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Ginger Root: Cultivation, History, and Recipes

Have you ever asked yourself, “What herbs and spices would I bring to a desert island?” It’s a fun exercise to think about what you can’t live without. Salt, nettles, and ginger root top my list! Ginger root’s warm, spicy flavor makes the perfect addition to Thai and Indian dishes. It also uplifts healthful tea and drink recipes, like this Turmeric Ginger Tea. Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) supports healthy digestion and helps relieve occasional upset stomach and nausea.* Making a simple ginger root tea when I was pregnant really helped me stay grounded. I think of ginger as this wonderous plant ally, but it wasn’t until recently that I researched the history and cultivation of it. Now I have a renewed love of ginger!

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Posted by Alyssa

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

Forgotten Cookie Recipe With Yaupon Tea

“Forgotten cookies” are an American classic and a perfect vehicle for America’s “forgotten” tea. If you’ve been reading along with my blogs here at Mountain Rose Herbs, you know I got seriously into yaupon tea this year. As a bonafide history nerd, I first became fascinated with the story of America's only native tea plant and then, of course, I had to try it. I’ll spare you the history lesson, but yaupon is an excellent caffeinated tea choice for me because it isn’t bitter, it can be re-steeped more than once without a change in flavor, and it provides a gentle caffeine boost and increased focus without the jitteriness I sometimes get from coffee or Camellia sinensis based teas. It’s also loaded with theophylline, theobromine, and a plethora of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc. I’ve been experimenting with multiple ways to bring it into my diet to replace other caffeine. This summer I brewed it with cooling hibiscus, sweetened it with a little honey, and kept it in the refrigerator to have delicious hibiscus-yaupon iced tea on hand. And then, one evening when I was in a cookie baking mood and perusing some of my favorite recipes, I thought of forgotten cookies and had the quintessential lightbulb moment: forgotten cookies + forgotten tea = pure joy.

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Posted by Heidi

Sprouted Chocolate Dessert Hummus

Before you beat me to it, I know dessert hummus is not “real hummus.” Traditional Middle Eastern hummus is a savory dish made with a specific set of ingredients. So why call this sweet treat hummus at all? Well, its base is mashed garbanzo beans, and it is a type of dip, so the masses started calling it chocolate hummus or dessert hummus. For the sake of helping people find this recipe, I stuck with that name, but know you can call it vegan chocolate mousse, and it will still be as delicious.

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Posted by Jessicka

How to Make Quick-Pickled Vegetables + Homemade Pickling Spice Recipe

It’s the season of fresh and vibrant produce, and as my garden bounty gets close to being harvested, the anticipation of pickling season has me dreaming of all the food preservation projects I will be undertaking. I look forward to donning my kitchen apron and preserving the fruits (and vegetables) of my labor. While I whole-heartedly love canning, sometimes it’s nice to knock a little time off the process. I can’t tell you how many all-nighters I have pulled in the name of saving all the produce, but as I get a bit older, I don’t bounce back from those long nights quite as fast as I used to. One of my tricks for saving a considerable amount of time is quick pickling!

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Posted by Jessicka

Building an Herbal Library: Our Favorite Botanical Books

If you ask herbalists, botanists, and body care enthusiasts, most say that building a library of reference and recipe books is one of the most important steps in becoming an expert. Gathering books from professionals who offer their experiences, philosophies, and expertise gives you a strong foundation on which to build your practice.  Here are some of our favorite books on herbal education, aromatherapy, healthy eating, skincare, and growing and foraging plants. 

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Posted by Jessicka

Licorice and Black Tea Poached Cherries

Waking each morning rested and ready to take on the day seems more of a luxury these days than a reality. Late nights, heavy workloads, and an endless stream of stressors and obligations can sap you of energy before you even have a chance to begin. While herbs can’t give you an extra hour of rest in the morning or cross anything off your ever-growing to-do list, they can help bring balance to your mornings. Energy-boosting herbs can nurture your stress response system and provide the support you need to start your day. As a result, you can start out feeling nourished, enlivened, and full of vitality.

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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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Posted by Mason

Supporting the Microbiome Through Diet + Recipes

The emerging research about the human microbiome is changing our view of human biology. We have just begun to study the intense diverse communities of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in and on the human body and to understand how they shape our health. Since Earth’s beginning, the most successful, numerous, diverse, and ubiquitous organisms on the planet have been microbes, particularly bacteria. Every creature on this planet has evolved within this microbial soup and humankind is no exception. Microbes have always lived in and on us. As a result, our physiology has evolved to rely on them to influence physiological functions that have not been encoded within the human genome.

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Adaptogenic Mushroom Risotto Recipe

When co-writing my first book, Root and Nourish, with Jennifer Kurdyla, this adaptogenic risotto was one recipe that we knew had to make the cut. It’s everything that this book was meant to embody: a focus on women’s health and the nourishing, tasty, beneficial ways that meals can be enjoyed time and time again. This risotto is a savory take on creamy comfort food, as well as being a fresh take on a traditional family meal with a healthy dose of adaptogens. The shiitake mushrooms deliver an adaptogenic boost by enhancing cognitive function and providing a feeling of wellbeing that supports us when we are overwhelmed or need to overcome deficiencies.*

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