How To Make Chocolate Mint Extract

Chocolate + Mint + alcohol = Chocolate Mint Extract.

How does that sound? Simply delicious!

Cookies and Holiday baking are months away but I am trying to think ahead this year. Each Christmas I decide to make something different whether it be hazelnut cookies, chocolate truffles or mint chocolate brownies…then I check the spices and extracts to see what I have in the cabinet. Sure enough every season, without fail, I forget to have in stock a particular extract. Then I go out and buy it! Ughhhh….you spend like $5-7 for a teeny tiny bottle of extract!

I do make vanilla extract but I am down to my very last bottle so more needs to be done, soon! First I decided I will make a Chocolate Mint Extract. Have you ever had those weird imitation mint extracts??? Yuck, I don’t even think there is real mint anywhere in them. Here is an easy peasy, takes you 10 minutes MAX to put it together recipe…and then you wait!

Chocolate mint

I have every kind of mint growing. Chocolate mint, peppermint, sweet mint and spearmint. For this recipe you can use any one of those except maybe the spearmint. If you do not have chocolate mint, then you will add extra cacao nibs to the jar.

The hardest part will be waiting for it to finish extracting!

mint 2

Chocolate Mint Extract

  • Approximately 2 cups of mint, rinsed, thick stems removed.
  • 1-2 Tablespoons raw cacao nibs
  • 14 ounces of either 80 proof vodka or a mixture of 60% pure grain alcohol and 40% well or distilled water

Loosely pack a 16 ounce glass jar with the mint and the cacao nibs.

mint 3

Measure and pour in your alcohol.

mint 4


Cover. Shake. Label.

mint 6

Wait 2-4 weeks. You can taste it after 2 or leave until 4. Strain through muslin cloth into amber bottles and label. 

Now to think up all the scrumptious recipes to use this in. I bet ya it would even taste good just by itself, just saying… 😀

I will be doing this with vanilla, almond and maybe raspberry. Yum!!

Enjoy your day today!


Superfoods for Breakfast

This morning I am baking a few loaves of bread for preorders and the loaves are all rising on top of my stove. I wanted to make an omelet but cannot, there is no space on the stovetop! I remembered making some egg cups recently in the oven and thought, “Yes, breakfast!”

Not just any egg cups though…a superfood egg cup breakfast. What’s a superfood breakfast you ask? Well it is kind of like the ole everything-but-the-kitchen-sink casserole with very nutritious ingredients!

My choice of superfoods –

Fresh Chickweed – Stellaria meia – I get excited every single time I see it growing in abundance. This is your go to green for a yumminess addition to any salad, casserole, sandwich, you name it. The taste is a mixture of fresh spinach and fresh snap peas, at least in my opinion. 🙂 Chickweed Key constituents – Vitamin C, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, coumarins, saponins. More info including recipes Chickweed and Other Good Weeds Growing.

Kale – well because it is kale…vitamin A, C, K, iron, antioxidants, high in fiber, low in calories and low in fat. Add it generously.

Nutritional Yeast – an inactive yeast made from sugarcane and beet molasses. High in B vitamins. This yeast is nutty, reminiscent of parmesan cheese and a fabulous substitute for cheesy flavor in dishes. “A perfect addition to any meal — providing nutrition while saving calories — nutritional yeast is one source of complete protein and vitamins, in particular B-complex vitamins. It contains folates, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, selenium and zinc, making it a great superfood! It’s low in sodium and fat, gluten-free, and doesn’t contain any added sugars or preservatives.” From Dr. AXE.

Wood Ear Mushrooms (Auricularia auricula) – It’s description is exactly as it’s name! Yep it looks like a creepy, brown, jelly-like ear on a log that is rubbery to the touch. Most people are like, eeewwww you eat those? Well if you ever had Chinese Hot and Sour Soup, you too have eaten those. 😀 Hot & Sour soup is a wonderful remedy for colds, sore throats, congestion. Wood ears have been used in the past for sore throats, for the immune system and as a blood tonic. Most wild edible mushrooms are medicinal. This mushroom is best dried, then reconstituted and sliced or chopped, sauteed or added to soups. I had some leftover from making hot and sour soup so I figured I would add it to these egg cups. Gotta use up leftovers!! By the way when you reconstitute they, they magically grow to enormous proportions so note to self.

