Category Archives: All things natural …….

Homemade Food means made from scratch

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“Would you like a homemade waffle? ” Well we still make them HOMEMADE, which means not from a mix out of a box but from an old fashion German recipe my mom and my grandmother before used to make.
The only change we introduced over the years was to make them with whole wheat or spelt and with cane sugar instead of white industrial sugar. But my mom would be proud of me still doing it the right way.

When making them we usually make a whole large batch of 15 to 30 waffles and freeze them so we have them handy when we have guests and heat them up in the morning with fresh fruits and yoghurt or cream; also real cream without sugar and not that pretend whipped cream out of a can , which doesn’t even have any real cream in it.

Homemade food means made from scratch

Homemade food means made from scratch

“What does homemade even mean anymore? So much of what we see advertised, or called out by local places are phrases like ‘baked on premises’ and ‘baked daily’. Even places that sell artisan bread often bring it in par-baked, then finish it off in the store. Shows like Sandra Lee’s ‘Almost Homemade’ annoy me! How hard is it to cook your own chicken for Pete’s sake? I guess if you heated it up on your premises it’s homemade.” By Nancy R Lowell

In the last 10 maybe 20 years the definition of homemade got a new “meaning”. The food industry made us believe that when buying a mix or pre-fab produce and throw it all in a pot to heat it up ….we can call the result homemade. But this is a far cry from what one can call home- or self-made. It is just the make-believe of homemade that we were trained to accept so we can ease our minds to feed something good to our kids and family and the food industry still has a say in what we put on our table. And of course don’t forget a say in what it all is supposed to cost us.

We also are under such an illusion when we think all of this is so much easier and faster to accomplish than cooking from scratch.

“If you want real homemade food though, you’re probably going to have to make it yourself! Steer clear of any box or jar that claims it tastes homemade, because it’s a big fat lie! I bet you’ve forgotten what homemade sauce tastes like, or how much better your own roasted chicken tastes than that over-salted, over-cooked rotisserie chicken from your local supermarket. This isn’t about fat and calories, it’s about real food, made in your house with the ingredients you added, not the flavor enhancers, and texturizers added by some food factory cranking out tons of food a day.

Did you see your mom (or dad) cook? If you watched them cook you learned how to do things in the kitchen. Your children may not know to ask, but you owe it to them to be able to watch you cook. They need to see you make simple easy stuff that your family can eat. They need to see what homemade looks like. Knowing how to make a meal for yourself and your friends and family is an important life skill, and unlike the dying art of cursive handwriting, eating real food made by real hands in a real kitchen is important. Knowing how to do that is important.

Commercial food producers, and chain restaurants have made a mockery of the word homemade, and it’s time to take it back! Progresso used to have an ad that proclaimed “Make it Progresso, or make it yourself!” I say we take them up on that! Bring back the true meaning of homemade!” By Nancy R Lowell

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Make your own Laundry Detergent – so cool

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How To Make Your Own Laundry Detergent – And Save Big Money

Written by Trent
Categories: Frugality
Bookmarks: del.icio.usreddit

I’ve been experimenting with making lots of cleaning supplies at home, but this one is by far the craziest – and the most successful. Basically, I made a giant bucket of slime that works incredibly well as laundry detergent at a cost of about three cents a load. For comparison’s sake, a jumbo container of Tide at Amazon.com costs $28.99 for 96 loads, or a cost of $0.30 a load. Thus, with each load of this stuff, I’m saving more than a quarter. Even better – I got to make a giant bucket of slime in the kitchen and my wife approved of it.

Here’s what you need:
– 1 bar of soap (whatever kind you like; I used Lever 2000 because we have tons of bars of it from a case we bought a while back)
– 1 box of washing soda (look for it in the laundry detergent aisle at your local department store – it comes in an Arm & Hammer box and will contain enough for six batches of this stuff)
– 1 box of borax (this is not necessary, but I’ve found it really kicks the cleaning up a notch – one box of borax will contain more than enough for tons of batches of this homemade detergent – if you decide to use this, be careful)
– A five gallon bucket with a lid (or a bucket that will hold more than 15 liters – ask around – these aren’t too tough to acquire)
– Three gallons of tap water
– A big spoon to stir the mixture with
– A measuring cup
– A knife

Step One: Put about four cups of water into a pan on your stove and turn the heat up on high until it’s almost boiling. While you’re waiting, whip out a knife and start shaving strips off of the bar of soap into the water, whittling it down. Keep the heat below a boil and keep shaving the soap. Eventually, you’ll shave up the whole bar, then stir the hot water until the soap is dissolved and you have some highly soapy water.

Step Two: Put three gallons of hot water (11 liters or so) into the five gallon bucket – the easiest way is to fill up three gallon milk jugs worth of it. Then mix in the hot soapy water from step one, stir it for a while, then add a cup of the washing soda. Keep stirring it for another minute or two, then add a half cup of borax if you are using borax. Stir for another couple of minutes, then let the stuff sit overnight to cool.

