Oh Em Ghee! Homemade Ghee

Acid Reflux, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, Baking, cancer, cleanliving, Cookie, cooking, cooking with essential oils, creamy, delicious, dinner, diy, do-it-yourself, food, ghee, gluten-free, gut health, healing, health, holistic, home project, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, immunity, indigestion, natural living, natural medicine, non-gmo, nutrition, organic, pure, recipe, salve, Uncategorized, wellness

Sorry, I couldn’t help the corny title.  I’m a corny girl, living in a corny world.

If you’re a vegan, you’ll want to skip this post – it’s not for you.  Why?  Because…BUTTER! Well, were actually talking about ghee – but ghee is made from butter, and butter is from an animal, so…

Read on to discover what makes ghee a healthier cooking/baking substitute for butter and oils, why it’s good for your health, and when/where it originated.

WHAT IS GHEE?

Ghee is a clarified butter that is stable at room temperature with many health benefits. The lactose and casein are removed during the simmering process and what remains is a healthy, delicious oil with a nutty, buttery flavor.

Ghee has been used for thousands of years, but the first known use was 2000 B.C. It originated in India, but more recently, it is being used all over the world for its health benefits. Back in the early days, it may have been used for trade, and so it had to be stable to carry on long trips.  This is another reason ghee is popular today.  You can leave a jar of ghee on your counter for 3 months, whereas butter will go rancid much earlier than that.

HEALTH BENEFITS

  • High smoke point (485 degrees) (whereas, butter is 350 degrees).
  • Long shelf-life.
  • Great go-to for baking, sautéing and roasting.
  • Contains fat-soluble vitamins (A, E and K).
  • No lactose or casein! Great for lactose intolerant peeps.
  • Contains conjugated linoleic acid.
  • Lots of butyric acid. Great for gut health & healthy insulin levels; fights inflammation.
  • Strong, nutty-like buttery flavor (you can use less when cooking).
  • Great for weight loss.
  • Helps digestion.
  • Helps inflammation.
  • Great for burns & rashes
  • Great for moisturizing the skin and scalp.
  • Great for keto diets, lactose diets, Whole30 and other weight loss diets.

Just as with any saturated fats, don’t go crazy and put it on everything.  Use it sparingly as you would with butter or other oils.

WHERE DO I GET GHEE?

You will find jars of ghee at most grocery stores, especially health food or ethnic grocers.

I wouldn’t recommend purchasing a cheap-o or non-organic brand, if you’d rather purchase than make your own.  I tried a cheap one many years ago and had to toss it – disgusting flavor.  While I’m sure the organic ghee brands at the health food store are acceptable, why not make your own?  Homemade is always better, right?  It’s fresher, longer-lasting and you can be proud that you made something healthy.

While I wouldn’t recommend slathering ghee all over your morning toast (strong flavor), I do recommend adding some along with your cooking oil (preferably avocado or extra virgin olive oil) when sautéing veggies to add some depth to the flavor.

I also recommend using a little ghee in your baked goods in place of a portion of the butter required.  I wouldn’t recommend replacing the entire amount of oil or butter in a baking recipe with ghee.  The nutty butter flavor might overpower the intended flavor of your baked goods.

And now, if you’re up for it, make your own delicious ghee at home with the simple recipe below.  I didn’t invent this recipe – it’s actually all over the Internet.  I just provided some of my own tips and added some visuals.

There really isn’t any magic or skill in making ghee, except for the type of butter you use. It’s verrrrry important that you don’t substitute the grass-fed, organic, unsalted butter for anything of lesser quality.

HOMEMADE GHEE RECIPE

You will need:

16 oz (4 sticks) grass-fed, organic, unsalted butter (do NOT substitute)
16 oz glass mason jar
Clean cheesecloth (about 3 or 4 layers)
Saucepan/pot (preferably stainless steel)
Spoon
A discard bowl (glass or stainless steel) or a mesh skimmer

Instructions:

Shove a few layers of cheesecloth into the mouth of a clean mason jar (with a bit hanging over the outside) and put it aside.  You don’t need as much cheesecloth hanging over the sides as my photo below – I grabbed too much.

