NEW Tip for Saving Fresh Vegetable Juice

It didn’t take me long after getting into drinking fresh vegetable juice every day that I realized I can’t devote that much time to the endeavor on a daily basis. Yes, I realize that’s the best way to drink it, but few people can do that every day. So, I did a little experimenting and found a new way to help keep that juice fresh a little longer. Here’s my video where I talk about it.

No time to watch the video? So what’s the tip?? Add about 1/2 teaspoon of pure ascorbic acid powder to your freshly made juice before it’s poured into individual jars. That amount of ascorbic acid powder has a LOT of vitamin C power, which is a proven antioxidant and works wonders as a preservative. I have found that my fresh juice is keeping far better now even though I’m also following all the other usual tips for preserving juice.

Happy juicing! I hope this helps 🙂
Judi

Cook Brown Rice in the Crock Pot…EASY!

Cooking brown rice in the crock pot is really easy and takes no effort at all. I have found it to be perfect every time following my simple recipe. The only key is that it’s not something to put on in the morning before you leave for work since it only takes a couple hours to cook. So, make sure you’ll be around to take it out when the time is right.

Here’s a video showing how to cook one cup of brown rice in the crock pot. The recipe is below the video.

Crock Pot Brown Rice (Basic Recipe)
Makes About 3 Cups

1 cup brown rice (short or long grain), rinsed and drained
2 cups water
Butter and salt (optional)

Lightly butter the inside of your crock pot, if desired. (This step not only adds flavor to the rice, but helps keep it from sticking to the crock. Alternately you could lightly coat it with the oil of your choice or use nonstick cooking spray.) Add 1 cup rinsed and drained brown rice of your choice. Add salt, if desired. Add 2 cups water and be sure all the rice is below the water.

Cover the crock pot and cook on high for two hours. Done!

After posting that video I experimented with expanding the recipe to cooking two cups of rice. Here’s my follow-up video on the adjusted recipe. The written recipe is below the video link.

Cook Brown Rice in the Crock Pot (Increased Recipe)
Makes about 6 Cups

2 cups brown rice (short or long grain), rinsed and drained
3-1/2 cups water
Butter and salt (optional)

Rub the inside of the crock pot with butter, if desired. (This optional step not only gives flavor to the rice, but helps to keep the rice from sticking to the sides of the crock. Alternately, you could rub it with the oil of your choice, or spray the crock with nonstick cooking spray.) Add the rinsed and drained rice and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Add the water and be sure all the rice is below the water.

Cover the crock pot and cook on high for 2 hours and 20 minutes. Done! Yield: About 6 cups

Here’s an added tip for successful rice cooking in the crock pot… Turn the crock pot off about 10 minutes early. Leave everything alone for the remaining time and the rice will finish cooking with the residual heat in the crock. This simple tip helps to keep the rice from sticking along the sides of the crock. Here’s a video on that…

Enjoy and I hope this helps!
Judi

Save Money on Hair Conditioner

Hair conditioner is something most of us use on a regular basis. Without giving much thought to it we usually follow the simple directions…apply to hair, rinse out, dry and style hair as usual.

Have you ever given thought to how much you’re actually rinsing down the drain and how much is actually clinging to your hair? Well I have, and decided to try applying only as much as I could imagine actually stuck to my hair after being rinsed out. It’s a LOT less!

So, with that in mind, I gave it a try. I applied very little conditioner to my freshly washed hair…only as much as I imagined that stayed on my hair after it was rinsed…and then didn’t rinse anything out. Guess what??? It was wonderful. It was just as good, if not better, than having applied a lot more then rinsed it out of my hair.

So, what am I doing and how much am I using? My hair is about shoulder length. I apply a very small amount of conditioner to the palm of my hand, about 1/4 teaspoon at the most. Yes, that’s all. Then I rub my hands together, focusing on getting the conditioner onto my fingers. Then I rub my hands in my hair, disbursing the conditioner throughout my hair the best I can. Combing the hair helps to spread the conditioner around. That’s it! Then I dry my hair as usual. No rinsing; no waste. My one bottle of hair conditioner will go a LONG way with this method, saving some money along the way.

Yes, I know the question comes up…”Won’t my hair be greasy?” Well, yes it will IF you apply too much. The key to success here is being VERY stingy on how much you use. I literally use NO MORE than 1/4 teaspoon of it in one application. That’s FAR less than I would have used if I applied it to rinse it out. So, it’s a matter of experimenting to learn how much is right for you. If you do this and your hair turns out to be greasy, then you’ve used too much. Cut way back next time. If your hair turns out fuzzy, then you didn’t use enough.

