Cauliflower Roundup


Cauliflower
 is one of my favorite wonder foods and is known for its vast health benefits and cancer prevention properties including: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, digestive support, cardiovascular support, and so much more!

It also happens to be a tricky little bugger to incorporate into the diet – at least, my diet.  I find myself getting lazy and just chopping it up to add to salads.  But have you ever experienced the wonders of a cauliflower crust pizza or perfectly sautéed dish? 

Try these 8 delicious & healthy cauliflower recipes:

 

Wellness Profile - BUTTER via This Organic Life #butter #benefitsofbutter #realfood #grassfed #grassfedbutter #pasturedbutter #wellness #health

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As you begin reading this, you’re potentially in one of two camps:

1. You are freaked out that the word “wellness” and “butter” are showing up in the same line without any negating prefixes.  You think I’m potentially nuts or just uninformed, and you enjoy margarine from time-to-time, or you simply stick to plant-based fats. 

OR

2. You are already on board with the whole butter being good for you thing.  Been here, done this.  You’re wondering why you’re reading this instead of eating butter.

Okay, so that’s a bit of generalization.  But with this I mean to make the point that people tend to feel pretty strongly about butter one way or the other. 


This post is for those of you who are perhaps somewhere between these two camps.  Or maybe you’re in a third camp I didn’t mention.  Or you could even be settled quite firmly in one of these camps, but you’ve come to join me anyway.  Well, thanks for being here!  And read on, because this is where it gets good . . .

 

From a long-time staple in the diet to a murderer and back again, butter has been both friend and foe to our species at different points in history.  I’m here today to clear butter’s rep, but before I get into the many benefits of this wholesome food, let’s explore a little more about where we’ve been with butter . . .

 

A Little History

Somewhere between 1920 and 1960, the incidence of heart disease rose to become America’s #1 killer.  Interestingly, during this time, butter consumption was at an all-time low — it dropped from roughly 18 pounds per person annually to a mere 4 pounds (source).  

At this same time, especially around the 1970s, saturated fat and cholesterol were made the villains in our diet.  And so began our nation’s obsession with all things low-fat, fat-free, and processed (aka fake).  We began replacing real food provided to us by nature that had been trusted by ancient cultures as nourishing & healing (i.e., butter) with replacements made of chemicals and disguised as health foods.  Margarine?  Oh dear, don’t get me started.  (Wellness Mama has a wonderful article on Why You Should Never Eat Margarine). The facade of the low-fat movement lasted for a couple of decades at least before the mainstream really caught on to its lies.  

Hold on a second, isn’t eating real, full fats that our bodies know how to absorb a bit better for us than putting things in our body that are unfamiliar and made of chemicals?

Wait . . . our brains are essentially coated in fat, right?  Don’t we . . . need . . . fat?

Thankfully, things are starting to change for our dear friend butter.  People like me, who once relied on I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (really, I can’t believe why it exists) and 1 calorie spray “butter” are now embracing full-fat pastured butter with joy and ease.   

Butter Quote via This Organic Life #butter #health #wellness #benefitsofbutter #realfood

So who’s the real villain?

Sugar and processed foods are really to blame for many of our biggest health issues.  From heart disease to obesity and even cancer, our culture’s excessive consumption of sugary goodness and packaged products has made these illnesses skyrocket.  

Get this:

Cardiologist Aseem Malhotra, who recently issued a call in the British Medical Journal to “bust the myth of saturated fat’s role in heart disease,” notes that in the last 30 years the rate of obesity in the United States has skyrocketed, even though the percentage of calories we are consuming from fat has declined by 10% (source).

 


Butter Benefits

Note: The butter I’m talking about here is real, pastured butter.  The best source of this would be from your own livestock who’ve grazed on grass as much as possible.  If you must purchase butter, check out your local co-op or farmers market, or visit the farmer herself, and find the most grass-lovin’ butter you can get.  A couple of good store-bought brands are Organic Valley (in the green wrapper) & Kerrygold.

Energy

Butter provides a quick source of energy that is wholesome with no negative side effects.  

Anti-inflammatory

Most people that know anything about health are aware that inflammation is a big culprit when it come to many forms of illness.  In fact, remember when saturated fats (ahem, butter) were considered the biggest contributor to heart disease?  Well, actually, it’s inflammation that is believed to be a leading driver of heart disease.  

