Disclaimer

The information and comments on this site are intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from any disease, illness or injury should consult with a physician. These suggested uses apply only to the use of therapeutic grade, Young Living essential oils.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Tabs

**WARNING: Just because an item is more eco-friendly and SAFER for household use does not mean that you can consume it or leave it lying around so your children can ingest it.**

I am down to my last 4 gelpacs for the dishwasher. It is time to try and convert my dishwasher soap to a safer alternative. So, this morning, I made dishwasher tablets!

In doing my research on this, I looked up the ingredients in my current dishwasher detergent. BTW, they are NOT listed on the box. Finding the ingredients required going to the product website, then finding a link in teeny, tiny print on the bottom of the product's page where I could get more information about the ingredients. They do not make it easy for you to be an informed consumer.

This is the list of ingredients in the gelpacs (yes, I know these are gelpacs and I am making tablets):



Water                                                             

Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate             

Propylene Glycol                                          

Sodium Formate                                         

Polyvinyl Alcohol                                          

Subtilisin                                                       

Sulfonated Polymer                                     

Aqueous Solution of Acrylic Polymers    

Amylase Enzyme                                        

Xanthan Gum                                               

Fragrance / Parfum                                     

Citric Acid                                                       

Sodium Hydroxide                                       

D&C Orange 4                                             

I have added links, where I could find non-product specific or brand specific information, without spending all day chasing links, to show what some of these items are.  Much of the information on these products is written for a chemist to read and not the average person. When I was looking up information, I was interested in trying to find out how safe they were to be used on my dishes. Some of them are completely innocuous. Like Amalyse Enzyme. We make that in our mouth. It's part of spit. But some of these chemicals are not really something I want in my kitchen.My overall conclusion is that I really don't want to continue using this product on my eating and cooking utensils.

I found this recipe that uses products I am more comfortable with. Yes, there are two of the items in this recipe that I would not consume, but I am comfortable using them around my family and have been exposed to them myself for most of my life.

Ingredients
  

The list of ingredients in the dishwasher tablets:

1/2 c. Borax
1/2 c. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 c. Baking Soda
1/2 c. Citric Acid
1/2 c. Salt (I used sea salt)
15 drops Young Living Lavender Essential Oil
15 drops Young Living Lemon Essential Oil
1/4 c. of water (I only used about half of this)

The last six items on the list myself and my family ingest on a regular basis. (I use citric acid in canning). This is a list that I feel much more comfortable using on the plates and cups that my family uses on a regular basis.


Here is the process:


Add the oil to the salt first.

1. Put salt in a glass bowl and add essential oils, combine thoroughly.
As you can see in the photo, I put my salt in a small bowl. I mixed the salt and oils in that bowl first. The reason is this: I am using baking soda and Lemon EO. Remember elementary school volcanoes? I did not want that to happen, so I mixed the oil into the salt VERY well before adding it to the rest of the mix. ANYTIME you are using a citrus oil or a blend with citrus oil, try to add it to another ingredient before combining with baking soda to avoid a chemical interaction, ESPECIALLY if you will be storing in a closed container. Failure to do so can result in exploding containers. 

2. Combine the borax, washing soda, baking soda, citric acid. Mix thoroughly. You can use a whisk or a fork to mix. Add the salt/oil mixture. Mix it together really good.

3. Now it is time to add the water. Do NOT add it all at once. Add it slowly and mix as you add. I put about 1 tablespoon in a small measuring cup and slowly poured it in while I was mixing. After I put in that tablespoon, I mixed it really well before adding more. Then I did the same, adding a second tablespoon. This time, I had a little bit of foaming, but I just continued stirring. It only took about 2 tablespoons before my mixture looked like this:


Add only enough water to make it stick.






4. So now it is time to form your tablets. I looked and looked and could not find my ice trays anywhere, so I used my egg holder. It takes about 4 teaspoons of mix to fill a hole. I would add a little, then compress, add a little more, compress, and continue this process until the mold was filled. When I had all 12 spots full, I rubbed all the excess back into my mixing bowl.


5. Since I only had 1 tray, I laid out parchment paper and dumped the tablets out onto it so I could continue using the egg tray.

6. Let tablets dry 12-14 hours. I am in Arizona, which is dry and I had the heater on today, so my tablets were rock hard in about 6 hours. Once tablets are dry, put in a container.

When I was all done, I had 30 tablets.



I calculated my cost because I really want to know if I am saving money. On making dishwasher tablets, I come out about even. The tablets cost me about $.23 per tablet to make. The average for buying tablets (not gelpacs) is anywhere from $.21 to $.25 per tablet. And this is based on buying normal amount of supplies at a normal store. The biggest expense was actually the citric acid. If I can find a cheaper way to buy it (I am almost positive I can get it at Winco at bulk prices), it will reduce my cost even more.

I just checked my dishwasher, and my dishes are just as clean as they normally are. I actually even had one really greasy bowl that is sparkling clean. 

On a side note, I also stopped using the Jet Dry about 2 months ago. Just put some vinegar in the dispenser, and you are set. My glasses haven't had spots since then.

I will definitely continue to make my own tablets. Total time spent making them was less than an hour, and I loved the smell of the lemon and lavender as I was making them.

A better way to get the citric acid--from your chair!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Iced Lemon Pound Cake



Saturday night was our church small group Christmas potluck. I love to cook for other people, so I found a great recipe for Lemon Pound cake (cause I love citrus flavored baked goods and I wanted to play with my Young Living Essential Oils) at One Project Closer (www.oneprojectcloser.com) on the Better Half side and made some subtle changes. Mainly, mine was not as healthy (the original recipe called for all organic ingredients) and I use more lemon EO, because I LOVE the lemon flavor!


