A while back, I got requests for a couple recipes, and am now finally getting around to sharing them with you! Better late than never, so they say... :)
CHEWY GRANOLA BARS
*Note* This is not the recipe I used the other time I made granola bars, (that recipe made very crumbly granola bars!) but this is our favorite recipe--so far.
1 cup brown sugar (we use 1/2 cup honey instead)
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup wheat germ
2 Tbls. sesame seeds
6 ozs. chocolate or carob chips
2 Tbls. vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup coconut (shredded)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins
--This is a very flexible recipe, meaning if you like coconut better than sesame seeds, you can adjust the amount of coconut up and sesame seeds down. In other words, add your favorite ingredients and subtract the ones you don't have on hand!
Stir well. Press into 9x13" pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!
*Note* This is another flexible recipe, in which you add what herbs you like and then just add enough oil to make it be above the herbs by an inch.
One of our favorite herbal combinations is as follows... It makes a salve that's good for moisturizing your skin and for relieving itches and skin irritations (and this is the salve we use on our cows too.) The salve is oil-based though, so be careful not to touch your clothing right after putting some on your hands or it will stain your clothes.
Put in a large kettle or a ceramic crock-pot 1 1/2 cups of each of the following herbs:
gumweed (we find this in our pasture--it helps you if dealing with poison ivy)
comfrey leaf (good for wounds)
plantain (good for skin)
chapparal (antibiotic--helps with tumors)
3 Tbsp. bee propolis (bee-keepers can provide you with this)
1/4 cup beeswax (also a bee-keeper item--although I imagine you can find these items elsewhere too?)
Then, poor oil over the herbs and add enough so that there's about an inch above the top of the herbs. This big of a recipe requires about a gallon of oil. You can use many different kinds of oils in this salve, so experiment with what you like. We generally just use vegetable oil, as it's the cheapest and we go through a lot of salve everyday at milking time!
Allow this mixture to "Cook" at about 225 degrees for 4 hours. If you see that it starts to boil, you'll need to turn the heat back. Stir occasionally. When the 4 hours are up, it's time to do the salve test! Dip a clean knife into the mixture and then place the knife on a plate in the refrigerator for a few minutes until it sets up. Then scrape it off the knife and see if the salve is at the consistency you desire. If it's too thick, then add some more oil to your pot and let the salve cook a while longer before testing again. If too thin, add more beeswax (just a little bit goes a long ways.)
Now comes the messy part! When the salve consistency is to your liking, then you need to strain off the liquid--which becomes your salve--and throw away the herbs. I've seen this part of the process done in different ways... You can put a dishcloth (one you don't mind being stained) over the top of a glass bowl and strain the mixture into it and then poor the salve into smaller containers. Or, the recipe says you can use a coffee filter. Or, you can take a soup ladle and scoop off as much liquid as you can and strain through the old toe-end of a nylon directly into the jars or containers you've chosen for your salve.
Which ever way you choose to do it, you'll want to add to the liquid while still hot:
approx. 20 vitamin E capsules--they work as a preservative
OR: several drops of grapefruit seed extract--for the same purpose
Once you have the liquid in jars, just let it be for a couple hours and it should set up nicely!
Then, all that's left is to enjoy your salve!
Warning: Our fellas do not like the strong smell the herbs give off while cooking, (they say they can smell it even before they walk in the front door!) so you may wish to make this while your menfolk are planning to be out of doors for a while. :) Mother and I like the smell of the salve though, so it's a matter of personal preference I guess.
If you have questions, I'd be happy to try to answer them!