Category: HEALTH #1 Proven Solved Solutions To Survival & Relieves

Why Dehydrate Food?

Why Dehydrate Food?

Dehydrated foods are a staple among hikers and backpackers because it’s tasty and has a long shelf-life. You can mix and match depending on what you want to eat while on a hike and keep a fully stocked ‘pantry’ in your pack. Meat, fruits, veggies, herbs and so on provide ample variety while out and about. With that said, the question arises:

Is dehydrated food good for you? Yes, but only in moderation. As tasty as dehydrated foods can be, it’s not wise to eat too much at one time. The calorie content in dehydrated foods is extremely high; they also have high sugar and sodium content. This is particularly true when dealing with commercially produced dehydrated foods.

Dehydrating food involves removing the moisture in order to preserve it. Removing the moisture makes it difficult for bacteria to grow and spoil the food. This preserves the food long past its normal shelf-life.

Dehydrated foods can also be healthier snacks than what you’d normally munch on. They also tend to be more flavorful as the moisture which would’ve diluted the taste a bit isn’t there anymore.

They can be added to salads, trail mixes, smoothies, and other foods. A personal favorite of mine is to take sliced biltong, and sprinkling a bit of that into a bowl of instant noodles.

There are a variety of benefits associated with dehydrated food:

Like a coin, there are positives and negatives associated with dehydrated food:

So, the final answer is yes, but only in moderation. As tasty as dehydrated foods can be, it’s not wise to eat too much at one time.

The calorie content increases substantially when food is dehydrated, and these calories tend to stack up quite a bit – particularly if you’re noshing on dehydrated snack foods throughout the day. This can lead to what’s called a caloric surplus; essentially your body has more calories than it burns.

The high salt and sugar levels may cause some serious health-related issues. This is true of both commercially produced dehydrated foods, and home dehydrated foods. Commercially dehydrated foods tend to use artificial/chemical preservatives to prolong the shelf-life and add to the flavor.

I hope you enjoyed and found the article informative. In closing, I’d like to say, as always, thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you for the next one! Take care, and watch those munchies!

Greg spent most of his childhood in camping grounds and on hiking trails. While he lives in suburbs nowadays, Greg was raised on a small farm with chickens. He’s a decent shot with a bow, and a knife enthusiast.

If there’s a food shortage and you’re hungry, anything edible will do. If there’s a lot of work and walking and sweating, the sodium and carbs will be needed. We have to quit thinking like spoiled children and more about survival. Food will probably be rationed so the daily needs would be met in one meal or less than we would normally have. Having heat cramps from low sodium is painful. Being hungry is painful.

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Elderberry Shrubs

Elderberry Shrubs

With the rainy days sweeping through our forecasts with the warmer temperatures, the soil is moistening and loosening up for the new planting season.

Permaculture gardening is about more than just letting nature do most of the work for us, it is also about working with nature for the Earth’s well-being. Permaculture is about giving back to the Earth, and replenishing resources as much as possible, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t receive rewards for our hard work too, right?

Going into this new gardening season, whether you are starting fresh or planning to reorganize your zones, think about include some of these twelve trees and shrubs that will give more than you might expect.

Elderberries and elderberry syrup have skyrocketed in popularity and accessibility in the past few years, making this one of many bountiful additions to your garden. The elderberry, or “sambucus”, species comes in a variety of types and forms, as there are both elderberry trees and elderberry shrubs.

Elderberries are most often depicted as the dark-blue/indigo orbs we see printed on product labels in stores, but elderberries can also be a striking red color. These berries have been around for centuries, as early as 400 A.D. during Hippocrates time, and were referred to as nature’s medicine chest.

Elderberry plants are native to the entire North America continent and can thrive in a wide range of climates, growing in an approximate five to ten feet in height.

The elderberry plant is one of the easiest to plant and grow, and worth the wait to raise on your own to save a nice chunk of change. You can start the propagation either from seed or from cuttings, the easier of the two options being fresh cuttings.

Aside from the abundant benefits to our wellbeing, the leaves and flowers are great for pollinators, so it is recommended that you plant more than one shrub or tree to increase the pollination benefits.

Elderberries are extremely high in Vitamin C, and are most often boiled down into a syrup for aid the immune system all year long. Be observant when you plan to harvest these berries, as unripe berries contain high doses of precursors to cyanide.

Elderberries are also high in tannins, potassium, phenols, and flavonoids, which make any jellies, pies, or syrups made with elderberries a nutritious treat.

But be ready to prepare your goods as soon as you harvest the berries, as they ferment quickly once picked (unless you decide to make wine, which is a popular use of elderberries in Europe).

Witch hazel, also known as Hamamelis, is a shrub native to North America that has a tremendous reputation for its medicinal properties. This large shrub can grow up to between 10 and 25 feet (3 to 7.5 meters)high and bloom with fragrant flowers during the months of October to December.

The flowers give off a citrus scent and a beautiful orange fall color, with the shrub’s bark being the primary source of the cosmetic and medicinal benefits. This plant grows its best in full sun, rich soil, and regular watering (mulch is helpful in retaining moisture!).

What’s interesting about witch hazel, besides its medicinal properties, is the history and folklore behind the plant. Branches of witch hazel were traditionally used as “divining rods” that would aid in the finding of water sources beneath the surface.

The name often contributes to the magical thinking behind the plant, but name actually relates to another plant. The term “witch” stems from the olde English term “wych”, which means “bendable”, and the name carried over because the witch hazel tree looks similar to the European Wych Elm.

I have relied on the bottle of witch hazel astringent in my medicine cabinet whenever I get a bad scrape or cut (often from gardening or cooking), so having a primary fresh source is a great aid for first aid.

This variety of willow is tall, approximating a height around 80 feet, and graceful, with silvery green underneath the leaves.

While this tree is not native to the country, cultivation of this majestic white willow began in the United States around the 1700s, and the popularity surrounding this variety stems from the longevity of the leaves, as it blooms early in the spring and stays until the very end of fall.

The width of this tree can reach up to 70 feet in diameter, and is fast-growing with low hanging branches. White willow thrives best in moist soil, with a pH range of 5.5 and 8.0, but can also grow in clay-like soils and flood-prone areas.

Willow trees are great providers of a variety of resources, including building materials, medicine, energy, and environmental uses. The wood from the white willow tree is flexible, making it a wonderful choice for furniture and wooden additions, such as tool handles.

Here is a fun fact about this tree, too: white willow timber was used during ancient times to make bows and arrows. While the wide crown of the tree offers tremendous shade, the branches are also great for making wicker baskets.

While white willow is a short-lived tree, it is easy to propagate from clippings, which makes this tree a great option as an energy resource, including biofuels and biodegradable plastics. In the environment, willow is able to clear toxins from contaminated sites, filter wastewater contaminants, reconstruct wetlands, and be used as feed for livestock.

Willow trees are actually a source of an active ingredient in aspirin called salacin and is one of the benefits to this plant.

Ginkgo is a tree native to China that grows in zones 4 to 9, full sun or partial shade, and sandy, well-drained soil. This tree has fun fan-shaped leaves, which inspired the tree to be referred to as “maidenhair”, which relates to the maidenhair fern.

