Sure Juicing is Healthy, But Why?

 

Juicing

We all know that eating fruit and vegetables is good for us, but it is often hard to get the recommended 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. You may ask yourself if it would just be easier to take a vitamin supplement rather than try and get all these servings of fruits and vegetables each day. While vitamin supplements have a place in some people’s lives fruit and vegetables contain these vitamins plus many other substances that can help protect you from many different diseases.

According to the American Cancer Society, “Greater consumption of vegetables, fruits, or both together has been associated in the majority of epidemiological studies with a lower risk of lung, oral, esophageal, stomach, and colon cancer. ” Link to Quote

So how do we turn the 9 servings needed into something easy and fun to do? One word: Juicing!

Fresh fruit and vegetable Juicing provides an easy way to get those recommended servings plus many added benefits! Juicing is easy to do and easy to learn. All you need is a juicer, fruit and vegetables and you are ready to go. The hardest part, but also part of the fun, is deciding what combination of fruit and vegetables you feel like drinking at the time.

When you first start juicing it is best to stick with fruit and vegetables that you already enjoy eating. After you get used to juicing, add one new item at a time. By adding one item at a time, you can make sure that your body agrees with it and that you like the new addition. If you add too many new items at once, it is harder to figure out which one is causing the problem.

One of my favorite juices and an easy one to start out with is apple and carrot juice. The apple is a good source of Vitamins B-1,B-2, B-6, C, A; Chlorine, Phosphorus, Folic Acid, Copper, Magnesium, Pectin, Potassium, Pantothenic Acid, Manganese and Iron. The carrot is a good source of Calcium, Vitamins K,C E,B,D; Phosphorus and Potassium. Mixed together they create a very sweet, healthy, and delicious juice.

My family loves to try all kinds of combinations of fruits and vegetables to see which ones we like. On first try my daughter didn’t like the celery juice added to the apple and carrot, but after a second try she decided that once you get used to the taste and idea of drinking celery, it really is delicious. Once you and your body gets used to juicing the combinations are endless. (see recipes for some ideas to get you started.)

There are many benefits to juicing. Here is a list of the ones that are most important to me, but there are a lot of other benefits too.

  • It is easier to drink the fruit and vegetables than to eat them all whole. You can easily get the 9 servings a day.
  • By juicing you are getting live enzymes and live nutrients. When you buy juice that is packaged it has been pasteurized. This pasteurization –processing at a high heat- kills the enzymes and other live nutrients, thus making the product inferior nutritionally to juicing fresh, at home.
  • When fruits and vegetables are juiced the nutrients are easier for the body to use and absorb. Juicing removes the indigestible fiber which makes the nutrients more available for the body.
  • Juice is full of antioxidants and phytochemicals . antioxidants and phytochemicals help you combat aging, disease, cancer, depression, arthritis and many other things.
  • Having a day of drinking just fresh juice is a great way to detoxify your system and start you on the road to a new healthier you.

Here are a few tips to help your juicing experience turn out great:

  • Juice should either be drunk immediately or stored properly in an opaque airtight container. Air and light cause the juice to lose its nutritional value more quickly.
  • Fresh juice should be drunk within 24 hours to make sure you get the maximum nutritional benefits.
  • Add one new fruit or vegetable at a time to ensure that you don’t have a problem with it.
  • Start with juicing fruits and vegetables that you already love to eat.
  • Vegetable juice usually has less calories than fruit juice. If you are watching your caloric intake this is good to keep in mind.
  • Freezing fruit and then blending together with fresh juice makes a great smoothy!

With all these benefits to juicing why not start now!

Veggie Power Juice

Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Beverage, Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 1 tomato
  • 1 carrot (peeled)
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 clove garlic (for an extra spicy drink if desired)

Note

veggie power juice, all you veggies in one glass.

Directions

Step 1
Choose organic vegetables if possible.
Choose vegetables that are in good condition.
Wash the vegetables and peel if needed.

Step 2
Run all the veggie through a juicer, pour into a glass with ice and enjoy!

