It’s All about the PRODUCE !!!

 

You go to the store and purchase salad makings with the best of intentions.

 Like the busy time-saver you are, you pre-chop your lettuce and your veggies so you can toss a healthy meal together on the go. But, a few days later your lettuce and veggies are mushy and gross.

 What to do  when this happens & why ?????

A combination of natural gasses, moisture build up, and the act of chopping your veggies can speed of decomposition.

 But, with a few handy tricks you can make them last long enough to get your money’s worth! 

Cucumbers:

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Cucumbers are tasty when they’re crispy. When they turn mushy … not so much. To keep cut cucumbers fresh longer, try this tip:

  Cut your cucumbers into about 1/4-inch slices. Stack the slices in a sealable container. Then, place a folded paper towel on top of your cucumbers and put a lid on your container. Store your cucumbers upside down (so that the paper towel is on the bottom). The towel will soak up extra moisture. 

Peppers:

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Need to keep your chopped bell peppers fresh a few days more? Try this hack :

 Use a sharp knife to cut your peppers. A dull knife could damage the exterior of the veggie. Remove the stem and seeds. Then cut into slices or chunks.

 Lay your pepper slices on a paper towel and wrap the towel around the peppers. Place the paper towel-covered peppers into a bowl and add about 1/2 inch of cold water. This will keep your peppers fresh for about a week.

Carrots:

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Do you buy baby carrots just to avoid trying to slice, dice, and store full grown carrots? Try this hack and save a little extra cash at the grocery store. 

Trim off all of the green tops from the carrots. Store the tops in a separate container if you want to use them for soup later on. 

Store your newly trimmed carrots in a bowl of water for several weeks. 

Bonus points: this actually works for baby carrots too. 

Lettuce:

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Pros have  tried three different ways to keep lettuce greens fresh in the fridge. 

Method 1: Storing leaves in rolled in a paper towel then placed in a plastic bag.

 Method 2: Storing leaves in a hard, re-sealable, plastic container with a paper towel.

 Method 3: Storing the greens in a plastic produce bag with a puff of air and sealed. 

Surprisingly, all three methods yielded still-fresh veggies after 7 days. 

At 10 days, the clear winner was method 2: Line a plastic storage container with paper towels and line the towel with greens. 

Don’t pack them down. Seal with a lid and store. The hard container protects the leaves from getting bruised and extra space in the container provides enough air flow to keep the greens … green! 

How to make your fresh produce last longer

If you’ve ever spent big bucks on fresh fruits and veggies only to have them go bad a few days later, you’re not alone. Keeping fruits and veggies fresh can be tricky, especially when the weather starts warming up. If you want to save money and keep your food fresh longer, check out a few of these tips for storing your favorite produce.

1. Bananas

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Wrap ’em up. Cover the stems in plastic wrap to keep the natural gases emitted by bananas from browning the bananas too quickly. You can wrap the bunch together or break them apart or store them  individually, I have this banana box for my little one and it works wonders!!

2. Potatoes

Store your favorite starch with an apple. The natural ethylene gas in apples helps keep the potatoes from sprouting. 

3. StrawBerries,Amla, Jamun,other berries .

Wash your berries in 1 cup (240 ml) vinegar and 3 cups (700 ml) water before storing them. Make sure you dry them completely to keep mold and bacteria at bay. Store them in airtight containers in the fridge .

4. Tomato

If you want to keep your tomatoes fresh and tasty, keep them out of the refrigerator, according to Cosmopolitan. Store tomatoes on the counter so they ripen properly. If they still have stems, I would suggest  you store them stem side down (or cover the stems with scotch tape). 

5. Celery

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Ditch the plastic your celery came in and wrap the bunch in tin foil. The foil makes it easier for natural gases to escape. Plastic bags keep the gases trapped in, which wilts your celery faster. 

