Homemade http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1579/all en-US 6 Healthy Homemade Yogurt Recipes http://www.wisebread.com/6-healthy-homemade-yogurt-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-healthy-homemade-yogurt-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/yogurt_parfait_000016879134.jpg" alt="Delicious impromptu yogurt parfait recipe that will change your life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of my more indulgent grocery expenses is yogurt, and those tubs really add up. It doesn't matter what kind &mdash; plain, Greek, Icelandic, vegan, etc. &mdash; I'm hooked on all those healthy bacteria and tasty flavors.</p> <p>But did you know that you can make yogurt in the comfort and convenience of your own kitchen? It's true. Even better: It costs far less than the cartons at the store. So, go get your apron, 'cause it's yogurt-making time!</p> <h2>1. Crock-Pot Yogurt</h2> <p>What could be easier than simmering DIY <a href="http://moneysavingmom.com/2012/06/homemade-yogurt-in-the-crock-pot.html">yogurt in your slow cooker</a>? Start by pouring half a gallon of milk into your crock pot and setting it on low for just under three hours. Let it sit for three hours more. Then take a few spoonfuls of the warmed milk and mix with a half cup of your favorite yogurt as a starter (it should contain &quot;active cultures&quot; listed on the label). Combine with the rest of the pot, cover with a towel, and let rest for another eight to 12 hours before spooning into airtight containers and transferring to your refrigerator.</p> <h2>2. Countertop Yogurt</h2> <p>This <a href="http://holisticsquid.com/the-easiest-homemade-yogurt-ever/">raw yogurt</a> can be made right atop your kitchen counter. You'll need raw milk, packaged cultures, jars, a nonreactive saucepan, and some clean cloths. Heat your milk in the saucepan until it starts to rise, then let cool to room temperature before stirring in the cultures to create your starter. From there, take one tablespoon of starter and place in a glass jar. Fill the rest up with raw milk (leaving one inch for headspace). Let sit on your countertop overnight, then place in the fridge to set.</p> <h2>3. Coconut Yogurt</h2> <p>This delicious <a href="http://tasty-yummies.com/2014/06/03/how-to-make-coconut-milk-yogurt/">coconut milk yogurt</a> requires just four ingredients. Coconut milk (full fat, canned works best), sweetener, starter (like probiotic powder), and optional thickener. Once you gather these items, the process is simple. Heat the coconut milk and sweetener until just boiling, then allow to cool to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir in the thickener. Once cooled, add the probiotics as well. Then let culture for eight hours to a full day.</p> <h2>4. Almond Milk Yogurt</h2> <p>Another great vegan alternative is this <a href="http://www.lexieskitchen.com/lexies_kitchen/2011/9/14/almond-milk-yogurt-dairy-free.html">almond milk yogurt</a> &mdash; starting with pure almonds. You'll need some additional thickening agents for this mix, including agar agar and arrowroot powder. From there, soak almonds in filtered water overnight. Blend everything in a high-powered blender and strain out solid pieces. You'll heat this milk and combine with the thickeners before adding to a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EX16RY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000EX16RY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MXHMNAJTHAEEL5AS">yogurt maker</a> and letting sit another good eight to 10 hours before chilling.</p> <h2>5. Greek Yogurt</h2> <p>Making thick <a href="http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/homemade-ingredients/homemade-greek-yogurt/">Greek yogurt</a> is very much like the processes in the other recipes. The difference is in the straining. So, after you've mixed and heated and set your yogurt, you'll line a colander with cheesecloth. Pour the yogurt inside and gather the corners to let it drain for five hours (or until you reach your desired consistency). That's the secret step.</p> <h2>6. Kefir</h2> <p>I only recently started enjoying <a href="http://www.diynatural.com/how-to-make-kefir/">homemade kefir</a> &mdash; a drinkable yogurt &mdash; as part of my everyday routine. And like most things, you can make it at home using whole ingredients. The key here is fermentation, which occurs when you allow milk to sit with kefir grains for 12 to 48 hours. After this critical part of the process, just pour through a strainer, store, and retain grains for future kefir-making sessions.</p> <p><em>Have you made yogurt at home? What's your favorite method?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-healthy-homemade-yogurt-recipes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-indulgent-desserts-that-are-actually-good-for-you">10 Indulgent Desserts That Are Actually Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender">14 Cool Uses for a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tempting-no-bake-desserts">10 Tempting No-Bake Desserts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-use-canned-salmon">50 Ways to Use Canned Salmon</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink crock pot dairy health foods Homemade recipes vegan yogurt Fri, 24 Apr 2015 09:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1396577 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_smoothie_000052698074.jpg" alt="Couple enjoying delicious things made in a blender" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you know that you can make a wide range of delicious things with a good blender, from soup to nut butters? Dust off this often under-utilized kitchen appliance and give the following items a whirl. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender?ref=seealso">14 Cool Uses for a Blender</a>)</p> <h2>1. Pancakes and Waffles</h2> <p>The next time you make pancake or waffle batter, try using your blender. Just toss all of the ingredients in, and switch on for a smooth mix; then pour your perfect portions straight from the pitcher. If you don't have a high-powered model, you may have to break up the mix with a spoon between pulses at first. Any standard recipe will work, just be sure to add mix-ins like fruit or chocolate chips by hand. This method is also great for <a href="http://www.mountainmamacooks.com/2013/08/banana-oat-blender-pancakes-gluten-free-dairy-free-recipe/">gluten-free pancakes</a>.</p> <h2>2. Sauces</h2> <p>Homemade sauces become so much easier with the help of a blender. You can achieve a smooth consistency and even texture with the push of a button. Make your own <a href="http://www.kitchentreaty.com/our-very-favorite-homemade-pizza-sauce/">pizza sauce</a> for an above average homemade pizza experience. It also freezes well, so you can make a big batch. Or make your very own<a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/blender-hollandaise-sauce/">hollandaise sauce</a>! The blender emulsifies the sauce effortlessly for a silky brunch topping.</p> <h2>3. Soups</h2> <p>A great way to give your blender a workout is making smooth and creamy soups. The variety of recipes and flavors may surprise you. From creamy pumpkin and <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butternut-squash-soup-with-ginger-15572">butternut squash soup</a>, to <a href="http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017010-seared-broccoli-and-potato-soup">potato and broccoli soup</a>, to <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/tomato-bisque-recipe.html">tomato bisque</a> &mdash; the possibilities are nearly endless. When blending hot soup, it's a good idea to let it cool off a bit before adding it to the blender. Puree in batches, and crack the top while covering with a kitchen towel to allow some heat to escape when the blender is on.</p> <h2>4. Condiments</h2> <p>If you've never thought about making your own condiments but you own a blender, give it a try! <a href="http://www.myhumblekitchen.com/2012/01/how-to-make-homemade-mayonnaise-with-4-simple-ingredients/#sthash.n3TEAEVx.dpbs">Homemade mayonnaise</a> only requires four ingredients, and is far superior to its bottled counterpart. Or, if you want to go all out, <a href="https://www.vitamix.com/Find-Recipes/H/O/Homemade-Ketchup">make your own ketchup</a>. Home-filled bottles of this classic condiment make great gifts.</p> <h2>5. Quick Breads</h2> <p>When making quick breads, try using your blender to mix things up. You can add ingredients straight to the pitcher, making your blender the only &quot;bowl &quot; that will need cleaning. This gluten-free <a href="http://livesimply.me/2014/07/15/chocolate-swirl-banana-bread-blender/">chocolate banana bread</a> comes together in a flash, or try making <a href="http://www.amynewnostalgia.com/the-best-ever-zucchini-blender-bread/">blender zucchini bread</a>. The blender does all of the work, so you can forget about painstakingly shredding the zucchinis.</p> <h2>6. Protein Shakes</h2> <p>If you're looking to bulk up, you can make delicious and healthful <a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/perfect-homemade-protein-shake/#YWq2XQBpiBMgGUxQ.97">protein shakes</a> at home. Some recipes don't even call for protein powder, but rely on nutritious banana and protein-rich yogurt, peanut butter, and chia seeds to provide energy. A <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/banana_cocoa_soy_smoothie.html">shake made with tofu</a> and soy milk also provides a healthy dose of protein, and tastes great with the addition of cocoa.</p> <h2>7. Peanut Butter</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-peanut-butter-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-199110">Homemade peanut butter</a> is a real treat, and you can make it in your very own blender! Add fresh-toasted nuts and pulse for minute increments, scraping down in between. Add a little salt and, if desired, honey or other flavorings, and pulse to combine. If you don't have a heavy-duty blender, be sure to work in intervals and don't over-work the machine. If it starts to smell smoky, let it rest for a few minutes.</p> <h2>8. Milkshakes</h2> <p>There's no need for a milkshake maker, your blender will do just fine. Start with a <a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipefinder/classic-vanilla-milkshake-ghk">basic milkshake recipe</a> and then get creative. Add chocolate or fruit syrups, and mix-ins like candies, crumbled cookies, or fruit. Changing up the ice cream flavor yields great results, too. Don't forget the whipped cream and cherry on top!</p> <h2>9. Dressings</h2> <p>Making your own dressing is easy and so much better than store-bought, and with a blender, it gets easier still. You can make most <a href="http://www.today.com/id/36671580/ns/today-today_food/t/mark-bittmans--minute-dressings/#.VRV37vnF98F">salad dressings</a> in five minutes using a blender, including a fresh Italian dressing, a flavorful French variety, herb-filled green goddess dressing, and a soy vinaigrette. Blending your dressing makes for a smoother finished product since it does the emulsifying for you.</p> <h2>10. Sorbet</h2> <p>For an easy and quick dessert, <a href="http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/1003505/3-easy-sorbets-made-in-the-blender">make your own sorbet</a> in a blender &mdash; no ice cream maker required. You won't need much more than frozen fruit and sweetener to achieve a cold, sweet treat. This method works best with a high-power blender, but if you're using a typical blender it will still work. When the mixture refuses to blend, stop the machine and stir. Work quickly, so that your mix doesn't melt!</p> <h2>11. Gluten-Free Pizza Crust</h2> <p>If you're living the gluten-free life or just want to cut down, you can use your blender to make a <a href="http://nutritionstripped.com/cauliflower-pizza-crust/">cauliflower pizza crust</a>. It's pretty amazing the things cauliflower will do, and this is no exception! Steam your cauliflower and then blend it up to a fine texture. Add a few ingredients and form into a round before baking, topping, and baking again. The results are surprisingly delicious.</p> <h2>12. Smoothies</h2> <p>Everyone knows you can make smoothies with a blender, but it's easy to forget the sheer variety. Try <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/965190/hearty-fruit-and-oat-smoothie">using oatmeal</a> in your next smoothie for a filling breakfast on the go. Add some nutrition and color with greens like in a <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/kale-smoothie-recipe">kale smoothie</a>, which pairs well with tangy fruit like pineapple. <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/blueberry-blast-smoothie-recipe.html">Yogurt smoothies</a> provide protein with a creamy consistency. Get creative with different kinds of fruit, juices, milks, and fun additions like almond butter, chia seeds, and cocoa.</p> <h2>13. Dips</h2> <p>To whip up a tasty dip in no time, a blender is your answer. Make <a href="http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2012/03/hummus-in-the-blender.html">silky smooth hummus</a> in minutes, great for a party or for a weekday snack. Pair with carrot and cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, and pita chips. For a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/restaurant-style-salsa-recipe.html">restaurant-style salsa</a>, let your blender do the work. Use it to top tacos and burritos, or simply serve with corn chips.</p> <h2>14. Cocktails</h2> <p>There's nothing quite like a <a href="http://www.theyummylife.com/Frozen_Daiquiris">frozen daiquiri</a> on a summer afternoon. Simply add frozen fruit, lemonade/limeade, light rum, and ice, and whirl up. Try lots of different fruit flavors and serve in fun glasses for a perfect hot weather party drink. Use your blender to make other blended drinks like piña coladas, margaritas, and more. Your friends will thank you!</p> <h2>15. Pudding</h2> <p>Yes, pudding! Take some of the labor out of making homemade pudding by having the blender mix it up for you. You're guaranteed to have a silky smooth treat in no time flat. You can't go wrong with a <a href="http://www.alwaysorderdessert.com/2012/08/dark-chocolate-peanut-butter-blender.html">dark chocolate peanut butter pudding</a>, or, for a healthier route, try a <a href="http://detoxinista.com/2013/02/vanilla-chia-pudding-vegan/">blended vanilla chia seed pudding</a>. It makes a great breakfast, or add chocolate to turn it into a low-guilt dessert.</p> <p><em>What do you like to mix in your blender? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender">14 Cool Uses for a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-healthy-homemade-yogurt-recipes">6 Healthy Homemade Yogurt Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-and-delicious-granola-recipes">20 Easy and Delicious Granola Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-satisfying-stir-fries-in-20-minutes-or-less">9 Satisfying Stir-Fries in 20 Minutes or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-low-cost-foods-for-everyday-italian-cooking">4 Low-Cost Foods for Everyday Italian Cooking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink blender Homemade quick meals recipes snacks Fri, 10 Apr 2015 13:00:04 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1376656 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Cool Uses for a Blender http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother-daughter-blender-fruit-iStock_000038436464_Small.jpg" alt="mother and daughter using blender making smoothies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone buys a blender with the best of intentions. A homemade smoothie every morning for breakfast, and you'll be fit in no time &mdash; while saving money, too! A few months later, the blender lives in the back of a cabinet collecting dust, only to be dragged out for an occasional margarita. In fact, the blender can be used to make a surprising amount of things. So it's time to pull out this often forgotten piece of kitchen equipment and see what it can really do.