And you’re done. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll have a bucket of gelatinous slime that’s a paler shade of the soap that you used (in our case, it’s a very pale greenish blue). One measuring cup full of this slime will be roughly what you need to do a load of laundry – and the ingredients are basically the same as laundry detergent. Thus, out of three gallons, you’ll get about 48 loads of laundry. If you do this six times, you’ll have used six bars of soap ($0.99 each), one box of washing soda ($2.49 at our store), and about half a box of borax ($2.49 at our store, so $1.25) and make 288 loads of laundry. This comes up to a cost of right around three cents a gallon, or a savings of $70.

15 Surprising Uses for Butter

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Yep, we know, butter is fattening. It’s something that should be consumed sparingly. But, it’s such a staple in the pantry that it’s hard not to have around. So, instead of using it in food, how about using it around the house instead?! Check out some of the fantastic ways to use butter.

Household

Stop Doors From Squeaking Generously grease the hinges with butter and voila — squeak no more!

Cut Down on Snow Shoveling Ah, one of the least fun winter activities. Cut your shoveling time down by greasing the shovel with butter, it’ll help prevent snow from sticking.

Get Rid of Ink Stains on Plastic Rub butter on the stain and let it sit out in the sun. After a few days of soaking up the rays, wipe clean with soap and water.

Get Rid of Pesky Watermarks on Wood Have a family member who’s allergic to coasters? Rub butter into the affected area and let it sit overnight. Wipe it with a towel in the morning.

 

Cooking

Make Cheese Last Longer Coat the cut edge of a hard cheese with butter. It will prevent the molding process that comes all too quickly otherwise.

Make Onions Last Longer Only using half of an onion and don’t want to waste it? Nix the plastic baggy — spread some butter on it and wrap it in aluminum foil.

Stop Water From Boiling Over Drop a tablespoon of butter into a pot that’s boiling over.

Cut Sticky Foods Pies and brownies stick to the knife all too often. Remedy this by coating the knife in butter before you dish out dessert.

Health & Body

Swallow Pills Can’t handle the horse pills? Lightly coat the pill in butter and wash it down with a big gulp of water. It takes the edge off that terrible feeling of the pill going down your throat.

Get Sticky Stuff Off Your Skin Can’t stand the feeling of sap or glue on your hands? Rub butter on the sticky part before you wash your hands. Rub hands with a towel, and then use water.

Remove Gum From Hair Rub butter into the affected area and let it absorb. Gently wipe away with a cloth.

Prevent Bruising If you’ve ever thought, “that’s gonna leave a mark,” this one’s for you. The phosphates in butter help prevent bruising, much like a raw steak does.

Beauty & Fashion

Detangle Jewelry Lessen the frustration of detangling necklaces and bracelets by rubbing butter on the entwined areas. Use a small pointy object to detangle.

Strengthen Your Nails Do you have weak, brittle & dry nails? Before bedtime, Rub butter on the nail beds and put on some cotton gloves. In the morning, you should see improvements in your nail strength.

Get A Tight Ring Off No need to rush to the jeweler if your ring won’t budge — apply butter to the area and it’ll (hopefully) slip right off.

Soothe Dry Skin If you’re in a pinch, butter is a great substitute for creams and lotions. You can even use it as a shaving cream.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/15-surprising-uses-for-butter.html#ixzz1szTCafM6

4 Natural Sweeteners to Try

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Susan Melgren

Americans consume way too much sugar. Although the American Heart Association recommends no more than 3 tablespoons of sugar per day for children and no more than 5 to 8 tablespoons for teens and adults, most of us consume way more than that. In fact, the average American consumes about 130 pounds of sugar a year, which has led, in part, to health problems such as childhood obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

Cutting sugar from your life isn’t as easy as it sounds. Although it’s easy to eliminate the obvious foods like desserts and sodas, many everyday foods are made with sugar—and sneakily labeled, too. If you’re trying to cut sugar from your life, you’ll have to look closely at the ingredients label on common foods before buying. Terms like barley malt, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, maltodextrin, and even fruit juice can signify sugar content in a product.

If you don’t want to give up sweets but want to cut refined sugar from your life, check out these natural sweeteners and alternatives to sugar.

Honey: Rich in antioxidants, this common sweetener contains essential minerals, amino acids and B vitamins. When substituting honey for sugar in recipes, use about half as much honey as you would sugar. (Not all honey is made equally though. Read about the health and safety issues concerning imported honey—and why you should buy local.)

Stevia: Unlike other natural sweeteners, zero-calorie stevia doesn’t affect blood sugar levels. Heat stable, stevia is an ideal sweetener for baking with. Because it’s overly sweet and concentrated, a little goes a long way. You can replace one cup of refined white sugar with just one teaspoon of stevia. (Learn how to grow your own stevia plants.)

