Food Straight From The Trash

diyncrafts.com

Growing fruits and vegetables from seeds is one way to grow your own, but another way to cultivate your own plants can be done with the parts of food that is normally thrown away. This process is simple and can definitely extend a grocery budget, as applying this economical way of gardening utilizes all of the plant. DIY-n-Crafts has a resource guide and instructions on how to grow 25 different foods from scraps. Consider the climate and indoor temperature when choosing which items to grow. Ideas for produce that grows well this way are fruits and vegetables like pineapples, avocados, carrots,… read more

Out of The Ordinary Herb Gardens

Out of The Ordinary Herb Gardens

Herbs can be a favorite of many gardeners. Herbs can be grown any time of year indoors with proper lighting and growing conditions. Outdoor herb gardens are usually started once the fear of frost is gone. Some can be grown from seeds and others do best when started outside as rooted plants. Many are easy to grow and some varieties require only minimal upkeep with just occasional weeding and watering in drought conditions. For example, mint and many types of oregano will completely take over more than their share of garden space without much care. Themed herb gardens like pizza… read more

Environmental Concerns About Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar

Coconut sugar is marketed as a healthier sugar alternative because it is less processed, more nutritious, and low on the glycemic index. Coconut sugar may be more environmentally friendly as well. The impacts of large-scale cane sugar production include the destruction of ecosystems to clear land for single crops, excessive water consumption, water and air pollution, and soil degradation. Coconut palms, by contrast, grow in diverse ecosystems, have positive environmental impacts, and produce more sugar per acre than sugar cane plants while making fewer resource demands. However, concerns were raised when Tropical Traditions (2012), a producer of coconut oil, posted… read more

Solar Powered Cookout

Solar Powered Cookout

Teaching kids about renewable resources doesn’t always have to be a lecture or a lesson on paper. For example, all ages can appreciate a sun-cooked food festival, and the solar process makes for good dinner conversation. Getting outside and providing some hands-on explanation of how the sun’s energy can be applied is useful, teaches self-reliance and sustainability, and is fun for kids. Campfires and hot dog roasts are a rite of passage in some childhood circles. Instead of building a fire, build a solar hot dog cooker. Host an activity and have kids bring their own cardboard box. Gather a… read more

The Quest for a Chemical Free Garden

The Quest for a Chemical Free Garden

A few summers back, I tried to have a completely organic garden…and failed. Miserably. My garden was free of all pesticides and chemicals, and the only protection was fencing to keep the wildlife out. Good cultivated earth, nutrient-rich topsoil, seeds, sun and water only. It’s amazing how these simple ingredients can invite a whole slew of little things, overnight even, that will take over your entire carefully tendered space. My organic experience ended up looking like, well, a science fiction experiment. Several strange creatures swarmed my garden, and at times my entire yard. The party had started, and it lasted… read more

Healthier Cereal – Surprisingly Homemade

Healthier Cereal – Surprisingly Homemade

Store bought cereal can contain things you may not want in your diet. Lots of sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other culprits may make you reach for a healthier option at the grocery store, but becoming sticker shocked at the price of a box of cereal can be reason to learn to make your own. It can save money, but also can increase the health benefits. Making your own cereal may sound daunting if you don’t like to be in the kitchen, but actually the following recipes are doable, and the ingredients can be adjusted to suit any cereal… read more

Raw Is For Vitamin C

vitamin-c-orange

Although there are vitamin supplements available, it’s always best to get nutrients from whole foods whenever possible because vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients work together synergistically to create their health-promoting effects. The findings of various studies suggest that vitamin C reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, gout, and possibly other medical problems. Some studies have shown beneficial effects purely from supplementation, but others have found health benefits only in those who eat whole foods rich in vitamin C. When people think of vitamin C-rich foods, they tend to picture oranges and perhaps other citrus fruits, but there… read more

Goji Berries – The Facts

goji-berry

Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, grow in China and Tibet and have been used in traditional Chinese medicine. These orangey-red berries have a flavor somewhere between raisins and cherries, though slightly bitter. They can be eaten cooked, raw, dried, juiced, or in teas and wines. Goji berries have been marketed as a cure-all for everything, but despite the hype, there hasn’t been sufficient research undertaken to draw any definitive conclusions about these health claims. Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, so they may help protect against cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and many other illnesses, but most studies of… read more

Surprising Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon

Derived from the bark of Cinnamomum trees in Southeast Asia, cinnamon has historically been used not only as a spice, but also as a medicine. It is often listed among the superfoods – foods that provide significant health benefits – because it is rich in manganese, fiber, calcium, antioxidants, and other beneficial ingredients. Studies of cinnamon’s health effects have yielded mixed results and more research is needed to prove anything conclusively. However, a number of studies have suggested that it may act as an anti-inflammatory and an anti-microbial agent. Cinnamon contains essential oils that can prevent bacterial and fungal growth (including… read more

Edible Flower Recipes That Celebrate Sunny Days

Edible Flower Recipes That Celebrate Sunny Days

Flowers have been used in culinary applications for centuries. They can be put in nearly any food or beverage, used as garnishes and can be candied or added to sugar for a delicate, naturally sweet touch. Flowers that are truly edible must not be treated with any preservatives or pesticides, and be certain they are actually consumable and not poisonous. Edible flowers can normally be found at specialty stores, bakeries or gourmet food shops. Typically the flowers found from florists are not of a consumable nature. You can also try growing your own culinary flower garden. Cut flowers will last… read more