shopOrganic co-founder ponders the question of why organic matters during Organic Harvest Month
In just the past few weeks, I’ve had some remarkable conversations with people when they find out I am one of the co-founders of shopOrganic.com; the topic of ‘Why Organic’ keeps coming up. In one conversation, three women and two men spontaneously started asking questions about whether we offered specific products. Thankfully, my product knowledge (we have over 4,000 products) was strong enough that I was able to answer almost all of their questions – but what it showed me is how many people, who are well-informed on the benefits of organic and non-GMO foods, are still looking for a trusted source for organic products. My takeaway was that we have a lot of upside potential to make shopOrganic better known! In another conversation just last night, I was at a social function for women in leadership in the community (thank you Quarles & Brady for that wonderful event) and when I stood to introduce myself and mentioned shopOrganic.com, there was a fairly loud outburst of chatter – mostly “I need to write that down” and “what was the URL again?” – and my conversations throughout the evening focused around food (my favorite topic) and how clean food is so important to health. “Why Organic” came up again and again as we talked about healthy, clean food choices.
If that’s all I had to report, it would be a short story. But there’s more. In the first event, one woman later told me she was a breast cancer survivor and though she’d always eaten a nutritionally sound diet, she hadn’t really ‘put much stock in organic.’ After her diagnosis, she told me, she got really serious about looking at what she was putting in and on her body. Her answer to ‘Why Organic’, was that organic food, organic body care and non-toxic cleaning products were the only sane way to approach her post-diagnosis life. I’m happy to report she is 100% healthy and cancer-free now, and she is a strong advocate for organic products. It was affirming to hear from her perspective why organic was so vital to the health of our bodies and our planet.
At the event last night, one woman sat down with me and told me how she’d been tired, stressed from work and running ragged for months. She’d been putting on weight gradually (stress weight) and that things just weren’t going smoothly. She had decided about three weeks ago to clean up her diet. She stopped eating a lot of processed foods and moved to cooking more and using organic and non-GMO ingredients – from fresh fruits and vegetables (always important) to organic grains, nuts, dried fruits, juices and more. She said she felt better in three weeks than she’d felt in years and was astounded at how much more energy she had. Her answer to ‘Why Organic’ was connected to her increased energy after eating a much cleaner diet. She clearly came to understand the connection between the things she eats and the way she feels. While that can be said of conventional ‘junk’ food versus a nutritious diet, she took it one step further and also made the connection between chemicals (additives or residual) in conventional foods, even those deemed health, and her own health. She’s convinced that organic food is the most healthful approach and she’s begun incorporating organic food into her diet. She, of course, was thrilled to find out about shopOrganic.com.
These heart-felt conversations made me understand that more and more people are making the connection between their health and the health of the planet. It sometimes is slow going, a one-by-one process, but ultimately that’s how things change. I was heartened to hear these stories and wanted to share them with you. This month is organic month and to celebrate, I’d love to hear your story.
With superfoods being all the rage, let’s take a closer look at organic goji berries. Often praised as the next fountain of youth, organic goji berries look like a shriveled red raisin. They are both tangy and sweet with a raisin-like texture.
Organic goji berries are also known as wolfberries. They come from a shrub that is native to China but grows in many parts of the world. In Asia, goji berries have a reputation for extending life and are eating for many health reasons. They have been associated with health benefits for diabetes, high blood pressure and age-related eye problems.
Filled with powerful antioxidants, organic goji berries join the list of other berries like acai, blueberry, cranberry and strawberry that have very high antioxidant levels. The body uses antioxidants to combat damage from free radicals that can injure cells and damage DNA, creating abnormal cells. Antioxidants can combat the destruction that free radicals cause.
High in Vitamin A and other carotenoids, organic goji berries can protect or even improve your vision. They also contain the synergistic antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which are beneficial for eye health.
Organic goji berries are a great source of protein and minerals, containing 19 amino acids (including all 8 essential amino acids) as well as zinc, iron, copper, calcium, selenium and phosphorus.
Known as an adapotgen, organic goji berries help strengthen the body wherever it needs it. They support the adrenal glands and endocrine glands, helping to keep stress feelings under control.
With all of those health benefits, you may be rushing to order some immediately, but what do you do with them once you have them? Organic goji berries can be eaten dried like raisins in trail mixes, added to smoothies or desserts. They can also be cooked into baked goods or used in herbal teas. Make sure to buy organic goji berries and not conventional, as the sulfites used on conventional dried fruits can be harmful to your health.