The cake was wonderful. Very moist, not too sweet, and just enough lemony flavor to make me close my eyes and go “mmmmmmmmmm”. However, I did not get to enjoy the leftovers, because Tesla, our 120 pound lap dog, decided she REALLY needed lemon pound cake while we were at church.






Ingredients
1 ½ c. All Purpose Flour 
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda (make sure it is aluminum free!)
½ tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature and beaten
1 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, softened (Kerrygold rocks)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice (about 1 ½ lemons)
8-10 drops Young Living Lemon Essential Oil
½ c coconut oil, melted

Glaze:
1 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
2-4 drops Young Living Lemon Essential Oil

WARNING: Since you are working with lemon EO, make sure you using ONLY glass and stainless steel cooking utensils and mixing bowls. Adding lemon EO to plastic or aluminum may result in leaching of toxins into your food. See the Anointed By Abba Store (affiliate link) for affordable glass & stainless accessories.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350ยบ. Grease and flour 9x5 metal or glass loaf pan (I use coconut oil).
2. If you are using a stand mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, and lemon juice and let it mix on low.
3. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet and mix until smooth.
5. In a glass bowl or cup, add the Young Living Lemon Essential Oil to the melted coconut oil. Mix well.
6. Add to remaining mix.
(At this point, you could add in fresh blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries if you wanted to)
7. Pour into cake pan. Bake 40 – 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
8. Remove from oven and let sit for 3 minutes. While it is sitting, mix up glaze ingredients in a small glass bowl.
9. Remove cake from pan and immediately dump the glaze onto it. You may need to spread the glaze over the top to get it to flow down the edges.
10. Allow cake to cool completely (if you can!) and enjoy.





If you wanted to make your cake healthier, opt for all organic ingredients, such as Young Living Einkorn Flour. Always make sure your baking powder is aluminum free. I use the red can. If you want to try some AMAZING butter, check out the Kerry Gold Irish Butter™. That is some amazing, yummy, healthier butter.


And if you have a 120 pound lap dog, make sure you put your leftover cake where she can’t find it!

If you'd like to order a Young Living Starter kit and then receive 24% off all your Young Living essential oil purchases, click here: Learn@YL
 If you'd rather order Young Living essential oils or Einkorn flour at retail prices, that's OK too. You can use the same link.  Lemon oil is very inexpensive, but you'll want a quality oil good enough to consume, and we only trust Young Living.  (Also, Jade lemon is one we love to play with in this recipe, only available from Young Living. Jade lemon has an intense lemon flavor--like lemon on steroids)

Peppermint Bark Candy



I (Kim) love Christmas! The lights. The gifts. Watching children’s eyes light up with wonder.  Food. Glorious, wonderful, yummy food. And I love making it! Cakes, pies, turkeys, hams, candy, jellies, jams…I can cook Christmas goodies all day long.


I recently (last week) found out the peppermint bark is one of my mother’s favorite candies. So I decided to learn how to make it.


Since I was using the store bought, meltable candy that is meant to be used for molding candy and covering things (pretzels, cookies, nuts….*sigh*), the process was fairly simply. Someday, I will learn to make this from scratch, starting with the raw ingredients for chocolate. Yesterday was not that day.


Before beginning, I bought a cheap, $1.99 candy mold from Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft store. You can buy really nice, silicon candy molds for $6.99 and up at various places. I may decide to invest in one of these at a later date (day after Christmas sale?) but I did not for this experiment. The mold was intended to put a sandwich cookie in (like an Oreo™) and cover it with chocolate, so you know about what size each candy was. To make a more traditional looking, broken bark, I would use a small cookie sheet covered in wax paper, and then break the candy into pieces once it hardened.


You will need:    Candy mold or cookie sheet covered in wax paper.

                                Meltable vanilla or white chocolate candy

                                Meltable chocolate candy

                                Peppermint Young Living Essential Oil (I used about 12 drops)

                                2 Candy canes, smashed into small pieces



1. Place crushed candy canes in the mold or spread on cookie sheet.






2. Following the instructions on the package, melt the vanilla or white chocolate candy. When melted and smooth, mix in Peppermint EO. I used 12 drops, but I love peppermint. I would recommend staring with 5-6 drops, taste, and add from there. You can always add more if it is not strong enough. Once it has a peppermint flavor you like, pour the melted candy into the molds (about halfway up the mold) or onto the cookie sheet.  The candy was a little uneven, so I just taped the mold lightly onto the counter and let the vanilla candy settle in nice and even.






3. Wait until the vanilla is completely hard.



4.  Following the instructions on the package, melt the chocolate candy. When melted and smooth, pour the melted candy into the molds until full or onto the cookie sheet.  Again, tap the mold onto the counter to settle the chocolate in.





5. When the candy is completely hard, pop out and store.





I found that using one package each of chocolate and vanilla resulted in 30 Oreo™ sized candies. I also found that these candies are VERY rich, and most people can only eat about a half of a candy. Unless it is Kristi’s oldest offspring. I think he could eat all 30 in one sitting and still be asking for more! Next time, I think I will try making them smaller, maybe about the size of a quarter and 4 times as thick. This is Kristi...Oooh, how about a lollipop?


 If you'd like to order a Young Living Starter kit and then receive 24% off all your essential oil purchases, click here: YLw/KimR If you'd rather order Young Living essential oils at retail prices, that's OK too. You can use the same link.  Peppermint oil is very inexpensive, but you'll want a quality oil good enough to consume, and we only trust Young Living.