Chocolate Chip Cookie Granola Bars

healthy granola bars


  • 3/4 cup Trader Joes Cookie Butter or Biscoff Spread* (or use a nut butter of your choice)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3.5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 8×8 baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl, melt the cookie butter and coconut oil for about 1 minute in the microwave. Stir until combined and smooth. Melt for longer if needed. In a large bowl, beat the melted cookie butter/oil mixture, honey (or maple syrup if you are using it instead), egg, and vanilla until completely combined. Add in the oats, brown sugar, and salt. Mix well. Slowly stir in chocolate chips. The batter will be sticky.

Transfer to the prepared baking pan and press down, making sure the surface is flat and even. Bake 21-24 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

*If you can’t find TJs Cookie Butter of Biscoff spread, try using almond butter. The bars may not have the same chocolate chip cookie taste though. I used sugar free maple syrup, but feel free to use honey or regular maple syrup. I’ve tried it with both and they taste exactly the same. Try using different add-ins, like nuts or dried fruits (up to 2/3 cup total).  These granola bars are highly adaptable.

Vegan Pumpkin Mug Brownie Recipe

vegan pumpkin mug brownie


1/4 c. sugar

1/4 c. flour

2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tbsp. pumpkin puree (either homemade or canned)

2 tbsp. non-dairy milk

1 tbsp. dark chocolate chips

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

a pinch of salt

vanilla ice cream (optional)


Stir together all ingredients in a latte mug or small bowl. Microwave for 1 minute; continue to microwave at 15 second intervals until top of brownie is dry. Top with ice cream if desired.

via Vegan Pumpkin Mug Brownie Recipe.

The 5 Rules Golden Rules of Barbecuing

Barbecuing is just grilling with more sauce, right? Well, not exactly. When we talk about barbecued foods, we mean really smokey and sweet flavors! There are a few tricks that professionals swear by to infuse their food with the unmissable taste that makes dishes so irresistable. In an effort to help you perfect your Fourth of July feasts, today we sat down with Everyday Food’s Senior Associate Food Editor Samantha Seneviratne, who shared her sauciest advice.

1. Scratch the Surface. Stop buying bottles! Barbecue sauce doesn’t have to be complicated — it only takes about 20 minutes — and you probably have all of the ingredients you need right in your pantry.

2. Marinate Meat not Fish. Seafood gets tough when it sits in barbecue sauce. If you’re making fish, use the sauce to finish your dish.

3. When in doubt, opt for orange juice concentrate and sriracha. These are the secret weapons that will change the flavors in your dish. Orange juice concentrate adds great sweetness, while sriracha infuses your food with an unmistakable spicy flavor.

4. Watch your heat. The sugars in your sauce will cause it to burn quickly when it’s simmering on the stove. Keep a close eye on it while you’re prepping.

5. Divide and Conquer. Pour your sauce into two separate bowls immediately after you take it off the stove. You’ll avoid cross-contamination (if you’ve brushed the sauce on raw chicken, you can’t use it again) and will have enough leftover to serve alongside your meal.

via The 5 Rules Golden Rules of Barbecuing – Everyday Food Blog –

Freeze all the ingredients for a smoothie in a ziploc

A lot of people like smoothies. But few people make them at home. Because think of all the measuring, the effort, the mess.

8 healthy smoothies

It doesn’t have to be that way. Pick a few of these recipes, hit the grocery store, then make “smoothie packs” for the whole week by placing measured-out ingredients for each smoothie in a plastic bag. When you need to be refreshed, pull a bag out of the freezer, dump its contents in a blender, and YAY.

The below recipes are perfect because they only have three ingredients each and they use frozen fruits and veggies so you can skip the ice. You can freeze your own fruits and veggies if you’re not happy with the frozen stuff from the grocery store. You can even freeze the almond milk or coconut milks in ice trays, if you really want to impress someone.

8 Healthy Smoothies Made With 3 Ingredients

1. Strawberry Swing

How to: Place 8 frozen strawberries, ½ cup plain kefir or pourable plain yogurt, and ½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut into a blender. Blend until smooth. Serves 1.

Extras: Spark it up with 2 tablespoons rolled oats, pinch ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons flax meal, or protein powder.

2. Green Day

How to: Place ½ cup frozen kale, ½ cup frozen pineapple, ½ cup plain kefir or pourable plain yogurt, and ¼ cup water into a blender. Blend until smooth. Serves 1.