6. Herbs, Curry leaves , Mint 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.

Stop tossing your herbs in the refrigerator. Grab a glass, fill it with water and put your fresh herbs on a windowsill. The cold temperatures of the fridge wilt your herbs and suck away flavor. When herbs start to go bad, chop them up, put them in an ice cube tray and cover with olive oil. Freeze until set. They’ll last for months this way! 

7. Mushrooms

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Store your mushrooms in a brown paper bag. The bag helps keep your mushrooms dry and clean so they don’t get slimy. If they start to dry out, rinse them under water. 

8. Radishes

Chop them and store them in a bowl of water in the refrigerator to keep them fresh and crispy, it stays fresh upto 15 days !

9. Cheese

Rub the cut edges of your cheese with butter. This keeps hard cheese from drying out. 

10. Onions

Store onions in a cool, dry place. Lay them flat so they get good air circulation, so that the outer skins dry and don’t get moldy. 

11. Apples

Store apples in the refrigerator to make them last longer. They last up to three weeks in the fridge. Note: Keep these sweet treats away from other fruits and veggies because they release a ton of natural gas, which causes your other produce (except for potatoes) to ripen faster. 

12. Oranges

Store oranges at room temperature. Try a basket to allow air flow to circulate to keep your fruit juicy.

13. Lemons

Instead of cutting your lemons in half for a bit of juice, poke them with a skewer and use the juice you need. Then just store the lemon in the refrigerator. Cutting your lemon in half will make it dry out faster. 

14. Broccoli

Store your broccoli in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic. Broccoli should last up to five days. 

15. Greens,Coriander leaves.

 

Store your lettuce and spinach in the veggie drawer, wrapped in plastic. Add a paper towel to absorb moisture. If your lettuce starts to wilt a bit early, soak it in ice water to revive the crispness. 

16. Avocado

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Keep your avocados on the counter until ripe. This usually takes two or three days, depending on their state when you bought them. When they soften a bit, store them in the fridge to keep them from going bad. Preserve the tasty fruit by squeezing a bit of lemon on the exposed pulp if you need to store it. 

17. Spring onions 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.

You can significantly increase the shelf life of these onions by storing them in a jar of water on the counter. Snip away as you need (and they’ll keep growing in between!). 

What are some of your tricks for making your food last longer? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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20 CLEANING TIPS FOR A SHINY SPARKLY HOME !

20  CLEANING TIPS FOR A SHINY SPARKLY HOME !  

Cleaning, for some, is very therapeutic. The feeling of cleaning an object, then seeing it clean, is a sense of pride and accomplishment. To others, cleaning is a pain in the neck. The problem, of course. is that if you ignore this chore, things just get dirtier. There are some items that you may not think of cleaning, but these should be cleaned. I am  compiling these cleaning ideas for 20 things you may have ignored.

I love cleaning. I really, really do. I love it to the point that when I get something — especially something stubborn — freakishly clean, I couldn’t feel more fulfilled. Honestly!!!

And sometimes, there are those sorts of messes that actually require tips, tricks, and hacks in order to get them efficiently restored to cleanly status. 

Just in case you’ve struggled here, I’ve put together this list of ways to clean hard-to-clean things so that, in the future, you will never meet adversity when it comes to your 10-minute tidy again. 

1. Homemade Gunk/Goop  Remover

Kitchen cabinets accumulate gunk/ oil stains/ sticky stuff ! YUCK!!!

 and it’s not a pretty sight but you can fix the problem with this homemade gunk remover. 

Mix one part vegetable oil and 2 parts baking soda and use a sponge or a cloth to clean the cabinets. Toothbrush also works as a great Scrubber 

2. Remove labels with Vanish.

 This one cleaning hack happened to be by fluke !  I bymistake Put Vanish in my hot water sink instead of baking soda and vinegar for removing labels ! and VIOLA !! just amazing stuff !

 Actually removing the labels from bottles or jars is not an easy task but you can greatly simplify the process if you use Vanish ( Clothes Stain remover ). Fill the sink with warm water and add a scoop of Vanish & ur normal Liquid dishwashing soap . Let the bottles soak for 30 minutes and the labels come off.

