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Nothing says I love you like a gift basket a collection of favorite things assembled in a beautiful package. And for the tea lover, a tea gift basket can be the most wonderful of gifts; a compilation of treasures to encourage relaxation and reflection as you gather around cups of tea.The tea gift basket can be assembled in a number of ways. First, there are many gift basket companies both large and small that will put together your tea gift basket and ship it direct...

Giving The Gift Of Tea With A Tea Gift Basket

Giving The Gift Of Tea With A Tea Gift BasketNothing says I love you like a gift basket a collection of favorite things assembled in a beautiful package. And for the tea lover, a tea gift basket can be the most wonderful of gifts; a compilation of treasures to encourage relaxation and reflection as you gather around cups of tea.The tea gift basket can be assembled in a number of ways. First, there are many gift basket companies both large and small that will put together your tea gift basket and ship it directly to the person of your choice. In many cases you will be able to choose exactly what you would like included in the basket to make it a unique and personal gift.Some companies have a standard tea gift basket you can purchase and send. Most include teacups, tea itself, and tea accoutrements such as sugar spoons, loose tea balls, strainers, and sometimes even baked goods.In many cases, these companies will also allow you to pick the actual basket you would like to be used for your tea gift basket. You can have them include a personal note and your gift is complete.The Internet is a fantastic resource for finding gift basket companies that will put together your tea gift basket. With the advent and subsequent growth of online commerce, more and more companies of this nature are offering their services through cyberspace. A few clicks of the mouse and youve assembled a beautiful gift for the tea lovers among us.If you really want to personalize your tea gift basket, and you have your share of creativity, go ahead and make your own tea gift basket. With a little bit of ingenuity, youll create a one-of-a-kind gift that will be most appreciated.Assemble some favorite teas some of your favorites and some favorites of the person to whom you are giving the tea gift basket. Include one or two pieces of some beautiful, reasonably priced china; perhaps you can find one or two antique teacups at a local antique store. Then round out the tea gift basket with personal touches; dont be afraid to get creative! Throw in some delicate linen napkins, an interesting container for loose tea, and some chocolates. Whatever you think will make the tea gift basket unique is exactly what you should include.Have fun with your tea gift basket. And anyone who receives it will feel the joy

Fruit Dehydration Techniques

Fruit Dehydration Techniques

There are no firmly established fruit dehydration techniques because the variables change from case to case. This article will go over some basic guidelines for dehydrating your fruits. The temperatures and cook times will very from oven to oven. Follow these basic guidelines but start with a small amount of fruit at first. Starting out with a small amount of fruit will help you test out what techniques work best for you.Solar drying is a very popular way to dry fruit. Solar drying is very simple but if largely depends on the weather. In order to practice solar drying the temperature outside should be above 95 degrees. Next the humidity must be very low. When you have these two factors in your favor you can dry your fruit outside.Drying fruit in a oven is a much more common technique. The temperatures I am about to give depend on many factors, like your oven power and what fruits you are drying. Remember you are not cooking the fruit but drying it. Your oven's temperature should be around 150 to 160 degrees to evaporate moisture quickly. As soon as the outside of the fruit begins to feel dry the temperature should be dropped around 20 to 30 degrees. If you do not dry the fruit properly it will burn or the outside will dry too fast, trapping the moisture inside.Rapid dehydration is what you are aiming for. When drying fruit outside remember humid airs slows down evaporation. Also you do not want to heat the fruit, let it cool, and reheat it. Doing this will cause bacteria and fungus. If you let the fruit cool before it is completely dry, you are better off throwing it away. Drying fruit takes time and effort. Do not expect to get it right on the first time. If you have never dried fruit before I suggest trying it first because the taste does differ from fresh fruit. Drying fruits cuts down on the levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Fruit dehydration techniques vary so it is best to find what works best for you and stick with it.

