A Day of Remembrance, Reflection, and Reverence…

For Native Americans — may we never forget;ย  and for the lovely creatures who share this planet with Us, especially, the noble Turkeys.

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“May All Be Fed“_ John Robbins

GO VEGAN

Thanksgiving

Poxacuatl

Tangerine-Macadamia Dressing…

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Good stuff. Been a while since I’ve actually prepared an official recipe :). This one’s been on the back burner ever since I saw it. I really don’t like sweet-fruit + nuts dressings, but this turned out nice.ย  While preparing this ideas of wild experimentation were shooting like fireworks through my brain…ha! I guess, food cravings go away with Eat To Live, but that experimental little bugger stays buried till something coaxes it from its slumber ๐Ÿ˜‰ย You could *easily* stretch this by adding more liquid or vegetables to make more volume and lower the fat/calories per serving; just be sure to adjust the flavors.
Didn’t have tangerines, but imagine it would be excellent with them, blood oranges or clementines –oh, my darlin,’ yes ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good oranges will do.

I didn’t mess with it (yet), too much, though, since I wanted to give it a good try as it was meant to be; however I ETLized it along the way, of course ๐Ÿ˜‰
My ETL-version of Zel Allen’s…

Tangerine Macadamia Dressing_Zel Allen

1/2 C raw, Macadamia Nuts (2 – 2 1/4 oz)
1 C chopped tangerines, about 3 OR 1 med-large (8-oz.) Juicy orange
1 TB flavored Vinegar (preferably a sweet one, like Dr. Fuhrman’s;I used coconut)* Or more to taste
2 TB Water, optional, asย  needed
1TB peeled, grated fresh Ginger, or more to taste
1 small clove Garlic, or to taste

Freshly ground Black Pepper, optional, as desired

Measure your macs:

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…and your orange too…

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…throw in the rest…

Coconut-Vinegar_raw-organic

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…now you know what to do ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Flip that ol’ switch…

..err, don’t let a splash on your lens cause a frown…
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…’cause she’ll be oh-so creamy smooth …

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…that ‘ol power mixer don’t never let ya down ;)…

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Transfer first 6 ingredients to your blender jug and blend onย  high until creamy.

Taste.
Adjust seasoning, if necessary. Blend. Taste. Add freshly milled black pepper.

Serve at once or thoroughly chilled.

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Makes 1 C Dressing.
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator, Tangerine macadamia Dressing will keep for one week.ย  The flavor intensifies as it sits.

*Notes D Original recipe calls for seasoned rice vinegar (2 TB + 1 tsp); it is a prepared vinegar used for sushi, and it contains sugar/sweeteners and salt. We don’t need salt and sugar. I think Dr. Fuhrman’s vinegars, which are very sweet, would go very well here.
I do have some brown rice vinegar (not seasoned, though), and raw apple cider; however, I chose the great raw coconut vinegar, from Wilderness Family Naturals. Firstly, it’s very mild in its acidity; however NOT in flavor. In fact, it is very strong, in my opinion. Whenever I use it, I am careful to start with a smaller amount than I would normally use or, if I use it to sub in a recipe, I start with half. So that gives you an idea. It’s a very unique flavor –hard to describe really. Not really “coconutty,” buy highly complex. It also has a sweetness to it (naturally present sugars in coconuts with perfect electrolyte balance), so I thought it perfect for this recipe, since subbing for seasoned vinegar which has that sugar in it. The sweetness of the plain orange was actually quite sweet enough.

You can use just about any another vinegar — maybe even an orange/tangerine one, or other fruity one to complement the tangerine; perhaps even a simple citrus like freshly squeezed lemon will do — or, you can use straight Brown Rice Vinegar, which is a nice mild vinegar. If you can find it, I’d get a Kyushu —ย  I recommend Mitoku brand (Great Eastern Sun has an organic one I haven’t tried, but I would think is good since they produce quality products); however, Spectrum has an organic plain brown-rice one and so does EDEN, and they are both good.
Or, if you don’t mind the prepared vinegar, then Spectrum’s Seasoned Brown Rice Vinegar is great )

Like I mentioned you could — and may I suggest you DO — go wild with this recipe. I have loads of ideas already!ย  If you keep the fabulous basic base — orange/tangerine/citrus + Mac + Ginger — in tact and simply vary t he surrounding additions, you’ll have a wonderful easel to place your canvas ;).

