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Label Crazy and Kitchen Chemistry

Jar Label

I have a crazy love for the way dried goods and preserves look in glass jars neatly labeled on pantry shelves. I tend to buy ingredients more than products, and much of my food ingredients, I buy in bulk. These habits save packaging, save money, and are generally healthier. I often bring empty containers or reused plastic or paper bags into the store to fill from the bulk bins, but when I get them home, I immediately transfer the goods into a more permanent, and preserving, storage solution.

Jar LabelRecently I noticed the look and storage longevity of my baking items were not up to par with the rest of my bulk dried goods so I transfered them into repurposed glass jars. I printed labels on paper, cut them out, and taped them with clear packing tape to the jars.

My stevia and arrowroot powders, since they are from natural plant sources, include their botanical name and an image of the plants on the labels. Stevia rebaudiana, also simply called stevia or sweetleaf, is derived from a plant in the sunflower and chrysanthemum family and can be purchased as a green powder, white powder (more refined), or liquid extract. I actually use all three versions, depending on what I'm making.

Jar LabelThe green powder (pictured above) is reported to be 10-15 times sweeter than table sugar, and manufacturers of the white powder and liquid extract claim the products to be 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar. They all have a flavor, slightly bitter, chemical or licorice-like, but the green powder, being less sweet and less refined, seems to me to have more of the flavor. I use it in desserts that wont be overpowered by it.

The xylitol and baking soda jars got images of molecular makeups and chemical formula (thanks to wikipedia), a reminder that cooking is an alchemical process.

I use xylitol, a sugar alcohol sweetener, in my homemade toothpaste (recipes to come), since it is sweet but also has potential to improve dental health. Xylitol, along with white stevia powder, can make a good tasting toothpaste without the artificial sweeteners that are more likely to be harmful.

Jar LabelI also make my own baking powder in order to avoid mystery corn starch and aluminum. I don't make a lot of it at once, since it will loose potency with time and exposure to moisture in air. Although it's very simple, as an absent-minded mad scientist, I can never seem to remember the recipe. For it to always be handy, I included the recipe on the back of the label.

Grain-free baking powder recipe:
1 part baking soda
2 parts cream of tarter
2 parts arrowroot starch

(Incase you are new to this language, a "part" can be any measurement, such as a teaspoon, tablespoon, a small cup, anything of equal portion.)

alchemy (3), chemicals (2), diy (6), food (11), jar (2), kitchen (1), label (1), pantry (1), recipe (3), storage (1)

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