Natural, homemade egg dye recipe!

April is that month where families join together in festivities to celebrate the amazing holiday we call Easter! I want to share with you how you can make home-made natural
egg dyes in case you and your family will be coloring eggs in the next couple of weeks! Although it does take longer and is quite the process, it is always more meaningful to make anything from scratch!

What you will need:
  • Hard boiled eggs (preferably white eggs since they take on the dyes better than brown eggs)
  • White vinegar (2 Tablespoons for every quart of water)
  • Pots and bowls
  • egg cartoons for drying dyed eggs
  • stickers, string, rubber bands, leaves, crayons for making interesting patterns (optional)
  • Ingredients to make your dyes:
  • RED: 3 cans of beets in cranberry juice (instead of water), cherries, or red onion skins (more than for purple)
  • PINK: frozen cherries, beets, red grape juice, cranberry juice, or frozen raspberries
  • RED-ORANGE: 3 tablespoons of chili powder
  • ORANGE: yellow onion skins
  • YELLOW: 3 tablespoons of turmeric, orange peel, lemon peel, carrot tops, or cumin
  • GREEN: a mix of spinach leaves, canned blueberries and their juice and a few tablespoons of turmeric
  • BLUE: 3/4 of a head of red cabbage (chopped) and/or canned blueberries
  • GREY BLUE: 2 cans of blueberries and their juice
  • GREY: frozen cherries mixed with blueberries
  • PURPLE: red onion skins
  • BROWN: strong brewed coffeestorybook
How to do it:  HOT METHOD
  1. Bring ingredients for desired color to a boil and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. (In general, use up to 4 cups of vegetable solids and 3–4 tablespoons of spices per quart of water and vinegar.)
  2. Strain solids out of the dye.
  3. Place eggs in a single layer in a large, non-aluminum pan.
  4. Add the dyeing ingredient of your choice—it’s best not to add the eggs until you are comfortable with the colors you perfected by experimenting.
  5. Cover the eggs and other dyeing agent(s) with one inch of water.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar per quart to help the color adhere to the egg, and bring to a boil.
  7. Next, simmer on lower heat for 20–30 minutes or until the desired shade is achieved. (If you cook the eggs full blast for longer than 15 minutes, they will become tough.)

COLD METHOD (good if doing with kids or eating them immediately)

  1. Once the ingredients have simmered for 20-30 minutes, lift or strain the ingredients out of the water and allow the water to cool to room temperature.
  2. Submerge the eggs until the desired color is achieved. (Eggs can be kept in solution overnight as long as it is refrigerated).

Some helpful and important tips:naturally-dyed-eggs

  • use frozen or canned ingredients to be more economical. Mash up fruits and experiment with quantities as you go.
  • The longer the egg is in the dye, the deeper the hue will be.
  • Vinegar will help deepen the color
  • Naturally dyed eggs take longer to absorb color
  • The ingredient you use may make the egg taste like it!
  •  To put patterns on your eggs, wet a leaf or other desired shape item, apply to egg, and carefully wrap egg in a piece of old pantyhose. Secure with a twist tie before placing in the dye bath to keep your pattern secure. Unwrap after you remove the egg from dye, and remove the item used for your pattern to reveal your design.

Mel. “Dirty Hippie Easter Eggs (Organic Egg Dyes!) | Cast Iron & Wine.” Cast Iron Wine. N.p., 23 Mar. 2013. Web. 07 Apr. 2014. <http://castironandwine.com/dirty-hippie-easter-eggs/&gt;.

 

Happy Egg Dying! :)

With love, peace & gratitude,

Nichol

 

National Agriculture Day! March 25, 2014

Yesterday was a day to recognize the science of agriculture. Who else loves farming?!? Do you realize the necessity of this practice? That everyone is connected to it even if only a consumer at the grocery store picking out spinach? It is coming to a point that we must realize the necessity for every household to become self sustainable; to be able to produce its own supply of food (or much of it) or buy locally. There are droughts and changes in weather patterns occurring around the world that have impacted millions of people and wildlimagesife and it has started to hit the United States as California’s San Joaquin Valley becomes retired farmland. Can you believe that for the last half century or so, our agricultural policy has been to eat as much, as effortlessly, as thoughtlessly and as cheaply as we can?  It never use to be like that. People appreciated every bit of food that was put on their plate, they were grateful for their harvests because they worked hard to produce a supply of food that could get them through the winter. I would like to share one thing in honor of National Agriculture day, the practice of mindful eating. I want us to start to appreciate the food that is on our plate, realizing not only every bite, but also the time it took for those bites to reach your plate (appreciate the farmers that provide you with this food).

