Recipe: Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake Muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup applesauce

For the Topping:

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the dry muffin ingredients until combined.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients together in a separate large bowl (eggs, vanilla, honey, coconut oil, and applesauce).
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing in about 1/3 of the dry mixture at a time- until it is all well combined with no dry clumps remaining.
  5. Spoon the muffin batter into baking cups- either in a standard size muffin tin or free-standing paper baking cups
  6. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients with a spoon or your fingers.
  7. Place a small amount of the topping over each muffin cup- and don’t worry if it’s not completely covering the top; the topping will melt further & spread while it’s in the oven.
  8. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the topping is melted and the edges of each muffin are golden brown.
  9. Allow to cool, and enjoy!

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2pIJzsO

flower

Did you know you’ve probably pulled, stomped or sprayed a natural super food that grows in your backyard? Dandelion is mostly known as a backyard weed, but it has amazing nutrient qualities and health promoting properties.

All the parts of the plant can be used in various ways though the roots and leaves are the most commonly used as herbs. Who knew that this plant with puffy flowers that grant childhood wishes could offer so much benefit?

Dandelion Root and Leaves

Dandelion is a source of a variety of nutrients and the leaves and root contain Vitamins (like A,C, K and B-vitamins) as well as minerals (including magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and choline). The various parts of the plant have a long history of use as an herbal remedy, and every documented population in areas where it grows naturally has used it medicinally.

It also serves as an abundant natural food source, as all parts of the plant can be eaten. The root is often roasted and used in teas or consumed whole. The leaves make a great addition to salads or other dishes requiring greens and the flowers (while still yellow), can be eaten raw, cooked or even made into wine!

Traditional cultures have used dandelion to support digestive and hormone health and it was often consumed to support lactation or to help remedy issues like urinary tract infections.

Benefits of Dandelion

According to the How To Herb Book, this backyard super food is beneficial in many ways, including:

Liver Support and Detoxification

Dandelion has been used for years by various cultures to support healthy liver function and natural detoxification in the body. Though it hasn’t been well studied, many people with hepatitis turn to it to help support the liver. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that:

In the past, roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, dandelion was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

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Female Health and Hormone Balance

Due to its high levels of various nutrients and potential ability to help support the body’s natural detoxification systems, dandelion is often used by those with hormone imbalance, urinary infection and recurrent mastitis. Though not well studied, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence from women who have used it to help remedy recurring UTIs or other infections.

Clearer Skin

Due to its natural magnesium and zinc content and its potential ability to support detoxification, dandelion is also know as being good for the skin. It can be used topically in applications like tinctures and poultices and many people also take it in capsule or tea form to help support healthy skin.

Good Source of Nutrients

Dandelion is a great source of many important vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and nutritive salts, which may help support blood health and increase iron absorption. I personally often add dried leaves to teas for a nutrient boost or use dandelion root in place of coffee.

Blood Sugar Balance

The University of Maryland Medical Center also reports that:

Preliminary animal studies suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels and lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol in diabetic mice. Researchers need to see if dandelion will work in people. A few animal studies also suggest that dandelion might help fight inflammation.

Uses of Dandelion Root and Leaves

Perhaps we wouldn’t be so quick to remove this “backyard weed” if we were more familiar with the myriad of uses it has. The entire dandelion plant can be used and if you have a safe (non-sprayed) source in your yard or community, you can consider harvesting it yourself.

Here are some of the ways to use dandelion:

Coffee Substitute

Dandelion root is tougher and more hardy than the leaf and is often used in decoctions and tinctures for this reason. The powder is often added in coffee substitutes . The root is considered a natural diuretic and is sometimes used for this purpose.

Poultices

Dandelion root and leaf are often listed as the ingredients of  teas and poultices for abscesses and sores, especially on the breast and in female health remedies as they can help support lactation and remedy urinary issues.

According to Mountain Rose Herbs:

Chopped dandelion root can be combined with myrrh to make a poultice for boils and abscesses, with honeysuckle flowers to make a tea to be drunk to treat boils and abscesses, with skullcap and/or chrysanthemum flowers to make a tea to be drunk to treat sore eyes, or with heal-all to treat hard phlegm in bronchitis. Can also be administered in capsule or extract form for convenience.

Dandelion Tea

The flower can be used to make tea and even to make some types of wine. The leaves and root can also be used in teas, though they have a stronger taste and are often combined with other synergistic herbs for flavor and increased nutrient absorption.

Salads and Greens

The leaves can be consumed fresh on a salad or in recipes as well as substituted for greens like kale and collards in recipes or cooking. The antioxidant rich leaves are the most diuretic part of the plant so while they can be consumed regularly, it is important to maintain hydration too.

