Tag Archives: homemade

One Minute Organic Fruit and Veggie Wash

one minute organic fruit and veggie wash title

Hubs and I are on a serious mission this year. We are trying to eat even more fruits and veggies, most of them fresh.

Recently for lunch we had a lovely salad made from organic spring salad mix, roma tomatoes, organic carrots, cucumbers and some organic ranch dressing. For a touch of added protein and flavor, I added some diced chicken.

It was divine.

Why don’t we eat more of them? I really don’t know. Perhaps sometimes its easier to just grab a handful of ritz crackers and slather them with peanut butter for lunch. Guilty as charged. Perhaps the lettuce has already sat there in your fridge, ahem, a tad too long and has begun to wilt. It happens to me too. Or perhaps you’ve sworn off fruits and veggies because of too many instances of tossing yet another pile of mushy, overly ripe and/or wilted produce. I’ve been there. At times, I have literally felt sick thinking of all the wasted money that I’m throwing or have thrown into the garbage can, not to mention the nutritional value that was forfeited for the sake of convenience.

Any of these reasons sound familiar? I’m nodding my head vigorously and sheepishly raising my hand. I have been guilty of all of these reasons, and if I were honest and had the time and space, I could sadly add quite a few more pathetic reasons as to why I don’t eat my veggies.

On grocery day, my shopping cart is now filled with leafy greens and I cannot be more happy. Phooey, I feel healthier just pushing the the thing around. People are smiling at me even. Now granted, it probably had more to do with the two adorable kids—an adorable hunk of a boy and a precious, pudgy baby girl—in the front of my cart and less to do with the heaping mound of a garden in the back basket, but I enjoy pretending it has to do with both the front and the back. Produce makes everyone smile, right?

easy lemon fruit and veggie wash

However, I do not want to find myself tossing a bunch of precious produce at the end of this week as I have done in the past.

So I am trying to prep and wash as much of my fruits and veggies as I can.

I made an organic fruit and veggie wash to help make this healthier step in our lives even simpler and safer for us.

It was so easy. Three ingredients.

(Yes, I seem to be drawn to three ingredient recipes. I’m not sure how that happens. Ha!)

simple fruit and veggie wash

1. Squeeze an organic lemon.

Your lemon does not have to be organic if you so choose. A regular lemon would work just as well and would actually be a bit more cost effective too. I chose to use an organic lemon to have my cleaner be the best it can possibly be, especially since it it not in my budget to have all organic produce. I can at least clean them all with an organic produce wash.

Once you have squeezed out one tablespoon of juice out of the sliced lemon, add it to your spray bottle. The mouth of the spray bottle was on the small side and I had to improvise. Now I was pouring in style.

homemade fruit and veggie wash

2. Measure a bit of vinegar.

Measure 2 tablespoons of vinegar and pour it into your spray bottle with the lemon juice.

3. Add some water.

Add a cup of water to your mixture and screw the cap on.

4. Mix well.

Shake the bottle to distribute the ingredients and mix everything really good. Label your bottle so that everyone knows what it contains and how to use it. You may choose to add the ingredients and the date that it was made.

5. Mist produce.

Now that your fruit and veggie wash is made, you are all set to begin washing that pile of produce that you just purchased. Lightly mist each piece of fruit and vegetable prior to eating and/or cooking and rinse well. Easy, right?

 

 

one minute organic fruit and veggie wash fb

And you’ll have no excuse for not eating them.

Here’s a printable recipe for those that might want it.

How to Make an Organic Fruit and Veggie Wash
Author: 
Recipe type: Organic Fruit and Veggie Wash
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
A simple, organic fruit and veggie wash to help maximize the healthy benefits of your produce and rid them of any lingering dirt or unwanted pesticides.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp organic lemon
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Once you have squeezed out one tablespoon of juice out of the sliced lemon, add it to your spray bottle.
  2. Measure 2 tablespoons of vinegar and pour it into your spray bottle with the lemon juice.
  3. Add a cup of water to your mixture and screw the cap on.
  4. Shake the bottle to distribute the ingredients and mix everything really good. Label your bottle so that everyone knows what it contains and how to use it. You may choose to add the ingredients and the date that it was made.
  5. Lightly mist each piece of fruit and vegetable prior to eating and/or cooking and rinse well.

