Journal

  • Eat the Weeds: Recipe for a Wild Spring Greens Pesto

    Spring is bursting across Alaska, and with warmer temps and longer days comes the return of wild edibles! 

    In our backyard, garden, and on regular walks about town I'm starting to spot familiar plant friends like dandelion, nettle, plantain, and horsetail emerging from damp soils to take in the spring sun. 

    Foraging spring wild edibles

    My favorite way to enjoy the emergence of fresh edible spring greens is to mix them up into a nutritious deliciously garlicky pesto that can be slathered on crusty sourdough bread, mixed into pasta with the remainder of winter's smoked salmon, or spread atop a fried egg for breakfast. 

    Don't pull them out of your yard and garden beds, EAT the weeds with this delicious wild greens pesto recipe!

     

    Wild Spring Greens Pesto

    Ingredients:

    3 cloves of garlic, peeled

    2 Tbs lemon juice 

    1/4 cup parmesan cheese

    3 handfuls (or approx. 3 cups) of fresh spring greens. I used nettles, dandelion, and chives; use whatever edibles are growing in your backyard! Chickweed, ramps (leaves only please!), garlic scapes, etc. If you use nettles, give them a quick blanch in boiling water and strain well before adding them to your mix to take out the sting.

    1/4 cup nuts. Use whatever nuts (or seeds) you have on hand. I used walnuts, but you could sub pine nuts, almonds, or even raw pumpkin seeds. Bonus flavor points if you take a few extra minutes to roast them! 

    1/2 tsp salt, add more to taste. The salt and lemon juice play off of each other to create a delightful bright zip that brings out the flavor of your greens, so taste and add as you go. 

    Approx. 1/4 cup olive oil. Some folks like their pesto more pasty, some like it more runny. Start with a few good glugs of oil, and add more as you blend/mix your pesto to get the texture you want. 

     

    Directions:

    The easiest way to make pesto is in a food processor or blender. If you don’t have access to one, you can simply chop & mash your ingredients together with a sharp knife and a bit of elbow grease.

    Start with the garlic cloves; toss these in the processor and give it a whir to chop them up. Then add your nuts or seeds and give them a chop.

    Now you can pile in the rest of your ingredients: a heap of greens, lemon juice, cheese, salt, and your first few glugs of oil.

    Run the food processor until it all blends into a lovely bright green paste. Scrape down the sides as you go, and drizzle in more oil while it blends to create your perfect texture. I like it somewhere between pasty & runny, so that when I add the pesto to warm pasta or bread the ingredients melt down to oily cheesy perfection. Taste test to see if you'd like to add more salt or a splash of lemon juice.

    Enjoy your super fresh pesto immediately in your dish of choice, and store any extra in a closed jar in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze to use later.

    Bon appetite & happy spring foraging!

    wild spring greens pesto pizza recipe

    (Our fresh pesto became a delicious sauce for chicken, artichoke, cherry tomato pizza!)

  • Clean body, clean oceans: G&G Multipurpose All Natural Soaps

    Clean body, clean oceans: G&G Multipurpose All Natural Soaps

    When I first ventured in the world of making soap by hand, I sought a cleanser that did not dry my already sensitive skin out after each shower, and one that did not leave me with a mound of empty plastic bottles to deal with. I was over the idea that I needed to settle for a big bottle of super sudsy body wash that was actually just stripping my skin of its natural protective oils, which would then require me to use a big bottle of lotion to replenish the lost moisture. I wanted to create a cleanser that could to it all - clean & take care of my whole body, even my hair - without harsh chemical sudsing agents artificial fragrances, and without adding more plastics to an already overburdened waste stream.

    And so our line of all natural multipurpose soaps was born. Handcrafted bars of cleansing, nourishing, moisturizing plant power all wrapped up in a pretty little biodegradable package. Made to keep you feeling clean and funky fresh from head to toe.

