Savory Roasted Marinara Sauce From Scratch

clean, cleanliving, comfort food, cooking with essential oils, delicious, dinner, diy, do-it-yourself, essential oils, health, homemade, natural living, recipe, spice it up

DELETE

I have always been afraid of making marinara sauce from scratch – like from ACTUAL tomatoes.  Scary stuff.  I mean, what if I buy all those tomatoes and screw it up??  I’m Norwegian, not Italian – how could I possibly make a good “gravy”!?

While marinara made with a can of crushed tomatoes is delicious, I felt it was time I face my fear and make it from scratch.  And, of course, I also wanted to incorporate my beloved therapeutic-grade essential oils into the recipe to see how it  enhanced the flavor.

The sauce took me a few hours to make, because I took my time (and took photos as I went along), so you will want to plan ahead to make this on a day where you have some free time.  Those of you with small children are thinking, “free time, what the hay-hay is that??”  If you have small children…I am sorry…maybe you should save this recipe for another 12 years and then give it a try!  Seriously though, I think you can pull this off if you start cooking right when the kiddos go down for a nap.  I believe in you.

I will spare you the annoyance of reading each step between each photo.  I used to do that, and now understand how annoying that is!!

Feel free to browse the photos below, which are in the order of each step of the recipe.  Some people feel better if they can see how it is supposed to look along the way.  So, enjoy the beauty of these colorful fresh ingredients!:

20170317_210350.jpg

Garlic cloves before peeling.

Garlic cloves after “quick peel” in a jar.  I’ll explain below.

Blending roasted ingredients with basil & parsley

20170317_205741.jpg

I did it!  Delicious!  Roasted marinara sauce with broiled asparagus coated in olive oil, salt, onion powder and garlic powder, and unleavened whole wheat “bread” (see recipe at bottom of page) with a little shredded basil on top.

ROASTED MARINARA SAUCE

Ingredients:

  • 25 Roma tomatoes, cored
  • 2 sweet vidalia onions, quartered
  • 2 Tbs fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic, cloves peeled (see note in the recipe for “Easy Peeling”)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt (preferably Pink Himalayan)
  • 1/4 C sugar or “Date Paste” (See Recipe for “Date Paste” in the Pizza Crust recipe at the bottom of this blog)
  • Small bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cans tomato paste, for thickening
  • 2 drops Oregano essential oil (therapeutic grade only, with “Supplement Facts” on bottle – comment below for my favorite brand)
  • 4 drops Basil essential oil
  • 2 drops Black Pepper essential oil
  • 4-6 pepperoncinis, for a little heat
  • *Optional:  1/4 cup dry red wine, diced carrots

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425F.

Wash and core the tomatoes.  Split them between two 9×13″ baking dishes, or put all of them in a large roasting pan.  The tomatoes can be left whole; they will break down during the roasting process.

“Easy Peeling” of garlic cloves.  Toss a few garlic cloves in an empty, clean, glass jar, screw the lid on, and shake vigorously for a minute.  The peelings should become loose so that you can just peel it off of the clove.  Don’t overload the jar, only a few cloves at a time.  Cut off the hard ends of the garlic cloves.

Arrange the quartered onions and peeled garlic cloves (and diced carrots, if using) around the baking dish with the tomatoes.  Drizzle olive oil over all and then use your hands to toss the tomatoes, garlic and onions to coat everything well with the oil.  Season everything generously with salt.

Roast tomatoes in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or so.  The tomatoes and onions will look wrinkled, roasted, and slightly charred.  For a thicker sauce, cook longer and stir occasionally to keep from burning.

Remove the pan(s) from the oven and set on the counter to cool for 10-15 minutes. You can easily remove the tomato peelings if you want, but I left them on.

Place a large colander inside a large bowl.  Pour the roasted tomato ingredients into the colander.  The bowl underneath the colander will collect all the juice.  You need this juice for later – don’t toss it!

Scoop the roasted tomato ingredients into a blender or food processor.  Add parsley, and most of the basil leaves (save a few to shred and top your final pasta dish as a garnish).  Puree until it reaches your desired consistency.  You may need to do it in separate batches if you have a small food processor.

