Accidental Gelly

I was fooling around with ingredients and hit on an excellent petroleum jelly substitute.

To  make this

You can use a double boiler, if you have one; I find this little quickie bain marie to be most convenient, though you may find other ways to make your own. This is the same procedure as in my hand-made lotion.

Just an old jar lid placed at the bottom of a small saucepan

**************

And a non-breakable, non flammable, heat-resistant receptacle, such as a pyrex cup, on top (it does not touch the bottom of the pan).  Simmering water comes up about 1/4 – 1/3 up the sides, depending on how much the contents of the cup

_

Here’s another one:

You can see my Lip Whip post for more visuals on what this process looks like

~*** ~

So here’s the recipe

Accidental Gelly – A no-petroleum jelly

This is a very simple recipe, as you see, however it’s very sensitive to amounts of ingredients. For example a fuller teaspoon of wax will yield a noticeably firmer product. It can go from petroleum jelly to a balm. Still good and usable, but not a jelly. Try to level the measurement of wax.

As well it’s also easy to leave a lot of residual oil on the spoon. Castor is very thick, so scrape all of it in. 

It seems a slightly better texture is achieved when making the larger amount (You can give some away;  however it’s not a huge diff —  no biggie 🙂 ).

 Although, making the small amounts help you see how your measuring worked. Any variation yields a jelly you’ll be happy with, I think 🙂

++++++++

No-troleum Jelly


1 tsp Carnauba wax (preferred, but candellila works well)

1 TB + 1 tsp Castor Oil

                   ***

For a larger amount:

1/4 C Castor* oil

1/2 ounce Candelilla Wax

Instructions:

Place wax in your receptacle.

Place the jar lid/ plate on the bottom of the pan.

Add water to pan. Amount depends on the size/depth of your receptacle: The idea is that it produces enough heat to melt the wax, but you do NOT want so much that it bubbles over and/or splashes into your mixture.

Never put a lid on top of the pan or receptacle to speed melting.

Place the receptacle  on top of the lid/plate (Or arrange on your double boiler as required) so it sits above the bottom of the pan (you don’t want it sitting on the bottom of the pan). Turn on the heat and allow water to boil till wax begins to melt.

Add oil and stir continuously, making sure any remaining wax melts and mixture becomes emulsified. Remove from heat and stir in aloe, if using. Pour immediately into clean receptacle. Allow to cool before use. Store with a snug lid.

~*~

* Castor oil is best for what this recipe is aiming — “petroleum jelly”; I’ve tried lots of other oils and this, hands down, makes the best “Vaseline” substitute.

If you use something else, keep in mind with each change, swap, omission, or addition you are changing the resultant product. Feel free to try out other oils if you wish, however, you’ve been warned 😉

Notes: It has been my experience that a preservative is not needed. Some good ones, just for your info, are grapefruit seed extract, benzoin, vitamin E and rosemary antioxidant (can find at MRH)

Again, any bit of extra changes the texture; so keep that in mind. The exception is a very small amount of aloe vera and doesn’t seem to effect much a detectable change. I cannot tell which of my gellies has it unless I check my label.

*

The addition of aloe is also fabulous for a bit of extranourishment and hydration for the lips; however, it’s not necessary. It makes it slightly creamier, but, functionally, it won’t make much difference or feel much different to wear

1 tsp carnauba + (1 TB + 1 tsp Castor Oil) + 1/4 tsp Aloe

This actually comes out the best in my opinion.

* ~ *

Just stir in the aloe completely.

~ *** ~

Alternate: Olive Oileum!

Don’t have or want to get any castor oil? Don’t want to do the double boil thang? Just like my basic lotion recipe, can use some good-quality olive oil!  It is, however, much different in texture from the castor oil — looser. (I want to say, “greasy,” but that has a negative connotation, doesn’t it?) It melts  —  as soon as it makes contact with skin; so,it’s definitely thinner and more oily. It’s not as thick as “petroleum jelly,” but, perhaps, some may like it. I wouldn’t keep this one in my purse or car, especially Summer.

