The Usefulness of Salt Around The House

The Usefulness of Salt Around The House

Varying colors of natural salt grains

Varying Colors of Natural Salt Rocks

Salt without a doubt makes food more delicious, and savory, but it also has other unexpected advantages at fixing up other things around the house. 

Table salt can be used for the following applications, but why not make the choice to use Sea salt, or Himalayan salt.

Both salts are in their original form, or in other words, contain all the trace minerals found in a rock of salt.

Here are a few suggestions out of 100’s of  household uses for salt.

Sparkling Flower Vase

flowers in glass vases

 

You just bought yourself or received a bouquet of flowers, but the glass vase is marred with cloudy streaks on the inside due to hard water stains.

Here’s the salt fix: Scrub the streaks with a paste of 1 teaspoon of of salt and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar.

How it works: The abrasiveness of the salt grains and the acidity of the vinegar cuts through the mineral deposits that are causing the streaks.

Cleaning A Shower Curtain

plastic shower curtain Keeping a shower curtain clean a mildew free can be a job. But here is the trick to keeping free of mildew with the use of salt.

Here’s the salt fix: Fill the bath tub with 5 to 6 inches of water, and add 2 cups of salt. Remove the curtain from the rod, and immerse it into the salt water for about an hour.

How it works: Soaking the curtain in salt water will leave an unseen coating of sodium crystals that helps to prevent mold and mildew from latching on to the plastic shower curtain.

Boosting the Life of a Broom

Don’t those brooms wear out faster than expected. If you want to extend or boost the useful life of that household broom do the following.

extending life of broom

 

Here’s the salt fix: Before the new brooms first use, soak the bristles in a 50/50 solution of hot water and alt for about 25 to 30 minutes.

How it works: Salt hardens the brooms bristles to prevent them from fraying.

After removing the broom from the salt-water, just store it leaning against a wall upside down so the bristles are off the floor when not in use.

Eliminate a Carpet Full of Fleas

You love your dog, but you hate the fleas that can hop from your pet to the carpet. Is there a solution to getting rid of the fleas and not the pooch?

Here’s the salt fix: Vacuum the carpet and furniture thoroughly. Next, literally sprinkle the salt crystals over the surface of the carpet and upholstery. Let the salt sit overnight, then vacuum again the next day, and empty the canister right away.

How it works: The salt will dehydrate those little fleas that hatch from eggs deep in the carpet and fabric fibers of the upholstery.

Stop Mold From Growing On Your Cheese

We all hate the mold growth on cheese. Is there a way to slow or stop mold from naturally growing on it?

moldy cheeseHere’s the salt fix: Soak a paper towel in in a mixture of 2 tablespoons of salt and 3 cups of water.

Wrap the wet paper towel loosely around the cheese before placing it in the refrigerator.

How it works: The salt inhibits mold growth by dehydrating it.

Brighten Those Faded Cloths

washing clothes Detergent can be harsh on clothing after awhile. Naturally brighten those colors with salt.

Here’s the salt fix: Use this solution even before your colored cloths start to fad, and even if they have faded, this fix will work to brighten their color. Toss 1/2 cup of salt into the wash cycle.

How it works: The chloride in the salt will help to dissolve hard water deposits, in turn helping the colored clothes look like new. This solution will seal in colors on new clothing with their first washing.

Cool Down Canned or Bottled drinks In A Flash

Your guests have arrived, but you forgot to put the drinks in the refrigerator. Not to worry. You can cool those canned or bottled drinks in about 5 minutes. How? With salt.

Here’s the salt fix: To chilled those canned or bottled drinks, just toss them in a large tub of cold water and 2 handfuls of salt, and as much ice as you can fit. Add the beverages, and in about 5 minutes you have cold drinks.

How it works: The salt reduces the freezing point of water, so the caned or bottled beverages will cool in only 5 minutes. Rinse the cans or bottles before serving them to family or guests.

Save That Bitter Cup Of Coffee

bitter tasting coffee Most people who love their coffee, also hate it bitter. The next time it happens to you, don’t toss the coffee, save it with salt.

Here’s the salt fix: Just add a pinch of salt to your cup of bitter coffee.

How it works: The ions in the salt helps to neutralize the bitterness of the coffee, without adding a salty taste, as long as it is only a pinch.

 

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Tomato Basil Chicken

Tomato Basil ChickenYou have some chicken breasts and are looking for a new idea to prepare them? Well you have arrived to the right place for a quick and easy recipe. It’s our Tomato Basil Chicken entrée. Besides being healthy with all fresh ingredients that include tomato, basil, and garlic, this recipe is reminiscent of warm weather and luscious Mediterranean summers.