    Three bars of handmade soap from Gathered and Grown Botanicals

    What’s inside:

    The two main ingredients in all of our natural soaps are organic olive oil and organic coconut oil. Each chosen for their rich profile of fatty acids that support the skin’s natural moisture levels, their emollient properties, and their ability to produce a gentle cleansing lather in the final bar that lifts dirt from the skin while at the same time replenishing moisture. 

    Rich organic oils for making hand crafted soap

    Each soap we create also includes rich organic shea butter, castor oil, and sunflower oil, in addition to a unique blend of herbs, clays, and essential oils to support the skin and the senses. All of our soap ingredients are completely natural and biodegradable – which means they don’t send pollutants down the drain and into our waterways. All of our bars are always palm oil free (you can read more about the environmental implications of commercial palm oil use here), and each ingredient is hand poured, weighed, melted, and mixed with love in small batches.

    What’s outside:

    Our multipurpose soaps are packaged in a recyclable, biodegradable cardboard box with a paper label. This means less plastics making their way into the waste stream, and less plastics making their way into our oceans. Our coastal home sits at the edge of the big blue Pacific. We source ingredients directly from these abundant shorelines. It’s our responsibility to make sure we take care of them and cut down on the alarming amount of plastic debris washing up on our beaches. When you’re ready to use your beautiful soap, simply toss the box into your recycling or compost bin and get to sudsin’.

    Mermud soap at home on the seashore: From Gathered and Grown Botanicals

    How to use them:

    Our soaps are designed to do more than just sit in a pretty basket in your guest bathroom. They’re literally made to help you cleanse from head to toe!

    Shampoo bar: With their rich profile of organic oils and nutrient rich herbs, our soaps make excellent shampoo bars. Simply rub the bar between your hands to produce a nice lather and then work the lather into your scalp and tresses. Rinse and enjoy soft, shiny hair! The Nettle & Mint Soap works especially well as a shampoo bar.

    Body bar: Work up a lather using your hands, washcloth, or your favorite bathing sponge and cleanse the whole body with nourishing oils and a subtle natural fragrance. Try the Lavender Rosehip Soap for a luxurious lather thanks to naturally exfoliating rose kaolin clay and the soothing scent of lavender.

    Shave bar: Our clay soaps offer an excellent ‘slip’ to their lather, allowing your razor to glide closely and smoothly along the skin if you’re a person who shaves. Try the Mermud Soap, made with French green clay on your next shave and enjoy the silky smoothness afterward.

    Pet wash: Because our soaps are made with completely natural ingredients, they are totally safe and effective for use on the furry members of your family too! Apply the lather from any of our handmade bars to your next dog bath, work into their fur, and rinse away for a healthy, shiny coat. The Dirty Hippie Soap is our favorite for washing away our pup’s unique brand of ‘husky musk’.

     Mermud Soap by Gathered and Grown Botanicals

    However you choose to use your handmade herbal soap, be sure to store it in a well-draining location where it can dry out between uses. With proper storage your bar should last you several weeks of regular use.

    Have you tried our multipurpose herbal soaps yet? Find your favorite by testing out our Soap Sampler Set, or go all in and stock up on the good stuff with a special 10% off code on full size bars: enter SOAPLOVE at checkout.

    If you've had the G&G soap experience, tell us what you think! Leave a product review & we’ll send you a coupon code to save on your next G&G purchase.

    Happy sudsing! 

     Lavender Rosehip soap from Gathered and Grown Botanicals

  • How-to: Create Your Self Care Ritual with Herbal Face Masks!

    How-to: Create Your Self Care Ritual with Herbal Face Masks!

    So, you've seen our new herbal face masks and you're thinking, "well that looks/sounds incredible, but how the heck do I use it?!"

    I see you, and I've put together a little demo to show you how to develop your own self care masking ritual & enjoy all the herb-infused benefits of our new face masks!

  • A Horsetail-as-old-as-time: Get to know Horsetail herb, Equisetum arvense

    A Horsetail-as-old-as-time: Get to know Horsetail herb, Equisetum arvense
    Horsetail: A sure sign of spring, and one of the first easily recognizable plants to push their way through the warming soil. Let's take a moment to get to know & appreciate this wildly prehistoric plant!