It’s nice and clean with the olive oil coming through strong (so use a good one!)

Easy to do in the microwave:

My Olive Oileum Gelly

Nice and greeny 🙂

This is an easy, inexpensive, very basic petroleum jelly substitute; you can make in your microwave:

1 TB Olive Oil, good quality, organic, room temperature*

1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp Carnauba or Candellila Wax

Heat  a microwave-safe receptacle (bowl, large pyrex, etc.) with water to boiling in microwave.
In a small, dry bowl, place the wax.
Place the bowl of wax into the water bath, making sure water covers bowl  sides by half (no higher than 2/3 or it will splash into the wax)
Place back in microwave. Let boil @ 30 second. –DO not let water boil over and into the wax

Remove from oven.

Stir gently to facilitate melting.
Return to microwave if not *thoroughly* melted.

Remove from microwave and immediately – gently, while stirring with a spoon (don’t whip) – add room temperature/warmed oil in a  stream, and continuously stir till combined.

Let cool a bit and pour into storage container of choice. Cool thoroughly before sealing.
Note: If the mixture seized and you have little pieces of wax (see photos below), just keep stirring. If still doesn’t dissolve, you must reheat the mixture or the crystalized wax will remain. You can microwave it: Place it back into the microwave in its quasi bain marie and heat at @ 10-second intervals, stirring between, till melted. Of course, generally, you don’t want to microwave your oil, but this is the only way to save it unless you reheat it in a bain marie/double boiler on the stove.
.

*Make sure your olive oil is room temp or warm; it will cause the wax to seize and harden on contact if cold. See below

Here is the gelly made with JOJOBA Oil

Did you know -- Jojoba is actually a plant wax? 😉

It came out tinted a nice golden color.

1 tsp candelilla wax or carnauba wax

1 TB + 1 tsp jojoba oil (preferably organic)

This is a good but softer than a “petroleum jelly” gelly. Really nice if youwant the benefits of jojoba. I’ve become fonder of it and like it quite a bit; it is slightly…looser than petroleum jelly. Not quite as loose as using olive oil, but in between (better, in my opinion).

***

Below” 😛

Here are some pictures of what mishaps can occur:

Here is what it looks like when it seizes. You get chunks of hardened wax.

_______

Unlike the above, splashing water in your mixture is not fixable, though, you may find still usable.

Couldn’t get a good a pic of it, but, perhaps you can see the globules of water which will not emulsify:

_

When it cools, the water will still be there, sitting on the surface, and can be poured off. As I said, it may still be usable, but it may not be to your liking (mostly texturally).

*

Important:

When adding anything to the gelly (such as essential oils), it changes the gelly into a whip. Still great, but not a “Petroleum Jelly” sub. Essential oils have varying, volatile properties, and will alter textures dramatically. Certain ones, for example, would make a cream others a gel…and, some would or wouldn’t, depending on when added (!) or how much.

If you use them, add them when cooled as much as possible before it sets too-too much; you want to preserve the qualities of the essential oils and adding to boiling-hot mixtures kills them. And just know that additions will change the product 🙂

*************** AS ALWAYS ***************

Take caution when using and combining essential oils and consider possible allergic reactions. For example, here is a small list of commonly proclaimed cautions associated with some oils you will find on the internet. Often, I see the warning that Some herbs/essential oils should not be used by pregnant women or children, externally or internally, personally,  I err on the side of caution with those — Use responsibly.
*

EXTRA:

Uses for Coconut Oil

Oil risen to the top of coconut butter jar and solidified

Tip: If you buy coconut butter (and after all my ramblings about it, why wouldn’t you? 🙂 )You probably drain the oil off (I drain that sucker till it’s but a bone-dry, thick paste!) Well, let me tell you, that oil is friggin’ expensive! Firstly, it’s organic; it’s pure, and fresh. People pay a lot for that stuff. My whole body ached when I threw it out once — ONCE — never again! So, yea, I’ve got a ton in my freezer, but, trust me, I can find ways to use it! (this is also a good coconut butterI could go on for DAYS about coconut butter! 😀 )

Okay, so some uses: Facial cleanser — Spread over skin and wipe.

