The Beauty Benefits of Bathing in Tea [Part 2]

Bathing in tea is not only beautiful and extravagant, it feels good. I’m a big tea and coffee lover in general and I can’t often use scented bath products as they aren’t the best for my skin or feminine health due to the chemicals they have. Bathing in herbs and teas is certainly a much better relaxing, decadent choice for most of us than sitting in bubble bath!

I still get messages from readers about our “The Beauty Benefits of Bathing in Tea [in Australia]” post by Michelle Walker and I decided it was finally time to do a beauty update! For one, many of you explained that you don’t have access to take baths so I’ve given you some more options for “bathing in tea.” Enjoy!

Great Teas to Bathe In

  • Chamomile: A great choice if you suffer from break outs or just want a glowing complexion. It’s no surprise that chamomile is also stress-relieving and relaxing, as it is commonly enjoyed to calm down before bedtime, so also try it as a relaxing bath before going to sleep.
  • Peppermint: A great refresher after a long day and a great choice to get you going. I even love simmering peppermint leaves on the stove as a winter blues pick-me-up and it’s a great scent to clear your sinuses if you’re feeling under the weather. I have also found peppermint is is very helpful if you’re feeling nauseated or sick to your stomach.
  • Green Tea: Green tea is also great for your skin as it contains antioxidants and a high amount of vitamin B, It’s a great choice for relaxing muscles and sweating out toxins. Also, as it has caffeine, it’s a good morning ritual.
  • Lavender: The most relaxing aroma (in my opinion) that helps you destress and will even improve a migraine. I keep a sachet of dried lavender beside my bed for just those reasons alone.
  • Jasmine: Jasmine is moisturizing and is said to improve stretch marks. The scent, to me, is intoxicating and one of my favorites to bathe in at the start of my day.
  • Rose: One of the prettiest teas to bathe in, of course you can toss in rose hips, rose buds and rose petals and feel like Marie Antoinette herself. What’s even better is this makeshift rose water tightens pores without drying them out and is also full of antioxidants. Rose water is a great toner–your skin will certainly thank you for this one!

Cream or Sugar?

Of course you can’t add sugar to your relaxing bath (a yeast infection waiting to happen!) but milk is a great addition to bath teas.

  • Milk Tea Bath: Milk contains a lot of fat and protein that leaves skin feeling supple. Lactic acid in milk helps to exfoliate and soften the skin leaving you with a glowing complexion. Add teas for more benefits.

Only Have a Shower?

You can still “bathe in tea!” Shut the bathroom door and let a steamy shower run for a few minutes on some teas and herbs placed within muslin, cheesecloth or pantyhose prior to getting in. Leave the tea bags in the shower while you bathe.

Steam Treatment

Another option is to heat the herbs in a simmer pot on the stove and do a steam treatment on your face. You’ll simmer the herbs in the pot, remove it from the stove and then cover your head in a towel while you hold your face over the steaming pot — be careful the steam is not hot enough to burn! Make sure you stay far enough from the simmering water or it will harm your skin (or mood!) more than improve it.

Egg Mask Recipe & Face Steam For Clean, Tight Pores

One of my best friends, Emi, has a go-to recipe for improving and detoxing the pores on your face. My added secret is using the fresh laid eggs from my own backyard flock. I like to think that eating or using animal products by abused animals cannot be nearly as great for your skin. Do you agree? I know it’s a bit of a “radical” opinion in this day and age where both human beings and animals aren’t often treated as they deserve.

First fill a pan with water, add herbs and oils of your choice (I prefer mint, lemon peels, sage, lavender, tea tree oil). Heat the water until boiling.

In the meantime (while waiting for that blasted water to boil) crack an egg and separate the whites and yolk. Place the yolk as a mask on your face and décolleté.

Place the egg white in the fridge to cool it.

Wash the mask off when dried and tight on your face.

When the water is boiling take it off the stove. Place a towel over your head and over the pot, not too close (you don’t want to BURN the skin after all) and sit there at most for 10 minutes breathing and allowing the steam to cleanse your pores. Do not feel obligated to do 10 minutes, 5 is fine, just do not do more than 10 minutes. Feel free to play meditation music or a great Podcast while you’re at it!

After the allotted time remove the egg white from the fridge and use as a mask. It should be cold. The egg whites and the coldness will tighten your face. Wash off gently.