Luckily, a nutrient found in butter – butyrate, or butyric acid - is known for its inflammation-fighting abilities.  

Vitamin D

We’ve all heard that vitamin D is pretty special.  Butter is one of the few sources of food that gives our bodies this essential vitamin that is also necessary in order for us to absorb calcium.

Antioxidants

As if butter isn’t amazing enough, it contains antioxidants that actually protect against weakening arteries.  Remember when butter was bad for our arteries?  Yeah . . .

Selenium

Selenium is a vital mineral that the body cannot produce on its own.  Butter happens to be rich in this mineral that is known for fighting free radicals, boosting the immune system, protecting against some forms of cancer, and protecting from heart disease.  More info on selenium.

Vitamin A

Butter is known to be our best and most easily absorbed form of this vitamin that promotes healthy immune function, vision, reproduction, heart, kidney, lungs, and other organs.  

 

There are many more benefits to butter, but I’ve chosen to highlight just these few here.  

 


What do you love about butter?

Do you have any favorite recipes that incorporate this health food?

Share in the comments below!

 

Resources

 

Sources

http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/why-butter-is-better

http://bodyecology.com/articles/benefits_of_real_butter.php#.Uzx5W16prLk

http://authoritynutrition.com/grass-fed-butter-superfood-for-the-heart/

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/107/3/499.full

Horsefeathers Gifts Giveaway via This Organic Life #giveaway #horsefeathersgifts

I’ve been doing a lot of homesteading/gardening related giveaways lately, so I’m excited to switch it up a bit with this latest one!  I’m thrilled to share that you can enter to win a $50 - now through April 15 - to spend at a wonderful fellow handmade Etsy shop, Horsefeathers Gifts.

This shop features all handmade in America, eco-friendly jewelry including original silk wrap bracelets, wax seal pendants, custom pet & fingerprint keepsakes, and hand-stamped jewelry.


I love their pieces and think they’re the perfect look to bring us back into spring with all the bright colors and cheerful messages.  I just got their “Be the Change” silk wrap bracelet and love it.  It’s so unique and comfy and also has a good message :)

 

Enter the giveaway by following a few simple steps below, and for a limited time, use the code SUNSHINE at checkout in Horsefeathers Gifts’ Etsy shop to receive 20% off your entire order!

 

Terms & Conditions 

The winner of this giveaway will be chosen via random.org. This giveaway ends at 12:00 AM on April 16, 2014. The winner will be contacted by email by Horsefeathers Gifts and will have 48 hours to respond with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents.

 

To Enter:

 

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10 Cool Season Vegetables via This Organic Life

Depending on where you live, it may feel like spring will never come . . . or, if you’re one of the lucky ones, spring is in full force around you.  You may already be growing many of these lovely crops, and then some.  

For those of us in the Midwest and other zones that do stay relatively cool until this time of year, we have to take special care to only plant what is cold-hardy.  Cool season vegetables are those that do well in the cooler and shorter days of the *shoulder seasons.  Some vegetables, such as kale, actually develop a nicer flavor after a frost.


 

 *Note: I’m using the term “shoulder seasons” to refer to the seasons that sit on either side of the primary growing season of summer – spring & fall.  This term is originally from the travel industry to describe the time between peak & off-peak seasons of travel, especially spring & fall, when fares tend to be lower.  It may be an odd or new term to some, but I’ve heard many in the gardening/farming world use it to also refer to the time between peak & off-peak seasons of growing.

Now, let’s explore some of my top 10 favorite veggies to grow early in the season . . . 

10 Cool Season Vegetables to Plant this Spring: 

 

© Original Organics Photography

1.) Greens

Greens of all kinds thrive in the cold.  In fact, in most places, growing greens in the heat of summer will cause them to “bolt” (go to seed quickly) right away and thus not produce anything very harvestable.  

Here are some greens to plant in spring: lettuce, spinach, mustard greens, arugula, mizuna.  You can plant most of these out about 4-6 weeks before the last frost, but here in Minnesota, that would be…now.  Unfortunately for us, we still have snow on the ground, so you want to wait until the soil temperature reaches about 45 degrees.

