Whipped Grapefruit Coconut Lotion

March 24, 2014

coconut lotionSo it’s officially spring, and while the weather is trying to catch up with the rest of us, we all have to worry about getting our lives in order. Every time I get on Pinterest these days, I see a flood of inspiration to get fit for bikini season. . . Not that I’m not totally on that band wagon, but yea, I’m not. I kind of post recipes about food, and sugar, and well, not exercise routines, and though I commend your efforts dear friends, I’m going to be the one sitting in the corner opting for chocolate striped popcorn instead of the yoga practice I said I was going to do about a week ago. I’m just being honest. Although I do feel the need to focus a tad more on my physical self and do some sit ups or crunches or something active spring time also brings for me this intense hatred for my pasty white, awful spotty skin. I tan pretty easily in the summer months and my skin is smooth and hydrated, but after months and months of cold, dry, wind exposure, my skin aches for some serious attention. So here is where I started to formulate a plan to not only rehydrate my skin, but to cool the redness and nourish it with healthy vitamins. I have made whipped coconut lotion before knowing that coconut oil, although super tasty and nutritious, is also amazing for your skin, but I wanted to go a step further and really work with what our skin needs.

Coconut oil is a great base because it is so good for our skin (read more here.) To touch on a few benefits: It contains vitamin E, offers some of its own UV protection, Antimicrobial and Antibacterial properties. . . Need I go on? Now let’s move on to Aloe Gel, shall we? Aloe gel is that goopy stuff you find when you cut a piece or leaf of the plant open. It cools the skin on contact which is great for burns; it’s a strong antifungal, has excellent moisturizing properties and helps to fight against stretch marks and fine lines. I mean Cleopatra even used it and if a famous dead person used it then it has to be legit, right?!?! Are you convinced of the goodness of this stuff yet? Ok good, because if you weren’t this would be awkward moving forward. Anyways, I know you all may not have been expecting me to post a recipe about lotion, but since you are still learning about me and my world of crazy, I will just let you know right now, I’m a little different. My Sister and Dad would call me a hippy, I personally lean more towards a naturopath when it comes to my body and I want to make as much as I can from scratch so I know first hand what I put into my body, and yes, our skin absorbs what we put on it, so be careful and choose wisely. Make sure you get extra virgin coconut oil if you want it to be less refined, but if you don’t like much of a coconut smell, then you can go with the more refined version. I found my pure aloe gel at the grocery store in the organic body care section, and I love it for my kitchen burns and for recipes like this, I use it every day, and my skin has gotten so much better in the last couple of weeks. Bonus, you can also use it as a makeup remover for your eyes, which we ladies know can be extra stubborn. So just have fun, throw everything in the mixer and lets do this thing!

Print Recipe
Whipped Citrus Coconut Lotion
Very easy to whip up, crisp scent and it gives you a perfect healthy glow!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
Cup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
Cup
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in your mixer, and whip on medium high speed.
  2. Once the ingredients have incorporated and started to soften, scrape down the sides of the bowl at regular intervals and continue whipping until it no longer has solid oil bits. You will notice the texture is creamy and very light compared to the oil before mixing.
  3. Pour into a mason jar, or your desired lotion jar and enjoy.
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Texture . . . And Granola

March 13, 2014

 

Granola

Let’s talk about texture. When you eat a bunch of yogurt do you get to the bottom of the cup and just almost have to gag because it was so monotonously creamy? For me there is just something about the lack of texture that makes me detest plain yogurt or really anything that is just the same texture over and over. I mean, that’s why we have a chip or veggies with hummus, chips and dip, a crunchy piece of toast with your yolky eggs, and a delicious granola with your creamy yogurt.

