Composting Kitchen Waste with Worms

Composting Kitchen Waste with Worms
If you are not composting then this is a great time to begin recyling food waste!
Compost is an organic matter that is recycled and decomposed as a soil amendment or fertilizer. It usually takes a few weeks or a couple of months for the materials to break down into fertilizer. Used in gardens, composting is a wonderful way to add nutrients to your vegetable, flower or herb garden. Composting is great for the environment and the health of your family.
Start composting in Kitchen and or Small Backyard with Worms
Worms can turn your kitchen scraps into great compost for your garden. It’s easy to make your own worm composting with simple items that you can buy from your local garden center or nursery.
Getting Started
To get started on your Kitchen and Small Backyard with Worms bin you will need to build your own worm bin. You can find them online, at your local home improvement store, or make your own out of a plastic tub. Making your own worm bin is quite simple and much more cost effective. All you need to do is:
  1. Buy a large plastic tub with a lid that is tightly fitted
  2. Using a small drill or ice pick make air holes in the sides of your bin
  3. Drill or poke holes in the bottom of your plastic bin for drainage
  4. Add kitchen scraps, shredded newspaper, sawdust, or corrugated cardboard
  5. Moisten with water and fill the container to the top
  6. Add additional bedding if the container is too wet or cover with food waste
  7. Add Red Wriggler Worms as night crawlers and earthworms do not eat kitchen waste
Worms like to live in temperatures ranging between 59° and 77°. Keep indoors during hot summers and cold winters.
Add kitchen waste like fruit and vegetable remains, tea and coffee grounds and filters, cereals, grains and moldy bread. Cut your scraps into small pieces for faster composting and easier digestion. Do not feed your worms dairy products, fats, meat, pet waste or non-biodegradable materials.
Rotate the food distribution as it speeds up the process. Harvest your compost in 30 to 60 days and remove the finished castings as too many could be toxic to your worms. It’s also important to change the bedding when you harvest. You can do this by pushing the castings to one side and putting new bedding and food scraps on the empty side. This way your worms will move to the new bedding and food scraps. You can also pile the compost and place it in the sun. Your worms don’t like sunlight and will quickly move just under the surface allowing you to scrape off the top layer. Repeat until you have mostly worms that can be returned to your worm bed.
Are you ready to get started composting today?

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Garlic Love It or Leave It

National Garlic day falls on April 19, and love it or leave it, has some amazing medicinal properties and is incredible to cook with. 

Plant that herb garden and grow your own garlic. Although it is advisable to plant your garlic in October, some say that you can plant it all year-round. Just make sure that you use a deep container if you are not growing garlic in the ground, as the roots take up lots of space. 

Although garlic is an herb, it strongly resembles onions. When you are storing garlic, whether it be store-bought or whole grown bulbs that you have picked and dried yourself, remember to keep them at room temperature and in a dark and dry place with plenty of circulation. Also, keep in mind that the minute you start taking off the cloves the lifetime of your garlic will decrease. Garlic can last for several months when stored properly. 

Garlic has incredible healing properties with the latest research showing that it can help prevent heart disease. Garlic also reduces high blood pressure and can shrink cancerous tumors. Garlic taken on a regular basis can also prevent stroke and heart attacks. Because garlic kills parasites, bacteria and viruses it is one of the oldest natural antibiotics known to human kind. 
Garlic cloves
When you are cooking with garlic, remember the difference between the cloves and the bulbs. A bulb of garlic usually contains up to 20 cloves. The smaller cloves have a more intense and vibrant flavor. Most recipes call for two or three minced or chopped cloves, but don’t make the mistake of a novice cook and use the entire bulb. Your recipe may turn out okay, but because of the pungent odor that garlic gives off, you might not be the most popular person at work the next day. 

Recipes with Garlic to try.....
Garlic Fries
Baked Parmesan Garlic Wings
Garlic Toast
Garlic Shrimp
Garlic Infused oil and dipping sauce

Say YES to a Kitchen Herb Garden

You don’t have to live in a big house to create a wonderful herb garden. Any space that is light and airy is the perfect place to grow aromatic herbs. Even if you live in a tiny apartment, there is always room for a kitchen herb garden. Not only will you save time and money, but you will also benefit from the medicinal properties of fresh herbs from your kitchen.

Try to ensure that your herbs get 8 hours of sunlight. If they aren’t getting the photo nutrients that they need you may as well buy them from your grocer. Air quality is another issue. During the winter, the air is much drier because of furnaces and fireplaces. Add a layer of pebbles to the bottom of your pots. Although the water in the tray evaporates, it adds humidity around the herbs. You will be amazed just how often you will have to refill that pebble tray.

Try adding deliciously fresh herbs from your garden like thyme, basil, tarragon, and oregano to your favorite spaghetti sauce recipe. Skip the pre-packaged dips and make your own. Fresh dill combined with sour cream and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper is all you need to add zest to your vegetable platter. Make your own guacamole with cilantro, or cut up some mint and try that julep that you have been promising yourself. Any recipe is better with freshly grown herbs.

