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Different Ways to Dye Easter Eggs

Posted on Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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easter eggs naturally dyedThere are plenty of ways to dye Easter eggs. The techniques and ingredients you choose to dye Easter eggs can be based on convenience, cost, or health and safety concerns. It’s a good idea to be informed of the positives and negatives involved with different kinds of Easter egg dye.

One of the most common ways to dye Easter eggs is to use the package that comes from the grocery store. PAAS has been selling tablets of dye that is intended to be used to color hard boiled eggs for more than 135 years.

The ingredients in PAAS dye are: Sodium bicarbonate, maltodextrin, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Blue #2, cellulose gum, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Yellow #6, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #3, magnesium stearate, zinc stearate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and silicon dioxide.

Sodium bicarbonate is an antacid. Maltodextrin is a sweetener made from corn starch. The PAAS package says it “Confirms to ASTM D-4236”. All art supplies that are sold in the United States must bear that phrase to confirm that they have been properly labeled for chronic health hazards.

The best thing about using PAAS tablets to dye Easter eggs is that the process can be done rather quickly and easily. Some people, however, will not feel comfortable using a product that contains certain dyes.

Another option is to use Kool-Aid. Kraft suggests you use the powdered Kool-Aid. Mix the powder into a cup of water. Put the hard boiled egg into the mixture and let it soak. The process is similar to how eggs are dyed with PAAS tablets.

The ingredients in Kool-Aid can vary depending on which flavor is selected. The ingredients in Kool-Aid Twists Berry Blue Unsweetened powder are: citric acid, calcium phosphate, maltodextrin, ascorbic acid (another phrase for vitamin C), artificial and natural flavor, Blue 1, and tocopherol (which is a preservative).

It is also possible to use foods from your kitchen to dye Easter eggs. This technique takes longer to do than the other ones. It also results in pastel or subtle colors on the eggs.

You will need to shred a vegetable and boil it in order to make the dye. The eggs will need to sit for much longer in the dye than you may expect. Here’s a quick list of potential colors:

Purple cabbage – blue
Red onion skins – lavender
Yellow onion skins – orange
Beets – pink
Blueberries – bluish-grey
Carrots – rich yellow
Orange peels – light yellow
Strong brewed coffee – brown
Grape juice – lavender

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Fresh Pears Coupons + Recipe for Pear Bread

Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 at 11:17 am
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healthy offer

It’s time to load this week’s Healthy Offer of the Week from Saving Star to your account! This week, Save 20% on any single purchase of loose Pears at participating retailers. 

See offer info for complete details. Check back every Tuesday for a new Healthy Offer. Expires 3/23/2015.

Recipe to Try

I found this delicious looking recipe for Thee Best Pear Bread that I cannot wait to try thanks to the great deal we’ll score on pears this week!

 

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Have an Eco-Friendly St. Patrick’s Day

Posted on Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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Earth Day TreeGreen is the first color that comes to mind when people think of St. Patrick’s Day. People wear green clothing to celebrate. The word green can also mean eco-friendly. Here are some ways that you can have an eco-friendly St. Patrick’s Day.

Buy Local
Consider serving locally produced beers at your St. Patrick’s Day party. Buy the cabbage for your corned beef and cabbage dinner from a local Farmers’ Market. Buying from local businesses can help reduce the environmental impact that happens when products are shipped great distances in trucks.

Skip the Meat
Many traditional Irish foods include meat. That’s true for corned beef and cabbage and shepherds pie. The raising and processing of meat takes a toll on the environment.

It is possible to skip the meat and use seitan or tofu in its place. Another option is to make a delicious Irish vegetable stew with local vegetables. Or, at the very least, buy local and/or organically grown beef.

Pick up the Trash
It is fun to watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade. What isn’t so fun is the trash that people leave behind after the parade is over. Make sure you find a trash can for your garbage (and a recycle bin for whatever can be recycled).

Those of you who want to can take things a step further can pick up the trash you find as you are leaving the parade. Bring a garbage bag with you to collect it in. Toss everything into a trash bin before you head home. You will help make your neighborhood a cleaner, greener, place for everyone!

Plant some Green
We typically tend to think about planting trees on Arbor Day. Some people, however, choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by planting some “green” (in addition to wearing it). Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air. If the weather is warm enough where you live, and you have a good amount of space in your backyard, consider planting a tree.

