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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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Posted by Mason

Valentine’s Day Breakfast: Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Keto-Friendly Recipes

I have to admit that I have a fairly one-track mind about holidays—I really like festive food. Whatever else happens, fine, so long as the food is good. This works for the big holidays as well as ones hardly anyone knows about. For instance, in my house we are practically religious about Lemon Meringue Pie Day. Over the years, certain things have become tradition, and I’ve grown to really enjoy Valentine breakfast. Other people call this Valentine’s Day breakfast, but my husband and I celebrate our anniversary in mid-February, so Valentine’s Day has never meant much for us… except for Valentine breakfast. In our house, this is a time for sharing nurturing food and laughter with the people we love and who love us. Whether or not they are romantic partners is immaterial. Lovers, family, friends, your favorite four-leggers—this is a day for just feeling the love.

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Posted by Heidi

Gourmet Vegan Caramel Apple Bites Recipe

Healthy snacks are a staple in any herbal tinkerer’s toolkit. One of my all-time favorites snacks has always been caramel apples! While they get the most hype around Halloween, I’ve created an oh-so-perfect vegan version that is too good to only enjoy for one season per year. This date-based alternative offers the sweetness and consistency of caramel with earthy undertones of mesquite and maca powders. And if there is a way that I like to get my herbs in, it’s blended perfectly in a sweet-treat like this!

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Top 10 Recipes of 2020

2020 has been a year of rediscovery. As we have all been limiting trips to public places, many of us have found more interest in cooking and in creating DIY products to use around the home. It was fascinating to take a look at our top recipes of the year and reflect on just what our herbal community has found to be the most helpful in 2020. The silver lining to this year is that, although it has been difficult, we are more resilient than we were yesterday, and we will continue to learn and grow every day forward. We hope you enjoy this recipe roundup as living proof of our collective vision for a healthy and sustainable tomorrow. Cheers to a hopeful new year!

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Posted by Jessicka

Protein & Energy Balls with Maqui Berries

As herbalists, we regularly combine a variety of healthful, supportive botanicals in infusions, extracts, elixirs, etc. With each herb bringing its own superpower to the mix and working in unison with the other ingredients, we ideally end up with a product that is greater than the sum of its parts. We use this wisdom in herb-based foods as well, stirring in a bit of herbal goodness here and supportive botanicals there to create a dish full to the brim with flavor, health, and healing. Homemade protein balls (or maybe we should call them energy balls? They’re both!) are a perfect example of this. With a base of healthy oats (which also happen to be gluten-free) and packed with nut-butter protein, they provide a good mix of protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, and are a perfect, oh-so-delicious vehicle in which to add the extra benefits of high quality herbal powders.

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Posted by Heidi

Gluten-Free Crepes + Sweet and Savory Ways to Enjoy Them

I’ve been eating gluten free for nine months now and I’ve got to say it has been a serpentine journey to figure out how to meet my admittedly snooty standards for baked goods. Mediocre desserts are just not worth the calories if you ask me, but dessert is one of my two favorite “meals” (the other one being breakfast), and I refuse to give up the experience of a perfectly baked treat. I’ve taken the tactic of choosing a grain-based recipe that I love and reworking that recipe over and over again until I create a new gluten-free version that is at least as delicious. I’m lucky my husband and kids are good sports because sometimes this has meant days and days of eating slightly different versions of the same recipe. Lately it’s been crepes. Many batches of crepes later, the family and I agree that these coconut buckwheat crepes are so delicious, you would never guess they’re gluten free.

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Posted by Heidi

Guarana Seed Benefits & Stimulating Hot Cocoa Recipe

In our modern western culture, caffeine makes our world go round. There is nothing quite like waking up to the gurgling aroma of coffee percolating in a machine while my mouth waters and my brain begs for that bitter taste to fully wake me up. One of my pleasures in working at Mountain Rose Herbs has been finding alternative ways of getting those caffeine boosts, including our organic black, organic white, and green teas, yaupon (the only North American plant to contain caffeine), and organic yerba mate. However, there is one plant that surpasses all of these in its stimulating abilities – guarana seed.

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Posted by Anna

Pumpkin Spice Banana Pancakes + Chaga Maple Syrup

Remember that cute ditty “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson? That was the jam back in the day. I always presumed the banana pancakes he was referring to were just plain ol’ pancakes with sliced bananas on top. Or perhaps some chunks of bananas thrown into the batter. Well, a couple of years ago after being prompted by the Jack Johnson tune, my co-worker told me how she makes banana pancakes. One banana, two eggs. That’s it. So simple, easy and delicious. And an additional bonus: grain-free (if you care about that sort of thing). I’ve been making these pancakes for my family ever since, with a couple of additional ingredients, my current favorite being pumpkin pie spice!

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Posted by Mason

Paleo Mixed Nuts (3 Ways)

When I go to the store, hankering for a delicious and healthy snack, mixed roasted nuts always seem like a good call. That is, until I look at the exorbitant price tag and I settle for whatever plain nut is available (preferably on sale). I discovered something though; you can get that wonderful mixed nut experience without the hefty price tag. All it takes is about 20 minutes of your time. The bonus is you get to flex those creative culinary muscles, should you choose to get fancy with it.

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Posted by Mason

How to Substitute Fresh Herbs for Dried Herbs, with Seasoning Recipe

One of the questions that often pops up here on the Mountain Rose Herbs blog is how to make substitutions between dried and fresh herbs. What if your garden bounty is begging to be enjoyed but your recipe calls for dried herbs? Or if you find yourself in the middle of an icy winter with no fresh herbs in sight?

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Posted by Jessicka

Bottles of organic colorful herbs and spices.

 

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