The Super Superfood You’re Probably Not Eating Five good reasons to add sauerkraut to your diet by Shelley Emling

The Super Superfood You’re Probably Not Eating

Researchers also found that sauerkraut can reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Is there anything better at a summer barbecue than a hot dog with sauerkraut tucked inside the bun? Not much. And beyond the taste, there also are plenty of healthy reasons to add this fermented cabbage to your diet — not only during the summer, but all year long. Here are just five of them.


 


1. Sauerkraut packs a punch when it comes to vitamins.

Popular throughout Central Europe for centuries, sauerkraut is a great source of vitamin C. And vitamin C — a superstar antioxidant — helps protect the body from stress and free radical damage. Other healthy nutrients in sauerkraut include vitamin K, known for its role in blood clotting, as well as calcium, potassium and phosphorus. An added bonus is that fermentation makes these nutrients easier for your body to absorb.

2. Sauerkraut boosts your digestive system.

Sauerkraut is ripe with probiotic power, or beneficial bacteria that wards off toxins and not-so-beneficial bacteria. In short, probiotics actually feed the good bacteria in your gut, which leads to better digestive health. Probiotics also have been shown to lessen gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

3. Sauerkraut could help you lose weight.

Like most vegetables, sauerkraut is a low-calorie food with a lot of fiber. As such, it can make you feel fuller for longer, which could help with weight loss. With only 15 calories in two-thirds of a cup, sauerkraut is the perfect snack when you get hungry between meals.

4. Sauerkraut may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s.

Study after study shows a connection between the health of the gut and the health of the brain. Indeed, recent research out of Lund University in Sweden found that unhealthy intestinal flora could speed up the development of

 

READ MORE:  https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2017/superfood-sauerkraut-health-benefits-fd.html

 

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4 Easy Raised Beds You Can Make In Under Two Hours By Susan Patterson

Gardening is much easier with raised beds. They make many traditional gardening chores like deep tilling, weeding and amending the soil redundant. If you have poor soil, if it is too acidic or clayey, if the ground is rocky or uneven, raised beds can come to your rescue.

You can fill the raised beds with good quality compost and soil so the plants get to live in the best of soil conditions. Filled-in beds ensure good soil aeration and drainage. Plants can have excellent root run and they will escape competition from tree roots in the ground.

pH of the soil can be easily adjusted to suit the plants you’re growing. Adjacent beds can have ericaceous plants growing in one and have sweet soil in the next. Troublesome creepy crawlies are less likely to find their way into your raised beds. It is easier to fix protective hoops and supportive structures. When you top dress the beds occasionally, the rains won’t carry it away. You can grow more food in less space because closer planting is possible. Also, crawling plants can hang over the sides of a bed, leaving the space inside for other crops.

Well, the benefits of raised bed gardening are numerous. But what is even more heartening is that it is quite easy to make raised beds. You can make simple structures using locally available materials. The whole family can pitch in and get it done in just an hour or two.

Here are some quick and easy DIY raised beds to get you started.

1. Raised bed with sandbag for sides

To start with the easiest, this raised bed requires just sandbags. Ready-to-use sandbags could be available in many disaster management centers. Sand is usually available from many nurseries and building supply companies in case you want to make your own, but it might be illegal to collect sand from beaches. Garden soil does not work as an alternative.

To make a 4ft x 8ft raised bed, you may need 20 sandbags measuring 1ft x 3ft. A width of 4 ft is ideal for beds since you will be able to plant and harvest crops without stepping into bed. Walking on the bed results in soil compaction, which is something you want to avoid.

Mark the outline of a 4ft x 8ft rectangle on the ground. Place sandbags in a single file on all sides, making sure that the corners have a snug fit. Now, build a second layer and tamp it down.

Line the interior of the bed with cardboard or several layers of newspaper to make a barrier against weeds in the ground. Fill the bed with several layers using high-quality garden soil, grass clippings, crushed leaves, and compost.

If you have recently cut down some trees in the property or have old logs lying around, you can build a raised bed in no time. Sourcing straight logs of 1 ft diameter from a local lumberyard is not a bad idea either. Three 8 ft long logs would be sufficient if you have a chainsaw to cut one of them into two 4 ft long pieces for the shorter sides. You can easily get it done in lumberyards.