</p> <h2>1. Flour</h2> <p>It might sound crazy, but you can have <a href="http://naturalthrifty.com/how-to-mill-flour.html">freshly milled flour</a> without any real effort or fancy equipment. Just put a couple cups of wheat berries in your blender and let it go. Sift and repeat, and you're done. This method also works great with oats. Instead of buying both rolled oats and oat flour, just keep the whole version around and grind some up when you need it.</p> <h2>2. Almond Milk</h2> <p>If you're an almond milk drinker, then making fresh, <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-almond-milk-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-189996">homemade almond milk</a> will blow you away. Soak almonds overnight in water and then blend well. Strain, and you have deliciously nutty milk. The fresh version will only last a few days in the fridge, so only make what you plan to use. Since the process is so easy, you're sure to be whipping some up on the regular anyway. Try <a href="http://www.alwaysorderdessert.com/2011/10/creamy-chocolate-hazelnut-milk-dairy.html">adding sweet flavors</a> like vanilla and using different kinds of nuts.</p> <h2>3. Compost</h2> <p>Composting is something many people want to do, but don't have the room or the patience to make it happen. If you have a patch of green at home but don't want to turn compost or keep a bin inside, you can <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5994471/blend-your-old-food-scraps-for-instant-compost">make instant &quot;compost&quot;</a> with your blender. Just take your soft food scraps and blend them up, making the leftovers very easy to break down. This is also a great method if you do have an indoor bin, since it will save space and convert to true compost much faster.</p> <h2>4. Juice</h2> <p>If space is at a premium in your kitchen, owning a big juicer might not be an option. Luckily, you can use your <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/504511-how-to-use-a-blender-as-a-juicer/">blender as a juicer</a>. Cut up fruit and vegetables, add to the blender with water, and blend well. Strain to your liking (you can leave some pulp this way), and enjoy. Be sure to use your leftover fruit pulp for composting!</p> <h2>5. Body Scrub</h2> <p>Not only can you make delicious things to eat with your blender, you can <a href="http://petitelefant.com/how-to-make-your-own-citrus-scrub/">make a body scrub</a> that will make you feel pretty delicious, too. Combine all-natural olive oil, sea salt, and citrus for a refreshing and moisturizing scrub that takes less than five minutes to make. The scrub makes a great gift, too!</p> <h2>6. Powdered Sugar</h2> <p>How many times have you started to make a sweet treat, only to discover you don't have any powdered sugar? Unless you are a master cake baker, it's unlikely that you always keep the super fine sweetener around. Next time you're in a pinch, instead of running to the store, whip out your blender. It will magically turn your plain old sugar into fluffy, <a href="http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/12/how-to-make-confectioners-sugar-at-home">homemade powdered sugar</a> in mere minutes.</p> <h2>7. Soup</h2> <p>You probably already know that you can make soups with your blender, but did you know that you can use it to heat up and even &quot;cook&quot; soups? This trick requires a powerhouse blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, both of which have high-speed blades that build up heat through friction. This way, you can <a href="http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2009/02/quick-and-easy-potato-soup.html">warm and blend soup</a> at the same time. If you've got a regular old blender, then you can still puree soups and make <a href="http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/how-to-make-yummy-raw-blender-soups-with-recipes/">raw soups</a> without dirtying a pot or using the stove.</p> <h2>8. Nut Butter</h2> <p>Making your own nut butter is not only easy, it opens up a world of possibilities. Honey-cashew butter? Pistachio-chocolate butter? Yes, please. <a href="https://www.vitamix.com/Find-Recipes/P/E/Peanut-Butter">Homemade nut butters</a> can easily be made in a food processor or a blender. When using a blender, be sure to scrape the sides often and don't overwork the motor. All you need are some nuts and, depending on your mood, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-and-cheap-nut-butter-recipes-to-make-at-home">some delicious flavorings</a>.</p> <h2>9. Salad Dressing</h2> <p>The key to a superior salad is a homemade dressing, and whipping one up is that much easier when you use a blender. Easily pulverize ingredients like herbs and fresh garlic, or emulsify your oil and vinegar into a smooth, cohesive vinaigrette. A blender is especially handy for creamy dressings like a <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/blender-caesar-salad-dressing-156595">homemade ceasar salad</a>.</p> <h2>10. Lotion</h2> <p>Treat yourself to some all-natural skincare using, you guessed it, your blender. Combining beeswax, essential oils, vitamin E, and almond or grapeseed oil, this <a href="http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-lotion/">homemade body cream</a> is luxurious and moisturizing. Using a blender, it takes only minutes to make and extra cream can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks.</p> <h2>11. Applesauce</h2> <p>If you or your kids love applesauce, you have to try making your own fresh sauce at home. Instead of cooking the apples on the stove and then pushing them through a food mill, just throw cut-up, fresh apples along with water and a little flavoring into your blender. You'll be rewarded with <a href="http://www.inhabitots.com/how-to-make-a-cup-of-simple-organic-applesauce-in-your-blender">fresh applesauce</a> that's healthy and so quick and easy to make.</p> <h2>12. Fresh Butter</h2> <p>Did you know that all you need to <a href="http://www.foodrenegade.com/how-to-make-butter/">make fresh butter</a> at home is a blender and some cream? Blend your cream for a few minutes until you can see the butter solids separating. Let it sit so the butter can float to the top, and then strain off the buttermilk (and save for later use). Blend once more with cold water to wash, strain, and add salt if desired. Add roasted garlic, herbs, or spices to make a flavorful spread.</p> <h2>13. Pancakes and Muffins</h2> <p>The next time you're making pancakes or muffins, consider mixing with a blender. The batter will come together easier and be very well mixed, plus you'll have a handy pitcher for pouring. This is especially useful when making pancakes. Some recipes even call for you to use a blender, like these <a href="http://www.runningwithspoons.com/2014/06/24/banana-oat-greek-yogurt-muffins/">oat muffins</a> or these <a href="http://savorysweetlife.com/2012/01/buttermilk-pancakes/">buttermilk pancakes</a>.</p> <h2>14. Lamp</h2> <p>Have you given up on putting your blender to good use in the kitchen? Why not turn it into <a href="http://vault.sierraclub.org/sierra/201103/repurpose/default.aspx?_ga=1.48703142.1626506539.1425337189">a blender lamp</a>? With some careful disassembly and a few extra parts, you can recycle your appliance into a unique light. It's a great way to use a broken blender, too.</p> <p><em>What do you use your blender for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-foods-i-grew-tired-of-buying-and-how-i-quit">5 Foods I Grew Tired of Buying, and How I Quit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-healthy-homemade-yogurt-recipes">6 Healthy Homemade Yogurt Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guaranteed-easiest-way-to-make-your-own-pickles">The Guaranteed Easiest Way to Make Your Own Pickles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink General Tips blender Food Homemade recipes Thu, 19 Mar 2015 17:00:05 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1336751 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Old Fashioned Skills That Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/old-fashioned-vintage-woman-sewing-machine-Dollarphotoclub_70883513.jpg" alt="vintage woman sewing" title="vintage woman sewing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Home brew? Urban gardens? What's old is new again, and those old fashioned homemaking skills from yesteryear are often more eco-friendly, sustainable, and &mdash; yes &mdash; less expensive than modern conveniences. They're also easy once you get into a routine. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects?ref=seealso">18 Awesome, Practically Free, Upcycled Craft Projects</a>)</p> <p>So, check out these important skills from yesteryear that let you live on the cheap today. You may even develop some new hobbies in the process.</p> <h2>1. Bread Baking</h2> <p>Have you paid attention to the prices in the bread aisle recently? No, really. Store bought bread is expensive and contains all sorts of strange ingredients. I've started baking most of our bread at home to save money and keep our food simple. Some of the best recipes I make require nothing more than flour, yeast, and water. The rest is in the mixing, rise time, and actual baking. Start with this ubiquitous <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html">no-knead bread</a> recipe by master baker Jim Lahey. You'll let it rise overnight and then bake in a Dutch oven for an amazingly crisp crust. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread?ref=seealso">A Beginner's Guide to Homemade Bread</a>)</p> <h2>2. From-Scratch Everything</h2> <p>In the past, most people actually made their pantry items from scratch. For example, oat flour is nothing more than rolled oats pulsed in your food processor. Same goes with almond meal. With some practice, you can blend together an amazing batch of hummus that costs half as much as its store-bought counterpart. The list goes on. And after a while, making wholesome foods in your own kitchen becomes automatic. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy?ref=seealso">35 Grocery Items You Should Make at Home</a>)</p> <h2>3. Food Preservation</h2> <p>Eating local, seasonal produce is usually the cheapest, healthiest option for feeding your family. But what about in the off season? Instead of forking over extra cash to eat tomatoes from who-knows-where in January, consider learning the re-emerging art of canning. You'll need a few tools and some know-how (I love the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0762441437/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0762441437&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YPURNI7KXULSVNMU">Food In Jars</a> book, which breaks down the method of small batch canning into bits and pieces). I have yet to master it fully, so I choose to prep and freeze a lot of my ingredients to enjoy year round &mdash; most produce lasts a year this way. You can also pickle and dehydrate foods for unique taste and texture. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts?ref=seealso">How to Preserve In-Season Foods for Off-Season Feasts</a>)</p> <h2>4. Gardening</h2> <p>Better yet, learn how to grow your own food in your backyard (or, for those of you with small outdoor spaces, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">on your patio</a>). There are a number of hearty plants even beginners can cultivate and harvest with much success. Start with easy-to-grow beets, snap peas, carrots, radishes, squash, peppers, lettuce, and a variety of herbs, like dill, cilantro, and basil. Just be sure to pay attention to the soil, light, and watering suggestions on your seeds' or plant's guide. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-great-container-garden-started-with-this-guide?ref=seealso">Get a Great Container Garden Started With This Guide</a>)</p> <h2>5. Sewing</h2> <p>There was a time not so long ago when a hole in a shirt didn't mean it was fated for the donation or garbage pile. Instead, a quick stitch would fix it right up like new. By learning how to sew, you can also customize your wardrobe and even add new wearables for very little cash. Get started by picking up an inexpensive sewing kit or a needle and thread. Then learn some beginner mending techniques, like how to sew on a button, repair small holes, and fix torn seams. It's a lot of under-over-under-over and tying off to finish. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cute-and-frugal-diy-clothes-you-can-make-for-your-kids?ref=seealso">20 Cute and Frugal Clothes You Can Sew for Your Kids</a>)</p> <h2>6. Cleaning Basics</h2> <p>There weren't a lot of brightly packaged cleaning products back in the day. Instead, people made their own cleaners and solutions at home. Here are five&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes">laundry detergent recipes</a> to get you started. I've saved a bundle of money (and plastic) by making laundry soap at home, and my clothes are just as fresh and clean. All-purpose cleaning is also made simple with a mixture of 1:1 vinegar and water solution. Pour them together in a spray bottle and get busy cleaning. Add some alcohol to the bottle (a couple tablespoons) to make a streak-free window and mirror cleaner. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=seealso">How to Clean Everything With 3 All-Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <h2>7. Soap Making and More</h2> <p>Even the whole bath and body DIY phenomenon has its roots in the past. After all, the general store didn't carry limitless products and solutions. Of course, you can get fancy by mixing together bath bombs and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-sunblock-and-6-other-non-toxic-recipes-to-get-your-skin-sun-ready">homemade sunscreens</a>. I like to stick with the basics and use coconut oil as a moisturizer. Melting together olive oil, beeswax, and essential oils makes a quick and useful <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/10/homesteading-natural-vapor-rub.html">vapor rub</a>. Once you acquire the core ingredients, you can make most anything yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products?ref=seealso">50 Amazing DIY Bath and Body Products</a>)</p> <p><em>What old timey skills do you rely on?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guaranteed-easiest-way-to-make-your-own-pickles">The Guaranteed Easiest Way to Make Your Own Pickles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products">50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Food and Drink handmade Homemade homesteading skills Fri, 20 Feb 2015 16:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1300084 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Delicious Homemade Treats Your Valentine Will Love http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-homemade-treats-your-valentine-will-love <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-delicious-homemade-treats-your-valentine-will-love" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chocolate-covered-strawberries-Dollarphotoclub_60362926.jpg" alt="chocolate covered strawberries" title="chocolate covered strawberries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not everyone loves Valentine's Day, but everyone (in their right mind) loves sweets. If you're not sure what to get your significant other, or you just want to show your family and friends that you care, try making one of these far-better-than-average homemade treats. They'll turn anyone into a Valentine's fan!</p> <h2>1. Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies</h2> <p>These bright red, <a href="http://www.justataste.com/2013/02/valentines-day-red-velvet-cheesecake-brownies-recipes/">festive brownies</a> are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. They're a more decadent version of red velvet cake, with a cream cheese filling marbled throughout. Plus, they look impressive without a high level of difficulty.</p> <h2>2. Chocolate-Dipped Vanilla Caramels</h2> <p>Do you want to make a sophisticated candy that is sure to impress? Wrap up these <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chocolate-dipped-vanilla-caramels">chocolate-dipped homemade caramels</a> in a pretty tin, and they are sure to put a smile on your loved one's face. Leave off the chocolate for non-chocoholics.