Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What is Solar Food Dehydration?

Raisins are undoubtedly the most common examples of dehydrated food sold and consumed around the world. Other common popular dried fruits are figs, dates, prunes, apricots, bananas, papaya, mango and the crispy, savory banana chips. Even though these foods change appearance in their texture and in some cases color after dehydrating, they remain very flavorful and retain their nutritional value. The most significant change is in size and weight resulting from the removal of water from the food through the application of dry heat in the dehydration process.
In addition to the food weighing less and taking up less space, it has a much longer storage life without the need for special packaging, canning or refrigeration. For these reasons the cost of the dehydration process is offset by the savings derived from not needing to refrigerate or package the food. Thus dehydrated food is ideal for camping, hiking and backpacking; it is light, compact and lasts for extended periods of time without a cooler
It is a fact that through dehydration food can lose as much as 90 percent of its body weight in water. With this in mind ask yourself, what is the difference in cost between fresh fruit and dehydrated? The cost is definitely not 90 percent more for dried fruit. Not only do dehydrated fruits and vegetables retain most of their vitamins and minerals, they can be reconstituted with water without losing their appeal or flavor.
In exchange for less weight, volume and bulk, your meal takes a little longer to prepare from the dried state; however, on the economical side, you only cook what you need and save the rest for another meal -- something you cannot do with fresh, frozen or canned foods.
Keep in mind that dehydrated foods have a different taste or flavor just like fresh foods, organic foods, cooked foods, and canned foods all have different flavors. That does not make it bad, just different, and these differences change and vary from food to food and with the varying methods of reconstitution. Take an apricot for an example. A dehydrated or dried apricot has a more intense or concentrated flavor than a fresh apricot does, as do dried bananas and other tropical fruits. These subtleties are no different than having the same food prepared by different chefs, with each using different or varying amounts of spices or cooking techniques.
Dehydrated food is the perfect food for survival and preparedness. Since many dried foods, such as rice, beans, pasta, grain and multi-grain cereals, vegetables, meats etc., need to be cooked, another important survival item is a camp stove or cooking grill. However, both of these require fuel and fuel needs to be stored and fuel is exhaustible.
One fuel that does not run out is solar energy. During a natural or manmade disaster there is a common response by most people to do whatever it takes at the moment to survive, especially if they have made no attempt to prepare for the unexpected event. The results are a combination of panic and hoarding, resulting in a run on grocery stores for food and water and on hardware and department stores for survival supplies, kerosene, propane, flashlights, batteries etc. In no time, the inventory is spent and the panic becomes pandemonium.
Do not allow yourself to be in this situation; prepare ahead of time by storing a sufficient supply of food and water now. Keep in mind that one of the first things to become unavailable during a disaster is utilities, resulting in the spoiling of your refrigerated and frozen food. In most cases, this food makes up the bulk of many American families' food supply, leaving a few canned goods, baking supplies and junk food in the pantry.
Dehydrated foods do not need refrigeration and last for months. Rice beans and pasta will last even longer, with only one drawback: much of this food needs to be cooked, and with no utilities how will you do that?
Solar ovens reach cooking and baking temperatures of 300-375 degrees F. in a matter of minutes after being lined up with the sun. A solar sun oven will cook or bake anything a conventional oven will and in the same amount of time, the only difference being that it uses inexhaustible solar energy. Most food dehydrators or dryers operate on electricity, so consequently the dehydrated food produced costs extra to produce and during a disaster becomes another worthless appliance.
The solar sun oven will not only cook your food for free, with the aid of a solar oven dehydrator kitit will now efficiently dehydrate food that would otherwise spoil without refrigeration, saving it for future consumption.
Prepare today, store food, water and emergency supplies for tomorrow, for you know not what tomorrow may bring. Food dehydration makes good healthy, tasty common sense.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How to Preserve Strawberries, Pears, and Zucchini for Year-Round Breakfast Enjoyment

Once the fruits and vegetables come on in our gardens, yards, or orchards, we love enjoying the fresh produce. But fruits and vegetables don't last long and it is a long wait until next year. Here are recipes for preserving that garden or orchard bounty so you and your family can enjoy it year-round. The Strawberry Jam is easy with no cooking necessary but it tastes so good. The Pear Honey is a favorite of mine as it is a very old family recipe. Zucchini Marmalade turns this little squash into a great breakfast treat! I'm sure it is because I am a senior citizen now, I love things that remind me of my childhood growing up in rural Southern Indiana. Although I never plan to live there again, it was a great place to grow up.

2 cups fully ripe, completely crushed fresh strawberries
1 box Sure-Jell
3/4 cup water
4 cups sugar

Mix the sugar into the crushed strawberries; let stand 10 minutes. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Mix the Sure-Jell and water together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Stir the Sure-Jell into the strawberry mixture. Stir for 3 minutes. Ladle the mixture into freezer containers, cover with lids and let set at room temperature for 24 hours. Store in freezer. This is good as a jam and also as a topping for ice cream.

I found this recipe in one of my late mother's boxes of recipe clippings. This one is from my Great-Aunt Truly. I'm sure this recipe is as old as I am, maybe older, and I am a senior citizen!

1 cup fresh pears
1 cup apples
1 cup crushed pineapple
pineapple juice
1/2 cup oranges slices, cut up
1 cup sugar

Peel, and core, both pears and apples and then measure, put through food chopper and measure amount needed for 1 cup of each. Dice the orange slices in small pieces. This is not candy orange slices but slices of real oranges. Mix all ingredients together, using juice from the pineapple, and boil for 20 minutes. Seal in hot jelly jars.

(I love the instructions. That is why I don't change these old recipe instructions. They are too funny the way they are.)

This is another old recipe from Lawrence County Indiana where I was born and raised, oh so long ago!

6 cups grated zucchini, peeled
5 cups sugar
1 can crushed pineapple in juice
1 box Sure-Jell
2 tbsps lemon juice
1 box (6-oz) apricot-flavored gelatin

Cook the zucchini and sugar for 6 minutes; Remove from the heat. Add the pineapple, Sure-Jell, and lemon juice. Return to the heat and cook for another 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the gelatin. Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Seal in jelly jars or place in freezer containers and freeze.


The Best Methods of Food Preservation

Food preservation is one of the oldest technologies that humans use, and people will always disagree on which are the best methods of food preservation. In general people want safe, nutritious foods that are considered good quality, taking into account freshness, wholesomeness, nutritional value, aroma, color, texture and flavor. Generally, food is considered safe if there is no danger from naturally occurring toxins, pathogenic microorganisms, or other potentially harmful chemicals. Food that is sterile contains no bacteria; if it is not sterilized and sealed it does contain bacteria. Milk, for instance has bacteria naturally living in it and will spoil in two or three hours if left out at room temperature. However, by putting it in the refrigerator bacteria is slowed down to such an extent that it will stay fresh for a week or two, even though bacteria are still present.

Food preservation involves treating and handling food to either greatly slow down or stop spoilage that caused or accelerated by micro-organisms. Preservation normally involves preventing the growth of fungi, bacteria and other micro-organisms, as well as the oxidation of fats which the cause rancidity. However, some methods of preservation actually use benign fungi, yeasts or bacteria to preserve food and add specific qualities, for example wines or cheeses. It may also include processes which inhibit aging and discoloration that occur during food preparation, like the enzymatic browning (oxidation) in apples when they are cut. Some food has to be sealed after treatment to prevent recontamination with microbes while others, such as drying, mean food can be stored without special containment. There are many methods of preserving food including freezing, freeze drying, spray drying, food irradiation, sugar crystallization, adding preservatives, preserving in syrup, canning and vacuum-packing.

The following are all methods of food preservation:


Salting, also known as curing, removes moisture from meats through osmosis. Meat is cured with sugar or salt, or perhaps both. Nitrites and nitrates are also used to cure meat and inhibit Clostridium botulinum.


Freezing is commonly used domestically and commercially for preserving a wide range of food.


Exposure to ionizing radiation is known as irradiation or cold pasteurization. It has a large range of effects including killing molds, insects and bacteria, and reducing the ripening and spoiling of fruits.

High pressure food preservation

Extremely high pressure is sometimes used to preserve food. Pressure as high as 70,000 psi or more is used, resulting in food that retains its nutrients, appearance, texture and flavor whilst presenting spoilage.


Vacuum-packing stores food in an airless environment, like an air-tight bag or bottle. This environment leaves bacteria without oxygen, slowing spoiling.


Pickling is a method of food preservation leaving the food in an edible, anti-microbial liquid. Fermentation pickling uses food itself to produce preservation agents, usually in a process that produces lactic acid. Chemical pickling inhibits or kills bacteria and other micro-organisms in a liquid.


Burying food preserves it by providing much lower levels of oxygen, light and pH level, as well as providing natural desiccants in the soil and cooler temperatures.


Fish, meat and other foods may be flavored as well as preserved with the use of smoke. The combination of heat and the aromatic (phenolic) hydrocarbons from the smoke preserve the food.


Lye, or sodium hydroxide, inhibits bacterial growth by making food too alkaline.


The process of canning involves cooking food, then sealing it in sterile jars or cans and boiling the containers to weaken or kill any remaining bacteria. Foods have varying degrees of natural protection against spoilage so some may require a pressure cooker as the final step. Foods low in acid, like meats and vegetables require what is known as pressure canning.

Controlled use of micro-organism

Products like wines, beers and cheeses keep for a long time because the production process uses micro-organisms to combat spoilage.


Some food can be preserved by cooking in a material that solidifies and forms a gel, including maize flour, arrowroot flour and gelatin. Certain foods form a natural protein gel when they are cooked. Using jellying to preserve fruit produces marmalade, fruit preserves and jelly.

