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A hair gel that costs under $1, contains nothing but beneficial ingredients, and actually works? Could it really exist?! Yes, it does, and it’s about to become your new favorite hair product. Flax seed gel is incredibly easy to make, and it only uses one ingredient — whole flax seeds, which you can buy in bulk for practically nothing. And yes, it actually works.

Flax Seed Gel Benefits

Most store-bought gels dry out natural curls, but flax seed gel actually moisturizes your hair. Flax seeds contain vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are great for your scalp and follicles. They nourish and strengthen the hair while also promoting hair growth.

Of course, all this would mean little if it didn’t effectively hold your hair in place — but it does! Flax seed gel provides a medium hold that’s perfect for all-over use, smoothing your frizz and flyaways into place all day. Your curls won’t be crunchy or stiff with this gel, either. There’s no flaking or shedding. It’s comparable to Kinky Curly’s Knot Today, but with a stronger hold.

How to Make DIY Flax Seed Gel

Are you ready for how easy this is? Okay. You need:

¼ to ½ cup of WHOLE flax seeds (not ground) depending on your desired thickness
2 cups of water
Cheesecloth or pantyhose
An airtight container
Pour the flax seeds into a pot. The more flax seed you use, the thicker your gel will be.

Add the water, and bring it to a boil over low/medium heat.

Stir the seeds regularly to ensure that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Keep an eye on the stove. When you see a trail of gel-like liquid start to form — it should look like mucus — turn off the heat and continue stirring.

Wait about 30 minutes for the mixture to cool. By now, it should have thickened up quite a bit.

Place the cheesecloth or pantyhose on top of the container, and strain the mixture in. It’s thick, so you’ll have to squeeze with your hands, but don’t worry — the gel is good for your skin!

The flax seed gel will keep in the fridge for about two weeks.

And the best part? The seeds can be stored and used over and over again.

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Preserving Your Harvest: A Canning Overview

There’s nothing more satisfying than raking in a good harvest and it almost makes you feel like you can finally take a break from all that farming. But not so fast! You still have to make sure that your harvest stays fresh and preserved for the upcoming months. There are numerous ways of storing your harvest and keeping it fresh, such as freezing, drying, and canning it.

Canning is an age-old practice that was used by farmers to preserve their tomatoes and vegetables at a time when refrigeration wasn’t a service that was easily available. It involves adding produce to a jar and then heating it to a point when the air is driven out from it.

Two Methods

So there are two main methods that are completed through pressure canning and a boiling water bath. You can use a boiling water bath to drive out the air from cans that contain tomatoes, or other processes jams or jellies. This even works for pickles, as long as preservatives are added. The jars containing produce are heated by being completely submerged in boiling water.

Pressure canning, on the other hand, is practiced as a way to store vegetables and other products like poultry. In this method, the jars of food have to be placed in a few inches of water while inside of a pressure cooker. The entire setup is then heated to 240 o F at least.

Which Method to Use

High Acidic Foods

The boiling water bath method works well for high acidic foods like tomatoes and other fruits. These contain a pH that is lower than 4.6.

Low Acidic Foods

Pressure canning is implemented for low acidic foods (vegetables), which have a pH above 4.6. The reason why they can only be preserved this way is due to the growth of Clostridium botulinum, a microorganism that can leave behind deadly spores which thrive in low acidic conditions.

How To

The main difference between both methods is that pressure canning is achieved through a high temperature of the boiling water bath. So you’ll need a special pressure cooker to prepare vegetables using this method.

In both methods, you’ll need clean jars and brand new caps. You need to thoroughly sterilize each jar and keep them in boiling water until you’re ready to store your produce. Whether you’ve added the jars to a pressure cooker, or a boiling water bath, you need to give time until the right temperature is achieved. This is 212 o F for the boiling water bath method.

After removing your jars to cool, listen for a popping sound which indicates that the jars have sealed. You can check this by looking for a depression in the lid. If it hasn’t sealed, you should keep them in the fridge to eat soon.

Should You Try Canning?

While the boiling water bath method is great for preserving pickles, jams and salsas, the same can’t be said for a variety of foods that can be stored by the pressure canning process. If you’re looking to store beans, broccoli or other such veggies, you’ll find that other ways to preserve them, such as freezing, are much more suitable. On the other hand, if you want to store produce using the boiling water bath method only, you can add acidic mediums like vinegar or lemon juice that can keep botulinum from growing. Happy Farming!

More about canning here: Can Do

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