At full maturity, ginkgo can reach a height of up to 80 feet with a width of up to 40 feet. It’s important to keep in mind that this tree struggles in hot, dry climates.

But don’t be fooled, this is an ancient tree dating back 270 million years of age, and with a hardiness that withstood the blast in Hiroshima, Japan. Once the tree matures, the ginkgo tree can reside there in good health for up to 3,000 years.

Ginkgo has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 1,000 years, and migrated into Western cultures in recent centuries. Thus, there are a wide variety of ailments that ginkgo has been used to aid in the treatment of, but it’s effectiveness in medicinal purposes come down to its anti-inflammatory properties and high antioxidant count.

A fresh source is the best source, but do not eat the seeds or unprocessed ginkgo leaves since both are toxic. What makes this an attractive addition to the homestead is the ginkgo tree’s ability to ward off pests and insects, while being highly resistance to droughts, disease, and pollution.

White oak is an important tree in North America for its strong timber, and is one of the best sources of food for wildlife, especially birds and deer. The white oak tree grows to be around 50 to 80 feet, with a width span of around 50 to 80 feet at full maturity.

This tree grows best in full sun and partial shade, with only needing around four hours of total sun exposure a day. When planting a white oak, make sure to provide moist, well-drained soil that can accommodate the tree’s strong roots. The white oak prefers slightly acidic soil, whereas it is intolerant to alkaline soil.

While there are other varieties of oak that produce acorns, white oak acorns are seemingly more enjoyed by wildlife than red oak acorns, especially for our native squirrel populations.

Other animals that seek out the fruit from the white oak include wild turkeys, ducks, quail, woodpeckers, pigeons, chipmunks, raccoons, and bears. Any acorns that are left forgotten on the ground are then carried off by the wind to propagate new white oak trees.

Wildlife aren’t the only ones who can enjoy the white oak acorns, but before any human can ingest them, the acorns should be boiled rigorously due to the tannic acid content. The acorns can even be dried and ground into flour!

Hawthorn is thorny tree that belongs to the rose family, with over 280 varieties across the globe. In the spring, this tree blooms with either white or pink flowers that will later turn into the well-known red berries in the fall.

Most of the varieties of the hawthorn tree grow to be around 15 to 30 feet tall (that’s around 6 meters). If you are a bird-lover and enjoy listening to the various tunes of songbirds, this shrub is a big attractor for songbirds in the fall and winter because they love the ripe berries.

The parts used for their edibility include the young leaves, berries, and flowers. The harvest time for flowers and leaves takes place in April and May, while berry-harvesting time takes place in late September to October.

To tell when the berries are ripened, check the texture, which should feel similarly to the skin of an avocado, and check for a five-pointed star shape at the bottom of each berry. The taste of ripe hawthorn berries should have an apple-like taste.

When harvesting any portions of this plant, be careful of the thorns that decorate the branches, as they can reach a length of up to 1 inch / 2.5 centimeters.

The black walnut tree is popular not only for its timber, but also the nuts that grow on it. It is a native tree in the eastern side of the United States, particularly the state of Virginia, that takes upward of 40 to 50 years to reach full maturity.

While the length of growth is long, these trees are exceptionally valuable due to the variety of resources they produce. The estimated value of the lumber of black walnut trees alone makes them an attractive resource to care for, reaching a price of $100,000.

Nut trees in general, including the black walnut, are great trees for producing shade, and are great trees to incorporate into wind breaks. Because of these qualities, black walnut trees are considered a bountiful investment for future generations.

Black walnut trees contain allelochemicals, which makes the tree toxic to neighboring plants, while they also enhance the tree’s ability to survive.

The zone of the toxicity reaches up to 60 inches, but the effects can be reduced by maintaining the ground beneath the tree by removing fallen leaves and fruit, and just generally cleaning up the area.

Tolerant plants of the black walnut include: elderberry, black raspberry, hawthorn, aster, bee balm, goldenrod, marigold, sunflower, yarrow, melons, squashes, peach trees, cherry trees, and pear trees to name a few. Be aware that the nuts from the black walnut may damage the gentler plants.

The nuts contain tannins, which produce anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. While the nut is difficult to extract, the other micronutrients are plentiful, including essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and linolenic acid.

Other nutrients include magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and selenium. It does take some finesse to use black walnuts, however.

Birch trees come in 18 different varieties, each with there own growth expectations and appearances. The one that comes to mind for most is the paper or white birch tree, with its peeling paper-like bark, and is native to North America.

Other varieties of birch include black/cherry birch, river birch, gray birch, and yellow birch, which are all native the United States. Choose accordingly for your zone range, as the white birch tree grows in zones 2 to 6, while rive birch grows best in zones 4 to 9.

Birch trees are incredibly versatile, as they can be used for food, tinder and kindling, and even be processed into tar.

While select pieces can be foraged, if there are birch trees near your location, it is often better for the trees and environment if you add a tree or two to you garden, as then the harvesting is controlled to your home and is a beautiful statement plant to your yard.

Plant your choice of birch in locations where the soil would remain cool, yet where the canopy will receive plenty of sunlight. You can also plant birch trees in singles or in groups.

The sap tapped from birch trees contains betulinic acid, which has anti-tumor properties. The sap has also been traditionally tapped as a source of nutrients, now commonly known for its diuretic, detoxifying, purifying, and cleansing properties. The taste is said to be similar to water, but with a sweetness to it.

The nutrients the sap contains includes: 17 amino acids, minerals, enzymes, proteins, vitamins C and B, and antioxidants. The sap can be consumed fresh from the tree, or be made into syrup, wine, beer, mead, and vinegar.

The slippery elm tree is quite well known for its medicinal properties. This tree is native to both eastern Canada and the eastern and central United States, most commonly found within the Appalachian Mountains.

The bark is similar in color to the white birch tree, with a grayish white appearance, and a reddish-brown trunk underneath. During springtime, brown buds with bloom in small clusters at the end of the branches. Other names that you might hear include red elm, Indian elm, sweet elm and moose elm.

Traditionally, slipper elm trees were used to build canoes, shelter, and baskets. As far back as the 1700s, during the American Revolution, the mucilage the trunk produced during the spring and the leaves were often used against wounds.

Pine trees are a great option to grow if you are in need of building shaded areas in your garden. Evergreen plants are always a welcome plant in gardens because of how resilient they are and how they still offer a sighting of green and growth even in the depths of a blizzard.

There is an overabundance of various pine species, amounting to over 100 types. The most common varieties in North America include: eastern white pine, western white pine, sugar pine, red pine, pitch pine, jack pine, longleaf pine, and shortleaf pine to name a few.

All of these types have pine needle that grow in bundles of 2 to 5, which drop as the tree continue to grow and age. There are also two types of pinecones; one that produces pollen and the other than develops and drops seeds.

There are separate uses and benefits for the needles and nuts. The needles naturally suppress weeds from growing beneath the tree, which if you choose to plant tolerant companion plants, this is an added benefit.

The needles can be processed into a mulch, which will keep plants cool in the summertime and well-insulated in the winter. The mulch also helps to retain moisture, for the plants that can handle a more acidic soil. Pine needles can also be made into a simple tea, which is commonly drank during the cold and flu seasons.