</p> <h2>3. Cherry Cordials</h2> <p>A classic date gift, making <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cherry-cordials">cherry cordials</a> yourself will beat out the store bought variety by leaps and bounds. Luckily they couldn't be easier and only require three ingredients &mdash; just be sure to start early, since the cherries need to soak for a few hours.</p> <h2>4. Homemade Conversation Hearts</h2> <p>It's probably never occurred to you that you can make your own <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/02/bravetart-how-to-make-conversation-hearts-valentines-candy.html">homemade conversation hearts</a>, but this version of the classic Valentine's candy is better than the original. They're worth the special equipment and extra time &mdash; this candy will have people oohing and aahing.</p> <h2>5. Handwritten Valentine Cupcakes With Chocolate Glaze</h2> <p>Are you planning to make <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/317440/handwritten-valentine-cupcakes-with-choc">homemade cupcakes</a> as your Valentine's treat? Personalize them by writing a loving message with a small round icing tip. Practice on some wax paper before starting so you get the hang of it.</p> <h2>6. Red Velvet Cookie Pops</h2> <p>It doesn't get any cuter, or Valentines-ier, than these <a href="http://www.aspicyperspective.com/2013/01/red-velvet-cookies-free-printable-tags.html">cookie pops</a>. They're bright red and heart-shaped, and delicious, too. Take these cookies to work or send with your child to school.</p> <h2>7. Dark Chocolate Bark With Roasted Almonds and Seeds</h2> <p>For a very easy but sophisticated treat, take just a few minutes to make <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/dark-chocolate-bark-with-roasted-almonds-and-seeds">dark chocolate bark</a>. Try mixing it up with different fillings like other nuts and dried fruit. This candy is a great option for low-sugar diets.</p> <h2>8. Be-My-Valentine Cookies</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/be-my-valentine-cookies">heart-shaped cookie</a> dipped in chocolate is a crowd-pleasing Valentine's dessert. Decorate them however you want and try different kinds of chocolate for dipping. These cookies are fun to make with kids!</p> <h2>9. Pink Peppermint Marshmallows</h2> <p>Want a treat that is classically pink? Look no further than these fluffy, <a href="http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/candy/pink-peppermint-marshmallows.html">homemade peppermint marshmallows</a>. They make a great gift for a non-chocolate eater, or a hot cocoa lover.</p> <h2>10. Chocolate Cherry Chocolate Chunk Fudgy Brownies</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/12/chocolate-cherry-chocolate-chunk-fudgy-brownies.html">fudgy brownies</a> are everything you want in a Valentine's treat: Chocolate? Check. Red cherries? Yep. Decadent? You bet! They're chewy and rich and will melt any chocolate lover's heart.</p> <h2>11. Rice Krispie Treat Pops</h2> <p>If you're sick of chocolate this time of year, make these <a href="http://www.rachaelray.com/recipes/rice-krispie-treat-pops">easy and fast pops</a>. Simply whip up some Rice Krispie treats, let them set, and then cut them out with a heart-shaped cutter. Add an optional stick and get creative with the decorations.</p> <h2>12. Chocolate-Mint Thins With Candy Cane Crunch</h2> <p>If you have a Girl Scout cookie lover in your life, try making these homemade <a href="http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017031-chocolate-mint-thins-with-candy-cane-crunch">chocolate-mint thins</a> with the embellishment of red candy cane. These are great out of the freezer, too!</p> <h2>13. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries</h2> <p>A sweet that is simple but delicious and oh-so-Valentine's appropriate. Decorate your <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/chocolate-covered-strawberries-recipe">chocolate-covered strawberries</a> with all sorts of things: white chocolate, sprinkles, cookie crumbs, or crushed nuts.</p> <h2>14. White Chocolate Valentines</h2> <p>Ditch the usual disposable card this year and make an <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/white-chocolate-valentines-recipe.html">edible valentine</a> out of white chocolate! Have fun embellishing with different colors of chocolate and write a fun message. Your loved one can enjoy the sentiment and eat it too!</p> <h2>15. 3-Ingredient Valentine's Day Fudge</h2> <p>This <a href="http://lecremedelacrumb.com/2014/01/valentines-day-mm-fudge-3-ingredients.html">Valentine's fudge</a> is very easy to make with only three ingredients: white chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and M&amp;Ms. You can change it up by using different M&amp;Ms &mdash; peanut butter would be especially good.</p> <p><em>What special treats will you make for your Valentine this year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-homemade-treats-your-valentine-will-love">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-sweet-16-delicious-and-healthy-frozen-yogurt-and-ice-cream-recipes">The Sweet 16: Delicious and Healthy Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money">7 Old Fashioned Skills That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-foods-i-grew-tired-of-buying-and-how-i-quit">5 Foods I Grew Tired of Buying, and How I Quit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy">35 Grocery Items You Should Make at Home (and 5 to Buy)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink dessert Homemade sweet eats treat Valentine's Day Wed, 11 Feb 2015 10:31:14 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1285773 at http://www.wisebread.com 50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bath-soap-gifts-Dollarphotoclub_60635657.jpg" alt="bath soap gifts" title="bath soap gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know about you, but I love bath and body products. Unfortunately, they can also be quite expensive. Not to fret, my friends, because the web is teeming with amazing DIY products you can mix together using very basic, natural ingredients. In fact, you'll see quite a few components of these recipes repeated throughout this list. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>And the vast majority of these projects would also make wonderfully cheap (and impressive) gifts for birthdays and other holidays.</p> <h2>1. Copycat Bomb</h2> <p>Do you love those Lush bath bombs? So do I. This <a href="http://www.creatorsocial.com/index.php/butterball-dupe-cocoa-butter-bath-bomb-diy/">Butterball copycat recipe</a> is full of skin-softening cocoa butter. The fizz comes from the baking soda and citric acid.</p> <h2>2. Flower Bomb</h2> <p>For even more luxury, make <a href="http://www.lovelygreens.com/2014/04/how-to-make-natural-rose-lavender.html">Rose, Lavender, and Oat Bombs</a> filled with dried flower petals. If you're having trouble finding molds, check your local craft store with the decoupage or soap making items.</p> <h2>3. Soap Cupcakes</h2> <p>Or get fancy with your bath bombs and decorate by <a href="http://www.otionsoap.com/blog/2012/08/09/crazy-for-cupcakes/">piping on soap</a> like frosting on a cupcake!</p> <h2>4. Sweet Bubble Bath</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.brit.co/picks/treat-yoself-to-this-5-minute-diy-bubble-bath/">Vanilla Honey Bubble Bath</a> takes only five minutes to put together. It should be used immediately (there's an egg white in the mix), but you can keep any excess in your refrigerator.</p> <h2>5. Bath Oil</h2> <p>Here's a <a href="http://www.bcliving.ca/garden/homemade-aromatic-bath-and-massage-oils">dual-purpose bath oil</a> that works equally well as massage oil. Your biggest decision is what base oil to use. I'd choose coconut oil because it helps with sunburns to psoriasis.</p> <h2>6. Bath Melts</h2> <p>I had never heard of <a href="http://happymoneysaver.com/homemade-relaxing-bath-melts/">Bath Melts</a> before researching this article. It's a similar idea if you're looking for a bath oil, just in solid form. The blogger who made this batch shared that it took $3 total to make a whopping 15 melts.</p> <h2>7. Sleepy Bath Salts</h2> <p>Unwind from your day with these <a href="http://www.naturallyloriel.com/nighty-night-diy-bath-salt-recipe/">Nighty-Night Bath Salts</a>. Epsom salts are made of magnesium chloride, which is thought to be a sleep aid. If you don't have the specific essential oil blend, you can use a combination of lavender, marjoram, mandarin, cedarwood, sage, etc.</p> <h2>8. Bubbling Salts</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.savingwithshellie.com/homemeade-gift-lavender-bubble-bath-salts/">Lavender Bath Salts</a> also bubble with the addition of scented body wash. You can customize by using your favorite essential oils.</p> <h2>9. Detox Soak</h2> <p>We all need a cleanse every now and again. This <a href="http://www.triedandtrueblog.com/ginger-detox-bath-soak/">Ginger Detox Soak</a> is just what the doctor ordered, combining the detoxifying power of epsom salt, ginger, and apple cider vinegar.</p> <h2>10. Beard Oil</h2> <p>I'm making my husband this <a href="http://bumblebreeblog.com/2014/05/26/druff-beard-oil/">Beard Oil</a> for Christmas &mdash; but don't tell him! Apricot oil is the base for this mix, but vitamin E helps soften those dry beards in a flash. The rest is up to you with the essential oil mix, though I'd certainly recommend the tea tree for its antimicrobial properties.</p> <h2>11. Beard Balm</h2> <p>Whiskey and woodsmoke. Those are two rustic scents that take this <a href="http://transientexpression.com/diy-gift-beard-balm/">beard balm</a> to a whole new level of manly. Beyond the scents, the rest is a combination of shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and almond oil.</p> <h2>12. Shave Soap</h2> <p>This <a href="http://soapdelinews.com/2013/08/natural-diy-lanolin-shaving-soap-recipe.html">Natural Shaving Soap</a> recipe has a base of lanolin and shea butter for extra moisturizing power.</p> <h2>13. Shave Cream</h2> <p>If you prefer a cream, try this <a href="http://www.mommypotamus.com/natural-homemade-shaving-cream/">simple shave blend</a> made with coconut oil, shea, jojoba, and liquid castile soap. Whip using a hand or stand mixer for that creamy texture.</p> <h2>14. Makeup Removing Scrub</h2> <p>Skip the harsh face soaps at the store and whisk together this <a href="http://liagriffith.com/seasalt-face-scrub-and-coconut-oil-makeup-remover/">Sea Salt Scrub and Coconut Oil Makeup Removing Combo.</a> The creator of this project packaged hers in some adorable glass containers with crisp labels.</p> <h2>15. Salt Soap</h2> <p>Here's a three ingredient <a href="http://apumpkinandaprincess.com/2014/05/pink-himalayan-salt-grapefruit-soap.html">Himalayan Salt Grapefruit Soap</a> combination that uses a goat's milk soap base for a twist. Alternatively, you can use shea butter soap base, and both can be found at your local craft store.</p> <h2>16. Coffee Soap</h2> <p>My husband would enjoy this <a href="http://www.essentiallyeclectic.com/2014/01/cinnamon-hazelnut-coffee-soap.html">Rustic Cinnamon Hazelnut Coffee Soap</a>. You mix together the soap bases to start and then fold in the cinnamon, hazelnut, and coffee grounds to give the whole thing texture.</p> <h2>17. Foot Scrub</h2> <p>Wow. <a href="http://soletshangout.com/diy-sugar-cookie-foot-scrub-a-valentine-to-yourself/">Sugar Cookie Foot Scrub</a> sounds so good, I could eat it. The ingredients all come from the kitchen (brown sugar, white sugar, olive oil, and vanilla extract), so I actually could swallow it with no repercussions.</p> <h2>18. Bath Paint</h2> <p>Here's a great gift for those kids on your list: <a href="http://www.meetthedubiens.com/2010/11/bubble-bath-paint.html">Bath Paint</a>! Just mix together bubble bath, cornstarch, and food coloring.</p> <h2>19. Bath Crayons</h2> <p>Or you could make them these <a href="http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-bath-crayons/">Bath Crayons</a> using a bar of white soap, powdered colors, and ice cube molds. Melt, mix, and set.</p> <h2>20. Bubble Gum Bath</h2> <p>Kids need bubbles, too. This <a href="http://www.smartschoolhouse.com/diy-crafts/bubble-gum-bubble-bath/2">Bubble Gum Bath</a> is made from unscented castile soap, vegetable glycerine, and some scented oil. Far fewer ingredients than in the brands you'll find at the store.</p> <h2>21. Lotion Bars</h2> <p>You won't see parabens, chemicals, or formaldehyde in these <a href="http://adelightfulhome.com/how-to-make-chocolate-peppermint-lotion-bars/">Chocolate Peppermint Lotion Bars</a>! The cocoa butter gives this blend a richness that's perfect for the winter months.</p> <h2>22. Lotion Cubes</h2> <p>I store my <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/diy-natural-lotion-cubes.html">DIY Lotion Cubes</a> in the fridge to keep them fresh. The mix of shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax melts on contact with your skin.</p> <h2>23. Slow Cooker Bar</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.missinformationblog.com/crockpot-lotion-bars/">Slow Cooker Lotion Bar</a> recipe uses the same ingredients as the rest, but can be made conveniently in your crock pot.</p> <h2>24. Tea Lotion</h2> <p>Your beverage-loving friends will enjoy this <a href="http://www.freshpickedbeauty.com/2012/12/wild-chamomile-body-cream.html">Wild Chamomile Lotion</a> made with loose leaf tea. Melt together the herbs and oils in a double boiler until combined. Then strain before beating into a smooth lotion.</p> <h2>25. Healing Salve</h2> <p>Give some TLC to super dry skin with this herb-infused <a href="http://herbalacademyofne.com/2014/01/how-to-make-a-healing-salve/">Healing Salve</a>. The instructions yield quite a few jars of the stuff, and I think recycled baby food jars would make perfect, low-cost packaging.</p> <h2>26. Basic Lip Balm</h2> <p>This <a href="http://threadedtogether.com/2013/12/02/small-batch-homemade-lip-balm/">DIY Lip Balm</a> takes only three ingredients to make: Coconut oil, beeswax, and essential oils.</p> <h2>27. Kool-Aid Balm</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/yF6yXnmXXSc"></iframe></p> <p>Essential oils will not give your balm any taste. So, if you want a delicious blend like this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF6yXnmXXSc">Easy Flavored Lip Balm</a>, you can use drink mixes (like Crystal Light or Kool-Aid).</p> <h2>28. Natural Flavor Balm</h2> <p>For a more natural experience, <a href="http://www.brambleberry.com/Webpage.aspx?WebpageId=69&amp;CategoryId=148">choose flavored oils</a> over essential oils in the basic balm recipe.</p> <h2>29. Tinted Lip Balm</h2> <p>Or add some <a href="http://www.littlehomesteaders.com/2013/08/homemade-tinted-lip-balm/">beet root powder</a> to make a tinted balm for more special occasions.</p> <h2>30. Deodorant</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/5-minute-homemade-deodorant-review.html">5-Minute Homemade Deodorant</a> will change your life. It's made with baking soda, arrowroot powder, coconut oil, and essential oils. If you need a stronger stench-fighter, choose clove or lavender, which have high antimicrobial properties.</p> <h2>31. Edible Mud Mask</h2> <p>Well, not real mud. This <a href="http://www.essentiallyeclectic.com/2013/04/diy-edible-mud-mask.html">Edible Mud Mask</a> would make an awesome snack if you don't use the whole thing on your face. It's made with banana, Greek yogurt, cocoa powder, buttermilk, lemon juice, and honey.</p> <h2>32. Shampoo</h2> <p>I love coconut milk, so I think I'd also love this <a href="http://www.goddesslife.com/homemade-coconut-shampoo-recipe">Coconut Milk Shampoo</a>. Combine the nourishing liquid with castile soap and vitamin E, then lather, rinse, and repeat.</p> <h2>33. Conditioner Bar</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/ingredients/how-to-make-your-own-diy-conditioner-bar/">spill-proof conditioner bars</a> are perfect for travel or giving as gifts. You'll need some special ingredients, like incroquat, but you can find most easily online at a low price. Rub the bar on your hair to condition and rinse.</p> <h2>34. Deep Conditioner</h2> <p>You likely have the ingredients you'll need for this <a href="http://sortofhomemade.com/homemade-deep-conditioning-treatment/">Deep Conditioner</a> in your kitchen. Mix banana, yogurt, avocado, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar together for a treat your hair won't soon forget.