Benefits of Shiso (Perilla frutescens)

Have you ever eaten Shiso, aka Perilla or Beefsteak Plant? If you have eaten in a Japanese restaurant, you may have had this yummy treat without knowing it. The name shiso comes from the Chinese word, zisu which means “purple”. Perilla, as I call it, can be green or purple depending on the variety and where it is grown.

Perilla is in the mint family and extremely easy to grow although many of you have this growing in the wild on the edge of the woods. Go check and see after reading this post and let me know!

perilla

Description and Biology

  • Plant: small, freely-branching annual herb that grows to 18-30 in. high; stems four-sided and covered with short hairs.
  • Leaves: opposite, ovate, green to purple with toothed margins; distinctive musky mint-like odor.
  • Flowers, fruits and seeds: flowers are small, bell-shaped, white and purple with a distinctive ring of fine hairs along the bottom in terminal spikes or emerging from leaf axils; July and October.
  • Spreads: by seed that either drops close to parent plant or may be transported by wind or water.
  • Look-alikes: beefsteak plant superficially resembles basil and coleus and can be confused with other members of the mint family.***From nps.gov

Medicinal Benefits of Perilla:

  • Leaves edible, contain calcium, iron and vitamin C
  • Good source of antioxidants
  • Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for asthma, colds, and flu
  • Seeds high in omega 3’s and support a healthy immune system.

I personally like to combine perilla leaves with kudzu leaves and lemon balm for colds or just a pleasant tasting tea.

MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE WAY TO USE IT?

Pickled Perilla

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The following recipe was given to me by my friend Brooke. I tasted one of these pickled leaves and was hooked for life!!! The original recipe, or what was posted was on www.mykoreankitchen.com

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Layer the leaves

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add sauce and repeat layering

 

Pickled Perilla with Brown Rice Recipe

  • 20-30 Fresh Perilla Leaves
  • Seasoning Sauce: Mix the following in a medium sized bowl
  • 10 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon korean chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • optional – 2 tablespoons chopped green and red chilis
  1. Rinse perilla leaves in cold running water and drain them in a colander while getting the sauce ready.
  2. Prepare the sauce by mixing the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Layer perilla leaves in a glass container with a lid, about 3-5 at a time either stacked(I could be that anal!) or in a layer. Spread about a tablespoon of the sauce over the leaves. Repeat the process until all leaves are layered with sauce. Any left over sauce can be poured over the top.
  4. Cover and refrigerate. This can be eaten after a few days. It tastes even better after a week! Will keep in fridge for months!!
  5. To eat, cook up some brown rice and fill each leaf with the rice, roll up or squish it together and eat.😀 Totally yum!!!

Enjoy!

Anne-Marie

 

 

 

 

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20 Ways to Use Up Bananas

Bananas are one of the worlds most perfect food!

Sometimes we get a little carried away and buy too many. So we gotta get creative and use up those bananas instead of giving them to all the chickens…or the horses ….or the dog, well one of the dogs.😀

I love bananas and I K-N-O-W they come from really, really far away! This is not part of my “try to get all the food as close to home as possible” plan. When I think of that plan and think of bananas, a book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, comes to mind and I can almost hear the author saying ” THAT banana traveled thousands of miles from a rain forest to you” (something like that!).

Anyway that book is an excellent read! I think I need to read it again.

So instead of throwing out all those almost past their prime bananas here are a few ideas, actually 20 of them!

20 Ways to Use Up Bananas

1. Smoothie Time – 1 banana, 1/4-1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2-1 cup almond, coconut or cows milk, a couple ice cubes, flax or chia seeds. Blend it all up! Optional a spoonful of raw cacao – yum.

2.Make banana nut bread, the ole stand by.

3. Make a banana face mask or just spread the banana on your face or what is left inside the peel. It is beneficial to all skin types, full of vitamins, potassium, moisture.20160830_161135

4. Another recipe for a face mask at Bellatory

5. Use what’s left in the peel to rub on your feet and put socks on then rinse off for smoother and softer heels.. 20160830_1605116. Make Banana Nutella Muffins – oh..my..goodness these are so very good!

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7. Put the peels into your compost pile to speed the break down.

