Fall Container Gardens – Hard to Find Medicinal Herbs, Let’s Plant

It is August and is now typically Texas HOT and I’m talking about gardening.  We have just put out a limited amount of beautiful medicinal herb plants to use as container gardening for this fall and winter.  I want to tell you about them.  They are beautiful for container planting, some of them are so fragrant and all of them are helpful.

First let me tell you about the few plants we have in one gallon pots.  They are already of a nice size so put into a lovely pot these are ready to make a statement now.

GYNURA SPINACH – aka longevity spinach. Research shows that it is an efficient regulator of blood sugar.  Leaves eaten in salads or cooked in dishes, may lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

This is a fast growing plant. Is vining in nature but can be cut to bush.  It is a good candidate for growing indoors as it is a tropical. It is easy to grow, just give them lots of light. You can enjoy these leaves raw or cooked. They are very high in protein.  Good for vegetarians to know.
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WHITE CHRYSANTHEMUM TEA – I am so excited about this plant!! White Chrysanthemum Tea – Chinese Gong Ju Hua Cha, is made form the dried flowers of this plant.  Did you know all Chrysanthemum flowers are edible?  They are!

An evergreen and hardy to 0 degrees. Flowering occurs in the fall in zone 7.  The plant prefers full sun, well drained soils and frequent watering.

The flowers are steeped in hot water and a herbal tea is made.  This is highly medicinal and thought to help reduce inflammation in the body, help with eye problems like – blurred vision, spotty vision, watery eyes and maybe even help with cataracts. May help with high cholesterol, blood pressure and alleviate cold symptoms.
Med - White Chry Tea

CURRY TREE – this smells delightful!!! This is another great container tree.  In a container it will grow about 3’ in height.  It likes to be fed and pruned for a strong bushy plant  Unless you live in zone 9 or higher the container is the way to go.  It can be outside here all summer and then moved indoors for the winter.

The leaves are thick so normally always fried in oil alone before adding any other spices to the dish.  Make a pesto or use on your BBQ.  Experiment with this one.  A beautiful fragrant plant.  A conversation piece for sure.
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TEA TREE – we are all familiar with Tea Tree Oil, well this is the tree it comes from.

The tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is a small evergreen that likes warm climates. It is attractive and fragrant, with an exotic look. The oil from the foliage of this tree is widely used.  Melaleuca tea trees attract attention in your garden, with the trunk being one of the most attractive features is the trunk, with its gorgeous, papery bark.  Living here in Texas where it is mostly warm it can be planted in the gardens.  This can also be grown in containers and is a good way to control the rapid growth of this tree. This also ensures its survival. It must have a lot of sunlight.  This is a fast-growing tree.  It takes a few years before you will see the flowers.

It is recommended you don’t plant this tree outside unless you live in a zone 8 or above. The trees need sun, sun, sun.  They will not do well in the shade. Make sure the soil drains easily. These trees like water.  You need to keep that soil a bit moist at all times.

It is an evergreen and can grow 8 to 15 feet and does like the Texas heat.  It is cold hardy to at least 16 degrees.  It is used in products like soap, toothpaste, oils, etc. Anti-fungal/bacterial.
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The following plants I have in 4″ pots.
HIBISCUS “ROSELLE”
Hibiscus Roselle This bushy shrub can grow 4 to 7’ tall in t he ground but is also a good candidate for container growing. Water the soil when it becomes dry to the touch. To reiterate, water only enough to make the soil moist, not wet. It is critical to use the right type of fertilizer. The fertilizer needs to be one with low phosphorus, moderate nitrogen, and high potassium. Fertilize every two to three weeks.

The calyx is harvested and steeped to make a tea.  Hibiscus Roselle tea is reported to lower blood pressure and lower your LDL cholesterol. This may be worth trying. The beautiful tea is red in color and tastes delicious.  Hibiscus tea does not contain caffeine and is reported to help you relax, making it a good drink for those that are sensitive to caffeine.

ZA’ATAR – this is a wild oregano in Israel. It is in the oregano/thyme family.  This is also called the bible hyssop. This herb can be put into a delicious olive oil to enjoy dipping a fresh crusty bread in. It can be used as an herb in many culinary dishes.  Commonly used in Mediterranean dishes with yogurt, meats and veggies.

TOOTHACHE PLANT – Acmella Oleracea – It has daisy like flowers in the summertime.  It has been used medicinally for a long time. It has been used been used for generations to manage the pain of toothaches. Both the leaves and the attractive golden flowers can be used as a natural anesthetic. Simply chew the leaves or flowers for a few seconds then you’ll experience a tingling and numbing sensation in your mouth. An infusion or tincture made from the Toothache Plant is said to promote gum and throat health due to its strong antibacterial properties. Also called Spilanthes oleracea.

