Raw Coconut Butters and Foam Soap Review…

Just a quick review of coconut butters a couple other things I purchased from Tropical Traditions.

***** July 29, 2010: Edited to Add : I no longer recommend Wilderness Family Naturals Coconut spread. Tropical Traditions is still good, and choosing Artisana would be the choice that would satisfy everyone’s tastes. The Tropical Traditon’s is a very pure, raw product, and some people don’t like pure all that much 😉 ( I do!) ;whereas the Artisiana comes off more as a commercial … that’s the best way I can describe my “feelings” about them.

I have seen coconut butters around which claim to be 100% coconut — nothing added, etc. — but when I’ve inquired about whether coconut oil is added, I either get the runaround or they admit it has some added.  Artisana emailed me that they do NOT add coconut oil to theirs, yet it appears to have it because it is MUCH more liquidy and emulsified with little to zero separation! I don’t know if I believe them — could be true!

Anyway, I do not want any oil at all; so this is my concern. Whatever oil occurs naturally in foods, I have no objection, of course; but the addition of oils is not acceptable. But like most nut butters, the oil rises and can be easily drained; so, I figured I’d give it a shot.

Tropical Traditions was honest and said they add some to get it creamy. I tried theirs which is labeled, Coconut Cream Concentrate; it’s organic and orgasmically delicious ;^). Even better, the oil to coconut meat separation is excellent. The coconut meat is very dry of oil when allowed to separate, leaving you with pure coconut.So you have choice!
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At the top you see the oil pooled. This is actually the bottom of the jar because I’m about through with it.  So the above picture is the coconut butter after I drained it of the oil and you can see it continues to separate!

Equally delicious — and this stuff is incredibly delicious! — and with even a bit better separating quality (could be they just add less oil…) is Wilderness Family Naturals Coconut Spread:< – I no longer recommend this product

Here is a pic of mine; oil at the bottom!
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SUPER dry:

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The jar it came in is nice too! I’ll be recycling it for sure ;^) .

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I have also tried the Artisana as I mentioned above and it’s a pourable texture (like a liquidy tahini), and very different in that regard to these two.

As far as nut butters, I rarely use them. I prefer to use the nuts or seeds, fresh. I always soak first to make them more nutritious. Soaking also makes them MUCH easier to digest; some people find that they could not eat nuts and/or seeds because of the terrible upset, pain, or gas and bloating UNTIL they started soaking. So good thing to remember! Soaking makes blending easier and removes any bitterness which may be present in nuts. I also don’t like to make jar-like amounts which will be sitting in the fridge losing nutrients, especially since I don’t use a ton of fat and I rotate my fat intake (with the exception of avos which I eat daily 😉 ) so as to take advantage of the variety of nutrients natural fats have to offer. So…doesn’t make sense to buy so much.

BUT, organic coconuts are SO rare and unavailable at some times of the year. So even when I buy coconuts in bulk and freeze, there are times I’m out and at a loss 😦 . So this is one exception. Also, coconut is very stable for out-of-the fridge storage (which is also probably why oil is added as well; since it acts as a great preservative). What else I do is buy dried organic coconut. I like the Let’s Do…Organic, Coconut Flakes from Edward & Sons. So I’m ready when it’s slim pickin’s coconut season 😀

Coconut is Fuhrman-friendly but only when using coconut meat and not coconut oil. As whole-food as possible is the deal. Oils are NOT health foods; only use for some oils would be medicinal, such as DHA-EPA or Borage, etc., for a specific purpose. As well, medicinally, smallest amounts are therapeutic and not the tablespoons people use to cook with, use for dressings, or take as their “EFA supplement.”

Here is a bit from Dr. Fuhrman on Oils:

“A small amount of oil once in a while may present no danger to a physically active, thin person who eats a healthful diet, but because most Americans are overweight already, those extra calories can be life thereatening.”

Note the key words “physically active,” “who eats a healthful diet”!


“… Oil is a processed food…when you chemically extract oil from a whole food (such as olives and various nuts and seeds), you leave behind (lose) the vast majority of nutrients and end up with a fragmented food that contaiins little more than empty calories. …the whole plant foods that contain fat also contain various fibers and an assortment of micronutriens (such as bioflavonoids) that help maintain the freshness of the fat. As soon as the oil is extracted from the plant, it begins to go rancid. Toxic byproducts also develop. Since the oxidation products of oils have been reported to have cytotoxic and mutagenic effects, the consumption of rancid oils and fats represents a possible health hazard for the population.”

Read LOTS more on this by subscribing to “The Healthy Times Newsletter.”

If you’re into nut butters, though, you must try Living Tree Community’s Milk of Paradise; it’s raw and it’s delish. Oh, and if you like black sesame seeds, they have nice smaller jars of raw Black Sesame Tahini available, and it’s yummy 🙂  (I could have sworn I got a 4-ounce jar from Whole Foods market…hmmm)


Now, what to do with that oil? Use it, of course! Use it for homemade products 😀 . It can be used straight as a hair conditioner; it’s wonderful for skin — apply a bit over a damp body right out of the shower. Additionally, I often add oils to store-bought lotions I already have. This makes them even better 🙂 .I have also used a bit on my wash cloth when taking a shower — it adds nicely to your soap without leaving oily 😉 .  Nice added to liquid soaps and shampoos as well. It’s anti-bacterial, naturally, so great for hand soaps. I also use coconut oil for personal wipes (like baby wipes but for adults with essential oils, other adds, etc.); I need to put up a recipe for those!Can be used as a personal lubricant too. I’ve used it in cream or solid homemade deodorants (but not too-too much; you don’t want oil on your clothes!) It is FAB in homemade toothpastes! I use it occasionally as the gel instead of glycerine which is not good for teeth but is in almost all toothpastes. Just a tiny bit is all that’s needed! rub some on your brush, dip into a homemade tooth powder and brush. Or if you like baking soda, just dip into some for an easy toothpaste 🙂 Okay, so there it is. NO waste!


