BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP by Ali

The BEST Butternut Squash Soup recipe from Gimme Some Oven

Mmmm, September. ♡

I don’t know about you all, but the moment the calendar flipped over this weekend, all I wanted to do was cozy up with some of my fall faves.  It was gray and rainy here these past few days, which probably provided extra incentive to stay in and snuggle up.  And sure enough, one thing led to another, and before you knew it our little home was in full-on, festive, fall hygge mode.  We’re talkin’ a fireside candle burning, fall playlist on the speaker, inaugural pumpkin roll of the season baking in the oven, a steaming cup of hot cinnamon spice tea in my paws, big cozy throw back on the couch, soft slippers on my feet.  And the quintessential fall first — a big butternut squash ready and waiting on the counter to be turned into my mom’s famous butternut squash soup recipe.

We made a huge batch and shared it with some neighbors and friends who were over throughout the weekend.  And as always, it proved to be the perfect fall comfort food.  It’s incredibly easy to make in the slow cooker, pressure cooker, or on the stovetop.  (I’ve included all three methods below.)  It’s full of good-for-you veggies, and also happens to be naturally gluten-free and vegan.  And it’s just the perfect balance of sweet and savory seasonal flavors.

I first shared this recipe back on the blog four years ago, but thought it was worth bumping it back to the top of the blog today in case you’re also craving all of the cozy fall vibes.  It won’t let you down.

Butternut Squash for Butternut Squash Soup

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP INGREDIENTS:

To make this easy butternut squash soup recipe, you will need:

  • Butternut squash: You can either use 1 medium-sized fresh butternut squash.  (<– Here is my tutorial for how to select, peel and cut fresh butternut squash.)  Or feel free to save a step and purchase your squash pre-cut, either in the fresh or frozen vegetable section of the grocery store.
  • Carrot, apple and onion: To add some extra sweet and savory flavors to the soup.
  • Vegetable stock and coconut milk: For your broth.  (We’ll stir the coconut milk in at the very end.)
  • Garlic, sage, salt, black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg: My favorite seasoning combo.  If you don’t have fresh sage on hand, feel free to use a pinch of dried.  (And if you do have fresh sage, I also love to fry up a few extra leaves and use them as a garnish on top.)  Also feel free to add more or less cayenne to taste.
  • Your choice of garnishes: I like to drizzle on some extra coconut milk, maybe sprinkle of toasted pepitas, and a sprinkle of extra black pepper and/or smoked paprika.  Mom’s version called for sprinkling cayenne on top.  Or I’ve included lots of other ideas for fun garnishes below.

You will also need a:

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients in the Crockpot

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup In The Crockpot

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup with Apple

SLOW COOKER BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP INSTRUCTIONS:

To make crockpot Butternut Squash Soup, simply…

  1. Combine your ingredients (minus the coconut milk) in a slow cooker*.  Roughly diced — don’t spend time perfectly chopping all of your ingredients.  Feel free to use a large (6-quart) slow cooker or a small (3.5- to 4-quart) slow cooker.
  2. Cook until tender.  Generally about 6-8 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high.  Then remove and discard the sage and add

READ MORE HERE:  http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/slow-cooker-butternut-squash-soup-recipe/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Easy Vegan Quiche (Gluten Free + Unbelievably Divine)

This Easy Vegan Quiche is perfect for your breakfast or brunch! The filling, made with tofu, is loaded with burst tomatoes, caramelised onions and sautéed mushrooms and spinach and is baked in a buttery flaky crust!

This Easy Vegan Quiche is perfect for your breakfast or brunch! The filling, made with tofu, is loaded with burst tomatoes, caramelised onions and sautéed mushrooms and spinach and is baked in a buttery flaky crust! via https://jessicainthekitchen.com

Here’s my vision of a perfect Christmas breakfast table. Fresh croissants, some sort of baked French toast, a quiche, a plate of sliced fruits (pineapples, oranges and grapefruits) and a pitcher or an agua Fresca. Breakfast muffins on the side. Okay, now veganise it all. You guys know that I’ve made the overnight baked French toast for you, working on the croissants (or just buying vegan ones true story) and FINALLY – the quiche is here. I’m talking a filling, “eggy” Vegan Quiche that’s loaded up with caramelised onions, burst tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms and spinach and baked in a buttery flaky crust. I’m talking the kind of quiche you finish in less than 24 hours with your brother and your husband. The kind of quiche that makes you limit the other goodies to ensure you have space for one more slice.