Poxacuatl

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Ohh, the Umami-ty…

Fermented_Bean_Curd
_Fermented Bean Curd (still in my cupboard!)

*Update* Wow, a “new” umami making the trend du jour — Black Garlic! — the new black.

Umami is the fifth flavor, as discovered and named a hundred years ago by Japanese chemist, Kikunae Ikeda, and by French chef, Auguste Escoffier, to a lesser degree. (I like the analogy to art in that article). It is described as the “savory” flavor. It is in meats, sea foods, dairy, and vegetables. It is, apparently, the often dreaded “glutamate”; however, it is a naturally occurring substance as in vegetables, in perfect amounts as it is with whole foods. When it breaks down, becomes l-glutamate, ie, umami. It’s in wines as well, the tannins (some teas fall into this, too, perhaps). Tempeh, is also an example of umami flavor — it’s beans and grains fermented. The Chinese cultivate that flavor by intensifying foods: soy sauces; fermented tofu (used to love this and utilized it often; above pic); and black beans are examples.

I hadn’t heard of it until a couple years ago; though, unknowingly, had been intensifying my foods to satisfy this as a vegan. I imagine it was to compensate for the animal foods I gave up in my diet when I went vegan — I don’t really know, though, because I didn’t eat a lot of animal-based umami pre-Vegan. Of course, I was nowhere near an optimal diet by just going vegan; but going vegan was and is so incredibly easy, especially, in my opinion, if one is basing the decision on ethics.

I cultivated this flavor in my bread creating for example. Since fermenting animal flesh, such as fish and vegetables, such as beans, intensifies umami, the fermenting of grains produces the same thing. I imagine vinegars satisfy this as well (notice how the most prized are those aged and fermented for years and years). I discovered how to make the best bread I’ve ever tasted by accident, and became a very good bread maker; I realized later, it was the umami which I produced through my own methods of making bread that made it so delicious. I was already addicted to bread — which was actually the cover for a sugar addiction — so I don’t believe I was addicted to umami flavors. Meat and dairy were not difficult at all to give up; I didn’t eat much of either pre-vegan or pre- ETL anyway. Lucky me — cheese is highly addictive and seems to give many people difficulty.

Interestingly, I have come to realize it is a flavor that is provided, naturally, by clean eating, just like the other four. I believe it is this flavor that EXPLODES for me when I eat simply, like just a delicious tomato and why I adore mushrooms, and I eat large amounts of these foods. Far from bland, eating natural, unadulterated foods become more flavorful than salty, sugar-ladened foods, when allowed to; this means, getting off the processed junk, and allowing your body to clean, heal and provide the incredible plethora of flavors withinย  them, packaged naturally by Nature. You have to lay off the junk to taste these flavors, unadulterated. Keeping them in the diet (she *forever* laments — and no one listens, of course ๐Ÿ˜ฆย  ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  lol ๐Ÿ˜€ ) only keeps that desire, that craving alive. You double, triple the time it takes to get over it IF you ever do get rid of cravings — most likely, you won’t.

According to umami experts, we seek this flavor as well as the other four — sweet, sour, salty, bitter — in varying amounts, naturally. With the over-processing of foods and the monstrous amounts of meat and dairy consumption of today, peopleย  have come to crave these flavors and seek them out at dangerous levels. They become addictions and “cravings” rather than necessities. The amounts one consumes becomes so out of balance. I think, this is one reason some people have varying addiction issues. Some people are addicted to dairy, or salt for example; while others are sweet addicts (sugars/starches); so why wouldn’t someone be addicted to umami? Just as I thought I was addicted to caffeine (coffee = fermented = umami) because of the loads I consumed, it was actually the sugar I put in it; so may it be that those who believe they are addicted to meat are just people who crave that umami most intensely.