8 Steps To Becoming Self Reliant

8 Steps to Becoming Self-Reliant

8 Steps to Becoming Self-Reliant

STEP 1 Is to not just understand the need to acquire a storage program and to become SELF-RELIANT, but to become committed to doing it and set a time frame to work it.

STEP 2: Learn what it takes and what you need to become SELF-RELIANT. Learn the basic home storage, 1st Aid and family preparedness, so that you and your family can live 1 year or two with a minimum of outside dependency on others. Doing this will save money, time and effort as you set up a plan of action.

STEP 3: Put together a 72 HOUR KIT for your home, car, office and /or school. This is a kit that will provide you with food, water, light, heat and other important items that will help you and your family during and after an emergency.

STEP 4: WATER-WATER-WATER. Store 1 gallon of water a day per person for drinking. A week minimum supply is recommended. Learn to purify and filter water and use a solar still.

STEP 5: Putting your food storage together.
A) We recommend a three to six month supply of the foods you are already eating.
B) A two month supply of ready to eat foods (no water, no cook type-grab & go),
C) A one year supply of long-term storage foods – bulk grains dehydrated or freeze-dried foods.

STEP 6: Get your supply of non-food items. Remember the need to take care of cooking, heat, light, shelter, 1st Aid, tools, communication, sanitation, camping equipment, fuel, clothing, garden supplies, etc.

STEP 7: Putting together a library of helpful books is very important ranging from general repair to survival manuals, gardening. 1st Aid, food storage books, cookbooks and anything that might be helpful under any circumstance and situation you might find yourself in.

STEP 8: After you have completed the first 7 steps, you can get the extra items you have become accustomed to in life, which are not essential to survival but would be nice to have. (REMEMBER: They won’t be nice to have if you don’t have the essentials!)

Not only do you want to set about acquiring and storing these items, but set up a way to use and replenish what you have.

REMEMBER:

Your spiritual preparation might be the greatest asset you acquire!

Steam Pressure Canning

pressure canning

What do you do with all of that extra produce from your garden? Can it! This article will explain how to use a steam pressure canner and how to preserve your garden for later use!

Low-acid foods must be processed in a steam – pressure canner.

In order to destroy all bacteria, their spores and the toxins they produce, low-acid foods must be heated to a temperature of 240 ° F and held there for the time specified by the recipe.   Because the steam inside the canner is pressurized, its temperature exceeds the boiling point of water.

Steam-Pressure Canner Features

Lid – Locks or clamps securely onto the base and may be fitted with a gasket, vent pipe and safety valve.

Gauge – Dial or weighted, the gauge measures the pressurization of the canner.

Dial Gauge – must be tested for accuracy prior to each canning season. If the gauge registers high by 1 lb. or more it must be replaced. Should the gauge be inaccurate, all of the bacterial spores that emit toxins may not be destroyed during processing. Your county Cooperative Extension Service or the manufacturer of the canner will be able to tell you where to go to have your gauge tested for accuracy.

Weighted Gauge – exhausts small amounts of steam during the entire processing period. The movement of the weighted gauge during processing indicates pressure is being maintained at the selected pounds of pressure. The weighted gauge does not require testing, for accuracy.

A three-piece weighted gauge and some styles of a one-piece weighted gauge have adjustments for 5, 10, and 15 pounds pressure. A one-piece weighted gauge that does not adjust for different pressure levels is designed to process only at 15 pounds pressure. When using a one-piece weighted gauge that processes only at 15 pounds pressure, follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Steam –pressure processing is essential for canning meats, poultry, sea foods, vegetables, and low-acid combination recipes. Please follow these steps when processing food in the steam-pressure canner.

