Violets pop up all over my yard every year at this time, and I’m always extremely excited when they do. Violets are edible, and though picking them can be a little painstaking, I really enjoy eating and making things with the delicate purple beauties. Yesterday, I made candied violets.

candied violets | healthy green kitchen

As I mentioned above, violets are delicate…fragile. If your lawn is similarly dotted, and you’d like to use them in a recipe, plan to do so right after you pick them (otherwise they will wilt). I decided to make just a small amount of sugared violets (I will tell you why tomorrow) so I didn’t pick that many flowers. If you want to make lots of candied flowers, or a syrup or jelly with your violets, you’ll need to pick quite a lot.

violets  on plate_

To make candied/sugared violets, all you need is the flowers, some sugar (I used organic sugar), and something to get the sugar to adhere to the flowers. Generally I would use beaten egg white, but since I wanted these candied violets to be vegan, I used a slurry of flax seeds and water*: approximately 1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water. The mixture was somewhat thick so I did add a little more water as I was working.

Superfine sugar is the best type of sugar to use for candied flowers: you can whir regular (or organic) sugar in a food processor to make it more fine, if you like.
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As I’ve mentioned in each of my #SAVEITSUNDAY posts, we Americans waste a lot of our food: this food waste has devastating consequences to our environment and our wallets. In past posts I have mainly focused on ways to store your food at home so you can waste less (Glad’s Protection Pointers have been very helpful to me), but today I want to do something a little different. I want to talk about 5 ways you can reduce food waste before you even bring your food home.

5 ways to reduce your food waste | healthy green kitchen

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I recently taught a class on making lacto-fermented vegetables. We talked about sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchi, and I demo’ed how to make kimchi. I used a recipe just a wee bit different from this one…I’ve been making it over and over and I love it. One of the ways I like to eat it is mixed into this Asian-inspired Udon noodle soup.

udon soup with kimchi | healthy green kitchen

This soup is ridiculously tasty; it’s also infinitely variable. Here’s how I make mine, along with some of my favorite ways to change it up (and you’ll find my “Friday Shares” at the bottom of this post):

udon soup with kimchi | healthy green kitchen
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A busy week got in the way of me posting here yesterday as planned…sorry! So in the interest of not delaying this post further, I won’t wax on and on about these Kitchen Sink Cookies. I’ll just tell you they are seriously awesome.

Kitchen Sink Cookies | healthy green kitchen

Below the cookie recipe are the links I’d planned to include in my “Friday Shares” post…there’s some great stuff this week, so happy reading!

pistachio chocolate chip cookie dough | healthy green kitchen

kitchen sink cookie recipe | healthy green kitchen
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Happy Earth Day! It was gorgeous here in my neck of the woods today…I hope the same was true for you.

I have been interested in environmental issues for many, many years and the reason I called my site Healthy Green Kitchen is because I wanted there to be an focus on green living here. The same is true for my book my book One Simple Change: a good many of the chapters focus on green living because the book is about improving not just personal health, but planetary health, as well.

To celebrate the day, I want to share an easy recipe for an inexpensive DIY green cleaner; I also want to give a signed copy of One Simple Change to one of you!

It could not be simpler to make this citrus vinegar cleaner, and it’s a great natural alternative to store-bought household cleaning products. Use peels you save from eating oranges, or from using oranges in any recipe (such as this one for Orange Cardamom Curd). You can store the peels in a bag in the refrigerator until you have enough to fill whatever size glass jar you want to use. I used the peels from making fresh orange juice, which I do a few times a week: juicing oranges yield a lot of peels all at once (you can compost the extra ones). You could also make a vinegar cleaner with lemon, lime, or grapefruit peels instead (or use a combination).

orange peels_

Once you place your peels in your glass jar, cover them with white vinegar. Yes: cheap white vinegar. Vinegar is an all-natural, all-purpose cleaner that works well on many surfaces, including glass and wood, and the oils in the citrus peels boost the cleaning power further! (You can mix this cleaner with a bit of liquid soap for cleaning tiles, if you like.)

citrus cleaner_

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