Modified atmosphere

This is a way to preserve food by altering the atmosphere surrounding it. For example, salad is extremely hard to keep fresh and is now being packaged in sealed bags with a modified atmosphere which reduces oxygen and increases carbon dioxide.


This is one of the oldest methods, it reduces water activity enough to prevent or delay bacterial growth. Most meats can be dried, along with many fruits. Cereal grains including rice, rye, barley, oats, maize, wheat and millet are also dried, as are grapes like sultanas, raisins and currants.


Sugaring is used to preserve fruits such as apricots, pears, apples, plums and peaches, either in syrup or in crystallized form.

Without doubt, one of the best methods of food preservation is called eggstrafresh and it can be found at It is a revolutionary breakthrough in food preservation, scientifically proven to dramatically reduce oxidation and retain moisture, thus increasing shelf life. Additionally, eggstrafresh will improve the taste, flavor, texture and natural color of all of your foods.

Homemade Canning - Growing and Canning Your Own Food

When it comes to canning, the fresher the produce the better the flavor and the longer the shelf life would be of the canned produce. Avoid store-bought fruits and vegetables; these have been in cold storage, which results in a shorter shelf life and poorer flavor. Opt instead for produce purchased from a farmers market or from your garden.

How to Choose Produce to Can

If electing to purchase from a farmers market, make sure the produce is really from local farms and has been picked within three days of purchase. You can tell if the food is local by checking for distributor labels, rubber bands or ties, boxes from retailers, and so forth while at the market stalls. Also doing proper research on the farmers market or farmer stall helps to ensure the food is locally grown and not purchased in bulk from a distributor.

Even better yet, grow your own produce for best results. Home-grown foods picked at the peak of freshness and canned weekly or semi-weekly result in a delicious and fresh-picked taste that will win awards and smiles over store-bought goods. Research is the key to perfect canning. Find out which foods should be picked in the morning and which should be picked in the evening for the best flavor.

The Best Fruits for Home-Grown Canning

The easiest produce for homemade canning are fruits like peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, berries, quinces, oranges, apples, and cherries. These are also easier to grow and produce a large harvest from a single tree or two. Most fruits are high-acid and usually a lot of sugar goes into the process which further helps keep the fruits from spoiling.

Most fruit trees and vines are low maintenance compared to a vegetable garden. Simply prune and fertilize once to twice a year at the appropriate season, and water them frequently. Plus, each fruit ripens in a slightly different week or month all summer long, if you choose the right varieties, making it easier to deal with one type of produce that week.

The Easiest Vegetables to Grow and Can

Vegetables take a bit more maintenance than fruits to grow and to can. Low-acid vegetables need to be canned more carefully to prevent spoilage. However, like fruits, the right garden can produce something to can weekly or bi-weekly all year long.

When setting up a home-grown garden for canning, select vegetables for particular seasons:

Winter Garden Produce

Cabbage Brussels sprouts (in coastal areas) Kale

Spring Garden Produce

Dark leafy greens like spinach

Summer through Fall Garden Produce

Green beans or long beans




Onions and Garlic



Dark Leafy Greens like Kale and Swiss Chard


Even a small family garden, or container garden, can produce enough to stockpile canned produce. Many of these foods can well with little or no previous cooking. Simply scrub them, chop them up, stuff them into a jar, pour boiling water over them, screw on a lid, and put them into the pressure canner. Each vegetable, vegetable blend, or relish has a specific time and recipe that needs to be followed to the letter when canning it. Failure to follow a recipe for the particular food can result in an inedible product, or worse, spoilage.

Other foods not mentioned in this article are not recommended for homemade canning because the time and effort in growing and/or preparing them makes it not worth it, especially for a beginner. The fruits and vegetables listed tend to grow large harvests with little space. And, when picked and canned right away, also last longer in the shelves and retain their flavor.

Home grown produce not only tastes better, but may be better for you since store-bought canned or fresh vegetables tend to lose important nutrients the longer they sit. Additionally, it will save money. With the right soil conditions and care, home gardens can typically produce more food with less expense over the same amount of food purchased fresh or canned from a grocery store.

The Canning How To on Barbeque Sauce

These canning how-to tips came out of necessity. You see, I've been making my own barbeque sauce since I was a kid, but it caused conflict in my household.

I loved using the sauce as a grilling marinade so I'd make gallons of my "New York Attitude" Barbeque Sauce and portion it into used plastic Wonton Soup containers. The shear number of containers would fill my Mom's refrigerator.

I had to find a better way to preserve my sauce without taking up the whole fridge. "People have been preserving food for generations," I thought to myself. "They didn't have refrigerators or Chinese take-out containers, how did they do it?"

At the time, I probably had to go to the library and look through the encyclopedias. That seems laughable now, but even as a child, I knew there was a better way waiting for me. I found it with a 125 year old device, the two-part lid canning jar.

The inventors of these jars are really the creators of every canning how to instructions from that day forth. The idea is simple. Their jars consist of a flat lid with a rubber washer to seal the jar. A band fits over the lid, securing it to the jar but also allowing air to escape.

Under boiling water, air leaves the jar between the two parts of the lid. When it's cooled, it creates a vacuum, sealing the jar in an anaerobic environment. This not only preserves the sauce, but keeps it safe from bacterial growth as well.

Hot water canning is meant for highly acidic products like tomato sauce, marinades, and perfect for my barbeque sauce. At sea level, water boils at 212F or 100C. This is certainly hot enough to let the two piece lid do its job, and the acid content of the sauce will keep it safe.

The Precise Canning How To Steps:

Inspect all jars, lids, and bands for defects.

Wash all jars, lids, bands, and any other equipment that will come in contact with the sauce.

Place a round cake cooling rack in the bottom of a very large stock pot and fill with water.

Bring the water to a full, rolling boil.

Place the empty jars in the boiling water to sanitize them.

In a small saucepan or bowl, remove some boiling water and place the flat lids in the hot water.

Prepare your barbeque sauce and keep it very hot.

Remove the jars from the water bath, one at a time, and fill with barbeque sauce

Be sure to leave 1-2 inches of "head room" between the sauce and the lid.

Wipe the rim clean of any spilled sauce

Stir the jarred sauce with a wooden stick to drive out excess air

Remove the flat lid from the warm water and place it on top of the jar.

Secure the lid with a band and hand-tighten only.

Place the filled jar, standing up, into the boiling water canner.

Wait 15 minutes and remove the jar to cool.

(Add 5 minutes for every 3000 feet above sea level)

As the barbeque sauce cools, you'll hear the vacuum created as the jar lids are sucked toward the interior of the jar. Soft "ping", "ping", a symphony of suction is created and the jars are now safe for storage. Any jar lid that still yields to pressure when pressed with a finger has not sealed correctly. It should be refrigerated and not stored at room temperature.

The canning how to instructions are different for low acid products, because there's greater risk of bacterial growth. Items like vegetables or protein-based soups must be canned in a high-pressure canner because the boiling water bath does not get hot enough to assure the safety of the food.

As a child, I simply wanted to preserve refrigerator space. What I discovered is a process that's been around for more than a century. Home canning saves money, preserves fresh ingredients, and is a fun and easy hobby when you know the canning how to steps.

See the entire Canning How To video here.

Home Canning Tomatoes

Tomatoes are probably the most popular food item grown in gardens. Usually there is an abundance of this crop once they begin to ripen. Home Canning Tomatoes is one way to ensure that the overstock of produce will not go to waste. By canning your own tomatoes you will also be able to enjoy the flavorful taste of you home grown tomatoes long after the season ends.

Ways to Preserve Tomatoes

There is an assortment of ways to preserve tomatoes. They may be canned, frozen or in some cases even dried. The most popular way of preserving tomatoes is to canning. This versatile method allows you to utilize the canned tomatoes in a variety of techniques that can be used later to make soups, chili or stews. Who wouldnt want that same great fresh tasting flavor even in the cold winter months?

Preparing Tomatoes for Canning

Only a stainless steel pot or saucepan and stainless steel utensils should be used when preparing tomatoes for canning. Because the to matoes have such a high acidic value, using any other type of pot may result in bitter tasting canned tomatoes that have a less than desirable color about them.

Canning Tomatoes Safely

It is important to remember that in order to ensure safety tomatoes must be canned correctly. Only choose disease free, fresh firm tomatoes for canning. Tomatoes tend to be a high acidic food item. Boiling Water Bath Canning or Pressure Canning methods are the recommended processing technique to be used when home canning tomatoes. According to some sources using a pressure canner may even yield higher quality flavor with more nutritious value. Either however, is an acceptable means of preserving tomatoes.
The USDA recommends that all home canned tomatoes be acidified prior to canning to ensure safety from botulism. This is achieved by adding 2 tablespoons of lemon jui ce or teaspoon of citric acid per quart. Using pints, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or teaspoon of citric acid.

Processing times for hot packed crushed tomatoes in water bath canning is 35 minutes for pints and 45 minutes for quarts. If using a pressure canner the processing time is 15 minutes for both pints and quarts. You must be sure to set the dial gauges on the pressure cooker to 11lbs. of pressure and the weighted gauge should be set at 10lbs. of pressure.

Following these instructions should assure the quality of taste when Home Canning Tomatoes. Just think about how happy you and your family will be this winter when you are enjoying the same great flavor you had this summer.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Watch The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 11 FINALE

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Talking about great shows, this episode is the one of the best. Watching this episode for free is very easy, just click the link below and you will be there. The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 11 FINALE is now moving ahead with a very wonderful surprise and its getting hotter and hotter. What are you waiting for? Click the link now and start enjoying the episode.

