Staying with the theme of SIMPLE, this bread definitely fits the bill. I think a lot of people don’t bother making bread because of the preparation (read: physical kneading) that goes into it. Sometimes, I find kneading bread to be rather satisfying, but the rate we go through loaves in this house is a bit ridiculous – I do NOT want to be a slave to the bashing and shaping of dough for the duration of my life.
I’ll be honest with you – I’m not a bread person. Whatsoever. Sandwiches? Meh. The only time I went through a bread-obsession was when I was pregnant (and all I could stomach was bread & cheese). After Misty made an appearance, my need for bread disappeared. Viper, however, lives for the stuff. There is a panic if the bread bin is empty. He has declared this the “best bread EVER” – which I take as a very good thing. Apparently, the test of a great bread, is the ability to eat it alone, sans ANY toppings. Viper is definitely an experienced bread-taster, that’s for sure.
The reason that I love this bread is that it is so simple to prepare – mix a few ingredients together, leave it alone to do it’s thing, and then bang it in the oven. You just need to get into the habit of preparing the mix to sit overnight, and then you will have a little bread-making rota on your hands. Even though I use wheat flour for this recipe – the fact that it is slightly fermented will make it easier on the body to digest, as well as giving it a little of that delicious sourdough-style flavour.
Simple No-Knead Vegan Loaf
- 3C organic unbleached plain flour* (plus more for dusting)
- 1 & 5/8C tepid water
- 1/4t active dry yeast
- 1t sea salt
- 1/4t raw sugar
- Olive oil for greasing bowls/hands
*Now I have been using a few different flour blends for this recipe. Viper has less “healthy-tasting-taste buds” than me, and prefers all organic white flour, but I have had success with using 2C spelt flour + 1C organic white wheat flour blend. 1C organic wholemeal + 1C organic rye + 1C organic white wheat flour works well too. Play around with what suits your tastes.
You need two greased bowls to start off with. One for mixing, and then one for storing the dough while it proves. Coat both bowls (the one that will hold the dough needs to be glass/pyrex/ceramic) with oil – this mixture is VERY sticky. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Transfer as much as you can (it tends to stick to the side of the mixing bowl) to the other bowl, wet a clean tea towel with warm water, and wring out. Place on top of the bowl, and put the bowl of dough somewhere dark, warm and draught free for approximately 20 hours, or until the mix starts to smell a little sour, and has small bubbles on the skin (as pictured below).
Now you need to really flour your work surface WELL here – this mix is incredibly sticky.
Oil your hands before you do anything here. With greased mitts, scrape as much dough as you can onto the floured surface. No kneading here – simply flop the dough over itself a few times (in half one way, and then in half the other – or whatever you can manage, really).
The trick is: lots of flour on the board, and lots of oil on the hands. Shape into something resembling a loaf.
Now leave your loaf for another 30 minutes, covered with a tea towel on the bench. Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees on bake. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
*I have never bothered using a bread tin for this loaf – I simply use a silicone baking sheet so the dough doesn’t stick (baking paper would work too). The bread does not really rise like a traditional loaf – the end result is something in between a sourdough and a ciabatta. If you want a higher finished product, you could prepare 1 & 1/2 times this recipe and pour into a bread pan.
So there you have it – a loaf of bread that makes both myself and Viper very happy – for two different reasons. I also love the fact that I can make beautiful, additive-free, organic bread for my family for less than a few dollars a loaf…. while putting in very minimal effort (Yeah, I’m pretty lazy).
**Contributed to Veggie Mama’s Meatless Mondays
Food-blogging isn’t really conducive to saving money on your weekly food bill. I suppose in some cases if you had a bunch of sponsorship and got freebies all the time it would make life easier, but then you would have less control over your content, right? I like to ‘blog to the beat of my own drum,’ if that makes sense? I don’t blog to make money or chase popularity/success in any way. I appreciate each and every person that takes the time to read fridge scrapings, and if I inspire someone in any tiny way to try something new, then that is all the success I need. I also try and be realistic – I know not everyone (including myself) cannot afford to eat 100% organic, and be purchasing every trendy super food under the sun on a weekly basis – it’s all about finding a comfortable middle ground, right?
