My deep fryer has bugged me for years. After use, I empty it of the used oil and hand wash the removable basin, wipe down the exterior shell and the heating element. The baskets and handles I either toss in the dishwasher or hand wash in a sink of dishwater, depending on the room available in the dishwasher (and what might be stuck to the basket wires that may require a soak). But try as I might, there was always a slightly tacky, rough area along the oil line.
The basin is big, and black, so it’s really hard to tell if this was substance stuck (fried?) on or if the finish had been damaged by use. I’m not one to really care that my pots and pans look seasoned. But the possibility that this was an old oil deposit–or a break-down of the finish (both serious sources of carcinogens)–very much disturbed me.
I confess, in early years of its use, I was not aware of the shelf-life of oil (it goes rancid faster than I’d have thought) nor the dangers of reusing oil. Peanut oil, though cheaper than olive oil, is still pretty expensive in the quantity needed to fill this large of a fryer. [Note: don’t by a deep fryer larger than your usual use would require.] I’d bought the largest one to accommodate the possible occasions for use when I host my whole huge extended family. The thought of tossing an industrial-sized vat of oil after a single use was enough to make my frugal soul consider giving up Christmas Zeppole–for a couple of seconds. Plus, I was taught at my mother’s elbow that frying potatoes cleaned up used oil. So… a batch of french fries, and voila, your oil is good to fry your next batch of chicken or calamari. But I know better now. So I’ll store the strained used oil in the refrigerator and re-use once if I have need to within a short period of time. For more about reusing oil, check out:
Because I’ve never been able to get the basin completely free of whatever is on the surface, I dread cleaning it. Yesterday, I determined I would figure out how to get it off. I started using dish soap on a Spirisponge – which is safe for almost all surfaces. When that didn’t work, I pulled out the Cleaning Paste and coated my Spirisponge. This combination works fabulous for getting off the cooked on food on my ceramic gas stove-top, so I had high hopes. Alas, oil line – 1, Spirisponge/Cleaning Paste combo – 0.
As best I could tell, this basin was not non-stick (why would it be? — the stuff floats in baskets), so I pulled out my Mighty Mesh Pot Scrubber — which is NOT recommended for non-stick surfaces — and thru it into the mix of dish soap and Cleaning Paste. As I scrubbed and scrubbed, I considered my next option. I was considering trying my luck at putting in my oven, heating it up, and using the Oven & Grill Cleaner to let the enzymes safely dissolve the … gunk. That had worked well on the tougher spots of my stove top and on my toaster oven.
Then I noticed the bottle of Lemon essential oil on my counter from having added to my batch of blackberry Preserves. I’d recently read 101 uses for this oil and recalled it is a degreaser and removes sticky stuff. So I sprinkled a 1-2 drops onto the Pot Scrubber. I gave one side a good scrub and checked. It DID seem to be smoother! Eagerly I continued scrubbing the rest of the oil line and lip of the basin. When I rinsed away the suds, I was thrilled to see there were only a couple of spots of gunk remaining. I hit those with another pass and now my basin, for the first time in years is as perfect as the day I bought it.
While I was at it, I grabbed the almond butter jar I’d removed the label from and washed in the dishwasher in order to refill with a homemade nut butter. I hit the exterior with a few scrubs of the lemon EO infused spirisponge, and away went the remnants of the glue from the label, easy-peasy.
What You Need:
4 large sweet potatoes or yams, cooked and peeled
3/4 cup canned coconut milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Juice of half of an orange
Salt and pepper to taste
4 drops Cinnamon essential oil
Most holiday meals leave us feeling sluggish and maybe a little guilty, but there is a silver lining to this tasty Thanksgiving treat. Check out some of the health benefits that this casserole contains:
- Sweet Potatoes– Though they are “sweet,” these vegetables still offer plenty of nutrients. Due to a low glycemic index, sweet potatoes can be helpful in maintaining energy and controlling blood sugar, which is helpful for everyone, especially those with diabetes.
- Orange– The fiber, potassium, and vitamin C in oranges help support heart health. Increasing potassium intake can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Nutmeg– Nutmeg can act as a sedative, and helps with inflammation, muscle pain, arthritis, and more.
