Numi’s Organic Chocolate Earl Grey tea, a taste of satisfaction

46113_XXX_v1

As a tea drinker I have experienced many earl grey teas, but I have never tried a earl grey tea with chocolate in it so this was a surprise for me. At first it didn’t sound right with chocolate in it. It seemed odd to have chocolate in black tea with a flower. After trying it, I changed the way I thought about it. That was the most invigorating tea I have ever drink. The tea tasted so wonderful.

The bergamot and chocolate flavor blended perfectly. There was no conflict between those flavors. I was surprised how it tasted. The tea taste best warm instead of hot. I wouldn’t doubt it would taste even better over ice. The tea was very smooth and lovely to drink.

I do believe this tea would be great in a cookie recipe due to the chocolate flavor.
The chocolate earl grey tea is a indulgent tea which is a line of tea Numi has. Numi has other indulgent teas such as Chocolate Mint that I really like. I really give Chocolate Earl Grey tea twos thumbs up and five stars.

It would be just perfect to serve with chocolate chip cookies at a party, sewing circle or just sharing with some great friends that enjoy tea. Numi is the first company I have heard of making a earl grey tea with chocolate, I knew right away that was a tea I needed to try and do a review on because who thought about adding chocolate to a black tea? It was a great combination, Numi truly has a great master blender. I look forward to trying other teas and possibly doing more reviews.

Check out their website for more teas: http://shop.numitea.com/

Numi’s Organic White Rose tea, a true taste of nature

39800_XXX_v1.jpg

After trying Numi’s White Rose tea, I couldn’t believe how wonderful that tea tasted. I have never drink rose tea that tasted so pure, so smooth and so wonderful. I have drink other rose teas by other company’s but nothing touched Numi’s White Rose. It truly has a remarkable taste and I recommend anyone trying it.

One thing that I thought was truly neat was that their tea boxes contained recipes using that very tea. Adding the recipes to the boxes was a very neat idea and gives you some idea how to use the tea rather to just drink it. I believe a white rose cake would taste so wonderful, I might have to try it out myself.

Not only are you drinking a great tasting tea but you are also receiving many health benefits. Roses contain 10 times more vitamin C than any orange. Drinking Numi’s White Rose tea is great to drink after working all day outdoors. The smooth tea has some what a calming effect and makes you feel great.

You just want to drink cup after cup. white rose tea would be perfect made into sun tea ad than poured right over ice and drunk in the shade. Its a wonderful tea to share with your friends or serving it at a tea party. I give this tea two thumbs up and five stars. I am happy to do reviews on Numi’s wonderful teas.

Check out their website for more teas: http://shop.numitea.com/

How to tell the difference between Dame’s Rocket and Blue Phlox

 

Spring is here and flowers are starting to pop through to beautify the earth. Some flowers are even herbs that you can use to cure with and eat. There are even flowers that have a very close look alike. It is a good idea to do research on a flower to make sure you do not get the look alike, if it does have one,  because it may be harmful.

Blue Phlox

11a754c9cb48485dc3713dad243aa1d7.jpg

This beautiful flower is common in Midwestern fields and woods. It is also known as Wild Sweet William and is a edible that taste spicy. The fully grown plants in eastern parts have notched petals but the plants in the western parts do not have notched petals. The stem is a decumbent stem which means it lays along the ground curving upward. Clusters of beautiful lavender or pink flowers are located at the top of the stem. The stem is somewhat sticky.

The leaves are one to two inches long and are half a inch wide. The leaves are rounded at the base and pointed at the tip. The leaves are slightly hairy on top with tiny hairs on the edges.

 

Blue Phlox is in the Polemoniaceae family, it is a perennial, it blooms April through June, and grows eight to ten inches tall. They grow in partial shade to full shade and grow in medium to dry soil. Blue Phlox spreads but spreads slowly but is invasive. Rabbits love to eat Blue Phlox.

Dame’s Rocket

Hesperis_matronalis_variation_001.jpg

Dame’s rocket is another spring beauty, its very showy, edible and they are a evergreen, meaning they will stay green year round. It is a shortlived perennial that is in the Mustard family. Dame’s rocket invades road sides and produces tons of seeds. New plants also called first year plants stay ground level and stay green year round. The flowers start to bloom in early spring. They will soon grow a two to four foot tall stem with flowers all over it.

 

The leaves are rosette leaves which is a circular arrangement of leaves that can grow up to 6 inches long. Dame’s rocket leave are lance shaped about two to six inches long. They are wider at the base.

clip_image_4_picture_b

Fifth leaf on second row is lance shaped

The leaves become smaller as they get closer to the top of the plant. The leaves at the lower part of the plant have short stems coming off the plant while the leaves at the top grow right off the stalk. The edges of the leaves have teeth that are spaced apart widely. The stems and leaves are covered with tiny fine hairs.

