Butternut squash can easily stand in for pumpkin in a sweet pie, but did you know that it can also be the star of its own savory version? Try this delicious herb-flavored custard as a new way to incorporate the bright orange squash into your nutrient-dense holiday menu.
Savory Butternut Custard
Slice 1 small onion and caramelize slowly in butter or ghee. It should be very soft and beginning to deepen in color.
Place cooked onions in a blender or food processor, along with:
Cooked pulp from one medium butternut squash (about 2.5 to 3 cups)
Pulp from 1 whole head of roasted garlic (or fresh equivalent, cooked with onion)
1-2 Tbs homemade bone broth concentrate, or equivalent concentrated seasoning such as demi-glace to equal the flavor of 1 cup broth (see note)
Today I’m sharing the last of the steps that I use to support my family’s health during the cooler months. I have led you on the same path that I take when encouraging and supporting my family’s health, and tried to share ideas on how I use each category of tools. Take a look back at Parts One and Two to see what we’ve covered together so far.
Sometimes, I’ll selectively use one or two to relieve a symptom, such as a particularly nasty sore throat or a fever that’s spiked higher than is comfortable.
I’ve learned over the years the remedies that I’m comfortable and confident in applying on my own, and what’s the most safe in our specific circumstances. Your own family’s health situation is unique, so of course, we always advise seeing your family healthcare provider to ensure you are caring for yourself and your family properly, especially in the case of worsening illness.
Here is how I use the strongest category of tools with my family to help decrease illness and boost health.
9. Herbal Tinctures – Whether they’re extracts I have purchased or made at home, tinctures are a great way to stop illnesses in their tracks! We use a variety of tinctures in our home to help support the liver and digestive and respiratory systems, and to aid the body when suffering specific symptoms or discomforts.
Try some of our family’s favorites.
Elderberry Tincture – Sometimes it can be hard to get larger amounts of elderberry syrup in your little ones, and concentrated tinctures are a great way to get the benefits without the larger volume.
Milk Thistle Tincture – This helps to support the liver and aid the body when suffering from illness.
Wormwood – Not the best tasting, but a great way to help decrease candida infections.
Red Raspberry Tincture – Soothing and a great boost to the immune system with a large amount of vitamins and minerals.
Mullein – Soothing and calming, and supports glandular health.
Lobelia – Very good for the respiratory system, and can also be used externally to help decrease coughs.
Barberry – We have found this is not only incredible for liver support, but will also stop a cold in its tracks!
Select the herb and liquid combination. If using fresh herbs, your ratio of herb to liquid should be 1:2; with dried herbs, the ratio is 1:4. Add your herb to the jar, and then cover with the appropriate amount of liquid. Put the lid on and give a thorough mixing by shaking gently.
Let the jar sit on a windowsill or countertop for 2-4 weeks, occasionally giving it a gentle shake. When it has steeped sufficiently, strain out the herbs and pour the infused liquid into a dark glass container. I use bottles with dropper tops to easily dispense my tinctures.
Based on these steeping ratios, the dosage for an adult is usually considered two droppers full, and for a child 1/2 to 1 dropper. I always start with a smaller dose and work up as needed.
10. Colloidal Silver and Grapefruit Seed Extract – Sometimes despite our best efforts, it seems like we need a little extra oomph in our game plan. This is when I begin doses of Colloidal Silver or Grapefruit Seed Extract.
I use them with the knowledge that they are extremely potent and have the potential to damage gut flora. I make sure to replenish with good fermented foods and probiotics to build up a healthy diversity of gut bacteria once again.
11. Finally, I increase my use of Essential Oils. We do regularly run our diffuser and apply diluted essential oils to the bottom of our feet and spines, and while I use essential oils moderately throughout times of illness, I usually reserve aggressive use (such as hourly massages, soaks in the bath, or steam treatments) for the very end of my arsenal.
We also like to give and receive massages to help stimulate the lymph system, as well as support the body systems affected. This is great for help when the illness is causing symptoms that are otherwise bothersome and unpleasant.
For this list of our favorite essential oils for massage, I have decided to focus on the oils that are considered kid friendly, but there are a lot of other oils that could be used. (Always check with a qualified aromatherapist or a reliable reference book to see if a specific oil should be used in your situation!)
No matter how much we hope to avoid illness, with kids in the house the likelihood that we totally escape the sniffles or rumbly tummy is slim. So being ready and armed to fight off the monster bugs while making our families feel their best is a priority.
