How to Reduce Phytic Acid in Raw Nuts (Soaking & Dehydrating Tutorial)

wapf-paleo-nuts-almonds-soaked-phytic-acid-reduced-snacksSo we have recently taken up the Weston A. Price Foundation Diet or Nourishing Traditions. If you don’t know what it is I highly suggest you do some research. I will be writing a lot about it in the future but since both of my children are currently napping, and I don’t know how long that will last, I have limited time. Must. Stay. Focused!

In my recent post about my Remineralizing Toothpaste Recipe, I talked about Phytic acid, and why it is harmful for dental health, and overall wellness. Here is a fantastic article about why Phytic Acid is bad: Living With Phytic Acid- Weston A. Price Foundation.

Go ahead, read it, I’ll wait here…

Welcome back. So now you understand why this Phytic Acid business is so important and why we should remove it from our food and our children’s foods whenever possible.

So to do this in raw nuts we need to soak them, and then dehydrate them. Doing this is simple, and quick to prepare, although it does take a few days to complete the process. The good news is that you can do several pounds of nuts at a time, and in my house it takes months to go through that amount of nuts, so I won’t be doing this very often.


Here’s how:

Phase 1: Soaking

Step 1: Buy raw nuts. I got a big 3 pound bag of Almonds at Costco for under $15.

Step 2: Rinse the nuts well. Then pour them into a large shallow dish. I used the biggest pyrex pan I own. A pan like this works well because it allows the nuts to be fully submerged in the water without needing so much water.

soaking-raw-almonds-how-longStep 3: Cover the nuts with filtered water. This needs to be water with no fluoride, chlorine, bromine, or other harmful chemicals. “Need” is relative. Obviously you can achieve the same results with tap water, but if your water is laced with all sorts of chemicals, you’re doing damage while trying to remove damage. Sort of defeats the point. You can buy spring water by the gallon at most grocery stores for dirt cheap, or just use small bottles. It only took me 2 bottles of water to submerge 3lbs of almonds in this 10″x15″ dish.

Step 4: Allow the nuts to soak according to this chart:

nuts-seeds-soaking-times-chart-homemakerchic.com-phytic-acid-wapf-nourishing-traditions

soak-and-rinse-raw-nuts-weston-a-price-wapf-homemakerchic.comStep 5: Once the nuts are done soaking you need to rinse them very well. I did this by pouring the nuts into a colander. Then returning them to the dish, filling it with clean water, stirring around well, then repeat. I did this 3 times. I felt like they got rinsed much better than if I had just run water over the colander.

 


Phase 2: Dehydrating

First things first you need a quality dehydrator. I have two dehydrators and I REALLY like this one. I was able to easy fit 3 pounds of almonds on the trays, the rectangle shape makes the trays easier to fit in my dishwasher, it has a digital control so you can be accurate with your timer and temp, plus it has an automatic shut off when the time is done. This is awesome for overnight dehydrating, that way you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to turn it off.

You can dry them in the oven but it takes 24 hours, and I just don’t want to run my oven for that long or while I’m asleep. And what if I need to leave the house? Aside from using up a ton of electricity, it will make my house super hot, and this is Florida, and its June. No thanks.

A dehydrator is a handy gadget that will get good use on the WAPF diet for snacks like these nuts, jerkies, dried fruits, herbs, and more. You could even use it to dry and encapsulate your own placenta, if you were that crunchy😉. (I may or may not be THAT crunchy). how-to-soak-and-dehydrate-raw-nuts-phytic-acid-wapf-weston-a-price

garlic-sea-salt-crispy-nuts-soaked-wapf-friendly-weston-a-priceStep 1: While the nuts are still damp (but not wet), sprinkle generously with desired seasoning. Now here’s the fun part. You can really get creative with your seasoning.

Here are some of my favorites…IMG_9696

 

 

 

  • Sea Salt
  • Sea Salt & Garlic Powder
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Cinnamon & Coconut Palm Sugar

how-to-soak-and-dehydrate-nuts-seasoned-nuts-wapf-weston-a-price

 

 

Step 2: Spread the nuts on the trays in even layers, making sure not to overlap any nuts.

Step 3: Dehydrate for 20-24 hours at 115 degrees.

 

 

 

storing-nuts-in-mason-jars

 

Step 4: Store in mason jars and enjoy!! I get my mason jars from SKS-bottle. I love that they actually say MASON and not Ball! And I like that the caps are all in one piece. Its really annoying using the two piece canning lids when you’re just storing things. These are much better.

Step 5: Enjoy your homemade WAPF friendly nuts! These are a great sweet or salty crunchy snack for my toddler. They replaced goldfish crackers in our house for a wonderful all natural health treat!

