Heidi

Heidi is an award winning freelance writer with a passion for urban homesteading. She 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, crafting herbal formulations, or writing and editing content for really fantastic small businesses, you’ll likely find her with her nose in a book.

Recent Posts

Homemade Caramel Apple Slices with Herbal Chocolate Glaze

Caramel apples have always been one of those mixed-feelings food experiences for me. I love good caramel and I love apples, and when the two things come together in a perfect synergy, it is one of my favorite flavor combinations. Unfortunately, a typical caramel apple falls short. First, the caramel is often too sweet rather than buttery-delicious. Second, I want caramel and apple in every bite, and once I work my way around the caramel-y outside, I’m left with a lot of apple and no more caramel. Finally, I don’t like that I end up with caramel all over my face and in my hair every time I eat a caramel apple on a stick. Recently, however, I found the solution: caramel apple slices! So, of course, down the caramel apple rabbit hole I went and I’m so glad I did!

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Posted by Heidi

Elderberry Gummies Made with Agar

There are a number of effective and delicious ways to bring the nutrition and immune benefits of elderberries into our diets.* Tincture, tonic, syrup, tea, and culinary recipes abound. And, of course, there are gummies! I’m a big believer in putting fun into our lives when and where we can, and an elderberry gummy is a morsel of fun that also provides support for our immune systems. Most gummies, however, contain gelatin, which is a hard no for vegans and followers of some religious faiths. We set out to create an elderberry gummy that anyone can enjoy. How do you get a gelatin-type gummy without the gelatin? It all comes down to agar-agar powder.

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Posted by Heidi

Taco Bowl with Roasted Butternut Squash and Black Beans

I love taco bowls. These deconstructed tacos are packed with nutrition, big on flavor, and easy to customize for a variety of palates, even on a weeknight when you don’t have much time. I generally look to my garden for what to include, so they change by the seasons in our home. This autumn-inspired taco bowl is an annual favorite, combining winter squash or sweet potatoes with black beans for a hearty protein- and fiber-rich bowl that pleases everyone in the family.

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Posted by Heidi

Homemade Lotion Recipe: Warming Fall Spice Blend

It’s the season for everyone’s favorite autumnal spices. Crisp fall scents and flavors are in our lattes, our pastries, our diffusers, our perfumes, and more. They’re also in one of my favorite Mountain Rose Herbs lotion recipes! Although I love thicker creams and body butters for everyday moisturizing, I like to keep lotion in a pump bottle by the sink to use after hand-washing. This DIY lotion recipe is so easy to make, which means it’s simple to switch up the scent to match the seasons or my current mood. This time of year, it’s all about the satisfying aromas of autumn.

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Posted by Heidi

Are My Herbs Irradiated?! Learn About Irradiation in Our Food System & How to Avoid It

Irradiation of food is a topic that is increasingly showing up as a point of concern for Mountain Rose customers, so I want to take a minute to talk about this timely subject. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of food irradiation in 1963 to kill bacteria, molds, insects, etc. in wheat and flour. Today, the FDA has approved irradiation for fruits, vegetables, eggs in the shell, spices and seasonings, sprouting seeds, poultry, crustaceans and shellfish, and red meats. Food irradiation involves exposing foods to one of three different types of ionizing radiation: gamma rays from cobalt-60, x-rays, or electron beams. The FDA uses this technology to improve food safety and extend storage and shelf life. Meanwhile, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organics Program (NOP), which oversees the nation’s organics labeling, prohibits the use of irradiation to treat organic products because the process alters the natural state of food. These two opposing views present consumers with something of a conundrum.

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Posted by Heidi

7 Best Herbs for Natural Hair Care

Since time immemorial, people have looked to herbs to support healthy, beautiful hair. In the modern world, however, mainstream haircare products are typically made from chemicals: including sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrances, formaldehyde, phthalates like DEHP, and other toxic ingredients. When we use these products, we increase our exposure to potentially harmful chemicals every time we wash and/or style our hair. It behooves us to take a look at natural herbal haircare practices. As well as being chemical-free, the best haircare herbs are time-tested; they have been used by humans for thousands of years. Herbal blends, infusions, extracts, and other botanical formulations bring the power of nature to nourish and stimulate the scalp, strengthen and moisturize follicles, soften hair, restore shine and bounce, help with manageability, and more.

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Posted by Heidi

Homemade Lotion with Organic Sweetgrass Hydrosol

 

Perhaps every herbalist or skincare formulator has a recipe that once wholly intimidated them. Homemade lotion was one of those for me. I had a pretty epic and expensive DIY lotion fail once, and it took me a long time to build up enough confidence to try blending water and oil into something usable again. Mountain Roses organic sweetgrass hydrosol was the impetus to suck up my courage and try again. Its subtle, honeyed aroma has a wonderfully green-earth undertone that makes it a perfect base for a variety of skincare formulations, from facial toners to body sprays to lotions. In this simple lotion recipe, I love it with just a touch of vanilla in the form of organic benzoin resin.