This Easy Vegan Quiche is perfect for your breakfast or brunch! The filling, made with tofu, is loaded with burst tomatoes, caramelised onions and sautéed mushrooms and spinach and is baked in a buttery flaky crust! via https://jessicainthekitchen.com

After making these quiche muffin cups, I wanted more quiche action in my life. I mentioned in that post that my go to brunch option as a vegetarian was a slice of quiche, toast and a side salad. It made me feel like I had my life put together, ladies who brunch kinda thing. Fast forward to turning vegan (and having months on and off before that where I would just randomly hate eggs) I can finally have my cake (quiche – close enough) and

READ MORE HERE:  https://jessicainthekitchen.com/easy-vegan-quiche-gluten-free-unbelievably-divine/

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Make Incense (With 5 Recipes to Try) By: Claire

How to Make Incense

Using dried herbs, barks, spices, flowers, and other ingredients make it easy to create your own loose-incense blends for any occasion. Other than the ingredients themselves, making loose incense requires little in the way of tools or equipment. It’s relatively inexpensive to get started with.

What You’ll Need:

  • Fresh ingredients
  • Mortar and pestle/electric grinder
  • Measuring spoons
  • Containers

Loose incense should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. After making your incense, you will need incense charcoal or an incense stove to heat it and release its fragrance.

Frankincense - A common ingredient in loose incense.
Frankincense – A common ingredient in loose incense. | Source

How to Make Loose Incense

In simple terms, loose incense is a combination of ground, powdered, or chipped natural ingredients such as herbs, flowers, seeds, spices, woods, bark, and resins. Each ingredient has its own fragrance and can be burned for that aspect alone. You can also use other properties these natural items possess such as mood enhancement, relaxation, and meditation.

1. Measure your ingredients into using measuring spoons or if specified by the recipe, digital scales. You can measure them into a bowl or straight into the mortar ready to be ground together. When a recipes states ‘pt’ or ‘parts’, you can adjust the quantity to how much incense you wish to make. For example, if you wish to only make a small amount to test a recipe use a small measure such as ½ or 1 teaspoon as 1 part. For larger quantities, use a tablespoon or even cup measures.

  • For larger ingredients such as barks and resin, it is best to grind those separately first before measuring to get a more accurate amount. You can grind everything into a powder if you wish, but a coarser mix will also work fine. Do not leave large pieces in your mixes, as these can cause measuring the incense to be more difficult. This can then affect the fragrance and properties of the incense.
  • An electric coffee grinder could be used instead of a pestle and mortar to grind ingredients. It is worth remembering that some of the ingredients you may use in incense making are not suitable and/or safe for human consumption so equipment should be thoroughly cleaned or kept purely for the purpose of making incense. Many ingredients can be bought ready ground so for ease and time saving you can buy these if you prefer or ground a large batch of your own at one time for future use.

2. Combine all the ground ingredients.

3. This loose incense is now ready to be burned. Store the finished mix in ziplock bags, jars, or other similar containers and label with names or recipes for future reference.