 

Homemade Remineralizing Toothpaste Recipe

homemade-remineralizing-toothpaste-recipe-homemakerchic.comIn my quest toward a more healthy, whole, and holistic life, I have taken to making a lot of my own personal care products. It started with Lip Balms and Sugar Scrubs, and progressed into the most fantastic deodorant I’ve ever used, and now I have progressed into the world of toothpaste.

First things first, I have a HORRIBLE fear of the dentist. Specifically dental work, cleanings are okay. Its not even something I can control. I have tried everything I can think of to be zen and calm and talk myself through it, but no matter how hard I try, the second I hear the drill, my body goes into fight or flight mode and I have a full blown panic attack. I’ve even tried taking anxiety medication, but nearly rolled out of the chair trying to get away. The only thing that works is full sedation dentist visits, and it ain’t cheap. A few years ago I had to have 3 crowns, and I’ve had many cavities in my life, and there was threat of a future root canal. So I have more incentive than the average Joe to avoid extensive dental work.

Almost 3 years ago we stopped using Fluoride toothpaste. (Here’s why). At first, the switch to a popular “natural” brand was protested by my husband but we soon got used to the smooth, minty, so-close-to-conventional toothpaste that we couldn’t tell the difference. I thought I was doing so great with my healthy toothpaste.

And then I heard about Weston A. Price.

In short, in the 1930s a dentist by the name of Weston A. Price set out across the globe looking at the teeth of indigenous tribes and people who did not have access to modern dentistry. To his surprise many of them had fabulous, strong, white teeth, with little or no decay. He figured out that the common denominator was a diet that was rich in fats, bone byproducts, meats, and mineral rich vegetables. They also did not consume modern western foods like flours, refined sugars, or vegetable oils.

There is a ton more about this subject and I highly suggest you research it. Beware, it is a fascinating vortex of information that will suck you in if you’re a nerd like me. Sarah Pope from The Healthy Home Economist has an insane amount of content about this topic on her blog.

And here is a video that is a great place to start. 

Wellness Mama’s blog is another great place to start. She has a wealth of information about the history and background of this fascinating research.

From her blog:

As Dr. Weston A. Price found and detailed in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, there were cultures throughout the world who had perfect teeth despite no access to dentists or modern toothpaste, while similar cultures with different diets had very high rates of tooth decay. He found examples of cultures with similar genetic backgrounds with some living in primitive type societies and eating primitive type diets and others who ate a modernized diet. He found that many primitive cultures were able to completely avoid tooth decay and the many oral health problems we struggle with today.

Price hypothesized that several dietary factors contributed to this difference in oral health.

Sir (Dr.) Edward Mellanby (he discovered Vitamin D) and his lovely wife Dr. May Mellanby were also influential in discovering the roles of nutrients in oral health. These two contributed much research in the areas of bone and tooth health and mineral absorption.

In fact, it was Edward who discovered that Vitamin D deficiency caused rickets. They also discovered that tooth structure is determined during a child’s growth, and that poorly formed teeth are more likely to decay (pretty logical).

Sadly, the most commonly eaten diet in America these days is high in grains, sugars, and vegetable oils, and low in animal fats and fat soluble vitamins- the exact opposite of what the Drs. Mellanby found to be helpful for optimal bone health and the prevention of tooth decay.

The good news is that teeth (and bones) are able to heal themselves in a process called remineralization. Basically, specialized cells in the center of the tooth are able to regenerate dentin, the layer of tooth just under the enamel, and the enamel can then properly remineralize from the outside. This same process happens in bones when phytic acid is removed from the diet and minerals/fat soluble vitamins are added.

This brings me to the topic of Remineralization and Remineralizing Toothpaste.

In addition to following a diet that is…

a) Rich in minerals and nutrient dense REAL foods.

b) Low in grains, sugars and foods high in Phytic Acid.

…using a remineralizing toothpaste can actually help to heal and prevent cavities. Beat THAT Colgate! This recipe has zero artificial ingredients or chemicals, and includes plenty of naturally occuring trace minerals to make your teeth strong. Plus it is excellent for healthy gums, fights the bacteria that cause bad breath, whitens teeth, and leaves your mouth feeling clean and fresh.