Organic goji berries recipes
Easy Organic Energy Bars
1 cup organic walnuts
1 cup organic almonds
1 cup organic pumpkin seeds
6-8 organic medjool dates
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1 Tbsp organic coconut flour
½ cup organic maple syrup
½ cup organic cacao nibs
1 cup organic goji berries
Preheat oven to 350F. Process in a food processor the walnuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds.. Add the dates and pulse a few times to combine but leave some texture. Place the mixture in a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well to combine ingredients. Spread mixure into an 8×8 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, cut into squares and serve or store. These freeze well for handy snacks.
Super Immunity Tea
Bring water to a boil then turn heat to low and add the ginger, cloves, orange peels and lemon. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain into tea cup and stir in honey and goji berries. Enjoy.
Superfood Trail Mix
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and store in an airtight container.
Start by adding the liquid to your blender, then add the fruit, then the spinach. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy. If you do not have a high-speed blender, soak the goji berries for 10 minutes before adding them to your blender.
I don’t know about you, but up until a few years ago all I really knew about aloe vera was that it was excellent for soothing sunburns. I had no idea that it was packed with so many other powerful benefits. Some people might even tell you that aloe vera is right up there with garlic when it comes to medicinal healing!
The aloe vera plant is a cactus like plant and is part of the Lily family (Liliaceae) which is the same family that garlic belongs too. When an aloe leaf is broken open it secretes a clear gel-like substance.
Aloe vera has both internal and external uses for our body and it contains over 200 active elements including: minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, polysaccharides, amino acids, enzymes and fatty-acids. It’s been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
24 Amazing Health Benefits of Aloe Vera:
1. Aloe vera is an alkaline forming food. Disease cannot thrive in an alkaline environment. Eating this helps alkalinize the body.
2. Anti-microbial, Germicidal, Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, Anti-viral, Disinfectant and Anti-biotic. WOW, if that doesn’t pack a punch on external and internal infections I don’t know what else can!
3. Reduces high blood pressure natural, by treating the cause and not just the symptoms.
4. Speeds up recovery in injuries.
5. Excellent for colon health, it can stop colon cancer in its tracks.
6. Helps treat and prevent Candida infections and other fungal infections
7. Can stop the growth of cancerous tumors
8. Helps slow the aging process
9. Can help lessen visibility of stretch marks
10. Helps aid in digestion (can aid in healing ulcers, also some say it can be a good laxative while others say it helps with regularity)
11. Helps support normal muscle and joint functions
12. Because of the fatty-acids it helps increase absorption of other supplements when taking with aloe vera gel or juice.
13. Great for dental health, can help heal periodontal disease and sooth sore gums
14. Boosts circulation in the body like numb hands and feet
15. It is a natural food preservative
16. Increases blood flow to the brain
17. Prevents kidney stones
18. Helps balance electrolytes which are important for physical endurance and sports, so get rid of that Gatorade and get some aloe!
19. Accelerates healing in wounds, burns and helps soothes arthritis pain
20. Protects body against oxidative stress (free radicals)
21. Very hydrating for our skin, which why it makes it excellent for skin repair and sun damage
22. Aloe vera contains 2 hormones: Auxin and Gibberellins which help stimulate the growth of cells which makes aloe a wonderful choice for healing acne.
23. Lower high cholesterol
24. Can be packed in wounds to help kill the bacteria and protect wounds from infection.
I hope now you will not just think of aloe vera as your topical choice for treating sunburns but as a whole body healer!
Some Notes About Aloe Vera:
- If you have never used aloe vera as a supplement or internally it’s best to start small then gradually increase over time.
- Remember aloe vera is incredibly medicinal plant, usually less is more when taken internally. It may cause adverse interactions with prescription and over-the-counter medications. Always consult your health care advisor with any questions you might have.
Where can you buy Aloe Vera?
Actually you might be able to find it right at your local grocery store. I was surprised to find some aloe leaves in our local grocery market (and it wasn’t even a health food store) If you buy your aloe leaves. Filet your leaves carefully and scoop out the gel.
You can find a wide variety of organic aloe vera gels and juices online.
If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between a jam, jelly, fruit spread, marmalade, conserve, preserve and fruit butter, this guide should make it as clear as jelly.
Jam: A soft, smooth puree of crushed or chopped fruit cooked down with sugar. Jam must contain at least 55 percent sugar and 45 percent fruit.
