Saturday, May 7, 2016

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegetarian Carrot Cake

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegetarian Carrot Cake

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I know when you read the title of this cake you're thinking, "That must taste like cardboard." That's how many feel when they hear the terms, "Gluten-free," "Dairy-free," and "Vegan," all in the same recipe title. I used to think the same way! But, I promise you, you're going to love this cake and so will your guests! 

Normally, we live a sugar-free lifestyle as well, but for special occasions, such as birthdays and holidays (Mother's Day is tomorrow) we make an exception and make a special dessert.

I chose a bundt cake pan because we don't do icing and I think it's the prettiest. Other options include cupcakes, or 2 round cake pans to make a layer cake. If you choose a layer cake option you will need an icing of your choice.

Here's what you'll need:
Note: For all ingredients listed, organic is best, when available

6 cups of shredded carrots
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
4 eggs
3/4 cup of granulated sugar (I use organic, unbleached)
1 cup of olive or grape seed oil
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup of crushed pineapple (in it's own juice and drained)
3 cups of gluten free flour (I prefer Namaste Foods, Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup of raisins (optional) (we do not use raisins, but some may want to add them)


1.) Combine the grated carrots and brown sugar (and raisins) in a bowl and set aside for about an hour to let them marinate together. 

2.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease your pan of choice. I chose a bundt cake pan because do don't do icing and I think this shape is prettiest. 

3.) In a medium size bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set this aside for a bit. In a large bowl beat the eggs, and gradually beat in the granulated sugar, oil and vanilla extract. Stir the crushed pineapple into the egg mixture. Then gradually stir in the flour mixture to the egg and pineapple mixture. Once it's mixed together (be careful not to over mix) gently fold in the carrots and walnuts until mixed well. 

4.) Pour the batter into your pan of choice and bake. The bundt cake pan took about 90 minutes. I suggest you start checking yours at 60 minutes. The cake is done when a knife inserted comes out clean. Other bake times are: 
2 10" pans 40-50 mins
2 8" pans 30-35 mins
Cupcakes 20-22 minutes 

The cake should be springy to the touch and a toothpick or knife inserted in the center should come out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing. 

Enjoy! And remember, I love to hear from you in the comments!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Chemical Free Foaming Handsoap

Chemical Free Homemade Foaming Hand soap

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After many requests and a few botched batches of homemade hand soap made using my previous recipe, I am finally posting my newest and current recipe for our family's hand soap. 

For the record, I did not have any issues with my old recipe, we used that recipe and that hand soap for a very long time. But, this newer recipe is so simple and so fast to make it takes the cake! 

I know we are all pressed for time with our busy schedules, so I hope you will enjoy the ease of this hand soap as much as I do. 

Here is what you will need:

Empty Foaming Soap Bottles (I have one for each sink and I use THESE

Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap (I prefer the Baby soap, as it is the unscented soap and I get mine HERE .) 

Essential Oils for scent and cleansing properties (I use Young Living Thieves essential oil due to the cleansing power and you can get that HERE. Peppermint and/or Lemon eo are also great options.

   Here is the recipe: 

*Put 2 tbsp of Dr. Bronner's soap in the empty foaming soap bottle

*Add 10 drops of essenstial oil 

*Fill the rest of the bottle with water, shake a bit to mix


That's it! You're done! You'll be SO happy with this soap and how simple and fast you can make it

The Dr. Bronner's comes in 16-32oz bottles, so you'll be able to make many, many batches of this soap. And one 15ml bottle of Thieves essential oil has roughly 240 drops, giving you about 24 bottles of soap (if you're not using your Thieves oil for other purposes). 

A side note: My family uses this same recipe for body wash as well, but instead of Thieves essential oil we use 10 drops of Gentle Baby, Tea Tree, Patchouli, Orange or other fresh smelling essential oil. We even make our own baby head-to-toe wash using this recipe. Lavender or Sleepize essential oils are great for baby's night time bath wash. 

If you're just getting started with essential oils I recommend the Premium Starter Kit. You can get that here: 

If you don't know anything about essential oils feel free to contact me for some education.