</p> <h2>35. Strength Conditioner</h2> <p>This protein-packed <a href="http://www.indianbeautyspot.com/2013/10/natural-protein-conditioner.html#_">conditioning treatment</a> is made with egg, olive oil, and some of your normal daily conditioner. It helps promote healthy hair shafts and good growth.</p> <h2>36. Shine Spray</h2> <p>Cool! <a href="http://soapdelinews.com/2014/07/diy-shine-spray-leave-conditioner-recipe-dry-damaged-hair.html">DIY Shine Spray</a> is made with Argan oil and agave nectar. Spritz on hair, especially parched and damaged ends, to moisturize. I love how the blogger made her own labels for the containers.</p> <h2>37. Hair Dye</h2> <p>File this one under interesting! You can use coffee to <a href="http://www.indianbeautyspot.com/2013/09/natural-coffee-hair-dye.html">dye your hair</a>. If you already use a natural dye, like henna, you can use coffee to enhance the resulting color. It's all-natural, so why not give it a try?</p> <h2>38. Sugar Scrub</h2> <p>I like my scrubs to be invigorating, and that's exactly what this <a href="http://www.classyclutter.net/2014/02/lemon-lime-sugar-scrub.html">Lemon-Lime Scrub</a> is about. The sugar granules exfoliate dry flakes to reveal softer, smoother skin in their place.</p> <h2>39. Salt Scrub</h2> <p>This copycat recipe is for my favorite scrub on the market: Lush's <a href="http://www.pantryspa.com/beauty-remedies/face-remedies/diy-lush-ocean-salt-scrub-homemade-recipe-lush-copycat/">Ocean Salt Scrub</a>. It feels/tastes sort of like a margarita on your face with the lime juice, salt, and vodka. Yum.</p> <h2>40. Shower Jelly</h2> <p>Another Lush-inspired DIY, this <a href="http://www.rookiemag.com/2013/07/diy-shower-jellies/">Shower Jelly</a> is so much fun to give and get. You mix soap with gelatin (or agar-agar) and food coloring. Set in your fridge overnight until firm.</p> <h2>41. Scrub Bars</h2> <p>Or take this idea to solid form with these <a href="http://www.adventuresincoupons.com/diy-sugar-scrub-bars">Sugar Scrub Bars</a>. Mix together shredded soap, sugar, coconut oil, essential oils, and even a little food coloring for pizazz before pouring into molds.</p> <h2>42. Chest Rub</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/10/homesteading-natural-vapor-rub.html">Natural Vapor Rub</a> &mdash; made by mixing together olive oil, beeswax, and essentials oils &mdash; has worked wonders for my family. It's very similar to Vicks, and I've been able to make different strengths for my daughter as well as for myself and my husband.</p> <h2>43. Wash and Toner</h2> <p>Here's a wonderful spa set &mdash; <a href="http://www.cleanmama.net/2014/01/diy-oil-cleansing-method-skin-toner.html">DIY Face Wash and Toner</a> for oily skin. Once you stir together your concoction, store in a travel container that you can find at most drug or box stores.</p> <h2>44. Face Wipes</h2> <p>Use some microfiber clothes for gentle cleansing <a href="http://happymoneysaver.com/gentle-cleansing-facial-wipes/#_a5y_p=1489439">Face Wipes</a>. You'll soak and store them in a solution of water, coconut oil, and essential oils. To wash, pop them in a pillowcase so you don't lose any in the shuffle.</p> <h2>45. Face Mist</h2> <p>Do you have sensitive skin? This <a href="http://thechicsite.com/2014/04/18/face-mist-for-sensitive-skin/">Face Mist</a> is for you! Combine chamomile tea, essential oil, vegetable glycerine, and water in a spritz bottle. You can make your own label for gift giving, too!</p> <h2>46. Soap-Free Cleanser</h2> <p>Here's yet another Lush copycat recipe. This time it's for <a href="http://lovelygreens-shop.com/copycat-recipe-for-lush-angels-on-bare-skin/">Angels on Bare Skin</a>, a popular soap-free cleanser. The power comes from Kaolin clay, which you can purchase easily on sites like Amazon.</p> <h2>47. Sore Muscle Rub</h2> <p>Friends and family who struggle with aches and pains will love this <a href="http://www.organicauthority.com/health/make-your-own-essential-oil-sore-muscle-rub.html">Homemade Muscle Rub</a>. It's all natural and uses the power of eucalyptus, cinnamon, peppermint, camphor, and rosemary to massage pains away.</p> <h2>48. Bronzing Bars</h2> <p>These <a href="http://wellnessmama.com/9368/bronzing-lotion-bars/">DIY Bronzing Bars</a> contain natural SPF to keep your glow pretty and safe year-round. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-sunblock-and-6-other-non-toxic-recipes-to-get-your-skin-sun-ready?ref=seealso">Homemade Sunblock and 6 Other Non-Toxic Skincare Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>49. Shampoo Bar</h2> <p>Have you ever tried a shampoo in soap form? Once you do, you might never go back. Try this <a href="http://frugallysustainable.com/2011/12/shampoo-bar-soap-recipe/">Tea Tree Shampoo Bar</a> as an entry into the new way of looking at your hair care. Note: You'll need lye for this recipe, which you can purchase at chemical stores and online. By the time you're done with your soap, none of the chemical should remain due to <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saponification">saponification</a>.</p> <h2>50. Nail Polish</h2> <p>Yup. You can mix together <a href="http://saynotsweetanne.com/2014/quality-diy-nail-polish/#_a5y_p=1756649">your own nail polish</a> using bases you can buy online (or cheap top coats, etc. you can find at the drug store). To create, use glitter or even eyeshadow as pigment mixed with your base. Get creative and make a custom blend your friends will love.</p> <p><em>Will you be making any of these or other homemade gifts this year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-lotion-recipes">Homemade Lotion Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-beauty-treatments-that-actually-work">7 Homemade Beauty Treatments That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-create-a-great-home-gym">6 Ways to Create a Great Home Gym For Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Health and Beauty bath body gifts Homemade lotion soap Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1267186 at http://www.wisebread.com 16 Easy, Delicious and Homemade Holiday Gifts http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/christmas-treats-gift-509805851-small.jpg" alt="christmas treats gift" title="christmas treats gift" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Instead of fighting the crowds at the mall and hunting for bargains this holiday season, why not take to your kitchen? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a>)</p> <p>Forget that dry soup mix and heavy-as-a-rock fruitcake &mdash; homemade, edible gifts can be a real treat, not to mention being very economical. Stop fretting over what to get your growing list of recipients, and surprise them with some of the following tasty (and easy!) gifts.</p> <h2>1. Infused Alcohol</h2> <p>Infused spirits make beautiful gifts, and who doesn't like getting booze? Luckily, less is more when it comes to these flavorful drinks, and there's no need to go top shelf, so you can give an alcoholic gift without breaking the bank. <a href="http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/05/diy-vs-buy-how-to-infuse-spirits-at-home-flavored-vodka-or-rum.html">Follow these guidelines</a> and pour into bottles or jars with a label.</p> <h2>2. Quick Pickles</h2> <p>This crunchy, salty, and tangy snack is to sure to delight. <a href="http://greenvalleykitchen.com/quick-pickles/">Quick pickles</a> are quick (&hellip;yep), easy, and you can change up the flavors depending on your mood. Use saved jelly jars and attach a nice label for a special gift.</p> <h2>3. Coconut Macaroons</h2> <p>Macaroons are pretty, really tasty, and so easy to make. Make traditional <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/first-place-coconut-macaroons">coconut macaroons</a> for Hanukkah or Christmas gifts, and package them in plastic gift bags with red ribbon. Make them extra special by dipping them half-way into melted dark chocolate.</p> <h2>4. Seasonings</h2> <p>Spice mixes are convenient, but the store-bought varieties can be lackluster and often contain unnecessary fillers and chemicals. Whip up some <a href="http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/more-healthy-salad-dressing-recipes-italian-and-thousand-island">Italian seasoning</a> or <a href="http://blog.lexienaturals.com/2013/01/homemade-cajun-seasoning.html">Cajun seasoning</a>, garnish with a pretty label, and give as flavorful gifts. Note that these recipes (and others) are easily doubled and tripled.</p> <h2>5. Matzo Candy</h2> <p>An easy and delicious treat for Hanukkah, simply dip squares of matzo into melted chocolate, and sprinkle with crushed peppermint or nuts for a festive looking candy. Unless you want to <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/toffee-matzo">get fancy about it</a>!</p> <h2>6. Peppermint Patties</h2> <p>This refreshing after-dinner candy is a crowd-pleaser, and <a href="http://www.ohnuts.com/blog/homemade-peppermint-patties-recipe-2/">fun to make</a>. Dress them up by sprinkling crushed peppermint candy on top while the chocolate is still warm. Put a dozen in a small, parchment paper-lined tin for excellent gifting.</p> <h2>7. Spiced Nuts</h2> <p>Spiced nuts are a favorite snack around the holidays, and with so many variations, they make a perfect treat for a loved one. Try these roasted <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sugar-and-spice-nuts">Sugar-and-Spice Nuts</a> or <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Jessicas-Spiced-Pecans">Jessica's Spiced Pecans</a>, and present them in a pretty mason jar.</p> <h2>8. Granola</h2> <p>Homemade granola is economical, easy, and healthier than store-bought varieties. It lasts for a couple of weeks in an airtight container and can be made in lots of flavors, so it's a great gift. Start with a <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/30062-basic-granola">basic recipe</a> and mix up the nuts and fruit for variety. Pistachio and cranberry is especially festive!</p> <h2>9. Dog Treats</h2> <p>Have friends or family who love their dog above all else? Wish them a happy holidays by bringing a <a href="http://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/dog-nutrition/Recipe-Ideas-for-Quick-and-Healthy-Homemade-Dog-Treats#link3">tasty homemade gift</a> to their pooch!</p> <h2>10. Fudge</h2> <p>The varieties of fudge are endless, and as long as you follow the directions, it's also easy to make. Impress your loved ones with some <a href="http://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/2012/11/white-chocolate-fudge-with-cranberries-and-pistachios/">White Chocolate Fudge With Cranberries and Pistachios</a>, <a href="http://www.lemonsforlulu.com/nutella-caramel-pretzel-fudge/">Nutella Caramel Pretzel Fudge</a> (or maybe a little of each!).</p> <h2>11. Syrups</h2> <p>Try making a homemade syrup for an easy but impressive homemade gift. Save pretty bottles and fill them with <a href="http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/homemade-vanilla-coffee-syrup/">Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup</a> (for your friends addicted to Starbucks) or <a href="http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2013/08/homemade-raspberry-syrup/">Homemade Raspberry Syrup</a>, which goes beautifully on top of pancakes.</p> <h2>12. Preserved Lemons</h2> <p>For your friend and family that love to cook, give them a beautiful jar of <a href="http://www.daringgourmet.com/2014/04/08/how-to-make-preserved-lemons-moroccan-middle-eastern-cooking/">preserved lemons</a>. This easy-to-make jarred fruit adds vibrancy to lots of dishes. Don't worry if they aren't ready in time &mdash; just put an &quot;open by&quot; date on the tag, and they'll have a tasty treat that keeps giving for months later.</p> <h2>13. Truffles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.rachaelray.com/2014/02/easy-chocolate-truffles">Truffles</a> are easier to make than they seem, and they are so decadent and delicious that they make a fantastic gift. Plus, you can roll them in different ingredients (cocoa powder, coconut, nuts, the list goes on) and they make a lovely display.</p> <h2>14. Olive Tapenade</h2> <p>Save that nice-looking mustard jar to fill with your very own <a href="http://www.amuse-your-bouche.com/black-olive-tapenade/">homemade olive tapenade</a>, and the recipient will be more than impressed. Include recipe cards with ideas for using the condiment for a nice touch.</p> <h2>15. Popcorn</h2> <p>Instead of giving a giant Christmas tin full of artificially flavored popcorn, make your own gourmet version. <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/popular-ingredients/popcorn-recipes">Popcorn</a> is easy to make and you can flavor it in lots of ways. Make a few kinds and put them each in pretty bags with ribbon and a label.</p> <h2>16. Chocolate-Dipped Everything</h2> <p>Want to make something look and taste fancy? Dip it in chocolate. Try melting dark, white and/or milk chocolate and dipping strawberries, pretzels, shortbread, or anything else that sounds good to you. Make them even prettier by then dipping into finely chopped nuts, holiday sprinkles, or sea salt.</p> <p><em>What edible gifts do you whip up for the holidays? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-great-diy-gifts-for-geeks">15 Great DIY Gifts for Geeks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-budget-gifts-you-can-bring-to-a-holiday-party">7 Budget Gifts You Can Bring to a Holiday Party</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cool-diy-christmas-gifts-for-the-under-6-crowd">5 Cool DIY Christmas Gifts for the “Under 6” Crowd</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ultimate-gift-guide-thoughtful-ideas-for-every-list-and-every-budget">Ultimate Gift Guide: Thoughtful Ideas for Every List and Every Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment DIY edible gifts gifts holiday gift guide Homemade Thu, 04 Dec 2014 17:00:10 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1263566 at http://www.wisebread.com The Easiest, Cheapest Way to Make Delicious Dumplings http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-cheapest-way-to-make-delicious-dumplings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-easiest-cheapest-way-to-make-delicious-dumplings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dumplings-454269923-small.jpg" alt="dumplings" title="dumplings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you compare restaurant or store bought dumpling prices to making your own, there's just no contest. Dumplings are one of the cheapest entrees you can make at home (50-60 wrappers cost about two dollars), and the flavor possibilities are endless. Plus, they freeze great and don't require defrosting, so you can have a quick homemade meal at a moment's notice. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-scrumptious-quick-homemade-rolls?ref=seealso">How to Make Scrumptious, Quick Homemade Rolls</a>)</p> <p>Don't let the folding part of dumpling making scare you off. It's simple and once you get the hang of it, you'll be a dumpling making machine. Just follow these steps to dumpling heaven, and get creative with the fillings.</p> <h2>Dumpling-Making Demystified</h2> <p>You'll find recipes below, but let's start with an overview of the process.</p> <h3>1. Prep Your Filling</h3> <p>There are tons of options for filling your dumplings. Below are two recipes to get you started. Mix up the ingredients and set aside.</p> <h3>2. Set Up Your Assembly Line</h3> <p>Making your dumplings will go much faster if you have everything at arm's length. You'll need:</p> <ul> <li>dumpling or wonton wrappers</li> <li>two wet and wrung out tea towels or paper towels</li> <li>a small bowl with water</li> <li>a pastry brush (optional)</li> <li>a teaspoon measuring spoon</li> <li>a parchment-lined baking sheet</li> </ul> <h3>3. Fill Your Dumplings</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/WB-dumps-in-processs.jpg" /></p> <p>Take out two dumpling wrappers and cover the remaining wrappers with a damp towel. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of each wrapper and brush the edges all around with water using a pastry brush or your finger. Use just enough water to make the edges damp. Do not overfill your dumpling!</p> <h3>4. Fold Your Dumplings</h3> <p><iframe frameborder="0" width="605" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/aE82VmqPYj4" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>You can fold your dumplings by simply folding them in half and pressing around all of the edges to make a seal. Press firmly so that the filling will not leak out during cooking. If you'd like to get more creative, there are a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE82VmqPYj4">number of methods</a>.</p> <h3>5. Repeat</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/WB-dumps-on-tray.jpg" /></p> <p>As you fold your dumplings, place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a damp cloth so they don't dry out. Repeat until the filling runs out. If you are going to freeze your dumplings, you can place them in the freezer now.</p> <h3>6. Freeze Your Dumplings</h3> <p>If you aren't taking these straight to the stovetop, freeze them for later. Here's how.</p> <p>Lay finished dumplings out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer, uncovered, for 30 minutes to an hour, or until frozen. Freezing them individually this way means they won't freeze together into a big clump of dumpling.</p> <p>Transfer dumplings into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Use veggie dumplings within a month, use meat dumplings within about two weeks.</p> <p>Cook straight from the freezer according to the directions below, but add 2-4 minutes to cooking time.</p> <h3>7. Cook Your Dumplings</h3> <p>You can steam or pan fry your dumplings.</p> <p>To steam: Lightly grease your steamer and bring a couple of inches of water in the bottom to a boil. Steam for about ten minutes.</p> <p>To pan fry (the most delicious way to cook dumplings): Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook dumplings, 8-10 at a time (don't overcrowd the pan) until browned on the bottom, 3-5 minutes. Add about &frac14; cup of water and cover with lid, leaving a crack for some steam to escape, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until all water has evaporated, or 3-5 minutes.</p> <h3>8. Eat Your Dumplings</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/WB-finished-dumps.jpg" /></p> <p>Serve with dipping sauce, recipe below.</p> <h2>Dumpling and Sauce Recipes</h2> <p>Now that you've got a handle on the process, here are some delicious dumpling recipes to get you started. Note: These recipes are easily halved or &mdash; even better &mdash; doubled.</p> <h3>Chicken and Corn Dumplings</h3> <p>Makes 30-35 dumplings</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>35 dumpling or wonton wrappers, defrosted if frozen</li> <li>⅔ lb ground chicken (or ground turkey or lean pork)</li> <li>&frac34; cup frozen or fresh corn</li> <li>2 garlic cloves, minced</li> <li>3 T chopped spring onions</li> <li>1 T chopped Thai basil (or Italian basil)</li> <li>1 T hoisin sauce</li> <li>2 t rice vinegar</li> <li>salt and pepper</li> <li>water</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method</strong></p> <p>Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Follow the process for forming the dumplings outlined above.</p> <h2>Edamame and Butternut Squash Dumplings</h2> <p>Makes 30-35 dumplings</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>35 dumpling or wonton wrappers, defrosted if frozen</li> <li>1 &frac12; cups shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions</li> <li>1 cup frozen or fresh butternut squash, diced small and cooked</li> <li>2 T chopped spring onions</li> <li>1 T grated fresh ginger</li> <li>2 garlic cloves, minced</li> <li>2 t chopped fresh mint</li> <li>1 t soy sauce</li> <li>1 t sesame oil</li> <li>juice of 1 lime</li> <li>salt and pepper</li> <li>water</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method</strong></p> <p>Combine squash and edamame in a food processor and process until edamame is in medium-to-small sized chunks (or mash together in a bowl by hand). Add other ingredients and mix well. Follow the process for forming the dumplings outlined above.</p> <h3>Dipping Sauce</h3> <p>Makes enough for one batch of dumplings.</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>&frac34; cup soy sauce</li> <li>2-3 T Sriracha (optional, add soy sauce to compensate)</li> <li>1 T sesame oil</li> <li>2 spring onions, chopped</li> <li>juice of one lemon or lime</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method</strong></p> <p>Combine ingredients in a bowl. Serve with dumplings.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite dumpling recipe? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-cheapest-way-to-make-delicious-dumplings">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesome-muffin-tin-recipes-for-breakfast-lunch-and-dinner">15 Awesome Muffin Tin Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money">7 Old Fashioned Skills That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-foods-i-grew-tired-of-buying-and-how-i-quit">5 Foods I Grew Tired of Buying, and How I Quit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy">35 Grocery Items You Should Make at Home (and 5 to Buy)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink dumplings freeze ahead Homemade Fri, 26 Sep 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1220889 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Homemade Pet Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/20140304_125546.jpg" alt="dog" title="dog" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We love our pets. So much so that in 2013, Americans spent a whopping <a href="http://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp">$55 billion</a> on their furry friends. Almost $14 billion of that went to pet supplies and over the counter (OTC) medicines. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-use-your-credit-card-to-pay-for-these-10-things?ref=seealso">10 DIY Dog Toys You Can Make For Pennies</a>)</p> <p>But here's the thing: While recently browsing my local pet supply stores, I found that quite a few of the products contained ingredients that are less than healthy for my dog and the price tag was often pretty steep. I decided to do some price and quality comparisons and found I could make the following products healthier and cheaper than comparable products I could buy at retailers:</p> <h2>1. Toys</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-toy-453747615-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>There are dozens of DIY toy ideas online. My pup loves to solve puzzles, especially when treats are involved. These puzzle toys usually involve hiding a treat inside a compartment that my dog has to figure out how to open. <a href="http://www.shop.nina-ottosson.com/all-products/dogtornado-plastic-level-2.html">Nina Ottosson</a> has a great line of puzzle toys for dogs and I have a few of them that cost me about $40 each. But I could have made this <a href="http://www.babble.com/pets/10-brain-games-to-challenge-and-entertain-your-pet/">similar toy</a> for my pup using a muffin tin and tennis balls for $5, and he also would have had the tennis balls to bounce around the house!</p> <h2>2. Bedding</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-suitcase-506978391-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Have you seen the price of dog beds lately? I recently went to my local Target to get my little guy a new cozy nap space, and small dog beds (of rather boring design and fairly low quality) cost about $25. Instead, I picked up a small vintage suitcase at my local thrift store that is in great shape and lined it with a plush towel and squishy pillow for less than $10. Try these inspiring <a href="http://www.zippypaws.com/blog/?p=321">designs for suitcase pet bedding</a>.</p> <h2>3. Wet Wipes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-wipes-178831582-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>In between his baths, I like to wipe down my pup with wet wipes, particularly after a long walk in the park or a stroll around the streets of New York. Most commercial wipes have chemicals in them that I'd rather not put on my pup's skin (particularly if he's likely to lick his paws!), so I looked into organic wipes that typically cost about $10. Instead, I followed Southern Wag's DIY recipe and made a better quality, healthier wipes for less than $3.</p> <h2>4. Shampoo</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-bath-178807773-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>My dog has dry skin and it causes him to become very itchy and uncomfortable. My vet recommended a prescription shampoo that cost (brace yourself!) $21 for an 8 ounce bottle. However, I didn't want my little guy to be uncomfortable, so I bought it for him. Unfortunately it didn't do much good and it also had a medicine-like scent. I started poking around online and found this <a href="http://soapdelinews.com/2014/05/diy-natural-homemade-dog-shampoo-recipe-neem-oil.html">recipe for dog shampoo</a> by Rebecca Dillon. Total cost for the same 8 ounces was $12, it worked like a charm, and it smelled so much better!</p> <h2>5. Treats</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-treats-164932166-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Quite a few commercially-sold pet treat products are made in China and after <a href="http://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/productsafetyinformation/ucm295445.htm">the contamination issues</a> earlier this year, I started to investigate other options I could make at home. I found a recipe for these <a href="http://www.spoonforkbacon.com/2011/09/bacon-bark-sticks/">bacon bark sticks</a> that are a snap to make and cost only $3 for two dozen tasty treats.</p> <h2>6. Surface Cleaner</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-cleaner-464898385-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Just like humans, pets get sick from time to time. I wanted a cleaner to clean up after my pet that is non-toxic and safe on home surfaces. I could buy <a href="http://www.drugstore.com/method-all-purpose-surface-cleaner-pink-grapefruit/qxp83527?catid=184283">a cleaner by Method</a> for $4 per bottle. I found this <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Homemade-Pet-Stain-Cleaner-30885507">recipe for a petsafe surface cleaner</a> online that costs less than $1 to make from items I already have in my home and it did the trick!</p> <h2>7. Tummy Remedy</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-sleeping-484404711-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Dogs have very acidic digestive systems. It's a holdover from their wolf ancestors who needed to break down the food they caught in the wild. The build-up of acid overnight caused my pup's tummy to often be upset first thing in the morning. My vet wanted to put him on an antacid medicine that would cost $10 month. While I would have been happy to spend that, I wanted to check out natural remedies that might help. After a little investigation, I discovered that a teaspoon of mashed sweet potato once a day calmed his stomach and eliminated the problem for a grand total of $1.50 per month at my local grocery store. I buy the sweet potatoes, boil them, and mash them myself.</p> <p>While I love to make DIY items as much as possible, there are some pet Items that I do buy commercially, and you should too. For example, flea and tick medicine are essential to your pet's health and to your home's health as well. Once you have a flea or tick issue in your home, it is very difficult to remedy. While I've tried all-natural flea and tick medicines for my dog, they've never worked that well, so I stick with commercial brands. I also have a professional groomer do his nail clipping and teeth brushing to ensure that they're done properly.</p> <p>Because you can't put a price on pup beauty.</p> <p><em>(Please note that you should never give human medicine to your pet; always consult your veterinarian before giving any medication to your pet.)</em></p> <p><em>Please share your favorite DIY pet products in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ridiculously-overpriced-pet-products">10 Ridiculously Overpriced Pet Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-pet-expenses-that-arent-worth-it">4 Pet Expenses That Aren&#039;t Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-diy-magazines-can-help-you-be-self-reliant">These DIY Magazines Can Help You Be Self-Reliant</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Lifestyle animals cats DIY dogs Homemade pet food pet supplies pets Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Christa Avampato 1190936 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Delicious and Cheap Nut Butter Recipes to Make at Home http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-and-cheap-nut-butter-recipes-to-make-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-delicious-and-cheap-nut-butter-recipes-to-make-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/peanut-butter-175285162-small.jpg" alt="peanut butter" title="peanut butter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I remember way back when a trip to the grocery store only offered up a few nut butter choices. There was smooth peanut butter, crunchy peanut butter, and maybe a jar of that mixed PBJ variety&hellip;</p> <p>But now there are sunflower butters, almond butters, hazelnut butters, chocolate peanut butters, cookie butters, and the list grows with each passing day. Nut butters are sort of, well, a thing these days. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peanut-butter-the-poor-man-s-protein">Peanut Butter: The Poor Man's Protein</a>)</p> <p>And they all seem to have high price tags. I honestly cannot get enough, but my budget can't support my habit like it used to. So, I've been making my own peanut butter at home for the last several years, and it's as easy as putting nuts in a food processor and blending.</p> <h2>Basic Peanut Butter</h2> <h3>Ingredients</h3> <ul> <li>3 cups dry roasted peanuts, unsalted</li> <li>1 teaspoon coarse salt</li> <li>1 tablespoon sugar (optional)</li> <li>1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)</li> </ul> <h3>Method</h3> <p>You place all these ingredients in your food processor and blend until smooth. Then place in an airtight container to store. You might wonder: Why dry roasted nuts? Through many tests and trials, the dry roasted peanuts gave way into peanut butter with much less struggle and waiting time. They also have a deeper flavor that I have come to enjoy.</p> <p>And &mdash; as I've covered already &mdash; there are about a million other nut butters out there. Though making them at home <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-peanut-butter-recipe">isn't always remarkably cheaper</a> than buying them at the store, you can't argue that they aren't healthier without all the added ingredients like hydrogenated oils. Here are some tasty recipes to try today! (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unexpected-uses-for-peanut-butter?ref=related">15 Unexpected Uses for Peanut Butter</a>)</p> <h2>Chocolate Peanut Butter</h2> <p>You can <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2011/10/250-chocolate-coconut-peanut-butter.html">add chocolate chips</a> &mdash; about a third to a half cup &mdash; to the basic peanut butter recipe above to make a dark and decadent variety. You can substitute honey in for the sugar for some natural flair.</p> <h2>Almond Butter</h2> <p>This roasted, salted <a href="http://www.edibleperspective.com/home/2012/3/7/roasted-salted-almond-butter.html">Almond Butter</a> requires a bit of oven time to develop its flavor &mdash; but it's well worth the wait. Just make sure to let the nuts cool for five minutes before processing.</p> <h2>Maple Almond Butter</h2> <p>This <a href="http://foodloveswriting.com/2014/03/12/soaked-vanilla-maple-almond-butter/">Vanilla Maple Almond Butter</a> looks absolutely divine. The author soaked her almonds for 24 hours and then dehydrated them before adding some vanilla beans and a &quot;kiss&quot; of maple syrup while blending.