  

© Original Organics Photography

 2.) Peas

Peas are one of – if not the - first plants you can plant in the garden come spring.  

Direct sow peas outside before the last frost.  You can do so as soon as 4-6 weeks before the last frost, or same as with greens, when soil temp hits about 45 degrees.  

 


3.) Radishes

Radishes are some of my favorite things to plant in spring – not only because their bright colors and penetrating flavor are a welcome change from the monotony of winter, but also because it takes them just a month from seed to harvest.  These will be some of the first goodies to come out of your garden this season.

© Original Organics Photography

 

4.) Onions

onion_plants
Onions are a staple in any garden.  Once harvested, they can be eaten fresh and raw, aged, sautéed, grilled, as the central part of a dish or just an added flavor.

Plant onions outside a few weeks before the last frost once the ground is thawed, and you will be eating them within a couple of months depending on the variety.

 

 

© Original Organics Photography

 

 

 

5.) Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a funny little plant, at least to many people.  Plant this bulb outside before the last frost and it will thrive in cool temperatures.  In fact, kohlrabi that mature in cooler temps are wonderfully sweet.

 

 

 

 

 

6.) Carrots

Interplant your carrots with radish and you’ll save space.  You’ll harvest the radishes first, so once the carrots begin to fill out, they will have the space to do so.  You can plant them just before the last frost and you’ll be enjoying fresh carrots from the garden (there’s nothing that compares to this flavor!) come summer.

© Original Organics Photography

 

 © Original Organics Photography7.) Kale

Oh sweet (or bitter) kale.  Your health benefits know no bounds.  You can be planted in spring and harvested through fall & into winter.  You are an amazing plant and giver of nourishment.  

Seriously, friends, plant kale in the spring (after starting indoors from seed or planting as a seedling) and you can harvest its leaves (while leaving some to keep it going) throughout the season into the first frost or two.  Kale’s flavor is even enhanced after a frost.  
 

 

8.) Broccoli

broccoli

Broccoli is one of those crops that brings such reward in growing it.  Unlike greens, radish, peas, and other quick-to-harvest plants, broccoli takes a lot of nurturing and time to produce its wonderful reward.  But once you’ve had broccoli fresh out of the garden, you may never look back.  Did you know how green it can actually be?!

If you live somewhere with a quick and unpredictable spring, you may do better growing broccoli in fall – starting the seeds in late summer and harvesting in late fall when temperatures are cool and finish the flavor of broccoli just right.  If you are growing in spring, get your seeds going inside 4-6 week before you will set out, which can be just before the last frost.  

 

9.) Cabbage

Cabbage is kind of the love of my life. Okay, maybe it’s more just one of my favorite veggies.  I think I tend to root for the underdog, and in the veggie world, I feel like cabbage is low on the totem pole.

This amazing vegetable is not only amazingly good for you, but also, it’s fun to grow, can be grown in both the spring and fall, stores well, and can be turned into oh-so-many dishes from salads to sauerkraut.  Cabbage does well started from seed indoors and then transplanted into your garden a few weeks before the last frost.  Like broccoli, its window can be short in spring, so be sure to get it going right away, and try another crop in late summer/fall as well.

© Original Organics Photography

 

10.) Weeds!

© Original Organics Photography

Yes, you read that right.  Once you get your garden going this spring, you may have some (unwelcome) friends that join your abundance. 

You may not actually be intentionally planting these nourishing foods, but before you pull up every non-intentional crop in sight, consider what you look at as weeds.  There are many weeds that are good for us, abundant, and quite tasty.  Lamb’s quarters and stinging nettle are only a couple examples.

 

 

Did you like these photos?

All of them – except  #4 (onion) & #8 (broccoli) – were taken by me.  My photography website & business is Original Organics Photography.  Prints and other art pieces are also available of many of these lovely veggies from my Society6 shop:

Original Organics' Society 6 Shop

 

 

Tasty Food Photography eBook

Benefits of Living in a Tiny House via Original Organics #tinyhouse #tinyhome #homesteading #simplify #simpleliving #ecohome #ecofriendly #benefitsoftinyhouse #tinyhousebenefits #mortgagefree #build #buildtinyhouse (image source

It all started unexpectedly.  One recent day, my husband showed me a listing for a lovely tiny house located in Tennessee.  The idea was initially appealing because it was adorable (in a classy, hey-I-can-actually-picture-myself-using-that-hobbit-shower-and-going-to-the-bathroom-in-that-charming-compostable-toilet kind of way).  Then I began thinking about all the money we could save that we’re currently putting into rent (aka going nowhere toward our future ownership of a home) and the benefits of living in a more simple space.  

