Mommypotamus 2016-09-29T15:21:32Z http://www.mommypotamus.com/feed/atom/ WordPress http://cdn.mommypotamus.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/cropped-MP-logo-purple-32x32.png Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Instant Pot Bone Broth Recipe]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=48847 2016-09-29T15:21:32Z 2016-09-29T13:02:07Z I thought I had it figured out. Before my son’s birthday a few weeks ago, I suggested a deal in which he’d get presents and cake and a party, but he’d stay five instead of turning six. Genius, right? Unfortunately, when the day came he explained the fundamentals of biology to me and insisted on actually turning […]

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pressure-cooker-instant-pot-bone-broth

I thought I had it figured out. Before my son’s birthday a few weeks ago, I suggested a deal in which he’d get presents and cake and a party, but he’d stay five instead of turning six. Genius, right? Unfortunately, when the day came he explained the fundamentals of biology to me and insisted on actually turning six. Bah!

Cherishing as much time as possible with my littles can be quite a challenge, because they’re determined to savor second breakfast, elevensies and every other possible designated eating time to the utmost of their ability. Seriously, how do such small people eat SO MUCH?

Fortunately, I’ve developed quite the collection of quick, uncomplicated recipes, like chicken nuggets with five minute ketchup and these sour gummy snacks.

This bone broth recipe is just about as easy as it gets, and it’s the perfect way to make use of bones from a leftover roast chicken or this Instant Pot chicken soup. When it’s ready, use it to make egg drop soup, coconut lime chicken curry soup, or “mommy is tired,” which is not technically a recipe. 🙂

BENEFITS OF BONE BROTH

As I mentioned in this tutorial on making bone broth in a slow cooker, it contains:

  • The “spark plugs” you need to function: Minerals activate enzymatic processes needed to function well. Bone broth contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and trace minerals in easily assimilated form.
  • Nutrients that keep you moving, pain-free: Specifically, I’m talking about glucosamine and chondroitin, which support joint function. (You can often find expensive supplements featuring these two nutrients at health food stores) (source)
  • Anti-aging components: Gelatin supports healthy digestion and strengthens hair, skin and nails. It also nourishes connective tissues, which helps to prevent premature skin sagging and cellulite. Broth also contains the amino acid proline, which is necessary for the production of collagen.
  • Detoxification support: The amino acid glycine helps the liver with detoxification. Glycine is also essential for the production of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent premature aging

It’s budget-friendly, too. Not only is it inexpensive to make, regular consumption may reduce the amount of meat you need to consume for optimal health. (source)

instant-pot-pressure-cooker-bone-broth

Instant Pot Bone Broth Recipe
 
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Bone Broth
Author:
Ingredients
  • Bones (I usually use chicken bones that are leftover from our weekly Instant Pot roast chicken, but you can also use 2-3 pounds beef, lamb, non-oily fish or pork bones)*
  • Assorted veggies - I usually toss in half an onion, a few carrots, a few stalks of celery, and fresh herbs if I have them on hand
  • Splash of apple cider vinegar (about 1-2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt.
  • Filtered water
  • *If you're using beef, lamb, or pork bones you'll want to roast them in the oven at 350F for about half an hour before starting with step #1. It does wonders for the flavor.
Instructions
  1. Place bones in Instant Pot and top with veggies, apple cider vinegar, and salt.
  2. Add water until the pot is ⅔ full. If you have time, let the pot sit for 30 minutes so the vinegar can begin to pull minerals out of the bones. I almost never wait. (Shhhh!!)
  3. Select the 'Manual' button and increase the cook time time to 120 minutes.
  4. After two hours, allow the Instant Pot to depressurize naturally.
  5. Strain the broth and discard the bones and vegetables. Pour broth into jars and store in the fridge.

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[How To Make Beeswax Candles]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=21492 2016-09-27T11:58:33Z 2016-09-26T13:31:55Z A golden glow and long burn time are just the beginning of a handmade beeswax candle’s charm. Unlike paraffin candles – which release carcinogens like toluene and benzene into the air– they burn clean and bright while releasing a faint honey scent. Even better, making beeswax candles at home – either as a gift or […]

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how-to-make-beeswax-candlesA golden glow and long burn time are just the beginning of a handmade beeswax candle’s charm. Unlike paraffin candles – which release carcinogens like toluene and benzene into the air– they burn clean and bright while releasing a faint honey scent.

