Turmeric Powder Tincture 

When I first met my now husband he introduced me to herbs to help with skin issues. He suffered a skin injury that required almost a year of medical attention but wanted to help his skin in any way he could. So he looked to herbs. The best way to get the herbs he chose to help in his opinion was to ingest them. Now we use many of the herbs he loved in our food and tisanes frequently. Turmeric is one we go through a lot of. It helps with inflammation and many skin issues are the product of other health problems such as this. Check out the link at the end of this post for more in depth information.

When a neighbor/friend asked if I wanted her bag of turmeric she didn’t like (it has a peppery taste that isn’t appetizing to some) I started brewing up ideas for usage. More than putting it in almost everything we eat. Which poses an issue with my toddler who ends up staining her clothes with any food saturated with it. I decided the first thing I wanted to make with it was a tincture. 

Most recipes I found suggested using the root. Fresh or dried in slices to help the alcohol base saturate it more easily. Well, I didn’t have a root. I had powder. So I did a 1:5 concoction to test it out. 1 part turmeric powder to 5 parts alcohol. It worked great! It was also really fun to work with and see the lovely color changes. The powder is a gorgeous yellow color and once it settled it created a red hued liquid. Later I saw it was more orange when not stacked the way it was but still lovely. 

One small pint jar creates a ton of tincture in my opinion. So unless you have a large family using it, are taking the tincture several times a day or are creating to share this should work great to start with. I filled two 2 oz dropper bottles to last me a while and barely made a dent in the tincture. I left the rest to continue brewing until I needed to strain some off again for use. 

This is what I used: 

I filled roughly 1/5 of the jar with powdered turmeric then filled it up with the alcohol.

After mixing gently and being sure to scrape any bits off the bottom I noticed the amount of product went down.

So I topped it off with a bit more alcohol. 

Then I added the lid and shook it up! Making sure to get any clumps out. 

It WILL settle and you will notice that it may look something like this:

It will definitely still brew perfectly fine so no worries! What you need to do though is shake vigorously every day at least once until the day before you decide to strain it. 

Typically, you would leave this for 14 days then let it rest on the 15th day before straining. That’s the bare minimum needed. I let mine brew for almost 3 months. Many saw the longer the better with tinctures. 

When the time came to strain I got out my sterilized bottles, a funnel, a bowl to catch any spillage, a measuring cup and a magic eraser sponge because I’m bound to spill something! 

I poured off some of the liquid from my jar into a measuring cup. Purely for the ease of pouring from it. I made sure to let the jar settle so I would get the least amount of powder in as possible. You can strain your concoction if you wish but I found that powders can be tricky business to work with. So I decided to use just the liquid from the top of the jar. 

Once I filled my bottles I put the leftover tincture back in the jar to save for a future pour. Letting it continue to brew.

I put some in my iced tea to test out immediately. A few drops definitely effects the flavor! If it’s too much to sip a drink with it then use the dropper to squirt directly into your mouth then chase with a drink or food if needed. Or add it to your food. 15-30 drops a day up to four times a day is the highest recommended dosage. Though I am not a doctor or certified herbalist so please do your own research! 

I then labeled my bottles and put the jar back in the dark cupboard. 

For an in depth look at the uses and side effects of turmeric feel free to check out this article: http://www.m.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-662/turmeric

Working With Essential Oils For Rosacea 

My whole life I have had pink skin. As a child it was cute. Eternally rosy cheeks and an easily reddened face. When I got older it got more red. Red OVER pink. Then dry patches and random skin issues arose. My mom suspected rosacea. It was never “bad enough” that I wanted to seek help. Instead, I started using lavender to help the redness. It worked decently when using regularly. I used infused oils, water infusions and essential oil from the plant at different times. Using what I had when I had it. Since moving to the Pacific Northwest last Summer from Southern California my skin became more dry. Whereas it was more oily before. Rough patches and redness started to make more of an appearance. Then recently a full rash spread like a trail across my face. I took pictures and immediately sent them to my mom. A nurse with many years experience in dermatology. The next day she confirmed her diagnoses with one of the doctors she works with. It was rosacea. She immediately began researching pregnancy safe medication for me. Whereas I ran to our essential oils. 

