Homemade, Vegan Nut Milk Recipes and More

If you’re making nut milks for better health, there are a few rules you’ll want to adhere to. First and foremost, kudos for making your own. Homemade is always better when done right. But to do it right, skip the soy milk. It’s no good. When buying almonds, make sure they are not pasteurized. Buy raw nuts. Cashews aren’t really raw, so they’re not the healthiest choice, but I do use them sometimes.

Contents

soak & Sprout

PRE-MILKING: Soak and Sprout Times for Nuts

Before you milk your nuts, it is best to soak them. There’s a lot of conflicting information about soak times for nuts but I personally soak nuts for 24 hours and then dehydrate them at 112°F in our dehydrator or at room temperature if the air is dry enough.

how long to soak nuts seeds beans
I soak raw nuts to remove enzyme inhibitors and activate enzymes. I don’t soak seeds, but some do. I don’t soak cashews because I think that nut is already dead, but as you can see from the infographics on the left, there is some disagreement.

soak sprout chart

How to Make Nut Milk with a Blender

This recipe yields 5 cups or just over a liter and takes less than ten minutes. I’ve used almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, pecans, and walnuts for this standard nut milk recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups water (some nuts and some circumstances require a little more or less)
  • 1 cup of raw, soaked nuts
  • 1-3 pitted dates or use stevia, raw honey, or maple syrup to taste (all sweeteners are optional; you may prefer unsweetened nut milk to drink or for use in recipes)

Instructions

  1. Place ingredients in a blender and secure lid.
  2. Turn blender on high, but not too fast or for too long if you want raw milk.  (Too fast or too long will cook the enzymes!)
  3. Blend for about 45 seconds or until desired consistency is reached.
  4. If you like thinner milk (most do, but I usually keep the fiber), strain it with cheesecloth, pantyhose (unworn would be a good idea here), or muslin cloth and a fine mesh strainer, but many prefer to use a reinforced nut milk bag.
  5. Store milk in refrigerator.
  6. Shake well before using.

Notes:

  • The less strained a nut milk is, the higher its fiber content.
  • I don’t recommend straining cashew milk.
  • If you use raw honey, do not use the milk for baking, cooking, coffee, hot tea, etc. if you want to retain the benefits of raw honey.
  • I blend with 3 cups first, and then decide if I want some of the fourth cup.

The following are a few other nut milk and non-dairy recipes with videos. These videos are not our videos, so the recipes don’t always exactly match, but as you’ll see reading on, making nut, seed, rice, and other non-dairy milks is really just about blending together water with something fatty (like almonds) to flavor the water. The trick is how to have a finished product with the right consistency and taste balance. Play around and find your own nut milk style and groove.

Making Almond Milk with a Blender

almond milk recipe meme

Making Almond Milk with a Slow Juicer

Masticating verticle juicers such as the Omega VRT 350 or 400 and horizontal twin gear juicers can be used to make nut milks. In my experience, the single gear juicers like mine don’t do so well (see the video below).

The video indicates the 8004 (single gear) left behind a delicious nut cream. I tried it, and it worked well. I put the weak nut milk in a blender and added more almonds, lightly strained and had great milk.

Other Non-dairy Milk Recipes

Nut milks are rich and creamy, but there are many more to choose from, and mixing milks to find your own favorite formula is fun. I really like 40% flax, 50% almond, and 10% cashew with some cinnamon, cardamom, and a touch of nutmeg. I don’t like things very sweet, so if you do, you may prefer more dates than I do, or another sweetener entirely or no sweetener at all.

Speaking of flavor, sweeteners are not necessary (it’s up to you), and should always be done by taste. For more on sweeteners, be sure to check out Healthy Alternative Sugars. I recommend the following, in order based on both health consciousness and what I like to taste in these recipes.

