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Super Foods - Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary

Super Foods

Triple Chocolate Love Pie

When you’re making a Triple Chocolate Love Pie, there is always an extra important ingredient that needs to be included… LOVE

So take your time and enjoy the creative experience…

Everything else is great to have checked off on your list, but if something is missing, it’s ok, there are always options and alternatives.. So treat this recipe as a blueprint, and get experimental if you like. Just make sure you add the LOVE in, and your creative masterpiece will come out beautiful.

Tonic Immune Protective Soup Recipe

Tonic Immuni-teaAt Harmonic Arts, one of our favourite Winter Tea Blends is Tonic Immuni-tea.

This deeply nourishing, earthy flavoured blend has a few sweet notes consisting of Wild and Organic Adaptogenic/Tonic herbs and mushrooms used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) including Chaga, Reishi, Eleuthro, Astragalus , Rehmannia, Codonopsis, Goji, and Wild Yam.

Tonic Immuni-tea is the perfect base for creating immune protective elixir drinks and soups…

Ayurvedic Spheres

AYURVEDIC SPHERES

We were on  the hunt for easy and delicious ways to increase the superfoods in our lunches when we stumbled across the recipe  in the BEAUTIFUL little Raw Cookie Book by Julia Corbett. Enjoy our take on  these wonderfully filling little spheres. They are  especially handy in school lunches, when travelling and  enjoying time outdoors.  Have fun!

Old World Sugar Free Christmas Cake

Super Fruit and Nut CakeMmm… We just made a fresh batch of Super fruit & nut Christmas cakes.

Love to make this hardy and nutritious old world treat in the late fall, so it will be ready for the winter festive season. It’s full of nourishing fruits and nuts; a power pack punch of good fats, proteins, energy, vitamins, and tons of phytonutrients that our bodies need during colder months. You don’t have to add any extra sweetener to the mix, as the sweet flavour of the fruits is enough.

Plus as you cure it for 2-6 weeks, you can make a big batch that will get better with age, could even last the whole winter if you don’t eat it all first!

THE ART OF CRAFTING TONICS, BREWS, AND ELIXIRS

To view this article and recipe sheet as a PDF click this link. Elixir Creations

THE ART OF CRAFTING TONICS, BREWS, AND ELIXIRS:photo (16)

With Master/Clinical Herbalist Yarrow Willard,  Co-Founder of Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary

Crafting elixirs is a fun and inspiring process. The basic formula for crafting is simple… and it is a wonderful art that can evolve over time, as you learn the way different herbs and ingredients work together.

First, you simply begin with setting the intention of the desired effect of the brew.  For example, this could be specified health benefits (like support the liver or kidneys), or energizing-effects, or an emotional lift. Then, craft the tonic with herbs and substances that support that intention. In time- you begin to see the magical and synergistic way herbs and superfoods work together to support and boost your overall health.

Chlorella (Chlorella vulgaris)

Spring is the perfect time to do a Chlorella Cleanse. If you are looking to restore optimal health and shed unwanted toxins from the body, try taking 1-2 tsps of Chlorella or Harmonic Arts Green Power Blend daily for 20-30 days to assist the body’s natural spring detoxification process.
chlorella_vulgaris_beij_1_0Chlorella is a single-celled algae that gets its name from its high quantity of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is rejuvenating and detoxifying to the body, and is one of the most powerful food substances on earth.  By weight this little green algae is about 60% protein and is extremely rich in vitamins and minerals. It contains Vitamins C, E, A, and all the B’s (including B12), as well as iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iodine among other minerals. Chlorella has been well researched and documented to have many profound healing benefits on the body. It supports the function of the liver, blood, brain, digestion, elimination and immune system. Chlorella can help relieve inflammation, support weight loss, protect from radiation, detoxify heavy metals, manage blood sugar levels and accelerate recovery and regeneration of body tissues. Two mechanisms in which chlorella supports the body to stay nourished and repair are, “Chlorella Growth Factor” (CGF) and its high in RNA. CGF is a complex that contains the main building blocks for life, it nourishes healthy cell growth and fights free-radical damage. RNA provides material to repair cellular RNA/DNA damage, and chlorella is the highest source known on earth. The breakdown of DNA is considered to be one of the major factors in aging and degeneration. For these reasons and more, Chlorella is a great food source that helps maintain optimal health, supporting a vital lifestyle.