Even better, making beeswax candles at home – either as a gift or for yourself – is little more than a melt and pour process. In the tutorial below I’ll show you just how easy it is. Now, you may be wondering . . .

how-to-make-beeswax-candles-essential-oils

Can I add essential oils?

Yes, you can, however beeswax does not hold on to scent as well as some other waxes. For that reason, I blend a little coconut oil into my candles to give the scent more staying power. Even with the addition of coconut oil, I’ve found that only very strong scents (peppermint, lemongrass, vetiver etc.) do well in beeswax candles. Fortunately, most beeswax smells faintly of honey, which is delightful all by itself or when blended with essential oils.

(Also, quick note: If you are planning to burn the candles around children make sure that the essential oils you select are kid-friendly – here’s a list to get you started.)

how-to-make-beeswax-candles-tutorial

How To Make Beeswax Candles

This recipe will make three 8 ounce candles or six 4 ounce candles.

*Because beeswax candles are slow burning, they require thicker, sturdier wicks than what is used for paraffin candles. Keep in mind that the way a wick burns will vary based on many factors, including the size of the container and how refined the beeswax is. I’ve shared which wicks have worked for me using refined beeswax and the jars above, but it may take a little experimentation to find the perfect size for your wax/container combo.

Instructions

Step 1: Pick up your wick (with wick tab attached) and wick stickers)how-to-make-beeswax-candles-step-1

Pull one of the wick stickers off the roll and place it on the wick tab, then peel the paper off the exposed side of the wick sticker.

how-to-make-beeswax-candles-step-1a

Step 2: Attach the wick to the bottom center of the jar.

how-to-make-beeswax-candles-step-2

Step 3: Melt wax and oil in a double boiler.  If you don’t have a double boiler, you can create one by placing one inch of water in a pot, placing a smaller pot or stainless steel bowl inside, and bringing the water to a low simmer.

how-to-make-beeswax-candles-step-3

Step 4: When the beeswax is melted, add essential oils if desired.

how-to-make-beeswax-candles-step-4

Stir the beeswax, coconut oil, and essential oils (if using) together. I use a wooden chop stick that I keep just for this purpose so I don’t have to clean it.

how-to-make-beeswax-candles-step-4a

Step 5: Pour wax into jars.

how-to-make-beeswax-candles-step-5

Step 6: Set the wick so that it’s in the center. You can do this by placing a pencil across the jar and taping the wick to it, or use my favorite method, which is to thread the wick through the center of a clothespin.

how-to-make-beeswax-candles-step-5a

Step 7: Place the candles in a warm area to harden, because if they cool too quickly the wax will sometimes crack. I usually preheat my oven to 170F while I’m pouring the candles, then turn the oven off and place them inside.

how-to-make-beeswax-candles-step-7

Allow to cure for two days, then trim the wick to about 1/4 inch. When lighting your candle, direct the flame at the base of the wick so that some of wax melts and is drawn up into the wick – this helps it burn properly. Allow candle to burn long enough so the wax melts out to the side of the jar. This helps to prevent tunneling (when the middle melts down with lots of wax left over around the edges). Never leave a candle unattended.

Cleanup Tip:

Beeswax is usually difficult to remove from the bowl it was melted in, but I’ve learned a little trick that I want to pass along. I preheat my oven to 200F, then turn it off and place the bowl inside. Within a few minutes the wax is completely melted, making it easy to wipe away with paper towels. After that, I just scrub with soap and water as usual.

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Instant Pot Chicken Soup Recipe]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=48842 2016-09-27T11:59:41Z 2016-09-23T13:36:09Z I’m not sure where I heard that saying for the first time, but it’s been my motto since I picked up my beloved Instant Pot last December. Seriously, my IP has become almost like a friend – I even took it on vacation with me. I did not, however, plop it next to me on the […]

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instant-pot-chicken-soup-recipe

I’m not sure where I heard that saying for the first time, but it’s been my motto since I picked up my beloved Instant Pot last December. Seriously, my IP has become almost like a friend – I even took it on vacation with me. I did not, however, plop it next to me on the beach and hand it a coconut pineapple popsicle, so I guess you could say the IP is a better friend to me than I am to it.