Sweeteners and Spices For Non-Dairy Milks

  • Stevia
  • Dates
  • Raw honey (only if it will not be heated)
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Sugar cane juice
  • Granny smith apple juice
  • Maple syrup

I also like using stevia to sweeten and then just a little maple syrup or another sweetener to mask the stevia. Stevia is great for essentially amplifying the sweetness of another sweetener.

Spices for Non-Dairy Nut Milks

  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Cardamom

Just a pinch! Depending on what you are using the milk for, use very little of these spices. The taste gets stronger after the milk sets a while. This is especially true with nutmeg. You can ruin any dish with just a little too much nutmeg.

Also, the fineness of your strainer will have a tremendous impact on the taste and consistency of your milk. The less you strain, the more potential for a chalky or slimy texture (depending on the nut, the humidity, and some other factors). On the other hand, with some nuts and seeds, or with some recipes, less of a fine strain may be in order. Plus, there are health benefits in the pulp, so the more of it you get, the better, (unless there are digestive issues to consider).

Healthy & Heavenly Flax Milk Recipe

Flaxseed doesn’t have the most diverse set of benefits, but it is heavy in beneficial omega 3 fats and contains between 75 and 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.

There’s no need to soak or sprout flax seeds.

I like the taste of dates, maple syrup, cane juice, and honey in my homemade flax milk, but I tend to just use honey because I never heat flax milk, and I often heat other milks such as almond or hazelnut for oatmeal and other treats. Heating raw honey or flax does not make for a healthy meal. I’m also careful to keep the blender from cooking the flax as well.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup flax seeds
  • 3 cups water (plus 1-1.5  more cups)
  • Straining cloth or milk nut bag
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • Vanilla to taste (a tiny bit! I do about 1/4 tsp)

Instructions

  1. Combine flax seeds and 3 cups water in blender
  2. Blend until thick and creamy on high heat, but not too hot as to cook the flax
  3. Strain
  4. Blend 1-1.5 more cups water plus honey to desired consistency
  5. Can be used right away or chilled for later

Notes

Brown or golden flax will work fine. I used brown, but I’ve read that golden flax results in a milder flavor.

Homemade Honey Hemp Milk

Hemp milk, like flax, is a quick and easy to make since hemp doesn’t need to be soaked overnight. Hemp seeds (hulled hemp nuts) are for omega-3 fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential omega-6 fatty acid found in borage oil and egg yolks that is known to naturally balance hormones. Hemp also has all 10 essential amino acids, making hemp a complete source of protein on its own. Calcium, potassium, phosphorous, vitamin A, and magnesium are also prevalent in hemp and homemade hemp milk.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hemp hearts (also called seeds or shelled hemp nuts)
  • 3 to 4 cups filtered or spring water (3 cups for thicker milk, and up to 4 cups for thinner)
  • 1 Tbsp of coconut oil (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp of raw honey and a drop of stevia (pick another sweetener if you’re gonna heat this milk)
  • Vanilla to taste
  • A pinch of Himalayan pink salt (or other unprocessed sea salt)

Instructions

  1. In a high-speed blender, add hemp and water
  2. Blend on high for about two minutes, until fully liquefied
  3. Strain, put back into blender (rinse the blender first)
  4. Add coconut oil (if using), honey and stevia, vanilla powder and salt. Blend briefly.

How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk

I find coconut milk to be an easy recipe, but if you’re picky about the texture, coconut can be a little more labor intensive. What I love about coconut milk is that I find it to be the most versatile, the most robust, and the most beneficial of all the nut milks.

Coconut milk can be cooked at moderate temperatures without affecting the health benefits, the fat is incredibly good for you.

  • 1 cup dried coconut chips -or- between 2-3 whole, mature coconuts
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

If you’re using whole coconut, extract the meat. You can also use coconut water to substitute for water.

Blend. Blend for a while; take your time. You can blend at high speeds as well since coconut is not very susceptible to heat damage. When the coconut meat is as liquefied as possible, transfer the contents of your blender to the cheesecloth or other strainer.

