We all love our hot cup of coffee, especially at the beginning of the new day. Yet, not all of you are aware that its consumption also brings various health benefits.
It can boost your metabolism and give you more energy for the day.
Also, only a few know that you can transform your favorite morning brew into a metabolism booster and a potent fat burner! All you need to do is to add several ingredients to your coffee, and it will help you burn extra pounds without changing your diet or lifestyle!
These three mighty ingredients include:
1. Coconut oil is a real natural miracle which has a wide range of uses. It contains medium-chain fatty acids, which are immediately sent to the liver by the digestive system, and are either converted to energy or ketone bodies, and not in fat. It sets the metabolism to burn fat faster and more efficiently
The burning process of fats is significantly affected by minerals and vitamins, so honey can be of great help, as this gift of nature contains them in high amounts, and prevents any mineral or vitamin deficiencies.
2. Honey is abundant in sugar, but a natural one, which is needed for energy. Moreover, it is rich in vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, niacin, and riboflavin, as well as numerous minerals, such as iron, calcium, sodium, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus.
Honey has been scientifically confirmed to be able to lower stress and regulate blood cholesterol levels. Use raw honey only.
3. Cinnamon is an extremely beneficial, anti-inflammatory agent which fights inflammation in the body, and due to its antioxidant properties, neutralizes the damage caused by free radicals.
Cinnamon boosts the blood sugar metabolism and thus lowers blood sugar levels. It prevents the accumulation of fat in the body as it supports the conversion of sugar into energy. The best cinnamon types are Ceylon and Cassia.
Here is how to use these remarkable natural ingredients and boost your metabolism while drinking your coffee:
- ¾ cup of coconut oil
- ½ tbsp of honey
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of cocoa (optional)
Mix these ingredients together in a glass jar, and store it in the fridge.
Every morning, you should add a teaspoon or two of the mixture to your freshly brewed coffee, stir well, and drink it! Enjoy!
3 Simple Steps to Decrystallize Honey
Have you ever reached into your cupboard, ready to enjoy some natural golden sweetness, and discovered your honey has crystallized? Don’t panic. And don’t throw it out. Understand exactly what crystallization – also called granulation – is and follow these three simple steps to decrystallize your beloved sweet and make it liquid again.
How to Decrystallize Honey
Place your bottle of honey with its lid off inside a pot. Pour warm water (to preserve honey’s health properties, water should not exceed 110º F) into the pan and allow to sit until the honey melts.
In five-minute intervals remove your bottle from the pan, stir the honey and return it to the warm water. Continue this process until the honey has returned to its liquid consistency state.
After your honey has returned to its normal consistency, remove the bottle from the pan and allow your honey to cool. Tightly seal the bottle and store at cool to room temperature.
*To prevent loss of honey’s health properties, water should not reach above 110F.
What is crystallized honey?
Crystallization does not mean your honey has gone bad. In fact, it’s honey’s natural process of preserving itself, often occurring after three to six months of storage. Do not throw it out! We repeat, do not throw it out! Crystallized honey is still edible. Some even enjoy its grainy consistency as a spread on toast or as a cooking ingredient.
Many factors contribute to honey crystallization. The main reason is its ingredient composition. Honey is a highly concentrated solution of two sugars: glucose and fructose. Typically, honey contains 70 percent carbohydrates and less than 20 percent water. Since this is unbalanced, the glucose separates from the water forming the crystallized appearance.
Besides its ingredient composition, what are other factors that contribute to crystallization?
The percentage of glucose vs. fructose in the honey. If there’s a higher percentage of glucose in the honey composition, the rate of crystallization may speed up.
The temperature where the honey is stored. If honey is stored in too cold an environment the speed of crystallization can increase, including when it’s in the honeycomb. So if your honey is hiding out in your fridge, you may want to place it in your pantry.
The amount of pollen in the honey. Whether your honey is raw, semi-processed or processed will determine how fast it crystallizes, and how much pollen it contains. Pollen in honey is normal, and verifies what plants the bees were feeding on. Raw honey contains more pollen grains than processed honey and therefore it can crystallize faster.
There is nothing quite as easy as this technique.
