HOUSEHOLD TIPS by Vickie Kline

Here are a few good tips for using household items in different ways:

If you’re interested in removing rust or stains from the inside of your dishwasher, try using 1/4 cup powdered lemon or orange drink that contains citric acid. Place in the detergent cup and run a regular cycle.

While staying in a hotel, don’t hesitate to pick up the extra shower caps in the room – they can be used in many ways. If you need to protect your shoes while traveling, wrap them in the shower cap prior to packing. Also, when you water plants, stretch a shower cap around the bottom of the hanging plant to catch water that may drip on the floor.

Toothpaste is for more than brushing your teeth. It does wonders to shine sink fixtures. Rub over faucets with a wet sponge. If you have trouble removing cooking odors from your hands, rub a little toothpaste on them. Toothpaste has also been used to get rid of pimples. Place a small dot on the pimple when you go to bed. Or, try putting toothpaste on a mosquito bite to relieve the itch.

Use leftover coffee grounds as fertilizer in flower beds. Any acid-loving plant, such as, azaleas and rhododendrons will love this. Place used coffee grounds in a plastic container with holes poked in the top and place in refrigerator to help absorb food odors.

Have some baby wipes sitting around? These are great for a quick clean-up on phones or dirty hands. You can use baby wipes to quickly clean-up sinks and faucets too (not safe for marble or granite). They’re great in the garage when you’ve finished a messy job and need to clean your hands.

If you have other unusual tips and tricks for common household items, please don’t hesitate to share.

Strive to be healthy!

Information shared courtesy of Goodhousekeeping at http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/

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RECIPE FRIDAY: Black Bean Croquettes

This recipe shared through the courtesy of EatingWell at http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/black_bean_croquettes_with_fresh_salsa.html

Ingredients

  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup plain dry breadcrumbs, divided (I use gluten-free breadcrumbs)
  • 2 cups finely chopped tomatoes
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, hot if desired, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 avocado, diced

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Mash black beans and cumin with a fork in a large bowl until no whole beans remain. Stir in corn and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Combine tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir 1 cup of the tomato mixture into the black bean mixture.
  3. Mix the remaining 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder in a small bowl until the breadcrumbs are coated with oil. Divide the bean mixture into 8 scant 1/2-cup balls. Lightly press each bean ball into the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake the croquettes until heated through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir avocado into the remaining tomato mixture. Serve the salsa with the croquettes.

WARTS AND DUCT TAPE by Vickie Kline

I was listening to the radio yesterday and heard a physician talking about using duct tape for wart removal. I’ve never heard of this, but apparently it’s a home remedy that many have used for a long time. Using duct tape is a simple process, it just takes a while for it to work – somewhere along the lines of 6 to 8 weeks. It’s recommended you cut a piece of duct tape that will cover the top of the wart. Do not wrap around a finger or cover a large portion of the area around the wart… this can cause additional skin irritation. So, cover the top of the wart and leave on for 6 days. Remove the duct tape and soak the area in warm water. When wart area is soft, scrub with a pumice stone or emery board. Cover again with duct tape and repeat the process. This works, but may as stated, take 6 to 8 weeks.

If you’re in more of a hurry, but still like the idea of duct tape, cover the wart with salicylic acid and apply duct tape. Change this piece of tape daily after applying more salicylic acid. The wart should reduce in size each day until it’s gone.

The reasoning behind this treatment is that warts need air to thrive and survive. Covering with tape and cutting off the air supply basically smothers them and causes them to die. There is also the thought that as you remove the tape it peels away the dead layers, helping to reduce the wart and eventually remove it.

If you like the idea of using natural means to treat common health problems, this is certainly one to keep handy.

Strive to be healthy!

RECIPE FRIDAY: Chia Seed Pudding

Since I mentioned the nutritional value of Chia seeds in my post last Tuesday, I thought it appropriate to share a Chia seed recipe. This is great for anyone watching sugar intake or eating gluten-free. Chia seed are available at your local health food store.

This pudding recipe is shared from the Chia Seed Recipe site at http://www.chiaseedrecipes.com/. Please check it out for more information on Chia seeds and how to use them.

