The summer arrived in Brussels so any cold drink is really welcomed.
This time I want to propose one homemade, effort 1 min, almost zero calories: fruity water.
I grab a hand of strawberries (this is what I have, but can be tried with different fruits), a lemon (slices), and some mint leaves (from my balcony): add with ice and water in my blender, and several seconds mix. The final product is fresh, cold, zero sugar added (only natural fructose from fruits) and ready to drink.
Before to have a blender I was doing the same without blending, just wait several hours to mix the flavours thanks to the natural effect of osmoses. Just add some ice cubes before to drink. I tried various combinations with:
– elder flowers
-orange with blueberries
-watermelon + mint
-lemon + cucumber + mint
-orange + cilantro
-rosemary + grapefruit
P.S. Brussels has a tap water good to consume. However, it is a lot of calcaire so I filter with a brita filter. You see, another reason for me to not buy water in plastic bottles and definitely no soda for us.
Ginger is a herbaceous perennial which grows annual stems over a meter tall.We consume only the rhizome = the root and is famous as spice but as medicine effect. Because is originate from south Asia, under 10 degrees Celsius (50 F) don’t keep it outside.
I start the ginger plant by planting a root bought from a shop. I choose a healthy ginger root with eye, that have started to turn green, probably organic, because it developed alone by mistake.
Ginger plants love light shadow , in high-quality, well-draining soil so no clay one.
I add my root in a pot around 20 cm deep, planted 2-3 pieces of root around 5 cm each, in a plastic pot but terra cotta is great too. Just attention to have enough of drainage holes.
The leaves are decorative, same to be quite similar to bamboo plants (as colour or shape of the leaves)
ginger grown in a container, harvesting
ginger grown in a container, harvesting
I started to harvest after more than a half years. How? just lift the ginger root from the soil, break a small piece, without impacting the branches or places with green eyes. The other part I covered back with soil and continue as nothing happen.
Once we left for 2 weeks, in holiday, and forgot to water. The leaves where dead, a little upset for me, because there were 1m tall, but after several weeks of watering they recover.
Yep, fresh ginger with zero costs is easy to have.
Friday I visited the commune Woluwe Saint Lambert (at Tomberg metro station) with a clear and stressing issue: searching the toilet, and discovered something lovely: boxes to collect and recycling:
If you want to bring things there, the boxes are in the basement, close to the toilets :).
Bee wax wrap is a square of fabric treated with wax, used to cover the cheeze/bread/sandwich/dishes as any aluminum paper. Just is reusable and bio-degradable.
The prices are quite big, but we can do it at home in 5-10 minutes.
I done first following this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eybWIBCY000
Add a fabric in the oven, add bee wax everywhere on the fabric, and keep 5 minutes in the oven at 90degrees.
To clean: wash with water, manually. Don’t add in the washing machine, will destroy all the clothes and the machine too.
Recommended to contact with bread/vegetables/cheese, but not with fresh meat/fish (risk of contamination).
First idea to buy bulk is to go to local markets, but there are a lot of shops that accept to buy in your bags. I made a list with places where I buy in my bags or my friends.
LOCAL MARKETS, BRUSSELS
(some products are from Belgium farmers)
Saturday at Stockel or Place Saint Lambert (morning)
Wednesday afternoon at Gribaumont, Square de Meudon (morning)
Tuesday after noon in place Luxembrug (expensive)
Sunday at marché de la Gare du midi (morning) -great for cheap vegetables
Friday, Saturday and Sunday at metro Clemenceau (I think is the cheapest, but I found only 3 producers) (morning)
Sunday in Watermal Boisfort ( expensive but tasty)
Sunday morning in Place Jourdan
Wednesday – Place du Châtelain – never visited. On the list
Tuesday in the morning in place Dailly.
Paper towels may be convenient, but washable cloths are better for the environment and for my budget.
Paper towels are a household used a lot in the world because of the convenience. But is made from wood, packed in plastic – so I choose to switch (almost 100%) to an reusable alternative: the washable cloths
For example in bathrooms we use the towel after washing the hands. When I am away I have a handkerchief or other small cloth in my purse to use this to dry your hands when I am out.
In the kitchen to clean / dry, I use dishcloths but an apron is helpful too, to dry the hands. The key is accessibility. A kitchen towel suspended in a visible place is a solution. For dry clean (oil or vomit) I use a dump cloth (old cloths destroyed, ready to trow)
At the table I use the napkins – colored and versatile, even my husband is used now with.
During traveling I carry a cloth napkin or a handkerchief for quick hand wipes or eating. If I need something wet: a water bottle can be used to wet the cloth.
This may seem like a significant shift from your current routine, but once you get started, you’ll see it’s easier than it sounds.
napkins for a zero waste (or almost) dinner
dishcloth alternative in cotton
Saved money? Yes. I made my first kitchen towels more than a year ago. For 2 euro one: paper, I have around 10, washed weekly, and reused. I have around 10 napkins. So you see, the kitchen went zero paper towel for 40 euro, money spend in the past every 3 months. And I didn’t calculate the time spend for going to buy, and the trash costs (in Belgium this is not cheap…).