Friday, April 12, 2013

Muffin Cookies

It's been a long long time since I've made cookies.  I just couldn't take it.  Had to get back on that horse.

But with baby around, I have to be a little more conscientious about what I bake.

You know I like to make my cookies SLIGHTLY healthier with little changes like oil instead of butter, whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, etc.

But for my baby?  Doesn't feel like enough!

Call me crazy.  Go ahead.  Do it.

Anyway, with healthiness in mind, I made these cookies with apple sauce instead of oil, honey instead of white sugar, whole wheat flour, and less brown sugar.  I had to add more flour to the recipe to thicken the dough.  In the end, they came out tasting like kind of awesome muffins.  If I make this again, I'll put it in a muffin tin and add in some shredded zucchini, apple, and a dash of cinnamon.

Oatmeal Muffin Cookies

  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 3/4 C honey
  • 1 C apple sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 C Old Fashioned Oats
  • Optional add-ins: raisins, craisins, chocolate chips, shredded zucchini, shredded carrot, chopped apple, blueberries
  1. Mix brown sugar, honey, apple sauce, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Combine flour mixture with sugar mixture
  4. Mix in oats.
  5. Spoon onto baking sheet or into muffin tins.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes (for cookies.  Probably more like 20-25 mins for muffins).
  6. Let cool for a few mins before removing to a cooling rack.  Munch munch, and feed to kiddies.

Update (7/24/2013): I have, since this post, attempted to make this into muffins, once successfully, and once quite unsuccessfully. The successful time, I forgot the oats and added shredded zucchini and carrots. Result was moist, lightly sweet, and found incredible favor with my toddler. The unsuccessful time, I included the oats, zucchini, and carrots, but used pumpkin instead of apple sauce and reduced the sugars. It came out kinda...solid. Not tasty. Very awful. Toddler wouldn't touch it.

Last week I did cookies again, basing it on the "Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies" from the Quaker Oats canister. I used whole wheat flour, craisins instead of raisins, added shredded zucchini, replaced the white sugar with honey, and replaced the butter with half coconut oil and half peanut butter. Results were again awesome and well-received by the toddler community.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

DIY Homemade All-Natural Hippy Deoderant: Why I'm Making The Switch

Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm not exactly into the all-natural, anti-chemicals, crunchy granola, hippy lifestyle.  Not to knock anyone going that path, but it's just not for me.  I'm pretty attached to a lot of the chemicals in my day to day life.

So it may surprise you to learn that I've been trying to get into some of this natural DIY stuff.  Don't be alarmed, it's not for fear of chemicals.  It's just because I love that feeling when I use things I made myself.  So if I can make it, without spending TOO much time or money, and it will work as well or better than the products I buy, why not go for it?

My first step was to do a lot of reading and pick a few products with easy to find ingredients.  I started with lotion bars using a simple recipe of coconut oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, and essential oils. (click links for recipe and where to find ingredients)

After making that basic recipe and coming away with some pretty nice lotion bars at a pretty decent price, I wanted to move on.

This may be TMI, so if you're really sensitive to that kind of thing, skip this paragraph, but I sweat a lot.  I find that even in cooler weather, I end up soaking the armpits of my shirts.  I'm not overly smelly, just wet, and that's not fun.  Over the years I've tried many, many, many different brands of deodorant trying to find just the right one so I can stop ruining my clothes.  Then, while reading up on DIY projects, I saw a good number of people claiming that aluminum-free, all-natural, homemade deodorant actually made them sweat less over time.  I figured, what's the harm in trying it?

So I tried it.

For a month.

And it's not half bad.

Don't get me wrong, I still sweat, but I really don't sweat as much as I used to.  I don't find myself smelling any worse either.  And this stuff is ridiculously easy to make once you get all the ingredients.  In fact, my ONLY complaints are that it goes on a little sticky at first and that I'm not crazy about the essential oils I used to scent it.  Next time, I'll skip the essential oils altogether.

So without further ado, let me link you to the recipe I used from Wellness Mama.

Some notes:

  • I used coconut oil, beeswax, and cocoa butter again for the base of this recipe.
  • I used baby powder instead of arrowroot powder because I had no arrowroot on hand.  You can probably just use straight corn starch if you'd rather avoid talc.
  • She mentions you should cut down on the baking soda in the recipe if you have sensitive skin.  I used the regular amount and have had no problems, but use your own judgment here.
  • I did not have any probiotic capsules on hand either, so I left it out.  If you use it, let me know how it goes.
  • I used the following essential oils: tea tree (for it's antibacterial properties), lemon (for antibacterial properties), and lavender (to cover up the other smells).  The scent combinations didn't pan out for me, though my husband likes it. I personally think it smells a little too hippy-ish for me.
I think this is worth trying out, wherever you fall on the crunchy spectrum.  If you buy the ingredients and it doesn't work out for you, you can always make lotions instead.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment and I'll try my best to answer.  But remember, I'm NOT an expert.

Update (7/24/13): As summer has set in, I have abandoned my hippy deoderant. I was sweating way too much. And I felt kind gross. I'm back on the aluminum stuff and feeling a little more hygienic, but I may switch back when the weather cools off.