Recipe for Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

I had to share this delicious recipe with you, after I made it of course j-u-s-t to make sure it was as good as it looked! ;) AND it take like 5-6 minutes to make!!!

choc almond1

The recipe is adapted from Dr. Axe’s recipe, I needed to tweak it a bit.

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

2 cups raw almonds

1/2 cup dark chocolate(I used 85% dark, it’s what I had)

2 tsp. unrefined coconut oil

1/8th tsp. himalayan sea salt

1 packet of stevia sweeten, to taste or xylitol

1 tsp. real maple syrup – think I could have used more. :D

Add everything to a food processor.

choc almond2

Pulse at first to break up almonds, then let it run for a few minutes. At first it will seem like it is blended but it is not ready.

choc almond3

All of a sudden it will ball up! THEN it is ready.

choc almond4

Taste and if you want it sweeter or looser add more coconut oil and or sweetener, mix again to incorporate. This made two 4-oz jars plus a couple spoonfuls to eat, cause they wouldn’t fit in the jars – hee hee…

OMG this is freaking good!!! Tomorrow I will eat it on some homemade ezekiel bread – yum!

the finished jars!

the finished jars!

Enjoy your night,


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Boneset Harvest and Medicinal Benefits

This year I grew some new plants, Boneset being one of them. It was soooo easy to grow from a plant that I purchased in North Carolina.

boneset harvest

I harvested the aerial parts(all parts above the soil) and have it drying on a rack in my kitchen right now.

boneset drying boneset in bags

Boneset is a must have herb for colds and flu! Here is a mongraph on Boneset with info that I have collected from my experience and from sources credited at the end of this post.

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)

Boneset can grow to about 4 ft tall. It has a thick, rough textured stem. The leaves are opposite, slightly toothed, elongated diamond shaped and joined at the stem. appearing as if the stem is punctured through the leaves.

Boneset Leaves close up

Boneset Leaves close up

The flowers grow in clusters at the top of the plant and are tiny and white.

boneset flowers

In Georgia, we do have some wild boneset varieties that are not E. perfoliatum. To id, look carefully at the leaves arranged on the stem to make sure the leaves join at the stem.

So what does the name “Boneset” mean? Think about when you have a bad cold or the flu. You hurt allover the body, fever, chills right down to the bones right? Boneset is known to fix all of that with its analgesic and diaphoretic properties – helps you sweat it out. ;)

Cautions though – too much boneset at once can cause you to vomit! So small, frequent doses are best.

Boneset is a bitter herb so a tea should be sweetened or it can be made into a syrup. Recipe below.

This herb is known to help:

  • induce sweating in fevers, colds and flu
  • stimulate immune system
  • malaria
  • rheumatism
  • muscle pains
  • spasms
  • pneumonia
  • pleurisy
  •  gout

For fevers & colds – make a tea using 1-2 teaspoons dried boneset(can be purchased here) or 1 tablespoon fresh to one cup of water. Steep covered for 15 minutes. Strain and sweeten. Drink 1/2 cup every hour, as hot as you can stand it, until symptoms improve.

For digestive system – to improve or stimulate digestion, take 2 tablespoons of warm tea after meals daily for 3-6 months or as needed.

Boneset Syrup

adapted from Medicinal Plants of The Southern Appalachians

  • 2 oz fresh boneset or 1 oz dried or a combination of herbs includingg mullein, sumac berries, elder berries
  • 1 pint of water
  • honey

Pour boiling water over herbs, cover and steep overnight. Strain and add back to a clean pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. (Helpful to stick a chopstick in the pot and mark on it where the liquid comes up to, then again when you think it is done).

Turn heat off. Add equal part honey to the reduced liquid and mix well. Store in the refrigerator for 1-2 months.

Dosage – take 1-2 teaspoons as needed. Cautions: May not be good during pregnancy or for someone with allergies to the Asteraceae family.

Enjoy your day!


References: Bella Vista Farm, Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians by Patricia Kyritsi Howell, Petersons Field Guide Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Steven Foster & James A. Duke

Disclosure statement: While I may recommend certain herbs and foods for any illnesses, allergies, skin conditions, natural beauty care and household cleaning, as a reader and a consumer use what I say to research further on your end. I am not a doctor but I am an herbalist not a licensed practitioner but  always learning to improve our lives and to relay what I  have learned on to you!

Sometimes this site includes affiliate links from trusted companies that I personally deal with and approve. By clicking on the links provided in my posts, I do receive a small commission with each purchase at no cost to you. It helps pay for my time spent writing, exploring new products and to bring you the best content that I can. I hope to provide giveaways that are provided from our affiliates soon.

Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. Whether you use the link or buy the product is entirely up to you.

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Growing on The Farm!

Time is flying by this year! I have no idea where it went. I had been wanting to post garden pictures for weeks now and life has been crazy busy!!!

Here is what has been growing on the farm!