Okay, next…

Pic of MountainRoseHerbs‘ Castille and Tropical Traditions‘ liquid soaps:

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Tropical Traditions’  Natural Liquid Soaps in Foaming Dispensers are pure coconut based. I loved this soap! It is very clean and non-oily, surprisingly like the pure castile soap I love from MountainRoseHerbs. It is *very* basic. It comes in a plain one with only the one ingredient and it’s so great if you want to add your own essential oils or other stuffs! The foaming is really nice, and one of the better things about it versus an ordinary pump is that you end up using so much less. I got all three. To be honest, one reason I wanted to get these is because I wanted the foam pump dispenser 😉 . (I searched for foam dispensers online but couldn’t find them available):

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I wanted to put my own homemade soaps in there and see if it worked. It did! Here’s the shocking part: It worked with the pure castile soap! Castille is soooo thin and watery that I doubted it would foam, but it did. If it works on that, it’ll work on anything. I have yet to try it with the liquid soapnuts, but I shall 🙂 .

So, when I finished the coconut soap, I washed it out and put in the MRH Castille Soap…

Okay, so here is how the pure castille soap in the foam dispenser came out:

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Very nice! But to make it more stable, I added a squeeze of vegetable glycerine (found in any pharmacy, online, or even  some brands are in markets) …

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and the result is a much richer and more stable foam. Glycerine, by the way, is great for this purpose as well as a great skin moisturizer, as it is a humectant which attracts and holds moisture; so it’s perfect for lotions, etc. It does not need the glycerine, as you can see; but if you have some, it’s a nice, beneficial addition.

Later, I added some essential oils for the fragrance I wanted — lovely!

Oh, and the Tropical Traditions soap is excellent on its own, by the way, and can be bought in larger amounts for refill as well. 🙂

FYI, I inquired as to whether their enzymes are vegan, and they were good enough to research it and call me back a few days later with an affirmative 😀 . Haven’t tried them, but it’s good to know.

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Green Juice, Foam, Spinach Butter, and Purslane Video…

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I’ve been meaning to post about this for months! It’s about how my juicer juices the softer greens. I posted about my great juicer and how it produces pure, clear juice, even with the most soft leaves. Here is an example of the power of the Super Angel Juice Extractor: When I juice baby leaves of spinach, it actually creams it. It’s spinach butter!Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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The amazing thing is there is no pulp in that — none. Zero. Zip. Nada. At first, I was peeved when I saw these chunks! I was about to go off on the Angel folks; however, I quickly realized this is simply the way it works — it’s merely the texture. The Angel has only one function for all jobs. It is a very (very) tight mesh; so nothin’ gets past it. This buttering seems to happen with the soft leaves only; the hardier leaves are clear juice (with some foam, of course — more on foam below). I strained this stuff in a tight-mesh jersey cloth and there was not a speck on it — completely clean! A thorough jucing, indeedy.  No matter what goes in, pure juice comes out! Hmmm…spinach butter…the possibilities…
Like, say… avocado-spinach ice cream?  😉

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I also  wrote about the first purslane of the season; I was quite excited as purslane (a.k.a. verdolaga and “a weed”!) is very nutritious (see links ^ ). I also have learned from reading about it, that the stems are extremely nutritious, as well. Normally, I would have made the effort to simply pull off the leaves; but now, I strip the leaves and get their stems too. I do not juice the stalks (or thicker stems) though; I’m referring to the small stems which attach the little leaves to the stalk 🙂 . I tried to grow some myself; however, for some reason, it didn’t grow 😦 .

But look what I found at the Farmer’s market on a lovely California summer evening — A gorgeous, quite large, bunch of fresh Purslane:

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Now, since we’re on the topic of juicing and textures, you will find this very interesting — try juicing purslane! It’s a viscousy, mucilaginous green (think okra, aloe vera, etc.) — very hard to juice! Here is the Angel working hard on the job:

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Yep, see the thick goopiness?!! It’s like that thick goop you get from blending flaxseeds for flax “eggs.” Best way to deal with it (if your juicer can even handle it!) is to juice your purslane first, then follow it with hardier, stemmier greens, such as collards, kale, and parsley. Those will clean out the goop and get all that sticky purslane “sludge” from the juicer gears. Saves you clean up AND, of course, you get all that you should from the purslane, wasting none of it! 🙂 . You can also alternate — purslane, kale, purslane, kale/collard, purslane, etc; butin my Angel anyway — it works better the former: If you alternate, you will lose too much purslane goop because too much will remain stuck on the juicer gears, you see 😉 . The same clear juice resulted as above with the spinach, by the way 🙂 .

* :^) *


Want to see it in video? Watch it here! (Note: The sound of the juicer is loud because I have the camera right up against the machine; as well, the stress sound it is making is because it is working very hard on that purslane. It otherwise makes a steady (lower) humming sound):

* video removed*

* :^) *



************* GREEN-JUICE FOAM***********



Okay, now that we’ve tackled the buttery, chunky spinach and gloopidy glop of purslane, let us discuss the issue of juice foam, shall we? 😀

So, what to do with it? Well, I’m assuming most just drink it. I used to; but I find it to harbor the most bitterish-ness of green juices (not so bad in smoothies) — reminds me of skimming the “scum,” as my Mom used to call it, from soups or beans.

One issue with foam is that it contributes to gas and bloating and some interesting belching 😀 . No-o-o-o-ot sa-good, eh? But, if one likes it, there’s nothing wrong with it — somewhat like a whole-foodie’s answer to cappuccino Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting .

Anyway, straining helps, but what I found to work better is a fat separator (a.k.a gravy separator)!! Yep, break out that baby, you CAN use it again 🙂 .

I find some greens to produce more foam than others. The type of juicer matters to degree only; as far as I know, all juicers produce some foam. The Angel is the better of those I’ve tried; however, I still get some. Then, if you’re blending the juice, you’re whipping in even more air into it. So this can cause a lot of undesirable air in the tummy,you can imagine.

So here is the best solution I’ve found so far (if you have any strategies of your own, feel free to comment!): The the glass Catamount Bennington Gravy Separator, purchased at William Sonoma:

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Top product. Besides separating, another great thing about it is you can always use it as a nice measuring cup, right? No waste. And to make this even more irresistible, it’s made of borosilicate glass; it’s microwave safe, dishwasher safe; oven-safe and — get this —  STOVE-TOP safe! Is that incredible or what? I am surprised by the stove-top safety; but that’s what the box reads…Okay, I’m skeptical, to be honest… I will have to try it one day. Who knows what stove-top safety means, anyway? Hmmm…I believe the oven-safety claim because boroscillate glass is well-known for that; will see about the stove-top! It is not “unbreakable.”