</p> <h2>Walnut Butter</h2> <p>I love tossing walnuts into my chocolate chip cookies, but they're also great as a nut butter. This <a href="http://www.walnuts.org/cooking-with-walnuts/recipes/california-walnut-butter/">elegant recipe</a> spreads onto crostini as well as it dresses up plain fruit, and it can be sweetened naturally with a little honey (or maple syrup).</p> <h2>Chocolate Hazelnut Butter</h2> <p>I couldn't write a nut butter list without a fantastic <a href="http://deliciousshots.blogspot.com.br/2013/02/homemade-nutella.html">Homemade Nutella</a> recipe in the mix. I've tried several recipes, but I like the inclusion of icing sugar and coconut milk for added sweetness and richness.</p> <h2>Macadamia Butter</h2> <p>I've actually never tried this type of nut butter, but I think the maple and vanilla flavors in this <a href="http://www.coffeeandquinoa.com/2014/01/maple-vanilla-macadamia-nut-butter/">Macadamia Nut Butter</a> recipe might be enough to push me over the edge.</p> <h2>Pecan Butter</h2> <p>Don't mind if I do! This <a href="http://cookieandkate.com/2012/pecan-butter-recipe/">Pecan Butter</a> would make a tasty topping for anything from oatmeal to, well, a silver spoon. Add a dash of cinnamon for some deliciously warm spice.</p> <h2>Cashew Butter</h2> <p>I became smitten with cashews when I dipped my toe into the whole raw desserts world. This <a href="http://thehealthyfoodie.com/cashew-nut-butte/">Cashew Butter</a> recipe requires zero oil, yet it blends into a tasty, drippy spread you'll want to put on everything in sight.</p> <h2>Pistachio Butter</h2> <p>Going green? This vibrant <a href="http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000750.html">Pistachio Butter</a> will delight your tastebuds. You'll want to shell the pistachios first to get all the skin off. And you can try this recipe as written &mdash; with almonds &mdash; or go all in with 2 cups of pistachios for more intensity.</p> <h2>Cookie Dough Butter</h2> <p>I'm salivating just thinking about this <a href="http://ohsheglows.com/2012/12/21/cookie-dough-nut-butter-double-cookie-dough-balls/">Cookie Dough Nut Butter</a> recipe that has big chunks of chocolate in it. The author uses cashews and macadamia, but I'm thinking you can substitute in whatever nuts you have on hand.</p> <h2>Sunbutter</h2> <p>Sunflower seeds, as we all know, aren't nuts. However, I'm partial to this simple <a href="http://prudentbaby.com/2011/08/entertaining-food/how-to-make-sunbutter-the-best-sunflower-butter-recipe-2/">Sunflower Butter</a> recipe. And if you're allergic to nuts, it's a great alternative to try in sandwiches and even <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/05/sunflower-butter-cookies.html">cookie recipes</a>.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite nut butter recipe? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-and-cheap-nut-butter-recipes-to-make-at-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-nuts-by-nutrition-and-price">The Best and Worst Nuts, by Nutrition and Price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money">7 Old Fashioned Skills That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peanut-butter-the-poor-man-s-protein">Peanut Butter: The Poor Man’s Protein</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-foods-i-grew-tired-of-buying-and-how-i-quit">5 Foods I Grew Tired of Buying, and How I Quit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink almonds Homemade nut butter nuts Peanut Butter peanuts Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1172368 at http://www.wisebread.com The Sweet 16: Delicious and Healthy Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Recipes http://www.wisebread.com/the-sweet-16-delicious-and-healthy-frozen-yogurt-and-ice-cream-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-sweet-16-delicious-and-healthy-frozen-yogurt-and-ice-cream-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/homemade-ice-cream-481884595-small.jpg" alt="homemade ice cream" title="homemade ice cream" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="137" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Now that it's officially summer, my tastebuds have decided they'd like to cool off for a while. So, rather than making all my standard baked desserts, I like to try my hand at ice cream and frozen yogurt recipes. Something about the chill makes these treats feel healthier, but if I'm not careful, I can consume way too much heavy cream and sugar. Those ingredients aren't exactly a bikini body's best friend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-we-love-make-delicious-ice-cream-with-the-lello-gelato-junior?ref=seealso">Stuff We Love: Make Delicious Ice Cream With the Lello Gelato Junior</a>)</p> <p>Here are 16 frozen delights that feature whole foods and lighter ingredients. Enjoy!</p> <h2>1. Classic Chocolate</h2> <p>This no-churn <a href="http://vegan-magic.blogspot.com/2012/07/no-churn-coconut-chocolate-ice-cream.html">Chocolate Ice Cream</a> uses full fat coconut milk as a base and agave as a sweetener. After combining all the ingredients, a few hours of chilling time is all you need before attacking the bowl with a spoon.</p> <h2>2. Simple Vanilla</h2> <p>Dust off your ice cream maker for this <a href="http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/12/07/four-ingredient-ice-cream/">4-Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream</a> recipe. You can use two cups of your milk of choice, including non-dairy creamer or even coconut milk. Then add some sweetener and vanilla extract and follow your machine's freezing instructions.</p> <h2>3. Banana Whip</h2> <p>One of the healthiest and easiest &quot;ice cream&quot; recipes around involves nothing more than <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/06/ultimate-vegan-ice-cream.html">frozen bananas</a> blended together in a food processor. You can add peanut butter, cocoa powder, or any other flavors to your taste.</p> <h2>4. Cherry Froyo</h2> <p>I picked cherries at a neighbor's tree as the base for this pleasantly tart <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/07/tart-cherry-frozen-yogurt.html">Cherry Frozen Yogurt</a>. Combine cherries and sugar on the stove and let cool. Next add the yogurt and coconut milk and chill for three hours. Then follow the instructions on your ice cream maker to make the magic happen. I think this recipe would also work well with other fruits or even chopped rhubarb.</p> <h2>5. Green Cream</h2> <p>This deliciously green <a href="http://www.nutritionistinthekitch.com/2013/06/27/healthy-almond-pistachio-frozen-yogurt-no-ice-cream-machine-needed/">Almond Pistachio Froyo</a> has a secret up its sleeve. Not only can you make it without an ice cream maker, but there's an added dose of spinach and avocado that the author claims is undetectable.</p> <h2>6. Rainbow Sorbet</h2> <p>No special tools needed for these vibrant <a href="http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2011/07/summer-sorbets-cool-creamy-easy.html">fruit sorbets</a>. Each is sweetened naturally with banana and a little maple syrup or agave nectar. Whether you like blueberry, strawberry, pineapple, or mango, you can enjoy them frozen all summer long with a quick pulse of your blender.</p> <h2>7. Cookie Dough Paleo</h2> <p>Simply stir almond-based chocolate chip cookie dough into homemade vanilla ice cream for this delightful <a href="http://deliciouslyorganic.net/paleo-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-ice-cream-grain-free-gluten-free/">Paleo dessert</a>. Those of you with nut allergies can substitute your favorite nut-free cookie dough.</p> <h2>8. Chocolate Peanut Butter</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.alaskafromscratch.com/2013/07/10/chocolate-peanut-butter-frozen-greek-yogurt-soft-serve-style/">Greek yogurt soft serve</a> recipe combines the best of chocolate and peanut butter. The author divulges that the trick to getting this consistency at home is serving directly from the ice cream maker sans added chill time.</p> <h2>9. Vegan Fudgesicles</h2> <p>I can't wait to try my hand at these <a href="http://slowclubcookery.blogspot.com/2013/06/homemade-vegan-fudgesicles.html?m=1">Vegan Fudgesicles</a>. You need a can of coconut milk, some cocoa powder, sweetener, vanilla, sea salt, and &mdash; of course &mdash; a popsicle mold.</p> <h2>10. Jungle Pops</h2> <p>Slice any fruit you fancy and pop them into popsicle molds. Fill the empty spaces with coconut water and let freeze overnight. Not only are these <a href="http://thenerdswife.com/2014/02/bare-necessities-fresh-fruit-pops.html">Jungle Pops</a> a quick fix, they are also undeniably good for you.</p> <h2>11. Avocado Cream</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/magazine/recipes-view.php?title=avocado-ice-cream&amp;home=1">Avocado Ice Cream</a> is full of good fats. Once you've made a zesty syrup of lemon and lime and let it cool, you just blend together with the avocado flesh and some whole milk. Use an ice cream maker for the rest or whip by hand and set in the freezer.</p> <h2>12. Blueberry Chocolate</h2> <p>As another great coconut milk-based recipe, this <a href="http://www.henryhappened.com/blueberry-chocolate-chunk-vegan-ice-cream.html#_a5y_p=1838791">Blueberry Chocolate Ice Cream</a> is also highly adaptable. Use whatever fruit you have on hand or is in season and combine with bittersweet chocolate chunks.</p> <h2>13. Dark Chocolate</h2> <p>If you love the idea of avocado ice cream but need more convincing, try this <a href="http://spoonopolis.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/chocolate-avacado-vegan-ice-cream/">Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream</a> recipe. The green flesh is blended with raw honey, as well as carob and cocoa powders to make a dark treat you'd never suspect is full of nutrients.</p> <h2>14. Peanut Butter Hemp</h2> <p>This <a href="http://marmaladeandmileposts.com/archives/25863">Peanut Butter Ice Cream</a> recipe cuts the heavy cream a bit by using hemp milk in its base. Hemp milk is high in plant-based protein and essential fats, so it's a great substitute. For an extra punch of staying power, add a scoop of protein powder.</p> <h2>15. Banana Bonbons</h2> <p>If you want the most taste with the least effort, <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/06/frozen-banana-bites.html">Frozen Banana Bites</a> are what you're after. Cut bananas into chunks and freeze with a mixture of melted chocolate chips and peanut butter on top. You can dip them into any toppings you like &mdash; from nuts to crushed cookies. Then chill until frozen.</p> <h2>16. Ice Cream Pops</h2> <p>Ok, so this specific combination might not be the healthiest, but it's the concept of these <a href="http://chefthisup.com/recipe/9934/peanut-butter-ice-cream-pops/">Ice Cream Pops</a> that intrigues me. The idea is to take your favorite ice cream (think sorbet or frozen yogurt, too) and then layer it with toppings and other flavors for a unique treat. I'd use whole fruit, nuts or nut butter, and maybe some chocolate chips for my own mix.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite homemade frozen treat? Please share a scoop in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-sweet-16-delicious-and-healthy-frozen-yogurt-and-ice-cream-recipes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-never-feel-guilty-about-eating-ice-cream">Why You Should Never Feel Guilty About Eating Ice Cream</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chill-out-with-these-6-simple-diy-freezer-treats">Chill Out With These 6 Simple DIY Freezer Treats</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-homemade-treats-your-valentine-will-love">15 Delicious Homemade Treats Your Valentine Will Love</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money">7 Old Fashioned Skills That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink dessert frozen yogurt Homemade ice cream treats Tue, 01 Jul 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1150363 at http://www.wisebread.com Homemade Sunblock and 6 Other Non-Toxic Recipes to Get Your Skin Sun-Ready http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-sunblock-and-6-other-non-toxic-recipes-to-get-your-skin-sun-ready <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/homemade-sunblock-and-6-other-non-toxic-recipes-to-get-your-skin-sun-ready" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sunscreen-179466381-small.jpg" alt="sunblock" title="sunblock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As the days get brighter and the nights warm up, we're spending more and more time outdoors. Summer is the prime season for enjoyment and activity, but it's also the height of painful sunburns. I'm trying to become more conscious and careful about the lotions and salves I slather onto my body. Sometimes, even the most natural sunblocks contain more harmful ingredients than I'd like to see. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-and-simple-sunburn-remedies-that-really-work?ref=see%20also">Cheap and Simple Sunburn Remedies That Really Work</a>)</p> <p>The following &quot;recipes&quot; are all natural and non-toxic. After the initial investment in a few key ingredients, they are sure to give your store bought 'block a run for its money.</p> <h2>1. Sunblock With Zinc Oxide</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.scratchmommy.com/diy-sunscreen-easy-make-need-recipe/">thick and creamy sunblock</a> melts like butter onto your skin. The SPF rating is at least 20, if not higher. You may even have some of the required ingredients &mdash; coconut oil, almond oil, shea butter, etc. &mdash; already in your kitchen and bath cabinets. (Ingredients are measured in grams, so here's a <a href="http://calculator-converter.com/converter_g_to_c_grams_to_cups_calculator.php">converting calculator</a> to switch to cups.)</p> <h2>2. Bronzing Bars</h2> <p>If you'd like a natural tan look with your protection, these <a href="http://wellnessmama.com/9368/bronzing-lotion-bars/">DIY Bronzing Bars</a> are for you! A reader suggested including coffee infused oil for that bronzing effect. Bonus? They double as bug repellent!</p> <h2>3. Soothing Sunblock</h2> <p>This next mix <a href="http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/homemade-sunscreen.html#sthash.JQ1M8xzq.qjtu">contains aloe</a>, which soothes burns. It's rated around 30-40 SPF, so great for a day at the beach or out at a backyard barbecue. You can choose to use either carrot seed or raspberry seed oil, with raspberry having more SPF power.</p> <h2>4. Fragrance Block</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.jenniferalambert.com/homemade-sunscreen-with-essential-oils/">sweet smelling sunblock</a> has a hefty dose of essential oils in it &mdash; 40-50 drops to be exact. For me, I'd take the opportunity to do a mix of lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus to get some natural allergy relief from all that pollen flying through the air.</p> <h2>5. Foundation SPF</h2> <p>I'm super excited to try this <a href="http://blog.freepeople.com/2014/04/allnatural-foundation-sunscreen/">homemade foundation and sunblock</a> in one! The color comes from a custom mix of cinnamon and cocoa powder.</p> <h2>6. Tinted Mix</h2> <p>If you'd rather add a more subtle color to your sunblock, this <a href="http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/29800/diy-tinted-sunscreen-recipe#_a5y_p=589571">tinted mix</a> will do the trick. It uses iron oxide powder for those who have a darker natural completions. It blends better on skin with fewer noticeable streaks.</p> <h2>7. Cooling Burn Treatment</h2> <p>If you haven't had a chance to make any of these protective recipes, you might have a nasty burn to contend with. Try <a href="http://thechicsite.com/2014/04/22/diy-sunburn-relief/">freezing aloe juice</a> in ice cube trays. When you get a burn, pop a few cubes out of the freezer and enjoy the soothing sensation.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite homemade sunblock recipe? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-sunblock-and-6-other-non-toxic-recipes-to-get-your-skin-sun-ready">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sun-screens-can-really-cost-you-by-the-ounce-and-by-the-tumor">Sun Screens Can Really Cost You – By the Ounce or By the Tumor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home">5 Hair Conditioners You Can Make at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-really-need-soft-water">Do You Really Need “Soft” Water?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Health and Beauty Homemade sunblock sunscreen Tue, 17 Jun 2014 13:00:03 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1142904 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Snacks That Will Keep You Energized Through the Day http://www.wisebread.com/20-snacks-that-will-keep-you-energized-through-the-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-snacks-that-will-keep-you-energized-through-the-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-481914457.jpg" alt="woman holding fruit" title="woman holding fruit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="184" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking to bust through the afternoon lull? A snack can be a fantastic energy boost, but try your best to avoid those vending machines. Sure that tasty candy bar might give you a temporary high, but you'll come crashing down hard and have less energy than you started with. Plus, over time those quarters add up. If you spend $1.50 a day, that's $7.50 back in your pocket at the end of each week (and $30 a month and $360 a year!).</p> <p>The following foods are great on their own, but even better in combination. Try pairing carbohydrates with protein or healthy fats for the most punch and hunger satisfaction. And be sure to substitute homemade treats in place of their packaged counterparts &mdash; it just takes a little planning ahead.</p> <h2>1. Nuts</h2> <p>A super portable, energy-packed snack I often overlook? Nuts! I love grabbing a handful (about an ounce) of almonds or walnuts to eat with fruit, sprinkle crushed atop yogurt, or toss in oatmeal. The healthy fats and omega-3s are a smart choice and keep you fuller longer than sugars alone. Plus, it might <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/11/21/246549388/nuts-for-longevity-daily-handful-is-linked-to-longer-life">help you live longer</a>!</p> <h2>2. Dried Fruit</h2> <p>If you're like me, you tend to forget about fruit until it is beyond ripe. Dried might be more expensive, but it will keep longer and also satisfy your desire for a chewy snack better than, say, a Snickers bar. Plus, dried fruit is versatile. If you'd like to experiment with making your own, check out this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-dried-up-how-to-dry-fruits-and-vegetables">awesome tutorial</a>.</p> <h2>3. Fresh Fruits</h2> <p>Basically, you can't go wrong with fruit. However, since fruits do contain natural sugars, it's wise to keep your intake in check and avoid the highest rankers on the <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm">glycemic index</a>. Good options include grapefruit, watermelon, prunes, pears, peaches, and apples. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-and-store-fruit-for-maximum-freshness-and-flavor?ref=seealso">The Best Ways to Choose and Store Fruit</a>)</p> <h2>4. Fresh Veggies</h2> <p>The same goes for vegetables. Did you know that cooked carrots <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=newtip&amp;dbid=38">contain more sugar</a> than their raw brothers? It's true! Cooking some vegetables converts their starches to sugars, which bumps cooked carrots a bit higher up the glycemic index than uncooked carrots. So, be sure to stick with raw vegetables for the healthiest snacking (and dip in some hummus for bonus energy points). If you're not so great at grab-and-go, peel and chop veggies on the weekend and pack in containers or baggies to toss in your lunch box.</p> <h2>5. Hard-Boiled Eggs</h2> <p>Every Sunday I make a dozen hard-boiled eggs for the week. I follow Martha Stewart's <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/354061/perfect-hard-boiled-eggs">easy method</a>, and they turn out perfect every time. Eggs are a seriously fantastic and portable source of protein, and I love eating them cold. Prepping just takes 20 minutes, and they keep fresh for several days. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-perfectly-cooked-eggs?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Cook Eggs Perfectly</a>)</p> <h2>6. Greek Yogurt</h2> <p>An excellent, low-fat and low-sugar protein source, Greek yogurt pairs well with both sweet and savory items. Eat a cup of it with sliced fruit or &mdash; my favorite &mdash; whisk together with a little cocoa powder and dribble of maple syrup for a nutritious, pudding-like dish.</p> <h2>7. Hummus</h2> <p>Garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) are a beautiful and cheap protein source. Since tahini, which is found in most traditional hummus recipes, is somewhat pricey, I just throw together my own mix in the blender:</p> <ul> <li> <p>1 can garbanzo beans</p> </li> <li> <p>Splash of lemon juice</p> </li> <li> <p>Salt and pepper to taste</p> </li> <li> <p>Cumin (or whatever else I have on hand)</p> </li> </ul> <p>Then I mix however much water it takes to achieve my favorite texture. Serve with sliced carrots, whole grain crackers, or pita bread.</p> <h2>8. Beans</h2> <p>Along those same lines, beans of <em>all</em> varieties are full of healthy protein and fiber. They can be tossed onto greens, sandwiched in a wrap, or even used in baked goods (as you'll see later). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-delicious-healthy-and-cheap-bean-recipes?ref=seealso">Delicious and Healthy Bean Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>9. Nut Butters</h2> <p>Natural mixes or homemade blends are best to avoid added sugar, but nut butters of all varieties are a good choice and pair well with fruit (think a tablespoon peanut butter with a banana), whole grain breads and crackers, and even oatmeal. My <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-peanut-butter-recipe">favorite peanut butter recipe</a> can be processed together in a few minutes using just peanuts, salt, and a little oil.</p> <h2>10. Cheese</h2> <p>Though I love string cheese for its portability, unit prices tell me that cubing my own is best. The protein and healthy fats make for staying power. Plus, cheese goes great with sliced fresh fruits and veggies and many grains. I even like to zap some in the microwave over whole wheat saltines for a melty snack. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fat-filled-foods-you-should-stop-avoiding?ref=seealso">Fat-Filled Foods You Should Stop Avoiding</a>)</p> <h2>11. Cottage Cheese</h2> <p>I have a serious love affair with low-fat cottage cheese. Just one cup contains an impressive 28 grams of protein. I like to top mine with sliced peaches or even just a sprinkle of paprika. I keep it simple, but cottage cheese is by far my favorite pick on this list.</p> <h2>12. Tuna</h2> <p>My husband swears by canned tuna (packed in water) for his afternoon boost. He likes to eat it plain mixed with spicy mustard atop crackers. Sometimes he tosses it with sliced avocado and eats it like a salad. A 3-ounce serving contains 16 grams of protein, as well as <a href="http://www.starkist.com/product/chunk-light-tuna-water">140 mg EPA and DHA</a> combined.</p> <h2>13. Turkey</h2> <p>Hungry? Slap a couple slices of lean turkey between two half slices of bread and squirt with mustard for a mini-sandwich. Or skip the bread entirely and instead combine with some apples and cheese for a meat roll-up.</p> <h2>14. Cereal and Milk</h2> <p>Maybe a little crunch might help invigorate you! Instead of grabbing greasy potato chips, try some healthy cereals (no sugars added, whole grain, etc.) with a serving of low-fat milk. It's one of the most classic carb and protein mixes, and its power should be harnessed beyond the breakfast table.</p> <h2>15. Trail Mix</h2> <p>Instead of opting for the packaged variety, take control over your trail mix by making it at home. You can combine your favorite ingredients and even save a little money in the process (check your favorite discount grocers and bulk sections for discounts on ingredients). I do about a quarter to a third cup of dried fruit mix with an equal ratio of nuts. Toss in some dark chocolate chips for a little sweetness.</p> <h2>16. Dark Chocolate</h2> <p>Yes, that's right. You can eat some chocolate if you're feeling sluggish &mdash; just keep it in moderation. I've written much already about the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-reasons-you-should-eat-more-chocolate">many benefits of eating chocolate</a>, and experts agree that darker is better. Combine with fresh or dried fruit or nuts for added staying power. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-the-best-reason-to-eat-more-chocolate?ref=seealso">Flavonoid Content in Different Cocoa Products</a>)</p> <h2>17. Oatmeal</h2> <p>When I worked a desk job, one of my secret afternoon energy weapons was my <a href="http://thelemonbowl.com/2013/01/make-your-own-instant-oatmeal.html">homemade oatmeal mix</a>. I stashed a container of it in my bottom drawer and would pull it out when I needed a hearty snack. With all the carbohydrates and fiber, you'll enjoy lots of sustained energy until dinner.</p> <h2>18. Energy Bars</h2> <p>Again, homemade is best when it comes to treats like energy bars. I love the secret ingredient in these delicious <a href="http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/10/08/fudge-brownie-chocolate-protein-bars/">Chocolate Brownie Protein Bars</a> &mdash; black beans, which give each around 7 grams of protein per serving. If you do choose packaged varieties, be sure to keep the sugar content in check. Some contain as much as your vending machine foes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home?ref=seealso">20 Homemade Energy Bars</a>)</p> <h2>19. Smoothies</h2> <p>Combine low-fat milk, non-fat yogurt, fruits, and even greens in healthy smoothies. This snack can be hard to mix on the go, but don't fret! If you have a fridge at work, consider making a smoothie the night or morning before and <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/can-i-make-smoothies-the-night-before-good-questions-199508">saving for later</a> slurping.</p> <h2>20. Water</h2> <p>If you know your stomach is full, but you still find yourself dragging, think back to how much water you've had to drink. Often dehydration creeps in when you least expect it and can sabotage your day, week, or even month if not addressed. Adding lemon and lime to a nice, cold glass of water gives you a much-needed jolt without caffeine or sugar. Definitely worth a try on its own or in combination with these other snacks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful?ref=seealso">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a>)</p> <p><em>What are your favorite high-energy snacks?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-snacks-that-will-keep-you-energized-through-the-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender">14 Cool Uses for a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guaranteed-easiest-way-to-make-your-own-pickles">The Guaranteed Easiest Way to Make Your Own Pickles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home">Cheaper and Healthier: 20 Tasty Energy Bars You Can Make at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-for-lunch-for-a-more-productive-afternoon">What to Eat for Lunch for a More Productive Afternoon</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink General Tips energy bars energy food Homemade snacks Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:48:19 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1135772 at http://www.wisebread.com Save Money With These 10 Homemade, Healthy Energy and Sports Drinks http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-with-these-10-homemade-healthy-energy-and-sports-drinks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-money-with-these-10-homemade-healthy-energy-and-sports-drinks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drink-57306591.jpg" alt="energy drink" title="energy drink" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a runner, a lot of my spare time is spent logging miles and cooking healthy foods to fuel my activity. Beyond food, though,&nbsp; there's this whole world of beverages &mdash; and they can be quite expensive. But while basic water is important for hydration, the benefits of sports drinks shouldn't be overlooked with regard to energy, electrolyte balance, and vitamin content. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/2-juices-that-are-surprisingly-bad-for-you-and-5-to-drink-instead?ref=seealso">Surprisingly Good and Bad Juices</a>)</p> <p>The good news: Energy drinks of many varieties can be mixed together in your kitchen using all natural ingredients. And, better yet, it's just as easy and money-saving as making <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home">homemade energy bars</a>.</p> <p>Here are some ideas to get you started.</p> <h2>1. Gatorade</h2> <p>There are many homemade Gatorade recipes on the web, but I like <a href="http://deliciouslyorganic.net/homemade-gatorade-concentrate-and-healthy-foods-at-summer-kamp/">this mix</a> for its simplicity. It enhances performance and energy with a mix of natural sugars (from 100% juice and honey) and also works on electrolyte balance with the addition of unrefined sea salt.</p> <h2>2. Vitamin Water</h2> <p>Why buy processed &quot;vitamin water&quot; when you can make your own at home? This <a href="http://everydayroots.com/b-vitamin-water">vitamin B-boosting water</a> uses rosemary (B1), lemon (B2), peach (B3), watermelon or pineapple (B6), and raspberries (B5) for its healthy flavor. Slice ingredients and place in a glass to infuse &mdash; and you only need to change the fruit every five days or so! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-add-big-flavor-to-your-food?ref=seealso">Cheap Ways to Flavor Your Food</a>)</p> <h2>3. Red Bull</h2> <p>Standard bottled Red Bull may give you energy, but it contains tons of sugar. So, if you need an intense energy burst, try <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq_LW77xRak">this DIY alternative</a>. Of course, that process is far too labor intensive and requires many exotic ingredients not found in the standard pantry. My suggestion? If you're finding you require an intense jolt every day, you might better look at the source of your exhaustion. Try drinking some cold water with lemon and then these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-quick-ways-to-boost-energy-without-caffeine">8 Energy-Boosting Techniques</a> that don't include caffeine. Your wallet and waistline will thank you.</p> <h2>4. Chia Fresca</h2> <p>I first read of the benefits of chia seeds in the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307279189/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0307279189&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">&quot;Born to Run</a>&quot; by Christopher McDougall. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-pirello/change-your-life-with-chi_b_446413.html">Chia Fresca</a> is a great drink to have pre-workout, as the seeds will help hold hydration in the body and, therefore, aid with endurance. Just be forewarned that its gelatinous texture takes some getting used to.</p> <h2>5. Apple Cider Vinegar Drink</h2> <p>I've been drinking apple cider vinegar (ACV) for years &mdash; and with all its touted <a href="http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/12/06/the-surprising-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar">health benefits</a>, I'll likely continue. My own energy drink recipe requires just 1 tablespoon ACV, 16-24 ounces cold water (depending how how diluted I want it), and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Pour in a bottle, mix, and drink. Note: Be sure to buy raw apple cider vinegar for all the tasty vitamins and minerals.