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Melt all butter in a heavy saucepan/pot on medium-low.  As it’s melting, stir occasionally and keep at a simmer.  It can take up to 20 minutes until the milk proteins have separated from the oil.  You’ll know this has happened when you see white foam on the top and some bits of milk fats on the bottom of the pan.

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With either a mesh skimmer or a large spoon, gently skim the foam off the top and toss into a glass or steel discard bowl. (When you’re done for the day, let this discarded foam/butter harden, and then wipe it all out into a trash can with some paper towels. DO NOT run it down your garbage disposal. Oils will harden and clog your drain!)

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There may be a few more stages where it foams up again and again.  Just keep skimming and discarding until there is no more foam.  The milk fats on the bottom of the pan will continue to brown (not burn!).  If it’s burning, you have the heat too high and it’s ruined. Browning of the milk fats creates that special, nutty flavor.

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Once the oil is clear (no more foam), turn off the heat and allow to cool.

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Carefully pour the oil through the cheesecloth into the mason jar (hold the cheesecloth down on the outside so that it doesn’t fall inside). Toss the cheesecloth.

Cool completely before sealing with a lid or putting in the fridge.

Once completely cool, tighten a lid on it and date the outside. Your ghee should last up to 3 months on the counter at room temperature, or up to 1 year in the fridge.

Enjoy!


Karen Kornichuk
Certified Aromatherapist
Member of National Association
for Holistic Aromatherapy

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Easy Breezy Non-Greasy Whipped Body Butter

aromatherapy, body butter, clean, cream, creamy, diy, diy lotion, do-it-yourself, essential oils, healing, health, holistic, home project, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, natural living, naturopath, popular oils, pure, recipe, remedy, restoration, restore, soothing, Uncategorized, wellness

 

The other day I posted a luxurious body cream recipe containing water-based ingredients.  It’s a little more involved that your typical body cream.  Who has time for that!  So, in the alternative, I wanted to give you another recipe that is simple, contains very few ingredients, and effective – AND NON-GREASY. 

The other day I had to formulate a tummy tightening/stretch mark blend for one of my Aromatherapy course case studies, and I ended up loving the end product.  I don’t yet know if it will tighten saggy skin, or lighten stretch marks (because there isn’t much out there that can do that!) – but it is super hydrating and velvety and will make the perfect every day moisturizer.

If you’re into DIY personal products, you’ve most likely seen a bazillion recipes for whipped body butters containing coconut oil.  I’m sorry guys, but I’m soooo over that stuff… Really, it was a great discovery for me over 5 years ago, but I’ve moved on to something more sophisticated (i.e. LESS GREASY!!!!) – Babassu Oil.  Yes, I do have a Silky Whipped Body Butter recipe that contains coconut oil, which is very good, but only before bedtime…under socks and pajamas.  For years I brought that stuff to every “Make & Take” essential oils class that I taught.  From this point forward, I’m using this newer, snazzier, simpler body butter recipe.  And you may want to as well!

This recipe does not contain any water-based ingredients, such as aloe vera, hydrosols or distilled water.  This means that no preservatives are needed!  Raw oils and butters do not need preservatives and so your end product should last you a much longer time (12 months or more) if stored in a dark, cool area (Antarctica has nothing on my house!  I just keep it on my nightstand).  And if you add essential oils with antibacterial properties to it, it couldn’t hurt!

While water-based body creams soak in to your skin a tad quicker, I usually make up every excuse in the book NOT to make them because of the possibility of bacteria and all the stress of sanitizing everything with alcohol first.  I also hate having to use up an expensive bottle of natural preservative before it expires. Ironically, natural preservatives don’t stay preserved very long…go figure.

