What is Food Dehydration?

Preserving food by drying has been around as long as man has been hunting and catching his prey. The hunters would lie out pieces of meat and let the sun and wind dry them out naturally in order to have food for the future. This process would dry out the food, preventing the growth of microorganisms and decay. Everything needs air and water, and bacteria are no different. By drying, bacteria and microorganisms can not survive in the food. In addition, a hard exterior forms to help new microorganisms from entering the source.

Evaporation is the key to dehydration as all water is drawn out. The simple scientific principal behind the reasoning is that there is no way for a biological action to take place without water or air. Enzymes can present themselves in the form of bacteria, fungus, or naturally occurring autolytic enzymes within the food itself but without a source of food, they quickly die.

Throughout the centuries, people have denied the practice of food dehydration but have added several methods to obtain the same results. In addition to sun drying, there are now bed dryers, shelf dryers, spray drying, freeze drying and commercial food dehydrators. Your household oven can even be used as a tool to draw out moisture from a variety of foods.

Every culture in the world uses dehydration. Dried cod was a form of protein for many generations in Europe and the West Indies plantation owners would provide their slaves with the dried, salted fish. Jerky is well known today, made from beef and deer meat. Dried and salted reindeer meat is a traditional Sami food. Saltwater is used to pickle the meat for a few days then it is laid in the sun when the temperature is below freezing. Fruits are good candidates for drying, turning grapes into raisins. Mushrooms are great for storing to use in meals and are much more flavorful than canned. Vegetable bulbs, like chilies and onions also work well but most vegetables, however, are not due due to the removal of critical vitamins.

The most popular method of drying today by far, is using a food dehydrator. A food dehydrator is simple to use, dries the contents evenly, quickly and takes the guesswork out of how long and what temperature is recommended. It provides the heat source high enough to guarantee that microorganisms are unable to grow; airflow to circulate the dry air and even provides trays for holding the food while drying. The ease in preparation makes cooking so much easier and also more economic. Using dried fruits in recipes are wonderful when fresh is not readily available and kids love dried fruits and jerky for treats. No preservatives make dried food a healthier way of eating.

Food dehydration is the perfect solution to keeping food from spoiling and enjoying the taste in the days or months to come. It is not unusual to see treated foods with a shelf life of a year and is quick …

Tips & Gadgets For People With Multiple Sclerosis Or Other Physical Disabilities

Sometimes life has a way of putting some seemingly insurmountable physical challenges in your path, especially if you are in a wheelchair. I like to think of myself as a problem solver, able to sometimes “outsmart” the problem by thinking outside of the box. A time when I had to use this “I can do this” mindset was an Easter dinner several years ago.

Easter was two days away and the whole family was coming for dinner. If I was going to get the ham thawed in time, I needed to get it out of the freezer and into the refrigerator. I decided I could get the ham on the counter and I would ask my daughter to put it in the refrigerator when she visited that evening. Good plan; the only thing is my daughter came and went and the ham never crossed my mind. Now I had a real dilemma. The ham could not sit out all night and I was not expecting other guests that evening. Every time I tried to lift the ham from my lap to the refrigerator shelf, it would drop. Now it was time for some creative problem solving. To overcome this obstacle, I created a transfer board out of a cookie sheet. I put one end of the board on my lap and one end on the shelf. All I needed to do was slide the ham up the cookie sheet to the shelf. Voila! Sometimes we just have to go about things in a different way to accomplish the task.

MS has provided me with enough challenges to last a lifetime but it has helped me realize how difficult and exhausting even everyday tasks can be. Unfortunately, sometimes these challenges are not evident to the people around us. The suggestions presented in this article are an attempt to help families understand how they can help a physically limited relative or friend. Or, these thoughts might give you insight into how to become more self-sufficient.


MS has forced some of us to deal with issues of limited strength and dexterity, poor vision or balance, or lapses in memory. Any and all of these problems can make it difficult and unsafe to accomplish tasks that are necessary in the kitchen. In most cases, the longer someone can be safely independent, the happier they will be.

How families can help:

  • Think ready to grab, heat and eat. If some Good Samaritan fixes a large quantity of something, have it stored in the freezer in individual serving containers. Then, it can be microwaved and eaten from the same container.
  • Microwave diner plates with covers allow you to make a plate with multiple items and then freeze it. This would be a way for a family member to offer help. Just save a serving of each dish from a meal created for members of your household. Then, when ready to eat, it just has to be thawed

Niche Marketing in the Hospitality Industry

Welcome to our glorious capitalist society, where every entrepreneur may stay busy at whatever industry they like for as long as they wish to be industrious. Just look at those busy wheels of the marketplace turn, will you! Beautiful to watch it all go round, but when you dive in, you’ll notice that you have this little factor against which you must struggle to make your business succeed: competition.

