iHerb product recommendation – spices and foodstuff

If you’re ordering stuff on iHerb.com and have spare capacity for the shipment (up to 6.3kg), you might want to consider getting herbs and seasoning. There are plenty for you to choose from. Even if you don’t have anything in mind to get, you could try searching for the best rated or best selling herbs to see if anything piques your interest. That was how i ended up getting the Drogheria & Alimentari Organic Provence Herbs Mill which is made up of some of the commonly used herbs in French and Italian cooking. It works great in pasta. The pricing on iHerb is competitive (or cheaper in some cases) with what is found in local supermarkets, so if you want to try products from a different brand than those commonly found here, you can do so through iHerb.

A sample of other herbs i have gotten from iHerb:

chives
Frontier Natural Chopped Chives US$3.87 (4g), tastes close to fresh chives, handy and probably a lot cheaper to have it in dried form.

nutmeg

Drogheria & Alimentari Nutmeg Mill US$3.29 (40g), cheaper than what is found in the supermarket. Going to try making steak marinade with this.

taco

Frontier Natural Taco Seasoning, Salt-Free Blend US$2.93 (66g), for a Mexican/Spanish taste occasionally.

If you’re a health freak (i’m somewhat one), try Himalayan Pink Salt. The pricing on iHerb doesn’t compare favourably with what you find on Amazon (still within reasonable range though), but Amazon doesn’t ship Himalayan Pink Salt to Singapore, so iHerb is still your best bet (definitely cheaper than what’s available in Singapore). The best value Himalayan Pink Salt are Aloha Bay Himalayan Crystal Salt, Coarse US$5.90 (510g), which requires the use of a salt mill, and Fun Fresh Foods Himalayan Pink Sea Salt US$10.70 (909g) which comes in fine crystal form.

alohabayhimalayan funfreshhimalayan

Or try Celtic Sea Salt, which is “Doctor Recommended Since 1976”. I buy the ‘Light Grey Celtic’ version which is coarse and i grind it directly onto food for seasoning. You do have to bake the crystals to dry it before use because it comes in a slightly moist form.

celticseasalt

The other food product i recommend getting is Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Raw Honey US$17.86 (1.36kg). This is an organic, true raw honey. It isn’t the best honey available out there, but it is probably the best value. It is super thick and creamy, doesn’t smell nor taste so good on its own actually, but great when made into a drink, with lemon for example. Once you’ve gotten used to this you may not want to go back to those processed and watery honey.

rawhoney

These are just a small sample of herbs and foodstuff on iHerb. Check out iHerb.com now for more products you will be using from day to day.

Eat/Drink

Food is obviously one of the most blogged about topics on the internet. I’m sure everyday there are new, young bloggers starting their new blogs on food review. I’m not going to be one of those (though I am young) who focus on reviewing food in overpriced, fancy restaurants. On my blog I aim to share with you about food that deliver a high level of satisfaction without costing you an arm and a leg. This does not necessarily mean it’s always about cheap food, it’s about value-for-money food experience. This includes home cooked food, which gives you the highest bang for the buck (and sense of accomplishment).

DIY Water Filtration

hcp1

We normally take for granted that the tap water we use for drinking is safe. It should be, but risks remain in the possibility of contamination as water flows through the water distribution system. While boiling water kills the microorganisms in the water that presents the greatest danger, it does not remove sediments and metals such as lead. In fact, boiling water will increase the concentration of harmful elements should they be present, since part of the water has been vapourized. This is where water filtration comes into the picture. For practical reasons, for the home, it usually comes down to choosing between Ceramic Carbon and Reverse Osmosis water filters.

Factors to consider when choosing between Ceramic Carbon and Reverse Osmosis (RO) water filters:

– RO produces unmatched pure water given that it has extremely small membrane pore size compared to those found on Ceramic Carbon filters

– Carbon Ceramic water filters do have very good performance even though it trails behind RO

– RO produces water that is lacking in mineral and possibly slightly acidic, both of which are not of great concern since the minerals can be obtained from food and the human body regulates acidity extremely well

– The RO filtration process produces more waste water than it does drinkable water. However, the waste water can typically be used for household cleaning chores

– The initial setup cost of RO is very high compared to Ceramic Carbon water filters, and maintenance cost is probably also higher (Ceramic Carbon filter candles are easily washed and changed whereas maintaining the RO membranes probably require professional servicing)

In view of these considerations, i settled on the Ceramic Carbon water filter, since they are good enough for me, and they are extremely good for the price. The product i picked was through referral – Doulton. The performance claims (in particular >99.99% bacteria and cyst removal which should make boiling water redundant) look very convincing. Here’s what it costs:

– Water filter housing: £48.65 (S$95.95 at time of writing)

– Filter Candle: £16.27 (S$32.09 at time of writing)

Each candle is said to last 6 months, but can probably be used for longer, depending on the household water consumption. All well and good, but there is one problem. The diverter valve (for switching between filtered or non-filtered water) may not fit your kitchen tap faucet, as was my case. I suspect the majority of the kitchen faucets installed here do not conform to standard sizes (the diverter valve would fit onto a 55/64″ male threaded spout but the commonly used Taiwan or China made kitchen faucets here are smaller). To fix this problem, you can get a universal tap adaptor (3rd item on the list – note that the inner rubber ring, meant to fit onto a tube or a much smaller spout, can and should be removed, then it can be fitted onto the kitchen faucet).

So there you have it, DIY water filtration at no more than S$200 with shipping cost included. It’s so easy to install that you don’t need to contract anyone to do it for you. Don’t be duped into paying more for a similar system (very likely a lesser system). The Doulton Ultracarb candle can fit into other housing units as well, but i doubt they will be cheaper than what Doulton themselves produce which is of high quality. Don’t buy a water filter that doesn’t tell you exactly what it filters!