Sunday, February 23, 2014

Perfect Paleo Bread For Toast, Sandwiches, and More!

I think that when going Paleo the best thing we can do is re-frame how we think about foods. Instead of just making a whole bunch of replacements for what we're used to eating: breads, cereals, brownies... a better approach is to focus on new foods, tastes, combinations.

That's been my philosophy for my family as we transitioned to Paleo and definitely for myself as I'm trying to lose weight on Paleo. 

However, my boys miss sandwiches. I get that. So, I was working on an almond flour bread recipe that would hold together well enough to make a sandwich as the occasional treat.

Many, many loaves later I thought I had the perfect recipe. However, every stinkin' time Darran made my recipe it turned out better than when I made it! Seriously?!

So, I began stalking him when he made it to figure out what he was doing differently. I think I finally figured it out. I give you Darran's Perfect Paleo Bread...

Perfect Paleo Bread
3 1/2 cups unblanched almond flour (we buy 50 lbs of this kind and store in freezer/refrigerator) Make sure not to pack almond flour as you measure or you'll wind up with a too thick dough.
5 eggs (we have our own chickens, egg quality definitely affects the consistency of this bread)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon raw honey

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat eggs with mixer. Add in remaining ingredients. Mix well. Grease a glass bread pan heavily with coconut oil. Bake 40 minutes. 

 This recipe makes great toast. I just can't eat a dippy egg without toast, can you?

 Sometimes we have a little grass-fed butter and honey on it as a treat for breakfast. YUM.

 And yep, you can even make sandwiches with it!

Let me know if you try it.

 Feel free to share links to my posts or to pin them, but do not re-post my full recipes on your blog, Pinterest, Tumblr, recipe sharing sites, or any other website (or publication). Please understand that blogging is my livelihood. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Natural Home Recipe: Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap

While I was pregnant I found that I had very little time or energy (or let's be honest, desire) to make my own laundry soap. I began buying Charlie's Soap and used that throughout my pregnancy and immediately after. While I love that soap it is a little pricey. 

I also hadn't been completely happy with my original homemade laundry soap recipe; it just wasn't doing a great job on our whites.

I tinkered. I came up with this:

DIY Powdered Laundry Soap
2 Cups Borax
2 Cups Washing Soda
2 Cups Baking Soda (No, I'm not picky about the type of baking soda for this recipe. Questions about aluminum and baking soda? Crunchy Betty has a great post on that here.)

 Yep, that's it. 

Scoop ingredients into your container and then put the lid on and give it a good shake. I sometimes mix it with a fork as well just to be sure the ingredients combine completely.

I use a Tablespoon as a scoop. (If you have an old Charlie's Soap container and scoop they will work perfectly).

Use 2 to 4 Tablespoons per load depending on the size of the load and how soiled it is. 

I have only ever used this in warm or hot water, so I cannot say how it would fair with cold water washes. Also, I only have a top-loading machine, so I cannot say how it would do in a front-loader. (If anyone tries this recipe in cold water or a front-loading machine please let us know how it does in the comments!)

I have used this recipe for about 5 months on all of our laundry except the cloth diapers. It may do fine for diapers, but I'm just not brave enough to try it (I'll share my cloth diaper wash routine in another post soon!).

 It does amazingly well! Even Baby O's white bibs come out great.

My laundry routine using this homemade soap recipe:

  1. Pre-treat with Fels-Naptha. Any spots/stains that look like they may be a problem I pre-treat with a bar of Fels-Naptha. I simply wet the garment, scrub with the bar, and let sit a couple of minutes. Then add to the load.How to pretreat stains with Fels-Naptha
  2. Add the powder and let washer fill 1/4 to 1/2 way with warm or hot water before adding clothes. 
  3. Add white vinegar in the rinse cycle. I used to make homemade fabric softener for this, but find that I don't really smell the vinegar or the essential oils once the clothes are dry. It seemed a waste of essential oils, so now I simply keep a gallon of white vinegar in the laundry room and add 1/4 to 1 cup to the rinse cycle (depending on what I'm washing, for example, hubby's work clothes get a full cup).

Have you tried making your own laundry soap? I'd love you to check back in the comments if you try this recipe!

Feel free to share links to my posts or to pin them, but do not re-post my full recipes on your blog, Pinterest, Tumblr, recipe sharing sites, or any other website (or publication). Please understand that blogging is my livelihood.