Finally! A Body Wash With Ingredients We Can All Pronounce!

DIY BodyWash

Have you ever looked at the ingredients on the back of your body wash bottle and not known what they are or how to say them? Well, I have a solution! Yes, This is another diy, but it is simple, quick, and only uses 5 natural ingredients. All off which you can pronounce and some possibly found in your kitchen. As mentioned in a previous post about diy make up, your skin is your body’s largest organ. Everything you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body. If you think about it that way, do you really want to use anything topically that you wouldn’t want to eat?

Unfortunately, our body wash does not fall into the vegan category because this recipe does contain honey (Sorry friends). Honey is so good for our skin because it has natural antibiotic properties, it is full of antioxidants and it’s very moisturizing. Along with honey, jojoba oil will be included in our wash and is also amazing for your skin. If you are not familiar with Jojoba oil it is a liquid extracted from a seed of the jojoba plant, native to parts of Mexico, Arizona and Southern California. This oil is commonly used to treat psoriasis, acne, sunburn and chapped skin. Next, lavender essential oil, not only does the oil smell amazing, it is another skin health powerhouse with anti-aging antioxidants. Also, due to its anti-microbial properties this oil also helps speeds up the healing process for any cuts or burns you may have. Lastly, we will be using some unscented castile liquid soap and water. A mason jar with a soup dispenser top is the only hardware you’ll need. I purchased  These tops.  Or a reusable BPA free plastic dispenser will work. This recipe makes 2 cups enough to fill a 16oz mason jar.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 2/3 cup unscented castile soup
  • 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil

Supplies

  • Glass bottle with dispenser or BPA free reusable plastic dispenser

Instructions

  • Mix it all ingredients together.

DIY Face Cleansing Pads

DIY Facial Cleansing Wipes

A little over 3 years ago, I started breaking out along my jaw line. No one likes acne, but especially at the age of 28! I had only struggled with this one other time in my life, around the age 24, when I started, and very quickly quit taking a birth contraceptive. To help with this new development, I made a little change in my daily routine. A great friend of mine suggested I try tea tree oil, so that very same day I ran out to my local health food store and picked up a bottle. When I got home from the store I immediately ran to the bathroom to dampen a cotton ball with some water, added 2 drops of tea tree oil to it, and started wiping my face down. I was so impressed (and a little grossed out) with how much dirt had I just wiped off my face and I haven’t turned back since.  My acne along my jaw line cleared almost immediately.  In fact, this cleans my face so well I don’t even own or use face wash at all anymore, no need to do both and it is one less plastic bottle in my shower now. They are also awesome for those nights you are in the mood for a face mask, they help scrub any excess mask off that you may have missed in your shower.

So today I will be sharing with you how to make your own face cleansing wipes. Here are some of the ingredients, and supplies you will need. Tea Tree also known as Melaleuca oil, which is derived from a plant in Australia and has many uses! This oil can be used for skin, hygiene, or DIY cleaning products as it has been documented to kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Coconut oil will also be playing a role in our cleansing pads to add a little moisture. I found the tea tree was drying out my face a little bit in the beginning so the coconut oil comes in to balance things out. You will also need some cotton rounds, I use and recommend organic because you don’t want to wipe your face or skin down with something that has been sprayed with a bunch of chemicals! You also need water, and a clean jar to fit your rounds. I chose the regular mouth 8oz ball jar, I put 45 pads in my jar but could probably fit up to 60 if I really wanted.

DIY Facial Cleansing Wipes
Gross but they work!
DIY Facial Cleansing Wipes
Pour your mixture over the top and clean away!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil
  • 10 drops of tea tree oil
  • organic cotton rounds
  • 1 jar

Instructions

  1. mix all wet Ingredients together well
  2. place 45-50 cotton rounds in a clean jar
  3. pour mixture over cotton rounds while pressing down on the rounds to help all rounds absorb the liquid

 

The Best Grain Free Granola

Grain Free Granola
Grain Free Granola

You guys have to try this granola!  I’ve made it a couple times now and it is my new go to. This recipe is completely grain-free and made mostly with nuts, seeds and some coconut! It is sweet, salty with the right amount of crunch that is perfect to add fresh berries to for breakfast or to yogurt for an afternoon snack. Now, this particular recipe is made with honey but can be made vegan with one ingredient swap, maple syrup.  Also, this recipe is Paleo as is.  It’s also a great way to use some of that almond meal we made last week! Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. First, add all your dry ingredients to a bowl, followed by your wet ingredients, then, mix well. Spread onto a cookie sheet.  I lined mine with parchment paper which makes it easier for transferring into a jar later on. cook for  28-32 mins depending on how dark or toasty you like it! let sit and cook for a couple of minutes before transferring into an airtight jar. Makes about 6 cups.