After you’ve finished with these steps please add your favorite facial moisturizer and voila! You’re now ready to go about your day.

The Low FODMAP Diet Helps With Bloating

FODMAP diet

First of all, I’m sure we can agree that diet fads are usually lame. They have little to no health benefit other than the diet-marketers making money and you being attracted with unrealistic body expectations and weight loss dreams. However this diet is not about losing weight.. it is a diet specifically helpful for those who struggle with painful bloating, IBS, sensitive stomachs, prior intestinal surgeries (ding ding!!) and other digestive issues.

After my emergency surgery in October of 2014 I couldn’t eat most things… my small intestine was healing and painful. However because of this, when I was physically able, I had an urge to eat EVERYTHING. I ate ate ate and especially loved sugar and carbs. I have a serious sweet tooth. My tummy did not like this.. it was more sensitive than ever and it began to look like I had a beach ball under my shirt, even more so around “that time of the month”. My whole body was relatively thin other than this big bloat! I even had people asking if I was pregnant AND touching my belly when I was out.. how embarrassingly terrible!

So my doctor had given me this diet and at the time I was just not interested. I didn’t have hope my stomach could change after this intestinal resection. I tried the medication and it worked a little bit but not to the extent I was hoping to relieve of this bloating and pain. After trying to do things my own way I finally realized I MUST try this diet regardless of how hard it would be. After that, I noticed a gradual change even within a week. I would wake up and my stomach would be flat, no bloat. I would go through the day and although it was hard to avoid bread and cake I continued to feel like I was not struggling with bloat! Hurray! Not only that but with increase in low fodmap foods I have been losing the extra weight I put on when I was eating unhealthily. I attribute this to eating healthier and exercising.. which are the only things anyone should be doing to get in shape. Starving yourself, trying fad diet pills, etc are likely just quick fixes and are not improving your health!

So what do you eat (and avoid) on the low fodmap diet?

FODMAP List

Oligiosaccharides

Avoid: Garlic, onions, wheat, leeks, nectarines, barley, rye, lentils, pistachios, kidney beans, chickpeas, broccoli
Eat: Quinoa, rice, corn, potato, buckwheat, eggplant, squash, pumpkin, bok choy, cucumbers, endive, tomato, zucchini, gluten-free products

Lactose (Disaccharide)

Avoid: Milk, cottage cheese, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream
Eat: Feta, cheddar cheese, parmesan, lactose-free dairy (or lactaid), almond milk (ensure inulin is not added ingredient), plain lactose-free yogurt

Fructose (Monosaccharide)

Avoid: High-fructose fruits and foods like apples, mangos, honey, asparagus, pears
Eat: More evenly distributed fructose/sucrose fruits like bananas, blueberries, kiwi, raspberries, strawberries

Polyols

Avoid: Avocado, mushrooms, cauliflower, prunes, peach, cherries, blackberries, sugar alcohols (often in candy like: xylitol, sorbitol), molasses, watermelon
Eat: Honey dew, cantaloupe, raspberries, stevia, white or raw sugar (limited), pure maple syrup

Many of these foods should not be completely excluded, as they can be good for you if you’re not sensitive to them. On a low-FODMAP diet you aren’t eliminating these different types of carbohydrates completely—just reducing them — so if you slip-up it’s not the end of the world, keep going.

Some Go-To Recipes

Because the rest of my family is not really low-fodmap and eats bread, noodles, fruits and veggies that are high fodmaps.. I get major cravings. Some things I can make for them that they don’t mind: fried chicken with corn flakes vs crackers, noodles with rice noodles, homemade pickles (remember garlic and onion are very bad for fodmappers and that stinks!!). As usual my recipes are not exact measurements because that’s how I cook (by sight and feel).

Grilled Cheese Quesadilla

  • Corn (gluten free) Tortilla
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Tomato (love grilled cheese with tomato!)
  • Dollop of non or low lactose plain yogurt on top
  • Directions
    Place the tortilla in a greased pan or on griddle that’s on medium heat. Put some shredded cheese on top and when it melts place a slice of tomato on top, fold in half, top with a dollop of yogurt.

