Heidi

Heidi is a native Oregonian and an award winning freelance writer with a passion for urban homesteading. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and has been honored to receive a number of literary prizes including the esteemed Pushcart Prize, and an Individual Artists Award in Creative Writing from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. When she isn’t working in the garden, cleaning the henhouse, preserving food for winter, pruning the fruit trees, or writing and editing content for really fantastic small businesses, you’ll find her in her quilting room, or somewhere with her nose in a book, or up in the mountains alongside her husband and her terrier pup, Gracie Cakes.

Recent Posts

How to Choose High Quality Herbs and Spices

Recently, as I was making soup with my three-year-old granddaughter and teaching her to pronounce galangal root, I found myself in an extended game of “name that spice.” It turns out you can get through an entire elaborate Thai soup recipe with a toddler in this way; I highly recommend it. It goes something like this: Cute toddler points at spice jar and asks, “What is that spice?” Adult says, “Paprika. Smell it, what do you think?” Cute toddler makes funny face and spies another spice that looks similar. “Is that paprika too?” Adult is impressed. “Good eye, that’s smoked paprika. Does it smell different?” And on it goes like that through the colored jars. In this way, I was reminded that I have so many jars of excellent dried herbs and spices and it’s definitely time to check them for freshness.

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Posted by Heidi

How to Choose the Best Cooking Oil + Oil Smoke Point Chart

When we make body care formulations, we choose specific oils and butters based on our final goals: consistency, absorption rate, skin type, etc. The same is true for cooking. Fats, like those in culinary oils, are integral to our dishes, not just to keep food from sticking to a pan, but also to affect the final flavor, consistency, texture, and more. Every cooking oil has a unique chemical composition that makes it better at some things than others. This is why one oil might be amazing in a salad dressing or for a lightly sautéed protein, but is a poor choice for grilling or deep-frying. To achieve your cooking goals, it’s important to understand culinary oils and fats. And an important element of that understanding is the smoke point.

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Posted by Heidi

Trillium Plant: An Age-Old Ally That Needs Our Help

Mountain girl that I am, trillium is one of my favorite flowers. TechnicallyTrillium ovatum, also known as Pacific trillium, is what I think of when I think “trillium” because it’s the one I grew up with in the Coast Range of Oregon. Trillium plants look simple (just three petals and three sepals), but they are actually a complex little botanical. They live for decades, so you can form long-term relationships with them and welcome them back year after year. Unfortunately, however, they are slow to develop and spread, which is a serious weakness in the face of habitat loss and rampant wildharvesting. Between land use issues, trillium collectors who dig up wild varieties, deer who love to munch its leaves, and herbalists who seek out the rhizomes to make potent formulations, wild trillium is now in trouble. Let’s take a look at an age-old herbal ally and what we can do to preserve this beautiful, fragile plant.

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Posted by Heidi

A Beginner's Guide to Herbalism

Are you interested in learning about herbalism, but aren’t sure where to begin? Many of us grew up learning more on this subject than we realized; we drank teas when we didnt feel well, or we put our head over a bowl of steaming vapor, or we ate a dish with curry for digestion, things that our parents or grandparents told us to do without ever saying the words herb” or herbalism.” When I was growing up, my father decocted ginger root for an upset stomach and pulled out chamomile tea for sleeplessness. He gave me raw honey for a scratchy throat and sour cranberry juice for bladder health. And yet, ironically enough, years later, when I developed a huge interest in this new thing—herbalism—I thought I was clueless on the subject. A lot of people have stories like mine; they don’t have any idea how much they know, or if what they know is correct or helpful, or how to begin to find out. If you’re ready to jump in, but aren’t sure how or what direction to aim, here is some helpful information.

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Posted by Heidi

How to Season Cast Iron + Cast Iron Conditioner Recipe

JUMP TO RECIPE!