Pine nuts have a subtle sweet taste and are often expensive to buy in bulk or from a health store, so home-grown is a great benefit. While small, it is still worth harvesting the seeds due to their health benefits.

Benefits include: fighting inflammation, maintaining eye health, reduced cancer risk, energy booster, immunity strengthening, maintaining brain health, decrease in heart disease risk, and digestion promotion.

Yes, this buzz-word fast-growing resource would be a great addition to any garden. This easily recognizable plant has been a well-known eco-friendly resource that is versatile both in home and industry, in DIY crafts and the garden.

Bamboo absorbs more carbon dioxide than most plants, and also produces more oxygen than most plants. Bamboo fully matures within seven years, and can be processed into hardy building materials, becoming a popular alternative to wood, which is steadily depleting in population by the day. Bamboo is also a great water purification tool for the home.

Bamboo shoots and leaves are edible, providing nutrients and other health benefits. The shoots and leaves are a great source of antioxidants, aids in digestion, acts as a mood booster, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory, and a diuretic.

Bamboo is in general a highly nutritious plant, rich in phytochemicals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and fiber.

In the home or in the garden, bamboo is a great purifying of both air and soil, being able to remove harmful metals and other toxins from water and soil. Some varieties of bamboo are cold hardy, if you live in colder climates then bamboo is still a great option for your garden with over 1,500 varieties to choose from.

Native to the northern hemisphere, hazelnut trees thrive in full sunlit areas and produce hearty, delicious nuts. These versatile trees grow in USDA zones 4 to 9, to a height range of 8 to 20 feet with a width spread of up to 15 feet.

Hazelnut trees are also easily pruned that are not difficult to grow. They grow in most soil types when they are well-drained and of light pH levels (about 5.5 to 7.5).

For pollination, it is best to plant tow or more varieties. Hazelnut trees are also a great source of pollen for pollinators, as the pollen-bearing catkins are available as soon as late January to late March.

Hazelnut trees offer wind breakage and diversity for more wildlife in your permaculture garden. They also act as a buffer for streams and wetlands, helping to protect these water sources from erosion and chemical runoff. Wildlife that is attracted to these trees include squirrels, deer, turkey, woodpeckers, pheasants, quail, and jay birds.

The nuts themselves are of great nutritional value, containing traces of vitamins E and B6, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Hazelnuts are also a good source for omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, in addition to antioxidants.

If you want to have a beneficial permaculture landscape, now is the time to plan it and get started. Any of the shrubs and trees discussed here would make great additions to your homestead’s sustainable, useful landscape.

So, do a little research, and transform you’re your yard and fields into something healthy and beneficial for everything around you!

When Tom Harkins is not busy doing emergency repairs to his 200 year-old New England home, he tries to send all of his time gardening, home brewing, foraging, and taking care of his ever-growing flock of chickens, turkey and geese.

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Elderberry Shrubs

Research & References of Elderberry Shrubs|A&C Accounting And Tax Services
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Natural Cleaner Ingredients

Natural Cleaner Ingredients

Common Sense Home

Using sound judgment to be more self-reliant.

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Our recipes for natural cleaners can do more than clean, they can also save you a lot of money. They are easy to make and effective. If you can cook or follow a simple recipe, you can make your own natural cleaners.

Contents

Any household cleaner should do two things:

I’d like to add a third thing, but it’s not necessarily a requirement. I also like it when things smell clean and fresh.

Cleaners should not cause breathing issues and asthma attacks, skin or eye irritations, damage brain function with neurotoxins, poison children, or contaminate our water and soil. Too many grocery store bought cleaners are filled with toxic ingredients.

Your cleaners shouldn’t be making you and the planet sick in order to have a clean house. There’s a better way to clean and I’ll share how easy it is.

The best part about making your own natural cleaners is many of us already have most of the ingredients on hand, so there is little need to buy special equipment or supplies. These ingredients are biodegradable and don’t contain petrochemicals or harmful toxins. 

Shopping List

It’s one thing for me to give you a recipe and say ‘use this to clean this’ but it’s another thing to know the reason behind it. 

I’ve found over the years that the ‘reason’ behind why I make everything from scratch is that it helps keep me motivated and gives me drive during the times in my life when I want to take shortcuts. It also helps me educate others who may be looking for eco-friendly alternatives and want to make their own natural cleaning products. 

Vinegar can be used as a disinfectant and as a general cleaner. It kills odors, fungus, and breaks down grease. Some of the Pathogens vinegar can kill are nasty buggers such as E.coli, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes. 

Salt kills bacteria and is a wonderful ingredient to clean baked on foods or tough stains. 

Lemon Juice and/or Citrus Essential Oils are antimicrobials and growth inhibitors to some bacteria. 

Herbs and Essential Oils are known to have antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and medicinal properties. When combined with vinegar, alcohol, or baking soda, they create a powerhouse natural cleaner. 

Truth be told, you don’t need ten different cleaners for your home. Your homemade natural kitchen cleaner will perform amazing in the kitchen and in the bathroom. Of course, don’t tell the commercial cleaner industry that – they want to keep selling you multiple products. 

One word of caution when using citrus oils…  Citrus oils can eat plastic, so you may want to use a glass spray bottle for long term storage of cleaners that contain citrus oils. I use a 16 oz glass spray bottle for all of my cleaners. 

In addition eating plastic over time, essential oils can remove varnish from wood. Be careful when using essential oils with wood surfaces. 

This is a great natural cleaner for stainless steel and countertops.

Ingredients

Essential Oils To Try:

Directions

Note: If you’re concerned about vinegar residue on stainless steel, follow up with a damp cloth wipe down, then buff dry.

This works great as a natural window cleaner, or for mirrors and other glass.

Ingredients

Directions

Ingredients

Directions

Here are three natural cleaner options for the toilet bowl. One is for general cleaning, one for stubborn stains, and one for hard water buildup.

Ingredients

Directions

Overnight toilet cleaner: Sprinkle a cup or borax around the inside of the toilet. Spritz with vinegar and let rest overnight. Scrub with a toilet brush and flush.

For really tough toilet rings, try drywall sanding sheets. They buff off hard water rings so well your toilet may look like new.

This natural cleaner is great for removing soap scum and mildew in the tub or shower.

Ingredients

Directions

We don’t have a microwave at our off grid cabin, but for those who do, this tip is for you – use steam.

Combine 1/2 cup lemon juice with one cup water in a microwave safe glass container. Place the container in the microwave and cook until it gets nice and steamy. Let sit until cooled, and then wipe down the inside of the microwave.

The steam helps to loosen the gook, and the citrus does double duty to fight bacteria and remove odors. You can use your no sew kitchen scrubbies made from produce bags to scrub off stuck food.

A garbage disposal is another thing we don’t have in our kitchen, but they can be a major source of kitchen odors.

For a simple garbage disposal cleaner, run some citrus peels through the disposal with plenty of cold water. Contrary to some claims, ice cubes do not sharpen your disposal blades, but they can help clear stuck on debris.

If you don’t have citrus peels, you can make ice cubes with lemon juice or vinegar and run them through the disposal to clean and freshen.