Mark 4ft x 8ft rectangle on the ground and place the two long logs 4 ft apart and parallel to each other. Place the shorter logs on the remaining two sides. Move the logs slightly towards one another to complete the bed. Wedge a few rocks in the space between the logs and the ground to keep the logs from shifting as you fill the beds. Alternatively, you can use 2 ft long sections of rebar to give strong support to the logs. Hammer them down close to the logs, 2-3 each to every side, until they are flush with the top of the logs.

3. Raised beds with

 

READ MORE:  https://www.naturallivingideas.com/4-easy-raised-beds-anyone-can-make-two-hours/

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The 8 Best Greenhouses of 2019 By: Erica Puisis

Garden year-round with these smart sheds

If you have a green thumb, or just want to try your hand at horticulture, a greenhouse can be a great choice for protecting plants during chilly weather, starting new plants or raising high-humidity plants like cactus. Gardeners love the ability of a greenhouse to trap heat and humidity, and it can help your vegetation to weather unseasonable temperatures or adjust to life outdoors after being raised from seeds in an indoor climate. There are greenhouses of all sizes — ranging from small pop-up units or simple shelving covered with greenhouse PVC to larger and more elaborate polycarbonate and aluminum or cedar structures. When you choose the best greenhouse to buy, consider your gardening needs, whether you want a freestanding ‘shed-style’ greenhouse or a lean-to, and if features such as built-in gutters and self-opening vents are important to you. Once you purchase a greenhouse, you can look forward to enjoying a ‘greener’ getaway right in your own backyard! Here, the best greenhouses for you and your garden.

  • If you are looking for a greenhouse that will keep your plants humid and happy through almost any type of weather, the Ohuhu Large Walk-in Plant Greenhouse is our top overall pick.

    This greenhouse offers plenty of space, but also has a small enough footprint that it won’t take over your entire backyard. The greenhouse measures a little over four feet long and four feet wide but offers over six feet of headroom inside — making it easy to tend to your plants without having to bend over or feel cramped. Inside, you’ll also have 12 shelves, with six on each side positioned in three rows.

    Our top pick for a greenhouse is also easy to put together. Most people agree that the design is relatively simple and can be completed in about an hour. A few users added additional tie-downs to stabilize the structure in the event of high winds. People comment on the fact that the greenhouse accomplishes its purpose of keeping plants in a warm, humid environment – even when outside temperatures begin to dip. If you’re looking for an easy-to-assemble greenhouse with plenty of space for your plants and room to move around inside, order the Ohuhu Large Walk-in Plant Greenhouse.

  • This portable greenhouse is easily assembled in a matter of minutes and comes in a few different sizes depending on your needs. The PlantHouse 3 is 3.5″ x  3″ x  3″ so it can easily be positioned over existing shrubs, or place your containers inside of the greenhouse to protect from cooler temperatures. Another nice feature that sets this budget greenhouse apart is the fact that

     

    READ MORE:  https://www.thespruce.com/best-greenhouses-4157678

 

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Deep-Fried Stuffed Cactus Paddles By: Cindy Kennedy

The edible prickly pear nopal “stems,” known more widely as cactus paddles, pads, or nopales, are a centuries-old Mexican staple. This thorny plant was central to the Aztec tale of Tenochtitlan, which translates to “place of the cactus.” Today, that special place is Mexico City. Mexico’s coat of arms depicts this historical perspective with an eagle perched on a cactus and devouring a snake. In Texas, cactus is also the official state plant.

While the paddles look more like leaves, they’re actually stems (pencas) growing from the main stalk. Fruit (tuna), which is also an edible treat, sprouts from the pads. Because it is so easily grown in desert climates, you’ll find cactus a popular choice on New Mexican menus, too.

Of course, the Mayans and Aztecs were quite ingenious in finding medicinal and household uses for this plant. In the past, it has found its way into anti-inflammatory remedies and waterproof roofing protectant. Its edible parts contain high amounts of fiber along with an impressive list of minerals and vitamins. This combination of properties is proving to be effective in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Testing continues to prove its beneficial properties help reduce blood sugar levels for diabetes treatment.

Among the many nopal recipes, you’ll find egg dishes, relishes, and soups along with our classic stuffed paddles that are deep-fried to a golden brown. When nopales are sliced or chopped, they’re called nopalitos. Taste-wise, think of an extra-mild green bean. If you’re lucky, you’ll find paddles that are cleaned, but more likely you’ll have to remove the thorns, along with smaller hair-like spikes.

