Homemade Infant/Toddler Formula Recipe

IMG_2999This is a post that is near and dear to my heart.  Having adopted my 2 children, both as infants, I needed to find a formula that was as close to breastmilk as possible.  Well, that didn’t happen.  Not only did that not happen, but I was shocked and upset with the poor quality of formula options out there.  No child should have to grow and be expected to thrive with corn, soy, and low fat cow milk.  I decided to take this opportunity to learn and be a voice for a community of parents who want and expect more for their children.  Plus, many of the allergies (truthfully, most of the allergies) I see in my pediatric patients are those ingredients listed above.  I personally have been making and using this formula in my house since 2012.  I have hundreds of patients, friends, and family members who I have helped guide towards making this.  I also have shown this recipe to many different naturopaths and pediatricians and have had a strong positive response.  If your child is having any type of stomach problems or developmental issues I recommend following up with your naturopath or chiropractor to make sure you are covering all your bases.  Many of my pediatric patients will go on this formula with a few tweaks or extra supplements added in to help with their particular needs.  Use this as a guideline to help get your little one’s health on track but don’t neglect to get the additional advice of your doctor.

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What tools you will need to make this:

  • A blender
  • A strainer
  • 2-3 nut milk bags
  • 4 cup bowl (I use a pyrex measuring one)
  • measuring spoons and cups
  • Bottles
  • a small pitcher

What ingredients you will need:

  • 2 cups Raw Goat Milk
  • 1/4 cup Goat Milk Kefir or Yogurt
  • 1-2 tsp Molasses
  • 2 tsp Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Amla Powder
  • Infant DHA (dose depends on infants size- go off the amount suggested by the manufacturer)
  • Infant Probiotic(dose depends on infants size- go off the amount suggested by the manufacturer)
  • 1 tsp Organic Olive Oil (extra virgin/cold pressed)
  • 1 tsp Organic Unrefined Sunflower Oil
  • 2 tsp Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Optional: Bone Broth

Step 1:

IMG_3021Prepare the whey by straining the yogurt/kefir.  This takes anywhere between 2-6 hours to get a good batch.  Sometimes even overnight depending on how thick the yogurt is.  Do this by using your glass pyrex bowl.  Set your strainer over the top of the bowl and lay your almond milk bags over the top.  Layer 2-3 bags on top of each other (again, depending on how thick the yogurt is) IMG_3023Pour the kefir/yogurt over the top.  Place saran wrap over the top and store in the fridge while it separates. IMG_3027

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Step 2:IMG_3033

  • Fill your blender with 2 cups water.
  • Add in your powders/dry ingredients (nutritional yeast flakes, amla powder, and probiotic).  Blend together for 15-20 seconds. (note: once your little one is eating pureed foods I would suggest removing the probiotic from the formula and mixing it into a bowl of their food.  Remember- probiotics don’t like heat so don’t add this to soup or heated meals)
  • Next, add in your molasses and your bone broth.  Blend for an additional 5 seconds (if you blend for more time it will become frothy which you do not want).
  • Now, add your olive oil, sunflower seed oil, maple syrup, and whey.  Blend together for another 5 seconds.  Do not add your coconut oil yet! You also could add the DHA here.  I like to give mine separate and just straight up.  Little ones don’t know that they aren’t supposed to like this yet 🙂

Step 3:  IMG_3039

  • Pour the desired amount into each bottle.  If your child is drinking 4 ounces per feeding pour 2 ounces of the formula into your bottles.  So the blend should be 50% formula and 50% goat milk.  Once your child is about 9 months old you can change the ratio to 1/3 formula and 2/3 goat milk.
  • If you have any extra formula just pour it into an airtight pitcher and store in the fridge until you are ready to use it.  I always triple the batch of formula and just store the extra as it lasts for up to 1 week.  The key is to only pour the goat milk into the bottle within 1-2 days of use.  This helps keep the formula longer.
  • Measure out your 2 tsp of coconut oil and put a little dollop in each bottle of formula for a days worth of feedings.  You also could melt the coconut oil on the stove and blend it into the formula.  I just find it easier to put a little in each bottle.

Step 4: IMG_3056

When ready, warm the bottle in warm/hot water for about 3-5 minutes.  And feed as you normally would.

You can find out more information about the ingredients by going to the original posting of this formula by clicking here.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

 

 

Face Wash Serum

IMG_2817Well if you didn’t think I was crazy before, you surely will when you begin to read this post, but bear with me and keep an open mind. I’m about to ask you to wash oil off your face using (wait for it) oil. I PROMISE you will love this. It is ah-mazing.

I started to use oil to wash my face years ago and when my last bottle ($30 2 ounce bottle mind you) fell in my shower and broke I decided right then and there that I could make this at home for 1/4 the cost and all of the same benefits. And after working on this recipe and finally finding the right blend, I have had more people comment on how good my skin looks than I have had in years.

This recipe came to be after researching the oil cleansing method explained in great detail at http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/

To sum it up: oil dissolves oil. Plus it moisturizes and is much more gentle on your skin than using soap.

