Thursday, June 20, 2013

Crispy Almonds Recipe

So I have had this bag of bulk almonds for a while and not too long ago I learned that I do not care for plain almonds very much.  (lol)  What to do?  

I generally eat in line with the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, which suggests that humans should not consume any nuts, seeds or grains without having first soaked, sprouted, and/or fermented them.  Nuts, seeds, and grains were created to preserve themselves with a coating of phytase, or phytic acid as it is sometimes called.  This substance is GREAT at preserving  them!  In fact, it is so efficient at its job that it creates havoc in our digestive systems when we eat it.  Though some people do not exhibit the same symptoms as others, it is generally truthful to say that rather than some people being allergic to these healthy food items, we are all intolerant of them as long as the phytase is on them.  They must be soaked before being consumed so that they do not inhibit our absorption of important vitamins and minerals.

The question comes then, “Who on earth is going to eat soggy almonds?”  Not me!  I decided to try an experiment last week, and it’s one of my best tasting yet!  Here is what I did (Well, technically my wonderful, amazing daughter did some of the work at my direction):

She soaked about 1 pound raw almonds in un-chlorinated water for over 24 hours.  We really didn’t need to do it this long; it just happened that I wasn’t able to come home that night and we had to deal with the almonds the following evening.  Normally 6-12 hours is sufficient.  (Actually I was concerned about mold; you really don’t want to leave anything that long normally.  Mine were fine this time, but it could have been a failure.)  Then the soggy almonds went into the food dehydrator for about 12 hours.  I have one of the types of dehydrator that is cylindrical with the shelves stacked on top of each other.  Hot air is blown through the shelves from the base in the center.  When dehydrating nuts, it’s important to taste-test every so often to make sure they’re not getting too hard.  You can over-dehydrate them if you leave them too long.  When they were nice and crispy, I put them in my stationary mixer on the lowest setting for maybe not even one minute.  I used the bread-kneading arm rather than the wire whisk or the dough tool so that they wouldn’t get completely crushed in the process.  It only split a few of them, actually, which was great!  I used probably about a tablespoon of coconut oil to make them sticky, and then I sprinkled garlic powder, Italian seasoning, pink salt, and pepper on them.  I did not measure any of the spices; I just went by sight and smell.  These are some of the best tasting almonds I have ever had!  Also, you can’t beat the healthy herbal properties of those spices!

Here’s a quick look at the process:


Soak raw almonds for 6-12 hours
Dehydrate almonds for up to 12 hours, depending on crispiness

Put in standing mixer on lowest setting with the least-crushing tool

Add a little coconut oil to help the herbs stick

Sprinkle garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I am so excited!  I've been researching gardening since I have a backyard now, but everything just seems so complicated!  I see words like micro-climate, and mulch and compost and I scratch my head!  Everyone who speaks at the meetings I've gone to just seems like those kinds of labels are words everyone should know.  I work for a vineyard management company, so I do know the word compost, but I don't know much about what it is made of usually, or how to use it.  I just order the stuff and that's the extent of my involvement with it.

Honeybees.  I've been learning a lot about honeybees lately, too.  I got interested because I know how important pollination is for gardening (at least I know THAT much hee hee!).  So I've gone to meetings about honeybees, too.  I just recently bought the dvd "The Vanishing of the Bees".  It's a wealth of information no one who is anyone even wants to look at!  It's disconcerting and energizing at the same time!

Anyway, one of the meetings I went to recently was focused on garlic.  I had missed the whole spring and summer gardening season, and now everyone is talking about winter crops.  Again, lots of very detailed information that seems to somehow build an insurmountable wall has come flying at my brain and my brain just wants to give up and shut down!

