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sometimes called marigold
  Product Notes: Calendula flowers have a slightly bitter and somewhat salty flavor, and a sweet, sharp, buttery aroma.

    Calendula has been used an herbal remedy and as coloring and flavoring for food in Central and Southern Europe since the 1100s. Commonly known there as marigold, calendula is an annual flower native to the northern Mediterranean countries. It's well known for its skin-soothing properties — this gentle herb is used as an ingredient in all types of skin care preparations, including salves, body washes, creams, ointments and lotions.
To use calendula in medicinal recipes, you often must start with an infused oil. This oil can then be blended into creams and salves for topical use.
Calendula Infused Oil
  • Wash one cup fresh calendula petals. Chop coarsely and put in a small saucepan.
  • Just cover calendula with vegetable or olive oil and heat over very low heat for two hours, stirring occasionally. You only want to warm the petals to release their oils.
  • Allow to cool and pour into glass jars. Place in a dark, cool area for a week. Then strain mixture into a new jar. Store in a cool, dark location.
You can also put fresh petals in a jar of oil in the sun for two weeks to create a solar-infused oil. Make sure the jar is tightly covered and strain the oil after those two weeks. For a stronger infusion, add more flowers to strained oil and let sit in the sun for two more weeks. Strain and store.
Calendula Salve
  • Blend four parts infused oil and one part melted bees wax. You may adjust the amount of oil and beeswax to create the consistency you want.  salves are made by adding ¼ cup of beeswax to one cup of infused oil. Heat until the beeswax has melted.
  • Pour into a wide jar and cover. This mixture will thicken into a salve that you can use for burns and abrasions. It is also useful for diaper rash and other skin ailments.
The Plant: Calendula is valued both as a natural remedy and as a colorful garden flower. This two-foot-tall, hardy annual can grow quite bushy, and its large, two- to three-inch flowers (which range from yellow to bright orange in color) are attractive additions to borders. Calendula blooms continuously throughout the winter in warmer climates and throughout the summer in the north. Cooler temperatures and picking the flowers promotes more flowering, while high heat in summer will stress the plant and stop flowering.
The parts of the plant used are the flower heads — harvested while they are in full bloom — or the petals (ligulate florets), which are removed from the receptacle after harvesting.
 Calendula flowers open in the morning and close in the late afternoon. They are of the highest quality when harvested late morning after the dew is dried off of the flowers — this is when the resin content is at its highest. When handpicking calendula, the flowers' dark tacky resin clings noticeably to the fingers. 
Calendula has anti-inflammatory effects when it is used topically and it is also a potent antioxidant. Because of its antiviral and antibacterial qualities, it is also useful in treating minor wounds and abrasions.
The petals of calendula are often added to salads as well. Their bright orange color is an attractive contrast to salad green and their slightly bitter flavor compliments the other vegetables.
When cooked, the flavor mellows. Calendula can be used much like saffron by adding it to rice and pasta dishes.ds, main course dishes, and even dessert.
Calendula tea is easy to make. Simply put a couple of teaspoons of calendula petals in an infuser and pour a cup of boiling water over it. Allow to steep for at least 10 minutes.
Sweeten if desired and drink for minor digestive irritation or use the tea as a wash for minor wounds.
Calendula Soap
There are two methods of making soap.
 'Cold process' is the term used to describe the traditional method of soap making and this is when oils such as palm or coconut oil are mixed with an alkaline solution and this reaction causes the oils to saponify and form soap. This is actually relatively easy to do at home, a new type of soap making known as 'melt and pour' has made making soap at home much more accessible.
Melt and pour soaps are blocks of glycerin soap base that can be melted down in a domestic kitchen, have fragrances and other additives included and then poured into molds to set. Melt and pour soaps come in clear and opaque form and there is now an organic version. These work extremely well with calendula petals. This is very straightforward to do, simply add some petals before pouring the melted soap into molds and stir them in well.