Seriously, my teeth feel SO much more clean since I started using this. Now let me warn you. This is NOT your conventional toothpaste. It definitely has a different texture and mouthfeel. Its slightly grey, it does not foam, and the texture does take some getting used to. My husband says it feels “healthy.” It tastes good thanks to the xylitol and essential oils, but the mouthfeel definitely takes some getting used to. But honestly once you get used to it the benefits will really have you hooked. Within one week of use I noticed my teeth were whiter, my gums looked pinker, brighter and healthier, my sensitivity was greatly reduced! And that’s a big one. I have had sensitive teeth since I was a kid, like VERY sensitive. Also, after using it for a few weeks I noticed that my morning breath is virtually eliminated. Plus my teeth feel sooo much cleaner. Did I say that already? I used my old toothpaste for comparison and my teeth felt grimy compared with how clean they feel after using the new stuff.


toothpaste-warning-label-toxicNeed more reasons to switch? Many conventional (and even some so-called natural) toothpaste brands contain harmful chemicals and poisons. Has it ever concerned you that there is a WARNING label on conventional toothpaste tubes? Not exactly something I want to see on a product I’m putting in mine and my kid’s mouths multiple times a day.

Here are just 3 of the delightful (sarcasm) ingredients you can expect to find in many storebought brands. Read about more here. 

Fluoride: Besides the fact that it actually does nothing to help strengthen teeth or prevent decay fluoride is a toxic chemical that accumulates in your tissues over time, wreaks havoc with enzymes, and produces a number of serious adverse health effects, including neurological and endocrine dysfunction.

Triclosan: Remember the big stink about triclosan being added to hand sanitizers? That’s because its toxic. This endocrine disrupting chemical is added to toothpaste for its antibacterial effect but it comes at a cost. “Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are a serious concern, as they can promote a wide variety of health problems, including breast, ovarian, prostate, and testicular cancer, preterm and low birth weight babies, precocious puberty in girls, and undescended testicles in boys.”-Mercola

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): SLS was originally marketed as a pesticide. Mmm delicious. This ingredients creates the fun foaming action of the toothpaste that tricks you into thinking your teeth are somehow getting extra clean, but it interferes with the functioning of your taste buds by breaking up the phospholipids on your tongue. Its also poison. Plus it doesn’t actually make your teeth any cleaner.

So I mentioned earlier that I switched to a “natural” brand a few years ago. Sure it didn’t have as much of the garbage as the conventional brands (although it still had plenty) but the main reason I decided to drop it was ingredient #2 on the list. Glycerin.  Glycerin helps give toothpaste its nice slick mouthfeel, and is supposed to seal your teeth to prevent stains but the problem is in the sealing. When you seal off your teeth you prevent those glorious minerals from your new tooth mineralizing diet from redepositing in your teeth! We surely don’t want that.

sparkle-toothpaste-3oz

So whats the big amazing solution? Make your own remineralizing toothpaste.

(Or if you ain’t got time for that, I have some ready made that you can buy here.)

Now lets talk about the ingredients in my recipe and what they do:

(click the ingredients for links on where I find mine.)

Calcium Carbonate- You can get this sourced from eggshells or limestone if you’re looking for a vegetarian option. If you’re ambitious you can make your own by drying out the eggshells in the oven and then blitzing them up in a food-processor. You can also get Calcium Carbonate in the form of Bone Meal powder. It is important to use a reliably sourced bone meal to ensure that there are no traces of lead in the product. The Bone Meal is also a great source of phosphorous which is important for remineralization and also some Magnesium and Iron.

Non-GMO Xylitol PowderXylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants. It has a really nice cooling effect. “It does not break down like sugar and can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth. This is how it protects the teeth from tooth decay. With the dental benefits of Xylitol, the acid attack that would otherwise last for over half an hour is stopped. Most people are not aware of this benefit because such a claim makes xylitol into a drug, crossing a boundary not allowed by the Food and Drug Administration.” (Source: http://xylitol.org/xylitol-uses/dental-benefits-of-xylitol).

It is important to find Xylitol sourced from Birch and NOT from GMO corn. GMOs are counter-intuitive to what we’re trying to do here. We want to get healthy, not add more garbage to our toothpaste. Make sure you get Xylitol Powder, and not crystals. The crystals won’t dissolve in this recipe and you’ll end up with a crunchy toothpaste (Hey we’re crunchy but not THAT crunchy). If you can’t find the powder, you can quickly grind the crystals up in a coffee or herb grinder. Works great.

Diatomaceous Earth– D.E. As it is often called, is made up of 84% Silicon Dioxide (Silica), and it contains other essential trace minerals including calcium, titanium, boron, manganese, copper and zirconium. Silica is such an effective dentifrice, that diatomaceous earth was originally mined as tooth powder. It helps promote healthy tooth enamel, tooth decay and receding gums. It is a very mild abrasive so it works like a polish to scrub away plaque and grime and leave your teeth spic and span. Some people might say that DE is too abrasive but it is actually less abrasive than Baking Soda, and we have had no issues in my house, even on my toddlers teeth. You could certainly leave this out but then you’d be missing out on all that silica goodness. 

