Monday, July 26, 2010

FANTASTIC EDIBLE FLOWERS

Good Monday Morning to you all! How are you doing this soggy beginning of the week? I'm good... soggy, but good LOL! We have thunderstorms on the horizon for this beginning of the week, so I plan to get off my bum and get moving in the house today LOL. I have to stop watching the Food Network all the time because I stay hungry constantly LMAO so cleaning or whatever will be good for me LMAO!

Ok, I got to thinking how not too long ago, I brought you articles about frugal tips to do with things like Lemons, vinegar, etc. Well when I went to the nutrition store with my mom a little while back, the topic of honey and how good pure honey was for you. Then this morning I saw an article about honey and figured it was a sign that I needed to bring you the article so you could be "frugally schooled" on the wonderous thing we call "HONEY"! It's not just for dessert anymore kids LOL!



14 ways honey can heal
By Megan, selected from Yoga+ Magazine

By Vasant Lad, Yoga+

The fossil record tells us honeybees have been around for 150 million years or more. No one knows when we discovered the treasure hidden in their hives, but paintings of beekeepers lining the walls of a cave in Spain prove that we have been practicing the art of beekeeping for at least 7,000 years. Honey is versatile. It has been prized as a sweetener, as medicine, as an offering for the gods, as currency, and as a symbol of love. In Greek mythology, for example, Cupid dips his arrows in honey before aiming them at our hearts.

According to ayurveda, honey is the nectar of life. Because it is created from the essence of a flower's sex organs, it has a natural affinity with reproductive tissue. It can also heal sore throats, colds, coughs, ulcers, burns, and wounds. And when ingested with a healing herb (like ashwagandha), honey travels to the deepest tissues, transporting the chemical properties and the subtle energies of medicine to the cellular level.

Ayurveda says that raw honey is medicine, but cooked honey is a slow poison. Why? In its natural form, honey is rich in minerals, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and carbohydrates. But heat strips honey of most of its nutritional value and transforms the honey molecules into a non-homogenized glue that adheres to mucous membranes and clogs subtle energy channels. Cooked honey creates cellular toxicity and may lead to immunological dysfunction. It can also clog the arteries and lead to atherosclerosis (thickening of the arteries), hampering blood flow to the vital organs. So as a general rule, honey should never be cooked, and nothing should be cooked with honey. Instead, add raw honey to yogurt, warm tea, or spread it on bread or toast.

These days, most honey sold commercially has been heated and should be avoided. Look for the words "raw" or "unpasteurized" on honey at a health-food store or online at places like the Ayurvedic Institute or http://www.eBeeHoney.com/. But the purest form of honey is local and raw because it helps prevent (or calm) seasonal allergies and is full of prana (vital energy).

Check your local farmers' market, and if you live in the country, keep an eye out for roadside honey stands.

Ayurvedic texts are full of honey-based remedies for a wide range of ailments, such as:

For obesity, high blood pressure, and/or high cholesterol, drink a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of honey and 5 to 10 drops of apple cider vinegar early in the morning daily. (Ayurvedic texts say honey scrapes fat and cholesterol from the body's tissues.)

To relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, take 1 teaspoon of honey with 200 mg powdered guggulu daily.

To heal oral ulcers, apply 1 teaspoon honey and a pinch of turmeric to canker sores, mouth ulcers, or sores on the tongue. This mixture will generate saliva and draw out toxins; spit it out to speed the healing process. For internal ulcers, mix a cup of warm milk with a teaspoon of honey twice daily.

To heal a wound, dress it daily with sterilized gauze brushed with honey; dispose at night.

For the common cold, mix 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with 1 teaspoon honey and eat two or three times a day.

To clear your sinuses, take a mixture of 1 teaspoon each of fresh ginger juice and honey two or three times a day.

For asthma, eat a mixture made of 1/2 teaspoon bay leaf powder, 1/4 teaspoon pippali, and 1 teaspoon of honey two or three times daily.

For nausea, vomiting, and/or indigestion, mix one part lemon juice with one part honey. Dip your index finger into this mixture and lick it slowly twice daily.

For anxiety, drink 1 cup of orange juice with 1 teaspoon of honey and a pinch of nutmeg powder twice daily.

To help reduce the craving for cigarettes, chew small pieces of pineapple with 1/2 teaspoon of honey before smoking.