Put about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or stock pot.  Warm on medium heat, and then toss in the diced shallots.  Cook until they are soft.

Dump the pureed tomatoes, and the reserved juice, into the pot.  Season with additional salt, if needed.  Add the essential oils and any herbs you might want to add to the sauce to flavor it to your liking.  Add the pepperoncinis and cans of tomato paste.  If you are using red wine, add that to the pot as well.  Mix thoroughly.  I had to use a whisk to make sure the thick tomato paste was dispersed throughout the sauce.

Simmer on low, covered, for an hour or longer, so that all the flavors blend well together.  The longer the simmer, the better the flavors will be.  Stir occasionally so that it doesn’t burn.

Serve immediately as pasta sauce, or on homemade pizza (Click here for the pizza crust recipe that I also used as garlic bread with this meal.  For garlic bread, I just rubbed olive oil all over the dough and sprinkled generously with garlic salt and then baked it).  You will also find the “Date Paste” recipe within the pizza recipe.

Or, you can cool all of it completely and freeze it in containers or Ziploc bags for later use as a quick meal!

Mangia tutti!!

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

Advertisements

Guacamole & Homemade Tortilla Chips With Lime and Cilantro Oil

Baking, clean, cleanliving, cooking with essential oils, crunchy, Daniel Fast, diy, do-it-yourself, essential oils, home project, homemade, natural living, nutrition, organic, pure, recipe, Uncategorized

For a healthy,  quick snack, try some homemade guacamole and homemade tortilla chips!  They are fresher and taste a whole lot better than store bought chips!

First, gather your ingredients.  You will need the following:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 ripe tomato, diced
  • 1/8 cup diced red onion
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 drops Lime essential oil (See note in red below)
  • 1/2 drop Cilantro essential oil, or less (it is very strong and even 1/2 drop is too much for me!) (See note in red below)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or 2 pressed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 drop Black Pepper essential oil (See note in red below) or 1/4 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 4 soft yellow or white corn tortillas (I prefer El Milagro – they don’t use preservatives)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (or a healthier cooking spray oil than PAM!)

DELETE

Thoroughly wash and chop your tomatoes, onion and avocado.

Put your avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until your desired consistency.  I like mine a little chunky. Once mashed, toss in your onion and tomato and stir.

Then, you can add the spices and/or essential oils.  Where it says to use 1/2 drop of essential oil, here’s the trick on how to do that.  Since you can’t really measure a half drop, I usually put one drop on a spoon and then lightly shake some off into the sink.   Then I can stir the remainder of the oil that is on the spoon into the guacamole.  It seems to be just enough.  These oils are super potent, and a little goes a very long way!

If you aren’t going to eat the guacamole right away, put the avocado pits into the storage container along with the guacamole and refrigerate.  The pits will keep the avocado from turning brown!

For the homemade tortilla chips:

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Put 4 tortillas (or more) on a cookie sheet (you’ll need a couple of cookie sheets).  Very lightly rub both sides of each tortilla with a very small amount of olive oil (If you use too much oil, the chips will be chewy, not crisp – and ruin the whole experience).  If you have a cooking spray (which I don’t like using due to the propellant in the can), it would work best in this instance.  Lightly spray both sides of each tortilla instead of using olive oil.  Stack the tortillas on top of each other, and with a large knife, cut through all of them so that each tortilla makes 8 chips.  Using 4 tortillas will make 32 chips.

Spread each chip out evenly out over 2 cookie sheets.  Sprinkle salt over all of the tortillas.  And if you’re feeling crazy, put some salt in a bowl, add a drop of lime essential oil to the salt and mix it up.  Then sprinkle the salt all over your chips.  Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until crispy.

Once the chips are cooled, you are ready to eat!

Enjoy!

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

Norwegian Krumkaker with Cardamom Essential Oil

Baking, Cardamom, Christmas, comfort food, Cookie, Cookies, cooking with essential oils, cream, crunchy, dessert, diy, do-it-yourself, essential oils, food, Holiday, homemade, Norwegian, recipe

Whew!  Say that title 5 times fast!  I’ll bet you can’t!