Okay, so I figure if it can separate fats, why not foam?!

Check it out: Some fresh-squeezed leafy greens juice and the separator with screen:

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I poured in the juice…

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Lotsa foamy-foam-foam…

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Let ‘er drip!

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Tilt and shake, gently to …

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…get every last drop 😉 …

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Not bad …

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Now pouring…wow look at that GORGEOUS PURE GREEEEEEEEEEN_nessssssss!

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Pure, and CLEAR…

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What’s left….

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Only because I (greedily) let it go a bit too much at the end did I get this tiny bit of foam…

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I could have avoided even that little bit had I had a bit more control at the end ;^) Otherwise, expect it to be as clear as the above shots of the pure juice. It’s the same when separating fat — you will get some of the fat in if you don’t watch it carefully enough. But…


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An internet friend of mine, June, recently reminded me of watermelon rind juice! Very refreshing; so summer’s the perfect time, right? Right 😀 .In a recipe known, net-wide, called, The Niagara Falls CleanserThe Freedom You folks claim (as I’ve read elsewhere) that…

“Watermelon rind has chlorophyll, vitamin A, protein, potassium, zinc, iodine, nucleic acids and enzymes which aid digestion. Ninety-five percent of the nutritional content in watermelon is in the rind.”

Wow, 95% ??!! I don’t know if that’s fact, but it sure sounds good 😀 . Imagine — I’ve (We’ve) been throwing out ALL the nutrients and downing the sugar! Yikes. Makes it seem like eating a processed food, doesn’t it?! Cr_A-zy. :^)

Of course the flesh of the watermelon juiced has many nice benefits aside from great taste 😉

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Makes a nice green juice :). A very good juice for “cleansing,” if you want to see it that way.

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I like to add pure watermelon rind juice to my Green Juicie Green Smoothies; but during the summer, it makes a nice refreshing drink on it’s own with a little help from some citrus, stevia, and/or ginger.

To conclude, I leave you with a look at a recent GJGS — little bit of foam included with the blending of whole leafies 😉

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Mmmm…Now, what could be better? ;^)


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Adventure, Kefir: My Love of Coconut Kefir and How To …

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Ahhh…Put de lime in de coco-nut and drink it all up 😉  I like some lemon-lime and/or ginger in mine occasionally, but, to be honest, I like it best straight 🙂 It’s a soury taste, so sweetening it up with some stevia and fruit may help a newcomer. It’s just too good for you not to! Read previous post on why I drink it and why you should. (I drank much of the kefir by the time I took that pic, by the way; so, yes, there was more 😉 )

Okay, a lot less talk and more pics! They tell the story, afterall. Let’s get to it!!

Start with — surprise! Coconuts! FRESH young Thai coconuts are recommended:

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I scored on these organic Thai coconuts — only $1.99 each…

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Now, crack those suckers! Okay, don’t worry. It’s really easy peasy…
With a sturdy knife, slice off the spike top…

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Shave the sides a bit — just the top; no need to undress it completely 😉 — to reveal the hard shell underneath…
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With a whack of the knife on the top-side, create an opening like so (ignore the mess I made of the sides) …

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Wedge the knife in the slit and as to pry it open, wiggle it up and down to crack it further; it naturally creates lid in a nice little circle to remove easily …

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An alternative way — I like because there’s less chance of me spilling that precious water — is, after slicing off the pointed top, to poke a hole in the top with the point of your knife for ease of draining…

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You shouldn’t need a hammer to whack with like you do with the harder, mature, brown coconuts; it should be very soft….

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Or simply drain from the crack you made on the side.

Then you can deal with the coconut meat later by whacking the lid off completely…

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Okay, so drain the water over a sterilized fine-mesh strainer or new double-layer piece of cheesecloth into a clean, sterilized receptacle (boil a mason jar in hot water as for canning; or you can pour boiling water over it and in it. Make sure you warm up the glass first or that it’s not cold; it may shatter if not a thick glass):

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Okay, this is the water from 2:

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You want about 1 1/2 quarts of water to 1 package of kefir starter — Purchase from  Wilderness Family; it comes with instructions or you can follow them right on their site.

Utensils: A large jug with an air-tight lid; a sauce pan or double boiler; kefir starter (also need a fine-mesh strainer or piece of cheese cloth. If neither, try an unbleached coffee filter found in any market or tea filters like these will work; and an inexpensive kitchen temperature gauge, found at any market, if you have one is great):

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Warm the coconut water GENTLY to 90 to 92-degrees, only. Use a temperature gauge or use your finger to “just warm”; better not warm enough than too hot. It should work at lower temps, but you will “kill” it any higher.

Then add your starter to to the clean, sterilized storing receptacle ….

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Pour in the warmed coconut water and shake a bit. I don’t like to add any instruments to stir to avoid any contamination:

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I got these great air-tight 2-litre jugs by Bormioli Rocco of Italy at Sur La Table for only $6 each! I got 1.5-litre jugs for $5. This brand is a real bargain; I also have their glass pitchers. They have lots of variety to offer and jugs like these in various sizes. Love them! They are also available in many regular and discount stores; web sites; and Amazon — and always, unexpectedly, inexpensive. They aren’t “cheapy” at all; the Bormioli Rocco is very good-quality; and the $5-price was at Sur La Table! Not exactly an inexpensive store…Always preferred, however, is recycled, if I can find it. I recall Ikea used to have lots of recycled glass; however, I haven’t been there in a long time. I do see they have these at — if correct — incredibly low prices! Not recycled; Available only in stores, it reads.

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Seal tightly and set aside, undisturbed for 24 hours — That’s it!

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Taste test. If it’s flat, too sweet-ish ( it should have a bit of sweetness), or is not tangy then re-seal and let it go another six hours. Check. Let it go up to 48 hours, checking at 6-hour intervals. Most of this relies on the temperature at which it is stored. I would throw it out if not done by 48 hours. This time range gives you an idea when to start making your next batch so you don’t have any days going without. Be aware, also, that one packet of the kefir is usable 7 times! So that makes it even more inexpensive. also note that the kefirs following the first batch are done faster — so, usually within 24 hours, possible sooner. You only need to reserve 1/4 Cup of your initial batch of kefir to “start” your next batch, as opposed to adding a new packet of kefir; you can do this up to 7 times.