And did you know that the oil your skin produces is actually your body’s way of cleansing/detoxifying itself? So if your skin is ridiculously oily or if you are prone to acne the best way to treat your skin it to take a hard look at your diet and your skin care routine. The health of your skin is a direct reflection of what is going on inside. This is another great reason to consider eating a clean diet and to try to limit yourself from extra environmental toxins.

Here is how you make your life changing face serum (Okay–I know I am selling this a little too hard–I’ll back off now):
Since there are so many options and sizes for containers I broke this down into parts as a form of measurement to help make this easier for you.
2/3 parts castor oil
1/3 parts avocado or jojoba oil
3-4 drops of your favorite essential oil (I love orange and eucalyptus)

Pour ingredients into a glass container (I use a dark 1.5 ounce bottle with a dropper as you only need a few drops to wash your entire face).

For best results, warm a washcloth and lay it over your face for 10-15 seconds to wake up your skin. Put 3-4 drops of the face serum onto your finger tips and massage into your face. Using warm water and your washcloth, lightly rub the washcloth over your face to remove the oils. I like to do this in the shower.  The warm water and steam from the shower work great to help open your pores.  An extra bonus with using this method of skin care is that your face is going to feel so soft and moisturized after doing this and you will most likely not need to follow up with a lotion.

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Nourishing Homemade Eczema Cream

IMG_2799You know how things come in waves? Well, this last month I have had a ton of new pediatric patients with eczema problems and it has motivated me to get this recipe completed and on the blog because those poor babies are miserable in their own skin.

Eczema is itchy, dry patches on the skin. When a little one is experiencing this you will notice that they can become very emotional and irritated for no reason- we all would be too if our skin was itchy and inflamed and we had no idea why and what to do.

IMG_2775Many of my moms and dads have been using coconut oil over the dry patches to try to help and while I love coconut oil for many different conditions and uses, this is not one of them. It is too thin and is absorbed into the skin too quickly. I  like to use Shea butter as a base for this cream because it is thick and heavy. It stays on the skin which means it can hydrate and sooth the skin for a longer period of time helping to keep little fingers from itching and scratching it.  For this reason this cream also works very well used on skin that is just plan old dry and itchy.

I can’t stress how important it is to know that eczema is a symptom of a condition that could be one of many different problems. Our skin is the largest detoxifying organ in our body. If you start to have problems with reactions and sensitivities, it is your body telling you something bigger is wrong. When you experience a rash, hives, or eczema it could be from an allergy–food or environmental–so it is important to not just treat the skin but to treat the whole body. Allergy testing is always recommended as well as removing the harsh stimuli that you and your family may be exposed to daily. Begin by switching your laundry detergent, dish detergent and soap, cleaning products, and rinse aids. When I went through something similar with my daughter I decided to make my own because I wanted to physically see and know exactly what went into all of my products. I completely understand that may not be the right choice for everyone and homemade isn’t always easy, but if you are interested click here on this link to my different homemade solutions. Please let me know with a comment if you have any questions or some of your own tricks.

Without further ado, here is my homemade cream recipe to help treat eczema:

1/2 cup Shea butter
2 tbsp jojoba oil or avocado oil
5 drops lavender essential oil (lavender is not only relaxing but it is very soothing to the skin and the muscles–a winning combination when you have a tiny one you are trying to put to sleep)

IMG_2751Add all the ingredients to a stand mixer or a bowl using a hand mixer. Whip on high for 5 minutes. The mixture will become light and fluffy. It will grow a little bit in size. Store in a glass container with a lid. This is shelf stable and should last you for up to 6 months. Remember–a little bit goes a long way so use sparingly.

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Organic Marshmallows

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Oh my word–these are GOOD! Seriously, these Marshmallows taste like the real deal, but have none of the bad and all of the good, including: gut healing gelatin, honey, sea salt, and vanilla. And bonus, they are really fun to make. When I was making them my husband kept hearing me go “oh wow!” and “awesome!”

My daughter was in bed already, so she missed out on the fun . Next time I make another batch I will make sure she can gets to join in on the fun. When you are whipping the marshmallow mixture it grows before your eyes like magic. So cool! With that said many people suggest using a candy thermometer while heating up the honey but (surprisingly) I don’t have one so I just timed it and used my kitchen intuition and it worked perfectly. I will include instructions for both ways.

You also really need either a stand mixer or a very strong hand mixer to whip these for 10 minutes on high. It would be hard to hold onto the hand mixer for the entire time, so either have a friend that can trade shifts with you or remember to take your vitamins the day you decide to make these.

Side Note–I tried to make bunnies out of these to have some healthy peeps for Easter, but it didn’t turn out so I will keep working on that and keep you posted!

Alright my friends, here we go!
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Ingredients
1 cup filtered water, split into 2 half cups
3 tablespoons powdered gelatin (here is the one I use and love)
1 cup honey (I like a blackberry or wildflower honey. Clover and buckwheat may have too strong of taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions:

Start by combining 1/2 cup water and gelatin into the mixer bowl. Let that sit for about 10 or more minutes (while your honey mixture is cooking).IMG_2448

In a small to medium sized sauce pan heat the honey, extra 1/2 cup water, vanilla, and salt on medium high heat. Bring the honey mixture to a boil and if using a candy thermometer heat it to 240 (stirring frequently) or if you don’t have one, boil for 8 minutes (again, stirring frequently).IMG_2450

Once done heating, turn the mixer on low and slowly pour the honey mixture into the gelatin/water blend. Turn the mixer up to high and set a timer for 10 minutes. While it whips you will start to notice it thicken and grow. It will start to form peaks.

