Gluten-Free Vegan Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries | The Healthy Family and Home

Gluten-Free Vegan Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries…a healthy recipe made without eggs or flour and is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, flourless and paleo  […]

Source: Gluten-Free Vegan Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries | The Healthy Family and Home

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La’au Lapa’au | Southwest Herb Gardening: What To Plant In June, and Watering In June

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

We recommend most plants be planted in the fall or spring. However, if you must plant during the summer months watering may need to be more frequent and you must be diligent about observing your newly planted plants for signs of water stress. Follow the guidelines in the Watering section.

Many cacti and warm-season succulents can still be planted in the summer. When transplanting cacti and succulents, mark either the south or west side and plant facing the orientation you marked to avoid the burning of tender tissues. Most nurseries will mark the side of the container to help you determine proper planting orientation. However, if the original orientation is not known, newly planted cacti and succulents need to be covered with shade cloth if the plant surface appears to yellow or pale suddenly. Use a shade cloth rated between 30-60% as anything higher will block most of the sunlight and…

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La’au Lapa’au | Southwest Herb Gardening: June In The Low Desert

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

June in the low desert is generally the driest and hottest month. Desert gardeners often must begin their garden activities in the early morning or at sunset to avoid the intense sunlight. Plants must endure the intense heat throughout the day. Many native and desert-adapted plants have numerous adaptations that enable them to live successfully in the desert, such as succulence, drought-deciduousness, and small leaves, to name a few examples. Even with these numerous adaptations, desert plants sometimes need a little help to keep them healthy and thriving in your garden. Native and desert-adapted plants that were newly planted and those that are not established in the landscape need to be watered until they become established in the landscape and can then survive with natural rainfall. Even established plantings will need an occasional supplemental watering during long periods of drought to keep them healthy and stress-free.

Summer is the prime…

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La’au Lapa’au | Rosemary

The Wonky Pot Apothecary

rosemary-2

Rosemary

Botanical Name:Rosmarinus officinalis.

Family: Lamiaceae

Common Names: Compass plant, compass weed, incensier, dew of the sea, polar plant, romero (Spanish), mi-tieh-hsiang (Chinese), rosmarin (Swedish).

Habitat: Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean countries, but is now grown worldwide as a spice and medicinal herb. The plant thrives best in a warm sunny climate.

Description: Rosemary is an evergreen shrub like plant that belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae). It can grow up to 2 meters (6 feet) high and the flowers are petite and pale blue that appear in slight clusters up the stems. The leaves are slender and look a lot like curved pine needles. They are green on top and gray beneath. The dried herb is brownish green in color.

Plant Parts Used: Leaves, flowers, stems, branches. Commercially, the entire plant is used. An essential oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers by steam distillation.

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Foodstyles | Skinnytaste Meal Plan (June 25-July 1)

A free 7-day flexible meal plan including breakfast, lunch and dinner and a shopping list. All recipes include calories and Weight Watchers Freestyle™ SmartPoints®. Just a friendly reminder, to receive my new recipes or meal plans via email, make sure you’re signed up for my email subscription (it’s free!). Second, have you pre-ordered my cookbook Skinnytaste One and Done? It comes out Oct 9, but you can get 4 free recipes from the book now, with your pre-order. More details here! If you’re new to my meal plans, I’ve been sharing these free, 7-day flexible healthy meal plans (you can see my previous meal plans here) that are meant as a guide, with plenty of wiggle room for you to add more food, coffee, beverages, fruits, snacks, dessert, wine, etc or swap recipes out for meals you prefer, you can search for recipes by course in the index. You should aim for around 1500 calories* per day. There’s also a precise, organized grocery list that will make grocery shopping so much easier and  […]

Source: Skinnytaste Meal Plan (June 25-July 1)

Ecology | Composting At Home Doesn’t Have To Be Hard (Or Smelly), Thanks To This Painless Guide

This year, there’s been a lot of talk about the importance of beating plastic pollution so it doesn’t end up in our oceans. And it’s about time. But there’s another complex waste stream we interact with every day that deserves our attention: organic waste.  […]

Source: Composting At Home Doesn’t Have To Be Hard (Or Smelly), Thanks To This Painless Guide

Lāʻau Lapaʻau | Cardioprotective and Anti-inflammatory Properties of Olive Oil Phenolic Compounds