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Posted by Heidi

3 Refreshing Functional Fizzy Drinks With Herbal Extracts and Syrups

When the thermometer starts pushing up into the 90s, my good attitude takes a corresponding nosedive. As a Western Oregon pluviophile, I prefer my summer heat in small doses, preferably bookended by big cooling rain storms. So here we are in the annual dog days of summer when the days and nights are too hot, there do not appear to be any rainstorms on the horizon, and my whole self is on a 24/7 quest to pretty much always have something cold, hydrating, and nourishing in my hand to refresh my body and soul. Not only does this wonder-beverage need to be a delicious vehicle to support deep hydration and body and mind wellness, but it also has to be easy to whip up at a moment's notice. Fortunately, I am married to a talented mixologist. When the weather gets hot, he makes sure to have all the ingredients on hand for easy beat-the-heat carbonated drinks that include herbal extracts and syrups for an added wellness boost.

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Posted by Heidi

Homemade Shaving Cream

A good shaving cream can make all the difference in both the quality and comfort of a shave. It’s no wonder then that this homemade shaving cream recipe has been such a longtime favorite of the Mountain Rose Herbs community. Whether youre working on your beard, your head, or a full-body cleanup, the rich texture of this cream feels wonderful on the skin as it nourishes, hydrates, and makes a perfect surface to safely and comfortably shave away unwanted hair.

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Posted by Heidi

Homemade Deodorant: How to Make Natural, Herbal, Roll-On Deodorant

Summer being what it is—with all the extra sunshine and outdoor fun—our deodorant choices start to matter in a bigger way. Consumers have become increasingly aware of the potential issues that can come with using deodorants with ingredients like propylene glycol, aluminum, and triclosan, and have been turning more and more to natural deodorants. Unfortunately, while over-the-counter natural deodorants are a safer and more earth-friendly option than those loaded with parabens and chemicals, they are still packaged in mostly non-recyclable plastics that millions of Americans throw away every year. Happily, it’s an easy task to make your own natural, herbal, roll-on deodorant.

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Posted by Heidi

How to Make Slime with Psyllium Husk

Slime—that strange substance that defies Newtons laws of viscosity—has been a staple in store toy aisles for almost 50 years and the DIY versions have been around almost as long. The typical school-science-project slime recipe involves mixing either borax or contact lens solution with PVA glue and water. The science behind it is a chemical reaction between the polyvinyl acetate in the glue and the borate ions in the contact solution or borax, an action called cross-linking that results in a logic-defying substance that is a whole lot of fun to play with. However, fascinating DIY science aside, too much exposure to boron—which is the base of borax, boric acid, and also, ironically, that contact lens solution—can cause respiratory, skin, and eye irritation, and when ingested can lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Note the caution on the front of a box of borax detergent: Caution: Eye irritant, may be harmful if swallowed. Needless to say, that DIY slime hack is not ideal for small children, particularly those who tend to taste-test things. Fortunately for the child in all of us, you can make slime from psyllium husk!

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Posted by Heidi

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Heidi

Heidi is an award winning freelance writer with a passion for urban homesteading. She 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, crafting herbal formulations, or writing and editing content for really fantastic small businesses, you’ll likely find her with her nose in a book.

Recent Posts

Homemade Caramel Apple Slices with Herbal Chocolate Glaze

It’s caramel apple season! Make this once-a-year tradition even better with caramel apple slices, homemade cinnamon caramels, and herb-infused chocolate!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

October 26, 2023

Elderberry Gummies Made with Agar

Vegan elderberry gummies are easy to make and work exceptionally well in candy molds. What a fun way to give your body some immune support!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

October 24, 2023

Taco Bowl with Roasted Butternut Squash and Black Beans

Eating what is in season makes sense for health, the planet, and our wallets. This fall, try a delicious taco bowl with roasted butternut squash and black beans seasoned with chili lime salt!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

October 13, 2023

Homemade Lotion Recipe: Warming Fall Spice Blend

This homemade lotion is easy to customize to match the seasons. This time of year, we’re all about the aromas of autumn.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

September 29, 2023

Are My Herbs Irradiated?! Learn About Irradiation in Our Food System & How to Avoid It

Food irradiation is common in mainstream food production in the United States. So what is irradiation and how does it affect your herbs and spices?
WRITTEN BY Heidi

September 8, 2023

7 Best Herbs for Natural Hair Care

Using natural ingredients and herbs empowers us to embrace healthier, sustainable practices and ingredients. Meet our 7 favorite herbs for natural hair care!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

August 25, 2023

Homemade Lotion with Organic Sweetgrass Hydrosol

Mountain Rose’s organic sweetgrass hydrosol has a subtle, honeyed aroma that makes a perfect base for this homemade body lotion.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

August 24, 2023

3 Refreshing Functional Fizzy Drinks With Herbal Extracts and Syrups

Having just a few herbal extracts and syrups on hand means you can make easy, beat-the-heat, delicious drinks in no time!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

August 17, 2023

Homemade Shaving Cream

A good shaving cream is a must for a close, smooth shave. The good news is that it's incredibly easy to make natural shaving cream with organic and nourishing oils and butters!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

August 2, 2023

Homemade Deodorant: How to Make Natural, Herbal, Roll-On Deodorant

It’s the time of year—full of sun and outdoor fun—when our deodorant choices matter more than ever. Make your own effective, natural, herbal, roll-on deodorant!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

July 31, 2023

How to Make Slime with Psyllium Husk

This simple, kid-friendly, psyllium-based slime is pure, natural, safe, and organic. It takes less than 10 minutes to make and is good for hours of fun!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

July 15, 2023