In regards to my first statement – I have really cut down on buying any speciality ingredients of late, (read: I’ve cut done on buying MORE stock for my kitchen altogether) mainly for the sake of our weekly food budget. This doesn’t mean that our meals have to be bland/boring/unhealthy in any way though – I have just concentrated on using what I have on hand, and taking advantage of my supplies of dry bulk goods (grains/legumes/beans etc). This would be one of my top tips for being healthy on a budget – buy bulk amounts of (quality) dry goods – way cheaper in the long run. Basically, what I’m saying is, that although I might not have the budget to be posting recipes for amazing super food/fancy ingredient filled dishes, I can still make sure my family and I are eating a balanced, nutritious diet.
I made this Spiced Apricot Relish a few days ago, and mentioned that stuffing it into roast chicken would be a delicious idea – I thought I should come good on that notion and provide a recipe for you (meat eaters). Stuffing is a great way to stretch out a roast chicken. It’s also a good way to sneak in a nutritious option – quinoa in this instance, as opposed to a plain bread stuffing – great for those who suffer from food allergies/intolerances. Fellow vegans/vegetarians I apologise, but this relish also makes a lovely marinade for tofu, so I encourage you to give that a go – served on a bed of seasoned quinoa with herbs, walnuts and coconut oil was my version of the following dish I cooked for Viper & Misty. The good thing is, we can ALL share the roast veggies on the side!
I have listed a few substitute-ingredients that could be used instead of the ones I had on hand. I like recipes that you can adapt to use up leftovers, and make the most of the food you have in your fridge – this is a great recipe for using up smaller quantities of bits & pieces you might have hanging around in the fridge.
Spiced Apricot & Walnut Quinoa Stuffing
Vegan: Gluten/wheat/soy/corn/refined sugar free
- 1C cooked quinoa (rice/cous cous/buckwheat or any leftover grain would work well here)
- 4T Spiced Apricot Relish (or any chutney/relish you have on hand – plum/cranberry/apple would all be delcious) thinned out with a few tablespoons of warm water.
- 1/2C walnut halves (or almonds/pine nuts) roughly crushed
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic
- 3T chopped fresh herbs (dry is also fine) I used thyme, basil and parsley (what I had in the garden)
- 1t lemon zest
- 2t lemon juice
- 1/4t sea salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Simply thin down your relish with a few tablespoons of warm water (so it folds through the quinoa a little easier) – then mix in all other ingredients.
- Stuff into the cavity of a whole chicken and roast according to your bird’s size as you would normally.
A whole, organic chicken will set you back around the $10-12 mark, depending on the size. Even with Viper’s fiesty appetite, a chook stuffed in this fashion will provide 2 large manly meals, plus 3 toddler meals. Not to mention the stock I make from boiling down the bones, or the dog food I make for Boosty out of gristle/skin and the likes. It’s a pretty cost effective meal when you break it all down in that fashion. Not to mention the protein factor – chicken AND quinoa? Oh yes, that’s a whack of protein for sure.
Favourite penny-pinching meal suggestions?
Viper is back to work, I’m back to making lunches. It’s quite a lot of effort, really, as I make it all from scratch. Packing lunches would be quick & easy if you just stuck to packaged snacks and the likes, but we all know that’s not really my style now is it? Anyway, I feel like I’ve been cooking for the masses – pasta salad, Mexican wraps, potato and zuccinni frittata, tea cakes and the following energy-boosting snack bar. He’s a hungry boy, our Viper.