It call comes down to pushing your tongue against the roof of your mouth and placing the thumb in between your eyebrows.
You need to pressure the area you are holding with your thumb for 20 seconds. The first results come almost immediately, followed by sinus drainage.
The nasal cavity holds a bone, also known as the Vomer bone, which is placed vertically in the cavity. Lisa De Stefano, D.O., an assistant professor at the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, assures us that this method is very successful because it allows the Vomer bone to move back and forth.
This ultimately treats congestion and empties the sinuses by draining.
The ingredient that can also help you to kill sinus infection is apple cider vinegar and 100% Raw local Honey
The marvels that apple cider vinegar brings just can’t stop rising.
Its benefits are widely appreciated by the world’s population, and in this article we present how this magical liquid can cure your sinus infection in no time!
Viruses are usually responsible for causing sinus infection, and those viruses tend to stick inside the organism even after the lungs are cleared.
Basically, the sinuses lining becomes inflamed, and this occurrence leads to chronic headaches, discomfort and pain. In some cases, a fever could happen as well.
There are numerous medications available, promising to cure sinus infection rapidly, but nothing works quite as effective as the good old apple cider vinegar.
As common as it may be, apple cider vinegar is not to be underappreciated. It can easily reduce sinus pain and brings the sinus tissue to a healthy state.
Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber, the ACV will cease any sickness symptoms and if consumed raw and unfiltered, will provide the greatest health benefits for your body.
Aside from this, your immune system will hugely benefit from consuming apple cider vinegar- and here is how to do it:
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 lemon, juiced
First boil water and then combine it with apple cider vinegar in a glass. Throw in honey, cayenne pepper and stir well. Finally, add lemon juice. Consume remedy until you feel sinus pain relief.
this years agenda !!!
How to Make a Gallon of Mead
March 1, 2015 by Grow Forage Cook Ferment —88 Comments
Maybe you’ve heard of mead before or maybe you haven’t, but one image that always seems to come to mind when mead is mentioned is Vikings drinking their grog. I don’t know a whole lot about Vikings, but I do know a bit about mead! Mead is a fermented honey and water mixture, some call it honey wine, and it is quite possibly the first fermented drink that humans purposefully made. Luckily for us, it’s quite easy to make! I’m going to show you how to make a gallon of mead, blueberry orange mead to be exact. Here’s what you will need to get started.
how to make mead
•2-3 pounds of honey, depending on how sweet you want to end product to be.
•Berries or fruit of any kind, fresh or frozen, about a cup
•About 10 raisins
•1 gallon jar or jug (you can reuse one that you bought for making hard cider) with it’s lid
•Airlock with rubber stopper that fits into your jar
•Big metal spoon
•A large pot (not pictured)
•Brewing sanitizer (I like One Step
I should mention right now that whenever you add fruit to a mead it’s technically called a melomel. You could also use apple cider instead of water and then you’d have what’s called a cyser. Also, this is a recipe for one gallon of mead, but I’m always of the mind that if you’re making one you might as well make two, especially if you already have two glass jugs from my hard cider recipe, as it’s really not any harder.
Alright, let’s get started! The first thing you need to do is sanitize everything! Your jug, airlock, big pot, spoon and funnel. Just follow the directions for your sanitizer and don’t throw it out until you’re totally done (just in case your dog licks the funnel or you drop your spoon).
Once that’s done put about 1/2 gallon of water (non chlorinated if possible) in your pot on medium heat. Once it’s warm, but not boiling, add the honey and stir it so it all dissolves.
how to make meadTurn the heat off. It may be a little foamy, that’s ok, just don’t boil it.
how to make meadIn the meantime, put your berries (or any fruit of your liking), orange slices (skin and all) and raisins into your jug.
how to make meadThen use your funnel and carefully pour the honey water mixture (technically called “must”) into your jar.
how to make meadTop off your jar with cold water, leaving at least 2 inches of head space on top.
homemade meadThen put the lid on your jar and gently mix everything around a bit. The next step is to add the yeast, but you need to make sure that it isn’t too hot so that you don’t kill the yeast. It should feel lukewarm, use a thermometer if you’re unsure, at least less than 90°F. Then you can add the yeast. One yeast package will make up to 5 gallons of mead, so if you’re doing 2 gallons you can just split one between the 2 jars.
how to make meadNow put the lid back on tightly and this time you’re really going to shake it up for several minutes. It’s a good workout for your arm muscles so you can skip the gym on days when you make mead!
homemade meadPut a little water in the airlock to the line, then put the rubber stopper into your jug. In a few hours, or at least by the next morning, you should see bubbles in your jar and in your airlock.
how to make meadThe whole top might get a little foamy at first, but things will settle down. I love watching all the little bubbles! Science rocks! (Can you see my hands in the reflection?)