I quickly responded that while it was a pretty cool tiny house, we couldn’t pull it off since we don’t have anywhere to park it.  My husband said, jokingly, that we could park it in my parents’ yard, which is conveniently located in Tennessee near the tiny house listing we found.


Then it began.  I rapidly hatched a plan for how we would buy this tiny house – which soon turned into building our own as we learned how much less expensive that would be – and park it in my parents yard all while saving money, reconnecting with my family (who I’ve not lived in the same area as in over 10 years), and dreaming up our next big plan.  

Before this elaborate plan was developed, I’d never given tiny houses a whole lot of thought.  After all, I want an expansive homestead so we can have abundant gardens, animals, and…babies.  And where does one put all those babies?  Okay, I don’t anticipate we’ll have more than a few children, but still, how does a whole family live in a home whose very name declares its miniscule-ness?!  

Then I watched this video, and began to calm down a little.  

My husband and I don’t have kids yet.  We have (thankfully) little debt that will be paid off soon.  We have a  dream of someday owning a lovely, expansive homestead.  Within all of this, though, lies the potential for a tiny house.  

Why not put money that we would otherwise be throwing away on rent into something that we can own, that will be ours with the amount we spend on rent in just a couple of years?  Why not save up for our homestead while we live in something that is ours, our very own special place that we built – rather than live in someone else’s home/apartment that we can never fully make our own?

So, I’ve been thinking and researching a lot lately about the benefits of living in a tiny house.  People think I’m crazy and that the two of us could last in a space that small for more than a few months. Maybe this is true, but before I throw in the towel, I want to give this whole thing the benefit of the doubt.


This is why I’ve collected what I see as being the greatest Benefits of Living in a Tiny House (in the voice of a non-tiny home resident): 

 

1.) Save Money

Mortage/Rent

It may seem counter-intuitive, like, hey if I buy/build a tiny house, I’m spending what could have been my down payment on a nice homestead on this teeny tiny home.  That’s a thought that’s crossed my mind, at least.  The way I see it, though, is why not fully pay off a home as quickly as possible?  If you are currently renting and saving up for your future home, or even if you’re paying a mortgage on a home right now, you can fully own a tiny house after just a couple of years.  30-year mortgage?  How about a 2-year mortgage?  Or better yet, pay that thing off right away with what you’ve saved up for a down payment.  Now, that’s pretty appealing!  

Stuff

Let’s face it, when you have a big house with big rooms, there is open space.  This open space tends to get filled. . . with stuff.  We tend to grow into whatever size space we live in; it’s only natural.  But, with less space to fill, we have less stuff to spend/waste our money on to filling the space.  

Heating & Cooling

Less space = less money & energy spent heating and cooling this space.  

Consider this: in a larger home, much of the house is heated or cooled that you may or may not spend time in.  We’re spending money to heat areas that we literally just pass through.   In a tiny home, energy efficiency is maximized not only because it’s a smaller space, but because most parts of the home are being utilized and thus not wasted.

 

2.) Create

Assuming that you’re building your tiny home or at least having a part in its creation, this is a wonderful opportunity to create something that is uniquely yours. Think of all the ways you can collect (while saving money!) parts of the home that speak to you and your individual style.

This woman is a wonderful inspiration when it comes to creating a unique space:

 

3.) Simplifying

This goes along with the idea of having less space to collect stuff.  Whether it’s frustrating or liberating, having less space to store things in is an opportunity to simplify and cut back on what we don’t need. What would it look like if we only had in our homes what we truly need?  To me, this looks liberating.

 

4.) Less Time Spent Cleaning

A tiny house takes a fraction of the time it takes to clean and maintain an average-sized home. This for me is a big plus.  When I picture moving into a larger homestead versus a tiny home, I’m more drawn to the tiny home for the fact that I will gain time I would otherwise have spent cleaning up the larger space.  

