Getting Dressed

Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#4



1. Queen Helene

  • Availability…Albertson’s
  • Focus…famous for their Mint Julep Masque
  • Founded…in 1930
  • Ingredients… ingredients like cocoa butter which is rich with vitamins and natural emollient properties, pomegranate oil for its antioxidant protection against the skin-aging effects of environment, and essential oils to help relax tired muscles and ease tension
  • Mission…to provide a full line of affordable and effective body care products that are passed on from generation to generation
  • Philosophy…
  • Price Range…$7 for body lotion

2. Renee Rouleau

  • Availability…spas in Dallas and Plano, Texas
  • Focus…effectively correcting every skin type’s concerns
  • Founded…established in 1996 by celebrity esthetician, Renée Rouleau
  • Mission…to help people maximize their skin’s potential with a propietary line of natural, high-performance products based on nine unique skin types
  • Philosophy…that the skin care industry’s one-size-fits-all approach was not in-sync with what the modern client wants, or needs, in their pursuit of balanced, healthy skin
  • Price Range…$46.50 for body serum

3.  Rodial

  • Availability…Nordstrom
  • Focus…famous for products like “Bee Venom” and “Dragon’s Blood”
  • Price Range…$78 for body serum

4. Radical Skincare

  • Availability…Sephora
  • Founded…by Liz and Rachel, the daughters of Dr. Richard F. Edlich MD.PHD, world renowned Professor of Plastic Surgery
  • Ingredients…extract of paracress, seaweed extracts, macadamia and desert date palm oils, glycerine
  • Mission…to provide solutions that are as effective as possible for all skin types.
  • Price Range…$78 for body serum

5. S.W. Basics

  • Availability…Target
  • Focus…using as few ingredients as possible, usually 5 or less per products
  • Price Range…$20 for body oil

6. Suntegrity

  • Focus…offers sun care and nothing but sun care
  • Founded…in memory of all of those who lost their lives to skin cancer
  • Ingredients…only the best known physical block ingredient (non-nano size zinc oxide)
  • Mission… to provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and super anti-oxidants and amino acids to enhance that protection and help with skin repair
  • Philosophy… It doesn’t make sense to use these types of sunscreens to prevent skin cancer only to get another kind of cancer.
  • Price Range…$24 for sunscreen

7.  Sukin

  • Focus…Australia’s Number One Natural Skincare Brand
  • Founded…in Melbourne, Australia in 2007
  • Ingredients…the highest grade essential oils, antioxidants, and botanicals
  •  and 100% natural botanical extracts…naturally derived, cruelty free and vegan
  • Mission…to provide high efficacy, environmentally sustainable and affordable natural skincare products that restore the natural vitality and radiance of your skin and hair
  • Philosophy…producing the highest standards of natural skin, hair and body care products begins with sourcing quality ingredients
  • Price Range…$14 for body lotion


8.  The Wonder Seed

  • Focus…hempseed oil
  • Founded…by Theresa Ruiz-Hellings and her daughters Elena and Juliet and formerly known as The Healing Seed
  • Ingredients…100% natural, vegan, with no parabens, and no artificial colors or perfumes
  • Mission…to nurture, heal and protect skin and hair with a complete line of products rich in virgin organic hempseed oil, the most nutritious oil on Earth
  • Philosophy…From our families to yours, we wish you vibrant health for your most wonderful life!
  • Price Range…$17 for body lotion

9. Tatcha

  • Availability…Sephora
  • Focus…based on the rituals of the Japanese geisha
  • Founded…in Japan by Victoria Tsai
  • Ingredients…complete list here
  • Philosophy…less is more
  • Price Range…$48 for body butter


10. Yes To

  • Availability…Ulta, drugstores all over the world
  • Focus…products in their carrot, blueberry, tomato, cucumber, and grapefruit ranges
  • Ingredients..95% NATURAL INGREDIENTS…no parabens…packaged in recyclable packaging whenever possible.
  • Mission…to make skin feel good while bringing a smile to your face
  • Price Range..$13 for body lotion.
Getting Dressed

Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#3

 

1.  Nourish Organics

  • Founded…as the very first line of chemical-free, environmentally friendly skincare products…the first beauty company to ever work with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to create a collection of products that were certified organic under the same strict standards used by the USDA uses to certify food
  • Mission…to create products that you put on your body that are every bit as effective as what you put in it
  • Ingredients…completely natural and organic…cruelty-free, gluten-free, and mostly vegan.
  • Philosophy…Good for You. Good for the Earth

2.  OFRA

  • Focus…exclusive face, body, and hair treatments using only OFRA Cosmetics Skin Care and Makeup lines
  • Founded…by Ofra Gaito, a therapist and makeup artist, in 1994
  • Philosophy…FORMULATING THE FUTURE™
  • Price Range…$ 20 for body lotion


3.  OSEA

  • Availability… The Detox Market
  • Focus…to create powerful natural anti-aging solutions and reduce the appearance of blemishes
  • Founded…twenty years ago with the intention of creating a natural skincare line free of toxic, synthetic ingredients
  • Ingredients…all natural, non-toxic, organic, vegan skincare…certified organic, bioavailable seaweed infused with pure steam…distilled and cold-pressed essential oils …free of synthetic chemicals-such as parabens, petrochemicals, and sulfates-and animal-derived ingredients-such as lanolin, beeswax, and carmine
  • Mission…Safe cosmetics are a consumer’s right and our earth’s rightful due.
  • Philosophy…OSEA embodies the core elements of wellness: Ocean. Sun. Earth. Atmosphere.
  • Price Range…$36

4. One Love Organics

  • Availability…Nieman Marcus
  • Ingredients…pumpkin seed oil, sunflower seed oil, green tea seed oil, kelp extract, sea buckthorn oil, chia seed extract, rosemary leaf extract, rooibos tea extract
  • Price Range…$28 for lotion


5.  Prtty Peaushun

  • Focus…adding a “mineral glow” to skin, body, and hair
  • Ingredients…avocado, pomelo,  and jojoba
  • Mission…to moisturize, condition, and nourish the skin
  • Philosophy…LOVE YOUR SKIN and FEEL GREAT IN YOUR BIRTHDAY SUIT
  • Price Range…$29

6. Paula’s Choice

  • Focus…customer advocacy and education
  • dFounded…by Paula Begoun, author who has sold over 2.7 million copies of her best-selling books and made countless TV appearances, including Oprah, The Today Show, Dr. Oz and the View
  • Ingredients…no added fragrance, dyes or ingredients that can harm the health and function of your skin
  • Mission…to develop products that you can feel confident about buying and using
  • Philosophy…THE BEST SKIN OF YOUR LIFE STARTS HERE
  • Price Range…$28 for body lotion.


7.  Pai

  • Focus…sensitive skin
  • Founded… in London…the word “pai” is a Maori word meaning “goodness”
  • Ingredients…the highest quality organic ingredients…free from Parabens, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Petrochemicals, Detergents (SLS/SLES) and artificial fragrance
  • Mission…to create the best performing products
  • Philosophy…What we put into our products is just as important as what we leave out.
  • Price Range…$30 for body cream

 

Getting Dressed

Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#2

 

 
1. Desert Essence

  • Availability…Whole Foods, Amazon, iHerb
  • Focus…
  • Founded…35 years ago
  • Ingredients
  • Mission…to bring you the results and peace of mind you deserve
  • Price Range…$9


2. Ellovi

  • Availability…Sephora, Nordstrom.
  • Focus…healthy-looking, hydrated skin
  • Ingredients…macadamia nut, coconut, marula nut, hemp seed, and shea…no synthetic ingredients, preservatives, parabens, or other secret ingredients.
  • Mission…to make the best natural skincare products, but the best skincare products of any kind… to always make our products with integrity and the finest ingredients from around the world
  • Philosophy…that what you put on your skin goes more than skin deep.
  • Price Range…$26



