Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Natural Oral Routine: DIY Toothpaste and Mouthwash

Toothpaste has been a longtime frustration for me. Even when it's 'all natural', there's usually something that I can't pronounce or don't understand. Does that necessarily make it a bad thing ... no, but I just don't like it. Call me anal, call me silly, tell me I'm overthinking it. I doesn't matter, it still bothers me. It's just that plain and simple.

I've made a few toothpastes over the years and never quite loved them. Then I found Earthpaste. Did I finally find a toothpaste of my dreams?! How could it be. A few simple ingredients and my teeth felt great after using it. Even the kids loved their lemon flavor. After about a year of using Earthpaste, I found a problem with it ... the price tag! But I finally found a toothpaste that I loved ... was it worth it?

I should know, you should yell at me ... the best things in life are homemade! If the ingredients are truly that simple, I should be able to make it myself. So, I did. I did a lot of digging about amounts and the reasons why to use some ingredients over others and I finally felt confident. I knew the taste and consistency I wanted.

DIY Toothpaste and Mouthwash

One big concern was the amount of baking soda and clay, I didn't want to harm my teeth. Luckily, I have a few dental hygienist friends that were able to advise me on amounts of ingredients for safety and protection of my teeth. And yes, I know, Earthpaste doesn't use baking soda ... but I like it! Also, xylitol, an ingredient that I never wanted to use before in cooking but I was assured that it helps fight cavities so it is very beneficial in toothpastes.

Let me just admit that the first few batches got tossed! As I always say, my stubbornness pays off and I finally did it. I have been using this toothpaste for just over a year now. My teeth have never felt better and I have had great visits with my dentist!

DIY Toothpaste and Mouthwash

Homemade Clay Toothpaste

5 T calcium powder
5 T coconut oil (organic, unrefined)
2 T baking soda (aluminum free)
2 T xylitol
1 T redmond or bentonite clay
distilled water if it's too thick ... I start out with a Tablespoon at a time, winter I need more than summer since the coconut oil is at a thicker consistency in my house.

Optional: Essential oils or food grade, organic extract. I love peppermint, cinnamon and orange the best! The kids still use lemon. I use about 5-7 drops per batch.

Mix all ingredients except the water and clay until you have a very smooth consistency and it is thoroughly mixed together. Then add the clay and flavoring. Finally add water if you need so it is the right consistency.

I keep mine in a small 4 oz mason jar and use a popsicle stick to scoop it out on my toothpaste.

DIY Toothpaste and Mouthwash

Tea Tree Mouthwash

2 c distilled water
1 t xylitol
2 t calcium powder
5 drops tea tree oil

Mix all in a mason jar. When ready, swish a bit in your mouth and spit out.

DIY Toothpaste and Mouthwash

**Make sure you are using 100% certified therapeutic grade essential oils. Oil Fragrances are already mixed with carrier oils and some have fillers and artificial ingredients.

**Natural remedies do not work for everyone so consult your physician for any concerns. I am far from a dentist, but this toothpaste continues to work for me and I hope they work for you!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Easy Raw Donut Holes

We are packing up to go camping tomorrow. I've got a huge list of stuff to pack, stuff to make, stuff to take care of before I leave, etc., but what do I do ... procrastinate and write a quick blog post!

Every time we travel, I always make energy bites. If the kids need a quick bite in the car or just a snack when we're there these are perfect! Considering we are going to a pumpkin festival, I should be making my Pumpkin Energy Bites, but I don't have pumpkin and I am not taking another trip to the grocery store! Yesterday, at my first trip to the store, I wanted to buy some bagels.

When I got to the checkout line the checkout person told me that I needed to grab two bags in order to buy them ... well, with two kids almost in tears that they needed to go to the bathroom, one kid singing loudly and the baby just smiling like an angel, I decided to forgo the bagels and get some other bakery later. Fast forward to my second trip that day ... I simply forgot!

Now, it's cookin' time and I still want some bakery to take. I'm over the idea of making energy bites as well as some fresh baked goodies so, what do I do but marry the two! I saw a while back the idea of making raw donut holes by using oats and vanilla to give them that doughy flavor. So, as my potatoes and carrots are cooking for Vegan Nacho Cheese (another camping must have), I decided to quickly throw some ingredients in the food processor and make it happen. Simon and I have already ate three!! Now you see why I had to write this, it got me away from eating more.

Easy Raw Donut Holes

Enjoy them as we are and hopefully the rest of the family gets to enjoy them in the great outdoors! By the way, please pray for good weather!! Thanks!

Easy Raw Donut Holes

Raw Donut Holes

Makes about 15

Dough Ingredients

2 c deglet noor dates
1 c cashews
1 oats
2 T maple syrup
2 T vanilla powder
1 t hazelnut extract (or other flavor)
dash of salt

Topping Ideas

Leave Naked
Shredded Coconut
Cocoa & Cinnamon
Cinnamon & Sucanat Sugar

Mix all dough ingredients in a food processor and mix until it is like sand.

Form dough into balls. If it is not sticking, add a little coconut oil.
Roll them into your desired topping and enjoy!

Easy Raw Donut Holes

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

Contrary to popular belief, I haven't given up on PractiGanic! This summer has just been too much fun with the kids, my Etsy Store has been taking off, I've accomplished another triathlon and working on strengthening my yoga practice that they computer has taken a back seat (can you blame me?!). Hopefully now with two in school and only two at home ... Francesca is already 6 months and the coolest baby ... I should be able to start tackling my laundry list of blog posts that I have been backlogging. So, without further ado, my new dip love ... Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush!

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

I will be the first one to tell you that I don't like eggplant. Okay, so maybe not entirely true ... you know how I always tell you that "it's impossible to dislike a vegetable, you just haven't had it prepared the way you like it yet?" Well, the way I like eggplant is breaded, deep-fried and smothered in cheese. Let's just say, I usually only eat eggplant once a year! However, I still buy it at least 4 times a year making different things and telling myself, "This is it ... Get ready to love eggplant!" Time after time, the eggplant gets choked down and I am sad about dinner and vow not to buy eggplant again.

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

Old habits die hard. I was at the farmers market and there is the most beautiful stand off eggplant, miniature eggplant, Japanese eggplant, striped, white, purple ... they had it all! I couldn't help myself and I had to buy one. When I got home, I stared at my lone purple eggplant thinking, "Now what am I going to do?!" In my experience, I have learned that if I have to hide a vegetable in a meal, put it in a dip or a burger. I had a party in two days so I decided to go for the dip. A simple baba ganoush but I had to give it a twist in order for this to hopefully be a winner. I decided to try a roasted red pepper baba ganoush (seriously, isn't it the best word to say??). I added my favorite seasonings in the whole world ... paprika and coriander, crossed my fingers and pureed that eggplant and you know what? IT WORKED!

With every visit to the farmers market, I am now buying eggplant! The whole family is digging in too (even Francesca is loving her newest 'baby food') It's lighter than hummus, but just as flavorful ... and, no oil needed! I finally found the way that I can enjoy eggplant and still be healthy!

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

Makes 2 cups

1 large eggplant
1 red pepper
2 garlic cloves
2 T tahini
2 T lemon juice
1/2 t paprika (smoked or regular)
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Cut eggplant into quarters and deseed the red pepper. Lay them down on a sheet tray with their skins up. Broil for about 5 minutes or until skins on pepper are blackened and the eggplant is shriveled. Let them cool and the skins will peel right off.

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

Add all ingredients into your blender and puree until smooth. Enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush