Sunday, March 15, 2015

Lavender Honey Brazil Nut Milk (dairy free + gluten free)

            Lavender Honey Brazil Nut Milk is perhaps perfectly described as floral, sweet and creamy. I was blown away by how delicious it tasted. Cotton candy came to mind (except I haven't had that since I was a little kid) minus the sugary aftertaste. Something elves or fairy folk would drink maybe? Anyway, it smells wonderful thanks to the lavender and it is perfect for neutral cereals or even add cacao powder. Substitutions at the end.


lavender honey  brazil nut milk at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com

Lavender is so beautifully paired with honey in this recipe. Free of refined sugars and theoretically lavender does have nutritional benefits (read here). The flowering herb is attributed to relaxation. Raw honey is technically also flower food because it comes from their nectar. In a raw unfiltered state it is true honey because it contains strains of the propolis & pollen (and iron and potassium). In this recipe I do not heat in high heat to main as much nutrients as I can.

Brazil Nuts are an excellent source of selenium, vitamin E, iron, zinc, magnesium and fats. Good for brain and blood health but remember nuts are very rich and this milk should last about 3-4 days and only one serving of milk will provide a heap of benefits. Store in the fridge and enjoy!

lavender honey  brazil nut milk at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com

Lavender Honey
  • 1 cup organic raw honey*
  • 1 cup water 
  • 2 heaping tablespoons organic edible lavender buds 
  • 1/2 teaspoon non-alcoholic vanilla extract

    -Add water to a medium-sized saucepan and heat over a medium heat until warm (water starts to bubble) 
    -add honey and stir. Reduce the heat and add the lavender & vanilla. 
    -Let it go for 15 minutes so the flavors infuse. 
    -Turn off heat and let cool then pour through a strainer to remove lavender then store your freshly made honey/syrup

Brazil Nut Milk
  • 5 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup brazil nuts soaked in water for 4 hours and drained

- Blend nuts and filtered water
- Strain all liquid
- Reserve pulp for adding to smoothies, oatmeals, dehydrate to make cookies 

Lavender Honey Brazil Nut Milk

With your freshly made Brazil Nut Milk, return to the blender and start with 3/4th of a cup of the lavender honey, taste for your preference - if more sweetness is desire, add remaining honey and blend.


Notes //
for a vegan option swap maple syrup or coconut nectar in place of the raw honey
add cacao powder for a chocolate fix
blend with frozen bananas for "ice cream"
make sure the lavender you get is -edible- & preferably organic (free of pesticides)


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Freedom's Song Wolf Rescue and Sanctuary Inc

Out of Oklahoma comes Freedom's Song, a non profit who help & rehabilitate wolves & "wolf dogs" ( hybrid resulting from the hybridization of a domestic dog & wolf) their goal is to provide a refuge for these beautiful animals who are often victims to abuse/abandoned by "owners" or end up suffering in shelters. Here the animals are embraced, rehabbed and given medical attention and to find them proper forever homes. 



    "It's going to take a lot, but with your help we can build an ideal sanctuary that will provide a forever home for many of these animals for the rest of their days. Freedom's Song Wolf Rescue's 501(c)(3) non-profit status was granted in 2006. It's time for PHASE I of the sanctuary - securing the property. Plans for future phases include building habitats, and an innovative state-of-the-art facility that will be self sustaining, operating with environmentally friendly resources such as solar power. Also, a very special volunteer program is planned, as well as an educational program."

Once upon a time I had the pleasure of knowing a wolf dog. His name was Apollo and contrary to his large & wild physique he was the softest dog I ever did meet. He was the runt of the litter but I remember how quiet and gentle he was. But that did not diminish from his strength. 

I truly hope that Freedom's Song Wolf Rescue and Sanctuary Inc will become a reality and that the land property become a sanctuary for the wild and animals. Even if you cannot donate, spread the word - use your voice and share their message. Animals want to thrive just as much as we do. Visit them on Indiegogo, Twitter and Website 



Sunday, March 1, 2015

February Monthly Favorites

February had really caused to evaluate where I shop, what I support and to be adamant in my path of wellness. That being said I really enjoy taking the time to try out/imbibe these products to truly see if they help me. I do believe in giving time for products to take effect on our health & body and seeing how we react. Also, I love getting to know and communicate with sellers, learn + study more about their methods & ingredients (please always inform yourself about anything new you will introduce in your body) Here are February's pick and happy March 1st everyone!

february monthly favorites at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com


Amitea Organics | Organic Loose Nettle Leaf  I bought this loose leaf nettle for adding it to other teas, nettle has a mild flavor, its free of allergens (unless, you have a preexisting reaction to nettle) and its good to use it over time. Nettle should be used in teas with boiling water, serving size is a cup several days a week! "Nettle’s iron content makes it a wonderful blood builder, & the presence of vitamin C aids in the iron absorption. As a hemetic (an herb rich in iron), this is an excellent herb for anemia and fatigue, especially in women" via here and heres another good read featuring nettle

Herbal Island | Raw Cacao Nibs these are 100% organic morsels from Peru. I dont think cacao nibs need much introduction. They taste like dark chocolate without the bitter aspect. Half of the week I am on the run early in the morning and I will top my granola or oatmeal with cacao for a boost of magnesium, protein & natural sweetness.

