Henna for Hair (Part 2!)

Now that you know all the benefits of henna on your hair from part 1 (What’s that?? You missed part 1! Well here it is), here’s how to reap the benefits and beautify your hair!

I’d like to reiterate the fact that you need 100% pure dried henna leaves, or it won’t have the same affect on your hair and it won’t be as healthy/healthy at all and it won’t be completely natural. Mehandi is pure henna-

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Before you decide on a whim the day before a big event to henna your hair, just know it takes a few days to dye and for your hair to settle. It takes 12-24 hours for the dye to be ready, it has to sit on your hair for 2-4 hours and it takes 2-4 days for it to darken to a deep red (it starts out bright orange-ish).

In order to go from powdered leaves to hair dye you need a watered down acidic liquid. I used one part lemon juice to 4 parts water (ish). In a glass bowl (not metal, henna reacts adversely with metal and will ruin it) mix your watered down lemon juice with the henna until it reaches a slightly runny clay-like texture. Cover it with plastic wrap (I used an old grocery bag rubber banded on, since I don’t have any plastic wrap) and let it 12-24 hours. I mixed mine as soon as the mail at 3pm came and let it sit over night until I got around to doing it the next day around noon. It will look like a muddy cow pie and it will smell like a freshly cut hay field. I personally didn’t mind the smell, as I hail from farm country, but it does both some people. You can mix in some ground cloves to make it more fragrant (it will also enhance the red color).

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I mixed mine in 2 bowls only because I lost my large glass bowl when I moved and I couldn’t fit it all in 1.
I used a 100 gram pack of henna powder and had leftovers. 100 grams is supposed to cover short hair and 200 grams is supposed to cover shoulder length hair. I have half of my head shaved and the rest of it is almost shoulder length, so I just went with 100 grams. I’d suggest mixing a little more then you think you’ll need to err on the side of caution. You can freeze the mixed paste to save for later if you end up with too much.

The next day when your ready to dye, add a little more water until its a creamy, yogurty paste. If its too runny it will drip all over the place and stain everything, as well as be too diluted. Put on some gloves (unless you want bright red hands for a few weeks), and start slathering generous portions of the henna glop on you hair. Start at the base of your neck and work your way up and over your head.

When its covered you want it to be thickly layered on your hair. Not thinly. thickly. Like your head is covered in clay. Then, cover you hair in plastic wrap and let it rest for 2-4 hours. I let mine on for 3 1/2 hours. Wear an old shirt because it will drip at some point. I covered my head in plastic wrap and an old plastic bag tied super tight because I was leaking too much.
If you get any on your face, wipe it quickly so you don’t turn colors. If you end up with orange skin, you can rub a little rubbing alcohol on it to get it off. Just be sure to moisturize your skin after you put alcohol on it. As you can see, I accidentally dyed my forehead orange.

With henna applied, covered in plastic wrap, and 3.5 hours later before I rinsed it out

With henna applied, covered in plastic wrap, and 3.5 hours later before I rinsed it out

Rinse it out until your rinse water is clear, not red-ish brown.
Right after I rinsed mine out I looked in the mirror and saw this:

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I was scared. (I apologize if I’ve given any of nightmare from this picture, I am having nightmares too).

But seriously folks, it will be bright orange. But I PROMISE it darkens. It takes 2-4 days to darken and become red. You could already see a difference between when I rinsed it out at 4pm until I went to bed at 9:30pm. Here’s what it actually looks like after you rinse it-

060 Very orange.

Now, its darkened quite a bit and has become a lovely shade or red. I expect it to get even darker by Sunday =)

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I will share a picture when it has completely finished darkening!

If you have any questions feel free to comment, Facebook or email me!! I love to help if I can!

Happy Henna-ing!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Shared on LHITS DIY Linky!

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Foraging Series: Part 1- Staghorn Sumac

Over the summer I’d like to share with you a 5 part mini series on foraging!

Foraging is an ancient form of gathering food. Ever since people came to be on earth, they have had to eat! Foraging is one of the many ways people got food. Now, in the 21st century, you almost never hear of anyone foraging for anything (unless they lost there iPhone in their purse and are foraging through credit cards to find it!). I really would like to know why we ever stopped foraging?? It helps you to be closed to nature, get outside, get active plus you feel fulfilled after a day of working and picking outdoors by getting to eat what you found!

So in each part, I will share with you a plant that can be used medicinally, can be found easily (in the central and Eastern states at least), is edible and a recipe for it! But through the whole series, I’d really like you to keep in mind that you have to treat the earth with respect in order to continue receiving such awesome things from her!