8. Give the really squishy ones to your chickens.

9. Cut them up in chunks, melt semi sweet or dark chocolate in a pot with a teaspoon of coconut oil and using toothpicks or skewers, dip the banana pieces into the chocolate and set onto wax paper lined tray in freezer to harden. Then put into freezer bags.

10. Make Mini Banana Split Cheesecakes 

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11. Cut up your peels and put them under the soil near your plants to make aphids leave the premises.

12. You can polish your silver with overripe banana – weird I know! And who has silver!

13. Bananas help you sleep better due to the magnesium and potassium.

14. Make a no flour dairy free breakfast cookie – delish! Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookie.

15. MY PERSONAL FAVE – I do this all the time! Banana “Fake Out” Ice Cream by Rachel Ray.  Just cut your bananas into chunks and freeze in zip lock bags and then they will be ready for this easy, peasy “fake” ice cream that is just like soft serve ice cream. I add nutella or raw cacao, sometimes honey or stevia or chopped chocolate chips.

16. Adding a ripe banana peel to a roast pan helps to tenderize a roast. Have not tried this one yet.

17. Dry out banana peels on screens during the winter months. In early spring, grind them up in a food processor or blender and use it as a mulch to give new plants and seedlings a healthy start. From Readers Digest.*

18. Attract pollinators to your garden by poking holes into the overripe bananas and setting in your garden somewhere off the ground. Watch the butterflies and bees come.🙂

19. Whiten teeth by rubbing a banana peel on your teeth, hmmmm…

20. Make a hair mask! Blend a very ripe banana or two in the blender, add a bit of water if needed and a tiny bit of olive or coconut oil. Apply to your hair, leave on for 15 minutes, might as well do your face too. Wash out with shampoo as normal.

 

Well that about does it! Hope you enjoyed this post and I am soooooo sorry I have not posted in over a month – yikes! Please leave a comment of what you do with your extra bananas!

Anne-Marie

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DIY Honey Face Wash

Have you ever washed your face with honey? Or do you think I made that up? Honey is good for us both inside and out. I will share some of its benefits below with the recipe.

My son has battled acne for most of his teen years. We have tried store bought soap, handmade soap from a friend, oatmeal soap and some acne liquid soaps from the store that worked a little bit then had some bad side effects on the skin. The next step was going to be purchasing one of those so called “this will cure your acne treatments” as seen on tv but I was worried about all the chemicals in those cleansers and what they would do in addition to clearing the skin.

I finally found a homemade cleanser recipe that actually started to work on him with a clearer face within a week. Now while you CAN use honey alone to help clear the pimples, this combination of ingredients seems to have a synergistic effect on the skin overall. Here is the recipe and some information about each ingredient as to how it works.

You can make this yourself or if you don’t feel like making it, I can make it for you!🙂

diy

The Ingredients:

Raw Honey –  

  • Naturally antibacterial to help heal the acne and clear the skin.
  • It is a natural humectant, drawing moisture into the skin so great for aging skin(me).
  • It can unclog pores.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar –

  • Contains alpha hydroxy acids that remove dead skin revealing healthier skin.
  • It nourishes the skin.
  • A natural antibacterial and antifungal to help fight pimples.

Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil – 

  • Anti-inflammatory – reduces the inflammation already present from the acne.
  • Antimicrobial – helping to replace the protective layer of acid on the face to keep acne away.
  • Contains Vitamin E – very helpful in healing and clearing the pores, ensures proper function of the sebum glands. * My Gram had my cousin break open the vitamin E capsules and put them oil all over her pimples each day for a week – it was a dramatic improvement by the end of the week.*

Probiotic Capsules –

Probiotics are GOOD bacteria that we need for healthy gut flora, if our gut flora is out of whack usually our skin will show it! Did you know healthy skin contains good bacteria that promotes healthy skin function whereas acne-prone skin does not?

Tea Tree Essential Oil – 

Antibacterial, Antifungal – a potent healer. Don’t overdo this oil though because it could dry out the skin too much.

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DIY Honey Face Wash Recipe

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tablespoons Raw honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Raw apple cider vinegar
  • 20 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 2 probiotic capsules, opened

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Mix all of the above very well with a whisk and put into a bottle. It will make a little over 2 ounces. Use it up within a month. You could put a mild preservative in it to keep longer but it is very easy to mix up a small batch like this each month.