</p> <h2>6. Coconut Water</h2> <p>Although coconut water on its own is likely not any less expensive than that bottle of more processed energy drink, at least it's natural. I like to make mine last longer by first diluting it by half and then by adding a couple teaspoons of maple syrup or honey and a sprinkle of unrefined sea salt, just like in many of the recipes above. Note that coconut water is best used for hydration, not necessarily energy. It is also a <a href="http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/truth-about-coconut-water?page=2">good source of potassium</a>, which might help with muscle cramping.</p> <h2>7. Coffee</h2> <p>Surprisingly enough, a simple, small cup of coffee might actually improve performance better than brightly colored energy drinks. However, the magic is in the timing and <a href="http://www.runnersworld.com/drinks-hydration/8-things-runners-should-know-about-coffee?page=single">delivery of the caffeine</a> &mdash; about an hour before your run. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-coffeemakers?ref=seealso">5 Best Coffeemakers</a>)</p> <h2>8. Herbal Tea Cooler</h2> <p>If you're not into coffee, you might consider this <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/eatingwell_energy_drink.html?socsrc=ewfb0710132">vibrant beverage</a>, which boasts 135 mg caffeine plus good-for-you antioxidants. The &quot;secret&quot; is in the double bags of green tea and exotic Yerba mate, which can be found in most grocery stores in the natural foods section &mdash; and it's low in calories and sugar. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/go-tea-go-the-10-best-online-tea-merchants?ref=seealso">Great Online Tea Merchants</a>)</p> <h2>9. Eating Alternative</h2> <p>You can also get an effect <a href="http://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/health/the-best-all-natural-healthful-sports-drinks-bananas-raisins-and-water-20130905">similar to drinking Gatorade</a> by consuming water, banana, and raisins during activity. Combined, this mix has just the right balance of water, natural sugars, and potassium to keep your body going long distances. (And it's cheap, too!)</p> <h2>10. Muscle Milk</h2> <p>Though not an energy drink, recovery aids are just as important to nourishing the body after activity. One of the best after-workout drinks is simple <a href="http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/is-chocolate-milk-really-best-for-recovery">low-fat chocolate milk</a> (and other foods with a similar ratio of carbs to protein). If you'd like to get fancier, try this <a href="http://dessertswithbenefits.com/chocolate-muscle-milk/">homemade version</a> of the popular favorite, Muscle Milk. It's sugar free, low carb, high fiber, high protein, and vegan.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite homemade sports or energy drink? Please share a sip in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-with-these-10-homemade-healthy-energy-and-sports-drinks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">How to bake sourdough bread (and save a buck on every loaf)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-foods-i-grew-tired-of-buying-and-how-i-quit">5 Foods I Grew Tired of Buying, and How I Quit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money">7 Old Fashioned Skills That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink DIY energy drinks Homemade sports drinks Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:00:27 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1135732 at http://www.wisebread.com Dryer Sheets, Shampoo, and 15 Other Everyday Things You Can Make at Home http://www.wisebread.com/dryer-sheets-shampoo-and-15-other-everyday-things-you-can-make-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dryer-sheets-shampoo-and-15-other-everyday-things-you-can-make-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cleaning-1717474-small.jpg" alt="laundry" title="laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently, my daughter and I have been reading the &quot;Little House on the Prairie&quot; series, and I've been reminded of how life used to be. As we've experienced these books together, we've begun to explore what it would mean to make some of the everyday things we usually buy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy?ref=seealso">Grocery Items You Should Make at Home</a>)</p> <p>For the most part, we've found recipes readily available and fairly easy to make, and that the finished products work at least as well as their counterparts in the grocery store. You can dive as deeply as you want into making things on your own. I'd suggest that you pick one or two of the recipes to try and see how you like them. Once making and using them becomes routine, add more recipes to your repertoire.</p> <h2>For the Body</h2> <p>Most of that stuff in those bottles of personal care products that you lather on every day is probably safe, but not very frugal. These homemade body products are all-natural, and all are affordable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-natural-diy-facial-products-you-have-to-try?ref=seealso">4 DIY Facial Products</a>)</p> <h3>1. Body Wash</h3> <p>An infusion of oats and rosemary adds depth to this <a href="http://littleseedfarm.com/to-be-a-farmer-blog/homemade-body-wash-keep-scary-out-of-your-shower.html/">body wash recipe</a> that has its base in liquid castile soap. In doing so, it avoids many of the scary ingredients, like sodium laureth sulfate. Some people worry that the castile soap will be too harsh, but I've found that the other ingredients temper it enough that I don't experience any difficulty there.</p> <h3>2. Lotion Bars</h3> <p>These <a href="http://wellnessmama.com/4770/how-to-make-lotion-bars/">lotion bars</a> are not only great for personal use, but they make great gifts as well. Who doesn't like a sweet-smelling, useful gift? Some of the ingredients may sound intimidating, but if you can't find them at Whole Foods or your local natural food store, you can always buy them on Amazon. I recommend adding the vitamin E oil for preservation, as the recipe makes quite a few lotion bars, and they each take a while to use.</p> <h3>3. Lip Balm</h3> <p>I have been a lip balm addict for most of my life. It started with Lip Smackers in grade school, progressed through all sorts of specialty balms later on, and now most often manifests itself in plain old Chapstick. Or, it did until I found this recipe for <a href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/2013/01/homemade-natural-lip-gloss/">basic lip balm</a>. The recipe itself is very basic, and it can be made with any flavor you want. Again, this is not only good for you, but makes a good gift, as well.</p> <h3>4. Body Butter</h3> <p>Pretty much all I have to say about this <a href="http://creationbasedhealth.com/how-to-make-your-own-coconutolive-oil/">body butter recipe</a> is YUM! It can seem just a little oily going on, but I love the way my skin feels after I rub it in. I've never loved either the texture or the scent of most lotions, but I could use this stuff several times a day. In our dry Colorado winter, it has helped keep my skin summer smooth.</p> <h3>5. PH Balanced Shampoo</h3> <p>I've been a fan of the &quot;no 'poo&quot; movement for several years, but every time I tried to wash my hair with a baking soda rinse, it got coarse and unruly. For my fine, light hair, that's saying something. So when I found a <a href="http://www.thankyourbody.com/ph-balanced-shampoo-recipe/">shampoo recipe I liked</a> (and the accompanying article, which talks about why the baking soda may not work for some people), I felt relief. I will say that this shampoo takes some getting used to &mdash; it doesn't foam, and sometimes it feels like it leaves a bit of residue on the hair. But it has also kept my hair soft and manageable, and it hasn't caused any oil problems. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home?ref=seealso">DIY Hair Conditioners</a>)</p> <h3>6. Baby Wipes</h3> <p>It really wasn't until baby #3 that I realized just how much I spent on wipes, and I also noticed that they seem to irritate the skin of at least one of my kids. Both of those things motivated me to try these <a href="http://livewellnetwork.com/Deals/recipes/DIY-Cleaning-Baby-Wipes/8707428">homemade baby wipes</a>, and I've been pretty happy with them. Even the thickest paper towels don't hold up like regular wipes, though, which can be annoying. Also, I usually add a couple of drops of essential oil, because I hate the smell of baby oil.</p> <h3>7. Dry Shampoo</h3> <p>For those days when you don't want to wash your hair, or when your scalp is adjusting to the &quot;no 'poo&quot; shampoo above, dry shampoo can be a lifesaver. Just sprinkle it on and any minor oil problems will seem to disappear almost immediately. To avoid looking like you have some serious dandruff problems, there are separate formulas for <a href="http://astepinthejourney.com/2013/04/dry-shampoo-at-home-recipe.html">dark hair</a> and <a href="http://www.gimmesomestyleblog.com/diy-dry-shampoo/">light hair</a>.</p> <h3>8. Deodorant</h3> <p>I'm gonna tell you the truth: I've been a little wary of trying this <a href="http://sewgreen.blogspot.com/2010/08/make-yourself-un-stinky.html?m=1">all-natural deodorant formula</a>. I've heard wonderful things about it from a couple of different people, though, so I include it here so that you can let me know how it goes! Just kidding. I'm including it because I have heard such good things about it, and because it's <a href="http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/antiperspirant.asp">still unclear</a> as to whether the ingredients in regular antiperspirant/deodorant are harmful.</p> <h3>9. Bubble Bath</h3> <p>My kids love bubbles in their bath, but the stuff you can buy at the store is expensive and it has a ton of ingredients I can't pronounce, which always makes me a little nervous. This <a href="http://blog.freepeople.com/2013/02/diy-bubble-bath/">bubble bath formula</a>, on the other hand, has ingredients I'm familiar with and seems to work just as well. The bubbles don't always last quite as long as with the stuff from the store (I'm not sure why), but I love being able to make it whatever scent I want.</p> <h2>For General Cleaning</h2> <p>You probably buy lots of different cleaning products for general cleaning inside and outside. Now you can make your own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=seealso">Clean Everything With Just 3 All-Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <h3>10. Glass Cleaner Wipes</h3> <p>These <a href="http://livewellnetwork.com/Deals/recipes/Glass-Cleaner-Wipes/8707431">homemade glass cleaner wipes</a> aren't quite Windex, but they're the next best thing, and they are all natural. I have found that they clean as well or better than Windex, actually, though occasionally they leave streaks and, even when they don't, I have to work harder to achieve that than I do with the blue stuff. Since nearly all chemical cleaning products cause me to have breathing problems, though, I've been happy to work a little harder in exchange for clean windows.</p> <h3>11. Window Cleaner</h3> <p>Although this <a href="http://www.thedabblist.com/diy-glass-window-cleaner/">DIY window cleaner fluid</a> doesn't produce wipes and has slightly different ingredients than the recipe above, it does clean your windows. I prefer the above formula (whether I make the wipes or not), but another all-natural friend likes this one. You can try them both and choose the one that works best for you.</p> <h3>12. Bleach Wipes</h3> <p>These <a href="http://livewellnetwork.com/Deals/recipes/DIY-Cleaning-Bleach-Disinfecting-Wipes/8707429">bleach disinfecting wipes</a> aren't all-natural, but they're cheap, super easy to make, and great to have around for spills and stains that just need bleach. I go through a batch of these so slowly that I sometimes have to re-moisten whatever I'm using for wipes before I can use them. I actually like that, though, because it means I don't have the bleach mixture sloshing around in my cupboard, but I still have wipes to use when I need them.</p> <h2>For Laundry</h2> <p>Wise Bread recently covered a bunch of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes">DIY laundry detergent recipes</a>, so I'll focus instead on those not-quite detergent products we use in the laundry room. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer?ref=seealso">8 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer</a>)</p> <h3>13. Fabric Softener</h3> <p>This <a href="http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-fabric-softener-dryer-sheets/">fabric softener formula</a> is so easy and works so well that I can't believe people use anything else to soften their clothes in the washing machine. It doesn't hurt your clothes or your machine, and you have your choice when it comes to scents (so you can avoid some of those awful floral mixtures they sell in the store). Some people worry about a vinegar odor on their clothes, but I've never noticed it.</p> <h3>14. Bleach Gel</h3> <p>Again, this recipe is not all-natural. But this <a href="http://doitdarling.com/2013/03/02/laundry-tip-how-to-safely-make-your-own-bleach-gel-make-as-much-as-you-need/">bleach gel</a> <em>is </em>a lot cheaper than buying those bleach pens over and over and over again, and seems to work just as well. I'm a little hesitant to leave it on clothes for too long, because I worry about bleach stains, but I feel the same way about the commercial products. I will say that you should probably make this in a well-ventilated kitchen, if you don't want to smell bleach for the rest of the day.</p> <h3>15. Dryer Sheets</h3> <p>I've never made my own <a href="http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-fabric-softener-dryer-sheets/">dryer sheets</a>&nbsp;because I'm trying a set of <a href="http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/09/save-time-money-and-energy-make-your-own-wool-dryer-balls.html">homemade dryer balls</a> right now, but this recipe intrigues me. I don't know that these would function very well to keep down static, like commercial dryer sheets do, but I think they'd do a great job of leaving your clothes smelling fresh and I like that you can use them more than once before you have to wash them, and change the scent every time you do wash them. If you try them, let me know how it goes!</p> <h2>Other Useful Recipes</h2> <p>And here are a couple of bonus recipes, just because they are cool &mdash; one for outdoors and one for the kid's playroom.</p> <h3>16. Insecticidal Spray (for Plants)</h3> <p>This <a href="http://www.sweetpeasandpumpkins.com/2012/06/homemade-earth-friendly-insecticidal.html?m=1">all natural plant spray</a> is supposed to ward off insects, as well as keep other animals away from your plants. I haven't started my garden yet this year, so I haven't used the spray, but I have heard raving reviews, and you can bet I'll be whipping up a batch here in the next month or so. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-easiest-plants-to-grow-indoors-and-outdoors?ref=seealso">The 7 Easiest Plants to Grow</a>)</p> <h3>17. Polymer Clay</h3> <p>My kids are still in the Play-Doh phase, so we haven't graduated to making clay yet. But I saw this <a href="http://thenewnew.blogspot.com/2011/06/homemade-polymer-clay.html?m=1">homemade modeling clay formula</a>, and now I can't wait until we do! I loved modeling clay as a kid, and I remember feeling like I had to ration it because it was too expensive to just play with. Who knows&hellip; if I could have made my own, maybe I would have been a famous sculptor by now!</p> <p><em>Do you make your own of anything that most people buy? I'd love to hear about your experience. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dryer-sheets-shampoo-and-15-other-everyday-things-you-can-make-at-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">7 Homemade Pet Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money">7 Old Fashioned Skills That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">How to bake sourdough bread (and save a buck on every loaf)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-baby-care-for-your-cheap-bum">DIY Baby Care for Your Cheap Bum</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle cleaning supplies DIY Homemade homesteading personal care Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:36:33 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1134468 at http://www.wisebread.com