Basic Goat Milk Soap Recipe: Soothing and Rejuvenating!

Goat milk as an additive to skin care products has long been used to sooth and solve skin issues.  Raw goat milk in high in vitamins and minerals, in particularly vitamin A, which aids in repairing damaged skin. It is also naturally rich in caprylic acid, which soothes and rejuvenates skin. Lactic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid) is also present in goat milk which removes dead skin cells and is believed to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. Goat milk soap is very gentle on the skin and is perfect for people who suffer from eczema, delicate, or dry skin. We have our own goat milk and one way of dealing with excess milk is to freeze it and later use it in body products such as this.

Soap-making is a skill everyone should learn.  It is easy, fun, environmentally friendly, economical and practical.  Once I began making soap, I soon discovered that you can replace the water in any recipe with goat milk, 1:1.  This allowed me to use my own goat milk to create recipes and products of high quality for a very low cost.

This recipe is a simple one.  Coconut oil, sustainably-produced palm oil and olive oil are all easy to find ingredients. You can substitute the goat milk for plain distilled water if you wish.

This recipe is meant as an ingredient list and basic directions for experienced soap-makers.  Click here for a complete photo tutorial with explicit directions.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

•26.5 oz. Olive oil Pomace
•16.5 ounces Coconut oil
•10 oz. Sustainably sourced Palm Kernal oil
•209 grams Lye
•2.7 oz. Essential oils of your choice
•20 oz. goat milk frozen in ice cube sized chunks.

Directions:

  1. Prepare your mold.
  2. Combine and melt olive oil, coconut oil and palm oil to 115F.
  3. VERY slowly, pour measured lye into semi-thawed (slushy) goat milk.  Stir constantly.  Measure temperature constantly.  If milk heats up too fast it will turn orange and scorch, so do this step very slowly.  Ideally you will get your lye mixture up to about 115F.
  4. Combine lye mixture with oils when temperatures are the same (between 105-115F).
  5. Using a stick blender, blend combination until product reaches trace.
  6. Add any essential oils, dried herbs etc at trace.
  7. Pour into mold. Cover mold with either plastic wrap or cardboard.
  8. Cover with towels to prevent cooling too quickly.
  9. 24 hours later, cut into bars.
  10. Set bars on towel in warm, dry location away from direct sunlight.  Let them “saponify” for at least 4 weeks.

Enjoy!

 

*Most ingredients can be found in natural health food stores and/or soap making supply stores.  Alternatively, ingredients can be ordered online from Mountain Rose Herbs: “Exceptional quality certified organic herbs and spices, with a strict emphasis on sustainable agriculture.” By clicking on the links above you can buy directly from Mountain Rose Herbs.  I have an affiliate program with them and make a small percentage of sales made that are re-directed from my site.

This post has been linked to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #76, Waste Not, Want Not Wednesdays, Wildcrafting Wednesdays #92, and From The Farm Blog Hop #36.

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DIY Homemade Soap Recipe: The Modern Homesteader Bar with goat milk and tallow.

Soap making: A brief explanation:
Soap is simply the combination of lye and oils.  When you combine them, they produce a chemical reaction called saponification and the end result is soap.  You cannot make soap without lye.  ALL soaps are made with lye, or they aren’t soap, they are a detergent.  You can buy melt and pour soap kits, but all that means is that the saponification part has been done for  you already, and you are simply remelting the soap and adding other ingredients.  From Zest, and Ivory, to Dr Bronners and any local soap, all have been started with lye.  Soap must be left to rest, or saponify, for 3-4 weeks before you can use it.  If you use it too soon the lye might not have completely chemically changed, and you could potentially burn yourself still.

This particular soap I have called the Modern Homesteader soap.  I love the challenge of using ingredients I can produce myself, with ingredients homesteaders in my area would have had access to 100 or more years ago. The tallow (beef fat) which I rendered myself from grass-fed beef, and the goat milk from my own goat, satisfy this “homesteader” urge I have.  The coconut oil and olive oil in the recipe are available now to “modern homesteaders” because we have the privilege of transporting these products to where we live so we can benefit from them too.  Old time homesteaders in my area wouldn’t have had access to these ingredients, so this is the modern part.  Olive and coconut oil are both fantastic ingredients in a soap, making a nice, hard soap with a great lather.