 

First of all, our relationship too food is a central in reflecting our attitudes toward our environment and ourselves. “As a practice, mindful eating can bring us awareness of our own actions, thoughts, feelings and motivations, and insight into the roots of health and contentment,” (The Center for Mindful Eating). To be able to eat mindfully one must first be made aware of the principles of mindfulness. I found the following 5 principles from The Center for Mindful Eating :

Principles of Mindfulness:

  • Mindfulness is deliberately paying attention, non-judgmentally, in the present moment.
  • Mindfulness encompasses both internal processes and external environments.
  • Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations in the present moment.
  • With practice, mindfulness cultivates the possibility of freeing yourself of reactive, habitual patterns of thinking, feeling and acting.
  • Mindfulness promotes balance, choice, wisdom and acceptance of what is.

Now,

Mindful Eating is:

  • Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom.
  • Using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body.
  • Acknowledging responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgment.
  • Becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating.

How to put mindful eating into practice is another story though, which will be having you thinking about what I stated earlier….we have been eating too much cheap food, as fast as we can and as effortlessly and thoughtlessly for too long.

To master mindful eating here avegetarian_platere a few things to focus on:

1. Starting out small. Don’t try to be mindful with every interaction you have with food because you are sure to fail. Pick one meal or snack everyday that you will commit yourself to focus on mindful eating.

2. Stop the multitasking at meal times. Don’t have the television on, sit at a table with nothing else but your family and plates of food. (I am very guilty of this one)

3. Examine each piece of food. As you appreciate what it looks and smells like your taste buds will start to drool. This may make you feel inclined to gobble it all down right away but try to resist.

4. Focus on each bite. Appreciate the flavors in your mouth, the texture and even the sound of the food in your mouth. Focus on what you like and dislike about these sensations.

5. Chew. Actually chew up your food enough so that it is broken down before you swallow it which is easier for the digestion process. Don’t aim for an unrealistic goal of 100 bites per mouthful but make sure you aren’t swallowing food whole.

6. Use silverware and set it down between each mouthful. Even if it’s finger food, it is much easier to slow down the pace if using silverware. Setting your silverware down will help you focus on the task of chewing and tasting your food solely, not focusing on the next bite while you’re still finishing the first one.

7. Talk and share. Engage with your family about the meal at hand while eating. Share what you like and dislike about each option (this could help gauge what to do differently the next time you make it as well). It may feel awkward at first but you can have fun with it especially if you have kids.

8. Quality over quantity and fresh over processed. It is much better to have quality food that can fill you up with one plate, that is nutritious enough to get you until your next meal. It is also better to use fresh ingredients instead of microwaveable/boxed meals. As you begin to incorporate mindful eating into your family’s life, they may start helping to prepare the food so it will be easier to make a fresh meal. Cooking, I may add, can be very relaxing and enjoyable if you give yourself enough time (mindfully planning your meals out and how long they will take to make). It is also beneficial to see exactly what is in your food so you know there are no artificial flavors or preservatives.

 

Happy eating to everyone!

With love, peace and gratitude,

Nichol

Let the sprouting begin!

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Good afternoon everyone! This weekend was the start of my seeding. I’ve done many herbs, tomatoes, spinach and kale so far. I am really excited for my sage because I love to burn it and rid negative energy from my home. I also love green smoothies so I’m going to continue growing kale and spinach indoor all year round. I found a great seed company called ‘Lake Valley organics’ originating from Boulder, CO. They are USDA organic and NON-GMO certified. I found them at Steins located in Oshkosh.

I am so excited to get outside and start getting down and dirty in my garden! It’s getting to be that time of year, the snow is almost gone!! Winter seems to have flown by this year even though we had many very cold days.

A few helpful tips:
If you have seeds from past years and are unsure if they will still germinate we are here to help.
seeds that are good for:
one year: onion
two years: corn and peppers
three years: beans, carrots, peas
four years: beets, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, watermelons
five years: broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce, cantaloupes, radishes, spinach

When to start sowing each seed

Very early spring (as soon as the ground can be worked):                After Last Frost date:

  • Onions                                                                                            Beans
  • Peas                                                                                                 Corn
  • Spinach                                                                                            Melons

Early Spring:                                                                                            Cucumbers

  • Lettuce                                                                                             Squash
  • Beets                                                                                                Tomatoes
  • Carrots                                                                                              Peppers
  • Radishes                                                                                            Pumpkins
  • Dill                                                                                                     Eggplant
  • Cilantro                                                                                             Basil
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Kale
  • Potatoes

Below is a link to find out your area’s average last spring frost date

I have come across some helpful resources:
Free download for kindle on effective gardening
Grow Planner for Ipad for 9.99
Find out your areas average last spring frost date

You will always harvest what you plant…So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone.

I hope everyone has a blessed week.

With Love, Peace & Gratitude,

Nichol

 

A new addition to the foodie family!

