Local Flavors Recipe Challenge Winners

Local Flavors Recipe Challenge

Throughout MArch and April we challenged you to make the best recipes from three provided ingreedients lists. Here are our winners.

The three winners will receive a $50 Co-op gift card.

The Baker’s Challenge:

Jia Hui

Grapefruit cake  

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder 

Up to 1/2 cup brown sugar, or any sweetener such as turbinado and coconut sugar. (I like to halve sugar in recipes, less would make it more tart) 

1/8 tsp (dash) salt

1/3 cup veg./neutral oil

1 cup grapefruit juice, preferably fresh—it may take 3-4 grapefruits 

2 tbsp zest

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Icing

3/4 to 1 cup powdered-sugar

3 tbsp (vegan) butter such as Earth Balance 

3 tbsp grapefruit juice

more zestiness

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Oil a cake pan or loaf tray. Mix wet ingredients. Mix dry. Mix together. Feel free to take a picture of how vibrant and pink the batter is. 
  2. Pour in pan and bake 27-30 minutes. For cupcakes, check it at 16-18 minutes.
  3. Mix icing ingredients until altogether smooth. Refrigerate if you have time. 
  4. When the cake is done, let it cool (10 min, or you can slice and try a piece if you’d like), then add icing. 
  5. (While you wait, you can eat some grapefruit you juiced. :))

The MediterraneanChallenge:

Jia Hui

Mediterranean Challenge Pasta (vegan)

Ingredients

½ cup Rotini pasta (also works with gluten-free noodles, which can be even higher in protein) 

½ onion, diced 

fresh sage

Kite hill almond ricotta cheese (vegan), to taste

¼ cup nutritional yeast (aka nooch)

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

½ cup Chopped tomatoes, can be fresh or canned. And cherry tomatoes, to taste

¾ cup coconut cream (if possible, chill the can) 

½ cup Chickpeas 

Capers, olives, to taste

Serves 1-2-3 hungry (small) human(s) 

  1. In a pan, fry the fresh garlic and onion in olive oil (or what’s on hand) until aromatic. Add tomatoes and coconut cream and nooch. Simmer on medium heat. 
  2. Cook pasta. Once ready, throw it together in the sauce pan and add chickpeas, capers and olives. Stir on heat if you’d like. 
  3. Now it’s ready to eat; and top with sage, cherry tomatoes , and ricotta as desired.

The Eastern Flavors Challenge:

Becky

Asian Udon Peanut Sauce Noodles

Ingredients 

8 oz. Wide udon noodles

¼ cup chopped green onions

½ Fresh lime 

 

Peanut Sauce Ingredients

⅓ C creamy peanut butter

2 T. Rice vinegar 

3 T. Tamari sauce

¼-½ t. Sriracha (depending on how spicy you like) 

2 T. maple syrup or honey

1T. Sesame Oil

1 t. Freshly minced ginger

2 cloves garlic minced ( or if have to use powder ¼ t garlic powder) 

3 T. warm water

  1. Whisk ingredients listed for Peanut sauce in a small bowl until smooth.
  2. Cook wide udon noodles according to package directions. Drain well.
  3. Pour peanut sauce over noodles in serving bowls. Use tongs or chopsticks to mix until sauce covers noodles.
  4. Garnish with green onions and squeeze a slice of lime to give fresh flavor.
  5. Enjoy! 

How it worked: 

STEP 1: Choose Ingredient List

We’ve compiled three different lists (see below) all with very different ingredients. Create a recipe using at least 4 ingredients from the list. While 4 is the minimum, we encourage you to use as many ingredients from your chosen list as possible. 

Additionally, you can use up to 3 ingredients off the list. We’re not counting water, salt, pepper, dried spices, and small amounts of cooking oil as “off-list” ingredients – feel free to use these ingredients as needed.

STEP 2: Create a recipe

Get creative! Go sweet or savory, simple or extravagant, breakfast, lunch, or dinner as long as it’s original. Whatever you come up with, write down the recipe. Be sure to include measurements and step-by-step instructions. Photos aren’t necessary, but you can include them if you wish. You may also wish to send us a video of your thought process or of you making the recipe, but this is optional. 

