Non Toxic D.I.Y Hand Sanitizer

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HAPPY GLOBAL HAND WASHING DAY, GUYS!!!! (well…tomorrow)

Autumn is here, and now that we are living in the Midwest again, I am beyond excited to experience everything that my favorite season has to offer! That being said, a couple of things that tend to increase around this time of the year are colds and flu – not cool, guys!

Of course, one of the biggest preventatives of these bugs, along with many other diseases and illnesses is to wash your hands regularly. Did you know that October 15 is global hand washing day?!? Good timing for this post, huh? I decided to get a jump on it, and publish this the day before, so that you all could have this recipe to celebrate on the actual day! ūüėČ

So, the question is, what to do when you’re out and about, and there’s no soap and water to wash your hands at a time when you need to (think porta-potties, being out in nature, etc)? Hand sanitizers are a great alternative, but the problem with that is that most store-bought hand sanitizers contain questionable ingredients at best, and downright dangerous ingredients at worst! Some of these ingredients to avoid in hand sanitizers and hand soaps are as follows:

  • Triclosan
  • SLS (Sodium Laurel Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate)
  • Parabens
  • DEA
  • Fragrance and Artificial Colors
  • Pthalates
  • Propylene Glycol

The list goes on and on, guys. These ingredients can be responsible for disrupting hormones, respiratory distress, skin rashes and reactions, allergies, immunotoxicity, organ system toxicity, neurotoxicity, and on and on…ugh! The following pin links to an article going into further detail of each of these ingredients to avoid in soaps and sanitizers.

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Okay, now that all that yuckiness is out of the way, on to the good news! Making your own hand sanitizer is really easy! The recipe I’ve come up with is actually great for moisturizing the skin, and it’s free of any toxic ingredients! Awesome!

NON TOXIC D.I.Y HAND SANITIZER

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol (If the rubbing alcohol concerns you, you can also use witch hazel in its place to make the recipe gentler and alcohol free, or you can even use vodka for a weaker alcohol in its place)
  • 3 Tbsp. aloe vera gel
  • 1 Tbsp. aloe vera oil
  • 1/4 tsp.colloidal silver (optional)
  • 8 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 7 drops lavender essential oil

Directions:

1.) Put all of the ingredients in a small bowl, and stir to combine completely.

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2.) Carefully pour the mixture into a small bottle container, cover and shake to combine even more. Anytime you need to sanitize your hands, apply a small amount onto your hands and rub in.

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Safe, non-toxic, moisturizing, and it works! Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, and any recipe for food, beauty products, cleaning products, or the like is not a means of diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure for any disease or condition, mental or physical, real or imaginary.

Veggie Packed Autumn Oatmeal

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If you are looking for a breakfast that screams “AUTUMN”, then this is it! ¬†I took some of the “sweeter” autumn veggies (butternut squash, pumpkin, and carrots), and made a oatmeal breakfast that is surprisingly similar to pumpkin pie! ¬†The only difference is that this stuff is SO good for you! ¬†Check out the following pins explaining some of the health benefits that the veggies in this dish provide!

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On top of that, the other ingredients (oatmeal, almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) are all great for you as well!  Trust me, you will love this stuff!  It makes for a perfect breakfast to start off your day!

AUTUMN OATMEAL

Ingredients (1 serving):

  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup almond milk, plus a little extra for topping
  • 1-2 cups butternut squash chopped into small bite size pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, plus a little extra
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, plus a little exttra
  • 1/2 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla
  • 1-2 Tbsp. almond butter
  • stevia, to taste

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 380 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a small bowl, toss the butternut squash and olive oil with a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, and stevia.  Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven at 380 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the squash is tender.

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2.) Heat 2/3 almond milk over medium high heat.  When it begins to bubble, add the oats and carrots.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the oatmeal is at its desired consistency.  Add the pumpkin puree and the almond butter.  Stir to combine. Remove from heat, and then add the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add stevia, to taste.

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3.) Add the roasted butternut squash and stir in.

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4.) Transfer to a bowl, and top with a bit of almond milk.

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Now get ready to have an explosion of autumn flavors in your mouth! ¬†Enjoy! ūüôā

Pumpkin Flax Bread

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Fall means pumpkin, hence one of the many reasons I LOVE fall!!!  To kick off the autumn season, I whipped up a loaf of my pumpkin flax bread, and it did not disappoint! I love this stuff, because it is quite basic, so it is super easy to make, and despite it not having any oil in it, it is super moist and delicious when it comes out of the oven! ON top of all that it is super duper healthy! The ground flax seeds act as the only flour in this, so it is gluten free, and it has all of the health benefits of flax seeds, which is A LOT!

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Isn’t that awesome!?! All those amazing benefits in a piece of bread, but what really matters the most is the taste, right? Well guys, this stuff knocks it out of the park in that department too, so it’s pretty much all around fantastic!