Just imagine the many things you can do with all the time you will spend not cleaning in your tiny (and tidy) home! 

 

5.) Eco-Friendly

Living in a smaller space, using less resources & energy, and having less stuff are all wonderful ways to live more lightly on the earth.  Since living in a tiny home is less expensive, we can invest what money we are putting into the home on high-quality, eco-friendly materials that are better for us and the environment.  

 

Resources:

 

 

Do you actually live in a tiny house?  What are the benefits and the drawbacks of your lifestyle?
Are you considering living in a tiny house? What do you think?  
Share in the comments below!

 

Farm Fashion Giveaway via Original Organics #giveaway #farm #farmfashion #farming #boots #bogs #hunterboots #hunter #garden #gardening #organic #natural #amazon #giftcard #amazongiftcard #win #shop #ecofriendly

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Happy spring everyone! Okay, so it’s not exactly spring yet, but it’s March, and that means we’re that much closer to farming and gardening goodness.  I’m dreaming of bare feet in soil, permadirt on fingers, and being responsible for the many precious lives in the garden.  I’m also looking forward to donning my farming attire for the first time in months.  For those that are farmers or gardeners full-time, there’s not a lot of opportunity to dress things up.

This is why me and some of my fellow homestead bloggers are hosting this GIVEAWAY: for all the fashionable farmers out there that are looking to express themselves on the field.  It doesn’t have to be couture, but it can be cute :)

By entering (follow the few steps below), you have a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card to spend on your favorite farm fashion (or . . . anything else you want!)

 


To Enter:

1.) Subscribe to my newsletter by entering your email below:

 

You are free to unsubscribe at any time after this giveaway has ended. I will not share your email address with a third party. Your email address is solely used for This Original Organic Life and general/sporadic updates. (If you’re already a subscriber, just continue to Step 2. You will confirm you subscription in the Rafflecopter widget below.) 

 

2.) Click here to check out my favorite farm fashion accessory (disclaimer: I don’t own these lovely boots but someday…someday) and leave a blog comment letting me know what your favorite touches of flare are for when you’re farming or gardening.

 

3.) Head to the Rafflecopter widget below to confirm your entries and unlock opportunities to gain additional entries.

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Submit photos via Instagram and use the hashtag #farmfashion for your chance to be featured on one of the participating blogs’ (see below) Instagram feed as our Farm Fashionista of the Day! 

Farm Fashion Giveaway via Original Organics #farmfashion

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Be sure to visit the other blogs co-sponsoring this giveaway:

 

Bee Tree Farm

Hullabaloo Homestead

Elston Backyard Farms

Ever Growing Farm

Blue Yurt Farms

Bee Tree Farm

Faulk Farmstead

Earthworms and Marmalade

Green Eggs and Goats

The Farmstead

 

The winner will be chosen via random.org. This giveaway ends at 12:00 AM on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014. The winner will be contacted by email, and will have 48 hours to respond with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents.  You have the freedom to spend your $100 gift card on whatever you’d like from Amazon.com.

 

 

Tasty Food Photography eBook

Guide to Conscious Consumerism via Original Organics #conscious #consumer #ecofriendly #shopping #consciousconsuming #

 

I do my best to focus more on creating (rather than consuming) on my blog.  I believe it is important to do things from scratch when possible – it tends to be much cheaper, healthier, better for the environment, and just feels darn good to so.  

In a utopian world, my life would be full of consciously-concocted creations, all made by myself, my family members, or close friends & neighbors.  Yes, such a world has existed, it is possible, and I believe it is wise to try to get back to these roots as much as we can.

However, I know that not everyone can DIY everything around them.  I don’t even touch on the idea of making my own clothes on this blog because it’s simply something I don’t know how to do.  So for me, this is a very clear realm in which I have to source from other venues outside of my own skills.  


With this, the question of where to purchase my clothes often emerges.  When I can’t create something in my own home, where do I acquire it?  What are the conditions in which it was created?  Who made it?  How much are they getting paid?  Is the material healthy for me, the environment, and the person(s) who made it?  