Yes, it is kind of a kill-joy that so many of your customers have the option of taking their business somewhere else. Particularly in the hospitality field, where restaurants, bars, hotels, and casinos are so commonly found everywhere. You can compete directly, trying to outdo your competitors on either price or quality. But when that fails, a possible strategy to consider is going for a niche market.

Here, you specialize in one particular category, and profess to do that one thing well and do it exclusively. The Starbucks coffee franchise is an excellent example: They started out as a small chain of espresso shops in Seattle, Washington. That’s it, that’s all they’re known for: coffee. Although their success has helped them branch out into tea and other drinks, as well as snacks and pastry. So now they’re more of a chain of cafes mostly known for their coffee.

It is arguable that Starbucks would not have existed without the college/techie crowd. The chain became the “happening” place for college students and especially technology entrepreneurs, two groups who are known for their enthusiasm about coffee beverages. The decor and atmosphere of the earliest Starbucks stores reflects this very well: a hip, urban, sophisticated atmosphere, where you wouldn’t at all be surprised to find a poet scribbling on a legal pad, a programmer or blogger tattering away on a laptop, an artist quietly sketching the crowd, and a couple of old intellectuals playing chess at a corner table, all the while with the alternative music on the speakers providing the subtext.

Bars are a prime candidate for niche specialization. We’ve all discovered the country/western themed bar, the disco club, the working-class “fern bar”, the biker bar, the sailor bar, and the popular sports bar. Bars cater to a wide range of specialties, and there are establishments dedicated to singles, bars exclusively for the members of an alternative lifestyle to meet and mingle, or bars themed for the fans of a particular genre of music. Bars, being for recreational purposes anyway, lend themselves easily to having a theme. You also see bars marketing to an age-based niche, such as establishments themed as “speakeasies” or catering to a jazz-loving crowd. Anything from a 1950’s “sock hop” to a 1990’s “yuppie safari” can be styled with a bar.

Restaurants are another frequent candidate for niche specialties. Virtually any ethnic variety of food is represented in a restaurant somewhere. But restaurants have many more options for finding their niche than just their national identity on the menu; and so we have truck-stop diners, wine-country bed-and-breakfast inns, swanky …

Natural Hemorrhoids Treatment – 5 Common Mistakes in Your Diet Affecting Hemorrhoids Cure – Part 2

In the first part of this article, we have discovered the major mistakes connected with constipation management and the increased fiber intake. In this second part will continue to go deeper in the subject of common mistakes in hemorrhoids diet.

Here we will learn about the hemorrhoids and their relation to alcohol drinks, caffeine and food allergy.

The application of this knowledge will accelerate your natural hemorrhoids treatment.

The third common mistake in hemorrhoids diet is the excessive consumption of alcohol.

Alcohol and hemorrhoids are two incompatible things!

On the one hand, alcohol adversely affects the liver. The connection between liver problems and hemorrhoids development is a scientific fact.

On the other hand, alcohol shows diuretic action, which increases the flow of urine. This diuretic action may worsen an existing constipation or may lead to constipation.

So, don’t include alcohol and other low alcoholic drinks like beer, wine and so forth in your recommended healthy liquid daily intake.

About the recommended liquid intake you may refer to part one of this article.

Additionally, alcohol irritates hemorrhoids causing itching and inflammation.

If you want your natural hemorrhoids treatment and hemorrhoids diet to be successful, you should stop or reduce alcohol consumption, especially during the hemorrhoids crisis.

The fourth major mistake in hemorrhoids diet is the excessive consumption of products rich in caffeine, namely, coke, coffee, chocolate, and energetic drinks.

Caffeine affects negatively your hemorrhoids in two directions. Caffeine shows diuretic action, thus decreasing water in your body and perpetuating your constipation.

The second negative impact is connected with caffeine’s ability to increase the blood flow in your hemorrhoids. This increased blood flow may engorge your hemorrhoids and cause the next hemorrhoids inflammation.

The fifth major mistake in hemorrhoids diet is the lack of observation on body reaction towards given foods. The food allergy is very common and the intolerance to certain foods provokes hemorrhoids crisis.

Therefore, the exclusion of these foods may substantially improve hemorrhoidal condition and shorten hemorrhoids treatment time.