Jelly: Clear and jelled, this is just the fruit juice and sugar with a jelling agent. Jelly has no seeds or chunks of fruit. Jelly must contain at least 65 percent water soluble solids (sugar) and must be made with fruit juices or concentrates.
Preserve: Chopped or whole fruits cooked with sugar in a way that allows a syrupy base to hold suspended fruit chunks within it. must contain at least 55 percent sugar and 45 percent fruit.
Conserve: A more thickly stewed preserve, often made with more than one fruit.
Fruit Spread: This is like a jam but instead of sugar, alternative sweeteners or fruit juice concentrates are used.
Fruit Butter: A spread of slowly cooked fruit puree with a smooth, soft consistency.
Marmalade: A fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits boiled with sugar and water.
B – Best Brands of Organic Jam, Jelly & Fruit Spread
Bionaturae Organic Fruit Spread: These organic fruit spreads are produced using hand-harvested heirloom varieties of fruit from select regions of Italy. The term “heirloom” describes a variety of fruit, flower or vegetable that has been grown in a certain region for centuries without any hybridization. The flavor of Italian heirloom fruit is sweet, intense and true. It speaks to the pride of the farmers who produce the fruits, and cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the world.
Cadia Organic Preserves: Made with fresh organic fruits at the peak of ripeness, these organic preserves are great on pancakes, waffles, ice cream, muffins, scones or in yogurt.
Colorado Mountain Jam: These organic jams are made with fruit from organic orchards in Colorado. A small family operation, their organic jam is award-winning and has intense flavor in unique varieties.
Crofter’s Organic Fruit Spread: These organic fruit spreads come in kid-friendly flavors and adult varieties as well. From the classing grape and strawbery to more exotic blood orange and pomegranate, Crofter’s offers a great taste at a great value. Try their ‘Just Fruit’ varieties for organic jam without any added sugar.
Eden Organic Fruit Butter: Slowly simmered, Eden’s organic apple butter and organic cherry butter bring the flavor of a home cooked apple pie and cherry pie to an easy to use spread. Great on toast, on muffins, crackers or right from the spoon.
Mediterranean Organic Preserves: Hand made in small batches on a 4th generation Italian family farm, and grown under the Mediterranean sun, these organic preserves are artisan crafted and are packed with fruit.
C – Cooking with Organic Jam, Jelly & Fruit Spread
Aside from the usual PB&J, there’s a whole lot you can do with organic jam, jelly and fruit spread, from sweet desserts to savory dinners, to delicious breakfasts. Here are a few recipes using organic jam that you can try:
Jam Thumbprint Cookies
A sweet treat that kids and adults alike will love.
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 large egg
3 ¼ cups organic all-purpose flour
¾ cup organic jam (any flavor)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add egg, and beat until thoroughly combined. With mixer on low, add flour, and mix just until incorporated. Roll dough into 1-inch balls (about 2 tablespoons each). Place on baking sheets, at least 3 inches apart. Moisten thumb with water, and gently press the center of each ball, making an indentation about 1/2 inch wide and inch deep. Heat jam on the stove until liquefied and spoon about 1/2 teaspoon into each indentation. Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Savory Apricot Mustard Sauce
This works really well as a sauce for grilled chicken or pork
½ cup apricot preserves
2 Tbsp organic spicy brown mustard
1 ½ tsp tamari or soy sauce
1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp grated ginger
Mix together and use as a dipping sauce or as a marinated for chicken, fish, or pork.
These are a great low fat alternative to jelly donuts
¼ cup organic jam, preserve or fruit spread
1 ½ cups organic all-purpose flour
½ cup organic whole wheat flour
½ cup organic cane sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup plain yogurt
¼ cup organic sunflower/safflower oil
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
organic powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Grease the bottoms of 12 standard muffin cups. Whisk the jam in a small bowl until smooth and set it aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt, oil, egg, and vanilla extract until blended. Stir the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients just until the batter is blended. Fill the muffin cups halfway with batter and use a spoon to make a shallow well in the center of each. Fill each well with a rounded teaspoon of jam and then cover the jam with more batter. Bake the muffins for 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean (there may be jam on it). Let the muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before removing them. Dust the tops with powdered sugar. Makes 1 dozen.
What is ghee? Ghee is a staple ingredient in Indian cooking. You might have also heard it called butter oil or clarified butter. Many people with dairy or butter sensitivities often can still have ghee because in the cooking process (which I’ll show you below) the milk solids are removed (lactose and protein, which people can be sensitive and allergic too).