3.  First Aid Beauty

  • Availability… Sephora, Ulta
  • Focus…sensitive skin that’s prone to irritation
  • Ingredients…Shea Butter, Colloidal Oatmeal, Ceramide 3 and the FAB Antioxidant Booster…
  • Price Range…$30

4. Glossier

  • Founded…in 2010 as a venture for the editors of IntoTheGloss.com, a super-successful beauty blog
  • Ingredients… hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested, paraben free, cruelty free
  • Price Range.. $22 for body cream


5.  Gourmet Body Treats

  • Founded…started in 1996 by Waleska Agosto Feliciano in the summer of 1996 who after moving to Texas from Germany quickly found that most of the personal care products she began using were irritating to her skin
  • Ingredients…locally-sourced vegan, natural, and organic ingredients such as honey…cruelty-free
  • Mission…to convey to you how much we care about what we do, and for you to be a part of it.
  • Price Range…$20 for cleanser

6. GOOP

  • Founded…by Gwyneth Paltrow in collaboration with Juice Beauty
  • Ingredients…made from organic ingredient…and they’re even safe to eat. Gwyneth Paltrow herself actually ate some of the moisturizer as part of a promo…Argania spinosa (argan) nut oil, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, cetearyl alcohol, sodium cetearyl sulfate, citrus grandis (grapefruit) seed extract (and) glycerin, tocopherol (vitamin e)
  • Mission…to make every choice count
  • Price Range…$11 for body lotion



7.  Hugo Naturals

  • Availability… Whole Foods
  • Focus…to bring excitement, integrity, exuberance, and a fresh way of seeing life
  • Founded…started out from handcrafted soaps that were made with all-natural ingredients and sold at our local Farmer’s market
  • Ingredients…Complete List
  • Mission…to enhance peoples’ lives by creating amazing products made from the best raw materials that the Earth can sustainably give
  • Price Range…$9

8. Hush + Dotti

  • Focus…creating hip, sexy, luxurious & incredibly effective beauty products without all of the toxic garbage
  • Ingredients…love, monoi – cocos nucifera (coconut oil) & gardenia tahinensis (tahitian gardenia), theobroma grandiflorum (cupuacu nut butter), butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), persia americana (avocado fruit oil), prunus armeniaca (apricot kernel oil), capryllic capric triglycerides (natural vegetable esters derived from coconut oil), alpha tocopherol (vitamin e)
  • Philosophy…LOVE is our first ingredient for a reason. Love is in the aromatherapy you experience from our products. Love is what you feel when your skin radiates from the purity of our products. Love is what you’ll feel from our amazing customer care team. Love is the quality ingredients we put in every jar. Love is our commitment to giving you our very best
  • Price Range…$38 for body balm

 …

9.  Indie Lee

  • Availability…Anthropologie, Amazon, The Detox Market
  • Focus…eco-friendly solutions for every skin type from acne-prone to super dry
  • Founded…by Indie Lee after awakening on April 22, 2009 after conquering a life-threatening brain tumor that pointed to environmental toxins as the culprit
  • Ingredients…jojoba oil, apricot oil, patchouli, sandalwood, ylang ylang
  • Mission…to enhance the face and body with gratifying green glamour
  • Price Range…$36


10. Juice Beauty

  • Availability…Sephora, Ulta
  • Focus…products that are more natural and organic than other skincare brands
  • Price Range…$18

11.  Korres

  • Ingredients…sweet almond oil, sunflower seed oil, Shea butter, avocado oil, grape seed extract, ..
  • Price Range…$31 for body butter


12.  Mogi Mousse

  • Focus…individuals with normal to dry and extra dry, sensitive and/or maturing skin
  • Ingredients…shea butter, organic oils, botanical extracts, and essential oils… packed with vitamins, essential fatty acids, minerals and antioxidants
  • Price Range…$54 for body butter
Getting Dressed

Making the Switch to a “Cruelty-Free” Lifestyle (without making it cruel to you yourself)



Legally
, laboratory animals form a special category of animals and are not currently protected from ordinary animal abuse and cruelty laws.