Mountain Maus Remedies Ashwagandha Root Powder another amazing find is this farm based in Washington who use sustainable & organic gardening practices to grow allergen free (there is no wheat or gluten grown in this garden, yay) herbs and botanicals. I used this ashwagandha powder for my maple Walnut Milk and have use it over the month in other milks. This is such a beautiful root that is calming and de-stressing. I love this herb. All you need is a teaspoon. You can also check out Mountain Maus here

Herbal Revolution | Love Your Lungs Organic Tea Los Angeles may not be the east coast and we may not get much winter weather but its is awfully windy and that in itself is not nice on sensitive skin or lungs. Earlier in January when the weather started getting windier, I started having issues with respiratory but instead of any tea, I want a tea blend specifically for lungs, because respiratory pains are no fun. I found Herbal Revolution, a great company run from a sustainable, pesticide free & organic garden. This tea blend features: nettles, thyme, mullein & hyssop. This tea is one of my favorites especially with a little honey. It can be taken as a supportive tea for people with a history of lung conditions or asthma but remember to take breaks (as with any botanical & herb) I should note of the Herbal Revolution handmade products are gluten/wheat free & vegan with the exception of their raw honey


Navitas Naturals | Organic Mulberries along with cacao nibs I like to top my breakfast with these sustainably obtained Turkish mulberries, they are sweet, chewy and contain a heaping amount of vitamin C, iron, & calcium. However I found I like blending and mixing ingredients. A handful of mulberries, a sprinkling of cacao & topping of chia seeds. By rotating and having variety you're putting a lobe of plant-based wellness into your body and they help each other absorb the vitamins, minerals & nutrients.

_

I'll never feature a product that doesn't improve my personal health or isn't earth friendly/sustainable in someway. My own path with my health may have been an evolution within itself and it will always be a learning experience. I recognize how happy and fascinated I become when I learn about the science and alchemy of the earth and her creations.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ashwagandha Maple Walnut Milk (vegan + gluten free)

         I'm grateful for the many non-dairy/vegan milks we have nowadays. But at the same time some have preservatives/additives & they do not contain the same amount of other health properties you can get from other sources (i.e. some store-bought almond milks have about 1 or so grams of protein per serving yet a 1/4 of cup of almonds has 7 grams of protein.) However I will add they can be an easy way of getting fortified calcium & vitamin D, so I began to experiment with homemade nut & seed milks. If you consume a plant-based nourishment, nuts are an excellent source of omega fats, fiber, protein and sometimes iron (depending on the nut) that are necessary for our health & wellbeing. 

maple walnut milk

Ashwagandha Maple Walnut Milk a warming drink that is good for brain & hearth health. Walnuts contain omega fats & alpha linoleic acid, vitamin E and so on. Depending on what maple syrup you use (I use a Grade-A from a farmers market) it can contain about 8% iron per serving as well as polyphenols, zinc & manganese but this milk does not end there as I also added Aswangandha root powder. Ashwangandha is an adaptogen herb that calms the nervous system resisting physical & mental stressbuild tissue and support cognitive function. (*please do not use Ashwagandha Root Powder if you are pregnant/nursing, make the milk but omit the powder)

When you buy your walnuts make sure to store them in the freezer before use - the oils can go bad so preserve them well. This recipe calls for 1 cup of walnuts so this milk will have around 12 grams of protein but a serving size should be  2 or 3 cups this milk a day.
  • 5 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup walnuts, soaked in water for 4 hours and drained
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of organic Ashwagandha Root powder
  • 1 tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ceylon cinnamon
- Soak the walnuts in water 4 hours or so, this will make the nut easier to digest, good info: here
- Drain the walnuts, add the 5 cups of filtered water and pulse on a blender very well
- Using a nut-milk bag or a tea strainer (what I use to make my milks & juices), extract all milk
- Squeeze/Strain til you can't extract no more!
- Return the walnut milk to the blender and add the other ingredients and blend
- Serve and store remaining milk in the refrigerator, lasts for up to 4 days.

Notes//
With the remaning "pulp" you can freeze it for later use in a dehydrator, add it to baking mix (it has a lot of fiber) or even oatmeal/porrdige. Don't discard it!
Use raw honey, liquid stevia, or coconut nectar in place of maple syrup
Taste as you go, maybe you'd like more cinnamon or you can add nutmeg too.
Add more benefits by sprinkling good toppings like Living Intentions Superfood Cereal
My sources on Ashwangandha can be read more in depth here & here



Sunday, February 8, 2015

February's List Theme: Be Kind to Others

Here is February's list, Be Kind to Others. Something we should do on a daily basis, innately and unconsciously. Kindness is not about giving back to a specific group of people (or creatures), its about realizing there is a world beyond ourselves, our perceptions; ultimately our actions & interactions affect one another. But most importantly be kind to yourself first & foremost.

You don't have to do this alone, you make a project out of it, invite your friends &/or family, start a group, spread random acts of kindness and you can even share your journeys. Don't limit it to a month! Lists are to stimulate and help come up with more ideas!

Here are some links that can help you out
Learn about Operation Beautiful & Contribute
No-Kill Animal Shelter Locator
Locate a Recycling Facility 
Locate a Salvation Army in your area
Locate a Food Bank
Reach Out & Read
Locate a Public Garden near you
Million Trees LA Trees for the Future
International Ocean/Coastal Clean-Up locator


Love With Box is an organic/healthy subscription box that donates a meal to a hungry child in the USA
Learn about the Kind Campaign
Random Acts of Kindness  has great ideas & you can be a RAKtivist
Even more acts of kindness & one you can try with children


february list be kind to others at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com