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 drops Cinnamon essential oil
1. Place cooked sweet potatoes, coconut milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, nutmeg, orange juice, and Cinnamon essential oil into a large bowl. With a hand mixer, blend until everything is combined. If desired, you can add more maple syrup or essential oil.
2. Spread into an oven-safe dish and set aside.
3. Combine all topping ingredients until pecans are well coated. Sprinkle on top of sweet potatoes.
Tip: For additional deliciousness, drizzle maple syrup on top.
Essential oils can be purchased online – just click on Shop, or directly thru me. Perfect time to take advantage of todays BOGO and get a bottle of Clove essential oil free with the purchase of your Cinnamon!
As a mother of almost 20 years, I’m totally okay with my kids getting minimally exposed to normal childhood illnesses. Exposure builds immunity. And children bounce back easier than older kids and adults. They’re going to get sick, and I’d rather nurse them thru their illnesses when they’re little rather than during their school years.
Despite precautions, my husband came home from work with a fever and the accompanying aches and chills. He’s not fully embraced essential oils, but is coming around. His usual protocol is to suffer thru the ordeal. This time, I changed out our bedroom diffuser from a combination of oils to promote peaceful sleep to the On Guard I’d been diffusing in the living areas, and he allowed me to rub his forehead and neck with Peppermint oil. He immediately felt relief, and after a good night’s sleep, woke in good health. Quickest bounce back ever!
According to http://www.organicfacts.net:
“The health benefits of Spearmint Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cephalic, emenagogue, insecticide, restorative and stimulant substance.
The Essential Oil of Spearmint is extracted by steam distillation of flowering tops of the spearmint plant, whose scientific name is Mentha Spicata. The main components of this oil are Alpha Pinene, Beta Pinene, Carvone, Cineole, Caryophyllene, Linalool, Limonene, Menthol and Myrcene.
Although its aroma is similar to that of peppermint, due to the presence of menthol, its menthol content is negligible as compared to that of peppermint oil. Spearmint oil has been a substitute for peppermint when it is unavailable, and possesses similar medicinal properties, due to the presence of similar compounds in its essential oil. Instances of its use in ancient Greece have even been found in historical records.
The health benefits of peppermint oil include its ability to treat indigestion, respiratory problems, headache, nausea, fever, stomach and bowel spasms, as well as for pain relief. Due to the presence of menthol, menthone and menthyl esters, peppermint and peppermint oil find wide applications in the manufacturing of soap, shampoo, cigarettes, toothpaste, chewing gum, tea and ice cream.
Peppermint is a cross between watermint and spearmint and is native to Europe. Historically, the herb has been known for its medicinal uses, and its impressively long history often gives it the prestigious title as the world’s oldest medicine.
Unlike many other herbs and essential oils, numerous health benefits of peppermint and peppermint oil have been studied and proved by the scientific community. As a result, peppermint oil is also sold in the form of capsules and tablets, and is even prescribed by doctors of alternative and modern medicine.
Peppermint oil can also be used as a flavoring agent. You will find very few people who find peppermint unsuitable to their palate. Peppermint oil contains numerous minerals and nutrients including manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, folate, potassium, and copper. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Few Words of Caution: There are no reported dangers of using Spearmint essential oil, but as an emenagogue, it should not be taken by pregnant women.
There are some risks in using too much peppermint oil, including allergic reaction, heartburn, and headaches. Basically, the same rules apply to using peppermint oil as to any other alternative supplement or dietary change; speak to a doctor, and if you don’t consult a professional, start with small topical doses or skin patch tests to see how it affects your system.”
Here are 7 ways to use essential oils for all-natural pest control:
- Use black pepper or oil around the edges of the bathroom or kitchen to repel ants.
- Combine 1/2 cup of water, 5 drops of cypress and 10 drops of peppermint oil to keep cockroaches at bay.
- Rub a drop or two of TerraShield (a blend of Skimmia Laureola, Catnip Plant, Amyris Bark, African Sandalwood, Cabrueva Balsam, Wild Orange Peel, White Fir Needle, cedarwood, Citronella Herb, Eucalyptus Leaf/Stem, Hawaiian Sandalwood, Genet Absolute, and Rose Flower essential oils in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil) with some fractionated coconut oil on your skin to keep mosquitos away.