What You Need To Know About Potato Salads

What You Need To Know About Potato Salads

Potato salad is a dish, usually an appetizer, made, obviously, from potatoes. However so, it still varies throughout different countries and regions of the world. Potato salads are more classified as side dishes than salads for they generally just precede or the follow the main course.Many would claim on having made the best potato salad and would offer the truest and most authentic way of making it. But no matter what is said by many, the best potato salad, or any kind of salad at that matter, is purely of personal preference. Some like their potato salads mingled and just oozing with its dressing, some would prefer theirs to be really soft and tender, and others would want their potato salad to be crispy.Potato salads are oftenly served along with hot dogs, barbecue, hamburgers, roasts and cold sandwiches. This kind of salad is categorized more as a casual fare and more oftenly served during outdoor barbecues, picnics, and other sorts of casual events or meals. But this fact is not stated to underestimate their savory goodness.Potato salads are definitely a popular menu choice of various chefs and cooks for preparing food for a large crowd, and since they can be made in large quantities with utter ease, they can also be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator until it is their time to be served. You must never worry about emptying your wallet when going to the grocery store to buy whatever ingredients you need for you potato salad. The ingredients needed for potato salads are inexpensive and very much affordable. Thus, you do not have to worry about making one yourself because it is, in fact, quite easy.You would need two pounds, or approximately six large potatoes which are peeled and quartered; two stalks of chopped celery; one finely chopped onion, of which you could cook using a microwave on high level for just one minute to be able to reduce that hotness, if you want, that is; four green onions that you have sliced for just of an inch thick; one large carrot, shredded; cup of a sweet pickle relish; cup of chopped red onion; one teaspoon of dry parsley; a half teaspoon of mustard seeds; you would also need pepper or salt for the taste, along with balsamic or wine vinegar, and also with yogurt or a nonfat mayonnaise.Of course you have to cook the potatoes in boiling water for approximately fifteen minutes, or when the potatoes are already barely tender. You have to check every minute or so after the first ten minutes have gone by. Once you have confirmed of the cooked status of your potatoes, cut them into smaller pieces. After that, just leave them be so that they will cool down. Then, you should mix the other ingredients you have also prepared in a large bowl. Once you are confident that you mixed them finely, add your already cooled potatoes, and then mix them, altogether, well. When all these are done, chill your self-made potato salad, but just do not forget to stir it a couple of times during the chilling time you have alotted for it.

Do You Know What Bottled Water Has In It?

Do You Know What Bottled Water Has In It?

