Posts Tagged ‘water’

Water Works

July 31, 2017

Our country is known for a having an abundant, free flowing water system that is deemed safe to drink. In light of the water crisis happening in Flint, Michigan, where the water has been unusable for several years, it isn’t unreasonable to wonder what contaminants might be lurking in your tap.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a database of contaminants in area water sources that can be searched by zipcode. Once the information is entered, it will show exactly what, if any toxins are in your water.


Bottled isn’talways better. We try to bypass drinking bottled water wherever possible, both to avoid the harmful chemicals in the plastic bottles and to limit our waste output. Be aware that many bottled waters come from the same source as tap water, and may not provide you with better quality than your faucet. The best option is to use a filter to purify your water and carry it in a reusable water bottle so that you always have some onhand when you need it.



Switch To Switchel

August 15, 2016

There are lots of drinks out there, purported to boost energy, create the ultimate balance of bacteria in the gut, help you lose weight and gain clarity. From Red Bull to green tea and the ever trendy kombucha, there is no shortage of  hyped out drinks to choose from. Apple cider vinegar and green juices share the stage with a host of other natural choices with “magical powers” to make your skin glow and your belly calm.

via Alex Lau for Bon Appetite

via Alex Lau for Bon Appetite

Well, just when you thought you had reached your healthy beverage nirvana, a new one steals the spotlight. Say hello to Switchel, the latest beverage to enter the healthy drink scene. Around since the late 1700’s, switchel is the perfect way to hydrate on a very hot day. Made with stomach soothing ginger, it allowed thirsy farmers to consume enough liquid to quell their thirst, without making them sick. It is also thought to reduce inflammation and balance the body’s natural ph levels, due to the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup.
Switchel is similar to lemonade in some ways, and very reminiscent of the iconic Master Cleanse cocktail. It is easy to make your own, and although it is touted as a healthy electrolyte booster ( ala Gatorade), it’s also a great base for an adult beverage when mixed with rum, whisky or a dry white wine.

Give this recipe a try, and perhaps you too, will want to switch to switchel!

Mapel -Ginger Switchel: via Bon Appetite



  • 1 5″-piece fresh ginger (about 6 ounces)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 4 cups water or club soda
  • Mint sprigs (for serving)


  • Pass ginger through a juicer (you should have about ⅓ cup). Combine ginger juice, vinegar, maple syrup, and lime juice in a large pitcher and stir until maple syrup is dissolved. Chill until cold.
  • To serve, dilute with water and pour switchel into ice-filled glasses; garnish with mint.
  • Do Ahead: Base can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Switchel can be mixed with seltzer or sparkling water instead of regular water for a bit of a “fizzy kick.”

If you don’t have a juicer, you can grate the ginger instead.

Some people use raw honey instead of the more classic maple syrup for variation. The most important thing is to use pure maple syrup or honey, and not a processed version.( aka Aunt Jemimah’s pancake syrup)


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The Next Big Trend in Water is Green

September 30, 2015

Water has been become a trendy drink these days. Bottled waters from streams far and wide started the trend, followed by vitamin infused waters. Coconut water took the stage for awhile, for it’s supposedly stellar hydrating properties.Juice bars now sell the popular Master Cleanse concoction of water, lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper for about $9 a bottle. On Monday,Twitter was filled with jokes about only drinking water from Mars in the future.

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 4.11.19 PM

Today’s “next big thing” in the water-verse, is chlorophyll water. Popping up at juice bars all over town, this emerald green bottled water is touted as increasing energy, improving digestion and neutralizing toxins in the body. Now scientists are claiming that chlorophyll water actually helps control hunger.

Studies show that adding cholorphyll compounds to high fat meals reduced appetite, controlled blood sugar and therefore aided weight loss.

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Chlorophyll, which is derived from marine plants, has been around for about 50 years and has been shown to be non-toxic. The reported side effects from consuming high levels of the compound are greenish tinged body waste, and increased susceptibility to sunburn.


You can purchase the water from juice bars and trendy health food emporiums, or simply add a few drops of chlorophyll from the vitamin shop to your own water for the same benefits.

Photos: top: via Twitter | bottom: via Pressed Juicery 

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Sticky Pasta

August 25, 2015


Friends should stick together. Family should stick together. Pasta, on the other hand, should never stick together.
Why do we sometimes get lumps of pasta when other times the noodles slip apart with ease? The answer is not what you might think.

Contrary to popular belief, adding oil to the water is not the solution. Sometimes, we all need a little space. The size of the pot, and the amount of water is the secret to cooking pasta well.

Pasta releases starch when it hits the water, and can absorb nearly double its dry weight in water as it cooks. Not using a big enough pot crowds the noodles, causing them to stick together during cooking. Less water means more starch in the water, and ultimately, gluey pasta.

The solution? Use 5 quarts of water for every pound of pasta. Add a little salt, and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta, and give it a stir. Continue cooking at a full boil until the pasta is al dente, or cooked, yet firm to the bite. Drain the pasta, but don’t rinse it.

The ultimate finish is to add the pasta to the sauce for the last minute or so of cooking. This allows it to absorb the sauce, get perfectly coated, and hit the table piping hot.