Now, I’ll admit that when it first arrived on my doorstep I wondered if it would be easier to, say, build a time machine or earn a doctorate in theoretical physics than figure it out, but fortunately it’s much easier to use than I expected. Some friends shared a few tried-and-true recipes to help me get the hang of things, and it’s been saving dinner ever since!

Today, I want to share one of my favorite tried-and-true recipes with you. 🙂

This recipe for belly warming chicken soup was declared one of the most satisfying and flavorful ever by my husband, and it was so easy to make! I found it in Dr. Karen Lee’s ebook, Easy Instant Pot Paleo Recipes, and she graciously gave me permission to share it with you. (Thank you, Dr. Lee!) If you’re looking for delicious ways to simplify mealtimes, I highly recommend you pick up a copy.

Here are some recipes I’ve made and loved:

instant-pot-paleo-recipes

From left to right: BBQ Chicken Drumsticks (A bit too spicy for my littles, but no problem. More for me!), Chicken Garam Masala (So much yes to this one), and the Chicken Soup I’ll be sharing with you today.

Once you’ve delighted your family with this recipe, make sure to save the bones for homemade chicken broth. I’ll be sharing a tutorial for making it in an Instant Pot next week, but here are some slow cooker instructions for now. Also, if you’re not sure what to do with your freshly made chicken broth I have three words for you – egg drop soup.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Instant Pot Chicken Soup Recipe
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2-3 lb pastured and free roaming chicken
  • 2 carrots roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1⁄4 turnip or radish, cut in 2” cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning or equal mixture of dried parsley, oregano, thyme and rosemary.
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, sliced (Mommypotamus note: I diced mine)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • thinly sliced purple onion or finely chopped scallion to garnish (I used green onions because I didn't have those on hand)
Instructions
  1. In the liner pot, add the vegetables first, then, chicken, and the herbs on top.
  2. Add 4-5 Cups of cold water.
  3. Close the lid tightly and close the vent.
  4. Press “SOUP”.
  5. When the timer goes off, release the pressure naturally, using
  6. NPR. It may take about 20-30 minutes after the timer goes off
  7. for the vent to open.
  8. Open the lid, take out the chicken and debone the meat.
  9. Reserve the bones to make bone broth. Put the meat back to
  10. the pot and stir.
  11. Crush the carrots and celery gently against the side of the pot
  12. with the back of a spoon.
  13. Salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Before serving, garnish with thinly sliced onions, and scallions.

 

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[How To Make Schisandra Berry Syrup For Immune Support]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=48987 2016-09-27T12:00:55Z 2016-09-22T15:26:37Z So, you already love elderberry syrup and fire cider for immune support during the winter months, but you know it’s a good idea to rotate herbs and you’re looking for new options. Perfect! Meet the five flavors fruit – schisandra berry. For most of us, foraging probably looks more like braving the checkout line with cranky kids than hiking for […]

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schisandra-berry-syrup-recipe

So, you already love elderberry syrup and fire cider for immune support during the winter months, but you know it’s a good idea to rotate herbs and you’re looking for new options. Perfect! Meet the five flavors fruit – schisandra berry.

For most of us, foraging probably looks more like braving the checkout line with cranky kids than hiking for a day without food in Siberia, but we can learn a thing or two from generations of hunters that have done exactly that.

According to Donald Yance, CN, MH, RH(AGH), schisandra “berries and seeds were used by Nanai (Goldes or Samagir) hunters as an energy tonic to prevent exhaustion, to improve night vision, and to reduce hunger and thirst,” writes Donald Yance, CN, MH, RH(AGH),  (Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism, p. 580). Newer research suggests it’s also helpful in supporting and balancing the immune system. (source)

Okay, back to the post!

schisandra-benefits-uses

Schisandra is still used to this day in that region, and modern research has confirmed that it is a highly valuable adaptogen, or herb that helps the body to adapt to emotional and physical stress.

The Chinese name for shisandra is wu wei zi, which is translated as “five flavors fruit.” This is because “schisandra berries have all five flavors (sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty) recognized in that tradition. The peel and flesh are sweet and sour, the seed is pungent and bitter, and the whole fruit is salty” (Adaptogens: Herbs For Strength, Stamina & Stress Relief, pp. 195-196).

