Posts

Foraging Rules: the 4 Knows

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When you start foraging, you want to be smart and safe! Here are my Foraging Rules. I call them my "4 Knows" - not no but as in "I know something." 1. Know the Plant - use atleast 3 sources. Be 100% certain of a plant before using it. Know the poisonous lookalikes if any. 2. Know the land - is it safe to pick from? Has it been sprayed? Plants draw nutrients from the soil so don't pick anywhere with heavy metals. Do you need to ask an owner?  3. Know the ecosystem - You are part of a larger whole. Be respectful and leave some for others. 4. Know your purpose - Don't take more than you need and listen to your body. These 4 rules are in my Foraging Journal available on amazon here along with sections to record plant profiles, recipes, calendar and even a foraging bucket list. 

Plant Profile Goldenrod

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For the Foraging Journal entry today, we are going to cover Goldenrod. It is surprisingly obscure in the herbalism world for how easily it grows. The beautiful rods of gold shine through in late summer and early Autumn. I've bolded the sections that are in my Foraging Journal and I'm going to guide you through what to fill out. I would suggest writing what is pertinent to you in your own words, not word for word. This will help you recall information and helps your brain remember important information. I also suggest reading other sources - A Forager's Library is a terrific list of resources.  You can read more about my Foraging Journal  here.   Before we begin, this post is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. Please do your own research thoroughly and take into consideration your own health. Don't eat or use something if you don't know what it is. Forage responsibly. Latin name: Solidago spp.  What is Goldenrod's Latin name? Solidago is the genus. The "

Cocoa Mint Almond Milk (plant based peppermint patty milk)

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If there was one herb the most common or well-known, mint could claim it. Although several different kinds exist, it's fresh scent can be recognized anywhere. Because mint is everywhere! This Cocoa Mint Almond Milk is a great way to enjoy this fresh herb plus the milk tastes kind of like a peppermint patty in a delicious drink. When was your first encounter with mint? Or your last? Maybe it started as sticks of gum in your mom's leather purse or fragrant leaves picked fresh from Granny's green garden. But it is also... in the rug district of Morocco, offered hot in dainty little glass jars etched with intricate gold patterns as you stroll through brilliant woven wares. Then there it is again, ice cold partnered with cucumber as you step glistening from a sauna at a high-end spa. And there again, made crushed over ice and served in a frosted silver cup with bourbon. And it's always here, in the comfort of home, a warm mug offering gentle sips to calm a nervous belly. And

Marshmallow Root Marshmallows (paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free)

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Did you know originally marshmallows came from a plant? Marshmallow (or marsh mallow or Althaea officinalis) is actually a herb! The scientific name of this plant comes form the Greek word "altho" which means to cure. Marshmallow is an amazing demulcent and soothes mucus membranes or any sort of irritated tissues. Rosemary Gladstar in her book Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Healt h states "Our pioneer parents cooked the root with honey or sugar, formed into soft balls and gave it to their children to suck on to sooth a sore throat." Yes, marshmallows were originally a remedy! Not a super sticky, sugar overdose like they are today. In this post, we will combine the herb marshmallow with it's modern candy counterpart! However Marshmallow Root Marshmallows are nothing like what you'll find in the store. They are soft and slightly sticky. Still very sweet but definitely more of a gentle treat and not something you can stick in a marshmallow gun.  We are using local

The Best Places to Buy Herbs

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If you can't forage or grow the herbs yourself, there are many places that have high quality herbs! This is a list of the best places to buy herbs. It's nice to have options especially if one herb is out of stock at one place! 1. Local Natural Food Market - A lot of natural food markets have herbs in bulk. Sometimes markets don't go through certain herbs as quickly. You can do a sniff check and see if it smells vibrant. If the smell is dull or dusty smelling (depending on the herb), opt for somewhere else. 2. Local Farms and Farmer's Markets - Let's start local. Often herbs can be purchased from the actual growers here. This is a prime spot to make good relationships for obtaining herbs in the future! 3. Mountain Rose Herbs - This place is one of my absolute favorites. Their essential oils are high quality as well so I feel like it's almost my one-stop shop for all things remedies! Their catalogue, website, and social media pages are loaded with recipes and hel

Blueberry Basil Smoothie

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Blueberry Basil Smoothie is one of my favorite summer smoothies. It contains basil picked fresh from the garden. Here I used lovely purple basil but feel free to use whatever basil you have. Green and purple basil are very similar tasting. Basil is a major anti-inflammatory. It contains powerful essential oils like eugenol that fight inflammation. In fact, a friend started serving this recipe to her family and it helped her husband's chronic pain!  Basil also helps freshen breath and restores the body's proper PH. Basil improves digestion and aids gut flora. It is also a powerful antibacterial and antiviral. Plus, it's vibrantly tasty. In addition with the blueberries, it makes this smoothie very refreshing. NOTE: You do need to use fresh ba sil as dried doesn't have the same flavor. Blueberry Basil Smoothie 2 cups frozen blueberries 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut water (which helps replenish electrolytes) * 2 large handfuls baby kale or other greens Sev

Savory Ox-Eye Daisy Fritters (paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free recipe)

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Fried and battered ox-eye daisies? That's right, we are going to make savory fritters with foraged ox-eye daisies. The odd shape of these fritters reminds me of calamari but their flavor is certainly their own and quite unique!  You can go sweet or savory with this. I've included the savory version below but you can easily swap out the rosemary and oregano for cinnamon and sugar. Try dipping the sweet ox-eye daisy fritters in a yogurt sweetened with maple syrup.  Daisies are part of the sunflower family. Thankfully, the sunflower family does not contain any poisonous plants!  Before we begin, this post is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. Please do your own research thoroughly and take into consideration your own health. Don't eat or use something if you don't know what it is. Forage responsibly.  Where to Harvest Ox-eye daisies?  Ox-eye daisies are blooming everywhere and can tolerate over harvesting. Look for them near forest lines but mostly blooming in fields. Don