This body butter has a light, fluffy, almost whipped cream-like texture.  It soaks in pretty quickly, but is thick enough to create a great moisture barrier – keeping moisture inside where it belongs. It leaves my skin moisturized all day and incredibly velvety.

How is this possible?  The Babassu Oil.

If you hadn’t read about Babassu Oil on my other blog, here are some of the benefits:

  • It is light weight
  • It doesn’t clog pores
  • It soaks in faster than coconut oil
  • It is less greasy/messy than coconut oil
  • It has a very mild scent
  • It mixes better with essential oils
  • It helps heal damaged skin
  • It reduces redness & inflammation
  • It cools on contact
  • It repairs, softens & shines hair
  • It nourishes your scalp
  • It promotes healthy nails & cuticles
  • It locks in moisture
  • It helps prevent body odor
  • If you have the food grade, it’s a healthy alternative to other cooking oils
  • It improves pet health
  • It rejuvenates wooden surfaces

Read more about this oil’s benefits HERE

Just look at these photos.  Doesn’t it look scrumptious?  Like a white buttercream frosting?

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So, let’s crack on already!  (Sorry, I’ve been binge watching “Being British: Joel & Lia” YouTube videos lately, and am starting to use their slang!)

Easy Breezy, Non-Greasy Body Butter

(Makes just over 4 oz body butter)

2 Tbs (1 oz) sweet almond oil (substitutes w/ jojoba or apricot kernel oil)
6 Tbs (3 oz) raw mango butter (substitutes w/ raw shea or cocoa butter)
1 Tbs (1/2 oz) babassu oil  (I found mine here)
120-180 drops of your favorite essential oils (it mays seem like a lot, but for body oils and butters, it’s the recommended amount)

Before you start, you will want to liquify the babassu oil.  It’s a solid in cooler temps, but melts when you put the bottle in a hot water bath. So, fill a large bowl with hot water, and let your bottle of babassu sit inside it for a bit until you can get it to melt a bit.

In a double boiler (or a pot full of water, with a smaller pot sitting on top of the water), melt the raw butter and the babassu oils together. Add sweet almond oil and stir until fully melted together. Let sit to cool in the pot, or pour into a clean mixing bowl, until it’s thickened and no longer clear. You can refrigerate it, but make sure it’s cooled down first, so that it doesn’t create condensation on the lid.

If you refrigerated your mixture, let it sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes to soften it before mixing.

Add your essential oils to the cooled mixture. Beat the mixture for a few minutes with an electric mixer until white and fluffy.

SUGGESTIONS FOR USE:
(body only):

  • Hands, feet & elbows before bed (add Frankincense, Lavender & Tangerine)
  • Moisturizer after shower (add Lavender, Jasmine & Bergamot)
  • Hand cream at work or your kitchen/bathroom sink (add eucalyptus & orange)
  • Hydrate aging/crepey skin (wrinkly) (add Cypress, Frankincense & Helichrysum)
  • Massage a dab onto dry/split ends hair before bed.  Wash out next day (add Lavender)

My favorite EO aroma combos:

Frankincense & Lavender
Tangerine & Bergamot
Clary Sage & Lavender
Clary Sage & Rose
Jasmine and Lavender
Cypress and Lavender
Hawaiian Sandalwood
Rosemary & Peppermint
Litsea, Eucalyptus & Orange
Rosemary and Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus & Orange
Lemon & Lime
Patchouli & Lavender
Vetiver & Lavender

 


Karen Kornichuk
Certified Aromatherapist
Member of National Association
for Holistic Aromatherapy

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Body Cream Perfection!

aromatherapy, aromatic, body butter, calming, cleanliving, cream, creamy, diy, diy lotion, do-it-yourself, essential oils, healing, health, holistic, home project, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, lavender, natural living, non-gmo, organic, popular oils, pure, recipe, remedy, renew, restore, soothing, Uncategorized, wellness

This lotion/cream recipe is literally perfect!  (Too bad I can’t take credit for the original recipe, as it was created by well-known herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar, but I’ve done some tweaking to make it my own).  I hope you love it as much as I do!  Difficulty level is a little higher, but your skin will thank you for the efforts! (I’m going to post an easier version shortly).