Fried Chicken

  • Corn flakes
  • Bit of Corn Starch or Tapioca Starch
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Egg
  • Thawed Chicken
  • Directions
    Oil for frying (olive oil + bacon grease for flavor!)
    Heat oil to high heat, dip chicken into beaten eggs and then into crushed corn flakes mixture (with corn starch and salt & pepper). Turn chicken when browned. Remove when internal temp is at least 345 degrees Fahrenheit.

French Toast

  • Gluten free white bread
  • Splash of Lactaid Milk
  • Egg
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Maple Syrup (actual maple syrup, not the sugary brands of syrup)
  • Directions
    Dip bread into the milk, eggs and vanilla. Heat in greased pan or on griddle until lightly browned on each side. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with a bit of maple syrup.

Snacks

  • Rice cakes + peanut butter (check ingredients!) + banana slices
  • Plain potato chips (you can haz!!)
  • GH Cretors Chicago Mix (a serving takes care of sugary cheesy cravings!)
  • Corn chips + cheddar cheese + jalapeños + oven/microwave to melt cheese + no/low lactose dollop of yogurt
  • Banana + lactose free vanilla yogurt + sprinkles of raw sugar + thin popsicle stick + freeze for 1 hour = banana pop (my kids LOVE these)
  • String cheese stick
  • WOW Baking Co Lemon Burst Wheat & Gluten Free Cookies
    These cookies have no high FODMAPs! They also make other flavors but the only ones that might be ok are Snickerdoodle and Peanut Butter however I haven’t checked them!
  • Snack Stops: Target, Fresh Market and Whole Foods have a bunch of snacks made for those of us on restrictive diets if you look around and check ingredients! Gluten and dairy free have been more and more accepted in other grocery stores, as well.
  • Peppermint and Ginger teas (if you sweeten use white or raw sugar, not honey) are always a good idea for your tummy!

bagged-lemon-burst GH CRETORS CHICAGO MIX yellow gluten free cake mix

Those should give you a few ideas! For instance you can fry eggplant for eggplant parm with the same mixture as the chicken above but remember to make your own tomato sauce because garlic and onion are in most or all tomato sauces! You can also substitute spaghetti noodles for rice noodles (MAI FUN).

As you see above, I found a new favorite dessert/snack food that doesn’t cause me bloating and doesn’t have any major offenders in it: GH Cretors Chicago Mix! This is really a treat because most candy popcorns I found had at least one big bloat-inducer or just left me feeling those same bloated feelings. It takes care of all of the cravings in one bag.

More Tips

Differing Information

You might notice after exploring low FODMAP food lists that many different doctors and people disagree on foods. I find the best thing is to check Monash University‘s app list then to read about the ingredients myself if I’m not sure in a store. It takes some getting used to and it’s confusing and tough at first but it starts to make sense soon! It’s easier when you’re going and getting more accustomed to listening to your body (belly) and what things bother YOU!

Spices

Beware of SPICES! Although all spices except for garlic and onion are fine many spice mixes (including yellow curry!) have onion and garlic IN them. This includes broths. These two flavorful guys taste SO GOOD but cause me a lot of discomfort especially on this diet.. I notice very quickly if they are in something after I’ve cut FODMAPs down/out. So be sure to look out for them. Green onions (scallions) and chives are safe if only the green tops are used and they’re used minimally. So your cherished fried rice and noodles can survive as long as you skip the bulbed onions and garlic!

How Long?

If you decide you do want to adopt a low FODMAP diet, it’s best to talk to your doctor first. If you can, try to commit to the diet for at least a month before you determine if it’s beneficial for you and your digestive system. It’s best to keep a journal (I have one on my phone so I can always easily write notes about foods) along the way to document changes and reactions to foods. I find even low FODMAP foods can give me bloating and some high FODMAP foods won’t! It’s a good idea to keep it handy.

Introducing FODMAP Foods

Also after you try the diet for a month you can start to introduce new foods you used to love by eating one a day or so and see how they affect you. You might be skipping on something that you find you can eat with little discomfort.

FODMAP Friendly Sites

If you decide to try the diet, let me know your experience and if you need support! I’ll be sure to update about my journey more in the future. xo

Make Homemade Lollipops Without a Mold

Stay tuned to until the end of the “cooking” part and see mine and Colette’s super silly Lollipop dance to celebrate~ this is one of her favorite songs (she loves lollipops) and she has been wanting to make this video for so long haha! She also did one of her singing a Ramones song but I guess that one might come in the future.

