6/31 + EcoEd Thursdays: Baking Soda

July 1, 2010 § 18 Comments

Hello lovepies!

First of all, thanks for those comments! Sometimes I just need a reminder that I am human and humans make mistakes. Eating is especially hard since there are just so much glorious-tasting food around!

So what’s up with 6/31? Helloooo Elaine it’s July 1st! It is standard lab etiquette to date every page of our lab notebook as well as all the tubes, containers, etc, we used that day. Today I kept dating my stuff 6/31/10 and having to go back and change it. I need to get with the days.

Before I start with EcoEd Thursdays, I have a funny story to share with you guys. I was at a talk yesterday, and this professor, let’s call him Prof X, was talking about green fluorescent proteins, which basically are these proteins (a type of macromolecule) that fluoresces when exposed to blue light. Many marine creatures have these proteins in them or on their skins, giving them the “glowy” look, kind of like these jellyfish!

Or, in Prof X’s example…

True story. No offense to those Twilight fans out there!

Anyways, on to today’s special feature of EcoEd Thursdays. Our star today is baking soda.

~~~

EcoEd Thursdays!

For those of you bakers out there, baking soda isn’t just a staple to add into breads, cakes, cookies, and muffins. They can serve as handy-dandy household cleaners, deodorizers, beauty product, personal care product, and much more!

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate (if you want to be more scientific), helps maintain the pH in a neutral position. In other words, when it comes into contact with a substance that is either to acidic or alkaline, baking soda will naturally neutralize the pH, which is about 7. For example, water has a neutral pH of 7.

You probably already know some of the uses of baking soda, such as neutralizing the acidic odors in your refrigerator, or mix it in with a little hot water to clean dishware. Here are some of my favorites that I just learned recently of what baking soda can do:

  1. Make toothpaste. Mix together baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide solution to make a paste. It can be substituted for your commercial non-fluoride toothpaste!
  2. Get rid of bad breath! Mix a tsp with 1/2 glass water. Swish, gurgle, spit, and rinse. What better way to prep yourself for a date?
  3. At home spa. Why spend money on commercial exfoliants or splurging on a $90 spa session when you can experience it at home? Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. Rub onto your skin (face or body) in gentle, circular motion. Rinse to clean. Gentle enough for daily use!
  4. At home spa # 2. Soak your feet after a long day in a tub of warm water with 3 tbsp of baking soda dissolved in it. Scrub gently.
  5. Scrub away on surfaces. Useful for cleaning bathroom tiles, tubs, sinks, even fiberglass or glossy tiles. Simply sprinkle baking soda onto a clean, damp sponge and clean as usual. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry.
  6. End those smelly sponges day. Ever get those nasty-smelling sponges sitting on your sink? I do. Here’s a solution: Soak the sponges in a strong baking soda solution made of 4 parts baking soda and 1 part water.
  7. Clean furnitures. You know how kids love crayons. Love them so much that they gotta use ’em everywhere–on furnitures, floors, and walls. You can remedy this by apply baking soda to a damp sponge and rub lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry towel.
  8. Get fresher, brighter, and cleaner clothes. Simply add 1/2 cup baking soda to your laundry to make your liquid detergent work harder. It balances out the pH!
  9. Get a sweet, clean ride. You can clean your car lights, chrome, windows, tires, vinyl seats and floor mats without worrying about leaving scratch marks by combining 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 quart warm water. Apply onto a sponge or soft cloth to remove road grime, tree sap, bugs, and tar.
  10. Smelly stuff go away. You can deodorize pretty much anything with just a sprinkle of baking soda, from refrigerators, shoes (especially flats, girls!), drains, garbage disposals, lunch boxes, cutting board, trashcans, cars, and cat litter boxes (cover bottom of pan with baking soda).
  11. Give your fav stuffed animals a dry shower. Sprinkle baking soda on your cuddly toys. Let sit for 15 min before brushing it off.
  12. Scrub your fruits & veggies! A very food-safe way to clean dirt and residues off your produces. Simply sprinkle some on a damp sponge. Scrub. Rinse.
  13. Remedy insect bites and itchy skin. For insect bites, make a paste out of baking soda and water. Apply onto your skin. For itchy skin, shake some baking soda onto your hand and rub over the itchy area after a shower or bath.
  14. Clean and soften your hands. Some soaps can be harsh on the skin, but not baking soda! Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub onto hands as usual. Then rinse clean.

There are lots of other way to use baking soda in your daily lives, which you can find here. Not only is using baking soda as your household cleaning detergent more environmental-friendly, it is also less hazardous to your overall health (no harsh chemicals!). You can multitask with just one little box of baking soda. Save the environment, save some money!

~~~

I’ll leave you guys with some of my nom’s from the past couple of days.