If you wear makeup, it is the ultimate makeup remover. No need to rub; the oily oil really just wipes it off. A soft cloth, lightly wiped over your face and neck and you’re good to go. Bonus: It is excellent at removing sunscreen. I despise the thick sunscreensthat coat the face; but they are the better ones. The coconut oil really pulls it off. I remove most of it as soon as I come in from my run; then the shower takes care of any residuals, and the coconut oil.

Use the oil to season your pans.

Use it to condition your cutting boards, too

And of course use it as a moisturizer (just know it’s very greasy so use very little).

You can add a bit to your liquid soaps and have your own moisturizing soap!

I’ve used it to make lip balms, but I really don’t care for it. It’s much better in small amounts used in a recipe, rather than being the dominant ingredient, if you follow me.

Another tip —  To drain the coconut well, place it for a few days upright in a warm location and do not move it. Let the oil rise to the top.  Drain. Then let it sit again for a day. Drain. It should be done by then. I drain it every time I open it, though, because there always seems to be a bit forming at the top (that little bit is no biggie in the long run, really). I always buy two jars and let the one sit, and it is super easy then to drain the second one which has sat undisturbed!

You can also set it upside down and all the oil rises to the top, but will be at the bottom of the jar when you open it :).

The downside: the oil at the bottom will not get drained until you get to the bottom; at which time you’ll have the issue of draining it again. This way works a bit quicker than the alternate.

Coconut butter gets harder the cooler it gets, too, so realize it may be firm but still have a lot of oil in it. In cooler weather, I like to keep it near my dehydrator — upright or upside down — so it’s slightly warm and all the oil seeps out of the pulp, pooling at the top.

Any other uses for coconut oil to share? I know there are many more 🙂

StrixPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Advertisements

Greens on the Go…

*

Purslane Perfection

*

I eat my greens fresh, and every day; but, on occasion, I’ve had to go without because of a particular situation — travel/away from essentials, etc. Now, going without my greens for a day or two — well, I guess that’s not the end of the world, but if I don’t have to then why? ;^)

I do know many people are out all day long and don’t have access to a blender or space to make their smoothies, so they give up on them.

~*~

Well, here are a few tips to get those essential daily greens:

Manual juicer — excellent! Absolutely indispensable for travel. Good for hotels or if staying with relatives or friends. Makes no noise, is small and can be used almost anywhere — all that’s  needed is a table or steady surface to attach it. Compared to electric juicers a real bargain, too. In fact, if one can’t afford a fancy juicer, a good-quality (stainless steel) manual is perfectly fine; and, in fact better than some of the expensive juicers, and should last decades.

Just crank and juice!

 *

You can also take a small blender, if you’re going to be somewhere with access to an oulet, but don’t want to lug your big blender and juicer. Low-noise and work well if not stuffed with too much at once, it’s best to add, blend, add, blend, etc.

Tribest Personal Blender

*

*

Use Powdered greens

All over the internet; even in stores, there are all kinds of ground greens available now. There are also blends so you can buy just one item and have a bunch of greens in one scoop.

You can buy individual, too, such as spinach, watercress, etc.

Whole fruit/juice — even a stop at a mini-mart on the road will have some kind of fruit or juice

.

**

Dried fruit/ fruit powders — internet and stores too.

You can always dry your own when you have an excess ;^)

Dried/powdered vegetables for savory versions, or blended soups.

pea microgreens

A portable blender sounds pretty good — it’s no Blend-tec, of course 😉 —  but  may work on soft leaves like mache, microgreens, and baby spinach — would work for powdered, anyway. Good for camping 😉

*

If you add  nuts and seeds to yours, those are great traveling foods

*

Spirulina


I haven’t tried any of the blends, and I like simple so I usually do, spirulina* or chlorella, some spinach and a scoop of Matcha. I like the green algaes in my GJGS’s, but don’t use them daily/as often as I used to. They are great traveling greens, though :^)

I like Glaser Farms Spirulina; its flavor is very fresh and clean. Comes in a nice glass jar, .*

Good quality from MRH’s Chlorella (and spirulina); and, I also recommend  HP’s chlorella

Algaes are very potent, so only small amounts are used.