Before you start making soap, make sure you read through the recipe and the notes.  Have all your material on hand and your safety precautions in place.  If you are totally new to soap making, you might want to use water instead of goat milk since goat milk can be a bit tricky to use at first.  But, if you are like me, my second time making soap I was using goat milk.

Materials:

Scale
Stick blender
Soap mold (even a shoe box)
Plastic garbage bag
Old towels or blankets
Rubber gloves
Safety goggles
White distilled vinegar, in case of lye burns
Long sleeved shirt
2 thermometers
1 large bowl, 1 large pot
Spatula
Stainless steel whisk
Spoon
Several smaller bowls for measuring ingredients into

Ingredients:

44 oz. tallow
20 oz. olive oil
20 oz. coconut oil
11.7 oz. lye
27 oz. goat milk, partially frozen in ice cube-sized chunks (or water, if preferred)
1 oz. essential oil

Directions:

  1. Have all tools and materials ready and available ahead of time.
  2. Prepare your soap mold.  You can use an old shoe box or a fancy soap mold, whichever you like.  If using a simple wooden mold or box, line it with a plastic bag, trying to keep as smooth as possible.  You will be pouring your liquid into this so you don’t want it to leak.  Keep your stack of old towels or blankets for wrapping it in, nearby.
  3. Wear your gloves, safety glasses and long sleeved shirt!
  4. Measure, melt and combine tallow, olive and coconut oil.  Set aside.
  5. Combine lye with goat milk.  When adding lye to goat milk, do so VERY slowly, stirring VERY thoroughly to prevent scorching the milk.  If it starts to turn even the slightest bit orange,  back off with the lye, and put the bowl in a separate bowl of ice cubes to slow down the heating.  The milk will melt.  The key to adding milk to soap is to do it very slowly.
  6. Measure the temperatures of both bowls.  When both are between 110F and 115F, combine the lye mixture with the oil mixture.
  7. Using a stick blender, blend, in a figure 8 pattern, making sure you are blending all of the combination.  Continue to do this until the soap reaches trace. (Trace is when you lift up the blender and a drip sits on top of the mixture slightly, like pudding).
  8. Add and mix in essential oil.
  9. Immediately pour into prepared soap mold.
  10. Cover mold completely with a board, or you can lie plastic wrap or a garbage bag carefully across the top of the soap.
  11. Wrap well with old blankets or towels to prevent from cooling too fast.
  12. Store in a warm location (room temperature, no drafts) for 24 hours.
  13. After 24 hours are up, using gloves, remove from soap mold and cut into pieces.
  14. Place pieces on an old towel, with air being able to circulate between each piece.
  15. Let sit for 4 weeks, turning soap once a week.
  16. If a haze appears on your soap you can simply scrape it off after 4 weeks, or just leave it.

Enjoy!

Tips:

  1. Lye is caustic.  It is a powder, and is activated when any moisture touches it.  It gets very hot, very quickly.  Use rubber gloves, long sleeved shirt and safety glasses to prevent burns.  If you do get burnt, pour plain white distilled vinegar directly onto the burn.
  2. You want to combine your lye mixture with your oil mixture when they are both about the same temperature.  Sometimes you will have to reheat either the lye or the oils to ensure they are at the same temperature.  That’s ok!  To reheat the lye mixture, place the bowl in a bowl of hot water.  To reheat the oil mixture, put it back on the stove and reheat.
  3. When dealing with goats milk (or any milk) you don’t want to scorch your milk.  This can happen very quickly since the lye will heat up very fast.  Freeze the milk in ice cube trays, for easy measurement and a more even melting.  Allow the milk to partially thaw, being slushy when you need it.  If, when  you are mixing your milk and lye, it starts to turn orange, stop, place the bowl of milk in a bowl of ice cubes, and try again.  Add the lye VERY slowly to prevent scorching.  If your mixture is a bit orange, that’s ok… it will turn brown when it saponifies.
  4. You can replace the milk content with plain, distilled water if you prefer.
  5. If you don’t want to use tallow, don’t use this recipe!  It isn’t recommended to change amounts and types of oils in a recipe since each oil has a different way of reacting to the lye.  I will be posting other recipes that don’t use tallow shortly.
  6. This recipe is a large one, and will produce about 7 lb. of soap.
  7. What types of oils to select?  Any grade of olive oil will work.  The more virgin it is, the lighter the soap will be in color.  Pomace grade (the cheapest kind) seems to come to trace a little bit faster but may contribute to a darker, slightly greener color.  For the coconut oil, I use an RBD grade (refined) coconut oil.
  8. Where to buy your ingredients?  Mountain Rose Herbs has a lot of high quality, organic soap making ingredients.  I have linked to them in the ingredient list above.  Lye cannot be mailed since it is caustic so you will need to find a local supplier.  I have a soap making supplier who is local and I pick up the lye at her store.  The oils can often be bought at grocery stores.
  9. Soap-making isn’t scary. It isn’t hard. And it is lots of fun to do with a friend. These bars turned out to be about $1.30 each which is MUCH cheaper than buying quality, homemade soap from a store.

