8 Essential Tips for Avoiding Food Waste — Reader Intelligence Report | The Kitchn

8 Essential Tips for Avoiding Food Waste — Reader Intelligence Report | The Kitchn.

 

handy tips and suggestions- also my own persona addition to this list is to spread fresh hers out on along a couple of sheets of kitchen roll and then roll up before placing in the fridge as this extends the life of cut fresh herbs 🙂

Sounds delicious and refreshing!

innBrooklyn

Its tigress canjam time again and the ingredient of the month is herbs — Food in Jars and Tigress in a jam both have posts about this month’s challenge with lots of tips, thoughts and book suggestions (the latter I am trying my best to ignore as I have way too many books now!)

I did pick up a nice selection of herbs just last week at the farmers market but they were for planting in the two planters in our front yard.     Since we’re having a bit of coldish weather at the moment I”m keeping them in the vestibule for the next week and will plant them out next weekend.   I’m excited to think that soon I’ll have a steady supply of mint, oregano, rosemary, cilantro, chives and others that I’m forgetting right now.  When I repeat this month’s canjam recipe I’ll able to do it with…

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Homemade Herb Infused Vinegars

What a fabulous post I have just read on Herbs and Oils World on Facebook!  How to make your own herb infused vinegars- what a brilliant addition to the kitchen cupboards and also a fabulous, easy yet personal gift idea. I can’t wait to get started on this!

These herb infused vinegars are easily made: simply pour vinegar over a big handful of fresh herbs and allow to steep. The herbs will start to flavour the vinegar after about 24 hours, but leaving for up to a few weeks will obviously strengthen the flavour.

Choose from apple cider vinegar, white balsamic and other good quality vinegars as the base- don’t waste time with simple white vinegar as this is difficult to improve regardless of how many herbs you pack in.

Make the infusion in a large glass jar, then when according to taste you feel your infusion is ready, strain off into sterilised vinegar bottles- a fresh sprig can be inserted to enhance that authentic country, homemade look. However the article I read suggests removing after a month or so to prevent spoiling… I suspect that once opened these vinegars will be so delicious they will not last much longer than that anyway!!

 

 

These are the delicious combinations suggested:

Parsley, Rosemary & Sage 
Pack a handful of with parsley, rosemary & sage in a jar with ½ rice vinegar and ½ white wine vinegar for a rich flavored vinegar that’s a bit sweet and perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.

Fennel & Citrus 
Add fresh fennel or crushed fennel seeds with the zest of one lemon, lime, and orange to apple cider vinegar. This bright and fruity combination pairs well with a spinach salad filled with mandarin slices and toasted almonds.

Tarragon & Garlic
Fresh tarragon sprigs and garlic cloves are all that is needed to make this fine vinegar usually reserved for gourmet grocery store shelves. Use a delicate white wine vinegar to ensure the sweet but earthy tarragon flavour has a chance to shine.

 

I think I am going to start with the tarragon and garlic!!

Source: http://www.myownlabels.com/blog/homemade-herb-infused-vinegars/

 

Healthy Tea

Recently I have stumbled across several tea suggestions and recommendations for a variety of health boosting, immune supporting reasons. This one took me by surprise as I had certainly never considered pine needles as a tea

How To Make Pine Needle Tea

I love the idea of steeping freshly picked pine needles in hot water and creating a delicious and, more importantly, incredibly healthy tea. You can also test out different varieties of pine tree – each with their own unique flavor.

Pine needle tea contains 4-5 the amount of vitamin C as a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. It’s also high in vitamin A, it thins mucus secretions, is a decongestant and can be used as an antiseptic wash when cooled. This makes pine needle tea incredible for cold and flu – and for boosting your immune system.

Source: http://www.herbsandoilsworld.com/how-to-make-pine-needle-tea/

For those of you who are new to the world of plants, a safe and simple tea can be made from the common Pine trees that surround us.

Pine Needle Tea has long been a favorite of traditional and indigenous peoples, both for it’s refreshment and for it’s medicinal values.

You may not realize that Pine Needle Tea contains 4-5 times the Vitamin C of fresh-squeezed orange juice, and is high in Vitamin A. It is also an expectorant (thins mucus secretions), decongestant, and can be used as an antiseptic wash when cooled. So not only does it taste good, but it’s good for you!
Each varietal of pine has it’s own flavor to impart, so experiment and see which needles you like best. And feel free to mix and match! My personal favorite is a combination of 1 part white pine with 2 parts pitch, where Julie prefers straight balsam.

Just remember that while all Pines are evergreens, not all evergreens are Pines! So head out to the back yard or park, positively identify your pine trees, bring back some needles and give this one a try!

Step-by-step Instructions for Making Pine Needle Tea:

    1. Collect a small bundle of green needles, the younger the better. (A small handful will be plenty.)

Gathering Pitch Pine Needles

    Gather a small handful

     

      1. Remove any of the brown, papery sheaths that may remain at the base of the needles. (They just pull right off.)

    Remove the papery sheath

     

      1. Chop the needles into small bits, about ¼ to ½ inch long.

    Different types of Pine needles

      Chopping up the needles

        Chop needles into small pieces

         

        For a Refreshing Tea:

         

          1. Heat about a cup of water to just before boiling.

        Bring water almost to a boil

         

          1. Pour the hot water over about a tablespoon of the chopped needles.

        Tablespoon of chopped needles

          Pour hot water over needles

           

            1. Allow to steep (preferably covered) for 5-10 minutes, until the majority of needles have settled to the bottom of the cup. Enjoy your delicious tea!