I had been neglecting using essential oils on my face for a few months prior to the breakout. I had started infused oils that ended up in baths and simply never got around to making my usual concoction to help my skin with essential oils to make up for it. I was using rose infused jojoba oil as a spot treatment for dry patches but found it too heavy for all over wear for my face (it is perfect for the rest of me though!) but it wasn’t enough. So when my husband found his essential oils by chance shortly after I had more of a confirmation on what was going on it felt like it was all clicking into place on what I needed to do. I grabbed our family oils and his collection (this was before we started buying them together) and headed to the bathroom to get to work.

My easy remedy to ease the redness was lavender essential oil in my light sensitive skin oil free face moisturizer. I use different brands depending on where we are and what is available but I always choose the light formulas for sensitive skin and that generally means oil free as well. Depending on the size of the bottle I would use 5-20 drops and mix well. Leaving overnight to “infuse” the lotion. This time I used lavender, rosemary and my husbands all time favorite helichrysum or “Immortella” oil. I added 5 drops of each as well as 5 drops of my rose infused jojoba oil. The difference is incredible! The first day the rash on my cheek went away along with some redness. A few days later the rash under my bottom lip was gone. A week later and only some redness remained. Less than I have had in probably a year or so. I still have dry spots the size of my 17 month olds pinky nail but I gently exfoliate daily and it’s not bad at all. I also found an activated charcoal cold process soap in the cupboard I began to use after someone I recently met suggested it as shelf full aide. 

Other essential oils for rosacea include: German chamomile, rose geranium (or just geranium), rosewood, tea tree, eucalyptus, thyme and others. Please be sure to always dilute your oils. A 2-5% dilution is generally recommended. Do your research prior to use if pregnant, nursing, taking medication, et cetera. I am only giving advice based off of my own research and experiences and I am not a medical professional. If you use oils on your face I would stay out of direct sunlight and from enduring long sun exposure! 

I’m not saying essential oils cure everything or anything at all. It has just helped me PERSONALLY in taming my symptoms immensely. Rosacea sometimes worsens around age 30 and I’m pregnant and turning 28 this month. Soon I will seek the advice of a medical professional in the case that it may worsen with age. Holistic healing is an amazing thing but we don’t scorn most modern medicine in our house. We use both! A gut friendly diet is also recommended for rosacea as many say it may stem from there. So eat well and do your research! If anything with using oils…at least you’ll smell good! 

Homemade Soy Nut Butter Recipe 

My husband and I are always looking for more healthy foods to try and ways to make things we love from scratch. We got the idea to make soy nut butter (like peanut butter) after making soy milk regularly and using the leftover bits in breads and such. You can use the ground bits if you make your own soy milk or you can buy/make roasted soy beans and start from there. 

There are different ways to make nut butters. I made a vanilla, raw cacao and cinnamon almond butter before as well as other butters but unless you have a bad arse expensive blender or something of that nature…don’t expect it to be smooth. You will not be creating a smooth PB or Nutella in your food processor if you got it for $20. That’s the kind I have…so I know. Still, it’s fun and the results are great for baking and sandwiches. Soy nut butter is actually smoother than many nuts I have worked with. The recipe below is just one way of going at making soy but butter. It won’t last as long as commercial nut butters and this recipe contains water so I would refrigerate it and consume in less than a week to be safe. Feel free to experiment and share your results! 

You will need: 

* 1 cup roasted and unsalted soy nuts (if they are salted exclude the added salt in this recipe) You can also cook down (to get the earthy flavor out) then roast the leftover soy nuts from making soy milk. 

*2/3 cup room temperature water

*1 1/2 tbsp of your oil of choice. I am using coconut oil for the added thick texture and creaminess. You may need to add more oil depending on how well your mixture is blending. Or more liquid sweetener. 

*1 1/2 tbsp (alter to taste) of your choice in liquid sweeteners. I am using local honey but you can use something like pure maple syrup or agave if you prefer yours to be vegan. 

*1/3 tsp salt (alter to taste)

Add your soy nuts and water to a blender or food processor. Blend well then let sit until the soy nuts have absorbed most the water and are soft. It doesn’t take very long. 


Blend again before adding in the rest of your ingredients.


Continue to blend/pulse until it has reached your desired texture. Again, be aware that unless you have a high powered blender this won’t have the perfectly smooth look and feel as factory made butters. I had to stop and stir a few times. Be safe and unplug your blender/food processor first. 

Scoop out and enjoy! I put mine on homemade bread. 

Versatile Sandwich Bread Recipe – Vegetarian and Vegan Included

I started using this recipe for a fairly quick sandwich bread recently. After I started on my first batch I found myself out of certain ingredients and ended up making vegan substitutes in place of the missing ingredients. It turned out amazing! Later, I tried the vegetarian recipe and today I made the vegan again but with other added ingredients. It’s one of those recipes that seems foolproof as every change I make ends up with bread that is still tasty. This blog won’t have step by step pictures so I don’t have to wait a few weeks to document all the different substitutions and additions. Instead I’ll be adding the original recipe and then the gist of a recipe I used today (I didn’t measure the extra bits I used so I kind of winged it). You can also use this recipe to make buns and rolls like I did. It only makes one loaf so be aware of that! Many recipes have recipes written for two loaves.

The Original Recipe (Vegetarian)
You will need: 

*3 cups all purpose flour (plus extra for kneading)

*1/2 cup warm water

*1/4 cup milk

*1/4 cup melted butter 

*2 tbsp sugar and a separate 1 tbsp sugar

*2 tbsp active dry yeast

*1 tsp salt

*1 egg

Mix the warm water, active dry yeast and sugar. Let sit 10 minutes until it doubles in amount.

Add your flour to a bowl and make a well in the middle. Add all the ingredients except the milk and then stir. Then you can pour in the milk and mix well.

Leave covered in a floured or greased bowl for at least an hour to rise.

After the hour has passed punch down the bread and knead lightly on a floured surface before shaping into a loaf. Add to a greased bread pan, cover and let rise for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven towards the end of the resting/rising period to 375 F. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. 

Let it rest a minute or two before removing from the bread pan. Enjoy when cool! 

My Alterations (Vegan)
You will need: 

*3 (you may need more depending on alterations) cups all purpose flour (plus extra for kneading). I have had great luck with half buckwheat or half rye to half unbleached all purpose. Other flours may do well though I have yet to experiment with gluten free alternatives with this recipe. 

*1/2 cup warm water (plus 2 tbsp for the flax seed)

*1/4 cup dairy free milk such as oat or nut milks. Dairy free creamer makes for a sweeter and softer bread I have noticed. 

*1/4 cup melted coconut oil or vegan butter. Other oils will work as well but may effect the taste.

*2 tbsp raw (doesn’t need to be raw but it works nicely) sugar (I used turbinado) and a separate 1 tbsp sugar

*2 tbsp active dry yeast (I have been using 1 tbsp active dry yeast and 1/2-1 cup sourdough starter) 

*1 tbsp ground flax 

*1 tsp salt

Optional: nuts, oats, seeds and other extras

Mix the sugar, dry active yeast, sourdough starter and 1/2 cup warm water together. Let sit 10 minutes to double in volume. 

Mix the 1 tbsp ground flax seed with the 2 tbsp warm water. Let sit and the flax will begin to soften and change in texture. This is the egg substitute. 

Add the flour you have chosen to use to a bowl. Mix in any nuts, grains, seeds you may want to use. I used whole raw pine nuts and extra flax my first time. The nuts fell off easy when slicing but added a nice texture. Today I used flax, ground raw pine nuts and chunks of almonds I toasted after using them to make almond milk. Slightly more chewy but held up better to hungry toddler abuse. You don’t need to add anything but I love a little extra texture, flavor and added healthy goodness. You may need to add extra flour. I only had to in the recipe I used today but I was also doubling mine and used a tiny bit too much almond and oat milk as they were almost out and I wanted to use them up. 

Add in all other ingredients and mix well! Add to an oiled or floured bowl, cover and let rise for 1-2 hours.

Punch down and knead on a floured surface. If you used nuts some may fall out. I just tucked them back in. Shape into a bread loaf and place in a oiled bread pan. Cover and let sit 30 minutes to an hour. Depending on your substitutions and the temperature in your kitchen it may change the time needed. 

Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes until golden brown. Do the tap test to make sure it is done at this time. Let sit in pan for a minute or two before removing. Cool and then enjoy! 

