Monday, June 11, 2012

Ghee Homemade

I have never heard of Ghee or have never seen it at the store.  I have heard some stores carry it for a hefty price but why would I want to use it.  I have always had a reaction to real butter, so I did not use it.  I have used fake, over processed, "You think its butter" products.  Then I stumbled upon Ghee.
It is just clarified butter but has some great qualities.  If you have sensitivities to dairy and butter, ghee is the way to go.

Start with Butter,  Organic is best if you can.
Set in a metal dish or pan and place in the oven at its lowest temp.
Set until it is fully melted, 1 and a half hours -3 hours to make sure the moisture is evaporated.
Then put in the fridge to harden.  Once it is hardened pull out and wipe off the white curds.  They do not re harden, it will be drippy and easy to wipe.  Some brands float to the top and can be scraped off when it is pulled out of the oven.  The brand I used the whey sinks to the bottom.  I have found it much easier to let it set then wipe off the whey.

 The Whey is at the bottom.  It is a white color, easy to see what needs to be separated.

The great thing about Ghee is it adds great flavor to cooking without burning like butter does.  It also has great restorative abilities.

*My Norwegian ancestors used Ghee with Fermented cod liver oil on the bedsides of deathly ill patients to bring them back to health. 

*It is an easily digested fat that can decrease the risk of cardio vascular disease.( if eaten in moderation)

* It has shown to improve weight loss.

* Helps improve digestion  and aids absorption of vitamins and minerals.

* Has anti viral properties

* Immunity boosting

* a great fat for brain development in children.
* It can last outside the fridge for long periods with out going rancid.  Make sure it is kept away from water for long lasting Ghee.
* Doesn't loose its flavor like butter does over time.

Source   source

Saturday, June 9, 2012

DIY Vapor rub

Vick's vapor rub is one of my favorite products, I just do not think I can live with out it.  But I just do not like the petroleum jelly it is made from.  I have read about petroleum jelly and see that it has some great benefits.  { I believe only come from its sealing ability on the skin} I think those benefits are the same for other oils like coconut oil and Shea butter.
Here is the list form Vick's of ingredients:
Inactive Ingredients
"Regular: Cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, special petrolatum, thymol, turpentine oil
Lemon: Cedarleaf oil, lemon fragrance, nutmeg oil, special petrolatum, thymol, turpentine oil"

Do you want turpentine oil on your skin?

You may not think that a topical use product needs to be organic or used from non petroleum products, I would suggest doing a test.  Cut a clove of garlic and rub it on your heel.  It takes a minute for the taste of garlic in your mouth.  You can also do this with Vick's and feel the coolness go through your blood as it moves up your legs.  Your skin is taking it inside your body.  This means your organs have to clean it out of your blood.  Another reason I did not want to use Vick's is that petroleum jelly should not be placed in the nose.  Guess where everyone puts Vick's?   If it is inhaled it collects in the lungs and can cause a rare disease called lipoid pneumonia.

It is easy to make some at home and you can customize it for your family.

I started with an empty vitamin container and some coconut oil.  Any oil will do to get the essential oils on the skin.  Even a lotion base will work.

Coconut oil 2-3 tablespoons
Rosemary  oil7 drops  Great for relieving pain and clearing congestion
Eucalyptus oil 10 drops Great for clearing sinuses
lavender 6 drops Clears sinuses and relaxes
peppermint 8 drops Clears sinuses

You can also try Thyme, cedar, and campor { which is in Vick's} Pine, spruce.
There are many oils that improve congestion, coughing, and asthma symptoms.  I added lavender to help calm and help sleeping.  I just used what I had on hand.  You may try sharing your oils with friends to make all the different mixes with out buying it all yourself.

Once you choose your oils and carrier oil like Olive oil, Grape seed oil, Shea butter, Ghee {clarified butter}, or plain lotion.  Add in your essential oils  to your liking.  I rub it on the chest and heels of the feet.  It works for about four hours.  I have been using it for Little mans teething.  It clears up his constant runny nose from his new incoming teeth well.

I did melt my coconut oil and mixed in the essential oils.  I wanted it to dry smooth to look more store bought.  I am still a sucker for pretty things. 

Soon to come is making Homemade Ghee.

Vapor bath balms.

Other uses for essential oils.

Eucalyptus Oil  Uses
Rosemary Uses
Lavender uses
Peppermint uses

Friday, June 8, 2012

Homemade Greek Yogurt

I am back after taking a bit of a break.  It seems that I can be too busy.  I have had time to do some projects just not time enough to post.  This week is my Algebra final, so my brain may again function normally.  My next set of college courses are much more artistic, to my relief. Now that I am home with my children I have time to spend on our family health and improve our eating habits.  One thing I decided to try is making my own Yogurt.  Once you have made yogurt there are several things you can make from it. 

I started with my favorite milk in a glass jar.  I made sure it was not Homogenized, which is a process to make sure it does not separate.  I wanted as little processing as possible for the best nutritional value.  You certainly can use your favorite milk you have always used.
One gallon of milk
1/2 cup of Whey or plain yogurt store bought, or yogurt starter.
Yes it is that simple.

 Put your milk in to a pan and heat to 115 degrees.  I used a candy thermometer but your wrist can give you a good indication of temperature. {You don't want it to boil, heat slowly}  Let it cool to just above body temp at 105.  Then add in your starter of choice.  I have made it from all three and it has always turned out.  I mix the yogurt starter in some milk and add it in. Or just add in your plain yogurt.  Whey can be made when you drip yogurt to make Greek yogurt or cream cheese.{ shown below}  Once you add in your starter and mix it. You will want to cover it and set in a heater place.  Using a towel to cover on a heat pad over night or in a lightly heated oven.  I heated my oven and turned it off then placed the crock in.  By morning I had a gallon of yogurt.
Here is how you make Greek yogurt.  Once your yogurt is made use a coffee filter in a strainer, cover with wrap and place in the fridge all day.  It drips off whey that can be saved in a glass jar for some time.  It can also be frozen for use later.  Whey is a pro biotic food and is great to add over foods your family eats.  I put a spoon full over vegetables and in soups.  It can also be used for Lac to Fermenting foods. It is a way of saving money on buying pro-biotic pills, use whey in drinks or over foods instead.  

Why Probiotic foods?
Pro-biotics are beneficial gut flora that breaks down your food and feeds the cells.  This bacteria is very important in the digestive system to utilize nutrients from your foods.  Adding in fermented (pro-biotic) Foods helps your digestive system work more smoothly. {I am sure you have seen the yogurt commercials}  I wanted to make my own yogurt to ensure it had only healthy ingredients.  It is easy to add fruit and honey to it.  
Here is a resource on Probiotic foods.