I think many people who feel they could never go vegetarian or vegan or consider themselves meateaters or those oh-so-special lot of folks who “need” meat are those who have an addiction to this flavor as others do to sugar, for example. You can get off of meat, as you can get off of sugar: GET OFF IT. That’s the only way. Imagine that.

Eating To Live — the cleanest and best diet for health and longevity — balances this out, in my opinion. It is neither too high or too low on any of the flavors. Although salt is not a healthful substance, we get PLENTY of it provided by nature in perfect amounts. I can taste a salty salt flavor in some foods, such as some tomatoes; definitely in mushrooms; and, interestingly, some greens and even lettuces! More than enough. Pre-clean eating, though, I would never have believed I could live without SOME salt, especially, the soy sauces and misos I adored. But now, these are disgustingly salty in amounts I previously wouldย  have thought small amounts. It’s amazing how the need for salt is satisfied through whole foods.

I recall, having been an avid baker and cook, that when someone didn’t want salt on something I made, it irritated me. I used to think they were not experiencing the best flavor nor the intended flavor without it. How awful! I used to force it on people. Terrible. I now know these people just didn’t need as much as I (thought) did.

I’ve also come to think that it is this fifth flavor which can be one cause for some to struggle to eat optimally. The sudden withdrawal from this savory flavor when eating a nutritious way, causes some to go back to standard fare to satisfy it, whether it’s meat, over-processed, sugary foods, or that ubiquitous addiction, cheese. We often go for the wrong thing to satisfy another: For example, going to sugar when what we need is complex carbohydrate, whole foods, instead or even the need for whole-food fat, as in my case; when we eat instead of dealing with emotions — it’s all the same misdirection. whenever the diet is suddenly changed — and ETL IS a drastic change for many people — there are “withdrawal” symptoms which vary by person and intensity! If you consume lots of salt, then go immediately to no salt, you’re gonna feel it!

Not surprisingly, leafy greens contain this fifth flavor. Just another reason to GO HEAVY ON THE LEAFY GREENS as I always cry. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Greens are, if there is one, the panacea or superfood. It crushes cravings for sugar and eliminates most other cravings as well, IF you take in enough (read: a lot); consistently; and stay away from the foods which you are addicted, you will stop cravings: Stop dabbling in SAD foods and so-called, “treating” oneself “once a week” to them. Rarely, if at all, does this work. Over the years, I’ve found that people who say ETL “didn’t work” for them, or that they “still have/had cravings” following Dr. Fuhrman’s diet were not really, truly following it. Some people admitted later; honestly didn’t/don’t realize they’re not following correctly; are not paying attention to their needs; didn’t do it for any realistic length of time; or some simply just don’t want to do it for whatever reason and blame the diet. Others, don’t like to admit that their “dabbling occasionally” is because of cravings. There’s nothing like being 100% FREE OF CRAVINGS and ADDICTION. :D. It’s miraculous, really. No need to dabble if you’re free ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yes, I’m hardcore ETL, I make no apologies ๐Ÿ˜€ I *love* ETL!! lol_roll

I have always been and always will be an advocate for following Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat To Live way of eating 100% — again, no apologies ๐Ÿ˜‰ ; which, is a base from which ANYONE can tailor to their needs. Dr. Fuhrman gives you the basics and whatever particular health issues you have, you can alter it and still be eating optimally for you. Ah, the beauty of Eating to live ๐Ÿ™‚ . This does not mean half-ass committments — to me that’s an oxymoron anyway: A committment is a committment: either do it or don’t; either you are doing it, or you’re not. Sorry, that’s the truth.