How to consume Chlorella:
It is almost impossible to take too much Chlorella, but is best to start gradually.  A good maintenance dose is 3 grams (small teaspoon), but this can be doubled for those looking to use it for cleansing or detoxifying the body.  In Asia it is common to do a 1 month spring cleanse with chlorella. Spring being the most ideal season to shed toxins from the body.
A teaspoon in a small amount of water and shake it up is a nice way to take it. Though it also goes good in smoothies, salad dressings, many raw food recipes, power balls, and some tonic tea drinks. Whatever way you choose to use chlorella it’s benefits are cumulative, when taken regularly. So adding it to a daily regime for 1-3 months can be ideal.

Green Blessings,
Yarrow Willard Cl.H.

Chia Superfood Parfait

Incan Spirulina and Lemon Coconut Berry Bliss Chia Parfaits
variations served with a layer of
Cashew Cream or Avocado Chocolate Whip

This recipe is a favourite, and can have many wonderful variations, presentation is especially lovely in a martini glass, goblet, or Gourd.  The basic theme is layering and having fun with this versatile and amazing superfood. The chia can be served slightly warm  to create an oatmeal like consistency, which is very nice for the colder months.

Wild Mushroom Soup Recipe for Immune Protective Vitality

shiitake soup harmonic arts

Add more wild mushrooms to your diet to up your immune system’s protective vitality with this wild mushroom soup recipe.

Ingredients:

-30g of Harmonic Arts Tonic Immuni-Tea*
-Or 10 Astragalus Slices* and 10 Reishi Slices* and other tonic herbs of choice
-2-5 Shiitake Mushrooms*  and 2-3 Maitake Mushrooms*
-1-2 Tbsp Harmonic Arts 6 or 14 Mushroom Powdered Extract (optional)*
-1/2 c. slightly sprouted beans, such as adzuki, black beans, black eyed peas, lentils (sprout the night before, optional)
-3/4 c. barley or rice
-2 c. of seasonal vegetables- carrots, squash, zucchini, potatoes, celery, cabbage, kale and or chard
-2-4 Garlic cloves, sliced
-1 small Onion, chopped
-1 tsp of tamari
-Miso to taste, try around a 1/4 c.
-Seasoning spices of choice*, such as ginger, chilies, celery seed, cummin or other herbs/spices.

Shiitake soup

Optional add ins

-2-3 Tbsp Harmonic Arts Sea veg blend*, or other sea vegetables*
-1/3 c. fresh wild burdock and/or dandelion roots sliced thin
-1/3 c. wild greens such as nettles, lambs quarter, or chickweed (if in season)

*Available from Harmonic Arts

Directions:

1. Fill a large soup pot with 4 liters of the best water you can get (spring water is ideal, if available).

2. Add the Tonic Immuni-tea blend or Astragalus, Reishi, and other tonic herbs. Bring to a boil and lightly simmer for 20-40 min. or longer. Strain herbs and use the liquid as a broth base for the soup. This is called a decoction.

3. Add Shiitake, Maitake, Mushroom powder extract and sprouted Beans. Simmer for 20 min. (to slightly sprout the beans, soak  overnight or for 8 hours, rinse and change the water 1-2 times. Beans can also be sprouted for longer if desired).

3. Add the barley or rice and simmer for another 30 minutes

4. Add vegetables of choice, onion, garlic, spices, sea veg, fresh burdock/dandelion and simmer for another 15-20 minutes.

5. Reduce heat. Add miso, tamari and other seasonings to taste. Miso should not be boiled as it destroys the pre and pro-biotic aspects.

This Recipe is a loose guide. Like all things in the kitchen, it is best to customize based on the ingredients you have on hand and your specific needs.

When to use:

This is a highly nourishing deep tonic and immune protective soup. It is best used anytime from late fall to early spring, and especially in the mid winter months or in cold weather. It is helpful if one is feeling weak, run down or low energy. Making a hearty meal like this will help bring back vitality and health. Vitality Soup is an ideal addition for those who suffer from weakened immunity, auto-immune conditions, allergies, diabetes, hepatitis, or other forms of weakened health.