Important Notes:

It is important to check with a doctor before taking this or any herb, especially in large amounts or if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Though it is generally considered safe, those allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine may not be able to consume it.

Anyone who gathers dandelion from wild sources (like the backyard) should make sure that the area has not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides and that it does not come from an area where pets may have eliminated.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2qdoz29

 

How to Prepare and Eat an Artichoke

If you’ve never eaten an artichoke before, this strange vegetable may present some unique challenges when you finally try to prepare or eat one. The process for eating an artichoke is somewhat non-intuitive – the fruit can’t be eaten in its raw form because its tough fibers and sharp leaf tips can wreak havoc on your digestive system. However, if approached correctly, an artichoke can be a delicious, healthy and unusual addition to nearly any meal.

 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 or more large globe artichokes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 slice of lemon

HOW TO COOK AN ARTICHOKE

  1.  Cut of the tips of the petals: If the artichokes have little thorns on the end of the petals, take a kitchen scissors and cut of the thorned tips of all of the petals. This step is mostly for aesthetics as the thorns soften with cooking and pose no threat to the person eating the artichoke.
  2.  Slice off the top of the artichoke: Slice about 3/4 inch to an inch off the tip of the artichoke. A serrated bread knife works great for this.
  3.  Remove small petals at the base: Pull off any smaller petals towards the base and on the stem.
  4.  Cut off excess stem: Cut off excess stem, leaving up to an inch on the artichoke. The stems tend to be more bitter than the rest of the artichoke, but some people like to eat them.
  5. Alternatively you can leave the whole long stem on the artichoke, just cut off the very end of the stem, and peel the tough outside layer of the stem with a vegetable peeler.
  6.  Rinse the artichokes: Rinse the artichokes in running cold water. While you rinse them, open up the petals a little so that the water does get inside more easily. (This is where it helps to have cut off the thorny tips, it makes the artichoke easier to open without getting poked!)
  7.  Set up a pot with some water, aromatics, and a steaming basket: In a large pot, put a couple inches of water, a clove of garlic, a slice of lemon, and a bay leaf (this adds wonderful flavor to the artichokes). Insert a steaming basket.
  8. Steam the artichokes: Place artichokes on top of the steaming basket. Cover the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
  9. Cook for 25 to 45 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off.

 

HOW TO EAT AN ARTICHOKE

Pull off outer petals, one at a time. Dip white fleshy end in melted butter or sauce.

Tightly grip the other end of the petal. Place in mouth, dip side down, and pull through teeth to remove soft, pulpy, delicious portion of the petal. Discard remaining petal.

Continue until all of the petals are removed.

With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (called the “choke”) covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and dip into sauce to eat.

***NEVER EAT THE WHOLE LEAVES OR CHOKE

 

RECIPE: Anytime Egg Muffins

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Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • Non-stick coconut spray oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saute pan, heat coconut oil. Add onion and peppers and cook for about 2 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Season with salt and pepper. Add the veggie mixture and stir until well combined.
  3. In a regular muffin pan, spray with non-stick coconut spray oil. Evenly distribute the egg mixture into each muffin tin, filling them up 3/4 of the way full. You should get 8 muffins total.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the muffins have turned light golden brown around the edges.
  5. Serve immediately or store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, stick in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2p0eIw2

RELEASED TODAY! Green Grass Grove 100% Natural Products are ready to order!

Its been a adventure and now it is time to reveal my new line to everyone who is looking for all natural products. I can wait for you to have a look and I am working to add new products as I develop and learn them.

Have a look at my Etsy shop for all the details!

http://www.craftyocelot.etsy.com

Local peeps!

 Use code: TBURGFREE – when checking out for free delivery to Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada

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Green Grass Grove products are coming soon!

Wow I just realized that it had been almost a week since I have posted anything, but I have such a great reason! I have been busy this week crafting my new line of 100% All Natural products. It takes a while to perfect recipes, label, and get things all set but I will be launching later this coming week on my Etsy Shop!!! The only thing I do have to wait on is my soap line since it takes 1 month to properly cure a soap so that the PH level is proper.

My list of products that I will be releasing next week will be Deodorant, Lip Balm, Healing Salve, Soothing bath spheres, Dead Sea Salts, and Tooth Powders.  

Exciting products to come are Body Soaps, Shampoo Bars, Shave Bars, Liquid Shampoos and hair rinses and even a natural Dog Shampoo!

 

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Presenting Green Grass Grove’s soap and products lab!

So I have made the shift this week and decided to stop the cake design business and focus more on my family, the healthy lifestyle and choices that are making my heart sing! I can tell you at first it was a blow to my self esteem but now that I have slept on it a few days and relaxed I am confident on my decision to let it be.