First off, the 4 main rules for foraging-

1. Make sure wherever you harvest is at minimum 100 ft. from a road cars drive on.
2. Make sure wherever your picking is public property (don’t pick on someone’s private land unless you’ve OK-ed it with the owners!)
3. Make sure where your picking is not somewhere that gets sprayed! You do not want chemicals all over you yummy wild food.
4. Give back to the earth and do your part to help keep the environment clean and healthy. Don’t take without giving back!!

So for Part 1 I bring you:

Staghorn Sumac


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Staghorn Sumac is a tall bush, or small tree, with long green spikey leaves and big fuzzy clusters of bright red berries.They are ripe from June-September, you can tell they’re ripe because the berries will be red and fuzzy, like the ones pictured below.  You’ve probably seen them around, but most people have no idea they’re edible or that they hold medicinal properties! Its probably one of the most easily recognizable plants around. The only poisonous look-a-like it has is poison sumac, which has white, smooth berries. So if you color blind take someone with you to make sure you pick the right ones! They are ripe from June-September, you can tell they’re ripe because the berries will be red and fuzzy, like the ones pictured below.

The berry clusters should look like this-

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Look familiar??

And the leaves will look like this

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image source

What the whole bush/tree will look like^^ I forgot to get a picture of the actual tree (I’d forget my feet if they weren’t attached) so I borrowed the picture from over here- image source

Traditionally, the berries are used for cough syrup, made into a super delicious lemonade type tea, to slow excessive bleeding and the leaves are used for sore throats. Today, I’m going to show you how to make the lemonade berry drink (I’ve dubbed this ‘Sumac-ade, since its made with Sumac, but more along the lines of lemonade) and how to use it to help sore throats.

For the ‘Sumac-ade’ you’ll need:

A few clusters of berries (4-6 per half gallon)

2 bowls

Lukewarm water (room temperature works fine)

A strainer

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1. Take your berry clusters and make sure there are no bugs or rotten spots. Be sure you pick them during a dry spell, or a few days after rain. If you pick them immediately following a rain, the rain will have washed off the acidity and the flavor will not be as strong.

2. Pull the berries off of the twig. Pull as many as you can off and leave the branch as bare as you can. Slightly bruise the berries as you take them off.

3. Put them in the lukewarm/room temp. water and let them soak for 25 minutes. The reason you don’t use boiling water is because it releases an acid that will make your tea very bitter. It won’t hurt you, it just won’t taste good.

4. Strain out the berries.

5. Strain again through a cheesecloth to catch all of the little hairs from the berries.

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This ‘Sumac-ade’ is super high in vitamin C!! So drink up! I sweetened mine a little with some mint simple syrup, but it doesn’t have to be sweetened at all. I’m just obsessed with mint.

Lastly, dry the leaves. You can either tie them and hang them upside down til the are dried up, or put them in a dehydrator. I’m doing both methods, but have most of mine in the dehydrator, simply to save time. Remove the leaves from the stems and put them in on the lowest setting (around 95 degrees) and let them dry for around 12 hours. Or until they are fully dried. Steep it just like you would any tea and gargle or drink to soothe a sore throat! The ‘Sumac-ade’ can also be used to soothe sore throats and help colds. The high vitamin C content helps your body fight back against colds.

Enjoy the delicious flavor of ‘Sumac-ade’ and have a wonderful time foraging!!

Like what you read? Follow me on Facebook!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Shared on Old Fashioned Fridays, Simple Meal Fridays, Weekend Whatever Link-Up and Natural Living Monday!

*Disclaimer- I am not a doctor. Nor do I claim to be. Use caution when picking wild plants and DO NOT pick anything unless you are 100% certain you are picking the correct plant. If you have allergies to any of the plants I feature, do not use them. If you are worried about the medicinal effects of any of the plants featured, please consult your doctor. Do your own research before deciding what is best for you.*

Garlic, Greens and Sprout Pizza with Rosemary Crust

Mmmm, doesn’t the name just sound delicious??

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I think it speaks for itself, so I’m gonna skip all the flamboyant adjectives on how yummy it is and go right to the recipe.

Garlic, Greens and Sprout Pizza with Rosemary Crust

For the crust you will need:

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast

1 teaspoon organic coconut palm sugar (Buy here)

1 cup of warm water

2 1/2 cups of organic unbleached flour (Buy here)

2 tablespoons quality organic olive oil  (Buy here)

1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt (Buy here)

2(+/-) tablespoons of dried organic rosemary (Buy here)
(The amount of rosemary you add is based on how much you like or dislike rosemary, some people really like the flavor, like me, and others only kind of like the flavor. Its very distinct, but definitely complements this pizza!)