I started making ghee in my own home a few months ago when my youngest daughter (23 months) started developing a little rot on her teeth. When I took her to see our integrative dentist he wasn’t worried about her teeth in the slightest, but gave me some really good tips to help repair her teeth. One of the books in his office was Weston A. Price’s book titled, “Nutritional and Physical Degeneration”. In his book butter oil (ghee) is a key ingredient to re-enameling teeth because it contains certain fats and activating substances that help bond the nutrients in the body to the bones. Ghee also has anti-carcinogen effects that help protect against tooth decay. Who would have known, right?! It’s been two months of eating ghee and my daughter’s teeth are slowly on the mend. Not only that, ghee is delicious and I cannot imagine eating “Regular” butter ever again.
Here are a Few Other Added Benefits of Ghee:
- Ghee has a very high smoke point which makes it excellent for cooking, stir-fries and also frying.
- It’s excellent on anything you would use on or with regular butter, spread on your toast (how my daughter likes it) in all your baking recipes.
- It has a long shelf life. No need to refrigerate it. You can keep it in your pantry for up to 3-6 months…. but I can’t imagine how… the longest I have mine on my counter is 2 weeks!
- It’s excellent to take with your daily vitamins. Take 1/4-1/2 tsp along with your vitamins to help maximum absorption!
How to make Ghee (clarified butter or butter oil):
Start by using the best butter. I like to use 1lb Kerrygold unsalted butter because it comes from grass-fed pasture raised cows. You can also use organic unsalted butter too.
Unwrap the butter and place in a glass bowl or sauce pan on your stove at medium heat. Bring to a very slow boil (this will take several minutes, so be patient).
Once it starts to boil you will notice a white foam start to form. This is the milk solids that you will be getting rid of.
Now use a slotted spoon and skim off as much foam as you can. Don’t worry if you can’t get it all, because you will strain the rest off later. After you scoop out as much foam as you can, let simmer for 5-10 minutes to completely separate the milk solids from the butter oil. You can tell when this happens when the butter starts to become clearer and you can see the bottom of the pan. Sometimes you might see some milk solids start to turn brown, don’t worry. Again that will all be separated.
Use a fine mesh strainer and slowly poor into a wide mouth mason jar you can also use a funnel in your mason jar. This step will separate the rest of the milk solids from the butter oil. And that’s it. There you have it. Your very own, healthy, yummy, homemade Ghee! Enjoy!
Oh- I forgot to add that you can also buy Ghee if you aren’t inclined to make it yourself. Click here to see my favorite and trusted brand!
Have you ever heard of Ghee? I hope after today’s tutorial that you will pick up a jar or be inspired to make some at home! Tell me how yours turned out!
Each month shopOrganic offers a different selection of sale items so that you can save a little money on the path of making better choices. These specials also give you an opportunity to try some new products that you might have overlooked before. We’ve highlighted some of these great products below. Be sure to head up to shopOrganic.com’s Sale section to see all of the September specials at shopOrganic.
September Specials at shopOrganic
479 Degrees Organic Gourmet Popcorn
All flavors 10% Off
Try this premium organic gourmet popcorn made in small batches in San Francisco using only the finest ingredients. Enjoy both savory flavors like Creamery Butter or Black Truffle & White Cheddar. Try sweet flavors like Sea Salt & Caramel or Toasted Coconut & Caramel. Click HERE to try them now.
Select skin care products 10% Off
Andalou Naturals is the first body care company to obtain Non-GMO Verified certification. Andalou infuses the best of nature and knowledge into mindful and effective products that are good for people and the planet. Their products are made with fruit stem cells which renews skin at the cellular level, blending nature and knowledge for visible results. Click HERE to try them now.
Drew’s Organic Salad Dressing
All varieties 10% Off
Turn your ordinary salads into something extraordinary with Drew’s organic salad dressings. Drew’s takes your favorite classic dressings like French, Ranch and Caesar to the next level with organic ingredients. Upgrade your salads with Drew’s organic salad dressings. Click HERE to try them now.
Organic Body Care 10% Off
Nourish, a line of USDA Certified Organic body care, will delight your senses with their delicately scented skin and body care products. Certified organic deodorant, body wash, lotion, body butter, body polish and hand wash in scents like Vanilla Almond, Fresh Fig, Lavender Mint, Wild Berries, or if you’re scent sensitive, Unscented. Click HERE to try them now.
