FIY: Lemon

10 Ways to Use Lemon in Your Home

FOODS_LEMONS

There’s more to lemons than just making lemonade. It’s true that lemons make a refreshingly sweet drink and are a great addition to many recipes, but their usefulness doesn’t end there. Lemons have many surprising applications around the home. From cleaning out your microwave to brightening your whites, here are 10 ways to use lemons around the house.

1. Cleaning the Microwave

Lemons can remove hardened bits of food without using chemical-based cleaners or scratching your microwave’s surface. Simply mix 1 1/2 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice in a bowl. Place the mixture in the microwave and cook on high for around 10 minutes. The steam will condense on the walls and help soften stubborn stains. When the time is up, use a rag to wipe away the food and reveal your freshly cleaned appliance.

2. Stain Removal

If you have a stain on a piece of clothing that won’t come out in the wash, try applying some lemon to the area. Soak the stain in lemon juice for an hour and reapply if the stain doesn’t go away. (You can also use a solution of baking soda and water to scrub out the stain if the soak doesn’t remove it.)

3. Natural Air Freshener

For a more natural approach to freshening up the home, lemons are a great way to eliminate odors. Cut half a dozen lemons into slices and combine with a handful of cloves. Place the mixture in a simmering pot on your stove and allow the aroma to fill your home.

4. Insect Repellant

Lemons are a natural way to keep bugs out of the kitchen. Just spray some lemon juice around the perimeter of your kitchen, including windows, thresholds, and any holes around the baseboards. Ants and roaches can’t stand the smell of lemons and will stay far away once they get a whiff of it.

5. Freshen Garbage Disposal

Use leftover lemon peels to deodorize even the smelliest garbage disposal. Simply toss the lemon scraps down the drain at least once a month to keep the disposal smelling its best. You can also throw in some orange peels for a nice blend.

6. Clean Knives

Lemons are a great way to clean sharp edges without worrying about cutting yourself. Start by pouring some lemon juice over the blade. Sprinkle the blade with some salt and rub thoroughly with a cork. The lemon and salt will remove any stubborn stains—just be sure to rinse the metal with water to stop rust accumulation.

7. Laundry Whites

Lemons are a great bleach alternative to get those whites looking brighter than ever. Fill a pan with water and lemon slices and allow it to boil. Then, turn off the stove and add your white linens. Allow the laundry to soak in the water for an hour before removing them and washing as usual.

8. Oxidation Prevention

It doesn’t take long for some fruits, like apples and avocados, to turn brown when left in the open air. To prevent this oxidation, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over the fruit. The juice will help seal the fruit from the air and leave it looking freshly cut. (It will also add a hint of lemon flavor to your favorite fruit.)

9. Clean Cutting Boards

Cutting boards take a lot of abuse over the years. From crushing garlic to chopping onions and preparing meat, cutting boards take on some pretty messy tasks. To rid yourself of a smelly cutting board and help sanitize it for future use, cut a lemon in half and scrub away. You can also use lemon juice and scrub with a wash rag.

10. Weed Killer

The acidity in lemons makes them a natural weed killer. Cover the area where weeds typically grow with a spray bottle of lemon juice. However, be careful not to apply the juice on any other plants as the acid levels are enough to kill bushes and flowers.

Cocoa Uses

10 Creative Ways to Use Cocoa Powder

 

foods_cocoa2

Following are 10 delicious and creative ways to add cocoa – which is heralded for its numerous and wide-ranging health benefits – to your daily life this winter and beyond:

1. Cocoa-fy your coffee

Want to give your cup of joe a boost of beneficial antioxidants? Add one tablespoon of cocoa powder to a mug of hot brewed coffee and sweeten as normal. Warning: Your morning java just became even more addictive.

2. Sprinkle over fruit

Chocolate and fresh fruit are a perfect pairing. They not only complement each other flavor-wise, they’re both rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Simply sprinkle a tablespoon of cocoa powder over a bowl of nature’s candy and prepare to indulge in an even sweeter treat!

3. Boost your salads

Can’t handle the idea of another boring salad? We don’t blame you! End the monotony by adding some partially ground cocoa beans, known as nibs, to a mixture of lettuce, cabbage, cucumbers, carrots and any other veg you have in your repertoire.

4. Enhance trail mix

Those same cocoa nibs that took your salad to the next level also make an excellent addition to homemade (or store-bought) trail mix. Simply combine them with nuts, dried fruit and other tasty ingredients such as yogurt-covered raisins for a smart and satisfying snack.

5. Amp up cereal

Move over berries and banana slices. There’s a new topping in town! It’s cocoa powder, and it could be coming to a cereal bowl near you. A few tablespoons can make any morning better – and healthier, to boot!