Bentonite Clay– This ingredient is quite interesting to me. BC actually has a unique ability to bind to toxins, bacteria and heavy metals and pull them out of the mouth. It is also chock full of beneficial minerals like calcium, silica and magnesium.

Colloidal Silver– Colloidal silver is antibacterial, works to fight infections in the mouth, kill harmful bacteria, and prevent & heal gum disease.

Baking Soda – This is added for its teeth whitening and stain fighting properties. Baking soda is aluminum free, despite many claims on the inter webs to the contrary. Any brand will do.

You’ll note that coconut oil is not in my list of ingredients. We have a septic tank so spitting coconut oil down the sink was not an option for us. Plus I didn’t like the idea of my toothpaste hardening and softening based on the temperature of my house. If you’ve made other homemade toothpaste recipes in the past using coconut oil and haven’t been thrilled with the results, I think you might really like my recipe. 

There are many different recipes out there but here is what I came up with after researching all the ingredients and looking into some of the most popular ready made products available out there.

This recipe makes 6oz (by weight).

  • ½ cup Calcium Carbonate
  • 3 T Xylitol Powder (or less if you like it less sweet)
  • 1 T Diatomaceous Earth
  • 1T Bentonite Clay
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 4 tsp Colloidal Silver (more or less depending on your desired texture)
  • 10-15 drops Spearmint or Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 5-7 drops Vanilla EO (optional)
  1. In a small glass bowl or measuring cup (I like mixing in a pyrex cup http://amzn.to/1TKTav8 because the handle makes it easier to hold while stirring), using a non metal spoon (remember the bentonite clay binds with metals, so we don’t want it binding with our utensils) combine all the dry ingredients EXCEPT the Bentonite Clay. I tried using a silicon whisk but it was too weak to blend the clays. I use a simple wooden spoon now. 
  2. Stir in the colloidal silver 1 tsp at a time, until you get a very thick paste.
  3. Add the Bentonite Clay, and stir until it combines. The clay will seize up when it meets the liquid but keep stirring, it will relax and soften after a few minutes. 
  4. Add the rest of the Colloidal silver, plus the EOs, until you reach your desired consistency.

Now for the tubes. I’ve seen lots of different options for storing your homemade toothpaste. From little jars that you have to either spoon out (who wants to keep an extra spoon on the bathroom counter?) or dip your toothbrush in (sorry that just grosses me out), to those squeeze pouches used for apple sauce. The squeeze pouches aren’t bad but they aren’t my favourite. I suppose you could figure out a way to squirt this stuff into an old toothpaste tube but it wouldn’t be easy and would probably be a big mess.

IMG_9413I have a much better solution. I REALLY like these airless pump tubes from SKS Bottle. They are perfect for this. You just spoon the toothpaste into the tube and pop on the cap. That’s it! And the toothpaste dispenses so easily from this tube. Its actually more sanitary than a regular toothpaste tube.

IMG_9416

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s no contact with your toothbrush, just one or two pumps, dispense right out of the tube and drop onto your brush. Easy peasy. Make sure you’re using a soft bristle brush. We have enough natural, gentle, abrasive action going on with this paste, we don’t need to tear up our gums with a hard bristle brush. I like these, the bristles are soft and the bamboo handles somehow seem more healthy and green. Somewhere in the world there’s a landfill that will thank you for using less plastic. 

DIY Toddler Training Underwear

diy-toddler-training-underwear-homemakerchic.com

Well I now live in the wonderful world of potty training a toddler. About a month ago my saint of a mother kept my 2 year old for 2 days and got him well on the path to potty-land. thomas-the-train-toddler-underwearHe is doing really well and goes peepee in the potty about 75% of the time, but he hasn’t yet learned to let me know before he has to go. I just have to take him to the potty every 45 minutes. He willingly goes when I take him, but sometimes I get busy with the baby, or making dinner, or I just plain forget. And then we have accidents. He is very good at announcing that he has gone (or is going) peepee, so sometimes I can catch him in the middle of it and rush him to the potty. We have about 10 or so pairs of adorable little tiny toddler boy undies, but they are so thin that we had little puddles of pee on the floor.