**

Algaes make your smoothies a deep rich dark green 😀

*

But you do not need an appliance — blender, juicer or other gadget:

You can take bottled juice, shake in some dried green powders and have a delicious GS on the go or when staying in a hotel or as someone’s guest, perhaps.

*

Another option I’ve read that some folks employ for short trips for the day — freeze a pre-made smoothie and take it with (I would freeze it in a solid block for slower melting); it would be melted but still icy cold to drink by feeding time.

~***~

baby bok choi, flowering


Eating your greens whole, or slurping them blended and juiced is ideal; and you don’t want to rely on powdered greens, of course. But, occasionally, we need alternative ways to get them. And, heck, if availability of leafy greens is scarce in your neck of the woods, dried or powdered is your ticket!

There is such a variety, too, that there are greens for everyone. The packaging for freshness is so good now, too; plus the freeze-drying method, sun drying or low-temp drying, etc. make them almost, if not as nutrient rich as their fresh form.

No excuses, Y’All ;^)

Beloved Broccoli forever stay - into my salad every day 😀

So small yet so powerful, the broccoli sprout!

*Remember this:

Greens are the *KEY* to destroying cravings.

Greens are what demolished my cravings. I have zero cravings. Really? Yep. Really.

They nourish you so well, that your body becomes what it was meant to be —

Cue “6 Million Dollar Man” theme  OR… 😉   

— a perfect self-healing, self-sufficient, most-awesome-living-thing-on-this-planet- M_A_C_H_I_N_E — going after what it needs to survive — nutrients — destroying deadly cancers and other evildoers in its path like a Green-inator, leaving in its wake, vital organs and nutrient-rich cells *intact* and thriving.  YOU, too, can be rebuilt —

better

stronger

faster! 😀

/cut music/  😉

AND your body won’t signal what you perceive as cravings “false hunger”). Why?  Because it does NOT want junk.

Greens are the oils that lubricate your gears! They’re the premium fuel that runs your engine, clean. They are the spinach to your inner Popeye.

Don’t have greens once in a while.

Don’t have a “handful” of greens in your smoothies

Don’t have greens as a phase —

Greens are a food you should  — no, have to —  eat daily for the rest of your life.

They are the ULTIMATE HEALING FOOD. Make no mistake. Get ENOUGH.

~ *** ~

Buckwheat Lettuce/Microgreens

Eat ’em raw, blended, juiced and stewed,

They aren’t sides or condiments, leafy greens are FOOD!

Slice ’em, dice ’em —  heck, chiffonade

Any way you can get ’em;  Don’t be a clod. :p

Simmered, creamed, chopped and steamed — they satisfy more than you ever dreamed.

Fill up with greens, and  get yourself lean.

Good for your body and the ol’ bean 😉

Flax Microgreens


Saturate your cells with nutrients galore

and strong mind and body will be yours evermore 😀

Let the healing begin!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Poxacuatl

*Note the caution at the bottom MRH’s spirulina page. As always, do your research.

The Purloining of the Pomegranate…

*

*

*

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Purple Pomes.

A Peck of Purple Pomes, Peter Piper Picked.

If Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Purple Pomes,

How’d he Purge the Purple Pulpy Pearls?

Hm. A precarious pickle, indeed.

Well, there is more than one way to dislodge the snug little arils; however, the following is my personal fave I learned from an old Martha Stewart show.

I would have made a video, but my third arm is at the dry cleaners; so pictures will have to do.

