Browsing Tag

diy

Lifestyle

Rose and Lavender Bath Soak

At the end of a long day there are very few things that are more relaxing than a hot bath with Epsom salt. Epsom salt is actually magnesium sulfate, which can be beneficial when absorbed through the skin. Its two most significant benefits are stress relief and soothing sore muscles.

I like to make my own Epsom salt soak using essential oils and dried flowers, especially when I have roses that I can dry and use. This salt soak can make a great gift, and the 4 oz jars linked below are perfect for that purpose! One jar = one bath.

 

Rose and Lavender Bath Soak
1/2 cup Epsom salt
20 drops Lavender essential oil
3 tablespoons roughly chopped dry rose petals
4oz glass jar

Mix the Epsom salt and Lavender oil in the jar and layer the rose petals on top. That’s all! Easy peasy. If you feel like getting creative, you can experiment with this by trying a bigger jar and layering in different salts, such as Himalayan salt or Dead Sea salt. You can also add a layer of dried lavender buds.

You can order dried rose petals as linked above, or you can dry your own! If you grow roses in your garden or receive some as a gift, it is easy to give your dying blooms new life by drying them and using them again. However, I would not recommend buying fresh roses specifically for this purpose, as it is more cost effective to buy the dried petals in bulk.

If you do have some fresh roses, keep an eye out for the point when they start to look a bit wilted and are no longer perky. At this point, trim the stem about 1/2 inch below the flower. Take a needle with thread and pierce each stem, stringing the roses on the thread. I like to double the thread to make sure it doesn’t break. Then, find a warm, dry place to hang your thread horizontally so the roses hang upside down. A dark place is ideal, but anywhere out of direct sunlight will do just fine. Leave the roses for 2 weeks, then check to make sure they are completely dry. Once your roses are dry you can remove the petals for use!

Happy soaking,
KD

Lifestyle

Almond Meal/Flour

Almond meal and almond flour are two fantastic ingredients for anyone looking to cut back on refined carbs and add some healthy fat and protein into their diet. I make flour every week using the remnants from my almond milk recipe and love getting creative with it!

Almond meal vs. almond flour- what’s the difference?

Almond meal generally has a coarser grind than almond flour, and is made with almonds that still have their skin. Almond flour has a finer grind and is made using blanched almonds that have no skin. Personally I don’t mind the presence of skins but I prefer a finder grind, so I actually make almond flour using regular almonds. This would probably not work in recipes for muffins or breads, which require a lighter flour, but is fantastic for Peppermint Cacao Coconut Balls and Turmeric Ginger Macaroons (recipe coming). If you are wanting to make something more bread-like, go ahead and spring for the blanched almonds.

Almond Meal/Flour

Start by following my recipe for Basic Almond Milk.

After straining your almond milk, take the leftover almond pulp and spread it on a baking sheet.

Set your oven to the lowest temperature setting (mine is 170).

Leave the pulp to dry in the oven for 6-8 hours until completely dry, stirring it every hour to prevent any areas from getting too toasted.

Once the pulp is dry, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. If you want coarse almond meal, you might be done right here! For a finer grind, pulse the cooled meal in a food processor or blender until it reaches your desires consistency.

*Be mindful that the amount of time it takes to dry out the pulp will vary depending on your oven’s low temperature, the amount of humidity where you live, etc. I live at a high altitude with very little humidity, and at 170 it takes about 6 hours to dry my pulp.  If your oven’s lowest temperature is higher than mine, just stir and monitor more frequently to prevent burning.

Store your meal/flour in an airtight container or glass jar in the refrigerator. If it is really dry all the way through, it can be stored for several weeks. However, mine never lasts that long because I almost always use it within a few days making healthy treats for my sweet tooth and my gluten-free coworkers! Seriously, the Peppermint Cacao Coconut Balls are a totally guilt-free favorite.

Happy Making!
KD

Lifestyle

Almond Milk

Almond milk is one of my favorite ingredients to use in the kitchen. It is versatile, tasty, and a great way to take advantage of the myriad nutrients that the almonds offer to us. It gives my morning shakes and yogi tea some extra oopmh and creamy deliciousness. However, buying almond milk at the store can get expensive, and even the best brands usually have some sort of preservatives added. I have found that making my own is both more cost efficient and healthier!

Making almond milk is so easy- all you need for the basic recipe is a blender, some almonds and water.

Basic Almond Milk:
1 cup raw organic almonds (I like the Thrive Market brand for quality and price- use this link for 15% off! your first order at Thrive)
3 cups water for soaking
8 cups distilled water for making the milk (this is a personal preference- you could easily use tap water instead)
A generous pinch of Himalayan salt

Soak the almonds for 10-12 hours in 3 cups of water. I generally let them soak while I am at work or overnight.

Rinse the soaked almonds until the water runs clear.

Place the almonds and salt in a blender with 8 cups of water. Blend on high for 15-20 seconds, until the almonds are finely ground and the liquid is white. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve or, even better, cheesecloth or a nut milk bag.

Reserve the almond pulp to make almond meal/flour!

Store your almond milk in glass jars or glass swing top bottles, and store in the refrigerator for up to a week! It can also be frozen in glass jars, although in that case I recommend using a plastic lid rather than a metal one.

This basic recipe is great for smoothies, as a base for golden milk or any recipe where plain almond milk is called for. However, this is by no means the only possibility! Depending on what I am using it for, I will sometimes divide my batch and add different ingredients for different purposes.

There are endless options when it comes to experimenting with your almond milk. I like to blend a few cups of the basic recipe with some maple syrup, part of a vanilla bean and cinnamon for adding into my yogi tea, or blend in a couple of dates to the basic recipe before straining to add a little sweetness.

Have you found a special ingredient combination that knocked your socks off? Share in the comments!

Happy Milking,
KD