          Steeping Tea

            Allow needles to settle

              Enjoy your refreshing tea!

               

              For a Medicinal Tea:

              (This process releases more of the oils & resins that contain the medicinal compounds, and tastes a little like turpentine.)

                1. Bring about a cup of water to a full boil. Add approximately one tablespoon of chopped needles to the boiling water and cover. Allow the needles to boil in the water for 2-3 minutes.

              Add needles to boiling water

                Cover and boil 2-3 minutes

                 

                  1. Remove from heat and allow the tea to continue to steep, covered, until it is cool enough to drink. (Most of the needles should sink to the bottom.) Pour the tea into a mug, leaving the needles behind, and enjoy!

                Once tea has cooled, pour

                  Leave needles behind

                   

                    1. Drink this tea several times a day for maximum medicinal effect. (Make it fresh each time.)

                  Enjoy your tea!

                  With cold & flu season approaching Pine Needle Tea is a gift of health as well as an enjoyable experience.
                  And since Pine is best used fresh, it’s a perfect excuse to get out & enjoy the change of seasons!
                  Cheers!

                  Source: http://www.practicalprimitive.com/skillofthemonth/pineneedletea.html

                   

                  How To Make Magnesium Oil

                  Magnesium is one of the most vital minerals that our body needs. Every cell in the body needs magnesium in some way, and it is essential for bone, tooth, muscle and joint health as well as for optimal sleep and stress reduction. A deficiency can have a huge number of symptoms, including:

                  • muscle weakness
                  • anxiety
                  • lack of concentration
                  • confusion
                  • depression
                  • irritability
                  • poor memory
                  • headaches and migraines
                  • cravings for junk food
                  • osteoporosis
                  • low sex drive
                  • infertility
                  • high blood pressure
                  • insomnia
                  • diabetes
                  • stroke

                  Deficiency of magnesium is widespread because many of us have lifestyle factors that actively deplete magnesium such as lack of sleep, excess stress, or alcohol/caffeine/sugar consumption. On top of that, many natural sources of magnesium are becoming depleted (such as the soil due to over-farming and high pesticide use) and water filtration systems remove much of the naturally occurring magnesium in water.

                  You should take magnesium internally, preferably via food, or alternatively with a magnesium supplement, but applying magnesium oil on to your skin is another great way to benefit from this vital mineral.

                  How to make your own magnesium oil to improve sleep and reduce stress How To Make Your Own Magnesium Oil

                  What you need:

                  •  1/2 cup Magnesium Chloride Flakes (I recommend this brand because I’ve verified the source)
                  • 1/2 cup distilled water
                  • a glass bowl or glass measuring cup
                  • A glass spray bottle (plastic will work too)

                  What to do:

                  Boil the distilled water. It is important to use distilled to extend the shelf life of the mixture. Put the Magnesium Chloride Flakes in the glass bowl or measuring cup and the pour the bowling water over it.

                  Stir well until completely dissolved. Let cool completely and store in the spray bottle. Can be stored at room temperature for at least six months. I keep in my bathroom to use daily.

                  To Use:

                  Spray on arms, legs and stomach daily. I use 10-20 sprays per day. It will tingle on the skin the first few times it is used, and this is normal. It should fade after a few applications, but you can dilute with more water if it bothers you too much.

                  You can leave on the skin or wash off after 20-30 minutes. I usually apply after a shower and then use coconut oil or a lotion bar to moisturize about 5 minutes later

                  Sources: http://www.herbsandoilsworld.com/how-to-make-magnesium-oil/

                  http://wellnessmama.com/5804/how-to-make-your-own-magnesium-oil/

                   

                  The only additional information I feel I must share here whilst I try to decide whether I shall be using distilled water as advised or making my own solution with filtered tap water, boiled water or straight from the tap water is this:

                  Distillation is the process in which water is boiled, evaporated and the vapour condensed. Distilled water is free of dissolved minerals and, because of this, has the special property of being able to actively absorb toxic substances from the body and eliminate them. Studies validate the benefits of drinking distilled water when one is seeking to cleanse or detoxify the system for short periods of time (a few weeks at a time).

                  Fasting using distilled water can be dangerous because of the rapid loss of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride) and trace minerals like magnesium, deficiencies of which can cause heart beat irregularities and high blood pressure. Cooking foods in distilled water pulls the minerals out of them and lowers their nutrient value.

                  Distilled water is an active absorber and when it comes into contact with air, it absorbs carbon dioxide, making it acidic. The more distilled water a person drinks, the higher the body acidity becomes.

                  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Distilled water, being essentially mineral-free, is very aggressive, in that it tends to dissolve substances with which it is in contact. Notably, carbon dioxide from the air is rapidly absorbed, making the water acidic and even more aggressive. Many metals are dissolved by distilled water.”

                  Source: http://www.mercola.com/article/water/distilled_water.htm