ESSENTIAL OILS, Lemon Essential Oil, Simple Switches, Zero waste

I Love Lemon

I love lemon. That’s all there is to it. For as long as I remember it has been my weakness. If there is lemon, in it I will come…probably.

Lemon in food has always been an exciting thing with tons of possibilities. Desserts are well known for their ability to make people salivate. The list of sweet treats is endless! I have always been partial to lemon squares myself. Then there is cooking with lemons … and my mouth is watering …

It has so many uses and If we look at its history and known properties we get the sense of how varied this simple citrus fruit can be. An Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Here are a couple of links that I found interesting and useful.

I have been diffusing lemon essential oil in our diffuser for a refreshing air but also when someone in my house starts feeling a bit under the weather and needs a boost with their immune system. It has fended off or shortened a cold significantly many times around here. I will also pour hot mugs of water with freshly squeezed lemon juice and honey (making sure the honey is locally sourced).

My latest venture with lemon is in cleaning. I have replaced many of my chemical ridden solutions with safer ones. I feel better knowing that my family, including our dog, are not breathing in toxins that affect the bodies hormonal level in ways I don’t understand. I also clean more effective and frequently when I can breathe properly.

Another advantage to making this all-purposed solution is having fewer bottles around. I have streamlined my routine and made it more enjoyable, if you know what I mean. Cleaning is part of life and having it be a stress free thing can only be a good thing. I like knowing that I dont have to worry when my daughter uses it. Chipping in around the house is becoming more of a common thing as she grows up. I have been using lemon or lime essential oil with vinager for a while now but until recently I don’t think I was using enough. My last batch included approx 20 drops of lemon essential oil with 2 cups of vinager. I personally don’t add water.

Having a good sprayer makes all the difference! I had a mixture of spray bottles that I have collected over the years. they were all plastic though and if you are adding citrus oil it has to be glass or steel. The citrus breaks down the plastic. I transformed one of my larger mason jars with a spay lid that I got from a company that sells accessories that transforms Mason and Bernardin jars. It has a great spray which for me is important. A sloppy or drippy spray is a big source of aggravation. It has been a cleaning deal breaker occassions. Anyways, knowing how well they work I need to get a couple more.

One more thing…

Having a good stock of reusable wiping clothes is vital. I’ve done away with our paper towels for the most part. If you have enough cloths to last until the next laundry load you can easily grab a clean one when you need it. Even after rinsing it feels grungy to me to clean with the same cloth – depending on what it was used for.

FOOD, Sprouting

My Sprout Grower

This is the sprouter that started it all.


About 5 years ago I picked up this little guy from Mississauga’s VegFest. I was intrigued with the notion of growing something other than herbs on my kitchen counter.  I don’t actually grow herbs, not for a lack of trying, but when it comes to growing things I’m really not all that patient. This is designed like a greenhouse to safely sprout in a day or two.  It is so much fun to watch how they progress and I see it a learning opportunity for my daughter to see how food can be grown without soil and anytime of the year.


I’m still using it even after being stood on and crushed a few years ago. By my then 4 year old. It just popped back when pushed  into shape.

Yes, I know it’s plastic and these days I am all about reducing the amount we use but I wasn’t thinking about it back then. This is one of those situations where the value of adding sprouts to my daily eating routine takes precedence.  The basket itself is stainless steel. There are many ways to sprout which I have since began exploring but this system is so simple,  efficient, and transportable that it grabbed and still holds my attention. My family is now part of a CSA program with a local company called Four Season Greens so we always have a consistent supply and variety. I still use my Sprout Grower in addition, but to make sure I have enough to make my salads and feed all of us I purchase a weekly supply.

That day I was nostalgic for when my mother made some bean sprouts as a kid. She didn’t do it often. I just have this vague memory her growing some soybean sprouts on the kitchen counter. I remember trying some and that wonderful crunchy mouthful of flavor that followed. I bought this new sprouter not knowing much about the benefits of it and micro-greens.  I was more interested in having a new addition to enhance our dishes and salads. The more I read and eat the more evident it becomes that we need to put nutrients back into our diet. We have over processed our food.

This is Tony’s site, the developer of this sprouter. It is chock full of links and information on sprouting and it’s benefits!


FOOD, Sprouting

Veggie Bowl

I have never been a big fan of salads. I am talking about the idea of what a salad was growing up. The lettuce and tomato, bits of cucumber with croutons, bacon bits and maybe some dressing. Actually dressing seemed to be the very idea of a salad. I always would get a second look from the staff when I asked for “no dressing”, on the occasion that I did have one in a restaurant. I think the lettuce was my big turn off though. leafy pieces of romaine or head lettuce really don’t do that much for me.

I started eating sprouts occasionally about 5 or 6 years ago. I went to a vegetarian convention and one of the vendors was selling sprout kits. I bought one and have been in love with sprouts ever since! for a while it was hard to keep a consistent routine of sprouting my mung beans. I would go in spurts – have a few good weeks here and there when I could keep the batches going. And with every new spurt I would groan and vow to maintain this new routine. Last year I took a workshop from a local sprouter and afterwords subscribed to their CASE program. I get a weekly micro-green and sprout supply. My idea was to also make my own but to have it fill those big gaps and always have them around as a staple.

So my love of salads grew.

Having all sorts of salad ingredients ready to go in a bowl is key. I usually try to have chickpeas ready in the cupboard or in the fridge. Lately I have been making my own which is so much tastier and economical too. I have used navy beans too.

Here’s a list of ingredients that can be tossed in. It’s really depends on what I happen to have in the fridge ready to go.

  • Grape tomatoes
  • Green peppers
  • Chickpeas
  • Quinoa
  • Lemon
  • Sprouts and/or micro-greens

The trick is not to be stingy with your sprouts. There is a tendency to think of it as a garnish. A flavor to be added to enhance a dish.


Finally – A Good Chickpea Salad!

  • Chickpeas
  • Quinoa
  • Green pepper
  • Onion
  • Curry
  • Olive oil
  • Cayenne
  • Lemon juice
  • Salmon or chicken
  • Grated carrot

A couple of years ago we went to the ROM and for lunch I had chickpea salad from one of their eating areas. It was so good that it has never left my mind and once in a while I try to mimic it from my memory of flavors. This is the closest I have come and so today I am haaaapy!