When my Aromatherapy instructor shared this recipe with us, I was thinking we were sort of special – but apparently there are many variations of it all over the Interwebs…  This cream has probably been made a bazillion times by people all over the world.  So, while we weren’t especially special, this recipe is truly special!

What I love most about this recipe is that you can change it up with different base oils and/or hydrosols, to suit your needs and it always turns out perfect (but make sure you don’t replace a liquid oil with a solid-type oil, or the results won’t be so perfect!).  It yields approximately 16 oz. of cream, so make sure to have the appropriate containers.

Let’s get started!

FIRST!  Let’s extend the shelf life of our cream by disinfecting all utensils, bowls, spoons, blender, etc. with 70% rubbing alcohol.  Put the rubbing alcohol in a clean spray bottle and spray all items to disinfect them.  Lay them on clean paper towels to dry, or hand dry them.  Bacteria from the tap water could cause nasties to grow in your luxurious cream (this is another reason why we use distilled water or aromatic hydrosols versus tap water).

Preservatives are a must with any type of cream with a water-based ingredient, such as aloe vera gel and hydrosols.  There is a longer shelf life for body butters made with oils and butters only.  This recipe contains aloe vera gel and a hydrosol, so it will grow funky stuff within weeks if not preserved!  I’ve found some natural preservatives on the market to help increase the shelf life of our cream.

Leucidal SF or Leucidal Complete are nice, broad-range and more natural preservatives used mostly in creams and lotions.  Leucidal also provides extra silkiness to your cream.  Who doesn’t want silky skin!?  I sure do…especially since I recently hit 40!

One of the main base oils I chose to use instead of cocoa butter (and am currently obsessed with) is the incredible, but somewhat pricey, Babassu oil.  It is like coconut oil in that it is a solid and melts when warmed in your hand, but it seems to get a bit harder when cooled.

Babassu oil comes from the nuts of the babassu tree in Brazil.  It has so many benefits.  Here are a few to persuade you into loving it:

It is light weight
It doesn’t clog pores
It soaks in faster than coconut oil
It is less greasy/messy than coconut oil
It has a very mild scent
It mixes better with essential oils
It helps heal damaged skin
It reduces redness & inflammation
It cools on contact
It repairs, softens & shines hair
It nourishes your scalp
It promotes healthy nails & cuticles
It locks in moisture
It helps prevent body odor (this would be great in my Deodorant recipe!)
If you have the food grade, it’s a healthy alternative to other cooking oils
It improves pet health
It rejuvenates wooden surfaces

…just to name a few. 

You can read more about Babassu oil HERE.  I may replace coconut oil in all of my recipes with babassu from this point forward – if I can find a good quality, lower-priced supplier.

Below are photos taken step-by-step as I moved through the process. The actual recipe is at the bottom:

Gather all ingredients, sterilize and dry. Ignore the shea butter. I ended up changing the recipe and replaced it with a more liquid oil.

Measure all aqueous ingregients into a sterilized measuring cup.

If using babassu oil, you may need to liquify it by placing in a bowl of hot tap water.

Melt all oils (babassu oil, almond oil, beeswax), minus essential oils, in a double boiler until completely combined.

Fully melted!

Pour hot oils into sterilized blender and cool until room temp. Blend on high and slowly pour in water ingredients through the hole on blender lid. When fully combined, scrape into a sterilized, glass bowl.

Fold in your essential oils with a sterilized spoon until combined. It is a tad blue because I added a few drops of skin-nourishing Blue Tansy essential oil to my cream.

Pour into glass cosmetic jars if you prefer, but make sure your hands are clean when you scoop some out.

