Green Your Life

Talking about amazing eco-friendly products and access to my online Wikaniko shop.


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Movember, calling all men, take charge your health!

This is a blog from a friend of mine who is a reflexologist. A lot of men that I know are terrible about looking after themselves and taking time for themselves. So MEN – this is Movember and perhaps Manvember! Take time for you too.

MK Reflexology

The reasons for the destitute state of men’s health around the world are numerous and complex, on average men still live shorter lives than women, suffering more from cancer and heart disease. So it is paramount that men take interest in their health and wellbeing, becoming more confident in recognising the signs and symptoms such as stress and anxiety as well as ailments and acting upon them is a great step towards taking responsibility of your own healthcare needs.

Complementary therapies may be perfect for managing stress and anxiety levels, as you only need to remove your shoes and socks, reflexology is a straightforward therapy to check out.

Professor Malcolm Mason, University of Cardiff says the following about complementary therapies on the prostate uk website. “Finally, complementary therapies and things like reflexology or acupuncture… well people vary, and there are obviously a lot of clinicians who are very skeptical about…

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Make Your Own Butter

My Womens Institute recently had a talk on how to make cheese!  Got to admit, we have had better talks, but it got me thinking about what an amazing product milk really is!

OK, I know that many people are anti-milk, but I grew up in East Africa – home to the Maasai people.  Traditionally the Maasai herded cattle on the plains of East Africa and their main diet is milk.   The Maasai are incredibly fit and appear to survive well on a primarily milk-based diet.

So, I think milk is good so long as you have the gut proteins to digest it.  There are of course people who do not have these proteins and for them, milk can be a problem.

All that aside.

What can you do with milk….

  • Drink it down
  • Get Cream (just leave it to sit for a while (so long as it has not been homogenised)
  • Make butter
  • Make ice-cream
  • Make cheese

Are there any more?

Anyway, I recently found this article through Wikaniko on how to make butter and I thought I would share it with you!

I also plan to do this with my kids soon….  Will let you know what happens.

Natural Himalayan Salt

Natural Himalayan Salt

How to Make Butter…

This recipe makes about 500gm butter and 1/2 litre buttermilk

  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) room temperature, unpasteurised or pasteurised organic double cream (the better the cream – the better the butter)
  • Teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt (optional) – unsalted butter will go off in 2-3 days, salted will last 2-3 weeks

Pour the double cream into a cold, sterile mixing bowl. If you’re using raw cream and want a more traditional taste, leave it to ripen in a cool place, for 1-2 days. Homogenized cream will still whip, but not as well.

Whisk the cream at a medium speed in a food mixer until it is thick. First it will be softly whipped, then stiffly whipped.

Continue until the whipped cream separates into butterfat globules (you will see it, so be patient)

Move the mixture into a cold clean sieve and drain well.

The butter remains in the sieve while the buttermilk drains into the bowl.

You can put the buttermilk to one side to make soda bread or it is nice cold as a drink.

Put the butter back into a clean bowl and beat with the whisk for a further 30 seconds to 1 minute to expel more buttermilk. Remove and sieve as before.

Fill the bowl containing the butter with very cold water (an idea is to chill a bottle of water in the fridge right at the start!)

Fresh home-made butter on fresh home-made bread!  Yummy

Fresh home-made butter on fresh home-made bread! Yummy

 

With clean hands knead the butter to force out as much buttermilk as possible. (This is called washing and needs to be cold otherwise the mixture will liquify)

Drain the water, cover and wash twice more, until the water is totally clear.

Separate the butter in 2 and spread thinly onto greaseproof paper. Sprinkle the salt evenly across each. Shape into Pats or Rolls, wrap in the greaseproof paper or place in a butter dish and sit back to bask in your glory!


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Planting for Bees (other other bugs)

Bugs in a pumpkin flower!

Bugs in a pumpkin flower!

Now is a really great time to get planting wildflower seeds for bees, butterflies and all sorts of other bugs.  I love going around collecting wildflower seeds and taking them home to plant.  From doing this and buying some plants, I have quite a collection of wildflowers in my garden – most I haven’t got a clue what they are called, but if bees and bugs like them, they get to stay.

A mixture of wildflowers. The tall ones with big leaves have lovely purple flowers!

A mixture of wildflowers. The tall ones with big leaves have lovely purple flowers!

Throughout the late summer and autumn I go around collecting the seeds and some I plant in trays or pots recently vacated by the carrots that have left the garden for the kitchen and our stomachs.  Some I scatter around my wildflower beds and some I keep for spring.  I also use some of our lovely wildflower seed-balls which do really well, though unfortunately, a bit of chilli powder in the seed-ball-mix does not deter the slugs!

The wildflower patch in early summer.

The wildflower patch in early summer.

The plan is to have quite a lot of wildflower plugs that will be slug resistant come spring!  This spring the slugs definitely won the vegetable and wildflower seedling battle for quite a few weeks!  I may not have been happy.

My large white daisy’s (Ox-eye I think) are coming up well and so are some sweet williams, the marigolds, some lovely blue flowers and others that will only be recognisable when they are quite a bit bigger!

Blue flowers, loved by bees and other invertebrates!

Blue flowers, loved by bees and other invertebrates!

I may even be so successful in my wildflower growing that the kids will be able to sell some alongside more strawberry plants at a spring-time event!  However, they will have to help out with potting on so that the wildflowers have a good chance at survival.  And we may need to figure out what they all are – not sure people are happy buying ‘lovely blue flowers that bees like’!  But you never know!!

The white daisies growing on well

The white daisies growing on well

I admit wildflower areas don’t always look pretty or neat, but by having a few of these areas in your garden gives bees food and a home.  As our world climate changes, the bees, butterflies and many other animals will need our support more and more to survive.

So go on, plant some wildflowers and give a bee a hug!