I don’t know about you, but in the past when I heard the word, gelatin I would automatically think Jell-O! After learning more and more about it, I’d now say it could almost be classified as a superfood, because of its many
amazing health benefits and uses. We have even incorporated organic gelatin powder into our family’s whole food diet and use it often. Here is why:
Benefits of Organic Gelatin:
- Organic gelatin contains half of the 18 essential amino acids, needed for survival with one of the most important amino acid called glycine.
- It improves digestion by naturally binding to water and helps food move through the digestive tract more easily.
- If you want to lose weight gelatin is thought to increase the production of Human Growth Hormone and to boost metabolism. And with its nutrient-dense content, it also helps keep you full!
- Check this out: some experts suggest adding gelatin to the diet to help alleviate a number of allergies.
- It can help tighten up loose skin and reduce wrinkles when taken internally. Some say it helps with cellulite.
- Organic gelatin is good for both joint and bone health because it contains many of amino acids important in helping to prevent the weakness of cartilage in joints. With its anti-inflammatory traits it has also been shown to reduce the pain of inflammation of arthritis.
- Organic gelatin can help speed to heal wounds more quickly.
- Organic gelatin has an amnio acid called glycine which plays an important role in the neurotransmitters within the brain. Glycine helps us to get a more restful sleep and not only that it will also help reduce daytime sleepiness and help improve your memory during waking hours.
- Organic gelatin is a great detoxifier, helps liver remove toxins from our body.
- Lastly, look no further for healthy, strong hair, nails and teeth. Organic gelatin contains karatin a protein which is found in our hair, nails and teeth.
Uses For Organic Gelatin:
- You can use this just as you would any gelatin powder. The difference is that it’s organic meaning it will not contain any preservatives, additives or chemicals. You will be getting a better quality outcome with wonderful health benefits.
- Organic gelatin is very versatile. Try adding a bit to the next soup or stew you make.
- Powdered gelatin can be used in making tasty desserts of all sorts. Homemade Jell-Os, mousses, and puddings with organic gelatin are so yummy. You can even make marshmallows.
- Add 1 tsp to your shampoo to help your hair grow thick and strong.
- Take as a daily supplement. I like to actually drink mine in tea. Add 1 Tbsp to your tea and stir.
- Using in place of your protein powder for smoothies is an excellent alternative.
- 1 Tbsp in a cup of chamomile tea before bed will help you get that good sleep (I mix the gelatin in with a little cold water first then poor in the hot – this helps with clumping).
Organic Gelatin Cooking Tips:
- Jellies should never be frozen. After defrosting they lose their smooth consistency and become brittle.
- Too much sugar can inhibit gelatinization. The more sugar in the recipe, the softer the resultant gelatin will be.
- When making jellies and puddings using raw kiwis, figs, pineapple, papayas or mangoes you should briefly steam the fruit or pour hot water over it prior to preparation. These fruits contain an enzyme that splits protein, which breaks up the gelatin and makes it liquefy.
- Never add gelatin to boiling liquid because it loses its gelling strength.
- Unprepared gelatin has an indefinite shelf-life as long as it is wrapped airtight and stored in a cool, dry place.
Do you use Organic Gelatin Powder? What are your favorite uses?
Now that summer has almost ended and most of our kiddos are back in school, there is one thing looming on my mind… the dreaded flu season. I love it when the kids go back to school, but what I DON’T love is what they BRING home from school: GERMS! With all the onslaught of germs comes the sniffles, pukes, night time coughing and fevers… and what I hate even more is that after one kid gets sick, the other ones soon do too… and it seems to go on forever. Even me, who prided myself on not getting sick had to drag myself to my N.D. last year when I got the flu for the first time in 6 years (and it took me down…hard!). At the end of my appointment my N.D. typed up my “prescriptions” and first thing on the list was Elderberry Syrup.