Some people repeat the process, blending more and then straining again. Other recipes call for hot water to further emulsify the coconut meat into the water.

Making Brown Rice Milk at Home

It isn’t good for you at all if you use refined rice. Always use brown rice. Brown rice is a good source of fiber, manganese, and selenium. It also has some decent levels of iron, copper, niacin, and folate.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup cooked rice
  • 3 cups filtered water

Instructions

Measure rice into a blender, add the water, and blend until smooth (approximately 1 minute). You may want to blend again for ultra smooth consistency.

Conclusion

Most nut milks are best fresh though I find the sweeter, seasoned varieties I make are better 6-10 hours later. I admit, this could just be my imagination. Homemade nut and seed milks generally last between 5 to 10 days when properly refrigerated. The smell and taste is pretty obvious when they turn, so check the 5-day-old milk before you risk ruining a bowl of cereal. With all of these milks (just like unpasteurized milk), shake before using.

As mentioned, the sweeteners are optional. I recommend as little refined sugar as possible in a diet, and I rarely make sweet nut milks for myself. When I do, I almost always use stevia to amplify another sweetener like raw honey or maple syrup. I don’t generally do a lot of cashews or almonds because they’re expensive to buy unpasteurized (cashews are cooked during the difficult opening process, and truly raw cashews are hard to find and very expensive).

If you suffer from digestive problems or any health issues, see this article. And remember, it is imperative that you soak nuts that need to be soaked. Enzyme inhibitors age us rapidly, so get rid of them.

If you’ve got any tricks or techniques for making alternative, non-dairy milks, be sure to leave us a comment below.

Recommended Reading:
Sources:



One More Reason to Love Chocolate (Recipe Included)

I am feeling fabulous. Lounging in a jazz bar like a sophisticated cat, I am tasting all the flavors of the finest chocolate: orange, mint, cinnamon. I wonder which one is the most delicious and will delight my senses more. Let’s see…

Mint…mmm… It awakens my senses like a fresh morning breeze, reanimates my spirit, and puts me into a dynamic mood. The Antics said it aroused lustful feelings and in combination with chocolate it’s certainly true.

Let’s go on. Orange! My favorite! It embodies the sun, it’s a condensation of energy and information, and when it gets inside us it shines and radiates all its healing power concentrated in the form of vitamin C, a wonder that makes your skin glow. So let us shine, I say!

It’s difficult to get past the luscious and vibrant sensation of orange in my mouth so I taste a little more, this time with a little cinnamon added. Exquisite flavor, especially for this time of the year. Cinnamon, the spice from which Phoenix builds its nest. It was used in many early remedies such as Royal Unguent. To the Chinese, it was a panacea. In Medieval Europe, it was considered to be an aphrodisiac. Ooh, and if you combine that with the raw feminine energy of the chocolate, you do feel like a goddess.

Of course, you already knew that the Greek name for cocoa means “food of the gods.” So the whole idea that “chocolate is bad for you” is a misconception (probably a carryover from the Middle Ages when pleasure was considered a sin). It’s healthy. It’s divine. It’s a gift from gods. It is even used by shamans for magical ceremonies. Wow !

The idea is that when you buy chocolate, please make sure that the cocoa content is as high as possible (min.75%), and that it doesn’t contain that nasty hydrogenated vegetable fat that spoils our beloved chocolate. Because chocolate can and should be healthy. It can be raw, it can be vegan, it can be a superfood.

So if you want to get all the benefits, taste the flavors I did, and feel fabulous, you have two options.

The first is to make it yourself. My favorite recipe is invented by me and it goes something like this:

Mix in a bowl…

  • 4-5 spoons of cocoa
  • 1-2 spoons of coconut oil,
  • 1 spoon of raw honey
  • one handful of crushed raw (unpasteurized) almonds, or chopped mint leaves, or orange peel with a hint of cinnamon.

Pour it into heart shaped forms and refrigerate for one hour. And here you go! Lovely, healthy chocolate for you to enjoy together with your loved ones.