I am so fortune enough to have a very supportive family. Since my husband has his chemical sensitives disorder and  is wary of any natural oils he does not know (he is very reactive to clove and minted family oils) and chemicals I was on the hunt for a soap and products lab. My wonderful sister in law was amazing enough to set me a space aside to recreate as I pleased! How awesome is she!

soap lab
MY VERY OWN SOAP AND PRODUCTS LAB!

I am all set for this coming week to attend the Eco products development workshop at Inner Insights Holistic School and Spa. There I will be learning to create my own Deodorant, Natural Perfumes, Linen spray , Buzz Remedy, Lip Balm, Healing Salve for irritated skin, Aromatherapy Bath Salts, Deep Tissue Ache Relief Blend, Aromatic bath bombs, and laugh line serums. This I will couple with my already invested knowledge of tooth powders,shampoo, hair rinses, shave soaps and washing products.

All in good time I will eventually have a full line available with my focus being on 100% Natural products at reasonable cost. I will keep you all posted as it develops.

I am so proud to show you my first batch of test soap as well! I Even tried out some soap stamping to fancy it up.

FIRST batch
My First test batch! 100% Pure Olive & Coconut oil Cold Process soap.

Recipe: Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large celery stocks, diced
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. parsley to garnish, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large pot, over medium heat, heat olive oil and add chopped onion, and celery. Cook for four minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Next, add garlic cloves and saute another minute.
  2. Stir in diced sweet potatoes, dried thyme leaves and salt. Pour in chicken broth, partially cover and simmer 20 min or until sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Using a hand-held immersion blender or regular blender, puree soup until smooth. Pour soup back into pot (if using blender) and add coconut milk. Stir to combine. Season to taste. Distribute soup into bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

 

 

Source: http://bit.ly/1ovxxTF

COMING SOON! Green Grass Grove -100% All natural handmade soaps and toiletries

So I have some exciting news that I am working that I just can’t contain! I am in the the early talks and working on starting a line of 100% All natural handmade soaps and toiletries that will be available to ship anywhere.

I have been working diligently since my husband has a severe auto immune reaction to scents and some not so friendly ingredients found in most commercial products. So when I was exhausted to find that so many “green, eco” products still incited a reaction from him I decided to take action and formulate my own line of high quality, all natural, reasonably priced items.

I will be keeping you all updated as I progress in my new en-devour.

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The Dangers of Commercial Laxative Abuse

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Using any type of weight-loss drug for a prolonged period could lead to a myriad of problems and issues. Abuse of supplements can create minor problems like irritability all the way up to severe problems resulting in death.

Even still, many people choose to ignore warning labels and use whatever they can to lose weight. And some individuals even go so far as to use laxatives in order to lose weight.
Laxatives and other products geared at softening stools, relieving constipation and cleansing the colon are good products for what they do, but they should not be overused and should never be used to help lose weight.

People taking laxatives to lose weight assume mistakenly that the digestive system is somehow going to process body fat and that evacuating substances from inside the body will cause weight loss. Others use laxatives in order to avoid gaining weight, assuming that whatever they eat will be immediately passed, almost like bulimia.
Not only do laxatives not work for losing weight, but they can be very dangerous to use in this fashion or to overuse in general. Here are 10 side effects of laxative usage.

10 Reasons to Avoid Misusing Commercial Laxatives

1: Weight Gain

Because some assume that all new foods will be immediately passed through via laxative use, they binge eat and end up gaining significantly more weight.

2: Poor Nutrition

Going along with the binge eating, people can up their cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar by using laxatives in this fashion; or, on the other end of the spectrum, they can lose too many vital nutrients the body needs.

3: Bloating

The overuse of laxatives has been known to cause bloating (water retention) in people, which is both uncomfortable and very unflattering.

4: Excessive Cramping

Using laxatives in this fashion can cause excessive cramping of the intestines, a very, very painful phenomenon.

5: Bacteria Loss

Your digestive tract contains crucial bacteria which help to break down and pass food. Excessive use of laxatives causes you to lose these bacteria and will make it harder to break down and pass food.

6: Chemical Imbalance

Misuse of laxatives can cause the body to lose too many electrolytes, resulting in imbalance.

7: Cardiac Arrhythmia

Cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat/palpitations, can occur from using too many laxative products.

8: Heart Attack

In some cases, individuals overusing laxatives have experienced heart attack.

9: Fatigue

Lack of vital nutrients in the body can cause a general “low” feeling – low energy, fatigue and a disruption of sleep patterns.

10: Renal Complications

In some cases, the overuse of laxatives can cause kidney complications including kidney failure.

Not only are these ten side effects very scary and things you would want to avoid at all costs, but there have been cases of laxative abusers suffering from instant and inexplicable death. It is rare but it is not out of the question.