Herbs of choice:

The Tonic Immuni-tea blend from Harmonic Arts or Reishi and Astragalus are included as Adaptogenic Immune Tonic Herbs, and by no means are these the only herbs that lend well to a soup like this. Other good choices of tonic herbs based on personal specifics can be: Chaga, Ginseng, Eleuthero, Ashwagandha, Fo-Ti, Rhemmania, Codonopsis, Wild Yam, Goji, Maca, Burdock and Dandelion. If you are using a small cut of herb, they can be put in a re-usable muslin tea bag*, cheese cloth pouch or should be strained out before adding other vegetables. Another option is to add herbal powders and not filter them, although this will leave some sediment in the soup. For more ideas on herbs to use in your decoction base check out our post on Making Herbal Decoctions.

Have fun with creating your own Vitality Soups and nourishing your loved ones with these great food medicines.

549070_423208021050754_926539210_nHerbal decoction bases:

A Decoction is a herbal tea that is lightly simmered for 30min-5 hours. It is different from an Infusion, which is a tea that is steeped in hot water, but not simmered. Typically decoctions are done with  woody plant parts like roots, barks and seeds as well as mushrooms, where the medicinal compounds require longer extraction as they are contained by tough fibrous cell walls. They are not ideal for leafy green herbs or those containing highly volatile oils.

How else can I use the Tonic Immuni-tea base:

Once created, a decoction can be used in many ways other than as a broth base for soup. It is great just to drink as a tea, but one of my favourite options is to make it into hot tonic drinks. This can be done by adding super food powders like Raw Cacao or our Super Power Blend, a nut mylk, coconut oil or cacao butter and sweetener to the decoction base, and then blending while still hot. This is like a nutrient infused, amped up hot chocolate.  It is also great used cold as a smoothie base, or as a base for making your own nut mylks.

As it can take up to a few hours to make a strong decoction, sometimes it is ideal to make more than you are able to use right away. After straining, they can be stored in mason jars or other glass containers in the fridge, and reheated or used cold when desired. Most will last for up to a week, so it is best not to make more than you can use in this amount of time.

 

Women’s Practices for Maintaining Vital Health

Artist- A. Andrew Gonzalez

Artist- A. Andrew Gonzalez

By Angela Willard Cl.H.

I love life, and I love it even more when I feel the ease in my body during and after a cleanse. The thing is, we need to find ways to feel this way all the time, even when the cleanse is over and ‘regular’ life sets back in. After experimenting with finding my optimal health level over the past number of years, I have found certain daily practices to come to mean the difference between feeling alright, and feeling fantastic! Follow me on this journey in discovering your own super goddess that resides within you.

For us women, who have a rainbow of responsibilities we all too often need to tend to in our lives, we generally run with a vessel more on the empty side. With that, my goal in writing this piece is to guide women in all places and spaces, to be inspired to fill their vessel so full, that they experience life with ease rather than effort. When things come from a place of effort, all of our energy becomes focused on catching up, and restoring balance. Why not instead experience the blissful feeling of having abundant reserves, which fuel us to fulfill not only our responsibilities, but also our passions and creativity. It is in our creativity that we may find our solace, get to know our selves more deeply, and continue to grow and evolve on this path of life.

With that, I have compiled a list of simple practices to implement on a daily basis, whether cleansing or not, to bring fullness to life and allow us to come from that place of nourished contentment rather than from a sense of imbalance and struggle.

Fermenting Foods

Not only do I feel much better eating fermented foods on a daily basis, I get great pleasure and nourishment from playing a part in the fermentation process. Having a direct relationship with your food is a potent way of receiving healthful benefits. Fermentation is a vast area you can participate in, from making your own sauerkraut, to creating your own tempehs, delicious drinks such as beet kvass and kombucha, or even special occasion beverages such as meads and herbal wines. Some plant properties are more potent and bio-available when fermented, and fermented foods are high in probiotic cultures that support and guard the GI tract. It doesn’t take too long to feel confident with fermenting, and usually you can get your favorite process down after one or two tries. I recommend you start with small batches until you feel you have it right. The following recipe for Beet Kvass is something I’ve really enjoyed making, and it’s positive impact on women through supporting liver function and hormone balance makes it an optimal daily tonic drink.

Beet Kvass:

3 medium beets, cubed

1 Tbsp Salt

Clean source of Water

Add chopped beets to a 1 liter mason jar, sprinkle on salt, and top with water leaving about one inch of air from the top. (You can also add 1 Tb of Kefir to add more cultures). Cover with a lid, give it a good shake, and let sit at room temperature for 2-3 days (if you are in a warm climate 2 days should be enough). Place in fridge and drink about ½ cup per day. When the jar gets low on kvass, top with water again for a second batch. Save a little of the kvass to add to your next batch with new beets to help kick start the fermentation process. After using the beets to make your kvass, you can add them to your next meal as a delicious addition!

