IT'S SO DRY RIGHT NOW!
If you live in the desert right now you may feel like a desert! Everybody is coming into the shop with all sorts of complaints of dryness: dry hands, dry scalp, dry legs, dry lip... Inner Moisture Mix to the rescue! I have a fun way to prepare Inner Moisture Mix that's really tasty. Here is the simple recipe:
Inner Moisture Latte
Makes 1 cup
1 tsp Inner Moisture Mix
Milk of choice (I prefer Almond Milk)
a pinch of Cardamom Powder
~Place IMM powder into your cup & fill with hot water about 2/3 of the way. I also add a pinch of cardamom powder in to taste. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir well. I love using a small cordless milk frother (seen in picture to right) to mix powders in water… very handy!
~Warm Milk on stove for a minute or two. Don’t let it boil. Next froth your milk. I use my cordless milk frother, but I have also used a french press or a good old fashioned blender.
~Once frothed, add to fill up the final 1/3 of your cup.
~Lastly sprinkle a little bit more cardamom on top.
Bonus: Any Yerba Mate Drinkers out there? I started drinking a cup of Yerba Mate in the mornings in place of coffee about a year ago. It agrees better with my belly. But, it is kind of drying which can also be aggravating, especially in the desert. My new trick is to brew a stronger 1/2 cup of Mate Tea & then add Inner Moisture Mix dissolved in Almond Milk the rest of the way. It is the perfect complement to smooth out that Mate & very Tasty!
Yesterday I went for a bike ride and looked for fresh plants growing in alleys and curbsides. When I got home, I played around with what I had found and made these plant bundles. They can be hung wherever you like and even decorated with holiday ribbons to get festive for the holidays.
Tips- if you would like to try:
~ Go for a walk and take a pair of clippers with you. Look for greens and flowers that you are drawn to with interesting colors and textures. Be mindful of where you are snipping. I generally only snip from very bountiful bushes and trees in alleys and near curbs. Often, you may be surprised that there may be enough in your own yard to work with.
~Once you return with your harvest, sort through what you have and play around with different arrangements.
~Careful of thorns- I had to trim Bougainvillea as it has many thorns on it’s branches.
~Lastly, use a strong twine or green floral wire to bind the branches tightly together.
Have fun, explore, & connect with Plants!
Plants pictured here: Creosote, Eucalyptus, Jojoba, Desert Broom, & Bougainvillea
Now at the shop we are offering an easy to follow do-it-yourself Elderberry Kit.
~Things you will need to purchase: 4 ounces of honey, (and optionally a fresh pear &/or 2 ounces of brandy)
~Things you will need in the kitchen: A small pot, mixing spoon, stove top, strainer or muslin
Empty all of the contents of your Elderberry Kit into a small pot.
Add 12 ounces of filtered water.
If you decided to purchase a pear, cut into slices and add to pot. (Pears are excellent to nourish the Lungs)
Bring to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer for 25 minutes.
Let cool and strain all plant matter through a strainer or piece of muslin. Do your best to press out all of the liquid from the plant matter. You should be left with about 5- 6 ounces of liquid, give or take a little.
Return Elderberry liquid back to the pot and add in 4 ounces of honey. OR, you may chose to add 2 ounces of honey and 2 ounces of brandy. Both the brandy and the honey are excellent preservatives.
Gently warm the honey, Elderberry liquid, and optional brandy. Be careful to not overheat, but warm just enough to dissolve honey.
Return the liquid to the mason jar your herbs came in and store it in the refrigerator. It should be good for several months.
BONUS RECIPE- With any extra Syrup try making a delicious Compote: With every 1/4 cup of Elderberry Syrup add 2 teaspoons of ground chia seeds. Enjoy on pancakes, crepes, or most any desert!
Have Fun & Enjoy!
Cooling Chrysanthemum is perfect for the long dog days of summer. A part of the Asteraceae family, which famously includes sunflower and Calendula among many others, Chrysanthemum flowers are both pungent and bitter tasting. The bitter characteristic in herbs often helps to clear heat and inflammation from the body. Its cooling properties also make it helpful in the relief of some fevers which is why it can often be found in traditional Chinese formulas for cold and flu.
In addition to its overall cooling action, Chrysanthemum has an affinity for the eyes - said to relieve painful redness and even improve blurriness and spots in the field of vision.
During summers in Tucson, we can benefit simply from enjoying the flower of Chrysanthemum as a sun tea - alone or in combination with other herbs that cool the body and support the heart like hawthorn, rose (the organ associated with this time of year, according to Chinese healing traditions).
Try the recipe below with a squeeze of lime and a touch of local honey for a refreshing respite from the triple digit month of July - OR - try its variation as an herbal bitters to embellish your summer cocktails or mocktails with a flowery finish.
Summer Soother Sun Tea
6 grams Chrysanthemum Flowers
3 g Hawthorn flower/leaf
4 g Lemon Verbena
5 g Damiana flower/leaf
5 g Lavender Blossoms
5 g Chamomile Blossoms
Cover with a gallon of water and set in direct sun for 2-4 hours. Strain and enjoy!
Refreshing Floral Bitters
* Use the same herbal ratios as above, but instead cover with 5 oz of your favorite vodka. Store in a cool dark place and strain after 3-6 weeks. You can add a touch of sweetness to your bitters if you choose.