Ingredients

Directions

Essential Oils To Try:

Be sure to visit the Green Home page for a full list of our eco friendly home tips, cleaning ideas, and safe pest deterrents, including:

Natural Stove Cleaners, Plus Tips for Removing Baked on Grime

Best Odor Eliminators for the Refrigerator, Freezer, Carpets, and More

6 Ways to Get the Musty Smell Out of Clothes and Towels

How to Remove Hard Water Buildup from Faucets and Showerheads

How to Get Rid of Fleas (Non-Toxic, Pet Safe Options)

Resources: 

This post is by Amber Bradshaw of My Homestead Life. Amber and her family live off grid on forty-six acres in the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.

Originally published in 2013, last updated in 2021.

Momwithaprep says

June 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm

We use tea tree oil in our general cleaners for the added antibacterial qualities!

Katherine Rusler-Davis says

June 22, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I enjoy reading your posts and am just getting started in trying to switch over to all organic. My husband is dragging his feet though I hope to get him to come around soon.
Thank you for all the hard work you do to help everyone that wants it to live a better life.

CommonSenseIdea says

June 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Thank you, Katherine. Small changes add up over time, so don’t fret if your husband isn’t on board right away. I was just thinking this past week how much I’ve changed my cooking and cleaning habits from when we were first married. It’s like night and day. 🙂

Mardelle says

November 29, 2014 at 11:06 am

I do one thing at a time. When my family gets used to that one change, I make another. They don’t realize how many changes have taken place over time!

Laurie Neverman says

November 30, 2014 at 12:56 pm

And you know the changes have “stuck” when you see the kids start telling other people about them. 😉

Zena says

July 21, 2013 at 1:07 am

For air freshener, dissolve baking soda in water, then add your essential oils. The baking soda will help neutralize odors in the air/furniture/etc. Be sure to shake well each time you spray.

CommonSenseIdea says

July 21, 2013 at 10:22 am

Thanks, Zena.

cheryl says

August 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm

If you dissolve the oils in alcohol ( rubbing alcohol or vodka) rather than water you will get a better, longer lasting smell!

gwyn says

December 6, 2013 at 4:26 am

what ratio do you use on these ingredients?

Laurie Neverman says

December 6, 2013 at 11:39 am

This article http://voices.yahoo.com/how-natural-air-freshener-room-spray-3397718.html suggests:

“Pour some alcohol or vodka into the spray bottle – about one to two tablespoons. Then put your essential oil or fragrance oil drops in. You can experiment with how strong you want it to smell. I usually put 25 – 35 drops. Put the lid on, and shake it up for a few seconds for the oil to dissolve. Then, fill it all the way up with water.

You now have your own all purpose room spray and air freshener.”

They use rubbing alcohol for a room freshener, vodka anything that might be in contact with the skin.

Trilby Bias says

November 9, 2014 at 3:44 pm

For an all-purpose cleaner, some recipes call for 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. However, your recipe calls for 1 part vinegar to 8 parts water. Why is there such a discrepancy to ratios?

Also, what is the purpose for essential oil? Is it simply to make the cleaner smell nice or does it have cleaning benefits?

In addition, what is the benefit to baking soda and why is it included in some recipes and not others?

Laurie Neverman says

November 9, 2014 at 8:47 pm

The recipes are different because people are different and have different preferences. A 1:1 water:vinegar ratio is pretty strong smelling, but you can certainly use more vinegar if that’s your preference.

The essential oils add a pleasant scent, but they are also antimicrobial and can help break down stains and scuff marks.

Baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive, which may or may not be desirable, depending on the cleaning job.

MPaula says

November 29, 2014 at 3:07 pm

I did not know that about citrus oils. I have lots of spray bottles but they are all plastic. The only glass ones I have are small – 1-2 ounces. I will have to find a source for larger ones.
What I like best about blogs like yours is all the extra information that comes in the comment section.

Laurie Neverman says

November 30, 2014 at 12:03 pm

The oils won’t eat through immediately, but over time they will make the bottle more brittle and prone to breakage. If you mix up smaller batches and use them relatively quickly, you should be fine.

Perl1994 says

December 2, 2014 at 4:26 am

I have heard of using natural cleaners before,but never thought of making it on my own.This post gave me good home made idea.Thanks a lot for this information.

KIm Heaslip says

April 10, 2017 at 12:50 pm

I tried the Tile, Grout, and Tub Cleanser…I guess it’s meant for grout in the tub area, as it’s easier to rinse. I used it on my bathroom floor and it took me forever to get rid of the ‘suds’. I like this but would use half the soap at most next time!

Laurie Neverman says

April 10, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Thanks for taking time to share your experience. I suspect that was indeed Christy’s intention.

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Natural Cleaner Ingredients

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 This Tent Fits In Your Pocket

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Survival Neck Knife with Sharpener, Fire Starter & Compass by Frog & CO

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Right when you need it most… this lifesaving waterproof tube tent can provide shelter from nature’s harsh conditions in just minutes. Two people can stay dry and protected against water, snow, or block the sun’s powerful summer rays. Take with you on day hikes, sporting events, hunting, and throw one in your bug out bag.

 Specs & Material:

Orders over $75 ship FREE to Continental United States (excluding Hawaii, Alaska and other territories).

Changes your mind? Free return postage within 14 days from the date delivered.

Abuse it, break it, or just change your mind? No problem, you have a full 6 month refund guarantee.

If product stops working or breaks due to manufacturing defect, just let us know and we’ll replace it.

Sorry, we are not able to accept returns on food, water and PPE products after they have processed and shipped from our warehouses.

More information can be found on Shipping Policy and the Return Policy.

Good to have just in case.

I like how little room this tent takes up and how easy it is to set up. It works well for an emergency shelter when you have to stay warm, whether you are seeking shelter outside or if you’re trying to stay warm indoors because you lost your heat during a storm. This is a great emergency item that everyone should have.

Thin but well made. Came with support ropes. Definitely would help.

Just what I ordered and expected great time in shipping total satisfaction

Great compact tent. Size and weight’s amazing. Not knowing what circumstances or weather can be encountered when out and about with this in your pack you’ll be ready for those emergencies. It’s a great deal!

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 This Tent Fits In Your Pocket

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The Benefits of Making the Sugar at Home

The Benefits of Making the Sugar at Home

Did you know that you can make brown sugar? Most people don’t know that it’s possible. When you’re walking through the aisles of the grocery store and grabbing the ingredients you need for baked goods and other treats, you may instantly grab a bag of sugar with plans to use it.

While it’s convenient to grab it at the store, making it isn’t difficult, and the best part is that you won’t need a lot of ingredients to prepare it. Once you prepare this flavorful sugar from scratch, you may never want to go back to buying it pre-made from the store again.

Have you been in the middle of making cookies and you realize you forgot to put brown sugar on your grocery list? No worries, you may just start making your own after today. You should never run out of brown sugar again because you can make it yourself.

You’re probably wondering why you should make this type of sugar instead of buying it pre-made at the store. If you don’t know what all the hype is about, these are some of the benefits of making it yourself:

Before you get started, you’re going to need two simple ingredients: sugar and molasses. You’ll use traditional white granulated sugar and regular molasses, both of which are readily available in the baking aisle at the grocery store. Once you’ve got these two ingredients, you’re ready to begin making your brown sugar from scratch.