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Stefan and Katherine play mind games on each other, and Damon and Alaric become suspicious when a mysterious visitor named Jules shows up in Mystic Falls, looking for her missing friend, Mason. Elena is frustrated at Jeremy and her friends' excessive efforts to protect her. Bonnie and Luca team up to work on a spell, though both continue to keep secrets from ea ch other. Finally, Elijah makes an unexpected appearance with an offer that could change everything watch The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode - By the Light of the Moon.

Bonnie and Luca team up to work on a spell, though both continue to keep secrets from each other. Finally, Elijah makes an unexpected appearance with an offer that could change everything. Do you looking for latest info, preview, schedule broadcast time and want to watch latest episode of Vampire Diaries Season 2 in legal way, then you come the right place. Your Thursday will be filled with a great episode if you watch The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 11 entitled 'By the Light of the Moon' tonight via CW Channel.
Another exciting episode is coming right up this Thursday with "By the Light of the Moon"; the must see episode of Vampire Diaries which is set to hit your TV screens on the 9th day of December 2010. On the previous episode we've seen Elena's plans to stop Klaus didn't go exactly as she planned and in order to save Jeremy who was being captured by Katherine Stefan pushes Jeremy safely out of the tomb but is trapped in it himself.

Before watching this new Episode you must read the summary to know or understand the whole story: As the full moon approaches, Caroline helps Tyler prepare for the transformation he is powerless to stop. While Stefan and Katherine play mind games on one another, Damon and Alaric are suspicious when a stranger named Jules shows up in Mystic Falls, searching for her missing friend, Mason. Elena is frustrated at the lengths Jeremy and her friends have gone to in order to keep her safe. Bonnie and Luca work together on a spell, while st ill keeping secrets from one another.

While Stefan and Katherine play mind games on one another, Elena becomes increasingly upset at the measures Jeremy, Bonnie and the others are taking to keep her from Klaus. Furthermore, Damon and Alaric are suspicious when a stranger named Jules shows up in Mystic Falls, searching for her missing friend, Mason. Plus Elijah makes an unexpected appearance with an offer that could change everything.

Episode Outline: Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 11 B Th Light Of Th Moon - A th full moon rh, Caroline (Candice Accola) helps Tyler (Michael Trevino) prepare fr th transformation h powerless t t. Whl Stefan (Paul Wesley) nd Katherine (Nina Dobrev) play mind games n one another, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) nd Alaric (Matt Davis) r suspicious whn a wrdr named Jules (guest star Michaela McManus) shows up n Mystic Falls, incisive fr hr gone friend, Mason. Elena (Dobrev) frustrated t th lengths Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) nd hr friends h gone t n order t keep hr safe. Bonnie (Katerina Graham) nd Luca (guest star Bryton James) work together n a spell, whl still keeping secrets frm one another. Finally, Elijah (guest star Daniel Gillies) mk n unexpected appearance wth n l forward tht ld change everything. Sara Canning nd Zach Roering l star. Elizabeth Allen directed th episode written b Mike Daniels.

Elena (Dobrev) is frustrated at the lengths Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) and her friends have gone to in order to keep her safe. Bonnie (Katerina Graham) and Luca (guest star Bryton James) work together on a spell, while still keeping secrets from one another. Finally, Elijah (guest star Daniel Gillies) makes an unexpected appearance with an offer that could change everything. Sara Canning and Zach Roering also star. Elizabeth Allen directed the episode written by Mike Daniels.

In The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 11, "By The Light of the Moon," another probable couple on the ris e will jump into the limelight. [Possible Spoilers] Caroline (Candice Accola) and Tyler (Michael Trevino) have been getting pretty close since Caroline covered for Tyler on the night he became a full-fledged werewolf. Now, we'll be seeing Tyler during his first transformation.

Of course, we believe that missing The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 11 FINALE is a big loss for you. We are giving you the FULL VIDEO for free because we don't want you to cry losing it. Fasten your seatbelts now and start enjoying 100% entertainment with The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 11 FINALE. Enjoy watching now and have a nice day.

Homemade Hill Country Gifts

If you are looking for creative gifts to give this holiday season, look no further than right here. Whether you need a gift for a host or hostess, gift for a holiday exchange party, or want to make something homemade and inexpensive these few ideas and recipes will get you started. For an extra special touch, make homemade hill country gifts; peach jelly, pecan tartlets, and German mulled wine all represent something special about the hill country.
To Make Peach Jelly:
4 pounds fresh or frozen peaches, chopped
5 cups of sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
teaspoon of your choice, nutmeg or cinnamon
Place all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and stir the peach mixture until the sugar begins to dissolve. Allow the peaches to boil rapidly until the jam reaches the jell point on a thermometer. Allow the peaches to cool and then place the jam into jars. To seal the jars, follow the canning method of your choice. To Make Pecan Tartlets:
12 tart shells
12 oz of chopped pecans
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of light Karo syrup
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place your tart shells into a pan and evenly distribute the pecans into the shells filling them approximately half way. Lightly beat the sugar and eggs. Next add the Karo syrup and vanilla to the egg and sugar mixture. Pour the mixture into your tart shells leaving a little bit of space from the top. Bake tartlets for 25 to 30 minutes.
To Make German Mulled Wine:
1 bottle of red wine, something inexpensive will do
16 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks broken into 1-2 inch pieces
1 cup of water
1 orange
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
In a saucepan combine the water, cinnamon sticks, pumpkin pie spices and honey. Heat over medium heat. Quarter the orange and place 4 cloves into each orange segment. Add the orange segments and the bottle of wine to the spiced water. Heat the mulled wine over medium to low heat. Do not allow the wine to boil! Should you prefer a sweeter wine add sugar and allow the sugar to dissolve. Allow the wine to cool and place in a decorative bottle with warming instructions or serve right away to enjoy at a party.
*Recipes courtesy of Brittany Benningfield.

Water Soluble Vitamins In Your Food

If you want to keep your body strong and as healthy as possible, you need to feed your body vitamins. And this is especially true for water soluble vitamins which are not stored in the body. This means that they must be replenished every day through the foods that we eat.

All soluble vitamins are important,to a degree. But, without a doubt, two of the most valuable forms of water soluble vitamins are B and C. In fact, these vitamins are so important to the functioning of the human body that many popular foods such as breakfast cereals and breads are fortified with it.

One of the most important water soluble vitamins is Vitamin B. Want to avoid anemia? If so, make sure that you get enough Vitamin B in your diet. This vitamin is also important in helping the essential processes of the body to function well. If you want to have good skin, good eyesight, and calm nerves, getting a good dose of vitamin B in your daily meals is a good start. if you want to naturally increase your vitamin B levels, good foods to eat are organ meats such as liver, meats such as beef and fish, and dairy products like milk, eggs, and cheese.
One of the strongest vitamins in our arsenal for fighting free radicals is Vitamin C. It is one of our stronger antioxidants. It is essential in helping to hold the cells of the body together and keeping them healthy from disease and illness. It is also important if you want to avoid losing your teeth because of gum disease.

You can find Vitamin C in a large variety of food products. Many people mistakenly associate it with only citrus fruits such as orange juice and lemons. But, in actuality, it is actually found in most of the unprocessed foods that we eat such as eggs, beef, chickens, and so on. If you eat healthy foods and avoid the fast foods, supplements should not be necessary. You should be able to get all of the vitamin C that you need in your everyday meals.

Anyway, due to the fact that both of these vitamins are water soluble, they are very much likely to be lost in foods through popular methods of processing and storing them such as fre ezing and canning. For example many canned vegetables such as beans and peas are stored in water. Some of the vitamins are washed away when they are cooked in the plant.

And over the weeks or months while they sit on the store shelves, more vitamins seep into the canned water in which they are stored. And even more are lost when you heat them for a meal. In other words, unless you are eating most of the liquid with your canned vegetables, you are not really getting the amount of vitamins that you think you are.

Sometimes, depending on where you live, it can be hard to find fresh vegetables. If so, but you still want good nutrition, buying frozen ones are the next best way to buy them.

Picking the Right Tomato for your Garden

Could you imagine where the pizza industry would be today without tomato sauce? The top two condiments in the United States, ketchup and salsa, are tomato-based. It is safe to say that the tomato is an all-American culinary entity, a piece of Americana sharing ranks with apple pie, maple syrup, and that staple of staples, good ole corn. We've become very familiar with the pale, mild-flavored hybrid tomatoes in the supermarkets, the thick canned pastes, and those cute little cherries at your local salad bar. But, for those of us who really love tomatoes, and are looking for something a little more unique or very specific, we grow our own. I am going to attempt to briefly cover the basics of tomato varieties that gardeners should be familiar with.

Determinate vs. Indeterminate

Many growers have heard these terms applied to a few different fruits. These words refer to the specific plant's fruit production habit.

Determinate tomato varieties produce one large crop and then produce little or no fruit for the rest of the season. They are usually shorter than indeterminate varieties and have a fixed height. So, there is no need to stake them. These are often paste or plum tomato varieties.

Indeterminate or the vining varieties are going to be the most common variety for home gardening. They produce a continuous crop all summer until frost, and then they will start to die back.
Tomato Varieties

Your standard or slicing tomatoes are the common medium-sized round tomatoes. These will most often be used in soups or sliced for salads. You've seen these in six-pack trays at your local supermarket.