There I was, standing at the table where they were selling garlic bulbs for planting.  There was a bunch of the normal, run-of-the-mill white garlic you buy at the store.  Then in this other box, there was this gorgeous, flayed-out looking bulb of garlic that had a reddish purple hue on the outsides of the cloves.  "Thai Fire."  It was calling my name.  All I could do was just stare.  I wanted it.  It was the last one, and that darned character trait of sharing that my mom drilled into me was going to prevent me from buying it for myself!  This woman walked up and saw me just standing there, staring at this beautiful plant.  "Can I help you with anything?" she asked.  I said, "Oh, no, thank you.  I was just looking at this purple garlic.  It's just amazing!"  "Well, why don't you get it?" she asked.  "Well, it's the last one, and I'm sure someone else would like to have it," I said.  She said, "Just get it!  You know you want it.  It's the last one, and you're right: someone else WILL take it if you don't.  You'll wish you had, and it's only one dollar more than the other kind."

She was right.  So I bought it.  I bought the mysterious, fantastic looking bulb of garlic like no garlic I had ever seen before.  A few different people I talked to while I was there just said to put it in the ground with the root side down and watch it grow over the winter.  I was going to plant it the next Sunday, but the ground was too hard.  I decided I would hose down the back yard during the week and plant it on the following Sunday.  To my wonderful surprise, it rained!  I didn't even have to soften the ground myself!  The following Sunday, my daughter and I went out in the rain, pulled up some dirt with my new digging fork, and put the bulbs in the ground.  We used some of the Thai Fire (some I kept cuz I wanted to taste it!) and two elephant garlic cloves that a friend had just happened to give me that week.  I think there were 4 cloves that we planted.  It has rained good twice now since we planted them.

So here is the exciting news:  THEY'RE GROWING!!!  Not all of them, but we can see three! I didn't know how soon they would sprout up, but there they are, only 2 weeks later!!! I'm hoping maybe the other one will come up later, but we will see.   I'm just so excited about the 3 that have come up! I'm jumping for joy in my living room! They will grow into bulbs, and I will be able to harvest them and plant even more next time!! WOOHOO!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

More Elements to Life

This section starts on page 89 of "The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple" by Dr. David Stewart.  I got a tad bored with it, but I'm going to drive through in the hopes that it will get interesting again, and that it will help with referencing throughout the rest of the book.

Oxygen is the most abundant element and it makes up around 49% of the earth's crust, 21% of the atmosphere, 90% of the oceans' weight, 88% of plant mass, and 76% of body weight of people and animals.

Silicon is the second most abundant element and it makes up about 75% of the rocks and soils on the earth.  It is usually found in the form of silicon dioxide, which crystalline quartz, sandstone, and normal sand are made of.  Most beaches are made up of silica or silicon dioxide.

The third most abundant element is aluminum.  It is the most abundant metal on the earth.  It is in most igneous rocks and all clays.  Current science says it has no role in biological processes.  It is not found free in nature, which means it is bound up in stable compounds and is not released by itself.

Oxygen, Carbon, Nitrogen and Hydrogen make up over 90% of the weight in plants and animal bodies.  Oxygen and Hydrogen are the most abundant out of these.  The human body is also made up of less than .5% of these elements: Calcium, Phosphorus, Chlorine, Potassium, Sulfur, Sodium, and Magnesium.  There is one Phosphorus atom in every nucleotide unit in our DNA, except the teeth and bones.  17 other elements are present in the body at less than .05%.  Iron is one of these, and carries oxygen in the blood which makes it extremely important.

Essential oils are also made up of trace components that contribute to their therapeutic properties.  Some are not even named yet.  This is a huge reason why we have to be so careful in growing plants for essential oils and in processing them, because one mess-up will completely change the therapeutic status of an oil.

Galbanum is an example of an oil with a known trace component that is very important.  The component is called pyrazine, and it's responsible for the strongly earthy smell of Galbanum, and contributes to its therapeutic properties.  Galbanum is one of the oils in the recipe listed in Exodus 30:34 of the Bible.