I’m enjoying my umami flavors as well as the other four via ETL. I imagine the incredible flavor I’m getting from my cultured vegetables (high in umami!) is contributing to the potpourri of flavors (seriously, it’s like the 1960’s of foods ๐Ÿ˜€ ) already in Eat to Live, and the ever-increasing enjoyment of food. Funny how that works: It’s like when you let go of something you hold on so tightly to…like when they say when you “stop looking,” it comes to you? sort of like that. When you stop seeking out these fake-food “tastes” you will eventually attract REAL tastes and flavors, even BIGGER and BETTER! Sounds crazy to those who don’t give it chance; but if you have, you know exactly what I mean ๐Ÿ™‚ And even more crazy-ish, is that no matter how delicious anything I eat is, I’m never “craving” any one food nor do I have any food addictions. I can just enjoy with incredible intensity the way the food is meant to taste. Wow. ๐Ÿ˜€ Why doesn’t everyone eat to live?!

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Speaking of fabulously-delish (but not addicting ๐Ÿ˜‰ )…

The papaya kimchi I made is incredible! OMGosh, Om’gosh, OH_MY_GOSH! I can’t even describe it! It’s amazing. I had no rotting of the top leaves again; I imagine this is because of the cleanliness I employ. I haven’t opened the cranberry-persimmon jar; it’s still fermenting; I’m going to let it go another week or so.

I’ve been eating the kimchis on the side as well, like a chutney or salsa, for example. Amazing, just amazingly good. The papaya flavor is not strong, but it’s definitely contributing. I’m not a papaya fan, actually, so this surprised me a little. Some nutritional yeast on the cultured foods also makes it much more “cheesy,” which makes sense, since cheese is fermented (and so is nutritional yeast!)

Afterall, my cultured veggies also satisfy my umami ๐Ÿ˜€

Another umamiย  food, is seaweed:. Since I eat Nori daily for my iodine requirements (other sea vegetables as well,) I make little nori rolls with it. It’s not unusual, actually, since Nori Rolls usually contain pickled ginger. I use the nori sheets like a tortilla sometimes to scoop my food :). Very delicious and a great texture: Nori can be chewy or crunchy, which makes it wonderful for variety. It’s also very mild and not so “sea” tasting as some of the other sea veggies.

Mushrooms — I eat loads of mushrooms; these are also a umami food: Not surprising that they are very meat-like.

Nutritional yeast? Yep, a fermented food, it satiates umami (and my mommy too) ๐Ÿ˜‰ No surprise it is “cheesy” and used as a substitute for same: cheese is fermented.

An occasional dabble into fermemted beverages is also a way for a little nip of umami — rejuvelac; kombucha; my beloved (vegan) coconut kefir — who needs wine? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Tea (genuine — Camellia sinensis) is also umami.

Okay, must stop now. As usual, I’ve rambled. Hope it’s at least somewhat sensical. Gimme a break, okay, I’m feeling a bit loopy lately ๐Ÿ˜‰

Poxacuatl

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Nori I like, and Salt-Free Relish …

UPDATE: November 19, 2008

I found this great chart for Iodine content of sea veggies from VRG!! Great magazine, by the way. I subscribed for years — See Below

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I love this brand of Nori sheets. It’s Emerald Cove’s Organic raw seaweed. There are a few other good-quality brands, but the price and quality of these make it a “best buy” ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s often toasted, but I prefer it raw to get the most from it. It does not require cooking.

It’s great for a crunchy texture, as well as a chewy flavor when it becomes damp. It comes with the little freshness packet to keep them fresh, of course, but also to keep it crispy. If it’s humid, it very quickly gets soft; not a bad thing at all, really, just, if you want it crispy, keep it in the package till the last minute ๐Ÿ™‚ . You may know if you eat or have eaten sushi rolls that it will become chewy-ish when damp but unappealingly soggy if it gets too much liquid on it. The warm rice used to make nori rolls is just enough to keep it soft without tearing.

I used to make sushi quite often pre-ETL, and I used to like it as a snack, as well; and it was quite inexpensive when purchased at Asian markets.

Now, I use the raw sheets to scoop food or as a vessel for ETL-fillings and salad ๐Ÿ™‚ . I love that it’s mild and non-seafood tasting.