He began to tell me that a study was done between Tamiflu (a well-known flu medication) and elderberry syrup comparing how they treat the flu and elderberry syrup knocked Tamiflu out of the park! Elderberries contain a ton of healthy properties (including antioxidants, tannins, vitamins A, B, and C, flavonoids, and much more), which help strengthen the immune system, which makes elderberry syrup very effective in treating the flu. But to buy elderberry syrup through my N.D. or health food store it seemed to run anywhere from $15-$20 for a 4-8 oz. bottle. I thought that was a little steep so I decided I wanted to save some money and take a stab at making my own. I did and I was able to make 2 batches (of 16 oz. or more) in what it cost for a 4-8 oz. bottle. What’s even better is that elderberry syrup tastes delicious! It’s not a syrup I have to fight my children to take…they ask for it! Now let’s get started with the recipe!
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
- 2/3 cup dried elderberries
- 3-3 1/2 cup water (distilled, spring or filtered is best, preferably not tap water)
- 2 tbsp. of one of the following : garlic (chopped), Ginger root, dried echincacea)
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks or powder
- 1 tsp. dried whole cloves or 1/2 tsp clove powder (optional)
- 1 cup raw or local honey or local honey
Step 1: Place berries, water, and spices in a saucepan.
Step 2: Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 45-50 minutes. (I was busy with my toddler and mine simmered for around 60 minutes, and it was fine) The liquid will reduce a bit, and that’s perfectly normal.
Step 3: Smash the berries to release remaining juice and strain the mixture, I used a fine strainer here but I have also used a nut milk bag and was able to squeeze a lot more juice out, I was a just a little lazy this time around.
Step 4: Now that the liquid is cooled down a bit, stir in your honey. We do this here because if we did this step in the beginning when the liquid is very hot it would kill all those important flu fighting enzymes in the honey.
There you have it your very own, flu fighting Elderberry Syrup!
Standard dosage for prevention:
Babies – Under the age of 1 should not take syrup which contains honey.
Kids – 1/2 -1 tsp. a daily
Adults – 1/2 tbsp. – 1 tbsp. daily
When the onset of flu or colds strike take normal dosages every 2-3 hours until symptoms are gone. Elderberry syrup stored in a glass container, tightly in the refrigerator will last up to two months!
*Note: In my recipe above I used garlic. I usually use grated ginger or dried Echinacea. I wasn’t sure how it was going to taste with the garlic so I decided that I would grate some organic orange zest purely for flavor. Using the garlic did change the flavor profile but thankfully the kids still like it…just wouldn’t want to pour it over my pancakes. Experiment with the flavors you like!
Do The Math: Making Your Own Elderberry Syrup vs. Buying It
I want to show you how much I spent making this flu fighting syrup I want to break it down for you.
- 2/3 c dried Elderberries = $3.40 (1.70 an oz. at my local herb store)
- Spices combined (unless you are using Echinacea root then it might be a little more) = less than $1.00
- 3 c Distilled water= $0.25
- Raw honey = $3.50 (depending on honey brand you use it could be more or less)
That’s a HUGE savings compared to this and you should yield around 190 tsp or 60 Tbsp per batch!
Oh, one more time with the reminder: I’m not a health care professional (yet, starting school next week though, yippee!) and this blog post does not take place of any medical advice. If you have questions, please consult your health care professional.
Here’s to a healthy flu season! Don’t forget to drink your water. Good tip is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day (for example: if you weight 150lbs drink 70 ounces of water)!
Share with us in the comments what you do to help keep your immunity up during the flu season!
I don’t know about you, but up until a few years ago all I really knew about aloe vera was that it was excellent for soothing sunburns. I had no idea that it was packed with so many other powerful benefits. Some people might even tell you that aloe vera is right up there with garlic when it comes to medicinal healing!
The aloe vera plant is a cactus like plant and is part of the Lily family (Liliaceae) which is the same family that garlic belongs too. When an aloe leaf is broken open it secretes a clear gel-like substance.
Aloe vera has both internal and external uses for our body and it contains over 200 active elements including: minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, polysaccharides, amino acids, enzymes and fatty-acids. It’s been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
24 Amazing Health Benefits of Aloe Vera:
1. Aloe vera is an alkaline forming food. Disease cannot thrive in an alkaline environment. Eating this helps alkalinize the body.
