Thursday, July 24, 2014

Recipe: Homemade Deodorant/Antiperspirant (that Works!)

The very first "crunchy" skincare product I ever made was deodorant. My work contract had just ended and I didn't have anything lined up right after, which meant at least a week off of work, which was plenty of time to test out some homemade deodorant.

I'm not going to lie. I had an odor problem. And a sweating problem. My deodorant would last maybe an hour two, sometimes half a day. I used prescription strength. I even asked my doctor for botox injections in my armpits. He laughed and said no. (Jerk.) So I just carried anti-antiperspirant deodorant in my purse and re-applied whenever I could.

I was not excited to try out homemade deodorant, but I figured I'd give it a shot. And I only gave it a shot because another stinky sweater at Crunchy Betty, like myself, wrote a post about homemade deodorant being better than traditional deodorant. And not just better, but AMAZING.

So I tried it out one of her recipes. The first day I had to reapply mid-day. And after that? No problems whatsoever. I've never been stinky since. I've never had to reapply mid-day.

As for the awful underarm wetness I used to have, and I'm talking completely soaked and ultimately stained shirts, I've never had a problem with that either. I'm not saying there isn't some wetness. It's hard to avoid when it's 100 degrees outside, but I don't have underarm wetness just walking down the street anymore. I don't have to toss shirts. I don't have to worry about anything getting stained. I feel amazing.

And you can too!

Another note on this amazing concoction: I've always had rather rough feeling, generally bumpy armpits. I hated raising my hand if I wasn't wearing sleeves of some kind (and even then, I tended to avoid it because God knows what you could smell). After using my homemade version, I have silky smooth pits.

A quick word about rashes and bumps: They do happen, especially if you're allergic to the ingredients. I find that when I don't mix all of the ingredients as well I should, I'll get too much of a certain ingredient on my skin and it will cause problems. For example, too much coconut oil not mixed properly with arrowroot powder and baking soda causes my pores to clog. Too much baking soda in a clump causes my skin to turn red.

For me, I find it's easily avoidable as long as I mix well. I have also found that cornstarch (which can be substituted for arrowroot powder) is not something my skin likes and it gets sore and red and a layer will peel off. It's nasty. But I have no problems with the arrowroot powder so it's worth it to me to seek it out in stores or online and pay a little extra.

If you're new to the crunchy lifestyle, as I was, it can be a little expensive to buy your ingredients, but you'll have them on hand to make many, many batches and, if you do make other crunchy cosmetics and household items, you'll find that the items overlap.

So it's expensive at first, but really cheap if you stick with it. I think I paid $30 for the 3 ingredients, and I've only had to replace the coconut oil in two years, and that's because I use coconut oil all the time!

1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
5 tablespoons coconut oil
5-10 drops essential oils (my favorite is lavender!)

Mix dry ingredients together.

If your coconut oil is solid, heat it on the stove until it's liquid. Add in the liquefied coconut oil. Add in the essential oils of your choice. Stir well.

For storage, you can keep this in a container and use an applicator to apply. I actually kept the last deodorant container I bought. I cleaned it, rinsed it out, and I pour my homemade deodorant into that so I can roll it on per usual.

Because this has coconut oil in it and coconut oil liquefies at room temperature (and way over - for those of us living without central air conditioning!), I keep my deodorant in the fridge. It's really easy to put it on in the morning when I'm getting ready for the day and I don't have to deal with a mess in the bathroom.

When I'm traveling and don't have access to a traveling fridge, I keep it in a small container and carry an applicator. It may sound complicated, but it's pretty simple and part of my routine now.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Recipe: Summer Frittata

While I'm not typically a fan of eggs by themselves and egg-heavy food items like an omelette or certain types of quiche, I do really love a frittata in the summer time with lots of fresh produce.

Look at all the delicious summer squash!
In case you're not sure what exactly a frittata is, let me explain. (It's okay, I didn't know what they were until I read the French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook!) Essentially, you mix eggs with veg, cheese, meat, whatever you desire. You cook it a bit on the stove before popping it in the oven or under the broiler to finish.

A quiche, just for comparison, usually has a crust and some type of milk or cream added to the mix.

So to sum up: it's a quick, easy, and a delicious breakfast!

5 eggs
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 small yellow squash, chopped
2 tbsps fresh parsley
5 stalks of kale, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
salt and pepper
olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan, grated

Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat with a fork.

Add the squash, kale,

goat cheese, and parsely. Stir to combine.

Heat the olive oil in an oven safe pan over medium heat. Preheat the broiler.

Add the mixture to the oven-safe pan. As the eggs cook, gently lift the edges up with a spatula and rotate the pan so that the uncooked eggs run underneath. Do this for the first 1-2 minutes, until the eggs begin to solidify. Once they have, cook for an additional 5-6 minutes until the eggs are set.

Cover the mixture in parmesan and place the pan under the broiler for 1-3 minutes. The eggs will puff up, and the cheese will melt and brown slightly.

Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Recipe: Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

I look forward to making this dessert every summer. I troll the farmer's markets carefully, always on the prowl for bright red rhubarb stalks that my grocery store never carries. I can usually spot one or two stands at the market who offer it, and usually the rhubarb is right next to the bright red, plump, and juicy strawberries that nature intended it to go with.

Okay, maybe this recipe isn't inspired by the heavens, but it's pretty close to perfect - and the fact that I can only have it a handful of times each summer just makes it all the sweeter!

3/4 cup of flour
2/3 cup of sugar, plus 1/2 cup
large pinch of salt
6 tbsps unsalted butter
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds or walnuts
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pound of strawberries, hulled and quartered (about 3.5 cups)
12 ounces of rhubarb, ends trimmed, chopped

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, 2/3 cup of sugar, and salt. Add the butter to the mixture, blending in with your fingertips until the mixture is clumpy. Mix in the oats and nuts.

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a separate mixing bowl, add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and vanilla extract. Mix well. Add the strawberries and rhubarb and toss to coat with the sugar mixture.

Scrape the fruit into your baking dish until it covers the bottom evenly.  Sprinkle the oat topping evenly on top.

Bake until the filling bubbles up and over the oat topping, about 45 minutes.

Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve with ice cream.