Keep it in a cool (not cold) dark place. Mead takes longer to ferment than cider or beer, depending on the temperature it will take anywhere from 4-6 weeks. I usually give it 6 weeks to be on the safe side for bottling as you don’t want any explosions! I’ve definitely had some very champagne like mead before. You want to wait until you don’t see any bubbles and your airlock is still.
Bottling one or two gallons of mead is pretty much the same process as bottling cider. You may want to wait awhile to drink your mead as it definitely gets better with age, but I often drink it “green” (young) as I enjoy it either way. It is fun to save a couple of bottles for several months, or even a year, just to see how the taste changes with age.
If you make one gallon of mead, chances are you will soon want to make more! Lucky for you, I have also written a posts on How to Make 5 Gallons of Mead and How to Bottle 5 Gallons of Mead. I also have recipes for Wildflower Mead and Elderberry Mead that turned out delicious!
Cheers and happy mead making!
Apparently, those pesky yellow weeds in the garden can provide numerous benefits you have never been aware of. Dandelion has been used throughout the history in the treatments of numerous health issues, such as kidney disease, liver issues, appendicitis, and heartburn.
Every single part of the dandelion, from the roots to the blossoms is edible, and it is high in minerals, like zinc, iron and potassium, and vitamins D, C, A, and B. Moreover, its consumption provides numerous benefits, such as:
- according to research, dandelion extract strengthens the immune function and fights off microbes.
- its leaves contain even more beta carotene than carrots, so they boost eye health.
- high in antioxidants, which prevents cancer, premature aging, and other illnesses due to oxidative stress.
- Animal studies provided evidence that the root and leaves regulate cholesterol.
- It also promotes digestion, as found at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Its root can act as a mild laxative, and fresh or dried dandelion boost the appetite and settle the stomach.
- It acts as a diuretic and thus helps the function of the kidneys to eliminate excess water, salt, and waste by increasing the production of urine. This may be the explanation of the popular claims among children that in case you pick this flower, you will wet the bed!
- prevent cognitive decline and strengthens the bones- The dandelion greens provide 535% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K
- according to a study conducted in 2011, the tea of its root may induce leukemia cells to die, but it does not affect the healthy cells.
These are 24 amazing uses of this plant:
Health and Beauty
This plant is effective in the treatment of minor skin issues, and it soothes inflammation and pain. Pain Relieving Oil
Dandelion efficiently alleviates joint pain and aching muscles. You should infuse dandelion flowers in an oil and rub onto the painful joints and muscles or painful areas. You should put fresh dandelion leaves in a mason jar and pour some base oil, such as olive or sweet almond oil to the top of the jar. Leave it for 14 days to infuse and then strain it. Decant the oil into a sterilized jar and keep it in the fridge.
Pain Relieving Salve
You can pour the infused oil into a soothing balm. You can also mix the infused oil with some beeswax, pout their combination into a jar or a tin and leave it to cool.
This plant can effectively remove warts as its stems, roots and leaves contain a white sticky resin. This sap should be applied on the warts several times a day and they will soon be eliminated.
This lotion will help you in the case of dry and cracked skin as it will moisturize it and soothe inflammation. You should mix some infused dandelion oil with beeswax, lavender essential oil, and shea butter and create a silky bar.
In the Kitchen
Dandelion is completely edible so you can use it in various ways in the kitchen.
This herbal vinegar can be added to your stews, soups, salads, and dressings, or sauces. You can simply drink it as a revitalizing tonic. You should infuse its flowers in apple cider vinegar for a month, then strain it. Keep it in a dark place for up to a year.
Dandelion Pumpkin Seed Pesto
This recipe can be used as a veggie dip, simple pasta, or sandwich spread. As its greens have a slight bite, you should balance it with some lemon juice, toasted pumpkin seeds, and parmesan.
Remove the green parts, dip the flowers in seasoned butter and fry them to create a delicious snack or side dish.
Sautéed Greens and Garlic
As dandelion is rich in minerals and vitamins, you can sauté it with garlic (or ginger or capers) in order to add flavor to its bitter taste. You should blanch them by immersing them in boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds in order to alleviate its acrid taste.
Cook the flowers, and add wine, stock, parmesan and creamy yogurt in order to prepare a jewel-like vegetarian risotto.
Pancake and Waffle Syrup
You should mix lemon, honey or sugar and dandelions in order to create a delicious waffle or pancake syrup.
Replace cabbage with dandelion in order to prepare the traditional spicy and sour Korean kimchi. Ferment the greens with spices, soy sauce, green onions, and herbs in order to prepare a tasty kimchi that will promote gut health.
The dandelion jelly can be added on top of toast, or crumpets. The prepared jelly can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
You can prepare a tasty iced treat by mixing dandelion blossoms, sugar, lemon juice, honey and freshly picked dandelion.
Make soaked savory muffins with dandelion petals, honey, flour, whole wheat flour, and oatmeal, and serve them with asparagus or green pea.
You can prepare cookies from dandelion, lemon, honey, and oats.
Iced Lime and Dandelion Tea
A pretty iced lime and dandelion tea is extremely delicious, and it will eliminate all skin issues. You should blend fresh lime juice, stevia leaves, dried red raspberry leaf and a quart of dandelion flowers.
Dandelion Blossom Cake
Mix cinnamon, dandelion syrup, crushed pineapple, coconut, blossom petals, walnuts and coconut, in order to prepare a delicious dandelion blossom cake.
Danish Schnapps – Two Ways
You can prepare a Danish schnapps with the flower heads, which will be remarkable when combined with cakes, sweet desserts, and chocolate, You can also brew dandelion roots in order to prepare a dry and aromatic beverage. You can serve it with some robust flavors, like roast meat.
Dandelion Root Coffee
Brew the dandelion roots to get a caffeine-free alternative to coffee. In order to obtain a deep flavor, roast them before grinding.
These pesky weeds can make a fine country wine and rich. Ferment complete flowers with lemon zest, water, and raisins for a couple of months.
Home and Garden
Dandelion can be widely used in the garden and in the house.
Natural Yellow Dye
You should cook the heads of dandelion in order to make a chemical-based dye – which can contribute to water pollution. It can be used on any garment in order to brighten fabrics, but it is especially useful for the ones who weave their own wool.
Floating Table Centerpiece
Use reclaimed wood and small nails, assemble a box of wood, hammer small finishing nails through the underside, and you should slide the dandelions on the top.
Dandelions are the first food of the season for the bees, so make sure you leave some for them to enjoy them during the spring.
Goats need a diverse, vegetarian diet, so dandelion weeds can serve as a balanced portion.
You will provide numerous nutrients to the garden if you prepare a liquid fertilizer, or ‘weed tea’. You should simply deep rooted dandelions, but since the seeds are still viable, you should brew up an organic fertilizer and spray or pour it onto your flower beds and vegetable gardens.
DANDELIONS ARE A VITAL SOURCE OF SPRING NECTAR.
Driving through the countryside the Dandelion, an iconic wild Spring flower, decorates every hedgerow and road verge. This bright little flower has its own beauty, it’s not dainty or exquisite, but it possesses a cherry vigour.
Many people go to great lengths to rid their lawn of this plant, please learn to tolerate them, and resist mowing or killing them. They are a vital source of Spring nectar for our bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects and their seeds attract many of our wild birds.
So, sit back, and allow your lawn to take on its own wild beauty by encouraging a variety of wildlife. Once this cheery little plant has set her seeds to the wind, you can get the mower out.
PLEASE be a Dandelion lover and share this post far and wide!
