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Pantry staples work wonders when used in new ways. Try these unexpected applications for everyday ingredients.
Chipotle Chile Powder
With flavor combining fiery, smoky, and chocolate-like nuances, chipotle chile powder finds affinity with a surprising array of foods.
Our Secret Twists:
- Reinvent brittle: Give your nut brittle an intriguing, unexpected edge by stirring in 1 to 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder. We loved it in our Walnut Brittle.
- Add dimension to chocolate dishes: Combining chocolate and chiles is nothing new―think of Mexican mole sauces. Stir a teaspoon of the spice into your favorite brownie batter, devil’s food cake, or hot fudge sauce. Or dust a little on top of hot chocolate as you would nutmeg.
- Give veggies a kick: Make a rich compound butter to top green beans, roasted or pureed winter squash, broccoli, or baked sweet potatoes by simply combining 4 tablespoons softened butter with 1 to 1½ teaspoons chipotle chile powder.
Responsible for sustaining most toddlers in the form of sandwiches oozing with jelly, peanut butter is a quick source of quality protein.
Our Secret Twists:
- Substitute 3 tablespoons creamy or chunky peanut butter for 1 egg as a binder for meatballs with an Asian flavor profile.
- Use 1 to 2 tablespoons natural or chunky peanut butter to add body to a brothy soup.
- Stir 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter into a broth-based pan sauce for pork or chicken in place of dairy butter to finish the sauce and add richness.
Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
Soy sauce, even the low-sodium kind, is the king of umami―the “fifth taste,” a savoriness inherent in certain foods. Let the power of umami boost more than just your stir-fries.
Our Secret Twists
- Whisk together equal parts low-sodium soy sauce, dark brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and canola oil for a delicious, full-bodied salad dressing.
- Create an intriguing sweet-salty dessert by stirring 1 to 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce into homemade caramel sauce, then drizzle over ice cream, apple pie, or cake. The appeal is similar to that of sea salt caramels―rich, savory notes that contrast beautifully with the caramelized sugar.
The sweet warmth of this spice (made from tree bark) is a natural in baked goods like our low-fat cinnamon rolls. But that toasty essence also adds an I-can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it richness and fullness to savory foods, too.
Our Secret Twists
- Stir ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon into your favorite chicken salad recipe.
- Lend Mediterranean flair to your next batch of spaghetti with meat sauce by browning the meat with ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon; or simmer the sauce with 1 cinnamon stick.
- Use ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon to add subtle sweetness to a spice rub for pork, duck, or game.
Lower-Fat Cream Cheese
Enrich baked pasta: Stir 1 to 2 tablespoons into every cup of a light béchamel sauce to replace some of the rich flavor and creaminess lost when the fat is slashed. We whisked 1/4 cup into the sauce for our Spinach and Butternut Squash Lasagna (pictured) with creamy-luscious results. And it only adds about 20 calories per serving.
Perk up potatoes: In place of sour cream or butter in your standard mashed potato recipe, use an equal amount of softened cream cheese. The flavor is less tart than sour cream, more present than butter, and the texture is full and velvety. Our favorite incarnation: The naturally buttery taste of Yukon gold potatoes pairs well with the tang of the cheese
Enliven a smoothie: Love a go-to fruit smoothie for breakfast? This variation feels like an indulgence (but really isn’t): a cheesecake–flavored drink. For each serving, add 1 tablespoon of softened 1/3-less-fat cream cheese to fruit mixture before blending (try it with blueberries or strawberries). You gain about 1 1/2 grams protein for only 35 calories.
Earthy, woodsy, and highly fragrant, thyme is a staple in French cooking...and more, with our creative suggestions.
Our Secret Twists
- Enliven the taste of fall desserts like apple crisp or pear tart by adding 1 teaspoon chopped thyme to the filling. In the summer, add the herb to apricot or peach dishes.
- Create savory waffles or pancakes by stirring 1 teaspoon minced thyme and 1⁄3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into the batter.
