Friday, February 13, 2009

Oatstraw for Your Bones

I learned about oatstraw a year ago to help build and maintain strong healthy bones. It is also soothing and calming, great to take when you are under stress or if you have the cold or flu. Oatstraw is good for women of all ages, especially during menopause to prevent or treat osteoporosis. Men and children also benefit from the abundant calcium. Oatstraw can be added or blended to other teas or drinks.

I have been making infusions and drinking a quart a day when my body really needs it. It is easier to assimilate the calcium from the herbs than other sources like dairy (for some people) and pills.

Here's how I make it:
I take 1 oz oatstraw and put it in a quart Mason jar. Fill the jar with boiling water and cap. Let steep overnight. The next morning strain and drink throughout the day. You can refrigerate this for up to 2 days.

Infusions steep longer than teas and pull more of the vitamins and minerals out of the plant material.

Herbs First
and Mountain Rose Herbs
are good places to buy herbs in bulk for your teas and infusions.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tips for Freezing Leftovers

I found a frozen bag of Beef Stew in my freezer and we had that for supper last night. Whenever I make more than enough for a meal, I put the leftovers in a container or baggie and freeze for nights when I don't have time to cook. It really helps on days when I just have too much to do and not enough hours.

Another meal I freeze is Turkey. I will cook a 20lb + turkey and divide it into sandwich baggies and freeze. These are great small meals to pull out for sandwiches and lunches. Around November our grocery store has turkeys on sale and I buy several. Then throughout the winter I can pressure can the turkey or freeze it for small meals. It's an affordable way to plan ahead.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Italian Salad Dressing

The other day I discovered Italian Salad Dressing. I say discovered because I have always been a Ranch fan and have been staying away from all dressings lately because of the soy and canola oil that is used.

I wanted to try an enchilada casserole recipe in a magazine and one of the ingredients was Italian Salad Dressing. I went to the store to see if there were any brands that I would want to try. I found a do-it-yoursef kit by Good Seasons. It came with the cruet (glass bottle) and 2 seasoning packets. Everything else you add: the vinegar, water, and oil.

I took it home and made it with the Bragg Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, water and olive oil that I already had in my pantry. This was the best dressing I have tasted in a long time. The enchilada casserole turned out great. I also used it on a salad for lunch and then on baked potato wedges last night. I couldn't get enough of it, so I knew I needed the nutrients that were in the apple cider vinegar and the spices. When I get time I will get my own spices to match what was in the packet and be able to avoid the additives and preservatives.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Simple Healing Salve

Yesterday the weather warmed up enough for me to get out in my garden. I pulled up last year's tomato plants and broke them up so we can till it all back into the soil. I hurt my hand on one of the plants, instead of snapping the stem my hand slipped up along the stem and it slit my thumb. I put a simple healing salve on it and a bandaid. Today it is already starting to stitch itself together.

Healing Salve
pinch comfrey root powder
pinch slippery elm bark powder
just enough honey to make a thick paste

Mix together. After washing the wound well then place the salve in and on the wound and bandage. All 3 ingredients are wound healers.