According to Spice Pages by Gernot Katzer, basil is native to India, though it is not used as a culinary herb, but rather is considered sacred and use in religious rites. Besides the most common Mediterranean type basil sold in the Western world, there is also varieties from the Asian world, such as Thailand‘s sweet basil with a licorice flavor, and a lemon basil which has a distinct balm-like flavor. Katzer states there are also verities introduced to European gardeners from Africa as well (Spice Pages: Basil).

Now for our featured recipe: Tomato Basil Chicken, and here is what you will need.

Tomato Basil Chicken - ingredients

1 lb boneless chicken breast (about 2-3 medium sized pieces) with the skin on

1 teaspoon of rock salt, Himalayan or Sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon if salt is ground

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 handfuls of fresh chopped basil, about 1 1/2 cups

1 ½ -2 cups fresh diced tomato

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 cloves of garlic

Fresh chopped ingredients for Tomato Basil ChickenDice the tomatoes, and chop the garlic. Tear the basil apart by hand.

adding salt and pepper to chicken breastNext, season the chicken breasts with the salt and pepper. You may use the ground salt, but the rock salt lends a more rustic appeal to the dish.

adding chicken meat to a preheated pan with olive oilIn a preheated ceramic coated pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and place the chicken skin side down.

adding garlic and browning the meatNext add the garlic and allow the chicken to brown on both sides, turning once.

adding tomatoes and basilOnce both sides are adequately cooked, add the tomatoes. Sauté for about 3-5 minutes until the tomatoes have softened and some of it has formed a sauce with the olive oil and garlic. Next add the basil and cook for another minute.

adding cheeseNext add the grated Parmesan cheese and remove from the heat.

plated- Tomato Basil ChickenPlate and serve. Makes 2 to 3 servings. Add a side of cooked Mediterranean vegetables or a Greek salad.

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Organic Coconut Popcorn

Organic non-gmo tri-colored corn kernelsDo you know what’s in that bag of popcorn you put in the microwave? Are you ready for the answer?

1. Diacetyl: It is used a s a flavoring in microwave popcorn. It can obliterate the airways, and lungs if exposed to too much. It was used in World War I, to do exactly that. Factory works who are exposed to the chemical have irreversible lung damage.

Brown University documented three cases of bronchiolitis obliterans (caused by diacetyl) in microwave popcorn lovers. One man, 47, ate three bags a day, and needed a lung transplant. A 56 year old coughed up blood one day, and he ate 3 bags of microwave popcorn a day.

The University of Minnesota reported that the chemical diacetyl, can pass the blood-brain barrier, and weaken the brain’s defenses against the formation of amyloid plaques, causing Alzheimer’s.

2. Perfluorooctanoic Acid: Most manufacturer’s  line the microwave popcorn bags with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) to keep grease from leaking out. When the bags are heated, they leach the PFOA into the popcorn.

3. Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ): This chemical is made from butane, a known toxic gas. Medical studies have reported that just eating 1 gram could cause ADHD in children, asthma, allergies, dermatitis, and dizziness. It’s been associated with stomach cancer in laboratory animals.

Most of the corn in the U.S.A., about 86% is harvested from GMO seeds. We also noted, microwavable popcorn is not sold in health food stores. But you can buy lose non-gmo corn kernels, or in jars, and that brings us to our featured recipe: Organic Coconut Popcorn. Here is what you will need.

heating coconut oil

Heat 3 tablespoons of refined coconut oil in a 3 quart pan over medium heat. Let oil solids melt. From 1/3 cup of organic popcorn kernels, add 4 kernels to heated oil and cover pan with lid. When the kernels pop, remove pan from heat and add the 1/3 cup of kernels to pan in an even layer. Return lid to pan and count to 30. Return pan to heat and wait for kernels to start popping. Once they do, gently shake pan over heat. When you no longer hear any popping remove pan from heat and add popcorn to a serving bowl.

melting butterWith pan still hot, add organic pasture fed cows butter or organic virgin coconut oil, and melt. Next pour over popcorn and mix in. You can also add Himalayan salt, organic smoked paprika, or organic Parmesan cheese.

Organic Coconut Popcornpopcorn pan not burned using coconut oilFollow this method and ever kernel of popcorn will always pop evenly and not burn, not even the pan. You can never say that about those chemical filled microwave popcorn bags.

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Red Kale Beets and Sweet Cilantro Vinaigrette

Red Kale Beets and Sweet Cilantro Vinaigrette

Your diet has a large impact on nitric oxide (N-O) production. Beets, spinach, kale and any leafy greens are rich in nitrates. As you chew these foods the good bacteria in your saliva converts the nitrates into nitrites. Once in the stomach, the digestion continues acting on the nitrites and converts them to nitric oxide, among other compounds.