2. Anti-microbial, Germicidal, Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, Anti-viral, Disinfectant and Anti-biotic. WOW, if that doesn’t pack a punch on external and internal infections I don’t know what else can!
3. Reduces high blood pressure natural, by treating the cause and not just the symptoms.
4. Speeds up recovery in injuries.
5. Excellent for colon health, it can stop colon cancer in its tracks.
6. Helps treat and prevent Candida infections and other fungal infections
7. Can stop the growth of cancerous tumors
8. Helps slow the aging process
9. Can help lessen visibility of stretch marks
10. Helps aid in digestion (can aid in healing ulcers, also some say it can be a good laxative while others say it helps with regularity)
11. Helps support normal muscle and joint functions
12. Because of the fatty-acids it helps increase absorption of other supplements when taking with aloe vera gel or juice.
13. Great for dental health, can help heal periodontal disease and sooth sore gums
14. Boosts circulation in the body like numb hands and feet
15. It is a natural food preservative
16. Increases blood flow to the brain
17. Prevents kidney stones
18. Helps balance electrolytes which are important for physical endurance and sports, so get rid of that Gatorade and get some aloe!
19. Accelerates healing in wounds, burns and helps soothes arthritis pain
20. Protects body against oxidative stress (free radicals)
21. Very hydrating for our skin, which why it makes it excellent for skin repair and sun damage
22. Aloe vera contains 2 hormones: Auxin and Gibberellins which help stimulate the growth of cells which makes aloe a wonderful choice for healing acne.
23. Lower high cholesterol
24. Can be packed in wounds to help kill the bacteria and protect wounds from infection.
I hope now you will not just think of aloe vera as your topical choice for treating sunburns but as a whole body healer!
Some Notes About Aloe Vera:
- If you have never used aloe vera as a supplement or internally it’s best to start small then gradually increase over time.
- Remember aloe vera is incredibly medicinal plant, usually less is more when taken internally. It may cause adverse interactions with prescription and over-the-counter medications. Always consult your health care advisor with any questions you might have.
Where can you buy Aloe Vera?
Actually you might be able to find it right at your local grocery store. I was surprised to find some aloe leaves in our local grocery market (and it wasn’t even a health food store) If you buy your aloe leaves. Filet your leaves carefully and scoop out the gel.
You can find a wide variety of organic aloe vera gels and juices online.
What is ghee? Ghee is a staple ingredient in Indian cooking. You might have also heard it called butter oil or clarified butter. Many people with dairy or butter sensitivities often can still have ghee because in the cooking process (which I’ll show you below) the milk solids are removed (lactose and protein, which people can be sensitive and allergic too).
I started making ghee in my own home a few months ago when my youngest daughter (23 months) started developing a little rot on her teeth. When I took her to see our integrative dentist he wasn’t worried about her teeth in the slightest, but gave me some really good tips to help repair her teeth. One of the books in his office was Weston A. Price’s book titled, “Nutritional and Physical Degeneration”. In his book butter oil (ghee) is a key ingredient to re-enameling teeth because it contains certain fats and activating substances that help bond the nutrients in the body to the bones. Ghee also has anti-carcinogen effects that help protect against tooth decay. Who would have known, right?! It’s been two months of eating ghee and my daughter’s teeth are slowly on the mend. Not only that, ghee is delicious and I cannot imagine eating “Regular” butter ever again.
Here are a Few Other Added Benefits of Ghee:
- Ghee has a very high smoke point which makes it excellent for cooking, stir-fries and also frying.
- It’s excellent on anything you would use on or with regular butter, spread on your toast (how my daughter likes it) in all your baking recipes.
- It has a long shelf life. No need to refrigerate it. You can keep it in your pantry for up to 3-6 months…. but I can’t imagine how… the longest I have mine on my counter is 2 weeks!