Extras: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to freak this one out.

3. Caribbean Queen

How to: Place 8 pieces frozen mango (about ¾ cup) and ½ cup So Delicious coconut milk into a blender. Blend until smooth. Then add 1 tablespoon chia seeds and pulse just a few times to combine. Serves 1.

Extras: You can add ground nutmeg, protein powder, or 2 tablespoons shredded, unsweetened coconut.

4. Bananarama

How to: Place 1 peeled frozen banana, 2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter, 2 tablespoons cacao powder, and 1/3 cup water into a blender. Blend until smooth. Serves 1.

Extras: Throw in protein powder, 2 tablespoons shredded, unsweetened coconut, a handful of raw almonds, pinch ground cinnamon, or 2 tablespoons rolled oats.

5. Not Easy Being Green

How to: Place 1 green apple (with skin, cored, and cut into chunks), ½ cup frozen spinach, ½-inch piece peeled, fresh ginger (cut into small pieces), and ½ cup water into a blender. Blend until smooth. Serves 1.

Extras: Blend in ½ of an avocado or fresh lime juice.

6. Channel Orange

How to: Place 1 red bell pepper (quartered, stem and seeds removed), 1 peeled navel orange, and 1 tablespoon coconut oil into a blender. Blend until smooth. Serves 1.

Extras: Spice it up with cayenne pepper or ground cinnamon.

7. Blue Magic

How to: Place ¾ cup frozen blueberries, 1 tablespoon almond butter, and ½ cup unsweetened almond milk into a blender. Blend until smooth. Serves 1.

Extras: Add 2 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut, a peeled frozen banana, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons rolled oats, ½-inch piece peeled, fresh ginger, or 2 tablespoons flax meal.

8. La Isla Bonita

How to: Place 1 peeled frozen banana, ½ cup frozen kale, and ½ cup coconut water into a blender. Blend until smooth. Serves 1.

Extras: Add a boost of protein powder, a handful of raw almonds, or ¼ cup frozen blueberries.

via 8 Healthy Smoothies Made With 3 Ingredients.

Top 8 Uses Of Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil has many uses, and almost as many health benefits. Used appropriately and with care, eucalyptus oil can be an excellent addition to your alternative medications. It has a wide range of actions; being useful for muscle aches and pains, rheumatoid arthritis, and poor circulation; bronchitis, colds, coughs, sinusitis, sore throats, flu, and asthma; burns, blisters, cuts, insect bites, and as an insect repellent; as well as headaches and neuralgia.


CAUTION: Never take eucalyptus oil internally. Although eucalyptus is used as a flavoring ingredient in some cough drops, medications and foods; the pure essential oil is toxic in even small doses. In addition, it should not be used at all on anyone with high blood pressure, heart disease, or epilepsy; and should never be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Eucalyptus oil should always be used diluted in a base oil like almond, coconut, or olive to prevent skin irritation; and should be kept away from eyes and mucus membranes. As long as these restrictions are followed, it is quite safe used externally. Although there are many possible uses, it is most effective for the following:

Eucalyptus Oil For Respiratory Problems

– Bronchitis: mixed at a rate of 10 drops of eucalyptus oil per tablespoon of carrier oil and rubbed on the chest over the lungs, it will ease coughing and help to break up chest congestion. It has an expectorant action, which makes it easier to cough up the mucus that causes it to be so difficult to breathe; and is an antispasmodic that will reduce non-productive coughing and ease the coughing “spasms.” In addition, it has antimicrobial action, which, combined with the expectorant action that clears the lungs of mucus, can help to prevent developing an infection with the bronchitis.

– Sinusitis: Using 5 drops of eucalyptus oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil rub a small amount over the sinuses to reduce congestion and the chance of developing an infection. When using in this area, apply very lightly, and keep it well away from the eyes.

– Colds and flu: In addition to the symptom relief listed above for bronchitis and sinusitis, eucalyptus essential oil helps to ease the aches and pains that come with colds and flu when the oil mixture is added to an epsom salt bath. Increase the amount of eucalyptus oil to 15 drops in a tablespoon of carrier oil, and add to a warm bath with two cups of epsom salt. (See the asthma warning at the end of the next paragraph before using this method.)

Another method of use for the respiratory problems listed above is to bring one and a half quarts of water to a boil, pour into a heatproof bowl, and add three drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Keeping your face far enough away from the pot to prevent burning yourself with the steam, lean over the bowl and drape a large towel over your head and the bowl to create a “tent” that will hold in the steam. Breathe normally for up to 15 minutes, and repeat as needed.