The antioxidants contained in these vegetables react with the nitrogen dioxide produced by the digestion process, scavenging the oxygen molecule, to reduce it to still more nitric oxide. Once completely digested, the N-O is then absorbed through the intestinal tract and pasted into the bloodstream.

Why should all of this be of interest to you? Because nitric oxide circulates through your body helping to keep it alive.  Your heart uses it to keep pumping vital nutrients and oxygen throughout your body.

N-O is also produced in the lining of our arteries, but as we age the body does not produce as much nitric oxide. Studies show as you complete your 4th decade of life, your body is only making about half, if not less then half of what it made when you were 20.

That is why it is important to eat a variety of nitric oxide containing plants, and our featured recipe fits the bill.

Our featured recipe is: Red Kale Beets and Sweet Cilantro Vinaigrette, and here is what you will need.

Sweet Cilantro Lime VinaigretteWe’ll start with the vinaigrette. 

1 cup packed cilantro

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup lime juice ( 1 small lime)

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt (or sea salt)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Pinch of minced garlic or 1/8 teaspoon of powered garlic

2 – 3 teaspoons of coconut sugar (optional)

Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor, and blend or process until smooth.

Place into a jar with a tighten lid, and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

For the salad you will need:

2 cups red kale, about 3 steams

1/3 cup beets, steam, and diced ( 1 small beet or 3 baby beets)

2 -3 tablespoons pine nuts

3 – 4 tablespoons goat cheese

Remove leaf parts of kale from steams and wash under fresh cool water. Next cut kale into smaller bite sizes portions with a pare of kitchen shears and arrange on a dinner plate.

You have the option to use canned beets (preferably organic grown), dicing the sliced beets into 1/2 inch squares. If you chose to use fresh beets, slice the beets, about 1 inch slices, and place into a steamer, until slightly soft. Remove, and cool a bit, and dice into 1/2 inch squares, making a 3rd of a cup. Arrange the beets over the kale.

Next add the pine nuts and goat cheese. Drizzle with Sweet Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, and enjoy with slices of olive bread (we used an olive bread made with olive oil and black olives, no canola oil) or your favorite bread .

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Toasted Coconut Banana Pudding

Toasted Coconut Banana Pudding - Top View

Our pudding is referred to as “Toasted Coconut,” because it has that appearance of being toasted as we used coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is like brown sugar in appearance, but doesn’t have the same effect on blood glucose in the blood stream. In other words, it does not spike your sugar levels.

The Glycemic Index of coconut sugar is 35 as reported by the Philippine Coconut Authority, the largest supplier of coconut sugar along with Indonesia. 35 is classified as a low glycemic food.

Coconut sugar has many natural occurring nutrients, including magnessium, potassium, zinc, iron, B vitamins, and amino acids. Because it is unprocessed, the nutrient content is intact, unlike refined white table sugar.

Coconut sugar is actually more sustainable than sugar cane. The coconut palm tree produces up to 75% more sugar per acre than cane sugar, while only using 20% of the resources.

Now for the featured recipe: Toasted Coconut Banana Pudding, and here is what you will need.

1/2 cup organic coconut sugar

1/3 cup organic arrowroot starch

1/2 teaspoon organic Himalayan salt

3 cups silk Coconut milk (or your preferred organic brand)

3 tablespoons organic coconut butter

1 teaspon organic vanilla extract

About 30 to 40 organic vanilla wafers

3 ripe organic bananas

Toasted organic coconut for garnish (optional)

Organic heavy cream, whipped for topping (optional)

mixing ingredients in sauce pan to make Toased Coconut Banana Pudding

Whisk together coconut sugar, starch and salt in a medium saucepan.

Slowly whisk in coconut milk, oil, and vanilla. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.

Lower heat and simmer whisking occasionally until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

layering sliced bananas and vanilla cookiesTo assemble spread a layer of vanilla wafers in a 9 X 9 inch square baking dish, or a 9-inch round baking dish (your choice) top with half of the banana slices and half of the pudding.

Continue with another layer of vanilla wafers followed by remaining bananas and ending with remaining pudding, spreading to cover all banana slices.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 to 5 hours or overnight.

Toasted Coconut Banana Pudding - Side ViewTo serve, line a dessert glass or small dessert bowl with some vanilla cookies, and top with fresh organic whipped cream and toasted coconut.

This is a gluten free and all organic dessert. Enjoy!!

