Here we go with a link to the Environmental Working Group’s assessment of sunscreens. Let me know if you have any questions. I assume the sun will come out this summer?!
So it seems that people either love rhubarb or actively despise it. I’m one of the rhubarb lovers and have been happily stewing rhubarb for the past few days. I’m the only one in my household who likes it, so, all the more for me! Here’s how I make it:
Go in the backyard with a knife and hack off 3 stalks from our plant lovingly named “Ruby”. My kids make me apologise each time I cut her up. Jeepers. You can also buy stalks of rhubarb at the grocery store or farmers’ market.
Wash off the stalks then chop them up in 1/2 inch slices.
Throw them into a saucepan and pour a small amount of water into the pot. Just enough to cover the bottom of the pot so it doesn’t burn. Not enough to cover the rhubarb.
Turn the stove top onto minimum heat and cover the chopped rhubarb.
Get distracted by the millions of things.
Recall that I’m cooking rhubarb when it starts to smell delicious. I think a better way to do this would be to time it. So let’s say after 20 min, check on the rhubarb and give it a stir.
Add honey. You can add 1 tsp if you like it tart or 1 Tbsp if you like it sweeter.
When is it done? When you stir the rhubarb and it all falls apart into a stringy sweet gooey mess, it’s done.
You can add it to granola, toast, ice cream, whatever you like. Or eat it out of the pot.
Rhubarb is very high in fibre and high in vitamin K and contains vitamin C.
check out my contribution to our latest newsletter…
Here is the link to the Environmental Working Group’s guide on sunscreens for kids:
Hope it helps!
Here is a recipe for Irish Soda Bread. My dad’s side is Irish and, well, St. Paddy’s is coming up soon…
My daughter made this bread a little while ago. It was delish! She used spelt instead of wheat flour. And she used the last of the rice milk (3/4 c) topped up with melted butter (3/4 c) for the liquid. Apparently you can just add lemon juice to alternative milk instead of buttermilk. She took it more literally and it tasted great!
The original recipe has caraway seeds in it. I guess you can add them if you want it to be gross. Apparently I don’t like caraway seeds. You can, however, add sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, raisins, currents, or dried apple bits. Those are yummy.
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (spelt or kamut flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking-soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups (about) buttermilk (3/4 c rice milk + 3/4 c melted butter)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly flour baking sheet. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Mix in enough buttermilk to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball. Turn out onto lightly flour surfaced and knead just until dough holds together, about 1 minute. Shape dough into 6-inch-diameter by 2-inch-high round. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cut 1-inch-deep X across top of bread, extending almost to edges. Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.
It’s that time of year again when colds, flus, and infections start popping up everywhere. With the kids back to school lots of families are exposed to all kinds of viruses and bacteria just waiting to grab hold. Here are some easy herbs that fight these infectious little stinkers:
Garlic – Garlic is currently being studied in the treatement of bacteria resistant to pharmaceutical antibiotics and the results are promising. Researchers have found that garlic posseses anti-bacterial properties on it’s own but they have also found that garlic enhances the effect of chemical antibiotics on resistant bacteria. Garlic is also anti-fungal and anti-parasitic. Studies are inconclusive if it works against viruses but traditional medicine uses garlic for all sniffles, coughs, fevers, and infections. Add extra raw garlic to hummus, pasta sauce, soups, stews for yummy flavour and microbe killer action!
Basil – We have a ton of basil growing in our garden this year. In fact, 5 of our neighbours have sheepishly admitted to stealing our basil leaves! I think my enthusiastic mini-lecture on it’s wonderful anti-microbe properties took them by surprise. But, truly, I love this herb. Basil’s anti-bacterial properties are also being studied for usage in drug-resistant bacterial infections. Specifically E. coli infections. And happily, basil works to kill these super-adaptive little guys. It has also been shown to kill viruses – and researchers are checking into it’s anti-parasitic characteristics. One of the reasons I love this herb is that kids will often chomp on basil without complaint. You can add it to everything. You can make your own basil oil by adding a bunch of fresh or dried basil to olive oil and let it sit for several hours. Add garlic and, boom, microbes don’t stand a chance.
Rosemary – Have you seen those gorgeous rosemary potted “Christmas trees”? They’re beautiful and so easy to care for. And…anti-microbial! Rosemary also works to kill E.coli resistant to conventional antibiotics and is used to kill fungus, parasites, and viruses. Studies have focused specifically on the Herpes virus and, again, results are positive. Rosemary is a pretty strong flavour but can be added to potatoes (especially roast potato skins), meats, breads, pasta and rice dishes.
Ginger -Ginger kills all kinds of nasty microbes. Here are a few germs that researchers have found ginger to be effect against: Streptococcus, E. coli, Pseuomonous, H.pylori (these are bacteria – some of which are resistant to pharmaceutical antibiotics), herpes simplex virus, human respiratory syncytial virus, Blastocystis hominis (a tiny and determined parasite), Candida species. So… bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungus. Pretty great. Lately my hubby has been putting ginger into sauces with honey and garlic which are delish. The kids will dip veggies and sausages in ginger honey sauces. And they’ve enjoyed ginger, lemon, strawberry popsicles. Nice.
I haven’t even mentioned that garlic helps the cardiovascular system, rosemary and basil work as tremendous antioxidants, and ginger works as an antinausea. Oh, and all of them have anticancer properties. Oh, and they’re delicious!
Here’s to lots of flavourful herbs to kill microbes and keep us healthy.
Here is the link to the Environmental Working Group’s list of moisturizers with sunscreen – the good and not good. As a sunscreen hater, I’m doing my best to cover up with non-rashy, non icky sunscreens myself. I’m finding the one by the Body Shop easiest to find and not too icky. Good luck to you!
And here is the link to list of sunscreens which aren’t bad according to their criteria. I’m still using Badger for me kids and while it’s pretty icky, they’re both tolerating it. Phew!
Hope you’re enjoying the summer!
I’ve just received some kits to test a few drops of blood for antibodies against gluten. I can do the test right in my office. It test takes 10 minutes and costs $75. It’s quite exciting and is much easier on the pocket book than going to the lab.
Great for children as it’s just a finger prick which they usually find interesting rather than awful.
Trouble with gluten is implicated in fertility issues, thyroid dysfunction, IBS, reflux, even behavioural issues.
Let me know if you’d like to be tested!
I’m a big believer that kids want to do what feels good for their bodies but, let’s face it, sometimes things taste bad or feel icky. Here are excerpts from an email from a mom who read my previous blog post, “Natural Remedies for Acute Cough”, and the game she and her boys played to fight those viruses!
Here’s the email:
Picture the kids and I sitting with mugs of tea in hand.
“This is a new tea that will help to kick the last of your coughs out of your chest.” says I bravely, knowing that the crushed garlic and honey water will most likely be rejected.
The 5 year old willingly takes the first sip… “ooooh it’s spicy!” he says wrinkling his nose
The 7 year old looks at his cup suspiciously…
I frantically cast my mind about, searching for strategies… and then I remember the beginning of your blog post!
“We’re going to play a game – the ‘Take That’ game!” I say triumphantly.
Now everyone is listening…
“Think of something in you body that is bugging you and/or makes you feel unhealthly and take a big sip of tea and yell ‘TAKE THAT'”
Needless to say they were hooked immediately (the yelling was an important component of the game) and the garlic tea disappeared in mere seconds. Long after the tea was gone they continued gleefully verbally abusing their coughs, itchy bums, runny noses, etc.
So, here’s to a rousing game of “TAKE THAT!” for all of you. No more colds, flus, viruses, bacteria, worms, lice, whatever!