Cut through the skin about 1/4 inch to start and rotate the fruit around to slice only through the rind — like scoring. You don’t want to cut through when you cut around, you’ll end up crushing the arils and losing juice  (remember the first cut through to halve cake layers? Like that)

*

cut pome by scoring through the peel only, all the way around its center

*

When finished cutting all the way around, simply twist the pomegranate gently within your palms and it will halve nicely.

*

Twist pome gently for a clean break

*

Now, place a deep bowl in your sink and, using the back of a large knife, or, better a large wood spoon or spatula and holding the pome cut side down, give the skin-side some whacks. Here I’m using my silicone spatulas (which I like; they’re heat resistant, too, and come in various sizes).

*

over a bowl, tap the pomegranate

*

…Tap the sides, and all over with moderate force

And, the arils pop out nicely. You can get some splashing — some times  more than others, but it’s all good in the end! you’ll see.

Tapping it into your hand, yields better results — you’ll get less splashing the surrounding area, too, and the arils fall through your fingers

*

Tap the pomegranate into your palm

*By the way, using a deep bowl and placing in the sink like this, I’ve never gotten any pome juice on my clothes or had any splash in my eyes (unlike lemon…why does that always happen?!); however, if you’re wary, wear an apron 🙂

Into the palm, go the pomes, down to the bowl through finger holes

So, hey, check ‘er out:

Nice and cleanly removed arils. Tip: Stud with cloves and hang to dry (or dry in dehydrator)

Even cleaned out, they are stunning! I think I’ll stud some with cloves, and for the holiday 🙂

Here you see you don’t lose a thing using this method.

check out the juice! (This much juice collection is because I did many pomegranates at once)

Voila! A plethora of perfectly pilfered plums! 😀

Well, I’ll be ding donged!

Found the vid; Martha shows how to!



*

*She shows it in the first 2 minutes, so you don’t need to watch the whole thing*

That isn’t the show I saw, and I see on this epidode she scores it in quarters — good idea for the bigger globes! Gotta remember that. Here’s another way to remove arils.

Nutrient rich, pomegranates are worthy of your attention! In last month’s Huffington Post, Dr. Fuhrman. found pomegranates worthy of mention, referring to them as one of 5 foods to be, “medicine” Wow! Food = medicine. That’s pretty dang powerful: Read more on just how powerful.

Pomes have lotsa polyphenols (whoa, concords are loaded too!)

Only precaution: while pome juice is worth drinking, one can just as well consume it via the seeds: That age-old question: to eat the seeds or spit?! (did anyone ever chew the shells of sunflower seeds?! Was that a children’s thing or do adults do that? Hee .) I’ve read there is some nutritional benefit of ingesting  the seeds — I don’t know for sure, I imagine so, since pomegranate oil is highly prized –  however, I have no problem consuming them. The oil, beneficial or  not, would be in insignificant amounts anyway. According to the California Pomegranate Council (funny) the seeds are edible, and it’s simply a matter of taste as to whether one should consume them. As well, the pith of some fruits appear to contain benefits from what I’ve read…Personally, I love the pith of some fruits, especially citrus! Most say it’s bitter, but I find it “sweet”; the bitter is usually the pith closest to the skin. the closer to the fruit, the milder. When juiced or blended, it adds creaminess. But, that’s just me

Old pic of pomegranate ice cream .I made… think I used macadamias and cashews, Oy!

So anyway, fruit juice should be limited. Juice — too much of it — can be like a sugar bomb; plus, one can miss out on a LOT of the valuable nutrients left behind, while tossing the fiber. Now, if you want to waste money, get extra calories with minimal satiety, AND minimal benefits, have at it. BUT, pomegranate juice can be an exception —  with guidelines! Because of its value it can — and for some, should — be  a regular part of the diet; but one doesn’t need a ton of it a day — I recall reading a recommendation for a quarter cup per day being enough. Good thing ’cause it ain’t cheap, no matter how you get it. 🙂

*

If you don’t want/cant get juice regulary, then get some through LDL Protect, a formulation anyone can take who wants the benefits of plant sterols and phytochemicals. Read about powerful plant sterols, pomegrantes, and LDL Protect, HERE.