Turmeric – always gets added to my eggs. Eat your medicine! The amazing natural anti-inflammatory can be eaten daily fresh or dried. For folks with serious arthritis a stronger capsule or tincture of the compound in turmeric, curcurmin may be needed.

Stinging Nettles – just use like parsley, no one will know and you just added a boost of vitamins, iron, protein, magnesium, selenium, chlorophyll, calcium and more! Benefits and spanakopita recipe HERE

Parsley, garlic, onions, black and red pepper too!!!

Recipe for Superfood Egg Cups

  • 6 farm fresh eggs plus splash of half and half
  • 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes or more if you like it spicy
  • 1 Tablespoon Stinging Nettles dried or 2 if fresh
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1-2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2-3 Tablespoons chopped onion
  • wood ear or other mushrooms chopped, I didn’t measure, maybe 2 tablespoons
  • handful fresh kale and chickweed chopped
  • Pecorino romano cheese to taste or any favorite cheese



First, heavily grease your muffin tin or use liners – I cannot stress this enough, mine stuck even with all that butter. Preheat oven to 350o.


Whisk eggs and half and half real good. Add dried spices and whisk again.


Divide fresh veggie mix amongst the muffin tins – probably 10


Pour the egg mixture over the veggies about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with desired cheese.


eggcup5 Bake 18-20 minutes. They will be very puffy when they come out of the oven but then will fall flat. Let cool just a few moments and carefully using an flat narrow spatula, remove to a plate or cooling rack. Eat right away or refrigerate for up to 2 days. Can be frozen for 1 month!



Another yummy recipe using flowers and weeds,

Calendula Egg Cups

Enjoy your day folks!



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 – these are so very good!


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 


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!


Eating Local Takes On New Meaning

January, the time for reeling in the spending, figuring new ways to save money and cleaning out the house AND freezer!

When you hear “Eat Local”, what do you think? Local beef, local produce from farms near you or the farmer’s market? This month eating local to me means eating out of the freezer and foraging for good greens and dandelions.

yummy salad with chickweed, dandelion leaves and flowers, purple dead nettle
yummy salad with chickweed, dandelion leaves and flowers, purple dead nettle

I cook a lot and now with only two people in the house, I have more leftovers that go in the freezer because I cannot yet just cook for two! The secret to having good leftovers and not wasting them is to freeze leftover food within 24 hours. If I make a big pot of soup or spaghetti sauce, I pack all but what we will eat over the next couple days in smallish containers so I can just grab a bowl of soup or quart of sauce and defrost. I had just enough Tom Kha soup in the freezer for one portion, hubby doesn’t care for it so he had leftover chicken pot pie with his burger. 🙂

salad with homemade ranch, turkey burger and tom kha soup
salad with homemade ranch, turkey burger and tom kha soup

There are three freezers in my house! I know that is nuts but one pretty much has breads, juices made from fresh fruits for jellies – gotta stop doing this – must… make… jelly. 😀 The kitchen freezer has all the immediate foods we use all the time, veggies, ice cream, small containers of leftovers, meats for the week and rice,flour and homemade bread crumbs. The basement freezer is where things go into long term storage which sometimes turns into really long term storage, more than two years!!! Yikes – although I have been keeping on top of this one now more than I have in the past.

Here are some ideas for using up leftover food:

Make soup – of course this is the #1 response to leftovers but sometimes people aren’t sure how to do it. First, check if there are any containers of chicken, beef or seafood broth anywhere in the freezer. Then figure what meats or seafood you have leftover in the fridge and veggies OR all veggies if making a vegetarian soup.

  • Examples:
  • Some kale that has started to wilt,
  • the stalks of the broccoli that someone(my hubby) won’t eat,
  • a half cup leftover peas, corn, mushrooms etc…
  • the couple of carrots that may be lingering in the bottom of the refrigerator
  • container of tomatoes, frozen or fresh – you know those last 8-10 grape tomatoes hanging around, not bad just not firm enough for salads
  • 1/2 onion from earlier in the week used in a stir fry
  • chicken breast from last nights meal
  • 1 cup of ground beef left from taco night
  • pasta from spaghetti two nights ago
  • mashed potatoes can become fried potato patties RECIPE in THIS post.
  • sweet potatoes, butternut squash, white beans, cooked cauliflower can all be blended separately and used in recipes of similar color. Check out the Sneaky Chef puree recipes HERE and more of these will be in my posts too – love her!

