Posts Tagged: recipe

Spring cleaning

Many of us have detoxing on the brain around this time of year. It’s a great idea to take stock of (and slowly but surely replace) the products you put in & on your body that are loaded with harmful chemicals. A good one to start with is toothpaste. Check out this list of ingredients to avoid. This Harvard study confirmed that Fluoride actually lowers the IQ of children. No good!

It can be tricky to find a good all natural version at most stores. The good news is that according to this recent study, coconut oil is actually more effective than commercial toothpaste.

I put together this minty-fresh coconut oil based recipe (that actually tastes like toothpaste!) using anti-bacterial + anti-viral spearmint essential oil, and some other ingredients that are good for the teeth & gums.  
Check it out here:

As always, feel free to get in touch if you have any questions!


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Skinfood: Ayurvedic Golden Milk / Turmeric Latte Recipe

Vegan Turmeric Latte recipe - Love this frothy version of ayurvedic golden milk!


Day 18 of ‪#‎SixtyDaysofSelfCare‬ – I was inspired by this post by @urbanorganica and this one by @inspiringquietly to make some chocolate golden milk (find the recipe here), but I was all out of cocao. I decided to try Jean Godfrey June’s turmeric latte recipe from goop – another modern twist on Ayurvedic golden milk.  It was delicious and I love the idea of putting it in a blender after heating it up. It’s a great way to get some turmeric and coconut oil into your diet everyday. I’ve had four in the last few days and I feel that my skin, body and energy levels are already benefiting from it.

Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It’s great for the joints, brain, heart, skin & immune system, and has been proven to alleviate the symptoms of depression. It’s also known to increase flexibility of the tendons (perfect for yogis & dancers).


* I didn’t have any fresh turmeric so I used 1 tsp of the powder.

* I ended up straining it after I blended the almond milk + ginger.

*I added a pinch of pepper to it which helps your body absorb the curcumin in turmeric by 2000%

* Be careful with the turmeric because it may stain your blender – you might want to blend the ginger + almond milk first and then add it back to the pot to stir in the rest of the ingredients.
(Find it here: there are lot’s of great skin care tips there, too.)


+ Curious about more ayurvedic herbs for great skin? Check out this post

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How to make natural toothpaste

I hope you get a chance to try this natural toothpaste recipe – It’s fluoride free, and leaves your mouth feeling very fresh and clean.

What you’ll need:

  •  1 tbsp Baking soda
  • 1 tbsp Organic extra virgin coconut oil (cold pressed / unrefined) – Coconut oil is better than toothpaste according to this new study. (Plus it leaves your lips nice and soft)
  • 10 – 15 drops Spearmint essential oil – You can also use peppermint – I like spearmint because it’s more mild, slightly sweeter and considered more safe. Spearmint, like many other essential oils, has anti-bacterial  and anti-microbial properties
  • 2 tsp Xylitol (optional – but makes it taste more like regular toothpaste.) Xylitol is a plant-based sweetener which is proven to reduce tooth decay, remove plaque and tartar. It’s also said to whiten teeth. Read about more of its benefits here.) Make sure the xylitol you use is extra fine powder and not crystals. After looking for this for a while I finally found Kal brand fast disolving xylitol at the Vitamin Shoppe – I’m sure it can be found easily online.)
  • Jar to mix everything in
  • Measuring spoons / spoon for mixing 

How to make it: 

Mix everything up in your jar and voila – you have yourself some toothpaste!

Make sure to cap the jar so that the essential oil stays fresh. This amount will last about a week or two for one person.

Let me know if you try it!


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all natural fluoride free toothpaste baking soda xylitol essential oils and coconut oil

Vegan Cherry Chocolate Shake {two awesome recipes}

I’m always looking for healthier ways to satisfy my sweet tooth. After three attempts to create the perfect vegan chocolate cherry shake, I came up with two that I loved. Both are delicious, and I kept forgetting that there was no dairy in them.

Vegan Cherry Chocolate Shake

Version 1 {The winner}

  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic cherries
  • 1 cup chocolate coconut milk ice cream ( I used the So Delicious brand )
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (or sweeten to taste)
  • a pinch of sea salt

Blend & Enjoy
I’m always looking for healthier ways to satisfy my sweet tooth. After three attempts to create the perfect Vegan Chocolate Cherry Shake, I came up with two that I loved. Both are delicious, and I kept forgetting that there was no dairy in them. Get the recipes here:
Version 2  [The runner up}

  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla coconut milk ice cream
  • 1 cup frozen organic cherries
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (or sweeten to taste)
  • 3 tsp raw cocao powder
  • a pinch of sea salt

Blend & drink it up!
I’m always looking for healthier ways to satisfy my sweet tooth. After three attempts to create the perfect Vegan Chocolate Cherry Shake, I came up with two that I loved. Both are delicious, and I kept forgetting that there was no dairy in them. Get the recipes here:

Let me know what you think if you try one (or both!)