4 tablespoons of garlic infused olive oil
(Put 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a few cloves of roughly chopped garlic in a bowl and let it rest for a few hours before you start cooking)

Non-GMO cornmeal

Coconut oil

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Dissolve the yeast with the sugar in warm water and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then, stir in the flour, salt and oil and let it rest for another 5 minutes. Split into 2 equal parts. Grease your cast iron skillet with coconut oil and sprinkle some cornmeal on top to keep it from sticking.

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Press the dough into the bottom of the skillet and make sure it fills the whole skillet and has started a little up the edges. Poke holes in the crust (not all the way through, just superficial holes) with a fork, brush half of the garlic olive oil on it and place it in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until it has started to cook on the outside. Pull it out and add the toppings.

For the toppings you will need:

Cheese

Precooked, organic, pastured chicken in small pieces/shreds

Uncooked alfalfa sprouts (or any sprouts you like)

Freshly cooked organic greens
(I used purple kohlrabi greens, but you can use anything you like, I also really like spinach and stinging nettle!)
(* Side note I put mine in a skillet with some coconut oil and cook them until they are totally wilted. Kohlrabi greens cooked like that with a little sea salt on top are DELICIOUS! They make a great nutritious snack*)

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Mmmm, toppings!!

Mmmm, toppings!!

Spread a generous amount of cheese, greens, sprouts and chicken on top and return to the oven. Cook for another 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is cooked through. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings. This recipes makes 2 8” pizzas and serves 2 people. I like to put a little crushed red pepper and oregano on mine when I eat it.

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Holy YUM!!

Enjoy!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Shared on Party Wave Wednesday and Mary’s Kitchen Real Food Challenge Linky!

‘I Love’ Tuesdays

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Yup.

I love Amazon!

It is any real foodie’s dream.

Not many people  know, but you can get super deals on organic foods through Amazon! And you can get them even cheaper through Amazon subscribe and save! I’m just going to focus on regular old Amazon for today though.

Say your baking cookies, and you want some unbleached parchment paper.
to cook them on. Amazon’s got your back!

Well then you realize you ran out of coconut palm sugar
to make your cookies with! Oh no! Amazon’s got your back!

You also forgot your cookie sheet has an evil nonstick coating on it! Amazon’s got your back! You can replace it with a shiny new stainless steel cookie sheet.

Plus, if you spend $25 at once, you can almost always get free shipping.

You can also find great deals on things like organic bedding, cloth diaper covers, organic clothing and coconut oil!!

To me, it seems logical to check Amazon before anywhere else (I even did my wedding registry through them!) or when I’m looking for something hard to find. So I figured I’d share with those of you who didn’t know!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Meadow Mint Tea

If you’ve ever been to Amish country, you’ve probably heard of or tried Meadow Tea.

I was raised in Amish country, and its probably my #1 favorite drink (well, other then water).

I had a plan to grow out my leg hair really long, quit using deodorant and get an Amish dress so I could infiltrate their community and get the super secret Meadow Tea recipe.

However, I quickly decided that was a ridiculous idea, and figured out their recipe on accident!

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Meadow Tea

You will need:

1 packed cup of fresh cut spearmint (bruised and put in a glass container)

2 cups of water

1 cup of organic unbleached sugar (I like this brand)

Put the sugar and water together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk and boil until all the sugar is dissolved and it becomes syrupy. Pour the syrup (while still boiling) over top of the spearmint. Let it rest until its cooled down. Strain out the leaves and make sure to squeeze them a lot to be sure all of the syrup is out.

This is spearmint simple syrup. (Just like the honey suckle simple syrup I made a few weeks back).

Put approx. 8oz of simple syrup in the bottom of a half gallon container. Then fill it the rest of the way with filtered water and shake it to combine the two. Sip a little bit and make sure its a sweet/minty as you like it and then put it in the fridge overnight.

In the morning it will be cold and delicious!!

If your impatient (like me) and want some tea right away, you can mix 2 or 3 tablespoons of syrup into a glass of cold water.

Add a sprig of mint to garnish and enjoy!

You can also make extra mint syrup while its in season and freeze it to have tea in the off seasons!

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P.S. Mint is super easy to grow! I have a pot of it growing in my kitchen I use to make minty things. I dug a few of the runners from my moms mini mint forest she has growing and buried them in a container of organic potting soil. Its growing like crazy.

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To anyone who’s had Meadow Tea before, your welcome! This tastes just like Amish are cooking in your kitchen for you!

And to anyone who’s never had authentic Amish Meadow Tea, I’m so sorry you’ve missed out thus far in your life. Make this now!

Happy sipping!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Henna for Hair (Part 1)

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Mmmm, mmm, mmm. Wouldn’t you just love a big, warm, gloppy bowl of that smeared right on your head??

I know I sure would!