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Hi passionate children of the Universe! I am Nichol and I’m quite the nerd(my initials are NRD; Nichol Rebecca Dehn). I get really excited about anything having to do with Mother Earth! I am a UWO Environmental Studies student, a single mother and a steward of the Earth. How do I express my excitement to be involved with the Oshkosh Food Co-op, in words??

 I will explain why and how I became so passionate about it! I have always envisioned myself being a part of or owning an organic, healthy cafe/yoga studio. Anyone with a vision similar to mine I consider a very very good friend.  In 2008 I visited my first co-op in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. I was passionate about veganism, vegetarianism, gardening, running and biking at that time in my life and visiting a place with the same interests inspired me. I was so happy when I saw for the first time a booth at the Oshkosh Saturday Farmers Market a couple years later introducing the idea of a co-op in Oshkosh. I have been waiting and waiting for there to be an opportunity to get involved with them as they had been looking for volunteers. I envisioned myself working there and being a part of a community that was tight-knit with people who have the same beliefs as me. 

So with that said every ounce of my heart will be put into helping the member owners and I make big changes in the community.. If you can’t change the world, change a community, that’s my goal right now!

Get inspired !!

With love, peace and gratitude,

Nichol

Cabin Fever, Anyone?

For those of us in Wisconsin, specifically the Fox Cities, if we haven’t noticed it in ourselves, we can definitely see that everyone around us has Cabin Fever. The weather has been bitter cold with constant snow since before winter had even officially begun. Symptoms of Cabin Fever usually range from boredom to anxiousness about traveling to the high intense urge to run away from any little problem that occurs on a daily basis. Sure, there are many more symptoms made up in this more sever version of  the “Winter Blues”. All of us could use a little pick me up to feel like ourselves again.

Suggested Healing for Cabin Fever:

1. Breathe – First thing when you wake up in the morning, take 3 conscious breaths as slow and steadily as you can. Make each breath full, and imagine breathing in the feeling of joy, laughter, peace and light. On each exhale, breathe out any negative thoughts, complaints, body aches, worries, etc. Make sure to end your rounds of breath on a positive thought.

2. Write it Out – Take a post it. On the top line write the word ” Focus “. Write out three words (one on each line) that represent a feeling you wish to have more focus on. (i.e. confidence, passion, motivation, self-love, compassion, courage, etc)

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3. Stretch the Body & Mind – Yep, of course, YOGA! However, if you are new to yoga..don’t let the word itself scare you out of trying it. Do a Basic full body stretch, following the breath. Lay on your back, reach the legs out long and on your inhale take the arms up overhead feeling your ENTIRE body stretch out long. On the exhale, kindly bring your arms back at your sides. Do this until you start to feel a bit lighter in the body and the mind.

4. Juice – If you don’t have a juicer, that’s okay (definitely consider buying one in the near future). As long as you’re getting some nutrients before you day officially continues, you will be ready and motivated. I recommend having an Apple (my favorite are Fuji or Washington Apples) and or a Banana with some granola and almond milk. A decent size breakfast (whenever your morning begins) is the key to keeping the energy alive throughout the day.

5. Smile – Keep smiling. Even if you have to force the corners of your mouth up to your eyelids, do it! The more we practice something, the more likely it becomes natural for us to make it apart of our daily life! Plus, maybe cliche, but smiling is contagious!

Whether the above suggestions are taken into your life every day or in those times of need, know that they will help you keep life simple and light. Life doesn’t have to be so serious. Even in those most trying of times and we could definitely all use the reminder from others as well as ourselves.

As always,

PeaceLove&Light,

Justine

Morning Quinoa Surprise

So…maybe you cats are starting to catch on to my obsession with Quinoa. I can’t help it! When you decide to live on a tight budget, yet still need to eat healthy, a little Quinoa goes a long way! This recipe is the same basic mix of Quinoa as the previous recipe I posted ,with the edition of a few extra treats…

When you have left overs of Quinoa Surprise (Quinoa with a mixture of flavors, nuts, trail mix, goji berries, etc) from dinner last night and need an extra boost this morning..all you need to prepare are the two scrambled eggs for extra protein.

1. Make scrambled eggs.

2. When eggs are cooked, turn burner to low heat and add in the Quinoa Surprise left over in the fridge.

3. Throw a little Liquid Amino Acids, Fresh Basil, and Sea Salt to your liking.

4. Voila….Morning Quinoa Surprise to fill you belly and get you through until lunch.

Peace, Love, & Happy Cooking,

 

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Let the Juicing Begin…

My very generous father and family gave me a juicer for Christmas, so with my first experimentation, I came up with a very satisfying and detoxifying nutritious treat for breakfast.

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Wake Up & Smell the Sunshine: 

Organic Carrots

Organic Fuji Apple

Ginger

(All from the produce box I receive bi-weekly)

This blend has a sweetness to give you a kick start to your day, especially these winter mornings where its difficult to even roll outta bed.

Sending Peace, Light & Happy Juicing,

Justine