This is the time of year for Winter Squash and that old seasonal favorite, Pumpkins. We all have leftover Pumpkin, mostly from the Halloween carvings but also from tabletop decorations of fresh Squash and Gourds that are not eaten. My next post will be on crafts you can make with fresh Gourds. Today we are going to tackle the leftover Pumpkin. Although everyone is familiar with the use of leftover Pumpkin in pies and for the roasted seeds, there just aren’t a lot of tasty recipes for that leftover Pumpkin that everyone in the family will eat. So I thought I’d tackle some great ideas for recipes using that leftover Pumpkin and make sure to toss in something for everyone. I promise you these recipes will give you something more than the same old Pumpkin Pie..
Everyone always drinks a lot more in the summer. The heat, the humidity, the activity, all conspire to make us thirsty. Even swimming in the ocean, with all that salt, brings people out to grab a soda pop. So when everyone is around the pool, enjoying the sun and the beautiful blue sky, why not make some cool drinks they will enjoy? How about making some of them from herbs and natural ingredients? How about making some of them alcoholic so people can relax and get into a groove? And how about making some blender drinks or a punch that even the kids can slurp down? I have recipes for all of these so there is no excuse for sitting around the pool or on the beach with a cooler full of boring canned drinks. You can make these up and serve them out of the blender, pitchersor a thermos . If you put your drinks in Stainless steel reusable cooler cans then you are also helping the environment, protecting your children from dangerous plastics and keeping your drinks cool for the long haul! But if you do not have these stainless steel containers then there is nothing wrong with sterilizing some old drink bottles in boiling water and filling them up with one of these potions for the trip to the beach or the park.
For making the blender drinks you will need a blender. Any blender will do; although bartenders use special ones, you can use just about any blender you can find. The thift stores have used ones for really cheap. But if you do not have a blender and do not want to keep one, then you can use a cake mixer
You have been enjoying the Rose Garden all summer, watching the lovely flowers bloom and smelling their luscious fragrance. Now you are left with the coming of fall and the bloom is off the Rose. You have a house full of fallen petals from those lovely stalks you had in vases. You have a garden covered in pretty red, pink and yellow petals as your plants thin down, preparing for the colder, darker days ahead. You are thinking about raking them up but maybe just let them scatter. DON’T! Get busy and gather them all up. Don’t throw them out and let them fly off in a gust. There are many wonderful things you can make using these Rose petals, leaves and stems! They will make fodder for fascinating fall projects during the boring, indoor days you must now face. The beach and the sun may be fading, but the flowers are about to take over your life.
Now that summer is almost here and things are heating up all over, we are all busy getting busy all the time. Aren’t there just about a million things you want to do? A million dreams to be fulfilled before the cold comes back, dreams to be managed around the things you have to do and those things that pop up out of the blue every day. So what do you need more than anything right now? Energy! Energy is one of the biggest selling concepts in America today. Energy drinks are just the tip of the iceberg with a huge legal market for various “boosts” and a growing illegal drug culture devoted to energy drugs like Cocaine, Crack and Meth. No matter how you shake it out, everybody is looking for some zip.
So how is it going for you? Are you barely dragging out of bed every day, driven by the need to make some money and to have some fun.. but you’re not sure you can do it all? Do you crash out in the afternoon, nodding over your desk or behind the wheel, dreaming about a big, hot cup of java? Or are you just feeling tired all the time, the entire day crawling by in an agonizing anticipation of a good nights sleep, which you never seem able to attain? If any of this is true for you, you are not alone. Fatigue is the second most common complaint to doctors in North America. Everybody else is just as tired as you are, so don’t feel bad.
Summer is almost here and we are all firing up the barbecues and stocking the fridge with fast, easy foods. I am sure that much of this will be attempts at healthy eating; fresh fruits and special cuts of meat (for the grill). But I want to make some suggestions as to how to power up your summer fare and make it healthier without taking away from the taste or the ease of access. In fact, some of these tips will make you jump for joy. While preserving taste and type of great summer fare, I want you to consider mixing certain foods together in order to get the best out of what you eat. Wait until you see what I’m talking about.
Herbal Detox has lately come into it’s own, rapidly becoming a popular choice for treating a variety of modern ailments. At the same time, our eating habits, weight issues and stress level have created a plethora of intestinal complaints. There are more antacids, acid reducers, stomach pain relievers, nausea controllers and whatnot than ever before. If you don’t believe me, just watch about an hour of TV. One commercial after another. And this is not because people aren’t buying.
So what about detoxing the gut? What would it take to restore the balance in your digestive system so that you would not be bloated like a balloon, sick to your stomach most of the time and dealing with non stop heartburn? Do you feel way too full after eating a normal meal? This is likely gas. Does your stomach start to burn at odd times, whether you’ve just eaten or not? Acid indigestion. Do you have a sore throat and a feeling of fluid that seems to rise up into your mouth when you sit up after laying down? Acid reflux. And so the disease litany can go on and on. None of this is life threatening (in and of itself) but it is very debilitating and can keep people from living their lives. But has this always been the case? Did grandpa and grandma spend the evening belching and running to the toilet? Or is this something new? Something we can change?
