Monday, November 7, 2011

Hey Folks,

What's below is an announcement from Natural News about a new video series they have on harvesting wild foods. If there's any time we'll be needing these wild plants for our food and medicine it is NOW. Times are tough, prices at the store are rising even as I write this. Everything has gone up in costs. It is harder and harder to afford the foods we're used to eating. And all we eat are basics--hardly any processed foods. Anyway, this series on free, wild foods should be good. I don't know if they're charging for access to the videos--just saw the announcement and thought you'all would be interested.

(NaturalNews) The most powerful food and medicine on the planet is free, and it's growing right outside your door and around your neighborhood.

Did you know that wild local plants and foods are far better for you than organic produce from a supermarket? They're naturally loaded with plant-based medicines -- phytonutrients -- and you'd be surprised how many are growing near your home right this very minute. In fact, no matter where you live, there are an astounding number of wild plants in your region that have been used for thousands of years as FREE food and medicine.

ALL plants have a purpose
You've probably been driving right past them every day without even knowing it... wild weeds and plants that can be used as liver cleansers, menstrual health support, prostate health enhancers and even for digestive remedies. Some wild plants are even powerful cancer fighters. It's just a matter of learning how to identify and harvest these amazing gifts from Mother Nature.

Unfortunately the average person today has virtually no knowledge of wild plants. They think food comes in a plastic container from the grocery store and medicine comes from the pharmacy -- it's a disturbing sign of total detachment from the natural world. We've all become so dependent on the commercial food system that we're not even aware of the edible plants that commonly grow in our own yards. This is truly astonishing considering how much expense and suffering we could all be spared if we just made use of the natural resources the earth has given us for food and medicine.

That's what this course is about: "Free Food and Medicine" teaches you how to find an astounding array of health-enhancing foods and medicines literally right in your own back yard!

You'll not only be surprised at how many edible wild plants are growing within walking distance of where you live right now, but also how many of these plants have incredible healing properties -- WAY more than the so-called "organic" produce at your local grocery store.

Yep, it's better than organic. It's better than non-GMO. It's 100% local, wildcrafted, and FREE for the harvesting!

Get instant access to this entire course right now through NaturalNews.TV:

You'll get instant access to 21 videos totalling over 350 minutes of instructional (and inspirational) wisdom.

Learn more:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Eat Those Onions!

Did you know that sulphur is in every cell in your body? I didn't, until this morning that is, when I was reading a Natural News article about it. It is one of those essential minerals, which do all the marvelous invisible things that contributes to your overall health.

Sulfur is a mineral that is present in every cell of the body. It plays a key role in liver metabolism and the function of the joint cartilage and keratin of the skin & hair. It is also critical for metabolism and anti-oxidant defense systems that protect the aging patterns of the brain. Some of the healthiest cultures in the world have the highest levels of sulfur in their diet while the US has some of the lowest levels.
Industrial farming, that speciality of huge agribusinesses, depletes the soil of sulphur. Chances are, unless you are eating lots of a certain vegetable family, you may be sulphur-depleted.

And guess what vegetable family that is? Of course, the alliums! Onions, garlic, chives, leeks, shallots are all members of the allium family.

At our house, we eat garlic every day (or nearly every day--some days I forget until the Gruff Lord growls that he's being deprived of an essential health ingredient...). And I can't even imagine cooking without onions. I ran the dehydrator ragged last summer dehydrating onions, just to make sure we'd always have some around.

I have a wonderful cookbook, the Gilroy Garlic Festival Cookbook. If you think Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic is a bit garlicky, take a gander at this cookbook! All the recipes have lots of garlic: breads, soups, meat dishes and appetizers. All made with huge amounts of garlic. Here's one of my favorite recipes from the book:

Garlicky Tomato Saffron Soup
6 cans (10.5 oz. each) chicken broth (I use my homemade broth...)
1 cup boiling water
1/4 gram Spanish saffron threads
1 lb. Roma tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped in bits
1 bunch leeks (3 medium or 1 1/2 cups), white part only, well-cleaned
4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
5 large cloves fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 whole fennel seeds
8 large fresh spinach leaves

Place canned chicken broth in the freezer so the fat will rise to surface for easy removal. (Personally, I like a bit of chicken fat in my homemade broth so I skip this step.)
Bring water to boil. Add saffron threads and let steep, uncovered, off heat.
Skin tomatoes by putting them in boiling water for 1 minutes. Skin, seed and chop.
Chop leeks fine. Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat. Do not let oil smoke. Add chopped leeks and saute until limp but not brown. When leeks are limp, squeeze garlic cloves through press into the leeks and mix over medium heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Remove chicken broth from freezer and remove fat clumped at the top. Add chicken broth, saffron water including threads, tomatoes, thyme and fennel to leeks in soup pot.
Simmer mixture, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Five minutes before soup is ready, add spinach leaves.
Serve hot, room temperature, or cold with hearty, crusty bread. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Sounds good, doesn't it? It's one of my favorite soups for when I feel like I'm coming down with a cold. Delicious and it will beef up your sulphur intake too.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What is Garlic Mustard?

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria officinalis) is a hearty, dark green herbaceous plant. Its leaves are arrowhead to heart shaped, scalloped-edged and deeply veined, growing up to 5 inches across. A cold weather plant, garlic mustard flourishes from late fall to early spring. It can be seen in fields, ditches, disturbed soils, near creeks, on trail edges and in open woodlands. A biennial, garlic mustard spends its first year as a basal rosette, with leaves growing close to the ground. In its second year, it sends up a flowering stalk that grows to about 3 feet. The leaves have a strong garlic odor when crushed.

Garlic mustard is considered an invasive, noxious weed. The Plant Conservation Alliance posts it on their Least Wanted list, maintaining that it poses a severe threat to native plants and animals in forest ecosystems. Basically, garlic mustard out-competes other plants, using up available light, moisture, space and nutrients from the soil, leaving less for native plants. As deer don’t care for the garlic taste, they won’t eat garlic mustard. It is prolific and can take over large wooded areas.

On the other hand, garlic mustard provides a nutrient-rich somewhat bitter green that can be eaten raw in salads (a few leaves at a time as it is bitter) or steamed, sautéed or lightly boiled. Garlic mustard contains high contents of vitamins A and C and it is rich in folic acid, vitamin B6 and manganese. It is a good source of potassium as well. Old time mountain folks used to gather fresh wild greens and used them as spring tonics to spruce up their health after a long, torpid winter. That is still a good idea and garlic mustard fits the bill as a healthy, nutritious wild green.

While many people won’t care for the slightly bitter flavor of garlic mustard, others love it. A good use of this wild herb is in making pesto. Gather a good bunch of garlic mustard when it is at the young basal rosette stage, wash it and chop it up. Mix it with olive oil, chopped garlic, parmesean cheese and pine nuts or walnuts for a surprisingly delicious pesto. Freeze the pesto in ice cube trays and use the pesto cubes to flavor soups and stews. Or simply keep it in jars in the refrigerator. The garlic mustard pesto loses its bitterness prepared this way, but remains pungent and flavorful.

Medicinally, garlic mustard is antiseptic. Juice from the leaves can be used to cleanse skin ulcers or wounds. Garlic mustard tea contains most of the plant’s vitamins and minerals and gives a definite nutritional boost to anyone who feels depleted or slightly ill.