As you work, the cactus will begin to seep a slimy sap, similar to okra. Most of it will blanch and rinse off before cooking. The filling for deep-fried cactus paddles includes jack cheese, onions and jalapenos. Use a classic fry batter of your choice. Plan on a single paddle for each person, if you’re serving it with – or as – a side dish.

Deep-Fried Stuffed Cactus Paddles
Makes 6 servings

6 cactus paddles
1/2 onion, sliced

READ MORE:  https://hispanickitchen.com/2010/10/04/deep-fried-stuffed-cactus-paddles/

 

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10 All-Natural DIY Fertilizers for Your Garden and Yard By Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

You’ve probably heard that you can use a banana peel and other compost to fertilize your garden, but did you know some items—like gelatin, coffee grounds, and even a matchbook—can have specific benefits for your plants?

gardening

Hydrogen Peroxide for Plant Roots

Help strengthen your plant’s root system with hydrogen peroxide—the extra pump of oxygen from the peroxide prevents root rot and over-watering. Just mix a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with 2 cups water, and water your plant with the solution. Its disinfectant properties will fend off bacteria, mold, fungus, and other nasty soil-borne diseases.

Cereal Crumb Fertilizer

Did you know that cereal crumbs are great for plants? They supply much-needed nutrients to the soil, which makes sense given that they’re grains that came from the soil in the first place! Instead of shaking the box over the trash before ripping it up for recycling, dump the remains of the flakes into your houseplants or garden for a treat they’ll love.

Make Your Own Bonemeal

As you may know, bonemeal is an excellent source of nutrients for your plants. But instead of spending $8–$10 on a bag at your local gardening store, make your own! Bonemeal is just bones, after all. Save bones from chicken, turkey, steaks, and stews, then dry them out by roasting them in a 425ºF oven for a half an hour or microwaving them on high for 1–6 minutes (depending on how many bones you have). Then place them in a plastic or paper bag and grind them up by hitting them with a hammer, then rolling them with a rolling pin. Mix the resulting powder into your soil for a life-producing treat for your plants. And you didn’t spend a cent!

A Must-Have for Growing Carrots and Tomatoes

The best thing you can give your carrot and tomato plant seeds is also what keeps you going during the day—coffee! Carrots and tomatoes both need extra nitrogen, which coffee has in spades. Mix the seeds with coffee grounds (used is fine) before you plant them. The coffee will provide your growing plants with the nitrogen they need, while having some extra bulk to plant will ensure they don’t end up all lumped together.

Slow-Release Nitrogen

For plants other than carrots and tomatoes, extra nitrogen can give them a boost, but too much can harm them. So use this nitrogen-rich DIY fertilizer that releases the nitrogen slowly into the ground. Dissolve a packet of unflavored gelatin in 3 cups warm water. Then use it to water plants in need of a little TLC. You’ll get all the benefits of an expensive fertilizer without the price tag!

Epsom Salt Lawn Fertilizer

Did you know Epsom salts are one of the best natural lawn fertilizers around? They’re composed of magnesium and sulfur, both of which are highly beneficial to grass. Magnesium kick-starts seed germination and is also a player in manufacturing chlorophyll, the substance that plants create from sunlight in order to feed themselves. Sulfur, meanwhile, also helps with

READ MORE:  https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/house-home/housekeeping/gardening/10-all-natural-diy-fertilizers-for-your-garden-and-yard

 

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21 Vegan Desserts That Ditch the Dairy but Not the Flavor by Anisha Jhaveri

No matter how much more popular veganism is becoming these days, some people can’t shake the perception that all egg- and dairy-free desserts must taste like flavorless slabs of sandpaper. Clearly, these people have never tried any of these 100 percent vegan recipes.

The cookies in this roundup don’t contain butter, the pies have no eggs, and you won’t find cream cheese frosting anywhere near the cupcakes, but thanks to a few simple yet clever swaps, they’re all delicious examples of how a purely plant-based diet can translate to some pretty mind-blowing sweet treats. So don’t let the vegan label throw you off; any of these 21 vegan desserts would steal the show at the table.

Cookies and Bars

You’ll go (coco)nuts for these rich, soft chocolate-covered bars made with just four ingredients and in a grand total of six little minutes. With coconut oil, unsweetened coconut, and maple syrup, they’re just like Almond Joy bars, but healthier and even more addictive.

These fudgy treats taste just like something out of a Betty Crocker brownie mix, but we bet good ol’ Betty never thought to put

READ MORE:  https://greatist.com/eat/vegan-desserts

 

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