Baking Soda

Sodium bicarbonate

Baking soda is associated with the element Air.

Baking soda is used as a leavening agent for quick breads, biscuits, etc. It is first mixed with the dry solids in the recipe. When acidic liquids, like lemon juice or buttermilk are added to the dry solids, the baking soda reacts releasing carbon dioxide bubbles into the batter. If the recipe does not contain a significant acidic componant, baking powder is a better choice for leavening.

It is important when using baking soda that the batter is not over-mixed or allowed to sit too long before cooking or the carbon dioxide bubbles will escape into the air and your baked goods will not rise.

Baking soda is usually made from bicarbonate of soda which is high in sodium. You can get a baking soda substitute made from calcium carbonate from Ener-G foods.

Cleaning with baking soda

(Use sodium barcarbinate)

  • Use baking soda to neutralize odors in your carpet, in your pet's bedding and in your garbage cans.
  • Add baking soda to your washing machine during the rinse cycle instead of fabric softener for softer, fresher smelling clothes.
  • Baking soda can be used as a scouring agent to clean counters, sinks, tubs, silver, etc (do not use on aluminum).
  • Baking soda can be used to clean the body including your hair.

You can use baking soda plain or you can scent it by layering it in an airtight container with scented herbs and letting it sit for a month, shaking it periodically. Then sift out the herbs and use your scented baking soda.

Baking Soda for First Aid

  • Keep baking soda on hand in your workshop to neutralize acids in case of a spill.
  • Use baking soda mixed with water to make a paste on insect bites including bee stings, mosquito bites, flea bites, etc. It draws out the poison and eases the itch and pain.

(In both cases, seek medical help in addition to administering first aid)

Baking soda for personal care

  • Use baking soda and water for a mouthwash
  • Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste to brush your teeth
  • Use baking soda as an exfoliant to clean and refine pores.
  • Massage baking soda paste into the scalp and then rinse with apple cider vinegar 2-3 times a week instead of shampooing.

See also washing soda

Element(s): Air Earth
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Recipes that contain Baking Soda

Notes from the Test Kitchen

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