Each flower has four petals while Blue Phlox has five petals. The flowers on Dame’s Rocket range from purple, pink to white. The flowers are about one inch wide and grow in clusters. Each flower turns into a little seedpod called, “Silique.” Flowers bloom from May through June, if the flowering part gets cut off, it will bloom again.

Dame’s rocket prefers to grow in partial shade and grow in moist, fertile and  loose soil. You will never find this plant in acidic soil, they avoid areas that are acidic. They grow in lowland forests, moist meadows, woodland edges, woodland openings, open woods, thickets, shady fence rows and banks of ditches and roadsides.

According to Mother Earth Living:

Dame’s rocket has been used medicinally to induce sweating, promote urination, and loosen a cough, but no scientific evidence confirms its effectiveness. The leaves, which are rich in vitamin C, have also been used to treat or prevent scurvy; however, in A Modern Herbal (1931), Maud Grieve notes that “a strong dose will cause vomiting” and suggests the leaves as a substitute for the emetic ipecac. According to Hilda Leyel, editor of A Modern Herbal and author of Herbal Delights, the seeds were “said to be a most efficacious cure for stings and bites of serpents and they were sometimes mixed with vinegar to cure freckles.”

Sources:

www.prairiemoon.com

http://na.fs.fed.us

http://www.motherearthliving.com/

 

 

Maca: The worlds rarest herb

Maca-powder-and-root

Maca root and powder

Maca, also know as Peruvian Ginseng, has several health benefits and has been used my many people. The Incas used maca root in many of their herbal remedies. In ancient Incan history, the root was known to have special properties, believed to enhance stamina and energy. Maca root is known by Peruvian Ginseng because of its similar benefits found in ginseng.

Maca root grows in the Andes Mountains of Peru some 12,000 to 15,000 feet above sea level. The environment is perfect for maca to grow at. Maca grows incredibly due to it thriving in harsh temperatures and even frost. Maca is part of the mustard family and has close very similarities. The flowers look just like the mustard plants. Farmers do get maca plant confused with the mustard plant.

The part of maca that stores the nutrients is the meat of the root. Maca is known as a superfood because the nutritional contents of the maca is highly impressive. The root of maca is high in protein, iron, potassium, iodine, magnesium, calcium, fiber and even has its own natural sugars.

Health Benefits of maca:

  • Balances your mood
  • Strengthens your skin
  • Increases your energy
  • Increases libido and fertility
  • Offers better sleep
  • Helps your body adapt to stress
  • Increases your memory and brain power
  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-acne
  • Increases your endurance and stamina
  • Reduces symptoms of PMS and menopause
  • Helps reduce aches and pains
  • Strengthens your hair and reduces hair loss

f you eat maca as a food instead of taking it in tea form or capsule form, you should really cook the root, never eat it raw for it can cause severe digestive problems. The root is rough on your stomachs lining due to it being very strong. Always cook the root first. Maca is also known to relieve mild depression. Maca doesn’t have any of the side effects that are found in pharmaceutical antidepressant medicine.

Maca, in fact, has a active ingredient that boost energy and lift depression safely and naturally. There is no need for those pharmaceutical antidepressant medicines, that actually doesn’t help the problem but make it worse. There are natural herbal medicines that get to the root of the problem.

The maca root powder can be mixed into teas, coffees and smoothies. Maca is recommended to people that have adrenal fatigue because maca gives a boost of energy. Maca also reduces stress hormones and helps balance hormones.

maca-tea

Maca tea

How to make maca tea:

  • Tea of your choice (herbal ideally)
  • 1 tsp of Maca powder
  • 1 cup of hot water or Milk (optional)
  • Honey (optional)

Brew your favorite herbal tea, when ready, add 1 tsp of maca powder to your tea and mix well. If desired, add milk and honey.

Note: Cooking can remove some of the nutrients found in maca. Add maca after the tea is prepared.

What is Maca Root and Why is it a Superfood

Sources:

http://www.youngandraw.com/

http://www.herbwisdom.com/

http://wellnessmama.com/

Gardening with humanure

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What is humanure?

Humanure (human manure) is human fecal matter and urine recycled for thermophilic composting, which is used for gardens and agricultural uses. Humanure contains rich nutrients that improve plant growth! For this reason, humanure should be recycled anytime possible. Humanure can be a source of disease organisms but if composted right, they can all be eliminated. A composting practice called, “thermophilic” is a way of breaking down biological waste. To kill all the harmful bacteria and viruses, your compost pile must get hot. In order to make your compost pile get hot , you must add weeds, wood chips, sawdust and kitchen scraps to the thermophilic compost stack. By adding all that to your compost box/bin, it can produce enough heat to eliminate human pathogen and compost the matter which is then turned into rich organic fertilizer! The thermophilic compost stack must be large, about 1m3 or larger.