Today I’m going to share with you a delicious recipe that Norwegians, in both Norway and America, make at Christmas time.  It’s called krumkake (pronounced “croom kaga”) is a delicious delicate and crumbly cookie.  Being 100% Norwegian myself, I am always looking for ways to learn about my ancestry and our traditions.  Speaking of which – I recently did a family tree through Ancestry.com.  Everything was going great…until I got out to about 300 AD, where it claimed that I was related to the Norwegian “gods,” Thor and Odin.  Wuuuuhh??  I decided that was a good stopping point.  I mean…how much further could I have gone in time beyond Norse gods?  The tooth fairy?  Santa Claus??

Ever since I was a child, mom would talk about the krumkake that her mom used to make them make, along with lefse, riskrem (rice pudding), spritz cookies and boller.  Out of all of those tasty treats, my mom only made boller (she’d make rice pudding once in a while for herself, as none of us wanted any of it back then).  I always wished she’d make krumkake, but she didn’t have the iron for it.  Krumkake was something I only got to eat at my aunt Judy’s house, but thanks to Amazon I can make my own. 🙂

The smell of boller (or as we called them, “Norwegian buns” or “mom’s buns” *snicker, snicker* was one of my all time favorite scents.  The scent of cardamom and sweet dough would fill the house and it felt so warm and inviting.  Krumkake is not always made with cardamom, but I added it to my Christmas Krumkake recipe to give it that special nostalgic flavor I love so much.

FYI – I am not a pro – and to be completely honest with you, this was my first time making krumkake.  Better luck next time, right?  Although, they did taste awesome.

To make krumkake, you first need a special iron.  What makes it special is the traditional rosemaling design on the iron plates.  You have 2 options when looking for an iron.  You could get the old fashioned iron, which you place over a hot stove and have to flip halfway through cooking.  Or, you could opt for the electronic Krumkake Express iron like I have below.  I found mine on Amazon for $50.

Once you have the batter mixed, you will place a tablespoon onto the middle of the iron and press the lid down so that it spreads the batter out to form a full cookie.  Follow the lights on the iron – red means wait, green means it’s done – no surprise.

2015-12-23-18.59.12.jpg.jpeg

The below photo shows what it will look like before you gently pull it off the iron with a butter knife or a long, skinny spatula.  I put a little too much batter in this one, so it spread out over the edges.

Immediately after you remove the cookie from the iron, you have to roll it onto the cone to make the cone shape as in the photo below.  Let it sit for 10 seconds until it cools slightly.  During this time you could put some more batter on the iron to get your next cookie started.

Gently remove the cone and allow the cookie to cool completely on a wire rack.  This is important.  If you lie the cookie on parchment paper, the bottom will retain moisture and make it chewy.  You want it completely dry and crumbly.

If you make your krumkake a little darker than the one above, it will have a better chance of being delicate and crumbly.  See below.

2015-12-23-18.56.37.jpg.jpeg

Perfect!

 

CHRISTMAS KRUMKAKE

1/2 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 drops 100% pure cardamom essential oil (see note in red below) (or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom)
6 Tbs. water
Krumkake Iron

Heat your Krumkake iron (I used setting 3 on the electronic iron).  Beat butter and sugar until creamy.  Add the eggs and mix well.  Add flour, vanilla, and water and mix until blended.  Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes before using.  Bake the cookies according to iron instructions.  Roll the warm cookies around the stick that comes with the iron.  Let cool on wire rack COMPLETELY.  I cannot stress this enough.  Even the slightest bit of moisture will ruin the crumbliness you are looking for.  Garnish with powdered sugar or fill with whipped cream.  There are some great recipes on Pinterest of flavored cream for krumkake.   (* If you are going to fill them with whipped cream or any other filling, you will want to do it immediately before serving.  Do not fill them ahead of time or they will get soggy, and no one likes a soggy krumkake.)

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

 

Cassia & Cardamom Spiced, Glazed Pecans

Baking, Cardamom, Christmas, cooking with essential oils, dessert, essential oils, gifts, gluten-free, Holiday, homemade, nutmeg, recipe

image

Merry Christmas!

I have been wanting to do this blog for months now, and finally had some spare time. (Spare time?  What is that?!)