Or pipe into lotion containers. It’s much more sterile this way, since your hands never touch the inside.

I had on hand three 4oz lotion squeeze bottles, and one 2 oz round cosmetic container.  I filled all containers the top, and there was enough remaining for me to apply to my super dry arms and legs.

This recipe is velvety, silky and luxurious, and I slather it on after the shower (make sure to have clean & dry hands before putting them into your jar, or use a utensil to scoop it out)

ROSEMARY GLADSTAR’S “PERFECT CREAM” (my personal variation)

Group 1 (Waters)
2/3 cup white rose water/hydrosol (or you can used distilled water)
1/3 cup pure aloe vera gel (no junk from a drugstore – the real stuff)
48 drops of essential oils of your choice (or less)
1/2 oz. Leucidal Liquid SF (natural preservative/antimicrobial)

Group 2 (Oils)
3/4 cup apricot kernel or sweet almond oil
1/3 cup Babassu oil (or shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter)
1/2-1 oz grated beeswax
1/2 tsp. Vitamin E oil

FIRST, see my note above about cleaning everything with rubbing alcohol and drying with/on paper towels.

  • Combine your hydrosol, aloe vera gel and preservative in the glass measuring cup and set aside (cover with saran wrap if you have cats in the home – their fur gets into everything!)
  • Measure the babassu/mango/shea butter (whichever you chose), and beeswax into a double boiler and heat on low until melted completely.  Transfer the melted liquid to your blender, cover with a paper towel, and allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to help cool it down.
  • When oils have reached room temperature, secure lid and turn blender on high. Add the water/aloe mixture through the hole at the top of the blender in a slow and steady stream.  (Adding slowly is KEY to getting the waters and oils to emulsify well).  When 3/4 of the water has been added, monitor the cream in the blender. At a certain point, it will thicken and pull above the blades, no longer accepting more liquid.  If okay, add the rest of the liquid.
  • Scrape as much out of the blender as you can, into an alcohol disinfected bowl, and gently fold in your essential oils with to make sure all oils and water are incorporated evenly.
  • Transfer to disinfected storage jars.  The cream will thicken as it sets.
  • Label your jars with all of the ingredients used and store in cool location (the fridge is best!).  Use within 3 months, or until you see mold (Eek!).  If you added preservatives, it should last 6 months to a year in the fridge.

Enjoy!


Karen Kornichuk
Certified Aromatherapist
Member of National Association
for Holistic Aromatherapy

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Easy Homemade Guacamole & Chips With Lime & Cilantro Oils

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


DISCLAIMER:  Not all essential oils are created equal, nor are all brands ingestible.  Most oils are adulterated, and contain fillers and contaminants.  The essential oils I cook with and/or ingest are 100% pure according to full disclosures of sourcing, testing and third-party testing for absolute purity.  Please do not buy oils from the store and assume that you can ingest them without first contacting a professional.


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
  • Less than 1/2 drop Cilantro essential oil, (use a toothpick, seriously)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or 2 pressed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 drop Black Pepper essential oil 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!)

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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!


Karen Kornichuk
Certified Aromatherapist
and Member of the National
Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

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Cassia & Cardamom Oil Glazed Pecans

Baking, Cardamom, Christmas, comfort food, cooking, cooking with essential oils, crunchy, delicious, dessert, diy, essential oils, food, gifts, gluten-free, health, Holiday, home project, homemade, natural living, nutmeg, nutrition, organic, recipe

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DISCLAIMER:  Not all essential oils are created equal, nor are all brands ingestible.  Most oils are adulterated, and contain fillers and contaminants.  The essential oils I cook with and/or ingest are 100% pure according to full disclosures of sourcing, testing and third-party testing for absolute purity.  Please do not buy oils from the store and assume that you can ingest them without first contacting a professional.


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!  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!

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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.


