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|30 October 2014
Top: Alieta and Miriam helping Thomas fill in the design. Bottom: The finished wall!
Wow! We are in the process of remodeling our Local Pick-Up Parlor with this beautiful chalkboard wall! We were so happy to finish it up yesterday evening after a week of multi-step application! There are still some more elements to finish up in the parlor redesign, but this was one very large detail that we were super excited to complete!
Live in Eugene? Learn more about visiting us to pick up your next order!
Posted by|29 October 2014
Mountain Rose Herbs is a Business Member of EarthShare Oregon and we have setup a generous employee giving program that connects our staff with like-minded environmental organizations working to protect and defend the places we hold dear. Through this program, Mountain Rose Herbs generates thousands of dollars each year for numerous non-profits in the state of Oregon. Employees also work closely with many of these organizations through the Mountain Rose River Project. Our staff loves to give!
This year, Mountain Rose Herbs raised $4,064 in annual contributions and had 31 employees participate, 12 of which were entirely new to the program!
At the kickoff event for the employee giving campaign, Jan Wilson, Executive Director of EarthShare Oregon, thanked Mountain Rose Herbs employees for their generous support of the work that’s being done to address the environment’s most pressing challenges. From renewable energy to locally-grown organic food supplies, from waste reduction to pedestrian-friendly urban design, protecting and restoring habitats in forests, wetlands, oceans and deserts to protecting our clean air and clean water sources – the impact of the efforts that Mountain Rose Herbs employees fund is directly responsible for enhancing our quality of life here in the Pacific Northwest. By “walking our talk,” we not only cement the community-minded culture here at Mountain Rose Herbs, we, hopefully, inspire other businesses to provide ways for their employees to invest in the community too.
Imagine if every “green” business in Oregon made it possible for its employees to contribute a small amount of their paychecks to the environmental legacy we’re leaving for future generations! Imagine a state where all our kids get a quality education at schools without pesticides on the playgrounds, healthy foods that don’t cause allergic reactions and don’t destroy the soil, water without industrial pollutants, air without the particulates that trigger asthma attacks, and safe routes for kids to get to school by bike and on foot. That’s the vision, and it is well within our reach. But it requires more people to get involved. The employees at your workplace may be the tipping point!
So if your business would like to set up an easy way to establish or enhance your leadership role in creating a healthy and sustainable community, we heartily recommend a fun and rewarding workplace giving campaign. EarthShare has a toolkit and advice that makes it easy, and they work seamlessly with other workplace fundraising organizations, like United Way, or with your existing holiday fundraising events. Employees will appreciate this low-cost employee benefit, as well as your public commitment to the community and the natural world in which they live, work, and raise families.
Contact EarthShare Oregon and get started today!
Contact Jan Wilson with EarthShare Oregon, firstname.lastname@example.org, 503.223.9015
Posted by|28 October 2014
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|24 October 2014
Our new AromaMist Ultrasonic Diffuser is a must have for the home or office!
Create a tranquil, fragrant environment in any room with this simple to use ultrasonic diffuser. The AromaMist diffuser uses half a cup of tap or bottled water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil to create a continuous fragrant mist for up to three hours. This nearly silent unit has a built-in shut off for when the water level gets low. This pearl white diffuser also has an optional light setting that glows in blue, pink, or a revolving rainbow of colors.
Ultrasonic diffusion creates a fine mist by using ultrasonic vibrations to dispense essential oils into the air using water as a carrier. This mist is created without the use of heat, and helps to add moisture into the air in addition to the aroma-therapeutic benefits of essential oils.
Find more information on this wonderful diffuser on our website HERE.
Visit our Essential Oils page for endless diffusing options…
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|22 October 2014
We have a wonderful new collection of YouTube videos with aromatherapist Kathi Keville!
Kathi takes us through the top 8 essential oils you need to create a starter set at home. In this series, she teaches us about the emotional, cosmetic, and medicinal properties of Lavender, Rosemary, Geranium, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Tea Tree found in our Classic sampler, as well as Citrus and Marjoram essential oils. We are so grateful for the time we shared with Kathi and the amazing wealth of knowledge she brought to our community during the Free Herbalism Project. We hope you enjoy the videos too! Be sure to watch in HD 1080 for the best quality.
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.