STEP 3: Send us your recipe by 4/15/21

Email your recipe to msuoja@davisfood.coop. You can submit one recipe per ingredient list. You must submit recipe(s) by 04/15/21. 

STEP 4: We put the best to the test

Once we get all of the recipes, we’ll pick a handful of the best looking ones for each ingredient list. Madison and Christine will make them in the Teaching Kitchen, taste test them, and choose a winning recipe from each ingredient list. Each winner will receive a $50 Co-op Gift Card! 

We’ll post videos of us making the winning recipes and what we come with for each list. Good luck! 

Ingredient Lists

The Baker’s Challenge

  • grapefruit
  • sour cream
  • eggs
  • whole wheat or buckwheat flour
  • basil
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • sugar
  • butter
  • white chocolate

The Mediterranean Challenge

  • DFC chicken apple sausage
  • noodles of your choosing
  • squash
  • onion
  • fresh sage
  • ricotta cheese
  • mozzarella cheese 
  • fresh garlic
  • tomatoes
  • coconut cream

The Eastern Flavors Challenge

  • peanut butter
  • coconut milk
  • miso
  • tamari or soy sauce
  • shiitake mushrooms
  • sriracha
  • wide udon noodles
  • lime
  • fresh ginger
  • hot peppers

More >>

Stop Food Waste Day

April 28th is Stop Food Waste Day

33%

of all food produced globally is lost or wasted every year

45%

of root crops, fruit and vegetables produced globally is lost or wasted per year

$1,866

the annual cost of food wasted by the average American family

25%

of the food wasted globally could feed all 795 million undernourished people in the world

8%

of all greenhouse gas emissions each year are due to food loss and waste*

Food Rescue at the Co-op

Food rescue (limiting as much food waste as we can while prioritizing public health and safety) is embedded in our Ends Statement, the Seven Cooperative Principles, and our Strategic Plan. Fighting food insecurity in our community has always been a priority. Our avenues for donating have not changed, but we have improved our processes to more accurately communicate our efforts with our owners. Learn more by reading our food rescue blog.

Food Rescue Streams

Thanks to recent Green Team efforts, we can better track how our food is rescued.

Donations: We donate items that are still edible but may be damaged or fall shy of cosmetic standards, which means we can’t sell them.

Deli Food Rescue: Sometimes we have a large quantity of an unsellable, but still edible, items. The DFC Deli can use these items in production. 

No Charge: We often have small quantities of edible, but unsellable items. These items are put in the breakroom for staff to take home free of charge. No Charge items also fill up our on-site Freedge. 

Animal Greens: We set aside produce in unsellable quantities, like lettuce trimmings, for shoppers to take home to feed their animals. Animal greens are free – just ask a Produce Specialist about availability. 

Composting: When an item is unsellable and inedible, we compost the food and recycle the packaging when possible. The City of Davis has a great composting facility, accepting even our meat scraps and bones! 

Our Donation Partners

  • Yolo County Food Bank
  • Western Service Workers Association
  • Davis Night Market
  • Davis Community Meals
  • Davis Food Not Bombs
  • The Freedge
  • Yolo County Meals on Wheels
  • Food Recovery Network
  • Tuesday Tables

Reduce Your Food Waste

Shop Bulk

Whether it’s 2 tsp of marjoram or 4 pounds of cremini mushrooms, shopping the Bulk Department can help ensure you buy only what you need. We have many items available in our Bulk Department. Check these aisles first to help curb your food waste. Read our buying in bulk blog for more info.

Be Prepared

You can cut down on your food waste if you have a plan in place! Plan out your meals for the week (including planning when is a good day to eat leftovers!) and make a grocery list before shopping. If you’re really feeling motivated, spend a few hours meal prepping. Read this blog with meal prep tips and a menu for the week!

Fortify your Fridge

If you’ve ever worked in food service or retail, you’ve probably familiar with what it means to FIFO: first in, first out. Applying this same process to your fridge can help cut down on food waste. Store older food in the front of your fridge and newer food in the back. This way, you have a visual reminder of the food you need to eat first.

Be sure you’re storing produce correctly. Proper storage can significantly impact how long your foods stays good.