- Combine 1 tablespoon honey, ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, and ¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon rind; drizzle over Greek yogurt, and top with toasted pine nuts.
Light Coconut Milk
Make fluffy pancakes: Combine 4.5 ounces (1 cup) all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Whisk together 1 cup light coconut milk, 1½ tablespoons canola oil, and 1 egg; combine with dry ingredients. Cook as usual for pancakes. Yield: 4 servings.
Blend up a smoothie: Place 1/2 cup frozen mango cubes, 1/3 cup light coconut milk, 1/4 cup nonfat coconut-flavored yogurt, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar in a blender; process until smooth. Yield: 1 serving.
Make coconut ice: Freeze coconut milk in ice-cube trays. Use the coconut cubes for margaritas on the rocks, rum and colas, or in place of regular ice for daiquiris or other slushy blended drinks.
Jazz up your morning cereal: Use a combination of coconut milk and dairy or soy milk to enliven your everyday breakfast bowl. Try a ratio of roughly 2 parts dairy or soy milk to 1 part light coconut milk for a hint of sweetness and a surprisingly nice hit of nutty essence.
Ground Red Pepper
Often labeled “cayenne,” ground red pepper adds a fiery kick to all manner of dishes, from Indian to Cajun.
Our Secret Twists
- Give desserts such as cakes or bread pudding a Mexican flair by drizzling with chocolate sauce laced with 1⁄8 to ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper.
- Stir a dash or up to ¼ teaspoon into a tropical fruit salad for complex flavor.
- Sprinkle a light dusting over vanilla ice cream, where the creaminess rounds out the sharpness of the pepper.
Create custom sauces: Serve these easy blends as a dip for crudités or oven fries, dollop on crab cakes, toss with salads, or spread on sandwiches. Try adding the following ingredient combos to a base of canola mayo (our favorite): French: lemon juice, minced garlic, and parsley (shown); Mexican: minced cilantro, garlic, and grated lime rind; German: horseradish, spicy mustard, and caraway seeds; Indian: Madras curry powder and minced shallots; Southwest: pureed chipotle chiles and fresh lime juice.
Make a marinade: For supermoist results, try this marinade for your next batch of grilled chicken breasts: 1 cup canola mayo, 3 tablespoons less-sodium soy sauce, 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, and 6 minced garlic cloves.
Pan-fry extra-crisp fish or poultry: Use mayo’s oil-rich texture to lock in moisture and help breading adhere. Coat fish fillets or skinless, boneless chicken breast halves with an even layer of mayonnaise; dredge in panko. Pan-fry in canola oil.
With a sharp, lemon-eucalyptus fragrance and taste, this herb is a natural for the meatiness of lamb, beef, and pork.
Our Secret Twists
- Steep a couple of sprigs in simple syrup for pine-scented lemonade or cocktails.
- Try adding 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary to savory biscotti with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.
- Stir 1 to 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary into slightly cooled homemade preserves such as orange marmalade or cherry jam.
Dress a salad: Combine 1 tablespoon apricot preserves, 1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper. Whisk in ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil. Toss with a salad of mixed greens, chicken breast, raspberries, goat cheese, and almonds.
Glaze meat: Make a sweet-spicy glaze that stands up to pork or chicken thighs. Whisk together ¼ cup apricot preserves, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon less-sodium soy sauce, 1½ teaspoons sambal oelek or Sriracha, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Brush over pork or chicken as it cooks.
Make a quick dipping sauce: Dunk panko-crusted chicken strips, breaded shrimp, or spring rolls in this sauce: Combine ¼ cup apricot preserves, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon minced shallots, ½ teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper.
Wonderful by themselves, mashed potatoes can provide a creamy base for stuffings, dips, and even savory pancakes.
Our Secret Twists
- Stuffed peppers: Fill halved poblanos, top with Monterey Jack cheese, and bake until tender.
