Guacamole With Lime & Cilantro Oils & Homemade Tortilla Chips! Delicious!

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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!)

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!

PLEASE READ:  Be sure to only use 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils from a company that puts a “Supplement Facts” on the bottles.  This means they are pure enough to ingest.  You can just ingest any old essential oil bought at a store.  The purity of most essential oil companies at the store are nowhere near close enough to ingest.  Only specific companies make therapeutic grade oils.  The ones I use are pretty awesome.  I have been using them for over 2 years now and use them every single day in one way or another.  Message me and I will send you the link on where to get them.

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!

Vegan Falafel with Cardamom and Coriander Oils & Tahini Sauce

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I became a fan of falafel the day I sunk my teeth into one of those warm balls of crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside, pillows of delight at an Israeli restaurant in Chicago on my lunch break.  Sorry I don’t have a photo.  I will take one the next time we make them and post it.

My husband is part Lebanese and grew up eating all sorts of Mediterranean foods.  He’s gotten me into eating some foods that I normally wouldn’t have tried.  Falafel with tahini sauce has become a cheap, healthy and easy dinner for us.

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) is one of the main ingredients in falafel and is a great source of iron, protein, fiber, manganese and folate.  There are also pecans in this recipe, so there’s a little more protein for ya!  All around, it’s a great side dish or meal for any day of the week.

I found this recipe online and tweaked it a little to my liking and to sub in some essential oils for the dried herbs (dried herbs have much less flavor and aren’t as potent!).

Enjoy!



FALAFEL
  (Vegan)

INGREDIENTS:

1 15-oz can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed & patted dry
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced (~ 3/4 cup | or sub white onion)
2 Tbsp finely chopped pecans (or sesame seeds)
1 1/2 tsp cumin, to taste (or cumin essential oil)
1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 drops Cardamom essential oil (send me a message for my brand)
2 drops Coriander essential oil (send me a message for my brand)
4 Tbsp whole wheat flour

3-4 Tbsp grape seed oil
Tahini Sauce for serving (see recipe below)
OPTIONAL: Panko bread crumbs for coating


INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to generously coat the pan – about 2 Tbsp.  Swirl it around to coat.

Add chickpeas, parsley, shallot, garlic, pecans, cumin, salt, pepper, coriander and cardamom oils to a food processor and mix/pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed.  You want a a crumbly dough, not a paste.

Add flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time, and pulse/mix to combine until you can mold the dough into a ball, but not sticky.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necesary.

Scoop out rounded Tablespoon amounts and gently form into 11-12 small discs (about 1/2” thick or more).

OPTIONAL STEP: Sprinkle on panko bread crumbs and gently press to adhere – flip and repeat. This will produce a crispier crust but is optional.

Once the oil is hot, add only as many falafel as will fit very comfortably in the pan at a time – about 5.

Cook for a total of 4-5 minutes, flipping when the underside is deep golden brown.  Serve warm with tahini sauce or hummus, inside a pita atop a bed of greens.

 (NOTES: Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator covered for several days. Freeze after that to keep fresh for up to 1 month.)



TAHINI SAUCE FOR FALAFEL

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup tahini sesame seed paste
3/4 cup lukewarm water, or more for consistency
3 cloves raw garlic (or 5 cloves roasted garlic)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp salt (or more to taste)
2 tsp fresh parsley, minced (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put tahini paste, lukewarm water, garlic, lemon juice and salt together in a food processor or blender till sauce is creamy and ivory-colored.  You may need to scrape the sides of the processor periodically during processing.

After a few minutes of blending, sauce will turn into a rich, smooth paste.  If mixture is too thick, slowly add more water until it reaches the preferred consistency.

Taste often during the blending process; add more lemon juice or salt, if desired.

 

Lemon Water Tonic – A Miracle? Seems that way!

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Good morning!

I have to start out by telling you flat out that this tonic is pretty darn amazing.  I feel the need to shout it from the rooftops because my results after drinking this tonic for about 6 months have been pretty life changing.  In my opinion, it’s a miracle drink – I can say that since I’m not trying to sell it to you. 😉

I’ve had gastric issues for about 6 years now, and nothing ever helped me.  I saw so many doctors and did so many tests to see what was wrong with me – I’ll be paying off those bills for quite a while!  What a waste – the results didn’t tell me anything helpful.

