10 Tips to a greener kitchen


Green living Green! Green! Green! Everything is about going green today – green living, green energy, green shopping, green homes, green building, etc. It’s not about the green color, of course. It’s about saving our planet, conserving the Earth’s energy and resources, so that it remains a good place for human kind to inhabit for many more generations to come.

So, what can we help promote green lifestyle on an individual level? Well, first of all, we can start by minimizing the use of plastic bags, which is to bring our own shopping bag when we go to the supermarket. Secondly, avoid wastage of water and electricity. And if you are moving into a new home, why not plan for a green kitchen.

Even if it’s an old kitchen, there’s a lot that you can do to turn it into an eco-friendly, energy-efficient one.

  1. If you need to replace any electrical appliances, choose only energy-efficient ones.
  2. The fridge is one of the biggest power hog in the kitchen. If your fridge is more than 10 years old, than it’s better to get a newer, more energy-efficient model, which is the one with a freezer on top. (I know, those with freezer at the bottom looks kinda cool, but…)
  3. Do you usually defrost frozen food in the microwave? Why not take it out of the freeze earlier and thaw it overnight in the fridge, or at room temperature for several hours, before you cook? That saves energy from using the microwave.
  4. Go for induction cooker, which is probably the most energy-efficient stove in the market now. They don’t consume a lot of electricity as they heat up by using magnetic field, and the heat is focused in the wok or pot. Therefore the surrounding remains cool in the kitchen. However, induction cooker only works with stainless steel pots and pans. In addition, people with pacemakers are not advised to use induction cookers.
  5. Other cookers that are power savers include pressure cookers, slow cookers, multi-tierred steamers and thermal pots.
  6. Use low-energy lighting in the kitchen, such as the super low-energy fluorescent strip lighting, wherever possible.
  7. Don’t air-condition the kitchen, use a fan to keep the area cool instead. You can also use blinds on the kitchen windows to prevent the sun from shining directly into the kitchen in order to keep the temperature moderate.
  8. Save energy (and time and sweat!) from cooking by eating more salads and light meals. Good for your health, too!
  9. Install a solar water heater on the roof to provide hot water to your kitchen. The solar water heater on the roof should be placed as near to the kitchen as possible.
  10. Have recycling bins ready in the kitchen, so that you can throw plastic, papers and glass items into the respective bins immediately, and need not sort them out later.

Are you treating your fridge well?

Are you treating your fridge well, keeping it squeaky clean all the time?


Fridge Why I am asking this question, is because the difference I saw in the fridges from three families – my parents, my parents in laws, and mine.

There are two refrigerators at my parents’ home. But they are never filled up, except during Chinese New Year. Refrigerators like these are very easy to clean and keep it tidy, but my mom hardly does her job. 😛

In my parents in law’s house, there is one refrigerator and one huge freezer, and both are always filled up with stuffs. The fridge usually keeps food ingredients for daily use and dinner leftover for the next day. The freezer is to store ingredients like frozen food (e.g. fish, chicken) and dried stuffs such as scallop. Despite fully loaded with things, the fridge and freezer are always kept clean.

Mine, errr, 70% full; I hardly clean it, but things are arranged in quite an orderly manner. The problem is – some of the bottles and packets are kept in there for too long until their long passed their expiry dates. 😛 I hate to say this, but… like mother like daughter. Haha!

You see, compared to other areas in the house, such as the living room, bedrooms, dining area etc, where you see things in the open, you notice whatever that doesn’t seem right or appear dirty and untidy. Whereas in the fridge, everything is hidden behind a closed door…… And I tend to forget that there are things exist behind that door, until I need to get something out from the fridge. 😛

Anyway, I probably should make a change from now onwards, that is to keep my fridge clean and tidy at all times. Read an article in magazine about 5 simple steps to cleaning the fridge, and am sharing those tips with you here.

First, empty the fridge by taking out the food and store frozen items in coolers. It’s okay if you don’t have a cooler because perishable foods can stay at room temperature for at least 2 hours before it starts to spoil. (So, make sure you complete your fridge cleaning within 2 hours.)

The next thing to do is to wash the crispers and ice-maker bins. Empty the ice maker and ice cube tray. Soak them in warm water, then add in a bit of detergent and scrub them. After that, wash and wipe dry.

Now, wipe the doors, shelves and walls with a solution of 2 tablespoons of baking soda to 4 cups of water. Don’t forget to vacuum up crumbs that sit on the trays and shelves.

You will also vacuum the fridge exterior – dusts and food crumbs that have accumulated underneath the fridge. If you are able to reach the rear coils, top vents and the wall behind the fridge, vacuum those areas as well.

Lastly, wipe off any dirt on the fridge exterior with a wet, soapy cloth.

Do you think anyone can get this done under 2 hours?

Ten Local fruits and vegetables you must eat


We eat fruits and vegetables every day because we know that they are beneficial for our health. According to an article written by Dr Steve Yap, published in the food magazine “My Nourishment“, there are these top 10 local fruit and vegetables that may offer great life-saving benefits.

banana
1. Banana – this berry contains rich dietary fibre and minerals; when consumed regularly in place of refined carbohydrates could help reduce risk of colon cancer.

bambooshoot

2. Bamboo shoot – also high in dietary fibre; bamboo leaves were found to possess anti-tumour properties.

bittergourd

3. Bitter gourd – it’s actually a fruit, not a vegetable; commonly known for its blood sugar lowering health properties, and is helpful to diabetic patients.

chinesecabbage

4. Chinese cabbage – though being a cheap and common vegetable, local research suggests that this cabbage has cancerous tumours preventive properties. Traditional Chinese medicine considers Chinese cabbage to be very “cooling”, and is best used to counter “fire” or “heatiness”.

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5. Pineapples – its stem is rich in an enzyme called bromelain, which is used to treat inflammation in nutritional medicine. Unfortunately, we usually don’t consume the stem. In addition, pineapple also helps alkalise our bodies.

garlic

6. Garlic – contains allicin, which helps cleanses the arteries and colon, raises good cholesterol, and thus promotes cardiovascular health.

cucumber

7. Cucumber – This fruit is rich in soluble fibre and very low in fructose. It is good to consume cucumbers after a meal that is high in refined starch, simple sugars and unwanted fats.

sengkuang

8. Sengkuang – this root vegetable contains high amounts of potassium, useful for reversing the adverse effect of a high-sodium diet, which is usually associated with hypertension, kidney damage and stroke.

sweetpotato

9. Sweet potato – either the purple or orange colored sweet potato can be a great substitute for the starchy potato. It is rich in alpha- and beta-carotene, which is a precursor of vitamin A. Carotene is an anti-oxidant.

guava
10. Guava – contains dozens of times higher in vitamin C compared to apples. However, it seeds should be avoided, and be cautious of genetically modified seedless guavas as their nutritional and health properties are yet to be fully determined.

Now you know which 10 local produce that you must have on your dining table for a healthier body!