6. Elevate your yogurt

If you’re yogurt fan (and really, who isn’t?), cocoa powder is a wonderful way to top off the tasty treat. And if you want to get creative, consider layering cocoa powder, fruit and yogurt to create a delicious, nutritious parfait.

7. Improve smoothie recipes

Gather your favorite smoothie ingredients, a few tablespoons of cocoa powder (or some nibs) and your blender. You know what comes next… a creamy, chocolatey smoothie that will leave you wanting more.

8. Make peanut butter better

Most of us would like to personally thank the culinary genius who first realized that peanut butter (or any nut butter) and chocolate are a delicious, decadent flavor combination. Add a tablespoon of cocoa powder to your creamy (or crunchy) spread and prepare to enjoy the ultimate peanut butter sandwich. And it’s okay to throw in some banana slices for good measure!

9. Make your own exfoliating scrub

Mix a tablespoon of cocoa powder with equal parts coconut oil, honey and sugar until a paste forms. Apply the blend to your face, and allow it to set for approximately 20 minutes. Gently massage your skin while you rinse off this delicious DIY mask, and kiss those dead skin cells goodbye!

10. Smell it

Trying to stave off your sweet tooth? According to Health.com, taking a quick whiff of cocoa powder may help you combat cravings for sweet treats. That’s because the scent of the stuff activates the same neurotransmitters that are stimulated during chocolate consumption.

Grow Your Own Organic Food

Top 10 Reasons To Grow Your Own Organic Food

GARDEN_BEETSJul 29, 2013

1. Get The Nutrition You Need and Enjoy Tastier Food!
Many studies have shown that organically grown food has more minerals and nutrients that we need than food grown with synthetic pesticides. There’s a good reason why many chefs use organic foods in their recipes—they taste better. Organic farming starts with the nourishment of the soil, which eventually leads to the nourishment of the plant and, ultimately our bodies.

2. Save Money
Growing your own food can help cut the cost of the grocery bill. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars and month at the grocery store on foods that don’t really nourish you, spend time in the garden, outside, exercising, learning to grow your own food.

3. Protect Future Generations
The average child receives four times more exposure than an adult to at least eight widely used cancer-causing pesticides in food. Food choices you make now will impact your child’s future health.

“We have not inherited the Earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children.” – Lester Brown

4. Prevent Soil Erosion
Soil in developed nations is eroded several times faster than it’s built up naturally. Soil is the foundation of the food chain in organic farming. However, in conventional farming, the soil is used more as a medium for holding plants in a vertical position so they can be chemically fertilized. As a result, many farms worldwide are suffering from the worst soil erosion in history.

5. Protect Water Quality
Water makes up two-thirds of our body mass and covers three-fourths of the planet. Pesticides – some cancer causing – contaminate the groundwater an can pollute the primary source of drinking water.

(READ FULL ARTICLE)

9 Food Cures You Can Grow

9 Food Cures You Can Grow At Home

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Aloe background image – © Liliia Rudchenko – Fotolia.com

We just discovered a great article about food cures you can grow at home… reminding you that you can sometimes be self reliant – always a good feeling. These are some of the most popular, best herbs that have been used in home remedies since ancient times.

I am reminded of the”meme” that has been seen flying around the internet lately: “Medicine is not healthcare. Medicine is sickcare. Food is healthcare.”

These herbs not only have culinary uses but have numerous medicinal uses. To make life easier for you I have listed the nine herbs. (We also have fully-detailed pages on a number of these – so if you really want to go deep, follow those links too!) Be aware however that the original source also contains growing tips for some of the herbs, and some quick application tips.

Aleo Vera– burns, sunburn, healing the digestive tract. Not really a culinary herb per se, but the soft gel could be added to smoothies.


Basil
– headaches, pain relief.

Lavender – skin conditions, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory.

Lemon Balm – cold sores, insect bites, natural insect repellent.

Peppermint – make tea with fresh peppermint leaves to ease nausea and minor digestive complaints.

Parsley – immune booster, also chew for fresh breath.

Rosemary – mood lifting, cold soothing with cinnamon.

Sage – infuse some sage leaves with boiling water, and when cooled, gargle for sore throat.

Thyme – antioxidant and antiseptic. Do not use if pregnant.

