Monthly Archives: March 2014

Experiments in Body Products

I finally found some motivation to concoct some body lotion. I have been using sweet almond oil for some time and while I find it satisfying, I was ready to try something different.

2014-03-03 14.13.45

I pooled all my yummy resources and over a double boiler on low-ish heat I mixed:

  • 1 part coconut oil
  • 1 part sweet almond oil
  • 2 parts organic shea butter.

I added a few tablespoons of vanilla extract for some perfume, or as we like to call it in our household, “smellum.” Once it was mixed to my satisfaction, I placed the bowl in the fridge with a large sign that it is no longer a consumable product (lest someone mistake it for some delicious fruit topping or something bizarre that I haven’t imagined yet).

Once it’s been chilled, read: firm, take a hand mixer to it and whip it good! I put mine in a glass jar for display amongst the many jars already found in my bathroom.

Here’s what I like:

It’s easy. This didn’t take much time to put together. I happen to have all these products. All I needed was inspiration.

It smells amazing. I love the smell of vanilla.

Here’s what I perceive to be the downside:

It’s kinda greasy. I expected this though because the sweet almond oil lingers on the body for a bit. I just put my fancy robe on after I slather it on my body and pretend I’m in a luxury spa. I brew a hot cup of tea and sip on it until I feel it’s soaked in my skin. This can be tough if you are in a hurry in the morning, but it forces me to slow down and enjoy the process of easing into my day. That might sound a bit hippy-dippy but it truly makes for an enjoyable morning. I do not apply lotion to my feet at all unless I put on slippers. I’m terrified that I’ll slip before it is absorbed by the skin. I just don’t want to hit my head on the tub or something. That could be a disaster.

My dog loves it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t like to be licked. It’s just icky to me.

The amount of lotion that is made should last for quite a bit of time because I don’t apply a ton of it. I particularly like the vanilla smell. I found some neat facts about vanilla that just reinforces my feelings about vanilla:

  • The vanilla plant is an orchid, native of Mexico- it’s the only edible orchid.
  • Vanilla is the world’s most second most labor-intensive agricultural crop.
  • The flower only blooms for 24 hours. If it doesn’t get pollinated, it will die.
  • Historically, vanilla is described as an aphrodisiac
  • Additionally, it is a remedy for fevers.
  • Vanilla is the most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States.
  • Mr. Thomas Jefferson brought vanilla to the United States in 1789. Hats off to you sir!
  • Adding a few drops of vanilla will cut the acidity of tomato-based foods- this is a useful tip!

Obviously the vanilla in the recipe is optional. Maybe you substitute essential oils. How about some herbs? Lemon zest? What’s your flavor?

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Have Gelatin Will Cook

I have been anxious to supplement my diet with gelatin. I know I should be consuming bone broth instead, (whole food=better for you). That fact is this though- I used to really like jello when I was a kid. It was such a treat when I found it in the fridge, especially if there were little bits of canned fruit in it!  I seriously could have been my own commercial. Of course as I got older, I replaced the fruit in my jello for something a little more adult…but I digress.

I have seen in some spots where it is recommended to put the gelatin in a bit of water and down it to supplement. That would work for me for a bit but I really need something more. I need it razzled dazzled so I’m rounding up some possible kitchen experiments:

The previous list looks more like a dessert menu which is not the worst thing in the world because I’ve committed to only eating desserts made by hand, so I like having options.

Let’s try another list of possible sources:

Why am I so interested in gelatin?

Natural News has a brief article that describes how wonderfully therapeutic , gelatin is. Some of its benefits include:

  • supporting digestion- it binds with food and moves it through the digestive system
  • heals the gut lining thereby reducing food allergies
  • contains glycine to assistthe liver in removing toxins (note: a healthy body produces it’s own glycine) and increases sleep quality
  • contains lysine which helps the body absorb calcium and plays a role in the formation of collagen (think skin, connective tissue, etc.)

So what did I end up trying first? A variation on kombucha/kevita gummies

The trick with cooking, at least for me, is I actually have to feel like it. Then, I have to have products on hand, which tends to be a road block. But I was bent. I was making something with gelatin in it no matter what.

Here’s what I had on hand:

1/2c Kevita probiotic coconut drink

3/4 c unsweetened applesauce

2 lemons

4T grass fed gelatin

I put the applesauce on low heat and added the juice of 2 lemons. I stirred in the gelatin until well blended then took it off the heat. When it was about room temperature I added the kevita. It fizzed up a bit which was kind of alarming but I just went with it. I poured into a small, greased (with coconut oil) casserole dish and put it in the fridge until it set.

gelatin blocks

So these aren’t bad. Here’s what I like: they are so thick! They are substantial little blocks to bite into and I appreciate that. It feel like it will satisfy. What I’m not too crazy about: they aren’t flavorful. That’s really not the worst thing though. The bit of lemon flavor (which I figure is all the vitamin C and whatnot) is refreshing, but it needs something else. I didn’t want to put to many items in the mix because I wasn’t sure what would happen.

The good news: I’m thinking that this is a pretty forgiving recipe (except for pineapple, figs ginger root, papaya, and kiwi-the gelatin won’t set unless the fruit is canned). Maybe I add more gelatin but probably not. I might find out what happens when I add less. Who knows!? There are plenty of options. I might get a little wild with the next batch.

What’s your favorite recipe with gelatin? Do you have any recommendations for my next attempt?