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Cardiovascular (CV) diseases are the leading cause of world mortality, with 7.4 million of their 17.7 million annual deaths due to coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD risk factors include diabetes mellitus (diabetes type 2 [DT2]), hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity, poor diet, tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum, Solanaceae) smoking, lack of exercise, and alcohol abuse. Acute myocardial infarction and death—two primary effects associated with CAD—account for more than 90% of all CAD-related outcomes. Atherosclerotic plaques form when vascular endothelial cells express chemotactic and adhesion molecules, starting the inflammatory process crucial to CAD’s pathogenesis. Within a healthy diet, cardioprotective foods can modulate expression of proinflammatory cytokines and inflammation markers and help control risk factors like DT2, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and obesity. Phenolic compounds and unsaturated fats found in olive (Olea europaea, Oleaceae) oil (OO) show benefits in this area and may improve CV outcomes overall. Virgin OO (VOO) is produced by…

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Partystyles | Chocolate Jell-O Pudding Shots

 

Ingredients:

– Small box of Chocolate Instant Pudding
– ¾ c Kahlua
– ¾ c Coconut Rum
– 4oz Cool Whip (Extra Creamy preferred but not required)

 

Directions:

Whisk Kahlua and Instant Pudding together until as thick as it will get (1-2 minutes). Once it has thickened, add Liquor and whisk until all lumps and clumps are gone. Once the mixture is nice and smooth again, whisk in Cool Whip.

Fill almost ¾ of a 1oz plastic shot cup with the mixture then cover and place in the freezer.

It does take several hours to set. For BEST results, I let them set overnight.  Use little ice cream tester spoons when serving them.

Lāʻau Lapaʻau | Health Benefits of Reishi {Ganoderma lucidum}

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Also, Known As:

  • Ling Chi
  • Ling Zhi
  • Reishi

Known in Japan as the ‘phantom mushroom’ because it can be so very difficult to find, the reishi generally grows on old Japanese plum trees. Reishi is so rare that only about 10 mushrooms would be found growing on about 100,000 plum trees. Finally, it was the Japanese Shigeaki Mori who perfected the art of growing the reishi indoors. This art involved culturing wild reishi spores on plum-tree sawdust over an elaborate and arduous two-year time period. The fruiting body of the reishi can be used medicinally.

Also popularly known as the hing zhi “herb of spiritual potency”, the reishi is, in essence, a mushroom that can grow on old rotten logs, fallen tree stumps and other similar areas throughout the coastal regions of China. However, reishi is cultivated in areas as diverse as North America, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and China for…

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Lāʻau Lapaʻau | Harvesting Herbs

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Whether you are collecting the flowers, leaves or stems, you should always harvest them on a sunlit day and only when the dew has dispersed from the plants and prior to the garden being filled with the day’s full heat. In case the plants contain volatile oils, for instance, lemon balm and mints, it is best to harvest them immediately prior to noon. This is because the oils get enough time to move to the leaves, but they have not been evaporated by the heat of the day. As it has been found that rain sweeps away some amount of the aromatic volatile oils, it is advisable that you should wait for at least one day after a rainstorm and then harvest the leaves. Preferably, you should wait for two to three days prior to harvesting, as this will give the plants sufficient time to gather their essential oils.

In…

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Lāʻau Lapaʻau | What Is Oats {Avena sativa}

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Also, Known As:

  • Avena Sativa
  • Common Oats
  • Groats
  • Oats
  • Wild Oats

The plant-based cereals called the oats – botanical name: Avena sativa – is a very nutritious food and remedy. The oat is rich in protein, has lots of beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium, trace elements and potassium as well as iron – while also being very high in vitamin content. The presence of these bodybuilding nutrients in the oats makes for strong bones and teeth, most of these vital minerals found in the oats are also necessary for the maintenance of a healthy nervous system in a human being. Remedies made from the oats were traditionally used as a herbal nerve tonic; this tonic was given to patients to treat problems like depression, and mental debility as well as nervous exhaustion. Eating oats is a very good remedy when withdrawing from the effects of tranquilizers and antidepressant medications. The oats not only stimulates the body but also boosts energy levels up…

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Lāʻau Lapaʻau | What Is Licorice Root?

