wild earth herbals

...ancient plant medicine.

Category: An Herbalist’s Kitchen

Simple Bone Broth Tutorial

BoneBrothTute

Bone broth, while a simple creation, can be somewhat daunting to undertake. You hear horror stories of friends who have completely ruined a batch, or maybe that horror story was you? I have a friend-who shall remain nameless-who left the bag of giblets in her chicken! Love ya, J!! Here, you will learn about why you should be making bone broth (or stock, as my chef friends will correct me!) and how you can make it virtually fool proof. Let’s get started.

Why the heck do I want to make bone broth when I can just open a box from the store?

Well, thank you for asking! The main reason is that you should always be in control of what you are consuming. Conventional boxed broths have around 850 mg of sodium in them! Even the ‘all natural and organic’ brands have over 500. That’s almost 1/4 of your daily sodium intake in one serving. Insanity. I won’t even go into the MSG and preservatives. Let’s just say NO to all the things. Your homemade broth with have chicken, water, herbs, and veggies. And that is IT.
There are tons of benefits to consuming bone broth. It is super nutritious, rich with vitamins and minerals; it improves joint health and digestion, and is great for immune support. There is always a nugget of truth to old wives’ tales-and this is one of them. If you are feeling under the weather, a nourishing soup made with your broth (or just sip on it from a coffee mug!) will have you back on your feet in no time! Stick around and learn just how easy it is to make.

Step 1: Get a chicken. A whole chicken (DON’T forget to remove the bag of giblets!). For a great flavor profile, roast it as you would normally roast chicken. WHAT? You don’t roast chicken?? That is OKAY. Just pick one up from the deli section of your favorite grocery store.  Roasting a chicken can be intimidating, but it too is super easy. But, that’s for another day. Remove all the meat from the roasted chicken (once it’s cooled-don’t burn your fingers!). Throw the remains in a slow cooker. Cover with water. Add about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. ACV is amazing at pulling minerals from things that are soaking in it. Anytime you want to maximize your mineral content of your food, add ACV. Let it sit for about 30-45 minutes.

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Step 2: Add your herbs and veggies. Don’t make this part complicated. Just use whatever you have on hand. This batch is simply going to have garlic and carrots as the veggies (I REALLY need to go shopping). For the herbs, I can be a little more creative as I have an entire room devoted to them. Because we are heading into the time of the year where the funk is everywhere, I’m adding some extra immunity to it with astragalus, shiitake mushrooms, burdock root, and stinging nettles.

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Step 3: Turn slow cooker on low and let cook for 24-48 hours. If you want to go longer than 24 hours, make sure you check the water levels after the first day-you may want to add more water. If it has cooked as long as you want, move onto the next step….

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Step 4. Strain and pour into clean jars. Yes. Seriously-you are done. Now, at this point, you can add some extra grass-fed gelatin if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. To store it, you can either refrigerate it if you plan on using it in the next few days, or freeze it for later. If you are freezing, make sure you leave a few inches of head room to allow for expansion. I use my broth for all kinds of things-soups, rice, gravies and sauces, or just to drink if I am feeling gnarly.
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And, that’s it! Are you amazed at how easy it is? Do you make bone broths? What do you differently?

The Herbalist’s Kitchen…Part One: The Equipment!

herbalist's kitchen part one

Ever wonder what exactly goes on inside the home of an herbalist? Chances are, her kitchen doesn’t look that much different than yours. There might be a few subtle differences-some hanging herbs, fermented foods, unknown concoctions in fridge, herbs simmering on the stove, and mason jars-oh, the mason jars! Any herbalist worth her salt will have a cabinet full of them.

Here are my ‘must haves’ in my kitchen:

  • Double Boiler-This is really important if you are interested in making salves and fast infusing oils. You don’t ever want your heat source to directly heat your oils and waxes. Mine is a vintage enamel pot from the 30’s. 90% of my kitchen equipment comes from a thrift store. It is a great resource!
  • Slow Cooker-This is another device used to quickly infuse oils. I like to just let my oils infuse over time, but sometimes I need something sooner, so a mason jar in a water bath in a slow cooker does the trick.
  • Mortar and Pestle-I really enjoy the meditative process of manually masticating my herbs rather than using an electric grinder. The thought of adding mechanical energy to my herbs doesn’t appeal to me, but a lot of people like the efficiency of a coffee grinder.
  • Tea Kettle-This is a must for obvious reasons.
  • Strainer-I just use a plain ol’ wire mesh kitchen strainer to strain my tinctures, infused oils, and teas. Nothing fancy here.
  • Cheese cloth-A lot of times, small particulates of herbs get through the strainer. So, I line it with cheese cloth and then squeeze the remnants out. You can also use thin muslin that can be reused after washing.
  • Measuring cups-I always use either Pyrex or Anchor Hocking brand glass measuring cups. They are heavy duty, and you don’t need to worry about plastic degrading or metal interacting. I also buy these at the thrift store.
  • Various sizes of bottles and jars-You’ll need all the mason jars for steeping your teas, percolating your tinctures and vinegars (NEVER use plastic or metal-only glass), storing herbs, drinking glasses, etc. I also think investing in some good amber bottles, glass droppers, jars for salves, etc is a good idea.

What do you have in your kitchen? Do you like to play with herbs? Next time, we’ll talk about basic herbs to keep on hand in your kitchen without spending a fortune.

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may  receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services that are in line with my personal and professional ethics and standards. 

Kid Friendly Herbal Tea…Peace Berry Blast…

peace berry blast

 

If your kids are anything like mine, they really balk at drinking herbal teas. They just aren’t as sweet as daddy’s tea (Southern Sweet Tea). Well, I was tired of fighting with them, so I made up a tea blend that looks like a “fruit” flavored drink and tastes like a fruity minty tea. Unbeknownst to them, it is chocked full of herbal goodness. It have tons of vitamins and minerals, is refreshing and good for your immune system.

Ingredients:

  • Red Raspberry Leaf-rich in iron, calcium, and Vitamin E
  • Stinging Nettle Leaf-a great source of iron, calcium, Vitamin A, and chlorophyll
  • Hibiscus-Provides the brilliant red color. Great for upper respiratory health, heart and circulatory health, and contains vitamins A, C, and iron.
  • Rosehips-TONS of Vitamin C! Great for a healthy immune system.
  • Orange Peel-Vitamin C, evens out the herby flavor
  • Peppermint Leaf-anti-oxidant, good for digestive and respiratory health
  • Stevia Leaf-Just a pinch is added to sweeten it up a little bit. This is real whole stevia leaf. No extracts or processed mess here!

If you would like to try to make it yourself, it’s fairly easy. I use equal parts everything, but a pinch of peppermint and stevia. Steep about 1/2 ounce (wt.) in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. Longer if you’d like. Shorter if you’d like. Strain. Put in a gallon container and fill with ice and water. Voila!

I get my herbs from either Mountain Rose Herbs or Bulk Herb Store. Or, if you don’t want to bother buying pounds of herbs, you can pick up an ounce or two of the tea blend at my Etsy shop!

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may  receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services that are in line with my personal and professional ethics and standards. 

DIY Herbal All-Purpose Cleaner

diy cleaner title pic

Surely by now most people have either seen the orange peel in vinegar method of creating a natural kitchen cleaner. There may even be a few recipes that call for adding in essential oils to give it even that much more of a antimicrobial kick.  Well, yes-this is a bit similar. I’ve taken the basic idea of orange peels in vinegar and doctored it up a bit.

I tend to like to stay away from using essential oils because while I have studied herbalism for several years, I have not spent one dime on any aromatherapy courses.  I strongly feel that essential oils are VASTLY over used-and by people who do NOT know how to safely use them.  So, this recipe has taken the idea of the essential oils of certain plants and incorporated the use of the whole plant instead.

Ingredients:

  • Orange peels
  • Whole cloves
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh lavender
  • Distilled white vinegar

The recipe is a simple as you would think-combine all the herbs in a large mason jar and cover with the vinegar. Let sit for 2+weeks and strain. Pour vinegar about 1/4 into a spray bottle and fill with water. Voila! You now have a great smelling, effective all-purpose cleaner that utilizes the anti-microbial properties of plants without the potential dangers of using volatile essential oils.

You can find most of these herbs locally (either grown yourself or in your grocery store) but you can also find them online at places like Mountain Rose Herbs or Bulk Herb Store.

 

WEHswirl

 

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may  receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services that are in line with my personal and professional ethics and standards. 

 

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