Takes me back to my days at school and what I would have for lunch. My Mum is a pretty awesome baker and made a lot of our snacks herself (which, until you are doing it yourself, you never truly appreciate the effort that goes into it). We (my older sister and I) were never allowed those little packets of chips or anything like that, so I would say our lunch boxes were filled well with REAL food. When I got older, I had to start making my own lunch, which made for some interesting fare. I’m pretty sure I was very lazy back then, and my attempt at creativity would be Marmite and iceberg lettuce on a sandwich (which is actually REALLY good – alfalfa sprouts too). Peanut butter and jam was always a staple sandwich-filler as was cheese and Marmite (again, don’t knock it to you’ve tried it). We always had fruit – apples, pears, bananas – I’ve been a fruit bat for a long time.
What were/are your lunch box staples? Any crazy sandwich combos you are willing to admit to?
Anyway, the following bars are an easy-to-whip-up, tasty alternative to the processed candy bars masquerading as “healthy” snack bars on the supermarket shelves…. plus they are a lot cheaper which is always a bonus. Good for energy without the refined sugar crash.
Nut Free Oatie-Chocolate Energy Bars
(Vegan, wheat/soy/nut/corn/refined sugar free – gluten free* option below)
- 1/2C dark raisins
- 1/2C + 2T quick oats – *(if you want to make this gluten free you can sub in 3/4C dessicated coconut instead).
- 10 pitted soft dates
- 1t vanilla extract (optional)
- 3T coconut butter
- 1/4t sea salt
- 100g chocolate, roughly chopped or same amount in chocolate chips (I used an organic milk chocolate)
- Pulse all ingredients together except chocolate in the food processor until it all comes together in a very soft dough.
- You can either throw chocolate pieces into the food processor and pulse a few times, or remove dough and fold through yourself.
- To make bars, simple press into a baking tray or similar lined with baking paper.
- Pop in the fridge until set.
- Slice into bars, and store in the fridge.
These are great rolled into balls for little hands (and mouths) too – Misty always needs to grant approval, being my second in command in the kitchen of course.
So the holiday break is over – back to reality (and normality). I really love doing nothing at all. It’s simply lovely. Actually, I lie – while doing “nothing at all,” I spent a lot of time reading nutrition articles, blogs, forums, books and the likes. It’s amazing how much information regarding health and diet is out there. How much CONFLICTING information too – how does one navigate through all this and come to some sort of conclusion WITHOUT having a PhD in some really smart-science-type-thingymebob? I honestly don’t know.
Lack of a fancy degree really leaves me only one option in terms of discovering what type of diet truly works for me. Trial and error – which in turn, is rather “sciency” – and that’s not even a word. I have started looking more in depth towards the balance of macronutrients that make up my diet – in the attempt to feel more energetic and motivated. From my research I think I can pinpoint that I may have sort of, maybe, just a little bit over done things in terms of (healthy) fats in my diet (think – nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil). Now I’m not going to jump on the “fat is EVIL,” bandwagon, oh no – I love fats and they love me. I just have a problem with moderation. Sluggish digestion and energy slumps can be attributed to over doing it in the fat department – as well as combining fats with the wrong foods (fruit mainly). So my little experiment of the moment is slightly decreasing my fat consumption (slightly), not combining fat with sweet things, and upping my carbohydrates (the majority coming from fruit). We’ll see what happens. I’m glad to report I am feeling MUCH better having kicked the caffeine habit – yes, it was hideous coming down off the naughty bean for a few days, but well worth the pain. I still miss the taste though.
Are you interested in finding “optimum” health through food? Does all the conflicting info out there do your head in? Mine hurts.
Something else that is a science is baking. Baking bread in particular. I have learnt the hard way (Read: had to throw many a disaster-loaf) when it comes to trying to bend the rules of bread baking. There are a few things you can do though, to keep life (bread) interesting…. again with our lovely Sourdough starter.
Cranberry and Almond Sourdough Loaf
- 1 & 1/2C sourdough starter
- 3C flour (plus an additional 1/2C for kneading) – I used 1C rye flour and the rest high protein “strong” flour ( 00)
- 2t yeast
- 1/4t sea salt
- 4T liquid coconut oil plus additional oil for the bowl
- 1/4C runny honey
- 1C dried cranberries
- 1C almonds
- 1t ground cinnamon
- Combine starter with 2C of the flour, yeast, and oil – leave in a warm, draught free area for about 20 minutes.
