Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Raving About Rosemary!

If you asked me to name my top ten Essential Oils, in terms of usage, Rosemary would be in the top five for sure. It is one of my most frequently used oils and one that I never let myself run out of.

“There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.” 

William Shakespeare, Hamlet



how do I love thee?

In the words of Elizabeth Barrett Browning....

Let me count the ways....

  1. I love a drop in my shampoo(homemade recipe) You can also just add a drop to your bought shampoo.
  2. I love it in my after shampoo rinse. (Camp Wander's recipe for Lavender Rosemary Rinse)
  3. I love it in my nasal rinse recipe.(recipe here
  4. I love it in a Lavender & Rosemary Calming Spray.(20 drops each EO in 2 oz spritz bottle topped with water)
  5. I love it in my Invigorating Body Spray.(recipe here)
  6. I love it in my Saline Nasal Spray.(recipe here)
  7. I love it in my thicker hair blend.(Camp Wander's Recipe)I forgot this one....this is an update!

There's more, those are just the ways I love it best!

About Rosemary:

Spark Naturals Rosemary is from the botanical family rosmarinus officinalis and grown in Italy.

Description: Most popular for its culinary uses, Rosemary also has the ability to stimulate hair growth, boost mental activity, relieve respiratory problems and reduce pain.

Properties: Analgesic, Antidepressant, Anti-Stringent, Carminative, Cephalic, Diuretic, Stimulant, Hypertensive

Historical Uses: Rosemary has been used to clear the mind and nervous system & stimulate memories; the diuretic properties have been useful in reducing water retention during menstruation, obesity and cellulite..

Use compresses and baths when trying to sooth stiff joints, arthritis, or rheumatism.  Use diffusion or other methods of inhalation when treating colds, flu, and as a mind stimulant.  Rosemary is certified as GRAS by the FDA and can be taken internally.  Rosemary has had positive effects being applied neat or with a carrier to the scalp, face, or neck for skin or hair/scalp disorders.  

More uses for Rosemary Essential Oil:

Add a few drops to mouthwash to help with halitosis.
Apply topically in areas of sore muscles, headaches or arthritis.
Inhale or use aromatically to aid with congestion, allergies, cold sores, sore throats or flu.

Rosemary Essential Oil Blends well with: 
Frankincense, Lavender, Sage, Peppermint, Geranium, Lemongrass

Rosemary Essential Oil Application:
Can be use aromatically
Can be consumed
Can be used topically (Apply NEAT)

Precautions Consult professional advice before use by those who are pregnant or nursing mothers.

You can find Pure Pharma Grade Rosemary Essential Oil at Spark Naturals.

Remember to use the coupon code PATTI at checkout for 10% off your order. Shipping is always $6.49 per order.

‘As Rosemary is to the Spirit, so Lavender is to the Soul.

-  Anonymous


Friday, August 9, 2013

Paleo Wheat, Gluten & Dairy Free Zucchini Bread

I ran across this fabulous blog called Elana's Pantry She has recipes for all sorts of special diets. If you are restricted in any way, you should pay her a visit. I found a Paleo Bread recipe on her site that I have adapted to accommodate my special diet. I would never have known where to even start however without first finding a recipe that someone else had already proven, so I am very thankful for blogs like Elana's. 

This recipe is wheat, gluten and dairy free!

Paleo Zucchini Bread

I especially like this recipe because you just dump it in the food processor a few ingredients at a time, pulse, pour into your pans and bake. How easy is that? 

I wanted a little more volume to my bread because of the loaf pans that I had, the original recipe made a low loaf, very delicious, but not a large slice. So, I added two grated zucchini, they add volume without changing the taste much at all. If you want a banana bread, use one small zucchini and one banana per recipe, it's delicious! Remember I doubled my recipe so I used two medium sized zucchini this time.

I'll try to make this as simple as I can, but I made several substitutions to her original recipe because of my food allergies and sensitivities. I am allergic to egg whites, so I try to limit my egg intake. I used ground flax seed in water in place of half the eggs.(I doubled Elana's recipe). 

One TBS ground flax seed & three TBS water = one egg

I am sensitive to coconut, so I used Tapioca flour and Extra Light Olive Oil in place of the coconut flour and oil. I also have to limit my vinegar because of being extremely sensitive to yeast. Anything fermented is not a good thing. I used balsamic vinegar, it's aged instead of fermented. I'm not really supposed to have honey either, but hey...I gotta cheat a little sometimes. I love honey!

A gathering of everything.

All the ingredients

Remember I have adapted Elana's recipe to fit my diet, if you want to follow hers you'll need to follow the link at the beginning of this blog.

One more thing before I get into the recipe. I ground my own almond flour from plain almonds. If you do this you'll want to sift the flour before you blend it with the other ingredients. There will always be a few contrary chunks of almonds in there. I don't mind a little nuttiness in my bread, but I don't want big chunks. If there are some small pieces, I just throw them in there anyway. This bread will also be a dark bread because the almonds are ground with the brown coating still on the almonds, blanched almond flour is ground from the inside of the almond without the brown coating.