Every Christmas, I see recipes for spiced pecans on Pinterest, and have been dying to make my own with ESSENTIAL OILS!  Weee!!!  They make wonderful flavoring agents to baked goods, in lieu of dried spices from the grocery store.  While the heat of the oven will bake off any of the health properties of the oils, the flavor will remain!

I have chosen to spice my pecans with cassia, cardamom and cinnamon.  I chose these 3 because they are perfect for the Fall/Winter holidays because they are so warm and comforting.

Cassia is one of my favorite scents to diffuse in my home when I want to make it home-y and inviting (along with cardamom and wild orange!).  Cassia smells like cinnamon, but softer and sweeter.

Cardamom is another one of my favorites.  It is used in many Scandinavian baked goods.  I grew up eating boller (or “mom’s Norwegian buns,” as we called them) *snicker* which contains this spice.  So, every time I smell cardamom, it reminds me of mom’s buns *snicker snicker*.   We’d eat them as a snack with butter and strawberry jam.  Sooooo gooood.  (I will be doing a boller blog as soon as I find more of that spare time lying around!)

Cinnamon was the final spice chosen for this tasty treat.  I could have left it out, because those other 2 spices are delicious enough on their own.  If you leave any of them out, make sure you double one of the other oils.  You want to make sure you have enough flavor.  And 2 total drops of oil doesn’t quite give the pecans enough spiciness!  (Also, if you don’t have essential oils, you could always substitute the oils with powdered spices.  I would use 1/2 tsp of each spice)

 

The recipe below is very easy.  If you don’t have Ziploc bags, just use 2 large mixing bowls.  If you use any different spices, be sure to comment below and let me know how they turn out –  I’d love to hear of different combos!  I have seen some recipes out there with cayenne, cumin, sriracha sauce or turmeric on their spiced nuts, but I am not a fan of super spicy things.  Cinnamon, cardamom and cassia are spicy enough!

No need to diffuse any essential oils in your home while baking these nuts.  The aroma from the nuts will fill your home and make you grab a glass of eggnog, pop in a DVD of “Elf” or “A Christmas Story” and get cozy!

image

Gift box them and give them to a friend!

When the nuts are finally baked and cooled, you can put them in holiday-themed tins or mason jars and make cute and budget-friendly Christmas gifts.   You can go one step further and decorate the jars with ribbon and a fancy nametag.  Add that personal touch!  I love crafty things, but have no time to decorate, so I re-use gift boxes/tins that I’ve collected over the years.  Spiced nuts make great teacher gifts!  Put out a bowl of these nuts at a Christmas party or toss them on top of your salad.  Even kids will gobble them up!


 

Cassia Cardamom Glazed Pecans

2 egg whites
2 Tbs melted butter (can be omitted)
1/2 Tbs vanilla extract
1/2 Tbs water
1 lb pecan halves
1/2 cup sugar (I used brown)
1 drop cassia essential oil
1 drop cardamom essential oil
1 drop cinnamon essential oil
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 250°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a gallon sized freezer bag, mix together the egg whites, melted butter, vanilla extract, essential oils and water.

In a second gallon sized freezer bag, mix together the sugar and salt.

Add pecans to the bag with the egg white mixture. Seal the bag and shake around the pecans until they are evenly coated.

Transfer the coated pecans to the bag with the sugar mixture. Seal the bag and shake around until the pecans are evenly coated with the sugar mixture.

Spread the pecans on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely.

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]


I hope you enjoy this recipe!  Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Blessings

 

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tea

clean, cleanliving, cooking with essential oils, essential oils, health, holistic, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, immunity, natural living, non-gmo, nutrition, pure, recipe, tonic, turmeric, wellness
image

My cup of deliciousness

Turmeric is all the rage these days, and I just had to try out a recipe for cinnamon-turmeric tea I found online.  It.  Was.  Delicious.  My husband even liked it – he said it tasted like Thanksgiving.  With flavors like clove and cinnamon, and it’s pumpkin-y color, you could make this healthy drink for your holiday party.

