Holiday Appetizers: Seed Crackers with Cashew "Sour Cream” Dip

Festive holiday gatherings can be tricky when you have family members and friends with dietary restrictions. In my circle of favorite people, one person is a vegetarian and is also lactose intolerant, several of us don’t eat gluten, another person is allergic to almonds and hazelnuts, a couple people are trying to lose weight, and another is in serious training for a national martial arts championship and is on a weight gain and muscle building plan. It’s hard to come up with foods that please us all! We’ve found that an appetizers and cocktails/mocktails party is sometimes the way to go! It’s easier to create small bites that people can choose from rather than a single sit-down meal that requires different options for everyone. Great appetizers are where these remarkably healthy and delicious seed crackers come in. They check everyone’s boxes and also make a fantastic vehicle for a healthful, festive herbal dip that you can customize to your palate.

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Posted by Heidi

A Midwinter Cordial to Support Your Digestive System

In the United States, ‘cordial' and ‘liqueur’ are two words for the same thing; they are sweetened distilled spirits. Although many people know them as cocktail ingredients, cordials can also be potent digestifs. This digestive-aid version of cordials is generally more bitter and less sweet than its cocktail-focused brethren and is loaded with herbs, spices, and other natural flavorings that support the digestive tract. A cordial-digestif can be as simple and delicious as a 3-seed herbal cordial for digestion, or you can make them more complex with layers of herbal flavors and aromas to delight the nose and the palate. Either way, they are ridiculously easy to make. This festive midwinter version with its blend of aromatics and bitters is the perfect finish to a holiday meal, when you have a moment to sit down and enjoy the company of your favorite people.

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Posted by Heidi

Ayurvedic Kitchari Recipe for Seasonal Support

We are “microcosms of the macrocosm” according to Ayurvedic philosophy—an eloquent way of describing our interconnectedness with the natural world. While technology and other changes in our society have created a separation between us and nature’s rhythms, the body’s incredible intelligence easily “remembers” its synchronicity with the macrocosm when we give it a chance. One way of creating this opportunity is by honoring the changes of the season, which Ayurveda describes as a moment in time when the system (micro- and macrocosm) is more vulnerable to illness because of the shifts in dominant energies and elements. Most of us naturally do this in some form or another—changing our wardrobe, adjusting to a new schedule for work or school, etc.—but we can take our seasonal self-care one step further by giving our digestive system some space and ease with a seasonal reset.

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3 Healthy Chia Seed Pudding Recipes

Chia pudding is one of those foods that people often have very clear feelings about. They are either fully “Team Chia!” or are squicked out by the texture. The texture of chia pudding is all about proportions—a tiny change can make or break it. When you dial it in correctly, chia seed pudding gives you a delicious, high-fiber snack or topping that is beneficial for your gut, rich in Omega-3s, and provides protein and a number of essential minerals and antioxidants. Chia pudding is also a perfect vehicle for herbal powders which means you can easily customize the flavors and add herbal support!

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Posted by Heidi

10 Zero-Waste Wedding and Party Favors

When you are planning an event, especially one as large as a wedding, there are many things to consider: budget, theme, comfort and, hopefully, sustainability. When it comes to party favors, I’m a big fan of gifting homemade things that are clean, green, and most importantly, useful!

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Posted by Jessicka

Garlic Aioli Recipe with Curry Powder

 

In my years as a foodie and cook, there are a couple of dishes that it took me forever to master. For instance, I have broken more aioli than I can shake a whisk at. Perhaps you have heard me say before that I dislike projects with finicky details. Needless to say, this trait doesn’t bode well for creating a perfect aioli. I even failed when using a blender. However, a few years ago I had one of those why-didn’t-I-think-of-this-sooner lightbulb moments: I could ask for help! It turns out all kinds of people in my family and friend group are glad to help if the payoff is “homemade mayo.” If you, like me, lack the hand-eye coordination and patience to quickly, constantly whisk a vessel of eggs and lemon juice while simultaneously trying to pour oil very, very slowly, I invite you to grab a buddy to do either the whisking or the pouring. Add some good conversation and the time flies by; the process becomes wonderful instead of aggravating. Then split the resulting creamy wonder that is aioli. This is what true friendships are made of!

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Posted by Heidi

Camping Food for Foodies: No Refrigeration Required

I Googled my symptoms. Turned out I just needed to go camping.

Sometimes the only cure for what ails me is getting away from civilization for a few days, someplace where there is no wifi, I can see a whole sky full of stars, and I can’t hear anything but a river and birds. Whether I’m hiking, backpacking, or car camping, cooler-space is either nonexistent or at a premium, so I appreciate delicious, no-refrigeration-required camping food options. The following three recipes are regulars on my family’s camping season menus. Not only are they delicious, they also happen to be gluten-free and vegan-optional. Enjoy!