According to opensourceecology.org

The key advantage of thermophilic composting is that the high temperatures kill diseases. Human faeces composted by worms is not safe to use on food-plants, but several months of thermophilic composting will render it quite harmless. All the organisms that cause human diseases are adapted to live around human body temperature. Higher temperatures kill them. Compost that stays at 50°C (122°F) for 24 hours will be safe to use to grow food. A temperature of 46°C (115°F) will kill pathogens within a week. 62°C (143.6°F) will kill pathogens in one hour.

343px-Parasite_Compost_data.jpeg

Human pathogens cannot survive very long outside a human body. Human pathogens are eliminated in a hot compost pile in just minutes. The microorganisms will convert the human manure into safe soil when organic matter is added such as grass, leaves, sawdust, hay, sugar cane dormora, straw and rice hulls. Compost organisms don’t like raw human manure because it’s too wet and very high in nitrogen. Compost organisms like to eat humanure. If flies hang around your compost bins, then you do not have enough cover on your compost pile. That is easy to fix, just add more cover. Always cover the humanure after you dump your compost pile, cover it enough where it doesn’t show or smell.

Humanure has been used for many years, the Chinese especially, used humanure. In 1908, a contractor paid the city of Shanghai $31,000 in gold for the right to collect 78,000 tons of humanure just to spread it on their fields. Humanure is sometimes called,”night soil” because the collecting of the humanure was done in the dark.

You should have two compost bins, once box one is filled about three feet deep with humanure, you start filling your second compost bin. Once box 1 has set for two years, you can haul it to your garden and fill your raised beds or add straight to the ground. After box two is filled you let that set for two years and start filling box 1 again after it has been emptied into your garden. Your boxes should be large. You can use pallets to build your compost boxes/bins.

12442860_1696075123997030_523321735_n.jpg

After two years of sitting, the compost should look and smell like rich, dark and moist potting soil. The humanure can be used to grow garden plants, trees, shrubs, vines and flowers. The humanure can be added to the soil for plants that need better access for their roots such as potatoes and carrots. It can also be used on top of the soil like a type of mulch. You can add humanure to the holes of trees before planting them or transplanting them since humanure improves the health and growth of plants.

Make sure to check out part two of the video!

Sources:

http://humanurehandbook.com/

http://opensourceecology.org/

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/

Get to know your Ancient Grains

Vara-Ancient-Grains-primary-2-1200

Ancient Grains

Ancient grains should be part of your daily diet because they are so high in minerals, vitamins and even protein. You can eat these grains to replace meat because the protein level is so high. Like quinoa, it has 8g of protein per one cup cooked, so no need for meat! Ancient grains have so much history and some are as old as 8,000 years. Alot of people don’t even understand how healthy and amazing these little grains are. Quinoa its self has 10 amino acids your body can’t produce its self. So think, these grains may be what you need to start eating if your not already.

“Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food”
– Hippocrates

A list of our wonderful ancient grains:

amaranth-fb.jpg

Amaranth

Amaranth: Amaranth has been cultivated for over 8,000 years by the Incas, Aztecs and other Colombian civilizations. The Aztecs considered amaranth as a scared crop and used the grains in foods and drinks. Amaranth is high in vitamins and minerals, each little seed contains iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, vitamin E and B5 and phosphorous. Amaranth is also high in protein and fiber!

5069f50edbd0cb3067000ecf._w.1500_s.fit_.jpg

Millet

Millet: Millet is one of first ancient grains to be cultivated by human beings. It is considered on of the five sacred grains in China. Millet was planted and harvested by Chinese before they even knew about rice. Millet is very popular in Asia and Africa. Millet is high in fiber and vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, folacin and niacin. Millet has huge amounts of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, calcium and zinc. Millet is high in amino acids and is higher in protein than other grains.

pure-chia_home-slideshow_seeds.jpg

Chia 

Chia: Chia is considered a miracle food. They are high in calcium, potassium and iron. Chia is the highest known plant with omega-3 fatty acids! The Aztecs and Mayans used chia seeds as a source of energy. Chia is actually Mayan for strength. Aztec messager runners would carry chia seeds in their pouches so when they felt they needed energy they would eat some chia seeds.

bigstock-close-up-of-flax-seeds-and-wo-42279274.jpg

Flax seeds

Flax seed: Flax seeds have been cultivated for over 5,000 years, they bloom beautiful purple flowers that human beings love. Flax seeds are a huge source of omega-3 fatty acids and are very high in fiber. Flax seeds also contain great sources of manganese, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, iron, thiamin, zinc, selenium, calcium, vitamin B6 and vitamin B3. Flax seeds were considered a healing remedy since the year 650 B.C. and in 800 A.D. the Roman empire passed a law requiring its cultivation and consumption!

sesame-seeds-shutterstock-86999342.jpg

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds: These little seeds are considered a nutritional goldmine. They are full of rich minerals such as manganese, copper, iron and zinc. They are even a good source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin B1 and fiber. Chia seeds originated in India, the oil from chia seeds was part of Hindu traditions. Records show that sesame seed were cultivated back 3,000 years ago but the plant dates back further.