It’s definitely not the kind of fruit you nosh on as a snack, but it does make a sweet and tangy tea or flavoring syrup. In today’s post I’m going to show you how to make it into a syrup similar to elderberry syrup.

In traditional Chinese medicine, schisandra berry is valued for its ability to:

  • Support energy levels and overall physical endurance
  • Encourage a positive mood
  • Support immune function
  • Promote restful sleep

schisandra-benefits

Is schisandra safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

According to the Botanical Safety Handbook: 2nd Edition, schisandra is a Safety Class 1C herb (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013, p.794). This category is described as:

  • Herbs that can be safely consumed when used appropriately.
  • History of safe traditional use
  • No case reports of significant adverse events with high probability of causality
  • No significant adverse events in clinical trials
  • No identified concerns for use during pregnancy or lactation
  • No innately toxic constituents
  • Toxicity associated with excessive use is not a basis for exclusion from this class
  • Minor or self-limiting side effects are not bases for exclusion from this class

The “C” designation indicates that schisandra is an herb for which clinically relevant drug interactions are known to occur. See the “What else do I need to know?” section below for more information.

schizandra-berry-syrup-recipe-1

Schisandra Berry Syrup Recipe

This tangy and sweet syrup is incredibly versatile – if you’d like to give it a try but are not quite sure what to do with it, here are some ideas:

  • Mix it with homemade water kefir or sparkling water to make soda pop
  • Stir it into your favorite tea
  • Take it straight off the spoon
  • Stir it into oatmeal or yogurt
How To Make Shisandra Berry Syrup
 
Serving Size: 2 1⁄2 teaspoons – 1 tablespoon plus 1 1⁄2 teaspoons
Author:
Serves: 2.5 cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add water and schisandra berries to a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. This should take around 45 minutes.
  3. Strain to remove berries. Allow liquid to cool to room temperature, then stir in honey.
  4. Transfer schisandra berry syrup to a jar and store in the fridge.

Notes

Because this recipe contains honey, it should not be given to children under one year of age. Regarding shelf life, according to Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes For Vibrant Health, syrups made with the ratios above should stay good from several weeks to several months (Gladstar, 2001). If you are concerned that you may not use it all in that time, you may want to freeze some in an ice cube tray for later.

What else do I need to know?

“In Chinese medicine, tonic remedies like schisandra should not be taken by people with acute viral or bacterial infections such as colds, influenza, bronchitis and pneumonia” (Winston & Maimes, 2007, p. 197).

Also, according to WebMD, “Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

Schisandra might increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking schisandra along with medications that are broken down by the liver might decrease the effects of these medications. Before taking schisandra, talk to your healthcare provider, especially if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver” (WebMD).

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Soothing Salt Sock Remedy For Earaches]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=48869 2016-09-27T12:01:27Z 2016-09-21T14:52:49Z Ahhhh, unintended consequences. Sometimes things work out – like when a certain kitchen helper forgets to add an egg to the lemon poppyseed muffin recipe you’re tinkering with and accidentally perfects it. Sometimes . . . not so much. Take, for example, the once common practice of giving antibiotics to children with earaches. Although most earaches are viral […]

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salt-sock-home-remedy-for-ear-infections

Ahhhh, unintended consequences. Sometimes things work out – like when a certain kitchen helper forgets to add an egg to the lemon poppyseed muffin recipe you’re tinkering with and accidentally perfects it. Sometimes . . . not so much.

Take, for example, the once common practice of giving antibiotics to children with earaches. Although most earaches are viral in nature – and therefore not treatable by antibiotics – the common belief used to be that it’s best to prescribe them “just in case.” Turns out, that approach actually increases a child’s risk of recurrent ear infections and other problems. (source 1, source 2)

Fortunately, most earaches– whether truly an infection or an irritation due to another cause – clear up without any treatment, says Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, who helped write the new American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines for treating ear infections. Harvard Medical school concurs in this article, as do many other sources.

 

What approach does the American Academy of Pediatrics Recommend?

