Glutbots Need Love Too ((Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Recipe))

My favourite things about woodland boyfriend’s Wednesday beekeeping course is being home alone for the whole evening.  Having the time and headspace to do things in my own time, make a mess and tidy up on my own terms and eat whatever I want without having to worry about anyone but little old me.

Today has been one of those cold and rainy do as little as possible days. You know, the kind that you usually end up either ordering a takeaway and eating entirely too much or resorting to student staples like tuna pasta mush for dinner.

Being a self proclaimed and newbie glutbot* I am still searching for substitute comfort food recipes for said days. In town, we have this amazing little wholefoods shop with almost everything you could ever want for all kinds of dietary preferences. My lucky find at Vans this week has been this gluten free quinoa pasta. Now, this stuff is far from the mushy stuff sold in most supermarkets and has only has four ingredients – zero of which are suspiciously unpronounceable.

Anywho, today seemed like the perfect time to put this new found glory to the test and decided to whip up a quick pesto bacon pasta delight. And, out the kindness of my heart, share it with you lovely beasties in the hopes you will applaud my glutbot ingenuity and downright laziness!

((Lazy Day Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Recipe))

Serves 4 reasonable eaters & 2 mammoth eaters

Ingredients: 

1 pack Gluten Free Quinoa Pasta (I used this one) 250g

2 tbl Pesto (either homemade or store-bought) I used a naughty store-bought tomato pesto.

4 Rashers Bacon (cut into strips)

A handful of spinach (washed & organic if you’re going for extra points!)

100g grated cheddar cheese (feel free to quadruple this amount based on preference) – I used a local welsh cheese because I’m good like that.


 

What to do: 

1. Boil pasta for about 10 minutes or until tender.

2. While the pasta is cooking chop the spinach and fry the bacon.

3. Strain pasta when tender (about 10 minutes) and return to saucepan.

4. Add chopped spinach and bacon. Pop the lid on while you grate the cheese and let the spinach wilt.

5. Mix in pesto. Serve up and add grated cheese everywhere making sure to eat all the bits off the counter and from up your sleeve.

6. EAT and get someone else to do the washing up!

Voila madames et croquemonsieurs. Pesto pasta a la glutbot*!

And with that, I leave you to being my new night time “wind down” routine in the hopes of a better nights sleep. No electronics for an hour before bed, a mug of warm milk and honey, a shower and some light relaxing music. Gosh life is hard!

 

TJ x

 

*A glutbot is a person who is on a gluten free diet. It is not meant offensively and is rather more a term of endearment than anything.

 

New Beginnings

For ages I’ve wanted my own piece of land, to be able to grow my own food and live a lifestyle that meant even if fossil fuels run out in my lifetime or the dinosaurs suddenly awaken from a prehistoric slumber to crush all of civilization.. I’d be okay because I had my vegetables, my chickens, my goats and my like-minded neighbours (and undoubtedly a cave to hide in).

So, when I moved to Wales this past summer, I decided that this was the time to take the plunge into a more sustainable and hands-on approach to living. The only problem was that we were living in a flat in the middle of a small (semi-rural) town. This meant, although we have the welsh hills and forests on our doorstep, no earth of my own to dig my hands into, no big back garden to let my chickens forage for grubs and certainly no space for animal husbandry. I was told to be patient, to wait, and that “one day” we would have that big house in the countryside with acres of land to cultivate. But I was never one to sit and around and wait for all those dreams to come my way. I decided I would find a way around it and began to read about urban homesteading, container gardening, allotments and the like. I rang up smallholders and offered my help in exchange for knowledge, pestered friends and put out classified ads with the underlying message being “desperate city child seeks urgent ruralization”. Most of the countryfolk thought I was strange but enthusiastic and were happy to give me advice on my journey. For that, I am grateful (and only mildly embarassed).

After many afternoons drooling over established homesteading blogs and related Pinterest boards, I decided the best way to get what I wanted was to start with vegetables. We went all out and got a square of four allotments and decided to experiment with Permaculture on half it. Permaculture is something that just makes sense to me. It is essentially working with nature (not against it), putting in minimal effort and receiving maximum yield. To me, this sounds perfect! Not too much digging, a bit of common sense planning, some weeding and a truck load of fruit and veg at the end of it!

