DIY Wildfoods: Manzanita Sugar

wildfoods

If you are a foodie who doesn’t get much in the way of sugary sweet treats then manzanita sugar might be the perfect addition to that little something you crave.

Autumn is a beautiful time of year in the foothills of Northern California. The leaves of the plentiful trees shift into amazing hues of yellow, gold, orange, crimson, copper, green and brown. Even more exciting to my senses is the bounty of manzanita berries which are readily available on my daily hikes through the forest. Every year I collect these tiny red clusters in my pockets and add them handful by handful at a time to a jar in my tea cupboard for safekeeping.

tea strainer and mortarprocessing manzanita berries

Manzanita is related to Uva Ursi which is known for its restorative properties to the bladder. The beautiful reddish bark is a main ingredient in astringent washes for skin irritations like poison oak.  Even though the leaves are only safe in short doses, the berries can be eaten for their anti oxidant properties as often as desired.  When I’m ready to brew some tea or make a tray of raw cacao treats I put about a dozen or more berries onto a mesh basket and grind them with my pestle. This filters out the seeds. The powder is a nice neutral color adds a mellow sweet flavor to my afternoon snacks.

What healthy sugar alternatives have you discovered in your neighborhood?

Mending+

Mending+ is an approach to mending clothing that embraces the act of mending, using it as an opportunity to embellish or even re-design the garment. One can have a minimalist approach to mending, selecting a high-contrast thread to make a small … [Continue reading]

DIY sundried cherry tomatoes

garden tomatoes

I actually didn't grow a garden this year. It is the largest drought recorded in Californian history. Since there are a large selection of small, organic farms to shop from in the area, I decided to leave the expert food suppliers the extra water for … [Continue reading]

How to teach compost to children ?

web-ecoetsy-3

Back to school...garden! This fall with my school garden project, our focus will be compost. We are going to start with one classroom (pre-K) in Fall. WHAT IS COMPOST? Compost is basically how nature create humus on the forest floors: leaves … [Continue reading]

Eco Lovely {Eco Etsy Finds}

Coca-Cola Sea Glass Leather Necklace by revetro

  Happy almost end of summer for most of you out there!  It's been an adventure on my end and the fall is teeming with possibilities.  It's been an adventurous year for me and lots has changed and changed back.  In all of this change I have … [Continue reading]