Bottled drinking water is pure, right? Not necessarily. Bottled water can be less pure than municipal tap water in some parts of the United States. In fact, bottled water can actually be municipal tap water. Two examples are Coca Colas Dasani brand and Pepsi Colas Aquafina brand.What is bottled water?Description. Bottled water is water that is intended for human consumption and that is sealed in bottles or other containers with no added ingredients except that it may optionally contain safe and suitable antimicrobial agents. Fluoride may be optionally added within the limitations established. The United States FDAWho regulates what bottled water has in it?The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates bottled drinking water, which is classified as a food. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water. Amazingly, the EPA guidelines for municipal water are stricter than the FDA restrictions for "bottled drinking water" ! You might buy bottled drinking water that is acceptable to the FDA but is not acceptable for use as ordinary bathroom tap water.The FDAs specific regulations for bottled water are found in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR).What are FDA standards?Under the standard of quality (21 CFR, 165.110[b]), FDA allows certain levels of contaminants in bottled water.Contaminants bottled water has in it.1. Coliform. Coliform are rod-shaped bacteria, such as E. coli, that are normally present in the human intestine. The FDA says that bottled water may have up to 9.2 coliform organisms per 100 milliliters. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].2. Arsenic. Arsenic is a poison. The FDA says that bottled water may have up to 0.05 milligrams per liter of arsenic. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].3. Chloride. Chloride is a compound of chlorine, a substance used to disinfect tap water. The FDA allows up to 250.0 milligrams per liter of chloride in bottled water. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].4. Iron. Iron is a metallic element. Your body needs some iron, but not too much. The FDA permits bottled water to contain up to 0.3 milligrams per liter of iron. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].5. Manganese. Manganese resembles iron and is used in fertilizers. Bottled water may contain up to 0.05 milligrams per liter of manganese. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].6. Phenols. Phenols are corrosive, poisonous acidic compounds. Your bottled water may contain up to 0.001 milligrams per liter of phenols. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].7. Dissolved solids. Dissolved solids is a catch-all phrase. The FDA allows bottled water to contain up to 500 milligrams per liter of dissolved solids, of whatever type. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].8. Zinc. Zinc is a metallic element. Your body needs some zinc, but not too much. The FDA permits bottled water to contain up to 5.0 milligrams per liter of zinc. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].9. Fluoride. Fluoride is purposely added to some bottled water. If so, the label should say so. In addition, bottled water that is not labeled as containing fluoride may contain up to 2.4 milligrams per liter of fluoride. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].Chemical contaminants bottled water has in it.The FDA allows set levels of the following chemical contaminants in all bottled water. Amounts vary, but some are shocking, such as Barium. FDA regulations permit up to 2.0 milligrams per liter of barium. That is nearly the same as natural fluorides, even though barium is a toxic metallic element. Cyanide, another poison, is permitted in bottled water. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].Here is a sampling of chemical contaminants bottled water has in it, along with the permitted milligrams per liter.* Barium.................................... 2.0* Chromium.................................. 0.1* Copper.................................... 1.0* Cyanide................................... 0.2* Nickel.................................... 0.1* Ethylbenzene (100-41-4)................... 0.7* Monochlorobenzene (108-90-7).............. 0.1* Styrene (100-42-5)........................ 0.1* Toluene (108-88-3)........................ 1.0* Xylenes (1330-20-7)....................... 10.0Pesticides bottled water has in it.The FDA allows set levels of pesticides in bottled water. There are set limits for each of 29 different pesticides. People who purchase bottled water believe, normally, that they are avoiding pesticides by doing so. For a listing of these pesticides, see 21 CFR 165.110[b].Disinfectants bottled water has in it.The FDA allows bottled water to contain set levels of residual disinfectants and disinfection byproducts. Examples from 21 CFR 165.110[b]:* Disinfection byproducts ...................Bromate................................. 0.010Chlorite................................ 1.0Haloacetic acids (five) (HAA5).......... 0.060Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM)............ 0.080* Residual disinfectants ...................Chloramine.............................. 4.0 (as Cl2)Chlorine................................ 4.0 (as Cl2)Chlorine dioxide........................ 0.8 (as ClO2)Radioactive materials bottled water has in it.The FDA allows bottled water to contain set levels of radioactive material. See 21 CFR 165.110[b]. Three examples:* The bottled water shall not contain a combined radium-226 and radium-228 activity in excess of 5 picocuries per liter of water.* The bottled water shall not contain a gross alpha particle activity in excess of 15 picocuries per liter of water.* The bottled water shall not contain uranium in excess of 30 micrograms per liter of water.Bottled water has in it more than regulations allow.When bottled water does not meet the standards set out by the FDA, it might still be sold. By law, it should bear a suitable label.Examples:1. Contains Excessive Bacteria2. Contains Excessive Arsenic3. Excessively RadioactiveWhat You Can Do* Take time to know what bottled water has in it.* Look for bottlers web sites and compare information.* Write to bottlers with specific questions.* Remember that bottled water does not mean absolute purity.* Be sure yours is healthy drinking water.

What Is Fairtrade Food?

