Natural Family Friday- 9/26/14

Natural Family Friday - weekly linkup and blog hop for natural and real food bloggers

Welcome!

Welcome to Natural Family Friday where we feature information, how-to articles, and recipes that help our families live a bit more intentionally. Our goal is to help every family take steps toward creating a natural, Eco friendly home, utilizing natural remedies, eating healthy foods, and practicing positive, attachment based parenting. If you're a blogger, we invite you to share one of your articles or recipes that will help readers and fellow bloggers.

Your Hosts

The following blogs host Natural Family Friday every week. You are welcome to linkup at any of these blogs each week. If you linkup at one blog, your link will be displayed on all blogs!

This Week's Featured Articles:

Every week we feature the top 3 posts from the previous week's linkup. Make sure you vote for your favorites this week! 1. ANZAC Biscuits by Vee's Easy Vegan
ANZAC Biscuits by Vee's Easy Vegan - featured at Natural Family Friday
  2. Yellow Cherry Tomato Salsa by LittleOwlCrunchyMomma
Yellow Cherry Tomato Salsa by Little Owl Crunchy Momma - featured at Natural Family Friday
  3. Peachy Almond Butter Green Superfood Smoothie by Urban Naturale
Peachy Almond Butter Green Superfood Smoothie by Urban Naturale - featured at Natural Family Friday
 

Natural Family Friday Linkup

Here's what to link to...
  • Healthy Recipes
  • Natural / Green Living Tips
  • Attachment Parenting Info
  • Organic Gardening Tips
  • Natural Health and Remedies

Natural Family Friday Rules:

  1. Please only link to posts that are relevant to natural living. No giveaways, product promotions, diets, religious posts, etc! These will be automatically deleted.
  2. Recipes must contain only real food ingredients. No†artificial sweeteners, food additives, etc.
  3. Please update your post with a link back to this post†(not our homepage). Something like ìThis post is featured at Natural Family Fridayî will suffice.
  4. Please link to a blog post, not your blogís homepage.
One more thingFollow us on Pinterest where we will pin our favorite submissions to the Natural Family Friday pin board.
Don't forget to spread the word :)

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Natural Family Friday - weekly linkup and blog hop for natural and real food bloggers

Now for the Links!


Nutritious Nettles (A Recipe Collection)

Be sure and check out our GIVEAWAY while you're here.

Often when people think of nettles they think of Spring, but for the PNW nettles are in season a for a very long time. I went for a walk the other day and saw a large patch growing in a public park. 

I've already shared with you my adventures harvesting and eating other wild edibles like elderberries, and dandelions, so I thought I'd share what I've been learning about how to enjoy nettles, too. Ever since one of the community cooks here on the eco-village introduced me to nettle pesto, I've been having fun learning about different ways to use it this delicious and highly nutritious wild green.

While you can cultivate nettles, it's always more fun (I think) to eat food that's been foraged. My favorite book on foraging is Doug Benoliel's Northwest Foraging: The Classic Guide to Edible Plants of the Pacific Northwest. If you want to learn more about how to easily recognize nettle and other edible (or poisonous!) wild plants, this is the best resource if you live around here. 

For those of you interested in learning more about nettles here are a few Educational Posts:



And now without further ado, here are the recipes!


Nutritious Nettles (A Recipe Collection)

Drinks:


Nettle Mint Iced Tea from Real Food Outlaws

Nourishing Herbal Tea from Recipes to Nourish
Nettle Cinnamon Herbal Tea Infusion from Recipes to Nourish

Nourishing Herbal Tea with Nettles from Recipes to Nourish

Fermented Nettle Tea from Delicious Obsessions

Healthy Herbal "Kool-Aid" from Divine Health from the Inside Out

Nettle Orange Drink from Fresh Bites Daily 


Wild Nettles Beer from And Here We Are

Cranberry Nettles Tea from Divine Health from the Inside Out

Rooibos and Nettles Allergy Tea from Nourishing Simplicity



Eats:


Nettle Gelatin from It Takes Time
Nettle Gelatin from It Takes Time

Nettle Leaf Soup from Fresh Bites Daily

Nettle Seed Soup from Fresh Bites Daily

Super Breakfast Miso Soup with Nettles from Mama Rosemary


Slow Cooker Beef with Nettles and Astragalus from Mama Rosemary

Stinging Nettle and Sharp Cheddar Omelette from Nourished Kitchen

Creamy Stinging Nettle Dip with Roasted Garlic and Mint from And Here We Are

Spinach and Nettles Spanakopita from Stitch and Boots

Lasagna with Asparagus Peas and Stinging Nettles from The Bitten Word

Stinging Nettle Ravioli with Butter and Sage from La Tavola Marche

Nettle Pesto from Honest Food

Sauteed Stinging Nettle from Chow


Where to find Nettles?


