Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Discoloured Avocados


By Reena Nerbas

Discoloured Avocados

Dear Reena,

I’ve been buying many avocados lately and find some of them are discolored on the inside (even though they are still firm). Are they still safe to eat? I’ve been throwing them out but at the price I’m paying, I’d rather keep them. Thanks. Irmgard

Dear Irmgard,

It is common to purchase avocados with brown spots; this can happen because of a few different reasons. Exposure to cold temperatures for a long period of time. Or bruising during transport or handling. Unfortunately there is no way to determine if an avocado has bruising by looking at the outside peel. The good news is that brown spots are not harmful and can be removed by slicing them out.

Cleaning and Baking

Hey Reena!

I have a few questions about household cleaning and baking. Firstly, what are some good natural cleaners that will get the slippery cat poop off vinyl flooring? Secondly, I ran out of eggs and mayonnaise and I am trying to bake a cake. Do you have any suggestions for what I might replace them with? Thirdly, my child recently had lice. I heard that they often return but the treatment that I picked up at the pharmacy seems full of dangerous chemicals! Do you have any good home remedies that are effective and safe for my child’s hair? Blessings, Allison

Dear Allison,

Cat Mess: To remove cat feces from vinyl flooring; pour 1 cup white vinegar and one quarter cup baking soda onto the area. Add 2 tsp. dish soap to the floor and scrub with an abrasive cloth. Rinse with water. Wipe the area with rubbing alcohol (test on an inconspicuous area first).

Substitutions for Mayonnaise: 1 cup (250 mL) mayonnaise = 1 cup (250 mL) sour cream or pureed cottage cheese or 1 cup (250 mL) salad dressing.

Substitution for One Egg: Use half tsp. (2 mL) baking powder to substitute for one egg. Or 1 tsp. ground flax or 1 tsp. (5 mL) cornstarch and 1 tsp. (5mL) vinegar.

Lice: Rest assured it is a myth that lice only attach to dirty areas, they can make their homes on very clean heads. Be prepared for an in depth cleaning of your house. Vacuum everything and when you are finished, discard the vacuum bag outside of your home. Be sure to vacuum mattresses, vents, and all crevices in furniture, as well as your vehicles. You can purchase sprays to kill lice but they are expensive and carry a strong odor. Sprays come in handy for non-washable textiles.

Myth number two, freezing kills’ lice. When you put lice outside, they go into a hibernating state and wake up when they are back at room temperature. Therefore instead of carrying items outside, place teddy bears, jackets, blankets etc. into large plastic bags, close tightly and leave at room temperature for two weeks. Wash everything that can be washed in your washing machine each day until the problem is gone. Throw pillows and blankets into the dryer daily, the heat of the dryer kills lice.

Use lice shampoo according to directions and on all members living in the house, not just the kids. Check with your physician about shampooing babies. By shampooing everyone, you will save yourself a lot of headache for future outbreaks. Check all heads every day for two weeks near a window or under florescent lights. Hairspray in the hair, length of hair and cleanliness of hair do not make a difference. Put all hair utensils in the dishwasher every day. Wash all toques, scarves, mitts, area rugs, towels. Do not reuse towels and do not hang towels beside other towels. For young boys if you shave their head, lice are easier to see. Lice are non-transferable to pets.

Neem shampoo, mayonnaise, olive oil and tea tree oil are great deterrents of lice. Slather hair and wrap head with plastic wrap, leave for 8 hours. Warning: Never use plastic wrap on a young child as it might cause suffocation.

Feedback from Smart Reader:

Re: Frayed shoe lace ends
Dear Reena,
To fix the frayed shoelaces, rub on a bit of glue. ~ Turner

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

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