The Fairtrade Foundation exists to ensure that producers are guaranteed a minimum price for their goods irrespective of world prices.This means that Fairtrade goods are often more expensive in the UK than those without the Fairtrade logo. Although people are now arguing that supermarkets are fuelling their excessive profits by adding large mark-ups to these products This premium that the producer charges covers the basic food, housing, health and education needs of the local communities in countries such as India and Brazil. The Foundation awards a consumer label, the Fairtrade Mark, to products which meet internationally recognised standards of Fairtrade. It is the only such certification in the UK.Examples of products: Fairtrade coffee Fairtrade Tea Fairtrade Chocolate Fairtrade Bananas Fairtrade Honey Fairtrade Sugar Fairtrade Fruit Juice Fairtrade Wine and SnacksThe list of goods certified Fairtrade is growing daily as is the range of products available. The co-op changed all their own brand chocolate to Fairtrade a few years ago and now all the other big supermarkets are beginning to move into the Fairtrade market. Nestle have just released a Fairtrade brand. There has been huge controversy over this as many people are asking how a company that is subject to a boycott can pertain to have Fairtrade and therefore ethical principles?Why buy Fairtrade?Millions of small farmers around the world cannot get enough money to feed their families, send their children to school or invest just a few pounds into their farm. This is because people want to buy the cheapest goods possible and dont think about the people that working in poor condition and often receive less than 1 per day in wages.Buying products that display the Fairtrade logo ensures that the producers of products such as tea, coffee and chocolate receive a decent income. Rather than being hit by the ever-changing price of their product on the world market, or being fleeced by a middleman who takes a chunky share of the profits, producers in a Fair Trade scheme are guaranteed a decent, stable price for their produce.By buying Fair trade products that buy direct from farmers at better prices, consumers are improving the lives of producers all over the world. In Eithiopia, farmers can often get more then twice the price for their fair trade coffee then those that sell it on the open market. This extra money enables the farmers to educate their children and to break the cycle of poverty.Many people struggle to find a reason not to support Fairtrade. Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers. Fair trade is not about charity, it is about settling the imbalance which exists.How do I know its Fairtrade?Look for the Fairtrade Mark when you shop and make the choice to support small farmers and workers in the developing world, and encourage your workplace to switch to Fairtrade tea and coffee.

Astragalus

The Chinese have used astragalus since ancient times. It provides one of the essential sugars called collectively, Glyconutrients. There are 8 polysaccharides that make up this group. They have only recently been discovered and research has been done on Glyconutrients since the 90s. Astragalus is used as an herbal supplement and comes in capsules and powder form. teaspoonful of powder is mixed with milk or water. It can also be made into a tea.Astragalus is a root and belongs to the legume family. It grows in the northern hemisphere in temperate regions. It is also known as milk vetch, or goats-thorn. It is a perennial that will grow to about 16 inches high. Its stem is hairy and the root is harvested after 4 years. It originated in China.Uses: In ancient times, it was used for its healing properties. However, now research has found the reason why. Astragalus is known to help the immune system by producing interferon and increasing red blood cell formation. Interferon is an antiviral substance and helps the immune system to destroy viruses and microbes that can harm the body. It is especially useful to those whose immune systems are weakened either naturally, or by disease. It can also be beneficent for those with serious diseases like cancer. It can also help with blood circulation and increase energy.It is also an antioxidant. This means that it will help the body get rid of free radicals. The liver makes free radicals when metabolism takes place. Free radicals can destroy cells and cause premature aging of your system. Astragalus will also help rid the body of toxins, which can build up due to ingestion, or pollutants in the air we breathe. Due to environmental pollution, we are now more susceptible to toxins in the air, water, and the food we eat.Counter uses: it is not advisable to take astragalus when you are taking other herbal remedies or if you are pregnant.Research continues to be done with astragalus and more uses are being found. Mannatech is a leader in research into Glyconutrients and were the first to look into these essential sugars. They manufacture a diet supplement called Ambrotose which has all the Glyconutrients, including astragalus. Ambrotose is available from distributors. It helps with many functions in the body, but is especially useful as an immune system booster and antioxidant.

Summary

Nothing says I love you like a gift basket a collection of favorite things assembled in a beautiful package. And for the tea lover, a tea gift basket can be the most wonderful of gifts; a compilation of treasures to encourage relaxation and reflection as you gather around cups of tea.The tea gift basket can be assembled in a number of ways. First, there are many gift basket companies both large and small that will put together your tea gift basket and ship it direct...