The secret to making a good soup is to pick a theme or flavor and add the ingredients that fit. AND season well!!!!

Chicken noodle soup – you would use broth, chicken, pasta, most veggies – except tomatoes, peppers. I personally love kale in any soup but add it towards the last 15 minutes of cooking. Anything goes for spices here!!! Homestyle – salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, dill, onion or Thai – salt, crushed red pepper, green chili paste, lemongrass, lime juice or add some tumeric and cumin and ginger for a warming Indian flare.

Seafood chowder – seafood broth(made from shrimp shells, clam juice), potatoes, tomatoes, veggies OR a cream based chowder with milk or half and half, onions, garlic, potatoes, clams or shrimp or any fish(only use cooked fish that is leftover for 1 day or fresh/frozen), lots of black pepper and a pinch of red pepper, go easy on the salt since the seafood broth may have just enough.

Taco Soup – chicken or beef or pork, veggies – just about any can go in this one! Definitely tomatoes, leftover sauce or chili, onions, peppers. Chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and dash of cayenne.

Sweet Potato and Kale Soup with zucchini

Tonight I am eating my whole wheat penne pasta alfredo with peas, chicken and mushrooms from last night – mmmmmm good!

Food-ul, Tue Aug 24, 2010, 12:04:48 PM,  8C, 6000x8000,  (0+0), 100%, bent 6 stops,  1/60 s, R111.4, G84.2, B101.0

Interesting post from the USDA – worth the read in this case, click HERE

Hope you all have a beautiful Day!



Marvelous Morel Hunt

My share
My share

This week was my first real morel hunt. A couple days ago I found one morel, just one but yesterday we found about 50!


My friend Stephanie, fellow plant and wild foods geek like me, and I went on an afternoon hunt for morels. She had been looking before so she knew where to look better than I did. Here I was thinking they had to be near the big trees, the elms, the poplars and guess where the majority were found? Amongst the privet patches! Privet…the tree that grows out of nowhere and eventually cover a few acres in no time at all.

Well privet is not very tall and quite bushy so you just can’t walk underneath, you gotta crawl. Ummm….yeah we must be die hard wildcrafters when I wear the snake proof boots so I won’t get attacked by snakes and then wind up crawling on hands and knees to get those almost out of reach morels and risk being face to face with a snake. 😀

Can you find it?
Can you find it?
Broken mushroom cap but see the hollow stem?
Broken mushroom cap but see the hollow stem?

No snakes were seen – thank God! Stephanie and I were covered in sweat, dirt, sand, stuff from the bushes but we were happy, we scored two baskets of marvelous morels!


So back to the environment for morels. Evidently, they don’t have one particular place to grow. These were found, like I said in a privet covered patch but in a sandy, loamy soil close to a river. Also – remember to go with someone experienced first so you don’t pick a false morel which is poisonous. A real morel is hollow all the way through whereas the false morels are not. Plus the real morels have a honeycomb appearance to the cap and look like tall hats or little trees, the false ones are round.

I cooked some of those babies up in butter, garlic and pepper and they were delicious!!! Guess we’ll eat some more tonight. 🙂

Here are a few recipes for using morels.

Alaska Morels…in Pasta

Here in south central Alaska, I get tons of morels. I find them from the end of May thru the first part of July in most any area that has a large percentage of birch trees. Never anywhere near pockets of spruce trees. I have gotten as many as 200 in just a few hours of picking but usually stop after 70 or so. That’s about all my dehydrator will hold. Most are of the honey colored and dark brown varieties and range in size from 1-1/2″ to 4″ tall. I like to take the larger ones and slice them in half, dredge them in egg batter with a few dashes of salt and habenero powder. Coat them with flour and fry them in butter.

The smaller ones go into a sauce for pasta as follows:

2 leeks – sliced thinly
2 scallions – sliced thinly
2 dozen or so smaller (1-1/2″) morels- cut in half
3/4 cup good champagne
2 lg tbsp of sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 – 5 tbsp butter
salt – pepper to taste
1 tsp chopped fresh lemon basil

Saute leeks and scallions till just transparent. Add morels, salt and pepper and saute till liquids stop coming out. Turn heat to high and add champagne being sure to scrape bottom of skillet. Reduce heat to med., add sour cream and whipping cream and cook till reduced slightly. Add fresh lemon basil remaining to heat for 2 – 3 more minutes. Pour directly over cooked Angelhair Pasta!

Courtesy of Gary Koski – Anchorage, Alaska

Wood Family Favorite in a butter entrée

This recipe has been the Wood family favorite for many years. You can substitute the crackers with flour if so desired.

1 big haul of fresh morel mushrooms
2 lbs real butter (or margrine)
1 doz eggs
1 box saltine crackers

Mushroom Preparation – Wash and cut fresh mushrooms into quarters, slicing long way. Soak in large bowl of salt water to remove and kill all those little pesty critters. Leave soak in refrigerator for a couple hours.

Read the rest here at THE GREAT MOREL

Asparagus and Morels ***Especially since the asparagus are coming up!

Experienced hunters know that asparagus is a tasty combination with morels. If you’re not familiar with this pairing I suggest you give it a try. You’ll be surprised how delicious, yet simple, this recipe is.

Asparagus recipe for morel mushroomsMorel recipes are often served with some sort of meat or animal product. Yet this is an easy creation that lets non-meat eaters enjoy the fresh fungi as well. Replace the butter with olive oil for a truly vegetarian recipe.

  • 1/2 lb fresh morels, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 bunches asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot pieces, garlic, morels, and asparagus. Cook until the morels are browned and the asparagus is tender, usually 8 to 10 minutes.

Too easy! *****From Mushroom Appreciation***


Do you have a favorite way to cook them? Please share in the comments below.

Thanks and enjoy the beautiful day ahead –


Recipe for Amazing Peppermint Mocha Hot Cocoa

With the new year, we all – well many start to think about shedding the unwanted weight from the holidays. I know I can stand to lose 5-10 pounds for sure!

Last January I began the Trim Healthy Mama plan and did pretty well on it but it only lasted for a couple months. Sigh…However I will not beat myself up over it because I restarted it again but somewhat modified. Regardless of what type of food plan you do to stay healthy or lose weight, just keep the food real – no franken foods!

The hardest part of dieting is the indulgence of something sweet and decadent and warm. Not necessarily cookies, candies or cakes just something good so I found a cool recipe for hot chocolate and modified it a bit.

It is beautifully thick and rich and frothy..oh …my…goodness!

hot cocoa

Holy moly this is crazy delicious!!! You THINK you are being bad but it is not. Of course you can add whipped cream and more shaved chocolate. 😀

It fits into Trim Healthy Mama too. 😉


Peppermint Mocha Hot Cocoa

Make two 10 ounce cups of cocoa

1 cup of hot coffee

1 cup of unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon Maca powder(super food) – this may not be THM?

2 heaping teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon glucomanann powder(not necessary but the THM folks use it for thickness, weight loss etc) Try it!!

splash of vanilla extract

1 drop peppermint essential oil OR 2-3 drops peppermint extract (but many of these have crazy ingredients unless you make your own)

1 packet of truvia

1 scoop of vanilla or chocolate whey powder(low sugar)

OK first heat up the milk and coffee until really hot. Add to a blender along with maca powder, glucomanann, if using, vanilla, peppermint, cocoa powder and truvia. NOT the whey yet.

Blend up really well – like 1 minute. You NEED the gluccie to mix in well otherwise it will gel.

Now add the whey and blend again another minute until it is thicker and frothy. Add homemade whipped cream(mine sunk to the bottom) and shave some super dark chocolate on top. Oooohhhh you will think you died and went to heaven.



How To Dehydrate Kale

Kale is a nutritious and delicious veggie! Well according to SOME of us it is, to OTHERS we must hide said veggie in meals so they do not know it is there. 😀 If the name “sneaky chef” wasn’t already taken, I would probably be inclined to use it.

Hiding the kale is not as easy when in its fresh form so I had been seeing lots of info on dehydrating the kale to use in smoothies, soups, stews, salad dressings and other veggie dishes. I have only dehydrated herbs and mushrooms so really I should have known about the shrinkage. You can have literally a sack full of kale and after dehydrating and grinding it down, it goes from this –

Grocery bagged - STUFFED!
Grocery bagged – STUFFED!

To this –

Half  quart!!!!
Half quart!!!!