Consume Seaweeds

The health benefits of consuming seaweeds is a very extensive list. Keep in mind that if you are new to bringing seaweeds into your diet, it may take a few weeks to notice some of the benefits, as some receptors in the body need to ‘re-learn’ how to integrate seaweeds into the system. What I consider the top reasons for women to eat these wonderful foods are the following:

-High mineral content, especially great for those that eat little or no animal products.

-It’s iodine content helps to regulate the thyroid, a sensitive endocrine gland that when in a healthy state directly affects ones feeling of well being and ability to move through life with full reserves of energy. *Not to be used uncooked for those with hyper-thyroid.

-High Vitamin content, specifically containing Vitamins A, B’s (B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12), C, D (contains ergosterol which the body converts to D), E, and K.

Fucoidan, a property specific to brown seaweeds, is a great life giver from the ocean. It has the ability to target foreign cells and dismember them while encouraging proper energy flow throughout the body and it’s integrative systems. The simplest way to consume Fucoidan is to take 2 tsp of any powdered brown seaweed (or you can use Harmonic Arts Fucoidan blend), add it to 1 C of water, and bring to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes. Take 2-3 Tbsp each day, mixed with juice if needed to make it more palatable. Stores in a container in the fridge for up to 1 week. You may start to notice uplifted feelings in your sense of self fairly quickly, as it efficiently helps to improve mood within a womans hormonal cycle. Currently there are about 900 scientific studies around the world on Fucoidan, it appears to have an incredibly positive impact on overall human health.

Incorporate Superfoods and Superherbs into a regular regime

These potent botanicals can support a high quality lifestyle, for the long term.

Superherbs are basically powerful acting herbs that have an intelligent ability to adapt to current needs and stresses, in order to support the whole person system with greater flexibility in life. With that, many of them are considered Adaptogens and Longevity Tonics, as they act most prominently on ones internal weak spots and support the HPA axis for accurate stress response.

Superfoods can be described as nutrient dense low calorie foods, with little to no negative effects, allowing the body to consume higher quantities than other botanicals. Consuming the same amount of Superfoods as other common foods will deliver much higher nutrition to the body. Below is a list of some of my favorite super herbs and foods that deliver an especially great boost to the female reproductive and hormonal system:

1)Goji berries (Lycium chinense); these tasty berries are very high in antioxidants, protect and strengthen the liver, boost immune, and stimulate the release of HGH, a hormone that keeps us looking and feeling young.

2)Fo-Ti (Polygonum multiflorum); this traditional chinese yin tonic nourishes the body, as it builds energy reserves and slows the aging process. It increases fertility and libido in women, allowing women to feel as though they are in their power and feeling their best.

3)Maca (Lepidium meyenii); influences the pituitary gland which in turn regulates overall hormone excretion. Increases energy, addresses a wide variety of women’s menstrual and menopausal discomforts, and contains significant amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E, as well as minerals (calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron).

4)Schizandra berries (Schisandra chinensis); these berrries contain lignans, which help to protect the liver. It is said that if consuming Schizandra berries every day for 100 days, your skin will glow like the moon. They also bring healing to the lung, increasing the ability to take in oxygen, as well as keep defenses against external pathogens strong.

5)Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum); Useful for coping with stress, helps increase energy, and raises the ability to deal with pain. All in all this herb is wonderful for fortifying and building overall strength. It’s ‘holiness’ comes from the Vedic observations that it opens the heart and mind which in turn enhances love and devotion.

6)Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus); Brings balance to symptoms of the female hormone cycles. Helps to improve sense of well being prior to menstruation, tones the uterus, lessens hot flashes in menospausal women, and maintains womens overall good health.

7)Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera); The translation of this Sanskrit name is ‘to make like horse’, so if you can imagine the strength and vigor of a stallion, it gives you an idea of the force of this plant. It is helpful to build back the body’s strength after illness, or during times of high stress. It also has shown to help increase fertility in both men and women.