 

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How do you clean your produce? Just scrub under running water or soak? Buy a fruit/veggie from the store or do you make your own of sorts? Tell me. I’d love to hear.

XO,

 

 

DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent

Over the past several years, I’ve made a number of my own household products. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making my own laundry detergent, but other things kept pushing it to the back burner.

3 Ingredient Homemade Laundry Detergent 005

I already had all of the ingredients that I needed so I set about mixing it up this past weekend. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how quickly it came together.

For some reason, I had invisioned it being overwhelminly daunting and time-consuming.

It was not.

I thought that it may be comparable to the boiling and making of lye soap, a hot and tedious task over an open prarie fire, the fringe of my shawl blowing in the breeze.

It was totally not.

I was indeed making soap, a detergent for our clothes, but there was no heat involved and no hours of wearisome stirring.

It was incredibly easy.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Whole Foods Market had Dr. Bronner’s soap bars on sale over the holidays and I chose several of my favorite scents from their selections in prepartion for this diy. The fact that Christmas was over a month ago shows you that I was not in a huge hurry to complete this job. You gotta give me credit for buying things on sale though, right? And working things into our budget?

I loved this recipe and the fact that it used baking soda. Why not try it since I had the baking soda on hand instead of the typical washing soda? The Borax and the Dr. Bronner’s soap already have sufficient washing powers, so I also opted to use regular baking soda to help deodorize our laundry even more.  However, if you’d prefer you can certainly use the washing soda instead. Tweak the recipes to meet your needs and those of your family.

Dr Bronners Homemade Laundry Detergent

Speaking of tweaking, I used Dr. Bronner’s soaps (obviously) instead of the plain castile bars of soaps and drops of essential oils like the original recipe stated. Dr. Bronner’s soaps are pure castile soap bars made with organic oils and scents. It just made sense to use them this time around. If I find that I can purchase regular castile soap bars for a better price in bulk and then just use my Young Living essential oils to scent the detergent, I will. Safe and frugal is my mission.

Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

Switching the soap bars made this recipe even easier—only three ingredients! Simple.

All Natural Homemade Laundry Detergent

As you can see in the picture, I only made a small batch (one fourth of the original recipe) to test it out this weekend. After doing a number of loads, I have no complaints. I will update you again later with any pros or cons that may find with this particular recipe.

I’m enjoying the lavendar scent right now, but this rose scented bar smells good too.

DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent

Here’s my “tweaked” recipe for a small batch.

DIY 3 Ingredient Homemade Laundry Detergent
Author: 
Recipe type: laundry detergent
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Want to create a simple, safe and inexpensive laundry detergent for your home? Here is an easy 3 ingredient recipe that you can't go wrong with trying. Simple ingredients for washing power, old-fashioned baking soda for deodorizing and organic oils for lovely scents. You will love it.
Ingredients
  • ¼ of the Borax box ( I just eye-balled it)
  • 2 boxes of baking soda
  • 1 bar of Dr. Bronner's soap (whatever scent that you'd prefer)
Instructions
  1. Grate your bar of soap into a bowl.
  2. Add the Borax and baking soda.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Use 2 Tbsp. per load.

 

Depending on whether you have to adjust the amount of detergent  based on your machine or load size, this recipe should yield you roughly 72 loads.

For those that may be interested in the cost breakdown here it is:

  • Borax- ($3.99) only using 1/4 of the box and 5% off with my Red card—-$0.94
  • Baking soda- ($1.24 -2 lb box is cheaper) and 5% off with my Red card—-$1.18
  • Dr. Bronner’s soaps (on sale at Whole Foods)—-$3.50

Total: $5.62 which comes out to only SEVEN cents per load (for 72 loads)! Wow.

I actually only paid $4.62 because I used the $1.00/1 Borax coupon that was on coupons.com last month. (Those that follow me on facebook may remember when I shared it.)

That coupon made this trial batch only SIX cents per load! Saving money makes me happy.