- Add the honey, cinnamon, salt and rest of the oil to the bowl, and mix together with your hands.
- Turn out onto a floured surface – the dough is quite wet and you will need up to 1/2 and additional cup of flour here to get it to a soft, satiny dough. Knead for 10 minutes.
- Knead in nuts and berries for an additional 5 minutes – it’s a good arm workout.
- Oil a clean bowl and place dough ball in it…. leave for 30 minutes.
- Lightly knead dough and place in your chosen cooking container – I used a 25cm cake tin this time, for a different shape, but a regular loaf pan will be fine too.
- Leave to rise for another 20 minutes.
- Bake at 180 degrees C for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and it sounds hollow when you tap it.
- Cool on a wire rack.
I think this has been my most successful bread making experiment yet. Next up Viper (he of discerning tastes) has requested an apricot and walnut variety – at least I’m getting him to eat something other than sugary white fluff loaves, right?
I’m not going to do a huge Christmas-Eats recap as honestly we didn’t put too much emphasis on the food on December 25. Sacrilege!
There was a huge avocado/mango salad…. rice and lettuce wraps (make your own), macadamia and pinto bean dip, tofu, prawn skewers and smoked salmon (for Viper & Misty) and yeah, lots of vodka cocktails.
My favourite thing was these frozen nectarine stars I made (to go in said vodka cocktails) – I just blended up nectarines in the food processor and poured into little silicone moulds. Perfect to pop into cocktails – as they melt they add an awesome fruity hit. Good to eat on their own too. Basically, it was too hot to do much more than laze around (and drink). Perfect. Good thing Misty got a paddling pool from Santa. Viper & myself must have been very bad this year (or we just got lazy and decided to flag pressies).
I’m not a huge bread fan. I don’t like sandwiches, I’d rather just eat the filling bit. The only time I went on a toast-bender was when I was pregnant (and the only thing that didn’t make me want to chuck was tomato on toast). It just doesn’t excite me that much. Viper, on the other hand is bread-obsessed…. we go through a LOT of bread in this house. I quite enjoy the process of bread making, actually – it’s quite fascinating.
Bread making is one instance where you HAVE to stick to the recipe. I have had a LOT of failures, due to rule-straying. I have a bread maker, but I must admit, my best loaves have been the ones I made completely myself – kneading, proving and the likes. The lactic acid fermentation makes sour dough one of the more easily digested and healthful breads out there. This isn’t strictly a traditional sour dough recipe, as it uses additional yeast in the bread making part (it’s not wholly naturally leavened) …. but it is a pretty simple project to undertake, and the final product has a brilliant sour flavour and lovely texture.
I used rye flour in my starter, but you can use plain flour if that suits you better. As starters go, this is quite a simple one to grow/maintain, although it is not vegan. I may try and play around with a vegan version soon – just needed to perfect this one for the bread-monsters I live with first.
Yoghurt-Based Sour Dough Starter:
- 1C plain yoghurt
- 1C rye flour
- 1C water
- 2t yeast granules
- Mix all ingredients together in a large glass jar/container.
- Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm, dark, draught free area for 4-7 days (depending on temperature). It will bubble and go a bit crazy for the first day or so (hence use a LARGE jar/container so it doesn’t over-flow) but will settle down.
- Each day stir with a clean spoon, and give it a sniff – when it smells very sour, it is ready to use (mine took 4 days, and it was on average 26-30 degrees C where I live).
- Pop a lid on, and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Each time you take out starter to use for bread, replace it with the same amount of flour/water. For example, if you take out 1 & 1/2C starter, stir together 1 & 1/2C flour and around 2C water and stir into the starter. This is food for the starter. Keep the jar out at room temperature for about 12 hours before putting back in the fridge – the starter will bubble up.