Of course, if you don`t have time, the second option is to buy. The guys from Raw Chocolate Love have an amazing, healthy chocolate – all the flavors I tasted and more. Handmade, raw, dairy-free, guilt-free and made with love (vitamin L). I whole-heartedly recommend.

Recommended Reading:
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Let Food Be Thy Medicine: Seven Healing Foods for Health

Many foods give you some health benefits, but certain foods are positively jam-packed with powerful nutrients that support optimal health. These amazing foods give you the most bang for your buck, making every bite count. Maximize nutrient density and health benefits with the following incredibly nourishing, delicious, and easy to prepare foods!

Salmon

Oily fish like salmon is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosohexanoic acid (DHA). These omega-3s play a starring role in the picture of health because they support a balanced inflammatory response in the body. This is important for both short and long-term inflammation. For example, when you get hurt, a temporary inflammatory response is needed to heal the injury. This short-term inflammation is intended to subside after the healing process is complete. However, without adequate EPA and DHA, the body is unable to return to normal and inflammation persists, leaving the entire body in a pro-inflammatory state. It is this long-term “silent” inflammation that is problematic and can take a serious toll on your health. If proper levels of EPA and DHA are not maintained, your whole body, including the liver, brain, heart and muscles, pays the price. By getting enough EPA and DHA in your diet, you can support the balanced inflammation levels that foster a healthy body and mind. If your immune system is in good shape, try salmon rare or medium rare for the best health benefits.

Berries

Vibrantly colored berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, not only pack a color punch, but pack on the health benefits, too. Full of antioxidants, these red and purple fruits support cardiovascular, visual, mental and skin health, just to name a few. The antioxidant pigments are actually what give berries their trademark colors. Red and purple berries are bursting with anthocyanins, antioxidant pigments known to be free radical fighters. Free radicals wreak havoc on the body, damage tissues, and accelerate the aging process. Eating berries every day is a tasty way to rejuvenate your skin, eye, brain, and heart health.

Ginger and Turmeric Roots

Close botanical relatives that are often found together in flavorful Indian foods, ginger and turmeric contain health-promoting compounds that have been prized for centuries. Ginger, used as a digestive tonic, contains antioxidants galore. Gingerol, the active compound in ginger, is responsible for modulating inflammation and supporting cell health. Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric. Curcumin is another nutrient that supports balanced inflammatory levels in the body, which are key for maintaining overall health.

Garlic

Another herb that has historical roots in ancient times, garlic has a reputation not only for warding off vampires, but also as valuable household remedy. Recent research provides evidence for its health-supportive properties. Allicin, garlic’s best-known active compound, has been studied for its ability to support cardiovascular, immune system, inflammatory and cellular health. It may not freshen your breath, but garlic can help to refresh your health.

Citrus Fruit

The flesh and peels of citrus fruits contain flavonoids, which are compounds plants produce for various purposes, such as protection from pests, disease, and sun damage. Flavonoids protect human health in similar ways by supporting the health of the skin, heart, bones and other cells. In addition to health-boosting flavonoids, citrus fruits are full to the brim with vitamin C.  One of the body’s most important antioxidants, vitamin C supports immune, cardiovascular, and cellular health. In fact, without vitamin C, the immune system cannot function properly. Whether you eat them whole or  juice them, citrus fruits are a sweet way to take care of your health year-round.

Nuts

Vitamin E is naturally found in high concentrations in whole nuts, with some of the best sources being almonds and hazelnuts. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in the body, protecting against free radical damage and supporting cellular health. This vitamin supports the health of the immune and cardiovascular systems, as well as the body’s detoxification process. From the outside-in and the inside-out, eating nuts is a great way to get your vitamin E levels up. So, go nuts!

It is easy to incorporate all of these versatile and nutrient-dense foods into your diet. This recipe includes all of the power-packed foods above in one delicious meal!