I had a laundry list of symptoms that were unexplained, so I started going to a nutritionist.  I went to her monthly for a couple of years to gently detox my system from heavy metals and other environmental toxins.  She taught me about making healthier food choices, and why whole foods and whole food supplements were important.  I felt somewhat better, but still had many unexplained symptoms.

When I first started making this drink, I only used warm water with a fresh-squeezed lemon, honey and apple cider vinegar.  I drank it every morning before my breakfast for a couple of months.  At first, I wasn’t sure if it was helping my gastric issues.  But since I had read so many wonderful things about lemon water, I knew that if I kept drinking it I would benefit from it eventually.  I learned that raw, unfiltered honey has the most health benefits, so I started using that instead of the cheap-o kind I was using (think plastic bottle in the shape of a bear….horrible).  Then, I read that adding baking soda to lemon water has even more health benefits, even cancer prevention, so I started adding that to my drink.

All I can say is WOW!  I sure noticed some changes.  I no longer had excessive gas after every meal.  I wasn’t bloating as often.  I wasn’t burping as much throughout the day (I would literally burp every couple of minutes).  I also noticed that I didn’t have explosive bouts of diarrhea (sorry, TMI?) after eating ice cream or pizza.  My skin is clearer (but I also use Arbonne’s anti-aging skin care, which has something to do with that!), and I haven’t gotten sick in a while.

I also now take digestive enzymes with every meal, to help my stomach break down the food.  And I take very good quality supplements.  I know that everything must play a part in how much better I am feeling today vs. 6 years ago.

I always recommend this lemon tonic to anyone who tells me that they have digestive issues.  I will probably drink this tonic for as long as I live.  Even if you don’t have stomach issues, there are so many other health benefits (listed below) that it doesn’t hurt to try it for yourself.  If you are consistent and drink this tonic every single morning before breakfast, you will notice changes eventually.  Still a skeptic?  Google “lemon honey water” and read on!  There are so many great articles by doctors and health and wellness practitioners praising lemon water.

So, you’re probably wondering, “Why lemon, honey, baking soda and apple cider vinegar?  What makes them so special?”  I have gathered some information and compiled it all here:

Goodness in the Lemon

Lemons are phenomenal little citrus fruits because they are rich in vitamin C, which enhances beauty by rejuvenating the skin from the inside.  It helps in weight loss, and is a very alkaline fruit (once it is in the body – otherwise it is acidic).

Lemons are a great source of polysaccharides, organic acids especially citric acid, lipids, carotenoid, vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, bitter limonoids, potassium, bioflavonoids, and vitamin C.  Lemons also include volatile oil (in the peel – where the lemon essential oils come from), limonene, alpha-terpinene, alpha-pinene, citral, coumarins, mucilage, pectins, and bioflavonoids (pith and peel).

Goodness in the Honey

Honey is a great source of good carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids.  Honey contains small amounts of the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6.  It also contains vitamin C, and the minerals calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, selenium, chromium and manganese.  The darker the honey, the greater antioxidants.  Honey also contains organic acids such as acetic, butanoic, formic, citric, succinic, lactic, malic, pyroglutamic and gluconic acids, and a number of aromatic acids.

Goodness in the Apple Cider Vinegar

(This will knock your socks off!)  I use Bragg’s organic ACV, which says “With the Mother” on the front of the bottle.  This phrase means that it still contains all of the good stuff, unlike other apple cider vinegars that are void of it.  ACV contains pectin, Vitamin C, Vitamins B1, B2 and B6, biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, and small amounts of minerals like potassium, sodium, phosphorus, calcium, and iron.  It has a wide range of benefits, such as it:  helps stomach troubles, cures hiccups, soothes a sore throat, could lower cholesterol, prevents indigestion, clears a stuffy nose, aids in weight loss, gets rid of dandruff, clears acne, boosts energy, cuts down on nighttime leg cramps, banishes bad breath, whitens teeth, fades bruises, helps control blood sugar.  Amazing – and it’s only about $8 for a large bottle at the grocery store!