- Even if you don’t make bread every week – you MUST take out 1 & 1/2C of the old starter and feed it – either give it away to friends, or just chuck out. Otherwise your starter will starve.
Simple Sough Dough Bread:
- 1 & 1/2C starter
- 2C high grade (baker’s flour) – it could be called “strong” flour or 00 flour too.
- 2t yeast granules
- 1/2t sea salt
- 1T raw sugar
- 2T oil (olive works well)
- 1/2C milk
1. Mix these first ingredients and leave to rest for 15 minutes (if you want a really sour flavour in the bread leave for longer).
- 1C +3T organic plain flour (or more rye flour)
2. Add in additional flour and knead for about 10 minutes on a floured board. The dough should become smooth and silky, and spring back when pressed lightly.
3. Slug a bit of additional oil in a large bowl, and turn the dough through it a few times. Leave to rise for 40 minutes,covered in a warm, dark place.
4. Bake in a hot oven (200 degrees) for around 25-30 minutes, or until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Depending on the shape of bread you like, you can bake it in a normal loaf pan, wing it and “free-form” a loaf, or even use a cake pan.
5. Cool on a wire rack.
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas….. What did you get up to? Tempted to try making your own starter for bread?
Like I said, when I need motivating, I get stuck into some cleaning. It seems like both Viper and I needed some sort of project to keep us sane over the weekend, so while he started painted Misty’s room, I attacked our bench tops.
We have these nice looking but functionally ridiculous wooden benches. Yes, they please the eye, but they are not really suited to one (me) who is constantly cooking, making a mess and spreading liquid around. Let’s just say that these benches get ugly quickly. I am realising mid-type that I am actually writing a post about cleaning and maintaining my kitchen bench tops. Seriously? Who am I? I think I just woke up this morning and am 63 years old. Seriously.
Anyway, I’ve started writing this “Nana-Post”so I will finish. There is even a pretty useful DIY recipe included. I decided to play around with a home made wood-polish that could also act as a barrier (somewhat) for the constant liquid spills that happen in a kitchen. Enter beeswax.
If you don’t have the need for this polish (read: you have functional kitchen bench-tops) then this works a treat on wooden chopping boards, children’s wooden toys – I even tried it on leather boots and it really made them look spiffy.
It really is the most simple thing…..
- 1 part grated beeswax
- 4 parts oil – I use olive
Melt your beeswax (I have an old saucepan that I use specifically for non-food cooking like this) add oil, pour into a jar, and leave it to solidify.
Easy as that.
All you do is rub it onto your wooden surface, and work it in with a cotton rag or similar. If it gets on your skin, then rub it in there too, as it is a lovely (albeit greasy) moisturiser to boot. Perhaps a lovely home made Christmas present for the wooden-product-enthusiast in your family? Ha.
I don’t care if it makes me a fuddy-duddy before my time; I find making my own “Green Home” products quite therapeutic…. plus you KNOW they are safe and are much cheaper in the long run. Particularly for things like children’s wooden toys, you want something that is natural – because we all know EVERYTHING goes in the mouth, right?
I don’t know – maybe it’s just a sign of “growing up,” or “maturing,” (notice the inverted commas here) but I seem to get a lot of satisfaction from things I used to deem BORING a few years ago. Gardening, craft, cooking, reading a thick novel – even cleaning and home maintenance for Pete’s sake. All-night partying and mischief doesn’t have quite the allure any more.
What do you think? Are there things you have so much more appreciation for now than say a few years back?
Following on my ramble from the other day – there is a notion in the healthy living realm that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is easy and affordable. I disagree with this entirely – a healthy lifestyle is one SO worth striving for…. BUT it takes quite a bit of effort, and no, it doesn’t come cheap.
If you want to be healthy, you have to eat well, yes? Good quality food demands the price it is worth…. like anything in life, you get what you pay for. I think our health should be our biggest investment – I saw something the other day that went along the lines of – “So you think organic food is expensive? You should check out the going rate for cancer treatment!” Enough said.