- Combine 1/2 cup of water with 10 drops of eucalyptus oil and spray in the room to create fly-free area.
- Keep spiders at bay with cinnamon oil. Combine 10 drops of cinnamon oil with 1/2 cup of water and spray on the baseboards and around doors and windows.
- Combine 1/2 cup of water with 10 drops of clove oil to counter dust mites and garden pests.
- Combine 1/2 cup of water with 10 drops of orange oil and spray on plants to control aphids.
As I’m learning, I thought I’d catalog all the various practical uses for EOs I find. I’m pinning this post to the Menu under “My Education in Essential Oils” since I plan to keep updating it. It will serve as my, and perhaps your, EO Reference.
First, NEVER ingest EO that is not pure, or Therapeutic-Grade.
Ganglion Cyst – 5 parts Lemongrass, 4 parts Oregano, 3 parts Thyme, and 3 parts Frankincense. Dilute with a carrier oil and consider applying with a roll-on applicator for ease of use. Alternatively, blend of Oregano, Thyme, and Cypress, apply 2-3 times daily.
Sore Throat – Combine Melaleuca, On Guard, Frankincense, and Ginger. Place 1 drop under the tongue. (It’s spicy, so if you can’t tolerate the heat, then rub this
combination on your throat and on your feet.)
DIY Big Flu Bomb – Combine 15 drops each of On Guard, Melaleuca, Lemon, and 10 drops Oregano in a glass roll-on bottle. Fill the remaining space with fractionated coconut oil. Apply to bottoms of feet or along spine every hour if you are sick or twice a day for prevention.
Mood Enhancer – Rub Elevation essential oil over your heart, temples, or wrists for an almost immediate boost
Constipation – rub DigestZen blend clockwise on stomach.
If something stronger is needed: drink Lemon oil in warm water. Or..
Bowel Inflammation – Rub Peppermint on area of concern or on feet
Under-active Thyroid – Combine 1 drop each of Peppermint, Clove, Lemongrass and rub topically on thyroid and on feet
Overactive Thyroid – Combine 1 drop each of Myrrh, Lemongrass and rub topically on thyroid and on feet
Thyroid Support Blend – Put 30 drops each of Frankincense, Myrrh, Basil and Lemongrass in a roller ball vial and top with fractionated coconut oil.
Itchy or Flaky Scalp – Melaleuca, applied directly to the scalp or add a few drops to your shampoo and conditioner
Detox – Dilute Helichrysum, Juniper Berry, Rosemary, or Coriander as recommended and apply to liver, intestines and reflex points on feet.
Daily Detox – Put a few drops of Lemon in water and drink each day.
Sleepy-Time Blend – Serenity and Lavender
Sleeplessness – Diffuse or apply Roman Chamomile, Wild Orange, Cypress, Ylang Ylang to neck and bottoms of feet
Sleeplessness for Children – Spray Lavender on their favorite stuffed animal, diffuse, or rub on their feet
Sleeplessness for Baby – 1 drop of Serenity on bottoms of feet at bedtime.
Sinus Support – Breathe Blend
Snoring – Rub Thyme* on big toes before going to sleep
Burns – Lavender
Bug Bites or Stings – Purify
Pain Reliever – Apply Peppermint to area of concern
Toothache – Clove
Arthritis, Bursitis, Gout, and Tendonitis – Combine 10 drops Basil, 8 drops Wintergreen, 6 drops Cypress, 4 drops Lavender, 3 drops Peppermint. Use with fractionated coconut oil for large areas of the body or for sensitivity.
* Thyme should be avoided by those with Hypertension
Now that the kids are back in school, and the days are losing their scorching heat from this brutal summer, thoughts turn to Autumn. Here’s a few recipes for using essential oils to accentuate the season.
And while you’re diffusing this spicy blend, you can enjoy some Wild Orange Honey Butter on a hearty slice of homemade bread with your favorite cuppa and watch the leaves begin to turn.
When the kids come home from school, try diffusing this comforting blend
Click HERE to purchase your oils or diffusers, or to learn more.