**Please read this great article on Authority Nutrition‘s website on the many benefits of turmeric.

After reading about the benefits in the article above, now it is time to make your own turmeric tea!  Gather up your ingredients and let’s get started:

image

Simmer all spices in water for ten minutes, strain.

image

Put 1/3 cup of tea in a mug and add some raw honey (even better, how about some local honey!). Then add in 2/3 cup of milk and stir well.

image

CINNAMON-TURMERIC TEA

1-2 tsps turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
3 cloves (I had ground clove, so I used a tea sachet)
A pinch of grated nutmeg
4 peppercorns
1 1/2 to 2 cups of water
1 tsp raw honey
1/2 cup milk of choice

(**Add some pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils for added health benefits!  (See note in red below).  My choices would be myrrh, clove or cinnamon bark.  But only a drop or two into the whole batch.)

Simmer all spices in water for ten minutes, strain.  Put 1/3 tea, 2/3 milk in a teacup.  Add raw honey and milk and stir.  Adjust to taste.

You can save the remainder of your tea mixture in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days.  Just warm up a batch of the mixture each time, and then add the honey and milk.

(**turmeric tends to sink to the bottom.  Be sure to stir/shake well before each use).

image

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

To your health!

The “Popular Group”…of Oils

calming, clean, cleanliving, cooking with essential oils, crunchy, diy, do-it-yourself, empowerment, essential oils, foaming hand soap, frankincense, health, holistic, home project, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, immunity, lavender, lemon, natural living, non-gmo, organic, peppermint, popular oils, pure, recipe, remedy, soothing, wellness
DELETE

The Popular Group of Heathers from 80’s Movie, “Heathers.”

If you have ever seen the old classic 1980’s movie “Heathers,” you’ll understand why I named this blog “The Popular Group.”  I’ve dedicated this entire post about the most popular essential oils, because everyone in the essential oil community wants them.

I have compiled a list of uses and applications for frankincense, peppermint, lemon and lavender oils so that it’s all in one central place.  You’re welcome.

FRANKINCENSE a/k/a “FRANK”:

Frankincense does have some wonderful health benefits:

1.  Helps build and maintain a healthy immune system.
2.  Promotes cellular health.
3.  Reduces the appearance of blemishes and rejuvenates skin.
4.  Supports healthy immune system function.
5. Promotes feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction and overall wellness.

PEPPERMINT:

1.  Promotes healthy respiration function and clear breathing.
2.  Alleviates occasional stomach upset.
3.  Frequently used in homemade toothpaste for oral health and fresh breath, and homemade deodorant for fresh feeling.
4.  Keeps away spiders!
5.  Cooling of body temperature, like in a 90+ degree summer day!

LEMON:

Here are a great list of ways lemon oil can be used:

Stinky Laundry.  Lemon essential oil takes out ALL odor when you forget and leave your load of laundry in the washer way too long.  Just a few drops added to your detergent.

Remove Sap/Stickiness. Whether the sap is on your carpet, clothes or seeped into your skin, lemon oil is excellent for removing pine gum and tree sap.

Removes Grease. You just fixed your bike. Your hands are black and greasy. Soap alone won’t remove the grease, but lemon oil mixed with your soap will.  Lemon oil is a great de-greaser!

Disinfect.  You can add lemon oil to a spray bottle of water and attack what may be living in your range hood, on your tables, countertops and other surfaces. For some extra chemical-free firepower, a little vinegar is a traditional favorite.

Bathroom Cleaning.  Go gas mask free and clean with lemon oil.  Just a small amount of lemon oil will go a long way in removing hard water build up.

Nourish Leather.  Use a lemon oil on a soaked cloth to preserve them, and prevent leather from splitting.

Silver Tarnish Removal.  A lemon oil treated cloth is a great remedy for the early stages of tarnish on silver or other metals. You may not eat on silver every day, but bracelets, earrings, necklaces often need some love.

Furniture Luster. Bring your furniture back to life with lemon oil! Just add a few drops of lemon oil to olive oil for a non-toxic furniture polish. Lemon oil leaves a beautiful shine, prevents fine wood finishes from drying out, and replaces lost moisture in antique woods as it penetrates worn finishes.

Stainless Steel De-Smudger. You don’t need to hunt down that “single use” stainless steel cleaner anymore. Multi-use lemon oil is great for cleaning stainless steel appliances.

