Chai Spice Sugar Scrub… and more! Great Gifts!

Last year I discovered the joys of sugar scrubs.  They are a great exfoliant, leaving your skin soft, moisturized and bright.  They make a great shaving “cream” or overall body scrub.  Talk about dessert for the skin!  Hand me a spoon!  They are almost too easy to make, and they make fantastic gifts.  My favorite to date is Chai Spice.  It is as simple as opening a Chai Spice tea bag, mixing it with the sugar, adding 10 drops of cinnamon essential oil to a base oil, and stirring!

Basic recipe:

2 parts sugar, 1 part oil. 

Choose your sugars.

  • Regular white sugar gives a soft, gentle exfoliation. (My favorite texture, although I don’t bake with it since it is likely GMO)
  • Brown sugar gives a deeper exfoliation.
  • White cane sugar gives a firmer, deeper exfoliation.
  • True demerara sugar (as opposed to demerara style) provides the deepest, firmest exfoliation.

Choose your oils.

Most liquid cooking oils will work fine.  I have used olive oil, sweet almond oil and grape seed oil.  Smell it first.  Make sure it isn’t rancid.

Choose your additives… or not.

  • Ground candy canes (run it through the blender to get small bits)
  • Ground coffee beans
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Almond or Vanilla Extract
  • Essential oils (Ex. Cinnamon)
  • Loose leaf teas (think, Chai Spice with cinnamon!)

Mix your ingredients.

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, combine liquid ingredients.  Add wet to dry and stir well.  Spoon into jars and decorate jars to your liking!  Enjoy!

Mountain Rose Herbs has exceptional quality, certified organic herbs, spices,oils, essential oils and more.  They maintain a strict emphasis on sustainable agriculture.  I highly recommend them for outstanding quality and service.

 

 

Oat Flour Vegetable Crackers Recipe

We hardly ever have crackers in the house.  Not because I have anything against healthy, wholesome crackers, but because every time I look at them in the grocery store I think to myself “I can make those” and I pass them over.  Then I go home and don’t make them.  Crackers aren’t hard to make, but if you have kids in the house who would eat them like chips given the opportunity, they are hard to keep in stock.

A lot of commercial crackers contain preservatives, artificial color or flavour, and possibly high fructose corn syrup or trans fats.  They are for the most part, just another processed food.  They don’t have to be though.  Tasty crackers can be made from good, wholesome ingredients as well.  This recipe tastes something like vegetable crackers, but the ingredients are much more simple.  Check out Nabisco Vegetable Thins.

Ingredients: ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), CANOLA AND/OR SOYBEAN AND/OR PALM AND/OR PALM KERNEL AND/OR PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM KERNEL OIL,  DEHYDRATED VEGETABLE BLEND (CONTAINS CARROTS, ONIONS, CELERY, RED BELL PEPPER, CABBAGE, TOMATO, PARSLEY), SUGAR, SALT, LEAVENING (MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE, BAKING SODA), DEXTROSE, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, ONION POWDER, HYDROLYZED SOY AND WHEAT PROTEIN, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE (FLAVOR ENHANCER), NATURAL FLAVOR, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, DISODIUM GUANYLATE (FLAVOR ENHANCER).

NOT good.  MSG, HFCS, Trans fats, artificial color and flavor.  Try this recipe that contains nothing but good, wholesome ingredients!

Homemade vegetable seasoning. Dehydrate then grind the vegetables to a powder. Green onions, zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, leeks and more!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½  to 1 3/4 c. oat flour
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  •  ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ c. water
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  • salt to sprinkle on top

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Whisk first  6 ingredients together.
  3. Cut butter into dry mixture with a pastry cutter until it is pea-sized and crumbly.
  4. Mix water and vanilla together.  Toss into dry mixture with a fork until dough makes a ball.  If dough is too sticky add more flour by the Tbsp. as needed.
  5. With a sheet of parchment paper over top, roll out dough on a baking stone (or on any cookie sheet, but with parchment underneath as well.)  Roll as thin as you can.
  6. Sprinkle with salt as desired.
  7. Cut into squares.
  8. Bake at 400F for about 8-10 minutes or until crackers are starting to turn golden and getting firmer.  Don’t bake them so long they crumble!
  9. Cool a few minutes on baking sheet then using a metal flipper, transfer to cooling rack and cool fully.

Notes:

  • This recipe can be made with whole wheat or spelt flour in place of oat flour.
  • To make a plainer version of this cracker omit the vegetable seasoning and sesame seeds.
  • I make my own vegetable seasoning by dehydrating and then blending to a powder vegetables such as green onions, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and more.

Adapted from Kitchen Stewardship’s Cracker Recipe.

This post has been shared on The Morristribe’s Homesteader Carnival #17.