Should let out a nice hiss from the pressure build up when you first open it, and it should have a bit of a fizz…thing about the fizz is that sometimes it’s more fizzy-ish like a carbonation; other times, it’s very very light. Either way is fine from what I understand, and, for me, drinking either way has been the same experience, effectiveness-wise. Also, the more often you open it, the more the “pop” and carbonation diminishes, just like any carbonated drink; it’s still all good 😉

Here it is at about 18 hours. It’s gone from clear to cloudy, creamy white….

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Not much difference looks-wise at 24 hours; however the taste wasn’t quite right…

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Some difference looks-wise, at 36 hours; it’s got more “culture” on top — FINI! :^)

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So there it is! Easy, no? Your own coconut kefir!! Yummy. Drink often 😀 Several places recommend that first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and just before bed as being the best times; so if you can’t drink before a meal or between meals, at least drink in the a.m. and p.m.

Now, to all that coconut meat: Scoop out the meat, which, in Thai coconuts is soft and silky and spoonable!

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Even a child could do this…

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Easy…. You can do any number of things with coconut meat. Add to smoothies; make coconut milk (you can also add coconut to your regular nut, seed, or soy milks for added richness instead of pure coconut milk); FREEZE! I freeze in portions as use as I do seeds and nuts, mostly for dressing. GREAT in raw food recipes. Use in place of dairy cream; half-and-half; or milk. Makes the best base for icecreams, cooked or raw (better than soymilk); Use to make “cream” soups, creamy pasta or other sauces. My favorite way is to ground it finely with some nutritional yeast and make a “parmesan” sprinkle — DE-licious. Add to trail-mixtures, granolas, cereals, bars, etc. Shred into slaws or add to salads — fruit or regular. Endless! 🙂

Now, you can also clean and dry completely in the sun or oven those shells and use for bowls or making fun crafts. 🙂


If opening a Thai Coconut yourself seems daunting — STOP IT! It’s sooooo easy. I thought it was difficult too until I figured it out — on my own, actually, and this video is exactly how it happened for me — wish I’d have seen this before the humongous mess(es) I made!


So come on! Make kefir; it’s easy and your Body Ecology will be stellar!


Next kefir post will be on making coconut kefir with brown-coconuts water. Then a followup on what I have brewin’ right now which is a kefir that takes longer to ferment; so I’ll be updating on that too.

Also … Coming Soon: Kombucha! 😉

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Suggestion – Digestion and a Blast From the Past …

Digestive system from, Diet and Health.net

A healthful environment in the body at the cellular level is crucial to health, according to Dr. Fuhrman. Here is an excerption in response to someone at his forum struggling with letting go of processed foods and not losing weight right off the bat (it takes time!):

“Its not the calories we want to change or reduce it is the digestive and cellular environment right now and have your body really get a cellular cleaning.”

Of course, this was referring to a specific case; nevertheless, a proper environment is important. This is just an example. Clearly, this person needed some time to get her body “clean” and functioning properly. Only way — and I mean, the ONLY way — is to eat the nutrient-dense way; in other words, Eat To Live. When you eat your Nutrients high you cannot help but get healthier. The wonderful side benefit is…

Eating for nutritional excellence will protect your precious health, and it just so happens, when you eat so healthfully you will lose weight until you achieve your ideal weight.”

One of the more profound things I’ve learned from Dr. Fuhrman is that yo-yo dieting is extremely DANGEROUS:

It has been observed by scientific studies that overweight people who go on and off diets and yo-yo their weight lay down more atherosclerosis than those who did not diet and kept their overweight condition stable.”

That was a REAL EYE OPENER for me. I  used to yo-yo a LOT; and I thought just “getting back on track later” was good. Mama, Mia….

Remember: H = N/C. Period! End of argument. Do IT 😀

Okay…SO, eating properly is first and foremost. To help you along…

Some helpful things for creating a positive, healthy body ecology — VEGAN way, of course 😉 — I know of and some I like (These are based on my personal experience with these foods and are by no means meant to be taken as general “truths” for everyone):

Raw Cultured Vegetables: Sauerkraut, Kim Chi, etc., are examples of cultured veggies. Easily made at home, it’s next on my list; soon to be posted 😉  Rejuvenative Foods is SOoooo convenient, and I’m glad it’s still around! I get the unsalted, of course, and I use it in my dressings. I don’t consume straight vinegar in my salads because it would be too much direct contact with my teeth for good oral health. For some reason, the kim chi, while “vinegary,” does not affect my teeth (make them hurt) when blended into my dressings; I do, however, avoid eating it straight. It’s savory and delicious in dressings, acting very much as the vinegar. Makes an excellent Asian soup broth base, too: think hot and sour soup, raw or cooked ;^)  Remember you want, raw, unpasteurized for this and all the food/beverage probiotics. This is excellent for the digestion and stomach flora. Love it.

I make my own now — see these blogs about it:  Cultured Veggie-A “How To” and More on Cultured Vegetables

Coconut Kefir: I could go on an on! MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE — no contest! Better than kombucha, way better than any of the rejuvelacs, it’s made from the water of young coconuts and kefir starter, coconut kefir is the best probiotic drink one can consume. It’s so unfortunate that it is not widely available. I’m lucky to have been exposed to it from a health market nearby which carries one of the very few brands available, “Tonix” Coconut KefirDelicious stuff. BUT, as you imagine, very expensive. I decided to make my own; post soon to follow ;^) I kid you not: This is my go-to beverage of choice for any unwellness, especially with the tummy. If struggling with going off plan and eating poorly, I  suggest to call it a day and drink kefir before bed and first thing in the morning — new day, new start, fresh tummy back in order and quickly! 😀 Post on my own coconut kefir to follow! Whoo Hoo!

Kombucha; Kombucha has been around for ages, too, but it sort of becoming — yep, trendy!  Reputed to be a powerful detoxifier, it’s all the rage. I drink it only occasionally. I like Millenium GTS’s, Multi-Green Kombucha (of course 😉 ) but there are some yummy flavors too, such as ginger. It is started with tea and some tea remains, but not a lot, so very little caffeine in the resultant product. It is made with sugar, which is consumed by the mother spore, “SCOBY,” and so, again, not much remains as a result. I like this, but don’t find it particularly advantageous enough for me to include it regularly. Many claim it does wonders for them, though; so, I think occasional consumption is okay. Most are raw and are labeled as such.