Can you believe that??? So I ended up with a half quart jar full of dehydrated, powdered kale. BUT you only need about a teaspoon to add to soups and stuff – experiment with the amount so you don’t overwhelm your family and add a cup full which would equal about I don’t know, 20 cups of fresh kale?! 🙂

So here is how to do it!

Dehydrated Kale Recipe

Step 1: Get a BIG bunch of kale to start. Tear it up in small pieces, removing the tough stem.

Torn pieces of kale
Torn pieces of kale

Step 2: Lay it all out in your dehydrator trays, will have to be done in batches if using the amount of kale that I used.

filled trays 1st round of dehydrating
filled trays 1st round of dehydrating

Step 3: Depending on how powerful your dehydrator is, it may take a couple hours. I think mine took 2.5 hours and I rotated the trays halfway through.


Step 4: Take it out of the trays and put it in a big bowl. Bring the bowl to your food processor and fill it. Again you will have to do this in batches. Pulse it until it is fine but not dust!!!


That’s all. Easy Peasy.

If you don’t want to do all of that work, again easy, then you can buy the kale powder HERE There are quite a few varieties.

Here are a couple ideas that I found for you to use your new green superfood –

I personally add it to my stock powder, add about 1 teaspoon to your chicken, beef or vegetable stocks. Just tell the family it is parsley or basil, they will never know. Hee Hee

OR in your smoothie add 1-2 teaspoons if you don’t have fresh kale.

Sprinkle it on a salad or mix it in any ranch or vinaigrette – again just say it is parsley.


We add kale powder to:

Spaghetti Sauce – I sprinkle in 2 TB

Meatloaf or other casserole dishes – I sprinkle what looks to be a good amount liberally throughout mix or casserole. I eyeball it.

Eggs  – we use it in scrambled eggs.

Salads – I use it as a sprinkle on top of my salads if I can’t get fresh kale to add to the mix.

Garnish – I garnish my dishes with this. I know most people will use fresh chopped parsley because of its ‘brightness’, but I choose to add a little extra boost of nutrition with kale. Sue me.

Smoothies – if I don’t have fresh or frozen kale left, I will use the powder, instead, and do a tablespoon per person

Anyone else wanna share their kale recipes?
Wildcrafting Wednesday

Have a super night, stay warm!


10 Days of Goodness – Cranberry Coffee Cake

Mavis Butterfield from One Hundred Dollars A Month posted this divine looking cake and I just HAD to share the recipe!!! Cranberry Coffee Cake – oh my.


I can imagine it with a cream cheese icing or a vanilla sugar glaze. Here is the recipe below or you can click the link above for the full post as well as the rest of her amazing recipes, gardening wisdom and money saving strategies. 🙂

Don’t let the holidays stress you out. Enjoy every minute with your loved ones, smile to strangers and give generously when you can to someone in need.


Cranberry Coffee Cake


2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup buttermilk {How to Make Buttermilk}
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest from 1 orange {I used a satsuma orange}
Zest from 1 Meyer lemon
2 cups frozen cranberries (can use fresh)

For topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

cranberry coffee cake recipe


Preheat oven to 350 F. Thoroughly butter a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in butter and fork until mixture is crumbly.

In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, mix buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and orange and lemon zest. Add the flour mixture and stir a few seconds or just until moistened. Fold in the cranberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together for the topping, and sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting or serving.

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How To Use Lemongrass



 (Cymopogon citratus, C.flexuosus)

Have you ever grown lemongrass? Have you ever harvested your plants? It is definitely a labor of love to dig up your lemongrass plants when it is time. You only need one or two plants in the spring because they will grow to gigantic proportions by the end of the summer. Seriously!!! Look –

20140929_143146 (576x1024)

I have been giving it away as friends, students and family come over in hopes that come harvest time – now, it will be easier to get it out of the ground. I wish we had someone taking pictures today at the UGarden where I volunteer with my friend Noelle, of A Fuller Life. We dug up A SINGLE lemongrass plant together, it took awhile and then tried to split it into two plants – HA!!!

We chopped and pulled and pulled and at one point her and I pulled the plant apart with all of our might and she landed on her booty. We laughed so hard – it was awesome! So I get home and think, hmmmm that frost is coming and it really is time to stop slacking and go out and get those lemongrass plants up. Here I go 🙂

I started with the small one.
I started with the small one.
The whole plant
The whole plant


The BIG one!!
The BIG one!!
Still trying to get it...
Still trying to get it…
Still smiling but don't think it is going to happen
Still smiling but don’t think it is going to happen
I chopped away and left the rest for another day! :)
I chopped away and left the rest for another day! 🙂

lemong6 (576x1024)

Beautiful leaves and stalks.