Don’t have a backyard? You can improve the air quality in your home by adding some plants. In addition to providing oxygen (and absorbing carbon dioxide) the plants can make nice decorations.

Recycle
Did you have a St. Patrick’s Day party at your home? After the party is over, collect up all the empty cans and bottles and take them to a recycling center. Recycling prevents cans and bottles from ending up in a landfill and enables the materials in them to be re-used.

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Organic Baby Formula from The Honest Co for Just $12.95 Shipped

Posted on Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 at 10:25 am
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Check out this amazing price on organic baby formula, just released by The Honest Company.

Sign up for a The Honest Company Full-sized tub for only $12.95 plus FREE Shipping.

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Allergy Friendly St. Patrick’s Day Foods

Posted on Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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St. Patricks Day Hat and MoneySt. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that is celebrated with Irish music, parades, and certain foods and drinks that have become traditional to enjoy during this holiday. The music and parades can be enjoyed by anyone. The foods and drinks, however, can be a problem for people who have food allergies. Fortunately, there are some allergy friendly alternatives!

Dairy Free Shamrock Shake
The Shamrock Shake that appears at McDonalds in March is extremely popular. Some restaurants actually sell out of that product very quickly. It’s fun to enjoy a seasonal item that tastes sweet.

Unfortunately, the Shamrock Shake from McDonalds contains milk. This makes it unsafe for people who are allergic to dairy or who have lactose intolerance. Food.com has a “copycat recipe” for a dairy free Shamrock Shake.

It makes 2 servings. The ingredients include: 2 cups of soy ice cream, 1 and 1/4 cups of soy milk, some mint extract, and some green food coloring. What if you are allergic to dairy and soy? You might be able to substitute coconut ice cream and coconut milk for the soy in this recipe.

Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread
Irish soda bread is another treat that people eat on or around St. Patrick’s Day. It is among the few that children can enjoy. Soda bread is typically made with wheat flour, which isn’t safe for people who have celiac disease to consume. It’s also not safe for people with allergies to wheat, or who have a gluten intolerance.

Betty Crocker has a recipe for gluten-free soda bread that takes ten minutes to prep and will serve 12. Instead of using wheat flour, use 2 cups of Betty Crocker All-Purpose Gluten Free Rice Flour blend.

It also calls for gluten-free baking powder, which sounds a bit redundant since baking powder contains cornstarch (which is gluten-free). You are also going to need some xanthan gum. The rest of the ingredients are ones that you would expect in Irish soda bread.

Corned Beef and Cabbage
Cabbage, like all vegetables, is gluten-free. Beef is also gluten-free. Sometimes, the spices used in corned beef and cabbage are not gluten-free. Celiac.com has a gluten-free recipe for corned beef and cabbage that serves 6 people (and will yield some leftovers).

The recipe uses peppercorns. It also recommends you use gluten-free pickling spices. Everything else in the recipe is either meat, vegetable, or butter. Those allergic to dairy can omit the butter, since it is only being used to brush onto the cooked vegetables.

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Fresh Produce Coupons ~ Save on Oranges

Posted on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 at 10:00 am
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healthy offer

It’s time to load this week’s Healthy Offer of the Week from Saving Star to your account! This week, Save 20% on any single purchase of loose Oranges at participating retailers. 

See offer info for complete details. Check back every Tuesday for a new Healthy Offer. Expires 3/9/2015.

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Foods that Contain Potassium

Posted on Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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bananasWe all need to make sure we are getting the right amount of vitamins. Our bodies don’t automatically produce enough vitamins and minerals on their own, so we need to get them from either food or supplements. Do you know what foods contain potassium? Here’s a quick look at foods that have it.

Potassium is sometimes referred to as “Vitamin K”. This could be because the symbol for potassium on the periodic table is K. However, potassium is a mineral, not a vitamin, and vitamin K is not the same thing as potassium. Both are important for the body.

Potassium is something that the body uses in a variety of ways. The mineral helps regulate electrolyte balance in the body. It can also affect heart function, the contraction of muscles, and the stimulation of responses to nerves.