  • You may also wish to make notes of any adjustments that you would like to make in future batches.
  • Store incense in a cool, dry, and dark place such as a cupboard or drawer. Small containers or ziplock bags can also be kept in a larger container such as a tin or wooden box.
Loose incense blend - Relaxing, made using Sandalwood, Lavender and Marjoram
Loose incense blend – Relaxing, made using Sandalwood, Lavender and Marjoram | Source

Incense Recipes

1. Business Promoting Incense

  • 2pt Benzion
  • 1pt Cinnamon
  • 1pt Basil

2. Samhain Incense

  • 3 pt Frankincense
  • 2 pt Myrrh
  • 1 pt Rosemary
  • 1 pt Cedar
  • 1 pt Juniper

3. Relaxing Incense

  • 3 pt Sandalwood
  • ½ pt Lavender
  • ½ pt Marjoram

4. Prosperity Incense

  • 1 pt Cloves
  • 1 pt Nutmeg
  • 1 pt Lemon Balm
  • 1 pt Poppy Seeds
  • 1 pt Cedar

5. Citrus Incense

  • 1 tsp Lemon Peel
  • ½ tsp Calamus Root
  • ½ tsp Juniper Berries
  • ½ tsp Frankincense
Burning incense pellet in a cone shape.
Burning incense pellet in a cone shape. Source

How to Make Incense Pellets

Ground loose incense can be made into pellets. They can be heated in an incense stove or by using charcoal. These are simple to make but they do require some drying time. You can’t use them

READ MORE HERE:  https://feltmagnet.com/crafts/How-to-Make-Incense-With-Recipes

 

 

 

 

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10 of the Incredible Benefits of Palo Santo

10 of the Incredible Benefits of Palo Santo

Cleanse Your Energy, Find Calm, Deepen Your Connection to the Earth with Palo Santo Wood

Palo santo is one of the most fragrant woods in the world. Its sweet scent of pine, mint, and lemon has, for centuries, been a harbinger of healing and good fortune. Shamans, saints, and those seeking a stronger spiritual connection with the world use palo santo to protect, experience, and heal. Here are ten of the incredible benefits palo santo offers:

 

1. Spiritual purifying and energy cleansing.

For centuries the indigenous people of the Andes have been using palo santo for spiritual purification and energy cleansing. When the wood is burned it’s believed to clear negative energy and restore tranquility and calm.

Form: wood burning

palo santo yoga

2. Inspiring creativity and bringing love and good fortune.

Burn palo santo sticks or use the charcoal for ritual smudging that will welcome creativity, love, and good fortune into your space. The wood can help brighten energy and promote feelings of positivity and joy. The scent is also shown to reduce stress and anxiety, and enhance clarity and concentration.

Form: wood burning or smudging

3. Bringing a deeper connection to the divine source.

If meditation is the yin, palo santo is the yang. The uplifting scent is the perfect partner for your meditation practice. Raise your vibration, and discover peace and groundedness as you sink into a deeper connection to the Earth and your inner consciousness.

Form: wood burning or smudging

burning palo santo

4. Physical healing.

Palo santo is used to treat a wide variety of physical ailments including colds, flus, anxiety, depression, asthma, bronchitis, headaches, and emotional trauma. Use the oil to provide pain relief for arthritis and joint pain with its anti-inflammatory properties.

Palo santo tea (made by simmering the wood in hot water) acts as a natural digestive aid. The oil can be added to soaps, scrubs, and lotions to cleanse and moisturize the skin. The wood also contains high concentrations of a compound called d-limonene, which is thought to aid in the prevention of a variety of cancers.

Form: simmer the wood to make tea or apply oil as a topical tincture

5. Energetic protection and the removal of negativity.

When used for smudging or burning, palo santo can eliminate negative energy, creating a calmer, more tranquil space. Set an intention about what you want to clear out of your space, then move from corner to corner, removing any bad energy, uplifting your spirit, and filling your home with good fortune.

Form: wood burning or smudging

 

6.  The enticing and clarifying palo santo scent.

Can we wax on a bit here about the remarkable, lasting scent of a palo santo smudge? For our kitchens and bedrooms, vehicles and workspaces, the brightness of citrus, marked with the ancient notes of its natural heritage, bring a uniquely clarifying scent to every space. The benefit of burning palo santo wood in a smudging practice is its lingering scent.

Form: wood burning or smudging 


7. Mobility of use while in travel modes.

Unlike a sage bundle, palo santo wood is graciously proportioned for spiritual seekers who spend ample time away from home. Palo santo sticks are well-paired with car rides, hikes and other travel experiences. People are known to cleanse their hotel rooms before sleep for a more peaceful, deepened rest.