I’m super silly in this but the recipe is on YouTube and our lollipops are super spicy but excellent adult lollipops! The kids decided on a different dessert after they felt they were too hot! I guess Mary accidentally put a bit much cinnamon oil in them. Oops! I’ve already eaten 3 so far! ha

Please subscribe if you enjoy! More videos on the way for this Youtubenewb~

xox

Desserts that are Eye & Tastebud Candy

So I’ve been on a whirlwind of candy making, eating, fawning over and trying. I’ve been planning what sorts of sweets I’ll make for my wedding in October and which ones will be the best ideas! If you’d like to join me on my trip down the sugar rabbit hole then please grab a cup of tea (preferably with a LID) and jump jump jump!

meringue_kisses_9349

Merengue kisses are all the rage these days and they’re super simple to make… Here’s a recipe for the above merengue kisses!

Coconut ice! Cute and tasty~ Learn to make it here.

sprinkle-coconut-ice-2

What about a SIMPLE but adorable dessert that uses store-bought marshmallows? You can get the information about making this super easy (but cute) dessert here~ what’s better than a bouquet of marshmallow pops?

1.-Marshmallows-Bouquet

Don’t you love marshmallow ropes? Those are adorable! You can learn to MAKE THEM here.

homemade-marshmallows
Make square marshmallows here.

I cannot imagine anything more satisfying than melt-in-your-mouth cotton candy merengue cookies! You can learn to make those here.

cotton candy merengue

Or what about Cotton Candy MOUSSE? i know not everyone is a fan of mousse but I have ALWAYS loved chocolate mousse (chocolate mouse if know the reference from a favorite movie!) however my spouse believes that it’s too much fluff and should be a topping or accessory to the main dessert — ha!

IMG_0268

With my family going on little hikes we often need bagged snacks we can munch on in between meals. My dear friend, Twinkiechan, introduced me to this amazing Lucky Rainbow Chex Mix recipe and I nearly toppled over by sugar high from only seeing the photos~

2013-03-13-LuckyCharmsChex-586

Now everyone who’s close to me probably knows my FAVORITE desserts are creme brûlée and CANDY APPLES. How silly is that pairing? However candy apples have taken a big fall in my experience.. the fairs and festivals tend to have caramel apples and parties usually prefer chocolate apples.. or apples coated in almond bark… and they are NOT the same! I want that hard candy shell. I want the cinnamon candy perfect pairing with the sour, crisp apple. It makes my mouth send me to the moon!

tumblr_lvc2dp1I931r6s2pao1_500

Neon-Pink-Candy-Apples-SWEET-HAUTE

This is the right kind of candy apple! This recipe teaches you how to make hot pink candy apples (how cute). I would only change the vanilla to cinnamon of course~ I’ve also heard of melting the red generic cinnamon candies for the apples and that seems to go well also! As with all hard candy you have to make sure it’s been heated to the correct temperature lest you have a tacky, teeth pulling shell rather than the crunchy perfection of a candy apple!

tumblr_macaron_pastel

Cooking With Videos

One of the easiest ways to find and follow cute recipes is by doing a quick YouTube search! Then you can see how the process is really done without doing guesswork. It’s a great way to make more complex sweets!

Macarons have been and are ALWAYS a win with me. I have had a life-long almond obsession (both taste and smell!) and they’re made from almond meal (plus other scrumptious flavors!!) and egg whites as well as tasty ganache in the center of the cookie sandwiches. What better way to make them than to give them a little tint of rainbow?

Speaking of rainbows though.. (as I can always be found doing).. let’s add some pastel rainbow to the delicious merengue and VIOLA!

I’m saving the best for last… this is one of my all time favorite cooking videos by decocookie (her channel is amazing). In this cooking lesson she teaches us how to make a Little Twin Stars cookie house! The cutest dessert ever.

Thanks for drooling with me! Check back soon for more inspirational delicacies and feel free to let me know what your favorite desserts are!

Vlog: How to Make Valentine Kombucha Tea

Kombucha is one of those things you either love or hate.. and I love it. Given my own experience I can say it is a really good drink both in taste (yum!) and in the health benefits I have personally experienced. I would prefer the mango lemonade flavor (the best!) to this cherry vanilla or lime but it’s a nice change and quite seasonal!

