Springtime Cookies & Plant Based Dyes | Vegan & Gluten Free

Simple will always win in my book. Because there are sometimes you want to develop and devour something in a pinch. Therefore I like these cookies a lot. These are simple, plant based, and filling almond based cookies. I’d like to think they are quite nutritious too but I’m not a nutritionist so I can’t totally make that claim. But just trust me y’all.

For these cookies I made coconut butter icing and I experimented with some natural food dyes in the form of tea powders. Tip: I highly recommend using tea in powdered form to create vibrant colors. With the Wild Foods Curr Berry Tea (Organic Hibiscus, Elderberry, Red Currant & Cranberry), I did use it in liquid form because I didn’t have a grinder to process the tealeaves + berries. If you have a grinder, I highly recommend using it to make some pretty colors.

And so returns the beautiful matcha powder. Two vibrant colors: Wild Foods Wild Matcha #2, which was also used in a refreshing Matcha Chia Fresca, and Blue Chai’s dreamy blue matcha powder. Both are organic and the Green Tea Matcha adds an energizing flavor while the Curr Berry definitely gives some berry flavor

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An All Around Zero-Waste Guide

Many other people have their own zero-waste kits or guides, and I am no exception. Whether I’m gone for a few days, school/work, or going to run some errands I try my best to be prepared and it’s truly quite simple.
Its been well into the year I started taking re-usuables with me everywhere and at first I used to be quite shy: (will they accept my coffee cup? Will my company think I’m being far-fetched?). But kindness is everything and when I hit up my favorite joints, shoutout to DRNK in East Hollywood, Honu Coffee in Santa Clarita, and of course Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf cafes throughout the city, I’m often remembered by the baristas for being the gal who whips out her Kleen Kanteen or UKonserve up upon ordering her drink and have struck up friendly conversations and smiles. Pro-tip: the cafes mentioned above offer in house cups to drink out of, just bring your own straw if needed.
As much as I want major companies to be the leaders in reducing waste and making environmental issues the forefront of their priorities, we as consumers have a voice in making that a reality. From taking re-usables, saying no to single-use items, and choosing farmers markets or bulk-buys we can make a difference with our actions.
These are simple and affordable switches that will save you money, minimize waste, and let’s be honest are quite appealing. I wholeheartedly support the companies mentioned here for their dedication to sustainability and helping our beautiful earth while minimizing waste.

zero waste guide at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com

Kleen Kanteen Insulated Tumbler | This company is one of my favorites. They create products that are durable and great for anyone to use. You can use this cup for anything: coffee, kombucha, water, etc. and since it’s made out of stainless steel it wont leech any The cup will keep hot liquids warm for 4 hours and cold liquids for up to 15+ although they must be covered but that these do come with a press-fit Simple Lid, just in mind this lid is not leakproof.
Klean Kanteen Insulated Food Canister 8oz | These are multi purpose stainless steel canisters that you can use for food storage, buying in bulk, or takeout. It is also
insulated so it will keep your items hot or cold!
Catspring Yaupon Tea | Catspring is a Texas based company that produces sustainable tea free of pesticides, chemical fertilizers in cultivating. What is Yaupon? It’s a US native plant that produces a green or black tea, depending on how you roast it. Edible Austin describes it as yaupon’s berries as toxic but the small oval leaves of the plant had been used for centuries by Native Americans to brew in ceremony. The tealeaves can be composted and the company offers bulk looseleaf options.
Guayaki Loose Leaf Yerba Mate | c/o When it comes to efforts in sustainability and environmental integrity, Guayaki raises the bar. The company Sustainably sources the tea from preserved rainforests and devotes effort to reforestation projects. The bag it comes in can be composted in home composts or landfill in 180 days so yes, it is possible to create packaging.  So what is yerba mate? It’s a South American herbal tea that some use as an alternative to coffee or for energy. It contains 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, 11 polyphenols, and of course caffeine. Guayaki’s yerba mate is organic & fair trade and the used tealeaves can also be composted.
Fat & The Moon All Salve | The plant based alternative to petroleum jelly, skin & lip balm, and healing salve for cuts and burns. This is a great multipurpose product that soothes and heals with organic ingredients like calendula, st john’s wort, & oregon grape leaf (but note: it does contain beeswax). This company is considerate about minimizing excess packaging and using re-usable solutions like this metal tin. 
Organic Unbleached Un paper Towels/Cloths  & Produce Bags | From the store Natural Linens, these are organic, unbleached, GOTS certified, and Fair Trade certified these are the perfect alternative to paper towels or face cloths. Of course you can wash them and use them as often as you need. These come with polyester threading but if you pay a small fee, you can request cotton threading instead.
Full Circle Glass Travel Bottle | If you or someone you know prefers tea this is a good gift or them.  It comes with an infuser so they can go a zero waste route and add loose leaf tea and let it steep to their content (compost it) but you can also add bagged tea bags, lemon, sugar + etc. The body is made out of borosilicate glass and cork sleeve. The cap and bottom are made out of recycled plastic that’s BPA free. This is a great cup for on the go + travel ready.
Toockies Natural Jute Flower Trivet | These are beautiful handmade organic jute trivets that have so many uses. Toockies recommends this for holding casserole or roasting dishes but I like to use them as candle/drink coasters or wall décor. These are compostable & biodegradable and come in a set of two. Toockies uses a fair trade system to give a voice and financial opportunities to women in India who are able o making a living through this company. Learn more about Toockies devotion to helping these women-artisans here.
EcoInstinct Handmade Laundry Soap | When I was searching for laundry soap that was zero waste and palm oil free I found that you cant always get what you want.  But my search paid off when I came across Eco Instinct. This company started by Folk Herbalist Megan Donovan creates palm oil free, vegan, and Non-GMO laundry soaps that are plant based and free of borax . Thoughtfully packaged in post-consumer or recycled material that you can reuse when repurchasing. You can request a bulk purchase as well or get soapberries if those are your preferred choice.