Assembling your arsenal and having a game plan in advance will help you better engage the enemy and come out the winner!
This time of year calls for celebrations and parties to brighten up the long nights and gray days. Even your choice of makeup can add to the sparkle of the holiday season!
We’ve chosen five of BeeyoutifulSkin‘s most party-worthy eye looks to help you add just the right finishing touch to your natural beauty. Click the links to see each post in detail. Let us know which is your favorite!
Two weeks ago, I shared with you the first four steps I take to protect and boost my family’s health during the cooler months of the year when monster bugs tend to want to make their way into our lives. Something as simple as a slight cold can keep our family on quarantine for over two weeks as it works it way through the ranks, so letting down my guard isn’t an option!
If you missed the last post, take a few moments to read the first four steps here. You’ll want to have them in mind as you think about preventing illness this winter.
The next four steps are typically reserved for when we know we’ve been exposed to something nasty, we’re exhibiting signs of illness, or we’re already waving white flags of surrender because sickness has found us!
5. Herbal Teas
While we already use some herbal teas to help decrease our likelihood of getting sick in the first place, I ramp up our doses when we’re facing an increased assault. We cut out most solid foods when we are first feeling down, and replace them with herbal teas and rich bone broths.
I use Red Raspberry Leaf blended with Hibiscus and Rosehips to make gallons of that I sweeten slightly with some local raw honey. This is encouraged generously as the main drink throughout the day to supply both vitamins and minerals to my little “patients.”
I usually set up a chart of what to take each hour and start plugging in different nutritional supplements throughout the day. Here are a few of my favorite protocols.
Tummy Tuneup – Probiotics help boost the gut flora. Since as much as 80% of the immune system is located in the gut, healthy flora is a great support during illness.
Vitamin D3 – Based on research I’ve read and the recommendation of the Vitamin D Council, we increase our Vitamin D3 intake for a day or two to between 500-1000 IU per pound of body weight. (These high levels should not be sustained, but are a great way of getting Vitamin D levels to where your body needs them to fight off a temporary illness.)
Vitamin C – We use either Rosehip C or ChewC and take hourly to bowel tolerance. (Your body will let you know when you’ve had enough!) I find that this can often shorten an illness or decrease its severity, and Vitamin C is a must when there’s a cough involved.
Berry Well – We use Berry Well as needed all day long.
7. Herbal Infusions
I make strong infusions for both internal and external use. Allowing your herbs to steep for an extended period of time helps to release the nutrients even further for a fomentation or even a strong herbal tea. I have included several examples of how we use infusions.
Garlic and Mullein Oil are great both for ear aches and for gently massaging the lymph nodes to encourage proper drainage.
Mullein Garlic Oil
1 head Fresh Raw Garlic
1 oz dried mullein leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Peel and chop up the garlic and place in a small jar with the mullein leaves. Cover with olive oil and cap the jar tightly. Leave in a window for 2-4 weeks to allow to infuse.
If you need the infused oil more quickly, you can use a double boiler to gently and slowly warm it for about two hours on the stovetop. Cool before placing in a jar.
This infusion will last for three months in a cool dark cabinet, and over six months in the refrigerator. Strain out the garlic and herbs before use.
Garlic Poultices: When we have fevers or upper respiratory infections, I will make a garlic poultice and apply to the feet and chest. This often will bring relief and help boost the immune system and eliminate the cause of the fever. Watch this short video to see exactly how to use a garlic poultice.
I use Lobelia and Mullein for sore throats and coughs.
Sore Throat Love
3 Tbs Mullein
3 Tbs Lobelia
1/2 cup freshly boiled water
In a glass bowl, add herbs and freshly boiled water. Stir to incorporate the herbs in the water, adding more water if needed. Allow to brew for 20-30 minutes. Strain out herbs and reserve the brewed liquid.
Thoroughly saturate a clean cotton cloth in the herbal liquid, then wring out until it is damp but not dripping. Apply the cloth to the neck and wrap gently around the neck. To keep it in place, I use a piece of PUL fabric and lightly wrap it over the fomentation and around the neck as well.
We use this remedy at the first sign of a sore throat, even sleeping overnight with the fomentation on the throat. This promotes health, soothes irritation, and encourages the lymph system to drain.
Sage and Thyme Decoction – While it’s not the tastiest tea in the world, this strong tea is great for when breathing has become a chore. We suggest using 2 Tablespoons each of Sage and Thyme in 2 cups of freshly boiled water. Steep for 20-30 minutes and then give by the spoonful as tolerated. You can add to a small amount of bone broth to make more palatable.
