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Nourishing Foods

12 July 2015

Magical Medicinal Herbal Coffee

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Nourishing Foods

chicory.dandySeveral years ago I was told that coffee has a negative effect on the delicate kidney and adrenal systems. Knowing that this is a major area of support for sexual energy and Qi (life-force energy), I knew that I needed to take immediate action towards better care of this crucial component of my life and body.

I found a basic recipe for an herbal coffee substitute, played around with some roots from my yard, added a little local honey and dark chocolate, and came up with a magic decoction that is not only not harmful but acts as a powerful tonic for the liver, kidneys and heart while building the blood and Qi.

Add a little cream and you have a delicious latte. I hope you enjoy it!

07 July 2015

Garlic Elixir

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Nourishing Foods

“Garlic and vinegar have been prized for thousands of years for their amazing healing powers. Alone or in combination, these foods are powerful medicine.”

So starts the first chapter of Garlic and Vinegar: Nature’s Healing Twins by Julia Charles. One of our favorite remedies is our Garlic Elixir, a tangy, pungent, yet slightly sweet combination of garlic, apple cider vinegar and honey; a delicious way to nourish and stimulate your immune system. It’s best to buy garlic and honey from local farms to make this tonic for sore throats, sinus congestion, colds and winter blues.

Since the garlic harvest season is fast approaching we’d like to share our Garlic Elixir recipe with you. As you stroll through your local farmer’s market this summer, keep an eye out for garlic and honey to brew up some zesty Garlic Elixir.

alliumsativumsmallGarlic Elixir Recipe
Makes: 1 quart; for smaller batch use same ratio
Prep time: 30 min + 6 weeks brewing time

Ingredients: 
10 oz Garlic
16 oz Apple Cider Vinegar (or other)
5 oz Honey

23 June 2015

Lambsquarters Leaves and Seeds

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

cw 2015.5.22  field med res cropped 320 x 346One of my favorite things to do after work on a long, languid afternoon of summer is to gather a fresh, wild salad for the evening meal. I always add plenty of lambsquarters to my basket. Her curvy, velvety leaves create a mild base for other, stronger tasting salad greens like dandelion.

Lambsquarters is abundant during the late spring and summer season. The beguiling, undulating leaves—often tinted with just a touch of magenta—have the appearance of a webbed goosefoot, hence her botanical name, Chenopodium album, which translates as “goose foot powder”. The powder refers to a chalky coating that appears on the underside of the leaves. It’s a good way to identify her and also gives a hint to one of her nutritional benefits; lambsquarters is high in calcium.

chenopodium giganteum2 484 x 324This is a good thing, particularly because lambsquarters is a native ancestor of spinach. She shares many of the same health benefits but, like spinach, contains some oxalic acid. The high level of calcium in lambsquarters helps to neutralize that component. Like spinach, she’s wonderful cooked as well, and her tender leaves make a wonderful dish when sautéed with some garlic and olive oil (to provide healthy fats which increase absorption of the minerals and nutrients).

18 June 2015

Balancing Hormones

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

2015.5.2 core bio 2 med res croppedSo much of women’s health revolves around our reproductive cycles and the corresponding hormonal cycles. I get countless questions about the estrogen/progesterone balance. Women want to understand more about their PMS, endometriosis, fibroids--or to how to support their fertility, a healthy pregnancy, or menopause.

In these times, many girls and women tend to have high levels of estrogen, or what’s being called “estrogen dominance,” in large part to the xenoestrogens found in pollutants such as plastics, pesticides, and bovine growth hormones, which find their way into our food and water supplies. This estrogen dominance is being found to contribute to many of women’s chronic reproductive system health issues.

