Recipes

Seasoned Salt Blends

Seasoned salts make it quick and easy to add extra flavor to a meal. While there are plenty of pre-packaged blends you can buy at the grocery store, many of these mixes contain artificial flavorings, colorants, and preservatives that are not optimal for health. Additionally, most store-bought seasonings are not made with fresh, high-quality herbs, and as a result, are nowhere near as flavorful and potent as a blend you can make yourself with well-sourced ingredients.

Buy herbs in bulk or grow your own for more affordable homemade seasonings. Powdering your herbs will also save you money, as herb powders are typically more expensive than dried herbs. 

Seasoned salts blends are simple to put together, but are quite versatile and incredibly useful to have on hand. They also make an lovely gift and may be particularly appreciated by the busy moms or foodies. Store them in pretty little jars and decorate them with handmade labels for an extra special touch.

Nourishing Herbal Salt

This blend combines several highly nutritious greens that are rich in numerous essential vitamins and minerals. It works wonderfully as a finishing salt. Sprinkle onto any savory dish to help boost overall vitality and wellness. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp nettle leaf powder
  • 2 Tbsp dandelion leaf powder
  • 2 Tbsp spirulina powder
  • 1 Tbsp alfalfa leaf powder
  • ½ cup sea salt, finely ground

Makes 1 cup of nourishing herbal salt

All-Purpose Seasoning Salt

This versatile blend can be used to spruce up a variety of dishes. Use it to flavor soups, salads, roasted veggies, chicken, steak, eggs, and much more. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 Tbsp parsley powder
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary powder
  • 1 Tbsp oregano powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ cup sea salt, finely ground

Makes 1 cup of all-purpose seasoning salt

Curried Salt

This flavorful blend is inspired by Indian cuisine. Use it to season chicken, veggies, potatoes, rice, and much more. 

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup turmeric root powder
  • 2 Tbsp cumin seed powder
  • 2 Tbsp coriander seed powder
  • 1 Tbsp ginger root powder
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp clove powder
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • ½ cup sea salt

Makes 1 cup of curried salt

Directions:

If you’re starting with cut herbs or whole spices, powder them in a coffee grinder. You may want to use a specific grinder dedicated to herbs only to avoid imparting a coffee flavor. Sift the powders through a fine mesh sieve to remove large, or fibrous pieces, which results in a smoother powder. 

Combine the herbs in the proportions indicated for each blend in a small bowl and stir to combine. Then spoon each blend into its own small jar. 

Plant Wonder Collective, Recipes

Flor de Jamaica Popsicles

Flor de jamaica (Hibiscus sabdariffa), also known as roselle, is often enjoyed in a tasty, tart tea. It has long been utilized in folk medicine as a laxative, and as treatment for heart disease & nervous system disorders.

Modern research shows that this hibiscus species does indeed have many positive health effects. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which may be helpful in preventing various diseases. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

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Cookies, Holidays, Plant Wonder Collective, Recipes

Vanillegipfeli: Swiss Vanilla Crescent Cookies

Vanillegipfeli, more commonly known as vanillekipferl, is a crescent shaped cookie made with ground almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts and dusted with vanilla sugar. It’s popular in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, & Slovakia and is traditionally made at Christmastime.

Making my mother’s Christmas cookies with my daughter has become a sweet holiday ritual. This year I wanted to try baking some traditional Swiss Christmas cookies too, as a nod to her father’s heritage. When I asked his mother for recipes, she directed me to a Swiss food blog, The Helvetic Kitchen, that features recipes for several classic Christmas cookies.

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Recipes

Orange Sage Butter Board

Photo Credit: Brittany Peterson

Today’s post is an excerpt from the winter edition of Botanical Anthology written by Brittany Peterson. This plant centered digital publication is packed with seasonal crafts, recipes, foraging tips, articles & more. Click here for more info and to see the full table of contents.


Move over charcuterie boards, there’s a new indulgence in town. Boards laid out for guests have been a hostess trick for years, but they are ever evolving. The last decade has brought a child-like imagination to the infamous appetizer, through techniques such as beautiful roses made of delicatessens, but as sourdough bread has made its way back into the hearts of home kitchens, butter boards are taking the stage as an accompanying act.

Imagine a cold winter day, pulling hot bread from the stove and dipping it into a spread of butter adorned with fresh herbs and topped with sweet honey. There are so many ways to jazz up butter from herbs to citrus to edible flowers and the flavor combinations are endless! 

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Plant Wonder Collective, Recipes

Homemade Vanilla Sugar & Extract

‘Tis the season for holiday baking and there’s nothing like homemade vanilla sugar & extract to make your festive treats taste even better. They are quick, and super simple to whip up. The hardest part is waiting patiently for the vanilla to infuse.

Both can be used to enhance the flavor of baked goods, beverages, ice cream, and more. A bottle of vanilla extract or a jar of vanilla sugar would make a lovely gift, as well.

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Drinks, Pregnancy + Birth, Recipes

Nourishing Pregnancy Tea

Proper nutrition is essential during pregnancy for the health of both mom and baby. While there is no substitute for a balanced diet, nourishing herbs help to bolster vitamin & mineral intake. Getting adequate nutrients can alleviate a variety of pregnancy woes, as well as more serious complications. It also helps baby to develop optimally, which contributes to better overall health.