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To use: Shake well each time before using as the coconut oil may harden in cooler weather or in the a/c. Pour a small amount into your CLEAN hands and rub gently allover your face. Ideally, keep it on your face for five minutes…just go brush your teeth or waste time, read an email or two. 5 minutes goes fast. Now take a warm wet face cloth and wipe your face clean. Rinse with warm water. Repeat this morning and evening. You will notice a difference immediately in the texture of your skin. Keep using and you will be on your way to less pimples!!

Enjoy,

Anne-Marie

 

 

 

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Day 16: How Wild Foraging Can Lower The Cost Of Groceries

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on Bella Vista Farm:
I changed topics last minute because we are far enough into this to know we are trying to be more frugal and know we need to cut back but how about some ideas you…

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Try Something New…

Try something new…Monday can be a great day to try something new that you haven’t done before.

Ok do you ever just go purchase something on a whim or do you sit and plan out every detail before making a purchase? MOST of the time I have to think about for days or weeks because me like everyone one of you, has to watch their pennies, spending only what we need and then maybe every so often we can get something really cool! A fancy night on the town? …no. A luxurious spa day?…heck no! A new book? Yeah we are on the right track! A bunch of new books at a steal – oh my gosh, I am running out the door!!!

I drug my feet, didn’t read all my emails from Ryan at the Ultimate Bundles, until today – TODAY – the LAST day of their new Ultimate Herbs & Essential Oils Bundle Sale – Ahhhhhh…. but I was not too late. I watched the cool video and saw all the amazing books and stuff in the bundle so I bought it. It was only $29 for it – I had that amount in my PayPal account – YAY!!! So r-e-a-l-l-y it is NOT a splurge but a necessity, am I right?🙂


The one book that got me, ok there were like 5 but the ones  I really want to see is Homegrown Healing, from seed to apothecary by Chris Dalziel AND Safe EO Labels – Set A by Lea Harris

Just thought I would share so if you are so inclined, please use my link below – I would appreciate it and share my link with your friends. IF you get the bundle, send me your name and email to mybellavistafarm@gmail.com and you will be entered into a drawing for a free $30 class or $30 in products from me.

 

Go Check out The BUNDLE!

Have a beautiful day and remember the sale is OVER in 8 hours!!!

Anne-Marie

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Calendula & Dandelion Breakfast Egg Cups

Calendula & Dandelion Breakfast Egg Cups…doesn’t that sound delicious? Last night I read a blog post from GatherVictoria.com and she had this recipe I JUST had to try!!! And you know …if you don’t do it right away, you forget all about it and it gets lost somewhere in cyberland.

I did not have every ingredient that she used so I improvised with what was growing right now!

calendula bvf

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is growing like crazy,  I had plenty to pick from. The recipe only calls for 3 Tablespoons of petals so you can have enough from 5-6 blossoms. Even though calendula is used mainly for medicinal purposes as a vulnerary herb to heal cuts, scrapes, burns and internal wounds, it is also edible and looks beautiful in a salad or in these cute egg cups. Calendula contains antioxidants in the form of flavanoids and carotenoids(beta-carotene converts to Vitamin A).

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) – the leaves of dandelion are diuretic without removing precious potassium and they are very helpful for the liver removing toxins from the body. The green leaves are bitter, bitter is good, but don’t stress, they won’t be too bitter in this recipe!

Basil – Genovese (Ocimum basilicum) – add a lovely aromatic, sweet yet spicy flavor.

Tarragon (Artemesia dracunculus) – tasty herb that is used in fish dishes, bernaise sauce and it has a anise-like flavoring to it. I LOVE this herb!

Lambsquarters (Chenopodium album) – relative of the beloved quinoa. Otherwise known as Wild Spinach. An excellent substitution for any green that packs a punch of nutrition: Vitamin A, B1,2,3,5,6,  C, protein, iron, manganese, magnesium and more! It does contain oxalic acid so you don’t want to eat a ton of this everyday. Oxalic acid can cause kidney stones if you are prone to these.

muffin1

Gold ole garlic and onions!

This is soooo easy and add anything else you like, be creative, invent a new egg cup!

