Efficient: Eating Weeds

Weed ‘Em and Reap is a light-hearted but informative introduction to the free bounty of wild foods in lawns and woods, prairies and pastures. Even if you have no intentions of brewing up a crock of dandelion wine or tossing a salad of sour dock and purslane, you will enjoy reading Roger Welsch’s adventures in the world of weeds. We’re …

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Criollo Chocolate: Efficient Food of the Gods

In its pure state, chocolate, or cacao, is quite nutritious, and inspires eudaimonia. There are number of varieties of cacao. Almost all commercial chocolate is made using beans of the Forastero Group. Another more prized cultivar, Criollo, is used by the top chocolate makers around the world. It is less bitter and more aromatic than any other bean.

The Healing Powers of Peppers

Chile peppers contain one of the most effective curative substances in the world — capsaicin. While many people enjoy eating hot and spicy food they are not aware of the therapeutic properties of chile peppers. The authors of The Healing Powers of Peppers present a wealth of scientific and medical information, including personal testimonies about the healthful advantages of chile …

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Efficient Native Flavor: Sassafras

Authentic root beer owes it distinctive flavor to Sassafras, a tree native to the eastern U.S. The root or root bark of sassafras can also used to make tea. The leaves are used for thickening sauces and soups, and when dried and ground are known as filé powder, a spice used in Cajun, Creole, and other Louisiana cooking, such as …

Efficient Native Flour: Mesquite

Not many people know that the pods from the mesquite tree can be ground into a flour. It’s a traditional Native American food — the flour has a distinct warm and spicy flavor. The mesquite tree grows in the desert regions throughout the world, and it can be found from central Texas to southeastern California and Utah.

Heirloom Beans: Efficient Flavor

Heirloom beans! These are special bean varieties that have been passed down by generations of growers. The beans have their own distinct flavors and heritages. For example, here’s a description of the “Tongues of Fire” bean: A cranberry-type, mottled beige and brown marked bean grown from a seed variety originally collected from Tierra del Fuego, on the tip of South …

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Raw Cacao Butter: An Efficient Dessert & Skin Moisturizer

Raw cacao butter — this is the pure oil of the cacao bean, extracted using a cold-press technique — the temperature stays around 104 degrees Fahrenheit, instead of 300 degrees which is the norm. The oil is edible and possesses a rich, delicate chocolate aroma. You can add a piece of the cacao butter to your favorite smoothie, ice cream …

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Maca: An Efficient Energizer & Aphrodisiac

Maca is becoming popular around the world as a tonic that enhances strength, fertility and energy. Maca (Lepidium meyennii) is grown in the Andes Mountains of Peru, it looks likes a large radish, and botanically it is indeed related to radishes and turnips. For approximately 2000 years maca has been an important traditional food in its growing region.

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MetaEfficient: Microgreens

Growing microgreens is a metaefficient way to have attractive, flavorful greens available for salads and garnishes. Top class restaurants use freshly cut microgreens to liven up their dishes. Microgreens are tiny plants, no more than 8 to 14 days old.

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Most Efficient Food Storage Bags: BioBags

The most efficient food storage bag are BioBags. These bags are similar to plastic bags, but they are composed of corn-based bioplastic. Unlike conventional plastic, the bioplastic “breathes” without leaking, allowing heat and moisture to evaporate, which keeps food fresh longer. They are also GMO-free, 100% biodegradable and compostable. Note: The bags are labelled “Food Waste” bags but the company …

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Efficient Sprouting: The Sprout Bag

In the growing world, it doesn’t get much easier than sprouting. It’s a easy way to grow fresh ingredients for your sandwich or stir fry. It takes only about 6 to 7 days for sprouts to grow. People often assume sprouts are best grown in jars. But jars were never designed for sprouting. According to the Sprout Man, it’s more …

Salts: Natural and Uncommon

There are actually a wide variety of natural, gourmet salts out there: pink salt from the Himalayan Mountains, black salt from Cyprus, grey Celtic sea salt and red salt from Hawaii and Australia. Natural sea salts are nothing new, of course. They’ve been around forever. By contrast, white table salt is but a blink of the eye in the history …

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MetaEfficient: Hand-Crank Coffee Grinders

Grinding coffee by hand has a few advantages: it’s quiet, it yields a more uniform grind, and you can take them camping. You can find hand-cranked grinders at Amazon.