- Potato cakes: Combine 1 cup cold mashed potatoes, 1⁄3 cup shredded Swiss cheese, and 2 tablespoons chopped green onions. Form into 4 cakes. Dredge in panko; pan-fry in canola oil until golden.
- Garlicky dip for crudités: Combine 1 cup cold mashed potatoes, ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 2 minced garlic cloves in a food processor; process until mixture is creamy.
Sure, leftover cranberry sauce is a tasty (if predictable) spread for turkey sandwiches. But try it in these unexpected applications.
Our Secret Twists
- Muffins: Stir ¼ cup cranberry sauce and ¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers into prepared batter from an 8.5-ounce package corn muffin mix; bake as directed.
- Salsa: Combine ½ cup cranberry sauce, ¼ cup chopped onion, and 1 tablespoon each chopped jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice.
- Salad dressing: Combine 3 tablespoons cranberry sauce, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard; toss with arugula.
Great in soups and stews, casseroles and of course sandwiches, leftover turkey is even better when recast in unexpected dishes.
Our Secret Twists
- Wontons: Pulse 1 cup chopped turkey, 1 cup sliced shiitakes, ¼ cup chopped green onions, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon grated ginger in a food processor until minced. Add 1 egg white; pulse 2 times. Fill wonton wrappers; simmer in turkey stock or broth.
- Turkey patatas bravas (a riff on hash): Cook a 20-ounce package diced potatoes with onions per directions. Add 1 cup chopped turkey, 2⁄3 cup tomato puree, 4 minced garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, and ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper; cook 2 minutes.
Make our hash brown cakes: Combine 1½ cups shredded ham, ½ cup chopped green onions, 2½ tablespoons all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1 (20-ounce) bag refrigerated shredded hash browns. Add 2 large lightly beaten eggs; toss well. Scoop mixture by ¼-cupfuls into 1 tablespoon canola oil per batch in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; flatten slightly, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned.
Use as a substitute for higher-fat bacon: Cook finely chopped ham in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp and well browned. Toss with sautéed green beans, serve on salads, or sprinkle over pasta.
Add savory flavor to breads: Add ½ cup diced ham and ⅓ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese to your favorite biscuit dough or pancake or waffle batter. Or add ¼ cup finely chopped ham to non-dessert biscotti, like our Savory Two-Cheese Biscotti.
Giada De Laurentiis Uses These Ingredient Alternatives to Make Desserts Both Delicious and Healthy
Giada De Laurentiis has often admitted to her love of sweets. Recently shifting her diet to focus more on healthy eating, the Everyday Italian star still allows herself some sugary treats but with more mindful modifications. Sharing suggestions on alternatives to traditional baking ingredients in her new book, De Laurentiis offers a list of items that are both easier on the digestive system and the wallet.
Giada De Laurentiis calls her love of sugar an ‘addiction’
In her book Eat Better, Feel Better: My Recipes for Wellness and Healing, Inside and Out, the Food Network personality revealed she often tried to boost her energy by consuming sweets throughout the day. De Laurentiis’ commitment to wellness made her realize she had an unhealthy dependence on sugar.
“Until I made a real effort to tamp down on how much sugar I ate, for me it wasn’t a treat, it was a legitimate addiction,” De Laurentiis wrote. “The ultimate bad boyfriend, luring me back time and again even though I knew I’d hate myself in the morning. Really, the only good thing I can say about sugar is that the less you eat of it, the less you crave it. But breaking that habit has been hard, and it’s an ongoing battle.”
While the culinary queen has cut down on her sugar intake, she still allows for moderate indulgences. De Laurentiis discovered some ingredients that keep the sweetness in desserts without the digestive repercussions.
“When it comes to desserts, though, I have found that a handful of ingredients (some of which are relatively new to my pantry) allows me to cook in a way that feels familiar and celebratory without the sugar/dairy/gluten aftermath,” the Giada at Home star explained. “Don’t worry, it’s not a long list. I don’t like to run all over town looking for specialty ingredients that cost three times as much as what I used to buy, and I won’t ask you to do that either.”
