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Monthly Archives: February 2012

LAVENDER and all its wonders…

Surprisingly lavender is a herb that I don’t use each and every day maybe rosemary, fennel or mint but not lavender. It is so versatile and has so many great qualities. Beautiful and appealing to look at, like a flower, which is not very typical when looking at herbs such as mint, fennel or parsley. I thought I should inspire you with some lavender fact, tips, and uses and even spice it up by adding a recipe with use of lavender. Have a good read all food lovers.

Lavender is one of the well known herbs that there is. It is small with grey, downy, linear leaves withblue to violet flower petals and grows compact.

 A wide variety of lavender exists but consists of two main types:-Angustifolia most popular produces harsh camphoraceous oiland L. Stoechas, not usually planted becuase it is very hard but has a high camphor oil content.

When making use of lavender for cooking, health or wellbeing the fresh and dried flower tops are used.

It is aromatic, tonic herb with a sweet scent. It relaxes spasms, benefits the digestion, and stimulates the uterus and lower fever. It has an anti septic and depression effect.

How to grow it

  • By lavender from a garden centre or grow it from slips.
  • Lavender grows best in temperatures ranging from cool to how, but does not like humidity
  • Grow in full sun in a position protected from the wind.
  • The soil needs to be well drained, with good compost content and a pH balance of between 6, 5 and 7, 5.
  • Lavender is water wise, but should be watered in dry weather conditions.
  • Lavender is fully grown after 3 years. Cut back each year after flowering, to ensure the plants last longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uses for lavender

  • Lavender is an excellent insect repellent. Scatters bunches on your windowsills or hang near doors.
  • Drink lavender tea for a good night’s sleep or to settle a stomach. Infuse a heaped table spoon of fresh or dried flowers for 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten, if you prefer.
  • Use a strained infusion as a hair rinse to reduce dandruff.
  • Wrap two tablespoons of lavender flowers and oatmeal in a piece of muslin cloth and tie tightly. Attach this to your bath tap so the water runs over it into the bath.

Lavender bath salts

It’s always more exciting and fulfilling to make your own home remedies try this homemade bath salts. This would make a perfect homemade gift, if packaged in a nice glass jar with a ribbon.

Mix together one cup of Epsom salts, half a cup coarse sea salt, two table spoons of bicarbonate of soda and a handful of dried lavender flowers. Add one teaspoon of glycerine and a few drops of lavender oil and mix well. Pack in an airtight container and use within weeks. It also makes a good body scrub, but don’t use on open wounds.

Cooking with lavender

  • Use common lavender and other types of lavender when cooking.
  • Chopping or bruising leaves will help to release the flavour. Once the lavender is chopped you can store it in an airtight container in a cupboard.
  • Use the stems of the lavender sprigs to throw on the braai to add a hint of lavender to your grilled meat or chicken.
  • Put lavender flowers into a small jar with sugar and leave to infuse for a week. Use the lavender sugar to sprinkle onto a biscuit or desserts.

 

 

LAVENDER SCONES

 

Makes: 10

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Baking time: 10 minutes

Oven Temperature: 220°C

Ingredients:

80ml (75g) cold butter, cubed

410ml self-raising flour

45ml castor sugar

10ml chopped fresh parsley

1 large egg

30ml buttermilk

Berry or cherry jam and cream to serve.

Method:

1. Rub the butter into the flour. Add the castor sugar and lavender flowers.

2. Mix in the egg and buttermilk, don’t over mix. If dough is too dry, add a little more buttermilk.

3. Roll out to a 2,5cm thickness onto a lightly floured board. Cut out scone shapes with a scone cutter.

4. Place onto a greased baking and dusted baking sheet. Brush with a little extra buttermilk and dust with flour.

5. Bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.

6. Leave to cool then serve with jam and cream.

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Health and Beauty tips from the Kitchen Cupboard

Hi foodie lovers, It’s the food junkie!!!

 Don’t you just hate it when you can afford those health and beauty products in the cosmetics department or whatsoever department in the mall. Trying to find the perfect toner, moisturiser, and hair products to make your hair feel healthy and full of body. We all want to look our best and maintain a healthy life and body. So instead of looking in the shop for solutions I came across a FABULOUS article in a magazine one evening, and since then I have been looking in my kitchen cupboard for the perfect answers to healthy, flawless skin, hair and ways to take care of your body. Kitchen cupboard???You heard correct kitchen cupboard. Its sounds a bit unusual but who would think you could find the answers there. I truly advise you to try it out!!! I have tried one or two homemade remedies and truly it works! Especially the potatoes for puffiness and dark rings under those eyes. Here are some health and beauty tips plus facts from your own food cupboards. Interesting……….. a must read!!!

Look for these in your kitchen cupboards

 Olive oil:Rich in antioxidants

Bicarbonate of Soda: Suitable for all skin types, its texture is ideal for removing the top layer of dead skin cells.