Make Use of Your Freezer

You can freeze many fruits and vegetables before they go bad. Frozen bananas are an excellent addition to smoothies, herbs can be frozen in butter or oil, and leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Recipes to Limit Food Waste

 

Making your own broth or stock is a great way use ingredients that typically get thrown out (think onion skins and chicken bones). We have excellent recipes for veggie broth and bone broth

Make banana bread with bananas that are dark and mushy. 

Try our Clean-Out-the-Fridge Veggie Fried Rice recipe (pictured) when you have lots of odds and ends in the fridge! It works well with any grain: any kind of rice, quinoa, barley, and kamut are all great options.

Customizable Soup is another good option if you have leftovers that need to get used up.

This Flexible Veggie Casserole is another way to feed the whole family while preventing food waste. 

Keep it Out of the Landfill

 

Compost It

Okay, so some of your food has gone bad. It happens. Instead of tossing it in the trash where it will go to a landfil and produce methane as it breaks down, compost it! The city of Davis collects compost in curbside bins – they can even take meat scraps, bones, and bioplastics labeled “compostable”. 

You can also compost in your home. You get to keep all of that super nourishing compost for your garden if you do! Read our composting guide to learn more.

Keep a log of everything that has to get composted. You may learn that you actually don’t like radishes that much. Maybe you consistantly toss leftovers – next time, cut the recipe in half! 

Donate it

If you have too much in your fridge or pantry, consider bringing unopened pantry items and edible produce to the Freedge at the Co-op! The Freedge is there for folks to take what they need and leave what they don’t. It’s a wonderful way to prevent food waste and strengthen our community bonds. 

More >>

Earth Month – Economic Sustainability

Economic sustainability is the “profit” in the “people, planet, and profit” holistic approach to sustainability. We’ve already explored environmental sustainability and social sustainability in previous blogs, so this week, we’ll focus on what it means to have a sustainable economy.

What is economic sustainability?

Before we tackle economic sustainability, here’s a reminder of the basic definition of sustainability: sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs or diminishing the opportunities of the future. 

According to the Global Footprint Network, in 2020, we reached Earth’s natural resource budget for the year on August 22nd, which means all of the natural resources we used after August 22nd, 2020 were taken from future years’ budgets. This is, by definition, not sustainable. 

For the last several hundred years, capitalism has been the most efficient economic system for meeting the material needs and wants of society (major asterisk here: capitalism meets most of the material needs and wants for particular groups, mostly in Western countries). In this system, development, industrialization, and production are inherently dependent on natural and human resources, which, at this point, are rapidly depleting. The bottom line: capitalist economies, being inherently dependent on those resources, are not sustainable. 

In a sustainable economy, these resources are not depleted or “borrowed” from future generations. Economic sustainability is deeply enmeshed with both social sustainability (human resources) and environmental sustainability (natural resources). We will explore the intersection of the three in next week’s blog!

Is there an alternative? 

Laying out an entirely new economic system is, unfortunately, beyond the scope of this blog. But if you’re feeling like our unsustainable economy is a major bummer, we are here to tell you there are alternatives to traditional capitalist models which operate within our system to make our economy more sustainable.

Cooperatives

That’s right! Cooperative businesses offer a more sustainable approach to the profit side of things. A cooperative is “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.” Co-ops, whether they are owned by workers, consumers, or producers, are guided by the Seven Cooperative Principles. Six of these Principles directly contribute to economic sustainability.  

#1 Voluntary Membership: Membership, or ownership, in a co-op is open to anyone willing to accept the responsibilities of ownership and who want to use the services of the co-op. At the Davis Food Co-op, ownership is open to anyone regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, political or religious beliefs or any other qualifications. Because of this, co-op membership and, in turn, governance, is more widely accessible than in traditional business models. 

#2 Democratic Member Control: Co-ops are controlled by their members who have power over policy and decision making. In our upcoming election, Davis Food Co-op owners will have the opportunity to vote on which community organizations will receive Round Up funds and choose three new Directors for the Board. 

#3 Member Economic Participation: Members contribute to the capital of the co-op democratically and equitably. Investing in the Co-op by becoming an owner means investing in local farmers and producers that offer sustainably sourced natural foods and products.

#4 Autonomy and Independence: Co-ops are meant to be autonomous and democratically controlled. The Davis Food Co-op isn’t run by folks hundreds of miles away. We answer to our owners who we live and work beside. 

