🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Nature's food store

How many of us turn to Nature when it comes to healthy eating and living? I know ALL foods like fruit and vegetables come from nature, but often we buy them after they have gone through strict cleansing and preparation, ready for purchase by us, the public, often with extra additives like bleach to get the potatoes nice and white.

Having a garden sporting a few of your favourite herbs and vegetables is a great way to ensure that you have some healthy, un-treated food at hand, straight from nature to your plate. One of my favourite plants in the garden is Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), which is used as a decorative plant in gardens and has many culinary and medical uses. The plant is said to improve the memory. The leaves are used to flavour various foods, such as stuffings and roast meats.

rosemary, circulation
Image from Ageless
Rosemary is a tonic, astringent, restorative herb that relaxes spasm and increases the rate of perspiration, while stimulating the liver and gall bladder. It improves digestion and circulation and controls pathogenic organisms and has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, spasmolytic, antioxidant, smooth muscle modulating, analgesic, venotonic, as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

I have used Rosemary in many ways - for cooking, as a pest repellent in my chicken coop and even as a conditioning rinse after washing my hair. Here is what I do to make the conditioner:

Take 1 cup of coarsely chopped, fresh Rosemary and 1 quart of distilled water. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let infuse (soak) for 1 hour. Strain, then add 1 quart of white vinegar to the liquid. Store in plastic containers and keep in a cool, dark place. (You may be worried about adding the vinegar, but it acts as wonderful softener for your hair and is also a preservative. You can make your rinses without it, but then they must be stored in the refrigerator and used within two days.)

One of my favourite Rosemary recipes is Rosemary-Garlic Cream Cheese Spread :

  • 1 8-oz. package softened cream cheese (light or regular)
  • 4 Tbsp. sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2–3 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Fresh mashed garlic to taste
Blend softened cream cheese and sour cream or yogurt in a small bowl; add lemon juice and blend well. Then add the rosemary and garlic and blend well. I use old cream cheese holders to store mine in the fridge. (They can also make great little gifts for a friend - dress up the container with some string or ribbon and a little card or other accessory that you find beautiful.)

This makes a nice spread for bagels, focaccia bread or other kinds of flat bread–spread on warm bread, top with some tomato slices, add some sliced olives, and sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese – yum! You can use it as a dip for fresh veggies, too–add another teaspoon of lemon juice to thin it out a little more if using as a dip. I also like to have some Sweet Chilli sauce at hand for added flavour.

Rosemary Tea. Photo by the80srule
Pic from Food.com

I often make myself a cup of Rosemary tea. Containing powerful antioxidants and many vitamins, rosemary tea is easily made by adding 1 tsp. of the dried or fresh leaves to 1 cup of boiled water. Steep for 10 minutes, strain and sip. As it has a strong rather bitter taste, you can add honey if you need a sweeter concoction. 

It seems that the ancient art of foraging is in decline but in these tricky economic times, it makes perfect sense to collect free food from nature. There is much you can do to ensure your own constant supply of 'food from nature', like planting your own vegetable and herb garden, planting a few fruit trees and keeping a few chickens for a constant supply of fresh free-range eggs. Living off nature is one of the greatest pleasures of life!


No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...