Form: wood burning or smudging

8. Vibrational cleansing and renewal for crystals.

Crystals do much of the heavy lifting in the work

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CREAMY VEGAN LEMON BARS (GF)

Squares of our incredible gluten-free vegan lemon bars recipe

Lemon bars.

So elusive.
So tricky.
So very not vegan (or gluten-free)…until now.

Blender with ingredients for making our creamy homemade vegan lemon bars

Friends, vegan lemon bars (!!!) made with just 10 ingredientsnaturally sweetened, and gluten-free! I know, I’m excited, too.

The almond-oat crust is adapted from my Peanut Butter and Jelly Snack Bars, and somehow ends up tasting reminiscent of graham cracker crust! It’s my new favorite thing, besides this über creamy filling.

Pouring vegan lemon bar filling over gluten-free crust for our lemon bars recipe

The filling is comprised of soaked cashews, coconut cream, lots of lemon juice + zest, maple syrup, arrowroot starch (for thickening), and sea salt. That’s it!

I didn’t know what would happen if I blended it all up and baked it, but it turns out, it ends up tasting like a lemon bar with a cheesecake-like texture. SWOON!

Wood platter with squares of our gluten-free vegan lemon bars recipeBoard of homemade gluten-free vegan lemon bars sprinkled with powdered sugar

Friends, you’re going to LOVE these bars! They’re:

Creamy
Rich
Lemony
Not too sweet
Simple
Surprisingly healthy
Portable
& Delicious

These would make the perfect dessert for so many things: Bridal showers (I know), baby showers (I know!), study dates (yass girl), office gatherings (the least exciting, but still really cool). Even if you don’t have anywhere special to be, these would make a delicious treat to have around the house for snacking (but watch out – you’ll want 2 or 3).

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment it, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends! Now excuse me while I dive into one of these magical bars.

Stack of healthy lemon bars for the perfect creamy gluten-free vegan dessert

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Batch of Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars topped with lemon slices and powdered sugar
4.71 from 118 votes

CREAMY VEGAN LEMON BARS

Creamy, naturally sweetened vegan lemon bars made with 10 simple ingredients and a delicious gluten-free crust.
Author: Minimalist Baker
PREP TIME5 hours
COOK TIME45 minutes
TOTAL TIME5 hours 45 minutes
Servings:  (bars)
Category: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 2-4 Days

 

 

 

 

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The Statistics of Vegetarians Vs. Meat-Eaters GORD KERR REVIEWED BY: JILL CORLEONE

If you’re trying to eat healthier, you may be considering omitting meat from your diet. Many restaurants and supermarkets now offer protein alternatives to make your decision easier. But is a vegetarian diet healthier? Learn about the pros and cons of a diet for vegetarian or vegan vs. a meat-eater to inform you as you consider changing your lifestyle.

(Image: sveta_zarzamora/iStock/GettyImages)

Although all vegetarians avoid eating meat, poultry and sometimes fish, there are many different variations of the vegetarian diet.

  • Vegans are total vegetarians who do not eat any animal products such meat, poultry and fish, including dairy products, eggs and honey.
  • Lacto vegetarians avoid all meat, poultry, fish and eggs, but they consume dairy products.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians don’t eat the flesh of any animal. No meat, poultry or fish, but eggs and dairy products are acceptable.
  • Ovo vegetarians eat eggs but refrain from eating meat, poultry, fish and dairy products.
  • Pesco vegetarians or pescatarians avoid meat but may eat fish.
  • Pollo-vegetarians don’t eat red meat but eat poultry.

How Many People Are Vegetarians?

Approximately 8 million adults in the U.S. do not eat meat, poultry or fish, according to the 2016 National Harris Poll published by the Vegetarian Resource Group. About one-half of vegetarians are also vegans — approximately 3.7 million U.S. adults.