Grab a mixing bowl and add a cup of sugar to it. Once you’ve got the sugar in the bowl, add a tablespoon of molasses on top. It’s going to look thick and sticky, but this is fine. The next step involves mixing these two ingredients.

When it comes to integrating your molasses with sugar, you have options. Some people like to do it by hand. If you’re going to do it by hand, make sure you wear gloves because it will get sticky. You wouldn’t want the sugar sticking all over your fingers and hands.

Suppose you don’t want to mix it with your hands and get messy, no worries. You can use a hand mixer, stand mixer, or even a food processor. Which one do you prefer?

If you’re going to start making this type of sugar all the time, you can switch things up and try different techniques each time to see which one you like best. The goal is to mix the molasses and sugar well enough to create the best brown sugar you’ve tasted.

In case you missed this post, Molasses: Everything You Need to Know or one of my favorite cookies, Chewy Molasses Cookies Just Like Grandma Made

If your brown sugar looks a bit darker than you’d like, don’t stress it. There is an easy way to fix it. You’ll add a bit more white sugar to the mixture until you reach the desired color. Another way to make sure your homemade sugar is perfect is to taste it.

If it doesn’t taste the way that you’d like it to, you can add more or less of each ingredient. When you feel like it tastes too much like traditional white sugar, you should add more molasses into the mixture. Below are the traditional ratios we all grew up with.

When you store the sugar properly, you can expect it to last a long time. It will continue to taste fresh. The best way to store it is to pour your homemade sugar into a glass or plastic container with an airtight lid.

The airtight lid is essential because you don’t want anything getting into the container and contaminating your sugar. Once you pour it into the proper container and place the lid on top, you can store the sugar in your pantry to have easy access when you need to use it.

Keeping your homemade sugar soft is ideal. It’s easier to use in recipes when it’s not hard. However, it can naturally start to get a bit hard when sitting on your shelf for a while. If your homemade sugar starts to get hard, place a handful of marshmallows in the container that you’re using to store it.

The marshmallows add moisture to the sugar to get it to soften up again. If you don’t have marshmallows, use the end piece of a loaf of bread. If you’d typically throw that piece of bread out, save it and use it to keep your sugar soft. 

Another option to consider is putting your sugar in the freezer. It’s a great way to keep it soft and fresh when you’re not using it. If you have space in the freezer, why not give it a try? Just remember to get the sugar out of the freezer in time to thaw it out for your planned cooking project.

After you’ve made the sugar at home, you can use it to prepare some of your favorite recipes. It’s a common ingredient required to make lots of different baked goods. If you’re not sure how to use it, these are some excellent options to consider:

Today, I was making more than just one cup so I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. You can use a fork if you are making smaller amounts. I used 3 cups of white granulated sugar for the first batch. Next, I added 3 tablespoons of molasses to the sugar.

Look how simple this is to make, it’s a game-changer. Why would I ever buy brown sugar at the grocery store again, right? The beater shown above is for a 6-quart Bowl Lift Mixer. If you have a different size Kitchen Aid Mixer, you may need this one. Kitchen Aid Tilt Mixer, check for your model.

It’s a fluffy mixture just like when we open a freshly purchased bag of brown sugar at the store.

Now, I used the same mixing bowl, call me lazy, I didn’t want to wash out the bowl, because I’m mixing another batch of brown sugar, but this one is dark or at least darker brown sugar. Here again, I used 3 cups of granulated white sugar but used 6 tablespoons of molasses. It smells really good!

I can almost smell cookies baking in the oven mixing this darker mixture. This batch is a little stronger, so it will depend on which flavor you like the best.

These are the glass jars I purchased. I wanted them to be airtight and leakproof. 32-Ounce Mason Canister Jars I used a Stainless Steel Wide-mouth Funnel to fill them.

Light Brown Sugar is one cup of white granulated sugar and one tablespoon of molasses, mix with a fork until completely mixed. If making larger quantities use a mixer.

Dark Brown Sugar is one cup of white granulated sugar and two tablespoons of molasses, mix with a fork until completely mixed. If making larger quantities use a mixer.

If your wondering how to make Worcestershire Sauce by Tiffany

Once you have brown sugar, you can do a lot with it. Whether you’re baking it with it, adding it to a marinade recipe, or even using it to prepare French toast, you can use it to bring more flavor to your food. It’s a lot better to make it with white sugar and molasses than to buy it pre-made at the grocery store. May God Bless this world, Linda.

5 stars
Thank you for this recipe. I love having options.

Hi Tiffany, I love having ways to substitute ingredients! Linda

5 stars
Awesome, Linda. I had totally forgotten about this. Thanks for posting this. We don’t use a lot of sugar. But I do use some for guests.

Hi Deborah, thank you for the 5 stars!! I don’t use a lot of it either unless I want some brown sugar on lefse. But sometimes I want to make some cookies, probably a little more than I should, because I have a sweet tooth. Then I wonder why I can’t lose the weight I want to! LOL! Life is good! Linda

5 stars
I love this! I don’t know why I haven’t thought of how brown sugar is made 🙂 I can’t wait to try this! Sooo simple…..2 ingredients?! I have both in my cupboard! Thank you sooo much for sharing! I love all your tips!❤️

Hi Camille, thanks for the 5 star! I know, right? We never have to buy brown sugar again! Thank you for you kind words, Linda

5 stars
I’m the worst at having brown sugar on hand. Thank you for this recipe!

Hi Jess, thank you for the 5 stars! I think this will be a game-changer for many people! Linda

I love this!! I store molasses along with my white sugar for just this very reason! I also use molasses for my grandmother’s molasses cookies – YUM!

Hi Leanne, yay!! We stock sugar and molasses, we’re good to go!! Those cookies sound yummy! Linda

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I’m Linda Loosli. I’m the owner and editor of Food Storage Moms. I’m so happy you’ve found us. Our goal at Food Storage Moms is to help “one family at a time.”

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The Benefits of Making the Sugar at Home

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What are Garlic Scapes?

What are Garlic Scapes?

Practical Self Reliance

Your Practical Guide To Self Reliant Living

Fresh garlic scapes are a fun find at local farmers’ markets, and they’re one of the best parts about growing garlic at home in the garden.  These tasty garlic flower buds are a bit milder than garlic bulbs, and they have a delicate vegetal flavor.  Now all you need is a few creative garlic scape recipes to get them on the table!

garlic scapes

Growing garlic is almost a religion here in Vermont, and just about everyone puts in at least a few rows. 

It’s planted in the fall, and then harvested in early summer the following year which means we get to extend our short 100-day growing season into the snow-filled winters.

It also has the added bonus of garlic scapes each June, which provide a little bonus crop early in the season.

This year we planted around 400 garlic bulbs in raised beds, which means we’ll need plenty of garlic scape recipes!

Spring Garlic in Raised Beds

Not all garlic produces garlic scapes, and the generic grocery store garlic varieties are usually “soft neck” which means they don’t produce a garlic flower stalk.  They also don’t have the incredible flavor of hard neck garlic varieties or the hardiness.