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

Karen Kornichuk
Certified Aromatherapist
and Member of the National Association
for Holistic Aromatherapy

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Vegetable Enzyme All-Purpose Cleaner – And Baby Shampoo??

anti-cancer, baby, bath, cancer, clean, cleanliving, crunchy, diy, do-it-yourself, essential oils, health, holistic, home project, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, immunity, natural living, pure, recipe, shampoo, soap, wellness

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UPDATE!  2 years after purchasing a gallon of Botanic Gold (n/k/a Enviro-One), we finally ran out.   We used it consistently for everything from foaming hand soap, to cleaning up cat puke, to all-purpose cleaner spray and more.   It has saved my family some pretty good coin over the past 2 years!  Just wanted to share because this stuff is awesome!!  It cleans grease and grime in the kitchen better than store-bought cleaners.  I spray it on my stove, counters, cat puke, etc., and within seconds, it wipes off so easily!   It’s our go-to for EVERYTHING.  For reals.

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Recently on Facebook, I came across an article stating that Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo contained formaldehyde, an ingredient that is not necessary in any of our personal care products.  J&J has since changed their ways, but I am still not convinced that using even their “Naturals Baby Shampooline is the best thing.  The ingredient list is posted below.  Pay particular attention to the bolded ingredient at the bottom:

Water, Decyl Glucoside (Source: Coconut, Palm Kernel, Corn), Cocoglycerides (Source: Coconut, Palm Kernel), Sodium Coco-Sulfate (Source: Coconut, Palm), Coco-Glucoside (Source: Coconut, Palm Kernel), Glyceryl Oleate (Source: Sunflower), Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate (Source: Coconut, Palm, Soybean), Glycerin (Source: Coconut, Palm, Soybean), Xanthan Gum (Source: Soy, Corn), Sodium Benzoate (Source: *), Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose (Source: Plant, Mineral), Citric Acid (Source: *), Sodium Hydroxide (Source: *), Parfum (Source: Plant), * The remaining ingredients are essential to blend the product together and maintain effectiveness.

First, what are these “remaining ingredients that are essential to blend the product together and maintain effectiveness,” as stated in the last sentence?  I would sure like to know – I mean, if they are natural, why not include them on the label?

Second, why does a “natural” shampoo need all of those extra ingredients?  There are cleansers that are all natural, and don’t have a bunch of stuff added to them.  I understand many of their ingredients act as emollients, and help soften/moisturize skin, but they are not necessary.  All-natural oils, such as sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil, are a better substitute for retaining moisture in the skin, and can be added to a homemade shampoo for it’s added benefits.

The main reason I posted that listing is the bolded ingredient Sodium Hydroxide.  Why is Sodium Hydroxide concerning?  Because the New Jersey Department of Health has a “Hazardous Substance Facts Sheet” for this chemical, which is posted in industrial facilities so that workers know how dangerous it is:

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Sure, I know, this fact sheet is for factory workers who are dealing with the concentrated chemical in it’s purest form, but even a tiny amount of a toxic chemical has no place in a baby shampoo.  In my honest opinion.

Here is another clip from that same Fact Sheet:

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Billion dollar product companies like J&J claim that the actual amount of an otherwise toxic chemical is not actually toxic when a minimal amount is used in personal care products.  This may be true, but the question begging to be asked is – why is it used at all when there are more natural options out there?

Why do we blindly accept everything at the grocery store as safe, or even good, for us, just because it has pretty packaging, and the word “Natural” printed on it.  Does this make it actually good for you?  Not necessarily.

We are living in a time where we cannot trust multi-billions dollar corporations to have our children’s best interests at heart.  We are their advocates, nurturers, caretakers, etc., and need to be aware of these things.

By no means am I a “crunchy” person in all aspects of life, but I do try and cut out unnecessary toxins from my personal care, medication and cleaning products.  Every product that I make has a natural base (i.e., apple cider vinegar, or sweet almond oil, etc.) and then I add essential oils to it for its potent health benefits or cleansing properties.