Clean Granite/Porous Stone. What is living in the pores of your natural stone counters or floors? Lemon oil cleans deeply, seeps into stone and leaves you with a “real fresh lemons” aroma, rather than that fake lemon chemical smell.

Energize your Brush.  If your toothbrush seems a bit tired, add a drop of lemon and peppermint oils to chase away that run-down feeling.

Mold/Stink.  Moldy kid’s sneakers, a baby’s blowout, potty training … it all adds up to an less than desirable aroma.  Diffuse or spray lemon oil and neutralize odors at their source.

Scuffs/Gunk.  Got a scuff mark that just won’t go away? Lemon oil lifts scuff marks.

Mildew & Musty Things.  Things get stored away. Things get old. Things don’t see the light of day.  Chase away that “old smell” and inject new energy with a good lemon oil wipe down.

Disinfect Cutting Board.  Cutting boards can harbor bacteria in your kitchen.

Aphid Invasion.  Aphids are those pesky little bugs that dine on your roses and other plants.  Lemon oil (or peppermint) with water in a garden spray bottle are a natural pesticide that kills aphids and their larvae on contact, but leave your plants looking lovely.

Spot-Free Dishes.  Add a few drops of lemon oil to your dishwasher soap container with each load.

Refresh Stinky Washcloths. When your kitchen washcloths smell foul and could use a boost, add lemon oil to your detergent, soak overnight, wash, dry and your kitchen will smell so much better.

Wake up.  If you have a hard time waking up, place a drop of peppermint oil between your palms and breathe in deeply a few times.  Rejuvenating!

Desserts. There are an infinite number of ways lemon oil can add a bit of freshness to your sugary savors: lemon frosting, lemon meringue, sour cream lemon pie, lemon cakes, lemon tart glaze, lemon squares, lemon cookies, lemonade.

Dinner.  With lemon oil, there are countless ways to make the bland zippy, or the blah peppy:  Roasted salmon & asparagus with lemon oil, Linguine & shrimp with lemon oil, Lemon oil drizzled over vegetables (especially broccoli),  Lemon garlic shrimp  … or to add a fresh kick to an already great salad.

Preserve Fruit.  Use lemon oil in a spray to keep your cut fruit fresh until serving.

Nervousness.  When combined with lavender oil and diffused into a room, you’ll find you feel less nervous and your mood uplifted.

Moodiness.  Chase away the moody blues (not the band), with a bit of blah-reducing lemon oil.  Diffuse it or apply topically.

Hard Skin.  Next time you notice hard, crusty skin on your feet, (e.g. corns, calluses or bunions) regularly add a few drops of lemon oil for softer skin.

Brighter Complexion.  Lemon oil can help remove dead skin cells and exfoliate.  For a homemade exfoliant, add 4-5 drops to a small amount of oatmeal and water for a homemade scrub.

LAVENDER:

Soothe Skin.  As long as the skin is not broken or raw, lavender can be used to bring soothing comfort to irritated skin.

Massage.  Lavender oil can be used to bring relaxation during massage.

Calming Nerves.  Dilute a few drops in a carrier oil and rub onto bottoms of feet or on pulse points.  Also either diffuse with an essential oil diffuser or rub onto palms and breathe deeply.

Bedtime & Kids.  Rub a few drops of oil on the soles of the little one’s feet, diluted in a carrier oil.  Also touch the under-side of their nose so they can smell it and develop a calming routine with a familiar smell.  It’s a great routine and provides peaceful memories for little ones as they grow older.

Bedtime & Adults.  Many adults suffer from not being able to relax enough at bedtime in order to sleep through the night.  Diffusing lavender in the bedroom can help promote calm, restful nights.  Also rub a drop onto each big toe.

Insect Repellant.  Lavender oil is a unique insect repellant that is safe, effective and has no side effects.  Before reaching for the next can of over-the-counter bug spray, try essential lavender oil.

Insects & Moth Repellant.  Place a few drops on a cotton ball for closets and linen drawers to ward off insects and moths.

Fabric Deodorizer.  Place a few drops on cloth or laundry drier sheet to freshen laundry scent and naturally deodorize.

