Sunflower Butter Cups with Tea

Nut Butter Cups with Stinging Nettle Tea. Pic by M.C.

I’m sure many of you saw candy recipes during Valentine’s Day. I used to make my own vegan peanut butter cups about thirty years ago. Sunflower butter cups are more updated being allergen free. It’s so easy to make. Plus I will give some tips on making tea.

Making tea out of nettle leaves (Urtica dioica) makes a great tonic. I’m told—the ones that sting—if you grab it rather than being delicate you won’t get stung. Stinging nettle is found all over the world. It’s native to Europe so it would be considered an “alien” in America. I’m told I can find it near a river where there is a lot of foot traffic. Since I haven’t seen any yet, I buy it at an herbal store. If you can’t find it near you look for an herbal store online.

Nettle leaf is nutritive. It’s an alterative tonic, which basically restores your health. It’s a great antihistamine, but fresh is better in this case. It’s an anti-inflammatory. It moderates allergic response. It’s an urinary tonic and diuretic. It’s an astringent to mucous membranes. It’s hemostatic, which means it will stop bleeding. It’s a galactagogue, which means it will help mothers increase breast milk supply. It treats skin rashes and eruptions, arthritis and passive bleeding. It’s the herbologists go-to herb.

Nettle basically tastes like veggie broth or edamame. It’s pretty bland, but I love it. And I don’t add any sweetener. It’s part of the experience of just tasting one herb. I love using a mason jar so I can see the pretty leaves and the lid keeps the nutrients in the tea.

1 Tbsp. Nettles (stinging nettles), dried
12-16-ounces water

Yield: 1 cup of tea

Use a 16-ounce mason jar. Boil 12-16-ounces of water. Put one tablespoon of crushed, dried nettles into the jar. Then pour hot water into jar. Cover and let steep for at least 5 minutes. I put a strainer over the mug then pour the tea into my cup. I save the nettle leaves and dump them into my compost.  

Sunflower Butter Cups with herbs. Pic by M.C.

1/2 cup + 1/4 cup dark morsels, Enjoy Life chocolate chips
6 tsp. sunflower butter, SunButter, no sugar added

Yield: 6 sunflower butter cups

Fill pan about three fourths to the top so the bottom of the double boiler rests on the water. I’m using a 7.5” wide X 4.5” deep pot with a .63 quart stainless steel double boiler chocolate melting pot. While waiting for water to boil, measure 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Put candy paper cups in muffin tin. Candy paper cups are less deep than the muffin ones. I bought mine from Michael’s. Pour chocolate chips in the double boiler and stir until melted. Spoon about a tablespoon into each paper cup. I use the serving spoon that comes with the double boiler. Press the chocolate to stick to the sides then shake the muffin tin a little to get the chocolate level. Put the tin into the refrigerator for 5 minutes.

Measure 1/4 cup chocolate chips then melt. Turn off the heat on the stove. Spoon 1 teaspoon of sunflower butter onto hardened chocolate bottoms. I like how easy sunflower butter is to work with. Take your melted chocolate and drizzle the chocolate over the sunflower butter. To drizzle you wave spoon over cup to get those lines. Then shake the pan gently to get the chocolate level. I used some tea with dried roses, oat straw, and nettle to sprinkle on top. You can dry some roses from your garden. Or you can look to see what tea you have in your cupboard and cut open a tea bag to sprinkle the contents on top. Put the tin in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Food for Thought:
I’ve been taking a beginning herb class. I can’t wait to share some of the information with you. I was standing in the bedroom thinking I need to learn how to administer first aid using herbs. I looked up an herbal class and found one online. And the class includes us making our own first aid kit. I think I should show you when I’m done with my kit.

Another thing I wanted to learn was how to eat and survive off the land as a vegan. There is so much nutritious food out there. And it’s tasty. And most of us just think those are weeds. Even Rudolph Steiner taught ranchers and farmers how to get rid of the dandelion. I’ll never think of a dandelion as a weed again. I did have dandelion tea in my cupboard before the class but I was digging up the dandelions in my front yard and throwing them out. You can eat the leaves and make tea out of the dried root.

We went on a couple of nature walks and tasted dandelion leaves. They are now one of my favorite weeds, I mean wild plants, to eat. You can incorporate greens like dandelion into your salad. But, wild plants are highly nutritious. Our teacher warned us that she had a student who fed her boyfriend too many wild plants and he ended up with diarrhea. Our teacher also told us because there are more nutrients in wild plants you don’t have to eat as much.

