Monday, February 1, 2016

Homemade Lotion (with coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and essential oils)

In an effort to reduce my family's toxic load, I started using natural products around the home and for hygiene/beauty. If I can make something, I will try. This is my favourite recipe for home-made lotion. It's very easy to make and all the ingredients are natural. Essential oils have so many health benefits. If you have specific issues that you wish to address, do a little research and find out which oils would be beneficial for you to add to your lotion.

I love the smell of the frankincense oil. It's a little spicy and goes very well with the other oils I used. It took me awhile to add this one to my collection because it was on the pricier side (about $30), and it appears to be a popular one. I had to visit a few stores before I found a bottle. I ordered my butters from Canwax. It's a good source for Canadians to order supplies to make their own bath and beauty products. 

You can add whichever essential oils you like, just make sure they are pure oils. Essential oils can be expensive, but they are worth the investment. They last a long time depending on what you're using them for. I use Aura Caciaoils most of the time. They are available at the health store (Healthy Planet in Toronto), well.ca and on Amazon.

For this recipe I used the following essential oils.

Frankincense
anticancer, immune booster, good for pain and inflammation.
Vanilla
antioxidant, antibacterial, antidepressant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory.
Myrrh
antiseptic, anesthetic, antitumor, antiparasitic, antioxidant, wound healing.
Lavender
antimicrobial, antioxidant, neurological health, manage diabetes.
Cinnamon
antibacterial, antidiabetic, antifungal, gut health protection, cancer fighting.

Dr. Eric Zielinski knows all about essential oils. Visit his website to learn about the health benefits of each oil, and how to use them.  

I have a bowl, whisk and spoon specifically for making lotions and potions. You can purchase measuring tools if you wish, but I usually just eyeball the ingredients.

Friday, January 22, 2016

One Pot Pasta Alla Puttanesca

I'm playing catch-up here with all these pasta recipes. At this point, you may be thinking that I eat pasta every day. I don't!

This one is pretty awesome, especially since it's a one pot meal. Shannon suggested that we use whole wheat pasta since it thickens the sauce.

Be sure any canned products you use come in BPA free cans. If you can find these items in glass jars that would be better.


One Pot Pasta with Mushrooms & Eggplant (Vegan)

The Minimalist Baker is a pretty awesome place to visit if you're looking for plant based recipes.

This dish is so quick and easy that it could turn out to be one of your favourite week-night meals. You can use whatever kind of mushroom you have laying around. I had a lonely portabella that was begging to be eaten, so that's what I used.

The recipe called for ½ a small eggplant and 2 cups of sliced mushrooms, but since I didn't have enough mushrooms to make 2 cups, I used more eggplant. You can use whatever you've got.

My pasta was not as saucy as Dana's because I made the mistake of leaving the vegetables in the pot instead of removing them as her recipe suggested. It was very delicious though! If you want saucy pasta, remove the eggplant and mushrooms and set them aside once they're golden.

Vegan Mac & Cheese (made with potatoes and carrots)

The original recipe for this was posted on Buzzfeed back in September. Emily from This Rawsome Vegan Life made the recipe (with a few twists) and posted it on Facebook. I saw it and decided that I had to give it a try too. I only had 1 potato left though (the recipe called for 2), so I used a small sweet potato instead. It added a bit of sweetness to the recipe, which is fine with me! The second time I used all yellow potatoes. The flavour was slightly different, but equally delicious!

This does not taste like traditional mac & cheese, but it is very creamy and delicious! My 8 year old loved this dish!  My 5 year old did not.

Here's the one with all yellow potatoes.

Here's the one with sweet potato.