Ingredients (Organic perferred)

  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
  • 1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Add all dry ingredients to bowl
  3. Stir in wet ingredients and mix well
  4. Spread mixture on parchment paper lined cookie sheet
  5. Bake for 28-32 minutes depending on how toasted you like your granola
  6. Let cool for at least 5 minutes
  7. Add in raisins, dried cranberries, or goji berries (optional)
  8. Mix if you added dried fruit
  9. add to airtight container and enjoy

How To Use Your Left Over Almond Pulp

On Monday we made the most delicious almond milk but had all that leftover pulp.  So, let’s use it! Optimizing your food fights waste and gives you the most bang for your buck. Hopefully your pulp drained any leftover liquid because we are going to dry it out to make almond meal! This literally takes zero effort but it does take some time so I would plan to do this when you know you will be home for a bit. Once your almond meal is dried, it will last up to 9 months. The left over pulp should make about 1 cup of almond meal. Store this in a larger airtight container this way you have room to add to it as you continue to make your milk. Almond meal is very versatile and can be used as breading, for pancakes, or baking and is gluten free and paleo.

 

All you need to do is set your oven at the lowest temperature, spread your pulp out on a cookie sheet and pop it in the oven. The lowest my oven goes is 170, at this temperature it takes about 3 hours to dry out the almond pulp. I usually mix it up half way through then forget about it again but that is not a mandatory step in the drying process. Once your pulp is all dry, transfer to a food processor or blender and run on low for about 15 seconds just to break up and larger clumps. Lastly, store it away until you are all ready to use for something delicious!

How to make Almond meal from your left over pulp
How to make Almond meal from your left over pulp

Ingredients

•1 cup almond pulp

Instructions

  1. Set oven to lowest temperature
  2. Spread almond pulp onto cookie sheet
  3. Bake for 3 hours
  4. Once pulp has dried, blend for 15 seconds to break up bigger chunks
  5. Transfer to airtight container

Preservative Free Almond Milk

Once you get a taste of this fresh, homemade almond milk, there’s no turning back. I remember the first time I took a sip of pure almond milk, I was blown away by the flavor and thick creamy texture. I had just realized that’s what almond milk is supposed to taste like. I couldn’t believe the difference in flavor and body between homemade and store bought. Plus, It’s just 3 ingredients.  Almonds, salt and water!

Preservative Free Almond Milk

Since this recipe is preservative free, it is good to keep note of the date your milk is made, the shelf life is 5 days and it makes about 4 cups. If you think you will not use 4 cups in 5 days then half the recipe so you don’t have spoiled nut milk on your hands. Nut milk does not require refrigeration, so feel free to pack it with you on your next picnic or for work/school lunches. Almond milk is low in calories, carbs, and sugars (if left unsweetened) and high in healthy fats. If you prefer vanilla or sweetened almond milk then play around with the recipe a bit. You can add a couple drops of vanilla extract or maple syrup before you blend.

As far as cost, I always purchase my nuts in bulk because they are cheaper and if you bring your own bag there is no package or plastic bag waste. Your milk will now be zero waste! My organic almonds are $8.99lb, each pound is about 3 cups of almonds. This puts the cost at $2.99 for 4 cups of fresh almond milk plus, I get to save my pulp and make something fun with it, so watch out for that too!