Specialty Organic Rice 10% Off
From the tender pale green Jade Pearl Rice to dark and hearty Forbidden Rice, to mineral-rich Volcano Rice – make your side dishes extraordinary with Lotus Foods organic specialty rices. Try using Forbidden Rice or the Jade Pearl rice in a delicious rice pudding using coconut milk for extra richness and flavor. Click HERE to try them now.
Organic Jarred Vegetables 10% Off
Imported from Poland and made with simple old world ingredients, Othentic’s jarred vegetable salads and pickles will leave your taste buds tickled with great flavors. The pickled baby beets are so tender and sweet, the spicy vegetable salad is tangy with a kick, the dill pickles have just the right amount of sour and crunch; try them all! Click HERE to try them now.
Organic Tulsi Tea 10% off
In India, the herb Tulsi, also called holy basil, has been widely known for its health promoting and medicinal value for thousands of years. Commonly called sacred or holy basil, it is a principal herb of Ayurveda, the ancient traditional holistic health system of India. Holy basil is known as “The Incomparable One”, “The Mother Medicine of Nature”, and “The Queen of Herbs”. Try them all HERE!
Organic Facial Oils & Chakra Blends 10% off
Creating balance between mind, body and spirit isn’t always easy. It takes conscious effort, focus and practice. Aura Cacia created seven chakra balancing essential oil blends to help you restore balance to your everyday life. Use them in your meditation practice during yoga, include them in a self massage practice, use them in conjunction with chakra sound therapy, chakra color therapy, or simply use them as a fragrance to enjoy throughout the day. Click HERE to try them now.
Aura Cacia Organic Skin Care Oils are gathered from across the globe to bring you the best quality possible. From Moroccan Argan oil to Senegalese Baobab oil, to Kenyan Macadamia Oil, Chilean Rosehip Oil and Vietnamese Tamanu Oil, these skin care oils are extremely beneficial for the skin. Use them on their own or combine with some Aura Cacia Essential oils to create your own blend to nourish your skin. Click HERE to try them now.
Maca is a superfood in its own right and what it is mostly known for is its energy boosting and hormonal properties. Did you know that maca goes back thousands of years and is grown in Peru at very high altitudes? In fact it is the highest altitude growing plant in the world. Maca is actually a root vegetable which kind of resembles a radish or a turnip but more sandy color and is part of the potato/starch family. Maca has a ton of nutritional goodness like; amino acids, carbohydrates, and tons of minerals including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E and it’s high in potassium. Now take a look to see what this superfood can do!
- Helps to balance and regulate out our hormones to each individual person
- Decrease hot flashes in women with Menopause
- Reduce stress
- Normalize sleep
- Encourages muscle growth
- Treat PMS (Mood Swings)
- Help boost energy naturally (and without those coffee jitters or shakes)
- Increases Stamina and athletic performance
- Nicknamed “Natures Viagra” helps to naturally boost and improves sexual function and libido in men.
- Nourishes glandular system (Thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands to name a few)
- Reverse vaginal dryness
- Lessens aches and pains
- Helps slow down the aging process
- Restores balance to the body, especially our hormones
- Helps improve mental awareness/clarity
- Low in calories
How To Add Maca to Your Diet:
Maca’s benefits are usually noticed very quickly after you start adding them to your diet. Remember to start taking maca slowly, starting with 1/2 tsp a day and working up over a week or two’s time until you reach 1-2 tsp a day. It’s actually good to take time off from maca, so your body doesn’t get too accustomed to it. If you take it for a week, take a week off or a month on, month off. Find a good cycle that works for you! Also, keep in mind maca has an earthy, nutty flavor which sometimes can have hints of butterscotch, now here are some ideas for how to add maca to your meals:
- Add to your smoothies
- Mix or blend into your milk or juice
- Mix into your muffin or pancake recipes
- Stir into your hot breakfast cereal
- Add it to your cookie recipes nn bn
- Sprinkle onto your popcorn (especially yummy if your popcorn is popped with coconut oil)
One Last Thing About Maca!
Because maca can have powerful effects on our bodies and to our health remember that it is NOT a drug. It is a plant and it is NOT toxic to our bodies. If you are just starting out in your healthy lifestyle and you start taking maca, you may notice flu like systems, don’t be alarmed. Maca is SO nutrient dense that it is pushing all or “throwing out” all those toxins out of your body to replace with what your body is craving…nutrients!