8. More Herbs
The last step we’ll cover today is dried, ground, or encapsulated herbs. These can give your body small, concentrated punches of nutrients with easy doses. They can be added to smoothies or taken in capsules.
In addition to taking it as a tea, I also recommend using Red Raspberry Leaf capsules when you do not have access to the tea or simply need extra. It is high in Vitamins A, B, C, and E. It also has an impressive mineral content with potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and more. This is a handy way to use it when you’re out of town or just away from the house.
Other herbs we use encapsulated or dried are Slippery Elm in smoothies for sore throats, Cayenne to boost health and help with digestion, Plantain for digestive problems, and Ginger for stomach problems. We use Turmeric in soups and golden milk, or encapsulate it for ease of use.
In my next post, I will wrap up our series with the last three steps and the other supportive measures we use. We would love to hear what you use with your family! Tell us in the comments about your favorite tips!
As a seasoned mom of five, I have come to expect that starting around October we may have some occasional challenges to our family’s health during the next 4-5 months. I hate it, I detest it, I even beg my husband to move us to the Florida Keys or a Caribbean Island where we don’t have to deal with cold weather at all… but since that hasn’t happened yet, I have my winter arsenal ready.
Early this year, Stephanie shared a chart that shows the Risks of Adverse Affects of various health treatments. It shows the progression in side effects from minimal to higher through a variety of treatment options. It surprised me to realize that over the years, this has also become my progression in how I treat our family when we are either run down or struggling to fight something off.
Today, I’m starting a series to share with you some of my favorite ways to treat our family, using the same chart and progressing through it.
1. At the first sign of illness, we start by both increasing whole and nutrient-dense foods, and eliminating all empty calories (such as processed foods, sugars, and white flours). This time of year is full of get-togethers around bonfires or for holidays; it can be hard to withstand the onslaught of treats, but we have learned that it is best for our health to avoid as much sugar as possible.
I’ve noticed that, in general, the times we have gotten the sickest were when we were often indulging in sweets. Using healthy fats and keeping a supply of different flavors in our kitchen helps us feel satisfied and not even crave the sweets! This step is primarily preventative, but should definitely be implemented if you are sick or have been exposed to illness.
2. Secondly, and also in the category of preventative, I increase the amount of culinary herbs used in our foods and add as much bone broth as we can into daily use. This gives us an extra helping of these natural immune boosters and good nutrients that help nourish and repair the body. We also add a heaping spoonful of gelatin powder to our soups to support gut health.
Gently simmer all ingredients in 3 cups of water for 1-2 hours. Strain and reserve broth for soup bases or to cook rice, potatoes, or noodles. Or make this broth in larger quantities and freeze portions for ease of use during the winter.
3. While not on the lower steps of the chart, I also take some precautionary measures when going out in public. With the regular use of over-the-counter medications that mask the symptoms of illness, it seems nowadays that no one stays home when they’re sick. Sometimes it is hard to even realize you’re sick when you’re propped up by medicine, so boosting immunity when out and about is a great idea.
Herbal Immuni-Tea – We either enjoy a cup of warm tea with breakfast, or take it along cold in our water bottles to sip on throughout the day.
Immuni-T Essential Oil Blend – For children under the age of 10, I put Kid’s Immuni-T rollerball on feet and spine. I’ve also made a great blend for wipes that I carry with us when we’re out.Sanitizing Solution for Cloth Wipes40 drops of undiluted Immuni-T
1 Tbs of Real Witch Hazel
8 Ounces Aloe Vera Gel
1/2 tsp Vitamin E OilMix thoroughly and add to a small spray bottle. I spray this on several cloth wipes and carry in a small repurposed wipes container in my diaper bag. Use to wipe hands while you’re away from home.
4. Another step we take as a preventative, or when we’ve just begun feeling unwell, is using some Whole Food Supplements such as Cod Liver Oil, Butter Oil, Liquid Chlorophyll, and Floradix to help boost our nutrients and hopefully allow the body’s defenses to naturally keep us healthy.
This post originally appeared in a slightly different form in our Summer 2008 catalog.
I would guess my family isn’t the only one that recognizes the importance of eating greens. How many families (and women in particular) have spent part of their days choking down a glass of green grit that tastes as though it was just scooped out of the ocean? You know what I’m talking about: that green stuff made from barley. (Or, as my father calls it, barf-ley.)
