Teach Your Kids to Love Fruits and Veggies: Buy In Season

Along with several other tips and tricks, there are two vitally important ingredients when it comes to teaching your kiddos to love fruits and veggies. Today we’ll talk about the first one.

*Only Offer Food That Tastes GOOD!*

Far too often I see parents who buy the exact same produce year round and then complain that their kids don’t love it. Of course they don’t! Apples and oranges just don’t taste good all year long. There are very few fruits and veggies that taste good all year, because they simply aren’t “in season” 100% of the time. Travel, storage time and harvesting before proper ripeness can also take their toll on the flavor and texture of produce. Bananas, cooking onions, dried garlic and potatoes are a pretty good bet all year, but most other fruits and veggies should only be eaten for a season.

I know I have readers […]

Five Ways to Dry Herbs

If you’re following along with our herbal remedies series that just started (check out the intro here), you may want to grow your own herbs (learn how to grow and harvest herbs, here!). If so, you’re going to have a ton of herbs- far more than you’ll be able to use fresh. You’re going to need to preserve them to use throughout the rest of the year. One of the best ways to preserve herbs is to dry them. Here are five drying methods that you can try.

Hang-drying: This is by far the easiest! As you harvest your herbs (post coming soon!) you simply bunch together the bottoms of the stems/branches, tie them tightly with twine and hang the bunches of herbs. There are a few considerations when deciding where to hang them. ~Dry area– if you put them in a location that is often damp, such as a […]

Growing and Harvesting Herbs

Have you thought about growing your own herbs to dry? If not, I would really like to encourage you to consider it. Not only can you grow organically, you will be amazed by how much more flavor and potency your dried herbs will have when compared to store-bought ones. We love being able to use our home-grown and dried herbs in our home remedies, which I’ve started teaching about here on my blog!

Some of our favorite herbs to grow are chocolate mint, lavender, lemon balm, thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage and dill. You can learn more about each of those herbs in this post.When it comes to actually growing the herbs, you have three choices for getting started.

Starting Herbs Seeds: This is a cheap way to go, though it can be more difficult. I’d recommend finding a good website or book on starting plants from seed. I’ve found […]

Roasted Green Tomato Salsa

What do you do with your garden tomatoes when they split before they’re ripe or get blossom end rot?

This is my “Oh, no, the green tomatoes split!” salsa… but you can make it with red tomatoes, too. 🙂

Ingredients: 1 sweet onion 3 cloves garlic 8 medium green tomatoes (or the equivalent) 2 or 3 jalapenos (I used 3 of my green Anaheim peppers) juice of one lime small handful of cilantro one pinch of sugar two pinches of sea salt Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two baking dishes (one large, on small) with oil. Slice onion in half, leaving skin on, and place it cut-side-down in the smaller baking dish. Place garlic cloves, with skin on, in a square of foil and drizzle with oil. Close foil and put next to onion. Trim any blossom-end-rot from tomatoes and place them whole […]

DIY Herbal Fire Starters

The girls and I had such a blast perfecting these! So, here’s the deal. I told you last week about my favorite herbs to grow and my guest post on Modern Alternative Mama was all about how we created our awesome raised bed herb garden. Did you look at those pictures?! That’s a whole lot of herbs to use! Even when I do find some wonderful uses for my herbs, like my herbal bath salts, there’s still all of those dried stems that were going to waste. No longer!

Here’s the perks of making my herbal fire starters: Waste not, want not, right?? These are very frugal and they leave you with a “look at this totally cool thing I made” feeling! There’s no petroleum jelly or wax or other funky chemicals that you really shouldn’t be breathing. Herbal smoke purifies the air if you’re inside– during […]

DIY Raised Bed Herb Garden

When we bought our house four years ago, it had a “patio.” What I mean by that is that the previous owners thought that the house would sell better with a patio, so they bought the cheapest pavers they could and plopped them right down on the grass. They were so uneven that it looked like an earthquake had hit!…

Click here to read the rest of this guest post over at Modern Alternative Mama!

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My Favorite Herbs to Grow

My herb garden always makes me smile. There is just something so satisfying about stepping out the back door to cut a handful of thyme and rosemary to flavor a roast chicken, or to sip a cup of tea made from the chocolate mint that we grew. And, I’ve got to tell you, no jar or box of herbs from a store shelf can compare with the flavor! This afternoon I had some tea made from the mint that we harvested last summer and it was fabulous! To make it even better, most of these herbs are perennials, which makes them even cheaper and easier.

Chocolate Mint

None of the store-bought mint teas I’ve tried can come close to the flavor of ours. It is fresh and sweet. I like it both hot and cold, so I’ll often start with a hot cup to sip on and […]