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 🙂

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!

                  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/



                  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

                  Natural Pain Remedies

                  Here are a selection of the natural remedies listed on the site linked below

                  Source: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/74D5Hp/www.ivillage.com/natural-pain-remedies-your-kitchen/4-b-334141?ivNPA=1&sky=stu|ths|cympain|kitchenrem|/

                  Fight tummy troubles with fish

                  Fight tummy troubles with fish

                  Indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases…if your belly always seems to be in an uproar, try munching 18 ounces of fish weekly to ease your misery. Repeated studies show that the fatty acids in fish, called EPA and DHA, can significantly reduce intestinal inflammation, cramping and belly pain and, in some cases, provide as much relief as corticosteroids and other prescription meds. “EPA and DHA are powerful, natural, side effect-free anti-inflammatories, that can dramatically improve the function of the entire gastrointestinal tract,” explains biological chemist Barry Sears, Ph.D., president of the Inflammation Research Foundation in Marblehead, MA. For best results, look for oily fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout and herring.

                  Prevent digestive upsets with pineapple

                  Prevent digestive upsets with pineapple

                  Got gas? One cup of fresh pineapple daily can cut painful bloating within 72 hours, say researchers at California’s Stanford University. That’s because pineapple is natually packed with proteolytic enzymes, digestive aids that help speed the breakdown of pain-causing proteins in the stomach and small intestine, say USDA researchers.

                  Beat bladder infections with blueberries

                  Beat bladder infections with blueberries

                  Eating 1 cup of blueberries daily, whether you opt for them fresh, frozen or in juice form, can cut your risk of a urinary tract infection (UTIs) by 60 percent, according to researchers at New Jersey’s Rutgers University. That’s because blueberries are loaded with tannins, plant compounds that wrap around problem-causing bacteria in the bladder, so they can’t get a toehold and create an infection, explains Amy Howell, Ph.D. a scientist at Rutgers University.

                  Heal mouth sores with honey

                  Heal mouth sores with honey

                  Dab painful canker and cold sores with unpasteurized honey four times daily until these skin woes disappear, and they’ll heal 43 percent faster than if you use a prescription cream, say researchers at the Dubai Specialized Medical Center in the United Arab Emirates. Raw honey’s natural enzymes zap inflammation, destroy invading viruses and speed the healing of damaged tissues, say the study authors.

                  Cure migraines with coffee

                  Cure migraines with coffee

                  Prone to migraines? Try muscling-up your painkiller with a coffee chaser. Whatever over-the-counter pain med you prefer, researchers at the National Headache Foundation say washing it down with a strong 12- ounce cup of coffee will boost the effectiveness of your medication by 40 percent or more. Experts say caffeine stimulates the stomach lining to absorb painkillers more quickly and more effectively.

                  Pasta with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil

                  This is a classic pasta sauce dish – tomatoes with creamy mozzarella and fresh basil. Herbs and onions add extra depth of flavour.


                  To serve
                  • 400g/14oz pasta of your choice, cooked according to packet instructions
                  • 150g/5oz ball Italian mozzarella (or same weight of bocconcini, small balls of mozzarella)
                  • handful fresh basil leaves

                  Preparation method

                  1. Heat the oil in a wide frying pan over a gentle heat.
                  2. Add the onions and fry gently, stirring frequently, until translucent. They should be softened and not browned. Don’t rush this stage – it should take about 8-10 minutes.
                  3. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute or so to soften.
                  4. Tip in the fresh or tinned tomatoes and the tomato puree and stir.
                  5. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, sugar (if using), the bay leaf and thyme.
                  6. Bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have reduced down to a thick sauce. You may need to add a little water to prevent it from catching.
                  7. When the sauce has been simmering for 10-20 minutes, bring a large pot of well-salted water to the boil and cook your pasta according to the packet instructions.
                  8. When the pasta is cooked, drain.
                  9. When the sauce is cooked, taste for seasoning and add salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary. (At this stage, the sauce can be cooled and then frozen in containers for several months.)
                  10. When you’re ready to serve it, tear the mozzarella into chunks and add to the sauce. Tear the basil leaves and add to the sauce, then turn off the heat from under the sauce.
                  11. Remove the bay leaf and thyme.
                  12. Pour the sauce over the pasta and serve.