This vlog explains/shows how to make kombucha by using a SCOBY and also how to use the fermented kombucha tea after a week to make the flavored, bottled kombucha drink you see in stores. This flavor is VALENTINE aka cherry vanilla and cherry lime. Enjoy!

How to Make Kombucha — the recipe we published originally here!

King Rabbit Carrot Cupcakes & Frosting

Yesterday (Oct 8th) was my best friend and soul mate David’s 40th birthday so guess what I decided to do? Use the frozen carrot mush we had leftover from juicing earlier and make him some birthday cupcakes! He told me I had hoarded way too much carrot mush and would never use it and so VIOLA I’m going to make it delicious. Our family name means land of the rabbits so what better way to celebrate his life than with CARROTS!? I know.. there really isn’t one. This recipe is catered to him but you could substitute all sorts of things such as adding crushed walnuts, raisins, etc.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOVE!

King Rabbit Carrot Cupcakes

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup grated apples
  • 1 1/3 cups grated raw carrots
  • Queen Bunny’s Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • King Rabbit Carrot Cupcakes

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease 12 muffin cups or fill 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

    Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. I like to use my clean hands so that I permeate my heart into whatever I’m making and I can feel that everything is adequately mixes. This is how I make all baked goods, bread, desserts, etc. Love it or leave it.

    Evenly fill the greased muffin cups or muffin liners and bake at 350 degrees for around 18-22 minutes. Check around 18 minutes depending on how quickly your oven bakes, your tins etc. I like to check early as opposed to cooking things too dry. If a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean then remove the muffin tins and let cool before frosting.

    Queen Bunny’s Cream Cheese Frosting

    In a bowl use your mixer to beat the butter and cream cheese until very smooth and creamy while slowly adding the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Pipe the frosting on the top of the tops of the cupcakes. For quick piping I like to add the icing to a ziplock with the corner cut off and pipe on top of the cupcakes.

    happybirthday

    Effervescent Embers: How to Make Kombucha

    make.kombucha

    I decided to add a new category to Miseducated based on the wonderfully fulfilling and helpful work one of my best friends and I do together on an almost daily basis. Not only do we get together on weekdays to work (we both have jobs that rely on laptops, coffee and a strong WIFI connection) and encourage each other but we also do extra life-enhancing things like discussing hardships to find the positive hidden within, practicing yoga (she is an excellently encouraging yoga instructor so stay tuned for information about her business as the website is in the works) and connecting with our animals while incense swirls in the air and the music hums.

    Lately we’ve began cooking together as we shared a home for a time and especially because Emma makes kombucha. I wasn’t even scared to try the drink because I was staying with her for a week and I figured I’d give it a shot. In one of my worst times I honestly felt good health-wise, which is not usually the case for me. I had been having a stomach ache and had been unable to eat much until I began drinking the drink and my stomach worries went away. I had issues with digestion and other women’s woes as well that seemed to clear up shockingly quick after enjoying kombucha daily. It wasn’t until later when I saw what went into this delicious vinegar soda I began to get skeptical. Extensive amounts of reading others experiences and recipes showed me that this is an ancient health elixir that has been made nearly everywhere and is only fairly new to our culture. So yes, I began to craft my own and we will teach you to do the same. All it takes is a SCOBY, tea (start with black or green) and sugar. Real sugar, not the chemical kind.

    As always this is my experience, you are free to have your own and either dispose the taste or the entire idea behind the drink and that’s totally fine! I do not claim any magical healing benefits nor do I expect everyone to enjoy the taste. However I think trying new things is many times a good idea unless you have strong truth-based reservations about them.

    So kombucha tastes nothing like tea or juice or regular soda or sugar. I figured I’d first throw that out there. To describe it at all, depending on what you add to it, it tastes like a carbonated vinegar. The carbonation and flavor depend on the amount of fermentation it does and what sort of juice you add after you bottle it. We have chosen to add mango lemonade but next time I believe I’ll try something new. I’ve heard of people adding ginger and that entices me.