Constituents of Note: There are a number of potentially significant constituents in calendula. Triterpene glycosides (guercetin, isohamnetin), triterpene alcohols and triterpene saponins are major components. Carotenoids including beta-carotene, lycopene, violaxanthin and lutein are responsible for the color of the flowers and for the use of calendula as a food coloring. Other constituents include a small amount of essential oil (60% alpha-cardinal), flavonoids (narcissan) and a bitter principle (calendnin).
Quality: Marigold flowers have a slightly bitter and somewhat salty flavor and a sweet, sharp, buttery aroma. Not more than 2% other plant parts should be present — including sepals and the fruits (seeds).
 Whole flowers (with the receptacle) should be carefully inspected to make sure they are properly dried as the receptacle dries much slower than the petals and can cause mold problems.
 Calendula flower petals do not have this problem.
Good quality dried flowers have a slightly oily feel to them when rubbed between the fingers.
The flowers quickly fade when exposed to light, so they should always be stored in dark conditions. They also readily absorb moisture, which degrades the flowers, so calendula needs airtight storage, especially in humid conditions.
While both the whole calendula flowers and calendula petals are used interchangeably, the petals are considered superior for use in most applications.
 Between single-petaled, double-petaled, yellow-colored and orange-colored varieties, there is not, as of yet, consensus on which is the best — or even if one type is better than another.
Herbs have to be considered outstanding in at least two of three categories—medicinal, culinary or decorative.
 Calendula is outstanding in all three categories and well deserving of the title.
 Many herb organizations, herb companies, retail stories and herb societies recognize the herb of the year and support public education on the chosen herb, throughout the year.
Directions: To make calendula skin care oil, place one cup of calendula flower petals (petals are better than whole flowers for this use) in a non-reactive container such as a glass jar. Cover with one cup of vegetable oil (a high quality oil such as extra-virgin olive oil or almond oil makes a good base), stir well, adding more oil if needed to keep the calendula completely submerged and the jar full.
 To extract using the sun, place container in a bag or box to keep out the sunlight, then place in the sun for a week. Stir contents daily. Or alternately, put calendula and oil in a crock pot or other thermostatically controlled container. Keep crock pot on the warm setting, stirring several times a day, making sure the mixture does not get too hot (over 110 F.) and replacing oil as needed. When the oil takes on the color and aroma of the calendula (about a week), strain out all of the flowers, squeezing them well to remove as much of the oil as possible. Place in a glass jar and let stand for a few days to let any sediment remaining in the calendula oil fall to the bottom of the jar. Draw oil off the sediment and store in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep in a cool, dark place. Use the oil as a massage, skin care oil or as a base for salves. Adding a little vitamin E to the finished calendula flower oil will help increase its shelf life. Scenting the calendula oil with synergistic essential oils such as lavender and geranium enhances the benefits of the calendula oil.
A gentle but powerful herb, calendula flowers can used on damaged, sensitive, chafed or irritated skin. Calendula is often combined with other herbs such as comfrey leaf, aloes, St. John’s wort and lavender flowers.
In foods, calendula petals are sometimes used as a substitute for saffron, to provide a similar color to saffron and somewhat mimic the rich flavor of saffron. The spicy flavor of calendula is used to season baked goods such as breads and cakes, egg dishes, soups and fish and to decorate desserts.
 Of gourmet interest are such treats as calendula butter, calendula vinegar and calendula salad dressing.
 Historically calendula was also used to color butter and cheese.
Another great recipe.....
Have a backyard bed of marigolds? Share some with guests the next time you entertain by adding them to a cream cheese dip. It's a surprisingly delicious appetizer.