Give this a try. It really does work as long as you don’t overdo it with the amount of conditioner you use. AND you’ll save some money along the way because one bottle will last a VERY long time!

At the top of this post is my video showing how I do this. I hope this helps!

Judi

EASY Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Here’s a simple recipe for a salad dressing I make for my husband VERY often. He loves it! I keep a bag of frozen raspberries in the freezer so they are handy whenever I need them.

I usually make up one serving at a time since it takes so little effort. The key is to get the raspberries out of the freezer before even starting to assemble your salad. Place what you need in a small bowl so they can thaw while you prepare your salad. By the time your salad is ready, the raspberries should be thawed and ready to be quickly made into a dressing. A link to my video on how I make this is above and the recipe is below.

Enjoy!
Judi

Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
(One Serving)

1/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 to 1/3 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Place the frozen raspberries in a small bowl. Top with salt and sugar. Set the bowl aside to allow raspberries to thaw as you assemble your salad. When your salad is ready, finish making the dressing. The raspberries should be thawed by this time. Mash them up and stir in the salt and sugar with the spoon. Add the vinegar and oil; stir then drizzle over salad. Toss to combine. Enjoy!

Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
(Makes Four Servings)

1 cup frozen raspberries
1 tsp salt, or to taste
4 tsp sugar, or to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place the raspberries, salt and sugar in a container with a lid. Set it aside until the raspberries thaw. After the berries are thawed, mash the berries while mixing in the sugar and salt with a spoon. Add the vinegar and oil, cover the container, and shake until mixed. The oil will have a tendency to rise to the top…this is normal. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Use within a few days.

DIY Air Freshener and Humidifier

Here’s a simple tip for anyone who lives in a colder climate where the humidity level drops way down as soon as the cooler weather arrives. You know the signs…your hair starts to fly around, your clothes stick to you with static cling, and you get zapped with a static shock when you touch a light switch. Ouch! When these things happen, it’s time to do something to get more moisture in the air!

Well, you don’t have to invest in an expensive humidifier. Of course you can if you want, buy why do it if you don’t need to? Here’s something anyone can do with what you already have on hand.

(1) Put a pot of water on the stove to boil. Then lower it to medium-low temperature and allow the steam to slowly release from the hot water. This will bring the humidity level up in your home. Just watch the pot so it doesn’t go dry.

(2) If that’s not a good option for you, try using your crock pot. Fill it with water, turn it onto high, and leave the lid OFF. Allow the water to heat up (using hot water to start with will speed up this process) and monitor the steam being released. If it’s a lot, try turning the pot down to medium or low. Experiment with this, since different brands of crock pots may maintain different temperature levels.

(3) Kick it up with aromatics! Add your favorite essential oils, herbs or spices to make the house smell wonderful. For example, I added some clove essential oil with ground cinnamon powder to a pan of hot water on the stove. In no time, our house smelled very “pumpkin pie-ish.” It was wonderful…and no baking needed! You could use any essential oils you want. If you don’t have those on hand, use your favorite herbs that you already have, such as mint leaves, fresh or dried basil, rosemary, cilantro…whatever you want!

(4) When you’re away from home, simply keep the water in the pot or crock pot with your aromatics, but leave it turned off for safety reasons. The water will still evaporate in your dry home and the great aromas will still be released, but at a slower pace. In fact, you could place bowls of water with your favorite herbs, spices or oils in them in different rooms around the house. The water will slowly evaporate, humidifying the air and releasing wonderful fragrances along the way.

Give this a try! No special equipment is needed and it’s well worth trying in the colder months. I hope this helps 🙂

Judi

Easy Simple Rice Patties or Rice Cakes

Rice is a staple of many diets around the world. Now, with many Americans becoming sensitive or intolerant to gluten, rice dishes are increasing in popularity in the West. In an effort to develop something simple, like a bread substitute to have with a meal, or a ready-to-go easy snack, I developed this simple, easy to make, rice patty. The following is a video showing how to make them. See below the video for the recipe!

To make the rice patties, you will need cooked short grain rice of your choice. Leftover rice that was refrigerated, or freshly cooked rice may be used…

Simple Rice Patties
Makes about 12

1 cup short grain rice of choice (uncooked)
2 cups water (or amount needed according to package directions)
Salt and butter to taste, optional

Cook the rice according to package directions, adding salt and butter if desired. Allow the rice to cool just a little so you can work with it with your hands.

Form the patties: Measure out 1/4 to 1/3 cup of cooked rice and place the rice in a ring about 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 inches in diameter. With a spoon, compress the rice into the ring, then lift the ring away from the formed patty.