Beef Steak are big tomatoes, some up to 2 pounds. These are the ones that, when sliced, fit sandwiches and burgers very nicely. Beef Steak varieties are also great for stuffing and baking. They are rarely found in supermarkets because their size and tenderness makes them more trouble than they are worth for big retailers. However, they are a home garden dream, a big tasty return on the simple investment in a tiny packet of seeds. Some popular cultivars of this variety are 'Better Boy', 'Big Beef', and 'Park's Whopper'.

Cherry tomatoes are very small tomatoes, ranging from barely bigger than your finger tip to the size of a golf ball. They are often very sweet and perfect by themselves just as a snack. They are the sublime salad tomato because they add lots of flavor, and you don't have to slice them. The elongated smaller and sweeter grape tomatoes are also a tasty variation of the cherry tomato. Cherry tomato plants produce a large amount of fruit, so you don't have to plant many to get plenty of tomatoes.

Paste or plum tomatoes are, as the name suggests, often used for canning and sauces. They work well for this because they are less juicy than other varieties, they don't have a core, and they have far less seeds than other varieties. They are usually small and slightly elongated or pear-shaped. They are often lumped together as Roma tomatoes, which is actually just one cultivar of this tomato variety.

Choose Your Tomato Wisely

Breeders have had fun with this popular garden plant. They come in all sizes and colors, from pink and striped to almost black. But, the best way to pick your tomato is to grow for your needs. If you want sandwich tomatoes, grow Beef Steaks. If you love tomatoes in your salad, try some different cherry varieties. If your garden is the source for most of your canned goods, you should probably try to grow a few paste tomatoes. Growing your own tomatoes will give you power over selection and power over growing methods. It is cheaper than than buying them at the supermarket, and it can be much more rewarding. Have a good time in your garden, and grow the tomato that's just right for you.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


During the long, hot days of summer, the last factor we think about is Christmas looking. After all, that's a task we typically relegate to the month of December, proper? But the truth is, the job of shopping for Christmas items is something numerous men and women loathe. Parking lots are crowded, malls are jam packed, and finding just the suitable reward for that unique someone can take hours, or even days. What if there was a method to get some of your Christmas items ready in the course of the summertime and place them away in storage so they'll be ready to go when the vacation season rolls close to? Before you grab your keys and jump within the car to go purchasing now, stop and take a look around your personal home and garden. There may possibly be some reward possibilities lurking appropriate under your personal nose which are home made, thoughtful, and really inexpensive.

A lot of of us raise vegetable gardens in the summer time, and we wind up with far m ore recent develop than we can possibly use. As opposed to letting it rot on the vine or giving it all away to neighbors, think about canning. Many vegetables like refreshing green beans and tomatoes may be canned and then given away as gifts at the holidays. Recent bell peppers is often built into relishes, and cucumbers may be pickled and canned. Cans of refreshing produce also make wonderful hostess's gifts when you are invited to holiday parties. Top off the jar having a colorful square of fabric and tie with a ribbon to make the present actually attractive and special.

In case you get pleasure from cooking, take into account utilizing your refreshing produce to make other things like home made spaghetti sauce, fresh salsa, or pickle relish that could be canned. For a actually great touch, put a couple jars of spaghetti sauce into a gift basket after which consist of some related products such as a pound of pasta along with a loaf of contemporary Italian bread . Other great touches may possibly incorporate an Italian cookbook, a bottle of good red wine or gourmet olive oil, and even some refreshing Parmesan cheese. The thought of themed present baskets based on your home made canned goods can be expanded into other areas, too. As an example, if you've created some refreshing salsa, contain products in your present basket like tortilla chips, margarita mix, plus a bottle of great quality tequila.

Homemade items from the garden don't have to be limited to only vegetables. In case you grow fruits such as blueberries, cherries, or raspberries, contemplate making homemade jams or pie fillings that is often canned for vacation gifts. Nice additions to round out a gift basket with these goods could contain a new pie dish, or some do-it-yourself bread for toasting. Fresh fruits can also be built into syrups that may be given as presents along with some selfmade pancake mix. Furthermore, if you grow fresh herbs just like parsley or basil, take into account producing recent pesto at the end of the summertime and canning it into little jars to give as items.

Related Post: Homemade Christmas Gifts

Tomatoes Using

The English word tomato comes from the Spanish tomatl, first appearing in print in 1595. A member of the deadly nightshade family, tomatoes were erroneously thought to be poisonous (although the leaves are poisonous) by Europeans who were suspicious of their bright, shiny fruit. Native versions were small, like cherry tomatoes, and most likely yellow rather than red.

The tomato is native to western South America and Central America. In 1519, Cortez discovered tomatoes growing in Montezuma's gardens and brought seeds back to Europe where they were planted as ornamental curiosities, but not eaten

Start with great tomatoes and the right cut. You'll get the best results if you buy ripe tomatoes at a farm stand or farmers' market or get them from your own garden. They'll be the tastiest and juiciest, since they've been picked at their ripest. How you cut the tomatoes is important, too. A half-inch dice is the perfect size, because it will give you a juicy sauce while maintaining the integrity of the tomatoes.
Add a good amount of olive oil. The oil serves a double purpose here. First, it combines with the juices drawn by the salt to make the sauce. No oil means no sauce, just tomato juice. Second, a good fruity extra-virgin olive oil will lend its rich flavor to the dish, giving it lots of body and depth.

Toss the sauce with hot pasta. This is key: The heat of just-cooked pasta helps release the flavors in the tomatoes and creates a better integrated dish than if you mixed the sauce with cold pasta. Please send your review to Indo Munch

The high acidic content of the tomato makes it a prime candidate for canning, which is one of the main reasons the tomato was canned more than any other fruit or vegetable by the end of the nineteenth century. For more information

Grandma Hystad's Recipes, Drinks, Bar mixes, Food and Cooking Tips














3 tablespoons.(45 ml)butter
2 cups(500 ml)thin sliced onion
4 cups(1125 ml)bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste
Worcestershire sauce to taste
2 teaspoons.(10 ml)sugar
French bread
Parmesan cheese or other finely grated cheese
heat butter, add onions, simmer about 10 minutes or until soft
and lightly brown. Add bouillon, bring to boil and simmer 20 minutes.
Season to taste with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Add sugar.
Pour soup into individual soup dishes. On top of each, float a slice
Of sauted French bread and sprinkle with grated cheese. Put in oven
350 F, (175 C), until cheese is melted.

YIELD: 6 servings.
TIME: 60 minutes.

1 cup, 2 tbsp. .(280 ml)pudding mix
2 cups(500 ml)water
2 tablespoons(30 ml)butter or margarine
1-teaspoon(5 ml)vanilla
Combine pudding mix and water in saucepan. Bring to boil, turn
Stove down and boil gently for 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly. Remove from heat, add
margarine and vanilla. Stir. Let stand for 15 minutes, stir again and chill.

YIELD: 4 servings.

Super Easy Vegan Pasta Salad

2 cups whole wheat pasta, cooked & cooled

2 ripe tomatoes, chopped

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cucumber, chopped

1/2 cup organic sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup ketchup

1/4 cup vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon paprika


Mix together the sugar, ketch up, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and paprika. Pour the dressing over the pasta and veggies, and stir well.

Peach Muffins

1 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

4 teaspoons oil

2 eggs, beaten lightly

cup peeled peaches

Bake at 400 F., 15-20 minutes.

1 teaspoon (5 ml)sugar
2 teaspoons..(10 ml)..salt
teaspoon..(2.5 ml)...pepper
teaspoon .(2.5 ml)...paprika
1 cup(375 ml).salad oil
cup(125 ml).vinegar
1 clove of garlic (if desired)
Put sugar, salt, pepper and paprika in jar. Add oil, vinegar and
garlic. Shake well. When dressing is thoroughly blended, pour
over salad.
YIELD: approximately 2 cups (500 ml)
CALORIES: 92 per tablespoon (15 ml)
TIME: 10 minutes.

1 egg yolk
teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
teaspoon(2.5 ml).dry mustard
teaspoon ... (1.25 ml)...paprika
dash cayenne
2 tablespoons ..(30 ml)vinegar
1 cup .(250 ml)..salad oil
Put egg yolk and seasoning in bowl and mix well. Add 1 tablespoon( vinegar and beat well. Gradually beat in oil until cup of mixture is used. Then add 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) at a time. As mixture thickens add remaining vinegar. If oil is added to quickly, mayonnaise will curdle. To fix this add 1 more egg yolk and continue.
Store mayonnaise in covered jar and refrigerate.
YIELD: approximately 1 cup (310 ml).
CALORIES: 104 per tablespoon (15 ml).
Time: 15 minutes


A Sure Cure

An older lady came out screaming after being told by the young Doctor she was pregnant. The head doctor of the clinic stopped her and asked her what the problem was. She tells him and he gets her to settle down in a chair, and then rushes over to the young doctor that she came from.

Whats the matter with you, telling a 80 year old lady she is pregnant he asks the young Doctor.

The Doctor kept writing the prescription he was filling out, and without looking up at his superior, asked, Does she still have the hiccups?


TENDER CUTS of meat can be cooked by dry heat, as in broiling, pan-broiling, or roasting.
TOUGH CUTS can only be made tender by moist heat, as in pot-roasting and Stewing.

Our main object is to prevent shrinkage in so far as possible, and produce a tender, juicy, tasty product. In roasting, searing does little to help keep in juices, less shrinkage results at a lower temperature for a longer time (300 F). Searing however makes the meat look attractive and the outside layers taste better.

An uncovered pan with a rack in the bottom gives the best results in roasting. Cooking time varies with preference.
For rare meat, 16 minutes per pound.
For medium meat, 22 minutes per pound.
For well done meat, 30 minutes per pound.