Here is my proposition:  If you have the ability to make your own all-natural personal care and cleaning products for you and your family, then do it.  You will not regret it.

I don’t know about you, but when I make something in my own home, from all-natural ingredients that I choose, I know that my family is getting the best of the best.  Making your own personal products is not complicated, nor does it take up much of your time.  And it saves you money in the long run.

So, back to the lil ones.  Below is a super easy homemade baby shampoo recipe, that can also be used on their hair and body, and on yours too!  The base soap is an all natural botanical soap, made from plant enzymes, called Enviro-One, that can be used for just about everything:  skin care, brushing teeth, household cleaner, baby care, fruit/veggie washing, cleaning your toilet (!) and so much more.  (I love this stuff so much that I should get paid for how much I talk about it online!  (*hint, hint, Enviro-One executives*)

There are actually over 200 uses for Enviro-One all-natural soap.  I pick up mine at their website:  Enviro-One.  It is super concentrated, so it will last a very long time.  It may seem expensive, but when you use one part soap mixed with 10 parts water, and you can usually replace all of your cleaning and skin care products with it, it’s totally worth it in my opinion and experience.  My first gallon lasted me over 2 years.  (I have not been paid by Enviro-One to write this).

Just check out the back of the bottle – those ingredients!  Now that’s natural soap:

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Muuuuch better than the J&J, right?  I love how safe it is, and how much money it will save me.


 

Homemade Baby Shampoo Recipe:

– Plastic shampoo bottle
– Small amount Botanic Gold soap (see bottle for measurements)
1 Tbs of a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil
– (see below for amounts) 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils per ounce of soap mixture (see note in red below)

Combine ingredients together in a plastic shampoo bottle, shake and you’re done.

Essential Oil Options:

Babies 3+ months (2-3 drops oil per ounce soap):  lavender, roman chamomile, frankincense.  Or you might want to use 1-2 Tbs of a hydrosol (lavender, german chamomile hydrosols are gentler than essential oils)

Babies 6+ months. (3-5 drops oil per ounce soap): tea tree, bergamot, tangerine, sandalwood, geranium, helichrysum, cypress, cedarwood

Children 2+ years (not more than 20 drops per ounce soap):  basil, clary sage, ginger, juniper berry, lemongrass, lime, myrrh, parchouli, ylang ylang.

Essential oils are not only added for their scent, but for the slew of health benefits the provide.  While certain oils would be added for their cleansing properties, others can aid in relaxation/sleep, calming, skin irritations, etc.  If essential oils are added, please be sure not to get the soap in or near your baby’s eyes.

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oil company I purchase from gives 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 more information on how to get them, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.


Blessings!
Karen

Silky Whipped Body Butter

body butter, calming, Christmas, clean, cleanliving, cream, crunchy, diy, diy lotion, do-it-yourself, essential oils, health, Holiday, home project, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, natural living, non-gmo, pure, recipe, salve, soothing, wellness

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DISCLAIMER:  Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, and contain fillers and/or contaminants.  The essential oils I use are 100% pure according to full disclosures of sourcing, testing and third-party testing for absolute purity by the company.  Please do not buy oils from the store and assume that they are pure without first contacting a professional.


Winter in Chicago is pretty darn cold!  Between the below-zero windchill days, and the strong winds off of Lake Michigan, it is almost impossible to stay moisturized throughout the winter months.

I have tried numerous body creams and lotions, and while some commercial creams work pretty well, none are as luxurious as this do-it-yourself whipped body butter – or as pure.  Frankincense essential oil provides extra skin-soothing support, and I highly recommend you add it to this recipe.  (See my blog on Frankincense HERE.)

Rather than purchasing creams from the drug store, which contain parabens, mineral oils, formaldehyde, sulfates, preservatives, animal fillers, petrolatum, GMOs, etc., you can make your own all-natural body cream and actually nourish your body, rather than fill it with toxins.