The most common food allergies are listed in descending order of their occurrence:

  • Milk allergy
  • Egg allergy
  • Peanut allergy
  • Tree nut allergy
  • Seafood allergy
  • Shellfish allergy
  • Soy allergy
  • Wheat allergy

The most insidious form of food allergy for every hemorrhoids sufferer is a milk allergy. This allergy is triggered by intolerance to lactic acid. The latter stems from milk sugar fermentation.

If you find a connection between hemorrhoids crisis and the consumption of diary products, you should exclude or reduce the intake of milk, cheese and other diary products.

Since lactic acid is widely used as a preservative, you should be careful about its presence in the foods you consume or buy.

The lactic acid can be found in sour milk, molasses, various fruits, and wines as well.

Many other mistakes in the natural treatment of hemorrhoids related or not related to hemorrhoids diet should be avoided. These mistakes include the right selection of effective natural hemorrhoids cure, the proper combination of several hemorrhoids cures aimed at boosting the natural …

What Catering Supplies Do New Caterers Need?

When it comes to catering supplies, there are a lot of options to consider. If you are thinking about starting a catering firm, then this article should help you decide which catering supplies you need in order to run a smooth and efficient – and indeed successful – catering firm. There are a multiple of things to consider in order to make food preparation as easy and fast as possible.

As we are focusing here on supplies for catering, we will dispense with looking at ovens and related heating / cooking equipment, as this area could demand enough attention for an article itself. It is of course essential for the running of any kitchen, but here we will concentrate on catering supplies only.

When it comes to supplies for catering it is the smaller items that are important. But just because they are small, that does not mean they are unimportant. Indeed, without the small things, catering firms can not function properly.

For catering firms that go out on the road and serve people at events such as festivals and sporting events, it is important to have a large supply of catering supplies. A lot of these are likely to be disposable items such as paper plates, trays and cups – as well as plastic forks and spoons – all of which need to be delivered in huge numbers in order to meet the demand that is likely to exist at such events.

Catering Clothes

In order to meet with strict national rules on hygiene in the arena of food preparation, caterers should ensure that there is a sufficient number of appropriate items available for staff members. Among catering supplies there should be enough chefs / cooks jackets, kitchen trousers, aprons and hats. All of these ensure that there is minimal skin or hair contact with food, elevating the general standards of hygiene.

Other supplies for catering that are crucial to the success of any catering firm are utensils; knives and forks, ladles, peelers, can openers, kitchen tongs and turners. Some of those who more conscious about costs would say that buying the cheaper options is preferable. While this notice has some merit, it has to be pointed out that such utensils will be used for a significant amount of time and there before investing the very best is worth considering. Well known, durable brands are likely to better deal with the daily demands of the kitchen.

These are just some of the main catering supplies that are crucial for the success of any catering firm. …

How to Cook Different Types of Squash – 4 Low Calorie Squash Recipes

Seemingly infinite in size, shape, color and taste, there is one thing all of the different varieties of squash share: flavor! But when it comes to cooking different squash varieties, many are in the dark. Fear not – let this guide on How To Cook Different Types of Squash: 4 Low Calorie Squash Recipes show you the wonderfully healthy possibilities of squash recipes.

Sweet Butternut Squash and Apple Casserole
Butternut squash is packed with nutrients, so give it a try instead of the usual sweet potato casserole. It gives you the same great taste with less fat and calories, plus there are tons of tart apples in this dish!

Serves: 8

Preparation Time: 15 min

Cooking Time: 45 min


  • 1 butternut squash, 2.5-3 lbs.
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch white pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons buttery spread
  • 2 pounds Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups corn flakes or Fiber One Cereal
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons melted margarine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed


  1. Measure 3 cups of cornflake cereal and then put through a food processor to make coarsely chopped crumbs. If you already have a box of crushed cornflake crumbs on hand, then use about 2/3 cup.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and steam 30 minutes, or bake on foil, cut-side down, in 350 degrees F oven until tender. (If baking, it will take approximately 40-45 minutes.)
  3. Scrape out pulp and mash or beat in mixer or processor until smooth. Add butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper; set.
  4. Slice apples very thinly. In skillet, melt buttery spread and add apples. Sprinkle with sugar and cover, simmering until barely tender. Spread in an 8 or 9 "casserole and spoon squash mixture evenly over apples.

TOPPING: Mix all ingredients (corn flakes, pecans, melted butter and brown sugar) and spread over squash and bake in 325 deg. oven for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Flavor-Packed Gratin Squash
Summer never tasted so delish with this flavor-packed squash gratin. With a cook time of just 20 minutes, you will not be wasting your summer indoors cooking when utilizing this summer squash recipe.