Add salt during or after cooking, not before. The salt flavour does not penetrate more then 1 inch. If the meat does not reach the desired colour during roasting, increase the heat to (500 F) for a few minutes before removing from the pan.

Methods of searing is subjecting the meat to a high temperature until it is nicely browned.

By Browning in an uncovered pan in a hot oven (450 F-500F).
By Browning in hot fat in a frying pan on the surface burner.
By Adding boiling water and cooking at boiling temperature until the outside of the meat has lost its red colour.

Reasons For Cooking Meat
To develop flavour.
To soften the connective tissue when present in large quantity.
To kill any living organisms that may be present


How safe is our food supply?

Increasingly, the corporations that supply us with processed foods are unable to guarantee the safety of their ingredients. As a result, not just red meat and poultry, is now a potential carrier of pathogens, government and industry officials concede. As the drive to keep food costs down intensifies, most corporations do not even know who is supplying their ingredients, let alone if those suppliers are screening the items for microbes and other potential dangers.

Some concede that they cannot ensure the safety of items from frozen vegetables to pizzas and that they are shifting the burden of safety to the consumer. It seems the only time we know the products are unsafe, is when there is a problem, peop le get sick, and the product is recalled.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association has called for new safety initiatives. They include new training and more food safety audits. The grocers also want a new internet-based recall system to speed up the process of finding and removing recalled food products.

For information on receiving recalls by e-mail, or for other food safety facts, visit:

Dont just guess to tell when meat, poultry and seafood are done. Instead, use a food thermometer to make sure foods have reached at least the following internal temperatures:

Steaks: 145 degrees F (medium rare)

Ground beef: 160 degrees F

Chicken breasts: 165 degrees F

Whole poultry: 165 degrees F

Pork: 160 degrees F

Fish: 145 degrees F

Officials of Ottawa Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency remind home canners and consumers that home canning and bottling of seafood is popular in Canada, but food safety awareness should be the priority when home canning or when buying home canned products from vendors.

Improper preparation, canning or storage, especially of low-acid foods such as clams, lobster and whelks, can cause serious illness, even botulism. Bacteria that produce colourless, odourless, tasteless, invisible toxins not necessarily destroyed by cooking cause botulism.

To keep home canned food safe, the Canadian health agencies advise canners remember to:

Use a pressure canner and strictly follow the manufacturer's instructions for low-acid food canning or bottling. Recipe ingredients, amounts, or jar sizes should not be changed because these can affect times/pressures needed and could result in bacteria remains in the food.

Clean and keep sanitizing hands, all work surfaces, food, utensils, and equipment during all stages of the canning process.

Use home canned product within one year. Once the container has been opened, refrigerate leftovers immediately.

Never eat canned foods if the closure or seal has been broken, or if the container is swollen or leaking. If in doubt, throw it out.

The Memorial Day weekend is coming up. It marks the unofficial start of summer. Many will celebrate with a cook out or picnic, two things that can lead to food borne illnesses.

Food safety experts say hand washing and cooking food thoroughly can help prevent those illnesses.

Never use the same plate to carry both raw and cooked food.

And that burger-flipping spatula? Same principal applies: Don't use the same one to drop the burgers on the grill and then retrieve them once cooked.

Most people believe that when meat turns brown, it's don e. In fact, one out of four burgers turn brown before it reaches 160 degrees. Use a cooking thermometer.


Cooking steak is not the same as cooking ground beef. Bacteria like to congregate on the surface and edges of steak. So be sure to sear it to kill toxins.


If you have teenagers, or in fact any adult, impress on them the risks of driving while intoxicated. Statistics demonstrate drunk drivers cause many fatal road accidents.

It should be known that like any other drug, addiction is a potential hazard. Excess of alcohol will affect organs such as the brain, heart, and liver.


In tall glass add half chilled Guinness stout, and half chilled champagne. Stir quickly.

Rum Punch

Pint Puerto Rican Rum

Pint peach Brandy

Pint Lemon or Lime Juice

5 tablespoons Bitters

6 Pints Soda Water

Stir rum, brandy, juice and bitters in a bowl. When ready to serve, add block of ice and soda.

Serve 10 persons

House Standard
1 jigger Tequila
2 jiggers Tomato Juice
2 dashes Tabasco
Shake with cracked ice and strain.
Serve with slice of lemon.

3 cups brewed strong black tea
1 quart orange juice
1 cup lime or lemon juice
2 cups raspberry syrup
1 cup crushed pineapple
Bar sugar to taste
2 quarts club soda

Pour all ingredients except soda over a large block of ice in a punch bowl. Stir well. Let it chill. At serving time, add chilled soda.

Winter Dinners in a Jar

The reason I mention heritage fruits and vegetable is that with items such as tomatoes, you will not need to add another acid to your mix. However if you choose to buy your fruits in the grocery, you will need to add some lemon juice to your mix. The rule of thumb here is two tablespoons lemon juice or teaspoon citric acid into each quart of tomatoes, added before you fill your jars.With spring around the corner, farm markets and road side stands are getting ready to offer you a wide variety of organically grown heritage food stuff. Now is the time to start thinking about your foods for the summer and next winter. And canned dinners is a good place as any to begin.Planning dinners so far in advance can seem not only time consuming, but a daunting prospect. The simplest thing to do is to go into your cabinets and see what store-bought goods you already have there. Most of us havespaghetti sauce,pizza sauce,baked beans and BBQ sauce -great for sweet and saucy ribs. And if y ou have children, canned pastas seems to be the mainstay.

There is very little information on canning your own pasta dinners out there. Yet the major companies as well as homesteaders have been doing this for years. The problems occur with what types of pasta you want to can and how much of it you stuff into a jar. You will need only enough to loosely fit into the can/jar, never jam pack it in, or fill it to the brim. As with any home canning you need to leave at least inch of head space. Elbow macaroni, shells or spaghetti noodles are the easiest. It is not recommended that you can pasta because dense foods are harder to heat all the way through during processing.Homemade pastas are simple, and something that everyone should try their hand at. And you can add your own twist, or flavoring, to the noodles, like beet, spinach or Parmesan. Once you have your noodles, forming them into shapes is simple, pack them into the jar, loosely and then add your sauce. Kids love meat ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs, and beef and macaroni. Processing takes the same amount of time as your meats do, 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts at 10 pounds pressure, unless you live at an altitude more than 1,000 feet; consult your canning manual for directions for increasing your pressure.

Soups, like chicken noodle soup, are a wonderful item to always have on hand. Any of the soups you buy at the store can be modified to your taste, removing or adding certain vegetables, seasoning, and salt . If you have meats in your stock, processing time will take longer then a plain, chicken, meat or vegetable stock. Stews, like roast beef, are the same.And speaking of meats, canning your own meats, poultry, fish and seafood is very rewarding. These items are cooked and stewed in their own juices creating an extra tender meal in a natural stock. Canned Beef strips make an excellent stroganoff. Canned chicken works wonders as a quick chicken with almond rice, while canned salmon makes an irresistible salmon and raisin pie.Which ever dinner tempts your the most, remember that healthy eating requires that you know what is in your food, that you follow all the canning instructions carefully, never eat anything that isn't sealed properly, and throughly cook all your foods. A nd most importantly, enjoy.

Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter - Does it work? Read my review!

Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter - What is it?

I love to cook, and I've recently been experimenting with making my own homemade salsa and pasta sauces. Obviously, I've been using tons of canned tomatoes in the process. A friend at work recently brought me a few home-grown tomatoes, and I asked her how she possibly had time to grow tomatoes herself. She said she's been using a Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter. I was instantly interested in finding out more. I thought that would be a wonderful way to save money on buying tomatoes at the market, and have much better home-grown tasting tomatoes at the same time.

The Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter is a simple planter that allows you to plant tomato seedlings upside down. The roots stay in the planter and the plant hangs underneath. The sun warms the planter, which acts like a greenhouse. This makes the roots very happy. When you water, it allows the moisture and any tomato food you use to drain directly down onto the plant.

I bought this back in April, and I decided to plant cherry tomatoes in it. You can put three plants in each planter. You can even mix different tomato varieties, or even grow other vegetables or herbs. But, for my first try, I decided to stick with small tomatoes. A few weeks ago, my plants just exploded! My plants grew so fast, and then tomatoes started popping up- I have picked probably a hundred tomatoes so far and we probably have a hundred more ready to pick! The vines are almost touching the ground! I can't even describe how wonderful they taste!

Click Here to Visit the Topsy Turvy Website

Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter Issues I had

I have a small garden, and I wasn't sure where I was going to hang my planter. But, I have an old clothes line in the backyard (which I've been begging my husband to get rid of for years) which ended up being absolutely perfect for hanging my Topsy Turvy from. The only con has been that the planter does get pretty heavy with 3 plants, dirt, and water, so you have to have a good sturdy hook to hang it from. My clothes line ended up needing a bit of reinforcement, but it's working just great now.

For the first several weeks, I was afraid it wouldn't grow. I followed the directions and watered my plants twice a day. I noticed about midway through the first bloom that some of my tomatoes were splitting. I read that this sometimes happens due to over-watering, so you'll need to figure out how much water works just right for your location. I adjusted how much I was watering, and the problem went away. Very easily fixed.