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Glycyrrhiza glabra

Also, Known As:

  • Chinese Licorice
  • Gan Cao
  • Kan-ts’ao
  • Kuo-lao
  • Licorice
  • Licorice Root
  • Ling-t’ung
  • Liquorice
  • Mei-ts’ao
  • Mi-kan
  • Mi-ts’ao
  • Sweet Licorice
  • Sweet Wood
  • Yasti Madhu

Licorice refers to the roots and rhizome of a variety of plants belonging to the species Glycyrrhiza glabra L. of the family Fabaceae. This is a European species and possesses a sweet yellow wood. There are also Asian species of the plant like Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch. and others. In the commercially available licorice in the US markets, all these species are included since a significant part of licorice is imported from China and other Asian countries.

licorice root plant
The herb has expectorant and demulcent properties and has been used traditionally in the treatment of common cold and coughs. The medication is commonly called licorice root or Glycyrrhiza and has also been in use as a flavoring agent. Licorice has been popular for long, in many parts of the…

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Lāʻau Lapaʻau | Ashwagandha Root Extract Improves Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Patients Taking Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera, Solanaceae)

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), characterized by stressful, repetitive, and intrusive thoughts or obsessions followed by actions or compulsions, is thought to be linked to a defect in the serotonergic system. A common treatment is the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but they are considered only mildly effective, with 40-60% of patients failing to respond. In Ayurvedic herbal medicine, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera, Solanaceae) is considered to be a rejuvenating and revitalizing herb. Its roots, which are used to enhance mental and physical health, have anxiolytic and antidepressant properties due to the presence of bioactive glycowithanolides, and the alkaloids withanine and somniferine are used for nervous disorders. Animal studies also have shown it to enhance serotonergic transmission. The goal of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was to verify the efficacy of ashwagandha root extract as an adjunct therapy to treat the…

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Lāʻau Lāpaʻau | Your Apothecary Cabinet: Herbal First Aid Kit…

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Being prepared with my favorite remedies gives me peace of mind on the road or trail, and keeps me from having to search out herbal products in an unfamiliar town — or from having to resort to padding my heels with mullein leaves to ease the agony of a broken blister while on a backpacking trip.

I’ve had plenty of opportunities to put my first-aid kit to use, from treating blisters and bug bites to motion sickness and colds. I choose simple, multipurpose remedies and store them in a small padded nylon lunch box that’s always ready to toss into the car. For backpacking trips, I pare my kit down to arnica gel, echinacea, peppermint and chamomile tea bags, crystallized ginger, insect repellant, a tin of herbal salve, a tiny bottle of lavender essential oil, and an assortment of bandages and moleskin.

With the following herbs and essential oils, you…

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Lāʻau Lāpaʻau | Your Apothecary Cabinet: Common Base Oils

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Vegetable and herbal oil are used in creams, lotions, massage, facial and body oils, gels, and salves.

Sweet Almond (Prunus amygdalis var. dulcis) and Apricot Kernel (Prunus armeniaca): emollients, can relieve itchiness and dryness.


Arnica ( Arnica montana ): indicated for bruises, varicose veins, burns, strains and sprains, arthritis, and myalgia.
Avocado ( Persea Americana ): wonderful oil for regenerative skin care, indicated for dry, itchy, or mature skin, antioxidant, nourishes the skin.
Baobab ( Adansonia digitata ) and Marula ( Scelerocara birrea ): emollient, soothes inflamed skin, dry skin, sunburn.
Borage ( Borago officinalis ) and Evening Primrose ( Oenothera biennis ): excellent regenerative skin care oils, nourishing, indicated for psoriasis, eczema, inflamed and dry skin conditions.
Calendula ( Calendula officinalis ): anti-inflammatory, wound healing, soothes dry irritated skin, insect bites, cell regenerative.
Coconut ( Cocos nucifera ): emollient, slightly occlusive to the skin, blend…

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Lāʻau Lāpaʻau | Your Apothecary Cabinet: Herbal Oils

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Herbal oils are simply oils infused with herbs, much as you would steep rosemary in olive oil for culinary purposes. Healing herbal oils can be taken internally for a variety of ailments, can be used externally for therapeutic or daily beauty routines, and can be incorporated into herbal salve recipes. Dried herbs are preferred since fresh herbs will sometimes ferment.