Chain Stitch Coasters Tutorial 

In a month or so I will have been crocheting for half a year. I have loved it but also found myself under a weight to complete all the projects requested of me and those I chose to do for myself and my home. The other day I wanted to work through some cotton yarn from my stash so that I would have more odd bits leftover to complete scrap bags for shopping. I came across the idea posted here during a late night pursuing session on Pinterest. Chain Stitch Coasters! It is perfect for a beginner crocheter and is so simple and easy that even if you don’t crochet it can be finger crocheted instead. 
  

You start with cotton yarn and an F hook. Other yarns like acrylic can get fuzzy and react poorly with the hot glue. I wouldn’t use wool yarn. 

Once you have your supplies you make the beginning loop. You’ll be cutting off the extra yarn so you don’t need much of a tail as you won’t be weaving it in.
  

After you begin create a long chain stitch (tutorials available on Pinterest and YouTube!). The tighter the better! I made my first with what I thought was a long chain but found myself adding more and more. So just keep the hook in or leave a large loop where you left off. 
  

Once you have a good amount of chain you can tuck in the beginning and hot glue it to itself. Be sure to tuck in the flat side so that as you glue on more chain the outside will be curved and the inside will be more flat to apply the glue to. The hardest part of this whole project is the hot glue. I burned myself several times, got stuck to one coaster when I grabbed the wrong part, made a mess with drops from the top of the gun and had a bit of a gooey meltdown in my old glue gun. Just take it slow! I unplugged mine a lot during this project and it actually took me several days to complete due to lack of time. 
  
  
  

After you start the first part of the gluing you can turn and run glue down strands before wrapping it around. I only did a few inches at a time then gave it a moment to cool before continuing. Use plenty of glue! Some will leak up but I found it helps the coasters from moving on surfaces so it worked out.
  
  

Eventually you will stop. Most coasters measure 3.5-4 inches across. I chose 4. When you get to the desired width you can cut the string and tie off the end. I double knot mine before glueing down. Use lots of glue! You want these to last after all your hard work! 
   
 
  

  

Then they are ready to go! A bit frustrating at times but easy as long as you don’t try to rush! 
  
   
   

Oat Milk Recipe 

A friend of mine recently took a trip to Iceland. I followed her photos in awe of all the beauty she was able to explore. She also shared a new-to-me idea. My friend is a vegan and when she went looking for something to drink at a cafe she was given the options of soy or oat milk. Oat milk? Never heard of it! So I decided to explore. This recipe is one of several I tried. I think it is the best one and had to share! 

You will need: 

*3 cups water (I used filtered)

*1 cup steel cut oats (you can experiment with flavored oats and groat oats too!)

*2 tbs of agave or maple syrup. Or even half and half of these! Pitted dates were also mentioned in some recipes or you can use a sugar syrup or honey but the last isn’t vegan (if you prefer that) and the sugar isn’t as healthy as other options. 

*1 tsp pure vanilla extract

*1/4 tsp sea salt 

*1/4 tsp cinnamon (this is optional and I used it once but it tasted odd in my herbal tea. It would do much better in coffee or other food preparations)
You can omit the sweeteners and flavor additives if you would like to use this in more savory foods.

Take your oats and rinse them completely in a strainer. 
  
  

Add rinsed and strained oats to a bowl and cover with water. Let sit for a minimum of 20 minutes. The longer the better for softer oats to work with. You can even leave them overnight. 
  
  
  

Rinse off oat slime (it’s a thing!).
  

Add to blender and cover with your 3 cups of water.
  
Blend for around 10 seconds.
  

Strain into a bowl and press gently on the oats with the back of a spoon to get out more milk.
  
  
  

Clean your blender then strain the milk through the oats still in your strainer. Do this 3 times between the bowl and blender. It helps the milk become thicker. More or less doesn’t hurt. It just effects the thickness of your milk. 
  

Add the milk into the blender and add the rest of the ingredients (not the oats! You can cook and eat those if you choose to at this point!). Pulse a few times to mix. You can also whisk in a bowl instead. 
  
  
  
  
  

Store in a mason jar for up to 5 days. Make sure it is sealed tightly and shake well before use! Homemade milks like this tend to separate. 
   
 
I like my oat milk in a cup of tea. Yum! You can used the leftover oats to make oatmeal cookies too! That’s what I have planned for later today.