Steam-Pressure Processing

  1. Put canner rack inside canner base. Add 2 to 3 inches of water. Heat water to a simmer (180° F).
  2. Prepare recipe using a tested recipe.
  3. Fill jars with food and liquid if called for
  4. Eliminate air bubbles
  5. Wipe rim of jar to remove any particles of food
  6. Place simmered lid and ring on jar and tighten.
  7. Place jars on canner rack immediately after each jar is filled. Lock canner lid securely in place. Leave vent pipe or petcock open.. Adjust heat to medium-high setting until steam flows evenly from the vent pipe or petcock. Exhaust steam from the canner for 10 minutes.
  8. Place weight on vent pipe or close petcock. The canner should pressurize in about 5 minutes. After the gauge indicates recommended pounds of pressure have been reached, adjust the heat to maintain pressure for the entire processing period. Set timer according the recipe processing time.
  9. After the processing period is complete, turn off heat. Allow the canner to cool naturally. Don not remove the weighted gauged or open the petcock until the canner has depressurized and returned to zero pressure.
  10. Remove gauge or open petcock. Unlock lid and lift it off the canner base being careful that steam escapes away from you. Let canner cool 10 minutes before removing jars.
  11. Remove jars from canner. Place jars on a towel and let rest for 12 to 24 hours before testing to see if they are sealed.
  12. Label and store in a cool dry place. If the food did not seal, place in the refrigerator and use within 2 to 3 days.

If you live above sea level you must adjust the amount of pressure according to your altitude.

Steam-Pressure Canner Altitude Adjustment Chart

Altitude of Feet Weighted Gauge Dial Gauge
0 to 1,000 10 11
1,00 to 2,000 15 11
2,001to 4,000 15 12
4,001 to 6,000 15 13
6,001 to 8,000 15 14
8,001 to 10,000 15 15

 

Drying Food

Dehydratingpic

Dried foods take considerably less storage space than canned fruits and vegetables. And, dried foods can add variety to the diet.

Drying may be done in the oven, sunshine, homemade or commercial dryer. Good quality dried fruits and vegetables depend on the use of ripe, firm, good quality, fresh produce. Bruised, wilted or inferior material will not make a satisfactory product. Sort and clean foods before drying; one poor fruit or vegetable may give off-flavors to all others. Under-ripe fruits and vegetables will be weak in color and flavor. Over-ripe produce will be tough and woody, or may spoil before drying process is complete. Remember, fruits and vegetables that are inferior before drying will be inferior after drying.

Keep knives and cutting surfaces clean. Quick handling and drying are desirable.

Some foods change color and flavor during the drying process. To decrease this, fruits may be dipped in a salt-water solution of 4 to 6 tablespoons salt to 1 gallon water for about 10 minutes to prevent discoloration and lock in the vitamins.

Vegetables should be steamed or plunged into boiling water for about 5 minutes. They should be well-drained, dried with a towel and spread out to dry.

When using home built or commercial dryer (made with heating element and fan in bottom, and vented), fruit can be dried without any pretreatment, if desired. Most vegetables take 4 to 12 hours to dry; fruits, 6 hours or longer. If pieces dry around edges of trays first, take them out. Fruits and vegetables shrink proportionately during the drying process.

Dried foods should be stored in a dark, dry, cool place in tin cans with tight lids, glass jars, heavy plastic bags that seal or other moisture/vapor proof packaging.

To cook dried fruits, soak in hot water until tender. For dried vegetables, soak 20 minutes in 6 to 8 times as much water as dried material. Both fruits and vegetables should be simmered in the water used for soaking; do not boil. If sugar is used, add it at the end of cooking process.

Raising Corn

corn3

Raising Corn

My young daughter sleeps with a seed catalog under her pillow all winter, and it is opened to the section touting sweet corn seed. The ears are perfectly filled out, and look good enough to eat right off the page. As we planted corn this spring, as with all other springs in her young life, she was ready to pick it the next day. And every year she is disappointed to learn that she has to wait for what seems like an eternity before the ears are ready.

However, now that she is old enough, I explained to her some of the things that we can do to hurry the corn along. I also told her that there are things that can really stunt the corn’s growth, and I knew she didn’t want that. I now have a very willing helper in the garden, at least in the corn rows. Let’s look at some of these ideas.