3. Clean the iron with salt.

Cleaning the iron is very simple if you know this tip. First sprinkle salt onto the ironing board, turn the iron to the highest setting and set off the steam option and then simply iron over the salt. 

The dirt sticks to the salt and the iron becomes clean and shiny.

4. Remove pet hair with rubber gloves.

 If you have a cat or a dog then I’m sure you’re at war with all the hair then leave around the house. But it’s not that difficult to remove all that hair. All you need is a pair of rubber gloves. Run your hand over the upholstery and the hair with cling to the glove.

5. Fix the scratches in wood furniture with vinegar and olive oil.

If you have an old wooden table with the top all scratched and ugly, don’t throw it out because it can still be saved. Mix ½ cup of vinegar with ½ cup of olive oil, dip a cloth in the mixture and rub it onto the wood. The scratches completely disappear and the wood looks like new.\

6.Remove hard water with vinegar.! ( I swear by this )

The nasty built up you often see on and around the faucets and in some other areas is definitely not something you want to have in your home. But you can easily remove it with vinegar. If it’s a flat surface, pour some vinegar and let it sit for about 20 minutes. For the faucet, you can use paper towels soaked in vinegar

7.Make your grill/ Pan  non-stick with an onion.

My M-I-L ’s trick !

Getting ready for a Dosa ? Don’t forget the onion. That’s right, you need an onion if you want to make your Pan/grill non-stick. Just cut the onion in half and rub the cut side on the heated Pan .

8.Clean the bathroom faucet with lemon.

Instead of using all sorts of cleaning products which may or may not be toxic, try instead a more natural approach.

 For example, you can clean the bathroom faucet with lemon. Cut a lemon in half and scrub the hard water stains on any fixture.

9.Clean the shower head with vinegar and a plastic bag.

Make your shower head look like new again using distilled white binegar and a pastic baggy. Pour vinegar in the bag and secure it to the shower head. Let it soak with an hour and wipe clean with a wet towel.

10.Make your own window cleaner.

All you have to do to make sure you have clean windows with no streaks is use water, vinegar and dish soap. Mix these three ingredients and your windows will be sparkly clean. Also, remember to use newspaper. Spray the windows with the mixture, use a white cloth to wash them and then dry them up a waded up wet  newspaper.

11.Clean the stove burners with ammonia( Bleach).

If you ignore them, the stove burners and the grates can end up looking disgusting and nobody wants that in their kitchen. So what can you do? It’s simple actually. Clean the stove with ammonia. Take ¼ cup of ammonia and seal it up with one of the burners in a plastic bag. Let it sit overnight and then it should wipe clean with a sponge.

12.Cleaning solution for the kitchen sink.

Make your own cleaner for the kitchen sink using the following ingredients: liquid dish washing soap , distilled white vinegar, baking soda, rock salt, lemon or lime and ice. You’ll also need an old rag, a toothbrush and a soft sponge. Rinse off the sink and sprinkle baking soda onto the surface. Make a paste and rinse. Scrub the rim with a toothbrush soaked in baking soda paste or soap.

13. Make your own Oven Cleaner .

To clean the oven, you can mix baking soda and vinegar. You also need a bowl and a spatula. Scrape the debris with the spatula. Sprinkle baking soda all over the floor of the oven. Then spray vinegar over the baking soda and spread the paste around. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Scrub in a circular motion.

14.Remove permanent marker with toothpaste.

If you have a kid who just discovered the magic of permanent markers, then you’ll most likely find works of art on the floor and furniture. Don’t worry, it can be removed. First put a dab of white toothpaste on the marker and rub with a damp cloth or paper towel.

15.Clean silver with salt and baking soda.

Both salt and baking soda are commonly used in homemade cleaning products. But why not mix them? If you do that you get a very nice cleaner which you can use on silver. Combine equal amounts of salt and baking soda.

