|I bought these tube travel containers |
and they are perfect for toothpaste and reusable
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
I recently started to question exactly what was in toothpaste and particularly what was in the Sensitive and Enamel Boosting Brands that help remineralize your teeth.
They do work, but have things like floride and saccharin in them and I can only image what else.
Historically salt and baking soda were used as a toothpaste and I remember when I was a little girl, and we ran out of toothpaste, we would use baking soda as an alternative until my mother could get to the store. Baking Soda is used by fashion models to whiten and brighten teeth, that and a swish of hydrogen peroxide does that trick. Because the newer remineralizing toothpastes are very expensive and may contain chemicals, I was searching for a way to make my own. I had heard about oil pulling with coconut oil as a way to protect from tartar build up and know that coconut oil is good for your teeth. I selected an organic brand from my local supermarket. It seems the remineralizing ingredient used in toothpaste is calcium carbonate. This was available in powder form. To make all of this less saltier I had heard that xylitol is a natural sweetener made from birch trees that is used in chewing gum. Apparently, Xylitol naturally neutralizes plaque build up on teeth. I also read that Xylitol minimizes ear infections in children and that it kills strep germs. Sounds Amazing! I was ready to combine everything and see what happens!! This was getting better and better!
One trip to Amazon.com for the ingredients listed below and some things I already had on hand in my kitchen.
Voila - Toothpaste! Who Knew? I love the idea I can make my own remineralizing toothpaste. I imagined having the ingredients on hand to make toothpaste whenever I needed a tube and I liked it. I wanted to do it. Think about it, aren't we all a slave to these tubes in the drug store and who knows exactly what is in it. Things like glycerin and floride are controversial in oral hygiene products and I figured there must be a way to get around them and still have the remineralizing and freshness of some of the more expensive brands.
Melissa's Homemade Remineralizing
3-4 Tbsp Coconut Oil
2 Tbsp Baking Soda
2 Tbsp. Health Garden Birch Kosher Xylitol
2 Tbsp. Sea Salt
20 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
10 Drops Concentrate Trace Minerals
2 Travelon Smart Tubes (you could use a jar)
I mixed everything together in my kitchen aid mixer and stuffed the resulting paste into some travel tubes I had purchased on Amazon.
It tasted and felt similar to commercial toothpaste but had a slight salty edge but with the Xylitol and Peppermint extract, it has a very minty fresh taste which was unbeatable.
Happy Brushing, Melissa
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Charlie Abbott (left) with Rusty and Bill Parker (right) catch a 30lb 9oz Cobia (2nd place) during the
The Florida Sport Fishing Association
(FSFA) Cobia Tournament
at Merritt Island, FL this weekend Mar 21-22, 2014
|Cobia Grilling over charcoal tonight!|
Brush on 2 lbs Cobia Steaks
2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
Freshly Cracked Pepper
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
Grill 7+ minutes on each side of fish over red hot charcoals
|We Served it with Mixed Veggies cooked in Aluminum Foil|
|Served with Lemon Wedges|
on the Patio
|The Grill Cooking out by the Canal|
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Crispy, Light, and Delicious
Beer Battered Coconut Shrimp
You know how you always want to order the Coconut Shrimp when you go out to eat at a restaurant? Well you can make them at home with rave reviews! Pretty Easy and Quick!!
24 Large Fresh or Frozen/Defrosted Shrimp
1 C. King Arthur Unbleached Flour
1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt
2/3-1 c. Beer (any brand) just opened and fizzy
1 Large Egg (beaten)
2 C. Flaked Sweetened Coconut
1 C. Coconut Oil
|This is the Shrimp cooking in the pan after being flipped|
Clean, Rinse, Pat, and Dry the Shrimp. Mix Flour, Sea Salt, Beaten Egg, and Beer in a bowl. Place Shredded Coconut in a separate bowl. Coat the shrimp with batter, and then roll in Coconut and place shrimp on a plate. Make sure each Shrimp is not touching another shrimp. Do not layer. You can chill the shrimp for a few minutes before heating oil is a copper or cast iron pan. Fry Shrimp a few minutes each side at Med - Med-Hi Heat until golden brown and flip. Keep cooked Shrimp on a rack over a roasting pan in a 200 degree oven to drain and keep warm until all shrimp are cooked. I served with a few dipping sauces: Cocktail Sauce, Tartar Sauce, and Honey Serve immediately! So Delicious!!
Serve with Rice and a Steamed Vegetable
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Making Solar Sea Salt this Winter in Florida, Memories of ancient Salt Works in Ibiza and the Art of Brining and Salting in Gloucester, MA
I spent a summer in Spain on the Island of Ibiza many years ago. There had been ancient salt works on the island and I had seen them often. The ancient salt works, large swampy areas on the edge of the beach east of the old city, went back to the Carthaginian times.
|Island of Ibiza|
Bowls of salt were available in local restaurants next to the olive oil, water and wine on every table. This was where I first became aware of the specialness of this local Sea Salt when you poured some of the local olive oil on the rustic bread with the Ibizican Sea Salt on the top. The taste of this salt was sublime and I never forgot it. I often made presents for friends and family using sea salt and dehydrated herbs from my backyard organic garden. Click to see link to my Pepper Salt Blend Post.
|My East Gloucester Garden|
|This is my little Greenhouse set up |
in a small courtyard in a sunny area at the
place I am staying in Florida this winter.
|Salt Crystals forming in an old cake pan|
|collection of cake pans making the Salt|
|Salt Crystals scraped from the pie |
and cake pans and doing a final drying
on a cookie sheet
I knew people boiled sea water till all that was left was the salt but I had the idea to make salt without using a lot of expensive energy and to have the solar crystallization which makes a large grain salt.