This post has been shared on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday #17, 75th Wildcrafting Wednesday, From the Farm #34Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #75 and Homestead Abundance #9

Sweet Potato Lentil Curry: Kid-friendly, Vegan and Gluten-Free.

I am on a mission to include more lentils, beans and curries in our family’s diet.  They are extremely healthy and economical.  This isn’t necessarily an easy task since my kids are not used to any of them.  They aren’t super picky eaters though, so I searched for mild curry recipes that included lentils.  I found one from Smitten Kitchen and since her recipes never fail to impress me, I thought I’d give it a try.  Naturally I didn’t have everything on hand that I needed, so I played around with the recipe and changed it into a mildly sweet curry dish that even my pickiest eater would eat.  OK, she ate most of it, anyway!  A good first step towards introducing lentils and curries into our meals.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1  1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated.
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cups of vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 lb. peeled orange-fleshed sweet potato (otherwise known as yams in my neck of the woods), chopped in 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cups previously soaked lentils (from a dry state)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • juice from one lime
  • 1/3 c. chopped almonds

Directions

  1. Saute onions and garlic in coconut oil until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add ginger, garam masala and curry.  Stir well for about 1 minute.
  3. Add broth, coconut milk, cinnamon stick, chopped sweet potatoes, lentils, lime juice, bay leaf and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.
  4. Partially cover pot with lid.  Over medium heat, boil gently for about half an hour or until sweet potatoes and lentils are soft.
  5. Serve over rice or quinoa, and garnish with cilantro, lime zest and almonds.  Enjoy!

Spice it up:

This recipe has been designed specifically with children in mind.  If you want it more flavourful or spicy add 1/2 tsp more of both curry and garam masala.  Add a few chopped jalapeno peppers.  Top with a spicy nut mix.

Veg it up:

You can add chopped spinach or swiss chard when you add the broth.  Corn and raisins can also add flavour and vegetables/fruit.

This post has been shared on Homestead Barn Hop #94, From The Farm Blog Hop 35, and Fat Tuesday, January 15h.

Lip Balm Recipes: Honey Vanilla, Chocolate Chip Mint and Sweet Almond.

Lip Balm CollageMost commercial lip balms contain petroleum products, artificial colors and flavours, and are loaded with preservatives.  Applying these to your lips is as good as eating these ingredients.  Thankfully, lip balm is simple and cheap to make.  You can make it with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, or at the very least, that you can find fairly easily in natural foods stores.  With pure, all natural ingredients these lip balms are effective and safe, and they make fantastic little gifts!

Choosing your oils

You can use any cooking oil you like.  Some have better qualities than others.  Choose one with little or no fragrance unless you love the fragrance.  Good ones include olive oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, sweet almond oil etc.  You can use any of these oils instead of the ones in the recipe.  They will all work well.  You can also use herb-infused oils such as chamomile or calendula to create a very soothing, calming product.

Choosing your butters

Butters are oils that are solid at room temperature.  (Except coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature but classified as an oil, not a butter).  Butters are loaded with enriching qualities.  Cocoa butter, shea butter and mango butter are great choices for lip balms and other body products.  Cocoa butter is probably the easiest to find.  You can substitute any of the butters with each other.

Beeswax

Beeswax is necessary to solidify the product.  If you are vegan you can try substituting carnauba wax for beeswax, but you will need some kind of wax in the balm.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is moisturizing and has antioxidant qualities.  It is also added as a natural preservative.  It helps prevent rancidity, and extends the shelf life of the product.  No natural preservatives are as effective as synthetic ones, so use up your products in a matter of months, not years.  Store any products you aren’t currently using in a freezer in a sealed container.  If you don’t want to use vitamin E you can substitute it for rosemary essential oil, which also has natural preservation properties.