Have you ever used maca? What was your experience?
You may think of cornstarch as a thickener, and it is – it’s great for makings sauces and gravies but did you know it has a myriad of household uses also? Check out this list of unusual uses for organic cornstarch and be prepared to be amazed. Not only is organic cornstarch economical and versatile, it is very eco friendly, just make sure you’re buying organic cornstarch so you’re not getting GMO corn.
Kitchen Uses For Organic Cornstarch
DIY Baking Powder: If you run out of baking powder, all you have to do is mix 1 part of organic cornstarch with 1 part of baking soda and 2 parts cream of tartar and you’ve got baking powder.
Remove grease spots from walls: It’s happened to all of us, the splattering of grease in the kitchen. To remove grease spots that may splatter onto the wall, sprinkle organic cornstarch onto a clot and rub the grease spot gently until it is gone.
Polish silver: Make a paste by mixing organic cornstarch with water. Use a damp cloth to apply this to your silverware. Let it dry, then rub it off with a clean soft cloth to make it shine like new.
Unstick marshmallows: If you’ve ever bought a bag of marshmallows and they’re all stuck together inside the bag? Add some organic cornstarch to the bag and shake it up. The cornstarch absorbs moisture and the marshmallows will separate.
Create a Perfect Fluffy Omelet: Just add ¼ teaspoon of organic cornstarch per egg, beat well and cook as usual for the fluffiest omelet ever.
Laundry Uses For Organic Cornstarch
Lift a scorch mark from fabric: If you’ve ever left the iron in one spot a little too long, you know the feeling of seeing that scorch mark and knowing you’ve ruined your clothes. Save that clothing by wetting the scorched area and covering it with cornstarch. Let it dry then brush it away and the scorch mark will be gone.
Remove blood stains: Whether it’s on clothing or table linens, you can remove or minimize a bloodstain with this method. Make a paste of cornstarch mixed with cold water. Cover the spot with the cornstarch paste and rub it gently into the fabric. Put the cloth in a sunny area to dry. Once it is dry, brush off the remaining residue. If the stain is not completely gone, repeat the process.
Remove grease on fabric: Blot as much grease as you can with a cloth and sprinkle cornstarch over the stain. Let it sit for ten minutes, and then shake it off. To break up the grease, dab the stain with white vinegar. Launder as normal.
Remove ink stains on fabric: Mix a paste of cornstarch and milk and apply it to the stain. Let it dry, brush off the residue, and launder as usual.
Bath & Body Uses For Organic Cornstarch
Dry shampoo: Even if you’re not ‘no-poo’ (no shampoo) all the time, if you’re in a rush and don’t have time to shower, sprinkle some organic cornstarch on your scalp. Let it sit for a few minutes before brushing out. The cornstarch will absorb the oil and make your hair look fresh. This method also works great for pets.
Sweat & Odor Remover: To absorb sweat, sprinkle on some organic cornstarch. This will also help absorb body odor.
Sunburn, Bug Bites & Poison Ivy Relief: Make a paste of organic cornstarch and water and apply to the affected area. Let the paste dry and then remove with lukewarm water.
Facial Mask: Mix ¼ cup organic cornstarch, 2 Tablespoons milk and 1 egg white. Mix until smooth and apply to face. Let dry for 15 to 20 minutes then rinse off.
Household Uses For Organic Cornstarch
Remove ink stains from carpet: Mix milk with cornstarch to make a paste. Apply the paste to the ink stain. Allow to dry on the carpet for a few hours, and then brush off the dried residue and vacuum.
Give carpets a fresh scent: Sprinkle a little cornstarch on your carpeting. Wait about half an hour and then vacuum normally.
Soak up furniture polish residue: If you wind up with polish left on the surface of your furniture, sprinkle cornstarch lightly on furniture then wipe up the polish and cornstarch and buff the surface.
Make windows shine: Create your own window cleaning solution by mixing 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/2 cup ammonia and 1/2 cup white vinegar in a bucket containing 3-4 quarts (3-4 liters) warm water. Mix well and put the solution in a trigger spray bottle. Spray on the windows, then wipe with a warm-water rinse. Rub with a dry paper towel or lint-free cloth.
Get rid of roaches: Make a mixture that is 50 percent plaster of Paris and 50 percent cornstarch. Spread this in the crevices where roaches appear.