 

  • Disney Toddler Boys' Mickey 3 Pack Training Pant, Assorted, 3T I found these great toddler trainers on Amazon. They do have a little padding which helps with small accidents if I catch him in time, but they weren’t incredibly absorbent and we still had soaking through his pants. They are also not cheap. They run about $5.50 a pair compared with $1.35 a pair for the regular toddler underwear. You can also find many cloth diaper brands offering toddler training pants for as much as $20 a pair. Although I’m sure they’re quality products, its just not really something I wanted to spend.

make-toddler-trainers-out-of-boy-underwearSince I have recently switched from pocket cloth diapers to All-in-ones for my youngest baby who is in diapers, I have a lot of extra charcoal bamboo inserts lying around that I’m not using. So I decided to utilize that little pocket in the little boy undies to make my own toddler trainers! The charcoal bamboo inserts are $2.50 a piece new, but 1 insert will make 4-6 pairs of trainers and I already had them on hand so they were no extra cost. You could really use any cloth diaper inserts including microfiber (which are cheaper at around $1 each) or regular bamboo (around $2.15 a piece). I don’t recommend hemp because it is slower to absorb which wouldn’t work well for this purpose. Or if you’re really on a budget you could also use a cut up piece of a microfiber cleaning cloth. As long as its not touching the skin directly. Amazon sells a 12 pack for $10.50 and you can use the rest to wash your car or clean your floors! Boom! These are pretty thin so you will want to tri-fold your piece for enough thickness that it will absorb accidents well.

So here’s what you do:

DIY-toddler-training-pantsCut your insert into pieces. For 2T/3T sized undies I cut a piece that was about 2″x4″.

 

 

 

 

sew-your-own-toddler-training-underwear-insertsSew the open edges down. This is simple enough to do and does not require any advanced sewing skills. I used a zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine to quickly sew down the open edges. You could just sew a straight line. Make sure to back stitch so it holds up well in the wash. You could also hand stitch the open edges down.

DIY-toddler-potty-trainers

 

Stuff the undies with the tiny insert. 

Put the insert in the tiny little pocket opening in the front of the diaper. Note: Only “boy” underwear has the convenient little pocket. Now if you’re wanting to do this for little girls you can do a couple options. 1) Put “boy” underwear on her. Unless she is particularly inclined to wear princess undies, she won’t know the difference. 2) Sew the insert directly onto the panties. You can do this if you’re using a natural fiber insert. DO NOT put microfiber directly against a child’s skin. It is TOO absorbent and will pull moisture and oils from baby’s skin causing uncomfortable rashes and dryness.

Tada! For less than $2 a pair we have great accident protection and little buddy still feels like a big boy in his goofy undies! Win! To wash these just throw them in with your regular laundry (or cloth diapers). The inserts should agitate out on their own in the wash.

make-your-own-toddler-trainers

Homemade Vanilla Bean Extract

vanilla-extract-homemakerchic.comSo, two Christmases ago, before I was the lucky mother of two children (and I had all sorts of free time), I decided to make all homemade gifts for my family. I made lovely gift baskets with lots of really cool homemade goodies including this glorious Vanilla Bean Extract. I couldn’t blog about it at the time because it would have spoiled the surprise for all my family. So I had big plans to blog about it in the fall of last year so my readers would have time to make this really thoughtful gift for their families in time for Christmas. Only I had a baby. So here we are in the last day of January 2016 and I’m not going to put it off anymore. Now you will have around 11 months to prepare to make Vanilla extract for everyone on your gift list. You could have a whole vanilla extract factory in that amount of time! Here’s how…

sks-bottle-amber-bottles-homemakerchic.com1) First you will need some dark amber bottles.

The dark color of the bottle keeps light out and preserves your finished product and helps it to last longer. SKS-bottle.com to the rescue! They have these lovely amber bottles that have the bonus of including tamper evident caps and pouring inserts that keep your vanilla beans from falling out every time you want extract. At less than $1.50 a piece for the 8 oz size (which by the way will hold enough vanilla extract to last your average home baker approximately a lifetime give or take) the price was definitely right! The 4 oz size are around $1 each. You just can’t find them any cheaper, I looked. I absolutely love the old fashioned look of these bottles.

2) Get some good quality vanilla beans.

For an 8 oz bottle you will need 7 beans per bottle.

I got mine from on Amazon. I got 1 pound of Madagascar Vanilla beans for $56.75. That’s over 100 beans. I looked and that price has gone up since I bought them, but you don’t need a whole pound. I got a bunch because I was making a lot of these for gifts and also using them for other projects (Homemade Kahlua!). If you’re only making a few of these you can get 25 beans for around $30.

3) Pick your poison.