Benefits of the Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter

Easy to set up and use Grow your own ORGANIC tomatoes Mix and match different tomatoes Works for growing fresh herbs or other vegetables Grow three plants in each planter (up to 30 lbs) Hangs on a deck or balcony for patio gardening


Use of pesticides you don't get any normal garden pests Caging and staking like for normal tomato plants Digging, weeding and other hard garden work

Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter - Final thoughts

For me, this is the easiest way to garden. My Topsy Turvy tomatoes are growing faster and fuller than my other potted plants. I love the fact that I don't have to worry about pesticides or weeding. Since this can work for other vegetables and herbs, I can't wait to try some more kinds of plants. I have grand plans for having a whole garden full of Topsy Turvy planters. I think they even have a strawberry planter. I'm very happy that it has turned out this well, I'll have enough cherry tomatoes for ALL my summer salads, salsa, and pasta sauces. I might even try some canning so I can have my own home grown tomatoes all year long.

Click Here to Visit the Topsy Turvy Website

Diane English

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Easy Ways to Eat Green

Recent concerns over environmental destruction, agricultural chemicals and pesticides and food safety issues have made more and more people consider changing their diets. Films like Food Inc., have turned more than a few carnivores into vegans. But just how can we change our habits and ensure the safety of ourselves, our families and our planet? If you're wondering how to begin to make small green changes to your life without too much work then keep reading to find out.

Going green doesn't have to involve radical transformations overnight. Making small changes to your life can have a big impact on your health and on the environment. The more consumers demand healthy alternatives and safe food practices, the more and more these will become available. Furthermore, it is a well documented fact that as more people buy organic and local, the cheaper these products will become.

First things first. If you want to save money and the planet cut down on your meat consumption. You do not have to give up your favourite roast entirely, or even cut out the occasional sausage, but you will have to think more carefully about where you buy your meat and how much you really need. Opting for vegetarian options more frequently is a great way to go. So try out a vegetarian cookbook and see how you can use beans, soy products, tofu, and other filling protein to replace the meat portions in your favourite chillies or stews.
Because you've reduced your meat consumption, you should be able to afford to buy more quality meat rather than quantity. Buying locally raised, antibiotic free, free range, organic meats (or whatever is most important depending on the meat involved) will give you better tasting healthier meat and will help to ensure your own safety. Eating less but better quality meat, fish and poultry is a great way to go green and lower your carbon footprint.

Seasonal Indulgence. Trying to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season is also a good way to eat greener. Transportation of foods across long distances not only lowers their quality and freshness, but also wreaks havoc on the planet. If you can, try to plan meals around what is in season in your local area. In this way you can buy more products that are locally grown. Seasonal fruits and veggies are also fresher and generally less expensive.

Grow It Yourself. If you are fortunate enough to have a backy ard or small plot in which you can grow your own vegetables and herbs than by all means do so. Growing your own does take a little time and know-how, but this will more than pay off in the end. Not only will you know exactly what you're getting and be saving money, but the food will not doubt taste better knowing it comes from the sweat of your own brow. Freezing, canning and storing foods for the winter will make your garden last through the changing of the seasons.

The Green Coffee Beans - Secret to the Freshest Coffee

When the canning industry was just in its infancy during the middle 19th century, eating canned food was viewed classy by many middle-class families who see the preserved delights as some sort of a novelty. Well, that was eons ago. Times have changed and people these days, regardless of socio-economic status, would rather prefer to eat fresh food.
This hype concerning freshness is certainly not unfounded. As the scientific community have become more aware of the serious health repercussions that can be incurred from devouring preservative-laced foods, it is not surprising why people nowadays want all of their food served fresh as much as possible. So deep is this I-want-it-fresh thing in Americans' psyche that we just do not stop at fresh veggies, fruits, and sea foods. We want all things fresh, including our coffee.
But enjoying a fresh cup of coffee is not an instant one-step process. You can't just go to a supermarket and pick farm fresh coffee. Well, you may argue that you there's a "fresh" label printed on the packed coffee beans languishing on the supermarket shelf. That is a sure way to a fresh cup of Joe, right? Well, it is really not. That "fresh" tag is certainly misleading. There is only one way to get a 100 percent fresh cup of coffee-and that comes with roasting your own green coffee beans.
The Green coffee is the term used to designate untasted coffee beans. How is it different from roasted ones? Well, roasting changes coffee a lot. Unroasted beans are bitter and very acidic. Roasting takes out such unwanted properties and renders coffee drinkable. It also catalyzes chemical reactions that forces enzymes inside the beans to produce characteristic coffee flavors and aroma. The negative side is that these distinctive properties of coffee do not last long once the beans were roasted. For you to enjoy coffee with fresh flavors and aroma, you would need to buy green coffee beans and roast them by yourself.
The Roasting at your home is not really a complex process. It is an art that you can learn. You do not need to buy an expensive high-end roaster. It would not make any difference at all. When it comes to proper roasting of coffee, you just need to follow basic rules: heat the beans between 370 to 540 degrees Fahrenheit; do not let the beans stay in one spot to prevent uneven roasting; and once maximum temperature is achieved, cool the beans quickly to avoid over-roasting. It may be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of home roasting, you will certainly reap the benefits of your labors every time you take a sip of coffee full of fresh flavors and aroma.

Growing Your Best Beans

For those gardeners who have never tried growing beans, you're missing out on a wonderful vegetable that's easy to grow and highly productive. They come in about as many colors, shapes and sizes as you can imagine, and no matter how big or small your garden is, chances are, there's a bean that will meet your needs. Even for gardeners who are a little behind on this year's planting, never fear. Beans can still be planted as late as June for a decent late-summer harvest. With a few easy steps, you'll be well on your way to growing your best bean plants ever.

Beans are a member of the legume family, a group of nitrogen fixing plants. This means that they have the unique ability to pull nitrogen from the air and put it into the soil. For this reason, nitrogen-loving plants like tomatoes will usually thrive in spots where bean plants resided the year prior. For extra healthy, vigorous plants, dampen the seeds and coat with nitrogen inoculant before planting. Nitrogen inoculant is a black, grainy substance that aids the plants in their early growth stages. It's very inexpensive and can be found at most specialty gardening stores. If you have leftover nitrogen inoculant at the end of the season, throw it away. You won't want to use it the next year, because most of the bacteria will have died by then. Nitrogen inoculant is only good for one planting season.

Bean plants generally fall into one of two categories: bush and pole. Bush beans are low, bushy plants that usually grow to about knee high. They are known to be highly productive, usually providing several pickings over a two to three week period. Successive plantings of bush beans will provide a continuous harvest throughout the summer. Pick pods daily to keep the plants as productive as possible. Once the plants are done producing, it's usually best to go ahead and remove them from the garden all together. Be sure to avoid handling the plants or picking pods in wet weathe r, as this will spread disease.
Pole beans come in as many sizes and varieties as bush beans; however, they are a climbing plant that grows on a trellis or other structure. Pole bean plants are known to be vigorous growers and heavy producers. When planting, it's a good idea to go ahead and install your trellis or other support structure at the same time, because the plants will grow so rapidly. Pole beans will generally produce for a longer period than bush bean plants, provided that the pods are picked while they're very young.

Aside from the two primary categories of bush and pole, bean plants can also be broken down into two other categories: snap and shell. Snap beans are those whose pods are edible. When harvesting them, you'll usually want to use the produce as quickly as possible, while they are still fresh. Use them the same day they're picked, if possible. Snap beans are wonderful steamed, baked, stir fried, or even eaten raw, and are also a good choice if you want to can some of your fresh vegetables.

Shell beans, on the other hand, are surrounded by tough, inedible pods that must be removed prior to consumption. Pinto, black, red, and kidney beans are all examples of shell beans. Harvesting these plants is a somewhat different process. Shell beans should be allowed to ripen and dry while still on the plant before harvesting. Wait until the pods turn brown and the plant begins to die. Then pull the entire plant up from the ground and put it in a hot place so it can dry out for about a week or so. At that point, you can open the pods and remove the individual beans. Spread them out on cookie sheets and place in a 175 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will kill off any potential pests. Finally, the dried beans can be stored in airtight containers. When you're ready to use, reconstitute in water overnight and cook as usual.

Beans make a wonderful addition to any home vegetable garden. If you've never grown them before, give them a try! A packet of seed will cost you only a few dollars at most, and you'll yield pounds of fresh produce for eating, canning, or drying. Anyone who has ever tasted homegrown beans knows that the result is definitely worth the effort.

Homemade Canning - Increasing and Canning Your Individual Food

For a extensive time, this posed a dilemma for hydro growers who wished to opt for organic rising approaches. But today organic and natural hydroponic fertilizers are extensively accessible, which make it doable to deliver a plant with the excellent mineral resolution, with out having to resort to non-natural and organic means. Reduced-acid veggies have to have to be canned a lot more cautiously to prevent spoilage. Even so, like fruits, the ideal garden can develop anything to can weekly or bi-weekly all 12 months-prolonged.

When setting up a residence-grown garden for canning, decide on vegetables for individual seasons:

Winter months Garden Create:


Brussels sprouts (in coastal locations)


Spring Garden Generate:



Dark leafy greens like spinach

Summertime by Drop Garden Make:

Green Beans or Lengthy Beans




Onions and Garlic



Dark Leafy Greens like Kale and Swiss Chard


Even a modest family members garden, or container garden, can create adequate to stockpile canned develop. Many of these meals can well with minimal or no earlier cooking. Simply just scrub them, chop them up, things them into a jar, pour boiling h2o over them, screw on a lid, and place them into the pressure canner. Each vegetable, vegetable mix, or relish has a specific time and recipe that wants to be followed to the letter when canning it. Failure to adhere to a recipe for the distinct meals can end result in an inedible products, or even worse, spoilage.

Other food items not described in this document are not suggested for homemade canning since the time and hard work in increasing and/or planning them tends to make it not really worth it, in particular for a starter. The fruits and veggies detailed are inclined to grow massive harvests with tiny area. And, when picked and canned appropriate away, also previous more time in the shelves and retain their flavor.

