TAG: Herbs

Window Farming

Window farms

Window farming is a new movement among urbanites who want to grow their own food but lack outdoor space. Many people living in city centers would love to grow fresh produce but don’t have access to a garden or even a paved outside space where they could place containers. Window farms, which are space-efficient indoor hydroponic growing systems, enable city dwellers to turn their sunny windows into productive food gardens. Window farm plants grow in vertical columns of containers that hang from a pole at the top of a window. There are stylish window farm kits available for sale, though… read more

Fennel Facts and Flavor

fennel

Fennel is an attractive plant with a pale bulb and light feathery leaves. It is a member of the Umbellifereae family, which includes carrots, coriander, parsley, and dill. All three parts of the fennel plant – bulbs, leaves, and seeds – are edible. It provides fresh produce from fall through spring, a time when many other food plants have stopped producing. Fennel’s flavor contains hints of anise or licorice, and the texture of its bulb is similar to that of celery, though fennel is slightly sweet. Fennel is low in calories and high in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and manganese,… read more

Ways to Naturally Season Foods

Ways to Naturally Season Foods

If you want to cut down on preservatives and salt but still prefer seasoned foods there are simple ways to incorporate natural flavorings. Making your own spices at home is cheaper than buying them and uses what would normally be tossed out from groceries that you already have. Taking this concept and turning it into a functional device, Rianne Koens has created a system for making food enhancers at home. A product designer with an environmental eye, she saw the opportunity for naturally flavoring foods often being thrown in the trash after dinner. She uses the example of a fruit… read more

It’s Time For Tea

Time For Tea

Growing your own tea isn’t always easy, but it brings about many positive changes when done correctly. Harvesting tea at home enables you to limit the time and fuel spent on trips to the store and allows you to partake in wasteless consumption, rather than purchasing over-packaged tea. Teas come in at least six distinctive varieties: black, green, white, yellow, and oolong. Others “teas”, like rooibos and chamomile, are not made from actual tea leaves but herbs. All authentic tea leaves come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, with difference in taste and appearance being the result of when and how they are harvested. Black tea results from tea… read more

Uses for Fenugreek

Uses for Fenugreek

Fenugreek, a member of the legume family that includes peas, peanuts, lentils, and beans, is among the world’s oldest cultivated plants. Fenugreek seeds are small and yellow-brown in color. They are rich in protein and their flavor is bittersweet. Fenugreek seeds are often used in curries and other spice blends due to their aromatic qualities. Fenugreek can be used in pickles, chutneys, fish and vegetable-based dishes, breads and rolls, dahl, stews, and halva (a dessert). Fenugreek seeds have a strong flavor, so amounts called for in recipes are typically small. Fenugreek seeds are usually toasted lightly before using. However, it’s… read more

Pure Extractions

Vanilla_6beans

Flavor extracts have been used for centuries to enhance foods, drinks, and to disguise the bitter taste of certain medicines. Many stores carry extractions, although those not labeled ‘pure’ or containing ‘100%’ of the said ingredient are often full of additives, chemicals, and in some cases sugar. Their flavor is often inferior, as can easily be noticed with imitation vanilla. Though this may slide in a chocolate chip cookie recipe, you need the real deal vanilla if you want dainties such as sugar cookies to hold up. Fortunately, any such dilemma can be easily remedied by making your own extracts at home…. read more

Healthy Herbs & Spices

by Robin

These aromatic flavorings can transform a dish but also pack quite a healthy punch. Next time you reach in the medicine cabinet you might want to think twice and open your spice cabinet. These healthy herbs can do the trick without all the nasty side effects. Here are ten of the healthiest herbs and spices. Star anise seed can help with menstrual cramps, upset stomachs, and coughing. The sweet licorice flavored seeds are a good addition to a tea or rice dish. Cilantro is a delicious addition to salsa and other fresh Mexican dishes. Cilantro is rich in vitamin K and… read more

Making Your Own Shampoo

Making your own shampoo

There can be some nasty harsh chemicals out there in commercially made shampoo’s, so here is a how to guide make an easy, organic shampoo for yourself or for a beautifully crafted home-made gift. The base ingredient we shall use is Castile Soap. Originating in Castile, Spain, it has come to mean a vegetable based soap. It should generally be made of predominantly olive oil and other vegetable oils. It should not contain any synthetic foaming agents or detergents or it defeats the purpose of making your own. There are some wonderful products online and of course you could find… read more

Grow Food in Containers

Growing food in pots

One of the best things that you can do for the environment is to grow your own vegetables and herbs. Food grown organically at home doesn’t require the transportation that contributes to global warming, and it’s free of pesticides, fresher, and usually tastier as well. Many people believe that growing their own produce is not an option because they don’t have yards, but plenty of food plants grow well in containers of various sizes on decks, porches front walks, and driveways. Some produce plants don’t even require very large containers, others can tolerate partial shade, and a few can even… read more

Still Reliant on Nature

Travelling for traditional medicine

Traditional medicine is still used in many African communities in the present day. The blending of numerous herbs is usually a science not recorded in text books, but passed on from one traditional healer to another through either apprenticeships or informal training. Although western medicine is available in most communities, there are still people who prefer to use traditional medicine for many reasons including religious beliefs and economic circumstances. As mentioned above, traditional healers generally do not have any form of formal training. However the process of blending the medicine they use is quite complex in that it involves a… read more