You will need 1 cup 70 Proof Alcohol

Next you will need to decide if you want to make a bourbon vanilla or a vodka vanilla. Whether you use vodka or bourbon is up to you. Bourbon has more flavor than vodka and will yield a richer, deeper, final flavor. Vodka is a more neutral flavor and really lets the vanilla beans shine. Vodka is also less expensive if you’re trying to stay on a budget (Costco’s Kirkland brand is great!). You can also try light rum, I haven’t tried it but I read lots of reviews of people who loved it. Whichever you choose, avoid using alcohol with too high of an alcohol level as it can really break down the vanilla beans too much and it just won’t work right. 70 proof will do the trick.

4) Make the stuff.

Slice the beans in half and shove them down into your bottles. You can cut them into smaller pieces if you have a hard time fitting them in, but I liked the elegance of the long leggy beans.

Using a funnel, pour the alcohol into the bottle.

Press the white plastic strainer pieces firmly inside the openings of the bottles. (Sometimes they get hidden inside the caps if you can’t find them). Then affix the caps by pressing straight down firmly. If you’re having a hard time getting them on, try to twist gently to the right as you’re pressing down. Don’t twist too hard or you will break your tamper proof seal. It takes a little finesse but I love this feature. It makes them so finished and professional (especially if you wanted to sell these).

5) Labels & Presentation

homemade-vanilla-extract-homemakerchic.comI really love these brown Kraft labels for various purposes. They just look so old fashioned and I love the way they turned out against the amber bottles. I used a font called Chocolate Box from 1001freefonts. I used round ones but in the future I might use something with a different shape like these. 

And these scalloped ones are really cute too! And these would be nice if you were using smaller bottles. 

And rustic twine is just a must in my opinion. I buy twine by the roll and use it for everything. I wrap gifts with it, tie gift tags on with it, I wrap pencils in it, hang pictures with it. Tie my hair back with it. I’m a big time twine fan. Adding a little to these bottles just totally makes it special.

Finally, leave the extract for at least 8 weeks (or more!), shaking the bottles once a week for good measure.  Enjoy!!

Homemade Natural Anti-perspirant Deodorant Recipe that REALLY works!

homemade-all-natural-aluminum-free-deodorant-recipe

aluminum-free-deodorant-recipe-homemakerchic-comA couple years ago I posted a recipe for a homemade deodorant recipe. That recipe has become very popular and I have had many comments from readers saying how much they loved it. But I have also gotten responses from a few people saying that it caused them some irritation. I really did love this recipe because it worked on me, and kept the stink away. The crummy part is that it caused me irritation too. I was pregnant at the time I posted that blog and I figured maybe sensitive pregnancy skin was possibly the reason, but when it still irriated my skin after pregnancy I knew I needed to rework the recipe. In the interim I got insanely busy with a toddler, and becoming a doula, that I never got around to it. avaandersondeodorantI also came across a natural deodorant product that I absolutely loved from Ava Anderson, but at $14 a tube I knew I could come up with something that worked equally as well and cost less! So when I ran out of my last tube of super expensive fancy pants deodorant I knew it was time to go back to the drawing board and finally figure out a recipe that worked but didn’t cause irritation.

**Don’t have time to make this recipe, but really want to try the deodorant? Great news! I’m now selling it. You can order it ready made on my Noelle’s Naturals Etsy page.**

So recently when my buddies at SKS Bottle asked if I was working on any new projects I told them I could use some deodorant tubes to try out a new recipe. They sent me samples of every single tube they sell, and there are a lot! They have such an awesome selection. I used three different ones for this project.

So for my new recipe I was looking for a few things…

  1. A solid deodorant that could be used in a tube.
  2. Would be able to combat odor but not cause irriation.
  3. Have some measure of sweat control.
  4. I wanted it to smell great.

homemade-deodorant-sample-tubesAfter a few different formulations I finally came up with an amazing recipe that had all of those things! Using some of these super adorable sample size deodorant tubes from SKS I sent out samples to my friends to try. Among the test group was a fightfighter, a marathon runner, a friend who said her stink/sweat was unrivaled, and yours truly (plus some others). Almost everyone was dubious that a natural homemade deodorant would actually work, but we were so pleasantly surprised at how amazing this stuff is!

homemade-deodorant-natural-cardboard-tubesI am not one of those girls who can accidentally forget deodorant and still smell like flowers. I NEED deodorant. Its not cute if I forget. I’m not the heaviest sweater but I do want to smell good. The scent is a happy and mild blend of spearmint and vanilla that has just the right amount of sweetness without being overpowering. It is nice for men or women. The texture is firm enough to hold up in a tube, but soft enough to glide on smoothly. The odor control is fantastic as is the sweat control! I have also noticed I don’t have staining on my clothes when I do sweat. Overall I am SOOO much more happy with this than any other storebought brand I have purchased. Normally by around 7pm my deodorant starts to work reeeeally hard, and I can tell I may need to refresh. But I could wear this stuff for two days without smelling. I honestly couldn’t believe it. And the best part for me… zero irritation. Even when I applied immediately after shaving. I have finally found my miracle deodorant recipe!