House grown generate not only tastes better, but might be much better for you considering that keep-purchased canned or new vegetables tend to shed significant nutrients the more time they sit. Furthermore, it will help save income. With the appropriate soil disorders and treatment, residence gardens can ordinarily create much more foods with significantly less expense around the same sum of food bought contemporary or canned from a grocery retailer.

Quite a few men and women are discouraged from escalating their individual food mainly because of all the time and hard work it takes to improve a garden. And most individuals do not have a plot of fertile land readily available. For most, doing work the soil, fertilizing, pulling weeds and all the get the job done just doesn't in shape into their hectic lives. But there is a way to grow food that eliminates all of this.

Aquaponics is a way of rising foods that is starting to catch on by several commercial growers, and people today who just want to mature their private foods. This system is swiftly increasing in attractiveness because it is basic, can take pretty very little time and energy, and can make a lot of meals in a extremely little room. And the fish do the perform while you are doing your unique issue.

Container Garden Vegetables For Newcomers - Vegetable Gardening in Containers

Friday, August 26, 2011

Get A Healthier, Leaner Body With Fruits and Vegetables

The unmistakable health benefits of vegetables and fruits have been documented in research studies.

For this reason, health institutes across the globe are in agreement that consumption of a minimum of five to nine servings of vegetables and fruits should be included in your daily dietary intake.

Well-known National Institutes of Health such as the USDA Food Guide Pyramid, Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute have all instituted this piece of advice for those who want a healthier lifestyle.

Consuming specific vegetables and fruits help the body in building a resistance to and protection from the world's two most frightening and debilitating ailments - cancer and heart ailments.

However, certain vegetables and fruits provide more health benefits and nutrition than others. So, in order for you to reach your pinnacle, improve your appearance and feel as good as possible, eating additional fruit s and vegetables is certainly a start, but eating specific varieties obtained through reliable suppliers will provide the highest level of nutrition and that will give you a jump start in boosting your immune system.

Which Selections Provide The Highest Nutrition?

Bananas, corn, iceberg lettuce, and potatoes rank among the more favored foods consumed today; however, while highly popular, they do not provide the body with a substantial amount of fiber and little to no antioxidant phytonutrients such as cruciferous, flavonoid and carotenoid.
Overall, these entrees are not considered particularly unhealthy, except when eaten overloaded with fat, fried or as a chip, but they are not nutritious enough to be included among the recommended five to nine servings. Nature has provided a number of varieties for you to choose from that are full of the nutrients the body needs.

To get the highest amounts of fiber, phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins make your selection from nature's most powerful vegetables, leafy varieties that are dark green in color. Chard, spinach, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, romaine lettuce, red pepper and romaine lettuce would be included in this grouping.

While virtually all fruits are good for you, peaches, oranges, red grapes, plums and berries rank highest in their body building potential.

Where Can The Ultimate Healthful Sources Be Found?

Organic produce straight from your local outlet is your best source. Getting produce from organic farms tak es it straight from their gardens to your table without the use of toxic chemicals, which is not only better for you and is more flavorful, but is better for the atmosphere as well.

Enthusiasm in organic foods has steadily been on the rise and today, it is possible to purchase high quality produce from neighborhood co-ops, farmers markets as well as a number of the larger chain markets. If a co-op is not available in your neighborhood, creating one might be a consideration.

If you are unable to locate high-quality fresh organic produce, frozen produce is generally available at a number of the larger natural food markets or grocery store chains.

As a general rule, frozen outweighs canned in quality and benefits. The canning methods often utilized successful destroy the beneficial nutrients and tend to contain high levels of sugar and salt. Frozen follows the simple process of picking, washing and freezing all within a 24 hour timeframe which helps in locking in, not only the flavor, but the health benefits as well.

What Does It All Mean?

When it's all said and done, the primary goal is to consume five to nine on a daily basis.

Doing this one simple thing each and every day will not only help ward off diseases such as heart disease and cancer, but is also beneficial in weight and blood sugar control and lowers cholesterol levels.

Once you get started, the five to nine will only be the beginning, soon you will begin to crave the sweet flavor and filling feeling the right fruits and vegetables provide.

7 Homemade Spa Treatment options from Vacation Leftovers

From turkey enchiladas, to mashed potato fritters, we're constantly seeking for methods to place our holiday leftovers to excellent use. But what if we stopped shoveling it in and started off shoveling it on? Why not nurture your dry, winter skin with seasonal eats? And don't be concerned, we're not speaking a gravy mask or mashed potato soak, these spa treatment options are so indulgent you'll neglect their former glory fully.

If you want to glow even when it's gray outdoors, antioxidant-laden meals are a need to. Clear away on your own from the rush of the holiday season and program a DIY spa day with foods leftover from a holiday of indulgent eats. You'll really feel refreshed and prepared to get on the New Year.

1. Pumpkin Enzyme Masque
You built way too a lot pumpkin pur??e for that joyous pumpkin pie, homemade pumpkin pasta, or creamy pumpkin bisque but don't fret due to the fact it's the major ingredient to this soothing Pumpkin Enzyme Mas que. Also, pumpkin helps battle the dry winter air with Nutritional vitamins A and C, as nicely as zinc and helpful alpha-hydroxy acids. I would go with homemade pumpkin pur??e so that you know that your pur??e didn't shed any important enzymes for the duration of the canning course of action.

Pumpkin Enzyme Masque
? cup pumpkin pur??e
1 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tsp grated fresh new ginger
3 tsp honey
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Combine all the elements collectively in a blender or with a wooden spoon. Use a thick layer all more than your encounter, getting mindful to stay clear of the eyes and mouth. Keep it on your deal with for about 10 minutes and then gently eliminate with a wash cloth and warm soapy h2o.

2. Homemade Cranberry Lip Gloss Place aside some refreshing cranberries from this year's cranberry sauce or cranberry salsa and make this antioxidant-prosperous lip gloss. Cranberries add a hint of vacation colour and they moisturize your lips all the way down to the mobile stage. You'll be licking your lips all holiday extended.

Homemade Cranberry Lip Gloss
1 tbsp almond oil
1 tsp plain yogurt
1 tsp honey
1 tsp petroleum jelly
10 clean cranberries

1. Warmth in a h2o bath until the mixture starts to boil.
2. Stir gently to mash berries and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Strain the combination by way of a great sieve.
Recipe: Cosmetic Diary

3. DIY Pomegranate Physique Scrub
I enjoy dropping pomegranate seeds into the bottom of champagne flutes, adding them to uncomplicated salads, or seasonal salsas. Pomegranate seeds are most definitely the jewels of the season and not just simply because they're lovely. The rough seeds and potent dose of antioxidants are also excellent for exfoliating dry winter skin and bringing smooth, more youthful seeking skin to the surface. Start off with an oil base, add raw sugar, and honey for added exfoliation and moisture. Add fragrance with orange peel and of program, a great dose of pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranate Entire body Scrub
2 tbsp avocado oil
2 tbsp raw sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp orange peel
1 tbsp pomegranate seeds

Mix mixture entirely. Apply to your skin with a wash cloth or loofah. Gently scrub your encounter and then rinse with warm h2o.

4. Cinnamon and Nutmeg Acne Mask
Nutmeg has anti-inflammatory characteristics so it assists to calm flare-ups as nicely as decrease redness of acne scars. Cinnamon is a organic exfoliant as nicely and it's also identified for its antiseptic characteristics. Mixed with moisturizing honey, it serves to calm your screaming skin.

Cinnamon a nd Nutmeg Acne Masque
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp floor nutmeg
1 tsp honey

Mix into a thick paste. Apply to your encounter for fifty percent an hour and then rinse off with warm water. Moisturize as per common afterwards.
Recipe: Viva Females

5. DIY Pumpkin Foot Scrub
Sheila wrote about this pumpkin foot scrub which is a welcomed deal with in the course of the winter when our feet are frequently abused. Stuffed into confining boots, dried out, and lacking a pedicure, we usually neglect our poor feet when it's cold outside. Right after several months of neglect, my feet sure looked scary, but this pumpkin foot scrub soothed them down to the core.

6. Potato Beneath Eye Soothers
Received a number of leftover potato slices from these tasty mashed potatoes? Related to cucumbers, you can soothe dark, below-eye circles, by wrapping a slice of potato in sterilized gauze or a thin cloth and placing it on dark circles for a number of minutes a day.

7. Mulled-Cider Sachets
Aromatherapy is useful for strain reduction, which is critical to seeking fresh, even when it appears you don't have a moment to oneself. You could give these mulled cider sachets away as presents like Actual Straightforward suggests, or you could indulge in some really serious scent remedy by yourself prior to hitting the road to grandma's property. Pack them in your bag, underneath your pillow, or just hold them close by for instant calm.

How to Organize Your Favorite Recipes

Recipes: Most of us have a collection of family recipes we like to use and some we would like to try. Getting those recipes organized can be a challenge. Try creating your own family recipe book. Take an ordinary binder and add page protectors for full page ones and photo album inserts that will fit other sizes. These will help protect them from splattered ingredients and is a great way to hold them in place.

Another way to add recipes to your binder is to use ordinary loose leaf paper so you can tape each one to the papers inside the binder. Use whatever works to keep them in place. You can also insert dividers to separate each one into categories. Some category suggestions are... Appetizers & Snacks, Beverages, Breads, Cakes & Frostings, Candy & Ice Creams, Cookies, Desserts, Eggs, Cheese, Legumes/Casseroles, Fish & Shell Fish, Freezing & Canning, Meat & Lasagnas, Pasta, Rice & Grains, Pies & Pizza, Poultry & Chicken Entrees, Salads & Dressings, Sauces, Relishes, Salsas & Dips, Soups, Stews & Stir Fry, Vegetables, Special Helps and Miscellaneous. Binders can be very useful because they can easily be updated by adding or removing recipes at any time.