30 Beautiful Plants to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden
For many people, watching butterflies flit around the garden can be an exciting or very relaxing part of spring and summer. Here are a handful of plants that are easy to grow which will draw these majestic insects to your garden.
1. The Butterfly Bush
There are somewhere around 100 species of Buddleja, commonly referred to as the butterfly bush. The colorful flowers ranging from white to pink, orange and purple attract an assortment of butterflies including commas, mourning cloaks, sulphurs, monarchs, and several species of swallowtail.
For those wanting to attract monarch butterflies to their garden, nothing does the trick like planting milkweed, the host food plant for monarch caterpillars. Milkweed also attracts the viceroy, Baltimore checkerspot, mourning cloak, queen, great spangled fritillary, zabulon skipper, and question mark butterflies.
A favorite amongst culinary herbs, parsley is a primary host food for the black swallowtail butterfly larva.
Alfalfa is a host food for clouded yellow, orange sulphur, and Karner blue butterflies.
Also known as sweet anise, fennel is another favorite host food for many swallowtail caterpillars.
Common white or red clover will attract a whole host of butterflies to your garden including common checkered skippers, painted ladies, buckeyes, sulphurs, gray hairstreaks, sleepy orange, eastern tailed-blue, silver-spotted skipper, and variegated fritillery
Sulphurs and zebra longwings will be drawn to the nectar of most species of verbena.
8. Queen Anne’s Lace
Another beautiful and easy to grow flowering herb, Queen Anne’s lace is a host food for the anise swallowtail.
Most varieties of daisy are favorite nectaring flowers for mourning cloak and queen butterflies. Daisies are also a host food for painted lady caterpillars.
Alcea, commonly known as hollyhock are a host food for the larva of painted lady, checkered skipper, and gray hairstreak larva.
Flowers in the genus Solidago, known collectively as goldenrods are a favorite nectar source for a variety of butterflies including sulphurs, American snouts, red admirals, gorgone checkerspots and viceroys
Flowers of the dogwood tree attract spring azure and American snout butterflies. The leaves are also a host food for spring azure larva.
Most often planted as a fast-growing shade tree, poplars are also a host food for white admiral, tiger swallowtail, mourning cloak, viceroy, and red-spotted purple butterfly larva.
Plants of the genus Antirrhinum, collectively known as snapdragons are host food for the larva of the common buckeye.
15. Purple Coneflower
Echinacea purpurea, the purple coneflower is a well-known herb for it’s immune-boosting and anti-depressant properties. It is also an attractant for the common wood-nymph butterfly.
These succulents of the genus Salicornia are host food plants for eastern pygmy blue butterfly larva.
Not only great for harvesting its seeds and greens for culinary use, the mustard plant is also a favorite nectaring and host food for falcate orangetip butterflies and larva.
18. Passion Vine
Passiflora, also known as the passion vine sports large, exotic purple flowers that will spice up any garden. The foliage is also a host food for gulf fritillary and zebra longwing caterpillars.
Plants of the genus Apocynum – referred to as dogbane for its toxicity when ingested – are a nectaring source for little glassywings, mourning cloaks, sulphurs, monarchs, silver-spotted skippers, some species of swallowtail, painted ladies, American snout, and pearl crescent butterflies.
Deciduous trees of the genus Celtis, known as Hackberries are host food for hackberry emperor and tawny emperor butterfly larva.
In addition to providing sunflower seeds for human consumption, these summertime favorites provide nectar and host food for most species of checkerspot butterflies and larva.
22. Joe Pye Weed
These lovely flowering plants in the Asteraceae genus are a great nectaring source swallowtails and fritillaries.
A popular landscaping shrub due to its pleasant fragrance, viburnum will also attract Baltimore checkerspots and spring azure butterflies to your garden.
Traditionally cultivated for the medicinal properties of its root, Burdock is a favorite host food for painted lady caterpillars.
A flowering plant of the legume family, any of the over 100 species of vetch will attract American painted ladies, sulphurs, and zabulon skippers as both a nectaring and larva host food source.
Well-known for soda made from its bark, sassafras is also a food source for many species of wildlife including the spicebush swallowtail caterpillar.
These popular fruit-bearing bushes will bring both swallowtails and spring azure butterflies to your garden.
