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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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Gluten-Free Everything Bagel Recipe with Vegan Bagel Option

I remember the first time I ate a bagel. It was 1982 and I was teenager from the mountains of Oregon on her first trip to the East Coast. I saw Amadeus on Broadway, I ate Cuban food for the first time, and I went to a wonderful outdoor marketplace that was populated by a fascinating mix of locals, Amish farmers, and Orthodox Jewish craftspeople. While the farmers hosted an auction of horse-pulled buggies and farm equipment outside, I wandered the home-goods end of the event, where I discovered a man making handmade bagels. He had a steaming pot of water at his elbow, and a big catering oven at his rear, and was hand-forming rings of wheat dough as he chatted to passersby. I got sucked in by the smell and bought a perfect bagel accompanied with a side of herby cream cheese. And then there were arias, and the heavens opened, and a great light shown down… which is to say, it was amazing!

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Posted by Heidi

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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Posted by Mason

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

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