  Texture adds interest, an extra flavor profile, and something to keep your food exciting. When you think of interest as far as food is concerned, chefs look at everything in layers. We cook something and season it; then if we add something else for texture, it too gets a flavor profile and seasoned. We tear food apart and put it back together in a new way. Hoping that with every plate we send out, or with every recipe we have created, we have created a new texture for you to appreciate. We have combined something that will peak your interest, that once your taste buds have registered what you just took a bite of, your eyes will need to double take all that was on your plate. That is why Chefs are so fiercely protective of what we make. It is a piece of us, it is a creation, just as an artist would paint, or a nurse would care. It is ingrained in us, we create, and we send it out into the world, hoping that everyone will take in what we create with open hearts. Please accept our new textures, our re-invented or re-visited combinations, and if it’s not to your liking, well then it is just something you won’t necessarily have to revisit. But I bet no matter who you are, or what you like, you find food and textures that suit your taste, your liking, and your soul.

 

 Ok, so on a less serious note, I love the feel and consistency of a good granola. I know, I have a thing for oats, and I just can’t help it, they are just so good for you. They have a host of positive facts that you can check out at “The Worlds Healthiest Foods.” Website. Here you can learn more about how oats help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, they keep you full for longer due to the high fiber content, boost immune response, and they even have an antioxidant unique to them that protects the healthy cholesterol in our systems from being destroyed . . . I mean, who doesn’t want those benefits. My favorite way to eat this granola is either with just some unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or with Greek yogurt, honey, and some fresh berries and mango. DELISH! I hope you all enjoy the crunch it adds to your yogurt, and the wonderful texture it will add to your life

 

Print Recipe
Classic Granola
Simple, crunchy, sweet and satisfying.
Course Breakfast, Snacks
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Breakfast, Snacks
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Start out by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Then in a medium size bowl, combine the first five ingredients and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the Coconut Oil, Honey and Brown Sugar until it is a liquid consistency. ( This just melts the oil and softens the honey so it can more evenly coat the dry ingredients.)
  3. Once your stove top ingredients are all melted together and nice and consistent, pour them into the dry mixture and add the vanilla extract. Mix this until all the oats are well coated.
  4. Pour the mix onto a baking sheet either lined with parchment or sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and with a spatula, turn the granola over so it browns evenly. Continue to bake for another 20 minutes or until the granola is a dark golden brown. Remember that everyones oven is different so you may need to leave it in a little longer.
  5. Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before taste testing. It will not be crunchy just out of the oven, but as it cools, it will harden to the proper texture.
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Banana Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies

March 4, 2014

 

Breakfast, it is a sacred wake up time, a time to reflect and plan for your day. It is an imaginative time; I often think of the Alice in Wonderland quote: “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” . . . it is the start to what could be a magnificent, or a down right ugh, sort of day. I plan the many things I would love to get done that day, and in reality, I will achieve half of those things. Because at breakfast, it is easy to feel grand about your abilities, you are lovely, and no one has wasted their energy trying to bring you down yet today, you haven’t had to fight against those that wish your day ill will, and you have met nothing but encouragement in the mirror. Yes, mornings are sacred, unblemished bits of our reality, and they pass ever so quickly.

 Breakfast Cookies

It’s the nature of the beast; we are busy creatures in this world and a lot of the time we must run around trying to achieve our important daily tasks, and in doing so, we forget about breakfast, about reflection and planning. We lose our imaginations and become strictly doers. I still think you can get your time in even if you are in the car, and I have a perfect recipe for those on the go. They are called Breakfast Cookies . . . I know, it seems to be quite the oxymoron. I mean, I’ve had cookies for breakfast before yes, but never breakfast cookies . . . and does that somehow imply that they will be less tasty? Not quite, a breakfast cookie is really just breakfast but in cookie form. This recipe only needs 4 ingredients to make the base, Oats, Honey, Peanut Butter, and Bananas. You don’t need any thing else, however I enjoy adding some things in, be it dried fruit, chocolate chips, nuts and seeds . . . Your choice. So here’s to your morning, may it be ever productive, wholly imaginative and may it kick some serious butt!

