As the holiday season draws to a close, many of us start to think about how to eat more healthfully in the New Year and perhaps try and lose those few extra pounds that might have crept up on us over the holidays. If healthy eating and cooking are on your list of New Year’s Resolutions, the NakedTruthNutritionist and EdibleNature are here to help you at every turn.
Whether you’re looking for organic bulk spices, natural supplements or the best advice on how to cook healthy weekday meals, we are here to help.
Make 2014 the Year of the Healthy, New You!
A recent Stanford analysis confirmed that in comparison with conventional food, organic food has significantly lower pesticide levels, lower multidrug-resistant bacteria levels, and higher beneficial fat levels. In my book, that’s a pretty good case that organic food is healthier.
The antioxidant content of oregano is higher than that of blueberries. Oregano has four times the antioxidant activity of blueberries, 12 times that of oranges and 42 times that of apples.
LEMONY HERBAL TEA
This lovely, light tea is delicious as a warm after-dinner beverage. It’s also refreshing when iced — as is or combined with a fruity juice.
4 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons peppermint leaf
2 tablespoons raspberry leaf
4 tablespoons lemongrass
honey to taste (optional)
Place ingredients in pitcher and place in sun for 2-4 hours. Alternate method: Pour boiling water over herbs. Steep five minutes. Strain and serve. Sweeten with honey, if you like. Another option: Combine equal parts brewed tea with equal parts fruit juice (such as apple). Garnish with lemon and serve over ice. Safety Note: Lemongrass has not been proven safe for consumption during pregnancy.
Loaded with antibacterial compounds, fresh or dried thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a cold-season powerhouse.
How to use: Use fresh or dried thyme in stews and soups. To make a steam, pour near-boiling water into a pot. Add a pinch of fresh or dried thyme, turn off heat, and create a tent by draping a towel over your head and the pot. Breathe in steam for five minutes.
For those times when you can’t get fresh herbs, keep dried thyme, sage, and oregano on hand to boost the flavor of nearly any dish. To maximize dried herbs‘ potential, don’t skimp on price, and replace every four to six months.
Revitalize on a scorching summer day with a spritz of this refreshing herbal spray. This one’s good for oily skin, which can feel especially overactive on a hot day.
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons (total) of any of the following: nettle leaf, parsley leaf, peppermint, rose flowers and petals, rosemary leaf, sage leaf, yarrow
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!
For nourishing refreshment, nothing quenches better—or is easier to prepare—than herbal iced tea. Make your own with the help of the sun. Use your favorite herbs alone or in combination. Drink them plain or sweetened, or mixed with juices, sparkling waters, or natural sodas.
Citrus Hibiscus – This colorful beverage brings a vacation on the beach to mind.
1 tsp. peppermint 2 cups water
1 tsp. rosehips 1 cup orange juice
1 tsp. orange peel 1 cup cold sparkling water
2 tsp. hibiscus 2 Tbsp. honey (or to taste)
2 tsp. lemongrass
Steep peppermint, rosehips, orange peel, hibiscus, and lemongrass in the two cups of water. Strain. Add orange juice and refrigerate. When ready to serve, pour over ice cubes and add a splash of sparkling water to each glass. Sweeten if desired. Find ready to steep teas and use the natural steeping power of the sun
Place whole bay leaves on your pantry shelves to keep invaders out of your grains. Dried mullein was once used in barns to keep mice away from grains. Try it, or peppermint, in your pantry.
Sprinkle catnip, pennyroyal, or peppermint in your kitchen cupboards (or behind cabinets) to discourage ants and other kitchen-crawling insects. You might even leave a trail of herbs across an especially problem-atic kitchen counter. Find herbs here: http://www.ediblenature.com/store/c/34052-Holistic-Craft-Herbs.html