Wellness: Nettle Tea Recipe

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My husband grew up in Ireland where home remedies trumped prescription medicine and doctor visits. We’ve adopted the same school of thought even though we don’t have the fresh ingredients right outside our doorstep. It may take a google search, time spent reading reviews and a subway ride to hunt down the dried ingredients needed to make the home remedies of yesteryear, but it isn’t without cause. My mother-in-law remembers being forced to drink nettle tea as a child, but never knew why. Last year, a friend of mine told me about the women’s health benefits of drinking raspberry leaf and nettle tea. Most people assume red raspberry leaf and nettle tea is for women who are trying to get pregnant, or who are already pregnant, but that isn’t the case. I don’t fall into either group, I simply want to drink a tea that has health benefits opposed to sugar and caffeine which work against me.

Red raspberry leaves and nettles are high in iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamins B and C, and phosphorus. The combination of these vitamins and minerals help aid in preventing hormonal acne, regulating mood, lessening painful and heavy periods, reduces inflammation, alleviates diarrhea, supports the endocrine health by helping the thyroid and spleen.

Once I began drinking it, I couldn’t stop. The hardest part was locating the ingredients. I ended up at Flower Power in the East Village, they have been there for over 20 years. It is a bit dusty and crunchy inside, but the women who work there are very helpful and knowledgable about healing any ailments you may have.

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The simple steps to making Nettle Tea:

1/4 cup red raspberry leaves

1/4 cup nettles

Fresh Mint

4 cups of boiling water

Add ingredients to a bottle or jar, cover and steep tea for a minimum of 4 hours. Strain and store in the fridge for up to one week. If the tea tastes too strong, simply add more water. Enjoy hot or over ice. It’s safe to drink up to 3 cups a day. Feel free to add other ingredients including lemon or ginger.
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No Knead Bread Recipe

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In our house, bread is king. We eat bread at almost every meal. After trying dozens of bread recipes, I realized we were better off with a no knead bread, because I’m lazy when it comes to baking and no knead recipes are much easier. I came across this super simple, four ingredient, no knead bread recipe from Humble Herbivore and now I make fresh bread every other day (or as needed, which is sometimes every day). I thought it was a perfect simple recipe to share with you for the weekend.

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Mix 1 1/2 cups of warm water with 1/2-1 tsp of active dry yeast and set aside for 10 minutes. Note: I only use 1/2 tsp of active dry yeast, I found it made for fluffier bread. Make sure the yeast has dissolved completely (it may take longer than 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients: 3 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Note: You can use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups all-purpose flour instead. I use organic all purpose flour. If you want to add any extra ingredients for a more artisanal loaf, this is when you should add them. Occasionally, I’ll add finely chopped fresh rosemary. For the holidays you could add dried cranberries and walnuts. But the plain loaf is delicious all on its own as well.

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Pour in yeast water. Stir until it combines into a cohesive, lumpy mess. Note: Less stirring makes for fluffier bread.  I found that using a wooden spoon works best for the mixing process.

Cover and let it sit for 8-12 hours.

Note: Our apartment is cold, so I put the bowl in the oven or microwave (while turned off) to help keep a consistent, slightly warmer temperature for the dough to rise. I found that 10 hours was the perfect amount of time for the dough to fully rise. If you want to check if your dough has risen as much as it can (for fluffiest outcome) then wet your finger and poke the dough. If your finger hole stays without the dough filling in, then it is ready to go in the oven! If not, wait another hour or two and do the poke test again.

To cook, set your dutch oven/oven-safe dish and lid into the oven set at 450F. Wait for the dish to heat up for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, on a floured surface, use your hands to roll the dough into a ball. Place the dough into the dutch oven and place the lid on, cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for another 5-10 minutes to brown the top. We usually can’t wait to cut into the bread, but it is better if you can let it cool off before slicing it. Either way, it is delicious!

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Be sure to visit the Humble Herbivore for more daily vegan recipe inspiration.

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Beauty Supply DIY: Hydrating Hair Oil

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Whether you spend the entire summer in the sun, or only a few choice weekends, your hair is subject to dehydration and breakage. In order to combat the harsh summer sun and drying effects of the ocean water, I took a cue from the Olsen’s hair stylist, Mark Townsend. His recipe for this DIY hydrating hair oil locks in moisture and protects your hair from the elements. After mixing the ingredients together, I used a small funnel to transfer the oil mixture into a glass bottle with eye dropper dispenser. I keep this in my beach bag and apply it to my hair as soon as I get out of the ocean or pool.

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Hydrating Hair Oil Recipe

1 Cup of raw, unrefined coconut oil

1 T Jojoba oil

1 T Macadamia oil

1 T Almond oil

1 T Vitamin E

** For brunettes, add a drop or two of carrot oil for extra shine. Carrot oil will dull blonde hair, so skip this if you have lighter locks.

 

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DIY: Denim Hem Update

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In an effort to update my denim game for fall, I went through my bag of clothes destined to sell and found this old pair of Madewell jeans which were always about 5 inches too long for me. Instead of selling them at Beacon’s Closet, I decided to give them a denim hem update. Taking inspiration from the ever illusive Vêtements jeans (which retail for around $1500), I went for a more asymmetrical cut off. Here’s how I did it…

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DIY: Honey Cinnamon Face Mask

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I’m all about face masks, especially ones made from common products found in your pantry. The new addition to my weekly facial regime includes a honey cinnamon face mask and scrub. Antioxidant rich cinnamon helps soften skin while the grainy texture of raw honey acts as a natural exfoliant and anti-bacterial.

The recipe: 3 tablespoons raw honey (make sure it’s raw because it has the grainy texture that is great for non-invasive exfoliation) + 1 tablespoon organic cinnamon. Mix together until it forms a paste. Rinse face with water and pat dry. I just use my (clean) hands to apply the mask to my face. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes and then rinse with warm water. I use small circular motions to gently exfoliate as I rinse the mask away and then I apply face oil (or favorite moisturizer). I use this mask twice a week. My boyfriend uses this mask as a spot treatment to heal redness from ingrown facial hairs and zits. If using it as a spot treatment, I suggest leaving it on overnight.

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