Essential Oils

Essential oils can be substituted for others, or left out entirely.  They do have a bit of a natural preservative effect, but if you don’t want fragrance they can be left out.  Do not use citrus essential oils.  Most citrus (and a few others… worth checking out the link) are photo-toxic and should not be worn when you are exposed to the sun.  Peppermint essential oil contains menthol, a natural analgestic which soothes sore, chapped skin.

Extras, such as honey or chocolate chips.

Again, these can be left out entirely.  Honey is great in body products because it attracts moisture.  It is also naturally antibacterial and… it tastes good…  The chocolate chips are added for color and flavour.  I choose organic, all natural ones to maintain the purity of the product.  Do not add ingredients that are water based such as aloe, or rosewater etc.  Introducing water to your product will allow a bacteria-growing medium into your product which you don’t want, and is completely unnecessary for lip balms.


Choose your recipe below, and follow these directions. 

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except essential oil in a small sauce pan or double boiler and melt, on low heat.   Stir just until melted.  Do not allow the ingredients to boil!
  2. Stir in essential oil.
  3. Pour immediately into lip balm container.
  4. Allow to cool before moving.  Cap and use!  Or gift!

Here are three “tasty” recipes to choose from.

Chocolate Chip Mint

Honey Vanilla

Sweet Almond

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

Notes:

  • Each recipe fills 2-3 tubes or tubs.
  • You can purchase the lip balm containers at Mountain Rose Herbs.  Search “lip balm containers”.
  • Use up in a few months to avoid the oil from going rancid.

This post has been linked to Homestead Abundance #1Waste Not Want Not #9 and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #57.

School Snacks! Healthy, Chewy, Granola Bars.

Granola bars are one of the snacks of choice for many children, and adults too.  They are convenient, they taste good, and they fill you up.  But are they healthy?  Most granola bars are high in sugar and salt and in many cases, contain high fructose corn syrup.  Lots of granola bars contain soy ingredients, and most, unless they specify it or are certified organic, contain genetically modified ingredients.  They are also individually wrapped in plastic or foil which is unsustainable and adds unnecessary waste to the landfills.  Fortunately, they are easy to make, can be made with less sugar and salt than commercial bars, and can contain wholesome, natural ingredients. 

Until recently I haven’t made a granola bar that ALL of my kids enjoy ALL OF THE TIME.  But now I have, and this recipe is so flexible you can change the flavour easily by adding different fruits, nuts, seeds, and more.  These bars hold together nicely, are sweet enough to keep the children coming back for more, and are low enough in sugar to make most moms happy.

For this recipe I have used organic sunflower seed butter.  Sunflower seed butter is higher in protein than peanut butter, has a great flavour, and is generally safe to send to nut-free schools.  It is low in saturated fats, cholesterol-free, low in sodium, and high in vitamins, especially vitamin B.  Click here for more information on the health benefits of sunflower seeds.  Rather than adding a highly-processed protein powder to make a protein bar, this bar is naturally and safely high in protein.  With grains from the organic oats, protein from the seeds and seed butter and fruit from the dried fruit, this bar is pretty much a complete meal and a great snack for anyone.

Ingredients

  • 2 c. rolled oats or multigrain cereal
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 c. oat flour
  • 1/2 c. crisp rice cereal
  • 1/4 c. demerara cane sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1.5 c. total of assorted nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips etc. I use dried cranberries, raisins, chocolate chips, coconut, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, dried apricots etc.
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. sunflower seed butter

Directions

  1. Combine dry ingredients and mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl or 2 cup glass measuring cup, combine wet ingredients and mix well.
  3. Combine wet with dry and mix well.
  4. Press very firmly into a well-greased 8×12 inch or 8×8 inch baking dish.
  5. Press again with a flat, firm object to compact it even more.
  6. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until it is starting to turn golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes.
  8. Press carefully and firmly once more with flat, firm object to compact the bars further.
  9. Cut into pieces before it totally cools.
  10. Do not remove from pan until it is cool to the touch.
  11. Store in an air-tight container.