We grow hardneck garlic, which tastes incredible, and once you’ve tried it you won’t want to go back to lackluster grocery store garlic.  Most varieties produce 3 to 6 gigantic intensely flavored cloves that are easy to peel, which is a nice bonus too.

The best part though?  Garlic scapes!

Harvesting garlic scapes

Garlic scapes are the flower stalk of hardneck garlic.  They’re produced right before the bulb begins to form, storing energy for the following year.  (Yes, garlic is a perennial, so it will re-grow year after year if not harvested.)

For the most part, the “flower stalk” doesn’t really result in garlic flowers, but rather small garlic bulbils or mini cloves of garlic.  They’re like little garlic seeds that can be picked up by animals and dispersed, meaning that the garlic can spread to other locations.

Garlic scapes late in the season, starting to form bulbils (or top-setting garlic bulbs).

Technically, the garlic plant does actually produce a few true garlic flowers within the scapes, but they’re very rarely pollinated so it’s rare to see true garlic seed.  If you want a fun project though, you can try hand pollinating tiny garlic flowers to produce true garlic seed, but it requires a good bit of dedication.

The problem is, when a garlic plant puts energy into producing flowers or tiny mini cloves (bulbils) at the top of the stalk, it doesn’t put nearly as much energy into the developing bulb.  If you want big healthy garlic bulbs, you need to trim off the garlic flowers (known as garlic scapes) as soon as they begin to form.

You can let them get 6-12 inches long so that you have a meaningful garlic scape harvest to use in recipes, but don’t let them open.  At that point, your bulb will never quite be as big as if you’d trimmed the scapes.

(If you’re not growing garlic, you can find them in bundles at the farmers’ market too.  They’re usually about a few bucks a bundle for a bundle of a dozen or so scapes.  Given that the garlic is sold for about $1 a bulb later on, selling garlic scapes really helps farmers make ends meet by making use of a “waste” product.)

Garlic Scapes at Farmers Market

The while garlic scapes are a nice bonus in early summer, they don’t keep long.

As soon as they’re trimmed they’ll quickly start to get tough and woody.  Fresh garlic stalks are tender, think like fresh asparagus.  Leave them in the fridge more than a few days and they’ll be too tough and stringy to use.

Definitely use garlic scapes within a week of harvest, but ideally within a few days. 

While you can freeze garlic scapes, they’re really not the same defrosted as they are fresh.  They get a bit rubbery, and the flavor’s never quite as spot-on.

If you need to preserve them for later, I’d recommend making them into your favorite garlic scape recipe and then freezing that.  Garlic scape pesto, for example, freezes beautifully.  As does garlic scape quiche.

And there are always canned garlic scape pickles if you don’t have the freezer space.

garlic scapes

In general, garlic scapes can be used anywhere you’d use fresh garlic or garlic chives.  They also a stand-in for fresh vegetables like asparagus.

Grill them whole for a nice veggie side dish, or add them to a stir fry.

Chop them into short sections about 1/2 an inch long and toss them into scrambled eggs or quiche.

Really the sky’s the limit, whether you keep it simple or go all out.

Looking for the absolute easiest garlic scape recipes?  No worries!

Spring is a busy time, and sometimes it’s best to keep it simple without sacrificing flavor.

Just as garlic-based sauces and dips naturally enhance the flavor of just about anything, garlic scapes are perfect for sauces and dips.

An obvious choice is garlic scape pesto, which replaces both garlic and basil with fresh garlic scapes.  It’s got a good bit of heat, and I absolutely love it.  I always pack away several jars of it in the freezer each year.

Beyond pesto, there’s all manner of dips and dressings too!

Since garlic scapes are a savory vegetable, it makes sense that they’d taste good in savory pickles.

But what about something more exotic like garlic scape chutney?  It’s a savory preserve with plenty of vinegar for preservation.

If you’re looking for something really creative though, herbal jams are really spectacular, and garlic scape jam is no different.  They’re not quite the same as homemade fruit jam, obviously. 

Made with white wine and a good bit of vinegar to add a zesty tang to balance the sugar, herbal jams are great on crackers with cheese or a charcuterie plate.

Pickled garlic scapes

Pasta always tastes better with garlic in my opinion, and garlic scapes give you both flavor and a bit of veggie goodness at the same time.

Really they’re fine just sauteed in butter and tossed with freshly cooked pasta, but you can get really creative with these garlic scape pasta recipes too.

Garlic and bread go so well together, and garlic scapes are no different.  Think of them as both garlic and garlic chives in a bread recipe, since they incorporate both garlic flavor and fresh green notes.

I especially love them in cheddar biscuits, which come together quickly and bake up just as fast (without long rise times).  If you’re feeling ambitious though, try fresh focaccia or sourdough garlic scape bread.

Sure you can make all manner of sauces, dips, and even bread with garlic scapes, but now the million-dollar question…

What about actual garlic scape meal ideas?

In truth, you can dice garlic scapes into just about anything from pasta sauce to eggs or stir-fries.  Really anywhere you’d toss in minced garlic or diced veggies. 

That said, here are a few meal ideas to really showcase garlic scapes while they’re in season.

Looking for more ways to use the garden’s bounty?

Garlic Scape Recipes

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Ashley Adamant Author Bio

I’m an off-grid homesteader in rural Vermont and the author of Practical Self Reliance, a blog that helps people find practical ways to become more self-reliant. Read More…

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4 Major Survival Aspects of Camping

4 Major Survival Aspects of Camping

Anyone who has been camping with kids knows that when they get into the woods their imagination runs free. Children are ready to perceive information with an open heart. Just provide them with a debris hut that you build together and it will quickly become their castle where they can play and fight the enemies. Without a doubt, camping is fun, but did you know it is also a great opportunity to teach your kids critical survival skills?

As one of the oldest and most famous traditions, camping is where you can start explaining many survival skills like how to create a shelter or to find your way in the forest, start a fire and stay safe in the wilderness. This article will show you how.

As a rule, there are four main survival aspects that are usually mastered by the youngsters who go camping along with you or become a part of the boy scouts or similar youth organizations. Regardless of your location and the length of the camping trip, it is vital to explain all the precautions and the safety measures of doing things right.

Knowing how to start a fire is one of the most important aspects of survival in the wilderness as you need to get dry and warm. While it is often shown in the movies as something simple, it is not always easy for the young ones since their movements are not yet mature and well-coordinated.

Teaching your children how to build and tend a campfire also includes keeping it under control. Make sure that you explain how to avoid burning down the surrounding area when one needs to send a signal by making the fire noticeable.

Even though you will bring along a good tent that already has poles and pegs to set things up, it’s a great idea to teach your child how to build a shelter on their own in case of an emergency or how to look for a safe place to hide when the weather is getting dangerous.

Along with shelter, explain the ways to retain one’s body heat because building a shelter when you are feeling tired and hungry is even more difficult. Therefore, one should start early when one is lost because the weather can change at any moment and it quickly gets dark. Remember to mention building a safe shelter in hollowed trees, or caves, and explain how to use tree branches.

