Posts tagged food

Making Cool Summer Drinks

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

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Snacking in the Flower Garden

I have been to many an office party in a fancy hotel conference room, haven’t you? Even if not, I am sure you have had those fancy salads they serve, filled with flowers, fancy lettuces and vegetable leaves. There, among the Romaine, Arugula and Spinach, you have seen yellow, red or orange blooms. What on earth are they? You don’t see them in the grocery store and you don’t see them in most restaurants, but they are obviously ok to eat, and even downright delicious! Even though it’s not common on our menu, the truth is, many cultures use flowers in their traditional cooking. The Italians use squash blossoms and the Indians use roses. Flowers can be spicy, herbacious, floral and/or fragrant. And what they can add to your food is amazing.

As I noted, many of us have eaten flowers in salad. Some of us have had teas made of blooms, like Roses and Dandelions. But they can actually be obtained easily and sometimes for free and used in a many inspired ways that can improve your food. You can use the blooms from chives, garlic or basil in pasta, vegetable sauces and in soups. You can make milk based desserts like custards or ice creams out of Roses or Carnations. You can pickle the buds of flowers like Nasturtiums or Cloves. The ideas are endless as are the recipes. Here are the different flowers that are good to eat with a few interesting recipes thrown in:

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Natural Sources of Energy & Vitality

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.

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Delicious and Healthy Summer Fare

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.

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Herbal Detox For The Gut

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?

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The Dangers of Pet Food

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.

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Natural Halloween Treats

Halloween is all about costumes and candy. According to History.com, “Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.”

Hey, there is nothing funner than a costume party where someone reads everyone’s fortune.

So Halloween is actually one of those holidays that hasn’t strayed too far away from the original purpose, unlike Valentine’s Day and Christmas. But many of us would like to see our kids eating something other than tons of commercial candy with so much sugar and chemical additives. Although I do not suggest making candy and handing it out to the kids who come to the door (if you do this you risk serious scorn as well as suspicion). Kids are warned by authorities not to eat any candy that isn’t in a sealed commercial wrapper and this is due to the past poisonings of candy, including razor blades in apples. What a horrid way to ruin the possibilities of getting children to eat apples! So thanks to the creeps strike another victory for food factories. But such as it is, we can still make natural candies every day of the week and on Halloween and teach our own children to make and enjoy it. I threw together a few recipes that I thought my readers might like to try. You might be surprised.

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