- It’s excellent to take with your daily vitamins. Take 1/4-1/2 tsp along with your vitamins to help maximum absorption!
How to make Ghee (clarified butter or butter oil):
Start by using the best butter. I like to use 1lb Kerrygold unsalted butter because it comes from grass-fed pasture raised cows. You can also use organic unsalted butter too.
Unwrap the butter and place in a glass bowl or sauce pan on your stove at medium heat. Bring to a very slow boil (this will take several minutes, so be patient).
Once it starts to boil you will notice a white foam start to form. This is the milk solids that you will be getting rid of.
Now use a slotted spoon and skim off as much foam as you can. Don’t worry if you can’t get it all, because you will strain the rest off later. After you scoop out as much foam as you can, let simmer for 5-10 minutes to completely separate the milk solids from the butter oil. You can tell when this happens when the butter starts to become clearer and you can see the bottom of the pan. Sometimes you might see some milk solids start to turn brown, don’t worry. Again that will all be separated.
Use a fine mesh strainer and slowly poor into a wide mouth mason jar you can also use a funnel in your mason jar. This step will separate the rest of the milk solids from the butter oil. And that’s it. There you have it. Your very own, healthy, yummy, homemade Ghee! Enjoy!
Oh- I forgot to add that you can also buy Ghee if you aren’t inclined to make it yourself. Click here to see my favorite and trusted brand!
Have you ever heard of Ghee? I hope after today’s tutorial that you will pick up a jar or be inspired to make some at home! Tell me how yours turned out!
Maca is a superfood in its own right and what it is mostly known for is its energy boosting and hormonal properties. Did you know that maca goes back thousands of years and is grown in Peru at very high altitudes? In fact it is the highest altitude growing plant in the world. Maca is actually a root vegetable which kind of resembles a radish or a turnip but more sandy color and is part of the potato/starch family. Maca has a ton of nutritional goodness like; amino acids, carbohydrates, and tons of minerals including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E and it’s high in potassium. Now take a look to see what this superfood can do!
- Helps to balance and regulate out our hormones to each individual person
- Decrease hot flashes in women with Menopause
- Reduce stress
- Normalize sleep
- Encourages muscle growth
- Treat PMS (Mood Swings)
- Help boost energy naturally (and without those coffee jitters or shakes)
- Increases Stamina and athletic performance
- Nicknamed “Natures Viagra” helps to naturally boost and improves sexual function and libido in men.
- Nourishes glandular system (Thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands to name a few)
- Reverse vaginal dryness
- Lessens aches and pains
- Helps slow down the aging process
- Restores balance to the body, especially our hormones
- Helps improve mental awareness/clarity
- Low in calories
How To Add Maca to Your Diet:
Maca’s benefits are usually noticed very quickly after you start adding them to your diet. Remember to start taking maca slowly, starting with 1/2 tsp a day and working up over a week or two’s time until you reach 1-2 tsp a day. It’s actually good to take time off from maca, so your body doesn’t get too accustomed to it. If you take it for a week, take a week off or a month on, month off. Find a good cycle that works for you! Also, keep in mind maca has an earthy, nutty flavor which sometimes can have hints of butterscotch, now here are some ideas for how to add maca to your meals:
- Add to your smoothies
- Mix or blend into your milk or juice
- Mix into your muffin or pancake recipes
- Stir into your hot breakfast cereal
- Add it to your cookie recipes nn bn
- Sprinkle onto your popcorn (especially yummy if your popcorn is popped with coconut oil)
One Last Thing About Maca!
Because maca can have powerful effects on our bodies and to our health remember that it is NOT a drug. It is a plant and it is NOT toxic to our bodies. If you are just starting out in your healthy lifestyle and you start taking maca, you may notice flu like systems, don’t be alarmed. Maca is SO nutrient dense that it is pushing all or “throwing out” all those toxins out of your body to replace with what your body is craving…nutrients!
Have you ever used maca? What was your experience?
