better homemade nutbutter

Jeanne here.

My super-in-the-know sister-in-law had this in her house a few weeks ago …

prod-butter-coconut-creamy-1

And it was so dang tasty … creamy and delicious and I wanted to eat the whole jar with a spoon. (Thankfully, my better judgment took hold and I left a little for my nephew’s lunch … at least I think I left enough for one sandwich … perhaps this explains my need for a new swimsuit this year.)

So I went home and dreamed about coconut & peanut spread.

And then I went to the Co-op and thought about buying it (it retails for $10.48 for 16 oz).

But then I realized I had a big bag of bulk almonds at home.

And more than our share of Organic Nutiva Cold Pressed Coconut Oil (we have four 78 oz. jars in the pantry right now … it’s scary).

And three gallons of that incredible pure grade B maple syrup that we ordered direct from a farmer in Wisconsin through our local Weston A. Price Foundation.

So for less than $3, I could try my hand making our own nut-butter.

coconut almond butter

(I don’t know about you, but the thing I don’t love about homemade and/or organic nut butter that you can buy in the store is that it can be grainy and will separate and has to be stirred … So I was hoping that combining almonds with coconut oil would give me the creaminess I crave in a good nut butter.)

I’ve now made this twice and we are totally happy with the results!

Here’s what I did:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups almonds
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure grade B maple syrup
  • dash of salt

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it reaches the texture you like.

What I like about making our own (not just the cost-benefit) is that we get all the good benefits of Coconut Oil (like the fact that it contains lauric acid … one of the good fats we’re always looking for … it has antioxidant properties, helps us absorb important minerals and contains antimicrobial, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties), and we know the almonds are organic and non-GMO, we know how little maple syrup we actually need to sweeten this tasty concoction.

We use this almond butter on PBJs, in smoothies, and in just about any recipe that calls for peanut butter (including the Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles that my family loves).

And if almonds aren’t your thing … try cashews or hazelnuts or shelled sunflower seeds.  Let us know how it goes … we want to know!

Happy Tuesday!

We’re linked up at:

The Nourishing Gourmet
This Chick Cooks
Healthy Roots Happy Soul

hair masks and face masks with food you already have

Once I figured out that I can use food I have in my kitchen to do my own hair and face masks, it felt like I struck gold.  I’m a huge fan of both, but purchasing ones that I feel good about isn’t always an option.  Sure, I could run to the drugstore and find something that exfoliates for probably a few bucks,but its guaranteed to be chock full of chemicals I’m just not okay with.

I remember a few years ago when the light bulb went on that what we put on our bodies is as important as what we put in our bodies.  Our skin absorbs most of what we put on it and then it makes its way to various parts of our bodies, such as our bloodstream.  I’ve heard people argue that your skin doesn’t absorb chemicals in beauty products, but the evidence tends to lean the other way.  Think about birth control patches and nicotine patches… they are designed to stick on out skin and then leach into our bodies.

But back to pampering.

I have came up with a ton of great hair and skin masks using foods I already have at home.  They usually revolve around eggs, coconut oil, honey, coffee grounds and avocado, but turns out a ton of real foods can be used on your hair and skin!  And now for a super awkward iphone self portrait!

That was me earlier.  I had a exfoliating coffee scrub on my face and an avocado mask in my hair.  I used what I had for both these masks, so the ingredients and the measurements are very flexible.

Exfoliating coffee scrub inspired by my sister-in-law!  Mix these 4 things together, rub on your face and leave as long as you like.  Rinse well. (Warning: this can make a mega mess if you aren’t careful, but it’s worth it!)

  • 2 tablespoons used coffee grounds
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp honey

Moisturizing hair mask inspired by another one of my awesome sister-in-laws.  Same as on my face, I mixed the following ingredients and left on for 30 minutes.  I could have gone longer, but had to grab a shower before the baby woke up!  Rinse hair really well in shower and then follow your usual hair washing regimen!

  • half of a ripe avocado
  • 1 tbs melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbs coconut milk
  • 1 tps olive oil
  • 1 egg

There are so many combinations of foods you could use, so I recommend experiment a bit and see what you like.

Here are some foods good for hair:

  • for damaged hair – banana, mayonaise, beer, olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, eggs
  • for dry hair- avocado, banana, eggs, coconut oil, olive oil
  • for deep cleansing- apple cider vinegar, lemon, thyme
  • for thickening- honey, banana, eggs

For skin and face:

  • exfoliating- coffee grounds, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, oatmeal, sugar
  • cleansing- lemon, orange, apple cider vinegar, coconut milk, peach
  • soothing and moisterizing- yogurt, honey, tomatoe, olive oil, coconut oil, cucumber, carrot juice, egg white

Have a great weekend!
Abby