8)Medicinal Mushrooms; I couldn’t pick just one of them- studies have shown that medicinal mushrooms are more effective when combined as opposed to used singularly. They are a potent way to help prevent most all illnesses through a number of mechanisms. They are proven to enhance immune response, improve the bodies ability to produce Vitamin D, are anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, liver supportive, and calming to an overactive nervous system. Harmonic Arts has two medicinal mushroom blends available~ 5 mushroom or 14 mushroom blend steam extracted powders, which are bio-available to the body as is, and can be sprinkled in anything from smoothies, salad dressings, and soups. Some examples of medicinal mushrooms are Shiitaki(Lentinus edodes), Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) , and Maitaki (Grifola frondosa).

 

Get your Daily Sweat On!

 

Whether it be from exercise, or relaxing in a steam or sauna, allowing the body to sweat supports the skin. The skin is one of the four eliminatory channels of the body. Regular exercise is proven to extend the human life span, and greatly increase the quality of life. A physically fit body is able to efficiently protect against invasive pathogens, process toxins and other substances that may be backed up and causing imbalance. Exercise also strengthens the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, keeping them functioning at their highest. All of this increases oxygen to each and every cell, gifting your whole being a breath of fresh air.

The lymphatic system also benefits from the muscle pump action generated in exercise. As it is the pathway that toxins are channeled out in the body, the best way to cleanse it is through movement. To support the lymphatic system during a steam or sauna, alternating the session with very cold showers will give the lymph a good cleansing. Infrared sauna is ideal, but also beneficial are herbal steams, cedar sauna, sweat lodges, or the traditional latin american temescal.

And Don’t Forget to Stretch

Stretching yourself comes in many forms. Often people think of yoga right away, which is a wonderful practice to bring into your life if you have not already. There are other ways you may wish to explore stretching in your life as well. Trying something new, or different than the way you normally would do things, can be both exhilarating and consciousness shifting. Sticking to patterns can work for awhile, but when it comes to evolving the self, patterns can equate to turning in circles versus spiraling up and cultivating growth. Try to bring into your daily practice the choice of doing something you don’t normally do. Record each new experience down in a journal, and after a cycle of one month, look back on your recordings and notice how your self has changed with this practice. You may find that your growth has accelerated in the direction you wish to be going.

Along with the above suggestions, I recommend that you do a mini inventory on the daily influences that you allow into the experience of your life. We are regularly bombarded with un-natural sights, sounds, ideas, circumstances, and occurrences. It has now become a mass acceptance of the norm. Ask yourself if what you are experiencing in each moment lines up with your highest self. If it in any way does not, purge and cleanse that influence from your life and fill that space with something that fills your heart. Not only will this improve your experience in the world, it ripples out and improves the overall experience of the world, coming back at you as the love you are willing to accept. Using discernment with what you allow into your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual body will ultimately take you to a place of feeling ‘cleansed’ in every moment, gifting your life a continual experience of true well being.

 

angela willardAngela Willard received her Clinical Herbalist Diploma from the Wild Rose College in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 2005. She has since been in practice as an Herbalist through many avenues including consulting, growing herbs, wildcrafting, and co-creating the Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary. She actively adds herbal and health tools to her basket through continual upgrading of her knowledge with a strong focus on Women’s health and wellness. Sharing information that empowers people to live with integrity to their highest potential is a strong calling that fuels her on this path.

Super Tonic Oatmeal!

When interviewed, many of the oldest and healthiest people in the world claim that oatmeal or porridge was a staple food in their diet.  Rolled or chopped Oats, Rye and other grains can have a harmonizing effect on our digestive tract and the ecological balance inside us.  Soothing inflammation, absorbing toxins and scrubbing the colon walls clean on their way through.  The fibre in whole grains helps regulate the delivery of energy to our body, not spiking the blood sugars too quickly. They also relax the nervous tissue of the digestive tract, which increases our absorption of nutrients.  Most importantly, they make a great pre-biotic, which is food for our pro-biotics (Acidophilus & Bifidus cultures).  These pro-biotic cultures act as our initial immune protection from pathogens and help absorb essential vitamins/minerals more effectively.  A strong gut ecology is a precursor to good health and longevity.  It makes us more adaptable to our environment, which is constantly changing.  For these reasons and more porridge is a great addition to the modern lifestyle.  But, why stop at just plain porridge, when we can create our own personalized Super Tonic Oatmeal! We make it either savory or sweet, using the grains as a medium to help our other nutrients absorb better.