Many of us who are cast iron cooks have read reams of advice about the proper way to season our cast iron pots and pans. To use soap or not when washing, which oils to choose, using a burner vs. the oven, whether or not to add salt—this is one of those topics that people have strong feelings about. I get it, because two of my cast iron skillets were handed down to me from my grandmother, who received them as a wedding gift in 1917. She spent decades perfecting their seasoning. Those skillets came to me in mint condition and they arrived with the stipulation that I maintain their perfection for all the years of my life and teach the next generation how to continue on in the same vein. No pressure or anything!

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Posted by Heidi

Osha: A Supportive, but At-Risk Plant Ally

Photo courtesy of Susan Leopold, PhD, Executive Director at United Plant Savers.

Osha root (Ligusticum porteri) has been in use as an herbal medicine, incense, food, and for ceremonial purposes for thousands of years. When European colonists arrived in North America, osha was already being widely used by First Nations People in the American Southwest and Mexico to treat a variety of conditions, particularly those involving the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. The Zuni people chewed the root in healing rituals and the Tarahumara people used it ritualistically in protection ceremonies. This herbal ally has been generously gifting itself to humans on our continent for millennia, and its renown has spread to other parts of the world. Unfortunately, this increasing popularity has shined a light on osha’s one significant problem—virtually all commercial osha is wildharvested because this independent herb doesn’t do well as a cultivated crop. This limitation combined with the ever-increasing demand for osha has many herbalists concerned about the viability and long-term sustainability of this precious botanical. Let’s take a deeper dive into osha.

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Posted by Heidi

Dandelion and Cacao Bitters for Digestion or Cocktails

Jump to Recipe!

Thousands of years ago, humans discovered the wellness-supporting qualities of bitter herbs. Presumably we started out eating them, but soon enough we were refining them into tonics, digestive aids, and extracts. In folklore, it was Mithridates, king of Pontus, who formulated the first bitters while trying to make an antidote for poisons and venoms. I suppose if I’d spent years trying to make a universal poison antidote and ended up with a really excellent digestive aid, I might be disappointed. But looking at it now, that antidote still doesn’t exist and bitters have come to the aid of millions of people throughout time. So, chin up Mithridates, you did good.

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Posted by Heidi

Easy Winter Health Formulas

It’s been a long couple of years. Many of us are feeling mental fatigue and existential stress, which negatively impacts our immune systems and overall wellbeing. This year, having some easy winter health formulas on hand feels more important than ever. They can’t cure the state of our world, but they often can help support our immune systems before we get sick and can provide some relief when we’ve caught whatever winter crud is going around. The following formulas have been Mountain Rose Herbs' favorites for a long time and are wonderful additions to your winter care routine. From our home to yours, we wish you a healthy, restful winter!

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Posted by Heidi

Mood Booster: An Herbal Extract for the Winter Blues

Here in the Coast Range and Willamette Valley of western Oregon, we know our foggy, rainy winters are responsible for the stunningly gorgeous, green landscapes we love so much. But, wow, it’s been cold and gray this winter! As a born-and-raised Oregonian, I’m one of the weirdos who loves rain, who adds extra blankets to my bed so I can sleep with the windows open to hear and smell the winter weather. I love sloshing around in rubber boots, and taking drizzly forest walks in the fog, and struggling against the cold rain to plant a super-early garden. There is a name for people like me: pluviophile (someone who finds joy and peace of mind on rainy days). However, for most people, the combination of dark, wet, and cold is incredibly challenging. It grieves me to watch my sun-loving, light-deprived friends and family sink into annual winter doldrums, which is why I love to make this mood-boosting herbal extract with its blend of warming, uplifting, relaxing herbs to help alleviate those seasonal blues and give a little relief to my favorite people.

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Posted by Heidi

Best Herbs for Digestion + 3 Easy Recipes

I just returned from a three-week vacation, and while the trip was fantastic, it's been a challenge getting my body back into a healthy balance since I've gotten home. I’m playing catch-up with work, running late on gardening must-dos, and haven’t taken the time to plan ahead on how I’m eatingall of which have impacted my appetite and digestive health.

