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Apple Cider Vinegar Honey Tea

October 1, 2013

In case you haven’t noticed the folks walking around sniffling and sneezing, cold season is officially here – and it’s off to a strong start!  Beyond getting sleep, vitamin C and a neti pot, this tea recipe is supposed to be “great for nasal congestion” as noted by an INN graduate:

  • One teaspoon to one tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • One teaspoon to tablespoon LOCAL honey
  • Fresh lemon juice to taste (not required, but fun to experiment with!)

Add hot water to these ingredients and voilà, a tea to combat nasal congestion!

Helpful Hints on Small Batch Canning via Marisa McClellan from Food In Jars!

August 23, 2013

The Charles Santore Branch of the Philadelphia Library hosted Marisa McClellan, blogger and author of Food in Jars, for a crash course on making apricot preserves.  And what a treat it was!  Learning about small batch preserves brought about a list of….

Helpful hints on small batch canning!apricot jam

  • Use a wide frying pan (low and wide so evaporation takes place – use a non reactive pan, aka non aluminum or non cast iron, stainless steel is best)
  • Use a 2:1 fruit to sugar ratio (if using honey, weigh the sugar, and use that weight of honey as honey is sweeter!)
  • Savory jams are better as fridge jams, unless you follow a recipe to the T – botulism is a bummer!
  • Start with clean jars – the actual sterilization process occurs during the boiling bath at the end of the process.  However, you do need the jars warm when you place the jam into them – this way the glass doesn’t get shocked, and break.
  • Store jars without the ring on it.  The ring is to keep the lid on during the final boiling process.
  • Add lemon zest (if the recipe doesn’t call for it ) or infuse with lavender, sage – get creative!
  • If you’re using less sugar, build flavor by adding spices (cardamom, ginger, etc.!)

Enjoy!

SciShow on Gluten

April 30, 2013

SciShow has recently popped into my life and a recent video posted to their Facebook page was on gluten!  As their Youtube page notes SciShow

“discusses science news and history and concepts. With equal parts skepticism and enthusiasm, we go a little deeper…without going off the deep end.”

You can find SciShow on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Tumblr!

Thomas Jefferson Univeristy and Hospital Earth Day Event 2013

April 17, 2013

Every day is Earth Day in my book – so you can imagine how excited I am about the US designated Earth Day on April 22!  It’s a great reason to explore what you can do to support the Earth, which supports you every moment of your existence.  As stated in Where the Yellowstone Goes

“if you don’t take care of your land, it won’t take care of you”.

Each year Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital holds an Earth Day event from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. in two locations: Lubert Plaza and the Atrium.  Come out and get seeds to plant, enter into a raffle to win a bike, get information on composting and more!

Check out other Earth Day events in Philadelphia here!

Earth Day Flyer

Mark Bittman Lecture Highlights and Household Spending on Food by Country

March 15, 2013
Mark Bittman spoke at the Congregation Rodeph Shalom on  the evening of March 13, 2013.  His presentation was excellent – a charismatic speaker whose humor had me nodding and smiling away at a sad topic.  That topic is the state of food in our country as it relates to health.  Here are the highlights:
  • Eat what you want, trying to eat more plant based or real foods on the continuum of junk food to real food.  For Mr. Bittman, this means vegan before 6 pm.  Do what works for you – you know your body and willpower best.
  • 80% of the farmers in the US are over the age of 70.  Change is imminent.
  • Massive change is needed politically to see the health of the nation change in 20 years.  I tried to think of something optimistic to write here, but I’m at a loss.  I’ll refer you to the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future for policy information.

There was a statement during the Q&A portion of the evening from the audience that struck a nerve in me.   “Organic local food is so expensive” which can also speak to eating healthfully in general, organic or not, is expensive.   There are many choices to be made on how you spend your money.  For those who can afford it – if you have a designer purse, $200 pumps, weekly manicures and the latest Blackberry model, how on Earth is this a bigger priority than what you put in your body?  As exemplified on the chart below,the US spends less money on food than any other leading nation .  It seems that keeping up with the Joneses has nothing to do with health, and has everything to do with appearances.  Your dollar is your vote.   Consider your wants versus  your needs with every purchase.

What’s your personal food policy? Move toward more plants. Moving toward the right direction is empowering. -Mark Bittman

US spends less on food

As printed in The Economist on March 12, 2013
http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2013/03/daily-chart-5

Moderation Station: Girl Scout Cookie Desserts and Share the Love Happy Hour

February 6, 2013

Moderation (or bramacharya as some interpret it in the world of yoga) is key for a healthy diet.  One can eat healthy most of the time, but when you do have that occasional (daily is not occasional, let’s be honest here) dessert or drink, make it for a good cause this February!

If you haven’t noticed the boxes out and about recently, it is officially Girl Scout Cookie season!  After checking out the nutrition labels and ingredients, I think the Savannah Smiles are the healthiest choice.   With 140 calories, 5 grams of fat for 5 cookies,  this cookie can make the health conscious smile.  A few of the cookies had high fructose corn syrup in it, so watch out!  You can find information on each cookie here.

  • Local Philly tip:  Cake and the Beanstalk recently debuted Girl Scout Cookie desserts!  Last Friday it was Thin Mint Blondies – I wonder if this Friday will bring cheesecake with Thin Mint crust!?

Onto the alcohol… moderation, again, is key!  What exactly is one glass of wine?  Is it the pour you get in a fancy restaurant that seems like two sips, or a full glass you’ll get out at pub?  Check out the Fit For Food website or from this fellow WordPress blogger to get an idea of what moderation really means when it comes to alcohol.  Once you have that covered, attending a happy hour benefit can be a great way to support an organization and connect with like minded folks in your area.share the love

  • Local Philly tip:  If you like how the Girls Scouts introduce young women to camping and respecting the environment around them, check out the Share the Love happy hour on February 21, starting at 5 pm at City Tap House.  This happy hour supports Camp Sojourner, a girls leadership camp.

Enjoy… in moderation!

Simple Sweet Potato Salad

January 15, 2013

This quick and easy salad is great as a side dish, a meal or even as a potluck dish!

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa cooked and chilled
  • 1/2 cup dried black beans, soaked, cooked and chilled
  • 1 cup cubed, roasted and chilled sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro (more or less to taste)

Mixed these chilled ingredients for a quick salad.  Add in a little homemade salad dressing, and you’re ready to grub.

sweet potato salad

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