Child’s Pillow.  Place a few drops on your child’s stuffed animal or pillow to help comfort them at night.

Romance and Social Settings.  Diffuse the lavender oil to set the mood for a nice romantic evening or for a relaxed social event.

Day Spa.  Lavender is a nice oil for diffusing, cleaning the air, and bringing balance to any atmosphere.  Diffusing it in a certain area of your day-spa can really bring a sense of balance and tranquility.

Infused Tea.  Use lavender in a cup of hot tea can help as a nice wind-down drink after dinner or with a decaffeinated tea before bed.  It can also be used with a nice Chamomile tea or “Sleepy time” tea before bed or when trying to relax.

Breads & Cooking.  Experiment with lavender oil (digestible kind) in your fruit breads and other dishes. It can provide a wonderful complexity and aromatics to some of your favorite dishes.  Try adding a drop or 2 to a few bites before adding it to a complete recipe to be sure you like it first.  There is a delicious lavender & lemon pound cake on Pinterest.

Relaxing Bath.  Try adding several drops to a warm, relaxing bath, while playing some soft music and lighting some nice candles.  A little extra time on those days when you really need a break after work or from the kids can really bring you back to a sense of normalcy.

Studying.  Inhale some drops of lavender before and during a test, and during study, to help an older student feel relaxed.

Presentation & Job Interview Nerves.  Put a drop or two of lavender under the nasal passages to promote a calm before a presentation before peers, colleagues or before a big job interview.

Bath Salts.  Mix with pure bath salts or epsom salts and wrap up to use later.  They make great gifts!

Feminine Issues.  Using very warm compresses, apply lavender oil around the abdomen while inhaling the diffuse vapors to help calm and relax the mind and body.

Improve Concentration.  Because of its ability to stabilize mood, reduce nervousness/restlessness, and help calm the nerves, lavender has been reported by many to help improve the ability to concentrate and focus.

Deodorants.  Lavender oil is great in homemade deodorants. Some ancient civilizations used essential oils for bathing and beautification/perfuming processes weeks and months before weddings and other ceremonies.

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

I hope this helps you in some way!

Blessings

 

Hi, I’m Karen, and I’m an addict

aromatherapy, clean, cleanliving, cooking with essential oils, diy, do-it-yourself, empowerment, essential oils, female, feminine, healing, health, holistic, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, immunity, marriage, mental, natural living, nutrition, pure, wellness

DELETE

It’s true.  From the moment I tried lavender oil on my feet before bed, and slept like a baby, I was hooked and needed all of the oils I could get my grubby little hands on.

My hope is that my blog will provide you essential oil education, and the many benefits/uses of essential oils for improving your lifestyle, uplifting your mood, relaxation, promoting wellness in your body and mental focus.  You’ll find cooking and baking recipes with essential oils, and do-it-yourself personal products that can save your family money.  And I may toss in a few other blogs in there just to keep you on your toes.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, there is a LOT of buzz in the world of essential oils right now, and their many health benefits.   From my sources (I have sources!), we apparently haven’t even scratched the surface of their many benefits.  There is so much to learn and I will be a student for life.  I will also be sure to provide you with as much information as I can on the safety in using these potent oils the correct way.

But here’s a little background story about me.  I mean, most people will probably never read this post…so I could basically say that I am an alien named Bork from the planet Pluto (is it still a considered a planet?  At first it was, and then it wasn’t, and I think we are back to it being a planet again?)  Anyhoo, my point is, while no one may read this, I still want to share my thoughts.  It’s therapeutic, you know?

In about 2010, I was suffering from all sorts of symptoms, and basically felt like I was falling apart.  I visited a nutritionist, Dr. Mitchell, for over 2 years (2-3 times per month), who detoxed me from mercury and a plethora of other toxins that build up in my body over the years.  Like many Americans, I was pretty abusive to my body thanks to a horrifying diet of McDonald’s, well, basically all fast food, and those horrible $2.00 frozen meals-in-a-box.  Oh, and I can’t forget to mention all the Slim Fast shakes I drank daily and daily desserts thrown in the mix.