Rejuvelac: Either love it or hate it! I’ve had success with mine :^).I think it depends on how it turns out rather than the drink itself. It’s a fermented, fizzy grain beverage — like a light effervescent drink; referred to as the “champagne” of raw foodists :). It can be flavored as such; makes a nice substitute with some experimentation.  I like the traditional wheat okay, but soft spring wheat is what I would make for myself, nowadays; but, I lprefer the combination of rye and spelt best. I can drink it straight, but, it’s usually summertime when I get a hankering for rejuv, so I usually add lemon or lime, bit of fresh ginger, and some stevia. It’s fairly verstatile: it can be used to make really excellent raw vegan “cheeses,” and can be used as a base for dressings as well. Choosing the right grains for you and your taste is also important. It’s easy to make rejuvelac, too.

(It’s interesting that this company recommends it for weekly consumption, as opposed to companies, hawking a product, which always seem to over-sell and have very high recommendations for consumption.)

Coconut Vinegar: Raw coconut vinegar would be similar to the apple cider in its effects, just better ;^) It is an interesting flavor; I love it.  It is both very mild yet flavorful at once…I think I would say, it is “mild” more because of the acidity — very low; and there is a flavor that comes through, and it can alter a recipe’s results. It’s great in a vegan mayo or dressing. I also use it as a between meals drink to help with tummy issues, such as is recommended with raw apple cider vinegar. One tablespoon in a glass of water; or you can start with less, if you like.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar: What can be said?! This stuff is and has been purported to be the panacea, lol. Great-great-infinitum Grandmothers used this stuff 😀 It is good for heartburn, gas, digestion, appetite suppression — these, as far as my experience; but the claims go far beyond! I have no knowledge of them other than my own experience and utilizations of RACV. It’s good in-between meals or 20 minutes before to aid digestion of those meals. One Tablespoon in a glass of water. Of course used in recipes too.

Miso – It’s a healthful food used for the Ages; however, it is high in sodium; but, if one is going to use salt, this would be a healthier choice. I really love(d) miso, but definitely preferred a high-quality such as South River Miso. If I were to go back to consuming salt, it’d be miso all the way ;^) Miso is a living food; not a “raw” food.

Natto: A Japanese fermented soybeans condiment. It’s not caught on with the Western palate! The viscousy — very — and mucousy texture is what seems to be the offputting element — well, for me, I would say. One could blend this into things, if desired, as well. I don’t like it, myself.

Food Combining: Some folks take this to a strict level and employ it as their way of eating. It is based on the varying times which foods digest;  and which should and should not be combined so as to facilitate the most efficient digestion.  I don’t follow it strictly; but, rather, I do find that some of the “rules” apply to me. So I follow those signals. For example, I will not eat fruit, especially a melon, after a meal. It causes a lot of bloating and, inevitably gas; some fruits are worse than others. If I were to have fruit later, it would be at least 4 hours after a meal. I do prefer eating fruits as a mono-meal, but not necessarily mono-fruit meals. So, in other words, I’ll have a bowl of mixed fruit, whereas a mono-fruit eater would consume only a bowl of one type of fruit. Whatever works for ya ;^) For me, fruit is best before a meal or as a meal by itself, or 4 hours after a meal. Dried fruit is another big gas producer, it seems, and for me it certainly is. And its challenge, compounded when mixed with fresh fruits and/or vegetation. Dried fruit is best eaten alone. Soaking and blending helps; so, add it this way to a dressing, soup, or sauce. It’s not in my diet (with the exception of goji berries in small amounts on a rare occasion in a smoothie) and I don’t miss them (or the wind!)

Amazake: Loved this stuff! I haven’t had it in years, actually, but it’s delicious. Better than any yogurt drinks or thick-dairy drink-stuffs! Known mostly in Macrobiotic circles, it’s a fermented rice beverage — no sugar or salt added; yet it’s delicious and lightly sweet. It’s thick and is satisfyingly filling. A very good drink for kids too, instead of say, a sugary yogurt drink or flavored milk! It originated in Japan, where it remains popular. Found in the fridge section of healthier markets in plain and various flavors. You can make your own amazake out of grains as well as rice — millet is a good one — with koji cultures. This is what’s used for fermentation to make sake, too. (I loved amazake so much I named an adopted dog “Koji” 😀 )

So instead of the new “yogurt for digestion/enzymes/health” trend so obnoxiously pounded into our heads as the vogue “health product du jour” right now and funded by the Dairy Industry, try some amazake :^) You might want to blend in some whole fruit for a fruity one, add stevia, or other flavorings to make substitutes for those yogurts so poplular now, or yogurt drinks. This, by the way, is not a raw food.


Probiotics, Supplement: Nature’s Way “OPTIMA” is the best I’ve tried. It is pricey, but good. Very effective. It’s in vegetable capsules and needs to be refrigerated. On the other hand, I don’t believe one would need this as some sort of life-long supplement if following a nutritious way of eating for life. I think it would be fine occasionally or as needed, or if someone needs to get their system healthy again or are starting a new healthful way of eating for life (Eat To Live) (and not just a crash diet), then this would be great. There is a less expensive one offered by Nature’s Way, “Primadophilus, Original,” but, in my experience I needed 2 capsules to get good effects, whereas the Optima required only one. But with time, when you reach a state of higher health, you don’t really need any ;^)

Dr. Fuhrman also has a probiotic, Favorite Flora. It tastes exactly like the Nature’s Way, Optima (Yes, I open the capsules 😉 ), it comes as a powder and must be refrigerated, as well.

Enzymes: Well, I don’t use them regularly; but when I needed them MRM Digest-All was the (only) one that worked for me.

Good Fruits and Herbs: Ginger and Tumeric are excellent. There are lots of herbs and spices such as fennel, anise, peppermint, etc., which are great for gas, bloating and other ramifications of a sluggish digestive system. A good example of sources for digestive enzymes from fruits would be papaya and pineapple. Add them to a Green JUICIE Green SMOOTHIE with a small piece of ginger and you’re good to go! I sometimes use the kefir in my GJGS’s too, as well as herbal tisanes; so that’s another way to get some in.