And bundles and bundles!!!

Stalks for cooking and bundles of leaves for tea.
Stalks for cooking and bundles of leaves for tea.

Now you asking, what do WE do with it????

Lemongrass is used in many Asian dishes. You can peel off the rough, papery covering of the lower stalk to reveal a white stem. Slice this into small pieces for cooking in stir fry or you can,as I do, keep it in larger pieces and add to soups. Just remove the stalk before eating if it is a larger piece. There are some recipes below and the Tom Kha Soup is delicious, nutritious and a must for an immune boosting soup this winter.

The leaves can be cut into small pieces and dried for teas. ***Be careful, the leaves when fresh are a bit sharp to handle!***

Benefits of Lemongrass:

#1 – Insect repellent – the essential oil is excellent as a repellent to mosquitos.

#2 – The essential oils are relaxing and uplifting at the same time so use it topically as an infused oil or drink a cup of this aromatic tea. *I blend this with other lemony herbs, see below.

#3 – Add the essential oil to skin salves as an analgesic and an antibacterial property.

#4 – Good for clear skin with its astingent properties – use in acne formulas.

#5 – Helpful for headaches and nervousness.

#6 – In Ayurvedic medicine a preparation of lemon grass with pepper has been used for relief of menstrual troubles and nausea.

#7 – Lemon grass is a mild diuretic and a digestive stimulant that promotes digestion of fats.

#8 – And because it just tastes so darn good. 🙂


To Grow – Ahem – easiest plant in the world besides mint!

Cymbopogon citratus is a perennial grass that can be grown either in the garden or as an indoor (or outdoor) potted plant. It thrives in warm weather (it does not do well in extremely cold climates), grows from two to four feet tall, and — when used as a background for other plants — can add a tropical touch to the garden. Lemongrass seldom bears seeds and is almost always propagated from a section of root. That propagation, however, is easy: The plant thrives on nothing more than a sunny spot, rich soil, and plenty of water.
Read more:

If you don’t have any growing you can get some here.

Tea Recipes:

Lemony Goodness

2 parts lemongrass

1 part lemon balm

1 part lemon verbena

Mix this up in a jar. Parts can be tablespoons, teaspoons, cups depending on how much you wish to store.

Take two teaspoons of this mixture and add boling water, steep covered 10-15 minutes. Strain and drink, add honey for a more sweeter taste. Also great cold!

Spices and lemongrass dinner tea

Ingredients: Equal parts:

  • Fennel seed
  • lemongrass
  • fresh sliced ginger root
  • and a sprinkle of cardamom
  • Instructions as above.

Alfalfa-nettle daily tonic

Alfalfa and Nettle leaf contain a broad spectrum of nutrients, including considerable quantities of protein, trace mineral and vitamins, dietary fiber and chlorophyll. This blend is great for reducing stress too.

Ingredients: Equal Parts of the cut and dried leaf:

  • Alfalfa
  • Stinging Nettle

Lemongrass to taste

Tom Kha Immune Soup


  • 32 fluid oz bone broth soup (learn how to make yours here)
  • 3 cans regular coconut milk (look for BPA free coconut milk)
  • 2 big stalks lemongrass, sliced in large pieces
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 8 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 pack skinless chicken thighs, cubed in very small pieces (sometimes we use salmon in­stead)
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch bok choy, chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon green thai curry paste
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (leave the stems in!)



  1. Heat the bone broth and coconut milk in a large, heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Once the liquids are heated, add the fish sauce, tamari, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, ginger and garlic.
  3. Bring broth to a slow simmer, make sure it doesn’t boil, and do not cover it during cooking.
  4. When the broth is simmering, add the chicken, mushrooms, bok choy, kale, green onions, carrots and green curry paste.
  5. When the chicken is fully cooked and the carrots are tender, add the cilantro. After a minute, taste the soup and add some lime juice if desired.
  6. It’s ready to serve! A cilantro and red pepper garnish is a nice touch.


The Creative Herbalist – Rosalee de la Foret – Learning Herbs

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