Category Archives: Kitchen: food and recipes

Home made natural produce wash

It’s no secret that as much infomation as there is now about healthy, and especially raw, eating, consuming raw fruits and vegetables nowadays is more challenging than ever simply due to the amount of pesticides and other chemicals present on the produce and the high cost of organic products.

Luckily, my research on the matter (because god knows i am not willing to give up lettuce!) has lead me to two very easy solutions:

1. grow it yourself.
2. for the lack of the first solution, or even in addition to it, use this home-made all natural simple produce spray -wash to kill most of the bacteria as well as break down the pesticides on your produce:

 

In a large bowl (this is important because the mixture will bubble) mix the following:
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons of baking soda
20 drops of citrus seed exstract (i personally just add juice of half a lemon)

After the soda stops reacting with the vinegar and settles down, pour the liquid through a funnel into a spray bottle (make sure its rated food-grade plastic), label and keep by the sink. Spray generously all your fruit and vegetables and let sit for about 10-20 minutes in a bowl. Fill the bowl with water, rinse the produce vigorously and then rinse well under running water.

Berries and soft fruit should be handled gently and kept with the vinegar mixture only for a short period.
Also, it is advised to throw out the outer leaves of lettuce and such, as those are said to be the most contaminated and also, cut the skin off all together of such fruits as apples due to the waxing used on them.
And never cut fruits with untreated outer skin (such as watermelons) since you will drag the bacteria with the knife into your fruit.

Enjoy always healthy, even though not always organic, eating!

Home made chai drink

My personal Chai addiction has gotten out of hand with the coming of cold. I am upto 2 cups a day now! I figured it was time to share:

After trying numerous recipes, this one seems to have caught on.
You can find all the ingredients in a healthfood store, or a store that sells bulk foods and spices.

Ingredients: 
Serves 4 (or 2 if you prefer huge cups, like me)

6 whole green cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground
1 teaspoon anise or fennel seeds
6 whole cloves
1 (1-inch) piece ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
4 whole black peppercorns (peppers)

3 cups water
2 single-serve black tea bags or 1 tablespoon loose black tea
(Darjeeling Tea seems to be the most recommended, but i have used other black teas such as English Breakast with success)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 cup milk

Preparation:
Place cinnamon, cardamom, fennel/anise seeds, cloves, ginger, peppercorns and water into a small pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to let steep for 10 minutes.
Return pot to the heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add tea, cover and set aside to let steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding solids, then return liquid to the pot.Stir in sugar and milk and heat over low heat for 1 minute. Pour into cups and serve! YUM!

Personal notes: I prefer all whole spices, but you can use ground or even grind them yourself. Just make sure you get the high quality, organic/natural stuff!

Also, i usually get creative and very generous on the amount of spices i put in – i sometimes double all the ingredients (except sugar) because i like things spicy and warm, but not sweet. Ginger makes the tea spicy, cloves and cardamom very fragrant and cinnamon – sweet.
I also add more milk and wait for that special moment right before boiling – when it gets the foam going – to take it off the stove. Just make sure not to boil!

Another little trick: I usually make extra and save it in a thermos of late afternoon or if its decaf – before bed! You can also use this to take your tea to work or a trip. But make sure you drink it within a couple of hours to preserve all the freshness and not let the milk sit too long!

If you are vegan – you can use soy or almond milk for substitution. And if you are not big on caffeine – like me – use decaf black tea!

There is a Chai out there for everyone!