8 Servings Prep: 10 min. + chilling
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh savory
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh marigold petals
  • Assorted crackers
  • In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, salt and
  • pepper until smooth. Stir in the chives, savory and marigold petals.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve with crackers.
  • Yield: 2 cups.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (2 tablespoons) equals 160 calories, 15 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 51 mg cholesterol, 173 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 3 g protein.
 Calendula flowers are an ingredient in hair rinses, shampoos, shaving creams and deodorants. In shampoo and hair rinse, calendula is added to formulas made for light-colored hair as it helps to brighten blonde or red hair. A dye for fabric can also be extracted from the flowers.
Caution/Safety: The Botanical Safety Handbook* classifies Calendula as:Class:1 herbs which can be safely consumed when used appropriately Per the German Commission E Monograph** for calendula flower, there are no known contraindications, side effects or drug interactions. People who are allergic or sensitive to other members of the Asteraceae family, such as daisies or ragweed, should exercise caution until they have established they do not have a reaction to calendula flowers.

EGGNOG Recipe & Origin

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 egg whites*
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.

Cook's Note: For cooked eggnog, follow procedure below.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture. * Raw Egg WarningFood Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell. For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served, use shell eggs that have been treated to destroy salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method.==================================================================
The drink that stirs up memories for most people, either you love it or hate it. Either way you feel, you must admit it has become embedded in our holiday traditions.
 If you have tried it and found it to be distasteful maybe you just haven’t had GOOD eggnog.
The Name:The word itself does not have much appeal, the guttural sound and the thought of drinking egg doesn’t sound very appetizing to most. There are differing opinions as to the origin of the name for this famous drink. One version says that nog derives from an Old English word for strong beer, hence “noggin”. Another version attributes the name to Colonial America where colonists referred to thick drinks as “grog” and eggnog as “egg-and-grog”. Either way, we know it today as Eggnog.
 Europe:It is believed that the eggnog tradition began in Europe as an adaptation of the various milk and wine punches often served at social gatherings.
 In the 17th century, eggnog was used as a toast to one’s health and was consumed by the well-to-do of society as milk and eggs were scarce commodities in Europe.
 The New World:When the brew was brought to the “New World,” colonists added a new twist, rum. The rum Americans could get from the Caribbean was considerably less expensive than the other liquors shipped from England. And so, along with the readily available supply of milk and eggs in the colonies, the rum version quickly became a popular drink for people of all classes.
Variations:As a rich, spicy and (oh yes) alcoholic drink, eggnog soon became a familiar item during the holiday season across the growing nation. Each region would adapt the drink to their personal tastes. Even George Washington devised his own version of the brew which only the most courageous would partake using rye whiskey, rum and sherry.
 In the south, Southern taste replaced rum with bourbon. And when the brew reached Latin America even more adaptations were made; in Puerto Rico coconut juice or milk was added, in Mexico eggnog became a harder liqueur to be sipped with the addition of Mexican cinnamon and rum or grain alcohol, and in Peru it was made with the Peruvian pomace brandy called pisco.Noggin'
 Now:The basic recipe for eggnog has not changed over the years (eggs beaten with sugar, milk, cream and some kind of spirit) and remains a favorite for holiday parties. Whatever the variation of the popular holiday drink, it is sure to be a winner with most of your holiday guests. However, for those who wish to go “nogless,” there are other warm spirited drinks that are sure to be a hit as well and lift everyone’s holiday spirits. .

Savory Sweet Potatoes

-Savory Sweet Potatoes
2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp 
Organic cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp 
Organic parsley
Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and spread in roasting pan. Roast until just tender, about 40 minutes, turning once with a spatula after 20 minutes. Melt together remaining ingredients and pour over potatoes in pan. Return to oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until nicely glazed. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
As prepared, each serving contains 180 calories, 4g total fat, 10mg cholesterol, 220mg sodium, 35g total carbohydrate and 3g protein.