For otherwise healthy kids with mild inner ear pain and no conditions that “may alter the natural course” of acute otitis media (anatomic abnormalities such as cleft palate, genetic conditions such as Down syndrome, immunodeficiencies, the presence of cochlear implants, recurrent ear infections, etc.), the AAP now recommends a wait-and-see approach. (source)

In plain English, that means:

Children ages 6 months to 2 years with an infection in one ear who don’t have a high fever, severe pain or other complications can be watched for 48 hours without antibiotic treatment to see if the infection gets worse, the guidelines say. The same watching period applies to older children with a mild infection in one or both ears.” (This is easy to understand interpretation of these technical guidelines from the AAP was written by LiveScience.)

If things aren’t getting worse, my understanding of the guidelines is that it’s fine to continue with watchful waiting. (I’m not an expert, of course, and this is not medical advice. I’m just sharing my understanding based on the guidelines and conversations with my children’s pedi.)

According to this New York Times special report, between “80 – 90% of all children with uncomplicated ear infections recover within a week without antibiotics.”

salt-sock-home-remedy-ear-infections

So, how can we help our kids be more comfortable?

The AAP recommends administering pain relievers to make children more comfortable, but some parents opt for other comfort measures.

I’ve already shared some of my favorite natural remedies for earaches with you, but last year I discovered a new one while reading through Salt In Your Sock and Other Tried-and-True Home Remedies by Lillian Beard, M.D. It’s . . . . yep, you guessed it . . . salt in a sock.

Specifically, warm salt in a sock, applied to the ear and jaw area to soothe discomfort and support healing. I used this remedy with one of my littles a few months ago and it worked beautifully, so I wanted to pass it along. Like many of my favorite remedies – this cough syrup for example – it’s been used for generations. In fact, here’s how Dr. Beard learned about it:

A friend’s grandmother from Italy treated all her children and grandchildren who had an earache with her sure-fire remedy, which has worked for at least two generations in her family.”

She then explains the recipe – which I have simplified in the next section – and adds:

 I have recommended this to parents over the years, and many have reported that it works. My theory is that the heated salt retains the soothing warmth that eases the child’s discomfort. Perhaps the salt also draws out fluid from the painful ear. In doing so, it might decrease middle ear pressure”

salt-sock-remedy

How To Make A Soothing Salt Sock For Earaches

You’ll need:

  • 1 clean, cotton sock. Longer socks are better because you’ll need to tie the ankle section in a knot in order to keep the salt in.
  • 1-1½ cups coarse sea salt (I’ve also used epsom salt with good results)
  • a few drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil (optional)

Instructions:

Pour salt in the sock and tie the ankle section in a knot. Place sock in a clean skillet over low/medium heat, flipping often to ensure that the salt is warming evenly. When it is very warm (but not so hot that it will be uncomfortable), apply a couple of drops of essential oil directly on the sock if desired. Place the warmed sock on the ear and allow it to sit there for as long as you wish. Repeat the process if desired.

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Sloppy Joe Stuffed Peppers Recipe]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=47475 2016-09-08T15:12:02Z 2016-09-08T15:07:31Z Although all my kids love to eat, one in particular has a habit of declaring his love for everyone at the table when something hits the spot. When I really knock it out of the park he gets up from his chair and hugs each of us! He’s kind of my personal recipe rating system, and […]

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stuffed-peppers-recipe

Although all my kids love to eat, one in particular has a habit of declaring his love for everyone at the table when something hits the spot. When I really knock it out of the park he gets up from his chair and hugs each of us! He’s kind of my personal recipe rating system, and this tomatoey, cheesy adaptation of traditional sloppy joes got a big thumbs up.

It’s super easy to make with my five minute ketchup recipe, and if anyone in your family likes a bit of spice it can be topped with some red pepper flakes. I hope it gets rave reviews at your house like it did in mine. (And if it does, you can pass them along with the new recipe rating system in the comments. 🙂 )

sloppy-joe-stuffed-peppers-recipe

5.0 from 7 reviews
Sloppy Joe Stuffed Peppers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Ingredients
  • 4 small or 3 large bell peppers, any color
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion
  • 1.5 cups grated cheese (I used cheddar)
  • ¾ cup ketchup (I use my homemade ketchup)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Cut the bell peppers in half and remove seeds and pith. Place in a baking dish and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  3. While you're waiting for the bell peppers to come out of the oven, heat a skillet on the stove. Add a little coconut oil and your beef and onions. Saute until browned on the outside and just a little pink inside.
  4. Add ketchup, mustard and pepper to the skillet and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat.
  5. When the peppers have cooked for 15 minutes, remove them from the oven. Divide the sloppy joe mixture evenly among the peppers and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the baking pan from the oven and set the oven to broil. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the peppers and place it back in the oven until the cheese is melted, then serve.