This is excellent for getting the oil into direct contact with any bacteria or viruses in your lungs or sinuses and breaking up congestion. (If you have asthma, use this method with extreme caution, especially if you tend to react to strong scents. Keep your emergency inhaler close by in case it’s needed, and make sure there is someone with you the first time you try it. Sniff the eucalyptus oil while it’s still in the bottle to see if it is an irritant. If there is no reaction, you can try the steam, but have your “safety person” ready to take the steaming water out of the house if it triggers an asthma attack.)


Eucalyptus Oil For Pain Relief

– Muscle aches and pains or neuralgia: using the same mixtures as for respiratory issues, either rub the oil on the aching area, or take a warm bath with epsom salt and the oil blend.

– Headaches: mix one tablespoon of carrier oil with 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Apply a small amount to the temples, massaging in with a gentle circular motion and keeping well away from the eyes. Massage the remaining oil into the neck at the base of the skull.

– Poor circulation: Using 10 drops of eucalyptus oil per tablespoon of carrier oil, massage the area with long, firm strokes. Always massage toward the heart, lifting your hands away from your body and returning to the beginning area, not rubbing back and forth.


Eucalyptus Oil For Insects

– Bites: To ease the itching and irritation of insect bites, mix at the rate of 10 drops of eucalyptus oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil. Apply a drop or two of this mixture to bites, massaging in a circular motion and extending a bit past the bite itself.

– Insect repellent: For this you will need

  • glass spray bottle –  (essential oils will dissolve plastic eventually, and will absorb chemicals from the plastic as well,)
  • 1 teaspoon jojoba oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons citronella essential oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lavender essential oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon eucalyptus essential oil, and
  • 8 oz. Distilled witch hazel

Mix the oils in the spray bottle and shake well, then add the witch hazel and shake again. Spray on your body and clothes, being careful to keep it out of your eyes, nose and mouth. Reapply as needed, shaking well before each use.



5 Simple Acne Masks To Make At Home

Why spend money on acne masks when you can easily make your own at home?



Acne masks are a special type of facial masks used to clear acne lesions from the face. They are similar to regular facial masks used in routine skin care sessions but they contain ingredients with anti-acne properties.

There are some advantages to making your own acne mask. First, if you decide to try a homemade mask, you can experiment with the ingredients used and the amounts in which they are mixed. This allows you to find the perfect formula for your skin.

The problem with pre-mixed products sold at the drugstore is that they follow fixed formulas. Their ingredients are mixed in fixed ratios and they are formulated for the typical skin. Everyone’s skin is different so these products will never work for everyone.

The unique nature of our skin is the reason we get different results from skincare products and topical medications.

Yet another reason to make your own acne masks at home is that the kind of mask you need will depend on the severity and type of your acne. Acne masks are not all equal. Some are milder on the skin than others.


Key Considerations for Acne Masks

– People with oily skin types should use clay-based acne masks. Clay-based acne masks generally refer to masks made with high-absorbent ingredients. These ingredients provide an overall astringent effect that removes excess sebum from the face.

– People with dry skin types should use hydrating masks. Such masks are made with ingredients that provide an overall moisturizing effect.  For example, jojoba oil can soothe and moisturize the skin even while reducing sebum secretion.

– People with sensitive skin types should avoid acne masks made with potential irritants. Instead, this skin type needs herbal extracts that soothe the skin.

– If you have an oily complexion, make your acne mask into a paste and allow it to dry and set after applying it.

– Mix your acne mask into a creamy consistency if your skin is dry and/or sensitive.

– Apply your acne mask with a makeup brush instead of slathering the cream or paste on your face with your fingers.

– Masks that are to be removed quickly should not be allowed to set on the face while longer duration masks can be allowed to dry and set.

– Rinse off acne masks with warm water. Dry masks may have to be peeled off or removed by wiping with a clean, damp cloth.

– Apply an oil-free moisturizer and sunscreen on your face after removing an acne mask.

– Acne masks with soothing, mild ingredients are to be re-applied regularly but those formulated with harsh exfoliants should not be used too frequently.


5 Simple Acne Masks

Acne masks do not have to follow complicated recipes and they do not have to include a long list of active ingredients. In fact, the most effective acne masks are the simple ones. They are easily prepared and they lower the chances of two active agents reacting together and damaging your skin.