Sea Vegetables are nutritious, containing lots of minerals. I like Nori daily to get those minerals, but mostly to get adequate iodine, which is so important if not eating processed foods which are laden with salt which contain iodine. . Unfortunately the package doesn’t provide the iodine info (Notice there is no sodium! Whoo Hoo!! Yet it has a savory-mild salty-ish-ness):

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and when I enquired via email, they said not only do minerals vary batch to batch (which is expected and normal), but also they just don’t know that info yet. Apparently, they are looking into it. It’s been a long time since I first enquired, and did so again recently, so, I’m not expecting to get that info any time soon. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Here is what they did send me,however regarding Alaria, Dulse, Kelp, and Laver:

Nutrition per serving for Maine Coast Sea Vegetables

– based on 7g per serving (1/3 cup)

– whole-leaf sea veggies

Alaria Dulse Kelp Laver Daily Value

Protein g 1.24 1.51 1.13 1.99 50g

Fat g 0.25 0.12 0.17 0.32 65g

Carbohydrate g 2.79 3.12 2.75 3.16 300g

Calories cal 18.3 18.5 16.9 22.3 2000 cal

Fiber g 2.70 2.33 2.28 2.12 25g

Ca mg 77.0 14.9 65.9 13.2 1000mg

K mg 522 547 784 188 3500mg

Mg mg 64.3 19.0 63.0 26.5 400mg

P mg 35.2 28.6 29.6 28.6 1000mg

Fe mg 1.27 2.32 2.98 1.46 18mg

Na mg 297 122 312 113 2400mg

I mg 1.16 0.36 3.17 0.10 150ยตg

Mn mg 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.24 2.0mg

Cu mg 0.01 0.03 0.01 0.04 2.0mg

Cr mg 0.01 0.01 0.02 0.01 .12mg

F mg 0.30 0.37 0.27 0.41

Zn mg 0.24 0.20 0.20 0.29 15mg

Vit. A IU 594 46.4 39.3 300 5000 I.U.

Vit. B1 mg 0.04 0.01 0.04 0.04 1.5mg

Vit. B2 mg 0.19 0.13 0.17 0.21 1.7mg

Vit. B3 mg 0.74 0.13 0.25 0.41 20mg

Vit. B6 mg 0.44 0.63 0.60 0.78 2.0mg

Vit. B12 ยตg 0.35 0.46 0.18 1.23 6.0ยตg

Vit. C mg 0.41 0.44 0.29 0.84 60mg

Vit. E IU 0.34 0.12 0.19 0.36 30 IU

Highest amount

Lowest amount(s)

Please remember that all the statistics in this chart have only relative significance. The whole plants provide much more than the sum of their parts.

These nutritional assays were done by the Silliker Laboratories of New Jersey and the Plant and Soil Analytical Lab., University of Maine at Orono.

I do recall when researching the iodine content of nori (no one seems to know this info!) that I came across one source that indicated that 1 sheet was about 60-70% DV. So, not sure; but I eat 1 or two sheets a day, or other seaweeds, such as my favorite, arame:

Arame_package

Here it is dry:

Arame_dry

Sort of spaghetti-like strands, and a really great texture.

It should be soaked first:

Arame_soak

A mere few minutes later, it has already absorbed quite a bit …

Arame_fewminutes_soak

…and this is partly why it is good for satiety. I think it’s 4-times it’s dry size once hydrated.

It can be cooked or eaten raw; just be sure to soak and rinse. I used to eat it mixed into my grains, and loved it that way. Now, I add it to my ETL salads or to raw “noodle” dishes, or simply on the side and take bites of it throughout my meal.

I would say it has a mild sea flavor; however, to be cautious, and since I’m used to it, I would say that it may be more moderate for the uninitiated. Just be sure to soak, rinse well and drain first. If it’s too seafoody, then simmer it. It’s also not something that is generally eaten in large amounts; it’s often a side dish or, the way I liked it, something to mix in to a dish. A popular side dish is sauteeing some onions and carrots in a bit of oil and adding some prepared arame. Pre-ETL, I used to add some toasted sesame oil to drizzle on top and some sesame seeds on top (usually toasted).