If there is anything that you should teach your kids to let them survive and help others, it is the set of first aid skills. Start with explaining how to treat a cut or deal with a serious wound. Do not forget to mention what SHOULD NOT be done because the children often make decisions that are not so obvious and clear to adults. Explain the first signs of hypothermia and heat exhaustion. It is good to start with pictures and examples to explain what must and can be done before a real doctor arrives.

While there is no universal survival pattern since it will always depend on where you are, it is still important to learn the basic direction skills and working with a compass or a map that would explain where one must go. The safest way to start learning is to organize a short hiking trip to teach your child how to find a specific location and go back by using a compass or a map. Of course, it is not the same thing as GPS or Google Maps, learning things the old way is what will help to save one’s life!

Therm-A-Rest Trail Scout This is one of the best self-inflating camping pads that can be a great support for the younger campers. It comes with a personal stuff sack and can be carried along during any camping trip.

Midland Walkie Talkies These handy devices are powerful enough to send radio streams a few miles in case someone is lost. Teaching your kids navigating their way with the map is important, yet we should remember that modern children enjoy some technology in their lives, so a good way to teach them using Walkie Talkie.

Brunton Glow Compass It is one of those pieces of camping safety tools that you simply cannot survive without. It is the best way to teach the youngsters about finding relevant directions and explain general geography rules. Most importantly, it is small enough and has a flashing light that the children will love since it glows in the dark. It has a great metal loop that makes it possible to attach it to a child’s belt or a backpack. Even if it gets dropped, it will instantly start to glow, so it can be noticed in the tall grass.

Geocaching Kits. The chances are high that your youngsters have already heard about geocaching. It is another way to teach your kids how to survive with the help of modern technology. Start by turning it into a treasure hunt and implement various navigation rules as you go. Since one can add smartphone use, it will help even those kids who cannot imagine their days without sending some message or posting an Instagram picture every five minutes.

You can also consider the Garmin Etrex10 device that will be suitable for kids as it has topographical data already installed with the time and distance estimates.

Signal Mirror. As long as you remain in a sun-filled environment, using a simple mirror is an important survival kit since it can easily spread the light for miles. Since it needs no power or batteries, it can be used basically as much or as often as you would like. Remember to explain the light signals to your child so they can choose a particular rhythm or even an actual message to help the rescue teams see that it was not an accidental flash of light.

LED Flashlight and Signal Light. The younger children will always appreciate something that can act as a torch and glows in the dark. It also has both positive and negative aspects. For example, the rescue teams will be able to find a child much easier if he or she has a LED torch or a flashlight of some sort. The problem is that the batteries can run low and the light will eventually get weaker. The practical solution would be to use LED-based lights and take another set of batteries just in case as a part of the basic survival kit. 

Emergency Whistle Also known as mountain whistles, they can produce loud sounds without forcing the youngster to blow really hard when and if they are weak or tired. It is also way more efficient than shouting. As you are looking for a good emergency whistle, remember that they also come in handy sets with signal mirrors and fire flints.

First AId Kit Although it may not always be of much use for a young child, it is recommended to teach your child to have it present in any case.

Duct Tape Since it is one of the most versatile camping tools that you may have without taking too much weight, it can be used to repair anything, build a shelter when you need to connect something together and it is one of those tools that can stick something together when you need to cover a hole or repair a broken plastic bottle to collect water from the nearby stream.

Emergency Survival Blankets. Mylar survival blankets come in all types and sizes but a Survival Bivvy can be used as an emergency sleeping bag. It is also essential for keeping warm in situations when you can barely move. Teach your children to stay in their emergency sleeping bags if there is no obvious danger until they are found by the rescue teams. They also retain body heat.

Also known as situational awareness among survival specialists, it is one of the most challenging parts to master. In simple terms, your task is to teach children to notice things and survive in an emergency situation. Starting with the development of an instinct to learning how to cope with panic, you should explain that no camping tools or popular gadgets can be as important as knowing how to stay calm and level-headed when facing a critical situation.

The best way to approach a younger person is to explain that panic often leads to wrong decisions and unnecessary risks. Middle-school-age children will appreciate your questions as you ask them about what they have noticed. The role-playing will also be useful to analyze various scenarios together with relevant explanations and questions.

Speaking of water, remember to instruct your kids not only about how to find water but explain the basic water purification techniques in the wilderness. Show them how water can run downhill and direct them to various spots where they can notice little streams or pools. At the same time, teach them to watch the animals as the majority of them will always seek water sources.

Finally, remember to build the child’s confidence by praising their achievements and support them according to their age and skills. Take camping trips regularly and do not forget to keep things fun. If your child is inspired and learns something in a calm, yet demanding environment, it will re-create the real emergency situation in a much better way!

Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger at EssaySupply, an aggregator for useful college resources and websites. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.

wonderful article. Thanks

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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Saturday, June 19, 2021

daily actions toward becoming better prepared for societal collapse

Last month, I posted some recipe substitutes for baking powder, mostly
because baking powder is a baking essential and because “everyone” says”baking powder has a short shelf life.  Three hours of intense
research clearly indicated that “everyone” is only
half-right. 

Baking powder.  The DIY substitutes posted last month make a
single-acting baking powder replacement–the to-be-baked goods must be
baked immediately.

Almost all commercially produced baking powder sold in stores today is
double-acting, meaning some gases are created when the ingredients are
first mixed, and the rest are activated by heat in the oven, giving you
more time to get your goods in the oven. Unfortunately, this baking
powder has a short shelf-life.  Once it’s opened.  Upon opening,
you have about six months to use it before it starts losing efficacy. 
And you can’t tell whether it’s good by looking at it, so you have to
test it if you don’t want to risk a failure.

Test whether your baking powder is still good by putting a teaspoon of
baking powder into small cup of hot water.  If it bubbles vigorously,
the baking powder is still good and usable, no matter what the date on
the can says.  Baking powder does not go bad in the sense of becoming
toxic or dangerous to eat; it just loses its potency to make baked goods
rise.  

Hopefully, you noticed the words in italics above, because that is key
here.  Most manufacturers claim a shelf life of two years from the date
of manufacture unopened, or six months after opening.  Lots of good
folks on the internet asserted otherwise.  After much searching, I
finally came across the results of a Brigham Young University
study showing that biscuits made using baking powder from a 29-year old
can were virtually indistinguishable from biscuits made using baking
powder that had just recently been purchased from the store.  For the
longest shelf-life possible, keep your baking powder cool, dry, and
dark.  Do not store it in the refrigerator.  Feel free to stock up;
store it in a plastic bucket and keep it cool.

Baking soda.  The shelf-life is basically the same as for baking
powder; the manufacturer says two years after manufacture, or six months
after opening.  The test for baking soda efficacy is to add 1/2
teaspoon of baking soda to 2 tablespoons white vinegar.  If the mixture
immediately starts vigorously fizzing, the baking soda is still good. 
If kept cool, dry, and dark, like in plastic buckets, it has an
indefinite shelf life.  Like baking powder, it does not go bad or become
unsafe to eat; it just slowly loses potency.  However, it will still be
perfectly good for cleaning purposes and absorbing odors.