Taking steps to balance the hormones is helpful for many reproductive illnesses as well as easing common issues such as PMS or the menopausal transition. Some ideas:

13 June 2015

Fermented Honey: Mead Making 101

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

Lindsay Wilson's Mead Making Class that the Fall Conference 2014 was a hit. The following is her handout with information about honey and a thorough recipe. In case you are unfamiliar with mead, it is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey. It can be infused with plant matter and used as medicine.

bee on dandelion 450x600Some basics about honey

  • Humans have been gathering honey a very long time ~ rich symbiotic relationship ~ (a coevolution) of flowering plants, humans, and honey bees
  • Nectar of the flower of plants, stored in the stomach of the bee (predigested) and then regurgitated during a process called “food share” which adds enzymes to the nectar and then inserted into hive cells; they then fan their wings until nectar reaches 18.6% moisture content; cap and store honey
  • Bees change sucrose into glucose & fructose
  • 2 million visits to flower = 1 lb of honey
  • Honey bees travel from up to 3-5 miles to collect nectar, pollen, and resin

 

05 June 2015

Edible Flowers

Written by Flora, Posted in Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

Most people are now familiar with the high flavonoids content of berries, but did you know that edible flowers are also good sources of dietary flavonoids? It may be challenging to ingest enough flowers to contribute a substantial amount of flavonoids in the diet, but some edible flowers are quite large and tasty. Examples are daylily, rose of Sharon, and roselle hibiscus. Plus, who doesn’t want to engage in fleuravory every day?

calendula 600x400Edible flowers:
• Calendula (Calendula officinalis, Asteraceae)
• Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva, Xanthorrhoeaceae)
• Rose (Rosa spp., Rosaceae)
• Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus, Malvaceae)
• Roselle hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa, Malvaceae)
• Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans, Lamiaceae)
• Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale, Asteraceae)
• Chives (Allium schoenoprasum, Amaryllidaceae)
• Bee Balm (Monarda didyma and other species, Lamiaceae)
• Squash (Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbitaceae)
• Pansy (Viola, various species and hybrids, Violaceae)
• Nasturtium (Tropaeolum, several species, Tropaeolaceae)

28 May 2015

Fermentation Basics: Lacto-Fermented Apple Chutney

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

Lindsay Wilson brought so many yummy fermentation recipes to her class at the Fall Conference 2014. We're going to post them here in a series, so come back and look for more! For our last installment, here's a sweet tangy favorite.

apple chutney 450x600Lacto-Fermented Apple Chutney
Makes 1 quart

3 cups fresh cut apples
1/2 cup water
grated rind of 2 lemons
juice of 2 lemons
1/8 cup of rapadura, sucanat
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup whey (separated from curds in raw, whole milk ideally)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or chopped pistachios
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp fennel seed

Mix all the ingredients except apples. Add the cut apples and mix well.

Pour into glass quart jar. Cover with a little filtered water if they apples are not covered fully. Make sure there is at least 1 inch of space between top of apples and the lid.

21 May 2015

Fermentation Basics: Lacto-Fermented Pickles

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

Lindsay Wilson brought so many yummy fermentation recipes to her class at the Fall Conference 2014. We're going to post them here in a series, so come back and look for more! Our fourth installment: Pickles!

“Health and homeostasis require the humans coexist with microorganisms.” ~ Sandor Katz

pickles 450x600Lacto-Fermented Pickles
Makes about a quart

4-5 cucumbers (small/medium-sized)
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp fresh dill or 1 Tbsp dill seeds
1 Tbsp sea salt
1-2 cups of spring/filtered water (or more if needed)
4 Tbsp whey
couple grape or oak leaves

If you don’t have whey, use one more tbsp of sea salt. I definitely prefer whey when I make my ferments, though.

Place the leaves (tannins in the leaves keep the pickles nice and crisp), garlic, and dill into the jar.

Pack the jar snug with quartered cucumbers (or smaller sections).

14 May 2015

Fermentation Basics: Ginger-Garlic Sauerkraut

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

Lindsay Wilson brought so many yummy fermentation recipes to her class at the Fall Conference 2014. We're going to post them here in a series, so come back and look for more! For our third installment, here's a standard favorite with a twist:

kraut 600x600Ginger-garlic Sauerkraut Recipe
Makes 1-2 quarts

1 medium cabbage head, cored and shredded
2” chunk grated ginger
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T sea salt
4 T whey (if not available, 1 more T sea salt)

In a bowl, mix cabbage, garlic, ginger, sea salt and whey. Squeeze with hands for about 10 min to release juices.

Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly you’re your fist (or a wooden pounder) until juices come to the top of the cabbage (add a little water if needed).The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.