 

Print Recipe
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
Very simple, very tasty, only 4 ingredients needed to make breakfast cookie magic.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Cookies
Ingredients
Oatmeal Cookies
Possible Inclusions
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Cookies
Ingredients
Oatmeal Cookies
Possible Inclusions
Instructions
  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350° and lining a baking sheet with either parchment paper or pan spray.
  2. In a food processor place 2 cups of oats and process until a course flour is achieved.
  3. On the side, in a medium bowl, mash together with a fork, the ripe banana, peanut butter, and honey. Then once all worked in together, mix in a cup and a half of the oat flour and any other inclusions.
  4. I like adding chocolate chips and chia seeds, but it is your choice. You could go with dried cherries or raisins.
  5. On the baking sheet spoon out the cookie badder to whatever size you want the cookies to bake off to, they do not expand once baked.
  6. Once portioned out, bake for 15-20 Minutes until they are almost completely set up. Let cool and enjoy!
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Vanilla Bean Sugar

March 1, 2014

 

Vanilla Bean Sugar

This weekend, such a gray daze of nothingness planned and I couldn’t be more excited about that.  Outside through the gray cold you can hear birds chirping as if it were warm outside, and it is not. It is a frigid day, to be filled with hot cups of coffee/tea, kitten cuddle time, Disney movies and probably some cooking to keep warm. Goals for my day include the possibility of a veggie taco dip, maybe some crochet . . . Oh by the way, did I tell you all that I recently began crocheting. If you ever want to just find something to occupy your hands, or something to keep your mind engaged, crocheting is very fun and fulfilling. So far I have managed to get down the basic stitches and make some simple things like a heart, and I made a rainbow doily yesterday . . . it is a little big, and I’m a little inconsistent in my stitches, but I found a great blog called Lacy Crochet, and she has some excellent directions. Some of the “instructors,” on youtube forget that since we are looking for help, we are probably beginners in some areas . . . They start crocheting at rocket speed saying things like “now chain three and slip stitch into the center, chain 6 and triple stitch a double stitch into the same stitch.” I’m all over here in my corner like “Say What?!?!” Anyways, once you get past that first initial stage of “I have no idea what they are saying,” and you figure it out, I promise it is worth it.

crochet heart

 

 Now I just have to figure out what to make this weekend. I know of one thing for certain, my sugar container next to the coffee pot is very low on a particular blend of sugar.  Enter . . . Vanilla Bean Sugar. Probably the highlight of the coffee experience in the morning is the vanilla bean sugar I use in it. Of course I use it in many other recipes. For example: I like to roll simple cookie dough in it so that when they bake the bottom caramelizes and is deliciously crunchy. Pretty much any recipe that calls for a little bit of sugar, I will sub the vanilla bean sugar for that extra something. I used it in the Honey Cinnamon Cashew recipe and when I make homemade ginger ale, or lemon ginger tea. It is one of the simplest things you can make, so lets get to work . . . bippity boppity boo, and hello yumminess!

Print Recipe
Vanilla Bean Sugar
I promise you will use it for everything. . . . and I mean EVERYTHING! I use this mostly in my coffee. However I love using to make caramel, making batches to give as gifts, and coating small cookies with the sugar so when it caramelizes it has much more flavor.
Course Anytime, Desserts
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
Cups
Ingredients
Course Anytime, Desserts
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
Cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pour the contents of the Raw sugar into a big bowl.
  2. On a cutting board, slice your vanilla bean pod in half. Take the side of your knife and run it along the inside of the vanilla bean scraping out the black seeds you see inside.
  3. Place the seeds into the sugar bowl and put the pods in as well. I like to take a handful of sugar and press it up against the skin of the vanilla bean pod to help scrape the remaining seeds from the inside of the pods.
  4. Then take the sugar and rub it in between your hands to break up the little seeds until they are evenly distributed throughout the sugar.
  5. Separate into the proper storage containers, I like resealable mason jars, but you can put it back into the raw sugar box if you prefer.
  6. I also leave the pods in the sugar for continual flavoring.
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