I see all these plants near streams, train tracks, and the sidewalk and think why don’t the homeless eat this stuff?

Then I hear comments about how the hunters will survive and the vegans won’t during the future depression or apocalypse. So now, I know I don’t have to cook beans and rice over a fire. I have options. I can take a walk and gather some really cool leaves, seeds, and berries.

And I feel compelled to share the part about harvesting. Our teacher taught that we should introduce ourselves to the plant that we are going to take from. Then let the plant know what you are going to do with it. Also, we should leave something for the plant. Sometimes people leave more seeds of the same plant. You could give a little water. The Native American way is to give what is valuable to you. So talk to the plants and trees and lift your spirits while encouraging them to grow.

Have a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! May you have luck of an Irishman and swim with a mermaid!

Happy Vegan!

Copyright 2021 Melissa Crismon

Salad Booster

Salad Booster. Pic by M.C.

Originally, I bought Salad Booster in a Cheesy flavor, tried it, and then it sat in my spice cabinet. I tried it again about a year later on salad and really liked it, but when I ran out of it, I couldn’t find it. Come to find out they don’t make the mixture anymore. Now I make Salad Booster out of necessity. It’s good on a baked potato and in stir-fry. My Salad Booster is inspired by the original recipe.

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, salted and roasted
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, salted and roasted
1 tsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. spirulina
1 tsp. Himalayan salt
2 tsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes

Optional: 1 Tbsp. Eden’s Seaweed Gomasio
Either squeeze lemon on salad or put lemon peel in Salad Booster

Yield: Over one cup. About 16 servings.

Put all ingredients in blender. I use my Vitamix dry grain container. Pulse for about twenty seconds until you have a powdery consistency. Don’t over blend or you will end up with nut butter. I did that once and still used it. Just add some to vinaigrette salad dressing if that happens.

Make a salad, pour vinaigrette, spoon on Salad Booster—one tablespoon per person/salad, squeeze half or a whole lemon for a family sized salad, grind sea salt and pepper over bowl, and then toss. I hope you get creative and try the booster on different green salads!

8 cups Spring Mix-roughly
1 carrot, grated
2 celery sticks, chopped
3/4 canned garbanzo beans

1-2 Tbsp. agave
1 part balsamic vinegar
2 parts olive oil, extra virgin

Shake well in closed salad dressing container. You might want less vinegar than me.

Food for Thought:
It was Dec. 4, 2020, maybe around 8p.m. We had just gotten home and I had walked inside when Renaissance Man called me outside. He pointed up at the sky. There were little lights in a row perfectly spaced out. They appeared west then disappeared in the east directly above us. Were they spaceships? Or were they Santa’s reindeer? Well, there were maybe 30 tiny lights going about quietly. It was a beautiful sight.

We looked it up and found a similar picture that looked like Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink satellites. The ones we saw were spaced perfectly unlike the pictures, but still probably satellites. It was disappointing to find out they weren’t visitors from afar.

Then as I recall that same weekend, I was decorating the Christmas tree and Renaissance Man called me to the TV. He had “The Twilight Zone” The Shelter (TV Episode 1961) paused at the last scene. The jist of it was during a neighborhood party the radio announcer said unidentified flying objects were going southeast. The voice said to go to a shelter. As I recall the word, lockdown or quarantine, was used. All the people freaked out thinking a nuclear attack was coming and forced their way into the doctor’s bomb shelter. They turned on each other and one neighbor said racist things to another. Then at the end, the voice on the radio lets everybody know it was a mistake. It was just a satellite reentering the Earth’s atmosphere. The neighbor’s apologize to each other and say they will pay for the damages of the shelter. But, the doctor says, “I wonder, I wonder if anyone of us has any idea what those damages really are. Maybe one of them is finding out what we’re really like when we’re normal. We were spared a bomb tonight. And I wonder if we weren’t destroyed even without it?”

I said it was predictive programming. Renaissance Man said they didn’t have it back in the 1960s. Perhaps they were trying to soften the blow of events by making the mass population more accepting of planned events. The more I read the more it seems like the elites are just copying history or using a formula. It was one of those moments that wasn’t a coincidence.

Happy Vegan!

Recipe from blog of

Copyright 2021 Melissa Crismon