Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Milkshake Recipe

I’m not much on guilt.  However, when it comes to chocolate milkshakes I admit that I can go a bit overboard.  My love affair with chocolate milkshakes began as far back as my memory serves me.  In fact, I remember that as soon as I was old enough to work a blender on my own I was making chocolate milkshakes (anyone who knows me well will tell you that as far as I’m concerned, there’s only one way to make a proper milkshake: vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup; none of that chocolate ice cream business).  However, as I creep closer to 40 and my post baby body takes on different forms (thank you Willow Tree), combined with the realization that my every move is being watched and mimicked by my perfect child, I’m forming new love affairs.  Enter: the Vegan Chocolate Milkshake.  I knew it was a hit when Willow and I were chasing each other around the living room trying to drink the other’s up!

  • 1 frozen banana +1 ripe (very ripe) banana ( or 2 frozen bananas)
  • 1 Tbsp raw cacao
  • ½ -1 cup plain soy or rice milk
  • Agave nectar to taste

Blend until smooth and enjoy the chase!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Gluten-Free Vegan Granola Bars

These gluten-free vegan granola bars are great for busy bodies on the go.  Feel free to get creative and substitute whatever you already have in your kitchen. Yum them up!

·         1 cup quick oats
·         1 cup brown rice cereal
·         1 cup quinoa flour
·         ½ cup coconut sugar
·         1 tsp. cinnamon
·         1 Tbsp. chia seeds
·         2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
·         ½ tsp. sea salt
·         1¼ cup each dried fruit, without added sugar (we used raisins, mangos, pineapples, bananas and apples)
·         ½ cup blackstrap molasses (or brown rice syrup)
·         1 egg replacement (1 Tbsp. ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp. boiling water =1 vegan “egg”)
·         1/3 cup melted coconut oil
·         1/3 cup mashed banana
·         1/3 cup applesauce

1.       Grease a 9x13” baking pan (we used coconut oil). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2.       Combine oats, brown rice cereal, flax meal, cinnamon, flour, dried fruit, and salt in a large bowl.
3.       In a separate bowl, whisk together brown rice syrup, egg, coconut oil, banana, and applesauce.
4.       Pour brown rice syrup mixture into oats/cereal mixture and mix well (you may need to combine with your hands).
5.       Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until bars are to desired consistency (less time for chewy bars, more time for crunchy bars).  Leave in pan until cool enough to touch and then cut into desired bars.  Enjoy the yummy goodness!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

How to Make Vegan Foaming Milk Bath

Legend has it that Cleopatra maintained her beauty with daily milk baths.  This is the vegan version of her timeless beauty ritual.  Soy milk is hydrating for the skin and helps promote healthy new cells.  Dead sea salt has numerous therapeutic properties.  It relieves symptoms of psoriasis, osteoarthritis and tendinitis, reduces muscle aches and pains and helps detoxify skin.  White clay helps draw impurities from your skin yet is so gentle that is often used on babies.  Baking soda has a softening effect on the skin.  Epsom salt helps relieve aches and pains.  

·         ·         ½ cup Dead Sea salt
·         ½ Sea Salt
·         ½ cup white clay
·         ¼ Epsom Salt
·         ¼ cup baking soda
·         ½ cup soy milk powder
·         12 drops Cedarwood EO
·         12 drops Sweet Orange EO
12 drops Ylang Ylang EO


Combine all ingredients, except for essential oils, in mixing bowl or blender.  Mix well.  Gradually add essential oils and thoroughly mix to combine.

Directions for use
Place 2-4 scoops under running bath water.  Soak and relax!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

How to Make an Exfoliating Body Butter Bar - Valentine

Rub it and love it!  Just in time for Valentine's Day!  Chocolate and vanilla and almonds combine to not only make this an extraordinary bathtime experience, but the exfoliating quality softens dry skin and can help reduce the appearance of cellulite.  Made with real vanilla beans, almonds and organic raw cacao. Perfect for couples super sensual massage or solo self-pampering!

·         48g (40%) Cocoa Butter
·         36g (30%) Shea Butter
·         12g (10%) Palm Kernel Oil
·         8g (15%) ground vanilla beans & ground almonds
·         6g (5%) ground adzuki beans
·         ½ tsp raw cacao powder

Combine cocoa butter, shea butter and palm kernel oil in double broiler over low heat and heat until completely melted.  Stir in grains (ground vanilla beans, almonds and adzuki beans) and raw cacao powder.  Allow to sit until mixture become cool but remains in thick liquid form.  Briskly stir to redistribute grains.  Quickly transfer to molds and place in refrigerator until completely set.  Remove from molds and enjoy!

