Sorghum and Quinoa Flours

Quinoa and Sorghum Flours

Since the beginning of this year I have been pulling things out of my diet one at a time for a few weeks and re-introducing them to see if they were causing a problem. Unfortunately rice turned out to be one of those things that my body can not deal with. While this discovery makes me want to cry (almost all gluten free goodies have rice in them), it does explain why even after eating things that were certified gluten free I didn’t feel well. I discovered two replacements for common gluten free flours that I am going to try in my diet. I have already broken into the sorghum flour and have been using that in my recipes with no negative reaction. Quinoa flour will be tested next. I suppose this discovery just serves to make me healthier!

Kombucha Tasting

Kombucha Tasting

Kombucha made with palm sugar does indeed have a slightly more sour taste than kombucha made with cane sugar, but in my opinion it tastes quite good.  I chose to use the palm sugar purely for its health benefits and am happy I stuck with that decision in the end.  Now I just need to start the next batch and order a larger container to make this in.  To make your own kombucha, you can use our recipe here:  http://liskabora.com/kombucha-tea-recipe/

Kombucha Tea Recipe

Kombucha RecipeToday was the day for our new scoby to begin its life as a kombucha maker. Since I didn’t have a 1 gallon container, the little guy had to be split in two to fit into two half gallon batches. Hopefully that won’t hurt anything.

The tea for each of the half gallon batches contained the following ingredients:

1/2 gallon water
3 organic green tea bags
1 inch piece of ginger
1/2 cup organic palm sugar

I let this mixture steep for 1 hour and cool completely before removing the tea bags and ginger. It was at this point that I added the scoby and existing kombucha juice that it was living in to the two jars. I saved the ginger in the freezer to add back to the kombucha post fermentation for additional flavoring. Fermentation should take 1-2 weeks.  I will post an update once we get there!  Test your Kombucha with a ph strip or meter before your first taste,  it should be at a ph of 3.0 when complete.

See our post on Making a Kombucha Scoby for information on how to make your own scoby from store-bought raw Kombucha.

Jack LaLanne Juicer

Jack LaLanne JuicerToday was the first day using the new Jack LaLanne juicer I received for Christmas (yes, my family is awesome).  It wasn’t too difficult to use or clean and it is very easy to put back together.  There are just a few minor things to note:

1.  Make sure to push down on the spout to open it before you start juicing, or your juicer will overflow.  That was a fun surprise!  Also make sure to keep the opening clear when juicing things like blueberries so it doesn’t clog and overflow.

2.  Be careful when cleaning the blade and strainer basket- they are very sharp.  The brush included with the machine does make these easy to clean though.

3.  Clean everything immediately after juicing, or the dried pulp will be much more difficult to remove.

That is about it!  Overall this machine was much easier to use, clean, and reassemble than I expected it to be.  The juice was smooth and very delicious.  Highly recommended!

HOMEMADE PORE STRIP EXPERIMENT

I love the idea that you can make beauty products at home for a fraction of the cost of the store bought version, and with ingredients that you feel safe putting on your body. There are dozens of homemade pore strip recipes on the internet, but being that I am both vegetarian and lazy, I wanted to figure out a way to do this using ingredients I already had in my home. Geletin was out – since that is not a vegetarian ingredient. Agar agar, the vegan version of geletin, was also out since I don’t have it in my pantry at the moment. What I do have around are both arrowroot powder and eggs. With those I have done two experiments to see how well they each work as a pore clearing mask.

Egg Pore Strips (Vegetarian Option)

Have a few tissues handy and crack an egg into a small bowl. Separate out the egg whites and mix with 1/2 tsp honey and black pepper. Whisk until all ingredients have been incorporated. Apply the wet mixture to your face in sections (again, keep this away from your hair and your eyes) and cover with small pieces of tissue. I tore mine into small sections, the size/shape of each area I was working on. Move onto the next section until your entire face has been covered. You can also add an additional layer of mixture on top of the tissue to completely saturate it. Allow this to dry completely before peeling off.

This mixture feels very tingley on the face from the pepper. It peeled off quite easily and quickly and didn’t hurt like the arrowroot mask. The results weren’t quite as amazing, but considering how much more gentle it was… not too shabby. I would say the results were about on par with the store bought variety, and it is the most inexpensive option if you do not already have arrowroot in the house.

Now, what to do with the yolk? I decided to make a hair mask by adding 1/2 tsp honey, 2 tsp coconut oil and 2 tsp apple cider vinegar to the yolk. Mix these together and massage through your hair and on your scalp. You can leave this on anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours if you so desire. Sometimes when I make this mixture I will put on an old winter hat so my body heat can help the oils soak in better.

Arrowroot Pore Strips (Vegan Option)
Use a 1-2 ratio of arrowroot powder to hot (almost boiling) water. Mix while pouring the hot water into the arrowroot and allow to cool and thicken. You want the mixture to reach a syrup-like consistency.

Apply the thickened mixture to your face. Be careful to avoid the eyes (also avoid the delicate area around them), your hair, and your lips. Allow the mixture to dry. This will get VERY stiff as it dries and it will tug at your skin – so don’t use this if you have sensitive or broken skin.

Removing the dried mask will feel a bit like pulling peeling paint off of your face, but in my opinion, it did a much better job at clearing my pores than the stuff from the store. It IS somewhat painful getting the mask off, and it did make my face a little bit red, so again don’t use this if you have sensitive or broken skin. Very much worth the effort though since my skin was baby smooth afterward and the pores were visibly clearer and tighter. After the third use, my face is pretty darn clear of blackheads. I haven’t been able to say that since I was about 9 years old. Win!

Wash your face in cool water to remove any remaining residue, and finish off with your favorite lotion or serum.  See cheat for this recipe below.

Cheat For Arrowroot Pore Strips 

Apply the arrowroot mixture to your face in a similar way to the egg version above.  Apply the arrowroot to your face in sections (again, keep this away from your hair and your eyes) and cover with small pieces of tissue. I tore mine into small sections, the size/shape of each area I was working on.  Add an additional layer of mixture on top of the tissue to completely saturate it. Allow this to dry completely before peeling off.

This option is much easier, quicker and less painful to remove than the first arrowroot mask.  The tension it has when coming off is much stronger than with the egg recipe, but the results were still not quite as amazing as the original arrowroot recipe.  It is sort of a happy medium between the two.  As an added bonus, you end up with a paper mache mask of your face at the end.  The possibilities are endless.

Credit for the egg recipe goes to these guys: http://www.ehow.com/how_7709816_make-pore-strips-honey-egg.html and http://www.frugalistafiles.ca/1/post/2012/3/egg-white-pore-strips.html

Arrowroot recipe was of my own creation, but was inspired by:
http://petitelefant.com/how-to-pore-strips

As always, use caution, consult with your physician first, and use at your own risk…

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