Here are 5 of the best acne masks that you can make from household items you already have.


Oatmeal Mask

Cook 5 tablespoons in a little water for 5 minutes. Put the boiling oatmeal down and allow it to set for 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of honey into the oatmeal, and mix together until it cools and forms into a paste.

Apply this oatmeal paste on your acne-covered face. Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

This oatmeal mask is an example of an acne mask for oily skin types. It is also tolerated by people with sensitive skins. It works because the oatmeal paste absorbs oil from the skin and dries inflamed acne lesion. The added honey is optional but it greatly improves its effectiveness.


Yogurt Mask

Get some plain yogurt that has not liquefied. Apply it on your acne-covered skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes then wash off with warm water.

Yogurt makes an excellent acne mask for removing the acne-causing bacteria from the face.


Egg Mask

Break a medium-size egg and separate the egg yolk. Beat the egg yolk in a separate bowl until if forms into a uniform creamy liquid.

Apply this wet mask on the face, and leave it on for 10 minutes before wiping off with clean cloth and rinsing your face with water.

This egg white mask may be runny but it actually helps dry the face. It is suited for those with oily skin types. Egg white also helps tighten the skin and improve its tone.


Tomato Mask

Tomato mask needs no extra preparation. Simply cut a medium-sized tomato into slices then drain the slices of juice and seeds.

Lie down on your back and place the tomato slices on the face. Leave them on for 15 minutes before discarding them. Wash your face with warm water.

Tomato contains natural acids and other active ingredients with astringent properties. Therefore, those with oily and sensitive skin types should avoid it. It is especially effective against inflammatory acne lesions such as pimples and nodules.


Honey Mask

Honey is perhaps the most common ingredient in acne masks. It is routinely added to other anti-acne ingredients used in masks.  This is because of the special properties of honey especially in acne treatment.

Honey is a supersaturated solution of simple sugars; therefore, it needs moisture. By drawing water from bacterial cells, honey can kill off acne-causing bacteria. It also contains antibacterial agents such as MGO or methylglyoxal.

Of the different types of honey, Manuka honey is the most medicinal. It is the one you should get if you can find it. 

 For a simple honey mask, simply rub 1 teaspoon of Manuka honey on your face and let it stand for 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. However, honey can be combined with just about any other acne masks.

Some other anti-acne agents that you can easily find at home and combine with honey to make simple masks are lemon juice, apple, milk, yogurt, cinnamon, kelp and aloe vera.

Top 7 Natural Beauty Treatments From Around The World


Here are seven splendid ideas from all around the world on how to give yourself some inexpensive and natural beauty treatments.

Natural nourishment for hair

Ancient Chinese practitioners used this method for looking after and retaining their hair. Five thousand years later, you can do the same by using ginseng root and steeping slices of the root in a glass teapot or Pyrex jug of boiling water for an hour. Rinse washed hair in the brew for a vitamin-rich and effective anti-aging nourishment for the hair plus a treatment against hair loss.

Natural coffee body scrub

Many Russian women use wet coffee grounds as a body scrub, making the ideal gentle exfoliant because they are not too abrasive.  In addition, caffeine (when used externally) works as a natural stimulant to break down fatty deposits that lead to cellulite.  Massaged into moist skin, coffee grinds will get rid of those flaky, dry layers to leave the skin softer.


Natural soother for the feet

In Bali, the local women cover the base of a large bowl with smooth stones before topping up with warm water and a few drops of jasmine oil or eucalyptus oil and some tropical flowers.  They give their feet a lovely, long soak to relax the muscles, joints and tendons.  While the oil is a natural pain reliever, the warmth of the water brings blood flow to the feet and the smooth stones gently massage them.

Nut oils hydration for the skin

Brazil is the source of many wonderful nuts and seeds and of course their oils. Our legs could do with some TLC especially if we shave or wax them and using a nut oil will hydrate and smooth the skin, promote healing and restore any moisture that has been lost.  Warm the oil before applying directly to the skin or allow the oil to cool to a thicker consistency first.

Tea-tree oil skin cleanser

Originating from Australia, tea-tree oil is widely known for its natural healing properties.  Use just a drop to dab on a pimple where its antibiotic component will go to work.  Tea tree oil is a natural astringent, effective in clearing clogged pores and soothing any puffiness.