Growing up, my parents forced us to eat healthy. We had to eat our vegetables, grown in our garden. When we ran out of the fresh, we ate the produce stored away with vengeance with my mom’s S&H-Stamp-purchased Seal-a-Meal. My dad made us eat Roman Meal bread (we’d occasionally brave a lie that the Magic Mart was out of Roman Meal so we could get Autumn Grain — which tasted more like bread and less like a bucket of horse-feed). The only cereal we ate that had a commercial on Saturday morning, and targeted at the adults, was Raisin Bran — a special treat and concession from Dad’s Quaker 100% Natural, with Raisins and Dates. Uggh, I still shudder at the thought of scooping up a date from under pool of milk (they always sunk to the bottom – and stuck to your teeth). The whole cereal did, come to think of it. Lucky Charms? Frosted Flakes? Not a chance. And my brother and I have lasting emotional scars from Mom’s fixation with Prevention Magazine, particularly being force-fed orange peels (because that’s where all the flavonoids are! My brother and I were convinced she made up that word). Each issue of that subscription brought us more digestive horrors.
We swore we’d never do that to our children! You know, look out for what was best for them and try to raise them as healthy as we could. And then I had kids. In the softer, child-centered ’90s. Even though I’m strict, I just can’t compete with societal norms in order to hold the absolute sway my parents had over us. It is (one) of my parenting failures that I cannot make my kids eat healthy. The best I’ve been able to do is to hold dessert ransom for the consumption of their veggies. Or half of their veggies. And then the oldest 2 became teenagers and all bets were off. The thin facade of parental control became transparent.
I’m sure my Dad would appreciate the irony of my juxtaposition. My mother is still finding it hard to believe that her eldest, and most vocal at decrying the unfairness of our childhood deprivation of sugary treats and child labor when it came to shucking the corn, shelling the peas, and snapping the beans, is rapidly becoming so …. crunchy. But the older I get, the more I see how our processed foods and convenient lifestyles are sickening, and even killing, us. Getting rid of toxic chemicals in cleaning products isn’t much of a stretch. Everyone knows that ammonia, bleach, Draino, etc. is dangerous and to be kept away from small children — even if they don’t know finer points of how much damage they do even when used according to direction. Getting rid of plastic? Perhaps extremist, but again, everyone has heard the evils of plastic (again, even if just the tip of the Lucite iceberg. Aluminum cookware? Yeah, remember hearing something about that. Take them altogether, I’ll give you it would appear somewhat obsessive-compulsive. (But, let’s be honest, it’s been a journey of several years. I didn’t wake up one morning and start ditching everything in the house. I’m just not really preachy about my personal choices and I didn’t share my blossoming interests, much, until I decided to make a career out of creating Safe Havens). Essential Oils, my latest adventure, is bordering on New Ageism. And aromatherapy — (even for me, a bit still) is just downright cultish hooey. Even over the phone, I can tell Mom’s thinking I must have drunk the lavender kool-aid. Or maybe it was those flavonoids…
A few years back, my dental hygienist and I found common ground with cloth-diapering and natural baby products. She told me about essential oils and how her family was using them exclusively for maintaining their health: staying healthy, treating colds, bumps, and bruises. She invited me to an event to learn more, but I got stranded at home with a toddler and no vehicle and missed out. Flash-forward a couple of years to last month… My 2 1/2-year-old daughter and I returned from a working visit to Florida (home for me) in time for my regular dental cleaning. This time I told my hygienist about starting my Norwex venture. She’s a big fan — it combined well with her essential oil lifestyle. She mentioned they were having an Informational Session that very evening. This time I made it.
We opted for the least expensive enrollment kit, The Family Physician Kit + Slim & Sassy and I was eager to put the oils to the test. The rub (har, har) being that we’re blessed to be a pretty healthy bunch, not taking many medications or requiring any special doctoring, so I floundered a bit at first. I’d had a nagging sore throat since returning from Florida that I’d normally have just toughed out, but since I had it, I tried the Lemon Essential Oil — a couple of drops in a spoonful of honey added to a cup of hot water. I’d used this same treatment using fresh squeezed lemon (and sometimes a jigger of whisky) and it offered relief just for the duration of the beverage — the hot water being the soothing element. But the essential oil remedy provided instant and lasting relief. All it took was the one “dose”. Not too bad.