This herb is a good candidate for container growing.  It gets to about 18” tall, fast grower and takes well to pruning.  It needs a lot of light but don’t overwater.  Wait until the soil is dry to the touch then water. Provides pretty yellow flowers. Enjoy this one.
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ST. JOHNS WORT – This plant is widely known as an herbal treatment for depression. Research indicates St. John’s wort is most often used as a dietary supplement for depression. People also use it as a dietary supplement for other conditions, including menopausal symptoms, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and obsessive-disorder. It is used topically for wound healing.  The flowering tops of St. John’s wort are used to prepare teas, tablets, capsules, and liquid extracts. Topical preparations are also available.  This plant likes a lot of water. Is a small shruby plant.

Easy to grow it is not too particular.  Gets to about 3’ tall and provides yellow flowers in the  summer time.
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HOLY BASIL, RAMA TULSI – We have two types of Holy Basil – Rama Tulsi – True Holy Basel, held sacred by the Hindus.  Enjoy in tea, cooking, and salads. Both of the Holy Basil (Tulsi) have a delightful fragrance.  I enjoy them very much for that one benefit alone.  They have been very easy for me to grow and will be a delight to have in your indoor herb garden.

It has been used in Ayurveda medicine for generations. This variety has been found to be one of the highest in medicinal compounds; adaptogenic, antifungal, antibacterial and immune enhancing. Enjoy a tea, tincture, extract or syrup.
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HOLY BASIL, KRISHNA TULSI – It acts like an annual, and is even known to self-seed in temperate climates, which is quite unusual for basil.  Eat one fresh leaf daily, or pick the leaves and flowers and dry them and make the tea. Most excellent. Adaptogenic, immune enhancing, antifungal and antibacterial.

This is easiest of all Tulsi types to grow in temperate gardens and is highly aromatic. Enjoy this too in your kitchen herb garden.  Enjoy this in your kitchen garden in the winter and set out on your porch the rest of the year.  Keep the flowers cut for a bushier plant with a lot more foliage.

Come out and get these hard to find plants and have them for this fall and winter.

 

 

 

Red Steak Seasoning – not just for steak

We have been collecting recipes and photos for our very popular Red Steak Seasoning to share with you.  This seasoning is a good “everything” seasoning.  The best thing about this deliciousness is that it has Turmeric in it.  We have all heard about the great health benefits of Turmeric.

Here are some of our favorite places to add Red Steak Seasoning.
red steak green beans 4
Saute mushrooms and onion in a lightly oiled skillet adding your Red Steak Seasoning and let cook till soft, then add your green beans and canned diced tomatoes.  Taste and add more Red Steak if needed.

Red Steak Cauliflower
Prepare your fresh cauliflower (broccoli too if you like) sprinkle with a good olive oil and then sprinkle with Red Steak Seasoning before putting in the oven to roast at 425 degrees. That’s all you need.  So delicious!!

red steak fries
For those of you who follow me, you know I like things quick and easy in the kitchen so frozen french fries is how I do it.  Sprinkle the french fries (home made or frozen) with Red Steak Seasoning and bake in the oven or fry (use your favorite cooking method) and enjoy.

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Of coarse beef!! Add to your pot roast, steak or hamburger patties.  One seasoning and your done.  Enjoy.

Let us know your favorite way to use Red Steak Seasoning.

Root Veggies, So Good!

 

sweet potatos and beets with sweet orange

Ingredients:

3 Sweet Potatoes
2 Raw Beets
1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil (light)
C & J Farms Salt & Pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons C & J Farms Sweet Orange & Herb

Peel and cut Sweet Potatoes and Beets into 1″ pieces.  Mix in a bowl with the Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper and the Sweet Orange & Herb.  Roast in the oven at 450 degrees about 30 minutes or until fork tender.

This is a simple but delicious way to serve and eat vegetables.  You can use any root vegetables you like but we especially enjoy the sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, and cauliflower with the Sweet Orange & Herb seasoning.  It has a sweet orange flavor that brightens up the veggies.

Enjoy!