Ok here is the link to the original list: http://www.organicgardening.com/living/9-food-cures-you-can-grow-at-home

5 Tasty Recipes for Overripe Produce

5 Tasty Recipes for Overripe Produce

Februray 3, 2013

Buying local produce can be a catch-22. Sure, you want to eat locally and seasonally, but produce can have a pretty short shelf-life. If you have some overripe fruits and veggies in your fridge, don’t toss them in the compost pile yet! Check out these five simple recipes for overripe produce, and start cutting back on food waste today.

apple, applesauce, homemade, from scratch, pot, pan, kitchen, cooking

Homemade applesauce beats those grocery store alternatives any day. Photo: Flickr/ccharmon

Before you get started

Note that there is a difference between overripe and spoiled. Produce that’s been sitting out for too long can begin harboring bacteria that can upset your stomach or cause other more serious health problems.

Inspect your produce carefully before eating. Check the exterior for any signs of mold, and don’t use it if it smells a little funky. If you aren’t sure about whether or not to eat a piece of produce, play it safe and toss it in the compost pile.

1. Apples

These fall fruits are as good as they are good for you. And while apples have a much longer shelf-life than most fruits, that enormous basket you just picked up from the local orchard may be a little hard to eat before the fruit begins to soften. The good news is – overripe apples have tons of useful applications in your kitchen, like this recipe for homemade applesauce. Trust us, it’s better than the stuff from the grocery store.

Traditional Homemade Applesauce Recipe

What you’ll need:

4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
¾ cup of water
¼ cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of dried cinnamon

How to make it:

This one couldn’t be simpler. Just toss all the ingredients in a pot, cover and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until apples are soft. Then let it cool and mash with a potato masher. Add additional fall spices like cloves and nutmeg if desired. Store your applesauce in jars in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Recipes Link http://earth911.com/news/2011/11/17/5-tasty-recipes-for-overripe-produce/

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen – Orange Vinegar (a “green” cleaner)

November 23, 2012

by Ann on April 12, 2012

Several years ago, as I was spraying some household cleaner on my kitchen countertops, it occurred to me as I inhaled the strong fumes that they were probably settling in my water glass that sat nearby! And did I really want all this toxic residue on the surfaces on which my children ate, leaned, and played? Having read a bit about the effectiveness of good old vinegar as a cleaning agent and disinfectant, I dug out a spray bottle and poured some in. I never turned back!

When I saw the idea to steep the vinegar in orange peels, I marveled at how that could be a simple, clever, and inexpensive way to turn ordinary vinegar into a boutique-type cleaner (which could probably fetch ten times it’s value!).  But would the orange essence or the vinegar smell dominate?  Mind you, the vinegar smell never bothered me, but I do love that fresh, sweet smell of an orange being peeled!

After two weeks of steeping in the vinegar, the essence of the orange peels did, in fact, permeate the liquid and the result was a sweet smelling success!  While I used the following amounts, you could choose any size jar with a tight-fitting lid, stuff it with peels, and fill with vinegar.  Although it would require more fruit, lemons, limes, and clementines would be excellent options!

Orange Vinegar:

1 16-ounce canning jar

2 oranges, peels only (eat the insides!)

vinegar to cover

Curl the peels around the inside of the jar.  I used two large oranges and would not have been able to fit another peel.  If your oranges are small and you could fit another peel, feel free to add one more.  Pour vinegar into the jar to cover the peels and close tightly.  Store in the cupboard for two weeks, then transfer the vinegar to a spray bottle and use for all your cleaning purposes!

TED – A Subversive Plot: How to Grow a Revolution in Your Own Backyard!

Recipe: Pita Chips

Make Your Own  Pita Chips!

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut a large pita into 16 triangles—first, by cutting the pita in half, then by cutting each half in half, then by cutting each quarter in half. That leaves you with eight double triangles. Now, turn them into 16 single triangles by pulling them apart.

Put them on a tray and bake them at 350°F until they’re crisp…about five minutes. Let them cool, then you can use them for dips. Or spray them lightly with vegetable spray and sprinkle on your favorite seasoning(s). They’re great with a little garlic powder.

Home births up, driven by natural birth trend – Health – Kids and parenting – msnbc.com

Home births up, driven by natural birth trend – Health – Kids and parenting – msnbc.com.

By MIKE STOBBE
The Associated Press
updated 5/20/2011 9:04:35 AM ET 2011-05-20T13:04:35

Home births rose 20 percent over four years, government figures show, reflecting what experts say is a small subculture among white women toward natural birth.

Fewer than 1 percent of U.S. births occur at home. But the proportion is clearly going up, study by researchers at the CentersforDiseaseControl and Prevention found. The new figures are for 2004 to 2008. Home births had been declining from 1990 to 2004.

The increase was driven by white women — 1 in 98 had their babies at home in 2008, the most recent year for which the statistics were available. (Read more)