My husband’s job causes him to wash his hands with a very harsh scrubbing soap, which leaves the tops of his hands dried out, red, rough and cracked from the lack of moisture.  I applied this body butter to his hands before bed, and by morning they were much softer and less irritated.

**Quick Tip!  If you have a mason jar or glass container that still has a price sticker on the bottom, any citrus essential oil will remove it, including all sticky residue, within a couple of minutes!  No need to purchase Goo Gone anymore once you have these oils.

I am always amazed at how having essential oils in your home can eliminate almost every store-bought cleaner.  (See my Essential Oils Cabinet project HERE.)

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Voila! No sticky residue left on the glass!

So, let’s get started!

First you will want to gather your ingredients (see recipe below):

In a double broiler or glass bowl, combine all ingredients except sweet almond, shea or jojoba oil and essential oil/oils.

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Bring to a low-medium heat. Stir constantly until all ingredients are melted.  Remove from heat, add your shea/almond/jojoba oil and stir to combine.  Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

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Place your bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes, or in the fridge for a few hours, until the oil is opaque and somewhat solidified.  It should no longer be a clear liquid.  (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture at this point!)

Once your oils have solidified, remove it from the fridge and add your essential oils. Using a hand mixer, whip for 10 minutes.  Body butter will become fluffy and look like whipped cream.

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Scoop into a glass jar, or if it is a gift, use a piping bag to give it more of a design.

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My piping design didn’t look so pretty….  So, I just filled the jar completely, tapping it on the counter each time to make sure it filled every space of the jar.

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If you are giving it as a gift, find some cute labels and ribbon and beautify it!  I think I will be giving one of these to all of my bosses this Christmas. It makes a thoughtful and budget-friendly gift for anyone.


SILKY WHIPPED BODY BUTTER

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw shea butter
1/2 cup raw mango butter
1/2 cup cold-pressed coconut oil
1/2 cup sweet almond oil, jojoba oil OR shea oil
20-30 drops essential oils of choice
10 drops of frankincense oil (optional – fyi, frankincense in creases the potency of other oils)

(*Essential Oil Variations, depending on your health needs:  Copaiba, cedarwood, heluchrysum, geranium, melaleuca, peppermint, lavender, chamomile, cassia wild orange, rosemary, eucalyptus, grapefruit.  NOTE:  If using any citrus essential oils, DO NOT go in the sun for up to 12 hours.  It could cause severe burns.  They are “photosensitive oils”.) 

Directions:

In a double broiler or glass bowl, combine all ingredients except almond/shea/jojoba oil and essential oil/oils.  Bring to a low-medium heat. Stir constantly until all ingredients are melted.  Remove from heat, add your almond oil and stir to combine.  Allow to cool.  

Move bowl to the fridge and allow to cool for 1 hour.  This is important because you do not want to add essential oils to hot oil, or it will decrease it’s wellness benefits.  It should look slightly opaque and soft at this point.  Remove from the fridge and add your essential oils. Using a hand mixer, whip for 10 minutes. Body butter will to become fluffy and form stiff peaks.  Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.


I HIGHLY recommend this body butter to anyone with dry or problem skin.  It has become my favorite body cream!  For extra added skin soothing, add frankincense and/or helichrysum oils to your butter.

Also, the types of base oils or butters that you add to this body butter makes a huge difference if you have eczema or sensitive/irritated skin.  I would recommend: raw shea butter, raw mango butter, almond oil, jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, hemp seed oil, borage seed oil, evening primrose oil, calendula oil, kukui nut oil, carrot seed oil, safflower oil, peach kernel oil, sea buckthorn oil, rosehip oil, tamanu oil, sesame oil, walnut oil.  They are all very soothing for eczema.

Until next time – stay moisturized!


Karen Kornichuk
Certified Aromatherapist
and Member of the National Association
for Holistic Aromatherapy
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