Well, there’s no doubt about it, diet is a factor. Bolting down greasy fast food on your way to a stressful meeting in a car packed into frustrating traffic with the radio blaring is not conducive to the type of balancing your body needs. Under these conditions, it’s a wonder you are able to digest anything at all. And your body will rebel; if not at the moment, then over time. And as time passes, it gets harder and harder to get the edge back. You just get tired out, you gain too much weight, you feel muddy in the head and you strain in the bathroom. It’s a perfect scenario for a stroke or heart attack or a perforated ulcer. Which will it be?
Those of us who are pet owners love our pets a lot. In fact, most are like me and treat their pets like their kids, with great love, attention and care. And most of us are deeply involved in the feeding and care of our pets, from the flea meds we use on them to the food we feed them and the last thing we want is to poison or sicken our beloved critters. So this post is about just that, the foods you may be buying without thought or with just blind faith that may also be dangerous.
I am sure none of you have forgotten the pet food scare of two years ago where a lot of animals died from eating pet food made with a wheat gluten that had been treated with melamine. Melamine, a chemical used in fertilizers, is commonly added to food in China because it boosts the protein levels of the food and allows the manufacturer to charge more for it. They have no animal welfare laws in China and they still feed this stuff to their own pets, who have no protections and mostly live short lives, unfixed, hardly cared for, sick with any one of many common diseases. They have also had several recent scares with children being sick or dieing from melamine exposure in baby formulas. Here in America we may not be the most alert guard at the gate and our own regulatory laws are way too lax but we, at least, stop serving up poison once we recognize it as such.
My guess is you think the problem has stopped and there is nothing to fear in the foods you feed your pets. Well, I can admit that you probably won’t see any melamine any time soon, but there are plenty of other evil agents you must keep a wary eye open for. These are not all poisonous ingredients, some of them are just downright gross and unhealthy. Like dog or cat hair? Or bone from decomposing carcasses? How about human pain killers? Oh, yes. Be prepared to be surprised.
How about a more spicy, more herby Thanksgiving? Oh, I know, it’s about tradition and everyone is cooking Turkey with Cranberries and Stuffing. And I am not about to change that. I just want to throw in some recipes that include various herbs. Not only for the great taste and diversity herbs add to the meal but also for the healthy aspects of doing this, too. Herbs have healing powers and if you haven’t been able to start taking supplements or to get the ones you love to do that, either, than adding herbs to the biggest, most popular meal of the year may get them interested in doing more of it.
I promise you that these will not turn your meal into an Arab or Asian repast. I promise you it will not taste like Italian Turkey. I am not going to tell you to add Garlic to the Cranberries. I promise you. What I want to do is spruce up the traditions a little with some of the herbs they probably added to the original meal, back in the day when they didn’t have grocery stores but spent a lot of time in their own gardens. So there’s your selling point. I added some herbs to the meal because that’s the way the pilgrims did it. Maybe the kids will learn something! So here they are… a few simple recipes to include everyday herbs in a delicious rendition of the Thanksgiving pigout.
You have a cabinet full of miracle medicine at home! I’m sure you realize that some of it is good for you, this sort of information has been all over the news. But the information is scattered and comes in small doses so that unless you keep a journal you will have trouble putting it all together. So I thought it might be handy to list every spice, explain how it works and give ideas for uses in your cooking. I will be posting in the future recipes that will help heal certain diseases. I am waiting until Winter because most of my recipes are too hearty for summer fare.
Although I have covered the subject in various ways and to a certain extent in previous posts, I am going to bring it all together now. Which spices can be used to heal what? And how do I use that spice in a meal? Here are the answers, in a simple list form:
There is a big movement among Americans today to go more natural in their eating habits, such as switching to organic, buying local or eating more natural foods, foods that aren’t so processed. I thought it might be interesting to talk about processed foods and why they are so bad for you. Since my blog is about being natural, I thought I’d give you guys one more reason to do it.
I am sure that you are aware of the questions about the safety of many food additives, from food dyes to trans fats. A lot of information about additives has been in the news along with the many scares over food safety. A scare such as the ones we’ve had in recent years may linger in our minds long after researchers find that there’s actually no cause for alarm. It can take years, or even decades, to find out the truth, and sometimes the case is never really closed. So it’s always a good idea to do your research and play it safe when not really sure.
Harmony Green is a blog about living in concert with the natural world. This isn't just a blog for crafters, it's a blog for people who want to live a more natural life.
I am trying to show you how to integrate your world into a world that is less stressful, less toxic and far more balanced than the dog and pony show they have you slogging through now. Follow me, I will lead you to harmony in green.