 

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[My Favorite Essential Oil Blends For Fall]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=48358 2016-09-28T16:28:34Z 2016-09-07T15:15:34Z I wasn’t exactly expecting sage wisdom as my husband and I prepared to plant Elderberry Hill  – the sloped grove of elderberry bushes just north of our orchard – but it came anyway. While we were choosing which cuttings to plant and dreaming of homemade elderberry syrup, a farmer friend suggested that I reconsider all the gorgeous, leafy trimmings I’d […]

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best-essential-oil-blends-fall

I wasn’t exactly expecting sage wisdom as my husband and I prepared to plant Elderberry Hill  – the sloped grove of elderberry bushes just north of our orchard – but it came anyway. While we were choosing which cuttings to plant and dreaming of homemade elderberry syrup, a farmer friend suggested that I reconsider all the gorgeous, leafy trimmings I’d selected.

Those plants I thought were duds? Turns out they were up to something. While many of the cuttings focused their energy on big, outward growth, others were quietly developing longer, thicker roots – the kind that can tap deep into the earth for nourishment when things get hard. If they could talk, I’ll bet they’d agree with the saying that goes:

Nothing in nature blooms all year. Be patient with yourself.”

This fall, you’ll find me choosing to nourish my roots – reading my childhood favorites to my littles under cozy blankets, sipping chai tea (and maybe a pumpkin spice latte or ten) while I work on a secret project, and being okay with the fact that not all personal growth is obvious at first.

And yes, I’ll be diffusing these fall essential oil blends and simmering stovetop potpourri like this is the last autumn ever, because after all it is the last one that will be exactly like this. 🙂 I love how they make every day feel a bit like a cozy, laid-back holiday – even while I’m doing laundry!

They can be placed in a diffuser – this is the one in the photo, but this is the one I use most often – or mixed in a glass spray bottle to use as a room spray. Special instructions for using as a room spray at the bottom of the post.

I hope they remind you of the best of past years, and inspire you revel in the beauty of this one. Much love and happy fall!

essential-oil-blends-fall

Essential Oil Blends For Fall

Safety note: All the recipes below are considered appropriate to diffuse around children that are six months or older. In general, it’s best not to diffuse essential oils around babies that are younger than six months old. For more information, check out this guide on using essential oils safely with babies and children.

Autumn Wreath

Gingerbread

I’m going to be straight with you. In general I find the scent of ginger essential oil repulsive, but when blended with cinnamon and nutmeg it smells delightfully like freshly baked ginger bread. (And if – like me – you end up craving something gingery after popping this blend in the diffuser, here’s a recipe for gingerbread cookies my littles love. )

Also, because ginger and cinnamon leaf are very strong scents, I’ve kept the total amount of drops in this blend low. However, depending on your diffuser and the size of your room you may want to double it.

French Vanilla Latte

This blend incorporates the rich aroma of coffee beans with notes of sweet vanilla. I’ve run out of vanilla oleoresin for now, but when my next batch arrives I’m going to test out a gingerbread latte blend. Will post it here if it’s a success!

Citrus Forest

Fine, I admit it. I listen to holiday music when I’m stressed (even if it’s July), and I’ve been using this blend and imagining myself snuggled up by a fire with a mountain view since around then. Douglas fir is one of my all-time favorite essential oils, and it pairs so well with citrus.

Thankful

“Gratitude doesn’t change the scenery. It merely washes clean the glass you look through so you can clearly see the colors.” ~ Richelle E. Goodrich

Crisp Mountain Air

This blend is similar to Autumn Wreath, but with a deeper woodsy scent and a hint of citrus.

Chai Tea

You know what goes perfect with this blend? This real chai tea that’s infused with adaptogens for immune and stress support.

Mulled Cider

Tip: If you love this recipe and your kids are over five, you can create a delightful variation by replacing the ginger with star anise essential oil. It smells amazing.