Last week we posted a blog post on sea salt recipes for beauty care. This week we wanted to explain the difference between organic sea saltand table salt. Many people don’t think about the little things we’re putting into our
foods, but there’s a big difference between the table salt you’re used to seeing on the dinner table and sea salt.
Sea Salt Vs. Table Salt
Table salt is much like white sugar, highly processed and refined. There is 84 trace minerals in pure sea salt. After table salt has been processed more than 80 of those essential minerals have been removed and in their place they add back into or “enrich” with anti-clumping, anti-drying fillers like aluminum compounds. Potassium iodine is also added because the natural iodine in sea salt was removed during processing. You also might see some kind of bleaching additive too, to keep the salt nice and white. Does that sound like a salt you want to be using in your baking or adding to your meals? I hope not!
Has a whopping 84 minerals and trace elements. It is an unprocessed, unrefined “raw” and truly natural salt which is hand mined in salt caves that were formed 250 million years ago as ocean salt settled in little pockets around the earth. Pretty cool huh?!
The Truth About Salt
You are probably accustomed to thinking that salt is bad for you, period…that is true, to an extent. But it’s table salt who is the enemy. Eating common table salt actually causes excess fluid in your body that can contribute to many different things: arthritis, kidney and gall bladder stones, gout, cellulite. It can cause diabetes and obesity to worsen. Table salt causes blood pressure to rise quickly because the blood is working hard to remove the toxins in that salt away from the heart, that is why some doctors will tell you to limit salt in-take if you have high blood pressure. The preservatives and additives that are added to table salt can do their own damage to our bodies over time, like:
- Kidney, liver problems
- Heart disease
- Thyroid problems
- Muscle cramps
That’s just to name a few! So, if you have table salt in your home right now, I suggest you go throw it out and replace it with some natural sea salt.
The Health Benefits of Sea Salt
Like I said before sea salt has 84 minerals and trace elements and the cool thing is that those minerals and elements are identical to the elements found in our body. Some benefits of using sea salt daily are:
- Builds a strong immune system
- Helps fight acne
- Aids in digestion
- Promotes healthy pH balance in our body
- Helps with nerve stimulation
- Salt contains magnesium, which is important for producing enzymes, nerve transmission, bone formation, forming tooth enamel, and resistance to heart disease and important for babies developing brain
- Promotes sleep naturally
- Promotes blood sugar health
- Anti aging
- Regulates water content in our body
- Helps with circulation
- Great for your skin
- Supports respiratory health
- Good for detoxing
- Helps with proper functioning of the adrenal glands
How to use Sea Salt to Stay Healthy
You can use it just as you would your thrown out table salt.
- Season your cooking
- Sprinkle on your meals
- Add to your favorite baking recipes
- Use to make salt scrubs
- Soothing bath: Add 1/2 -1c of sea salt to your warm bath and soak for 20 minutes. Helps draw out toxins and leaves your skin smooth.
- Drink before bed to help you sleep 1/2 teaspoon to 1 glass of water.
- Mix with warm water to gargle when you feel a sore throat coming on
- Use to make your neti-pot solution: 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt to 8 oz. of distilled water.
I hope this helped convince you to turn away from table salt once and for all. What is your favorite sea salt and how do you like to use it? Psst! My favorite is Himalayan salt!
Yes! It can be done, and it’s actually quite simple and requires very little time, few ingredients and it is very cost effective, especially if you already have some of these ingredients on hand. Why make my own organic diaper cream when it’s so easy to buy? Good question. So many of us moms are unaware of the dangers of conventional baby care products (can’t lie I was too, with my first two children). For example: I have a very old tube of A+ D Original Ointment in front of me right now (that I received as a baby shower gift two years ago) and the ingredients include: Petrolatum, cod liver oil, Fragrance, Light mineral oil, Microcrystalline wax and paraffin. If petrolatum (petroleum jelly) doesn’t set off a red flag to you right away then you might want to read this article right away. Fragrance is another red flag. I always put a product back that has the word “fragrance” listed in the ingredients. Why? Because fragrance is considered a trade secret, so companies don’t have to tell us what’s in it – often dozens or even hundreds of synthetic chemical compounds are in just that simple word…fragrance. Pretty alarming huh? Don’t fret, if making your own organic products seems a little intimidating to you then you can buy a perfectly safe organic diaper cream here. But if you do have the time and interest to make your own organic diaper cream, it’s not as hard as it may seem and it’s so rewarding when you apply it to your sweet baby’s skin.