I also like dulse quite a bit, though I need to rinse it because it is the one which has the most naturally-occurring sea sodium on it. It is very very delicate, so it immediately breaks apart and becomes soggy even with a little bit of moisture. It is not crispy at all to begin with, and, actually is chewy and quite delicious. I’ve used a lightly damp paper towel or tea towel to wipe off a lot of the salt; however, it’s tedious and it breaks apart very easily. So, a good solution is to dry it out in a dehydrator — only takes a few minutes, and, actually you can get it crispy this way. Some people actually fry it for a “bacon” substitute Yikes. Not necessary, really; pre-ETL, I made very tasty vegan “BLT’s” or “DLT’s” with it without having to fry ;).

Lots of other seaweeds available, I also like hiziki/hijiki. It definitely has a stronger sea flavor and aroma. I like kombu for vegan dashi, as well as a great tenderizer and flavor enhancer (and de-gasser ๐Ÿ˜€ ) for cooking beans; Wakame and Alaria are also good for this.

It’s important to buy from reputable vendors and follow the package instructions for hijiki, such as stated on the package of Eden Foods brand:

“…wash, soak for 15 minutes in warm water, drain, rinse well and discard the soaking water.”

Kelp as well as dulse and other combos of seaweeds are available in shakers for use as salt subs or just to add flavor. I like to add sesame seeds and have a salt-free gamasio ๐Ÿ˜‰ . Kelp, by the way should be consumed in moderation — it is *very* high in iodine.

there is laver, various sea lettuces, etc.; and of course, the vegan “gelatin” — the indispensable, agar or agar-agar, aka, “kanten.”ย  Lots to choose!

Could go on and on… ๐Ÿ˜€

UPDATE : November 19, 2008 – Iodine Chart

Table 2: Iodine Content of Some Sea Vegetables

Sea Vegetable

Iodine (ยตg) in a serving

Amount needed to supply 150 ยตg of Iodine (Adult RDA)

Avoid frequent use of more than this amount per day*

Arame

732/Tablespoon

0.6 teaspoon

1.5 Tablespoons

Hiziki

786/Tablespoon

0.6 teaspoon

1.4 Tablespoons

Kelp12

1,986/Tablespoon

Less than
1/4 teaspoon

0.6 Tablespoon

Kombu

1,454/1-inch piece

1/10-inch

3/4-inch piece

Nori

40/sheet

3ยพ sheets

27ยฝ sheets

Wakame

82/Tablespoon

1.8 Tablespoons

0.8 cup

Data from reference 12. All measures are dried (uncooked) sea vegetable. These amounts will vary greatly depending on where the seaweed was gathered and how it was processed and stored.

* Based on Upper Limit of 1,100 micrograms of iodine per day. These amounts assume that your diet does not contain other sources of iodine.

Whoo Hoo! So Iwas worried 2 sheets of Nori a day might be pushing it, but it looks like 3 3/4 sheets is the RDA! Cool beans. ๐Ÿ™‚

Try some seaweed!

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I made my own salt-free relish to add to my Thousand Island dressing. Came out really, really good. I layered cabbage on the bottom of the container, added my mixture of chopped zucchini and cucumber and fresh garlic slices, dill seed, and black pepper corns. then I topped it with more cabbage, just like for the cultured veggies. I let it go about 1 1/2 weeks and it was perfect. No need for vinegar, either ๐Ÿ™‚

You can find low-salt relishes and I’ve seen one or two salt free (though they contain junk, including sugar in some!), but why, when you can soooo easily make your own. No compromise necessary ๐Ÿ˜€ Who needs salt?!!!