Salmon Berry Salad with Almonds and Citrus Vinaigrette (serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2, 6 oz. salmon filets
  • 1 small clamshell of organic spinach and arugula blend
  • ½ cup organic blackberries, rinsed and dried
  • ½ cup organic raspberries, rinsed and dried
  • ½ cup organic blueberries, rinsed and dried
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. ginger powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Dash of salt and pepper, to taste

Dressing

  • 1 large orange, juiced
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  1. Place salmon skin-side down on foil, top with olive oil, garlic, ginger and turmeric powders, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  2. Place salmon under broiler and cook for four minutes per side. Oven broilers vary, so watch closely; salmon overcooks quickly.
  3. While salmon is in the broiler, place arugula and spinach, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries in a large bowl. Toss together lightly.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.
  5. When salmon is done cooking, place on top of berry salad mixture, top with almonds and drizzle with dressing. 

For more recipes, check out Natural Grocers.com.

Further Reading:
Sources:
  1. Wilson, L. (2013). EPA & DHA: The Fats of Life. August-September 2013 Health Hotline.
  2. Allbritton, J. (2009). Blueberries. Natural Grocers Nutrition Education Department.
  3. Allbritton, J. (2010). Age Decelerating Antioxidant-Rich Foods. Natural Grocers Nutrition Education Department.
  4. Pratt, H. (2013). Garlic. Natural Grocers Nutrition Education Department.
  5. Briggs, S. (2008). Citrus Bioflavonoids. Natural Grocers Nutrition Education Department.
  6. Allen, J. (2004). Vitamin C. Natural Grocers Nutrition Education Department
  7. Allen, J. (2003). Vitamin E Fact Sheet. Natural Grocers Nutrition Education Department.



Five Vegan Drinks To Try This Winter

We’re a world of coffee lovers aren’t we? The coffee culture is strong and for many of us our day hasn’t started unless we’ve grabbed our favourite hot beverage from our local Starbucks. The caffeine kick is one that can’t always be denied and a morning coffee is a solid addition to many a morning routine.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the calorie content of a drink. We think of it as a liquid and therefore don’t always associate it with its devilish side effects. A hot chocolate from a coffee chain can have as many as 400 calories in it. Pretty shocking right? You might as well just chomp into a bar of chocolate.

And then there’s the extra cost.  In the long run, you could save yourself around £500 (about 750 American dollars) per year just by cutting your coffee shop habits. So how can you save calories, save cash, and still enjoy a delicious hot drink to start your day?

There are plenty of healthier alternatives that will not only cost you less but also save on calories, increase your health, and battle against the dreaded winter cold. So without further ado, here are the best vegan friendly drinks to give a try this winter:

Simple Ginger Tea

There are some amazing benefits from consuming ginger, including anti-inflammatory properties, nausea reduction, and increased circulation.

Add 2-3cm of fresh root ginger to a mug of warm water for added warmth, and be sure to drop in a stick of cinnamon for an extra kick! It’s a quick and easy festive drink that is low in calories.

Honey Lemon Warmer

This one is especially handy if you’re trying to recover from a sore throat or head off a winter cold. Honey has many amazing health-enhancing benefits. It’s great for soothing a sore throat while giving your immune system a boost. This is particularly handy at this time of the year when colds are spreading like wildfire.

You might be concerned about the sugar levels of honey, but don’t be too worried. These natural sugars won’t harm you in small doses. Add 1-2 teaspoons of organic honey (depending on your sweet tooth) to a mug of warm water, and add a few slices of fresh lemon for an added zing

A Nutty Treat

One of my personal favourites is a gorgeous nutty winter warmer! Simply heat a mug of almond milk and add a drizzle of date syrup for a gorgeous toffee-like taste. This drink comes closest to rivaling drinks from the coffee chains, and it’s low in fat too! If you do want to add a naughty twist (we all deserve a treat now and again after all) grate your favourite vegan chocolate to finish it off. Yum!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Okay. So Halloween may be over, but who can resist a pumpkin spice latte over winter time? It’s a definite favourite amongst the coffee lovers of the world. Why should vegans have to miss out? Simply add two tablespoons of pumpkin puree to your morning cup of coffee along with two tablespoons of almond (or coconut) milk, a drizzle of vanilla extract, and any fancy toppings you wish to include! My favourite is cinnamon, but you could also add vegan whipped cream or maple syrup.