PUMPKIN FLAX BREAD

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups ground flax seed – you can buy ground flaxseed, or you can grind whole flax seeds in a coffee grinder.
  • 1 Tbsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.) Combine the ground flax, baking powder, sea salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, beat the 5 eggs, then add the pumpkin, water, honey, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, and beat until well combined into a batter.

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3.) Grease a bread tin with coconut oil, and line with a strip of parchment paper that hangs over the sides. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

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4.) Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Use the parchment paper to pull the loaf out of the bread pan, and transfer to a plate or cutting board. Use a knife to cut into slices.

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See? Easy peasy, and YUM-O! Enjoy! ūüôā

 

Cabbage Noodle Lasagna With Red Lentil Sauce

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Mmmmmm…lasagna! ¬†There’s something about an ooey gooey slice of lasagna that is SO comforting. ¬†What’s even more comforting is just how fantastic this recipe for lasagna is for you!

I replaced the noodles with blanched leaves of savoy cabbage, and I made a red lentil sauce from scratch that was surprisingly easy.  With cabbage and lentils being two of the main ingredients in this dish, you are in for a tasty treat packed full of nutrition!!!

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Oh boy oh boy! ¬†In addition to the cabbage and lentils, this dish is loaded with goat cheese (of course, you can use other types of cheese), which has more health benefits than cow’s milk cheese.

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Throw in some tomatoes and some yummy seasonings, and you’ve got yourself an amazingly delicious meal that is so incredibly yummy!

CABBAGE NOODLE LASAGNA WITH RED LENTIL SAUCE

Ingredients:

For the Sauce:

  • 5 tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3/4 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • pinch of stevia
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup red lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

For the Lasagna

  • 1 small head of savoy cabbage, peeled into individual leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 4 oz. soft goat cheese (can also use cottage cheese or ricotta cheese)
  • 2-3 cups shredded hard goat cheese (I used two different kinds of hard goat cheese…you can also use any combination of other types of hard cheese here instead like mozzarella, cheddar, etc.)

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes until translucent.  Add the tomatoes, garlic granules, oregano, basil, parsley, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, and stevia.  As the tomatoes cook down, the juices will begin to boil.  When this happens, add the lentils.  Stir in and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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2.) While the sauce is cooking, you’re going to blanch your cabbage leaves. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. ¬†Add 1/4 tsp. sea salt. ¬†Take the cabbage leaves one by one and dip them in the boiling water for 3-5 seconds until just barely starting to soften.

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3.) Now you’ve got everything ready to make your lasagna. ¬†In an 8×11 baking dish (lasagna pan), put in the following layers: cover the bottom with a bit of sauce, top with a layer of cabbage leaves, top with 1/2 of the remaining ¬†lentil sauce, add another layer of cabbage leaves, top with all of the soft goat cheese (crumbled) and 1/2 of the shredded goat cheese, add another layer of cabbage leaves, and top with the remaining lentil sauce. ¬†Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

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4.) Remove from the oven and take off the aluminum foil.  Top with the remaining shredded goat cheese and put back in the oven for 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

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5.) Let sit for 15 minutes, then use a knife and a spatula to cut into pieces and transfer to plates to serve.

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YUM!!! ¬†Gluten free and noodle free lasagna that is SO yummy and full of nutrition! ¬†Enjoy! ūüôā

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Vanilla Honey Cake with a Whipped Honey Cream Frosting

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Gah! This. Cake. Is. Amazing! I am literally thrilled with how delicious this turned out! It’s super moist and fluffy, and all of the flavors go together perfectly! Best part? All of the ingredients are actually decent for you! That’s right! It’s a healthy cake! The only flour used is coconut flour, and the only sweetener is raw honey, so it’s gluten free and refined sugar free!

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Beautiful, isn’t it? Plus, I am very pleasantly surprised with the simplicity of the ingredients and how easy this is to make! I wasn’t sure if it would turn out the way I wanted, but it actually turned out better, and you don’t have to be a professional culinary artist to make it!

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I made a two layer cake, but you could easily make it just one layer, or make it three or four layers! This cake is really easy to work with, so it’s up to you! The amounts of the ingredients the cake is for one layer of cake, and the frosting is enough to frost one layer. So basically, if you want to make more layers, just double the ingredients for two layers, triple the ingredients for three layers, etc. Let’s get to it!

GLUTEN FREE COCONUT FLOUR VANILLA HONEY CAKE WITH A WHIPPED HONEY CREAM FROSTING

Ingredients:

For one layer of cake:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk from a BPA free can
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup raw honey

Frosting for 1 Layer of Cake

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • blueberries and strawberries for decoration (optional)

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch cake pan with coconut oil. Cut out a circle of parchment paper to lay on the bottom of the cake pan. Set the prepared pan aside.