Remove stains on leather furniture. To get rid of oil stains from leather simply apply cornstarch to the oil spot. Leave the cornstarch in place overnight to give the cornstarch time to soak up the grease. The next day use a cloth to brush off all of the corn starch. You may need to repeat to remove the stain.
Save your books You can use cornstarch to help you prevent and kill mildew in your books. Sprinkle cornstarch all throughout the book to absorb the moisture of the damp pages. Let the cornstarch sit several hours or overnight. Then take your books outside and brush the pages clean
Say no to squeaky floorboards: Sprinkle cornstarch in between the seams where the boards are rubbing together and the squeak will stop.
Organic Cornstarch Solutions for Babies & Kids
Untangle knots: Have your kids ever gotten their shoes tied in such tight knots that you can’t get them undone? Sprinkle the knot with a little cornstarch. It will then be easy to work the segments apart.
Make your own paste: The next time kids want to go wild with construction paper and paste, save money by making the paste yourself. Mix 3 teaspoons organic cornstarch with 4 teaspoons cold water. Stir to create a paste consistency. Use with fingers, wooden tongue depressor or popsicle stick.
Make finger paints: Mix together 1/4 cup organic cornstarch and 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until the mixture becomes thick. Pour your into several small containers and add food coloring to each container and you’ve got finger paints.
Clean stuffed animals To clean a stuffed toy, place the stuffed animal into a bag. Sprinkle cornstarch into the bag, close it tightly, and shake. Take the toys out of the back and brush them clean.
Make face paints: Mix two parts of organic cornstarch with one part of white vegetable shortening to make a non-toxic grease paint. Make different color variations by just adding a few drops of food coloring mix until you get the color you want.
Clean sticky playing cards: Place the cards into a paper bag along with a 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Shake the bag. Remove cards and wipe them down and the sticky will be gone.
Un-stink shoes: If you’ve got active kids, you know how stinky their shoes can get. Sprinkle some cornstarch inside the shoes to absorb perspiration and odor.
Diaper Rash Relief: To protect your baby from diaper rash, add ¼ cup of organic cornstarch to their bath water. To sooth diaper rash, powder their bottoms with cornstarch after each diaper change.
Remove grease stains from zinc oxide ointment: Use a spoon to scrape off as much of the ointment as you can. Sprinkle the stained area with cornstarch and let it sit for an hour or so. Brush the starch away and treat the stain with a grease-cutting dish soap. Wash in cool water.
Do you have any of your own tips and tricks for using organic cornstarch? Share below in the comments!
Last week we posted a blog post on sea salt recipes for beauty care. This week we wanted to explain the difference between organic sea saltand table salt. Many people don’t think about the little things we’re putting into our
foods, but there’s a big difference between the table salt you’re used to seeing on the dinner table and sea salt.
Sea Salt Vs. Table Salt
Table salt is much like white sugar, highly processed and refined. There is 84 trace minerals in pure sea salt. After table salt has been processed more than 80 of those essential minerals have been removed and in their place they add back into or “enrich” with anti-clumping, anti-drying fillers like aluminum compounds. Potassium iodine is also added because the natural iodine in sea salt was removed during processing. You also might see some kind of bleaching additive too, to keep the salt nice and white. Does that sound like a salt you want to be using in your baking or adding to your meals? I hope not!
Has a whopping 84 minerals and trace elements. It is an unprocessed, unrefined “raw” and truly natural salt which is hand mined in salt caves that were formed 250 million years ago as ocean salt settled in little pockets around the earth. Pretty cool huh?!
The Truth About Salt
You are probably accustomed to thinking that salt is bad for you, period…that is true, to an extent. But it’s table salt who is the enemy. Eating common table salt actually causes excess fluid in your body that can contribute to many different things: arthritis, kidney and gall bladder stones, gout, cellulite. It can cause diabetes and obesity to worsen. Table salt causes blood pressure to rise quickly because the blood is working hard to remove the toxins in that salt away from the heart, that is why some doctors will tell you to limit salt in-take if you have high blood pressure. The preservatives and additives that are added to table salt can do their own damage to our bodies over time, like:
- Kidney, liver problems
- Heart disease
- Thyroid problems
- Muscle cramps
That’s just to name a few! So, if you have table salt in your home right now, I suggest you go throw it out and replace it with some natural sea salt.