~ *** ~

Pomegranate Snowcone!

*

It can be incorporated into recipes, as well, but stay away from processed stuff;  use it fresh! A couple examples: Ice cream. Imagine fresh out-of-season pome sorbet during summer! Pop some cubes into lemonade or limeade…mmmm. How about a slushy or popsicle? Add the arils to grains, salads and morning cereals. Fruit leathers; pomegranate milk; yummy dressings…it’s endless, really. Oh, I make a mean ETL sangria

~ *** ~

Now, how to punctiliously pick that peck of  persnickety pears without peril:

Hm.. Let us proceed  prudently..

Heavy! That’s a general rule: the heavier, the juicier. No bruises; firm; tight skin; early and mid-winter are best of the season. Skin color not as important, but I do like to get the deepest red if all other requirements for freshness are met. No soft spots, or cracks; wrinkling is not a good sign.

There are varieties of pomegranates,  here is a “white pomegranate” I was lucky to find.

The site says the white are sweeter! I don’t recall, actually, any difference. Hmph. The Japanese one at the bottom of the page looks interesting. It says it’s sort of tart. Maybe that’s the one I tried…though, again, I don’t recall it being “tart” either.  I wonder if it has less phytos than the dark? If so, perhaps it contains something else as its advantage?

~*~

Thawed pomegranate: Squeeze for juice

How to juice?

(The skin should not be juiced) Well, again, there are a few ways — I discovered that freezing whole or halved pomegranates, like I do with ginger, for example, is surprisingly efficient at juicing. On those rushed days, I’ve  thrown them into the freezer 🙂  As in the photo above, simply thaw and squeeze a half. Lots of pressing over a strainer will render more; Twist and squeeze through a cloth or crush with a potato masher if you don’t want to squeeze it with your bare hands.

You can pulse in a blender or a food processor, then strain; grind it through a food mill; squeeze the arils, a halve, or quarter through ahand-held citrus juicer (not my choice — messy!); use a reamer (I LOVE those vintage reamers!); or  run the the arils through your juicer.

*

Generally,

…”One medium pomegranate weighs about 9 ounces and yields about 5 ounces of fruit (3/4 cup) and 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of juice.”

*TipS: Frozen arils are great through the juicer. As well, the arils, frozen or fresh, help clean out the screen of the hard-to-remove pulp that’s often left behind when juicing leafy greens for you to scrub off (this is especially true with the single auger style juicers.)

Run them through last or almost last.

*Tip* (A bottle brush , if it doesn’t come with your juicer is worth buying for cleaning your juicer parts – found at hardware stores)

~ ** ~

Storage:

Whole pomegranates store for months under fridger,(and can sit out up to a couple of weeks, depending on how fresh they were when purchased/picked), but best to eat soon. Freezing is a great alternative.

I like storing food in wax bags before placing into any plastic. These Natural Value brand wax bags are a must in my kitchen — one for the “Favorite Things” list 🙂  (I get them at the market). Parchment, is another, and I use it for this purpose too.

*********

Then seal them in larger plastic bags for longer storage:

You can store the juice in the fridge — I’d not for more than a couple days; or freeze, well sealed for enjoyment during the off season — mm, that is fabulous, by the way. I purchase pomes throughout  the height of the season, but also the end of season, juice the whole lot of them, freeze them and never have to pay for the very expensive, heated and processed, and preserved, who-knows-how-old bottled pomegranate juice. If mine is a few months old, but fresh-frozen,  I’m better with that :D.

Ice trays are a fabulous way

*

*

Here you see the difference when manually juicing the arils — the dark — and running the arils through a juicer:

*

*No biggie: the juicing of the seeds is just fine. I ran it by Dr. Fuhrman to be sure, and he said it’s all good 🙂

*Conveniently portioned, it’s nice to just reach in the freezer for some of the magic 😉

*

*

Enjoy pomegranates however you like them; they’ll be gone from markets much too soon!

Strix

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

%d bloggers like this: