Tag Archives | coconut oil

Homemade Nutella with Almonds

Homemade Nutella with almonds {TheGreeningOfWestford.com}

Creamy chocolate-y nutty goodness!  Nutella is relatively new to the United States.  I first tried it while spending a semester in England  back in the early 90’s.  I was hooked!  It was quite a while before I saw it on store shelves here in the US.

Traditionally, nutella is made with hazel nuts.  Which I tried the first time around.  It was delicious.  My children wanted to be able to share with with their grandma who, unfortunately is allergic to hazel nuts.  So I played around with a few variations before I settled on this one – with almonds!  My kids actually like it better.  Almonds are easier to find around here and not as pricey as hazel nuts.

 

Homemade Almond Nutella
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup almonds
  2. 1 ½ TBSP coconut oil, melted
  3. ½ cup coconut milk
  4. ¼ cup honey
  5. 4 TBSP cocoa powder
  6. Pinch salt
  7. ¼ tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
  8. ½ TBSP vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Add the almonds to a food processor and grind until smooth. This will take a while – 5 – 10 minutes. Make sure they are as smooth as you want them before adding anything else, especially the coconut milk, as they will not grind much more after.
  2. Add the coconut oil and grind some more.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until it is well combined.
Notes
  1. About the espresso powder – as a matter of habit I almost always add a little instant espresso (or coffee) to anything with chocolate. Just makes it taste better in my opinion, but you can leave it out.
The Greening of Westford http://thegreeningofwestford.com/
With the substitution of honey for regular sugar, this variation is practically healthy.  Now that doesn’t give you the freedom to eat the whole jar, but feel better about it.  

We like this homemade nutella on toast, fruit, or as a quick substitute for chocolate in s’mores.

Have you tried nutella?  What do you like to eat it with?

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Whipped Body Butter 2.0

 

Whipped Body Butter 2.0 - 4 easy ingredients.  {TheGreeningOfWestford.com}

 

Whipped body butter 2.0 – why 2.0?  Well, this is a little step up from my simple 1 ingredient body butter.   When you first start out making your own products, the list of ingredients in some recipes can be so overwhelming and, for me, a show stopper.  I don’t want to invest a lot of money in several ingredients when I’m not even sure I’ll like them.  This is little step up and it’s worth it!  Plus the added ingredients are still very basic and can be used in many other recipes.

I love making my own beauty products.  I swear they work soooo much better than anything I have ever purchased.  Even better – I control what goes into them.  Not only can I make them free of toxins and other bad ingredients, but I can add ingredients that I find work for me.  Win – Win!  

Whipped Body Butter

 Ingredients:

1/3 cup coconut oil (like this ONE)
1/3 cup cocoa butter (like this ONE)
1/3 cup shea butter (like this ONE)
2 TBSP avocado oil (olive, jojoba or almond oil are all good choices as well)
1 tsp Vitamin E (optional)

Directions:

doubleBoiler

  1. In a double boiler, melt the coconut oil and cocoa butter. You will be whipping this later with a hand or stand mixer so use a bowl that will work.
  2. Add shea butter and let it melt. I find that if I heat shea butter too long or too hot, it gets gritty. It’s a soft butter and won’t take long to melt.
  3. Take off the heat and add Vitamin E (if using) and avocado oil.
  4. Put the mixture in the refrigerator or even freezer and let it cool. Mine took almost an hour in the refrigerator. You want it at a sort of a gel like state. Alternatively, you could place the bowl in an ice bath.
  5. Whip the mixture until it is soft and frothy and completely cooled. If it’s not starting to look like whipped cream, it may need to cool more.  Whip for about 5 – 10 minutes.

Whipping

Notes:  

  • Vitamin E is used as a preservative.  I always add some to anything I’m making just ’cause.  If you don’t have any, it’s not a big deal.  The other oils have a pretty long shelf life all on their own.
  • Essential oils could be added to this base as well.  This is your mix, so add whatever you like – lavender, grapefruit, rosemary….

Easy peasy, right?  

Are you gonna try this?

 

This post has been shared at Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural, Small Footprint Friday

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Arizona-Inspired Hand Scrub – EASY!

Arizona-Inspired Hand Scrub - EASY!

As the weather gets colder, my hands start to feel like alligator skin.  Well, what I would imagine alligator skin to feel like since I am totally freaked out by any sort of reptile and could never touch one!  But I digress, back to my hands – rough, dry skin that catches on everything.  This hand scrub does the trick!  And it’s so easy.

A few years ago a friend of mine and I took a girls weekend trip to a spa in Arizona. It was lovely.  The spa had this wonderful scrub in the bathroom.  Our hands felt incredible after using it.  Every time we did I analyzed it, sniffing, rubbing, trying to figure out what was in it.

So here is my closest approximation to that wonderful spa scrub.

 

Arizona-Inspired Hand Scrub
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup sugar
  2. 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  3. 2 TBSP Apricot Kernel Oil (could substitute olive oil or almond oil)
  4. All of the ingredeints below are totally optional
  5. 1 tsp vitamin E
  6. 1 tsp vegetable glycerin
  7. 3 drops each lemon, lavender and rosemary essential oil
  8. 1 TBSP aloe vera gel
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients until combined completely
To Use
  1. Take a bit and rub all over your hands, rinse with warm water only, no soap.
The Greening of Westford http://thegreeningofwestford.com/

As much as I love the benefits you get from using several ingredients, it can be a bit much when you are just starting to make your own beauty products.   Start with a few key ingredients and build from there.  This recipe could be made with the first 3 ingredients only, even the first 2 honestly!  It will be a bit stiffer without a liquid oil (like olive oil), but coconut oil is a great moisturizer on it’s own and the sugar scrubs.

I think next time I’ll try using some real rosemary from my garden! 

As you add more ingredients to your arsenal, add to this recipe.  I’d suggest  Vitamin E  and one (or more) of the essential oils.  (disclosure: affiliate links)  They are easy to purchase and can be used in a variety of products.

By the way, wouldn’t this look so cute in your guest bathroom!

Easy Homemade hand scrub

 

Put this in a cute glass jar, label it, maybe a ribbon.  Voila!  Holiday gift!

Have any good tips for rough hands?

 

This post has been shared at Natural Living Monday

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Great Deal on Vitacost Organic Coconut Oil

Vitacost-Extra-Virgin-Certified-Organic-Coconut-Oil-844197011568

Vitacost is having an amazing sale on their organic extra virgin coconut oil – $16.99 for 54 oz.

You can save even more:

1)  Use Ebates – If you shop Vitacost through your ebates account, you will get 4% back from ebates – that’s $0.68. 

2)  Don’t have an ebates account?  Get one!  For signing up here, you can choose to receive  a $10 gift card from Macy’s, Walmart, Target or Kohl’s or $5 in ebates cash.    Then get your $0.68.  Hey, it adds up.  (This is an Affliate link which means I will get some $ if you use it)

3)  New to Vitacost?  Sign up here and receive a $10 credit to use toward a purchase of $30 or more.  You might even be able to use it on this order!  (This is an Affliate link which means I will get some $ if you use it)

If you use all 3 of these money savers, it’s practically free!

Vitacost has loads of great products at great prices.  Free shipping on overs over $49.   I get all my shampoo and coconut flakes from here.

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Coconut Oil Does Triple Beauty Duty

coconut oil beauty treatments

Coconut oil is quickly becoming my FAVORITE ingredient in my beauty routine!  Yes that’s right.  Not only can you cook with it, but it is great for soooo many other things.

I have also found Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil which smells incredible!  If you like the smell of coconuts.  Which I do.  It’s $5.99 for 16 oz.

If you are looking for more natural replacements for body lotion, eye makeup remover and eye cream, I have ONE Do-It-Yourself product that will do the trick.  Yes, ONE

Coconut Oil Triple Play

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Coconut oil
1/2 tsp Vitamin E (optional)

Directions:

1. Place the coconut oil and vitamin E in a bowl.  Vitamin E oil is used as a preservative.  however, if you don’t already have some, don’t bother to go buy some.  Coconut oil has a pretty long shelf-life as is.   

2. Whip it (Whip It Good!  I couldn’t resist!)  with an electric mixer.

3. Whip until it is like whipped cream or frosting (about 5-10 minutes).



Place in a pretty (free) jar and you are done!  Fancy up the jar with a cute label and this would make a great gift!  I have actually had friends ask for it.

You could add essential oils if you like, but I like the smell of the coconut.  I have been told by the fabulous woman whom I go to for facials that coconut oil is excellent for your skin!

When I get out of the shower, I put this on my body as a moisturizer.

When I remove my eye makeup at night, I put a small amount on my eyes or on a small flannel cloth and wipe the make-up away.  A little remains which moisturizes that delicate skin around your eyes beautifully.

Not only is this better for your skin, but the price is unbeatable.  That $5.99 jar of coconut oil will last a year at least!

Now, the coconut oil may melt.  Mine did this summer.  But I don’t really mind using it in the liquid form.  It may harden in colder months and you’ll have to scrape at it a bit.  But it melts quickly with the warmth of your hands.  
Do You Use Coconut Oil for Anything?  What’s Your Favorite Use?

This post has been shared at Homesteading Link UpSimple Lives ThursdayYour Green ResourceHealthy 2day WednesdaysFrugal Days Sustainable WaysFrugal Tuesday Tip,  Works For Me WednesdayHome is Where the Heart isWhip It Up WednesdayTiny Tip Tuesday, Weekly Link Up Party, Natural Living Mondays, Wellness Wednesday

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Luscious Lip Balm Made Easy

Lip Balm Made Easy {The Greening Of Westford}

I really like making my own products – whether it’s food, cleaning, or personal care products.  I like to cook and be creative and this feeds that passion.

Lip balm is so simple!  There are tons of recipes out there.  This is one that I made with my daughters and some of their friends.  It is girl approved!

The basics are really simple – melt a combination of oils together, add scents (optional), pour into a container.
You will use a combination of oils that are liquid and solid at room temperature.  The amount of each will determine the consistency of the resulting balm.

Basic Recipe

1 TBSP beeswax
1 TBSP coconut oil
1/4 tsp Vitamin E oil
scent (optional: try extracts you use for baking like vanilla, coconut or peppermint, essential oils, or honey)

Yields about 1/2 oz.

    Melting ingredients for lip balm {The Greening Of Westford}
  1. Melt the beeswax and coconut oil.  There are a couple of ways to do this.  Whatever you use, you may need to designate as “lip balm making” use only and the beeswax if difficult to clean out.  If you have a bowl you are willing to sacrifice, use that over a pot of simmering water (double boiler).  I sacrificed one of our many mugs.  I set it in a shallow pan of water.  You will need to stir the mixture.  An old Popsicle stick works great.
  2. Once the oils have melted, add Vitamin E and scent (if using).  
  3. Place in a container and cool.
Some Tips:
  • Vitamin E is great for the skin and acts as a preservative.  
  • Honey adds a nice creaminess to the lip balm.  If you use it, you will need to stir until the mixture begins to cool. Otherwise the honey will separate.  You will also need to reduce the Vitamin E slightly.
  • Once the lip balm has cooled,  test it out.  If you don’t like the consistency or want more scent, you can remelt the mixture and add whatever it needs.  For example, more peppermint oil for a better scent or more liquid oil to make it softer.  Go light on the liquid oils and scent at first.  It’s easy to add more of these later, but you can’t take it out.
Remelting lip balm to add more scent or make smoother {The Greening Of Westford}
Because these were in metal tins, I just dropped them into the hot water to remelt.  I wouldn’t try this with plastic containers.

Here is another variation that was popular with the girls.

Chocolate Mint Lip Balm

1 TBSP beeswax
2 TBSP coconut oil
1 TBSP coco butter
1/2 tsp honey or jojoba oil (or other oil)
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp of Vitamin E
few drops peppermint essential oil or extract

Yields about 2 oz.

  1. Melt the beeswax, coconut oil and coco butter slowly.  
  2. Once the oils have melted, add peppermint oil.  Remove from the heat and add honey/jojoba oil, cocoa powder, and Vitamin E.  Stir until mixed thoroughly. 
  3. Place in a container and cool.
Sources for ingredients
Beeswax can be found at Debra’s Natural Gourmet, Nissitisett Apiary and online.  Make sure you get pellets.  Beeswax is extremely hard so it will be difficult to break off the correct amount if you get a big hunk.
Coconut Oil is available at most grocery stores, including Hannaford, Market Basket and Trader Joe’s.
Vitamin E can be found at any grocery or drug store.
Essential oils are available at GNC and online.
Extracts are available in the baking aisle of the grocery store.
Containers
Any small container works well.  I purchased small 1 oz tins online, but I also used old cosmetic containers and a contact lens case!  Baby food jars would be a little big and not extremely portable, but a good option as well.
Flavor options for homemade lip balm {The Greening Of Westford}
We tired vanilla, lime, coconut, peppermint, plain honey,and chocolate mint.  We loved them all!
Have you ever made your own lip balm?

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