So far we have mulched the beds and are letting the worms do the work for us over the winter. We have used various types of green manure including comfrey, that’s slowly composting and making our soil nice and fertile. Now comes the bit that I thought would be more fun. The planning. There is a lot to think about when planning a permaculture garden, I’m just glad we’ve got the entire winter to do it. In these next months we will be looking the best companion planting pairs, designs and how to make a wormery.

I hope that you’ll join me on my journey, make you laugh and maybe even inspire you to get out and do something that you’ve only got as far as pinning!

TJ x

Nettles those mean green stinging machines!

Nettles those mean green stinging machines! But they are so much more! 

Oh yes, nettles. The common garden so-called-weed that most kids and big kids cower at the sight of. Well not us! Not these hedgepigs and potion makers! Nettles are chocked full of iron and vitamin C and have a ridiculously long list of benefits including promoting healthy skin and hair, kidney function, and digestion.We have embraced the nettle, picked it, cleaned it and turned it into fun concoctions to eat, drink and pamper with. So we thought we’d share the recipes with you…

Forage me Wales!
Foraging!

Spanglish Nettle Tortilla: 

Before there were hedgepigs, there were Spanish Tortillas being concocted in my Cocina Madrileña. Then when the two merged and… well.. the Nettle Tortilla was created! This is my basic spanish omelette recipe that I learnt when living in Spain with an added british foraged treat!

Ingredients: 

8 medium potatoes sliced thinly (as thin as you can)

6 eggs, beaten

1 white onion sliced thinly

2 cups nettles (roughly)

Salt to taste

Olive Oil (to preference)

either 1 cup or 4 tbl depending on method of choice:

Now there are two ways of making this omelette.. the authentic Spanish way and the quick Idon’twanttousethatmuchoilareyoucrazy way so here’s both:

Authentic Spanish Method: 

In a NONSTICK frying pan add in a tbl spoon olive oil, brown the onions.

Add in potatoes and pour rest of olive oil over them until they are in a nice deep olive oil bath.

Fry lightly until soft.

Strain potatoes and store excess oil in a jar for your next tortilla, authentic, remember!

Cover a plate with kitchen towel, empty potatoes and onions from strainer onto plate and let excess oil be absorbed before adding back into the pan.

Make sure your frying pan is well oiled. Add potato/onion mix back into frying pan and add washed nettles. Stir gently until the nettles begin to wilt.

Pour in beaten egg mix. This should just cover the potato mix and hold everything together. Smooth the top over and squash the ingredients down a bit to help it mold.

This is where it gets tricky.. don’t expect your first tortilla to look beautiful. It will most likely end up looking like scrambled egg and potato but don’t get discouraged. Yeah, it will taste the same but the satisfaction of making the perfect tortilla is immense! This stuff takes practice!!

Once you can see the egg starting to cook and before you smell it burning grab a plate and pop it on top of the frying pan. Tip the frying pan over, leaving the tortilla on the plate. That’s one side done. Now slide the tortilla back into the frying pan with the already browned side up. Wait until the tortilla sort of slides around the pan, that means the other side is brown and ready too!

Slide the tortilla back onto the plate and there it is! The Spanglish Omelette.

The Idon’twanttousethatmuchoilareyoucrazy way: (also saves time)

Boil enough water to cover your sliced potatoes and boil until they fall off the knife when pricked.

While potatoes are boiling, add 1tbl olive oil to frying pan and brown onions.

Mix potatoes, onions and remaining 3 tbl olive oil into pan until things start to get a little crispy and the potatoes are nice and cooked.

Add nettles, stir until they begin to wilt. Then add egg mixture.

This should just cover the potato mix and hold everything together. Smooth the top over and squash the ingredients down a bit to help it mold.

This is where it gets tricky.. don’t expect your first tortilla to look beautiful. It will most likely end up looking like scrambled egg and potato but don’t get discouraged. Yeah, it will taste the same but the satisfaction of making the perfect tortilla is immense! This stuff takes practice!!