But if enough of us speak up loudly enough, perhaps this fact could be changed.

 

 

Making positive changes and choices--one decision at a time, one individual at a time–always impacts more than just that one individual. Any act of kindness, no matter how small, has a ripple effect.

Making the decision to change to a cruelty-free lifestyle–one product at a time, one individual at a time–eventually could have enough of an impact to convince large companies to stop animal testing altogether.

 
Make this lifestyle change gradually. Switching over one product at a time, instead of going all out and buying everything at once, will make the the transition more manageable and cost effective.

Take an inventory to see what products you already have on hand–makeup, skincare, shower essentials, toothpaste, deodorant–that are already “cruelty-free.” However, don’t feel like you need to replace everything all at once.

This will help you know which products you can continue to purchase and which ones you may need to re-evaluate for more conscious options.

…But instead of simply throwing everything isn’t found to be “cruelty-free,” replace particular product with a cruelty-free alternative as you are almost finished with it.

If you do find that one or more of your favorite products are made by a company that does still do animal testing, take the time now to find a cruelty-free alternative that works well. Researching brands and products before you’re desperately out of it gives you time to find the right brands, products, and shades.

Do not wait until the last minute to find an alternative for that product(s). If you do, you will probably end up reaching for the same non- “cruelty-free” product out of habit.

Getting Dressed

8 Reasons Even Southern Women Who Like to Fish and Hunt Should Consider Switching to Organic Cosmetics


To a Southern woman, taking away our “beauty products” is similar to taking away firearms to a Southern man. We realize that “Even an old barn looks better with a fresh coat of paint. We consider putting on a full face of makeup is actually part of putting on the “full armor of God…after all, the higher the hair, the closer to God.

But even Southern women are becoming more and more concerned about the fact that many ingredients in our beauty and personal care products expose the wearer to a range of health concerns and may be linked to illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Even if most of us are not tree huggers…(after all, we love our bacon and fried chicken way too much to ever be vegetarians…the only reason we buy fabric shopping bags is so that our groceries won’t fall out of the bottom of the bag when we carry them into the house because the bagged at Walmart refused to double-bag them)…we do respect the idea that using certain products “harms the environment,” and we like river rafting and fishing way too much to simply stand by and let that happen.

Here are ten good reasons that even Southern women should consider switching to organic cosmetics instead of simply using the Cover Girl foundation and Bonne Belle bright blue eyeshadow that we all grew up with.

1. Organic 

cosmetics will not harm the environment

…and that’s one less thing to worry about while we’re getting dressed to go deer hunting or bass fishing….or watch some Bulldogs fight some Razorbacks.Conventional beauty products often contain aluminum and petroleum. Retrieving the aluminum and petroleum needed to make cosmetics requires a great deal of mining to be done in some of the world’s most beautiful and sensitive areas, such as the Amazon rainforest. Every year miles of land are destroyed and stripped of vital wildlife.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be so hesitant to all ask ourselves about every single product that we use while getting dressed…

  • Is the packaging recyclable?
  • Were the ingredients in the product grown with synthetic chemicals and fertilizers?
  • What happens when those chemicals go down the drain?
  • What will this do to our water supply and the local ecosystems?

2. Organic cosmetics contain no harsh chemicals...

Conventional makeup often contains chemicals that can not only cause skin irritation or allergic reactions, but many of these chemicals are downright poisonous to the endocrine system.

For example, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $72M of damages to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of the company’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for several decades.

To make matters worse, The FDA has not formally regulated beauty ingredients since 1938.

A few of the main toxic chemicals found in beauty and skincare products include….