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Strix

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Recycling Candles…

Recycled_Candles

I burn a lot of candles during the winter, but start in the fall at the first sign of a cloud ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been known to light up a few in the spring and summer too! ๐Ÿ˜€ I only buy organic, candles with safe wicks, such as cotton or hemp. And only vegan wax, of course, but I also make sure they are waxes that are safe such as soy, or palm wax — basically, any vegetable-based wax — and not combined with other chemicals, etc. Beeswax which is popular is not vegan. Paraffin is a no-no, even though it’s vegan, at least in the sense that it is not derived from animal fat (remember the fat from whales was used for burning oil lamps; and seals are still bludgeoned for their fat as well ๐Ÿ˜ฆ )
There are some paraffin waxes “okayed” for eating, yikes. It’s in a lot of cheap chocolate. Anyway, I stay away from it; it’s a petroleum derivative and setting it on fire in your house isn’t very healthful. As well, the wicks contain chemicals similarly, and often they use metal wiring to hold the wick straight, however, it was discovered that it was lead! So, if purchasing candle wicking, make sure it has a safe metal, if one at all. I prefer no metal.

These hemp, soy, palm and other natural candles are EXpensive! Quite. So I save most of the containers — always the glass and the glass or plastic holders for tea candles — AND all the wax that doesn’t burn! I really hate when I buy a $20-candle and then 1/4 of it is left at the bottom unburnedangry_fiery_mad

One exception is palm wax: I never have anything left from burning these tapered palm candles from Aloha Bay. They burn beautifully, steadily, SLOWLY, and with a gorgeous flame too. And they just burn down to nothing and extinguish themselves! (note: never leave a candle unattended) I get these locally. They can also be found online and the price is actually very good, even on their own site in comparison to beeswax tapers, for example — same burn time as beeswax tapers, same dripless burn too; yet MUCH less for the palm! So a very comparable, vegan exchange ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to recycling — I save the unburned wax!ย Photobucket I’ve got a few bagsful of chunks of wax since I’ve been saving for several years now. These expensive waxes are always really good quality as far as ingredients and the essential oils used; so they remain fragrant, even years later. For a while I tried to keep them separated into groups of waxes that had similar fragrances, but then just started throwing them all together ๐Ÿ˜€

I’ve made candles in the past (years ago when I was a kid before I knew that soy could even be a wax Photobucket )with paraffin wax and fake fragrances — by the way, don’t those fake fragrances just scream out at you now? I notice it in a lot of perfumey crap like when you use a public restroom and they have some chemical liquid in a bottle you’re supposed to use to wash your hands…Ugh! Did I really used to like those fragrances?!! Eegads, I used to have them in MY home.

Okay, so knowing how easy candles are to make, I simply got a few things together and they look like brand-new candles!

Recycled_Candles
Above: Some safe candle wicking (it’s cotton); 2 candles I made with tealight containers I saved and filled with the recycled wax; and a few chunks of wax I saved from old candles that I later melted to make new candles.

I tried reusing the tabs simply by pulling the wicks through the holes, and that works. I did have to re-open the holes because they are squeezed close toย  tighten around the wicks.ย  But since these tealights are so small, just holding the wick and pouring a bit of melted wax on it till it hardens, sets it right in place just fine. Either way works. I may buy a bag of tabs, though, at some point; they’re very inexpensive.

So…just melted the wax in the microwave, no less ;)– hey, it’s good for something at least! (it was okay for small amounts; bigger, I’d use the stove and an old pot) in a microwave-safe container (not the plastic molds!). Iย  poured it, made sure the wick held to the center and put them in the freezer to rush the hardening. Done!

And they burned beautifully as you can see in the picture above, and they smelled grrrrrreat too!

I have hemp twine that I hope to experiment with soon. I think this would be a very inexpensive way to make my own wicks. There are a lot of ways to make wicks online. I’ve read how to make them with old pieces of cotton fabric! Not sure I’d do that, lol. But the hemp twine I have should be fairly easy.
Hemp twine I bought for my sprout bags ๐Ÿ™‚ :

hemp_twine



so try it sometime! You don’t need to wait till you have bagsful of wax!
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