Once you can see the egg starting to cook and before you smell it burning grab a plate and pop it on top of the frying pan. Tip the frying pan over, leaving the tortilla on the plate. That’s one side done. Now slide the tortilla back into the frying pan with the already browned side up. Wait until the tortilla sort of slides around the pan, that means the other side is brown and ready too!

Slide the tortilla back onto the plate and there it is! The Spanglish Omelette.

Morning Dew Tea

Nettle Leaf & Burdock Root

This tea is great for cleansing the bod in the morning. Nettle and burdock team up to promote healthy skin and kidney function.

1 cup nettles

1 tbl burdock root

4 cps water

1 tsp honey (optional)

Grab some gardening gloves and gather some nettles from most anywhere! (Avoid roadsides, fumes – yech!)

Take them home in your red-riding hood basket and give them a good wash.

Chuck them in a pot of boiling water with the burdock root and let them infuse for about 10 minutes.

Strain the nettles and burdock root, add the honey or sugar if you please and enjoy.

You can buy burdock root from most health food stores or the wonderful tinterweb! But if you know where to forage them in your area, go for it!

Back Garden Herbal Hair Rinse 

Ingredients: 

4 cups water

1 thick bunch nettles

2 sprigs rosemary

1 sprig Lavender

10 drops Rosemary, Lavender or Tea Tree Essential Oils (for delicious smells)

1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (for detangling/ pH balancing properties – optional)

**Most of these ingredients are optional! Stick to nettles and water and you’ll still get great results! Use what your garden gives you folks!**

Much the same as making nettle tea! Gather a good thick bunch of nettles (with gloves). If you’re not up for that then you can buy dried nettle leaf in most health food stores or the wonderful tintnerweb machine.

Add 4 cups boiling water to a saucepan, add nettles, rosemary and lavender and let steep for 10 minutes.

Let cool and strain out herbs. Add an essential oil of choice and apple cider vinegar.

Pour into glass bottles or kilner jar and keep in the fridge.

To use: 

Wash hair (why not try using our Rhassoul Clay Shampoo  for the most gentle and chemical free routine!)

Pour hair rinse over hair and comb through. Let it sit while you do things that are often forgotten like, singing in the shower, washing your feet or scrubbing behind your ears!

Rinse out, do one of those ridiculous “YES! YES! YES!” shampoo advert moments (you know the ones I mean) and get on with the day!

Just a little disclaimer here: 

Hedgepig Naturals aims to provide the best possible information on health, herbal medicines and skincare remedies. This information should not replace professional advice by a qualified medical or herbal practitioner.

Many minor health conditions such as colds and flu are suitable for self-treatment. However, if you are worried about any health condition, it is always advisable to have a face-to-face consultation with a doctor or other healthcare practitioner in order to obtain a diagnosis and treatment advice. Use your common sense chaps!

Homemade Toothpaste Recipe!

Toothy Paste!
Toothy Paste!

Like my hunt for a truly natural deodorant, my quest for natural toothpaste fell short of expectation. When I was a kid, I was a bit of a nightmare, I had weak feeble teeth and had to have regular flouride treatments done. (Chemical yuck sitting in my mouth for ages, mmmm…) “Can I have braces too?” I asked the dentist with kind blue eyes. I was desperate to have braces and a broken limb, I’m not exactly sure why but rest assured the urge to be different has never left me.

Anywho, I thought I’d found a wonderful Aloe Vera toothpaste (Aloe Vera being one of my favourite natural ingredients… so many benefits) only to find out it had glycerin in it. But most toothpastes have glycerin, TJ, don’t you know? WELL, let me tell you something, oh reader of mine. Glycerin coats the teeth and prevents the enamel from absorbing minerals, this is also known as “remineralizing” in tooth talk. After brushing, I felt like I was wearing a sticky mouthguard, which was needless to say… pretty horrid, and so I kept looking. Finally, I found an all natural toothpaste that I was happy with. It goes by the name of Earthpaste. I love it. I have been using it for a while now along with Coconut Oil as a mouthwash (known as Oil Pulling, an ancient ayurvedic practice, known to promote oral and overall health). In fact, as I type this I’ve got a gob full of creamy delicious coconut oil swishing round my mouth, pulling out toxins from mah blooood. Cheers coconut, I knew I loved you for a reason!