16.Moldy Tile Cleaner 

Sometimes u gotta use harsh chemicals !The best way to remove mold is with a solution of one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water. Wearing rubber gloves, saturate a clean sponge or cloth with the bleach solution and apply it to the mold. Let the solution soak for 15 minutes, then rinse it off. Thoroughly dry the surface and throw away the sponges or rags you used to avoid spreading spores to other surfaces.

17. Cleaning Burnt Pans 

Soak the burnt pan in a magical solution overnight.

Baking soda, vinegar and water. A perfect solution for burnt pans.

18. Clean your Cutting Board 

Clean your cutting board.Use lemons to remove stains from wood and plastic cutting boards.

Squeeze, rub and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse.

Now enjoy your house smelling like lemons. Rather than chemicals!

19. Odor Control in Refrigerator 

Use newspaper as refrigerator drawer liners.Newspapers absorb odor from vegetables.

also always place a open box of baking soda in the refrigerator to remove odor from the fridge .

20.Microwave Cleaner 

Steam clean your microwave.

Add 1 cup of vinegar to 1 cup of hot water. Microwave it for 10 minutes.

 

I hope it inspires you!  Thanks so much for stopping by!  I would love for you to share this post and pin it below!

You guys are great, and please let me know any questions you may have!

~ Prats 🙂

 

8 Vegetables that you can regrow

There are only so many foods in this world that can be regrown over and over again. Vegetables are one of the best ideas for attempting to keep this sustainable food growing again and again. Each one of these 8 ideas, gives you the instructions you require and tutorials on setting up and regrowing 8 different vegetables.

Spring onions /Scallions 

Scallions You can regrow scallions by leaving an inch attached to the roots and place them in a small glass with a little water in a well-lit room. … 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.

Garlic

When garlic begins to sprout, you can put them in a glass with a little water and grow garlic sprouts. The sprouts have a mild flavor than garlic and can be added to salads, pasta and other dishes. … 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.

Bok Choy

Bok Choy can be regrown by placing the root end in water in a well-lit area. In 1-2 weeks, you can transplant it to a pot with soil and grow a full new head….

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.Carrots

Put carrot tops in a dish with a little water. Set the dish in a well-lit room or a window sill. You’ll have carrot tops to use in salads. … 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.Basil

Put clippings from basil with 3 to 4-inch stems in a glass of water and place it in direct sunlight. When the roots are about 2 inches long, plant them in pots to and in time it will grow a full basil plant…. 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.Celery

Cut off the base of the celery and place it in a saucer or shallow bowl of warm water in the sun. Leaves will begin to thicken and grow in the middle of the base, then transfer the celery to soil. …

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.Romaine Lettuce

Put romaine lettuce stumps in a 1/2 inch of water. Re-water to keep water level at 1/2 inch. After a few days, roots and new leaves will appear and you can transplant it into soil…. 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.

Cilantro

The stems of cilantro will grown when placed in a glass of water. Once the roots are long enough, plant them in a pot in a well-lit room. You will have a full plant in a few months 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.

Share these awesome tips with your friends and family…. 

WEEKLY MENU PLANNER & GROCERY SHOPPING

Hi Everyone , Sorry for the delay in posts I was super busy for the Last 2 weeks , Aishwarya had asked for Menu planning and Inventory List ,but I could only do the menu planning one this week and I honestly think Indian kitchen Inventory planning is something so huge that I literally need at least a week just to write down the items ! ( don’t Ask) !!

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So anyway about my menu planning ,I   literally sit down for 30 mins every Saturday  and plan out our menu so that we can shop accordingly  on Sunday at the Market or Grocery stores  and also not have another thing adding up to my headache.

 I think  this is a problem everybody seems to have. So hopefully this post solves the problem :)

This planner has helped me tons already to save money on groceries + lower my sugar tantrums (yeah I have those, sometimes) + boost my productivity. And that makes me happy + happy + happy!

 Menu Planner 1

This Above menu planner is what I used to have but since I am back in India , I stick to the one Below 

Weekly Menu

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What I do with this above menu is that I write it on Post its and then stick them on to the  paper and it goes on my command centre  And I change them every week ,this helps a lot to keep my mind stress-free !!