Preservative Free Almond Milk

Had I known how easy it was to make almond milk I would have been doing it a lot sooner! Just a couple simple steps.  So simple you can do them in your sleep… No really, you can just soak the almonds when you are sleeping! Take 1 cup of almonds and soak them in a bowl of water over night (or for about 8 hours). In the morning, strain, rinse, and place the almonds in a blender with 4 cups of filtered water and a pinch of salt. **If you will be enjoying your milk right away chill your water beforehand** Blend your almonds, water and salt for 45-60 seconds, then strain your milk with either a nut milk bag or fine strainer such as a chinois. I have tried both and personally think the chinois is more efficient. If using a nut milk bag you have to get a little dirty and use your hands to squeeze all of milk out of the bag and then clean the bag afterwards. With a fine mesh strainer, all  you do is run the milk through and let it sit and strain over a bowl for a couple of minutes. When you’re ready, transfer your milk into an airtight container or grab yourself a cookie to dip in your almond milk!
Preservative Free Almond Milk Hold on to all that left over almond pulp, keep it in your nut bag or strainer with a bowl under to catch any leftover excess liquid. Tomorrow we are going to dry that pulp out to make almond meal!

Ingredients

•1 cup almonds
•4 cups filtered water
•Pinch of salt

**optional for sweetened or flavored

•1/8 teaspoon vanilla
•2 teaspoons of maple syrup
Instructions

  1. Soak almonds in bowl of water for 8 hours
  2. Strain and rinse almonds
  3. Blend almonds with 4 cups of water for 45-60 seconds
  4. Strain almond milk with nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer
  5. Transfer milk to airtight container

Makes 4 cups of milk. Use within 5 days

Naturally Soften Your Laundry

I know what you’re thinking, back to back laundry posts? Well, I promised you all I would post my fabric softener recipe when I shared my 2 ingredient laundry detergent recipe last Friday. If you have not checked that one out now is your chance! They are so simple you can make both all in one day. This recipe includes 3 common household ingredients you probably already have laying around. 2 cups of epsom salt, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 20 drops of essential oil of your choice. I am going with lavender essential oil to match with the bar soap I used in my detergent. Just mix the ingredients all together and store away until laundry day. When that day comes, toss in 1 tbsp per medium size load.

Naturally Soften Your Clothes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 25 drops of essential oil of your choice

***Just a quick disclaimer if you are just making the switch from commercial detergents to natural or homemade detergents. Your clothes WILL definitely come out fresh, clean, and soft but the scent will not be as strong as detergents you may be used to purchasing in stores. This is a good thing I swear!! You always want to avoid synthetic fragrances, they contain phthalates. Phthalates are hormone disrupters, may cause headaches, asthma-like symptoms and are really toxic to aquatic organisms. Fragranced products can also release volatile organic compounds in to the air. VOCs are known for being hazardous air pollutants. Who even wants to walk around smelling like a green apple or spring air anyway???

Naturally Soften Your Laundry

2 Ingredient DIY laundry detergent

DIY 2 ingredient laundry detergent

Ever wonder how many toxic chemicals are hiding in your laundry detergent? Is it laundry day? Well, I got you covered with this non-toxic two ingredient laundry detergent recipe. My dear friend Dayna shared this recipe with me a couple years back and I am so thankful for it. This laundry soap works great! It’s all natural, cost efficient, and packagings for both products are recyclable so it is zero waste on your end. For this recipe you will need one bar of Dr. Bronner’s soap castile hemp of your choice, (I always choose lavender) and one box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda. Some additional items you will need —besides your ingredients— is a grater, scoop, and a container that will hold about 6-7 cups.

DIY 2 ingredient laundry detergent

    This recipe is two easy steps that will only take about five minutes of your day. First, Scoop 4 cups of washing soda into your container. Next, finely grate the entire bar of Dr. Bronner’s. Lastly, mix the two together and start a load of laundry! For a medium size load of laundry I use about 2 tablespoons. So if you have a small or larger load just add or subtract a tablespoon.

DIY 2 ingredient laundry detergent

I have worked out the cost I paid pre-tax and based this on medium sized loads. The total of this non-toxic all natural laundry detergent comes out to $5.64 for 80 tablespoons. This will last me 40 loads at about .14 cents per load.

Next week, I will make and talk about fabric softener that is only 3 natural ingredients so keep your eye out for that. The specific reason I keep the detergent and the softener separate rather than tossing all the ingredients into one big container is because if you have a dishwasher the laundry detergent we just made can double as dishwasher detergent by using just 1 tablespoon.