Goodness in the Baking Soda

Baking Soda isn’t just for baking cookies!  When consumed, it works by immediately kicking stomach acid in the face, which then helps relieve heartburn, indigestion and even ulcer pain.  When consumed in a lemon tonic, it gets your digestive juices flowing, and will help your stomach in digestion.  If that wasn’t enough, it is also known to alkalize the body and help with kidney disease, cancer, athletic performance, skin conditions and can be used in homemade deodorants (RECIPE HERE) and toothpaste (RECIPE HERE).

Some Health Benefits of this tonic:

  1. Enhances metabolism.
  2. Aids digestion.
  3. Cleanses the intestines, which improves the absorption of nutrients.
  4. Boosts your immune system.
  5. Cleans your urinary tract.
  6. Balances pH levels.
  7. Clears skin.
  8. Promotes healing.
  9. Freshens breath.
  10. Hydrates your lymph system.
  11. Aids in weight loss.
  12. Boosts energy.

I am sure this isn’t even an exhaustive list.  But it is a very good start!  I feel that everyone should drink this daily, and I hope you will give it a try.  If you don’t have all of the ingredients, make sure you at least have water, honey, lemon and ACV.  Those are good enough in themselves for boosting your immune system.

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MY LEMON WATER TONIC RECIPE

  • 8 oz. warm water
  • 1 fresh-squeezed lemon
  • 1 tsp raw, Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs raw, unfiltered, organic honey (the darker the better)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (aluminum-free)

First, heat up the water in either a glass or ceramic mug, for 35-40 seconds in the microwave.  Next, stir in the honey until it is dissolved.  Then you can add in the ACV and baking soda.  (**you can toss in some of your favorite essential oils if you’d like!)

The last part is a little tricky.  Before you add the lemon juice to the mixture, be forewarned!   It can get messy if you don’t slooowly add it in.  The baking soda reacts to the acid in the lemon juice and foams up quick!!  I’ve had mine spill out onto my counter a few times.  If you slowly add the lemon juice, but use a spoon to break up the foam as you continue to pour the lemon juice, you should be alright.  I drink it with a stainless steel straw because the acid from the lemon can eat away at your teeth.  If you don’t have one, just sip it, but rinse your mouth with water from the faucet after you finish your drink.

So, if any of you start doing this daily, and notice some changes in your health, please feel free to tell me about it!  🙂  I love success stories!

Blessings,

Karen

IY All-Purpose & Mildew Cleansers

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Bonus blog!!  In addition to my hand soap blog, I also made some diy cleansers this weekend.  They left my bathroom cleaner and shower tiles super shiny and squeaky clean!

I don’t know about you, but when I clean with bleach, I feel pretty sick for the rest of the day.  Since learning that anything I touch enters my bloodstream within 26 seconds, I decided to rid my life of toxins, little-by-little.  So, the next obvious step would be to make homemade all-purpose and mildew cleansers, which are 100 times safer than products that contain bleach!

DIY ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER

1-2 tsp Apple cider vinegar

5-6 drops lemon (or any citrus) essential oil

Filtered water

Mix 5-6 drops of lemon oil with about 1-2 cups of filtered water in a glass spray bottle.  Add 1-2 tsp of apple cider vinegar.  Great for degreasing and will leave a nice shine to your countertops.  (**NOTE:  the spray bottle must be glass because the lemon essential oil will eat through plastic eventually.)

DIY MILDEW CLEANER

Apple cider vinegar

Water

10 drops of melaleuca essential oil

5 drops lavender essential oil

(For heavy mildew, use straight apple cider vinegar (do not add the water).  For lighter stains use a 1:1 mixture of apple cider vinegar to water).

Mix all together in a glass spray bottle.  Spray onto mildew and let sit for 30 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.

**Note, this does not remove dark mildew stains already set into tile grout.  Cleans/disinfects mildew from tiles, tubs, walls, etc.

Just slap a label on your bottles, so that you know what is in them, and store away from the reach of children and pets.

Your home may smell like vinegar for an hour or so, but the odor goes away pretty quickly.  It’s definitely better than the strong odor of bleach!

For more information on 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils, please e-mail me at karekorn@gmail.com.  I would be happy to help you!