Serves: 4

Cooking Time: 37 min


  • 3 cups sweet potato, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter substitute
  • 2 cups summer squash, zuchhini or butternut squash, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-6 scallions, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, coconut milk or soy milk
  • 1 cup cooked or canned red beans or cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped or 2 teaspoons, dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Put the sweet potatoes in boiling water; cover and boil for about 5 minutes, then drain and cool.
  3. Melt the butter substitute in a saucepan and add the summer squash, scallions and garlic; saute for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the milk, beans and

Everyday Uses For Clove Oil-Outside Of Your Kitchen

Experience, Clove Oil for Pain-Killing, Antiseptic Purposes and Antiparasitic.

Clove oil is a powerful therapeutic-grade essential oil long known for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Clove Therapeutic-Grade Essential Oil is the highest – scoring single ingredient ever tested for its antioxidant capacity on the ORAC scale. It is also stimulating and revitalizing and is great for dietary, topical or aromatic use.

Whole cloves are of course an important cooking spice, and clove oil can be used to prevent food poisoning, as it is able to kill some food-borne bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus.

Taken internally, therapeutic-grade essential clove oil is helpful for treating the gas discomfort that often comes with peptic ulcers. This effect has to do with the numbing of pain rather than the actual reduction of gas.

Clove oil is also good for numbing the pain of a toothache and can be used in place of conventional numbing agents before dental work. The chief component of clove oil is eugenol, and it has been shown to be as effective as the commonly used benzocaine in numbing the gums.

Using clove oil topically spreads warmth and numbs pain. It can be irritating to the skin, so it is a good idea to dilute your therapeutic-grade essential oil with a vegetable oil such as olive oil if you find that you are sensitive to the oil on your skin.

Germany’s Commission E has approved the use of clove oil as a topical antiseptic and anesthetic. It’s great to keep on hand for cleaning and numbing small cuts and scrapes and eliminating the pain of toothaches.

Clove oil is also a powerful antioxidant and has immune system enhancing properties. This therapeutic-grade essential oil has tested the highest of any ingredient when it comes to its antioxidant capacity.

The best clove oil comes from the flower buds of the clove shrub, which is an evergreen native to Indonesia. Some companies make clove oil out of the leaves and stems of the clove plant, which does not make as high quality a product.

Clove oil should not be given to infants or children younger than six because of the possibility of stomach upset. When taken internally, it should be diluted, with one drop of therapeutic-grade essential oil added to four ounces of vegetable oil before adding it to a capsule. The same dilution should be used when applying clove oil to the skin.

Women who are pregnant should consult with a doctor before using clove oil. For others, clove oil is classified as a “hot oil”, particularly in its undiluted form. People with kidney or liver problems, or who have bleeding disorders or take blood thinners, should not use clove oil.

Clove oil is an incredibly useful therapeutic-grade essential oil that is great for stimulating the immune system, easing pain and inflammation and numbing the mouth, meaning you’ll find even more uses for clove outside of the kitchen than you do inside.

Always wash your hands thoroughly before and after the use of …

Restaurant Tables Chairs: Evaluate the Worth Of Online Wholesale Dealers Before Buying

There are many articles published on the internet that state online wholesale dealers are the best place to purchase restaurant tables chairs. When a person tries to contact with some online wholesale dealer, he finds quite a different situation. People are trying to sell their furniture at high price under the label of wholesale. Due to this fact, most people think online world a wrong place to purchase from however it is not so. Just like to local market where we can see that people want to overtake their competitors with the help of the banners of wholesale although they sell retail. Similar is the situation at internet.

The same way as you keep yourself safe from the spam wholesalers in local market, you have to check out the worth of online wholesale dealer also. The very first thing is that you must go through several restaurant tables chairs websites both retail and wholesale and note down the prices each dealer is offering. After few minutes you will be realized that most of them are retailers but using the term wholesaler. Just ignore fake wholesalers and next make a comparison between those who are actually wholesalers. Among these wholesalers you have to check out few more things for a better deal. Try to find out the previous history of the dealer or at least the number of years of his experience in online dealing. Ask about the services which he is providing after selling goods. Never forget to discuss about the the delivery plan, either you will be delivered free of cost or the whole delivery expense will be imposed to you.