My horse arena was turned into the new Medicinal Garden: here is a pic from March.

new garden

Empty!!! Now……

summer garden

filled with goodness!!!


Rosemary bush by the house :)


Hops are 4 ft tall!!!!

holy basil2

Holy Basil – Krishna and Vana

holy basil1

Holy Basil – Krishna and Rama

hibiscus roselle

Hibiscus Roselle

gotu kola

Gotu Kola creeping along!


Burdock and Gotu Kola


Vitex Agnus-castus – stunning!!! Aka – chastetree.

OK now for the Butterfly Garden – BEFORE:

butterfly before

Start of butterfly garden in MAY



We have in it: Passionflower, butterfly weed, lemon verbena, scented geranium, salvia, dill, parsley, black eyed susan, daisies and more stuff!!!


Some Passionflower vines and Black Eyed Susans

butterfly weed

Butterfly Weed

salvia and passionflower

salvia and passionflower

Lemon Verbena - soooooo sweet and beautiful smelling

Lemon Verbena – soooooo sweet and beautiful smelling

A Baby Mimosa Tree

A Baby Mimosa Tree

So blessed!!!!

On the way in from taking some pictures, I grabbed a handful of plump, juicy raspberries.


Delish! Hope you have enjoyed my pics, have a beautiful day!!!


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The Secret Meaning of Herbs

I was reading through a beautiful post on the Herbal Academy of New England just now referencing the secret meaning of herbs.

When we look at flowers, we sometimes describe them in how they make us feel or how they look. For example, when I look at a Calendula blossom, I think how sunny this flower is with its bright, cheery disposition and I smile. :)

calendula bvf

Looking at the list from secret meanings post it shows that Calendula means Health. I can see that! Think about it a moment….if a plant makes you happy and cheerful with a sunny disposition, how can you NOT stay healthy!!!

Here is the full article shared from the Herbal Academy. Also if you ARE interested in any of their offerings, please click the link on my side bar, I would greatly appreciate it!

Enjoy – Anne-Marie

Below from the Herbal Academy of New England

A Few Herbs and Their Meanings:

Remembering the secret meaning of herbs and including them in our daily lives as points for contemplation and by giving tussie-mussies are beautiful ways to pay tribute to the ties between plants and humans that have existed for thousands of years. As we seek to connect with others and the natural world around us, it’s delightful to indulge in little “secrets” now and then, and let our desire for a little mystery and whimsy out to play in a time-honored tradition with a modern twist. Here are a few more herbs and their meanings to get you started (Laufner, 1993):

  • Angelica: inspiration
  • Basil: love
  • Bay laurel: success
  • Calendula: health
  • Chamomile: comfort
  • Echinacea: capability
  • Fennel: worthy of praise
  • Hops: mirth
  • Hyssop: cleansing
  • Lady’s mantle: comfort
  • Lavender: devotion
  • Lemon balm: sympathy
  • Lilac: joy of youth
  • Lovage: strength
  • Mint: virtue
  • Oregano: joy
  • Parsley: gratitude
  • Rose: love, desire
  • Rosemary: remembrance
  • Sage: wisdom
  • Thyme: courage
  • Vervain: good fortune
  • Violet: loyalty
  • Yarrow: healing

To read the FULL article: click HERE

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Stress Buster Smoothie For Your Adrenal System

Have you noticed yourself lately in the mode of going, going, doing, doing doing and then crash because you are OVERDOING?

Most women take on more than they possibly can, or at least we THINK we can do it all, and sometimes we can, but realistically we are not superwomen! When we try to do more than we can handle, we start to get stressed, tired, overworked, forgetful OR so hyped up that we cannot rest at night. Sound familiar?

If so, you may be in Adrenal Overdrive or you may have Adrenal Fatigue. The adrenals are tiny organs that sit above the kidneys and they control many hormones, insulin, weight management and stress response. The adrenals release cortisol when needed in a flight or fight response but some people have too much cortisol or not enough then they start feeling hyper to the point of barely sleeping or draggy feeling like you just can’t wake up and you are tired all the time. Stupid little adrenals! :D No really, we can’t be mean to those little organs, it is not their fault…it is our own doing!

So what’s a person to do?

Step one – STOP what you are doing – even reading this, and go outside for 10 minutes. Just go out and sit somewhere under a tree or go for a walk, just YOU and only YOU! I will wait……

Ahhhh do you feel a little better now? I do! OK so I didn’t come right back after going outside. I got distracted doing chores, then making dinner, cleaning up, feeding outside critters and finishing up on a case study.

Step 2  Can you take away one commitment per week? Because if you do not and commit to tooooo much then…this will happen – from Aviva Romm below –

Being in a constant self-push can drive you right into adrenal fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is dangerous. It can disrupt your sleep, hormones, weight, immunity, and memory and concentration. It causes us to have cravings for fat, sugar, and salt. It makes us insulin resistant, and gives us weight around our bellies that causes inflammation and is really hard to take off. It makes us irritable, moody, anxious, and depressed.