Cocao Turmeric Peanut Butter Smoothie

cocoa turmeric peanut butter smoothie

I had something else planned for this weeks post, but this smoothie recipe is too good not to share.

If you’ve heard about the amazing benefits of turmeric, and have been wanting to add more into your diet, this is an easy way to sneak some in.

  • 1 1/2 cups Almond, Coconut or Cashew Milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 Tsp of Raw Cocao powder (have you heard that raw cocao is actually amazing for gut health? Anything good for the gut is great for the skin, brain, improving your mood, balancing your hormones and increasing immunity)
  • 1/2 Tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 3 Tsp of honey or coconut sugar (or sweeten to taste)
  • 4 Tsp peanut butter*

*You can replace it with almond butter or your nut butter of choice if you prefer, or if you’re concerned about aflatoxin in peanut butter.
{I love peanut butter so I decided not to worry about it. I left it out a few times but to me the pb is what makes it.}

(if it sounds better to you, substitute coconut oil or coconut butter.  The fat will help you absorb the nutrients.)

  • Blend & Enjoy.

Fancy blenders are lovely but not required. $15 travel blender from target. Done.

Try it! It’s the bomb.


p.s: Today is day 31 of the #herbalmedicineeveryday challenge on instagram, but I’m having so much fun I’m going to see how long I can keep going. I’m so happy that other people are having fun with it too. Feel free to join us. :)

Does this recipe sound good? You may also love this hot cocoa with a healthy kick ( a variation of ayurvedic golden milk)


cocoa turmeric peanut butter smoothie sacred geometry


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Hot cocoa with a healthy kick

 nourishing vegan hot cocoa with ayurvedic herbs + spices:

Golden milk is a hot ayurvedic drink traditionally made with milk, honey & turmeric (and a few other ingredients, depending on who you ask.)

I’ve put my own spin on this by adding some mineral rich cocao and a few more spices.

This is my absolute favorite way to get turmeric into my body, and it’s perfect for this time of year.

It gives my mood a boost, and the spices in this drink make it extremely nourishing & warming.

All of the ingredients have amazing health benefits (especially when taken together) – here are just a few:

  •  Raw cocao is rich in magnesium, antioxidants and those “bliss chemicals” we love so much (phenylethylamine & anandamide).
  • Curcumin is the compound in turmeric that makes it a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It’s great for the joints, brain, heart, skin & immune system, and has been proven to alleviate the symptoms of depression. It’s also known to increase flexibility of the tendons (perfect for yogis & dancers).
  •  The pinch of pepper in this recipe actually boosts your bodies ability to absorb the curcumin in turmeric by up to 2000 percent! [Source]. It also gives the drink a great kick and makes it taste a bit like chai.
  •   The healthy fat in coconut oil also allows the curcumin + the magnesium in the cocoa to be absorbed better.
    “When eaten with fat, curcumin can be directly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system, thereby in part bypassing the liver.” [Source]

I could probably go on all day about the health benefits of the rest of the ingredients, but on to the recipe…

 nourishing vegan hot cocoa with ayurvedic herbs + spices:

Chocolate golden milk


  • 1 cup of almond or coconut milk (or the milk of your choice)
  •  One 1/2 inch piece of ginger
  •  1/2 a teaspoon dried turmeric powder (or one 1/2 inch piece fresh turmeric)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons raw cocao powder
  •  Raw honey to taste – I used 1 1/2 tablespoons ( feel free to substitute coconut sugar or the sweetener of your choice if you’re vegan or want to use something low glycemic.)
  •  1/2 tsp unrefined / cold pressed Coconut oil (or ghee if you’re not making it a vegan drink.)
  •  a pinch each of cayenne, cinnamon & black pepper
  • optional but delicious: a few cardamom pods (cracked open)

 nourishing vegan hot cocoa with ayurvedic herbs + spices:

  •  Add milk to your pot and start to simmer on medium heat..
  •  Add your piece of ginger.
  •  Stir in the other ingredients.
  •  Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 5 – 10 more minutes.
  •  Pull out your piece of ginger (and turmeric if you used the fresh root)
  •  Pour into a mug and enjoy. nourishing vegan hot cocoa with ayurvedic herbs + spices:


I hope you give this one a try – Share a pic of your chocolate golden milk with the hashtag #herbalmedicineeveryday on instagram and let me know what you think!