Additionally, going into the birth and postpartum time well nourished promotes a more easeful labor, a plentiful milk supply, and better overall resilience to the stresses of caring for a newborn —all of which makes for a much smoother experience for the mother, both physically and emotionally.

This pregnancy tea combines four nutrient rich herbs that have long been used by wise women to support the pregnant body.

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Condiments, Plant Wonder Collective, Recipes

Elderberry Barbecue Sauce

Homemade condiments are a simple and flavorful way to improve any dish. Not only do they taste better than store-bought sauces, they’re also a much healthier option. Pre-packaged condiments typically contain questionable, highly-processed additives, which can have a number of detrimental effects on health.

Another perk of making your own condiments is that you can boost their flavor and health benefits by using ingredients that help to improve vitality.

This barbecue sauce is a lovely example of food as medicine. It’s made with delicious, flavonoid rich elderberries that have a number of beneficial properties. They are a good source of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory effects. They also help to boost immune function.

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Drinks, Plant Wonder Collective, Recipes

Roasted Roots: An Herbal Coffee Tradition

Photo Credit: Anna Reisz

Today’s post is an excerpt from the autumn edition of Botanical Anthology written by Anna Reisz. This seasonal, plant centered digital magazine is packed with fall crafts, recipes, foraging tips, articles & more . Click here for more info and to see the full table of contents.


Herbal coffee is a tradition that can be found, with a little digging, in many family histories. It was once common practice to replace or mix ground coffee with the roasted roots of plants like dandelion, chicory, and burdock. Not only did these easily-foraged plants make coffee go further, but they also cut some of the bitterness in the flavor. These roots also provided a nutritious and grounding alternative ingredient or replacement for coffee without the unwanted side effects of caffeine. Additional spices can be added to the mix for flavor and further health benefits, as well.

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Plant Wonder Collective, Recipes

Lemon Balm Jello

For many folks, the word “jello” evokes memories of school cafeteria lunches or the fruit embedded jello salads that were once a staple at potlucks and holiday get togethers, but have now largely gone out of style. These iterations of jello are by no means a health food, as they are made with pre-packaged jello mixes that contain less than ideal ingredients —such as refined sugar, food colorings, and artificial flavors. However, homemade versions of this classic dessert food can be quite healing and nourishing.

Gelatin has a number of beneficial properties. It promotes healthy skin by helping to maintain its hydration and elasticity. It can help to strengthen the connective tissues in the joints, which may improve mobility and reduce joint pain.

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Recipes

Beef Liver Paté

While liver is rarely enjoyed in the modern diet, it is an incredibly nutrient dense food that is an important source of essential vitamins and minerals.

According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, liver provides:

  • “An excellent source of high-quality protein
  • Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
  • All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
  • One of our best sources of folic acid
  • A highly usable form of iron
  • Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
  • An unidentified anti-fatigue factor
  • CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function
  • A good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA.”
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Drinks, Plant Wonder Collective, Recipes

Rosemary Orange Sparkling Water

Rosemary has long been appreciated for its aromatic and medicinal qualities. It is rich in antioxidants and has been used to boost cardiovascular and digestive health. Studies have shown that rosemary helps to improve memory and may be beneficial in improving mental performance in elderly individuals.

This tasty sparkling water is a lovely way to enjoy the flavor, and potentially some of the health benefits of rosemary.

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Recipes, Sourdough

Rosemary & Garlic Sourdough Buns

These savory sourdough buns combine two of my very favorite culinary herbs — rosemary & garlic. In addition to boosting flavor, these herbs also have beneficial properties when added to food.

Rosemary supports the liver and helps to aid digestion, reducing gas, cramping, and bloating. Garlic is also carminative, helping to improve the digestive process and prevent constipation. Both herbs have antimicrobial effects and have been used as natural preservatives to help prevent food spoilage (de la Forêt).

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muffins, Recipes

Banana Orange Muffins

Organic, local oranges and bananas are abundant here in Ecuador. Both grow well here in the Sierras and throughout the country. When you drive to the Ecuadorian coast you’ll see miles and miles of banana plantations along the roadways — reminiscent of the seemingly endless monocropped fields of corn and soy that you find in the Midwest region of the United States, where I grew up. Oranges are also quite common, and many folks with garden space have at least one (but usually several) orange trees.

These banana-orange muffins are a delicious way to utilize these abundant fruits and are a tasty spin on a classic from my childhood — banana bread.

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Condiments, Plant Wonder Collective, Recipes

Mint Yogurt Sauce

Mint (Mentha spp.) is a well-known herb that is a common flavoring for gum, mouthwash, & toothpaste, as well as foods and beverages, like ice cream & tea.

If you have an established mint patch, you likely have an abundance of mint, and may be wondering how to utilize it. This sauce is super quick & easy to put together and is a tasty way to use fresh mint from the garden.

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Recipes, Snacks, Sourdough

Sourdough Nettle Crackers


It’s springtime in the Northern hemisphere, which means that nettles  (Urtica dioica) are starting to pop up, or will be soon, in many of my old stomping grounds. Foraging nettles was one of my favorite spring traditions when I lived in Michigan. 

These days, I’m fortunate enough to have a several large nettle patches I can harvest from year round, which brings me a great deal of joy. Nettles are one of my favorite herbs. They’re nutrient dense — rich in vitamins A, C, D and K and minerals, like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron — and help to boost overall health.

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