Lemon: Rich in the wrinkle-fighting antioxidant vitamin C, and other nutrients, it works as a cleanser and purifier for both and skin. Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen.

Strawberry: Contains salicylic acid, which helps to exfoliate the rough and dead skin.

Avocado: Packed with fatty acids that add moisture.

Milk: Contains lactic acid, a form of alpha-hydroxy found in many beauty products. It exfoliates the skin, helping younger skin to emerge.

Honey: It attracts water, making it a natural moisturiser. It also has antibacterial properties and can be useful in reducing mild acne.

Cucumber: High in silicon and sulphur, it reduces heat and inflammation and stimulates hair growth.

 Egg: Filled with enzymes that firm your skin, it also fights acne as an enzyme called lysozyme fights bacteria.

Rosemary: It stimulates cell renewal, fights bacteria and regulates oil secretion. It is moisturising, heals burns and wounds, fights acne and stimulates hair growth.

 Apple: Contains iron, which nourishes and refreshes your skin.

Oatmeal : Made op of antioxidants, vitamin E, minerals and lipids that have a high level of fatty acids. It also contains benzoic acid, a natural PH adjuster and it absorbs UVA (ultraviolet light).

Green tea: Contains EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) which works as anti-inflammatory and amino acids that contains the flow of stress hormones and help keep collagen intact.

Natural yoghurt: Contains zinc, probiotics and anti-fungal properties that clear blemishes and also contains lactic acid that tightens and softens your complexion.

Vinegar: It promotes blood circulation in the small capillaries that keep skin moisturised and it regulates the pH balance of the skin.

Sugar: Contains glycolic acid that naturally exfoliates the skin. Not suitable for sensitive skin. Potato: It contains antioxidants and helps to keep the skin moisture.

 Coffee: The caffeine works as an antioxidant, protecting the skin from free radicals. Its coarse texture helps remove dead skin cells and its anti-inflammatory effects may help reduce cellulite.

A useful tip, always test on small area on your arm or face to see if you’re allergic to any of the foods.

 

Homemade health and beauty remedies:

 

Cleanser

Olive oil– Apply a little olive oil with a cotton pad to remove make-up Milk and

Honey– Make a paste with honey, water and milk powder. Massage it into your skin gently then rinse with lukewarm water.

 Milk– Apply milk with a cotton pad to your face to remove make-up and grime

 

 

 

Exfoliators

 Bicarbonate of soda– Combine a little bicarbonate of soda with your usual cleanser.

Strawberries– Mash strawberries, salt and a little bit of olive oil together.

Sugar– Mix a teaspoon of sugar with your face wash. NOT for sensitive skin.

 Oats– Put oatmeal onto a wet face cloth while showering and use as an all-over body exfoliant.

Honey– Mix together honey, ground almonds and lemon juice.

Olive oil– Add salt to olive oil for an all-over body scrub. Facial Moisturiser Olive oil- Mix a little into your usual face cream for added moisture.

 

Face Masks

Chamomile– Soak a face cloth in a cup of cool chamomile tea. Use to clean oily skin.

Avocado and honey– Mix together 1 avocado, 2 teaspoons of plain yoghurt, ½ teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of honey together and apply to your face. Ideal for dry skin.

 Strawberries– Mix lemon juice, 2 egg whites, honey and a cup of strawberries together and apply to skin. Leave on for 10 minutes. Ideal for oily skin. Apple- Rub a slice of apple on your face to help combat ageing.

Grapes and honey– Mix green grapes and 1 teaspoon of honey together. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse with warm water.

Honey– Warm honey between your hands and smooth over your face, concentrating on dry areas. Leave on for no longer then 15 minutes and wash with warm water.

 

Hair conditioners

 Egg– Mix together a teaspoon of baby oil, one egg yolk and a cup of water and massage into your scalp. Rinse well with warm water.

 Mayonnaise– For dry hair, comb mayonnaise through damp hair, then wrap your head in a towel snd leave for 20 minutes. Shampoo as usual.

Tip: Don’t leave for longer than 20 minutes or your hair may become too oily.

Vinegar– Make your hair shine by pouring cider vinegar water over your hair after shampooing it. It also helps fight dandruff.

 

Hair Cleaner

Bicarbonate of Soda– Get rid of product build –up by adding a little bit of bicarbonate of soda to your shampoo.

 

Hair Care

 Eggs + yoghurt + olive oil– Treat damaged dry hair by mixing together 2 whole eggs, 2 tablespoons of plain yoghurt and 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

Rosemary hot-oil treatment– For dry hair, mix half a cup of rosemary and half a cup of olive oil together, then heat and strain. Apply to scalp, wrap your head in a towel for 20 minutes then wash twice to remove all the oil.

 

Hands and Nails

Lemon juice– Use a small amount to whiten yellow fingernails.

Olive oil– Rub warm olive oil into your cuticles to soften them and on nails to strengthen them.