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Organic Rainbow Carrots and Spinach Salad

Rainbow Carrots and Spinach Salad

It is said, but cannot be proven, that the orange carrot was cultivated in the 17th century by Dutch growers. It is thought that the carrot was cultivated orange as a tribute to William of Orange, who led the the struggle for Dutch independence.

Whatever the origin of the orange carrot, the Long Orange Dutch carrot, first written about in 1721, is the forebear of the orange Horn carrot varieties so abundant at supermarkets today.

History states the first mention of growing carrots was in Iran. Carrots cultivated before 1721 were of different colors, like purple, red, yellow and white. The orange carrot we buy today is crossed from the later two colors, yellow and white.

It is note worthy, the nutritional benefits of rainbow carrots. Four (4) ounces or 1/2 a cup has 157% of the daily value of vitamin-A, 14% of the daily need of vitamin-C, 337 mg of potassium, and 3% of the daily need of calcium, and iron. Four ounces also have about 3 grams of fiber.

Our featured recipe is prepared using wild organic rainbow carrots. It is a simple and delicious salad. Fast and easy to make. Our featured salad, Organic Rainbow Carrots and Spinach Salad will need the following.

Organic Rainbow Carrots and Spinach Salad

2 cups cooked organic rainbow carrots, sliced

3-4 cups baby spinach

1/4 cup Asiago cheese, shredded

Ginger syrup

Olive oil

Caribbean Spiced Rubbed Beef Rib SteakWash and slice carrots, but do not peel. Place into a steamer basket over boiling water and steam, about 5 minutes. Cool and set aside.

Plate spinach on a large salad plate. Top with cooled carrots. Drizzle ginger syrup over vegetables, then drizzle olive oil. Top with cheese.

______________________________________

We enjoyed the salad with a Caribbean Spiced Rubbed Beef Rib Steak and slices of olive bread.

 

 

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Mushroom Tortellini with Asparagus

Mushroom Tortellini with Asparagus

The medical journal, “American Medical Association” publish  in 2010 based on a study that found vitamin B-6 when combined with folate ( not folac acid, the inferior form, a synthetic form) and methionine ( an amino acid, also found in meat, chicken, fish, eggs, garlic, onions, legums, and some dairy) can reduce the chances of lung cancer by as much as two-thirds. Asparagus contains both of these vitamins, and including the amino acid methionine.

More great news of the vegetable asparagus is it contains saponins which helps to fight inflammation, and can help with arthritis and rheumatism. It can also help to prevent varicose veins. Ayurvedic medicine has used asparagus for century’s to treat the symptoms of menopause as well as infertility and loss of libido (in both men and women).

The featured recipe also includes vitamins and minerals like vitamin-A, vitamin-C, calcium, and iron. It also has 18% of your daily need of protein 9 grams (daily protein need is 25 grams for woman and 30 grams for men).

Now for our featured recipe, and here is what you will need.

Mushroom Tortellini with Asparagus

1 package cheese tortellini

Pint of cream

¼ cup grated Asiago cheese

5 – 7 asparagus stalks

1 4 oz. can mushrooms

1 cup baby spinach

1/2 tsp. black pepper

 

Asparagus being blanched - Mushroom Tortellini with AsparagusBring a pot of water to boiling. Separately prepare a bowl of cold water with some ice.

Add salt to the boiling water and blanch the asparagus for 2 – 3 minutes until they just start to become tender.

Remove and add asparagus to the cold water to stop the cooking and set the color.

Remove to a paper towel to drain and dice into ½ inch pieces. You could do this ahead of time and keep the prepare asparagus in the refrigerator.

Next bring a pot of water to boil and the tortellini according to package instructions.

While cooking the pasta, heat a large sauté pot over medium heat and add 3/4 of the cream. While the cream is heating continue to stir and allow it to slow reduce, scrap sides of pot if needed.

When the cream has reduced by about 1/3 lower the heat and simmer, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Next add the asiago cheese to the cream, and turn the heat to high, stir in till cheese is melted. Add mushrooms and black pepper, and stir in.

Tortellini should be done now, so quickly drain and add to the cream along with the asparagus and toss to combine.

Place spinach on top of mixture and place a lid over pot, and allow spinach to wilt, about 4 minutes.

If you see the cream sauce to thick and would like it a bit thinner, just add a little more cream a tablespoon at a time till you see the thinness you desire.

Plate paste and garnish with cheese, if desired.

A great addition to this recipe would be roasted pine nuts. You can also 86 the mushrooms if you like, in other words delete them from the recipe (86 is a restaurant term for “out of product”, can also mean, “you’re out of here”).