Turning Leaves

How To Make A Room Spray With These Blends

First, increase double or triple the recipe as needed so that you have 20-25 total drops. Add those drops to 2 tablespoons of vodka and stir, then pour into an 8 ounce glass spray bottle. Fill the rest with water and shake before using.

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Homemade Salt Glow Face Scrub]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=47951 2016-09-07T17:34:13Z 2016-09-01T14:01:12Z Ahhh, parenting – is it just me or does it involve saying things like “I know it’s frustrating but pants are not optional” a lot more than you imagined? Or, in this case, “No, you cannot lick my face. I know it looks yummy but this is food for my skin, not your mouth.” And […]

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Ahhh, parenting – is it just me or does it involve saying things like “I know it’s frustrating but pants are not optional” a lot more than you imagined? Or, in this case, “No, you cannot lick my face. I know it looks yummy but this is food for my skin, not your mouth.”

And food it is. This homemade face scrub nourishes skin with antioxidants that neutralize damaging free radicals, acids that gently dissolve old, dead skin, and minerals which support the body’s natural lipid barrier.

About the ingredients

Honey

Sometimes called “the soul of a field of flowers,” honey has long been revered in traditional medicine for its healing properties. Now research is starting to confirm what tradition has long held: One study concluded that it works better than antibiotic creams for healing small, non-serious burns (which is why I use it in my homemade burn salve), and another found that children with coughs sleep better when given buckwheat honey than over-the-counter options (which is why I incorporated it into my homemade cough syrup).

But honey is not just an ingredient for your natural remedy stash – it’s amazing in skincare as well. The same properties that help with wound healing also promote skin renewal and possibly the formation of hyaluronic acid, a polysaccharide that draws moisture to the skin, making it plump and dewy. (Babies are born with very high levels of hyaluronic acid – it’s one of the reasons their skin is so beautiful.)

Honey also contains gluconic acid, a mild alpha-hydroxy acid that helps brighten and even out skin tone, plus antioxidants that neutralize damaging free radicals.

Will it make my face sticky?

Nope, it rinses away clean. The only thing it leaves behind is soft, dewy skin.

Unrefined Sea Salt

Although table salt is very drying to skin, I’ve found that mineral-rich salt leaves my skin feeling fresh, soft, and moisturized. Maybe that’s because it’s exfoliating qualities have been paired with a nourishing oil and honey, or maybe it’s because the 60+ trace minerals found in sea salt support cell integrity (aka the ability to hold water.) Either way, I think you’ll love it, but you can always use sugar (which contains naturally occurring glycolic acid) if you’d like.

Olive, Avocado, or Sweet Almond Oil

Light and nourishing, these oils help skin hold on to moisture by supporting the lipid barrier (a natural part of skin which protects against water loss.)
This exfoliating face scrub nourishes skin with a blend of antioxidants that neutralize damaging free radicals, acids that gently dissolve old, dead skin, and minerals which support the body's natural lipid barrier.

Homemade Salt Glow Polishing Scrub

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons plus one teaspoon unrefined sea salt (I used Himalayan salt)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey (like this)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (olive, avocado, and sweet almond oil are good options)
  • To Make

  • Place ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a fork until thoroughly combined. Store in a small, clean container.
  • To Use

Splash your face with warm water, then scoop a small spoonful of scrub out of the container. (I prefer to use an actual spoon because placing wet hands in the container reduces the scrubs shelf life.) Using and upward and outward circular motion, massage the scrub over your face or 60-90 seconds.

If desired, let the scrub double as a nourishing mask by leaving it on for 10-15 minutes, then rinsing with warm water. Or if you’d prefer, just rinse with warm water immediately after exfoliating. Follow with a light moisturizer like this hydrating skin repair serum.

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo)]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=48321 2016-09-01T13:53:10Z 2016-08-30T02:43:51Z Couch forts, skipping rocks, snowball fights, rolling down hills and catching fireflies. <<— Can you spot what’s missing from this list? Yep, cookie dough! I’ve been reading (and loving) this book on the seven essential life skills kids need lately, but in addition to skills there are experiences I want my littles to carry with them always. […]

Continue Reading...Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo)

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Couch forts, skipping rocks, snowball fights, rolling down hills and catching fireflies. <<— Can you spot what’s missing from this list? Yep, cookie dough! I’ve been reading (and loving) this book on the seven essential life skills kids need lately, but in addition to skills there are experiences I want my littles to carry with them always. Although sweets are an occasional treat in my house, you can bet that the memory of eating cookie dough is one of them!