If you don’t have a ring, you could use a small can with both top and bottom removed. Alternatively, you could form the patties with your hands placing the sticky rice between two sheets of plastic wrap (it may be too sticky to form the patties with your bare hands).

With a small spatula, remove the formed patty to the appropriate tray or sheet, according to how they will be cooked. Place the formed patties either on a plate or tray (if sauteing them on the stove), on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (if baking them in the oven), or on a fruit leather tray (if baking them in your dehydrator). Bake or saute according to directions below.

To cook them on the stove: Preheat a nonstick frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add a little oil of your choice and briefly allow the oil to heat up. With a small spatula, carefully place the patties into the frying pan in the hot oil. Allow them to cook until the first side is golden brown. Carefully turn them over and allow the second side to brown. Then remove them to a serving tray and enjoy! If desired, they may be placed on paper towels to soak up any excess oil.

To bake them in a dehydrator: Place the formed patties on the fruit leather trays of your dehydrator. Bake at 145F for one hour, or until dry to the touch. Turn the patties over and continue cooking for another hour at the same temperature, until dry to the touch. The goal is to have them dry to the touch and easy to handle, but still moist inside. They should not be completely dried out in the process.

To bake them in your oven: Preheat your oven to its lowest temperature. Place the baking sheet with the formed patties on parchment paper on a rack in the middle of your oven. Allow them to bake until dry to the touch. Flip the patties over and continue baking them until the second side is dry to the touch. They should not be completely dried out…there should be moisture inside. The baking time will vary according to the temperature of your oven, so they will need to be monitored closely when baking these for the first time to determine the baking time needed with your specific oven.

Store your cooked patties in a covered container in the refrigerator. Enjoy them within 4 days.

Enjoy them as a bread substitute with a meal or a simple snack. They can be topped with softened butter, and eaten like that or even sprinkled with some herbs, or topped with a little nut butter and some jam or jelly, a little hummus, or eaten just plain. Use your imagination!

See also my original videos on how to make these delicious rice patties…

EASY Way to Dry Fresh Herbs

Many times we can end up with a bunch of fresh herbs, whether we grew them or not. Maybe a neighbor shared them. Maybe we bought them at the grocery store as a needed ingredient for some new recipe. Then we find ourselves with extra herbs, not knowing quite what to do with them. Sound familiar?

Well, drying fresh herbs doesn’t need to be hard. Nor do you need special equipment. Yes, it may be nice to dry them in a dehydrator, but not everyone owns one and it certainly isn’t worth buying one just to dry a few herbs! Some people suggest tying them by the stems and hanging them upside down to dry. That’s a tried and true time-honored method of drying herbs. However, even THAT can present itself with issues. What if you have no place to hang them? What if you have a cat that loves to attack them? What if the leaves fall off and make a mess on the floor?

Well, there’s an even easier way to dry those extra herbs. Simply wash them and pat them dry (if they have not already been washed). Then place them in a clean paper bag, stems and all. Leave the bag “puffed out” and fold over the top a couple times to keep the contents inside. Lay it on its side in a non-humid environment (someplace other than the kitchen or bathroom…who would want to dry food in a bathroom??). Next, a couple times a day (morning and evening), give the bag a little shake and turn it over. In a matter of days, your herbs will be beautifully dried. To remove the leaves from the stems, simply lightly crush them in your hands and remove the stems from there. Store the dried leaves in an air-tight covered container and use as you would any dried herb. It’s THAT simple!

The time it takes to dry your herbs will depend upon variables, such as the type of herb, the amount to be dried, the size of the bag, and the humidity in the environment. Nevertheless, they WILL dry, given a little time. AND this method involves no special equipment, no electricity, no mess to clean up during the process, no nails or hooks to hang them on. Just a paper bag! Note: Be sure it’s a paper bag, and not a plastic bag. The paper is needed for air flow in the drying process.

Below is a link to a video I produced showing how to do this. Enjoy!

I hope this helps 🙂
Judi

NEW Use for Juice Pulp…Salad Sprinkles

Many people are making fresh fruit and vegetable juice these days. And the trend is growing in popularity for good reason. It’s a GREAT way to add vital nutrients to your diet by increasing your consumption of those highly valued vegetables and fruit. But all that juicing leaves one with the question…What do I do with all this extracted pulp??

There are many websites, blog posts, and YouTube videos online showing the usual uses for the pulp: adding it to the compost pile, or make pulp crackers or vegetable broth. Those are all great ing suggestions and well worth trying. But I came up with yet another way to use the pulp that I haven’t seen before. Why not dehydrate it and use it for salad sprinkles?

