Everyday Ayurvedic Essentials

Someone asked me recently how often I actually use Ayurveda in my day to day life. The answer is ALL THE TIME. Ayurveda forms the foundation and the framework for the decisions I make about daily routine, diet, exercise and so much more. That’s what I love about Ayurveda; once you understand the basic principles, you can apply them to pretty much anything and everything (if you want to get started learning about Ayurveda, check out the resources page for my favorite books and websites). While Ayurveda informs everything in my life, there are a handful of Ayurvedic practices and principles that I find are essential to living a healthy vibrant life. These are the things that I do every single day and that I feel have the biggest impact on my health and well-being. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and wondering where to start when incorporating Ayurveda into your life, look no further…

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How to Preserve Basil

This is the final post in my series on simple preserving. I hope you’ve enjoyed following along and that you’ve learned something new and been inspired to do some preserving of your own. Remember that preserving doesn’t need to be complicated, time consuming, or fussy. You don’t need to fully stock your freezer or pantry all at once. It’s about connecting with the seasons, getting to know your local farmers, and reducing packaging waste one ingredient at a time. Throughout this series, I’ve chosen to focus on how to preserve the things that I use regularly based on my dietary preferences. Your preferences may be different and that’s totally fine. Anything is fair game when it comes to putting food by. However, when choosing what to preserve I recommend focusing on things you know you’ll actually use. This may sound obvious, but I can’t tell you how many weekends I’ve spent preserving things only to have them take up space in my pantry or freezer all year and then end up in the compost. Think about what you reach for over and over again at the store (jam, pickles, dried fruit, tomato sauce, frozen peas or corn, frozen berries or peaches etc.) and choose one or two things to DIY. You’ll save money, time, and reduce waste by not getting carried away and preserving more than you can use. Now, let’s talk about how to preserve basil.

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How to Preserve Apples

I’m back with another guide to quick and easy, no fuss preserving. This time we’re talking about apples. Fall is definitely in the air around here and the apple trees are sagging with fruit so aside from eating an apple a day with hazelnut butter and honey, I’ve been making applesauce. I always love having a jar or two of applesauce in the freezer for spooning over latkes, mixing up in waffles, eating with yogurt and granola, or, let’s admit it, just eating warm by the spoonful. Applesauce is one of the easiest things to make. Simply quarter your apples (I prefer pink skinned varieties because they yield a pretty pink sauce), toss them in a big pot with a splash of water so they don’t stick and burn, cover, and cook over medium low heat until soft and mushy. Once cooked, press the apples through a food mill, discarding the seeds and skin. Transfer the sauce to small jars, leaving about an inch of room, and freeze. Thaw out overnight when ready to use.  A few other ideas for preserving apples: Slice them and dry them in a dehydrator, make apple juice or cider, or cook up apple pie filling and freeze it for making pie in a pinch. XOXO

How to Preserve Corn

Post number three in my series on simple preserving is all about corn. There are a few things that I always have on hand in the freezer. Frozen corn is one of them but the packaging waste from store bought stuff is starting to bum me out. So, this summer, I’m freezing my own corn. Here’s my plan: Buy several dozen ears of corn, cut the kernels off the cob (mess-free method #2 is where it’s at), and freeze in a single layer on a sheet pan before transferring to jars or bags for later. I love cooking frozen corn up with onions and cumin to put on tacos, adding it to chowder or soup, and frying it up in fritters. I’m also considering making a big batch of corn salsa. Share your favorite way to preserve and use corn in the comments below…

How to Preserve Berries

This is the second post in a series exploring my favorite ways to preserve all the late summer and early fall produce without the hassle of sanitizing jars or worrying that you’re going to end up with botulism. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing my go to, no fuss methods for putting food by, simple tips and tricks to make preserving easy and fun, and ideas for how to use what you’ve preserved all winter long. I’ve got a handful of short posts lined up that I hope will inspire you to get in the kitchen and do some preserving of your own.

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How to Preserve Tomatoes

I try to avoid buying certain things (like tomatoes) out of season. There’s the carbon footprint associated with buying produce trucked in from who knows where and most things just don’t taste the same out of season. You know what I’m talking about right; those mealy, bland, pale, tomatoes? Insert yucky face here. Preserving allows me to enjoy all my favorite late summer and early fall produce, picked at it’s peak, all winter long, and is also a great way to connect with the seasons, reduce food and packaging waste, and foster a sense of self-sufficiency. So, over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my go to methods for preserving the season’s bounty in a series of posts that I hope will inspire you to do some preserving of your own. Let’s get started!

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#SwapLocal: Sourcing Local and Sustainable Ingredients

This post is a little different (no recipe) so bear with me…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where my food comes from. Time and time again, convenience takes precedence and despite my best efforts, I sometimes lose sight of  where my food comes from and how and by whom it’s grown and produced. Consuming things like coconut milk, almonds, avocados, and chocolate has far reaching environmental and social implications I often push to the back of my mind or don’t fully understand. What if instead of taking these foods for granted, we reevaluated the impact of the ingredients we use daily and challenged ourselves to replace them with local and sustainable alternatives? That’s what this post is all about.

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