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Posted by Heidi

20+ DIY Herbal Recipes You Can Make for Under $10

 

Affordability is a real issue when it comes to health and wellness. Many of us are living on tight budgets, and that’s not getting any better with the current skyrocketing inflation. One of the things that I love about herbalism is that it empowers me to make better choices for my health and wellbeing without blowing my budget. It’s true that some herbal formulations require ingredients that are beyond what I can purchase, but there are many effective options that fall comfortably in the affordable zone, so I’ve never felt like I missed out because I couldn't buy those pricier options. The following 20+ recipes are perfect examples. From wellness recipes to topical applications and culinary treats, these excellent, affordable formulations have served the Mountain Rose Herbs community well for many years. Enjoy!

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Posted by Heidi

How to Choose High Quality Herbs and Spices

Recently, as I was making soup with my three-year-old granddaughter and teaching her to pronounce galangal root, I found myself in an extended game of “name that spice.” It turns out you can get through an entire elaborate Thai soup recipe with a toddler in this way; I highly recommend it. It goes something like this: Cute toddler points at spice jar and asks, “What is that spice?” Adult says, “Paprika. Smell it, what do you think?” Cute toddler makes funny face and spies another spice that looks similar. “Is that paprika too?” Adult is impressed. “Good eye, that’s smoked paprika. Does it smell different?” And on it goes like that through the colored jars. In this way, I was reminded that I have so many jars of excellent dried herbs and spices and it’s definitely time to check them for freshness.

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Posted by Heidi

How to Choose the Best Cooking Oil + Oil Smoke Point Chart

When we make body care formulations, we choose specific oils and butters based on our final goals: consistency, absorption rate, skin type, etc. The same is true for cooking. Fats, like those in culinary oils, are integral to our dishes, not just to keep food from sticking to a pan, but also to affect the final flavor, consistency, texture, and more. Every cooking oil has a unique chemical composition that makes it better at some things than others. This is why one oil might be amazing in a salad dressing or for a lightly sautéed protein, but is a poor choice for grilling or deep-frying. To achieve your cooking goals, it’s important to understand culinary oils and fats. And an important element of that understanding is the smoke point.

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Posted by Heidi

How to Make Herbal Salt Blends + 4 Recipes

It is mighty cliché to start a health and wellness blog with a Hippocrates quote, but I am willing to sacrifice originality for truth. The old adage “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” is still worthy of repeating some 2,400 years after it was first uttered and despite centuries of medical and health advances, it is still relevant today. In this modern age, especially in America, many of us are living with nutritional deficiencies and are at a higher risk of experiencing food-related illnesses.

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Posted by Jessicka

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Holiday Appetizers: Seed Crackers with Cashew "Sour Cream” Dip

Holiday gathering can get complicated when you have loved ones with dietary restrictions. This seed cracker and herb dip combination is an appetizer win!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

November 14, 2022

A Midwinter Cordial to Support Your Digestive System

This festive midwinter cordial brings together bitter and aromatic herbs for a delicious digestion-supporting finish to a bountiful meal.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

November 10, 2022

Ayurvedic Kitchari Recipe for Seasonal Support

Traditionally, an Ayurvedic seasonal reset is based on a dish called kitchari, which is eaten as a monodiet for one or several days. This tasty dish is easy on the digestive system and offers vital nutrients to carry you through the seasonal shift.
WRITTEN BY Jennifer Kurdyla- Guest Writer

September 30, 2022

3 Healthy Chia Seed Pudding Recipes

Chia seed pudding is a perfect vehicle for herbal powders, so you can customize the flavor and the herbal support in a delicious snack or breakfast bowl.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

August 28, 2022

10 Zero-Waste Wedding and Party Favors

If you are looking for some unique wedding and party favor ideas that are affordable, easy to make in bulk, and error-proof, then you will enjoy these 10 sustainable gift ideas.
WRITTEN BY Jessicka

July 30, 2022

Garlic Aioli Recipe with Curry Powder

This Mountain Rose Herbs aioli recipe uses extra virgin organic olive oil and organic grapeseed oil and features a little spicy twist of curry powder.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

July 29, 2022

Camping Food for Foodies: No Refrigeration Required

These vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free camping food recipes are perfect for day hikes, backpacking, or car camping. Grab the tent, let’s go!
WRITTEN BY Heidi

June 30, 2022

20+ DIY Herbal Recipes You Can Make for Under $10

Affordability is a real issue when it comes to health and wellness. Explore these 20+ effective recipes that you can make for $10 or less.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

June 27, 2022

How to Choose High Quality Herbs and Spices

The best quality dried botanicals have superior flavor, nutrient value, and food safety. Learn why product testing is key and how to test for freshness.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

May 20, 2022

How to Choose the Best Cooking Oil + Oil Smoke Point Chart

Every cooking oil has a unique composition that makes it better at some things than others. Learn how to choose the best oils for all of your culinary masterpieces.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

May 13, 2022

How to Make Herbal Salt Blends + 4 Recipes

Learn how to add more herbs to your diet with these easy-to-make herbal salt recipes.
WRITTEN BY Jessicka

April 7, 2022