Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March Week 3: Spices, Herbs, Seasonings

This week's food storage items are:

March Week 3: spices, herbs, seasonings (salt, pepper, seasoning salt, taco seasoning, chili powder, etc.)

As with all of the other weeks, store what your family uses. The one exception to that is that everyone should have iodized salt on their food storage shelves. It doesn't expire, so you can buy a case (or more) and you won't have to worry about having to throw it out... ever!  Most of what I've read online indicates that there is no expiration date, though there is some debate about whether iodized salt may expire at some point. The following is from Eatbydate:

How Long Does Salt Last?

The shelf life of salt
A better questions might be – does salt expire? Salt, or sodium chloride, is an essential mineral needed by the human body (and all animals) in order to function properly. It helps maintain the fluid levels in the body, yet an excess can be harmful. The shelf life of salt, a natural ingredient found in both land and sea has been there since the beginning of time. It is has been used for flavoring and food preservation for ages.
So, the official answer to does salt expire or does salt go bad is… No, it does not expire! When properly stored, the shelf life of salt is
Salt lasts forIndefinite

There are many, many uses for salt, whether it be used with food or for cleaning. I store quite a bit of salt, and I will only have to re-buy it once in a long while -- perhaps when I see a good deal in a case lot sale. Check out some of the many uses for salt at the end of this post.

If you go through other seasonings or spices, it wouldn't hurt to add them to your list. I use quite a bit of cinnamon, taco seasoning, seasoning salt and pepper, so I like to have at least one large jar of each on my food storage shelf. When I run out in the kitchen, I take from the food storage so that I am naturally rotating through my storage. These other items do have an expiration date and will lose some of their flavor after time, so don't overbuy.

Decide what you and your family will need as far as spices, herbs and seasonings go, add it to your grocery list, and next time you're at the grocery store, buy what you need and get it on your shelves. Easy peasy and it takes literally 10 minutes of your time! ...And you don't have to think about any more food storage til next week!

If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the most up-to-date post that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.

24 Uses for Salt
We know that eating too much salt is unhealthy for us (or is it?), but salt has all kinds of uses around the home! From your beauty routine to cleaning, salt can really come in handy.
Table salt and Epsom salts are perfect for making green cleaning and DIY beauty products at home. They’re cheap, they’re readily available, and unless you’re drinking that salt scrub you made, they’re non-toxic. Regular old salt has some very useful qualities. It cuts grease like a champ, is a mild antiseptic, and those tiny crystals are great for scrubbing counter tops or your skin.
There are probably thousands of ways that you can use salt around the house, so think of this list as a jumping-off point!
Salt for DIY Beauty
Who needs expensive, store-bought beauty supplies when you have salt on hand? Check out these DIY beauty recipes that use salt! If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to try out these recipes on a small area before you commit to scrubbing your whole face or body with salt.
1. Soothe Puffy Eyes – Soak a cloth in 1 cup warm water that has 1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in it to make a compress for tired eyes.
2. Exfoliate – After a bath or shower, use plain old salt to slough off dead skin from dry areas like your feed, elbows, or knees.
3. Homemade Facial – Mix 1 part salt with 1 part olive oil, and massage into your face and neck. Wash of with soap and water, and admire your glowing skin.
4. DIY Salt Scrub – Combine coarse salt with a little bit of olive oil and your favorite essential oils for a decadent salt scrub.
5. Whiten Teeth – A mixture of 1 part salt and 2 parts baking soda will not only whiten your teeth but helps promote healthy gums by removing built up plaque. This mixture is too abrasive to use daily, so only do this treatment occasionally.
6. Relax in a Salt Bath – A couple of cups of salt in the tub helps relax sore muscles. You can up the ante by adding some soothing essential oils, like lavender or chamomile.
7. Fight Dandruff – Who needs chemical-packed dandruff shampoo? Before your next shower, massage your head with salt to remove those dead skin cells, then wash your hair with your usual shampoo.
8. Make a Bath Bomb – Instead of shelling out big bucks for all natural bath bombs, check out this recipe for homemade bath bombs with Epsom salts instead.
Cleaning the House with Salt
Salt’s scrubbing and degreasing powers make it a perfect choice for cleaning the house on the cheap and without harsh chemicals. Just like with your skin, before you scrub any surface with salt, do a little test to make sure it won’t scratch the finish.
9. Cleaning Brass – Combine 1 cup each of salt, white flour, and white vinegar. After you scrub the brass with it, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then wipe off with a damp cloth.
10. Get Grease out of Carpet – Mix 1 cup salt with 4 cups alcohol to gently scrub grease out of rugs and carpets.
11. Stop Wine Stains – Did you spill that glass of red all over the tablecloth or rug? Blot up what you can with a rag, when pour on the salt to soak up the remaining drops. Once the salt is dry, rinse it with cold water, then vacuum.
12. Get Rid of Condensation Rings on Wood – Add a tiny bit of salt to a light oil, like sunflower oil, and gently massage away those ugly white rings left from cold glasses.
13. Make Sponges Last Longer – Soak your sponge in cold water with a handful of salt to de-stink and extend its life.
14. Clean Your Iron – Is your iron a little sticky? Sprinkle some salt onto a piece of paper and iron over it on low to clean it off.
15. Clean the Fish Tank - Non-iodized salt is a great scrub for the inside of your fish tank. Just make sure you rinse it well before refilling. Did I mention non-iodized salt? Make sure that you use non-iodized salt.
16. Prevent Weeds – Are weeds popping up between the tiles on your patio? Pour salt into those crevices to keep them away naturally.
Cleaning the Kitchen with Salt
You may not shake salt into your food, but it’s so handy for cleaning in the kitchen that it deserves a category all its own.
17. Clean Greasy Pans – Slice a lemon in half, sprinkle on some salt, and marvel at the grease-cutting power!
18. Get Out Coffee and Tea Stains – Is your favorite mug looking a little dingy? Rub those coffee or tea stains with salt to buff them away.
19. De-Stink that Fridge – Next time you clean out your refrigerator, use a mixture of salt and seltzer to scrub the inside. The scrub will remove stains and grease and cut odors at the same time.
20. Clean the Coffee Pot – If your coffee hasn’t been tasting great lately, it could be that the lines of your coffee pot have oils built up. Run a full pot with water and 1/4 cup salt through your machine, then run just water. Your next pot of coffee will taste so much better!
21. Deodorize Your Kitchen Sink – Pour 1 cup salt and 1 1/2 cups boiling water down the kitchen sink to bust up small clogs and bust odors.
22. Scouring Cutting Boards – Remember that tip about the half lemon for greasy pans? You can use the same one to clean your cutting board.
23. Get the Tarnish off of  Silverware – Scrub with salt and a dry rag to make your silverware shiny again.

24. Deodorize the Oven – Did a casserole bubble over, and now your oven smells like burning? Before the oven cools down, sprinkle salt – carefully - onto the spilled food. Let it cool, then use a scrub brush to remove the salt. No more stink

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/24-surprising-uses-for-salt.html#ixzz2wKQ25R7E

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