Recipe for Calendula & Dandelion Breakfast Egg Cups

  • 6 eggs, beaten

  • splash of half and half

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh dandelion leaves, chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped

  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lambsquarters, chopped

  • 3 Tablespoons fresh calendula petals

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

  • 1/4 large onion, chopped

  • pinch himalayan sea salt

  • black pepper to taste

  • 1/3 cup fresh mozzarella crumbled or feta

Wash you fresh eggs and beat them in a bowl with the cream.

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Saute onion on med low for a few minutes til soft, add the garlic and the greens. Cook just 1-2 minutes.

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Add fresh calendula petals and cheese to eggs. Add the greens mixture, salt and pepper. Mix up.

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Grease a muffin tin – grease it a lot, mine stuck!!!

Pour your mixture into the tin, mine filled 11 cups. Bake in a preheated oven at 350o for 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes or so and eat them up!

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You can freeze the leftovers for a fast breakfast, just defrost in the fridge and reheat in the oven(wrap in foil or a covered dish).

They taste wonderful!!!

Enjoy,

muffin6

 

 

 

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The Benefits of Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) otherwise known as Wild Carrot is part of the Apiaceae family of plants or commonly called the Parsley Family. Until recently, I never touched Queen Anne’s Lace for fear that it may be a poisonous relative – hemlock to be exact! One is edible while the other, well you know the story of the Greek philosopher, Socrates? Sentenced to death by drinking the poison hemlock, yikes!

This year I finally, FINALLY decided to really look into that pretty wild carrot flower and see how hard really it was to identify it. Pretty, darn easy….seriously….if you pay attention to the color and texture of the stem, the leaf type and the flower. See Queen Anne’s Lace has something special in the very center of the flower, not ALL the flowers but if you find that special mark then you definitely got the correct plant. So what is that special mark?

Look closely at this picture, not my pic but it is from the Edible Wild Foods website –

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What do you see?

No, it is not dirt or a bug it is a dark colored flower in the center! Well in this case there looks to be two or three. Another cool thing about the flowers – when one starts to get old, instead of turning brown, it starts to close up like a this -like a birds nest!

QueenAnnesLace111111985554 Whereas Poison Hemlock turns all brown

The stems – this picture is credited to Darryl Patton, The Southern Herbalist

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It looks pretty obvious, doesn’t it? BUT still make sure you have help the first few times to be sure!!!

So what are the benefits? For one thing EAT IT!!! It has a white carrot root but you should dig it up early spring otherwise now, here in the South as it is in flower, it would be tooooo woody. The flowers can be battered and friend, mmmmm or make a jelly from the flowers like I did.

QAC flowers

I cleaned all the blossoms of critters –😀 then measured out 4 cups of blossoms. I added 7 cups of boiling water, slightly cooled for 5 minutes. Cover and steep for 30 minutes and strain.

I measured about 6.5 cups of the infusion into a clean pot. Add 1/2 cup lemon juice, stir and add the pectin(approxiamtely 6 Tablespoons or two boxes). I used low sugar pectin but you can use regular as in the original recipe from Edible Wild Foods. Stir really, really well with a whisk!

Bring to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Then add your sugar, in my case of low sugar, I added 2 – 2.5 cups. Bring up to a boil again and cook for 1 minute. Test the consistency. My set up quite fast!! Have jars ready, fill, wipe clean, add lids and process in water bath canner for 5 minutes for 8 ounce jars.

Medicinal Benefits GALORE!!! Here is a list of what I found, although not tested by me yet.

You know the saying, ” An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? A wild carrot a day, might keep death away!” Hmmm…that’s what I read.

Queen Anne’s Lace is known to be analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, hangover preventative, migraine remedy, expectorant, antihistamine, helpful for the kidneys and liver, cancer preventative and much, much more. Read here for more info! As soon as I have some experience with this plant medicinally, I will let ya’ll know!

jelly

 

Jelly Recipe

  • 4 cups fresh QAL Blossoms
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 boxes or 6 Tablespoons pectin

This made 6 half pints plus a 4 ounce jar.

Go find a knowledgeable friend and pick some Queen Anne’s Lace! Have a great day –

Anne-Marie

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