Chop Raw Food Well. When I slice my veggies, I like textures, but I also know, with the size of ETL salads, I’m going to be doing a LOT of chewing. So I find slicing very important in helping with digestion. I recall my mother telling me to chew each (modest) mouthful at least 25 times before swallowing; she probably learned that from Jack LaLanne, lol. Wow, he was a head of his time, no? Several months ago, I came across some of his old tv shows on YouTube. WOW. He is preaching very close to what Dr. Fuhrman’s research and experience has proved about health and nutrition. Almost. He was (still is?) a little high on the “more protein” thing (and recommends meat and a bit of dairy); but, then again, athletes seem to feel they need extra protein, (the myth that never dies…or at least you’ll die before it does, if you adhere to it) which, we all (should) know by now is NOT necessary. But, anyway, who can not respect Jack? What a fabulous man. Anyway…that was my little “Blast from the Past.” Watch some of these and be amazed yourself :^) Enjoy!

Now, back to chopping — If you have a food processor, USE IT! The shredder blade is great. You can get cabbages so thin and light, they are a pleasure to eat instead of a chomping exhibition! (Ever try to eat a humongous salad in front of guests?! How about a date? Lol.) So, think “slaw” for some of the gassier veggies like the cabbages; they are much easier chewed and digested shredded.

Sprouts/Living Foods: Another “light-bulb” for me recently was the discovery of how incredibly easy sprouts are to digest! Maybe because I have a healthy system by now, but I have to say, I imagine they would be easier to digest for anyone, simply because they are a living food. Anecdotally, I have also noted a marked increase in strength :^O Seriously. I am lifting more since adding them, feeling strong and fantastic! I’ve posted on them quite a bit here! Very easy to grow and you will save a bundle while becoming more healthful. Often people complain about the cost of good organic produce — heck, GROW YOUR OWN. You don’t need a garden or a balcony. You need a kitchen; if you don’t have a kitchen, I bet you at least have a sink/faucet somewhere in your dwelling. That’s all you need 😉 No EXCUSES.

Exercise: Speaking of NO Excuses 😀 Good for digestion too 😉

BREATHE!! 😀 Do remember to breathe correctly  while exercising: you should be inhaling (breathing IN) through the nose and exhaling (out) through the mouth. Now, here’s the rub: On the INHALE your tummy should extend (go out/get bigger) and on the EXHALE your tummy should go in…this is opposite of what we learn somewhere, somehow along the way to ‘adulthood.’ We are born breathing correctly 🙂 You know how when someone sticks their stomach in? Firstly, they hold their breath, but the also breathe in as they do it — WRONG! Should be breathing OUT. Okay, got it? 😀 Anyway, the point is, breathing incorrectly — in through the mouth — is bad for bloating and gas issues as well. If you do this while exercising, you exacerbate the problem. This goes for weightlifting — you should be EXHALING on the EXERTION, the lift; and inhaling on the letting down — as well as cardio <– very important. You swallow a lot of air when getting your heart rate up. And when you breathe — basically backwards! — you are taking air into the stomach. Eegads! So, BREATHE CORRECTLY all the time, and be especially mindful while exercising 😀

I’ve read that yogic exercises are also very good for digestion. I don’t do a lot; however I do streamline and do the most effective 😉 . That would be The Five Tibetan Rites — FABULOUS, and I’ve found many of the claims are true. (See animated demo here)

Beans: I could write a chapter. Even though I’m high-raw now, as a vegan “foodie” in the past, I certainly mastered the stove-top bean ;D  Here are some recommendations, if you eat beans. Remember, if you have issues with them, introduce them slowly, in small amounts to  your diet and increase them as your body acclimates. Here are some of my tips, with a primer on beans cooking 😀

What happens for most is that it takes a couple weeks of consistent eating to live to acclimate the body to the foods.
The gas will go away eventually.

Some things to do:

Eat slowly

Eat with your mouth closed

Eat mindfully, chewing and tasting every bite

Chewing your food to or almost to liquidity before swallowing

Speak after you have thoroughly chewed and swallowed (in between bites); don’t talk with food in your mouth or talk and chew — ew! — you’ll swallow lots of air.

Do not drink with meals; drink before and after, if you do need to drink at all.

Try to manage stress if you have it

Try not to eat while upset

Try to eat as simply as possible (meaning don’t get too crazy with combinations of foods that give you problems…for now)

Do Green smoothies for getting your raw greens in (the chewing of raw veggies that is required causes air swallowing); the blending does all the work for you )

Take smaller bites

Try not to slurp or gulp drinks or soups

Avoid gum chewing (LOTS of unintended air swallowing)

Avoid gassier fruits — grapes, apples, etc.

Overeating — this is a HUGE contributor to gas, amongst other things…yikes.

Using a straw also causes air in the stomach; so limit use of them. (I use them for green smoothies, though, to keep the acid and/or green off my teeth. But I at least rinse right after ). For now, though, try not to use them. Eventually, if this is the only gas-producing thing you do, it will be pretty insignificant.


I always:

Soak for 24 hours (Overnight works too, but longer is better)
Refill pot with fresh water
Add a 1- or 2-inch piece of konbu (kombu) and/or sprigs of epazote
Bring to a boil
Reduce to a simmer level
Cook til done

I never:

Bring to a rolling boil (breaks them up)
Do the quick-soak method
Simmer too high
Add salt (pre-ETL, this would only be added near the end of cooking — last 15 minutes or so, then cook till done so it can absorb it)
Add citrus (tomatoes) until they are almost or already done

The last two nevers (salt and citrus), are hotly disputed by cooks! However, I find it’s best to do this — better safe than wasteful.

Chew to Liquid: Don’t forget the most oft-neglected commandments: chew thoroughly! One also extracts more nutrients from foods through better, more efficient, thorough chewing, according to Dr. Fuhrman. Not only aids the body in digestion, but one avoids swallowing air which is probably one of the biggest contributors to bloating. Don’t eat mindlessly and hurriedly. Chew food to liquid, then swallow. You’ll be SO glad you did. Getting into the practice of this will do you good, I promise!

World’s Healthiest Foods has a nice read and animation about digestion.

Hara Hachi Bu: “Eat to 80 % fullness.” This has been one of the most wonderful most powerful, empowering things I’ve ever done for myself. If you get to a point of health where this is doable, meaning you  have overcome, completely, overeating and toxic hunger, this is a gift, really.  I employ it  myself and it is just another fabulous step toward optimal health and excellent digestive system. The body should never be overloaded with food to digest. This accelerates the aging process. Who wants that? And “aging” is not meant only in regard to aesthetics; this is not a vanity issue (though it could be, and so what?). One is aging the body’s organs by overworking them.