 

Skin

 Bicarbonate of soda and olive oil– Add olive oil and bicarbonate of soda to your bath for relaxing, moisturising soak.

Apple cider vinegar– Apply vinegar- soaked cloth to dry, cracked skin for 30 minutes to soothe it and prevent it from peeling.

 

Feet

 Olive oil– To moisturise dry and cracked feet, rub with warm olive oil and put clean socks on feet.

Bicarbonate of soda– Exfoliate calluses with a paste of bicarbonate of soda. Ease tension by soaking your feet in a bowl of bicarbonate of soda and warm water.

 Lemon- Soak feet in a bowl of warm water and lemon juice.

 

Crow’s feet

Olive oil– Rub olive oil on crow’s feet at night. Shaving Olive oil- Use olive oil when shaving your legs and underarms, and treat dry skin at the same time.

 

Combat redness

 Milk– Apply milk to areas that are prone to redness.

 

Eyes

Cucumber and potato– apply mixture of potato and cucumber juice with cotton wool to tired and irritated eyes. Feel the difference in 10 minutes.

Coconut oil– Apply coconut oil to dark circles nightly to reduce them overtime.

Herbal tea bags– Put cold herbal teabags on eyes to reduce puffy and tired eyes.

 

Cellulite

Coffee– Apply used coffee ground to cellulite areas, wrap cling wrap around the area and keep on for 30 minutes before rinsing off.

 

Scars

 Lemon- Regularly rub lemon peel over a scar to help fade.

 

Blackheads

Oats and honey– Mix oatmeal, honey and an egg white together and apply by gently rubbing onto the skin. Leave for 10-15 minutes. This will loosen blackheads and make them easier to remove.

Hello world!

Hi everybody

So this is my very first blog post! Daunting, nerve wrecking but hugely excited to say the least. I’ve finally joined the bloggers blogger sphere! Heck it’s the 21st century ….it’s about time I joined the virtual world. So for those who don’t know me…and haven’t yet read my “about me” page, my name is Deirdre and I am the food Junkie!

The aim of this blog will be to showcase the latest food trends, share a few recipes that I come across and a few that have been in my family and for the fun of it throw in some nutritious facts as well.

So like there is a start/beginning to everything, this marks the beginning of the food junkie journal. And where do we start….with breakfast of course!

It is said “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and most of us tend to skip breakfast, including me! I must confess i am guilty too yes you heard right me..

Though many of us take breakfast for granted because we don’t have time to prepare meals, if we had to wake up earlier to prepare the meal we rather sleep a little longer and then there are of us who say they don’t feel hungry.

 So before considering on skipping breakfast take a look at these facts on why breakfast is so important:

 • It is the breaking of the fast of the nights rest

• It provides you with energy, gives you that needed vooma for the day!

• Improves your mental performance

 • Improves your cognitive performance

• And helps with moods, you’re just in a better state of mind.

These are just a few facts on why breakfast is important for us there are loads and load of more the, list just keeps going. So let’s try and give breakfast another go!!

 I have found a few recipes that everyone can try out, they are simple-easy to prepare and even little kids can join in and help.

Banana, Honey and Apple Smoothie

 Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas, ripe bananas, halved
  • 300ml plain yoghurt
  • 30ml honey
  • 2 apples, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 30ml peanut butter
  • 400ml low-fat milk

Method

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend for about 1 minute. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.
Makes: 1, 2 litres

Servings: 6

Cinnamon Toast

Preparation time: 7 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of sliced bread
  • 40ml of butter, softened or room temp
  • 3ml teaspoon cinnamon
  • 15ml white granulated sugar

Method

1. A small bowl or jar, stir together the cinnamon and sugar so they are well mixed.

2. Toast your bread.

3. Slather the toast with butter.

4. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the buttered toast.

Makes two slices of cinnamon toast (and lots of smiles).

Peanut Butter and Oatmeal

Preparation time: 10 minutes

  • 125ml instant oats
  • 15ml Peanut Butter
  • 75ml  fresh berries (sliced strawberries)
  • 2ml. cinnamon sugar
  • 125ml water

Method

1.  Place the oats and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring continually.

2. Reduce heat to low, place lid on saucepan and allow oatmeal to simmer, stirring occasionally

3. Spoon the oatmeal into a bowl

4. Top with remaining ingredients.

Serves 1

References:

anon, 2012.Kraft Recipes: Peanut Butter and Oatmealhttp://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/peanut-butter-oatmeal-127592.aspx(14/02/2012)

anon.2012.Food24.com: Banana, honey and apple smoothie. [Online] Available:      

http://www.food24.com/Menus/Entertaining/Breakfast/Breakfastinbed/Banana-honey-and-apple-smoothie-20091103-2(14/02/2012)

Elise, 2012.Simply Recipes: Cinnamon Toast. [Online]Available:

http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/cinnamon_toast/(14/02/2012)