Proper dieting takes a careful balance of nutrition and exercise. It also takes a commitment on your part to do what is necessary to change your lifestyle and lose the pounds. This does not include attempting to cheat the process by taking dangerous pills; much less substances that were not even meant to help you lose weight in the first place.
Taking laxatives to lose weight is stupid and dangerous. In fact, a proper diet should be enough to exclude the need for laxatives altogether.

Eating enough fiber and staying properly hydrated is all you need in order to stay regular. And if you do need an assist in that department, make sure you stop the laxative use immediately after you are relieved and never, ever use laxatives in an attempt to lose weight.

7 Foods that Make the Best Natural Laxatives

Fruits, veggies, seeds, probiotic-filled foods and more act as effective natural stool softeners, so before you reach for the over-the-counter laxatives, add these seven foods to your diet:

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is one of the oldest and well-researched natural laxatives there is. Sometimes called aloe “latex,” this substance comes packed with enzymes, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that help heal the gut. For example, anthraquinones are a type of compound present in aloe that act like a laxative by increasing intestinal water content, stimulating mucus secretion and increasing intestinal peristalsis naturally (contractions that break down food).
Aloe vera latex also has anti-inflammatory components that reduce swelling and and improve function of the digestive organs. Some of the other benefits of aloe vera are its ability to help normalize acid/alkaline and pH balance, lessen yeast formation and encourage the growth of good digestive bacteria.

2. Chia Seeds

One of the benefits of chia seeds is its ability to work as a natural laxative. Chia seeds combined with liquid form a gelatinous substance that easily moves through your intestines. As a great way to increase the fiber in your diet, chia seeds swell and expand in the digestive tract, absorbing water. They’re best for constipation when you also increase your fluid intake, helping them move through the gut easily.

3. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are an excellent source of fiber, which adds bulk to your stool and helps it pass through your intestines. As an added bonus, flaxseeds work to treat both constipation and diarrhea!

They’re practically tasteless, and one of the benefits of flaxseeds is it’s easy to use in recipes you already make, like oats, baked goods and smoothies. Just remember that whenever you eat a lot of fiber, you want to also make sure to drink plenty of water too — since a high amount of fiber without enough hydrating liquids can actually result in even more bathroom troubles! Drinking enough water in general along with a high-fiber diet makes it less likely you’ll experience uncomfortable hard stools, bloating, gas, pains and further constipation.

4. Leafy Green Veggies

Not only a great source of fiber, leafy greens also provide plenty of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in adults, so eating more comes with many benefits, including better digestive health. Magnesium is an electrolyte that has the natural ability to safely soften stool and help draw in water from your gut.
Without enough magnesium, it’s hard for stool to easily move through your system, especially since magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer, which can help stop cramping in the abdomen. If you notice that increasing magnesium-rich foods results in your stools becoming too loose and watery, you can adjust your intake until its comfortable and back to normal.

5. Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are “good bacteria” in your gut that are able to balance various types of “bad bacteria.” They help create a healthy environment in your gut “micoflora” and can help keep you free of digestive problems, including constipation or diarrhea.
Probiotic foods include things like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and probiotic yogurt. Just make sure that when buying dairy products, you always choose organic products, as they are easier on digestion, such as goat milk products, organic kefir, raw dairy products or dairy that doesn’t contain A1 casein. It’s possible that low-quality pasteurized/homogenized dairy, or too much dairy in general (especially if someone has symptoms of lactose intolerance), can cause inflammation and contribute to digestive dysfunction.

6. High-Fiber Fruit (Berries, Figs, Apples, Prunes, Pears)

Fruit provides high levels of fiber and water in addition antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation throughout the digestive system. While fresh fruit such as berries, melon and apples are more hydrating and filling, dried fruit like figs, prunes or dates are also a good source of dietary fiber when in a pinch, especially when you consume several at once.
Fruits that contain pectin fiber (apples or pears) are especially good choices, since pectin stimulates your bowels. Apple cider vinegar is also an excellent option for naturally treating constipation! For most people, fruit helps relieve constipation while also making you feel comfortably full, but again it comes down to individual reactions to various kinds.

7. Coconut Water

Coconut water is good for you for many reasons — not only does it taste great as an alternative to plain old water or sugary drinks, but it also helps with maintaining healthy electrolyte levels, preventing dehydration and clearing out your urinary tract. For centuries, coconut water has been used for a natural hydration boost due to its high electrolyte content, especially potassium (which it provides 12 percent of your daily value of in every one-cup serving). In fact, coconut water can be so healing for constipation that some people find drinking too much loosens stools to an uncomfortable level, so start slow.