Using the pulp for a salad sprinkle will not only add a little crunch to your salad and the flavored essence of the juiced vegetable or fruit, but it also adds the highly prized and much needed fiber that so many Western diets are lacking!

The pulp can be dehydrated and used just as it is…plain. OR, you could add any variety of herbs and spices that you want to flavor it your way according to your own liking. The flavoring options are limited only to your imagination.

Storing your salad sprinkles is simple. Just place them in an air-tight container and keep it somewhere where you won’t forget about it when it’s time to make a salad. Yes, placing an oxygen absorber in the container would also help to keep your sprinkles fresh, but if they’re used regularly, you’ll go through them quickly, so long-term storage probably won’t happen. Vacuum-sealing the container seems to be a waste of time and effort if you’ll be using the sprinkles regularly, so that shouldn’t be a concern. So, store them as you would homemade croutons and you should be good!

I created a video on making and storing dehydrated pulp to be used as salad sprinkles. Click the link below to view the video. Enjoy!

I hope this helps 🙂
Judi

Money Saving Tip…Buy Bar Soap for Less

In today’s world I don’t think there are many of us who prefer to do without soap. Even if we don’t bathe every day, at SOME point, we’re going to reach for a bar of soap to get washed up. Since we all must buy it at some point in time, why not save a few dollars along the way?

A while back I discovered that literally anyone can buy soap bases from online soap making supply stores. Really! They sell “melt and pour soap bases” that are literally what they say…you can melt them down, add whatever embellishments you want, pour them into a mold and allow them to harden back up. This is how many people sell “handmade” soaps online. It’s really easy AND you don’t even have to go through all the melting process. These bases are wonderful on their own and can simply be used just as they are. No embellishments needed!

These soap bases come in bulk bars, ranging from one pound increments up to 50 pounds. The varieties available are wide, ranging from clear soap base made with organic oils, olive oil, goat’s milk, honey, oatmeal, and much more. A typical bar of soap weighs four ounces, so a one pound bar will provide four bars of soap. My video (link below) shows just how simple it is to yield four bars of soap (or even eight small bars of hand soap) from a one pound block of soap base. These bases can be used just as they are. There is really no need to melt them down unless you truly want to add something to them. It’s not mandatory.

In the description box of the video, I have listed a number of online soap supply stores. I have no connection with any of them, so I am providing the list to help my viewers. If you want me to add a store to the list, please let me know and I’ll be happy to do so.

I have been buying and using soap bases for our bar soaps for years and have saved a good bit of money by doing this. I urge you to give it a try! Check out the video below.

I hope this helps!
Judi

Heal Gums Naturally with Probiotics

I recently developed a bout of gingivitis in one area of my mouth where my teeth are crooked. I had been rinsing my mouth once a day with diluted hydrogen peroxide for a while, and I suspect that created an imbalance of microbes in my mouth that led to the inflamed gum problem. The issue flared up so that I couldn’t brush my teeth nor floss without extreme pain.

I tried using more diluted hydrogen peroxide rinses and that only seemed to aggravate the situation, making the problem worse. THEN, I realized that our bodies house a finely tuned balance of microbes…both good and not so friendly microorganisms. I realized that the balance was off, probably due to the hydrogen peroxide I had been using.

So, I experimented on myself and it worked! I stopped the peroxide rinses and turned to a little “germ warfare” of my own design. I took what probiotic capsules I had on hand (a 10 billion strength mixture of different strains of Lactobacillus bacteria), and started breaking open the capsules directly onto my tongue. My saliva moistened the powder and I did what I could to move it toward the inflamed gum area. I did this two or three times a day. By the morning of day 3, I was able to brush and floss my teeth without any pain. The redness had subsided. By the end of day 4, the redness had disappeared and my gums were returning to normal.

When doing natural therapies, it is important to monitor body signals as to when a therapy is enough and it’s time to stop. I found that four days of using probiotic capsules in my mouth was enough for my situation. On day 5, I noticed that my gum problem was pretty much gone, but my mouth and especially teeth started to feel exceptionally “clean”. Abnormally clean. I practice good oral hygiene and my mouth usually feels clean, but this was not a usual feeling…like it was “too” clean. So, I took that as my signal to discontinue the capsules. It was my sign that my body had enough of the probiotics in the mouth for the time being.

With that signal, I decided to allow the microbe population in my mouth to balance itself out and not interfere with the process. I continued brushing and flossing as usual, but did not do any oil pulling (as I usually do…once a day) until my mouth returned to normal.

Below are two videos where I discussed how I tackled this problem. If you’re suffering from gum issues, please do consider this approach. I believe this method addresses the problem at the core of the issue…an imbalance of microbes in our mouth. I hope this helps!

Judi