If this drink sounds good, you may also enjoy this raw cocao turmeric smoothie recipe.

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Disclaimer: Please note this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended to diagnose or suggest treatment. Please be sure to do your research and consult with a medical professional before consuming any new herbs or spices, especially if pregnant, nursing, or have any medical conditions.

Making hibiscus tea

I just wanted to take a moment to share one of my favorite drinks to help keep cool in the summertime – iced hibiscus tea. Growing up, I loved drinking Red Zinger tea, which has hibiscus in it ( I was that weird kid who stopped drinking pop when I was 12). Hibiscus is known as Jamaica or “Agua de flor de Jamaica”, among many other names throughout the world…It’s high in vitamin C, antioxidants and minerals, so it’s great for the skin and can give your immune system a boost.

organic hibiscus tea


Hibiscus tea is made of a part of the flower called the calyx (the part that supports the petals). Y ou can find it at many grocery stores – I got organic hibiscus at

There are different ways to make hibiscus tea – this is how I make mine:

  •   Add about half a cup of dried hibiscus to a glass pitcher / milk jug or jar and pour almost boiling water in to the top
  •    Let the water cool, and then place in the fridge for a couple of hours
  •    Strain
  • Add your sweetener of choice. Hibiscus is naturally tart, so sweeten to taste. I used a 1/4 cup of coconut sugar and a 1/4 cup of raw honey. Pour over ice and enjoy!

hibiscus tea

It has many health benefits, (studies have shown it can lower blood pressure)  but may also have some side effects, you can read about both here.  hibiscus tea

Do you ever drink hibiscus / jamaica, or do you have a favorite cold drink for the summertime? Let me know in the comments below!


photos:  © Elizabeth Paige Davison, 2013


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Homemade Vanilla Extract

How to make your own vanilla extract

A couple of weeks ago I started a few tinctures and some vanilla extract. I had never made them before, and I was surprised at how easy it was. The hardest part will be the wait, which is about 6 – 8 weeks (or longer, depending on how strong you want ’em).


Tinctures are basically liquid extracts of herbs, made by steeping the herb in alcohol, vinegar or vegetable glycerine.  (More on the tinctures in a future post)

How to make your own vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is made basically the same way as a tincture. All I did was make slits in 5 vanilla beans (lengthwise), cut them in half and put them in a jar, covering them with 80 proof vodka.

I used the cheapest vodka I could find, which is perfectly fine for extracts and tinctures. I’ve seen different recipes out there, but learned that the rule of thumb is 5 beans per 1 cup of alcohol. You can also use brandy, bourbon or rum, but vodka has the most neutral taste.

How to make your own vanilla extract

How to make your own vanilla extract


Make sure the vanilla is submerged in the alcohol, and be sure to use a glass jar or bottle with a lid that seals tightly. You’ll want to shake the jar everyday for about the first two weeks, and store it in a cool, dark place. After 8 weeks the vanilla extract will be ready, although the longer it sits, the richer the flavor will be. Some say it will take 3 to 4 months to really mature.

How to make your own vanilla extract

vanilla in vodka – day 1

How to make your own vanilla extract

vanilla extract after 2 weeks


Once its ready, you can transfer the liquid to another glass bottle or jar. You’ll know your extract is ready when it starts to smell more like vanilla than vodka. If you’d like, you can strain it with cheesecloth, or you can just leave the little vanilla bean flecks in the extract. You can then add more vodka to the original jar with the vanilla beans in it to make another batch or two.

You’ll most likely save money buying your vanilla beans online instead of the grocery store ( I got certified organic beans on )

I don’t have any personal experience with them, but I’ve also heard and are great places to get bulk vanilla, too.  Another place to buy inexpensive, fresh vanilla beans is ebay.


Like most things that you make yourself, you can save money making your own vanilla extract, and control the quality of the ingredients. If you’d like, you can even use organic vodka.  This DIY vanilla extract tutorial goes into more detail about making vanilla extract, and explains how to find high quality vanilla beans.  In this article about the vanilla extract industry the author mentions that additives are often not mentioned on the labels of commercial vanilla extract. Some companies add sugar, corn syrup, stabilizers or caramel color. Imitation vanilla contains glyercine or propylene glycol (yuck), and chemically derived vanilla flavor.

I’m excited to use mine when it’s done. I’m looking forward to experimenting with some gluten free flours and bringing some raw pies back into the mix – recipe posts soon to follow.

Have you made vanilla extract?  If not, do you think you’ll give it a shot?

  vanilla and cacao beans

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