Tips:

  • If you want to decrease the sugar, take out the demerarra sugar first.  The honey and seed butter are what holds the bar together.
  • Feel free to substitute the seed butter for nut butter if allergies aren’t an issue.
  • Coconut oil can be replaced with melted butter or another cooking oil of your choice.
  • Heating up the wet ingredients a bit helps them combine.
  • This recipe doubles nicely and can still fit in an 8×12 inch baking dish.
  • To guarantee these to be GMO-free, choose certified organic ingredients or ingredients labelled GMO-free.

This recipe is adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie’s Quaker Style Chewy Granola Bar recipe.

This post has been linked to Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday October 2nd, Turning The Clock Back’s What’s Cooking Wednesday, Fresh Eggs Daily’s Farm Girl Blog Fest #3, Homestead Barn Hop#82 and Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days Sustainable Ways #47.

Zucchini Chips! 5 healthy, easy versions.

This summer I have zucchini coming out my ears.  The cold, wet spring, in the end, didn’t finish off my zucchini plants and the hot, dry summer provided perfect growing conditions. I made loaves and muffins, I grated zucchini and froze it.  We fried it.  And we still have more.   None of my company is allowed to leave without taking a zucchini… or three.  This year in desperation I dehydrated them.  I was amazed!  They were crispy, had a natural mild sweetness, and were a delicious snack.  I came up with a few easy toppings for variety.  And you know they are a hit when the kids are eating them out of the dehydrator before it is even turned off. 

Directions

  • Slice zucchini in thin slices. Thinner means they dry faster, and are more crispy, but slightly thicker is ok too, because they curl up into great little “cups” that make excellent salsa or sour cream scoops!
  • Choose your topping.  If using oil, toss in a bit of oil and sprinkle on your toppings.  Toss together in a bowl and place on racks in the dehydrator, or on cookie sheets in the oven.
  • Dehydrate at about 135F for several hours or until crisp.

Toppings that taste fantastic (and I know because I’ve tried them):

Salt and Vinegar
Soak zucchini slices in vinegar for a few hours or overnight.  Toss with a pinch of salt and dehydrate.

Cinnamon Sugar
Toss with a few tbsp. of melted coconut oil and a cane sugar-cinnamon mix.  Dehydrate.

Salt and Oil
Toss with a few tbsp. of grape seed oil or olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Dehydrate.

Herbs
Toss with a few tbsp. of your favorite herbs.  I would suggest freshly-dehydrated dill or basil.  Dehydrate.

Plain
Dehydrate as is.  Dehydrated zucchini has a slightly sweet flavour and are surprisingly good with no toppings at all!

  • Store in air tight container to preserve crispiness.
  •  Don’t over-salt them!  They dehydrate and shrink up a lot so use salt sparingly.
  • For the same reasons as above, don’t over-oil them.
  • Reaching crispiness may take longer than several hours.  My homemade dehydrator took a full day to do the job since I don’t have an accurate temperature adjustment on it.

Enjoy!

This post has been linked to Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday, From The Farm Blog Hop #35 and Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #42.

Homemade Chocolate-Dipped Ice Cream Pops.

You know those ice cream bars covered in rich, dark chocolate that you have to bite deeply into in order to get through the thick layer of chocolate before you hit the smooth, creamy, vanilla ice cream in the middle?  Yeah.  I’ve got you on rich, dark chocolate.  Right?

Do you know what’s in those bars?  Probably more than you’d like to think about.  Want to make them at home with your own, all natural, homemade ingredients?  It’s easier than you think!

If you haven’t bought an ice cream maker yet, buy one now.  You can save a lot of money making your own ice cream, and even better, you can use ingredients that you KNOW are fantastic.  No preservatives.  No thickeners.  No artificial flavour or color.  Nothing to make it stop from melting.  Just cream, vanilla, milk and sugar.

If you don’t have stainless steel popsicle molds buy them here.  Unlike plastic, stainless steel does NOT leech toxic chemicals into your lovingly homemade popsicles.

Ingredients:

  • Homemade ice cream ingredients (see your recipe book that comes with your ice cream maker)
  • Organic, all natural dark chocolate chips or bars.
  • Unrefined, fair trade coconut oil.