Cranberry Cider

Combine cranberry juice (the proper stuff) with apple cider in a saucepan and heat, stir in 1-2 teaspoons of brown sugar and add flavourings of your choice. Popular flavours include cinnamon or ginger for additional warmth and a slight kick, adjust the amount of flavouring to your taste. To make it even more festive, add some sliced orange and a Christmas themed mug!

Will you be cutting down on the coffee chain purchases this winter in favour of your own, healthier homemade recipes? I’d love to hear about more vegan drink recipes to try!

Recommended Reading:



Personal Care Recipes With Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been used since ancient times for its remarkable effects on skin and hair. It is rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which is the reason coconut oil is used as a major ingredient in many cosmetic soaps and creams and even used in preparation of many dishes and salads in Asian countries.

Coconut oil is a natural and safe alternative to chemical-laden products.

Natural Homemade Hair Conditioner

Coconut oil is the best alternative to your chemical based conditioner. It will make your hair soft and shinier.

Ingredients

  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 – 4 drops of essential oils (rosemary, sage, peppermint, vanilla, geranium, lavender, eucalyptus or grapefruit)
  • Something to cover your hair

Instructions

  • Heat a small amount of coconut oil until it liquefies and then add essential oils and mix the two.
  • Apply the oil directly onto your scalp and gently massage.
  • Comb the hair to make sure the oil is evenly distributed throughout the hair. Cover your hair for some time with a shower cap.

Chemical Free Face Moisturizer Recipe

Coconut oil has moisture-retention property and that’s why it can work as a natural moisturizer. Moreover, applying it will also keep your skin soft and smooth and well-hydrated.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of shea butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil
  • 2 – 4 drops of essential oils

Instructions

  • Heat coconut oil.
  • Add shea butter
  • Add vitamin E oil and essential oil
  • Mix

You can apply this mixture to your skin to enjoy the benefits of coconut oil.

Coconut Oil Lip Balm Recipe

Although applying unrefined coconut oil to your lips is good enough to keep the moisturized, the following is a simple way to make a lip balm using coconut oil.

Ingredients

  • 1 – 2 teaspoons of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of beeswax
  • 1 – 2 drops of essential oils

Instructions

  • Warm your coconut oil till it turns liquid and then add beeswax to it. Allow the beeswax to melt and then add few drops of your favorite essential oil.
  • You can store this on-the-go lip balm in small containers and carry them wherever you go.

Homemade Toothpaste with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil’s anti-microbial property makes it efficient enough to buzz off the bacteria and germs in your teeth.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 4 – 6 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered stevia
  • 15 – 20 drops of essential oils

Instructions

  • Heat the coconut oil to make it soft but don’t allow it to turn into liquid.
  • Now add baking soda, essential oil, and stevia.
  • Mash all the ingredients together and then whip it till it turns light and creamy.
  • You can store this mixture in a jar and use it as your daily toothpaste.

Coconut Oil Salt Scrub Recipe

For keeping skin soft and smooth, nothing quite compares to a warm bath and this coconut oil salt scrub!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of Epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup of dead sea salt
  • 15 – 20 drops of essential oils

Instructions

  • Heat the coconut oil till becomes liquid and the add salts and essential oils to it.
  • Mix well all the ingredients and then store it in a glass jar.
  • You can use this once a week and then soak yourself into warm water to make sure the body gets nourishment due to these ingredients.
Recommended Reading:



Three Homemade Toothpaste Recipes – Better Oral Health for Less Cost

If you’re shopping for an all natural toothpaste, the list of ingredients to avoid includes diethanolamine, propylene glycol, fluoride, aspartame, saccharine, sodium lauryl sulfate, Triclosan, glycerin, sorbitol, and microbeads. After careful examination of the ingredients, the discerning shopper will see the similarities between food products and other body care products. There are a lot of toothpaste companies that are merely pretending to be healthy.