Hara Hachi Bu is also a very healthful exercise of control — control of mind, body, and self. Build a strong mind 😉 . Eventually, it becomes normal, though, and no longer something that takes effort or discipline, as your body and, probably more your mind, adapt. Also, always — whether practicing Hara Hachi Bu or not — take your time; don’t ever rush when eating.

For me, as my journey progresses into greater levels of health, I find that I have slowly, without realizing it at first, eaten less and less over time. Once you have saturated your cells with nutrients, it begins repairing whatever damage you did. It may take a while! Some folks take years of having to eat optimally to get to a level another, less toxic or maybe just less prone-to-damage person may be. It’s all up to the body AND how well you feed it. Dr. Fuhrman says the most important thing is CONSISTENCY. I agree. If one is constantly see-sawing and going off-and-on, bingeing, “falling off the wagon” — I always hated that expression — then you are actually setting yourself back further than if you’d never started the health journey to begin. And that’s a scientific truth; it’s not a psychological/mental  metaphor — refer back to my EYE OPENER quote from Dr. Fuhrman at the beginning of this post for the 4-1-1; or should I say, “the 9-1-1”?!!

Here is a quote from Dr. Fuhrman:

“As the nutritional quality of your diet improves and as your body’s nutrient levels increase, you can be satisfied with fewer calories.  The goal is to be satisfied nutritionally, physically, emotionally, getting pleasure from eating, not feeling deprived, while at the same time consuming less calories, but not wanting more.”

It happens, People! Believe me, it does.

Conquer overeating, get your digestion in good order, say goodbye to fake “hunger,” — all achieved through adherence to “nutritional excellence” via Eating To Live, and begin a hara hachi bu practice ;^) A similar practice was employed by the Israeli Essenes: Two thousand years ago the Essenes in Israel taught that we should, “Eat your fill at one meal, noting the quantity of food you consume. From that time on, eat a third less.”  Good advice!

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Just A Few Beautiful Summer Vegetables…

I’ve been ever-so grateful and lucky to have access 🙂

Yellow Carrots and Purple Radishes:

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The greens of the radishes!
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More colorful variety:

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Giant Sunburst Summer Squash

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Royalty! This is Purple Cauliflower is chockfull of anthocyanin, whose pigment signifies the flavonoids, also in red and blue fruits and veggies and you also hear about some in red wine, which comes from the grapes, of course!
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Clover Sprouts in the Hemp Bag and Noodles’ Eco-Suits …

Of course came out fabu-loso 😉

Here are the Red Clover seeds soaking (yes, those are shoelaces for string! It is hemp, though 😛 ):

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Okay, so after a good 8- to 12-hour soak, it’s now it’s hang time.

Then…Day 1:

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This is how I rinse: I add the bag to a bowl of water and swoosh and shake and submerge so ALL the sprouts get a nice soaking. I do this instead of running tons of water over them — WASTING!! This works fantastic and saves me some angst! I really, really, really — did I mention, “really”? — despise wasting water.

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Day 2 — Gorgeous! I think Red Clover seeds are the most beautiful, don’t you?

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Ahhhh, Day 3:

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Mmmmm…Day 5. And, wow…greening, once again before even “greening”!!:

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Here is the bag of sprouts, done, on Day 6 (Now I know I can use a bit more seeds next time since this is not too full): Note how dry the bag is…

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Okay, now let us peak inside…

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Once again, niiiiiiiiice 😀

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Obviously this type of sprout also excels in hemp bags!


Now, I read that some seeds, like red clover sprouts release quite a bit of their pigment on to their host. So I expected my bag to stain, and it didn’t disappoint :). I think it looks nice, actually; I love antiques and antiquey things, especially fabrics! So this looks like a “well-seasoned” sprout bag ;^).

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This is just another small-ish hemp sprout bag I made; I want a separate one for alfalfa sprouts:

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I also made some re-usable tea bags like I had purchased previously (some are really cheapy; some are good-quality) with the scraps of fabric leftover from making the hemp sprouter bags 😀 :

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And this is a large-ish filter made from the hemp jersey for volume tasks, such as for seed mylks or juices, etc.

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This particular fabric is so gorgeous I almost hate to use it! The picture at Near Sea Naturals and these photos, too, don’t do it justice; if I didn’t know better, I would say it was a blend with silk! It has that type of drape, feel, and look.

I got the ring from the large re-usable cotton tea nets I bought which wore out; no use throwing away those good rings! They fit nicely. 😀


Now for another Noodles layout ;^)

Here he is in the bird suit made from the cool, cotton-like fabric, “Natural Hemp-Organic Cotton Muslin” that I used to make the sprout bags:
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And here is a suit in the drapey, very light — I hate to even use the word, “jersey”! — Hemp-Organic Cotton jersey fabric:

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Here is a nicer closeup of the fabric:

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But, of course, nudie is always better ;^)

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I still have to make him one in the other gorgeous jersey, the FeatherweighNatural Hemp-Organic Cotton Jersey.

I just love the naturalness of these fabrics! Knowing there is nothing synthetic or poisonous is a very good thing, indeed. :^)

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Homemade Deodorant Recipe…and Fresh Chamomile…

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Ceremonial or “White” Sage:

Not the kind you add to your pot of Italian Beans! Native Americans have used it, burning, ceremonially for purification and cleansing for the ages — it’s also called “smudging”; I’ve also burnt some of my own — gotta rid the home of evil 😉 or at least a nice purifying once in a while :D.It has been used medicinally, internally, for certain ailments, too. It is purported to be a good topical remedy, as well, such as for eczemas or just an astringent. It is used for body odors as well, such as in foot sprays and powders. You often find it in incense shops in bundles, ready for smudging in a receptacle in your own space. I LOVE sage — the cooking herb too — so this is a fragrance I really like. You can also let it simmer on the stovetop to fragrance the home, as you can with any herb or spice, for that matter; cinnamon and cardamon are favorites as well. If you have something in the dehydrator, stick a few into the top and it will fragrance your space; put it on the bottom tray and it will infuse whatever you are dehydrating with a light sage fragrance and flavor. All that and more but, in this instance, I used it as an ingredient for deodorizing. ____