Unfortunately, if you’ve ever made paleo versions of old favorites – this pizza for example – you know that while the finished recipe can be every bit as satisfying as the original, the mid-process recipe can be very, uh, different. For example, unlike traditional dough, my cauliflower crust is spreadable before it’s baked into crusty goodness.

Although we love our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, it doesn’t quite have the texture and flavor I loved as a child. For this cookie dough fudge, I adapted the base from my ice cream sandwiches to be softer and more chewy, while still retaining the browned butter flavor that makes the recipe. Even my cookie dough hating alien husband loved them, which is saying something. I hope they’re a hit at your house, too!

cookie-dough-fudge-recipe

4.5 from 2 reviews
Cookie Dough Fudge (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cut butter into four equal chunks and place in a light colored, shallow pan. Heat pan over medium high heat and stir butter until it is light brown and smells a little like hazelnuts. It's important to watch it closely or it will burn, but browning the butter is what makes this cookie dough fudge so delicious. See this tutorial if you're not quite sure what to look for. Allow butter to cool before moving on to the next step or your chocolate chips may melt a little. You can put it in the fridge if you're in a hurry.
  2. Add almond flour, cashew butter, maple syrup, vanilla, browned butter and sea salt to a food processor and mix thoroughly. If you don't have a food processor, add all dry ingredients to a bowl and mix, then add wet ingredient and mix again. I prefer the food processor because the dough is a little more smooth.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. This step takes a little elbow grease. Press dough into a bread pan lined with parchment paper and freeze for at least 5 hours. Cut into chunks before serving.

Continue Reading...Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo)

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Heather http://www.mommypotamus.com <![CDATA[Cheesy BLT Bites]]> http://www.mommypotamus.com/?p=47927 2016-08-25T13:37:23Z 2016-08-25T13:37:08Z Note from Mommypotamus: I’m always on the lookout for healthy snack ideas, which is why I’m so excited about this guest recipe from Kristen of Rethink Simple. They look scrumptious, don’t they? Thanks Kristen! This summer I’ve been overwhelmed with tomatoes of all shapes and sizes. Many have been preserved as sauces for winter use, but I also try to incorporate […]

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blt-stuffed-cherry-tomatoesNote from Mommypotamus: I’m always on the lookout for healthy snack ideas, which is why I’m so excited about this guest recipe from Kristen of Rethink Simple. They look scrumptious, don’t they? Thanks Kristen!

This summer I’ve been overwhelmed with tomatoes of all shapes and sizes. Many have been preserved as sauces for winter use, but I also try to incorporate them fresh whenever possible. Salad is a no brainer, but over the past few years I’ve always found myself with an abundance of sweet cherry tomatoes and not enough ways to use them. Until we made these.

As I’m sure you all know, a standard BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato) is a sandwich made up of 5 main ingredients: bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and bread. Drop the bread, swap the mayo for cream cheese, add a few finishing ingredients, stuff them inside of a cherry tomato and voila! You’ve got these BLT-style stuffed cherry tomatoes that are sure to be a hit!

blt-style-stuffed-cherry-tomatoes

Cheesy BLT Bites
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snacks
Ingredients
  • 20 cherry tomatoes (the bigger the better)
  • 8 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ½ cup cream cheese (full­fat)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped spinach
  • 1½ tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • dash of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Sit tomatoes on your cutting board. Cherry tomatoes will sit flat when placed top down (where they were attached to the stem faces your countertop). Once they are all sitting flat, slice a sliver off the top.
  2. Scoop out the pulp and seeds and set aside. You can discard or use for making salsa, pasta sauce, etc. I used my 1⁄4 tsp measuring cup to easily scoop out the pulp. A regular spoon was much too big for the job.
  3. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix. Spoon the filling into each tomato (again I used my 1⁄4 tsp measuring cup). To crumble the bacon I placed the cooked strips in unbleached parchment paper and crumpled it with my hand. Keep refrigerated, serve and enjoy!

 

Continue Reading...Cheesy BLT Bites

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