Finding a toothpaste that is actually good for you, in other words, one that actually helps improve oral health, can be challenging. So why not make your own?

All you need is a formula that you can brush into the teeth and gums that helps to scrub away and kill bacteria and other microbes while it polishes the teeth lightly without acidifying the mouth with toxins that damage tissue and leach calcium from the teeth. It’s actually not so hard when you forgo the chemicals! Here are four recipes for oral health that you can use to mix and match and come up with your own regimen. You’ll save some money and extend the life of your yappers.

Simple Toothpaste Recipe

You can make homemade toothpaste, that’s not really a paste, with the following:

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt, finely ground

Instructions

Just mix the ingredients. You can also add an essential oil like peppermint or cinnamon; you can easily add a drop on the brush before brushing.

Homemade Earth-paste Recipe

If you like the earthy shampoos and soaps, then this toothpaste formula is right up your alley:

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp bentonite clay
  • Distilled water
  • 5 drops tea tree oil
  • 1 drop liquid stevia
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 2 Tsp unrefined sea salt

Instructions

  • Combine 2 tablespoons of water with the bentonite clay in a glass bowl and mix well using a non-metal spoon (the clay shouldn’t come in contact with metal)
  • Add tea tree oil, stevia, and peppermint essential oils
  • Add salt, mix well
  • Add water to taste and texture
  • Store toothpaste in a glass with a lid (the toothpaste will dry out over time if left uncovered)

Homemade Remineralizing and Whitening Toothpaste Recipe

Make your own remineralizing toothpaste with calcium, magnesium, stevia, coconut oil, and essential oils to help your teeth stay strong and your gums stay healthy.

Ingredients

  • 5 parts calcium/magnesium powder (the best calcium for this can be obtained with this homemade calcium recipe)
  • 2 parts baking soda
  • 1 part unrefined sea salt, finely ground
  • 3-5 parts coconut oil to get desired texture
  • Optional ingredients: Essential oils for flavor and/or kill germs (mint, cinnamon, tea tree, peppermint, orange), and stevia (takes very little)

Instructions

  • Mix calcium, salt, and baking soda in a bowl
  • Add coconut oil, one part at a time until you reach the desired consistency
  • Add any optional ingredients
  • Store in small glass container

Hydrogen peroxide is added to many homemade toothpastes, especially those formulated for whitening. But hydrogen peroxide is one of those ingredients you are not supposed to swallow and it can irritate the gums. It is not a good idea for kids or for anyone with sensitive, damaged, or diseased gums.

Shillington’s Tooth and Gum Formula

If you suffer from oral health issues such as gingivitis or cavities, add oil pulling, chewing on garlic, and also add Shillington’s Tooth and Gum recipe to your homemade toothpaste.

Dr. Shillington’s Tooth and Gum Formula Recipe (or purchase here)

(Use Organic ingredients where ever possible).

  • 10 oz Echinacea tincture
  • 1/4 cup of tea tree oil
  • 4 oz. bayberry tincture
  • 2 oz. oak gall (or 3X oak bark) tincture
  • 2 TBS. Cayenne tincture
  • 2 1/2 dropperfuls of peppermint oil
  • 2 1/2 dropperfuls of clove oil

A “part” is a measurement by volume, not weight. Blend all ingredients together and make into a tincture using a 50/50 blend of alcohol and distilled water. For more, see How to Make a Tincture.

We also recommend addressing gut health and the first three sources below for acute gum infections and other more serious oral health issues.