Sources:

http://www.marysgonecrackers.com/

http://www.whfoods.com/

http://wholegrainscouncil.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is kombucha, how to make it & what you should know

Kombucha home brew

As little children, growing up at home in the south, most, if not all of us were raised with a glass of sweet tea in our hands.Memories of mom going to the fridge for a glass of that cold, sweet tea only to find it spoiled from sitting in that fridge to long, still lingers. Mostly because one sip or smell of that tea resulted in one of those human sounds, something like Ughhhh! Followed by a disgusted face and then down the drain it went.

Today, we know different, well some of us. That spoiled tea was actually fermenting, as all tea with sugar will eventually. Especially when left to sit in a warm place with a cloth on the jar instead of a tight fitting lid. We know today that fermented tea becomes kombucha, in time, and the most powerful probiotic of our time. All that “wasted” tea, mom tossed down the drain, contained enough cancer killing properties, and ability to keep you, & your family, cancer free, for life!

In the US, kombucha is just starting to become popular and here we are in the 21st century. Over seas, in many Asian countries, kombucha has been a part of most everyone’s lives for 1000’s of years. In the far reaches of Russia, a while back, scientists traveling the globe, stumbled upon a village of ancient people where kombucha had been homemade and the recipe handed down through all of their generations. Not a single person, through all their generations, had ever died from cancer.

In fact, cancer was not found in their people…ever. Upon investigation, looking at everything the village people consumed, the scientists discovered their kombucha recipe. After testing this kombucha the scientist learned an incredible thing. Kombucha killed cancer cells when directly applied. Those that would be interested in trying kombucha would be happy to know that kombucha comes in many flavors. Flavors such as blueberry or raspberry, ginger or even like a green smoothie mix.

Kombucha is sold in many sixes but you will most likely find it in 16 oz. bottles. Flavors such as Gingerberry and multigreen, gingerade and citrus are among popular flavors. Still some like the original flavors of kombucha. How does it taste? Surprisingly not like mom’s “spoiled” tea! In fact, kombucha resembles a weak wine and when mixed with juices, to ferment together, takes on a great healthy taste that most people will find pleasing.  Just a bottle a day is all you need to reap the benefits of this awesome probiotic drink.

Usually kombucha in 16 oz. bottles sales for around $4.00 and some change. In retail stores, usually around $3.35 a bottle. Kombucha is so great, drinking this daily could get expensive. One way to fix that is to learn to make it at home. With an initial investment of the price of a bag of sugar, a box of good organic black or green tea (I suggest black to start with) and a bottle of organic raw kombucha, you could make 3 gallon of kombucha yourself.

TO MAKE KOMBUCHA AT HOME first you need a kombucha scoby, or a mother. You should either grow your own or get one from someone who does and has an extra one. Every time a batch of kombucha is made a new scoby grows, called a scoby baby. This scoby is used to make a new batch and so on.

Kombucha scoby

HERE IS HOW TO GROW YOUR OWN SCOBY AND MAKE KOMBUCHA.

  • Purchase a bottle of raw organic kombucha or take some from someone’s home brew.
  • Allow this to ferment in a warm location with a cheese cloth and rubber band on top to keep the insects and dust out.
  • Watch for the scoby to grow on top. It will start as a white glaze and get thicker over time. This takes about 10 days, longer if the room temperature is more cool than warm.
  • Once the scoby gets about a 1/4 inch thick it is ready to be used. Brew up 6 black or green tea bags in a gallon of water..
  • Allow the tea to cool to room temperature
  • Sweeten with sugar to taste and float the scoby on top.
  • Allow to sit and ferment in a warm place for 5-10 days or until it ferments to a taste you link. This can take longer in winter.
  • Make sure to lightly over the tea the same as before when you grew the scoby. A new scoby will grow in this batch. Use the baby to make the next batch or pass it on to a friend. You can discard your used scoby after the fermentation is done.
  • After the tea becomes kombucha, if you wish, mix it with some juice for flavor such as cranberry. Allow this mix to sit for another 24 hours to marry and ferment the juice.
  • Place a top on the kombucha and place it in the fridge until you want to use it. This will stop the fermentation. I like to bottle my kombucha into old kombucha jars for individual servings.

One gallon fills 7-8 16 oz. jars with juice. So next time that gallon of tea in your fridge seems a little unpalatable, remember what you have the start of instead of heading to your kitchen drain!