CHIA SEED PUDDING

Ingredients for one serving:

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds
  • 1 cup of milk, soy milk, coconut milk or nut milk
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 dessert spoon of honey
  • 1 small banana

Method:

  • Heat the milk but do not boil
  • Whisk the chia seeds into the hot milk and let stand for 10/15 minutes to make a gel.
  • Whisk the mixture once or twice during the standing time to prevent the seeds clumping together.
  • Reheat after standing if required or allow to cool completely
  • slice banana over the top and drizzle the honey over the top.
  • 2 tablespoons makes a very thick mixture, you can adjust to your own taste

CHIA SEEDS by Vickie Kline

Chia seeds are a funny little item often overlooked, but are coming to the forefront with so many people eating grain-free or gluten-free. Chia seeds are tiny black and white seeds initially found in Aztec and Mayan times. They have many health benefits, and are gaining in popularity. So, if you’re looking for a healthful item for snacks, to enhance drinks, cook with, or add to your health-conscious eating routine, consider Chia seeds.

Seven reasons to consider Chia seeds:

  1. Chia seeds assist in weight loss by reducing food cravings. This is reportedly accomplished by preventing some foods from being absorbed into your system; it basically works as a calorie blocker.
  2. Chia seeds help you feel more full. The seeds will absorb ten times their weight in water and form a bulky gel, keeping you fuller longer.
  3. Chia seeds will keep you hydrated with this bulky gel; especially helpful for athletes.
  4. Evidence suggests chia seeds will reduce blood pressure.
  5. Chia seeds are the richest plant source of Omega-3, which helps protect against inflammation.
  6. People with diabetes can benefit from Chia seeds because they slow down how quickly our bodies convert carbohydrates to simple sugars; this is a plus for anyone working to control blood sugar.
  7. Chia seeds help prevent Diverticulitis by increasing fiber intake.

Also, Chia seeds:

  1. Contain more fatty acids than salmon
  2. Double the antioxidants found in blueberries
  3. Have six times more calcium than milk
  4. Have six times more iron than spinach
  5. Provide 41% of your daily fiber in one serving
  6. Provide natural extended energy
  7. Have two times the amount of protein as any grain
  8. Have two times the amount of potassium as a banana

Not sure how to incorporate Chia seeds into your diet? There are a number of ways.

Chia seeds have a very subtle taste, meaning you can add them to anything you eat or drink. The seeds will enhance the nutrients, but not alter the flavor. You can add Chia seeds to a glass or bottle of water to drink, or to your beverage of choice such as coffee, iced tea, and juices. Let the seeds sit for a minute to soak up the liquid. If the seeds sit longer than that, your drink will transform into a gel, which you can eat by the spoonful. This is something you can make ahead of time and leave in the refrigerator to eat at a later time if you wish.

If you’re having a salad, sprinkle Chia seeds on top… or add to yogurt. The seeds can be sprinkled on fish, steak, veggies, or soup too.

Chia seeds are a great addition to a grain-free and gluten-free diet. By adding a few spoonfuls a day to what you are already eating or dinking, you will soon begin to notice the health benefits.

Strive to be healthy!

Information shared courtesy of:

http://nuts.com/cookingbaking/chia-seeds/premium.html

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/PlanetKitchen

RECIPE FRIDAY: Peach and Mango Salsa

I have used this recipe several times this summer. The fresh ingredients taste so good on these hot, summer days. After making, let sit in the refrigerator and chill… it makes a huge difference! Sometimes we eat this just as a salad, or as salsa with chips. Yummy either way.

Strive to be healthy!

PEACH AND MANGO SALSA

Ingredients:

  • 2 mangos, peeled and chopped
  • 2 fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  • dash salt and pepper

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients and chill. If you have a food processor, you can  process all the ingredients in chunks, rather than dicing and chopping. Chill before serving.
Shared courtesy of About.com Vegetarian   http://vegetarian.about.com/

CLEANING SHOWERS by Vickie Kline

Nobody likes scrubbing the bathtub or shower walls, and yet it is something that has to be done.

Here’s a tip to help make it easier: Apply car wax to the shower walls and glass doors. Because fiberglass and glass are porous surfaces, the car wax will seal the pores, making future cleaning easier. Water will simply run off and help reduce water spots, which will keep your shower clear, bright, and squeaky clean. This can be applied twice per year. (Be sure not to use car wax on the tub floor. It will become dangerously slick…)

To keep the shower doors sparkling and decrease buildup, use a squeegee or wipe down after each use. Something else that helps is to check the soap you’re using. Certain bar soaps contain talc, which adds to buildup and soap scum. It is still necessary to clean regularly, but the spots are easier to remove with natural products, such as, Mrs. Meyer’s, Kiss My Face, Burt’s Bees, and Zum Bar. (Curious what’s in your current soap? Check out Crunchy Betty.)

A good way to help stay ahead of buildup and soap scum is to use an orange citrus-based cleaner during regular weekly cleanings. This works well on the tub floor, helping break down the buildup and give the whole area a pleasant scent.

Strive to be healthy!