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Posted by Heidi

Chai Spice Oatmeal Cookie Recipe+ Vegan Option

A slightly different version of this delicious chai spice oatmeal cookie recipe has been floating around Mountain Rose Herbs since at least 2012 when someone adapted it from a white chocolate oatmeal cookie recipe they found online. The first time I made these chai-inspired gems, I loved the spice mix and oat combination, and the amount of sugar was just right, but the texture was seriously off by my standards. Cookie texture is of course a matter of preference; by my taste, the cookies were dense instead of tender and they were too dry. I wanted the flavor of the chai spices, but also a moist, chewy cookie with great mouthfeel. I was trying to decide how I wanted to alter the recipe—cut back on flour, add more moisture maybe. There were a couple different ways to address this, but I wanted to stay as true to the original as I could, so I started to track the recipe history to find the right fix. Recipe detective work is one of my food-nerd joys.

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Posted by Heidi

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WELCOME

We offer one of the most thorough selections of certified organic herbs, spices, and botanical products and are commited to responsible sourcing.

Heidi

Heidi is a native Oregonian and an award winning freelance writer with a passion for urban homesteading. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and has been honored to receive a number of literary prizes including the esteemed Pushcart Prize, and an Individual Artists Award in Creative Writing from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. When she isn’t working in the garden, cleaning the henhouse, preserving food for winter, pruning the fruit trees, or writing and editing content for really fantastic small businesses, you’ll find her in her quilting room, or somewhere with her nose in a book, or up in the mountains alongside her husband and her terrier pup, Gracie Cakes.

Recent Posts

How to Choose High Quality Herbs and Spices

The best quality dried botanicals have superior flavor, nutrient value, and food safety. Learn why product testing is key and how to test for freshness.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

May 20, 2022

How to Choose the Best Cooking Oil + Oil Smoke Point Chart

Every cooking oil has a unique composition that makes it better at some things than others. Learn how to choose the best oils for all of your culinary masterpieces.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

May 13, 2022

Trillium Plant: An Age-Old Ally That Needs Our Help

Trillium plants are an age-old herbal ally and one of the most overharvested plants in the wild. Learn what you can do to preserve this beautiful plant so it can flower for many more years to come.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

April 28, 2022

A Beginner's Guide to Herbalism

Interested in herbalism, but don't know where to begin? Build your herbalism starter kit with this guide to beginner-friendly herbs, supplies, and more.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

March 17, 2022

How to Season Cast Iron + Cast Iron Conditioner Recipe

Learn how to properly season your cast iron skillet, how to choose the best oil to season cast iron, and how to make a DIY cast iron conditioner.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

March 5, 2022

Osha: A Supportive, but At-Risk Plant Ally

Learn more about osha and how you can help take pressure off this important, at-risk herbal ally. 
WRITTEN BY Heidi

February 23, 2022

Dandelion and Cacao Bitters for Digestion or Cocktails

People have been utilizing aromatic bitters for thousands of years as digestive aids. Make your own digestive bitters or cocktail bitters with this easy recipe.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

February 17, 2022

Easy Winter Health Formulas

Natural remedies for winter wellness are easy to make and handy to keep around for those moments when our immune systems need a little extra support.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

January 21, 2022

Mood Booster: An Herbal Extract for the Winter Blues

If you're struggling with seasonal blues, combine this simple herbal extract blend with healthy doses of natural light to make winter a little easier.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

January 5, 2022

Best Herbs for Digestion + 3 Easy Recipes

Learn about three herbal properties that are often helpful when our normal digestive balance is off-kilter— bitters, aromatics, and demulcents.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

November 15, 2021

Chai Spice Oatmeal Cookie Recipe+ Vegan Option

It’s time to start thinking about holiday cookies. This chai spice oatmeal cookie recipe with a vegan option is definitely one to add to the cookie plate.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

November 11, 2021