i’ve already done about 40 minutes of yoga and will go to the gym with my boyfriend in a few hours so i have an amazing and filling breakfast which consists four slices of hempbread topped with everything delicious and a berry protein Smoothie made with a superfood powder called magic berry from feinstoff! ❤️☀️

European Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

The content in my store changes seasonally: I just sent out the last of the snowdrops, aconite, goji berries, and currants for the year, and I’m in the process of adding new offerings.

My first new listing is European Elderberry cuttings: if you are planning an edible landscape in a place where this species is not invasive, I’d highly recommend it! The cuttings are from at least five different wild seed-grown plants. 

The flowers are used here in Denmark to make Elderflower syrups, juices, and ciders, and the purple-black berries are used for making anthocyanin-rich juice and preserves.

Soaking elderflowers with citrus to make a cordial

They are extremely easy to root, in water or in soil. I’ve cloned about 10 plants and they have flourished!

They tolerate maritime exposure, wet soils, dry soils, woodland (shaded) conditions, full sun conditions, and pollution, but do best in sunny exposures with well-drained soil.

Buy cuttings here


Image source

Have you heard of this Superfood?!

Moringa, also known as the “Miracle  Tree” because it is one of the most nutrient rich plants on the earth! It contains 90+ nutrients, 46 antioxidants, and all the amino acids. It’s a great source of vitamin A, calcium and iron.

Moringa is known to boost the immune system and provide sustained energy, while also promoting muscle relaxation and a better sleep. 

We use this powerful plant powder in our Hippie bar, as it also has amazing skin benefits!!

www.skinsmartorganics.com

5

Book Review: “Superfoods for Life: Cacao”

I’ve been meaning to get this review out for, like, ever. Bad, bad me. But better later than planned than NEVER…am I right? Besides, it’s just in time for the holidays. I love gifting cookbooks, as they are the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. So if you have a chocolate loving friend, this book is a must!

I had the pleasure of meeting the book’s author, Matt Ruscigno, at a vegan cooking class a few months back. I knew there was something familiar about him, but couldn’t place him at the time, but later remembered that I had just seen this informative video of him speaking with Sayward Rebhal of Bonzai Aphrodite. After a bit more bio reading, come to realize that Matt is a powerhouse of vegan awesomeness ~ a vegan of 17 years, a registered dietitian & leading expert in the field of vegetarian nutrition, co-author of the No Meat Athlete Cookbook & Appetite for Reduction, an accomplished athlete who races marathons, iron-man triathlons, 200+ mile cycling events and 24-hour races, host of the Strongest Hearts Documentary Series, & author of the new book “Superfoods for Life: Cacao. He is one busy & influential guy & I was super honored when he reached out & asked if I’d like a review copy of his book that is all about CACAO…Oh yes chocoholics, get excited!

Not only will you find 75 delicious plant-based & cacao laden recipes created with punk rock vegan chef Joshua Ploeg, this book is “choc” full (get it?) nutritional information, benefits, & tips for how to incorporate more of this delicious superfood into your diet. I mean, chocolate at every meal? I’ll take it! But sorry folks, not all chocolate is created equal. You can’t just munch on a hershey bar & call it a day. In fact, there is no mention of hershey’s anywhere in this book, & for good reason, milk chocolate bars are not the best way to reap the many benefits of cacao – as Matt explains, “Milk chocolate contains very little cacao, often less than 10%. Instead the majority of what you are eating are added sweeteners, dairy products, & other less healthful, refined ingredients.” So sorry {not sorry} to burst your bubble. Just put down the Reese’s & pour yourself a warm mug of superfood sipping chocolate & read this book!

So what is cacao exactly & what makes it so special? Well…who knew that there has been a ton of research done on this nutritional powerhouse & Matt does a great job of breaking it down, giving the facts, & sprinkling mouthwatering recipes in between. Chocolate anything ~ bars, powders, butter, nibs, etc ~ all originate from from the “cacao bean” which Matt calls the “superstar among superfoods” for its countless nutritional benefits: cacao is loaded with antioxidants (more than wine, tea, blueberries), rich in flavonoids minerals, fiber, & healthy dietary fat. It’s good for your heart. It’s full of good chemicals that have a positive effect on our brain & mood (Chocolate to the Rescue!). It can prevent disease. It can fuel our physical activity. And you only need a small amount (of the good stuff) to reap its many benefits.

A little nibble on a 100% raw fair trade cacao bar isn’t the only way to enjoy this super bean. For reals! It’s super versatile, as you will see from the 75, mostly savory, recipes in this book. Such as…

  • One Hour Mole
  • Chocolate Dinner Enchiladas
  • Tasty Cocoa Jerk Tofu
  • Rich Chocolatey Vegetable Tarts
  • Tamarind-Chocolate Chili
  • Huitlacoche Empanadas
  • Chocolate-Sweet Potato Baked Ravioli
  • Crowd Pleasing Bell Pepper Pizza
  • Bloody Cocoa Mary
But of course, there are plenty of sweet recipes as well …
  • Avocado-Chocolate Mousse with Persian Spiced Cream
  • Cocoa-Mango Lassi
  • Quinoa Chocolate Chip Energy Bars
  • Raw Chocolate-Carrot Cake
  • Flavanol Full Chocolate Pudding
  • Coconut Shortbread-Double Brownie Delight
  • Basic Double Chocolate Sauce
I’ve had the opportunity to make a few recipes & my favorites are ~ The Easy But Memorable Quinoa Pilaf with Cacao Nibs” super light & delicious with berries & herbs. Makes a wonderful potluck salad & I love it for breakfast too. Speaking of breakfast the “Super Tasty Blueberry-Cacao Superfood Smoothie” is on heavy morning rotation in this household! Oats, cacao,  blueberries & more make up this simple, yet luscious, morning delight. And for those cold winter nights the “Aztec Style Chocolate Drink” think spicy superfood hot cocoa, is the perfect warming drink. There are so many more recipes I am excited to make! Oooh & let’s not forget there is a recipe for “Cacao Sugar Scrub” for all of you crafty DIY’ers. I love making homemade gifts & will most certainly be whipping up some jars of that chocolate love to share with friends & family.

And one final & important note before I send you off to grab your own copy, I truly appreciate how Matt sheds light on the social & environmental impact that cacao production has on our planet & the laborers that produce it. He makes a point of the importance of selecting cacao products that are fair trade, as exploitative & labor is sadly common in cacao production, especially as it’s popularity increases. There is an appendix dedicated to helping you read & understand labels, & production practices so you can select the best chocolate for yourself, your health, & the health of the earth & its people. Also, 10% of the book’s profits will be donated to the “Food Empowerment Project” an incredible non-profit organization dedicated to creating a more just & sustainable world by recognizing the power of one’s food choices, so we can prevent injustices against animals, people, & the environment. Check out their slavery free “chocolate list” here.

So there you have it & now you know…chocolate ~ in it’s pure, raw, & fair trade form ~ is amazingly good for you, so go ahead & eat it at every meal! Don’t be shy about it, spread the word, & get your sticky fingers on your very own copy of “Superfoods for Life: Cacao.” And here’s an inside tip…order direct from the publisher & get 50% off until December 31st!

Be well, enjoy & Happy Holidays!