#6 Cooperation Among Cooperatives: Co-ops often work together to create regional, national and international structures that help to improve communities. While it is essential that co-ops are able to compete in the markets in which they operate, we also know that strong, connected networks set co-ops apart from traditional businesses and make them more resilient to outside shocks.  

#7 Concern for Community: Policies set forth by owners should positively and sustainably contribute to the community a co-op belongs to. You can read about the Davis Food Co-op’s efforts here, here, and here

B Corps

Another alternative to traditional for-profit business models is the B Corporation. B Corps are “a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.” The Co-op carries many products from certified B Corps. You can see us highlight many of them on our social media platforms throughout this month.

More >>

All Natural Allergy Relief

Seasonal allergies aren’t fun for anyone! Try these natural remedies to alleviate your symptoms.

Stay Hydrated

It seems like no matter what the ailment, staying hydrated is one way to prevent or improve it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is the case for seasonal allergies as well. 

First, a petite science lesson: Histamine is a compound made by our bodies that regulates physiological functions in the gut, acts as a neurotransmitter in our brain and spinal cord, and is involved in inflammation and immune responses. You’ve likely heard about histamine in conversations about seasonal allergies. This is because symptoms of elevated histamine levels include runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, hives, sneezing, nausea, and headache. Sound familiar? When we are dehydrated, our bodies produce more histamine in an attempt to help retain water. Unfortunately, this triggers seasonal allergy symptoms. 

Technically, staying hydrated won’t prevent or treat an allergic reaction, but drinking enough water can help maintain normal histamine levels in your body.

Regular Cleaning 

This may be a bit of a bummer to hear, but regular, thorough cleaning of a few key things in your home can help reduce your exposure to allergens which trigger seasonal allergy symptoms. The good news is, you’ll feel better and your home will be so clean! We recently wrote a blog about natural home cleaning with 19 easy, safe, and inexpensive DIY cleaning products. 

Vacuum regularly

If you’re an allergy sufferer, make sure you’re vacuuming your floors, rather than sweeping them as brooms do a very good job of kicking up all kids of dust and debris into the air. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends vacuuming twice a week with a vacuum outfitted with a HEPA filter.

Dust weekly

Weekly dusting is highly effective against seasonal allergies. Skip the feather duster and opt for a microfiber cloth instead. Microfiber is designed to grab tiny particles, which means you’ll actually remove the dust from your home. 

Wash your sheets

Your sheets are covered in potential allergens: human and pet hair, dander, pollen, dust mites, and a whole host of other creepy crawlies that can irritate your immune system. Wash your sheets (especially your pillow cases) once a week. If you get bad allergies, you’ll want to vacuum your comforter twice a week and your mattress cover once a month as well.

You can find the following natural allergy remedies in the Co-op’s Wellness Department. If you need help finding something specific, stop by the Wellness Desk and ask one of our Wellness Specialists!

Saline Nasal Irrigation

Sometimes called a sinus flush, saline nasal irrigation can help ease stuffy noses and make it a little easier to breathe when you have seasonal allergies. Rinsing your nasal passages with salt water can help restore moisture to your mucous membranes and ease inflammation. Some folks prefer daily irrigation during allergy season to help keep inflammation under control.

Butterbur 

You may have heard that butterbur can be very effective in reducing the intensity and frequency of migraines (researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found this to be the case), but evidence is emerging in favor of butterbur as a treatment for seasonal allergies as well. One study found its participants’ allergy symptoms improved after just 5 days of taking a butterbur supplement by mouth. Scientists attribute this to butterbur’s ability to block allergy-producing leukotriene and histamine.

Quercetin

Quercetin is an antioxidant found in many fruits and vegetables including onions and apples. Researches at the National Institutes of Health found it has antihistamine properties as well (it’s actually the most common plant compound found in conventional allergy treatments). Quercetin eases allergy symptoms by decreasing inflammation in our airways.

Stinging Nettle Leaf

Although research has come back with mixed results, stinging nettle has been and continues to be a popular treatment for seasonal allergies. Stinging nettle reduces sneezing, runny noses, and itchy eyes by lowering inflammation. Stinging nettle can best be used in combination with other natural allergy remedies like quercetin.