Sweet Orange & Herb Squaresalt and pepper 2

 

Herbal Teas – Tasty and Beneficial

The more I garden and learn about herbs, the more I want to know.  I enjoy learning about herbs, spices and plants of all kinds.  Once this box got opened for me, there is no closing it.  It continually spills over and over again with more and more information. A beautiful spilling of floral, culinary, medicinal informational delight. Today I want to share a little information on Making Herbal Teas or more correctly; making an infusion.  An herbal tea is called a ( tinsanes =  /tɪ-zahn).  In reality, it is not a tea without one of the tea plants Camelia Sinensis leaves in it.  Instead they are infusions made from leaves, bark, roots, berries, seeds, and spices. I will continue to refer to them here as Herbal Teas or Teas.

Here is where the difference between herbs and spices kind of get thrown together.  As many spices are added to herbal teas too.  Some of those spices are cinnamon, ginger, turmeric which have been found as extremely beneficial for our health. The difference between and herb and a spice: Herbs come from the leafy and green part of the plant. Spices are parts of the plant other than the leafy bit such as the root, stem, bulb, bark or seeds. Examples of herbs include basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley and mint. Examples of spices include coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and turmeric.

Herbal teas can be as simple or complex as you want them to be.  Sometimes there is nothing better than a simple hot cup of steeped lemon grass.  This herb is a mild sweet citrus flavor that I find soft, pleasant and calming.

Most herbal teas are much more complex combining herbs and spices for flavor and health benefits.  Teas for fighting colds and flu, which by the way, really do make a difference!  Teas for cardiovascular health, blood pressure improvement, general immune system building.  Whatever flavor combinations you have or make to enjoy each and every component will have positive health properties.

Grow some Stevia plant’s to use as a natural sweetener.  This plant’s leaves are seriously sweet right off of the plant. Use your culinary Thyme, Sage, Rosemary, Lavender and so many more for brewing your favorite herbal delight.  Steep the leaves, roots, bark or flowers in hot water (not boiling) for 15 minutes to ensure all of the flavor and nutritional oils have been brought out.  Then enjoy it hot or cold, either way is great.

One more thing to make mention for you to consider – most all true Herbal Teas are caffeine free. The plant, Camelia Sinensis, has caffeine.

You can blend your own as easy as harvesting the plants you have or using dried herbs from your pantry.  Grab your tea ball or tea bags and get started.  Whatever your reason, to have an herb garden, to enjoy herbal teas for flavor or for health and wellness; there is much to enjoy.  If you have never tried an herbal tea, consider starting today.

We keep organic blended teas made and ready to go at the farm store here at C & J Farms.   Some of the herbal teas we carry are – Happy Tummy Tea, Cold and Flu Tea (this is so effective!!), Lemon Tea, Red Rooibos Tea, Earl Grey with Coneflower (this has caffiene), Blues Tea and more.  We offer lists of ingredients in each tea, tea kitchen accessories and a great conversation on herbs, spices and herbal teas.

If you want to know more about what we carry you will have to come by the store,give us a call, or contact us via our email.  We will be happy to help you find an herbal tea delight to suit what you might be looking for.

lemon honey in lemon grass tea 2

PAN FRIED PORK CHOPS

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time:  40 minutes

 

Ingredients:
2 bone-in pork chops
3 cups room-temperature water
½ cup C&J Farms Garlic Salt
¼ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons C&J Farms minced garlic

 

Equipment:
Fork
Gallon zip-top bag
Large plate or baking sheet
Large cast iron skillet
Large spoon
Paper towels

 

Instructions:

  1. Tenderize the pork chops with a fork. Place the fork chops on a large plate or baking sheet. Place the pork chops on a large plate or baking sheet. Prick the chops with a fork, about ⅛ inch deep. Flip the pork chops and repeat pricking the other side.
  2. Brine the pork chops. Place the water, salt, and brown sugar in a gallon zip-top bag and store to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add the pork chops and seal the bag. Place the bag on a rimmed baking sheet and arrange so that the pork chops are sitting in a single layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes up to 8 hours.
  3. Drain and pat the chops dry. Remove the pork chops from the bring and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and sear.
  5. Continuing flipping and cooking for 8-10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook for 8-10 minutes more, flipping the chops every minute, until they register 135*F in the thickest part.
  6. Butter the baste off the heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter, thyme, and garlic. Use a large spoon to spoon the melted butter over the pork chops flip the pork chops and baste again. Let the pork chops rest in the pan until they reach 140 to 145*F, 5 to 7 minutes.
  7. Slice and serve. Slice the pork chops across the grain and serve with the butter sauce.

