photo courtesy of wikimedia.commons.org
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
photo courtesy of wikimedia.commons.org
Monday, August 24, 2009
We use India Tree natural vegetable coloring. According to the website it's a concentrated vegetable liquid colorant. I do know that it only takes a tiny bit to color a bowl of frosting. The set is sold in a three pack of primary colors which can be combined to make any color you want.
If you want to switch away from petrochemical colorants this is a good alternative.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
This sounds like a really tasty treat and a very healthy beverage choice as long as the apple juice is 100% juice with no high fructose corn syrup. I remember drinking a mint water/water/lemon concoction when I visited which was delicious and the apple juice sounds like a really nice touch. As soon as my mint, currently struggling in the Texas heat, gets big enough I'll have to start making my own mint extract to have on hand.
I did want to take this opportunity to explain the differences between the different types of carbonated waters out there. This explanation assumes that these are plain, unflavored versions of the different waters.
Seltzer water is simply water to which carbonation has been added. The carbonation is caused by adding pressurized carbon dioxide gas to the water. You can make your own seltzer water, very inexpensively, at home using a soda maker.
Club soda, sometimes also called soda water, is very similar to seltzer but frequently contains added sodium, either in the form of table salt, sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, potassium sulfate, or disodium phosphate. Sodium levels vary depending on the manufacturer. For anyone watching sodium intake it is important to read the label when purchasing this product.
Tonic water is also a carbonated beverage and usually has a slightly bitter taste. This is from the quinine used to flavor it. Quinine was believed to to be helpful in treating malaria but was so bitter that it could not be drunk by itself and was put into a "tonic". Apparently there is not enough quinine in tonic water to be medicinally effective. Most tonic waters are flavored with either lemon or lime and have sugar in them. The labels I saw indicated 80 calories and 21.6 g of sugar per 8 ounces making this not a good beverage choice for regular consumption.
If you have a healthy beverage recipe that you'd like to share please leave a message in the comments. It's always nice to try new flavors.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Live life at your own pace, remember to breathe, and be well.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Windows first. That good old standby vinegar and water works great. I use 1/4 C. white vinegar and 2 C. water in a spray bottle. Mirrors, glass and chrome come out streak-free and clean. There are a lot of wonderful household cleaners that you can easily make yourself with common ingredients. To get some good recipes visit Women's Voices for the Earth. You'll find recipes for all-purpose cleaner, drain opener, and more.
Weeds are a little more difficult. There was a study done by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Horticulture that showed that vinegar (acetic acid) works well as a weed killer. But what worked the best was a 20% solution (the stuff we buy for home use is typically only 5%) which is not easy to purchase for household use. I have successfully used vinegar mixed with liquid soap and water as a weed killer but only in areas such as a brick path because the spray will affect almost any plant that it touches. A single application will kill the plant; the exception seems to be plants with fuzzy leaves, for some reason they are not as affected by the solution. Plants with thick roots, like dandelions, usually have regrowth, however multiple applications appear to weaken the plant and, in some cases, completely kill it. I use a formula of 1 part dish soap, 2 parts vinegar, 2 parts water. So for a small batch you would make up a solution of 1/2 C. dish soap, 1 C. vinegar and 1 C. water.
Monday, August 10, 2009
If you want to drink milk, drink milk, not an over-sugared, chemical-laden soft drink. Your best choices for drinks are, as always, water, water with lemon or lime, herbal teas, green tea, and nourishing broths.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Beans are a great; high in fiber, B vitamins and protein they are an excellent food to add to the diet. Different beans have different micronutrients so varying the types of beans that you eat is a good nutritional choice. Right now beans are available fresh from the farmer's markets. They are very tasty, not chalky and make a great addition to a lot of different dishes such as my peas-y peas and celery.
Another great way to eat beans is to use them to make a spread like hummus. Hummus is made from chickpeas, but you can make something similar with other beans. Add spices and herbs to flavor it anyway you want; this makes a great dip for veggies, pita bread, or crackers.
One of my favorite ways to eat beans is to take cooked beans (although canned beans are fine too), mash them up with sauteed minced onion and garlic, add some chopped parsley and curry powder and make patties out of it. Pan fry the patties, stuff them into a pita with frisee lettuce, chopped tomato, and a delicious sauce (suggestions include tahini, spicy yogurt, or a falafel sauce) and you've got a great meal with beans.
A third suggestion would be to take dried beans, grind them into a flour (a grain mill works best for this although there is a KitchenAid attachment that will also do the job) and then add that to a tomato sauce for casserole dishes or put the flour into baked goods. You'll still get the protein and nutrients from the beans but they won't be so obvious in your food.
As the saying goes, beans are good for your heart. Eat some today.
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