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Friday, August 15, 2014

Customizable Beetroot Blush

Hi all!

Today I'm sharing an easy peasy method for making your own non-toxic, all natural blush! It only takes three ingredients and can be completely customized to your preferred shade!

All you need to get blushing is fine beetroot powder (I buy mine from Mountain Rose Herbs), arrowroot powder (can find in many grocery stores; similar to cornstarch), and cacao powder. If you're going for a more pinky color, you don't even need the cacao!

Start by putting about 1 & 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot powder into your container. If you have an old powder blush container, perfect! My blush is currently in a baggie until I can get a container, but works all the same (now I'm blushing ☺️)!

Now add beetroot powder incrementally until you reach your desired pink hue. For a more peachy, bronzed pink blush, add a small amount of cacao powder incrementally as well. To start, I recommend 1/4 teaspoon and you can build from there.

From the bottom left image above, I added another 1/2 teaspoon beetroot powder and 1/4 teaspoon total amounts ended up being 1 & 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot powder, 1 & 1/4 teaspoons beetroot powder, and 1/2 teaspoon cacao powder. I have medium dark, olive skin so I needed a fairly dark blush to make an impact.

My finished product!!

Simply apply as you would regular powder blush. Make sure your face is moisturized prior to application, but give the moisturizer 10 minutes or so to set in before you apply. Moisturized skin will help the blush stick, but too much moisture might cause things to get  a little funky :)

Happy Blushing!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Green Tea Vanilla Bean Body Butter

Anyone else out there in an ongoing love affair with tea? I literally have a whole cabinet shelf dedicated to teas of all flavors and types....I would estimate I have around 40 different selections, conservatively. That being said, I don't always get through my teas before they reach their "best by" dates. It breaks my heart to throw anything out, so I either keep drinking it anyway or, as is the case here, make something from it.

I had a box of plain green tea approaching its date and decided, knowing all the wonderful properties of green tea, to make some new skin food with it! I opted for a super simple body butter using green tea-infused coconut oil and vanilla essential oil for scent. It smells absolutely heavenly and, thanks to some lingering tea bits, has endearing specks like vanilla bean ice cream...hence the name! As a former Starbucks Green Tea Frappucino addict, I would absolutely compare the scent to that! Coconut oil shines as a fantastic moisturizer, and green tea is loaded with antioxidants and great for use after sun exposure, making this a great addition to your summer beauty regimen!

Whipped Green Tea Vanilla Bean Body Butter
1 cup virgin coconut oil
2-3 tablespoons loose green tea, organic preferred
20-30 drops vanilla essential oil

In a double boiler, melt the coconut oil gently over medium heat. Once melted, add tea leaves and stir. Simmer, covered, over low heat for one hour to infuse the oil.

Strain tea out using cheesecloth, over a large chilled bowl (you can place your bowl in the freezer when your begin the simmer and take it out when you're ready for it). Allow oil to cool to room temperature; it should become slightly solidified. Once it has cooled, whip for a few minutes using an electric mixer on lowest speed until fluffy.

Note: if your house is warm and the oil does not solidify, you can place the bowl in an ice bath to help it set up. Warm temperature will also cause difficulty in whipping and may melt your finished product. Store in the fridge to keep it set up, and keep in mind that tea is perishable...use your product within about a month of making it.

Make a pretty label, slather on, and enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Go-To Juice

I try my absolute bestest to juice every morning. Ideally, my morning routine is this: 20 minute of oil pulling (unless I work absurdly early, then I skip it), drink a liter of water with lemon, and have a fresh cold-pressed green juice. Admittedly, I sometimes struggle with getting out of bed those extra 20 minutes early to make my juice, but it really gets my day off to a positive start and I am always proud of myself when I do.

What do I typically juice? The following is my latest go-to juice recipe; it's what I have most mornings, though I sometimes switch it up with new and exciting recipes.

Note: This recipe does require a juicer. Making a smoothie from these ingredients would probably not be delicious =(

The Go-To Green Juice
 3-4 cups kale
1 pear, hard variety
4 Persian cucumbers (the little ones, or 1 whole large cucumber, peeled unless organic)
1 inch thumb of ginger (or more)
1 zucchini
1-2 Granny Smith apples
1/2 lemon

Juice all ingredients in the order listed, except for the lemon. Strain juice if desired (I usually do this, as I like a smooth and pulp-free juice). Squeeze in the juice from 1/2 lemon (over the strainer, to avoid getting seeds in). Drink within 15-20 minutes for maximum health benefits!

Sweet & Salty Scrub

Anybody else out there LOVE a good body scrub? I've loved them since I was a teenager...smooth, silky skin, deliciously-scented ingredients, a renewed purpose in life (okay, maybe I took that a bit far)..but seriously, what's not to love?

One of my favorite things about making my own body care products is how many of the ingredients I already have in my home...particularly, in my kitchen! I am a lover of all things food-related, so whipping up fresh ingredients into awesome personal care creations is a fusion I can't resist. Today I'm sharing a super simple, 5-minute recipe for a salt- and sugar-based scrub that will leave your skin soft, moisturized, and lightly scented. Best of all, the scent is totally customizable to your needs and preferences!