  • Formaldehyde, often found in baby ‘no tear’ shampoos and haircare products, liquid soaps, nail polish, may be a contributing factor in cancer development if inhaled or absorbed through the skin for a prolonged period of time.
  • Lead, often found in lipsticks and toothpaste, can cause brain damage, seizures, gastrointestinal issues, reproductive dysfunction, and kidney dysfunction.
  • Nitrosamine, found in almost everything, can form when certain chemical ingredients are mixed together and are usually not listed as an actual ingredient….yet many studies link nitrosamine to cancer. In 1996, the FDA “suggested” that cosmetic manufacturers remove any ingredients that create nitrosamine when combined with other chemicals, but this suggestion has been pretty much  ignored. In fact, ten percent of cosmetics still contain combinations of ingredients that create nitrosamines.
  •  Parabens…such as propylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben….are found in almost any beauty product that has water added to it. Parabens have been shown to disrupt hormones and have the potential to cause cancer. A 2004 study found parabens in 18 out of 20 samples of human breast tissue. Parabens are in almost 100% of drugstore skincare products and cosmetics.
  • Phthalates…found in nail polish, air fresheners, perfumes, body sprays, detergents, and soaps…are not commonly listed as an ingredient, but a study by SafeCosmetics.org, found phthalates in at least 72 products they tested. Phthalates have been shown to disrupt hormones and decrease sperm count.

3. Organic makeup is better for your skin...

Products that are 100% vegan contain no artificial ingredients and are free of preservatives, parabens, additives and sulfates. USDA-certified organic beauty products only include organic ingredients that meet the same growing standards as organic food. Organic makeup is also free of mineral oils which can clog pores and cause skin irritation and breakouts.

4. Organic makeup does not contain harmful, mysterious “fragrances.”… 

Nearly all scented makeup products and perfumes list the word “fragrance,” but companies are not required by the FDA to list the actual ingredients that make up the “fragrance” in their products because that combination of ingredients is classified as a trade secret.

You may never know what harmful chemical components comprise those man-made scents that are actually behind that wonderful scent you so enjoy inhaling. You may actually be breathing in hormone-disrupting chemicals that could lead to infertility, cancer, nervous system disorders, allergies, and birth defects.

If a product is labeled as USDA-certified organic, each ingredient that makes up the “fragrance” will actually be listed individually on the packaging…and the product will include only 100% natural ingredients.

5. Organic makeup can help your skin have a smoother, more youthful appearance

Organic products often contains cocoa butter and various other nutrient-rich oils…such as extracts of white tea, grapes, apricots, and pomegranate seeds. Organic skincare products often contain oils…such as extra virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, and olive oil.

These oils provide the essential fatty acids needed for healthy, youthful skin, act as an antioxidant protective barrier, and may inhibit the production of collagen and elastase, two enzymes that break down the integrity and elasticity of the skin.

 

6. Organic makeup provides a certain level of sun protection

The skin on the face is thinner and more susceptible to UV-related skin aging. Ingredients commonly found in organic cosmetics that can help protect your skin from the sun include…

  • Coconut oil
  • Iron oxide
  • Titanium oxide
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc oxide

 

7. Organic makeup is better for sensitive skin...

Chemical-based cosmetics are more likely to cause skin reactions such as dry rough patches, rashes, rosacia and breakouts.

8. Organic makeup often performs better than traditional products…

Certified-organic beauty products are made with superior ingredients…ingredients that are pure, fresh and simple. Just as the best meals are usually not made ingredients that are pure, fresh and simple, neither are the best beauty products. Better ingredients mean better results.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making the Perfect Pancakes

 

 

 

****************

The Ingredients

  • n2C flour
  • ¼C sugar
  • 4tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp salt
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1½C milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼C melted butter
*****************

Dry Ingredients

Mix together these dry ingredients.

You can do this with either a whisk or a Mason jar.

You want to go ahead and mix your dry ingredients enough to get rid of any lumps at this stage in order to avoid big lumps….and because later you will need to avoid over-mixing the batter once you add the wet to the dry,

 

 

The Baking Powder…Be sure to check the expiration date on the baking powder canister. If your baking powder is old or expired, your pancakes will not right…and will end up flat, instead of light and fluffy.

If you would like even fluffier pancakes, feel free to double the amount of baking powder.

You might also want to try using only 2tsp of baking powder and then adding 1/2tsp baking soda.

 

The Flour…Spoon your flour into a measuring cup instead of scooping the flour out of the flour canister with a measuring cup, like most of us do…including me.

Scooping the flour causes your measuring cup to be filled with too much flour, often resulting in tough pancakes.

Don’t restrict yourself to only using all-purpose flour…be adventuresome by swapping out half of the flour with another type of flour—such as whole wheat, buckwheat, brown rice, corn, oat, or gluten-free.

 

 

*********************

Mason Jar Method

You can also use a Mason jar to shake your ingredients together.

To do this, layer your wet ingredients first—milk, egg, and oil…and then your dry ingredients—flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a wide-mouth quart-sized jar. Seal the jar tightly . Shake the jar vigorously for at least two minutes…until the ingredients are combined. Once the ingredients are combined, you can either cook pancakes immediately or stick the jar in the fridge for later.

To make your pancakes, simply pour the batter straight from the jar onto your griddle or pan…and cook them…(more on that later)…

 

—————————–

Liquid Ingredients

Combine your liquid ingredients.

 

The Butter…Using unsalted butter allows youu to control the taste of your pancakes better..

 

The Buttermilk...Butttermilk is what makes your pancakes tenderest. If you do not want to use milk or buttermilk, use water, coffee, or juice as your liquid base instead…reducing the amount of liquid called for in the original recipe by.one-fourth of the amount.

 

 

 

The Eggs…Bringing your eggs to room temp before mixing into your batter will give you the best results.

To make your pancakes even fluffier, take the time to separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. …beat your egg whites  with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form…and finally fold the beaten egg whites into your batter gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.

 

 

 


**************
Mixing Ingredients Together

You should have already whisked your dry ingredients together before you added in the wet ingredients…so you should be able to combine your wet ingredients and dry ingredients together very easily.

Now gently fold your dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined.

Stir until the flour is moist, but there are still a few small clumps of flour.

.Do not over-mix the batter. It’s okay to leave some lumps in the batter.

If you overmix the batter, you will end up with tough and dense pancakes, not fluffy.

At this point, you should add any ingredients that you would like to add to your batter…such as…

  • Banana…one mashed ripe banana
  • Blueberries…1C
  • Cream cheese…3oz finely chopped cream cheese
  • Lemon…1tsp grated lemon peel
  • Orange…1tsp grated orange peel
  • Pecans…1/2C…toast and chop finely
  • Strawberries…1C
  • Walnuts…1/2C…toast and chop finely

 

 

*********************

Resting Your Batter

Now that all of your ingredients have become friends, it’s time to rest your batter. What does it mean to “rest” your batter?

To rest your batter means to simply leave it alone for anywhere from ten to thirty minutes. The longer you rest your batter, the better your pancakes will turn out…

Why should you “rest” your batter?

Resting your batter will…

  • dissolve any small lumps
  • give the baking powder enough time to activate
  • give the flour a chance to absorb liquid in the batter

 

 

 

**********

The Pan

As far as what kind of pan to use when making pancakes, the best option is an electric griddle…

An electric non-stick griddle makes flipping your pancakes much easier.

But if you’d rather cook your pancakes on top of the stove or don’t have an electric griddle, use a large, about 12,” non-stick skillet with sloping slides….preferably cast iron.

Cast iron will give you even heat distribution allow you to brown your pancakes without having to use tons of butter.

 

 

*******************

Heating the Pan

 

Heat your pan or skillet over medium heat until drop of water sizzles..

Heat a little bit of vegetable oil…(for other types of oils to cook with, check this previous post out)…

Avoid using regular butter because the butter will be more likely to burn and make your pancakes turn out funky tasting.

Reduce heat to medium-low.

 

 

***********

Cooking

Use a 1/4C measuring cup…or pour the batter from the Mason jar depending on which method you used earlier…to shape the batter into medium-sized circles….about 3-1/2″ wide. 

Cook your pancakes for a couple of minutes…until little bubbles appear and the edges start to get firm.

Be sure to avoid squishing the pancakes with your spatula.

Flip. Once you flip the pancake over, don’t press down on it with your spatula. Let the pancake cook naturally so you do not end up with flat, boring pancakes.