There are many vegetables that have potassium. Sweet Potatoes are one of the best sources of it. One sweet potato has 694 milligrams of potassium. That’s about 15% of the daily recommended amount. One half cup of beet greens contains 655 milligrams of potassium. You can easily incorporate sweet potatoes into your meal plans. Just replace a recipe that includes potatoes with sweet potatoes.

Lima beans are another source of potassium. One cup of Lima beans has 995 milligrams of potassium. A medium potato, with its skin, has about 422 milligrams of potassium. Other vegetables that have potassium include asparagus, mushrooms, pumpkins and avocados. Consider adding some avocado to your nachos or burrito. In fall, it is super easy to find foods that contain pumpkin.

There are some fruits that contain potassium. Banana might be the first one that comes to most people’s minds. Chiquita says that the average Chiquita banana has about 422 milligrams of potassium. This is equal to about 13% of the daily-recommend amount of potassium.

Orange juice contains some potassium. It is also a good source of vitamin C. A half cup of dates contains 584 milligrams of potassium. Another way to get some potassium is to eat raisins. Half a cup of raisins contains 543 milligrams of potassium. Pack a little box of raisins into your lunch as a healthy snack.

You might not realize it, but it is possible to get some potassium from meat. Salmon, cod, and flounder are some of the best choices of potassium from meat. Four ounces of cod broiled with butter gives you about 460 milligrams of potassium. Broiled halibut has around 596 milligrams of potassium. You can also get some potassium from yogurt or cheese.

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Fresh Produce Coupon ~ Save 20% on Lettuce

Posted on Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 at 9:15 am
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healthy offer

It’s time to load this week’s Healthy Offer of the Week from Saving Star to your account! This week, Save 20% on any single purchase of loose unwrapped Lettuce at participating retailers. 

See offer info for complete details. Check back every Tuesday for a new Healthy Offer. Expires 3/2/2015.

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Fresh Produce Coupon: Save 20% on Broccoli

Posted on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 at 9:20 am
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healthy offer

It’s time to load this week’s Healthy Offer of the Week from Saving Star to your account! This week, Save 20% on any single purchase of loose Broccoli at participating retailers. 

See offer info for complete details. Check back every Tuesday for a new Healthy Offer. Expires 2/23/2015.

 

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All About Just Like Sugar

Posted on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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SugarThere are a whole lot of sugar substitutes out there. It can be difficult to figure out which sweeteners to use and which ones you may want to avoid. It is always good to look up information on new sweeteners before you try them. Here are some things to know about the Just Like Sugar sweetener.

Just Like Sugar is the name of a product that is a sweetener that can be used in place of sugar. It is made from a blend of natural ingredients and is said to mimic the attributes of beet sugar or cane sugar.

What is Just Like Sugar made of?
It is made from a blend of chicory root, dietary fiber, vitamin C, calcium, and natural flavor (which comes from the peel of an orange). You’ve probably heard of most, if not all, of these ingredients.

The natural flavor comes from the orange and is taken entirely from the orange skin (or peel). This part of a citrus fruit is also called “zest”, especially when it is used in baking or cooking. The orange peel is what gives Just Like Sugar its sweetness.

Chicory root is the root portion of a vegetable called chicory. It is often used as a substitute for coffee (after it has been ground and roasted). The dietary fiber listed in the ingredients of Just Like Sugar is inulin – which comes from the chicory root.

Inulin fiber can cause flatulence and bloating. This is because it cannot be broken down by the digestive enzymes in the human body. It functions as a prebiotic, which is a food source for the natural bacteria that lives in your intestines. Not everyone handles inulin, or chicory, the same way. You may want to consult your doctor before consuming products that contain it.

Calcium is a mineral that helps the body to maintain strong bones. It also helps muscles to move and nerve cells to carry messages from the brain through the rest of the body.

Vitamin C can help people whose immune systems were weakened due to stress. It might also help a person fight off a cold after they have caught one. The vitamin C in Just Like Sugar comes from orange juice in the form of L-ascorbic acid.

What is not in Just Like Sugar?
Just Like Sugar does not contain soy, yeast, animal derivatives, MSG, l-glutamic acid, d-glutamine acid, aspartic acid, gluten, wheat, dairy, or preservatives. It also doesn’t contain any carbs or calories. Just Like Sugar doesn’t contain any sugar alcohols.

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