I made this batch up in an energizing, drool-worthy Tangerine Vanilla scent, but you could just as easily make a relaxing before-bed Lavender blend, an invigorating Peppermint version, or whatever tickles your (nose's) fancy. You could even leave it unscented if you prefer. Okay, I'm done's the recipe:

Sweet & Salty Scrub
1/2 cup dead sea salt (or other sea salt)
1/3 cup raw sugar (mine is very coarsely ground, but you may prefer a finer sugar)
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (or more, depending on how "liquidy" you want your finished product to be)
30-40 drops essential oils of choice (I used 15 drops tangerine and 25 drops vanilla)

Gently warm the coconut oil, on the stove or in the microwave, until liquid. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, and transfer to an airtight jar for storage. Keeps about 1 month. Make sure you label your jar with a name and expiration date! A beautifully labeled jar is more tantalizing to use from, anyway =)

To use, simply scoop out a small handful either before or in the shower and rub gently over the skin (not for use on the face!). Then rinse!

Hope you all enjoy!


Hi all!

It has been a long while, but I've been thinking lately about a natural evolution for my blog. I'd like to start including more of my own recipes for both food and personal/home care products. I just recently celebrated my two year vegan-versary, and my eating habits continue to evolve alongside my lifestyle and routines. I've been doing lots of reading up on how to make my own personal beauty, health, and home care products and it has been incredibly rejuvenating! I feel like I am freeing myself from the burdens of "big beauty," the questionable (and certifiably dangerous) ingredients, the insane (seriously, insane) amounts of money I've spent over the years as a fully committed Sephora addict, etc. I've found it so liberating to be in complete control of what I put into and on my body, what I fill my home with, and how I choose to live my life.

In light of my recent and ongoing discoveries, I've decided to slightly shift the focus of my blog more towards a lifestyle, not just sharing and reviewing meal recipes. I will be including recipes for all kinds of things that I make and use in my own home, as well as links/reviews of organic, nontoxic, vegan products that I use in my daily routine. Stay tuned, I think it'll be a blast!! =)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Banana Oat Bread Cookies

This was one of those shared photos floating around on Facebook, so unfortunately I don't know the source of the original recipe. But it is great! These cookies are soft and chewy, slightly sweet and satisfying...perfect for a snack, breakfast, or to satisfy your sweet tooth! They are also super easy and quick (and I say that despite having to make 6 separate batches since I only own a toaster oven!). There is no added sugar, no gluten (provided you use certified GF oats), and virtually no fat (the only fat really comes from the almond milk, which works out to be less than 1/2 a gram!). Enjoy!

Banana Oat Bread Cookies
Makes about a dozen

3 mashed bananas (ripe)
1/3 cup apple sauce (no sugar added/natural)
2 cups gluten free oats (or use regular if you aren't sensitive)
1/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened
1/2 cup raisins (optional - I did not use)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix it all up in a bowl, plop on a cookie sheet (I greased mine with a coconut oil cooking spray, since the cookies have no fat to help grease) and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. That's it!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Green Chile-Tofu Migas

I have a really special recipe to share with you today! This one is from Quick Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson, a book that I am enjoying exploring and everything I've made from it so far has been great and easy! This dish takes less than half an hour to prep and cook, which I love. It includes lots of fresh ingredients that come together extremely well, and can be customized according to your tastes.
Migas is typically made with eggs, but of course this vegan version uses tofu as a stand-in. This has to hands-down be the best tofu scramble-esque dish I've made and is sure to become a staple in my house! You can make it as hot or as mild as you want, top it with whatever yummyness sounds good, and whip it up for a fancy brunch or a casual dinner - it fits well anywhere and will impress non-vegans!
As a tip, I used some small glass bowls to set aside my pre-chopped veggies, etc. so that they were ready to go in at the right time. I had everything prepped before turning on the skillet, because things come together quickly after that and I prefer not to stress while chopping onions, etc. =)
So without further ado, I share with you the recipe....

Green Chile-Tofu Migas
1 pound soft tofu, drained (I actually used firm tofu, as I prefer my scrambles to hold up better and really think firm makes a better stand-in for scrambled eggs)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup tomato salsa
1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, minced
4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, torn into bite-size pieces
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, hot or mild, drained
1 tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

Place the tofu in a bowl and mash well. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, and salsa and mix until well combined. Halve and pit the avocado, spoon out the flesh, and chop. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, scallions, and tortilla pieces and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chiles and the reserved tofu mixture and cook, stirring, until hot and well combined. Add the chopped tomato and cilantro and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed (here I added about a teaspoon of Himalayan black salt, to bring in that eggy flavor that vegan scrambles tend to lack - I recommend it!!)

Serve hot topped with avocado. Feel free to add vegan sour cream, additional salsa, hot sauce, dairy-free cheese, etc. as you wish!

In all its glory....and now I officially want to eat it right now!! Excited to share this one with my Mexican food-loving family!

Original recipe taken from Quick Fix Vegan cookbook by Robin Robertson.