For abdominal pain, take a mixture of 1/4 teaspoon ground bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon ajwan (celery seeds), and 1 teaspoon of honey before lunch and dinner daily.

For chronic fever, make a tea of 1 teaspoon of holy basil (tulsi) and 1 cup of hot water. Add 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper powder and 1 teaspoon of honey. Take two or three times a day.

To aid poor circulation, mix 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon trikatu, and 1 teaspoon honey in 1 cup of hot water. Steep for 10 minutes. Take twice a day.

To stop hiccups, mix 1 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon castor oil in a container. Dip your index finger into the mixture and lick it. Repeat every 10 minutes until your hiccups stop. (Hiccups are due to spasm of the diaphragm, and these ingredients in equal proportion are anti-spasmodic.)

Did you know? To make one pound of honey, a swarm of honeybees flies about 24,000 miles and visits 3 to 9 million flowers.

Because its qualities are heating and sweet, honey is good for kapha and vata, and in moderation with pitta.

Please Note: Raw honey is not recommended for infants under the age of 18 months, the very elderly, or others with compromised immune systems.

Ok kids, tomorrow is the big day! Christmas Countdown Challenge begins in about 15 hours! YIPPEE!! You ready? Now seeing as my little visitor will be spending more time over here soon, I got to thinking about all the things new moms need to care for their little ones. I also got to thinking about being pregnant and some of the things you need then too. I had a rather embarassing moment in Kroger one time when I was pregnant and luckily, my mother who is the save all, caught it before anyone else did and warned me! So I am going to share a craft with you that is helpful, inexpensive, and hits close to home with me LOL!



Craft Idea of the Day: Quick and Easy Washable Nursing Pads

If you nurse for very long you are going to be shocked at the money you end up spending on disposable nursing pads. Fortunately, with little sewing skill and items you most likely have around the house, you can make your own washable nursing pads.

Things You'll Need:

6x12 inch piece of fleece
1 old t-shirt or flannel baby blanket
6x12 inch piece of drapery lining, PUL (or one pair of plastic diaper cover ups)
Scissors
Paper
Sewing machine

Step 1: Fabric Choice for the layer near you: Natural fleece (not polyester) is a "wicking" fabric, which simply means it will pull liquid away from your skin toward the back of the fabric. CoolMax which is used in a lot of workout clothing also has great wicking abilities. Other fabrics with the same wicking capability include baby acrylics and soft wool blends with a higher percentage of synthetics added.

Step 2: Fabric Choice for the center layer: You can use an old t-shirt or flannel blanket for the center pieces of your nursing pad; for absorbency.

Step 3: Fabric Choice for outside of nursing pad: The main job of this layer is to prevent leaking. If you have PUL; a fabric used to make diaper covers it is wonderful for this job. You can also use darkening drapery lining or cut up a set of plastic diaper cover ups. As long as you wash your pads in cold water and let drip dry the plastic will hold for an amazingly long time.

Step 4: Cut out a 5-inch circle from paper to use as a pattern. Cut out 2 pieces of fleece, 2 pieces of plastic/PUL/Drapery lining, and 4-8 pieces of flannel or t-shirt (depending on the thickness).

Step 5: Lay fleece side down (right side of fleece down), cover with half of the t-shirt or flannel pieces, and then top with plastic sheeting/PUL/drapery lining.
Serge around outside edge. You can also zig-zag around the outside of the circle twice if you do not have a serger.

Tips & Warnings:

If you are not sure which side of your fleece is the correct side you can cut two small pieces and lay them down on a piece of paper. Then drop a few drops of water onto each piece (each with a different side up). Let set a few minutes and then pick up and see which one has drawn more water toward the back.

Putting a plastic back on a nursing pad can prevent air-flow, creating a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and/or yeast, which can cause breast infections or thrush. Most moms would be better off using a breathable waterproof layer like PUL. If you do use a plasticised backing, be sure to change your pads OFTEN.

OK it's time to talk food. I try to bring you unusual and new ideas and steer clear of mondaine and common. Well I have had ideas running through the head all night and all day and I have finally decided on something I find rather interesting... Flowers. So I officiaally deem the next theme FANTASTIC EDIBLE FLOWERS week. Yes, that's right... I said edible flowers! Not like flour that you bake with... oh no. I am talking flowers you decorate your house with and grow in your garden. Now I must first state that individuals consuming the flowers, plants, or derivatives listed here do so entirely at their own risk and that certain parts can be poisonous.