 

This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases you make through these links will help A Wildflower Spirit bloom and grow. Thank y’all for the constant love and support!

 

Iced Lavender Lemonade Tea

I really love using lavender in edible creation. My goal is to cultivate lavender. as in keep it alive and healthy. I used to buy potted lavender from Trader Joes but somehow they wouldn’t make it very long, but the more I understand the simple roots of gardening I think California’s sun is too intense for plants.

On the topic of warm weather, hydration is very crucial with the temperatures many are experiencing. I remember once in Culver City I had a wonderful lavender lemonade. It was floral, sweet, & refreshing. I didn’t have but one lemon on hand but I did have culinary lavender and a lemon meringue tea from Art of Tea. The tea is a blend of green rooibos, orange peel, rose petals,  cornflowers – all of it organic. Blended with raw unfiltered honey and you have a drink that makes the summer slightly bearable.

iced lavender lemonade tea #glutenfree at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

2 cups of unfiltered water
2 tablespoons of lemon meringue tea
1 tablespoon of edible organic lavender buds
1 tablespoon of raw honey I used clover honey
juice of one organic lemon
+ 3/4th cup of cool water

  • First, make the tea – steep 2 cups of water with both the lemon meringue tea  & lavender buds so they infuse. Let it sit for 20 minutes or so
  • Remove steeper, since you’ll be adding a little more liquid to if you need to transfer the tea to a bigger cup do so.
  • Add the juice of a lemon & honey and stir until it dissolves. Add the remaining water and then taste, maybe you want it a little sweeter (up the honey) or add more water it its too sweet
  • Once you’re content place the lavender lemonade tea in the freezer or add ice cubes and enjoy

// substitutions
if you don’t consume honey you can use maple syrup,  raw sugar, vegan honey, or liquid stevia
feel free to add berries or chia seeds
if you dont want to heat up the honey you can freeze the tea first & then blend the honey + lemon

February Monthly Favorites

February had really caused to evaluate where I shop, what I support and to be adamant in my path of wellness. That being said I really enjoy taking the time to try out/imbibe these products to truly see if they help me. I do believe in giving time for products to take effect on our health & body and seeing how we react. Also, I love getting to know and communicate with sellers, learn + study more about their methods & ingredients (please always inform yourself about anything new you will introduce in your body) Here are February’s pick and happy March 1st everyone!

february monthly favorites at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com

Amitea Organics | Organic Loose Nettle Leaf  I bought this loose leaf nettle for adding it to other teas, nettle has a mild flavor, its free of allergens (unless, you have a preexisting reaction to nettle) and its good to use it over time. Nettle should be used in teas with boiling water, serving size is a cup several days a week! “Nettle’s iron content makes it a wonderful blood builder, & the presence of vitamin C aids in the iron absorption. As a hemetic (an herb rich in iron), this is an excellent herb for anemia and fatigue, especially in women” via here and heres another good read featuring nettle

Herbal Island | Raw Cacao Nibs these are 100% organic morsels from Peru. I dont think cacao nibs need much introduction. They taste like dark chocolate without the bitter aspect. Half of the week I am on the run early in the morning and I will top my granola or oatmeal with cacao for a boost of magnesium, protein & natural sweetness.

Mountain Maus Remedies Ashwagandha Root Powder another amazing find is this farm based in Washington who use sustainable & organic gardening practices to grow allergen free (there is no wheat or gluten grown in this garden, yay) herbs and botanicals. I used this ashwagandha powder for my maple Walnut Milk and have use it over the month in other milks. This is such a beautiful root that is calming and de-stressing. I love this herb. All you need is a teaspoon. You can also check out Mountain Maus here

Herbal Revolution | Love Your Lungs Organic Tea Los Angeles may not be the east coast and we may not get much winter weather but its is awfully windy and that in itself is not nice on sensitive skin or lungs. Earlier in January when the weather started getting windier, I started having issues with respiratory but instead of any tea, I want a tea blend specifically for lungs, because respiratory pains are no fun. I found Herbal Revolution, a great company run from a sustainable, pesticide free & organic garden. This tea blend features: nettles, thyme, mullein & hyssop. This tea is one of my favorites especially with a little honey. It can be taken as a supportive tea for people with a history of lung conditions or asthma but remember to take breaks (as with any botanical & herb) I should note of the Herbal Revolution handmade products are gluten/wheat free & vegan with the exception of their raw honey

Navitas Naturals | Organic Mulberries along with cacao nibs I like to top my breakfast with these sustainably obtained Turkish mulberries, they are sweet, chewy and contain a heaping amount of vitamin C, iron, & calcium. However I found I like blending and mixing ingredients. A handful of mulberries, a sprinkling of cacao & topping of chia seeds. By rotating and having variety you’re putting a lobe of plant-based wellness into your body and they help each other absorb the vitamins, minerals & nutrients.

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I’ll never feature a product that doesn’t improve my personal health or isn’t earth friendly/sustainable in someway. My own path with my health may have been an evolution within itself and it will always be a learning experience. I recognize how happy and fascinated I become when I learn about the science and alchemy of the earth and her creations.