These are just a few of the questions that I try to ask myself when making decisions about my purchases. In this quick Guide to Conscious Consumerism, I will share with you some of the top questions I incorporate into my decisions when it comes to making purchases or consuming new goods.

 

 Here are the overarching points I consider when consuming:

  • Where a product is made
  • How it’s made
  • Who is making it
  • What it’s made of
  • Why I need this product or good

 

Where was this good made?

When considering where a product is made/created, I ask the following questions:

  • Is it local?
  • How far did it travel to get from its very beginning to my hands?
  • If it’s from far away or possibly questionable conditions, is there a more close to home alternative?
  • Is it made in a factory that emits toxic waste, for example, or a sustainably-run farm?

 

How was this good made?

  • Are the practices used to create this product detrimental to human or environmental health?
  • How many resources were used to create this product? (Water, oil, etc.)
  • Do the conditions in which it was made try to minimize impact on the environment through renewable energy, use of recycled materials, or other ways of reducing waste?

 

Who made this good? 

This relates to human/workers rights and working conditions:

  • Are those that created this product or good working in positive conditions?
  • Do they make a living wage?

It also ties into the concept of fair trade:

  • Is every party involved in the creation and delivery of this good being treated equally and paid fairly?  

And who we’re supporting with our money:

  • Who is behind this product that I’m supporting? Is it a large corporation, a small business, an individual?  
  • Is this the kind of business/company that I feel good supporting?

 

What is this good made of?

This ties in to the question of how a good is made.

  • What is behind/underneath/within this product?  What is it actually made of?  
  • Are there any unnecessary (and possibly harmful/toxic) ingredients/materials in this product?
  • Is this made of ingredients or materials that are nourishing and healthy for my body?


Why do I need this good?

This is a question that I ask myself far too rarely.  A product can be made with “eco-friendly” practices – from sustainably-harvested materials and with positive treatment of employees  - but still, I may have absolutely no need for it.  

This, for me, is both the first and the last question I ask myself.  I have to dig deep and really be honest with myself when considering whether I really need something or not.  Of course, I do purchase things that I want and don’t just need, but in working toward simplicity, I am constantly trying to get better at evaluating why I feel the need to obtain more stuff.  I help figure out my need for something by asking questions like:

  • Will this item improve my life?
  • Can I function happily without this item?
  • Do I already own something like this?
  • What unique purpose or role can this product play in my life that nothing else can?
  • Where will this “live” in my home?  Do I have room for it?
  • Is this a high-quality product that meets my standards as a conscious consumption?
  • Can I truly afford this?

These are just a few tidbits to get us all started on – or at least further down – the road of becoming more aware of what we are consuming and why.

 

Do you have any other questions you’d add to this list?
Share in the comments below!

 

And if you’d like to delve further into these questions and are looking for some good resources for consuming consciously, I recommend these books:


 

Tasty Food Photography eBook

10 Foods That Don't Need to be Refrigerated #food #veggies #foodsnottorefrigerate #fruit

 

I grew up thinking pretty much everything (except for that pile of onions under our kitchen sink) should be refrigerated.  Little did I know that there was a whole world of foods that actually are better off when left out of the fridge.  

I tried to keep this list to things that are a little lesser-known. It seems the majority of people know not to refrigerate onions or garlic, for example, but not many know about a few of the items on the list that are best left out.  


The thing is, most refrigerators are kept at 40° and below, and many foods (mostly fruits & veggies) simply prefer to be stored at higher temperatures than this (check out this wonderful food storage chart). This is why many people (especially those who have lots of vegetables around – aka farmers) have different forms of cold storage, such as root cellars.  That’s another blog post for another, day, though ;)  For now, let’s talk about . . .

 

10 Foods that Don’t Need to be Refrigerated:

 

© Original Organics Photography

Tomatoes

The flavor of tomatoes tends to become compromised with refrigeration. They can also get a bit too mushy. Especially if you purchase farm-fresh tomatoes, they can be left out on the counter (as long as it’s not near a hot stove) for a week or so.  The riper the tomatoes are at the time you acquire them, the shorter the period they’ll last out of the fridge.  

I do end up refrigerating my tomatoes sometimes when it’s warmer out (since I don’t have a nice cool storage area or air conditioning!) or if I have a surplus and won’t get to use them for a while.  