Going through the above simple steps, you will be able to decide about the right online wholesale dealer from which you can trust to buy restaurant tables chairs. You better understand that what is in the favor of your food business and what is not. For example, its all up to you that you choose the online dealer providing cheap furniture or someone providing classy type. It depends either on your budget or on your restaurant requirements.…

The Best Travel Gifts for the On Dad This Christmas

If you have a Dad that is always on the go, either for business or pleasure, then you have a wide variety of great gift ideas for Dad that you can purchase. When you consider what to get Dad for Christmas, you should take into consideration that the man is always on the go and then seek out gifts that go along with his 'on the go' lifestyle. Below are the best Christmas gifts for a Dad on the go!

GPS Navigation System

If your dad travels a lot either for business of pleasure, one of the best Christmas gifts for Dad could possibly be a GPS Navigator system for his car. TomTom XL 325 4.3-inch Portable GPS Navigator is one of the bestselling GPS systems. The TomTom XL 325 will give him directions to wherever he wants to go and prevails him from getting lost saving him time and gas. It has a large widescreen display with menus that are easy to navigate through. The system has turn-by-turn spoken instructions so Dad can be comfortable keeping his eyes on the road. Other features include preloaded points of interests like gas stations, restaurants, lodging, entertainment and more. If this is Dad's first experience with a GPS system, the TomTom XL 325 is the best choice because it is so easy to use with no need for downloads. He can simply take it out of the box, plug it in and use it.

Gas or Restaurant Gift Card

If your Dad is always on the go you may want to consider gift cards. Gift cards on Plastic Jungle can be purchased at a discount and there is always free shipping. You can buy gift cards Dad can use for gas, gift cards for his favorite restaurant so he can eat free while on the road and more.

Luggage & Accessories

A great gift idea for Dad when he is always traveling around could be new luggage or travel bags. The new luggage could have executive style or a more traditional and laid back style. Along with his new luggage set you can add on a portable digital luggage scale. With all of the weight restrictions the airlines are now imposing, Dad will love this one.

Digital Camera

If your Dad is traveling all over the place or always on the go it would be nice to see images of his journeys. It is likely that he has seen some great sites and by getting him a point and shoot digital camera, he can share his travel memories with you. Digital cameras can range from $ 50 and up. Amazon.com has a list of the bestselling digital cameras with models from Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and more. Pictures are a great way to share memories with each other.

No matter how old you are or your Dad is, no matter what you get him he is going to love it because it came from you! Above are just some of the best Christmas …

Make Your Supermarket More Attractive

Supermarket owners are like the owners of any shop, they constantly need more customers to walk in. Supermarkets target larger numbers of people than normal businesses because supermarket products are essential for everyday life. If you are a supermarket owner and you’re aiming for bigger sales you need to think in mainly three directions:

– improving your displays,

– buying and providing products that have higher demand,

– and giving your customers the best care possible.

First of all, improving your display will need some work but will not be a difficult task once you’ve kept in mind these guidelines. Not only keep you’re products in the specific department but you can also store related items next to each other like storing stock party snacks in the same aisle; chips, dips and sodas stored side by side. Also, constantly rearrange merchandise on their shelves to pique the interest of customers. Shoppers like novelty. Make sure your items are properly priced and apply discounts on products that are nearly finished to attract customers. Try to display your bakery items when fresh and hot to make it more attractive. Also, position fresh bakery products where the most customers coming through will smell them. Aroma is very important in food sales.

Second, always watch your movement reports by item on sales of products. As a grocery store, you need to turn product inventory as much as possible and want to carry the biggest sellers. Keep in mind the different seasons and holidays when planning for replenishment of products.

Furthermore, you can make questionnaires every now and then to ask what your customers like and don’t like about your supermarket to be more familiar with their needs and requirements during shopping.

Arranging carts and baskets regularly is always be a plus, as plenty of carts that are not used inside the supermarket can cause a traffic jam and many customers leaving displeased. Keeping the floor clean and non slippery is also very important for safety as products do fall and make a mess, especially if they contained liquids, so always keep your janitors and cleaning people ready.

Your customers now are your customers forever so keep in mind that treating them great will always give great results too. Make sure you have your customer service people ready always for any questions and give the proper answers in a kind and presentable way. You can also arrange to have product booths like parts of ready cooked meals to give your customers a quick taste or trial to encourage them to buy. These quick treats go a long way toward customer loyalty.

Last but not least, carry strong plastic thank you bags for your shoppers to carry their supplies home in. These plastic bags should be durable and tough to hold heavy products for long distances. You don’t want bags breaking and bottles falling out onto the street. Not only that but they have to look good too like the white plastic Thank You bags. These …