Basic Herbal Oil:

1 cup finely ground dried herbs {flowers, leaves, roots, barks, and/or seeds}

1 1/4 cups almond, jojoba, or olive oil

In a blender or food processor, combine the herbs and oil. Blend or process until puree for greater extractability. Pour the mixture into a clean glass jar with a lid, making sure the plant material is completely submerged in the oil. If it’s not, add more oil until the herbs are covered by about 1 inch of liquid. Cover the jar and store it in a dark…

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Lāʻau Lāpaʻau | Know Your Underground Roots

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Underground Stems

The underground stems, by being situated below the surface of the soil, protect themselves against unfavorable conditions of weather and the attack of animals and serve as storehouses for reserve food, and in vegetative propagation. Their stem nature can be distinguished by the presence of nodes and internodes, scale leaves at the nodes, axillary buds in axils of scale leaves and a terminal bud. Further, the anatomy of the underground stem resembles that of an aerial stem. The underground stems are of four types namely rhizome, tuber, bulb, and corm.

Rhizome

A rhizome is a thick horizontally growing stem which usually stores food material. It has nodes and internodes, scale leaves, axillary buds, adventitious roots and a terminal bud. Scale leaves enclosing the axillary buds are seen arising from the nodal points of the stem. Some of the axillary buds develop into branches which grow upwards into the…

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Omnivorous versus Vegan Diets: A Debate. Part I, by Renee Lehnen & Kansas Stanton

Humanistic Paganism

Naturalistic Pagans not only view the Earth as sacred, but also ourselves, each other, and other beings that share this planet with us. But regarding food, what does the most Naturalistic Pagan diet look like? Writers, Renee Lehnen (an omnivore) and Kansas Stanton (a vegan) debate this question regarding topics on human evolution, health, environmentalism, ethics, sustainable meat, and clothing. We hope that within this debate, the reader can answer this question for themselves and be able to make a spiritually conscious and physical difference. -Kansas Stanton 

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Omnivorous versus Vegan Diets: A Debate. Part II, by Kansas Stanton & Renee Lehnen

Humanistic Paganism

Naturalistic Pagans not only view the Earth as sacred, but also ourselves, each other, and other beings that share this planet with us. But regarding food, what does the most Naturalistic Pagan diet look like? Writers, Renee Lehnen (an omnivore) and Kansas Stanton (a vegan) debate this question regarding topics on human evolution, health, environmentalism, ethics, sustainable meat, and clothing. We hope that within this debate, the reader can answer this question for themselves and be able to make a spiritually conscious and physical difference.  Continued from Part I.

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Omnivorous versus Vegan Diets: A Debate. Part III, by Renee Lehnen & Kansas Stanton

Humanistic Paganism

Naturalistic Pagans not only view the Earth as sacred, but also ourselves, each other, and other beings that share this planet with us. But regarding food, what does the most Naturalistic Pagan diet look like? Writers, Renee Lehnen (an omnivore) and Kansas Stanton (a vegan) debate this question regarding topics on human evolution, health, environmentalism, ethics, sustainable meat, and clothing. We hope that within this debate, the reader can answer this question for themselves and be able to make a spiritually conscious and physical difference. -Kansas Stanton 

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Foodstyles | Asparagus and Brie Puff Pastry with Thyme Honey

Buttery puff pastry, creamy brie, roasted asparagus, and sweet honey all come together in this simple, asparagus and brie puff pastry. These pastries are great for a Mother’s Day brunch, as an appetizer, lunch, or even a light dinner, making them perfect for entertaining. But they best part, they are so delicious!  […]

Source: Asparagus and Brie Puff Pastry with Thyme Honey. – Half Baked Harvest

La’au Lapa’au | Herb Guide: Oregano

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Origanum vulgare

Also, Known As:

  • Common Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • True Oregano
  • Turkish Oregano
  • Wild Marjoram
  • Winter Marjoram

The famous European herb called the oregano or the pot marjoram is a very familiar spice, botanical name Origanum vulgare. It is a common herb, and the European oregano is known to be a very hardy and perennial herb characterized by the presence of an erect, and somewhat hairy and well-branched stem, the leaves of the herb are also hairy. When fully grown, the plant can cross two feet in height, and is characterized by a very acrid and pungent odor, the fragrance of the plant is very strong, and has a sage-like an aroma, it also smells somewhat like another spice, the thyme – also used in a lot of European cuisines.

The oregano also refers to the pleasant and mint smelling European herb, the marjoram, or the wild marjoram as it is…

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