Simple Homemade Laundry Detergent

I picked up a large glass jar to keep my detergent in. The glass allows me to see when I need to whip up another batch and as a bonus, it’s attractive storage on my laundry room shelf. I need to find a cute measuring spoon at a thrift store and I’ll be all set.

I am thrilled to finally mark homemade laundry detergent off of my to-do list. It was so easy. You should try it.

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Do you DIY any of your household cleaners? Have a favorite that you have just loved and has saved you a ton of money? Share. I’d love to hear. I’m always looking for new inspiration.

Thanks for reading.

 

[The Best] Homemade Fudge Brownies

 

[The Best] Homemade Fudge Brownies

I have always been a chewy brownie type of a girl. Cake-like brownies are simply okay. In other words, if you offered me a cake brownie, I would eat one.  I mean, I would never turn down chocolate. (Who really would?!) Fudge brownies have my heart though.

Or should I say, my tummy. And my hips.

*sigh*

 

For years now, Hubs and I have been making baby steps, and some larger strides, in our healthy living journey. We have switched to a good deal of organic foods (not all), non-toxic health and beauty items and either homemade or all natural household items.

It has been quite the journey. We have learned many things along the way.

best homemade brownies

One of my favorite and most fulfilling moments has been when I rediscover the joy of homemade. Miss Crocker simply can’t compete with the delectable treats that we can whip together in our own kitchen. (Sorry, Betty.)

This brownie recipe was immediately deemed the best ever.

I know, I know. You’re shaking your head about now and thinking, Yeah, right. Everyone thinks that their recipe is the “best” ever. And that’s fine. I understand your scepticism. To be honest, I’ve had those same thoughts myself about various things….until I had these brownies.

best fudge brownies

So good. In fact, good doesn’t even begin to describe them.

I found the original recipe here. Can you guess what it was called? I bet that you’ll never guess. Never in a million years.

Ok, go ahead and try.

Give up?

Best Brownies.

Just like that….”Best Brownies”.

Did you think of that title? Fitting, huh? You want to know what’s unbelievable about them?

best brownies recipe

They truly live up to their name. Seriously. I am not kidding, and trust me, I know chocolate. So do a TON of people. The ratings for this recipe are through the roof. It has been approved by hundreds of thousands of people. You can’t argue with those numbers, right?!

Sometime people shy away from homemade, they feel that making things from scratch is more time-consuming and difficult. Perhaps this is true in some instances, but not with these brownies. My ten year old daughter whipped three pans of these out in just a matter of minutes. They have become her specialty—she is now the brownie queen.

[The Best] Homemade Fudge Brownies

 

This easy recipe will make the contents of the red box seem so bland. You really have to try these and I promise, you’ll be hooked on them like we are.

I guess that this can kind of be a bad thing. Well, here’s my disclaimer for these brownies and any future pounds that may result. Always bake with a crowd nearby and never, never leave yourself alone with them.

Bad things can happen…like one less pan for the Christmas social.

*sigh*

Perhaps 2015 should be the year that I give up chocolate.

Did you hear that? That was the sound of me snorting here at the absurd thought of my giving up on this sweet indulgence. I should wash my mouth out with soap for such a riduculous utterance. I could never turn my back on a childhood friend. At least not completely.

homemade brownie recipe

Chocolate and I go way back.

Enjoy.

Homemade Fudge Brownies (the Best)
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
This chewy, fudge brownie will become the family favorite and your friends will be knocking down your door for its recipe. You simply can't beat the BEST!
Ingredients
  • ½ c. butter
  • 1 c. white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ⅓ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ c. flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt ½ cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in ⅓ cup cocoa, ½ cup flour, slat and baking powder. Spread into pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.

 

Ever make homemade brownies? Do you love chocolate too?  Who else needs to join me in a lifestyle eating change soon? I need support here.

Meanwhile nibble on these.

[The Best] Homemade Fudge Brownies

 

                               Thank you so much for reading.

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Homemade Raspberry Orange Smoothies

I am a disgraceful blogger.

I let you down Monday and last Friday with my acronym series. I truly am sorry. My husband and I are transitioning into some new roles with his job {our church} and I am still sorting through my responsibilities in all of it. I’m trying to find the proper balance and schedule, so bear with me.