2.) Sift the dry ingredients for the cake (coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt) into a medium mixing bowl. In another mixing bowl, use a whisk to whisk together the 3 eggs, the coconut milk, the vanilla, and the raw honey. Once well, combined, continue to whisk, and slowly pour the melted coconut oil into the mixture. Whisk until frothy. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

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3.) In a small bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the 2 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

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4.) Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and spread out evenly to that it reaches to the sides of the pan, and the top is even. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 23 – 27 minutes until the top is a dark golden color, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the pan, and refrigerate the cake until completely cool. I did mine overnight, but I’m sure a half hour to an hour would be fine. You just want to be able to frost it without the frosting melting.

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5.) Use a hand  mixer to beat the heavy whipping cream and raw honey of the frosting ingredients until it has a thick whipped cream consistency that can be used to frost a cake. Get a platter, the cake layers, and the frosting ready to assemble the cake.

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6.) Place the first layer of the cake on the cake platter, frost the top of the cake with a layer of frosting. Place the second layer on top of the frosting layer, and repeat this process until you have all of your layers of cake on the cake. Once you are at this point, use the rest of the frosting to frost the cake completely (top and sides).

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7.) Decorate the cake with the strawberries and blueberries if you are using them. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve it.

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You will LOVE this stuff! Enjoy! ūüôā

Butternut Squash Chocolate Muffins

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CHOCOLATE!!!!  Yeah!  believe it or not, these chocolaty morsels of deliciousness are not only good for you , but they actually contain veggies!  Butternut squash to be specific!

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Between the butternut squash and the raw cacao in these guys, they are jam packed with antioxidant goodness!  Plus, did I already mention chocolate?!?  these taste a lot like a brownie, but in the form of a healthy breakfast muffin.  Regardless, they are delicious and healthy, which makes them a winner in my book!

Not only that, but as most muffin recipes are, they are super easy to make…oh, and one more thing – they’re gluten free!!! ¬†Seriously can’t say enough good things about these, but if you give them a try, the taste will speak for itself – SO YUMMY!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH CHOCOLATE MUFFINS

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins):

  • 1 cup butternut squash puree (you could also use sweet potato puree, pumpkin, carrot puree, or mixture of all of these)
  • 1/3 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp. alcohol free vanilla
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 2 tsp. aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and oil a muffin tin.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the butternut squash, almond milk, vanilla, almond butter, coconut oil, and honey.  Stir until completely smooth.

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2.) In a small bowl, sift together the oat flour, baking powder, and cacao powder.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.

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3.) Fold in the chocolate chips.

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4.) Fill each of the tins in the muffin pan about 3/4 of the way full (about 1/4 cup of batter in each tin).  bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

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5.) Allow to cool in the muffin pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove and serve.

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Chocolaty goodness! ¬†Enjoy! ūüôā

Cheesy Vegetable Torte

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A vegetable cake?  Kind of!  Wow, so I came across the following pin on Pinterest the other day:

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It got me to thinking about what I wanted to make for dinner, and how I could include something from each color in one meal.  I went in the fridge and realized that I had all of the colors in the vegetables sweet potato, rutabaga, cauliflower, red onion, spinach and arugula, and garlic.  Then, I looked in the cupboard and saw my spring form pan that I usually use to make yummy healthy desserts like ice cream cakes.  I figured why not make a vegetable cake, or torte?

The recipe is really simple…it’s basically just layering vegetables of your choice with cheese as a way of holding it all together. ¬†i used the vegetables that I listed earlier, but you can use any veggies you want, making sure that the top and bottom layers are some sort of sturdy veggie like sweet potato, rutabaga, or turnips. ¬†i will say that the veggies I used created a perfect blend of flavors, in my ¬†humble opinion though!

I used a 9 inch spring form pan, so you may need to adjust the amounts of each ingredient based on the size of your spring form pan. ¬†Let’s take a look at the recipe!

CHEESY VEGETABLE TORTE

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potato, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small head of cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 4-5 cups mixed spinach and arugula
  • 2-3 cups shredded cheese of your choice (I used a hard goat’s milk cheese)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • olive oil spray
  • garlic granules

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  In a large frying pan, heat 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic cloves and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the cauliflower and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the cauliflower starts to become tender.  Add the spinach and arugula and cook until completely wilted.  Remove from heat and set aside.

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2.) Spray your spring form pan with olive oil.  Place the following layers in the prepared pan: a layer of sweet potato slices on the bottom, sprinkle on some cheese and a pinch of garlic granules, half of the cauliflower mixture, sprinkle with some cheese and a pinch of garlic granules again, a layer of the rutabaga slices, cheese and a pinch of garlic granules, the rest of the cauliflower mixture, cheese and a pinch of garlic granules, top with a layer of sweet potato slices.  Sprinkle with cheese on top.

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3.) Place the spring form pan on a baking sheet to catch any dripping.  Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.  Take out and remove the foil, then put back in the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes at 425 degrees until the top is lightly browned.

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4.) Allow to set in the pan for 30 minutes at least.  Remove the spring form.

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Beautiful, isn’t it? ¬†Use a sharp knife to cut into slices and transfer to plates to serve.

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Believe me, it’s just as tasty as it is beautiful! ¬†Enjoy! ūüôā