As I've already said, you would ideally harvest your own nettles, but, if that's not an option, there are still ways to enjoy the benefits of this highly nutritious herb. A quick look online will let you see you can find it as a tincture, dried, or encapsulated. Or, if you're very lucky, you can find it fresh at a farmer's market! However you prefer, I hope you give this healthy green a try!


Enjoyed this post? Check out these similar posts:


 





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(Note: This post might contain affiliate links. Meaning, if you shop around after clicking on them, you might be helping to support my blogging endeavors. Thank you!)
Flickr Photo credits for collage from: Paul HudsonSami PajuJohn Tann

5 Tips to Ensure Crunchy Fermented Pickles



Mushy pickles. The bane of the home-fermenters existence. No one likes slimy, mushy pickles. No one. 

So what's a fermenter to do? I get asked this pretty regularly in my local fermentation classes or just through people messaging me on my LittleOwlCrunchyMomma Facebook page.  

No need to worry! If Bubbies can make a fermented crunchy pickle every time, you can too!

Here are my:


5 Simple Tips to Ensure Crunchy Fermented Pickles


  1. Use small cucumbers. Make sure that the pickles you are using are specifically pickling cucumbers. The larger, fresh eating ones simply won't cut it if you want to ensure a crunchy pickle.
  2. Use SUPER fresh cucumbers. As fresh as you can possibly find.
  3. Add tannins. This step is extremely important for ensuring crunchy pickles. You can find tannins in lots of different plants, but typically for making pickles I use use either a few fresh grape leaves or a 1/4-1/2 tsp black tea leaves for a quart-size jar. 
  4. Use cold cucumbers. I've heard of people soaking their cucumbers in an ice bath before they ferment them. Even if you don't go that far, just make sure that your pickles aren't limp from being warm before you ferment them. 
  5. Trim off the blossom ends of the cucumbers. You don't need to trim off much, just the very tip. Why? On the blossom end of pickles there is an enzyme that can make the cucumbers slimy. I actually trim off both ends just for good measure. 

Those are my tips. I've found that if I do all five, I always end up with crunchy pickles. Sometimes I get away with only a few, and still get crunchy pickles. But that's a gamble...

If I've learned anything in my (almost) ten years being around fermentation fanatics, it's that everybody swears by their own tricks. So what's yours?

Wanting to learn more about FERMENTATION? 

Check out these books I use and love!

Wanting to have on hand a simple guide to all things fermented? This is THE book for your kitchen. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods covers the basics of everything from simples cheeses, meats, vegetables, fruits, sourdough, simple beer, kombucha and much more. The recipes are very easy to follow, and most contain variations to give you room to play end experiment. I reference this book ALL the time for both information as well as recipes. I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you could only have one book on fermentation, this is the one I would suggest. 
This book, The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from around the Worldby Sandor Katz (author of Wild Fermentation) will take your grasp of fermentation to the next level and beyond. It is a veritable tome of fermentation knowledge. This is not the book to have if you are looking for recipes. It is however the book to have if you want to know a little more about all things fermentation. It contains history, lore, science, and a cultural overview as well as tips for making and selling ferments. I love this book. I use this book both as a reference for information and for kitchen inspiration.

True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Homeis your go-to book for learning about beverage ferments. It covers everything from homemade ciders to beer, wine, kombucha, soda pop and much more. As the cover shows, it has absolutely gorgeous images that will inspire you! The recipes are laid out in a straightforward manner, and there are trouble-shooting sections that are very helpful when you have questions or when something doesn't go quite the way you thought it would in your fermentation kitchen.


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(Note: This post might contain affiliate links. Meaning, if you shop around after clicking on them, you might be helping to support my blogging endeavors. Thank you!)

Photo sources for collage: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5