Dr. Mitchell taught me healthier eating habits, and it did help some of my symptoms.  For a while.  But then my family had some hiccups, major ones, that brought back the horrible anxiety and depression I had suffered years before.  I had been off of my meds for 4 years, but it looked like, at this point, that I needed to go back on them.  I wasn’t jumping for joy about that, but the meds did help me feel normal again.

Some years went by, still on these 2 drugs, and my sugar/carb cravings grew insanely intense.  I’d find myself buying cookies, ice cream, etc., everyday, multiple times per day.  Anything coated in sugar, or made with sugar, or even turns INTO sugar when your body metabolizes it (like breads, potatoes, cheese, etc.), was my true love.  It was sickening really, but also frighteningly hard to overcome!  I had gained 20 lbs, and my health was declining again.

Long story short, I’ve had multiple tests from various doctors on my gastric system, my blood, my thyroid, etc., but no doctor could figure out what was wrong with me (unfortunately, I’m still paying for those tests…and probably will be for a long time…can I get an Amen?  Or perhaps a check made out to me for $5,000?  Thanks.)

Then a lightbulb went off – my symptoms were not from any specific health problem…they were side effects from Viibryd (my anti-anxiety medication).  Viibryd was pretty new to the market when I started it. Despite all the horrible reviews, I gave it a try….for 4 years.  While it did help my mood and nerves, it had the usual laundry list of side effects, that slowly crept up on me until I didn’t realize they were side effects anymore, and thought I was just very unhealthy.

I’ve listed the lovely laundry list of side effects below (and added some of my own notations, which I believe Phizer should add to their warning label:

SIDE EFFECTS MAY INCLUDE:  actions that are out of control, anxiety (Really??  Because I thought by taking this drug I would not have that problem anymore.), burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feelings, chest pain or discomfort, extra heartbeat, fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse, irritability, shakiness in the legs, arms, hands or feet, talking feeling, and acting with excitement, trembling or shaking of the hands or feet, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, trouble sleeping, abdominal or stomach pain, abnormal dreams (MORE LIKE DEMONIC NIGHTMARES!!), aching or discomfort in the lower legs or sensation of crawling in the legs, acid or sour stomach, belching (Um, belching ALL DAY LONG, EVERY 5 MINUTES would be more accurate), blindness (Seriously, now why would a pesky little side effect like BLINDNESS be a problem for anyone?), bloated or full feeling, blurred vision, change in taste, difficulty with moving, drowsiness, dry eyes (They forgot to mention “SEVERE” dry eyes, as in needing a prescription of Restasis to combat side effects of my prescription.  Make sense? I didn’t think so either), excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines (more like so bloated you appear 9 months pregnant), feeling jittery, headache, severe and throbbing, heartburn (as in, needing a prescription of Prilosec to fix it.), increased or decreased appetite (YA THINK?? 2 cookies with breakfast, a dessert at lunch, and then ice cream after dinner is borderline Compulsive Eating Disorder, in my honest opinion), increased sweating (more like, move to North Pole or never feel dry again!), indigestion, loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance, loss of appetite (yeah…okay…), muscle pain or stiffness, night sweats, not able to have an orgasm (Um, I won’t go there), pain in the joints, passing gas (HAH! More like a hot air balloon will quickly fill your intestines and any one in the room will feel the vibrations, if you catch my drift?), restlessness, sleepiness or unusual drowsiness, stomach discomfort or upset, unusual tiredness or weakness (more like, you will be dragging yourself through life by the skin of your teeth) and vomiting.

Ok, so I may have been a little dramatic….but come on, that list of side effects is ridiculous.

I can proudly say, that today I am fully weaned off of Viibryd (yay!).  Thanks to healthier food choices, natural products, natural remedies, etc., I am getting by just fine.  I’ve gotten sick only once in the past 3 years, which was unheard of for me!  That in itself is a miracle.

It has taken me years to incorporate healthier foods into my diet, remove bad foods from my diet, and to attain a love for using/making my own products.  I’ve had a poop-load of failures along the road, but I feel I am on the right track…finally.  It’s not easy, but it’s worth it!!!

I hope my blog can give you ideas to improve your lifestyle, improve your mood, make you chuckle and just feel plain alive again. 🙂

Blessings!