The Health Benefits of Sea Salt
Like I said before sea salt has 84 minerals and trace elements and the cool thing is that those minerals and elements are identical to the elements found in our body. Some benefits of using sea salt daily are:
- Builds a strong immune system
- Helps fight acne
- Aids in digestion
- Promotes healthy pH balance in our body
- Helps with nerve stimulation
- Salt contains magnesium, which is important for producing enzymes, nerve transmission, bone formation, forming tooth enamel, and resistance to heart disease and important for babies developing brain
- Promotes sleep naturally
- Promotes blood sugar health
- Anti aging
- Regulates water content in our body
- Helps with circulation
- Great for your skin
- Supports respiratory health
- Good for detoxing
- Helps with proper functioning of the adrenal glands
How to use Sea Salt to Stay Healthy
You can use it just as you would your thrown out table salt.
- Season your cooking
- Sprinkle on your meals
- Add to your favorite baking recipes
- Use to make salt scrubs
- Soothing bath: Add 1/2 -1c of sea salt to your warm bath and soak for 20 minutes. Helps draw out toxins and leaves your skin smooth.
- Drink before bed to help you sleep 1/2 teaspoon to 1 glass of water.
- Mix with warm water to gargle when you feel a sore throat coming on
- Use to make your neti-pot solution: 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt to 8 oz. of distilled water.
I hope this helped convince you to turn away from table salt once and for all. What is your favorite sea salt and how do you like to use it? Psst! My favorite is Himalayan salt!
Aside from being the most common seasoning, sea salt is said to have literally thousands of uses. Sea salt can be used for cleaning, insect repellent, odor removing and a whole lot more. One of my favorite ways to use sea salt is in homemade beauty treatments like exfoliating salt scrubs, facials, and even hair spray.
Sea Salt Facial
Since sea salt is made by the evaporation of sea water, it contains many trace minerals which have health benefits for the skin. It’s easy to gently exfoliate and stimulate your face a sea salt facial scrub. Simply mix equal parts fine grind sea salt and olive oil with a few drops of essential oils. Use rosemary essential oil for dry skin, lavender for acne, clary sage to reduce signs of aging. You can also use any of Aura Cacia’s Facial Care Serums like baobab, argan or rosehip. Blend together and gently massage the face and throat using upward strokes. Let the mixture sit on your face for up to five minutes then rinse. The sea salt will give your face an extraordinary glow.
Sea Salt Body Scrub
Sea salt is wonderful for removing dead skin cells. Since the coarser varieties are quite abrasive, it is a great choice for scrubbing dead skin from rough spots like elbows and feet. It is also good for removing impurities and for helping flush toxins form the body. The increased blood flow to the skin after using a salt scrub helps bring circulation to the skin, thus aiding the elimination of toxins. Sea salt has also been shown to be therapeutic for muscle pain due to its high magnesium content. Magnesium functions as an electrolyte when it is consumed and this can help reduce muscle spasms and cramps.
To make your own sea salt body scrub you’ll first choose a base. This will be a skin-friendly oil like almond, jojoba, avocado or apricot kernel. Then choose a scent. Using essential oils is a great way to customize your scrub. For relaxing effects, try lavender, sandalwood, jasmine or lemon balm. For uplifting effects, try bergamot, grapefruit, sweet orange or clary sage. You can also create a body scrub with therapeutic effects. Eucalyptus will help clear congestion and ease headaches, rosemary is great for arthritis and muscle aches, peppermint is a great decongestant.
Mix two parts salt to one part base oil. Add just a few drops of essential oil to the mixture and mix well. Use all over your body for healthy skin, healthy body, and healthy mood.
Sea Salt Hair Spray
I’ve always loved the way my hair looks after a day at the beach with that sea salty air blowing through it all day. I even went so far as to buy a commercial hair spray that’s supposed to mimic that look using sea salt. Since I don’t like to use unnatural chemicals in my hair, I sought out ways to re-create that look using natural ingredients and I found a few DIY recipes, tried them, and came up with a blend that I love.
All you need is an empty spray bottle, sea salt, coconut oil, and aloe vera gel. Fill your spray bottle with 1 cup of water, preferably filtered or distilled. Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt and ½ teaspoon coconut oil. Since you can use this spray any time of year, you may be making this in the wintertime and coconut oil will solidify in colder temperatures so you may want to substitute almond oil in the winter. Add a teaspoon of aloe vera gel, place the top on the spray bottle and shake to combine everything. Spray on damp (but not wet) hair and scrunch to create beach waves!
Do you have any favorite body care uses for sea salt? Please share them in the comments!