Current science says that not all 92 elements are essential to life.  Actually, only 27 are currently considered necessary to the human body.  95% of our weight comes from carbon, nitrogen and oxygen.  These elements are numbers 6, 7, and 8 on the Table of Elements.  It probably means nothing, but I thought it was cool that the number of man, the number of completion, and the number of new beginnings are that important to our life.  Most atoms in the body are hydrogen atoms, but it's so light that it really doesn't make weight.  The first 20 elements on the Table are considered necessary to the human body, except Beryllium and Aluminum.  Beryllium is what makes emeralds green, but it's very toxic.  You will like to know that it is never found free in nature.

Current science says that most of the heavier elements are actually toxic to us, like Mercury.  Exceptions to this rule are Iodine and Molybdenum.  They are considered the only elements with an atomic weight of over 79 that are currently considered usable by the human body.

Many essential oils chelate heavy metals out of the body, like Helichrysum and Cardamom, so they're nice to have around the house to help with cavity fillings and vaccinations and such.
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Fixing the No Poo Hair

As mentioned before, I've been exploring my 'no poo' (no shampoo and conditioner) options recently. I'm trying out the baking soda and vinegar method on my hair. Each time I've washed my hair this way, I've experienced a variety of results. A few times my hair has felt pretty gunky. Only once or twice it has felt mostly good after getting out of the shower.

At first, since my hair was gunky after using the ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinse, I thought maybe my hair didn't need it. The last two times I've washed my hair with baking soda, I haven't used the ACV rinse. My hair felt clean, but for some reason, it just never felt like it was drying all the way. And the strands were sticking together. I wear my hair long and straight most of the time, and talk about flat with this new system!!!

I washed my hair last night with baking soda and rinsed it with the ACV rinse. For 2-3 days prior, I had been mulling around in my head the idea that I was not using ENOUGH ACV, rather than too much. I have a lot of hair. It's probably 2 feet long at present, and though it is fine and shiny, it is very thick. I run through conditioner pretty fast because it's hard to work a small amount into my thick hair. So I decided that if I had to, I would use up the 1.5 pints of ACV rinse that I had left in the shower. After rinsing the baking soda out, I poured little bits of the vinegar rinse on my head and tried to massage it into my hair before it ran to the bottom of the strands. I went from one side of my head to the other at least three times doing this. Then I leaned over and poured more onto the long part of my hair and scrunched and twirled and rubbed it in. I let it sit for a short moment and then rinsed well with water.

It worked!!! I went to bed with wet hair and to my astonishment, it felt all dried out this morning! It was de-tangled, manageable, and felt light and free, just like it used to with my favorite shampoo and conditioner. All of this worry about if I had hard water, and if my hair was never going to be the same and if I'm doomed to use chemicals to keep it manageable faded away the instant I ran my fingers through it this morning. I am saved!! No chemicals and no bad hair days!

I'm only having to wash my hair 2-3 times a week with this method. So at 3 tablespoons of baking soda a week and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar per week, I'm saving quite a bit of money. Most regular size shampoos and conditioners only last me a month, and using all natural, organic stuff can run you a good amount of money. It will take me forever to run through this Costco size baking soda I have at home at that rate. Also, a quart of Bragg's ACV is usually around $5, and there are 8 cups in a quart. That's 2 months per quart, so about $30 per year. With the organic products, I was spending a minimum of $20 per month with shampoo and conditioner combined! And I probably won't use quite that much ACV per week, anyway. I'm very excited about this, especially since doing something more natural is actually saving me money, rather than costing me more. A lot of times it seems to be the other way around. :(

So if you've tried no poo and your hair is feeling sticky after your shower, try using more vinegar rinse. See if it helps. The recipe I used this time was a 1/3 cup vinegar in 1 quart water. I can't wait to do it in my daughters' hairs!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Of Elemental Importance

So now we are on to elements. Most elements are natural. They are defined as substances that cannot be broken down into any other substance. It's kinda like prime numbers. The numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, and 13 cannot be divided evenly by any smaller numbers. Elements basically only consist of atoms, and are not made by combining any other substances together. Elements are what combine to create other substances.