Paleo Zucchini Bread

This recipe makes two small loaves or one large

3 cups almond flour
4 TBS Tapioca or Coconut flour
1/2 cup flax meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
5 eggs 
5 TBS ground flax seed/meal in 15 TBS water( this takes the place of 5 eggs) If you can have the eggs, just use ten eggs if desired.
2 TBS Extra Light Olive Oil or Coconut Ol
2 TBS Balsamic or Apple Cider Vinegar
2 TBS Honey

Dry Ingredients
  1. Place almond flour, tapioca/coconut flour, flax, salt and baking soda in a food processor
  2. Pulse ingredients together
  3. To substitute flax seed for half the eggs, mix 5 TBS ground flax seeds with 15 TBS water in measuring cup or bowl
  4. Pulse in eggs, flax & water mixture, oil, honey and vinegar
  5. Pulse in grated zucchini and banana if desired*(see special note below before doing this step)
  6. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. You can make two small loafs or one large with this recipe.
  7. Bake at 350° for 45/55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. This will have a moist center unless you cook it longer. You'll have to be careful and not let it brown too much on the bottom and sides. If you cook this as one large loaf, it may take longer to cook.
No room for zucchini
*SPECIAL NOTE: Depending on the size of your processor, you may not be able to fit this double recipe in. I couldn't. I had to remove half the mixture after step 4 in order to add the zucchini. I poured half in a mixing bowl, pulsed the zucchini in the processor, then mixed it all in the bowl before pouring into the pans.

Batter ready to pour into pans

Nothing left to do but eat it!

Hope this give you some ideas on how easy it is to make your own bread even if you can't have wheat! This recipe is especially good with a banana included too. You can even add a few chopped walnuts and you have banana nut bread!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Accidental Almond Nut Butter

A few weeks ago I posted a  blog on "milking almonds", dehydrating the pulp and making my own almond flour. You can read it here:

How Do You Milk An Almond?

I'm not making as much almond milk these days but I am making more bread using almond flour, or meal as some refer to it. I decided that I would just try milling the dry almonds to see if I could make my own flour. I had a jar full of roasted, salted(sea salt) almonds that weren't being used so I thought, "why not?" 

I'll give it a try and see what happens. I fully expected to turn out some great, yet a bit salty, almond flour.

Famous last words as they say...... 

What I got was an unexpected treat. I accidentally made almond nut butter. It was a bit dry so I added some Extra Light Olive Oil and it was pretty tasty. I even managed to make me a substitute peanut butter and banana sandwich. That was a treat!

I am allergic to wheat and very sensitive to yeast, so I cut out all bread a few years ago. I've not eaten a sandwich in about three years now.

I miss them....

I never realized how easy it is to make bread from other sources than wheat. However, that is for another blog that's coming up soon, pinky promise! This one is about my accidental discovery of a super delicious substitute for peanut butter. I'm also not eating peanut butter right now because of another eating lifestyle that I am undertaking, the Paleo diet. Peanuts aren't nuts, they are legumes, and not an accepted food on the Paleo Diet. I am far from educated on the Paleo diet, I'm just beginning to learn, hopefully I will be posting more on this later also

Meanwhile, back to the experiment!

I decided to try this again and take pictures this time, in case you've never tried to make almond nut butter. It's super easy, a little messy, but then most things in my kitchen are when I'm the one doing the cooking.

What you'll need:

This makes about 4 ounces of almond nut butter, if you want to make more, simply double the amounts.

One cup roasted, salted(sea salt) almonds
1/2 to 1 tablespoon oil of your choice(I used Extra Light Olive Oil)
A Magic Bullet or food processor or something similar with a good grinding or milling blade that will grind nuts
One cup measuring cup
1/2 or 1 TBS measuring spoon

What you'll need

You will need a Magic Bullet or something similar. I have not tried this in a food processor or blender, but you could give it a try. I made a very small amount. If you're making more, your food processor would likely work.

One note here before you try what I did thinking it would work better. I tried adding the oil to the nuts before milling. This did not work well at all. I've found that it works best if you mill the almonds first by themselves.


Place one cup of roasted, salted almonds in Magic Bullet or processor, mill as well as possible. 

Almonds in Magic Bullet

You will  find that the butter tends to cake up around the blades and the top of the container if you're using a Magic Bullet. Simply stir it back down and grind again.

Ground almonds cake up around the top

I also found that some of the nuts just refuse to grind, so I take out the butter that is smooth, place into a small bowl.....

First run

and put the chunks back into the grinder.  After grinding as well as possible, I remove the rest of the butter to the bowl, add the oil and mix. I actually put the mixture back in the Magic Bullet, changed to the blending blade and let it blend it really well for me. 

I used one tablespoon of oil for one cup of almonds, because you have to keep this in the fridge, and it will get thick. You may want yours thicker, if so, then cut back a bit on the oil. 

One Tablespoon Olive Oil

Then I placed it in a jar(or course I did)!

4 ounces of Almond Nut Butter

 And there you have your yummy almond nut butter. 

It's very tasty with just the right amount of saltiness for me. 

Now I have to go make more bread....I need a sandwich!