If you want to read a whole lot more than I can share with you – check out Aviva Romm’s blog post above in the link.

Meanwhile Step 3 – here is a recipe for an awesome herbal mix to add to a smoothie. It will nourish your adrenals, build stamina and help fight fatigue.

Stress Busting Smoothie Mix

Wonderful mixture of adaptogenic herbs to help your body handle stressful situations, balance emotions and strengthen your adrenals.

  • 3 parts Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
  • 1 part Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
  • 2 parts Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
  • 1 part Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)
  • 1/2 part Nettles (Urtica dioica)
  • 1/2 part Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

stress buster smootie mix

Parts can be teaspoons, tablespoons or cups if making a giant jar full. Grind the herbs to a powder and mix all together. You can find all of the above herbs at my favorite place – Mountain Rose Herbs! Click here to find what you need. OR you can just order a jar of the mix from me. :)

To use: Take 1 teaspoon of the mix and add to a smoothie once per day OR add to warm almond milk with a touch of honey or maple syrup.

Enjoy and have a peaceful evening!


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Tumeric Berry Lemonade Recipe


I forgot about this recipe – MUCH needed this time of year! :)
I have blue berries, raspberries and blackberries to make this now.

Originally posted on Bella Vista Farm:

Sometimes I just make up recipes! It may have been inspired from someone else’s recipe or I just see what is around in the kitchen that I can use. Really this may have been inspired from a Trim Healthy Mama drink.

I had a headache from being out in the heat, was thirsty and wanted something refreshing with an anti-inflammatory bonus.  Refreshing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and electrolyte drink. Water, ice, lemons, lime, celtic sea salt, raspberries, coconut oil, tumeric, ginger and stevia. Mmmmm good! So the “Tumeric Berry Lemonade” was born!


I shared it on face book and everyone loved it so here is the recipe! ENJOY :)

Tumeric Berry Lemonade

8-10 oz water – needed for rehydration
Pinch sea salt – electrolyte
Healthy pinch powdered ginger(was too lazy to grate fresh) – anti-inflammatory
About 1/8 tsp tumeric (cucurmin – powerful anti-inflammatory)
1/4 of a lemon 
Wedge of lime
1 tsp…

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How To Make A Calendula Oil Infusion

Don’t you just love the Spring? Actually it will be officially Summer in a couple week – wow! I love Spring because I can start picking flowers and herbs to use in my infusions, tinctures and all the beautiful other creations. One of my absolute favorite flowers is calendula – beautiful, sunny calendula!

meander basket 2

This year I am growing two full raised beds with calendula – only one is producing flowers right now. Did you know the more you pick the blossoms, the more they grow? Really. At first I would have 2-3 to pick, then 5-6, then 10, now I am up to about 30 per day on average.

Most of the blossoms come inside to be laid upside down on a clean tray to dry. I do it this way so they don’t shrivel up into a little unidentifiable nothing!


So before I get to the recipe and tutorial, here is a little something for your herbal notebook on Calendula!

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

calendula flower

Calendula is part of the Asteraceae family of plants. It is a ray flower with many petals in orange and yellow with muted green leaves that are about 4-6″ long and rounded at the tip., It is a self seeding annual that can grow to 2′ tall.

Herbal Actions: Vulnerary, Lymphatic, Anti-bacterial, Antiviral, Anti-fungal, Anti-inflammatory and Emmenagogue

Internally, calendula is used for chronic colitis, surgical wounds, ulcers, chronic sores, varicose veins, candida, lymphadema, rinse after tooth extractions, fungal infections.

Externally it is used  for wounds, cuts, rashes, burns, cracked nipples after breast feeding.

Basically Calendula promotes all kinds of wound healing. :)

**As always, check with your medical/herbal practitioner before starting any herbal remedy or do more research to make sure it is right for you.**


Calendula Infused Oil

Take a few cups of calendula blossoms, fresh or dried and add enough coconut and olive oil to cover all the blossoms completely in a crock pot. For 3 cups blossoms, you would need about 4 cups total of oil. I uses half coconut and half olive oil.

Put a thermometer in the pot, do not cover. Heat on low to warm, depending on your personal crock pot since some run very hot. Keep temperature between 110-150o, ideally and definitely below 160o so you don’t get crispy fried calendula!

Heat for about 3 hours, turn off and let cool until you can strain it. Sometimes I will cover the pot with a cooling rack and towel while it is cooling down.

Strain through a muslin or cheesecloth lined mesh strainer into a clean glass bowl. Let this bowl sit covered on your counter overnight and then decant the oil into another bowl or jar. This allows the sediment to go to the bottom of the first bowl(if there is any water or particles) and you will have clear pretty oil.



Now you can use your oil in herbal recipes or put it in the refrigerator(LABELED) where it will keep for up to a year.

So what will you make? Let me know! Please share this post with your friends – thank you :D

Enjoy your lovely day,


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