Fresh-picked Chamomile:

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I am fairly certain the chamomile I purchased was Matricaria species, also known as “German” or “Blue Chamomile.” All the types are valuable and can sometimes be used one for the other: All consisting of great properties and so useful in so-so many applications…I’m not even going to attempt to go into it! It’s mild, yet very powerful…like most of nature, I suppose :). It is very gentle on skin but it also has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and antiseptic properties — and lovely fragrance — so it’s a good addition here. Sage and sage essential oil is in a lot of deodorants; and lavendar as well. I decided to utilize both.  I made a wonderful chamomile ‘liquor’ from the  fresh, organic chamomile flowers I got this Spring from a local farmer; made the most delicious tea; I made a ton and froze in ice cubes — still enjoying it 😉 I made two types of tea infusions: One was strictly with the flowers:

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The other was with mostly leaves and some flowers:

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Like so:

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For the deodorant recipe, I used the infusion with mostly the herbs. Then I had to make a sage decoction**; I decided on 1 ounce of white sage:

White Sage_

simmered in 2 1/2 C water.

Slowly bring to a bowl; cover, lower to a simmer for 25-30 minutes. Let sit till cool.


Here’s my version of…

Lavandin Sage Deodorant

Combine in a small, non-reactive bowl (or a storage bottle with mister):

1 ounce Ceremonial or White Sage  Decoction (or you can try White Sage Hydrosol*)

Add 2 ounces good-quality witch hazel extract

1 ounce chamomile infusion (or hydrosol)

Whisk in 10d Grapefruit Seed Extract (to preserve) and combine well.

Then add the following essential oils:

5d Coriander E.O.

5d Lemon E.O.

12d Lavandin E.O. (or Lavender, if you wish)

Pour into a bottle with mister and seal tightly.

Let ripen at least a week, shaking occasionally. Shake well before using.

The fragrance may seem strong when you first spray it on; it dissipates, but not entirely. The sage is the … base note, think; though the lavandin comes through fairly strong. When I first made this, I used it straight away and found it “okay.” I didn’t use it again for about two weeks and, oh, what a difference! It  needed to ‘ripen’; and its efficacy much improved. This recipe is a keeper. It’s been performing fabulously this summer.

Note: You may also want to try using a few drops (5?) of pure essential oil of sage and water/witch hazel if you don’t want or have any sage water.

*I don’t know if this would be strong enough; I doubt it. I would go with essential oil of sage added to a hydrosol of choice or plain water.

**This sage decoction is very, very delicate, I discovered! It must be refrigerated soon after making or, better, preserved. Keep in the fridge only a few days to be safe or you can always freeze, well-sealed, for longer storage, if you don’t have any preservative at the time.  I let mine sit and it went bad in less than 24 hours. Luckily, I made the deodorant soon as it cooled; unfortunately, the rest of the batch had to be trashed. It literally had mold growing on top! The GFSE (grapefruit seed extract), however, has preserved it magnificently.


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Chamomile tea, bagged, or any tea, bagged is NOTHING — nothing — like fresh-flower infusions or fresh tea leaves; freeze-dried chamomile flowers or fresh-dried, preferably whole, leaves would be a second. But until I tried fresh, chamomile tea was very “so-so” with me. In fact, I rarely drank it. Truly fresh-flowers chamomile tisane is a heavenly treat. It’s almost irrecognizable to the bagged ‘stuff‘ my grandma used to drink! It is also *much* more potent than bagged (which is usually composed of the lowest-quality parts of plants, by the way, containing twigs and so-forth, which can be who-knows-what-how-old). I usually sip it in the evening, and it will knock me out very quickly if I don’t dilute it; relax me, if I do. Also delicious iced! I had previously hated it iced; but there’s no comparing fresh to dried, and I now understand the words oft used to describe chamomile — apple-ish. According to what I’ve read both tea concoctions have medicinal, beneficial properties; I decided the flowers-only infusion would be nice for tea :^)


You can see by the deep color of the ice cubes that it was a very strong infusion:

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Fresh! ;^) —–

****************Bonus Deodorant 😀 *****************

Here is another deodorant I tried that came out truly excellent, as well! The only ingredient I did not have was black pepper essential oil. From what I know about it — which isn’t much — I would think it was merely a fragrance consideration; though, I do not know for sure, as it makes sense it may be anti-bacterial ? One other slight variation is that I used orange-infused vodka I had on hand (just lots of orange peel sitting for almost 2 years now in a bottle of vodka). And I wanted to use orange blossom water, which is the food-grade variety, though I’m not sure if the creator of the recipe really meant an orange-flower hydrosol… To be sure, I honestly don’t know if the food-grade is distilled in the same manner as the cosmetic grades (which are oftentimes food-grade as well as cosmetic) because the fragrance is much more pronounced in the orange blossom “waters” I purchase for food than the pure, true hydrosol I’ve gotten… They seem different to me — quite; though the fragrance is familiar, but very-very slight with the hydrosol. The orange blossom water smells much better. I doubt the final product would be the same (fragrance-wise) had I used my orange flower hydrosol. Anyway, I love the scent of this orange blossom water for deodorant! I recall reading that this can be used alone as a body deodorant; though I thought, at the time, more of a body spray/refresher. Nice! That too. It smells so lovely when sprayed on.  I think I’ll use it in my own deodorant creation next :).

Geranium and Cypress Deodorant

1 tsp high proof vodka

10 drops geranium

10 drops cypress

8 drops bergamot

5 drops neroli

4 drops lavender

3 drops black pepper

4 tbsp (40 ml) witch hazel

2 tb sp (25 ml) cornflower water (you can make this!)

2 tb sp (25 ml) orange flower water

1. Measure the vodka into a 4 oz (100 ml) glass bottle with a spray attachment. Carefully add the essential oils, one by one. Shake vigorously to dissolve the essential oils.

2. Pour the witch hazel into the bottle, using a funnel if necessary, followed by the two flower waters. Shake well.

3. Label the bottle and the deodorant is now ready to use .

4. Before you use the deodorant each time, give the bottle a good shake to ensure the essential oils are fully dispersed

By the way, witch hazel — a good-quality like MRH’s — is excellent all by itself as a deodorant! Good stuff.

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