, perfect for wearing on your body, especially during sunny adventures!
4 drops organic Benzoin essential oil
4 drops organic Sweet Orange essential oil
3 drops organic Carrot Seed essential oil
Suggested use: Great as a solid perfume or mixed with jojoba oil in a roll top bottle which can be found here. If you want to make a solid perfume, you can follow our balm base recipe here and simply replace the organic essential oil blend with the Out to Play recipe, multiplying the ingredient measurements above by 7. If blending for a roll top bottle, make sure your essential oil blend doesn’t constitute more than 1-2% of your total blend. This means in a 1 oz bottle you would want no more than 6-12 drops of essential oil. If you have questions or want to learn more about converting drops to ml to oz you can check out our handy conversion guide!
Recipe 2: Soft Clean Breeze
This is a soft smelling and cleansing combination of powerful citrus laced with the delicately spicy nutmeg, topped off with a touch of fresh fir needle.
5 drops organic Lavender essential oil
6 drops organic Grapefruit essential oil
4 drops organic Fir Needle essential oil
1 drop organic Nutmeg essential oil
Suggested use: This blend will work great as an air freshener. A perfect way to diffuse essential oils in your car is by using one of our Terra Cotta Pendant Diffusers. Simply place a couple drops of this blend onto a pendant and enjoy the luxurious car scents for weeks to come!
Recipe 3: Awakening
A wonderfully sharp and penetrating combination of petitgrain, uplifting rosemary, with balancing and energizing eucalyptus. Great for pulling your spirits right out of that winter muck.
3 drops organic Rosemary essential oil
2 drop organic Eucalyptus essential oil
Suggested use: Drip oils together in a glass spray bottle and mix by rolling the bottle between the palms of your hands. Pour 1 oz organic witch hazel extract to the top of the bottle and shake well. Spray in the air or on the body when in need of a smile.
Recipe 4: Spring Flowers
A royal blend of floral scents because nothing says “spring!” like blossoming flowers! If you are lucky enough to have both of these luxurious essential oils around your house, get ready for a treat. If you have one or the other or don’t want to overindulge on your essential oil collection, you can replace lavender for either of these floral oils to create an impressive scent, sure to please guests from far off lands.
4 drops organic Neroli essential oil
2 drops Jasmine Absolute esssential
Suggested use: In a diffuser of your choice, add 1-2 drops at a time of the blend and diffuse per the instructions. Enjoy!
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|21 March 2014
Our friends at Way Out Wax have just launched a new look for all of the amazingly pure and natural candles and sprays they carry. Enjoy the same great aroma blends and formulas you love with striking new labels!
These festive, aromatic candles are blended with the finest grade essential oils and are made with a vegetable base as the wax. You will not find any paraffin, synthetic fragrances, or petroleum products in these candles – just the rich, aromatic experience that we all long for. Each candle comes beautifully packaged in a tin with a natural, lead-free wick and has an approximate burn time of up to 25 hours!
Clean, pure, and natural… just the way burning candles in our home should be. Choose from 5 amazing aroma blends:
Sweet Dreams – Scented with essential oils of Lavender, Lemongrass, and Marjoram.
Escentual Love – Scented with essential oils of Rosewood, Patchouli, and Lavender.
Northern Forest - Scented with essential oils of Spruce, Cedarwood, and Fir Needle.
Cozy Home – Scented with essential oils of Cinnamon, Clove, and Nutmeg.
Citrus Harmony – Scented with essential oils of Orange, Grapefruit, and Clove
Freshen any room with these revolutionary Clean Air odor neutralizing sprays! This powerful mist electrostatically attaches to odor particles and neutralizes them, rather than just covering them up. These all natural odor removing sprays are ideal for the kitchen, bathrooms, and more! Each spray contains a proprietary blend of over 30 natural plant extracts and botanical oils, including lavender, citrus oils, and pine.
Choose from 2 aroma blends:
Posted by|20 March 2014
In celebration of the Spring Equinox we are happy to share a bit of spring beauty with you!
Mountain Rose is nestled in West Eugene, where we have an estimated 75% native plant population at our main facility that we look forward to watching bloom every spring. Pictured above is a Trillium (Trillium ovatum) just on it’s way to bloom in Julie Bailey’s garden, which makes us think of our sweet partnership in adopting Trillium through the United Plant Savers‘ Adopt an Herb Program this year. We will post more about that soon! We are also sponsoring several native plant plots this spring, including a Trillium plot, at Buford Park for their Native Plant Nursery which provides native plants for sale in the community to strengthen our ecology and support habitat restoration projects.
Have you greeted a native plant yet this spring?
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.