    Why kombucha though? Other than my own experience? Kombucha contains probiotics and multiple species of yeast and bacteria along with the organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids, and polyphenols produced by these microbes. The precise quantities vary between samples, but may contain: Acetic acid, Ethanol, Gluconic acid, Glucuronic acid, Glycerol, Lactic acid, Usnic acid and B-vitamins. It was also found that Kombucha contains about 1.51 mg/mL of vitamin C. The acidity of kombucha resists contamination by most airborne molds or bacterial spores. It was shown that Kombucha inhibits growth of harmful microorganisms such as E. coli, Sal. enteritidis, Sal. typhimurium, and Sh. Sonnei. As a result, kombucha is relatively easy to maintain as a culture outside of sterile conditions. – Wikipedia on Kombucha

    EMBER’S KOMBUCHA

    by

    Ingredients

    • 3.5 quarts water
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 12 bags green or black tea / 6 tbsp loose green or black tea
    • 2 cups starter tea from last batch of kombucha
    • 1 healthy SCOBY per fermentation jar
    • Optional: when time for bottling add 1 cup fruit juice to bottle

    Equipment

    • saucepan
    • 1 gallon glass jar
    • jars or bottles: 8 16-oz mason jars or soda bottles (with lids)
    • funnel
    • strainer

    emma and our kombucha

    Instructions

    1. Make a batch of sweet tea: Fill saucepan with approx 1-2 quarts of water and add the bags when boiling. Add sugar and allow tea to steep until water has cooled. Add ice if impatient.

    2. Add tea to 1-gallon jar. If still warm add cold water and leave only around 15% of jar unfilled.

    3. Gently add your SCOBY and 2 cups of previous batch (without juice) being careful not to use metal to touch the SCOBY — we used bamboo tongs. Cover the mouth of the jar with a coffee filter and secure with a rubber band or tape if necessary (my jar was an oblong shape).

    4. Ferment for 7 to 10 Days: Keep the jar in a cabinet by it’s lonesome. Store at room temperature, out of direct sunlight and safe from being shaken or moved. Ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking it periodically to make sure the SCOBY is fermenting the tea and not succumbing to mold or ailments. (I like to check it and take a sniff to make sure it smells like vinegar and not anything rotten.)

    You will notice the SCOBY may position itself anywhere around the bottle but usually a new SCOBY baby will form towards the top of the jar (in the liquid). You will also see brown strings settling on the bottom and around the SCOBY. These are signs of good fermentation. Feel free after 7 days to taste the kombucha with a teaspoon. If the tartness and sweetness are to your taste feel free to bottle, if not let it ferment up to 14 days (you can do a second ferment for 3 days in the bottles flavors added if you so decide).

    5. Remove the SCOBY and prepare another saucepan with the tea recipe listed above. Without using metal transfer the SCOBY to a clean plate and remove extra layers if it has gotten too thick.

    6. Now that you have your jar filled with only the kombucha, get out the stranger and funnel so you can pour it into the bottles/jars you prepared. Feel free to add fruit, fruit juices, flavors such as ginger, etc. We’ll add a feature on more kombucha uses and flavors in the future!

    7. After the kombucha is bottle, store it at room-temperature out of direct sunlight and allow 1 to 3 days for the kombucha to carbonate and ferment further with the flavor you have added. Keep in mind that if you’re not familiar with the ingredients and time needed for carbonation the bottles could explore or pop open so keep checking and burping them everyday. After ready place them in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation and store for up to a month.

    8. Use your tea, water and SCOBY to make another batch of kombucha as outlined above ready to continue the cycle.

    * Too many extra SCOBYs? Put them in a jar filled with kombucha and feed them a cup of sugar every 2 weeks while waiting in the fridge. You can also donate them to a friend and teach them how to make kombucha OR you can start making multiple batches at once and experiment with flavors.

    20 percent juice

    Also view this recipe and how it relates to a yoga lifestyle at Emma’s ashtanga, fire and growth blog The Buddhi Blog and check out if your scoby has gone bad and other similar questions at Holistic Squid.

    How to Create Your Own Signature Smoothie


    Smoothies have been all the rage for many years now and healthy smoothies are only becoming more appreciated in this drink/dessert niche. Upon staying with my best friend in California and having her craft the tastiest protein smoothies for lunch and then moving in with my health-conscious soul mate and watching him prepare his own green smoothies I started to really appreciate the craft and every unique technique. Fruit or vegetables? Protein powder or vitamin powder? Honey or sugar? Ice cubes or frozen fruit? Milk, water or tea? So I decided it would be fun to discuss the basic craft of the smoothie and all of the ways you can change it up to fit your own specialized taste so that you too will have a signature smoothie recipe! I’ll even throw in my own go-to smoothie recipe at the end.

