Tag Archive | home made

Day 24 : Pre & Post cooking work

Our food is now greatly simplified. We just eat salads for lunch and dinner every day. The vegetables vary, dressing remains the same. The prep time is very time consuming, may be not that bad if it comes down to 2-3 hours for 3 days’ worth of food. And then packing the food in containers layering it from one of the greens , quinoa/cracked wheat/brown rice,  lentils of variety (one type every week), two steamed vegetables ( carrots, broccoli, beets, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts), I shop for veggies every 3 days so that they do not sit in the refrigerator and escape my memory. I have been diligent about that lately as I often forget and throw out the veggies. Bringing in only when I plan to cook is greatly helping me.

This obviously entails cleaning of veggies, chopping them, steaming and packing the food in containers. And all of them should be done in a day. I have also stopped using canned products that requires me to perform additional two steps of soaking a day before and cooking them. But, that is a lot of work as I am greatly un-coordinated and inefficient in the way I organize my cooking. Additionally, I make spicy peanut powder inspired by one of my favorite chef’s recipe, along with dressing. These items all combined make up for a fulfilling meal and I cannot be happier to have found something that is sustainable. The dressing which is supposed to last for 3 days usually does not. I think we overdose ourselves greatly. Still, not very bad compared to my earlier days of trying to make homemade food. Let’s just say I am able to manage and see a scope for improvement on being more efficient with my energy and time.

When I have some time and mood for cooking, I make a simple Italian, Indian or Mexican dish to satiate my taste buds or find a new recipe to play with. Then comes the cleaning part, which is where I am still struggling with, I am trying to wash them off immediately but the constraint of storing wet dishes makes it challenging. I have timed it several times, the dishes are done under 10 minutes’ tops, but motivating myself to do that work takes hours of cajoling. Additional stress if I have guests over.  And that is why, I have not been keen on inviting anyone over. Sure, we can order food outside, but it undermines the whole idea of saving when we are tight on budget. It’s any day cheaper to cook healthy meals at home than eating outside.

This is partly bragging as well as ranting about the benefits and dis-advantages of homemade meals and where I stand. Hope you have ignored all my rants and took only positive aspects. After all, in America – those added sugars, salt, canned and refrigerated goods are neither tasty nor healthy anyway.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”  ~Hippocrates

Now, your turn – speak up about your cooking adventures.

Whipped Body butter – Home made

I spoke about making my own body butter in one of my previous posts and source from which I got the recipe was also posted there. I ended up getting all my ingredients – all of them raw, unrefined, organic(?as they say) shea and cocoa butters. Also, got organic coconut oil and sweet almond oil. On top of these expenses, I invested in getting 4 essential oils worth $85 and I feel I have over paid. To get the ingredients, I used amazon and read numerous blogs, reviews and cost effective ways to get them. I felt good about all of the main ingredients except that I felt being ripped off for essential oils. But, it seems like they are really going to last longer as you barely use not more than few drops.

I did the measurements of all in equal quantities and followed the exact same procedure of what has been described here (one, two). I have added combination of tea-tree oil for controlling acne and lavender for fragrance. The final product looked beautiful, like the one you get in stores, it’s whipped and the fact that this is equally edible made me so much comfortable to apply it on my skin. It surely felt moisturizing. The most important fact is – it is natural, chemical free and organic and it is nourishing.

Cons: what they do not disclose or discuss is:

It is bit greasy on my skin, and when I apply on face, it is much more (Yes, I use same lotion for everything and very generous too, I try not to use too many different products) – I do not know the results yet as how my skin will be in next few weeks or so. I will keep you posted.

It became bit hard, despite keeping it at a room temperature and storing in some what cool dark place, it is not as smooth as it was when it was whipped.

What I learned from the process:

It should be prepared in small batches until you get the desired results. Only after I made this and found how hard it has become, that I looked for ways to make it smoother. This is when I found this blog which lists out what we could do differently to make it more smoother and non-greasy but moisturizing body butter. I will apply those tips in my next batch when ever I am done with the current.

That cocoa & coconut oil are considered comedogenic, which means that they usually clog the pores and not good for acne prone skin. But, I have the history of using coconut oil on my face, for it’s anti-bacterial and anti-fugal properties, it might not be a problem. And cocoa is known to be a great anti-oxidant,  has restorative properties and soothes sensitive skin. Also, I have added tea-tree oil for acne combat. It is very important to know your skin type before you invest your time and energy in making them.

Even though every one prefers lavender, I find myself to be agnostic about it and did not find myself to use it again. The irony is that I spent the highest amount on this particular essential oil. I have always liked lemony, citrus flavored freshness smell and read some where that cocoa & lemon does not go well together. Next time, I will try it without cocoa and add lemon oil to it.

Results:

I will have to give it at least few weeks before I conclude. I am experimenting on myself before I consider gifting it to any one. The shelf life? – since all the ingredients are shelf stable, they say it should not go bad for 2-3 years, but I will be using it all up in couple of weeks.

Dear readers, do you make your own beauty products? Where do you source your ingredients from and which brand of essential oils have you used ?