February 19, 2013 by Emily
I don’t know where you live, but here in Baltimore the weather has been going nuts! In the past couple weeks it’s snowed, been 70 degrees and snowed again! And it is doing a number on my body, drastic changes in temperature (along with being a teacher) always leaves me susceptible to colds and sore throats.
Modern cough and cold medicine makes me feel goofy and ruins my day (why are the walls moving?!), so I’m always up to trying a natural remedy before I break out the chemical big-guns. Which is where preserved lemons and ginger in honey comes in.
This isn’t a miracle cure, but it helps because lemon has loads of Vitamin C, immune boosting properties and helps cut the phlegm(ew, sorry…but it needed to be said), the honey coats your throat and is naturally antibacterial and by adding the ginger you have the added benefit of helping your circulation and being a tummy tamer!
What You’ll Need:
2 Organic Lemons , Quartered and Sliced
3 inch section of Ginger, Peeled and Sliced
-Mix the ginger and lemon then place in a small glass jar.
-Top with honey then allow the honey to fill in all the gaps, then top off again. Repeat until all air pockets are filled.
-Cover and place in the fridge to use when needed.
Immediately the lemons will release a lot of juice and this will be very runny, but as time passes the peel of the lemon will release pectin (a natural thickener) and will begin to firm up, don’t worry it’s still good though!
A spoonful of this, straight from the jar or in your tea (or hot toddy!!) will help soothe your scratchy throat in a jiff!
February 18, 2013 by Jenn
Salt, especially table salt, is one of the most accessible and inexpensive “5 Uses” that we’ve done so far. Your doctor may tell you that sodium is bad for you but there are lots of other ways that salt wan work in your favor. Here’s 5 of them.
1. Removing blood stains from fabric. Oops, your child cit themselves and got blood all over their brand new shirt. Don’t worry! Mix 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup peroxide into a bowl. Dip a rag into the mixture and blot the blood stain until it is soaked thoroughly. Let sit for about 10 minutes then throw it in the washing machine.
2. We all make mistakes. Maybe this time you put too much soap in the washing machine or maybe your washer just got a mind of it’s own and it now spilling over bubbles everywhere. Just add 1 cup of salt and watch the bubbles recede!
3. During the wintertime, especially in Baltimore, we often have frosty windows on our cars in the morning. Stop spending money on expensive window sprays to de-ice your car. Mix 1 cup salt with a gallon of warm water. Pour it on or use in a spray bottle. It’ll de-ice the windshield and keep it from icing up again all day.
4. Cooking on a time crunch? Add a few tsp of salt to a pot of boiling water depending upon how big of a pot you’re using. This will make the water boil at a much higher temperature. It won’t compromise the taste of your food and it will make the food cook faster, especially if that food is spaghetti.
5. Keep out the ants! If you have an ant problem in your home, don’t spend money on chemicals that will make your home oh-so-stinky. As it turns out, ants are a little prissy. They hate walking on salt. Pour salt by windowsills or doorways where the ants are making their entrance. It’ll keep them out.
I hope these tips are helpful for you. I love the idea of spending very little on an item like salt instead of lots of money on expensive products when salt will do an even better job. Salt will also keep your flowers fresh and extinguish grease fires. What a deal!
February 17, 2013 by Jenn
That’s a bold statement, I know, but seriously, this popcorn recipe is the jam. It’s perfect for movie night, just having out, or packing a snack for work. I made this popcorn for some friends recently and before I knew it, it was all GONE. It’s an easy recipe and it’s vegan too!
- Any brand of Popcorn Kernels (The kind you pop yourself)
- Olive Oil
- Earth Balance
- Bragg’s Liquid Aminos* (You can use soy sauce if you can’t find this)
- Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast*
*For those who aren’t sure, Liquid Aminos is a vegetable protein seasoning made with 16 amino acids and from NON-GMO soybeans. It’s an excellent more natural alternative to soy sauce. In my opinion, soy sauce has way too much sodium. Liquid Aminos has much less and tastes almost exactly the same. You can find it at Whole Foods and GNC.
*We’ve talked a little about Nutritional Yeast before but if you missed it, here’s the scoop. It’s a deactivated yeast that comes in flake form, it’s vegan, it’s filled with B vitamins, and it gives everything a cheesy taste. That makes it perfect for popcorn. You can also find this at most natural food stores.
To make a large bowl of popped corn, use a half cup of kernels. You can use an air-popper but if you don’t have one that’s okay! I use a medium size saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Put 2 Tbsp olive oil in the pot and the half cup of kernels. Turn the heat on high and put on the lid. Once it begins to pop, keep an ear out. Just like microwave popcorn, you’ll want to remove the pot from the heat when the pops are 3-4 seconds apart.
To make the popcorn dressing melt 3/4 cup butter in the microwave in a safe dish. Once melted, add 3 Tbsp liquid aminos. Mix together and drizzle over the popcorn. I like to shake the bowl so the popcorn is coated completely. Then sprinkle on some nutritional yeast and you’re all set!! Trust me. Best. Snack. Ever.
February 17, 2013 by Jenn
This is the time of year when people’s resolutions start going out the window. Don’t get discouraged if you haven’t accomplished some of the goals you had for staying neat and tidy. Rome wasn’t built in a day, AMIRITE? My big goal for this year is to de-clutter, as you can tell by some of my other posts. Here are a few quick tips for how to stay on top of the mess.
1. Conquer the closet. I recently got rid of a lot of things but keeping closets clutter free is an ongoing process. Go in your closet and turn all the hangers the wrong way. You’re probably saying “what? huh? that’s crazy!” but it works. If all the hangers are backwards and as you use things, you put them back the right way, after 6 months you’ll see what you don’t wear! It’ll make it a lot easier to give old clothes the boot when you are 100% sure you never wear them.
2. 1 thing in, 1 thing out. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book but I’ve been doing it for about 6 months now and it work so well. If I bring 1 thing into my home, 1 thing has got to go. Accumulation is no longer a problem.
3. Scale it. Make yourself a scale of 1 to 5. 1 being that you don’t need an item and 5 being that you just have to have it or you’ll die. I have a tendency to go to thrift stores and purchase way too many things. Ill tell myself “It’s only 2 dollars so I have to get it, I’ll find something to do with it!”. Reality? No I won’t. It will sit in my house forever until I forget about it. When shopping, scale it. How much do you really love/need this object? Can you afford it? Is the price in sync with how much you want it? (That dress is 30 dollars, it’s cute, but is it 30 dollars worth of cute?)
I hope you find these tips helpful! If you’re mindful of the shopping choices you make and if you really want to live a less cluttered life you will not only be saving money but you’ll feel better too!