Cook your pancakes for a couple of minutes on the other side…until both sides are lightly golden.

Keep pancakes warm while you’finish cooking the rest by covering the pancakes with aluminum foil and then sticking them in an oven that has been preheated to about 200.°

If you find that your pancakes are browning too quickly, turn down the heat down and let the pan cool down for a minute or so before starting the next batch.

If you find that your pancakes are sticking to the pan, add more butter or oil.

Wipe out the pan between batches…especially if you are using butter instead of oil.

Finish cooking any remaining batter.

 

 

 

*********

Storing

Obviously most of us know what to do with the pancakes once you finish cooking them, but did you know that you can also make them ahead of time…instead of resorting to buying already frozen pancakes from the grocery store…

I was kinda shocked to find pancakes stored by the frozen biscuits and frozen breakfast burritos and frozen waffles…wonder how many preservatives are in all of these products, right?

 

To refrigerate…put the pancakes in an airtight container…will stay fresh for up to 5 days

To freeze…flash freeze them and store in large ziplocs…will stay fresh up to 2 months

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making the Perfect “Energy Muffins”

Muffins can be another healthy breakfast food…

…but store-bought tend to be fairly calorie-dense, usually contain preservatives and other hard-to-pronounce ingredients, and tend to be very high in sugar…oversized nutritional disasters packed with tons of calories and fat and little protein.

 

 

Instead make your own muffins…they are so easy to bake and freeze in bulk…not to mention cheaper.

 

 

The following base recipe allows you to be creative by adding different fruits or nuts…and is totally sugar, oil, and gluten free.

 

Fruits and nuts may add calories, but are worth it. Dried or fresh fruits…such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, apples…are packed with antioxidants. Nuts…such as walnuts, pecans, almonds… provide heart-healthy fats.

 

The carbs in the whole-grain flour will help fuel your muscles, and the high fiber will keep you feeling full.The substitution of applesauce for oil reduces the fat content of the muffins.

 

 

 

Energy Muffins

2C whole-grain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4C ground flaxseeds
2tsp cinnamon
2tsp baking powder
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas
1/2C unsweetened apple sauce
1C unsweetened almond milk
1tsp vanilla
1/2C dried, fresh, or frozen fruit (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Fill a muffin tin with 12 paper muffin cups.Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Slightly beat the eggs. Mix in the milk and applesauce. Add wet ingredients to the dry mix. Stir until just combined, sprinkling in the nuts or fruit. Spoon into muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until muffin tops are golden brown.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Visions of Veganism—Milk

A second ingredient that I am learning to substitute now that we are trying to eat more “politically correct” is milk.

Typically it’s easy to replace the milk with another non-dairy milk at a one-for-one ratio….such as replacing 1 cup of dairy milk, with 1 cup of the fdollowing…

  • almond milk
  • coconut milk
  • hemp milk
  • oat milk
  • rice milk
  • soy milk

Most of these non-dairy milks also come in different flavors—such as plain, vanilla, and chocolate.

Three brands of non-dairy milk that are commonly availa ble are…

Finally, even though you can basically substitute the dairy milk asked for in a recipe with the same amount of almost any of these non-dairy milk, these are a few things to remember when choosing which non-dairy milk to use, tsuch as…

1.Choose the plain flavor for non-baking needs.

2.  Choose the milk that you use in the recipe based on the recipe that you are making…(or whatever you already have on hand)…For example, if you are making a baked good that contains nuts, use almond milk…If you are making anything rropical, use coconut milk.

3.  Coconut milk contains more fat than most other dairy-free milk and has a much richer taste, giving your recipes an actual coconut taste instead of being neutral….so only use coconut milk with foods that complement the coconut flavor …such as in a curry or some sort of tropical dessert.

4.  If the recipe only calls for a very small amount of milk, you can you use water instead.

5.  If you are using sweetened milk, you might need to use a little less sugar in the recipe.

6.  Make sure the the milk that you buy does not contain sweeteners….you can do this by either check ing the list of ingredients or look for products that have been specifically labeled as unsweetened.