Healthy, Homemade Organic Diaper Cream Recipe
What you will need:
- 1/2 c Coconut Oil (read about the many benefits here)
- 1/4 c Shea Butter
- 1 T Beeswax (optional)
- 1 T Vegetable Glycerin (Optional)
- Herbs (optional, In this batch I used 1T each Chamomile flowers and Calendula which both have has anti-bacterial properties. Chamomile has and added anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic properties.
- Essential Oils (also optional, I like to use 5-10 drops of Lavender)
- 1 tsp Arrowroot Powder (optional, has extra drying power) Whoops! Not pictured.
Heat some water in double boiler or saucepan over medium high heat (I use a glass bowl on top of my sauce pan as my double boiler, which I designate for all my home making products) Melt the coconut oil. If you wish to add herbs, add them now and turn heat to low and let sit for 1 hour (pictured above). If you are NOT using herbs you can add the beeswax now also.
Strain Herbs in a fine mesh strainer. * If using beeswax return to double boiler pain and melt beeswax. Once beeswax is melted continue to the next step
Poor coconut oil in a mixing bowl and add shea butter and your optional arrowroot powder and vegetable glycerin. Mix until Shea butter is melted and all ingredients are combined. (you can even use a fork to mash it in also)
In the winter I skip this step because it is usually cool enough, but it’s been a steady 75 degrees and above in the Pacific Northwest and my coconut oil has been mostly liquid so I like to stick my whole mixing bowl into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to slightly solidify. You can totally skip this step, but it just makes a prettier end product.
Mix until you get fluffy white peaks or until it resembles yummy whipped cream or vanilla frosting, yes, it looks good enough to eat!
Oh wait I almost forgot. If using essential oils.. it’s not too late to add them in now…like me!
Give the mixer a few turns to incorporate that oil then you’re done!
Just scoop your cream into a container or jar and there you have it. Your very own, chemical free happy baby, happier mommy butt cream!!!
- In hot weather this will want to melt, so best to store in a jar, in a cool place away from sun/ heat. Perfectly fine to use when melted though. I like to put mine in the fridge for awhile if it starts to melt.
- If you want to use chamomile you can also use a chamomile tea bag and let it steep in coconut oil.
- A little goes a long way
- This is safe to use with cloth diapers. I used it successfully when I cloth diapered my baby. I never had a problem with build up. You might have to strip them or run them through a vinegar baking soda rinse.
- This is not only good for baby butts. I use this all the time on baby’s skin and on mine!
- And if this was too much for you. I totally understand. Just click here and buy a perfectly safe alternative!
If you missed my other blogs about natural baby care it’s not too late! Take a look now!
Have you ever made your own baby products? How did they turn out?
I was introduced to hemp some years ago while visiting a grade school friend. She offered me a glass of chocolate hemp milk and I fell in love. Sadly I didn’t continue my quest of the benefits of hemp until recently. Sure I’ve had many yummy products which contained either hemp seeds or hemp oil, but never before had I bought them for my own use. When I bought my first bag of hemp seeds, I admit I didn’t even wait to get to my car before I ripped into the bag to grab a handful to shove in my mouth! After having two more big handfuls I looked at the nutritional facts on the back and noticed… holy cow, I just ate 14 grams of fat in less than 1 minute! Don’t fret! It’s GOOD fat and along with that 14 grams of fat came 10 grams of protein in just 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds! Pretty awesome right?! I was so excited about the nutrient profile of this superfood that I couldn’t wait to research all the health benefits of these yummy, little, seeds! After I started researching I realized that If I were to blog about all the wonderful benefits of this little superfood, you would be reading for quite some time, so for your benefit I touched on my favorites and instead will leave you links at the bottom for further reading if you wish!