Minty Fresh PeppermintPeppermint Teas

Minty Fresh PeppermintPeppermint Teas
A powerhouse in the world of herbal teas, peppermint partners well with a wide variety of other herbs (raspberry, rosehips, lemongrass, ginger—you name it) for tea blends. Delicious hot or iced, it has an uncanny ability to both refresh and calm. Peppermint tea freshens the breath and is traditionally served after meals. It’s been relied upon for centuries to address a wide variety of ailments. (The herb first appeared in the London Pharmacopoeia in 1721.)
 Peppermint tea
Is delicious when combined with other beverages like fruit juices and sparkling water. (Peppermint ice cubes are a fun way to add subtle flavor to drinks, too.) And be sure to try it in hot cocoa. Simply steep the leaves in the hot water or milk before adding to the cocoa.
Pampering with Peppermint
Your toiletry cabinet likely contains something (shampoo, soap, toothpaste) with the cool scent and cleansing properties of peppermint. Peppermint oil is drying, but the leaf is an emollient. Try it in facial toners, masks, and steams; hair rinses; tooth powders and mouthwashes; baths and lotions. (Some people are sensitive to peppermint, so test a batch of your product first on a small area on the inside of your arm.)
Morning Bath
Most of us think of baths as bedtime rituals, but a morning bath is a great way to start the day. (You can prepare the herbal “tea” the night before.) For an evening bath, substitute elder flowers and chamomile for the lavender and rosemary. Combine 1 tablespoon each: lavender, rosemary, and peppermint in a medium-size bowl. Pour 1 quart of boiling water over the herbs and steep for 20 minutes. Strain. Add to bathwater.
Cooking with Peppermint
You might be surprised at how versatile peppermint is in
the kitchen. Try it in:
  • Fruit salads, green salads, and salad dressings
  • Egg dishes, like frittatas, omelets, and quiche
  • Sauces for grains, pasta and veggies
  • Soups, such as bean, beef, and fish soups and stews
  • Vegetables, especially peas and carrots, green beans, spinach, potatoes, and squash
  • Yogurt dishes, like raitas
  • Jellies and jams
  • Side salads, like tabouleh, cucumber, and carrot salads
  • Sandwich salads, such as chicken salad and egg salad
  • Desserts, like custard, ice cream, chocolate candies and pudding, fruit pies and pound cake
Easy Eggplant
It’s fun when peppermint shows up unexpectedly, as in this easy eggplant dish. Peppermint is the perfect foil for other—hot and spicy—seasonings.
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups cubed eggplant
2 cups sliced red bell pepper
1 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper ground
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch cayenne
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add eggplant and sauté for five minutes. Add bell pepper and continue to sauté until both the eggplant and pepper are softened and nicely browned. Add peppermint and spices. Cook, stirring gently, for another 5 minutes. ~ 4 servings
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Ask the Experts
Is there a difference in mints?
Yes; “mint” doesn’t necessarily mean “peppermint.” In fact, there are over two dozen species of mints, each with its own subtle or obvious distinction. (Square stems are characteristic of the entire mint family.) Spearmint, perhaps the next most familiar mint, is a bit milder than peppermint when it comes to taste. Other mints you may come across include the citrusy /lavender bergamot mint, the variegated ginger mint, and the mildly flavored pineapple mint.
Most of my recipes call for fresh mint. Can I substitute dried peppermint?
Well, it doesn’t make an attractive garnish for a mint julep, but because dried peppermint retains the plant’s essential oils nicely, it stands in just fine for the fresh herb in most recipes. If your recipe calls for fresh peppermint, substitute one third the amount of dried.
Is it true that peppermint deters pests?
As a matter of fact, it is. Mice, in particular, don’t appreciate the scent of peppermint. To deter them, simply sprinkle some peppermint leaf where you think they might scurry. Or dab a little peppermint essential oil on cotton balls and then place the balls strategically around the house. Crush some dried leaves and place them in potpourris or sachets around your home to deter flies.

Time to make the Fire Cider!