    First you need to have a blender or a food processor. I use a blender at home but have tried both.

    Next you’ll probably want to select some fruit which will likely be one of the main parts of your smoothie. Use fresh (if so you’ll later add some ice cubes) or frozen, one fruit or several. Have fun blending your fruit and creating new favorite flavors.

    Fruity ideas: Mangos, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, bananas, apples, kiwi, avocados, pomegranates, oranges, watermelon and pineapple.

    Next you’ll want to select a liquid or semi-liquid to add so you can blend your smoothie. There are obvious ideas and some creative ideas to create a more unique smoothie.

    Liquid ideas: Milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk, coconut water, greek yogurt, tea, fruit juice, ice cream, sherbet, frozen yogurt, sparkling water or water.

    Next you may choose to add protein or extra vitamins to your smoothie by using any number of protein powders or vitamin powders. We have a few here that are chocolate and vanilla flavored that adds a bit of sweetness and more vitamins to the smoothie making it more like a meal.

    Next you may want to add some greens or vegetables to your smoothie to add some more healthy benefits. Some greens, such as spinach, don’t change the flavor and contain more nutrients. Others to try are kale, carrots, celery, beet root or green powder made from an array of green plants. When using veggies be sure to blend alone with water to make sure your smoothie is smooth and not like a cold vegetable soup.

    You can add a sweetener to your smoothie if you feel it will not be as sweet as you would prefer. Try ripe bananas, sugar, honey, agave nectar or, if you must, artificial sweeteners. For me the vanilla protein powders or vitamin powders sweeten the smoothie enough.

    To change the taste of your smoothie you can also add different flavor enhancements such as vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt, coconut shavings, peanut butter, nutella, chocolate syrup and any number of extracts and flavorings you may have or prefer.

    When everything is in the blender add a few ice cubes on top. I like my smoothies to be really smooth and icey almost like a smooth sherbet but some just use frozen fruit.

    It’s time to mix the ingredients together and create your smoothie! Put the lid on the blender and turn it on medium until the blender starts to smoothen the ingredients then slowly turn it up one notch at a time. Start slow and let the blender work the ingredients for a minute until they are as smooth as you would like and pour into a glass. If you’d like to garnish your smoothie use slices of fruit, skewers of fruit, loose berries, a wedge of citrus fruit, a sprig of mint, flat-leaf parsley, a few leaves of lemon verbena or even a little umbrella. If you’re feeling in a bubble tea mood try to add some BOBA or small jellies to your glass before you add your blended smoothie and garnish with a wide smoothie straw.


    My Own Recipe

    Add these ingredients to the blender as noted, blend and enjoy!

    • Fresh spinach leaves (blend with cup of water until smooth)
    • Ice (as needed, might need to add more water to blend)
    • Mango chunks
    • Pineapple chunks
    • Apple chunks
    • Strawberry slices
    • Scoop of vanilla vitamin powder (may substitute protein powder)
    • If you like add boba to the smoothie glass and pour in your smoothie after it has been blended smoothly and enjoy with a wide straw!

    Vegetarian Goddess Quiche Brunch Recipe

    As you know, I’ve blogged recipes here in the past but have never actually made it one of my focuses at all until now. Having recently become a vegetarian and focusing much of my energy on being a domestic goddess I’ve become passionate about cooking and crafting my own recipes again as well as updating my old meat-inclusive recipe box creations.

    With inspiration from my love I have began to embrace vegetarianism and healthy eating so I have updated my quiche recipe to fit our diet and to give him a little tasty and healthy pampering after a long work day.

    servings: 19″ pie (serves 5)
    prep time:
    cook time: (10 min for veggies, 30 min for quiche)
    total time:

    Ingredients

    1 pie crust
    4 eggs
    1/2 cup shredded carrots
    1/2 onion diced
    1/2 cup fresh chopped spinach
    1 clove garlic crushed
    splash of olive oil
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    dash of nutmeg
    salt and pepper to taste

    Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook the vegetables in order of firmness until tender.
    3. In a large bowl add sauted vegetables, cheese, eggs and spices and mix together.
    4. Pour the mixture into a pie shell.
    5. Bake quiche for 30 minutes in preheated oven on middle rack and enjoy.