Agave: This southwestern succulent produces a nectar that is sweet, low in calories and contains small amounts of calcium, potassium and magnesium. Because agave nectar has a high fructose-to-glucose ratio, it ranks low on the glycemic index, meaning consuming it won’t produce dramatic spikes in blood sugar like eating refined sugar does.

Maple syrup: Like agave and honey, pure, unrefined maple syrup is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. And like other natural sweeteners, maple syrup is low in calories—one cup contains just 80 calories. Substitute one and a half cups of maple syrup for one cup of granulated sugar. (Learn more about the health benefits of maple syrup as a natural sweetener, as well as how to cook and bake with it.)

For more on baking with natural sweeteners—and for some scrumptious recipes—check out the article “Smarter Sweets” from Natural Home & Garden magazine. For more on cutting sugar from your life, check out the post “4 Ways to Reduce Sugar Consumption.”

Image: dusk / Fotolia

Read more: Desserts, Diabetes, Food, General Health, Health, agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, natural sweeteners, stevia

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/cut-the-sugar-try-natural-sweeteners.html#ixzz1rIPRihtP

Dye Easter Eggs Naturally

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Jessica Kellner


It’s almost Easter weekend, which means it’s time for Easter egg hunting! One of my favorite Easter activities as a child and as an adult is dyeing Easter eggs, a fun holiday craft project the whole family can easily do together. But rather than buying those store-bought kits with chemical dyes and packaging to dispose of, consider dyeing your eggs with herbs and foods this year. It’s surprisingly easy, fun and interesting, will help connect kids with the wonders of nature, and doesn’t rely on chemicals. Read more about naturally dyeing eggs.

Here are the best foods to use for dyeing various colors. Please share other foods and herbs you’ve tried with success!

Gold: Handful of yellow onion skins
Yellow: 2 tablespoons turmeric or a handful of carrot tops
Green: Handful of coltsfoot
Blue: 2 cups chopped red cabbage (for best results, add cabbage to water while hard-boiling eggs)
Pink: 2 cups chopped beets
Purple: 1 cup frozen blueberries
Brown: 2 tablespoons coffee grounds or 4 black tea bags

Here are instructions for dyeing the eggs:
1. Hard-boil eggs. My favorite method: Place eggs in enough cold water to cover them and place over high heat. As soon as water comes to a boil, cover pot and turn off heat. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes, then remove from heat and soak in ice water to stop cooking.

2. Bring each dye ingredient to a boil with 2 cups of water; strain the dyes into cups and allow to cool. If you’re using cabbage to dye eggs blue, hard-boil those eggs separately and place cabbage in water before boiling.

3. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to each cup of dye.

4. Dip eggs into cups of dye, submerging completely and leaving until they reach the desired color.
Read one blogger’s personal experiences dyeing eggs.

Note: Don’t waste your dyed eggs! Make sure to eat up those hard-boiled eggs sliced in salad, converted into deviled eggs (here’s a great recipe) or egg salad (here’s a great recipe), or plain with salt and pepper. To that end, I highly recommend choosing locally raised farm eggs. They deliver much better flavor and nutrition than their factory-farmed counterparts. To find locally raised eggs in your area, visit Local Harvest. Buying in the store? Learn about egg carton labeling.

Happy dyeing!

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/dye-easter-eggs-naturally.html#ixzz1r5staoJJ

7 Ways to Make Your Living Space Smell Nice

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By Yumi Sakugawa, Intent.com

Rather than spraying chemical-laden air fresheners, choose one of these seven natural ways to make your living space smell a little nicer.

1. Invest in houseplants. Have your favorite plants and herbs growing in your kitchen, living room and bathroom in small pots. The presence of green plants will help reduce indoor air pollution and keep clean air circulating in your space.

2. Save your citrus fruit skins. Save the peels of oranges, lemons, limes and other citrus- fruits. You can place them in boiling water to have a fresh scent in the kitchen, or run them in your garbage disposal with boiling water. Lastly, put some citrus skins in your vacuum bag the next time you vacuum your carpet.

3. Dilute essential oil with water in a spray bottle. You can spray your furniture and carpet to make the whole room smell a specific scent. To diversify, you can have different scents for different areas of your home. For example: lavender for the living room, sandalwood for your bedroom and peppermint for the bathroom.

4. Place bowls of white vinegar in corners of the room. The vinegar will neutralize and absorb any offending odors.

5. Place fabric softener in your shoes and closet. It will take away any stale clothing smells. For another closet air freshener, place a cedar block at the bottom of your closet. Use sandpaper for a new layer once a year.

6. Light soy candles instead of regular candles. Soy candles are longer-lasting, better for the environment and have a more robust smell. (They are also safer than carcinogen-emitting candles.)

7. Bake bread or cook your own meals. Few things are as welcoming as the smell of freshly baked bread or the herbs of a home-cooked dinner.