Turmeric

Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Emerging research suggests ingesting turmeric regularly may help relieve symptoms caused by seasonal allergies as well. Whether you take turmeric as a supplement or use it in meal preparations, be sure to take black pepper along with it as black pepper increases the bioavailability of curcumin by up to 2,000 percent! 

More >>

Earth Month – Social Sustainability

As mentioned in our environmental sustainability blog post, capital “S” Sustainability is multifaceted. Of the three major branches of sustainability, social sustainability can be difficult to get a grip on. It is tough to quantify and can therefore feel nebulous, which is why it’s often overlooked. However, social sustainability is integral for the health of people, planet, and profit moving forward.

What is social sustainability? 

Calls for social sustainability have emerged in recent decades as community members and world leaders see injustice, unrest, sickness, and misery in many of our communities. There are many definitions of social sustainability, but we like this one from the Western Australia Council of Social Services:

 “Social sustainability occurs when the formal and informal processes; systems; structures; and relationships actively support the capacity of current and future generations to create healthy and livable communities. Socially sustainable communities are equitable, diverse, connected and democratic and provide a good quality of life.

To get your head in the social sustainability zone, consider these social sustainability performance issues: human rights, fair labor practices, living conditions, health, safety, wellness, diversity, equity, work-life balance, empowerment, community engagement, philanthropy, volunteerism, and access to green spaces. When these elements are in abundance and in balance for everyone in a community, that community is strong –  in other words, it is sustainable. This kind of society is better able to respond to and recover from internal and external shocks. 

We know that the global climate crisis disproportionately affects people of color, LGBTQIA+ folks, women, formerly colonized countries, and low income families and communities. Practicing social sustainability and building communities which are equitable, diverse, connected and democratic, and provide a good quality of life will help insulate vulnerable groups from the disproportionate effects of climate change. Beyond environmental justice, social sustainability practices effectuate economic, social, and racial justice as well.

You can find a great video explaining social sustainability further here

Social sustainability and the Co-op

While many aspects of creating socially sustainable communities should fall to municipal, state, and federal governments, businesses, like the Co-op, have an important role to play as well. We would even go so far as to say businesses have a responsibility to engender social sustainability in the communities in which they operate. The 7th Cooperative Principle, concern for community, guides the Co-op’s social sustainability efforts. In addition to regularly donating to community organizations and hosting community events, we strive towards social sustainability as an employer (e.g. every Co-op employee earns a living wage). This year, we’re working with National Co-op Grocers to more closely examine our social sustainability efforts, including diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Next steps

If you’re wondering what you can do to be more socially sustainable, you can start here. Volunteering for community organizations or donating to mutual aid organizations is a great way to get involved with your community, but be sure to adjust your perspective. Don’t think of donating time or money as “charity”. Think of it as solidarity and community building. 

If you own or operate a business, think about what you can do for your employees. Can you offer your employees longer breaks or make healthcare available to them? Maybe you can make biking to work a little easier or make a serious effort to actively hire from groups that have historically been excluded from the workplace. 

Communities won’t become sustainable overnight. Environmental, social, and economic sustainability efforts will require hard work from nearly everyone. If you are feeling overwhelmed, know that you are not alone. Stay tuned for our next blog post about economic sustainability.

Join us for a celebration of our planet!

We will be closing down a portion of the Davis Food Co-op parking lot for a collection of activities, information, community organizations, giveaway, a plant swap, music and food. Stop by between 12-4 pm on Sunday, April 18th. 

More >>

Earth Month – Environmental Sustainability

Happy Earth Month! Earth Day is right around the corner, and this time of year gets everyone thinking about the environment and climate change. Environmental sustainability is a broad topic, from waste production and recycling to agriculture and transportation pollution. We will brush over a few of these topics, what the Co-op does to mitigate them, and how you can help and love the Earth! Join us on April 18th from 12 pm to 4 pm in the parking lot of the Co-op to meet many local organizations, creators, and artists who educate on and create with sustainability at the forefront! 

The Davis Food Co-op formed the Green Team early last year to track our environmental sustainability efforts and to find ways to improve storewide. We have drought-tolerant landscaping and a drip irrigation system to conserve water. We work with Recology, TerraCycle, ReCork, and others to reduce waste and improve diversion, along with store-wide sustainability training that covers waste sorting and greenwashing. Our produce department makes organic and local the priority, this reduces agricultural pollution from many conventional practices and local means less driving, transportation, and emissions! We track most of our sustainability metrics with the help of the National Cooperative Grocers and track our food waste and rescue by department, read more about this on our Food Rescue blog. 