Corn can be planted in rows, evenly spaced. But our favorite way of planting it is to have one person with a shovel and one with the seed in hand. The person with the shovel sticks it into the ground at an angle, just deep enough to put the seeds about an inch into the ground. The seed person then tosses in five seeds, no more, no less. Then, a foot away, the process is repeated. I have seen our children make incredible time planting five long rows of corn in just a few minutes.

Corn doesn’t need a lot of water as it grows, but it does need more to sprout. In fact, we like to presoak our seed overnight before planting. It comes up faster, which is just fine with our younger gardeners.

Once the little plants are a few inches high, we fertilize it with lawn fertilizer. We don’t use much of it, but it sure kicks in the growth and also deepens the color of the leaves, which makes me think that there is a lot more photosynthesis going on. We also worked manure into the soil before planting, and will mulch with more manure later on. Corn likes a lot of nitrogen. But remember not to use that lawn fertilizer (21-0-0) on anything else. Garden fertilizer would be much better for the rest of the crops.

Then we do something that many people overlook. After the fertilizer is spread, we take a hoe and hill up the dirt around the stalks. This half buries them, but it will give them greater strength later on when they are more top-heavy. It also buries the weeds. It’s a great way to weed! Once this is done, and they are well-watered, the plants can put on several inches of growth in short order.

Watch the corn carefully during the growing season. If it gets too yellow, it needs more nitrogen. Quite often this is caused by overwatering. Fertilize more, water less. But don’t let it get too dry. Also remember to keep the weeds from interfering with their supply of water, sunlight and nutrients in the soil. Then just watch it grow.

Once the corn tassels, keep a close eye on it. Start checking ears when the tassels are drying out. You will want filled-out ears, but not so much that the corn is overripe. There is a very small window in which it is at perfection. If picked before that, the kernels will be somewhat small, although very flavorful. After that, they are starchy and not very sweet. Check by pulling back part of the husk and visually inspecting the ears. Then carefully fold the husks back up if that ear isn’t ready.

Once you have found an ear worthy of your dinner table, the very best way to have the very best corn is to pick it, husk it as you run, not walk, to your kitchen, quickly rinse it and drop it into a pot of water that is already boiling. Only have about two inches of water in it, though, so the corn will steam instead of boil. You will preserve many nutrients if kept out of the water. Steam for 3-4 minutes, top it off with butter and salt, and enjoy! Another idea is to roast it in the husks over a campfire or grill. Whatever your method, it’s hard to go wrong with fresh sweet corn.

To freeze it, simply steam it to stop the ripening, put it in cold water to cool it quickly, then drain it, cut off the kernels, and pop them into freezer bags. I like to cut it right in a 9×13 pan, then scoop it into bags. We usually pick what is ready, eat all we want for dinner, then freeze the rest. If we do this every day, it’s never a big job.

If you live in a rural area, there are probably plenty of little critters that would like you to share your corn with them, and I am not talking about children. These four-legged thieves are usually skunks or raccoons. They can really decimate a patch in short order. My neighbors are full of ingenious ideas for outsmarting them. Each swears by their own particular method, so if you are plagued by these furry invaders, you might consider trying one or more of these:

– Radio. Country Western only. If tuned to a classical radio station, they will consider it part of the fine dining experience. But if it’s Country Western, they run and hide. As a disclaimer, this tip was given to me by my neighbor who used to work as an announcer for a classical radio station.

– Short electric fence. Put it only about 4-6 inches off the ground. It won’t keep out the deer, but can be a deterrent to the smaller creatures. You will have to put it all the way around your corn patch, though.

– Squash. I mean the plant. If squash plants are growing between your corn rows, the animals generally won’t bother them. I don’t know why. Maybe they don’t like the feel of the leaves. But it works. It will make weeding more difficult, though.

Other people have suggested motion sensor lights. It is suggested (by my husband, after a nearly unfortunate experience) that you don’t go walking out in the corn patch when it’s dark. Fortunately for him, the little lump of black and white fur was trying to get away from him just as fast as he was trying to get away from it, but that little skunk sure gave him a scare.

Perhaps at that point one has to realize that even fresh corn isn’t worth that much, but it’s a tough decision.