Sources and Further Reading:



Salad Recipes For Good Eye Health

Are you beginning to feel eyestrain from staring at your laptop screen for hours on end? Are you having headaches, too? You’ve been putting off that visit to your ophthalmologist, haven’t you? The visit to the doctor can probably wait if you make some necessary changes to your diet. Here are some salads you could include in your diet that will benefit your eye health:

Chicken Chopped Salad

The chicken chopped salad is both appealing and appetizing. The brightly colored vegetables, along with the lean meat, prove to be an extremely healthy meal option. They are loaded with lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins E and C, as well as the mineral zinc that prevents retinal damage and consequent loss of vision. 

Ingredients:

  • one cup of romaine lettuce chopped up into bite-sized bits
  • 1-2 cups of cooked chicken
  • one cup of baby spinach
  • ½ cup of frozen peas
  • ½ an orange pepper – diced
  • ¼ cup of slivered almonds
  • ½ an orange, peeled and chopped

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup of nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove – minced
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • Juice from the remaining 1/2 orange.

Prepare the dressing in a separate container by mixing all the ingredients and whisking till you have a smooth, creamy consistency. Next, throw all the other ingredients in a large bowl and drizzle the vinaigrette over it. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.

Springtime Green Salad

Green salad is the perfect option for a summer afternoon. It also provides several nutrients that are beneficial  for your eyes. 

Ingredients:

  • one English cucumber
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • one lime – peeled
  • 4 cups of baby spinach leaves
  • 4 cups of baby kale
  • 2 cups of thawed frozen peas or fresh peas
  • 2-3 cups of loosely packed mint leaves

Dressing:

  • 1 ½ cups of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Rinse the cucumber, spinach, kale, peas, mint leaves, and the lime. Next, peel the cucumber and finely chop it. Also, chop the spinach, kale and mint leaves haphazardly. Put all these ingredients in a bowl and add  yogurt honey to it. Mix well. Squeeze the lime and add slivered almonds to garnish. The cucumber in the salad will leave you refreshed while spinach and kale will aid digestion and skin health.

Deli- Styled Kale Salad 

Kale is a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin that help keep your eyes healthy and prevent ocular damage or cataracts. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of kale cut into 2 in strips
  • an onion – cut in half and then thinly sliced
  • one cup of roasted and sliced almonds
  • 3 peaches sliced
  • ¾ cup of gold raisins

Vinagrette:

  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 1 and ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

First, prepare the greens by cleaning and chopping the kale. Next, slice the peaches and the onion, and toast the almonds and slice them. Prepare the vinaigrette. Keep whisking so that the ingredients mix properly. Season with salt and pepper. Lastly, combine all the ingredients together by adding the vinaigrette to the kale, peaches, onions, and almonds. Toss well and allow the salad for sit for some time before serving. Kale can take a little time to break down and become soft. You can garnish the salad with some crumbled cottage cheese.

Editor’s Note: If you are in a hurry, pour a little of your olive oil onto the kale and massage it into the leaves with your fingers. This takes a minute or so to soften the leaves.

Romaine Salad

Romaine lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, and folate and it is a good source of other nutrients as well. Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Romaine lettuce chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup of radicchio that has been chopped into bite-sized bits
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • some freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons of thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of fennel leaves

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon
  • 1 tablespoonDijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Add all the ingredients in a large bowl and drizzle the salad dressing. Keep mixing and season with sea salt and pepper. Allow the salad to sit for some time before serving. This will ensure that the vegetables absorb the flavor from the dressing. It will also ensure that the nutrients of the romaine lettuce and other vegetables are more easily absorbed by your body.

Conclusion

Salads are an extremely healthy addition to your diet. All colorful vegetables and fruits are rich sources of antioxidants and vitamins that ensure good eye health. They also contain adequate amounts of dietary fiber that facilitate weight management. With these salads, you would be protecting your vision as well as ensuring weight loss. That’s killing two birds with one stone!

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