Saturday, July 26, 2014

Greek Blueberry Melon Salad

For me summertime is all about the Farmer's Market. My friend Doe and I wait for it to start up again every year. Saturday morning is all about getting our market bags and hunting down the cheese lady and the gluten free bakery lady.

Yesterday. I stumbled into a Farmer's Market at, of all places, the mall. It was small but they had a great blueberry vendor. She had the most enormous blueberries I have ever seen. The variety is Chandler and unlike most blueberries that are large they are sweet and not watery or mealy. I have got to find these to plant in my garden!

So, I have a potluck to go to tonight and was thinking that I have got to showcase these little guys. I was brainstorming making a watermelon and feta salad originally. Hmm...and I have fresh mint going crazy in my garden. You can see where this is going.

I really love how this turned out. The melons give sweetness, the mint a nice herby flavor, the feta a rich saltiness and the vodka just a touch of bam.

Greek Blueberry Melon Salad

- 1/2 watermelon 
- 1/2 honeydew
- 1/2 Tuscan cantaloupe
- Handfull of fresh mint
- 1/2 cup
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup watermelon juice
- 1 shot vodka

Ball your melons (yeah that does sound fabulously dirty). Keep a bowl handy as you work to pour off excess melon juice. Combine melon balls, blueberries, mint and feta. 

Using a small kitchen strainer strain the seeds and stray chunks out of your melon juice. Combine strained juice with vodka and sugar. Pour vodka mixture over the top and toss.

If you are not eating immediately the mint and feta may get a little soggy. Just combine the melon juice and fruit and add the others just before serving. Enjoy!

Ideas: I also was thinking I could add a drop of mint essential oil to the juice mixture. Maybe swap out mint for basil? Switch the vodka out for flavored vodka? Strawberries instead of blueberries? Lots and lots of option here

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Homemade Toothpaste: Hardcore and Softcore

Ready for some serious oral (cleansing) action? Let's make some toothpaste!

I have been using Earthpaste for quite awhile now and absolutely love the product. Unlike most commercial toothpastes this is made primarily with salt and clay. No weird foaming agents, glycerin or additives. It's great stuff but almost $9 a tube and I have to drive 20 min to get to the store that carries it. No es bueno. So why not DIY it? Yay!

I ordered some Go Gear Tubes on Amazon for just $10 for 3 tubes. These are those great silicon tubes that can be refilled with shampoo or conditioner for travel. I love the idea of making my own toothpaste, but I really want to keep the experience of squeezing a product from a tube. Frankly at 6am I am not that coordinated and I want easy. This works perfect for toothpaste.

There are lots of articles out there about various things to add to toothpaste for cleansing, remineralizing, whitening, antibacterial action, etc. I don't want to get long winded about it, so if you have an interest in all the science behind the ingredients, Google and Wikipedia away or just click on the ingredients below to get more info. These are the ingredients that are common in many healthy homemade toothpastes:

-bentonite clay
-baking soda
-sea salt
-tea tree oil
-DoTerra On Guard
-coconut oil

I have made 2 versions of toothpaste now. One has salt and baking soda and one does not. I can handle the flavors of both but I know they can get to some folks. The more palatable version I keep for gift giving and for my husband who can't stand baking soda. I enjoy the more hardcore version because I want the extra benefits and can handle the taste.

Hardcore Homemade Toothpaste

1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
1 Tablespoon bentonite clay powder
10 drops each DoTerra On Guard essential oil blend and Tea Tree Oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xylitol
1 ounce (shot glass) purified water

Softcore Homemade Toothpaste

2 teaspoons melted coconut oil
3 Tablespoons bentonite clay powder
10 drops each DoTerra On Guard essential oil blend and Tea Tree Oil
1/2 teaspoon xylitol
1 ounce (shot glass) purified water

For both toothpastes I melt coconut oil in the microwave for 20 seconds. Then I simply mix all the ingredients together with the exception of the water. I like using a little cheese or butter spreader in a small ramekin to push the clay against the sides and squeeze out any lumps. Add the water in stages as the last ingredient in order to achieve the desired texture. One ounce may not be quite enough, especially for the Softcore version, so just add and mix until it works for you. Store in tube or mason jar.

- since the Go Gear Tubes comes with 3 tubes I have the smallest one for travel and the largest for daily use.
-make sure to mix new batches regularly since there is water in the mix and no heavy duty preservatives
-expect that there is a little getting used to with a toothpaste that doesn't foam and looks like you are brushing with dirt. It's all good
- I am not much for multi-level marketing, but I do love DoTerra's products. If you don't have a distributor locally you can just sub OnGuard for more tea tree oil or another oil that is safe for internal use. If you need a contact for a DoTerra distributor drop me a message and I would be happy to get you in touch with a friend of mine. The OnGuard really is pretty awesome.

Disclaimer: I personally make, use, test any products or recipes I am recommending. Although I have had no problems with allergies, etc, please know you are using this at your own risk. The FDA doesn't evaluate me...blah. blah, blah. Just don't come after me if you aren't happy about something. I am just some lady on the internet who may or may not know anything.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Homemade Hippie Nutbutter

I visited a farmer's market in Portland a few weeks back and got some great cashew butter. We tore through it super fast. The ingredients were cashews, flax seed, sunflower seed, canola oil & agave. I was inspired to give it a go myself. How hard could it be?

It turns out homemade nutbutter was fun and dead simple. I scoured my bulk section at the health food store and got a good mix of nuts. I threw them in the food processor with a little honey for sweetness and some coconut oil for texture (canola oil is not that healthy). Here's what I put together (and for less than $5 !!) :

Homemade Hippie Nutbutter:

1 cup each unsalted:
-flax seed
-sunflower seeds
2 T coconut oil
To taste: sea salt, raw honey

Put in food processor and blend until desired texture is reached. You may want to stir batch every so often while processing. Store in the fridge and use somewhat quickly. It's fresh - no funky preservatives. Enjoy!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Easiest Homemade Laundry Soap Ever

I am Pinterest / DIY junkie so I have tried just about every laundry soap recipe ever. I even broke my favorite food processor trying to shred soap for a powdered laundry soap version. I have boiled soapy gloop on the stove. I have shaved bars of soap. I have put it in the microwave. I, my friends, have done it all. Many of the recipes work wonderfully but are quite a bit of work. I have finally got a super easy and cheap solution that takes 2 minutes to make and works great!

I am not so cutesy as to have a chalkboard labeled mason jar of laundry soap. That is for people with way more time on their hands. This is a part liquid and part powder recipe, so it won't go in one fancy package. However, if you are willing to have a bottle and container both in your laundry room, then this will work great for you.


box of Borax
box of Washing Soda
bottle of blue Dawn dish liquid

In one container blend 1 part borax and one part washing soda. I use a big Tupperware container. When you are ready to do a load of laundry simply scoop one Tablespoon and add to the wash on top of your clothes. If it is a particularly dirty load I will add 2 Tablespoons. Then I simply squeeze a thin stream of Dawn in a circle around the inside of the washer, also directly on top of the clothes. Yep, that's it. Couldn't be easier.

As an FYI I have a top loader, so I can't make comment on how this would or wouldn't work in a front loading machine. Also, this is something you are doing at your own risk. I have had no problems with washing clothes this way and have been doing it for months now. However, I don't have anything delicate or fancy so keep that in mind.

Happy Washing!!!!