Made With Love

Coffee Lavender Body Scrub

I’ve been wanting to try making my own beauty products for a long time now. I’ve always been cautious about buying supermarket products with synthetic chemicals, after my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was little. We now know the relationship they have to cancer, but products that don’t contain the naughty petro-chemicals can also be frustratingly expensive. I suggest trying to make a couple of your own products if this is something you struggle with also, they feel beautiful on your skin and you can make them to match exactly what you like!

This coffee lavender body scrub is a lovely exfoliant. I use it every few days after I sauna at the gym, it leaves your skin silky smooth with a tiny amount of reside from the coconut oil, which I LOVE. Jake loves it as well, I had to teach him what exfoliating actually was, but now he’s completely hooked.

DSC_0828Recipe:

1/2 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup ground coffee

1/3 cup chopped lavender

1 cup coconut oil

Method:

All you need to do is mix it all up and pack it into a jar.

 

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Fermentation Fun:: Sauerkraut

Can you believe I only discovered sauerkraut since moving to America?! Crazy, right? Well fermentation and pickling generally don’t have the same robust following in Australia as they do in the States, I had never heard of either of them until  a few months back. But I am SO glad I did, because I’m completely hooked. And the best news is, it’s incredibly good for you (read more about the health benefits of fermented foods here). If you’re new to fermentation, the best place to start is with Sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut is so frieken delicious, I eat it with just about everything. My palette cannot get enough of the tangy taste and with so many varieties, I think it’s going to be a while before I’m done with it. At the moment I’m only making really basic varieties, so I can understand and appreciate the flavours as they evolve.

Here’s a recipe to start:
1 medium green or purple cabbage
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon sea salt

Method:
Mix the cabbage, caraway seeds and salt in a large bowl
Pound the cabbage (or squeeze with your hands) until it releases some of its juices, usually about 10 mins
Pack the cabbage into two 1quart canning jars
Press down firmly until the juices rise over the cabbage
Cover jars tightly and let sauerkraut ferment at room temperature in an area away from direct sunlight for about 3 days.

Here’s an example of the types of meals we are eating at the moment:

Homegrown lettuce, lemon quinoa, two fried eggs in coconut oil, sauerkraut, fermented carrots, and cottage cheese with almond butter dressing and gomasio on top. Amazingly tasty and super clean food.

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Basil Pesto

In the ongoing development of my urban garden, I continue to plant basil in any place I can find extra space. It’s in my herb box amongst its friends, downstairs n the garden with the tomatoes, and it even has its very own individual pot on our balcony. This is because I think everything tastes better with basil. It’s just one of those flavors I can’t seem to get enough of.
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One of my favorite things to do with basil is make pesto, it’s a great way to change the sharp flavor into something more palatable and easy to use. The great thing about pesto is, you can change the taste and texture by using different types of basil and different nuts. And it’s SO EASY to make.

Here’s a basic pesto recipe you can play around with:

2 cups fresh basil leaves (try with different types!)
½ cup pine nuts (or cashews/walnuts)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Method:

Lightly toast nuts, and then put all the ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Easy peezy.

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Hint:: I don’t add salt or pepper to my pesto. Most things Jake and I will add salt and pepper to when the plate is in front of us, and so to keep the sodium intake down I try and keep salt out of the cooking process. It doesn’t always work but it’s a great habit to get into where possible.
It’s super delicious with poached eggs on toast. DSC_0761