Monday, February 22, 2010

Granola Bar and Herbal Salve recipes~

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... :)

*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

Then add:
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)

Also add:
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!


Rachel said...

Wow! Two wonderful recipes Cora! :D Thank you for sharing dear! :D I may have to try the granola bar one sometime...uh, "soon". ;) Lol!

I tried to get on my email to get you the questions for the HH of the Month, but it's acting up, so if I can't tonight, I'll try again tomorrow. ;)

Love and Hugs!

Anna said...

Thank you so much! It seems like my mom and I are forever trying out granola bar recipes that tastle like cracked corn. My mom LOVES peanut butter, so I'll have to show this one to her.


Dilvîn said...

Thanks so much Cora!
Those Granola bars seem very yummy and heathy.
I will have to make some

I will have to try out the salve. I am very interested in making things like that. My brother David told me that he thinks we might have gumweed in our pasture.
We have all the other plants except chaparal
I'll have to look that one up in the big herb book that our neighbor is letting us borrow.
Thanks again!
have a good night my friend!

Hannah said...

Yum! I'll have to try the granola bar recipe! Sound really good.
I saw the pictures of the salve and was going to ask you if you could share the recipe, but I never did. So I was glad to see that you posted it =D!
About menfolk and herbal smells, the Beautiful Hair Treatment (We call it the Green Hair Goo) that Grace told you about the other day, is recommended to only do it when your husband/brothers/dad are not around. On the website It says that your husband will enjoy the results better if he did not see the goo-y green process! There is a funny story along these lines that happened to me and my sisters the first time we were doing this hair goo, We were down at my sister's cabin preparing to do this hair goo thing. My brother in law was gone and it was supposed to be a total "only girls" time. We were mixing up this bog-like mixture and it looked really- gross.
We were just getting ready to start applying it to our hair, we heard voices coming nearer and nearer the cabin! Soon we saw my brother in law through the window. He had to come back home for something. But it was not only him, he had brought his brother with him too =D! They came in the door and we said hi and stuff. Us girls were sort of just stirring our little pots of muck not really knowing what to do when his brother says, "so what are you girls up to?" We started laughing and told him we were doing a natural herbal hair treatment and that it was supposed to be no guys allowed. He says "oh, sounds like something my wife and girls would like to do" and walks out the door. My brother in law follows and as they walk away we heard them muttering something about if they should take my nephew with them. It was pretty funny. Thankfully we had no more interruptions after that!!
Me and Grace are thinking of doing it again soon- wanna join us?!?!
Okay. End of this big, long, super, genormous, enormous, gigantic, foot-long, comment!!
Good Night Cora Beth!!!

Cora Beth said...

I got your e-mail and was able to open the attachment... Hooray! I'll work on it as I have time the rest of this week. Thanks again for thinking of me!

I truly think these bars do not resemble cracked corn in the slightest, so you should be happy with them. :)

I hope you enjoy the granola bars if you do decide to try them!

Gumweed grows about a foot and a half tall around here and it produces little yellow flowers that are extremely sticky!!! There are also tiny little hook-like green things that are all around the flower--everything being sticky. :)
...Sweet dreams to you!

I absolutely LOVE receiving big, long, super, genormous, enormous, gigantic, foot-long, comments, so am so glad you left me one! :) I had to laugh as I read about your hair experience!!! It made me curious to smell what the goo smells like...! I would really like to try that green-goo hair recipe sometime soon--when no guys are around. :) Maybe on Wednesday... We'll see.

Thanks to all of you for your comments and here's wishes for a good nights rest. (You're probably all in bed already...)

Rachel said...

Dear Cora

Thank you for sharing these recipes! The granola bars must be tasty!

I found your salve recipe very interesting. In the part of the country where we are living at the moment we get rain in Summer, but hardly any in winter so everything is very dry during that season. My mom, sister and I have sensitive skins which really suffer in the dryness. We have tried different lotions but nothing really helps, it sounds though that your homemade salve might just be the answer for us! :)

Come Autumn we are going to try and get the ingredients together and make up a batch. Gumweed and chapparal may be a challenge, but if they are unobtainable then we may be able to substitute something else?

At this high altitude the air in winter is extremely dry and makes everything static - including our hair! We go through LOTS of hair conditioner then! I wonder if Hannah's hair goo will help? Just don't know if I'm brave enough to try it! :D

Thanks again for sharing.
God bless and lots of love,