The health benefits of green powders may be great, but it used to embarrass me when my 3-year-old sister had to count “1-2-3” to get Mommy to chug it each morning.
So I say, “Can’t we have a green supplement with all the same benefits, or maybe even better, in a drink that’s actually palatable?” Well, it turns out that Beeyoutiful’s Liquid Chlorophyll fits the bill!
But exactly what is so marvelous about chlorophyll?
Cheer for the Red, White, and Green
Chlorophyll is every green plant’s blood, and it’s remarkably similar to our own blood. The difference is found in only one metallic molecule. The central element in chlorophyll is magnesium, while the core element in human blood is iron. And this differing component, magnesium, is one our bodies can easily convert to iron.
Chlorophyll such as Beeyoutiful’s is usually extracted from alfalfa, which has more vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll than almost any other plant. Not only are you getting the green energy, but also a lot of calcium and trace minerals necessary for good health along with it.
Chlorophyll can support good health, minimizing a variety of conditions such as anemia, low energy, hypoglycemia, and digestive disorders, and it’s known for detoxifying the body (especially the liver). It deodorizes the body naturally by stopping the growth of harmful bacteria, boosting the immune system, and promoting overall wellbeing.
And if detoxifying and supporting our blood cells isn’t enough of a contribution, chlorophyll is also rich in calcium, which makes it great for menstruating women, since we lose so much calcium through menstruation. The high calcium levels also make it helpful for joint and bone problems, especially hip joint conditions.
It’s so gentle at cleansing the system that it is good for people and children of all ages, and is considered safe during pregnancy. In my midwifery practice, I recommend chlorophyll for pregnant women who are really tired and have low iron levels.
Sometimes if their hemoglobin is particularly low, I have moms combine chlorophyll with Yellow Dock and a tea of Red Raspberry Leaves and Nettle to really give them a boost (in some cases, Yellow Dock can cause diarrhea, so if that happens, I stick with just the chlorophyll). Chlorophyll is high in vitamin K, which helps build healthy blood that clots well.
One benefit of using natural options such as herbs and chlorophyll is that our bodies can so readily assimilate the nutrients they need. Traditional iron pills, by contrast, have a horrible reputation for not absorbing and causing all kinds of problems. But when you’re using whole herbs, your body can assimilate what it needs and simply excrete the excess.
The pleasant mint flavor of Beeyoutiful’s chlorophyll makes it easy to take straight or diluted in a glass of water. I’ve never known anyone yet to mind the taste! It’s great to have on hand during labor to sip on to help boost energy, and if a woman hemorrhages after delivery, chlorophyll is usually the first thing I give her afterward to rebuild red blood cells and her overall blood volume. You can’t overdose on it, and when someone has bled a lot, chlorophyll is like giving your body a transfusion since it’s so similar to our own blood.
Good for Baby, Too
In addition to being good for rebuilding blood loss, chlorophyll is also great for lactating mothers. Not only should it help support milk production, it’s also believed to increase the iron levels in breast milk. I recently saw a mom for a six week post-natal checkup, and she mentioned that, since she went back on chlorophyll, she noticed her baby wasn’t so fussy. (A lot of you who have had colicky babies might want to give it a try for that reason alone!)
I put one mother on chlorophyll while pregnant with her sixth baby because her iron level was low. It brought her count up to a much better level, and also boosted her energy. She stopped taking it after her son was born, but it wasn’t long before she came to me saying how exhausted she was.
I checked her hemoglobin again, and sure enough, it was low. I told her to go back on the chlorophyll and just stay on it. When her baby was only eight months old, to her surprise she conceived again, but could hardly believe she was pregnant because she still felt so good. She didn’t experience the usual nausea, nor was she as wiped out. Now I hear her singing the praises of chlorophyll to other tired, anemic, pregnant women!
One thing that was pointed out to me recently is that some other popular chlorophyll supplements contain parabens, a chemical preservative. Beeyoutiful’s all-natural chlorophyll, as you might guess, doesn’t have it any such additives.
As a midwife, I tend to focus on the benefits of chlorophyll for pregnant women, but you should know that its healthfulness is good for everyone. I believe chlorophyll should be in all refrigerators! It has no known side effects or toxicity levels, delivers many great nutrients, and offers a pleasing taste and more health benefits than that obnoxious glass of barf-ley!