We are incredibly busy, but very happy and blessed. And that’s a good feeling, right?______________________________

Anyway, last Thursday, Hubs and I had our 3T Evening {Time Together Thursday}. We had it all planned out and put the kids in bed early. The agenda for the evening was exercise and homemade smoothies. I had found a really delicious recipe that I wanted to try out. Just between you and me, I really just wanted to play with another new toy that I’d received for Christmas: my Ninja pulse blender.

The evening was totally about the smoothies and not the exercising. =)

I innocently suggested to my husband that he take the first round of exercising on our Xbox. I thought that I would make the smoothies while he began a grueling workout and then I would exercise. I was being kind. Others first was drilled into me as a kid.

He was huffing and puffing. The YourShape can be fierce. If you even try to step away, the machine will ask you where you are going. The Xbox lady is relentless, I tell you.

Homemade Raspberry Orange Smoothies

While he was sweating and groaning, I was mixing up the best. smoothies. ever. How could anything that is this easy taste so delicious? I found the original recipe here and tweaked it just a bit.

Raspberry Orange Smoothies
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Enjoy the tart of raspberries with the tang of orange in a delicious blend of fruity goodness in your cup.
Ingredients
  • ¾ c. orange juice
  • 1 c. frozen raspberries
  • ¼ c. yogurt
  • 1 banana (can be frozen)
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Measure all of the ingredients and place in blender. Mix until smooth. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

 

I was just finishing the smoothies when the power went out. Complete and utter darkness. Hubs quickly grabbed a big ol’ flashlight and went around lighting candles throughout the house. He gave me one in the kitchen so I could serve up our icy, fruity goodness into glasses.. The electricity going out could not have been timed better- in more ways than one.

After giving little LED tea lights to our girls- who were freaking out over the absence of their nightlight, we settled down with our cold treats.

Scrumptious. Truly it was.

It was like sipping raspberry sherbet through a straw.  Mmmmm-mmmm.

*sigh* I think that it was my favorite 3T time thus far. No lights, no TV, no internet, no computer work, nothing. Just listening to the voice of your sweetie intermingled with the occasional sounds of slurping. Smoothies in the dark = relaxing evening.

Perhaps it also had something to do with the fact that I never took my turn dueling with the vicious Xbox lady. I typically have evil thoughts of the woman as she’s pushing my body through necessary pain and contortions. The fact that it’s really just a voice on a machine never fully registers during my workout. At that point, reality slips away and she’s merely a relentless lady who is oblivious to my current affliction.  Sadly, no pain, no gain is not always a happy, motivating thought as I’m in physical agony and short of breath.

Homemade Raspberry Orange Smoothies

Not so on Thursday.

My mind {and body} were at peace. I totally enjoyed sipping my frozen treat in the flickering candlelight, chatting with Hubs. Whose idea was it to exercise anyways?

Oh yeah. That would be me, I guess.

Sitting in the dark, however, made you focus more on the pure deliciousness of the blend of the smoothie in your hand. It was tart,tangy, and sweetness all wrapped up in one frosty glass. I added 3-4 Tbsp of sugar to cancel out some of the tartness of the orange and raspberry to make my sweet tooth happy. For me, it created the perfect balance for the smoothie. You may just enjoy it with the fruit, OJ and yogurt. Natural goodness, so to speak. All in all, it was a wonderful evening together.

Homemade Raspberry Orange Smoothies

 

Hmmmm…I wonder if Hubs ever realized that I never had my turn sweating through YourShape.

Shhhhh. Don’t tell him, ok? Remember, I just shared this awesome recipe with you in exchange for your silence.

Enjoy. =)

_______________________________

So what have you been up to over the past few days? Make a commitment to exercise this year? Are you keeping up with it? Ever have a power outage work in your favor? Or we could forget about the necessary evil {a.k.a. exercising} and just talk smoothies. What fruity concoctions do you blend together? Share. I’d love to hear.

 

                               Thank you so much for reading.

Please take a moment to share this post, and then click here to follow along on Facebook. You will find additional helpful tips, encouraging articles, personal stories and so much more. I would love to have you join me there.