Reclaim your spice rack with these everyday uses for exotic ingredients
If you have neglected spices going stale in the back of your kitchen cabinet, we have the help you need.
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Tuna Salad with Nigella Seeds
Tuna Salad with Nigella Seeds
Saffron Scalloped Potatoes
Saffron Scalloped Potatoes
Middle Eastern Sumac Salad is just one of the dishes we put together with spices you might have forgotten were waiting in the back of your spice rack.
Middle Eastern Sumac Salad
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If you have neglected spices going stale in the back of your kitchen cabinet, we have the help you need.
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Heady perfumes of the tropics or a fiery burn of far-flung lands. Exotic spices can transplant diners to remote and wonderful places.
Then dinner is over. And you still have a few ounces of cardamom or a big pinch of saffron to deal with. Inevitably, those find their way to the back of a cabinet to die a slow and stale death.
Well, no more, we say. There&rsquos no reason that jar of nigella seeds or bag of turmeric needs to suffer a fate of forgotten neglect. We&rsquore here to give you plenty of everyday uses for five of those uncommon ingredients.
Cardamom: Floral, peppery and assertive, this ancient spice can turn simple recipes into real head turners.
Knead a tablespoon of the ground seeds into your next loaf of bread. Make French toast with the leftovers.
Toss whole pods into a simple brine of vinegar sweetened with a bit of sugar to quickly pickle fresh vegetables such as green beans, okra or cucumbers.
Add a teaspoon of ground cardamom seeds to a simple rice pudding for an exotic aroma.
Blend ground cardamom with cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle this on muffins before baking, or toss freshly fried doughnuts or churros in the blend.
Coat mango slices with cardamom, honey and chile before grilling (see recipe).
Nigella seeds: A little onion, a little oregano and a whole lot of satisfying crunch, nigella seeds are incredibly flexible in the kitchen. They&rsquore best gently toasted in a skillet.
Swap celery for nigella seeds in a simple tuna salad sandwich (see recipe).
Whip nigella seeds into goat cheese and yogurt for an easy dip for vegetables.
Sprinkle nigella seeds and flaky sea salt over a loaf of flatbread before baking.
Add texture and taste to a salad with a pinch of nigella seeds.
The next time you have a sushi night at home, sprinkle your rolls with nigella instead of sesame
Saffron: The king of rare and expensive spices, this one almost always gets neglected after that big paella party is over.
Warm a cup of olive oil and a half teaspoon of saffron in a deep skillet over low heat. Gently confit fish fillets or shrimp in that.
Give scalloped potatoes a luxe makeover with a pinch of saffron threads (see recipe).
Add a pinch of saffron threads to your favorite flan recipe for a beautiful color and aroma.
Steep saffron, chopped ginger, honey and a cinnamon stick in hot water for a soothing herbal tea.
Knead saffron threads into pasta dough for a stylish upgrade.
Sumac: Think of this Middle Eastern staple as a dry alternative to lemon juice or vinegar.
Sprinkle sumac over fish tacos for a burst of color and flavor.
Stir sumac into yogurt and use as a powerful marinade for grilled meats.
Toss sumac with a simple salad of cucumber and tomatoes (see recipe).
Finish your next slice of avocado toast with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous pinch of sumac.
Sprinkle a little sumac into a fruit salad of strawberries, watermelon and grapes.
Turmeric: A relative of ginger with an arresting color and floral aroma, turmeric is just as versatile as its better-known cousin.
Add a teaspoon of turmeric to a fresh batch of hummus (see recipe).
Blend turmeric into a banana and yogurt smoothie.
Whisk turmeric into vinaigrette for a colorful salad topper.
Steam mussels in beer or wine flavored with turmeric and lemongrass.
Melt a stick of butter and a teaspoon of turmeric in a saucepan. Use this to butter freshly grilled ears of corn.
Paul Stephen is a food and drink reporter and restaurant critic in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | [email protected] | Twitter: @pjbites | Instagram: @pjstephen
Paul Stephen is a writer with the Taste team at the San Antonio Express-News.
Punjabi Thali is a very rich yet very delightful culinary experience. This is a simple punjabi thali menu consisting of Dal Makhani, Kadai Paneer, Jeera Rice, Raita, Missi Roti and Papad. Generally it has one dessert like Gajar ka halwa or gulab jamun but here …
Punjabi kadhi pakora is a Indian yogurt gramflour curry with fried vegetable pakoras and seasoned with spices and usually served with rice. Given below is a simple and authentic punjabi kadhi recipe. Serves : 4 Cooking time : 45 mins Ingredients of Punjabi Kadhi:For Pakore5 tblsp …
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Healthy Everyday Recipes and Panasonic Cooking / Kitchen Appliances
Healthy Everyday represents the healthy lifestyle of being committed to consuming fresh and healthy meals.
It draws on the philosophy of consuming nutritiously balanced meals daily, with freshly sourced ingredients to achieve that well balanced diet.
The convenience of preparing good and healthy meals to share with family and friends has never been simpler. In addition, the habit of cooking healthy recipes and meal prep on a daily basis contributes to achieving a healthy diet, while preventing common diseases.
Healthy Everyday unites aspiration with kitchen appliance technology to satisfy a new desire for healthy food experiences. Whether it's a gastronomic recipe that uses frozen food or a quick culinary masterpiece for a simple meal plan, Healthy Everyday will demonstrate how healthy eating should be.
The road to publication is like a churro – long and bumpy, but sweet. Jay Asher Ingredients: 1 cup (250ml) water 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, diced into small cubes 1 Tbsp (13g) granulated sugar 1/4 tsp salt 1 cup (141g) all-purpose flour 1 large egg 1/2 tsp vanilla extract Vegetable oil, for frying For coating: 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon Instructions: For the coating whisk together 1/2 cup sugar&hellip Read more
You have to live life to its full chorizo. Mario Batali What is chorizo? Chorizo is a type of highly seasoned and fatty pork sausage popular in Mexican cuisine. Traditionally, it uses natural casings made from intestines, a method used since Roman antiquity. Usually contains paprika, garlic, and oregano. Ingredients: 1.25 pounds ground chorizo 1&hellip Read more
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10 New Uses for Vinegar
&ldquoVinegar is a strong preservative because its acetic acid kills the microbes and bacteria that could cause food to spoil,&rdquo says Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, in Griffin. &ldquoIt&rsquos also a good deodorizer―the acid neutralizes basic compounds, such as those found in degrading meat, that can be volatile and unpleasant.&rdquo
Use White Vinegar to:
1. Pinch-hit for lemon in a savory recipe. Use 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar in place of 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
2. Remove coffee or tea stains from the bottom of a cup. Swish 2 tablespoons of vinegar around in the cup, then wash as usual.
3. Treat oily hair. Vinegar is a good degreaser for oily hair because it helps adjust pH levels. Shampoo your hair as usual, rinse, then pour 1/4 cup over it and rinse again.
4. Wipe salt stains off boots. Dip a cloth or an old T-shirt into vinegar, then wipe away the white residue.
5. Make wool sweaters fluffier. Drop in a couple of capfuls of vinegar during the rinse cycle for an extra-soft feel.
6. Deodorize a garbage disposal. Make vinegar ice cubes and feed them down the disposal. After grinding, run cold water through the drain.
7. Clean a teakettle or a coffeemaker. Boil a mixture of water and vinegar in a teakettle, then wipe away the grime. Fill the reservoir of a coffeemaker with a mixture of vinegar and water and run it through a brewing cycle. Follow this with several cycles of water to rinse thoroughly.
8. Clean a dishwasher. Once a month, with the machine empty, run a cup of vinegar through an entire cycle to reduce soap buildup on the inner mechanisms and glassware.
9. Remove stubborn price tags or stickers. Paint them with several coats of vinegar, let the liquid soak in for five minutes, then wipe away the residue.
10. Kill weeds between cracks in paving stones and sidewalks. Fill a spray bottle with straight vinegar and spray multiple times. (Be careful not to get any on the surrounding grass, as it will kill that too.)
21 Cosmetic Uses for Everyday Foods
Don’t think of the grocery store as a single-use destination. It’s not just for deciding what’s for dinner—it’s a veritable beauty mecca. Your favorite foods like papaya, avocado, and even olive oil aren’t just for eating they’re for preening and primping. So no matter your motivation (you want to save a few dollars, up your green quotient, or just find a novel way to pass the time), here are 21 cosmetic uses for food that are just as good, if not better, than their store-bought counterparts.
Photo from Natural-Homeremedies-for-Life
You can either save your leftover egg whites for an omelet or angel food cake, or use them for your next facial. Just one white, beaten until smooth, is enough to cover your face. As with other masks, let it dry completely, then rinse off. It will leave you feeling refreshed, and your skin will be noticeably more taut.
Guacamole isn’t just great for a party, it’s also great for giving your skin supple elasticity. Just mash it with some hot water and honey, apply to your face, and wash it off after a few minutes. Your skin will be smooth and your face mask might be destined for a tortilla chip or two!
3. Tea Bag Eye Rejuvenator
The quintessential home cosmetic remedy is using cucumber slices on the eyes to reduce puffiness. While that certainly works, brewed black tea bags are even more effective. Place them on your eyes (which should be closed, of course) and let the tannins work their magic—about five minutes should do the trick.
Because what do you think those expensive bath oils are? That’s right, just edible oils with fragrances and dyes added. Try this totally natural alternative: Just add a couple of tablespoons to your hot bath and emerge with moisturized skin. If you crave a scent, add a drop or two of grapefruit essential oil to the water, too.
Photo from Your Beauty Advisor
Oatmeal has calming properties that soothe the skin and help reduce redness. It can be used in a variety of ways, from a body wash to a mask, but the most basic is this simple face wash: Mix together equal parts warm honey and lemon juice, then stir in three parts instant oatmeal until it turns into a paste. Apply to your face, then wash off with warm water.
Photo from Alternative Healing
Swap your conditioner for vinegar twice a month and you’ll get rid of any nasty buildup, as well as improve your hair’s silkiness and shine. Seriously. Don’t use dark or expensive vinegars stick to cider or white wine vinegar for less strain on the wallet and better results. But don’t do this more than a few times a month or you’ll risk drying out your hair.
Fill a jar about two-thirds full with honey, add a scoop of brown sugar and one halved vanilla bean, and mix. Keep this in the shower and use it as a body scrub that will leave you smelling nice and feeling smooth.
Photo from Organic Authority
Tighten your pores and improve your skin’s texture with this common pantry item. Just mix it with 2 parts water and then lightly mist or dab onto your skin after cleaning. This helps lock in moisture and keep your pores tight.
9. Cornstarch Bath Powder
Superabsorbent and extremely fine, cornstarch is the kitchen equivalent of baby powder and can be used in the same way. Combine it with a few leaves of a nice-smelling dried herb (rosemary, lavender, or sage, for instance) and pulse it in the food processor until evenly mixed. Sift out any large stray leaf bits, transfer to a container with a shake top (like an old baby powder bottle), and use to freshen up anything from your body to your sneakers.
10. Lemon Juice Lightener
Photo from The Green Head
Beach-goers have been doing this for years to lighten their locks. Just combine the juice of half a lemon with a handful of leave-in conditioner (which is less goopy than regular conditioner), spread on your hair, and comb through, then wash out. (Note: Highlighted or color-treated hair should be spared this homemade remedy, which could make your hair look brassy.) Many people also apply lemon juice directly to age spots to bleach them out, though this should be avoided on sensitive skin because lemon juice is highly acidic.
11. Parsley Breath Freshener
That little sprig of green on the side of your plate isn’t just to add a pop of color—it combats halitosis! After a garlicky pasta dish or a fiery curry, just chew some parsley and the herb’s oils release, banishing bad breath on the spot.
12. Coffee: Scrub and Shine-Maker
Your leftover coffee grounds can clog your drain or, if you’re feeling adventurous, be used as an invigorating scrub. Needless to say, avoid doing this if you have sensitive skin. Leftover brewed coffee can also be mixed with some coffee grounds and conditioner to help increase shine in dark hair.
13. Baking Soda Teeth Cleaner
Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with a quarter teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide for one of the most basic forms of tooth care that exists. It’ll clean your teeth (some would argue better than store-bought toothpaste), but you’ll be missing out on the minty freshness. Of course, you could just go totally au naturel and gnaw a bit of spearmint for that.
14. Chocolate Face Mask
Photo from Classy Ratchet
Cream, cocoa, honey…everything in this face mask sounds good enough to eat! Chocolate is a strong antioxidant, cream helps hydrate, and honey softens. Your skin will never look—or smell—so fantastic!
15. Oil Moisturizer
Take a page from many a Mediterranean grandmother: Olive oil works fabulously as a lotion. Use too much and you’ll smell like pasta, but in small doses it works wonders as a daily lotion or massage oil. If olive oil isn’t your thing, sesame oil (regular not toasted), peanut oil, almond oil, and argan oil work too.
16. Mayonnaise Hair Mask
Mayonnaise takes center stage with nary a BLT in sight. Lather it on warm, damp-cover your head with a plastic shower cap, and in 20 minutes, rinse. The heat helps the mayonnaise penetrate the damaged, dry hair so when you wash it out, the hair is silkier and healthier than ever before.
17. Papaya Face Mask
It’s not just for tropical breakfast anymore! Papayas are rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E. They help hydrate and soften the skin as well as removing impurities. Simply blend it with honey and lemon, put it on your face, and try not to lick it off!
18. Oatmeal and Honey Exfoliant
Photo from Dabbles and Babbles
Nope, not a cookie recipe. This is an easy and nonabrasive way to gently remove dead skin cells from your face and body. Grind the oats to a fine powder, then combine with honey and touch of apple cider vinegar. Rub on your face, leave for 10 minutes, and then wash off with warm water for impeccably soft skin.
19. Cucumber Eye Mask
The oldest trick in the book and one of the best. Place two ice-cold cucumber slices on puffy, tired eyes and leave for 20 minutes—take a nap, if you want. The cucumbers almost magically de-puff and relax your eyes.
20. Salt Scrub
That kosher salt can really give your skin a workout! Combine it with a large amount of any oil (such as vegetable or coconut), add a few drops of essential oil, and mix well. Use it in the bath or shower for smooth, soft skin.
21. Coconut Oil
This wonder food is also a wonder-cosmetic. Slather it on your lips, your eyes, your hair, your dry elbows, your eczema…anywhere that you can put it, coconut oil will leave your skin more pure and soft than it was originally. Plus, it never hurts to smell like a Hawaiian vacation, does it?
This story was originally published as two different stories, both written by Aida Mollenkamp
ABC Everyday: Angus Raddon
A jug of this sherry cobbler cocktail with citrus and mint is bound to please, and it's a cinch to make, too.
- Tip: Part of this cocktail's sweetness comes from simple syrup, which you can buy or make (simply) at home by mixing equal parts boiling water and sugar until combined.
One of the great things about this refreshing non-alcoholic strawberry and ginger drink is that it works well with almost any seasonal fruit with high water content. So if you have berries, melons or any citrus at home, get mixing!