12 May 2015

Make a Wild Salad

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

2015.4.3 corinna nettles - med cropI know many of you have already been getting out into the garden and woods to harvest the edible wild plants this spring. With so many abundant edible “weeds,” making a wild salad can be a simple, quick dish that delights the eye as well as the palette.

To make an easy wild salad, I usually pick one mild-tasting, wild edible herb for the foundation -- like chickweed, violet, or lambsquarters. Of course, it's fine to mix in some fresh, local spinach or lettuce leaves to get you started.

Then throw in smaller quantities of dandelion leaves, ox-eye daisy leaves, and/or other strong-flavored wild edibles that you’re familiar with. If you have violet or dandelion blossoms blooming nearby, by all means, garnish your salad with those beautiful blossoms!

07 May 2015

Fermentation Basics: Hibiscus Whey Cooler

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

Lindsay Wilson brought so many yummy fermentation recipes to her class at the Fall Conference 2014. We're going to post them here in a series, so come back and look for more! For our second installment, here's a fizzy, refreshing treat: Hibiscus Whey Cooler

hibiscus cooler 400x600In all traditional cultures, brews and natural sodas were easy and effective ways to get the nourishment and medicinal properties of plants into the community’s bellies. Make sure to use filtered or spring water when making your preparations, sing to your ferments or dance while making them, and be patient...magic is happening!

Whey Cooler Recipe
Makes 2 Quarts

1/4 cup dried hibiscus petals (or 1/2 cup of chamomile, nettles, mint, etc)
1/2 cup liquid whey 
Juice of one lime or lemon (optional for extra tartness)
2 quarts filtered or spring water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar

29 April 2015

Fermentation Basics: Kombucha

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

Lindsay Wilson brought so many yummy fermentation recipes to her class at the Fall Conference 2014. We're going to post them here in a series, so come back and look for more! We'll start with a well-known favorite: Kombucha!

kombuchaIn all traditional cultures, brews and natural sodas were easy and effective ways to get the nourishment and medicinal properties of plants into the community’s bellies. Make sure to use filtered or spring water when making your preparations, sing to your ferments or dance while making them, and be patient...magic is happening!

Kombucha Recipe
Makes 1 gallon

3 3⁄4 - 4 quarts filtered water (or spring water)
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1 Kombucha culture
3 tablespoons or 7-8 bags black tea
1/2 cup Kombucha from previous culture

27 April 2015

How to Make an Herbal Infusion

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

An infusion is a potent, powerful, medicinal tea. To make an infusion, the plant material must be steeped for a long time. We find the easiest way to do this is to prepare before going to bed and drink in the morning. Instructions gathered from Susun Weed.
quart infusion

To prepare an infusion:
1. Put one ounce (approximately a cup) of dried herb into a quart jar.
2. Fill with boiling water and cover (this traps the important volatile oils).
3. Steep for 4-10 hours.
4. Strain and drink.
5. Refrigerate the remainder to prevent spoilage.

 

23 April 2015

Rainbow of Flavonoids

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

Juliet Blankespoor explains all the delicious benefits of a flavonoid-rich diet in this highly informative handout from the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference 2014.

raspberries 400x600Imagine a bowl overflowing with color: garnet cherries aside crimson and golden raspberries, blueberries the color of a summer sky, resting against the blush of rose petals. Juicy and alluring, tempting you with vibrancy that promises fresh sweetness. Our intuition is fine-tuned to spot vitality and nutritional density. Humans are naturally drawn to bright colors in our food—the invention of food coloring testifies to this phenomenon. There are a wide variety of compounds lending their color to food; flavonoids are some of the most researched and widely represented colorful phytochemicals in the plant world. It is refreshing to dive deep into the well of tradition and science, both of which describe the medicinal virtues of these tasty treats.

21 April 2015

Homemade Golden Granola

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Nourishing Foods

Here's one of the yummy recipes from the Fall Conference. It is super easy to make and is a delicious source of whole grains. Treat yourself.

golden granolaGolden Granola
Makes almost 2 quarts

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup slivered or sliced raw almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup syrup
1/3 cup sunflower oil (can be replaced with safflower or coconut oil)

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