It also helps to write comments on or next to the recipes that you have tried (who liked them and how good it was on a scale of 1 - 10). Toss out the ones that no one liked; why keep them? Try to set aside one night each week to try a new recipe and see how fast you go through all those recipes you've always wanted to try. After you have tried each new recipe, immediately choose another recipe to try, that way you will have time to shop for the ingredients before you try out the next one the following week.

Check the Nutrition Value of Canned Food

Canned is a method of preserving food in which the food is processed and sealed in an airtight container. The packing prevents microorganisms from entering and proliferating. To prevent the food from being spoiled before and during containment, quite a number of methods are used such as pasteurization, boiling, freezing, refrigeration, drying, vacuum, antimicrobial agents, treatment that are natural to the recipe of the foodstuff being preserved, a sufficient dose of ionizing radiation, submersion in a strongly saline, base, acid, osmotically extreme or other microbe-challenging atmosphere.

No such method is perfectly dependable as a preservative. Foods that must be pressure canned include most vegetable, tomato products, meats, seafood, and diary products. The only food that might be safely canned in an ordinary boiling water bath are highly acidic one with a pH below 4.6 include fruits, pickled vegetables, or other foods to which acidic additives have been ad ded. Most common canned food which is most demanded in the market are:
Canned tomato products - Canned tomato soup is the most demanded product in the market. It can be made from chunks of tomato or with only a puree. The canned condensed version of the soup is one of the leading styles in U.S. Many toppings can also be used, such as sour cream, crackers, shredded cheese, or salsa.

Canned vegetables - Canned vegetable, another most demanded product among canned products. People in U.S. and U.K. usually ask for canned vegetables as they are easy to prepare and considered as quick meal. Canned vegetables are cheap to make and buy.

Nutrition Values of Canned Food

Canning is a way of food processing to extend the shelf life of some food products. The idea is to make food available and edible considerable long after the processing time. Although canned foods are most likely assumed as low nutrition food due to some heating process and addition to preservatives, some canned foods are in fact better in nutr itive value in comparison to natural food. For instance, canned tomato products have better lycopene that is more readily available upon digestion.

Viele and Sons, a well known name associated with California restaurant supply, offering broad range of canned products like canned tomato products, canned vegetables, canned soup, etc., as per your needs.

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

With many of us facing greater financial challenges this year than last, Christmas gift shopping poses a real threat to our budget and wallets. We still want the holidays to be memorable for our families, yet how do we strike that critical balance between giving the perfect gift and still staying within your budget? The answer might be easier than you think; homemade Christmas gifts are a way for you to give the best of yourself and your talents to those you love. Homemade gifts are often more treasured by the recipient than a purchased item because they show you put in a lot of thought and effort, and thus they hold more sentimental value.

If you'd like to try your hand at making some homemade Christmas gifts this year, but aren't sure where to start, let your hobbies and talents be your guide. What things are you good at? We've got a list of ideas to get you started.

If you are a gardener, you have a talent that many people envy. The holidays are a great time for you to share the fruits of your labor with those you love. If you grow produce, consider canning some of it at the end of the summer to give as Christmas gifts. Homemade tomato sauces, ketchup, or salsa are all good options. For the flower gardener, dried or pressed flower blossoms make wonderful crafts for use in bookmarks, wreaths, and arrangements. You could also give pots of bulbs that will bloom in late winter or early spring.

Cooks or Bakers:
Baked goods are always a great gift and are fun to present in a tin, basket, or on a pretty gift plate. Another fun option is a homemade food basket with recipes and some pre-made mixes that will allow the recipient to make a meal. For the elderly or new parents, pre-made frozen dinners and casseroles are also greatly appreciated.

Homemade gift ideas from someone who enjoys woodworking are almost endless. Toys make beautiful heirlooms that can be passed down from generation to generation. Cutting boards are a nice gift for families, as are coaster sets and keepsake wooden boxes.

If you know your way around a needle and thread, you can really get a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to Christmas gifts. For a mother and daughter, consider matching aprons. Unique and fashionable homemade purses or bags also made a great fit for the women on your lis t. Children enjoy stuffed animals, personalized placemats, or special quilts.

Scrapbooks or memory books for loved ones make treasured gifts, especially if they record a special event, such as the birth of a baby or a wedding in the family. Other gift ideas might include homemade gift cards featuring photos of loved ones.

Computer Whiz:
For those of us who aren't crafty with our hands, but who are very techno-savvy, consider making family calendars on the computer to give away as gifts. The calendars can feature family photos and notations for birthdays, anniversaries, and other important family events. Another idea, if you have the equipment, would be to take old family movies that are on VHS and transfer them to DVD. A gift set of all the family's home movies can be made and given to each family member.

We all have a talent or the ability to create special gift items that others will appreciate. All we have to do is pull on our own unique talents and hobbies, add a little imagination, and anyone can create lasting memories for both the giver and recipient!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Two Types of Tasty Tomatoes

The tomato is the most popular plant in gardens around the world. Originally a tropical fruit, they can now be grown by nearly everyone, just about anywhere. Store-bought tomatoes can only dream of having the fresh, sweet taste of a ripe tomato from your own garden. There are two major types of tomato plants determinate and indeterminate. Which one is better for you depends on your growing conditions and what kinds of tomatoes you want from your garden.

Determinate tomato plants are sometimes called "bush" tomatoes. The typically grow to approximately four feet in height and don't necessarily require caging or staking, though it can help. The plants stop growing with the fruit sets on the top or terminal bud and the tomatoes will ripen at approximately the same time, usually within a two week period, then they will die off.

Since all the fruits ripen around the same time, determinate tomatoes are popular for those making and canning tomato sauce, salsa and other tomato-based foods. It's much easier to cook up all your tomatoes at once rather than spread the process out over the entire season.

Determinate tomato plants should not be pruned as it severely reduces the crop. Some popular varieties are Roma, Rutgers and Marglobe. Because of their relatively compact size they are recommended for containers, and do best in containers at least five or six gallons in size. Many people use five gallon plastic buckets, which are cheap and readily available.

Indeterminate tomato plants are also called "vining" tomatoes. They will keep growing and making tomatoes until they die off from frost or other external reasons. They can reach heights of over ten feet and need cages, stakes or other forms of support. Unlike determinate tomatoes, the plants will bloom, create fruit and ripen fruit all at the same time.
Pruning and removal of suckers is usually recommended thought not mandatory. Experiment and see which works for you. One method might work better or worse depending on growing conditions. Popular varieties of indeterminate tomatoes include Big Boy, Beef Master, Early Girl and most heirloom varieties.

Because of their size and need for sturdy support, indeterminate type tomatoes are best in a regular garden. Remember that they will grow quite high and block the sun. Many people plant them along a fence and tie the plants to the fence to support them.

Now that you know the difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes you can scour your gardening catalogs or your local nursery and find varieties that will work best for your garden and your taste buds!

Homemade Canning - Best Foods To Can When Just Getting Started With Home Canning

Home canning is the best way to capture the fresh taste, flavor and nutrients of the local foods. Food preservation is not a complicated affair. It has a simple procedure, which is easy, and you also need not worry about the food being spoiled if stored for a long time. The advantage of enjoying the preserved foods is that you can even have it off-season and it is not expensive if canned at home.
It will help you save a lot of your money and also you will feed your family a healthy food compared to the market canned which has preservatives added to it. Home canning also makes you more self reliant in terms of any short supply in the market or bad weather conditions when you cannot drive to the store. You also retain the nutritional values of the canned products. Being a very economical and healthier option, thousands of people have picked up home preserving procedures.
If you are a beginner and doing the canning for the first time, than it is very important that you do it correctly and should know the recipes and procedures for preserving. For home canning of foods, canning tomato sauce and canning beans are great starters. Tomato sauce is used as a taste and flavor adder therefore; it is used throughout the year. Home canned tomato sauce is cheaper and as healthier as that available in the market. Most of the tomato sauce at grocery stores has lot of sugars and additives and which is why many people prefer home food preservation.
Applesauce is also a good choice especially for the beginners as it is easy to can and do not require any specific skills to get started. When canning applesauce, do not make the mistake of peeling the skin off as it contains lots of nutritional value.
Canning is the best way for preserving fruits and vegetables. Boling water method is best when preserving peaches at home. Follow the right home canning recipe and enjoy the peaches even during the off seasons. Beginners can also try canning beets. It is a simple recipe and can be easily done. Depending on your personal choice, for beet preserving you can either use the water bath method or pressure canning methods. A good surprise is that a canned beet tastes even better than the actual fresh beets. The canned beets retain their nutritional value for two years.
Jelly is the fruit spread, which contains sweetened fruits or vegetable juices. The home canned jellies are the best way of enjoying a wholesome, chemical free food throughout the year. The recipe and procedure of canning jelly at home makes it totally healthy and hygienic. Jellies can be canned and stored for many years adding good taste to your meals. During winters, soups are the most liked and popular dish.
Soup is also a very good idea, which saves you time and money in winters. It is always better to can clear soups and ingredients like thickeners, oils, noodles should be avoided. Soups should be kept in pressure containers and do not require any refrigeration for several months.
Today homemade canning has become the most essential part of our kitchen duties. It helps us stay self-reliance and is a good way of eating healthy food. Home canning of fruits and vegetables will allow us to have a chemical free healthy meal at a very low price.