A couple of nights later, my back (which had gone out shortly after my 15-year-old was born and a few times since) was groaning about the amount of time I’d spent on my laptop (trying to get this website up and running). So I tried a couple of drops of the Deep Blue Blend massaged into my lower back. By the time I’d changed for bed, the pain was gone. Completely gone! The husband, the skeptic, told me it was all in my head. And I’d allow for some placebo effect — though I tend to be pretty skeptical about most things in order to avoid false positives.
After treating my sore throat, I gave the Slim & Sassy Blend a try. I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to do, but since I’m no where near slim and hadn’t been feeling sassy for several weeks, I figured it couldn’t hurt. I added 4 drops to an 8 oz. class of water, 3 times a day. I quickly learned to add the oil first as otherwise you get an oil slick on the top of the water and it does cling to the lips and mouth when drinking. It’s a strong flavor but after the initial surprise, it’s not unappealing. The oil leaves a residue in the glass so that the next 2 refills of the same glass provide the flavor (and effect?) without adding additional oil. I found this more pleasant that plain water, so for me it’s a perk. I did notice my appetite diminish greatly in the week that I used it. I decided then to shelf the remainder of the bottle until I could make a serious weight loss commitment — something I’ve been putting off for way too long. I’ve several canisters of Almased that I have found to be very effective still waiting to be used. I could see how the Slim & Sassy would help with the cravings I have to battle at the beginning of an Almased Fast. And then beyond my stock pile of Almased, I’d found the Slim & Sassy Daily Program that I plan to try (if I still need to) in order to compare results of the two programs:
My husband suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder, but will not medicate. (At times it’s difficult to tell the difference between ADD and IDD (I Don’t give a D@mn), with 2 teens in the house and all of whom are challenged with remembering and staying focused.) I can’t WAIT to try some of the oils in a diffuser — since they are unwilling to let me put the oils on them. I’ve been reading up with excitement about Vetiver, Cedarwood, and the Focus Blend — unfortunately none of these in my Family Physician Kit. (It’s become apparent I needed the Family Psychologist Kit (Joke. There isn’t such a kit. But hey, what a great marketing opportunity!)
As mentioned, I’ve not been feeling very well in general for several weeks, since before returning from Florida. I’ve said several times to my husband that I am concerned that either my liver function is further declining or else I’m having a flare-up of the Auto Immune-related issues. Or I need to increase my Wellbutrin dosage. I’ve been dragging myself thru each day, not sleeping well, aching all the time, more than 50 lbs overweight, too tired, and in too much pain to go walking, let alone resume my running. None of which helps my Atypical Depression. It all works like a vicious cycle. But all very amorphous – a generalized malaise.
I ran across this Daily Regimen for Health when surfing the net about Essential Oils to acclimate myself:
And this for fighting Seasonal Affective Disorder specifically and Depression in general:
I figure I’ll start my EO journey with some combination of these two protocols and see how my health improves. I’m awaiting the shipment of the items not in my initial supply, but I’ve begun right away with the oils I do have. Four days in, I’ve already noticed a VAST improvement in my energy and I don’t hurt all the time. Moods been pretty good of late too. I’ve managed to go for a 3 mile walk each day AND make some headway in my weed-beds.
No change in weight, alas. And it must be noted that the weather has eased up on the stifling heat which was bothering me more this year than any other. But I’m very optimistic about implementing the full regimen and will of course post a follow-up after a decent amount of time has passed.
Assuming you have a passing interest in essential oils, otherwise you’d not still be reading, I’ll share that I finally got around to attending a webinar by Dr. Josh Axe after reading his free e-book, The Kings Medicine Cabinet (get your free copy too: http://draxe.com/kings-medicine-ebook). I highly recommend the webinar — it gave more detail than his short e-book. I found the historical references he provided in his e-book quite interesting and will be looking to read more on the subject as it fascinates me. I’m also eager to get my hands on a copy of Modern Essentials after perusing it at a training session last week. I want to learn more about the chemistry behind essential oils.
Wouldn’t you know it! Mom was right, it IS the flavonoids!