If you are trying to watch what you eat, a kitchen garden is a necessity. Just walk down the aisle at your local supermarket and start reading labels. Even bottled herbs have some sort of preservative added.

Start planning your kitchen herb garden today. You will be surprised at just how quickly you will be making delicious meals with your own fresh organic herbs.

Creamy Pesto Dip
Yield: 6 – 8 servings
2 cups basil
1 clove garlic, cracked away from skin
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup grated Parmigianino cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Mascarpone Cheese
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (optional)
Salt and coarse black pepper
In a food processor, add the basil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmigiano cheese. Process the ingredients and add in the oil in a slow and steady stream. Remove the pesto to a large serving bowl and stir in the Mascarpone cheese and lemon juice.  Season the dip with salt and pepper.

Fresh Herb & Garlic Marinade
Yield: Makes 3/4 cup
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or Grapeseed oil
1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs, such as oregano, thyme, savory, sage, parsley, and rosemary, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together ingredients in a nonreactive dish.
Toss or brush on Chicken, Fish and vegetables and let marinate for at least an hour before grilling, baking or roasting.
Glaze finish product with Herb Garlic marinade (only use marinade that has not been use to marinate products )before serving.

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Detox with Food

Spring has sprung, and if you are feeling sluggish after winter, there are some remarkable foods that you can eat, which will help you detox from the inside out.

Lemons and grapefruit are a good place to start. Add some fresh lemon to your water and you will notice a difference in the way you feel.

Adding brussel sprouts, broccoli, spinach, and kale to your diet will help aide in digestion and contain high levels of vitamins. This coupled with calcium and iron will help aid natural detoxification.

Legumes like beans, lentils, and peas are loaded with protein that can help with cell function.Because of the complex carbohydrates, you will fuel your body throughout the day with much needed energy, not to mention the dietary fiber, which helps with digestion.

An apple a day really does keep the doctor away. Apples are rich in fiber and contain folic acid and vitamins E and C.

Green and red onions contain amino acids and can help you flush unhealthy toxins out of your body.

Full of antioxidants, carrots work well when combined with apple, honey, and aloe Vera juice.Juice up the
concoction every morning, and you will start to see the cleansing benefits almost immediately.

Instead of expensive creams and cleansers, try using foods such as sweet potatoes, salmon, and turkey
for healthier looking skin. By adding these vitamin-boosting foods to your diet, your skin will start to glow.

Keep your tresses shiny and healthy by consuming walnuts, spinach, Greek yogurt, and blueberries.
Lean cuts of beef and poultry are loaded with protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B, and will help your strands become stronger and more plentiful.

Natural springtime foods are abundant and very affordable. Start your detox by combining all that nature has to offer with pure and natural food.

Try these recipes for natural detoxing
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Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4.
•    24 small Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed
•    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus Spray
•    fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
•    1/4 cup grated cheese of your choice Parmesan
•    2 tablespoons Toasted chopped almonds
Cut in sprouts in half from stem to top keeping it intact then toss them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Don't overheat the skillet, or the outsides of the Brussels sprouts will cook too quickly. Spray pan with olive oil and place the Brussels sprouts in the pan flat side down (single-layer), sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt, cover, and cook for roughly 2-3 minutes; the bottoms of the sprouts should only show a hint of browning.
Cut into or taste one of the sprouts to gauge whether they're tender throughout. If not, cover and cook for a few more minutes. Once just tender, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until the flat sides are deep brown and caramelized. Use a spatula to toss them once or twice to brown on the rounded side. Season the sprouts with more salt and pepper then sprinkle with grated cheese and toasted nuts.

Kale, Farro & Bean Salad with Apple Cilantro Dressing
Serves: 6-8   Prep Time: 20 min. Cooking Time: 15 minutes

•    2 cups Farro, dried
•    6 cups water
•    1 can Black Beans, drained
•    1 can Great Northern Beans, drained
•    1 bunch Lactino Kale, chopped
•    ½ cup carrots diced small
•    ¾  cup Radish, sliced ¼ inch thick
•    ½ Cup Green Onions sliced thinly
•    2 cloves garlic minced
•    ¼ cup Cilantro, chopped
•    Salt & pepper to taste

•    ¼ cup Rice Wine Vinegar
•    ¼ cup Fresh Lemon Juice
•    1 each Granny Smith Apple, Peeled, cored, diced
•    ¼ cup Olive Oil
•    ¼ cup Cilantro, chopped
•    ¼ cup Fresh Shallot, chopped

Combine the water and farro in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the farro is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain well, and then transfer to a large bowl to cool.
Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and emulsify.
When Farro is cold add the beans, kale, carrots, radishes, green onions, garlic and cilantro and tossed well with dressings. Taste the salad and Season with salt and pepper.