A rice mask to purify the skin

Rice is used by some Asian women to deep-cleanse their skin while getting rid of unwanted oil.  They do this by soaking a cup of rice in warm water for just 30 minutes so that the starch rises to the surface.  Then they make a paste by blending the water with some rice flour before applying to the skin and leaving for 10 minutes.  After absorbing excess oil and exfoliating and lightening the skin, the mask is then removed with cool water.

Rose geranium skin toner

These flowers come from the floral kingdom of South Africa and are renowned for reducing inflammation and healing wounds.  You can use 4 to 5 drops of rose geranium essential oil or you can make your own brew by placing some rose geranium flowers, leaves and stems in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes, and allowing to cool before using as a toner.  Alternatively, while the brew is still very hot, place a towel over your head, close your eyes and lean over the bowl to inhale the vapor for a few therapeutic minutes before rinsing your face several times with the cooled water.

Take care of your hair and skin with these seven suggestions for a younger, more nourished you.

Soothing Lavender Foot Scrub

I love to whip up a good body scrub; it only takes a few minutes and makes a wonderful gift (or special treat for me).

An effective scrub can be made with one cup of sugar or salt and ¼ to ½ cup of oil. Adding herbs provides extra scent and texture.

The ingredients in this scrub work together to buff away dead skin cells and revel fresh, smooth skin. The salt exfoliates while the oil moisturizes. The lavender buds and essential oil add a touch of fragrance that relaxes and calms.

1 Cup fine Sea Salt or Epsom salt
¼-1/2 Cup Oil (grapeseed, sweet almond or olive)
8 drops Lavender Essential Oil
2 tablespoon dried Lavender Buds


1. Measure salt and lavender buds into a clean bowl.

2. Add 1/4 cup of  oil and stir until it is distributed evenly. If it seems to dry, add another tablespoon of oil. Continue adding oil until you are happy with the consistency.

3. Add essential oil. Stir well.

4. Scoop into a clear jar and label.

To Use:

Using fingertips, apply scrub to damp feet, rubbing back and forth. Pay extra attention to any rough spots.

Wash off with warm water and follow with moisturizer or body oil.

Recipe Notes:

This recipe can be easily adapted to include different herbs and essential oils; just replace the lavender buds with another herb, and the essential oil with one that matches or compliments the herb.

It would also be nice to reduce the salt slightly and increase the amount of lavender buds. The exfoliating experience will be gentler and the fragrance stronger.

Turn this into a foot soak by placing feet into a basin filled with warm water. After scrubbing, allow feet to sit in the water while the salt dissolves.

Soothing Lavender Foot Scrub | Frugal Granola.

Hair Care Treatments DIY

Eggs, yogurt and honey are, at first glance, all components of a tasty breakfast — but they also happen to be hair treatment ingredients, and affordable, all-natural ones at that. And they’re not the only ones. Did you know, for instance, that the oils in avocados more closely resemble our own skin’s oils than any product in the beauty aisle does? Or that the mild acidity in lemon is an effective — and gentler — alternative to chemical-laden products? Next time your locks need a lift, save money by using one of these kitchen fixes.

