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Mason

Mason Hutchison is the founder of HerbRally, a podcast and website that promotes herbalism education and events. He has completed herbalism apprenticeships at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies and the Arctos School of Herbal and Botanical Studies. Mason is the Events & Outreach Strategist for Mountain Rose Herbs. His day-to-day work involves organizing community events such as the Free Herbalism Project, as well as attending herbal conferences throughout the country. He is the co-organizer of one of the longest running herbal events in the US, the Breitenbush Herbal Conference. He is also on the board of directors for the Eugene Tea Festival. He has previously volunteered for the Occupy Medical herb team and the Native Plant Society of Oregon – Emerald Chapter. Mason is a proud father, avid basketball and ping pong player, spring water gatherer, and an enthusiast in the art of frugal nutrition.

Recent Posts

How to Make a Mushroom Double Extraction

As more and more people discover the benefits of adding mushrooms to their herbal practice and culinary explorations, they are increasingly interested in how to best prepare and consume these fascinating fungi. Some mushrooms, like shiitakes, are well known and widely used in both cooking and herbalism. Others, like reishichaga and maitake, may be new to you. Some are wonderful culinary additions, while others have amazing health benefits, but less-than-amazing flavor. Making a decoction with some of these mushrooms is often preferable. However, to get all of the beneficial constituents from mushrooms, a “double extraction” is the way to go.

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How to Make Smreka: A Fermented Juniper Berry Drink

I’m always looking to expand my palate and learn new recipes from across the globe. Bonus points if they’re simple, and extra bonus points if they’re fermented. I was beyond delighted to discover a recipe for the Bosnian fermented beverage “smreka” which fits both of those specs. I first learned about this recipe from Sandor Katz’s classic (and must have) book The Art of Fermentation. Fermented foods are known to have a beneficial effect on your gut health, and thus, your overall health. In short, the good bacteria found in fermented food assists in the digestion process. As they say, “You aren’t what you eat, you’re what you digest."

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Homemade Hop Ginger Brew

To me, there aren’t many drinks more refreshing than a well-crafted ginger beer, especially during these hot summer months. There’s something so delightful about the balance between the ever-so-slight sweetness, the spicy zing of ginger, and the carbonation. Ever on a quest to try new DIY culinary experiments, I thought it’d be fun to attempt a homemade version of this soda.

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How to Make Cold Brew Coffee + 3 Herbal Additions

Now that summer has arrived, I find myself constantly craving cold brew coffee. This beverage is not simply a traditionally hot brewed coffee, with ice added to it. It’s even simpler than that! Basically, it’s coarse ground coffee beans steeped in room temperature water, overnight. However, as per usual, I will complicate the process by adding a bunch of herbs and spices to the recipe. I can’t help myself; herbalism infuses so many aspects of my life. I’m sure you can relate.

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How to Make a Superfood Smoothie Bowl + 6 Recipes

Sure, we’ve all heard of smoothies. But have you heard of the new trend smoothie bowls? There’s really nothin’ to it, it’s basically what it sounds like it is—a smoothie in a bowl—although, I’ve come to learn there are two distinct differences between the classic smoothie and the modern smoothie bowl. The smoothie bowl is typically a thicker consistency, and the smoothie bowl has a variety of fun toppings, such as strawberries, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and banana slices (more ideas below).

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How to Make Hot Honey

Being a bona fide condiment collector and aficionado, I was stoked when my colleague Jessicka requested that I investigate and write about “hot honey”, which is making its rounds in the gastronomic blogosphere. I love the combo of both sweet and heat, so this incredibly simple recipe was a surefire winner for me. Simply put, it’s an infusion of chili peppers in honey (and a dash of vinegar), then strained.

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Hemp Milk Recipe + Chocolate and Strawberry Flavor Variations

Whether you are lactose intolerant or not, learning to make different non-dairy “milks” is a fun way to vary up the nutrients you’re getting in your diet. For instance, hemp seeds contain magnesium and a host of other minerals, as well as a nice profile of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Out of all the nut milks I’ve tried, hemp milk is easily my favorite. It’s got an unparalleled nuttiness that I enjoy quite a bit. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention the sustainability of hemp production. Hemp production requires less water than dairy farming, is beneficial to the soil, and can be easily grown organically. 

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How to Make an Herbal Electuary

Electuary: just saying it is fun. And after a bit of research, I found out that the word likely comes from the Greek word “ekleikhein”, which means “to lick up.” Or perhaps that’s just one of those constantly regurgitated bits of info that gets passed down from blog to blog. Nonetheless, it’s still a fun factoid worth mentioning. I’ve worked in the herbal industry for a decade now, and over time it’s been fun to see what goes in and out of fashion. Just the other day, my herbalist friend Erika Galentin with Sovereignty Herbs posted on social media about her ginseng leaf electuaries (amazing). I’ve seen a few others post about this ancient herbal tradition over the past few months as well. It occurred to me that after attending countless herbal conferences and taking two herbalism apprenticeships, I’ve managed to never have made one of the simplest of recipes: the electuary. As I explained to one of our photographers here at Mountain Rose Herbs, “It’s basically just powdered herbs mixed with honey.”

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DIY Extract Blend for Sleep

Have you ever read about an herb, gotten excited about the potential benefits, taken it, and then didn’t feel any sort of effects from it? That’s mostly been my experience with skullcap. I mean, I like the plant, but it’s not the calming nervine rock star that I was hoping it’d be. Of course, there’s many different species of skullcap, so perhaps I just haven’t found the right match for me. For a lot of my friends, skullcap really seems to do the trick. I thought, perhaps someone with my constitution just needed to find another plant ally for those calming nervine effects I was looking for. Fortunately, I ended up stumbling upon blue vervain.

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How to Make Homemade Chocolate Bars + 2 Herb-Inspired Variations

I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth. I’ll take an entrée over a dessert any day of the week. Thus, I’ve never understood people’s obsession with chocolate. I mean, sure, I enjoy a bite every now and then if an organic, small batch, artisan-made piece of a chocolate bar is offered to me, but I don’t seek it out. Recently, however, as tends to happen for me, an idea and inspiration struck. I could make my own chocolate! Better yet, I could make a chocolate bar sans refined white sugar, which is my main repulsion to most sweets. I declared to my household that I would make a chocolate bar with maple syrup as the sweetener. My daughter found this to be a less than revolutionary statement. “Dad, that’s what you always use.” Hey, sometimes I use honey…

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Apple Spice Tea- Now on Sale!

 

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