Cream of tartar.  Just like baking soda and baking powder, cream of tartar
does not spoil or go bad, as long as it is kept cool, dark, and dry.  If
you feel the need to test it, put 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar in
water with a
pinch of baking soda (that you know is good).  If it foams, it’s good. 
Manufacturers suggest shelf life of 4 years from manufacture date.

Yeast.  I know I can make everlasting yeast; I just
haven’t gotten around to it yet.  Life is busy, you know.  This post has
already taken me 1.5 hours more than I normally allot each morning for
writing.  I’ve got other things to do.  Anyway, despite what the
packages may say, those one-pound bricks of yeast in the mylar bags
store perfectly well in the happy cool, dry, dark place for an awesome
7-8 years on the shelf, or 10 years in the freezer. I’m thrilled.

The test for whether your yeast is good is just as easy as the others,
though it takes a few more minutes.  Add 1 teaspoon sugar to 1/4 cup
warm water (100 degrees) in a 1/2 cup or larger measuring cup.  Stir in 2
1/4 teaspoons yeast and let stand 10 minutes.  If the mixture foams to
the 1/2 cup mark, the yeast is good.

Links to related posts:
DIY Baking Powder  
Alternative Medicine–Cream of Tartar

For more information:
https://extension.usu.edu/foodstorage/howdoi/essentials
https://www.thoughtco.com/baking-powder-shelf-life-607360
https://www.thespruceeats.com/the-shelf-life-of-pantry-foods-1389305
https://www.clabbergirl.com/retailers/rumford/
https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865574479/Tips-for-storing-leavening-and-salt.html
https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1032&context=facpub
 

Thank you! I have a pre-1999 baking soda in it’s original plastic container from Gordon’s Foods that I have been debating whether or not to keep. I figured I could always use it for cleaning, but I never seem to actually use it.

You can use it to make your own Tooth paste. I make mine with Coconut Oil, mixed with some Baking Soda, keeps my teeth very clean and my breath fresh too.
My dentist keeps telling me that I must watch and not use too much baking soda in it, as it is supposedly very harsh to clean your teeth with but from all I have read, it is less abrasive than any toothpaste on the market. I like that fact that my sensitive teeth aren’t sensitive when I use my own toothpaste and it is so much cheaper than buying it in the store.
I also use baking soda to clean my stainless steel pots, it removes any residue on them. They look cleaner and shinier when I clean them with Baking soda.
You can also put it down the drain, to make the gnats go away if you have a garbage disposal.
Enjoy, and don’t just put it in the garbage, use it for something that it needs to be in.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

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Following El Salvador, opposition politician Gabriel Silva says he is seeking consensus to make cryptocurrency legal tender in Panama.

Next month, Panamanian congressman Gabriel Silva plans to present a bill that could potentially spearhead the adoption of cryptocurrencies as legal tender and create tax incentives for crypto-related businesses.

After El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, announced he was proposing a law to make bitcoin legal tender, Silva tweeted on June 7 that if Panama wanted to become a true hub of technology and entrepreneurship, it should also support cryptocurrencies. 

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“I found El Salvador’s project positive, ambitious, interesting and with good acceptance,” Silva said, adding that he seeks to adapt that project to the reality of Panama and constitute a “positive competition.”

This month Silva and his team will now gather comments from different parties, including lawyers, bitcoin users, crypto-related companies and government officials, the lawmaker told CoinDesk. Panama is the latest Latin American nation to debate cryptocurrencies, joining Paraguay and El Salvador, which recognized bitcoin as legal tender earlier this month.

Silva did not disclose further details about the bill’s specifics, but he said he would define its content after talks with stakeholders. 

Panama’s current constitution prohibits the government from mandating only certain currencies as legal tender, Silva said, which could facilitate the incorporation of bitcoin as a currency. 

Panama, which does not have a central bank, officially adopted the U.S. dollar in 1904 after a monetary agreement between the two countries known as Taft-Arias. 

Balboa, a local currency, also circulates alongside the dollar. It has been tied to the former at an exchange rate of one-on-one since its introduction. 

Regarding tax incentives, Silva said that the country already has schemes to attract crypto companies via mechanisms like work permits and tax exemptions. 

Panama already serves as headquarters for many transnational companies, which may be related to its reputation as a tax haven. 

In its latest list of non-cooperative jurisdictions published in 2021, the European Union listed Panama as a tax haven along with the Virgin Islands and Seychelles, among other jurisdictions. 

Sliva said that his party, Bancada Independiente, is an independent and opposition party. But Bancada Independiente has a good dialogue with the ruling party and has managed to reach agreement on previous projects, adding that he will try to discuss the project with different ministries of the central administration, such as the economy and finance agency. 

Panama is in a different situation from El Salvador, where Bukele’s ruling party has a majority in Congress and approved the bitcoin law with 62 out of 84 votes. “I do not see this being approved in three days, as in El Salvador, but it can be achieved. There is strong citizen support, but we will sit down with everyone necessary,” he added. 

To be approved, the bill must get 36 of the 71 total votes in the chamber of deputies, Silva said, adding that Panama does not have a senate chamber. If approved in congress, the law could be endorsed or vetoed by the president.

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CRYPTO IS ON THE MOVE

CRYPTO IS ON THE MOVE

At the Bitcoin 2021 conference, Jack Mallers of Strike announced that El Salvador is planning to introduce new legislation that will make Bitcoin legal tender in the country. 

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Now, a congressman and the National Deputy of Paraguay, Carlitos Rejala, has called for Paraguay to take similar action on Twitter. The congressman also posted a photo of himself with laser eyes. 

Rejala’s tweet called for the nation to advance with the new generation. 

“As I was saying a long time ago, our country needs to advance hand in hand with the new generation. The moment has come, our moment. This week we start with an important project to innovate Paraguay in front of the world! The real one to the moon #btc &#paypal,” read a translation of the tweet.

The announcement comes very shortly after the news from El Salvador, showing greater support in Central and South America. 

On the last day of the Bitcoin conference, El Salvador’s President, Nayib Bukele, said that he plans to send the new bill to the countries congress as soon as next week. 

“Next week I will send to congress a bill that will make bitcoin a legal tender.”

Bukele also said that Bitcoin’s transition to legal tender could help facilitate new jobs and allow for more financial inclusion.

“In the short term, this will generate jobs and help provide financial inclusion to thousands outside the formal economy.”

Jack Mallers, the CEO of Zap which created the Strike Bitcoin payments app, assisted with the bill and said that Bitcoin can help developing economies protect themselves from inflation. 

“What’s transformative here is that bitcoin is both the greatest reserve asset ever created and a superior monetary network. Holding bitcoin provides a way to protect developing economies from potential shocks of fiat currency inflation.” 

El Salvador’s President also said that crypto entrepreneurs would receive immediate and permanent residency in the country to attract more investment and infrastructure. He said that Bitcoin would also be free from capital gains tax as it would now be legal tender. 

Should Paraguay go forth with adopting Bitcoin as legal tender other countries in the region could follow suit. El Salvador’s main incentive seems to be as a way to avoid inflation, a problem that many nations in Central and South America face and one that Bitcoin may be able to solve with its finite quantity. 

Learn how Wall Street pros are adding Bitcoin to their portfolios.

CRYPTO IS ON THE MOVE

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