And within five business days from this morning, I will!! I just ordered my pure henna to dye my hair from Mehandi.

Henna

Scientific name- Lawsonia inermis

Henna, for those of you that don’t know, is a plant.

This plant, to be exact-

When dried, ground up into powder form and mixed with an acidic liquid (like lemon juice) it becomes an amazing tool to color, beautify, grow and fix/heal you hair.

Henna has been used on hair for centuries. Back in the early 1800’s, having your hair ‘hennaed’ was considered exotic and desirable. People, men and women alike, would henna their hair for the health benefits. Once their hair was hennaed, it was beautiful, silk soft and shiny. It would also become red, but that just created the exotic look.

Now a days, henna is not main stream (why? Most likely because it’s time consuming, and we live in a fast paced, no time for time world) so its not. Most people either know it makes temporary tattoos/body art (because its also traditionally used to create beautiful body art) or nothing about it.

Let’s look a little bit about what it does for hair-

  • Strengthens hair
  • Eliminates ringworm
  • Eliminates lice
  • Reduces dandruff
  • Its totally natural
  • Works as an awesome conditioner
  • Helps your hair grow longer by creating a healthy scalp
  • A powerful natural cleanser

So you can dye your hair and instead of killing it the way mainstream dyes do, you can actually make it healthier by dying it! It creates one of the most beautiful shades of red of any hair color. Also, unlike other dyes, it won’t fade out. Ever. My sister hennaed her hair months ago, and guess what, its still red. Her roots have grown out, and obviously they wouldn’t be red, but the rest of her hair is. Henna actually binds with the hairs natural keratin. Making it part of your hair, not a layer on the outside of hair or just sitting under the outer layer.

Its really amazing.

However, there are tons of ‘henna hair dyes’ that are filled with chemicals as well. Its very hard to find, pure, additive free henna. They often mix henna with other things to create a different color then red. On the website I used, they have pure henna for hair. They also have kits for other colors with other natural dyes such as indigo and walnut. But I personally think henna itself is super pretty, and henna has all the natural healing powers anyways.

So in a few days when mine comes and I use it, I will show you how I did mine and what the result is!!

Have a wonderful summer solstice!!

Like what you read? Follow me on Facebook!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Shared on LHITS DIY Linky!

Garlic Lemon Roasted Asparagus

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       For this you will need:

1 bunch of fresh organic asparagus

4 cloves of organic garlic

2 tbsp. organic lemon juice

4 tbsp. coconut oil

Put the oil and garlic in a cast iron skillet and cook until the garlic is nice and brown. Then add in the lemon juice and mix it thoroughly. Once its mixed add in the asparagus, cut into thirds. I like to cook mine for 3 or 4 minutes. But you can cook it as short or as long as you like. It all depends on how crunchy/mushy you want it to be.

And that’s it! Super easy, delicious side dish!

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Like what you read? Follow me on Facebook!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

‘I Love’ Tuesdays!

Local.

Raw.

Honey.

The honey I use. source

The honey I use, wildflower is my favorite! source

If you haven’t heard of the benefits of local, raw honey, let me enlighten you!

First off ‘raw’ honey, is honey straight from the bees in its pure, natural state. It was never heated, cleaned or processed, the pollen is still inside and sometimes even have bits of honey comb in it. It varies in taste at different times of the year, based on what the bees have been pollinating. ‘Local’ honey is just that- local.

So raw honey has tons of benefits. It has been shown to help with

  • Improving immune system
  • Calming nerves
  • Indigestion
  • Colds/Sore throats
  • Relieving pain
  • Clearing skin (used externally)

When you add local into the mix, it becomes an alley to removing seasonal allergy ailments!! Since its local, the same pollens that are causing you to have allergic reactions, are the same that the bees are pollinating. So if you eat local, raw honey, you get small amounts of the same allergens through the honey. This acts as an immune booster and can help relieve your allergies! I works in the same way receiving allergy shots over a long period of time does. You receive a small, much more manageable, dose of the allergen over a long time, keeping your body from over dosing when your exposed outside. Its pretty awesome, actually!

Mass produced ‘honey’ from the grocery store, is really not the same thing. Studies have shown that most of the honey in grocery stores has had the pollen removed! On top of that, a lot of big bee keeping companies will force feed their bees high fructose corn syrup. Which contributes to 2/3 of their production. Thus making only 1/3 of the honey, real, pure honey, and causing your ‘honey’ to contain HFCS. Not cool.

So if your still eating  mass produced ‘honey’ from the grocery store, STOP!!

Get some good quality, local, raw honey and indulge in its yummy, local flavor!!

Like what you read? Follow me on Facebook!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

This post was shared on Tuned in Tuesdays!