For all hair types

“The [raw] egg is really the best of all worlds,” says Janice Cox, author of “Natural Beauty at Home”. The yolk, rich in fats and proteins, is naturally moisturizing, while the white, which contains bacteria-eating enzymes, removes unwanted oils, she explains.
To use: For normal hair, use the entire egg to condition hair; use egg whites only to treat oily hair; use egg yolks only to moisturize dry, brittle hair, Cox says. Use 1/2 cup of whichever egg mixture is appropriate for you and apply to clean, damp hair. If there isn’t enough egg to coat scalp and hair, use more as needed. Leave on for 20 minutes, rinse with cool water (to prevent egg from “cooking”) and shampoo hair. Whole egg and yolks-only treatments can be applied once a month; whites-only treatment can be applied every two weeks.
For dull hair
Styling products (as well as air pollution) can leave a film that both saps moisture and dulls shine — but dairy products like sour cream and plain yogurt can help reverse this damage. “Lactic acid gently strips away dirt while the milk fat moisturizes,” says Lisa Belkin, author of “The Cosmetics Cookbook”.
To Use: Massage 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt into damp hair and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, followed by cool water, then shampoo hair as you normally would. Treatment can be applied every other week.
For itchy scalp
To fight flakes — brought on by poor diet, stress and climate, among other factors — try a lemon juice and olive oil mixture in your hair. “The acidity in lemon juice helps rid your scalp of any loose, dry flakes of skin, while the olive oil moisturizes the [newly exposed] skin on your head,” says Cox.
To Use: Mix 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons water, and massage into damp scalp. Let mixture sit for 20 minutes, then rinse and shampoo hair. Treatment can be applied every other week.
For limp or fine hair
To add body to hair, reach for an unlikely beauty beverage: beer! The fermented drink contains generous supplies of yeast, which works to plump tired tresses, explains Cox.
To use: Mix 1/2 cup flat beer (pour beer into a container and let it sit out for a couple of hours to deplete carbonation) with 1 teaspoon light oil (sunflower or canola) and a raw egg. Apply to clean, damp hair, let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse with cool water. Or add flat beer only to a spray bottle and spritz onto dry hair. “When the liquid evaporates, the remaining protein residue (from the wheat, malt or hops) continues to strengthen and structure hair,” says Belkin. Treatments can be applied every other week.
For dry or sun-damaged hair
Whatever your hair-dehydrating demon — hard water, sun overexposure, your trusty flat iron — nature’s sweetener can help. “Honey is a natural humectant, which means it attracts and locks in moisture,” says Cox.
To use: Massage approximately 1/2 cup honey into clean, damp hair, let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. You can also add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil to loosen the honey for easier application. For extremely sun-damaged hair, trying mixing honey with 1 to 2 tablespoons of a protein-rich ingredient, like avocado or egg yolk, which will help replenish the keratin protein bonds that UV rays attack. Treatment can be applied once a month.
For oily or greasy hair
“Used properly, [cornmeal or cornstarch] is an inexpensive way to remove oil and grease,” says Belkin.
To use: Pour 1 tablespoon cornmeal or cornstarch into an empty salt or pepper shaker and sprinkle onto dry hair and scalp until you’ve used it all. After 10 minutes, use a paddle hairbrush to completely brush it out. Treatment can be applied every other day.
For frizzy hair
Home beauty experts swear by avocado — and not just to repair damaged hair. Its oils (which are light and moist like our own natural skin secretions) and proteins boast the best combination of nutrients for smoothing and weighing down unruly hair, explains Cox.
To use: Mash up half an avocado and massage into clean, damp hair. Let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with water. Amp up moisturizing power by combining mashed avocado with 1 to 2 tablespoons of a hydrating ingredient, like sour cream, egg yolks or mayonnaise. Treatment can be applied every two weeks.
For residue-ridden hair
“Nothing eats through product buildup like baking soda,” Cox says. Sodium bicarbonate essentially breaks down anything acidic.
To Use: Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons baking soda with small amounts of water until a thick paste forms. Massage into damp hair and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with water, then shampoo hair. Treatment can be applied every two weeks.
This article was written by Brynn Mannino and is reprinted with permission from

How To Make Vegan Butter


I did a post about a week or two ago on the problem with Palm Oil. I had a lot of requests after the Palm Oil post for vegan butter alternatives to products like Earth Balance. The lovely @KateVeltkamp shared this recipe with me off so I thought I’d share it with you. ⏩

How to Make (Regular) Vegan Butter by Mattie:

¼ cup + 2 teaspoons soy milk ✳1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

¼ + 1/8 teaspoon salt

½ cup + 2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon refined coconut oil, melted

1 Tablespoon canola oil, safflower oil or sunflower oil

1 teaspoon liquid soy lecithin -or- liquid sunflower lecithin -or- 2 ¼ teaspoons soy lecithin granules ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum.

1⃣  Place the soy milk, apple cider vinegar and salt in a small cup and whisk together with a fork. Let it sit for about 10 minutes so the mixture curdles.

2⃣  Melt the coconut oil in a microwave so it’s barely melted and as close to room temperature as possible. Measure it and add it and the canola oil to a food processor. Making smooth vegan butter is dependent on the mixture solidifying as quickly as possible after it’s mixed. This is why it’s important to make sure your coconut oil is as close to room temperature as possible before you mix it with the rest of the ingredients.

3⃣  Add the soy milk mixture, soy lecithin and xanthan gum to the food processor. Process for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides halfway through the duration. Pour the mixture into a mold and place it in the freezer to solidify. An ice cube mold works well. The vegan butter should be ready to use in about an hour. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer for up to 1 year. Makes 1 cup (215 grams), or the equivalent of 2 sticks vegan butter.