Taste test: Spiral’s dip and toss oils

spiral-oils

Spiral Foods has an exciting range of Mediterranean inspired dip and toss oils, made from 100% extra virgin olive oil. They come in three flavours:

  • sundried tomato and basil which was great in a greek salad (below)
  • rosemary and roasted garlic which was a perfect match for cold lamb and roasted vegetables salad
  • and basil and Parmesan which turned a simple potato salad into something special.

greek-salad

You could also use the oils for dipping bread in, or tossing through pasta for a quick and easy dinner. The best thing about these oils are that they are certified gluten-free and sugar free. What I really like about these products is there’s only natural real ingredients listed on the bottle, and there are no strange unpronounceable nasties.

All three flavours are balanced well and would make a delicious addition to your kitchen. They come in an attractive slim bottle, and would make a nice gift idea paired with packet of fancy pasta.

Available from the Spiral Foods website.

Thank you Spiral Foods for allowing me to trial these products. 

Organic pest control recipes

pest_detective

It’s important to think of your backyard as a mini ecosystem where all the elements need to be balanced. So when you do get an invasion of pests, the predator bugs will deal with them in a few days and keep their numbers down. Some times the best solution is just to sit back and let nature sort itself out.

If that doesn’t work, then you can make your own pest control solutions with these organic recipes:

Chilli soap mix – Aphids
Add a generous handful of hot chilies and a tablespoon of pure soap flakes to a litre of hot water and puree in a blender. Strain the mixture through  a stocking. Spray directly onto the aphids and they will quickly die. Several applications may be necessary for particularly bad infestations.

Coffee spray – Slugs and snails
Dilute one part strong espresso coffee to ten parts water and spray it liberally over the foliage of plants that are being eaten by slugs and snails, and on the soil around their base. When the pests travel across the coffee mixture, they absorb it and quickly die.

Milk spray – Fungal diseases, including powdery mildew
Combine one part organic milk to ten parts water and cover the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves and stems thoroughly. This can be used as a preventative measure during humid conditions which favour mildews.

Vegetable oil soap mix – Mites and scale
Blend 2 cups of vegetable oil with half a cup of pure liquid soap and mix thoroughly. Dilute one tablespoon of the mix with a litre of water and spray over infestations. The pests will suffocate and soon die.

Do you have any tried and true organic pest contol methods?

How to make your own furniture oil

Apply sparingly and buff up to a gleaming shine.

250ml olive oil
20 drops lemon essential oil

Pour the olive oil into a clean dry bottle, add the essential oil and shake well.

To use, place a little oil on a soft cloth, wipe onto wooden furniture and buff to polish.

How to get rid of mould

gloves

We had some persistent mould in our house, and finally got a professional to have a look at it. We received the following advice on using vinegar:

Vinegar

1. Vacuum the area with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner, using the small brush.

2. Wash the area using a mixture of 80% Anchor white vinegar and 20% water. Use three buckets, two filled with clean water to rinse your cloth in-between.

The off the shelf products on the market contain mostly bleach, so it will appear as if the mould is gone, but the spores may still be present. Try not to wipe in big strokes – otherwise you’ll just spread the spores. It’s best to use a micro-fibre cloth over a board and do a small area at a time.

Clove oil

Tracey Stranger says:

“Cloves are naturally potent as antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and analgesic….

To kill mould, first you need to dilute (12 drops per 100ml) the pure essential clove oil in filtered or purified water then put it into a spray bottle. Spray the surface and then leave for 20 minutes. Wipe the surface clean and re-spray and leave it as it will take 24-48 hours for the mould spores to die.”

Prevention

Once you have cleaned the area, you need to keep it dry to prevent the mould from reoccurring. Annie Clark recommends closing all windows and doors when it rains to stop moisture entering your house. A dehumidifier can help take moisture out of the air. You can also use products which absorbs water in your cupboards and wardrobes, such as  Cli~mate Dry Egg or Indicating Silica Gel packets.

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