The best thing for shoppers to do is stay up to date and educated on sustainability philosophies and practices. We recommend Defining Flourishing: A Frank Conversation About Sustainability by John R. Ehrenfeld and Andrew J. Hoffman to get you started. Read up on our blog page, under the sustainability sections to learn about small changes you can make in your day-to-day life that can reduce your carbon footprint, like DIY beeswax wraps and conserving food scraps to make broth. 

Sustainability is multifaceted. Not everything above or in our sustainability blog is economically feasible for everyone, and the effects of climate change are socially disproportionate. We have three more blogs later this month that will cover social and economic sustainability and the intersection of all three. Stay tuned. 

Written by Madison Suoja, Education and Outreach Specialist

More >>

Natural Home Cleaning

Natural Cleaning Essentials

Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the most versatile home cleaning ingredients. It’s a natural deodorizer, softens water, and cleans up proteins, grease, and animal messes. Baking soda is mildly abrasive, which makes it a safe option for scouring, plus it’s pretty inexpensive. 

Castile Soap

Unscented liquid or bar soap, like castile soap, will clean just about anything. Castile soap starts with a vegetable oil base and is biodegradable. Look for one without petroleum distillates.

Lemons and Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a strong acid and is effective against most household bacteria.

4 ways to use lemons

  • Rub a slice of lemon over a cutting board or chopping block to reduce bacteria
  • Toss a halved lemon in your garbage disposal to keep it smelling fresh
  • Use lemon juice to clean discolored utensils
  • Remove scratches on furniture or buff marble tabletops

Distilled White Vinegar

If you had just two natural cleaning products in your home, go with baking soda and distilled white vinegar. Use to wipe away grease and soap scum and to prevent and remove mold and wax build-up. As a mild acid, it can remove coffee, tea, and rust stains as well. Vinegar will be the base for many of the homemade cleaning products in this blog post. 

Vegetable or Olive Oil

Use vegetable or olive oil in homemade hardwood and shoe polishes. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

You probably already have hydrogen peroxide in your first aid kit for disinfecting wounds. You can use it to disinfect surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom too. It also has a mild bleaching effect making it a good stain remover option for fabrics and grout. It may cause some skin or respiratory irritation, so handle with care. That being said, it’s generally considered safer to use than bleach and will break down into water and oxygen, unlike bleach which can form dangerous fumes when mixed with common ingredients in other cleaning products.

Onions

It’s almost grilling season, which means it’s time to dust the ‘ol grill off after its long winter nap! Using a long grilling fork, rub half of an onion back and forth along the hot grates to remove grime and grit. 

Essential Oils

Essential oils aren’t strictly essential, but they can enhance many home cleaning products. Tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, lemongrass, and orange essential oils are the go-tos, but you can incorporate many others in your home cleaning routine. Some, like tea tree oil, are naturally antibacterial.

Homemade Cleaning Products

These recipes are intended to be less harmful alternatives for commercial cleaning products. In many cases, they’re less expensive too. Before applying any cleaning solutions, test in small areas. Always label homemade cleaning products and keep well out of the reach of children.

All Purpose Cleaner

  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ½ gallon water
  • Spray bottle
  • Optional: 20 drops lemon or orange essential oil

Mix together and transfer to a spray bottle. Use for removal of water deposit stains, chrome bathroom fixtures, windows, mirrors, etc.

Countertops

Granite and marble: Use castile soap and water for everyday cleaning. If you need a disinfectant, use hydrogen peroxide. Avoid using acidic cleaners like lemon and vinegar. 

Other countertops: The all purpose cleaner recipe above works on surfaces other than granite and marble.

Bathroom Mold Deterrent

  • 1 part hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 parts water
  • Spray bottle

Mix together hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle. Spray on areas prone to mold. Wait one hour before rinsing or using the shower. 

Carpet Freshener

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 20 drops of your favorite essential oil

Mix together baking soda and essential oil. Sprinkle liberally on carpet. Vacuum after a few hours.