13 Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds and Hemp Seed Oil
- Hemp seeds have an advantage over other seeds purely because of its oil. The natural oil in hemp seeds contains a very high quality of protein which and has 10 essential amino acids making it a complete protein. This protein has a very similar structure to proteins in our blood making it easy to digest even more so than proteins found in meats, cheeses and whole eggs.
- They’re an excellent source of essential fatty acids (EFA’s) which include Omega 3 and 6 (I could write a whole blog about the benefits of EFA’s alone!).
- Hemp seeds are comprised of 27% carbohydrates, almost all are in the form of soluble and insoluble fiber, which is good for slowing glucose absorption. Insoluble fiber’s job is moving matter through your digestive system and keeping your bowel movements regular.
- Hemp helps to reduce inflammation and improves circulation, also helps people who have heart disease, arthritis, and even psoriasis.
- Helps improve organ function and boosts immunity levels.
- There are NO known allergies to hemp foods. They can be eaten by those who are unable to tolerate dairy, nuts or gluten.
- Aids in weight loss, naturally. You can reduce cravings and boost your metabolic rate while getting a good dose of essential fats, proteins and most vitamins among other nutrients necessary for promoting good health.
- Aids in lowering your bad cholesterol (LDL) and blood pressure.
- Hemp oil contains plant sterols which may reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancer.
- Hemp seeds and hemp oil are great in promoting cellular health.
- At a cellular level, they lubricate membranes and eliminate wastes such as lactic acid in post-exercise muscles. What does that mean to you? No or less soreness after exercise.
- Over time eating hemp seeds heals and moisturizes skin, and reduces inflammation.
- One of my favorite benefits is that the EFA’s in hemp seeds have anti-cancer properties that inhibit tumor growth.
Delicious Hemp Seeds – How do you eat these things?
Hemp seeds have a nutty flavor and can be added to most anything!
- Eat them raw
- Throw a few tablespoons of seeds into your smoothie
- Sprinkle on top of salads or yogurt
- If you have a Vita-Mix or Blentec you can make your own delicious hemp butter. Just throw in a couple cups of seed and let it go until you reach the consistency you like.
- When I make pancakes for the kids I like to mix in a tablespoon or two into the batter
- Sprinkle on top of your favorite cold or hot breakfast cereal.
Where do you buy hemp seeds? Try your local health food stores or click here to buy easily online! How do you eat your hemp seeds? Share your ideas or recipes in comments below!
WAIT! Remember I said I’d leave you links to more reading? Here you go! Enjoy!
Hemp Seed Nutritional Profile
Hemp Seed: The Most Nutritionally Complete Food Source
Hemp seed Health Benefits
By now we all know that organic foods and products are healthier and better for us than those that aren’t. Organic milk, organic produce, organic grains…..but what about a key element in all our baking and cooking that makes our dishes taste delicious… what about organic spices? Yes, spices and herbs are best to buy organic too! I know in the beginning of my wellness journey I had no idea that using organic spices had an impact on my health, but the more I learned the more I realized that those nasty store bought packets of ranch dip, taco seasonings and Italian seasonings that I was buying on a weekly basis, didn’t contain organic spices, and were packed with icky ingredients such as MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) and other chemical additives I can’t pronounce.
Of course now I use organic spices to make my own seasoning blends, well, really now I make EVERYTHING using organic materials… (I even make my own shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant, but that can be for a future blog!).
Organic Spices in D.I.Y. Seasoning Blends
Making your own seasoning blends does take a little time, but it’s worth it. Just knowing your family isn’t getting any extra unwanted and unnecessary sodium and chemicals in the food you prepare for them, is all worth it. Plus, it only takes a little chunk of time, because once you’re done you have a ton of seasonings that you won’t have to buy or make for a while! And if you buy your organic spices and herbs in bulk at shopOrganic, it will save you money in the long run! Now here are a few of my favorite seasoning blends using organic spices, that I make most often!