WHOLE30 ZUPPA TOSCANA, POTATO SOUP WITH KALE

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

 

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons organic beef tallow or ghee
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons C&J Farms Minced garlic
1 tbsp. C&J Farms Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon C&J Farms Crushed Red Pepper, or more to taste if you’re brave!
6 cups chicken broth
7 medium red potatoes
5 oz fresh kale, chopped.
13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
C&J Farms Salt and Pepper blend, to taste

 

Instructions:

In a large stock pot, melt the beef tallow or ghee

Add the italian sausage and cook on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes until browned

Add the onion

Saute for 3 minutes

Add the garlic

Stir for 1 minute

Add the chicken broth and potatoes

Bring your soup to a boil

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes

Add the kale and coconut milk and simmer an additional 5 minutes until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork and kale is tender

Add salt and pepper to taste

Mama’s Stuffing

Mama’s Stuffing Recipe:
– 8 chicken thighs (cover in salted water and cook till done + 1 teaspoons of C&J Farms Poultry Seasonings to water)
– 2 cans jellied cranberry sauce
– 2 stalks celery (2 bunches, chopped finely)
– 1 onion large (chopped finely)
– 2 packages of chicken gravy mix (add cooked giblets and 4 tablespoons of cooked celery and onion)
– 4 yellow cornbread mix (prepare 1 day ahead and let sit out to dry out some)
– 1 can biscuits (same procedure as cornbread)
– 2 or 3 tablespoons of sage to taste
– 1 1/2 tablespoons of poultry seasoning to taste.
– 3 eggs (beaten)
– 2 to 3 cups of chicken broth (approximately 2 cans)
– Roasted Garlic Salt from C&J Farms
– Cook chicken and de-bone, set aside.
– Add celery and onion to chicken broth – plus two cans of chicken broth (cook till Clery is tender)
– Crumble cornbread and biscuits in large turkey pan. Add seasonings, mix in beaten eggs, add onion and celery.
– Slowly pour broth over cornbread mix (stir mix)
– Now add cooked chicken. Stir in cooked chicken into your wet dressing.
– Place in oven at 375* for about 1 1/2 hour.

ENJOY, FRIENDS!

SLOW COOKER HAWAIIAN LUAU PORK WITH PINEAPPLE CILANTRO RICE

Prep Time: 1 minutes

Cook Time: 1 day

Total Time: 1 day 1 minute

 

Ingredients:

1 5-6 pound bone in pork shoulder

2 tablespoons C&J Farms Pink Himalayan Pink Salt

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

 

Rice:
4 cups rice
1 bunch of cilantro
1 pineapple
¼ tsp C&J Farms roasted garlic salt

 

Instructions:

  1. Put pork in the slow cooker, fattier side up.
  2. Season with salt all over.
  3. Add Worcestershire sauce on top.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 24 hours.
  5. DO NOT ADD any water.
  6. If you aren’t going to be eating it right away, try and remove it in one piece after it cools and store in a pot with the cooking liquid.
  7. Heat gently in a 300 degree oven.
  8. Discard fatty liquid before serving.

 

Rice:

  1. Cook rice
  2. Prep and chop pineapple finely
  3. Chop cilantro
  4. Add pineapple and cilantro to cooked rice

 

Serve pork over a bed of rice.

Shrimp Scampi

SHRIMP SCAMPI

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

 

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter

2 pounds shrimp, frozen

2 tablespoons of C&J Farms minced garlic

¼-½ teaspoon C&J Red Pepper Flakes

1 teaspoon C&J Farms Paprika

2 cups water or chicken broth

1 cup half and half

1 cup parmesan cheese

C&J Farms Sea Salt, to taste

C&J Farms Pepper, to taste

 

Instructions:

  1. Melt the butter in the Instant Pot or saucepan.
  2. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is slightly browned 1-2 minutes
  3. Add the paprika and then the frozen shrimp, salt, pepper, and noodles
  4. Pour in the broth. If using broth, don’t add salt above.
  5. Cook under pressure for 2 minutes and use quick release.
  6. Turn the pot to Saute, add in half and half and cheese, and stir until melted.

Throat Syrup

Inspired by @theintrovertedmom

If you’re in need of a recovery don’t forget the old honey trick! 🍯 I’m obsessing over this Lemon Honey from our Farmers Market. Here’s a simple throat syrup I love to make for the fam (over age one):

🍁2-3 tablespoons organic raw Honey (check locally or grab this one online!)

🍁2 drops YL Clove Vitality Oil (or Thieves Vitality)

🍁Teaspoon of organic Olive Oil

🍁Several squirts of fresh Lemon

Serve slightly warm but careful not to overheat because it breaks down the beneficial properties of the honey!