Vegetarians, including vegans, make up the following percentages of the U.S. population:

  • 3.2 percent are adult males
  • 3.5 percent are adult females
  • 5.3 percent are ages 18 to 34
  • 3.1 percent are ages 35 to 44
  • 2.2 percent are ages 45 to 54
  • 1.8 percent are over age 65

Additionally, an increasing number of people have omitted or cut back on red meat consumption but still eat chicken and fish. Statistics show that 37 percent of Americans often or always eat vegetarian meals when dining out. This has major implications on the food and restaurant industry, which must offer meat alternatives and vegetarian dishes.

Reasons Why People Go Vegetarian

People choose to eat vegetarian for a variety of reasons. The Humane Research Council took a survey of the primary and contributory motivations for individuals to become vegetarians. Most people have multiple reasons for their transition, but the following are some of the more common:

  • Compassion for animals
  • To eat a generally healthier diet
  • To avoid additives and antibiotics in meat
  • A dislike for the taste of meat
  • To reduce impact on the environment
  • To reduce disease, like cancer and diabetes
  • For religious convictions
  • To eat less expensively
  • To lose weight
  • To reduce intake of cholesterol and fat

Are Vegetarians Healthier?

 

 

 

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The health benefits of green tea By Jo Lewin

A cup of green tea with two different types of tea leaves on spoons

All types of tea, even your regular cup of builder’s, come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Green tea gets its name from the emerald green colour created when brewing unprocessed, unfermented tea leaves. With origins going back as far as 5,000 years, green tea is commonly drunk and widely grown in the Far East where the health properties are well regarded.

Different varieties of green tea

The difference between green and black tea results from the manufacturing process. Black tea undergoes fermentation which transforms its colour and flavour, whereas green tea remains unprocessed and retains its colour. Green tea is grown in higher altitudes, more specifically the mountainous regions of East Asia. Some green tea is still picked by hand, and it is thought that handpicked teas are less bitter and yield a sweeter, more robust taste. Other factors such as the climate and soil can also affect the flavour.

Sencha is the most popular of Japan’s green teas. There are numerous grades which can affect the price and quality. Sencha leaves are first steamed and then shaped. Sencha tea produces a clear yellow/green tea with a sweet, grassy but slightly astringent flavour.

Matcha is made from green tea leaves grown in the shade. The leaves have a higher chlorophyll content which makes them a vibrant green colour. To make matcha, the entire leaf is ground down into a powder. The powder is mixed with boiling water and gently whisked before being served. The flavour is light and sweet and so is now added to desserts and sweet drinks.

Green tea can be found as fresh leaves or in tea bags, frequently blended with other flavours such as lemon, lime or ginger.

When buying tea leaves, avoid older leaves. This is the same principle as with coffee beans. Allegedly, whole leaves are the highest grade and leaves that are older than four months are past their level of peak freshness. Once purchased and opened, keep leaves in an airtight container that can be resealed and store in a cool place to help slow down the reactions that can reduce the tea’s phytonutrient content and impact on flavour.

Nutritional highlights

There are many health claims surrounding green tea from a reduced risk of cancer to weight loss. The evidence to support these claims is largely inconclusive. Some of the health claims are based on ancient Eastern traditions, where green tea has been used to treat symptoms of disease for years. Because of the proposed benefits, many ‘health’ products now include traces of green tea. However, there is limited evidence to suggest these products are effective. If you are hoping to use green tea for medicinal purposes, make sure to consult your doctor first.

Green tea does have more health benefits than black tea which can be attributed to its lack of processing. Green tea is higher in protective polyphenols. The major polyphenols in green tea are flavonoids, the most active of which are catechins and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which function as powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to protect the body against disease and are an important part of a healthy diet. Antioxidants can be found in a range of fruits, vegetables and other unprocessed foods. As part of a balanced diet, green tea can be a good source of antioxidants.

Green tea

How much caffeine does green tea contain?

Green tea does contain caffeine, although varieties and brands may differ. An equal quantity of green tea contains less caffeine than coffee (one cup of green tea contains approximately 35-80 mg compared to approximately 100-400 mg in the same size cup of coffee), but it can still act as a

READ MORE:  https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-green-tea

 

 

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