More info


Bread

Though refrigerating bread is pretty common (likely because we know we can freeze bread to make it last longer and thus assume refrigeration is good for bread as well), can actually make it go stale faster!  The ideal conditions for freshly-baked bread are a moist inside and a dry outer crust.  When bread is refrigerated, the moisture becomes dispersed more uniformly around the bread, thus accelerating the staling process. 

Instead, store your bread in a paper bag or wrapped in a cloth towel and keep it in a bread box (like this or this).

 

© Original Organics Photography(Some) Herbs

Many herbs (especially freshly harvested) do better left out of the fridge in a glass  of water.  

Basil is one that is especially susceptible to wilting and damage from the cold and thus doesn’t like refrigeration.

Try it with your next batch of herbs and see how they do!  Some herbs do prefer the fridge, so try this method of storing them in a glass of water within the fridge and watch them flourish!  I just had some cilantro I did this with (and stored in the fridge), and it lasted 2-3 weeks while within a few days of being in the fridge not stored in water, my cilantro would wilt horribly.


Peppers

This is pretty much the same deal as tomatoes.  Peppers tend to get pretty wrinkly and actually go bad faster in the fridge.  The same can be said for leaving them out of the fridge for too long, like tomatoes.  Test out different areas of your kitchen that are a little warmer than your refrigerator but not too warm to see what might be an ideal storage spot for these night shade veggies.

 

Winter Squash

Winter squash does well in temperatures between 50-60 degrees.  If you have a nook or cranny in your kitchen that is cool and dark, it could be a great place for these hefty beauties.  

 

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Apples

Apples can go a few weeks left unrefrigerated if it’s not too hot where you’re storing them.  I prefer to keep my apples out of the fridge as I don’t like how cold they feel on my teeth when they’ve been refrigerated.

 

Butter

Being that butter is made of pasteurized milk, the chances of it going “bad” or accumulating bacteria are relatively low.  Its low water content and (if there is) added salt both inhibit bacteria growth.  

I can’t officially tell you how long to leave or not to leave your butter out.  I leave mine out for several days at a time as it is fresh, salted butter.  I much prefer softened butter that spreads smoothly and easily.

source. source. and source. 

 

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Berries

Berries don’t need to be refrigerated when they’re fresh, but they will keep longer if they are.  I prefer my freshly-picked berries to be left out in my not-too-hot kitchen for a few days while I munch away.  

A bigger issue with berries as mold.  Once washed, they should be refrigerated to avoid mold – or be sure to dry them well.  If you trust where your berries are from, though, or picked them yourself, there’s not really a need to wash them.

 

Melons

Whole melons like watermelon and cantaloupe do well left out of the fridge.  Especially if they need a little extra ripening time, you can leave them out on your counter safely. One study by the USDA even found that the antioxidant content in melons may be better when left unrefrigerated.  

 

Farm Fresh Eggs

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This one’s a bit controversial, so I’m going to say first, to leave eggs out of the fridge at your own risk.  This being said, all eggs contain a ”cuticle” or “bloom,” which is a protective coating that covers the shell as the egg is laid and prevents dirt, manure, and air-borne bacteria from entering the egg via the pores in its shell.  This coating also keeps bacteria out when the egg is left unrefrigerated.  

Many a-farmer friend of mine have left their chickens eggs left out of the fridge with this protective coating still in tact (by not washing their eggs until just before they use them).

 

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Do you have any other foods you’d add to this list?

Share in the comments below!

peace & beets

 

 

Wellness Profile - TURMERIC via Original Organics #turmeric #health #herbs #herbalmedicine #benefitsofturmeric #wellness #realfood #naturalhealth #inflammation #antiinflammation #cancerfighting #alternativemedicine

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Chances are you’ve heard about the amazingness of turmeric spreading in the news lately.  But this ancient herb has long been known for its healing properties before it became a mainstream wonder child of the real food world. Largely known for its anti-inflammatory abilities, turmeric boasts many health benefits.  Introduce this herb it into your diet along with black pepper to receive its full benefits: pepper multiplies the body’s absorption of turmeric by 2000! (source


According to Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD: “The turmeric root yields a yellow powder that is the principal ingredient in yellow curry.  It is also one of the most common ingredients used in Ayurvedic medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties.  No other food ingredient has such a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.