Directions for use
After bathing, rub bar over wet skin and massage in circular motions, concentrating on particular areas of dryness or cellulite.  Rinse and towel or air dry.  Exit tub/shower with caution as floor may become slippery.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cleaning with Soap Nuts - Natural & Chemical-Free

Conventional laundry detergents and cleaners contain toxic ingredients that can be harmful not only to you and your family, but to the environment.  Organic natural laundry detergents and cleaners can be so expensive that they are financially inaccessible to many communities. Soap nuts offer an economical (to say the least) and an organic environmentally friendly alternative to cleaning.

“Soap nuts are found in both the eastern and western hemispheres, but are native to India and Nepal. They have recently become a popular environmentally friendly alternative to chemical detergent, and are a gentle option for those with allergies to chemicals in regular detergents. Soap nuts contain saponin, a natural detergent. The soap nut shell absorbs water and releases the saponins which circulate as a natural surfactant in the wash water, freeing dirt, grime, and oils from clothing.” (Mountain Rose Herbs)

You can purchase a 1 pound bag of organic soap nuts from Mountain Rose Herbs for $6.00 (I purchased mine on special so it was even cheaper).  You can also search the internet for other sources. In this video, I use up to 10 soap nuts (although you need less for the laundry).  Based on the price of a 1 pound bag and the weight of 1 soap nut, I was able to determine the incredible cost of cleaning with this method:

1 bag of soap nuts – 454g (1 pound); cost per gram  -$0.013
10 soap nuts ~ 40g
Cost for cleaning with 10 soap nuts = $0.53!

Soap Nuts For Laundry
Place 6-8 soap nuts in a muslin bag or plastic diffuser.  Place at the bottom of your washing machine and start water.  You may optionally add 5-7 drops of essential oil (I like Lavender, Lavender/Sweet Orange or Lavender/Tea Tree) to running water.

Add clothes or sheets or towels and wash as normal.  Remove soap nuts prior to placing clothes in dryer.

The same soap nuts can be used until the shells become worn (5-8, maybe 10 times for small loads).

Soap Nuts Cleaning Solution

After you have used your soap nuts for the laundry, give them a second life by making this safe and effective cleaning solution.

Place 10 soap nuts in 3 cups (32 ounces) of water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Once boiling, reduce heat medium and continue to boil for 20 minutes.  After soap nut shells soften (after 10-15 minutes) you can use a fork to break open soap nuts to release more of their natural saponins.  After 20 minutes, strain soap nuts from liquid (but do not discard).  Your liquid amount will be reduced from boiling so add more filtered or distilled water to make 32 ounces.  Add essential oils of your choice (10-14 drops of blend of your choosing).

Place in spray bottle and use as you would traditional cleaners.  Refrigerate any unused portion.

Soap Nuts Scouring Powder

After you’ve used your soap nuts in the laundry and to make cleaning solution, Grind soap nuts into a fine powder and add equal parts baking soda.  Use as you would conventional scouring powder.

All this for 53¢!

Blue Green Zing Smoothie Recipe

I try to eat well.  All in all, I do a pretty good job.  But with running two businesses and a 2 ½ year old (although most of the time she’s running me) the one vital food group that often gets neglected is getting enough fresh greens.  Dark green leafy vegetables are probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food.  The added parsley and ginger give it a nice “zing” and the blueberries make it super yummy.  So super yummy that even a 2 ½ year old will drink it!


½ cup frozen blueberries
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 ripe banana, cut into chunks
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
4 kale leaves, stems removed
½ cup fresh parsley
1 cup yogurt (vanilla or plain; dairy or non-dairy)
1 cup apple juice

Add in order listed above and blend until smooth.  Makes 2 servings (share with a friend or go green crazy and enjoy all on your own!)

Citrus Spice Holiday Blends - Herbal Tea Recipe

~ 1 part Rooibos tea
~1 part Tulsi ("Holy Basil")
~ 1/4 part dried orange peel
~1/4 part cinnamon chips
~whole cloves to taste
(for 1 cup I used 3 whole cloves)
Steep in boiled water for 10-15 minutes and enjoy!

*For 1 cup, 1 part=1 tsp.