Mmm…mmm… hot and sweet, zesty, vinegary recipe!
Fire Cider is a traditional cold remedy with deep roots in folk medicine. The tasty combination of vinegar infused with powerful immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, decongestant, and spicy circulatory movers makes this recipe especially pleasant and easy to incorporate into your daily diet to help boost the immune system, stimulate digestion, and get you nice and warmed up on cold days.
Because this is a folk preparation, the ingredients can change from year to year depending on when you make it and what’s growing around you. The standard base ingredients are apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, and hot peppers, but there are plenty of other herbs that can be thrown in for added kick, like of spicy jalapenos and vibrant rosemary from the garden, along with some organic turmeric powder in the cupboard and fresh lemon peel.
Some people like to bury their fire cider jar in the ground for a month while it extracts and then dig it up during a great feast to celebrate the changing of the seasons.
Fire Cider can be taken straight by the spoonful, added to organic veggie juice (throw in some olives and pickles and think non-alcoholic, health boosting bloody mary!), splashed in fried rice, or drizzled on a salad with good olive oil. You can also save the strained pulp and mix it with shredded veggies like carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and fresh herbs to make delicious and aromatic stir-fries and spring rolls!
Take 1 tbsp each morning to help warm up and rev the immune system, or 3 tbsp at the first sign of a cold.
Time to make the Fire Cider!
1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root
1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root
1 medium organic onion, chopped
10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped
2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
Several sprigs of fresh organic rosemary or 2 tbsp of dried rosemary leaves
organic apple cider vinegar
raw local honey to taste
Prepare all of your cold-fighting roots, fruits, and herbs and place them in a quart sized jar. If you’ve never grated fresh horseradish, be prepared for a powerful sinus opening experience!
 Use a piece of natural parchment paper or wax paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal. Shake well! Store in a dark, cool place for one month and remember to shake daily.
After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid goodness as you can from the pulp while straining. Next, comes the honey! Add 1/4 cup of honey and stir until incorporated. Taste your cider and add another 1/4 cup until you reach the desired sweetness.
Ingredient Variations
These herbs and spices would make a wonderful addition to your Fire Cider creations: Thyme, Cayenne, Rosehips, Ginseng, Orange, Grapefruit, Schizandra berries, Astragalus, Parsley, Burdock, Oregano, Peppercorns

Shrimp Skewers

 Shrimp Skewers
Whether cooked on the grilled or broiled in the kitchen, these skewers will be a summertime favorite.
8 wooden or metal skewers
1 pound asparagus
1 medium sweet red pepper
1 pound large shrimp (31 to 40 count)
1 package 
Sweet Basil Pesto Mix
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Soak skewers for at least 30 minutes in cool water. Preheat broiler on high. Preheat broiler on high.
Trim asparagus to 3 inches in order to just use tips. Slice red pepper in 1-inch by 1/2-inch sections. Start by placing an asparagus tip on skewer, then a shrimp dusted in the Basil Pesto Mix, then a slice of red pepper. Repeat pattern on each skewer four times.
Take a 1-to 2-inch deep casserole dish and place the skewers across the dish. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with any remaining seasoning mix.
Broil 4 to 7 minutes. Place on serving tray and cover liberally with shredded Parmesan cheese. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
Chef Suggests: For variety, use other vegetables like zucchini instead of asparagus, and include yellow and green peppers for color.

Skewers may also be cooked on the grill. Serve as appetizers or as one of your choices for a tapas party.
Nutrition Facts: As prepared, each serving contains 50 calories, 2 total fat, 45 cholesterol, 110mg sodium, 2g total carbohydrate and 7g protein.
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News, Tips for the Healthy Life You Lead With Natural Products

White tea is made from the very young, unfurled leaf tips of Camellia sinensis (the same plant from which we get green tea). The fresh-picked leaves are immediately steamed to prevent any oxidation and then fired to dry them. The term "white tea" refers to the whitish cast that comes from the silky white hairs on the delicate young leaves and buds of the tea. White tea is a very light-bodied, mild, delicately colored brew with subtle flavor nuances that gradually build on the palate.
Summer's fun in the sun–and wind and water–can take a toll on your skin. When you're feeling parched, itchy, or just plain droopy this season, herbs can help nourish, relieve, soothe and refresh!
Summer Foot Soak                                                  

Treat your tootsies to a good soak after a long hike—or a tiring day at work. Soaking your feet can be relaxing, cleansing, invigorating, and/or soothing, depending on the water temperature and the herbs you choose.
Simply make an infusion (strong tea) of herbs such as chamomile, comfrey, horsetail,lavender, peppermint, and/or sage, and add to a basin. You might also add a little salt and/or baking soda (about 1 tablespoon per quart of water) for added soothing. To boost the freshening, add a little lemon juice powder (about a teaspoon should do it).
Dry well afterward, and powder with a sprinkling of cornstarch (to absorb moisture and deodorize).
Refreshing Herbal Splasher