There are a few cautions one should remember before harvesting any flowers:

(a) Do not harvest any flowers that could have been exposed to animal excretement.

(b) Do not harvest any flowers that have had insecticides sprayed on them.

(c) Do not harvest any flowers that have had fertilizers sprayed on them unless specified for food consumption.

(d) Do not harvest any flowers from the side of roads where they have been exposed to trash, carbon monoxide etc.

(e) If you are unsure if it is edible, then do not eat it. Caution is always the best policy.

(f) If you have any allergies, consult your physician before consuming edible flowers.

(g) Do not eat any flowers from florists as they have been sprayed with pesticides.

(h) Do not pick any flowers that show signs of disease or have been eaten by insects.

So do your research, and if need be, consult an expert. The good thing about flower consumption is that nowadays you can get many of them at retail locations so its bit safer than finding them yourself. There are many things classified as "flowers" that you already use/eat and may not be aware of... such as Arugula, Basil, Chamomile, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Marjoram, Mint, Mustard, Okra, Pea, Radish, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme. These are all common flowers we probably consume at least once a week. BUT did you know that you can also eat things like Carnations, Dandelions, Roses, Snapdragons, Pansies, and even Violets?? So this week I am proud to bring you incredible edible flower recipes! Eat (or drink LOL) & Enjoy!



Today's flower is the Carnation. Dianthus caryophyllus (aka Dianthus)

Tastes like: spicy, peppery, clove-like

Wash 1 pound carnation flowers, remove husks, stems and heels. Soak in 1 1/2 pints boiling water. Simmer for 30 minutes then let soak for 12 hours. Strains off the liquid and to it add 2 pounds sugar. Boil rapidly and reduce to scented syrup. Use over ice cream or in herbal tea.

FLORAL LIQUEUR

4 cups vodka or brandy

1-cup sugar

1 - 2 cups flowers

Place lightly bruised petals in a jar with vodka or brandy and steep for 2 days. Then, add sugar and steep for 2 weeks, shaking vigorously once or twice a day to let sugar dissolve. Strain and filter into clean decanter.
Ideas:

rose, carnation, lavendar and mint

orange zest and mint

ginger and pear

peaches and lemon verbena

raspberry and lemon balm

use a dry white wine

Well folks, that's all for me today. Thanks for joing me in the "secret garden" for some unique floral flavor and fun. I am off to pick up a few things from my trading partners on the freecycle board I am a part of. Its supposed to rain today so I have to do these pick ups early. Then its being fun and fancy free at home (thanks to the rain LOL). Be happy, be safe, and see you tomorrow everyone! HUGS!

2 comments:

  1. pretty interesting on the flowers! Thanks for the baby craft of nursing pads! I sent a copy of it to a friend who is due anytime and will be breastfeeding!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Debbie "MOM"July 26, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    Honey....the sweet nectar of the gods. I have learned a lot about the healing honey facts as I research about my Diabetes. And it is delicious so why not use it instead of refined sugar? I'm glad you mentioned the facts about not giving it to babies under 18 months. I heard two years old was the age cut off for honey. Either way, its an important fact to know. Good article.
    Not to much "I" can do with your craft for the day. LMAO Not too many of us 50+ gals have to worry about that problem. LOL
    The edible flowers section is very intriquing. Did you know a lot of regular grocery stores are starting to carry packages of those edible flowers? At the very least you should be able to buy them at gourmet or specialty food stores. And your right in the fact that a lot of so called every day foods are buds, leaves, stems and other parts of plants that are not recognizable in the form we are used to seeing them in. My heart was broken (for about 3 days) when I found out cinnamon was tree bark! Oh wow! Now I wouldn't be able to eat my cinnamon toast or sprinkle it on my hot cereal because it was "TREE BARK". OMG! I was devastated but not for long. The craving for crunchy sweet buttery cinnamon toast overtook the grossness I felt and I caved in. LMAO So I am looking forward to this week full of edible flowers. Please make it yummy and exotic!! LOL Til next time......

    ReplyDelete