Blessings,

Karen

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

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I wanted to share with you a quick recipe for a foaming hand soap that I love.  I ran out of foaming hand soap over the weekend.  Rather than buying more, I decided to make my own with ingredients that I had on-hand.  It smells delicious (think amaretto – if you buy the almond Dr. Bronner’s castile soap), and is so soft and silky.  It’s free from any synthetic toxins, and can be made for a fraction of the cost of some foaming soap brands at the store.

FOAMING HAND SOAP:

2 Tbs liquid castille soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s Hemp Almond – find here)

** UPDATE – I now use the Botanic Gold soap base, instead of the Dr. Bronner’s, which I mentioned in my baby shampoo blog HERE.  It is so concentrated – all you need is to pour a little in your soap bottle, then fill the rest with water.  Botanic Gold is AWESOME!

1 Tbs organic shea oil, organic jojoba oil OR organic almond oil

10-15 drops essential oils per 8 oz. (orange oil works well)

Water

Foaming soap bottle

Directions:

Pour the castile soap into the soap bottle.  Add in shea, jojoba or almond oil.  Add essential oils.

Fill up the rest of the way with water.  Make sure you leave room for the pump to fit in.  You may need to give the bottle a quick shake every time you use this soap, because the ingredients tend to separate. 

*Essential oil options:  lavender, melaleuca, lemon, grapefruit, peppermint, or your favorites.  That’s it!  Super easy and super cheap!

For more information, or to find out which oils I use (therapeutic-grade), e-mail me here:  karekorn@gmail.com.

Blessings,

Karen

DIY Silky Whipped Body Butter

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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 100% pure shea butter

1/2 cup 100% pure mango butter

1/2 cup organic coconut oil

1/2 cup organic almond oil, organic jojoba oil OR organic shea oil

20-30 drops of essential oils of choice

10 drops of frankincense oil (optional)

(*Essential Oil Variations:  peppermint, lavender chamomile, cassia wild orange, rosemary, eucalyptus, grapefruit.)

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 type of base oil that you add to this butter makes a huge difference.  If you have eczema or sensitive/irritated skin, organic calendula oil and organic African shea oil are both very soothing and are great eczema healers!!

If you would like to learn more about the high-quality, therapeutic-grade oils I use, please e-mail me at:  karekorn@gmail.com.

Blessings,

Karen

Sleepy-Time Bath Salts

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Here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to make homemade bath salts.   These are relaxing to your body and mind after a long day at work, and to help you wind down before bedtime.

Bath salts make a great gift for someone on a budget.  Or, you could just use them yourself!  Dim the lights, put on some soft music, light some candles and pour in your bath salts.  Your stress will drain away and you will sleep like a baby – I guarantee it!

First, grab your desired container (mason jars work best) and fill it with epsom salt but leave about an inch from the top.  Pour the sea salt in the remaining inch.

Next, pour the contents of your mason jar into a bowl, and mix thoroughly.   Add about a tablespoon and a half of almond oil, mix well (the consistency should be a little clumpy).

Add in your lavender buds, if using.

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Add in the essential oil; start with 10 drops and see what you think about the smell; add more if necessary.   I used 25 drops of calming oils, such as ylang ylang, roman chamomile, sandalwood, and 10 extra drops of lavender oil.

Pour the mixture back into your desired jars.  Dress up with cute ribbon and a tag if giving as a gift.

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Sleepy-Time Bath Salts

Epsom salt
Sea salt
Organic almond oil, shea oil OR jojoba oil
10-15 drops of lavender essential oil
Lavender flower buds, optional

Directions:

Grab your desired container (mason jars) and fill it with epsom salt but leave about an inch from the top).  Pour the sea salt in the remaining inch.  Pour the contents of your mason jar into a bowl, and mix thoroughly.

Add about a Tablespoon and a half of shea/jojoba/almond/calendula oil, mix well (the consistency should be a little clumpy).

Add in the essential oil; start with 10 drops and see what you think about the smell; add more if necessary.

Add in your lavender buds, if using. Pour mixture back into your desired jars.  Use 1/4 cup of your bath salt in a bathtub of warm or hot water.

Relax and enjoy!!

If you’d like to find out where to get the pure therapeutic-grade oils that I specifically use, please email me at karekorn@gmail.com.  Happy to help!

Blessings,
Karen