One thing I love about essential oils is that you can use them to make so many homemade staples. It’s difficult to find a truly natural toothpaste as so many options are either ineffective or contain ingredients that we wouldn’t want to put in our bodies. This simple tooth cleansing option features breath freshening peppermint oil, calming lemon oil, and cleansing clove oil.
3 T baking soda
1 T fine table salt (kosher or coarse salt won’t work)
1 T xylitol
2 T coconut oil
1 drop peppermint essential oil
2 drops lemon essential oil
2 drops clove essential oil
These ingredients are specifically chosen for maximum effectiveness. While the general scientific consensus may still by in favor of conventional flouride-containing toothpastes, this natural alternative contains ingredients that have been found in various scientific studies to prevent tooth decay and fight oral bacteria. Because the oils will be used in dental care, it’s important to ensure that the essential oils are organic and of excellent quality. Naturally, I strongly recommend staying on the side of caution and using J&M Botanicals’ essential oils for your homemade toothpaste.
In celebration of cupcake day, here’s one of my absolute favorite cupcake recipes from the carrot section of the Guide to Real Food:
Carrots are one of our most common and valuable vegetables. Not only do they transport easily, they have a great shelf life and are packed with nutrients. The average carrot provides lycopene, vitamin A and B complex, carotenoids, phosphorus and calcium. Carrots help to cleanse the body and their fresh juice is a staple in many natural cancer remedies.
They earn their cleansing reputation due to their supportive effect on the liver and kidneys, combined with their diuretic effect, which helps to eliminate excess fluid. Their fiber helps to prevent constipation, which also contributes to the cleansing effect. Carrots contain a phenol, coumarin, which thins the blood, preventing clots. With all the cleansing action and healthy fiber, carrots are perfect for both preventing and fighting cancer.
The best way to eat a carrot is raw. Carrots can be added to salads, eaten as snacks and as a side dish to a meal. Since they are firm and do not damage easily, they are perfect for travel and in kid’s lunch boxes.
Carrots are rich in sugar, so their juice contains less fiber and more sugar than eating them whole. To observe a strict whole foods diet, the whole carrot would be eaten, not just the juice, however fresh it may be. Still, carrot juice is a great source of nutrients, especially in a body that is in a less than optimal state of health.
While the best way to consume carrots is fresh and raw, many picky eaters don’t particularly care! This is when a little clever kitchen creativity comes in handy. For the picky eater, try this yummy cupcake recipe, which sneaks in a few good nutrients.
1 pound grated carrots
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 t each: cinnamon, salt, baking soda and powder 4 large eggs
1 cup sucanat
1 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 t real vanilla
1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
1 t real vanilla
1/2 cup honey
Mix dry ingredients together and set aside. In another bowl, beat the eggs, then add the sucanat, butter, carrots, and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Once combined (do not over mix), scoop into prepared muffin cups (fill 2/3 full). Bake at 325 for 18-20 minutes. Let cool.
Combine the cream cheese with the honey and vanilla. Be sure the mixture is fully combined. Spread over cooled cupcakes and serve immediately or store in the fridge.
More gift ideas! I absolutely love those candied pecans and almonds that smell so good at street fairs and holiday events! While they smell great, it’s often tough to tell what is used to create the candied glaze. Make your own with this simple recipe – and make extra because these are great gifts! Wrap them in a cello baggie with a festive ribbon and you have a perfect stash of last minute presents! They’re great as a snack / treat, tossed on your favorite salad or into a trail mix.
Toss 2 cups of pecans into a warm saucepan. Cook gently over medium heat until the aroma is strong and the pecans are toasted. Add 1/2 cup maple syrup. (Optional: add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper for a sweet – spicy treat) Continue to cook. The syrup will thin, then crystallize around the pecans. When all of the syrup seems to be gone, remove from heat and spread in a parchment paper lined pan to cool. Be careful not to overcook as the mixture burns quickly. Store in an airtight container or tied cello bags. Enjoy!
This pampering treat makes the perfect hostess gift or stocking stuffer. It’s a favorite here in the office and a must have after a long day on the feet! Watch the demo or follow the recipe below:
1 T coconut oil
4-6 drops peppermint essential oil
2/3 cup coarse sea salts
1/3 cup peppermint leaves (dried)
Combine the essential oil with the coconut oil. Make sure it is thoroughly combined and there are no pockets of essential oil. Add the sea salts and combine until the oil is completely blended into the salts. Add the herbs. Stir well. Package into containers with instructions and the ingredient list. (To use: add approx. 1T of the mixture into a basin of warm water. Soak feet. Enjoy!)
So I post this every year around the this time. Food coloring can lead to an assortment of health issues and natural dyes are a fun alternative for healthy kids.
Taken from The Vintage Remedies Guide to Real Foods
Chapter 10 – Real Foods for Kids
These are fun and easy to make, requiring just a little additional time collecting the materials, and they result in beautiful, natural hues that liven up any spring table.
Natural dyes will appear more vibrant when applied to white eggs. Contrary to popular belief, there is no nutritional difference between white and brown eggs. The color of the egg is determined by the breed of the chicken and the nutritional benefits of an egg are determined by the health of the chicken.
herbs for colors (see below for a guide)
For each color, mix 4 cups of water with 4 T of the herb powder or 3/4 cup of the whole herb and 3T vinegar. Bring to a boil and boil for 20 – 25 minutes. Strain and cool. Soak eggs for 10 – 15 minutes in the dye. Dry in egg cups, then store in the fridge.
Blue – red cabbage or blueberry concentrate
Brown – ground tea or coffee
Burnt Orange – red chili powder
Green – spinach powder or parsley powder
Red – cranberries
Orange – curry powder
Pink – beet powder
Purple – beets, purple onion skin, grape juice
Yellow – calendula petals, turmeric or saffron