Spiced apple-curry couscous tossed with pine nuts, cumin-lime baked to (from Eat Drink, & Be Vegan), some steamed broc with nutritional yeast.

Chinese cabbage cooked in veggie broth.

Microwaved then baked sweet potato. 1/2 topped with Sunflower butter and cinnamon, the other 1/2 with yogurt and TJ's spicy hummus.

If you haven’t yet tried sweet potato with Sunflower butter (or Almond butter), it’s high time that you do! Soooooo good!

I may not be able to blog for the next few days, because I will be spending JULY 4th weekend up in San Francisco with these two lovely faces:

Can’t wait!!! 😀

Have a GREAT Independence Day weekend everyone! ❤

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+What are your favorite ways to eat sweet potato? Baked, steamed, mashed, cooked in rice porridge…all so yummy! I’ve seen some sort of sweet potato pie recipe somewhere. Gotta try that sometimes!

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§ 18 Responses to 6/31 + EcoEd Thursdays: Baking Soda

  • jqlee says:

    in a pie! haha. jk. well no, not kidding but i can’t have that all the time. i actually just like sweet potatoes roasted. if i’m in a hurry, i nuke it! 🙂

  • kat says:

    Wow so many uses for baking soda!!! I have used it as a face scrub for years and I love it. Its so gentle. I never realized all the diff uses though, what a handy product!!

  • kbwood says:

    OOOOOO i bet sweet taters are soooooo goood with sunbutta!! YUM!

  • edenseats says:

    I like my tater with cottage cheese and turkey bacon! Ironically, it was one of the meals at my inpatient treatment for my eating disorder a few years ago, but I fell in love and have it all the time now! at least they fed us well!

    In culinary school, we had ingredient identification tests and so I actually had to TASTE baking soda plain! not good! but make wonderful cookies!

  • Wei-Wei says:

    DUDE. Sweet potatoes. I just made a very experimental purple sweet potato pie… I’ll be posting about it on my blog soon. I love sweet potatoes on their own, with PB, and with sugar. Baked and steamed. Mmmmm. 😀

    I didn’t know there were so many uses for baking soda! I think I’ll be trying the fresh breath one. Thanks! 🙂

    Wei-Wei

  • thehungryscholar says:

    I wish I had those July 4th plans! 🙂

    Have fun!

  • Megan says:

    I didnt know you could clean veggies with it! Might have to try that. And I love making sweet potato fries, or just microwaving it and topping it with tonsss of cinnamon!

  • CourtandWhit says:

    My favorite way to eat a sweet potatoe is with lots of pb, yogurt, agave, and cinnamon. It is the best combo eva! :0

    -Court

  • san fran for 4th of july sounds seriously amazing!!!! you’re gonna have an amazing time- especially with the girls!

    uno its twilight mania when all u hear or see online is robert patterson lol haha

    xoxo ❤

  • Run Sarah says:

    GFP was well used back in my microbiology days – ah the memories! Great ideas for usage of baking soda, too. I use it to keep my fridge & freezer smelling clean. Your sweet potato looks SO good, yum!

  • I love me some sweet potato fries… they’re the best and I wish fast food places would get with the program and start serving them- I’d be a drive-thru addict!

    I use baking soda for many of the things you listed. Especially in cleaning- when in doubt, try baking soda!!! :p

  • Wow, I never knew about those added environmental benefits of baking soda! Actually I had no clue about most of the other purposes you listed, either. Thanks for the education!

  • nattietan says:

    Have fun in San Fran!!! And come back with lotsa pictures! x)

    I love love love baked sweet potatoes. Simple yet wonderfully delightful! And thanks for the little write up on baking soda. I didn’t know just how mighty these little bottles of white powder was until now!

    xoxo

  • Ahh I thought I would never have to read about GFPs again after my cell biology class ended! 😛

    I like my sweet potatoes baked because they get sooo sweet and sugary that way!

  • teenagehealthfreak says:

    I like my sweet potatoes plain and baked. nothing on them. i just can’t break down and put stuff on it…i have to respect the natural amazingness. lol..but i do like them as oven fries with sea salt!!

  • Sweet Cheeks says:

    I LOVE baked sweet potato fries!!!! I cut them up and douse them in coconut oil then sprinkle with a bit of salt. Stick them in the oven at 425 degrees until they are slightly browned. Soooo good!

  • Never feel bad – I am the queen of human and slipping up LOL! LMAO to the Twilight thing.

    Wow I didn’t know there were so many uses for baking soda!!

  • Wow, those are some interesting facts about the baking soda. 🙂

    I LOVE sweet potatoes! My favorite way is baked/roasted, either whole, in rounds or as fries. So yum. ❤ I also love to top sweet potatoes with peanut butter and coconut butter. Ahhh.

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