Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Non-toxic Alternative: Baking Soda

After reading "Slow Death By Rubber Duck" I was on a mission to eliminate harmful chemicals from our home. The toxic cleaning products we had been using had to go. I did my research and found great homemade alternatives often using baking soda that are chemical free, super inexpensive and easy to make. I bought a good amount of baking soda in bulk on our last trip to Rainbow Grocery. Baking soda is extremely versatile, here are all the ways I'm currently using it.

- Lemon Dishwashing Detergent
- Sprinkle straight on tile and scrub

- Toothpaste
- Deodorant


Lemon Dishwashing Detergent:
¾ cup baking soda
½ cup salt
2 - 3 tsp dr. bronners soap
1 lemon worth of zest and juice
Mix all dry ingredients eliminating lumps then add the lemon zest, juice and soap. Mix well and use, 1 heaping tbsp per dishload. Make sure there is white vinegar in the rince liquid receptacle.
This actually can also be used as a garbage disposal refresher. I got the recipe from SavvySugar tried it and they never set up. I was thinking it would make a great dishwasher detergent, tried it and was blown away with how well it worked!

Toothpaste (updated 9/13):
1 Part Baking Soda
1 Part Coconut Oil

1/4 tsp Stevia Powder
15 - 20 drops of food safe peppermint essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until it forms a paste then transfer in to a jar.

Homemade Deodorant:
¼ cup baking soda
¼ cup cornstarch or arrowroot
10 drops tea tree oil
1 - 2 tsp coconut oil

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, press in to an empty clean deodorant dispenser.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Homemade Hummus Recipe

One of life's simple pleasures is a warm piece of fresh bread served with a smear of something fresh and delicious. My sister first gave me 'Amber's Famous Hummus' recipe a few years ago in a recipe binder. I loved it then and over time have moulded it in to what works best for us. We enjoy this spread on bread for a sandwich or to serve it with carrot sticks as dip. It's so versatile, tasty, healthy and easy to make.  

(adapted from ‘Amber’s Famous Hummus Recipe’)

Soak 1 cup dried garbanzo beans in a bowl of water on the counter for 12 - 24 hours, change water once if needed. Strain beans then boil in fresh water for an hour to an hour and a half, strain and use immediately or store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator covered with cooking liquid for up to three days.

{garbanzo beans}
3 ½ tbsp tahini
3 tbsp lemon juice or light colored vinegar
½ tsp salt
2 - 3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp olive oil
¾ tsp cumin
¾ tsp paprika

Place all ingredients into a bowl, blend smooth with a hand blender. If mixture is looking dry, add more cooking water.

Store in an airtight jar for up to 10 days in the refrigerator, it usually doesn't last that long in our house =)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Zero Waste Recipes: Cleaners

My husband and I have been striving towards a zero waste lifestyle for over a year now. We make much of what we used to buy. This not only cuts down unwanted packaging but also saves us money and eliminates harmful chemicals from our home. 

I have tested and tweaked this collection of recipes and have boiled them down to what works best for us with what's available in bulk in our area. We make and use all of these household items and would never go back to the packaged alternatives, we are hooked! Enjoy the health benefits, sense of accomplishment and ease on your wallet!

Home Recipes:

Homemade Antibacterial Soft Scrub Cleanser:
3/4 cup baking soda (you can add a little more if it seems a little thin after it’s all mixed together.)
1/4 cup castile soap (We use Tea Tree scented Dr. Bronners)
1 Tablespoon water
10-15 drops of tea tree oil
1 Tablespoon vinegar
I store mine in a shampoo bottle I washed out and removed the label from, the squeeze bottle makes cleaning a breeze

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner:
In a clean spray bottle, fill ½ inch with white vinegar
then a few drops of essential oil or dr. bronners for scent
fill the rest of the bottle up with water and shake before use

Homemade Laundry Detergent:
1 part Borax (usually I use 1 cup)
1 part Washing Soda (usually I use 1 cup)
1 Bar of soap grated with a cheese grater
Mix well in a bowl with a wooden spoon
Store in jar, use 1 heaping tbs per load