 

Here are some of the Best Benefits of Turmeric:

1.) Turmeric is cancer fighting.

Inflammation has been known as the fuse that ignites cancer, and being that turmeric has such strong anti-inflammatory properties, it is known to be one of the most cancer-fighting foods. Attributed to the high intake of turmeric in their diet, Indians have 1/8 as many lung cancers as Westerners, 1/9 as many colon cancers, 1/5 as many breast cancers, and 1/10 as many kidney cancers (source).

 

2.) Turmeric relieves arthritis.

Arthritis by definition is inflammation of the joints.  Turmeric helps to reduce inflammation in the body, thus relieving arthritis.  A recent study found that pretreatment with turmeric completely inhibited the onset of rheumatoid arthritis in rats.  This study also found that using turmeric for pre-existing rheumatoid arthritis resulted in a significant reduction of symptoms.

 

3.) Turmeric is a natural antibacterial agent.

Turmeric has natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can aid in the healing process.  It can also help repair damaged skin and can be used in the treatment of psoriasis.  

 

4.) Turmeric can protect against Alzheimer’s.

A number of studies have suggested that curcumin, the principal molecule in turmeric, protects against Alzheimer’s by activating a gene that codes for the production of antioxidant proteins.  In addition, likely due to the prevalence of turmeric in the Indian diet, Indians have one of the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s in the world (source).  


5.) Turmeric can help maintain weight & promote weight loss.

Research suggests that curcumin may be helpful in the treatment and prevention of obesity-related chronic diseases.  Additionally, it can be useful in increasing the flow of bile, which aids in breaking down dietary fat.

 

6.) Turmeric is antioxidant/immune-boosting.

“A general immune system booster due to its high antioxidant capacity, turmeric is five to eight times stronger than vitamins C and E, and even strong enough to scavenge the hydroxyl radical, which is considered by some to be the most reactive of all oxidants” (source).

 

There are so many more benefits of this wonder herb, but I just wanted to touch on some of my favorites today.  Happy curry-ing! :)    

 

peace & beets

 

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Gardening GIVEAWAY: Survival Seed Vault (100% Non-GMO, Heirloom Seeds) via Original Organics

 

Hi gardening & homesteading folk!  Are you dreaming of green pastures and hands digging in earth?  I definitely am.  With over 1 month’s worth of days below zero here in Minnesota, the days of gardening seem so distant, but I have hope that they will come before we know it!  

In honor of the gardening season being on the horizon, I’ve partnered with some other wonderful homesteading bloggers to offer you a GIVEAWAY.

Here’s what 3 lucky individuals will have a chance to win by following the steps below:

Survival Seed Vault

Gardening GIVEAWAY: Survival Seed Vault (100% Non-GMO, Heirloom Seeds) via Original Organics

Filled with over 20 varieties of 100% non-GMO, heirloom, & open-pollinated seeds – enough to grow a one-acre garden!  

 

To Enter:

1. Subscribe to my newsletter by entering your email below:

 

You are free to unsubscribe at any time after this giveaway has ended. I will not share your email address with a third party. Your email address is solely used for This Original Organic Life and general/sporadic updates. (If you’re already a subscriber, just continue to Step 2. You will confirm you subscription in the Rafflecopter widget below.)

 

2. Check out the Survival Seed Vault then come back here to leave a blog comment letting me know which of the 20 seed varieties you’d be most excited to grow!

 

3. Head to the Rafflecopter widget below to confirm your entries and unlock opportunities to gain additional entries.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit the other blogs co-sponsoring this giveaway:

 

The Toups Address 

The Farmstead

Little Homestead on the Range

Faulk Farmstead

Earthworms and Marmalade 

RiddleLove

Homestead Honey

The Jahner Farmstead

Learning and Yearning

 Green Eggs and Goats 

The Randazzo’s 

Five Little Homesteaders 

Blue Yurt Farms

 The Browning Homestead at Red Fox Farm 

 

This giveaway ends at 12:00 AM on Tuesday, February 18th, 2014. Three winners will be chosen at random and will be notified by email.  Each will have 48 hours to respond with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents.

  

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