The idea had been percolating in the back of my mind for years to make salt like the ancients. This winter I decided to try making it in Florida with a small greenhouse I bought for $20 in a discount store. It is quite well known that the Sea Water is very salty. This was strictly an experiment for me. I used a mix of plastic and metal containers, pouring local Cape Canaveral sea water into them and leaving the zippered window open during sunny daylight hours to evaporate and heat through solar energy.
|Close Up of Salt Crystals|
After about 10 days of sunny days, salt crystals formed!
This was a great experiment for me with many possibilities. I plan on making more of it and mixing it with herbs from my garden. In tandem with my bee keeping, having a small salt works makes a lot of sense.
|Fish Flake Yards in Gloucester, MA|
where fish was salted and
dried in the sun at Collins Cove
in East Gloucester
In Gloucester people historically had always brined things and dried them in the sun on racks during the summer. Spanish Ships from Balboa and Sicily often brought salt to Gloucester to sell to dry the local fish. After the invention of Birdeye frozen food in the 1930's, when freezers started replacing the fish flake yards on the docks of Gloucester Harbor, the importing and making of salt, the art of brining a Hake and making a New England Boiled Dinner out of it, was lost. They called it "corning", corning a hake. I can't even the last time I corned a hake. The art of preserving this with brine and salt is being lost.
There is something very primitive and basic in the idea of making salt and using it to season your own home grown vegetable and locally caught fish and lobster. It was a marvelous project. It is so good to know you can make your own seasonings, such as something as basic as salt.
Merritt Island, Florida
Sunday, March 2, 2014
|Eggplant Parmesan |
right out of the Oven
3 eggplant sliced and salted
2 eggs beat with 1/3 c. cream
4 c. Mixture of Italian Bread Crumbs and Ritz Cracker Crumbs
6 c. of Marinara - I make mine with fresh herbs, canned crushed tomatoes, sautéed in olive oil garlic and onions. You can add meat or not. I sometimes add 1 lb. sautéed ground turkey.
1 lbs shredded fresh mozzarella
1 c. shredded Parmesan Cheese
Fresh or dried Basil
Fresh or dried Parsley
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Dip the Sliced Eggplant in Egg/Cream Mixture and coat with Bread Crumbs. Place on two greased cookie sheets in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. You may flip the eggplant 1/2 way through so each side gets toasted well.
|Turn them with a Spatula halfway through|
Starting with Tomato Sauce, Layer the Ingredients, Baked Eggplant Slices, Herbs, and Cheeses
|Put on a Second Layer|
|Let it sit a few minutes before cutting into Squares|
|I served this with some fantastic Pasta |
and a fresh salad!
Monday, February 24, 2014
Decadent Coconut Chocolate Bourbon Mousse Pecan Crusted Pie - Gluten Free, Dairy Free, No Bake, Made with Tofu
|put your Pecans |
through a Food Processor
1 1/4 c. Pecans put through a Food Processor
2 Tbsp Melted Butter
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
Combine the above ingredients in a bowl
and firmly press into a Pie Plate. You can choose not to bake this or you can put it into a 325 degree oven for 5-7 minutes to toast up a bit. I baked mine but it would work not baked. You could also substitute a Graham Cracker Crust for this but then it wouldn't be gluten free. The Pecan Crust is really wonderful and reminiscent of a Chocolate Pecan Pie I had once!!
|This is right before I put into the refrigerator.|
Coconut Chocolate Bourbon Mousse Filling
16 oz. Silken Tofu
12 oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
(melted in a Double Boiler on stove)
1/3 C. Kentucky Bourbon
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tbsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 c. shredded Coconut
(optional but gives a nice texture and taste)
Place Tofu, Bourbon, Honey, Vanilla, and Coconut in a mixing bowl or a food processor. Melt the Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips in a metal bowl or insert over a small saucepan filled with one inch of hot boiling water. Add the chips into the metal bowl and let the boiling water in the bottom of the double boiler melt the chocolate. Some people melt chic in the microwave but I used the stove method here. Once the Chocolate Chips are melted add to the Tofu mixture in the food processor or mixing bow. I used a hand mixer and mixed for a few minutes at high speed and then poured into the crust. Refrigerate for 2+ hours or more and serve with Whipped Cream or Non Dairy Whipped Cream if you are avoiding Dairy.
This was super quick, easy, and supremely rich and decadent. I think you could easily serve this with Raspberries or Strawberries for some added color. You could also put the filling in pretty parfait glasses with whipped cream and fruit and leave in the fridge for desserts. This is a great and healthy alternative to ice cream or pudding but seems about as rich a dessert as you can imagine. I can't wait to bring this to an event and watch it disappear!!
Happy No Baking!!
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
|King Cake Rising after rolling it up with the filling|
Happy Baking, Melissa