Monday, March 28, 2016

Roasted Carrot Bisque

This soup offers a blend of aromatic flavors, with a subtle sweetness of spring.  Loaded with carrots and ginger, this soup is packed with a powerhouse of Vitamin A and  anti-inflammatory benefits.  It is also so tasty, you might find yourself licking the bowl.

1.5- 2 lbs of carrots, washed and sliced into large chunks
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil
sea salt
1 large onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, finely diced
1 Tablespoon of fresh grated ginger (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon of coriander
5-8 cups of vegetable stock
2-3 Tablespoons of honey
1/2-3/4 c of heavy cream * optional

 Place carrots and onions in a large baking dish (9x13) and drizzle them with olive oil.  You can also use coconut oil which adds another depth of flavor.  Sprinkle with sea salt and toss to coat.  Cover and place in the oven, at 375 F for 35 minutes or until soft and slightly browned.  Allow to cool with cover on. This will help soften the veggies even more. In the meantime, warm some stock on the stove in a medium size pot.  Once carrots and onions are cooled, place them in batches in a blender with some stock and blend until smooth. Add back to the pot and simmer. Add coriander, diced garlic, grated ginger, honey and heavy cream.   Adjust the thickness by adding more or less stock as you desire.  Add sea salt and fresh pepper to taste and enjoy!

Roasted carrots and onions

Carrot and onion puree

Grated ginger

Only a little heavy cream.  This is optional.

Stir in honey and spices.

Roasted Carrot Bisque
Yes, the kids will love it.

Can't talk. I am eating my soup.

Savoring every bite.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Non-Toxic Sparkling Clean Dishwasher Detergent

Did you know that the #1 cause of household poisoning is dish detergent.  Most dishwasher detergents contain chlorine, as well as a variety of other toxic chemicals that are labeled "HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED".  Now, it is very likely that some of the dishes in your dishwasher are not getting a complete and full rinse. Residue from these detergents are likely being left behind on some of your dishes.  Have you ever noticed the water that gets pooled in the lips of lids or the shallow pools in the bottom of your mugs?  This rinse water isn't exactly clear and colorless, is it?

Our friends at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) have been working  tirelessly to protect human health and the health of the environment.  Since the ingredients in household cleaners are not regulated, many known carcinogenic compounds and substances known to harm fetal development are in household cleaning products.   If you are not reading the labels of the items you bring into your home or don't know the effects some of those chemicals can have, you may be putting you and your family's health at risk.
Thankfully the EWG has created a Guide to Healthy Cleaning, which provides you with easy-to-navigate safety ratings for a wide range of cleaners and ingredients. EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning contains information and safety assessments for 2,109 products, 197 brands and more than 1,000 ingredients.
Of the 103 dishwasher detergents evaluated only 11% were given an A rating.  24% were given an F rating.  (May contain ingredients with potential for developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects; cancer; skin allergies/irritation; acute aquatic toxicity or respiratory effects.)  Among the worst offenders is 7th Generations Automatic Dish washing Gel. (RATING AT AN F) Although many of their other products consistently rank in the A category for being safe. This one by 7th Generation took me by surprise.

I have used a variety of A rated, dish washing detergents in my machine.  Some did not clean so well, while others became difficult to find.  So we decided to make our own.  With the help of my hubby, we came up with a NON-TOXIC Dishwasher detergent that is easy to make and leaves your dishes sparkling clean!  We have not calculated the cost of making it, but I am sure it is pennies a load.

1 Part BORAX
1/2 Part SALT (cheap table salt is best)

 * all ingredients are readily available at your local grocery store.  If you have a hard time finding citric acid powder you can easily find it on Amazon.

Combine all ingredient in a large bowl and stir until well combined.  Place in a airtight container for storage.
1 Tablespoon/load

If there is excess, place in pre-wash compartment.

* Citric acid attracts water, so you will notice the detergent will begin to clump and harden somewhat.  This does not change it's effectiveness.  Because it can be a little difficult to scoop out the detergent when it is hardened, you don't want to make too big of a batch.
I usually make mine using the following measurements.
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
1 cup Citric acid powder
1 cup salt

We run our dishwasher nightly, so if you don't, you may want to consider making smaller batches.   
**UPDATE**  If you are finding this recipe is not fully cutting all the grease on some of  your dishes, you can add 2 DROPS of your favorite liquid dish soap.  Just a few drops is all you will need.