Full disclosure: I did have one tester who has very sensitive skin and has struggled with skin irritation in the past with natural deodorant. She did experience irritation with this formulation, and a pesky rash on her underarms. I guess you can’t win em all. If you have this reaction I would recommend leaving out the baking soda completely and adding additional arrow root. (Please let me know if you try this route as I would like to know if it helps!)

**UPDATE** I now make a sensitive skin version! Only add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Add 4 extra tablespoons of Arrow root. You can buy it already made here.

A little bit about the ingredients, and how I changed them this time: I have added beeswax to help the mixture set up to a firm consistency. I added arrow root and shea butter to help condition the underarms. I lessened the amount of baking soda considerably, to help reduce irritation. The sugar mixes with sweat to create and osmotic substance that works as a natural antiperspirant. I talk more about it in the original post.

**Don’t have time to make this recipe, but really want to try the deodorant? Great news! I’m now selling it. You can order it ready made on my Noelle’s Naturals Etsy page.

This recipe made enough for me to fill about five 2.6oz white plastic tubes.

Ingredients: (Click on the links to see where to find the same products I use)

Instructions:

In a double boiler, melt together the beeswax, shea butter, and all of the oils. You can do this in a large pyrex measuring cup placed in a bowl of boiling hot water. Keep a kettle of hot water on the stove to replace the water as it begins to cool. (You can also microwave it at this point in the process if the wax is taking too long to melt. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. But don’t microwave once you add the dry ingredients, because it can sort of cook it and cause it to get weird.)

In a separate bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients. Once the oils and wax are melted, stir in the powdered ingredients about ¼ cup at a time, using a small wire whisk. Be sure the bowl stays very hot while you’re doing this as the mixture can thicken up and become hard to stir if it cools. You want it to be about the texture of soft toothpaste.

how-to-make-your-own-natural-deodorantIf you’ve used a pyrex cup, then you can now just pour directly from the cup into the tubes. Again, making sure the mixture is very hot so it pours nicely and fluidly. Pour quickly and precisely into the tubes trying not to spill down the sides. (FYI I like to work on a silicon mat for easy cleanup.) Scrape the bowl in between fillings and stir to make sure you don’t have any bits that have hardened. You want the mixture to stay smooth and velvety so it pours nicely. Do not over fill the tubes. After filling each tube, you can gently tap the tube on the counter to work out any air bubbles. Then allow them to set for several hours to cool and harden before using. Do not put them in the fridge as this can cause them to crack.

homemade-deodorant-recipe-aluminum-freeI made up some nice kraft labels on the computer and printed them out so they would have a polished look. I really love how they turned out! The cardboard tubes are my favorite look, but they do get a little hard to push the deodorant out once you get down to the bottom. I just stick a mascara tube in the bottom to push it up. The white plastic tubes look a little more simple but they work great! Easy to twist up, and easy to apply. They also have some more manly looking tubes if you wanted to make some of these as a gift for a man. I love the assortment of tubes SKS has to choose from! Happy deodorant making friends. Definitely let me know if you try it and how it works for you!

How To Remove Pen Ink From Leather Furniture

how-to-remove-ink-from-leather-furnitureHaving a toddler is lots of fun. Everyday I get to witness all the new and exciting things he is learning. Like today for example, I got to see him learn how to draw… with a pen… on my white leather sofa. Palm:Meet:Forehead.

toddler-drawing-on-leather-furniture-how-to-remove

A quick google search yielded a few options for ink stain removal one of which included using rubbing alcohol. Since the first idea that came to my mind was rubbing alcohol anyway I figured I’d go with my gut. Now I didn’t find this beautiful work of art until about 2.5 hours after he did it, so I think this method will work great even if you don’t catch the problem right away.

remove-ink-stain-easily-from-leather-using-alcohol

All I needed was a couple of cotton pads, a bottle of rubbing alcohol (or isopropyl alcohol: you can find it at any supermarket, drugstore, or chemist) and a little elbow grease. It came right off!

how-to-clean-ink-from-leather

For the areas where the ink had seeped in between the cracks of the leather I just used the corner of my finger nail to work out the ink, and then scrubbed it with more alcohol and cotton pads. Good luck! Hope it works as well for you as it did for me!