DIY 2 ingredient laundry detergent

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of Arm & Hammer washing soda
  • 1 bar of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap

** This is a conscious consumer side note:

Dr. Bronner’s brand is one of my favorites for so many reasons. Throughout the years they have stayed true to their brand and costumers, making good quality products with integrity. Their soaps are organic, non-gmo, vegan, kosher, not tested on animals, and fair trade! The company as a whole treats the earth with such respect by being involved in soil enrichment, tree planting, and organic farming projects. Also, the facility is in the process of installing solar panels to reduce energy consumption.  They only use recycled materials to make their plastic bottles for liquid soaps and are well on their way to reaching their goal of reducing waste to one dumpster a month. I truly support all of their efforts!

No Bake Coconut Cashew Date Bites

    Happy Summer!! We are celebrating here in the Bay Area with some warm temperatures, I certainly did not want to turn my oven on, but had a bit of a sweet tooth this afternoon. These date bites were the perfect solution to satisfy my craving without having to heat up the entire house by baking. My eight year old son is home for the summer and loves to prepare food as much as I do so this was a fun activity for him, as well as a great treat. Dates help regulate digestion, and boost energy, cashews are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and coconut is high in protein, fiber, iron and zinc. These bites are vegan, paleo, have no added sugar yet they are naturally sweet and delicious. Sounds too good to be true right?

No Bake Coconut Cashew Date Bites

First step is to pulse your cashews to smaller pieces in a food processor or blender.

After the cashews are broken down to your desired size (I left mine coarsely chopped) add your pitted dates, unsweetened shredded coconut, chia seeds, cocoa powder, coconut oil and water and blend together until the mixture is finely chopped and looks a little sticky and rollable.

Set aside a little bowl with some extra shredded coconut. Roll the mixture into balls 1 to 1.5 inches in size, then roll the bites around in your coconut bowl to coat.

last step, Enjoy 🙂 this recipe should yield 10-12 bites. If you think this will go quick in your household double the recipe. You won’t regret it!

Ingredients (organic preferred)

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup of shredded coconut plus set aside about 1/3 cup for coating bites
  • 2 tsp of chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of water

 

How Do You Prepare Your Broccoli Stalks?

My entire life I had been limiting myself to the florets of the broccoli, until one day about three years ago I was walking through Trader Joe’s and saw a bag of broccoli slaw. I stood there for a moment and just stared with a big, bright lightbulb floating over my head…I was thinking, “wow, I can make that myself!” I felt enlighten and foolish all at the same time. I realized how much food I had been wasting all these years.

Both the Florets and the stalks have equal amounts of vitamin C, potassium, B vitamins, calcium and iron. The stalks actually being a little bit higher in fiber, stated on the University of Berkeley’s wellness site. But both having a tad bit different consistencies.  Towards the end of the stalk, it seems to get a little bit tougher and stringier, so I always just cut a little bit off the bottom before hand.

How to use your broccoli stalks

 

I have two favorite ways to prepare the stalks. One way is to throw it in my food processor and pulse into smaller pieces to make broccoli rice. You can even toss some cauliflower in there and make a rice blend. The other is to shred the stalks to throw in a salad or slaw.

Broccoli Rice & Slaw

     (left) Broccoli rice (right) Broccoli slaw

Broccoli slawCheck my next blog post for a this fresh and delicious broccoli slaw recipe!

Fall in love with these Guilt Free Potato Chips

Who doesn’t like chips? I don’t know a single person that does not love them. Unfortunately most brands of chips are unhealthy and let’s be honest here, you are paying for a lot of air in that bag. So lets talk about healthy, cheap, and delicious chips.

I made a stew that called for peeled sweet and russet potatoes. So, I peeled my potatoes and made my stew. But I was not going to throw out my peels, no way! The skin of the potato has more nutrients than the interior itself and is loaded with fiber and potassium. This recipe is a simple, awesome snack time treat and is almost free because you were probably going to throw your skins out anyway.  This little trick helps reduce food waste and since these chips aren’t coming from a bag, you’ll be saving space in your trash can.

Guilt Free Potato Chips

     Rinse, then dry your skins, drizzle with a little bit of avocado or coconut oil, sprinkle with sea salt and bake on 400 for 15-20 mins depending on your preference of crispness. You can even get adventurous if you like and sprinkle some cumin or paprika for extra flavor.

Guilt Free Potato Chips

  • Potato skins
  • drizzle of avocado or coconut oil
  • sprinkle of sea salt

*Organic ingredients preferred

Enjoy your next snack!