7.  Soy milk and rice milk both have mild flavors that can be used with a variety of other ingredients….and is probably your best bet because it is so versatile.

8.  Soy or almond milk, that is both unflavored and unsweetened, is the best choice for soups, stews and sauces,

9.  Vanilla almond milk is great for most cupcake, cake, and cookie recipe.

Each of the different milk substitutes will have its own texture and taste…Keep trying different options until you find one that you love the most or the one that best suits your purpose.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Visions of Veganism—Butter

Butter is important in baking because it gives your foods color, flavor, and acts as an emulsifier.

Yet butter is one of those products that is looked down and frowned upon my vegans…

So what I am supposed to use instead so that I can make my sour cream pound cake where my vegan daughter can eat it also…after all this pound cake does call for two whole sticks of butter…definitely a Southern recipes, right?!

 

1.Applesauce…Applesauce can be used in baking…(more on this next post)…Applesauce can be usedf as alternative for butter. Applesauce makes your baked goods have a very  moist. texture.  Other “politically correct” options worth checking into include avocado and nut butter…(more on these later also)…

 

2. Coconut Butter or Margarine…These both can be used in recipes instead of butter. Neither of them contain cholesterol. Choose coconut  butte if you want your cookies, cakes, and so forth to have a  richer flavor, margarine adds a milder taste. Two goo options are Artisana Foods Coconut Butter and Earth Balance Soy Garden Buttery Spread..

 

3, Coconut Oil…Organic coconut oil often gets a bad rep, but if used in moderation this is a good alternative. Coconut oil usually works great  for nearly all baking needs as a substitute for butter.

.Coconut oil has a fairly mild, neutral flavor and is much more cost effective than most other vegan butter substitutes. When substituting coconut oil, you will want  to use the coconut oil as a solid at room temperature and substitute it cup for cup.

To use coconut oil as a substitute, replace the original ingredient amount with 3/4 coconut oil and 1/4 water. Mix the coconut oil and water together before adding to your recipe.

 

4, Homemade Vegan Butter…Trtue vegans that have enough,  if not perhaps too much,  time on their hands often try making their own homemade vegan butter This can be quite a time-consuming project though.

Non-Hydrogenated Butter Substitute….such as Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or a similar vegan butter substitute…

How many of us keep these products on hand on a regular basis…or else are also avoiding over-processed foods…or refuse to pay the extra money to buy these products.

 

5. Oil…Oil is typically not a good ingredient in baking recipes because it has low nutritional value and too many calories….but if the recipe the recipe that you are making does call for oil instead of butter, choose a “neutral” oil, such as rapeseed oil, so that the oil does not leave a strong, strange flavor.

You could also try EVVO…extra-virgin olive oil…but this will probably give your baked goods a funky taste.

 

6. Vegan Margarine…Margarine is another option for a butter substitute. You can find vegan margarines in almost all supermarkets these days…

Most vegan margarines are soy-based, but be careful because often these soy-based margaines contain whey, which is a dairy product and totally defeats your efforts in turning a recipe into a vegan recipe.

Margarine can also be bad for your health due to the hydrogenation….so bad that you would actually be better off using butter instead….if you’re going vegan primarily for health reasons and can do so without a “guilty conscience.”

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making the Perfect Amaranth “Granola Bars”

 

Melt the honey and almond butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.

Stir to combine.

Stir in the vanilla.

Remove from heat.

Let cool 5min.

Place all of the remaining ingredients…except for the chocolate…in a large bowl.

Pour the honey mixture over the ingredients.

Stir to combine.

Add the cold, chopped chocolate.

Stir together.

Press the mixture in a square baking dish lined with parchment paper. You want your mixture to be about 1/2″ thick.

Refrigerate for about four hours.

Lift the bars from the pan by using the parchment paper to lift it out of the baking dish.

Use a large, sharp knife to cut the bars into twelve separate bars.

You can store these by place them in an airtight container and refrigerating for up to five days.