How to Save Your SCOBY from a Fruit Fly Infestation

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

save scoby from fruit flies
The fruit flies are really a challenge in my neck of the woods this year – much more so than in any years past that I remember.

Fruit flies love, and I mean looove, kombucha and its cousin made with honey, Jun teaalso called kombucha champagne. There’s something about the sweet and slightly sour smell and flavor that drives them absolutely nuts. Fruit flies also love to hang out or lay their eggs on the starter culture for these homebrews, popularly known by the acronym SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).

If you brew either of these healthful and hydrating traditional beverages, you have no doubt noticed this too.

Half filled glasses of kombucha or Jun tea left anywhere in the house have the potential to cause the fruit flies to swarm as will leaving your homebrews uncovered even for a few minutes on the kitchen counter.

What do you do if you’ve only just discovered this and already have fruit flies doing laps in your fermentation vessel, or worse (ugh), fruit fly larvae that have taken up residence on your Jun tea or kombucha SCOBY?

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REAL Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

chocolate chip cookie cake

It is very concerning to me how much chocolate children consume today. It seems that chocolate has become a regular feature in the modern diet with many children consuming it on a daily basis. What’s more, some adults seem to think it’s ok to push it on children which contributes greatly to the problem encouraging the potential development of chocolate addiction later.

I regularly receive emails from parents up in arms over the chocolate being offered to their children at school (without their permission) not just as a reward, but even during testing to help the students stay awake and sharp. What is this all about? This type of thing never happened when I was in school – public or private.

Even worse, the chocolate these children are eating is fake chocolate in most cases. American candy companies have slowly but surely replaced real ingredients over the years with factory synthesized fake flavors and GMO sugar in all but the most top of the line brands. Always read those labels, though, because even expensive, beautifully packaged Godiva chocolate has horrible ingredients. Some European chocolate companies have disappointingly followed suit in the name of improving profits.

If you’ve ever compared the taste of an artificially flavored, GMO sweetened Snickers bar with the real taste of chocolate in an Ocho bar (organic, nonGMO Snickers alternative) you know exactly what I’m talking about.

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Farro: Ancient Grain But Should You Eat It?

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

finding the best farro to buy_mini

Farro is an ancient grain that is rapidly growing in popularity as more people discover that modern wheat varieties extremely high in gluten are difficult to digest. This is especially true if the wheat is not traditionally prepared via sprouting, soaking, or sour leavening.

Unfortunately, there is some confusion about whether farro is truly an unhybridized, low gluten form of wheat that those who are gluten intolerant can potentially eat without symptoms.

The problem occurs because the exact definition of farro continues to be debated. Here’s the lowdown about this ancient grain so you know how to source the best kind and understand exactly what you are getting if you choose to buy it.

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The Hydroponic Invasion of USDA Organic

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

hydroponic produce grown without soil

Those of you who have been eating organic produce since before 2010 have no doubt noticed a relentless and continuing decline in quality in recent years. This deterioration has occurred simultaneously with the increased availability of organics at places like Super WalMart and Target.

Persistent examples I’ve noticed of organic produce that doesn’t live up to its top tier reputation include: overly large, water logged strawberries and raspberries that rot and start to mold within days of purchase, bagged organic salad mix that rots long before the “use by” date, cucumbers and peppers that taste bitter and are soft in the middle despite a firm feel in your hands at the market, and celery that is woody, tasteless and nearly impossible to chew.

When I first started purchasing organic produce in the early 1990s, this type of thing never occurred. Organic produce was consistently tasty and long lasting in the vegetable bin in the refrigerator. I didn’t need any tricks or gadgets like the BluApple or FreshPaper produce saver sheets to keep my produce edible.

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Red Rooibos Latte: Naturally Caffeine Free

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

red rooibos latte

If you are looking to replace coffee based lattes with something that is naturally caffeine free and absolutely delicious, I would suggest that you try a (red) rooibos latte.

Rooibos lattes are very popular in coffee shops in South Africa, which makes sense given that the rooibos, or redbush, plant is native to that continent.

South Africans have traditionally used rooibos tea for centuries. The Dutch settlers in the area used it as an alternative to expensive black tea. In addition, black tea was not always available as supply was dependent on trading ships from Europe.

Also called red tea, rooibos has an earthy and a slightly nutty flavor that you will likely find extremely appealing after just a few cups. Rooibos tea benefits primarily revolve around the fact that it is naturally decaffeinated and loaded with antioxidants. Other health pluses include anti-fungal as well as anti-mutagenic properties. Rooibos is also of benefit to immune system modulation and assists with nervous tension, skin problems, and digestive complaints.

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