Here's an easy and economical party beverage.
Revitalize on scorching summer days with a spritz of herbal spray. This one's good for oily skin, which can feel especially overactive on a hot day.
1 cup lavender flowers
2 tablespoons (total) of any of the followning: nettle leaf, parsley leaf, peppermint, rose flowers and petals, rosemary leaf, sage leaf, yarrow flowers
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Boil water, then pour over 1 tablespoon of the herbs. Steep for 20 minutes, then strain. Combine with the vinegar and place in a spray bottle. Store in the refrigerator, to keep fresh and for extra vim!
Itch-Relief Bath

Take this soothing bath when bug bites, heat rash, or other itch instigators are getting the best of you.
1/4 cup lavender flowers
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup cornstarch

Combine all ingredients and tie into a muslin bag. Place in the tub while filling with warm water. (The cornstarch will dissolve into the water.) Use the bag to wash with; don't use soap, and don't rinse off.
You just can't have too many refreshing beverages around in the summer months! One instant and delicious option is our Lemonade Drink Mix. Simply mix with water and serve over ice, or make a pitcher and float a few lemon slices in it. Try it with carbonated water for a spritzer, and add it to iced teas (half tea, half lemonade is a good ratio).
You'll find our mix the perfect combination of tartness and sweetness!

The key to preventing moldy berries...

This is awesome!        
Hot tip for the fruit lover

Ever get a container of strawberries  and 2 days later.... over 1/2 of them were either soft or had green fuzz growing on them.....NO MORE....
 At the price of fresh fruit these days, we can't afford to waste it and lose the healthy benefit by it ending up in the trash.

Another wonderful use for good old economical vinegar.

       The key to preventing moldy berries...
Berries are delicious, but they're also kind of delicate. Raspberries in particular seem like they can mold before you even get them home from the market.
 There's nothing more tragic than paying $4 for a pint of local raspberries, only to look in the fridge the next day and find that fuzzy mold growing on their insides.
With fresh berries just starting to hit farmers markets.... Here's how you can keep them fresh!  
  •  Wash them with vinegar
  • When you get your berries home, prepare a mixture of one part apple cider or white vinegar and ten parts water 
  • Dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around
  • Drain, rinse if you want (though the mixture is so diluted you can't taste the vinegar
  • Pop in the fridge 
The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit, and voila! Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft. 
So go forth and stock up on those pricey little gems, knowing they'll stay fresh as long as it takes you to eat them.

Apple Pie Bars

Apple Pie Bars
Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
 Peel and dice apples to fill a 9x13 baking dish.
 Stir together 1 tablespoon sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle over apples.
  Combine coconut oil and egg
. Mix flour with remaining 1 cup sugar and combine with the coconut oil and egg mixture.
  Fold in walnuts.
Spread mixture by spoonfuls evenly over top of the apples
. Cook until golden brown (50-60 minutes)
This recipe is intended to be gluten free, but we encourage careful review of labels to determine if ingredients are appropriate for a gluten free diet.
 Some of the ingredients are inherently free of gluten but may be processed in a facility that also processes wheat.
Makes 18 servings. Serving size 1 bar.
Nutritional Breakdown (per serving):
Calories 186, Fat 9 grams, Protein 2 grams, Sodium 4 mg, Carbohydrates 25 grams, Fiber 2 grams

Two Cabbage Cole Slaw

Two Cabbage Coconut Slaw
Toss cabbage, carrots, onion and parsley together in a bowl.
 In a separate bowl, mix coconut milk, Himalayan crystal salt, celery seed, lime juice, olive oil and cayenne pepper.
Toss dressing with cabbage mixture.
 Let it sit and chill for awhile before serving to allow the flavors to blend. .
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