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Monday, January 11, 2010

Coconut Oil

I have recently discovered the majior health benefits of Coconut Oil, not to mention how great it works on "de-fluffing" my husbands hair! So I thought I would share some of what I have learned and how I use it.
I am copying and pasteing some info from organicfacts.net. Please feel free to check out that site for more info.
"The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.
Weight Loss: Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight."

I have also read that coconut oil helps regulate blood sugar and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.

Here are my favorite ways to enjoy using it- I admit I do not readily like coconut flavor, so I "hide" it in my foods.

A tablespoon in my berry smoothie! (My very favorite! Gives the smoothie a tropical taste which is especially nice this time of year!)
As oil in the pan to fry eggs, omeletes or make egg boats.
Substitute it for some of the butter in recipes.

Bee Stings

Here are the latest cures for bee stings I have heard of... thought I'd share!
1. Baking soda and water on the sting. (this is what I always did as a child)
2. A copper penny on the sting.
3. Plantain (common weed- I will upload a photo later) chewed up and put on sting.

Know any others?! Please share!

BBQ sweet sauce/marinade

Super easy! Three ingrediants, adjust to your taste!
Mustard, Ketchup and BROWN SUGAR! I usually use 4 parts ketchup, 1 part mustard, 1.5 parts brown sugar (I like it sweet!). Enjoy!

Quick Easy Salmon

We are trying to eat more fish here recently and Salmon is one of my favorites. Picture is before it is cooked.

This is for 4 servings...

2 Cups Thinnly sliced carrots
8 Garlic cloves minced
4 pieces of Salmon
2 oranges or lemons sliced in thin circle slices (or both!)
oil or butter
4 Tablespoons of brown sugar

Optional: mushrooms, zuchinni, etc... you really can add whatever vegi's you want!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In aluminum foil place 1/2 cup chopped carrots and any other desired vegis. sprinkle about a forth of the minced garlic, then put a few drops of olive oil or butter over the veggies. Set the Salmon on the veggies (the juice will run down over the vegi's and soften them). Place the oranges/lemons on the fish then sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar on top. Wrap the foil around, completley enclosing the food, making sure that the base is folded up so the juices do not leak out. Place on oven rack and cook at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until fish is flaky. Veggies will still be slightly crunchy. This is how I personally like them, but you may want to pre-steam the veggies (can be done by placing veggies in a a saucepan barely covering them with water and boiling them until they are soft) if you want them softer.
This is also a great one to do on the BBQ... Cook times vary...

Homemade dish washer detergent

My husband is super picky about how dishes come out of the dishwasher. (for any of you that know him, you realize how funny that is!) We are not a "pre-rinse" family, unless you count a good licking by the dog... and this recipe works EXCELLENT. SUPER cheap and easy to make. One ingrediant is a little tricky to find.... Citric acid... I buy mine at the local co-op. It is an ingrediant also used in cheese making, and I find it in that section, but I have also heard it can be found at pharmacies...

1 Cup Borax
1 Cup of washing soda
1/3 Cup of Citric acid
1/3 Cup of Salt (Kosher works best, but any kind will do)

Mix the ingrediants. The Citric acid makes it clump a bit. Use One Tablespoon per load. Add white vinegar to the "rinse aid" compartment. (I keep a small containter next to the detergent so I don't have to get the big jug each time I do a load.)
No spots, everything comes out clean!

Chess Tournament 2010

First annual Chess Tournament! (That's right, you guys have to come again next year...) Michael decided thursday evening that he wanted to take advantage of having all these people in town for the holidays and have the long saught after chess tournament that Sunday. What an incredible turn out for such short notice! About 45 people (kids included) where there or passing through, 13 of which played in the tournament. The kids enjoyed a break in the rainy days and played outside feeding/chasing the chickens, digging in the garden (even found some carrots that were never harvested!)and threw rocks in the creek. It was so great to see everyone and get to catch up. The Cornutts were the family to beat, and everyone failed to. =) Norm, Kenney, Stew... Way to go Chessmasters!

Using cloth diapers?

We just started using cloth diapers (Bum Genius 3.0). I LOVE them! So easy, especially with full time breastfed babies. Since I have to do the separate wash for those, I decided to stop buying disposable wipes and just make my own out of scrap flannel fabric I had from sewing projects. I just keep two wipe containers on the changing table, one with the wash solution (see below for recipe) and the other just with water. I take the flannel peices and dip them in the wash solution wipe the baby and then put it in the water to soak until the next time I wash the diapers (which happens ever other day). So now I am not paying for wipes anymore, my little one never gets rashes and we have even less garbage to deal with.

Wash Solution:
(I am sure there are many ways this can be done, here is what I do..)

fill the container 1/2 way full with water, add about (I just eye it) 1-2 tablespoons of liquid natural baby wash (I use burts bees kind) and about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of oil (I have used olive oil in the past, right now I am using baby burts bees apricot oil, because I found some I already had) and then add more water until container is about 3/4 full. (this ensures the soap/oil get mixed in a bit, although the oil with rise to the top...) That's it!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

I LOVE this stuff! Works Great! We have a commercial size front loader washer and dryer and live in the county where we use a septic system. My husband works in construction and his clothes are extremely dirty and this cleans them great! I have given some to two friends that have someone in their family with extremely sensative skin and they spent TONS on specific laundry soap... they say they LOVE this and it doesn't irritate their skin at all! (For top loaders use twice the ammount per load.)

Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe/Directions:


2/3 bar Fels Naptha (you can find this in the laundry section of just about any main store)
1 Cup Washing Soda (Arm and Hammer, comes in a box, also in laundry section... NOT Baking soda!)
1 Cup Borax powder (Mule Team kind, comes in a box, laundry section)

LARGE saucepan
5 gallon bucket with lid
Liquid measuring cup
Dry measuring cup
Cheese grater

Total cost for these ingrediants is about $10 to start, but the boxes of Washing Soda and Borax can be used for much more as you only use a small ammount of what the box has.
I do about 12 loads of laundry a week (I know, disgusting isn't it!?) and this batch of soap will probably last me about a year, possibly longer.

Grate the soap and put it in a LARGE saucepan. Add 12 Cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 8 Cups hot water (from the tap is fine) into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 2 gallons plus 12 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours. It will gel, stir it. Use about 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup per load for front loader HE machines. ½ cup for top loaders. I took my old liquid laundry soap container and filled it and then store the 5 gallon bucket out of the way and safe from the kids. Because of the way it gels having it in a container that can be shook before pouring it into the machine or measuring cup really helps.
Optional: 1/2 to 1 oz of essential oil for scent.