As I was saying, I have been using these two methods on a regular basis and as a result, I have noticed that my bottom gums are no longer AS receding (gross), no longer bleed when brushing, my teeth look whiter and my breath is fresher. Now, these are all quite embarrassing things to admit I had in the first place, but more importantly is the fact that using a toothpaste that is essentially bentonite clay along with coconut oil has done more for my oral health than any of the leading toothpastes, natural or not. To me, this is very exciting; Mother Nature scores again!

There was just one problem with my discovery of Earthpaste: it’s price. At £7.00 a tube, I was risking missing out on ordering my fancy Raw Milk, and we can’t be having that, can we?! I decided to take a long hard look at the ingredients in my beloved Earthpaste. Luckily, there are only 6, 5 of which I had lurking around my apothecary. So, I resolved to make my own version of the stuff for much much cheaper! I added a few extra ingredients like calcium powder (AKA ground eggshells, HELLO frugal!) and cream of tartar for a bit of foaming action as the original Earthpaste doesn’t foam and woodland boyfriend can’t cope without bubbles!

You’ll need: 

20140528_191349

  • 3/4 Cup Food Grade Bentonite Clay (I used Redmond Clay) – bentonite clay binds to toxins and is full of minerals that are good for your toothy teethkins 
  • 3 Eggshells (from your breakfast, ground into a fine powder) – for a calcium drop kick 
  • Xylitol Sweetner (from local supermarket) no quantity for this, add to own personal taste or leave out – for me I couldn’t handle the salty tang without it!
  • Pinch of Sea Salt (from the supermarket, I used Malden impersonating Cornish Sea Salt) – add anti-bacterial properties 
  • Purified or Boiled Water (enough to make a paste)
  • 1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar (omit if you’re not fussed about foamy paste it gives the final product a bit of a tangy taste)
  • 5 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (for it’s anti-viral / anti-fingal properties)
  • 10 Drops Spearmint Essential Oil (for minty freshness)
  • Plastic/Glass Mixing Bowl
  • Plastic/Wooden Spatula
  • Pestle & Mortar
  • Plastic/Glass Measuring Cups
  • It’s important no metal is used when mixing the ingredients, as the clay’s effectiveness can be compromised. 

What to do:

20140528_19245620140528_192621Grind eggshells in a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder. It’s really important to make sure this is a really fine dusty powder, otherwise it can be too abrasive on your teeth! It should feel like flour when you’re finished. You could omit this if you’re not worried about calcium.

 

Mix bentonite clay, cream of tartar, sea salt, essential oils and calcium powder in a mixing bowl.

Boil water/add purified water, pouring slowly to make a paste. Mix thoroughly to avoid lumps.

Add Xylitol to taste.

Pop it in a container with a tight seal and voila, homemade toothpaste!

 

Toothy Paste!
Toothy Paste!

 

New stuff coming SOON!

Oh man have we been busy this weekend. Have you seen our new “Hedgepig Shop” page? There’s still lots to do but we’ve finally got a load of products listed and linked in with our Etsy shop. The photo shoot will have to wait until the next Hedgepig working week but we’re pretty excited to be smashing some stuff out!

Oh and have you also seen that we’ll be sharing some recipes with you too? We are getting pretty pumped about this whole blogging business and are itching supply you with all the knowledge that is oozing from our ears. Keep a look out for the following:

  1. Our homemade toothpaste recipe
  2. Mouth Swishees recipe
  3. Mock “Thieves Oil” recipe

Last week we did a little survey on what you lot would like to see us make. So having listened to our Facebook fans, real life people beans and the Hedgepigs we have compiled a list of products you can expect to see in the future!

  1. Woodland Bug Repellent
  2. Dread Wax
  3. Face Scrubs
  4. Tinted dry shampoo for blonde, red & brown hair
  5. Drawing Salve  (this came about after nearly reducing the woodland boyfriend to tears trying to get a splinter out from behind his ear… who even gets those?!)
  6. Eczema/Psoriasis Cream

Catch you soon!