Hope fully I have solved at least one of Aishwarya’s Problems ,  and about inventory lists of the kitchen grocery items ,

To make sure I always have the essentials in my pantry (rice, beans, etc) I use lined post-it notes that I stick to the inside of the pantry doors.
List what you should always have on hand, add a tick when you’ve ran out of any item  and take a photo with your phone before you go grocery shopping.! 

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Right now I do this but since Aishwarya has got my brains to work towards Inventories ,who knows I might even end up making a fridge/pantry/freezer Inventories !!

Wish me Luck !!

HOMEMADE AIR FRESHNERS

I used to Febreze on almost everything in my house when I lived in California — the couch, our blankets , The Kitchen, The Bathrooms, Closets, Attic , The Shoes Closet  — you name it, I’ve probably sprayed Febreze on it !!!

But Febreze isn’t Available in India 😦 Sadly !!! Also Many air freshener sprays you can purchase at the store contain a lot of harmful chemicals. ( now I know , Wish I had known this earlier ):(   I now try to stay away from them as much as I can so we aren’t breathing in things that are bad for us.

Here are some very easy DIY  Homemade Recipes For Air Fresheners, you don’t have to be concerned about what you are inhaling and you will get a much lighter fragrance that is safe to breathe in.

 note :you can totally modify this to suit your own fragrance preferences & variations in fragrance depending on where you’d like to use this spray.

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DIY HOMEMADE RECIPES FOR AIRFRESHNERS

RECIPE #1:    FABRIC SPRAY

1. Pour 1/8 cup of your favorite fabric softener into your spray bottle. I prefer Comfort, but you can use whatever you have at hand )
2. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the bottle.
3. Fill the rest of the bottle with water.
4. Replace the cap and shake the bottle well.

RECIPE #2:   VANILLA SPRAY

1. 2 tablespoons of fabric softener
2. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar (which is super-cheap at almost every grocery store).
3. Remove the funnel and add six to ten drops of your favorite extract (like almond or vanilla extract) or an essential oil. I love the smell of Almond, so I use the Almond extract Essence that i use for baking ) .
4. Fill the rest of your bottle with water.
5. Shake until well combined.

RECIPE#3:     PEPPERMINT & ORANGE SPRAY
1. 2 teaspoons vodka or white vinegar
2. 20-30 drops of essential oils of your choice (I used 9 drops Peppermint and 20 drops Orange)
3. 2oz water (distilled if possible)
4. Fill the rest of your bottle with water.
5. Shake until well combined.

RECIPE#4:       LAVENDER CALMING SPRAY
1. 2 teaspoons vodka or white vinegar
2. 20-30 drops of Lavender essential oils
3. 2oz water (distilled if possible)
4. Fill the rest of your bottle with water.
5. Shake until well combined.

RECIPE#5       EUCALYPTUS SPRAY
1. 2 tbsp vodka or White Vinegar
2. 2 tbsp baking soda
3. 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
4. 8 drops peppermint essential oil
5. Fill the rest of your bottle with water.
6. Shake until well combined.

The vodka serves a few purposes – it’s antibacterial, will act as a preserving agent and is an odour destroyer in itself.
The essential oils you can play around with and use any scents that you like in a mixture of about 20-30 drops.The baking soda also helps with the odors .

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The fragrance that I made most recently is Orange and Peppermint which smells lovely- especially in the kitchen.  The peppermint is great for a little boost of energy and the orange is perfect for helping to purify the air and boosting feelings of happiness.

I like to use Lavender Spray in my daughter’s room when it needs a little freshening up or when I am deep cleaning.  That is also great to spray in the closets, the car etc…

If you want a spray for your own  bedroom you might try Ylang Ylang, Joy, Cedar wood  – all of these have wonderful scents for bedtime and relaxing.

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So that is it– your yummy homemade air freshener spray!  Shake a few times before each use.