Each atom in an element contains a specific amount of protons, which is what is used to determine the "atomic number".

If you've never heard of it, there is a chart called the Periodic Table of Elements. It lists all of the 118 known elements. There are 92 elements on the Table that are found in nature, 22 that are lab created, and 4 that are theoretical, which means they are yet to be found or created.

In the study of essential oils, it will be important to understand the atomic weights of elements, because they affect the fragrance, the consistency, and the length of time an oil has an effect on the body. The atomic weight also determines whether or not an essential oil is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The 'No Poo" Hair Saga

So I'm trying to save a few cents and not put yuck chemicals on my scalp by going "no poo" (no shampoo). So far it's a trial and error situation. I've looked online in all sorts of places. There are lots of blogs on the subject, with various stories on what works best. Evidently, everyone has a little different experience, depending on their water, body chemistry, etc. I haven't used shampoo or conditioner for 2 weeks now, so I'm only a fraction into the change-over according to most. From what I can tell, it usually takes 6-8 weeks for your hair to totally settle into the new routine. I've tried using baking soda first, and then an apple cider vinegar rinse, but for some reason the ACV leaves my hair feeling kinda chunky. I don't know if I'm using too much or too little. I've changed the amounts a little, just to see if I can find the right mix. The most common recipe I've found for the ACV rinse is 1 tablespoon ACV to 1 cup water. I've also seen 2 tablespoons ACV to 1 cup water, and 1/2 tablespoon ACV to 1 cup water.

What I think I'll do next time, is just skip the rinse. I've read in a few different places that you don't have to use the rinse every time you wash. Last night I used the baking soda on my scalp and then the ACV rinse on my hair only, and the hair on the top of my head has been nicely manageable today. It might be that I have oily enough hair not to need the vinegar rinse all the time. I'll try it and find out.

For the baking soda mix, I'm mixing 1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 cup water. This seems to be the same recipe almost everywhere I look. I don't think you have to use the whole cup of mix if you have less hair, but you still have to use the same amounts of the ingredients no matter what.

It definitely gets rid of the natural oil build up on my scalp, and like I mentioned, my hair was very nice today after using it last night and not following with the vinegar rinse.

I did think I would try to just use water to rinse my hair from now on, using nothing to clean the oils off. Some people have dry enough hair to actually do that! I'm not sure I'll be able to do that, at least not in the summer time. I did order a natural bristle hair brush so that I will be distributing my natural oils down the hair shaft when I brush now.

That will probably help with the build up on my scalp, too. I used to use a natural bristle brush when I was in school, and it just disappeared one time at a friend's house I suppose. My hair is pretty thick, so it will take some getting used to, but it used to work fine, so I'm sure it will again.

If you are willing to try this, or have been doing it already for a while, please let me know your tricks of the trade and your experiences!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Biochemistry Dud

You may or may not have noticed that I tend to be very emphatic that allopathic or traditional medicine is not the way to go, but that I'm not personally offended by the doctors of that type. There are a few different reasons why, and what is written below is just one of them.

Most allopathic doctors and career biologists are limited in their educations to "biochemistry" as they call it, which is pretty much based on Lavoisier's law. Even mental and psychological phenomena are commonly reduced to chemistry, since that is their area of expertise. The electromagnetic properties of humans (and other objects and creatures on earth) are usually ignored or not recognized as valid, because they are energy, which is not included in the study of chemistry. This is normally the basis for drugs being prescribed for nearly everything under the sun.

Chemistry is a very important part of life processes, but not all life processes obey the rules of chemistry. The effects of essential oils on the human body do not obey the laws of chemistry, which is one reason why the same oil cannot be prescribed for the same ailment every single time.

We'll be exploring this issue further.