Friday, October 29, 2010

Hot News!

Ceiling fan blasting out cold air, a floor fan strategically placed to help circulate the frigid atmosphere further, and tossing off covers in the night have all been strategies to help relieve the waves of heat from hot flashes. However, Derma-E offers "Flash Relief", a product that guarantees to help relieve the symptoms of this unavoidable change. Made with medicinal herbs, such as Black Cohosh and Wild Yam, it helps to alleviate menopausal discomfort. St. John's Wort and Lavender essential oils promote relaxaion while Vitamins C and E nourish with a dose of powerful antioxidant benefits! So if you're feeling the heat, try Derma-E's "Flash Relief"!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Holiday Slow Cooker Potpourri

If I could have my home smell like a bakery 24/7 without having to slave over the actual "baking" part or even having to spend hundreds of dollars on candles, I would be a pretty happy camper. There is nothing like the smell of apple cider mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and allspice. It's such a warm and inviting scent that is a hint of sweet and a hint of spice.
Our bulk area is loaded with spices to make wonderful slow cooker potpourris. Everything from cinnamon chips to cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg to allspice berries. We have all the ingredients you need to make these delicious recipes listed below.

Holiday Slow Cooker Potpourri
5 to 6 cinnamon sticks, broken
1 tbsp. lemon peel
1 tbsp. orange peel
1/2 c. whole cloves
1 tbsp. nutmeg
1/4 c. whole allspice
1 tbsp. bay leaf pieces
2 slices dried apples, optional

Combine ingredients. Add to your slow cooker and set to low.
Citrus Vanilla Dream
2 C water
2 T orange peel
1/4 vanilla bean (chopped and split)
(Essential oils can be found in the Health & Beauty section. They can even be purchased by the drop!)
Combine ingredients. Add to slow cooker and set to low.
Coffee Potpourri
Fresh ground coffee beans
Any or all of the following: vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon sticks, orange peel, dried carob, chickory.
Anything that tastes good in coffee will work, (except for creamer and cocoa powder, which don’t simmer very well).
Chai Tea Potpourri
Black tea bags
Vanilla extract
Chai spices include the following, so use any or all of them: cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, black pepper, ginger, coriander seed, mace, star anise, fennel, bay leaf.

When you’re done simmering, you could strain this into a cup, add some milk, and enjoy a chai tea latte!

Storage: You can refrigerate your simmering recipe and reuse daily for up to one week. Just keep adding water as needed.

Frugal Idea: For apple juice, cranberry juice, herbs and spices that are outdated, don’t throw out–just add to your simmering pot.

Try using parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Sprinkle dried versions of these into simmering water and you get a wonderful green herbal scent!

Have fun experimenting! We have a huge variety of herbs, spices, oils, coffees and teas to help you play!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vegan Wednesday! Halloween Fun!

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. I love going to Halloween stores, decorating for Halloween, and passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. If you're planning a festive get together this holiday season, here are some ideas for vegan treats:

Steaming Hot Chocolate
Yield: about 2 to 3 servings
3 cups (720 ml) plain or vanilla soymilk
3 to 4 tablespoons organic sugar
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients in a 3-quart (3 liter) stockpot and stir with a wire whip to mix well. Heat to almost boiling over medium high heat, stirring occasionally and watching carefully to prevent a messy boil-over.

Pour the Devil's Brew into mugs and serve immediately.

NOTE: To make enough for 20 people, use the proportions below and heat in a 12-quart (12 liter) crockpot.
2 1/2 quarts (2.5 liters) plain or vanilla soymilk
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (240 ml) plus 2 tablespoons to 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) organic sugar
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Vegan Caramel Apples
You will need: Granny Smith apples
popsicle sticks or candy apple sticks
2 tbsp. vegan margarine
1 c. lightly packed brown sugar
1/3 c. corn syrup
1 c. sweetened condensed milk (use vegan recipe here )

To prepare, you should poke the wooden stick into your apples and set a cookie sheet covered with wax paper to the side of your work space.

Also, you can dip them into chopped nuts, cookie crumbs, sprinkles, and just about anything else with the same texture if you like.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt margarine.Stir in sugar and corn syrup.
Bring to the boil and stir in condensed milk.
Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until boiled and thickened.
Use once it is thick and has cooled slightly. If the caramel has had time to harden, reheat until just melted.
Holding the stick, dip each apple into caramel and turn to glaze each side.
Roll in any nuts or toppings, and then set onto wax paper to cool.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gluten-Free Tuesday: Safe-to-Eat Halloween Candies!

While dressing up for Halloween, going to parties, and celebrating this goulish holiday is fun for both the young and young at heart, there is one downside to those of us who are dedicated to a gluten-free diet. Determining which mainstream candies are gluten-free as the kids are sorting through their new candy stashes is not always the easiest thing to do. Luckily, more and more manufacturers are making their recipes gluten-free! Click here to download a guide to which candies you (or your kids) are safe to eat*!

Have a happy, and safe, Halloween!

*Please keep in mind that recipes can always change.

Thanks to Jane Anderson at and Alison at Sure Foods Living for doing such wonderful research!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Vegetable Roasting Guide

As the temperatures finally start to fall, I'm starting to crave comfort foods.   Roasted vegetables, like butternut squash and sweet potatoes, provide a nutritious option.   Check out our handy roasting guide here, and start enjoying the bounty of the harvest!