28. Black Walnut
Juglans nigera, the black walnut tree is host food for over 200 species of butterfly and moth larva including swallowtails, red-spotted purples, royal walnut moths and the elusive and exotic luna moth!
The name given to a variety of low-growing succulents, stonecrop is a favorite nectaring plant for the red admiral butterfly.
Finally, to create privacy in your butterfly garden, try surrounding the space with privet. The flowers of this hedge-forming shrub are a favorite for many butterflies including skippers, painted ladies, swallowtails, and red-spotted purples.
Valentine’s Day is approaching. The Irish are well known for their ability to do the hearts and flowers thing. This nation is just a bunch of old romantics at heart. Anyone who’s ever shed a tear at the haunting tones of Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares to You, or swallowed the lump in the throat while nursing a broken heart listening to Shane McGowan singing Rainy Night in Soho will tell you that. I mean how can any country produce song lyrics like these and not be prone to the love-struck disease?
So it will come as no surprise that there are a few Irish foods said to be aphrodisiacs. You know those things? They’re meant to get the pulse racing and the sap rising and what not. Put you in the mood for love. Go on you old softies, you know you’re dying to know what they are!
1. Oysters. No surprises here – oysters are known the world over for their aphrodisiac qualities. Casanova is said to have eaten fifty oysters every day and we all know where that got him. Ireland produces some of the best oysters in the world. Carlingford Lough oysters are famous. Clarinbridge in Co.Galway, is referred to as the home of the Irish native oyster. There are oysters farmed in quiet Atlantic waters off Sherkin Island in West Cork, and in the little coves on the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry. Eat them raw as they come, straight from the half shell, and feel the mood of lurve happening as you eat! Why is this? Because firstly they contain zinc, an important mineral for men as it’s needed in sperm production. Sorry to be so blunt about it, but if you’re a fella it’s necessary to have zinc for obvious reasons, and oysters have had the reputation of being a food that provides it. So no wonder Casanova ate so many. However, more modern research also links oysters to unique amino acids which are not available in supplement form. These aid production of testosterone in men, and progesterone in women. Both are sex hormones, and again their connection to oysters contributes to the reputation of the shellfish as an aphrodisiac.
2. Celery, Who’d have thought it? The crunchy sticks we use as the basis for stews and casseroles, make soup from, and chomp our way through stick by stick in a crudite mix, is a sexy gourmet ingredient! What? You won’t look at bunch of celery in the same light again now you’ve read that. Celery has phytoandrogens, the plant equivalent of testosterone, which is important for the male sex drive. Now you know. It’s said celery is at its best after a winter frost, when it gets its crunch and all the minerals and nutrients are at their most potent. Now is a good time to eat it. Bring on the raw celery and dips on February 14th.
3. Salmon. Fresh salmon contains lots of Omega 3 fatty acids which have huge health properties. These fatty acids are linked to good heart health, but also to production of sex hormones.
4. Kale. Seriously, it might look boring and green and not particularly inspiring to you. But its powerful antioxidants help keep blood vessels healthy and protect their linings, increasing blood flow and boosting good circulation. Which is very important if you want to be a red hot lover! Seasonal kale soup it is then, on Valentine’s night.
5. Chocolate. Now we’re talking. What girl can resist a bit of chocolate? It brings on the feel good factor for very good reason. It has natural stimulants for well-being and enhances mood. So fellas, if you want to put some passion into Valentine’s night, bring her a box of the finest chocolate you can find. You might want to check out our chocolate makers for that.
6. Honey for your honey. Natural and preferably organic Irish honey contains special phytochemicals which occur naturally in plants, and aid production of testosterone in men. Honey also contains boron which helps utilise Estrogen in women. Quite simply, honey is said to boost libido for men and women. It’s fairly appropriate. Who hasn’t been introduced to the facts of life by their parents telling them an awkward story about the birds and bees?
So there we have it. A fine seasonal Valentine’s Feast of oysters, salmon, kale and celery awaits, finished with chocolate and an Irish honey eaten out of the jar with a spoon! Love is definitely in the air, if you’re in need of any more inspiration check out our Valetines for food lovers ideas here.