Directions:

  1. Follow the directions for homemade vanilla (or other) ice cream from your recipe book that comes with your ice cream maker.
  2. Once the ice cream is mixed, spoon it into popsicle molds.  Poke the popsicle sticks in and freeze for 2 hours.
  3. In the mean time, make your chocolate dip.  Over low heat, melt 1 part coconut oil to 3 parts dark, organic chocolate (or your cholice of chocolate).  Allow the chocolate/coconut oil to cool to close to room temperature before dipping so you don’t melt the ice cream.
  4. Remove ice cream pops from freezer.  Run popsicle mold under hot water for 1 second.  Carefully remove ice cream pop from popsicle mold.
  5. Quickly dip popsicle in a mason jar filled with (not hot!) melted chocolate/coconut oil.  Mason jar must be tall enough to allow the popsicle to be well-dipped.
  6. Hold right side up for a minute until chocolate starts to solidify.  Lay down carefully in a glass pyrex container.  Place container in freezer.  Repeat with other ice cream pops.
  7. Freeze for a few minutes and serve whenever you want to eat them!

And oooooh they’re good!

Notes

  • Store left over chocolate/coconut oil in mason jar in fridge for a week or more.
  • Try experimenting with different flavours of ice cream, or even non-dairy ice cream!
  • Double dip for thicker chocolate.  Do it AFTER you have refrozen the first dip!

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This post has been shared on The MorrisTribe’s Homestead Blog Carnival #14 and The Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday.

Home-made All Natural Deodorant with men and women’s fragrances

Deodorants are very important to me.  I DO NOT LIKE body odour.  But neither do I like the chemicals that are in most commercial deodorants/ antiperspirants.  The human body is meant to sweat to cool the body.  The bacteria from our skin and hair cause body odour when we sweat.  Deodorants neutralise and/or kill the bacteria.  Antiperspirants use aluminium that actually blocks the pores and stops the sweat from leaving the body.  Control Your Impact explains that antiperspirants are actually drugs which “change the function of the body” and are thereby regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.  Both types regularly contain parabens, aluminium, propylene glycol, Triclosan, TEA, DEA, FD&C colors, fragrance, talc, and many more.  These ingredients have links to Alzheimer’s, cancer and allergic reactions.  After discovering this information it was clear to me that I needed an alternative.

My safe deodorant search began when I was pregnant with my first child.  I tried the commercial all-natural brands from the crystal, to Tom’s of Maine and while these had acceptable ingredients, they didn’t work.   I finally settled on a Kiss My Face liquid rock that still contained ingredients I didn’t like.  I had myself convinced that no totally safe, chemical-free deodorants worked.

Last summer at a farmer’s market I purchased an all natural deodorant made locally.  I bought it with suspicion… and LOVED it!  It worked.  It smelled good.  It felt good.  And did I say, it WORKED!  The best part about it was that I recognised all the ingredients and could find most of them locally.  This was encouraging.  I knew that I could make my own deodorant if I really tried.  I started searching the internet for recipes and came up with several that had some of the same ingredients.  So I tried them.  The baking soda/coconut oil/corn starch deodorant worked well.  But it could only be used as a putty applied with finger tips because the coconut oil would melt in the steamy bathroom during showers.  I wanted something that could be poured into an old deodorant container and applied conveniently.  So I knew it needed something to make it drier and something to make it more solid.

And I found it.  My homemade deodorant contains:

Coconut Oil: naturally antibacterial and a great moisturiser.
Baking Soda: deodorises
Arrowroot Powder: adds extra dryness
Cocoa Butter: moisturiser for shaving and stabiliser (solid at room temperature)
Bees Wax: stabiliser (makes the deodorant more solid)
Essential Oil: antibacterial, antimicrobial, and smells good!

***UPDATE!  I have since changed the recipe to exclude kaolin clay since it does contain aluminum which I was unaware of.  It is a naturally occuring aluminum, and from my research does not absorb into the body but I removed it from the recipe regardless.  The ingredients have been adjusted and the recipe works fine without it.  If you want to include the kaolin clay, use 2 heaping tbsp. clay, and 2 heaping tbsp. arrowroot powder. Thanks!***

All ingredients can be found in natural health food stores.  Alternatively, ingredients can be ordered online from Mountain Rose Herbs: “Exceptional quality certified organic herbs and spices, with a strict emphasis on sustainable agriculture.”
By clicking on the links above you can buy directly from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Does it work?  Yes it does!  Both my husband and I have put it to the test.  I have gardened in it, worked out in it, and stressed out in it with no smell!  My husband works a physical job and worked all day in it, and still didn’t smell the next morning.