I’m a cheapskate, I won’t lie. I have to be – we’re a single income family on a tight budget…. but you can still eat really well on a budget, it’s no excuse. Any way, I thought I would highlight a few staple ingredients in my house that are full of health-giving benefits, while also going easy on the old wallet.
Dates are one of nature’s finest candies – sweet, chewy delicious. Rich in iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, copper and magnesium, these little babies are also and instant energy pick-me-up. The most amazing of dates (in my opinion) are the Medjool, which are perfect for delicious raw desserts and snacking, these, however are NOT the cheapest variety out. I look for cheaper bulk packs of varieties such as Iranian, Shalaby or Helwah… My best advice is to check out a local Middle Eastern grocery store – there are some amazing bargains to be found, believe me. As always, be aware and read your ingredient labels.
Date paste is a super simple sweetener you can make by soaking dates in water, and then blending to create a thick, rich mix perfect for adding to baking (add sweetness and moisture) smoothies, or just smearing on bread/fruit. Cover dates in water and soak over night, or at least for a few hours. Drain the water off, but keep it aside. Pulse dates in a food processor, adding just enough soaking water to produce a thick spread.
I use date paste to sweeten home made milks and smoothies. This is tahini “milk” - which is another great Healthy Cheap-Skate option. All you do is blend 1/2C tahini with 3C water, a pinch of sea salt and a big dollop of date paste. Delish. Tahini is so cheap compared with expensive nut butters (particularly in Australia), plus being a paste it makes it really easy to digest, and is fabulous for those with nut allergies. Tahini contains B Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15, and is really high in calcium.
Oats. Wonderful oats. Cheap, filling, and the amount of recipes you can create with them (sweet or savoury) is too many to count. Fibre, protein, calcium, low GI - and delicious.
A good old fashioned bowl of porridge (or oatmeal) is probably one of the healthiest and cheapest starts to the day you could get, but I’ve got a few other ideas for you. For a fancy-type granola, which is sure to impress try my Spiced Pumpkin variety….. if you have a toddler, these “Flat-Cakes” (flax and oat) are so simple and you can get creative with the toppings….. or this Coconut Oat snack bar recipe is a snap to whip up from simple pantry ingredients – just make sure you own a food processor!
Most grains are cheap – I love bulk bin stores…. less packaging, buy any amount you like, save money. Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, wheat berries, oats, millet, and bulgar are all grains that I can purchase organic for under $5 a kilogram… that’s pretty good nutritional bang for your buck. I’ve been experimenting with making Zarathustra bread, which is a 5000 year old concept of an unyeasted bread made from crushed, sprouted grains. Basically, you soak wheat berries (or any other grain) with sesame seeds for a few days, drain, blend and bake at a very low temperature (or dehydrate) into a “bread.” Consider the word “bread” very loosely.
These are made with raw, sprouted buckwheat, sesame seeds, sea salt, cinnamon and goji berries. Dense and heavy? Yes. Delicious, yes, surprisingly good after a dousing of tahini. Good eats, on the cheap – I’m a big fan.
What are YOUR go-to meals/ingredients for when the budget is tight?
Having a few days with a very sick child, an ill husband off-work and feeling rather average myself really showed how much it takes to keep a healthy-household functioning (or NOT functioning as the case may be).
I know in the “Healthy-Living-Realm” the consensus is that a healthy lifestyle is extremely easy and so, everybody should be doing it. I would like to chip in that yes, everybody should be trying to live a healthier, more sustainable life – but it’s not that easy. It takes quite a bit of forethought, organisation and dedication to upkeep – particularly in this day in age of convenience.