And why not add oil to the cooking water to keep the noodles slippery and separated? They will become a little too slippery and the sauce will not adhere to the pasta properly. Even if you are serving the pasta with oil, add it at the end. It really does make a difference.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Spray It

August 18, 2015


This tip comes courtesy of King Arthur Flour, who has a wonderful blog called Flourish, as well as a beautifully executed new magazine called Sift. We have done several posts on the perfect pie crust technique, but this tip is one we hadn’t been privvy to in the past.
When making pie crust, instead of adding the water tablespoon by tablespoon, try using a spray bottle to get just the right amount of water into the dough. The idea is that using a little less water than normal will yield a flakier crust. They recommend spraying the dough with water and folding it until it comes together, but still seems somewhat dry and crumbly. After wrapping the dough in paper or plastic wrap and allowing it to sit for 30 minutes in the refrigerator, the gluten in the flour starts to relax, the fat begins to harden, and water redistributes itself to make the dough smoother and easy to roll. Those hard bits of fat will work with the flour to make the crust flakey when baked. Try it and see if you notice a difference!

related post: Perfect pie crust 101

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: How to Chill Wine Quickly

September 16, 2014


Sometimes we want a glass of nice, cold chardonnay, and we want it NOW. Chilling wine quickly isn’t as difficult as it sounds.
Place the wine bottle into a metal bucket, fill it with ice and cold water, and toss in a big handful of salt. The salt will lower the freezing point of the water, making it colder, faster. After about 6 minutes, your wine should be sufficiently chilled and ready to drink.


photo: Glasshouse Images

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Make Your Own Flavored Water

September 9, 2014

Cucumber and lime-flavored water

I don’t know about you, but downing at least 64 ounces of water per day is tough.  Companies have come up with low or no calorie drops that you can add to your water to give it a more flavor,and more chemicals and artificial ingredients to boot. Vitamin Water lists 20 ingredients, mostly unpronounceable, on the label of their water enhancers and popular brand Mio is right behind them. Don’t get drawn in by the occasional vitamin listed on the label. The artificial sweeteners, and other additives far outweigh the benefits of a little bit of vitamin B.

While enhancing the taste of your water might help you drink more, doing so naturally is the best bet.

You can make your own naturally flavored water by adding fresh fruit and herbs to a pitcher of water and letting it steep in the refrigerator overnight.
You can also freeze pieces of fruit and water in ice cube trays to provide a flavor boost while keeping your water chilled.

Be sure to carefully scrub all of the fruit before using to avoid adding any impurities to the water.

Citrus fruits, such as lemon, lime, grapefruit or orange add vitamin C and a lot of taste to your drink.

Try adding less obvious choices, such as cucumber, strawberries, mint leaves or grated ginger. Many of these are known to reduce bloating and help digestion.

Create your own combinations to suit your palate. How about cucumber, mint and lemon or lime?
Orange and ginger? Grapefruit and basil? Give it a try and share your favorites in the comments below.

Drink up!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Fruit Ice

June 24, 2014


Summer is here and the days are starting to heat up. It’s more important than ever to drink lots of water to keep cool, and stay hydrated. This trick adds a little fun and flavor to your water pitcher, by freezing pieces of fruit right into the ice cubes.

In a large ice cube tray, place slices of lemon, lime,orange or other fruit into the wells of the tray. Add water and freeze until solid.

The end result are beautiful fruit filled ice cubes that add a hint of taste to your water as they melt.

Delicious and nutritious! Yum!

photo: Glasshouse Images


Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Reheating Bread

May 20, 2014


Did you ever heat bread or baked goods in the microwave, only to find them nearly fossilized a minute later? The microwave seems to zap the moisture from foods, often leaving them dry and hard.

Have no fear, a solution is here!
Simply place a small dish of water in the microwave, next to the bread or pastry before heating. The water adds moisture to the air inside the oven, and serves to lightly steam, rather than dehydrate the food. The result is softer, fresher tasting baked goods every time.

This concept works in a regular oven as well. My grandmother used to place bread or bagels in a brown paper bag, and sprinkle it liberally with water before placing it in the oven. When the bag was dry, the bread was heated through, soft and delicious. We have even rubbed a little water on a baguette for the same result.

Next time you have bread that is starting to get a bit stale, try one of these methods to bring it back to life!

photo: Glasshouse Images

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Iced Tea

August 13, 2013


I love to make homemade iced tea. It is so easy, economical and free of all the crap added to commercially made stuff. My iced tea recipe has only 2 ingredients: water, and tea. Lemon or sugar can be added to taste.

Simply boil the water, and add several tea bags, and it allow it to steep. Make sure it cools fully before refrigerating, or it will get cloudy. Remove the tea bags before storing to avoid the tea from tasting bitter.

Pretty simple, and hardly worth a full blown post. So what’s the big deal? The little trick I use to keep the boiling hot water from cracking the glass pitcher.


Insert a large metal mixing spoon into the pitcher before pouring the hot water in. The metal spoon will absorb some of the heat, preventing the glass from breaking.

Easy. Simple. Great to know.

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