Recipe (by weight, or use the measurments in brackets if you don’t have a scale):
1.1 oz. cocoa butter (1/8 c.)
2.0 oz. beeswax   (3 Tbsp. melted)
1.5 oz. coconut oil (3 Tbsp.)
1.5 oz. baking soda (1/8 c.)
1.0 oz. arrowroot powder (3 1/2 heaping Tbsp.)
15 drops clary sage essential oil (for men) or other
10+10 drops of vanilla essential oil and cinnamon essential oil (for women) or other

Directions:

Wash and roll down your empty deodorant container.
Melt cocoa butter on low heat in pan.  Stir constantly.
Add coconut oil and beeswax and stir until melted.  Turn off heat.
Add baking soda and arrowroot powder, stirring vigorously.
Add essential oils.
Pour quickly into empty deodorant container.  Make sure it has been rolled down all the way.
Allow to cool.
 And you are done!

Hints:

  • Use OLD dishes!  Bees wax is hard to get out of your bowls and spoons!
  • Make sure your deodorant container doesn’t have holes in the bottom of it.  If it does, cut out parchment paper to the size of the container, and seal the edges inside the container with melted beeswax before you get started.  You don’t want your product leaking all over the counter before it hardens.
  • Keep heat low to prevent burning.  MELT.  DO NOT BOIL.
  • If mixture hardens before you have put it in the container just reheat and stir to melt again.
  • If final product is too hard, roll it up, take it off the deodorant container, reheat and add 1 Tbsp. coconut oil or cocoa butter.
  • If final product is too soft re-melt it and add 1/2 Tbsp melted bees wax.
  • If final product is too greasy re-melt and add 1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder.
  • Be careful when rolling up the deodorant for the first time.  It may be a bit stuck at first and you can easily break the turner if you force it.
  • Other essential oils will work fine with the recipe.  Lavender and Tea Tree oil have great antibacterial properties.  Just be cautious with essential oils: some are not supposed to be put directly on the skin.  Always read your labels first.
  • If you would like to make the recipe without a plastic container, simply do not add bees wax, pour into a glass jar and use your finger tips to apply.

Making your own body care products is fun and satisfying.  Keep in mind that you may have to play with recipes to get them perfect for your own body type.

For a link to more essential oils that have masculine fragrances click here.  You can make your own combinations of essential oils too.   For a link to mixing your own essential oil fragrances click here.

Some people’s skin is very sensitive to baking soda.  You can make the recipe without the baking soda but I find it less effective.

I would love to hear your experience with the product!  If you make changes to the recipe that make it work better for you, please share!

This post has been linked to The Prairie Homestead Blog Hop #56, Farmer’s Daughter’s Homsteading Link Up, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #21, From The Farm Blog Hop #42Simple Living Wednesday Link Up, Little Farm in the Big City: Homestead Helps Wednesday, Frugal Living: A Natural Parents Network Blog Hop and Natural Parenting Group Link Up.

Lemon flax pancakes in coconut oil.

My standard pancake recipe took a twist, a dash and a splash tonight… a twist of lemon, a dash of flax, and a splash of coconut oil.  With fantastic results. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c. white flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax
  • 4 tbsp. demerara sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • grated lemon zest from 3/4 of a lemon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • lemon juice from above lemon
  • 4 heaping tbsp. milk powder plus
  • 2 1/8 c. water
  • OR replace milk powder and water with 2 1/8th cup milk, almond milk etc. 
  • 2 tbsp. coconut or olive oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil for frying. 

Directions

  • In a medium bowl combine first 7 ingredients and whisk well. 
  • In second medium bowl mix beaten eggs and lemon juice. 
  • In glass pitcher mix water and milk powder well.  Add to eggs and lemon juice and mix well.
  • Add melted coconut oil or olive oil to wet ingredients and mix well. 
  • Make a well in centre of dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into dry. 
  • Fold ingredients together just until mixed.  Do not over-mix. 
  • Melt half the second amount of coconut oil in frying pan on medium heat and spread to coat pan.
  • Add pancake batter in 1/4 cup amounts.  Flip pancakes when bubbles break. 
  • Add remaining coconut oil as needed to keep pancakes from sticking to pan.
  • Serve with homemade, canned peaches, homemade peach syrup and homemade yogurt for a fantastic, light meal!  (or anything else you like!)

Makes about 15 pancakes.

This article has been shared on Fat Tuesday: March 20th, and Homestead Barn Hop #54.