Having a few days “off” – ie either lying on the couch groaning, comforting Misty, cleaning up vomit or a sitting in the hospital emergency room – really put into perspective how much of my time is dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For example – I usually shop for produce every few days, just so we have fresh stuff on hand…. plus pick up any bits and pieces we made need from the health food store or supermarket. Basically we had no proper food in the house until this morning, when I felt just human enough to go on a mission. Viper had no cereal (I make it), there is no bread (I usually make it, so Viper went and bought some), there is no nut milk/nut butters (I make them), there are no baked goods like snack bars/crackers etc (I make them) Boosty has no food (I make her Doggie-Mix), there is no hummus/cooked or soaked beans/legumes (buy dry, soak and cook myself) – you get the picture. When you are not well enough to function, it’s really hard to keep up the old routine.
I do all of these tasks happily, mind you – I really love to be busy and productive. It’s also a cost-thing for us…. convenience food is expensive – especially when you want the healthy, organic convenient option. A single income and all the financial-joys of life mean we are on a tight budget, and the more you can DIY, the better in my opinion. I’m not saying that buying a loaf of bread or can of chick peas from the store is a bad thing – I’ve just gone and done that this morning, as it is easy and I am in no shape to be be tackling too many domestic duties right now…. I’m just musing on the amount of energy I dedicate to keeping my household working the way I like it. A purely personal choice, and one I love.
In whatever way you strive to make your lifestyle a little healthier/more sustainable – whether it be making your own muesli or turning to more natural based cleaners in your house – you should be applauded. It’s so tempting to just go for the easy option in this crazy, fast paced world we live in, but I reckon a few too many easy options have created a LOT of problems (think fast food/preservatives/additives/toxic cleaning substances). Quick and easy is not always better – a little bit of dedication and investment of your time is a small price to pay for great results.
In saying all this – I have been living off nature’s “convenience foods” – fruit – for the past few days. No, this is not in line with an Anti-Candida Diet I know, but when your belly is not happy, you have to listen to what your body is telling you. Fresh fruit is what I want, and fresh fruit is what I shall eat… quick, easy, cheap and healthy. Plus, it is staying in my belly where it should, which makes for a happy Lou.
What do you DO to maintain your sort of “healthy” lifestyle (whatever that means to YOU)? I mean, some people think I’m nuts for cooking a lot of our food from scratch: Why bother? It’s so cheap to just BUY it! – however others may be disturbed that I buy UHT soy milk (albeit organic) and non organic fruit and veggies. Again, I think it’s all about that pesky little thing called balance that is always taunting me.
And yes, that is food on my face. DIY home facials not only save you a buck, but are so much better for you and the environment. Viper thinks I’m a freak.
It’s no secret I’m not really into chemicals. Viper loves bleach, and it drives me nuts – he thinks nothing else compares, sigh. Having Misty around, I am so much more aware of not only what goes into our bodies in the way of food, but what we use on our skin, face, hair, and how we clean our house.
It’s no secret that these days I do a LOT of washing. A grubby Misty, a hard working man, a Boosty and cloth nappies keep me rather busy in the washing sense. Thank goodness we live in the “Sunshine State” – there is no need for a tumble dryer – and most loads dry within the hour of being pegged out. Hooray for sunshine.
Anyway – this recipe HAS been my go-to for anything washing related for quite some time. I decided to play around with the mix a bit, to see I could come up with a “powder’ that makes life a little easier.
DIY Green Washing Powder – Over 1 Month supply
(Feel free to half or even quarter this recipe)
- 4C washing soda (available at most supermarkets – it will be in the cleaning isle – usually around $3 a bag)
- 125ml Dr Broner’s Castille Soap
- 50 drops essential oil (I usually do 25 drops tea tree and 25 drops lavender – this is the pure oil – I use a lot here as I am washing Misty’s nappies. If you are just doing general washing I would do 15 drops of each).
- Washing soda generally comes in large crystals – this works better if you crush them into a fine powder first – the food processor makes quick work of this, but a mortar & pestle will work as well.
- Combine washing soda in a large mixing bowl.
- Add essential oils and Dr Broner’s – mix until you have a clumpy/clay-like sort of powder – this is fun to get the kids involved with!
- Store in an airtight container.