Homemade Sriracha

diy sriracha from Healthy Green Kitchen

Yes, I am aware that it’s Valentine’s Day, and that today I am “supposed to” post about cookies, or something chocolate-related, or maybe a romantic dish you could cook for your sweetheart. The thing is, I figured you can find all that good stuff on a bazillion other blogs, so I decided to share something non V-Day related (but totally rad if you love hot sauce): Homemade Sriracha!

Homemade sriracha from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

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One Simple Change: 5 Informational “Snippets” (And Home Dried Chile Peppers)

Yesterday it occurred to me that instead of continuing to write full length One Simple Change posts here every week (which I just don’t have time to do right now), I could occasionally just give you some informational “snippets” instead. So below are 5 random things I have learned while researching my book, and which I just think you should know about.

{Note that the “snippets list” is followed by directions for making home dried chile peppers. The chile peppers have absolutely nothing to do with One Simple Change but this is such an easy technique…it’s something else I just want you to know about! Plus, it’s a perfect (crazy easy) weekend project.}

1. You don’t have to give up coffee to be healthy. I learned from reading The Happiness Diet: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body (a GREAT book!) that a Finnish study linked coffee consumption to a decreased risk of dementia. Coffee has also been linked to a decreased risk of diabetes and heart disease. BUT: I think you should drink organic/fair-trade coffee (because it’s the right thing to do!) and you shouldn’t go overboard. Too much caffeine- especially in the afternoon and later- can negatively affect your sleep. Also: watch what you put in your coffee. White sugar isn’t good for you, and real cream is much healthier than fake creamers.

2. Drinking water with meals does not dilute your digestive enzymes. I’ve long thought this was the case, but there’s no science to back this fact up. So don’t worry about washing your food down with water…it’s just not a problem.

3. I mentioned the fact that cleaning exposed areas with soap right after being in the sun may interfere with vitamin D production in this post, and I wanted to tell you that this is definitely true. So it’s best to wash your “stinky areas” (sorry- I don’t know how else to describe them) with soap, but use just water to rinse your skin that was in the sun. I like to exercise outside in the sun sometimes so this one’s a bit tough for me…when I hop in the shower after, I have to consciously stop myself from soaping up all over.

4. Many of the nutrients in dark leafy greens are best absorbed when they are eaten along with healthy fats. Keep this in mind if you drink a lot of green smoothies that don’t have fat in them. Another thing: raw greens that contain oxalic acid (like spinach) can block calcium absorption…this is problematic if you’re putting high-oxalic greens in a yogurt-based smoothie. I sort of mentioned these points in my post on leafy greens but I felt they were worth mentioning again.

5. Don’t hold your pee. Seriously! I have to fess up that I do this all the time, but I am going to stop. If you don’t pee when the urge strikes, your bladder will stretch. Over time, it will no longer be able to empty fully, and this can lead to urinary tract infections. I didn’t know this…again, I am accustomed to holding my pee quite frequently because it just seems inconvenient to go sometimes. Obviously a little waiting is ok if you’re not near a bathroom, but why make yourself hold it if there’s really no reason to (like when your home office is across the hall from the loo…um, hello? Guilty as charged)? Along the same lines: if you have to cough or burp, go ahead and do it. Let it go, people…let it go! Thank you lovely Alana (who I chatted up in a porta potty line last weekend) for sharing this tip about not holding it in:)

I also want to mention here that I just learned about algae oil. It’s an vegan omega-3 supplement that a good alternative to fish oil for those who don’t eat fish (and who therefore won’t supplement with fish oil). I strongly suggest this if you are vegan…getting enough omega-3s is really important. Just putting it out there.

Now about these chile peppers.

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Chickpeas with Delicata Squash, Kale, and Coconut Milk

coconut chickpeas with kale

I had such a nice weekend: it finally snowed so I was home most of the time hanging out with my family, and had a chance to clean and organize a bunch of areas in my house that desperately needed attention. I also got to cook a couple of delicious new dishes. These wonderful Chickpeas … Read more