Ceramic or Glass Stovetop Cleaner

Daily cleaning can be done with castile soap and water or the all purpose cleaner above. To remove tough bits of blackened food, wet the area with hot soapy water, sprinkle with baking soda, and cover with a damp towel. After 30 minutes, wipe away with a clean damp cloth. 

Clothing Stain Remover

Not all stains are created equally. However, vinegar can be used to remove many food stains. Spray thoroughly prior to washing. A 1:1 hydrogen peroxide and water solution can be used for grass and underarm stains. Use the same process as vinegar stain remover. 


Drain Cleaner (metal pipes only, do not use with plastic pipes)

Light cleaning: Heat 1 gallon of water and ½ cup salt on the stove. Do not boil. Pour down the drain. 

Heavy cleaning: Pour ½ cup baking soda down the drain, then pour ½ cup vinegar. After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clear residue. Do not use this cleaner after trying a commercial drain opener as the resulting chemical reaction can create dangerous fumes.  

Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Run garbage disposal with hot water and a handful of citrus peels for 20 seconds. Use heavy cleaning method above to remove fatty acid build up. 

Cleaning Walls and other Painted Surfaces

Ink spots and marks from pencils, crayons, or markers can be cleaned using baking soda applied to a damp sponge. Rub gently, wipe, and rinse. 

Floor Cleaner and Polish

Vinyl and linoleum: Mix 1 cup vinegar and a few drops of olive oil in a gallon of warm water. Use conservatively on linoleum. 

Wood: For regular cleaning use a solution of ¼ cup vinegar and ½ a gallon of warm water. Be sure you know what finish was used on your wood floors before using water. Test a small area first and use a barely damp mop to avoid harming finish. For polishing, apply a thin coat of 1:1 vegetable oil and vinegar. 

Brick and stone tiles: Mix 1 cup vinegar in 1 gallon of water. Rinse with clean water.

Furniture Polish

  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Spray bottle

Mix lemon essential oil, warm water, and olive oil. Spray lightly onto a soft cotton cloth. Wipe furniture with cloth. Finish by wiping furniture again with dry soft cotton cloth.

Moth Deterrent

Dry citrus peels in a 200 degree F oven for 2-4 hours, flipping every 30 minutes. Place citrus peels in cheesecloth and secure in your closet. 

Oil and Grease 

For spills on the garage floor or driveway, sprinkle liberally with baking soda and scrub with a wet brush. Rinse with water. 

Oven Cleaner

  • ¾ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup salt
  • ¼ cup water, plus more

Mix baking soda, salt, and ¼ cup water to make a thick paste. Dampen the oven interior with water using a clean sponge. Apply paste to the oven interior, but avoid bare metal and any openings. Allow the paste to sit overnight. Remove with silicone spatula and wipe clean. Fine steel wool can help remove tough grime. 

Scouring Powder

For your stovetop, fridge, and other surfaces that should not be scratched, apply baking soda directly. Rub gently with a damp sponge. 

Shoe Polish

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • A few drops of lemon juice

Apply solution to shows with a thick cotton towel. Leave for a few minutes and wipe away with a clean, dry rag.

More >>

How to Pi Day

3/14 is Pi Day

On Pi Day we celebrate by eating pie and pizza. We are eating circles, when really we should be eating half of a circle. 

The easiest way to ensure that you eat a pi amount of pie is to eat hand pies! They are naturally half circles. 

 

Controversial Opinion:

You can eat an entire Pie on Tao Day, 6/28

The Crust

Universal Basic Pie Crust

This Pie Crust is great for sweet or savory pies. It is easy to make and easy to mold. This is the pie crust for everyone (who can eat eggs). 

Ultra Flaky Crust

This recipe is delectable but delicate. In order to prevent the crust from cracking, you will need a high dexterity roll. This recipe is easily made vegan or gluten-free.

The Filling

Medeterrainian 

This tangy pie is full of spinach, artichoke hearts, and cheese. What more could you ask for?

Minestrone Inspired Pie

This minestrone inspired handpie is loaded with protein and fiber. Choose a few from the listed grains, all combinations will give a nutrient dense, filling pie.

Shephard’s Pie

Classic filling with mashed potatoes in a single serving size. 

Pizza Pie

It’s almost a calzone.

Mushroom

Have some fun…gus with this one. Use any and all the mushrooms you want. 

More >>