While that is whipping, line a 9×9 pyrex/baking dish with parchment paper so that all surfaces are covered. This stuff is seriously sticky and hard to work with until it sets.

Once the 10 minutes are done, using a spatula, pour the marshmallow mix into the baking dish. It is best to let this set out overnight. Don’t cover it. Don’t put it in the fridge. Just let it set out on the counter to firm up. If you cover or refrigerate it won’t set right because of the moisture.IMG_2464

Now for the fun. After it has set out overnight, remove your marshmallows from the baking dish and separate the parchment paper from the sides by slowly pulling away. You will notice the marshmallows stretching and returning to their shape as the pull away. Trim your marshmallows into squares and you are ready to enjoy! IMG_2493

Optional Step: I wanted to fancy these up for Easter so I made a coconut “sprinkle” that I rolled them in. Here is what I did:

Ingredients:
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tbsp beet juice (for coloring)

In a small food processor or blender, blend the ingredients together for 20 seconds and place into a shallow bowl. After the marshmallows are cut, dip your fingers in a little bowl of water and coat each marshmallow lightly before rolling in the coconut.IMG_2468

How to store:
Lay them out onto a baking dish with no cover. These should keep on the counter for 2 weeks or so. I have also read reports that you can freeze these and they thaw well. If you put these in your fridge they will melt into what I’m guessing would be marshmallow fluff.IMG_2498

I am planning on testing these out as s’mores (minus the coconut sprinkles) this summer so I will keep you posted on how they do! Fingers crossed!

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Gluten Free Bread

IMG_2185If you are making the choice to go gluten free and/or paleo you need to have a great bread recipe that is versatile and holds up under pressure (and by that I mean can stick together when your BLT is a little heavy on the B).

This bread has a great texture, taste, and fluffiness.  And better yet, you mix all your ingredients together in the food processor so you’ll have less to wash after you bake. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Dry:
2 and 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt

Wet:
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup oil (I used avocado)
6 eggs
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tbsp honey

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Add all of your dry ingredients to the food processor and blend for 30 seconds.  Add the wet ingredients and blend until the batter is fully mixed and smooth.

Using a 9”x5” loaf pan, lightly coat it with coconut oil or shortening and add the batter. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Remove from the bread pan by running a knife around the edge (between the bread and the pan) and turning it upside down over a cooling rack. Give it a gentle shake and the bread should fall out easily.

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Homemade Gummies

IMG_2163(My daughter snatching a gummy–she just couldn’t wait!)

Making your own gummy bears (or in my case, hearts) is super easy.  They taste like candy and they are amazingly good for you if you use the right kind of gelatin.  I searched high and low to find the best.

This gelatin can help heal your gut lining, ease chronic joint pain, and strengthen your hair and nails.  Plus it also is a great source for protein–1 tablespoon offers 6 grams!  When you make homemade gummies, you have the added benefit of putting vitamins (like probiotics) into the gummies to make them an even healthier option.

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups organic juice (I like to use grape)

1/4 gelatin powder (click here to find the kind I love)

Heat your juice over a medium low setting.  Once the juice is warmed up slowly add the gelatin by whisking it in.  The slower you add the gelatin the better.  It will clump if you go too fast.IMG_2060

Once it is completely incorporated, remove the mixture from the stove.  Using either a silicone mold (I use this heart one) or a cookie sheet that has been coated with coconut oil, pour the mixture in.

If you are using a silicone mold, place it onto a firm surface like a cookie sheet or Pyrex baking dish–this will keep the mold from spilling as they are super flimsy.

Transfer into the freezer for 15-20 minutes.  Once set remove your gummies and store in the fridge.  (If you used the cookie sheet to make these just use a knife and cut up the gummies into bite sized pieces)

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Skin Softening Body Wash

IMG_1619I used to think that when washing with castile soap you had to use it straight from the bottle. I would notice afterward that my skin felt tight and didn’t soften for up to an hour. I would try it for a while, get discouraged and stop using it, try again after a little while, get discouraged….

This process went on (and off) for years until I got this bright idea that maybe, just maybe, I could dilute it and mix it with a skin softening agent. After a few tweaks I have found a DIY formula that is extremely safe, simple, inexpensive, and works great. Enjoy!

This formula is for a 12 ounce container with a foaming pump. If yours is a different size you should be able to modify this pretty easily (I do highly recommend the foaming dispensers- I feel like I use less with them thus saving even more money!). Here we go:

  • 1/4 cup of your favorite type of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap ( I love Eucalyptus and Almond)
  •  1 tbsp glycerine
  •  8 ounces of water

Fill your container with the water first to avoid extreme bubbles while filling it up. Mix the castile and glycerine in a small container and pour it into the water. Give a very light shake to incorporate the ingredients.

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