 

TJ & the Hedgepigs

 

Cold Warrior Pack

Did I get a bit carried away? NEVER!!
Did I get a bit carried away? NEVER!!

A friend of mine has a mean case of Man Flu. Pretty serious stuff, green nasal slime and moping are the prevalent symptoms. So to save this mere man of his clearly life-threatening condition I have combined my own knowledge and that of my grandmother to come up with this Cold Warrior Pack to bring him back to tip top shape!

Cold Warrior Pack 

1. A bottle of mock “Thieves Oil”. This oil was used by French robbers during the Black Plague when robbing the homes of the weak and poorly. (Charmant Monsieur!) The robbers used to smother themselves in cloves, cinnamon, lemon and rosemary due to their anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. My version contains a few extra essential oils for an added punch. Rub the oil on the soles of the feet and reap their ninja-like benefits!

2. A pot of extra virgin cold pressed organic coconut oil. The instructions given are to mix a couple of spoonfuls of coconut oil into a cup of tea or morning porridge. (I just eat it off the spoon…) For those of you who don’t know about coconut oils many super powers you’re missing out! Coconut oil is known to be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. Not only is it a powerhouse against infection but a very versatile oil indeed! (Coconut oil worship post coming soon!)

3. One jar of Tonic. (Apple cider vinegar, lemon, honey and ginger). Everyone knows that drinking lemon and honey is the way forward when you’re feeling under the weather. I’ve just added the extra benefits of ginger and apple cider vinegar for an extra kick in the face to any nasties lurking around the body.

4. Mix your own detox bath soak. This little jar contains some essential oil infused Epsom Salts to relax and detox those tired and aching muscles as well as Bentonite Clay powder. Clays are a big love of mine. I use them to brush my teeth, wash my hair and keep my armpits fresh! Bentonite clay is an especially good soaker-upper of toxins. It pulls out toxins from the body and holds it in like a tiny little molecular sponge. To use mix the powder with water to make a paste, spread on the body and let dry. Then all there is to do is chuck the salts and yourself into the bath for a good long soak.

5. Probiotic tablets. Did you know that 80% of your immune system resides in your gut? I’ve popped a little packet of probiotic tablets into the Warrior Pack to help regenerate that healthy gut bacteria that keeps us healthy. KAPOW.

6. Fermented Cod Liver Oil Capsules. Cod Liver Oil, is like a superhero in a little gelatin rocket. Let’s just say it’s a powerhouse of goodness and therefore an obvious choice for a sufferer of the dreaded Man Flu!

7. Vitamin D3 Capsules. For immune support. D3 is needed for healthy immune functioning.

8. A bag of chamomile. For tea. Chamomile we all know is a great bedtime drink because it calms the nerves and is downright comforting. Comfort and relaxation is the main reason I popped this one into the pack. I had a nice vision of my friend in a dressing gown with my version of Thieves Oil on his feet sipping on Chamomile Tea after a long hot bath… ahhh the road to recovery!

Have you got any home remedies you use when you’re feeling under the weather? Any mega success stories? Let us know!

TJ & Co.

Just a little disclaimer here: 

Hedgepig Naturals aims to provide the best possible information on health, herbal medicines and skincare remedies. This information should not replace professional advice by a qualified medical or herbal practitioner.

Many minor health conditions such as colds and flu are suitable for self-treatment. However, if you are worried about any health condition, it is always advisable to have a face-to-face consultation with a doctor or other healthcare practitioner in order to obtain a diagnosis and treatment advice.

 

 

The Big Lottery Fund Wales Blog

Showcasing Welsh projects funded by the Big Lottery Fund

freedomfarmtv

Where Freedom Grows

Abundance Garden

Encouraging Celebration of Abundance

Tools of control

A Book about How Four Growing Institutions Control Human Thought, Behavior, and Identity, and How We Can Destroy Them to Attain Justice, Freedom, Autonomy, Sustainability, Biodiversity, and Human and Ecological Well-being

The Traveling Safari

Most of this actually happened ...