I know, I know, I KNOW. There’s a special kind of frustration and pressure that mounts when you walk into a store in October (probably still wearing short sleeves!) only to see Christmas decorations up already.
Goodness, let me have my fall, people! I’m not even getting to wear my boots yet!
But what I do appreciate are all the great ideas for holiday gifts that are creeping into my Pinterest feed, and the fun craft ideas that float across Facebook. And given that I have almost already filled my entire schedule for the next 12 weeks, I am glad to be reminded that if I want to make a few thoughtful gifts, it might be time to plan on it now.
So while we’re not ready to turn on the Christmas tunes at Beeyoutiful headquarters and throw any tinsel just yet, we are going to give you a head start with our list of seven Christmas gifts you might want to make or purchase before the holiday rush this year.
1. Cinnamon Ornaments
They’re not edible, but these cookie imposters smell divine and are great as teacher gifts or for Grandma.
1 cup Applesauce
1 1/2 cup Ground Cinnamon *You can also add small amounts of glitter to your dough to add extra glitz to your ornaments!
Mix until thoroughly incorporated. Place dough on a sheet of cinnamon-dusted waxed paper; place a second sheet on top of the dough. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness, and then peel off the top paper. Use your favorite cookie or biscuit cutters to cut dough into shapes.
Using a thin spatula, place dough shapes on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Using a ice pick or skewer, poke a hole on the top part of each ornament to later insert the ribbon. Bake in a preheated oven at 200* until solid (up to 2 hours).
Once cooled, insert ribbon or decorative string and tie in a hanging loop. Hang on your Christmas tree or anywhere you’d like to spread the scent of Cinnamon.
Mix together until thoroughly incorporated and then store in a tightly capped glass jar. Place in tins or decorative glass jars for a beautiful gift. Use a chalk board tag and a liquid chalk pen for an added cute touch on the label.
3. Herb and Spice Blends
Buy your herbs and spices in bulk and create some of your own blends, then give them as gifts to your favorite cooks! Several popular spice blends are Cajun, Italian, Herbs de Provence, Ranch, and Cinnamon Sugar. Here’s a salt blend to get you started.
Mix together and store in a tightly capped glass container. Pop your popcorn, then melt butter and add 1-2 teaspoons of this salt to taste. (I also like to add the juice of a lime.) Drizzle over freshly popped popcorn and toss to distribute evenly.
4. Herbal Tea Blends
Use bulk herbs and teas to create custom blends for your next tea time. (Learn the simple steps to blending herbs here!)
The average American may have no idea how useful and beneficial (and healthful) Ghee can be! We’ve recently added Pure Indian Foods’ Organic, Grass-fed Ghee to our line because of its rich benefits and versatility as both a supplement and a food item.
We know you’ll love it as much as we do, once you know why Ghee is so amazing!
1) Ghee is a great source of nutrients. Ghee made from grass-fed beef is rich in vitamins A, D, and E, as well as K2 and fatty acids such as conjugated linoleic acid and butyric acid.
2) Ghee is very low in lactose. Ghee is a clarified form of butter from which the milk solids have been removed, leaving only the butter fat. Typically this allows those with milk allergies to consume Ghee without experiencing allergy symptoms. (With severe allergies to milk, please try Ghee only with a nutritionist or healthcare provider’s supervision, as ghee can still contain traces of lactose.)
3) Ghee is great for cooking. Because the milk solids have been removed, ghee has a higher smoke point than butter, making it a safe (and delicious) fat for sautéing or frying foods.
4) Ghee enhances nutritious foods. Many herbs and spices have qualities are that are potentiated when warmed in a fat. Sautéing spices and herbs in a bit of ghee before adding to your recipe can help release the medicinal properties and give you greater health benefits.
5) Ghee can increase butyric acid levels. Our own digestive tracts produce butyric acid; it’s used both for energy and for supporting the health of the intestinal walls. But with a leaky gut (or a gut that’s simply in poor health), we may not be able to produce the amount of butyric acid our bodies need. Using ghee not just as a cooking ingredient but taking it supplementally can increase the butyric acid levels in the body and thus increase gut health.
6) Ghee boosts the immune system. All the nutrients in ghee, especially Vitamin A, butyric acid and conjugated linoleic acid, are good for helping to aid and boost the immune system.
7) Ghee is delicious. It just plain tastes good! You can use Ghee in place of butter or other cooking oils in recipes. You can spread on toast and top with a favorite jelly or jam. Or you can eat it by the spoonful to get an extra dose of good fats!