Hot/Cold Rice bags – A group craft project

DIY-rice-bag-tutorial-how-to-homemakechic.comIn my last post I talked about the recent ladies retreat we had for my church. And being the Crafty McCrafterson that I am, I ended up being elected Craft monger for the retreat. I wanted to come up with a few crafts that would be fun to do, easy to prepare in bulk, and something that would be useful and appreciated by the women. Who wants to make lame crafts that just end up being thrown away or junking up your house, or that everyone has 1000 of already? Seriously, if I see one more bible verse bookmark or wwjd bead bracelet I’m going to hurl.

So I came up with 3 practical and fun craft projects for the girls, one of which I will be sharing with you today. (I’ll be sharing the others in the next few weeks.)

The hot/cold rice bags are simple to make, relatively inexpensive, and super useful! Even your hubby will be able to use this one! You can heat them up in the microwave for a few minutes, or freeze them overnight for a nice cold pack. It works both ways.

Craftsy

4-compartment-rice-heating-bagI had seen rice bags like this that had 4 compartments. This makes it so the rice doesn’t all pool to one spot, which I liked but I knew that wouldn’t work for our purposes since the bags would have needed to be filled with rice in small amounts in between sewing on the machine and then there would be nothing left for the crafters to do.

So I made a modified version with two long compartments. This allowed the rice to be divided into sections, and give the bag some structure and  flexibility at the same time. I’m pretty happy with the finished result.IMG_3623

You will need:

  • Flannel Fabric – I made 30 of these which ended up being about 6 yards of fabric. You could easily adjust for your needs. I chose several different colors and patterns to suit the styles of different ladies.
  • Each piece of fabric will need to be 40″ long x 6″ wide (these will be folded in half lengthwise). Or alternatively you could make them 20″ long x 12″ wide (folding in half widthwise). The finished bags should be around 19″x5″ +/- depending on your seam allowance.
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Needles

Here’s what you do:

DIY-hot-cold-rice-bag-tutorial-ladies-retreat-homemakerchic.com

DIY-rice-bag1. Start by cutting out your fabric strips. Iron the fabric so its nice and smooth, then fold in half rights sides together, lengthwise and press the fold down flat. 

how-to-make-a-rice-heating-bag2. Sew a straight line down each side. You can do whatever size seam allowance you like. It really doesn’t matter as long as its even on both sides. Be sure to backstitch. Snip off the corners at the bottom, being careful not to cut into your stitching.

DIY-rice-bag-sewing-tutorial3. Flip your bag right side out and press the seams nice and flat. Fold the opening in 1/2 inch and press flat. (This will make a really clean seam opening for the crafters so all that is left to do is fill with rice and stitch closed.)

hot-cold-rice-bags-DIY-tutorial4. Fold the back in half lengthwise and press the fold flat. This will create a guide for your middle stitch.

how-to-sew-your-own-rice-bag5. Using either a complimentary or contrasting fabric color, stitch a straight line right down the middle of the bag.

This will create your two rice compartments. double-compartment-rice-bag-DIYAt this point your bags are complete and ready for the crafters. 

To set up the craft station for your group you will need the following:

how-to-set-up-a-craft-station-for-ladies-retreat

  • instructions-how-to-make-rice-bagsComplete pre-sewn bags for all the crafters
  • Bowls for the rice (I had 4 bowls, since there were other crafts going on and the girls were going through each station in small groups).
  • Measuring cups for the girls to measure the rice
  • Funnels (you’ll want funnels wide enough for the rice to flow freely. I ended up making paper cones for the girls using card stock and tape.)
  • Rice – 2.5 lbs per bag (I needed 75lbs of rice. I found huge bags at Costco for dirt cheap.)
  • Various Essential Oils – Optional (if you use different oils you may want to designate a specific bowl for each flavor. I didn’t do this and the scents started to blend by the end of the evening.)
  • easy-sewing-running-stitch-example-drawingInstructions for the girls (I framed mine so it was easy to see). I also included a sewing diagram for those who do not know how to sew. I used a simple running stitch for the example.
  • A sample rice bag so they can see the finished product. I used a contrasting thread on my example bag so it would be easy to see how I stitched it closed.how-to-hand-stitch-a-seam-closed

Instructions:

fill-rice-bags-with-rice1. Fill the bowl with 2.5 cups of rice.

2. If desired add 5-6 drops of essential oil to the rice and mix throughly. 

3. Using the cone, fill each side with half of the rice.

closing-rice-bag-with-simple-stitch4. Using the needle and thread provided, hand-stitch the top of the bag closed.

5. Use at home by heating in the microwave, or chilling in the freezer. Apply to the back, neck or shoulders for relief of minor aches and pains. 

The girls had a great time making these bags and I was really happy with how everything turned out! Why not try this at your next group event, craft party or ladies retreat?
Craftsy

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