Taco Seasoning Blend Recipe with Organic Spices:
1/4 cup Cumin Powder
1 tablespoon Garlic powder
1 tablespoon Onion powder
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Oregano
1-4 Tablespoons Cayenne Powder (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 teaspoon ground pepper
To Make: Place all ingredients in bowl and mix. Store in an air tight container or jar (I like to use mason jars). Use just like you would use with any taco seasonings. I use about 2 Tbsp. per pound of meat when I am making tacos. Adjust it to your preference.
Italian Seasoning Blend with Organic Spices:
1/2 cup Basil
1/2 cup Oregano
1/4 cup Rosemary
1/4 cup Marjoram
1/4 cup Thyme
1/4 cup Sage
2 -3 Tablespoons Dried Minced Garlic
To make: This one I actually throw in my vita mix and pulse it a few times just to cut down the rosemary and make it a tad finer. You can also use a mortar and pestle or a food processer. Store in container until ready to use. Use in all your favorite Italian recipes.
Ranch Dressing Mix with Organic Spices:
1/4 cup Dried Parsley
1 Tablespoon Dill
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Basil (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper
2-4 teaspoons Sea Salt (optional)
To Make: Mix together and store in an air tight container.
For dressing: Mix 2 tablespoons dry Ranch mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream.
For Dip: Mix 2 tablespoons dry Ranch Mix with 2 cups of sour cream or yogurt. Store in fridge until ready to use.
Dry Onion Soup Mix with Organic Spices:
2/3 cup Dried, Minced Onion
3 teaspoons Parsley Flakes
2 teaspoons Onion Powder
2 teaspoons Turmeric (optional )
1 teaspoon Celery Seed (or omit salt and use Celery Salt)
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Organic Sugar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Mix all ingredients and store in jar. Remember to shake before each use.
Use 4 tablespoons in a recipe in place of 1 packet of onion soup mix. Store this in a dry, cool place.
Tip: If you buy herbs in bulk you can freeze them for longer use!
Those are my four most used seasonings using organic spices in my home. Which organic spices and herbs are your favorites? Do you have a seasoning you would like to share? I know I would love to see if anyone has a good homemade curry seasoning recipe… I just can’t seem to make a good one!
How to Make Organic Milk from Organic Raw Almonds:
- Soak 1 cup of raw almonds in water 6-8 hours or overnight (make sure the nuts are covered in water).
- When done soaking pour out the water and rinse, then pour nuts in your blender.
- Add 3 cups of filtered water and blend on high for 3 minutes.
- Strain milk through a nut bag, sieve or cheese cloth. Place in a jar and put in fridge. Use within 3-4 days.
How to Make Organic Milk from Cashews (this is my favorite, quick easy, no fuss):
- Pour 1 cup of raw cashews right into your blender (no need to soak or rinse)
- Add 3 cups of water and blend on high for 2-3 minutes. Pour in jar and use within 3-4 days (no need to strain)
- To make an extra special treat, here is a little variation: Vanilla Honey Cinnamon Cashew Milk. Just add the following ingredients to your blender alongside the nuts:
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2-2 tbsp of Honey (you can also use maple syrup or stevia to sweeten also)
Important Note about Raw Almonds:
In 2007 the USDA implemented a mandatory pasteurization program for almonds in the U.S. This rule was called for in response to two recalls of raw almonds from conventional farms due to the presence of salmonella. So please take caution that if you purchase organic almonds in North America, they will have gone through steam pasteurization. Unfortunately in North America, now that “raw” almonds are pasteurized (by one of the above methods) they are still able to label them as “raw” because they aren’t roasted. When experimenting with pasteurized raw almonds, I found that they did still sprout. While there’s no guarantee that a pasteurized almond would sprout, some are making it to market with their life force intact.
What’s your favorite kind of organic milk? Do you make your own organic milk? Or do you have a favorite brand?
1. “Cashews,” WHFoods.org
2. “Walnuts,” WHFoods.org