Coconut Oil Review

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A few months ago I began to read lots of blogs on the benefits of Coconut Oil.  To be honest I was intrigued, but a little wary.  I feel like there is a lot of hype well for just about everything.  The idea that One thing can have so many benefits and uses seemed too good to be true.  The reason I decided to give coconut oil a try is that it is natural and affordable.

I decided to buy a small jar and began to use it externally.  I still use it mainly externally, but it is great for cooking too.  Here are a few of my favorite (tested by me) uses and a couple of things you should know.

First Coconut Oil is a solid under 72 degrees F.  It becomes a liquid above 72 degrees.  Like any oil there are different types, virgin, extra virgin, raw cold pressed extra, etc…  The more processed the oil the less coconut smell/taste it will have.  The less processed the more coconut smell/taste!

Externally (I usually rub the oil in my hands to melt it)

  1. Deep Conditioner for Hair
  2. Face Cleanser (more on that later)
  3. Night Cream
  4. Body Lotion – I use this after every shower, all over.
  5. Lip Oil (yes, I use it everywhere)
  6. Massage Oil
  7. Sunburn Soother
  8. Bug Bite Soother
  9. Razor Burn Soother
  10. Temporary Tattoo Remover (I have little boys)

What I noticed after about two weeks of use:  the dark circles under my eyes had lightened up and these little bumps on the back of my arms were gone.  Both of these things I have had forever and had accepted both.  I wasn’t trying to fix these problems, but I am delighted they are fixed!  I wish I had before and after, but like I said I wasn’t trying to fix it, it just happened.

This oil does not feel like other kitchen oils on the skin.  Olive Oil is great for your skin, but I’m not a fan of the way it feels on my skin.  Coconut Oil feels good.  Almost like baby oil.  If you want you can whip the oil to make smoothing on skin easier, whip it by itself or follow this lovely recipe.

The only thing I have tried and did not like it for was homemade deodorant…stay with me.  It was totally worth a try and it worked great as a deodorant, however the particular recipe I used had baking soda and cornstarch, one of them made my skin irritated.

Here are a few ways I have used it Internally

  1. A spoonful = energy boost
  2. Butter Substitute (on popcorn is my favorite)
  3. Saute Oil
  4. Baking
  5. Granola Bars (my son’s fave is chocolate chip w/ coconut, the oil adds depth, recipe later)

There are also a couple of things I have not tried but would like to:

  1. Bug repellent (mix peppermint oil with coconut oil)
  2. Toothpaste
  3. Sugar Scrub

With so many benefits and uses I will leave you with some awesome resources.

80 Uses for Coconut Oil  not only has 80 uses, it also has many benefits and nutritional information that I can not give.  Within this article there are also other great links for further research.

I hope this was helpful, if you can’t tell I love Coconut Oil.  Please feel free to let me know your favorite use for this amazing oil.

With heart, home and motherhood

SarahLiann

Poppy-Seed Bread Two Ways

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Hello everyone and welcome to my first ever blog post!  I am so excited to start documenting some of the fantastic aspects of the heart, home and motherhood.  (and a bit of trial and error)

My inspiration for this post is this huge lovely bag of poppy seeds I received from my brother and sis-in-law from Prague.

 I have also been craving one of my mom’s specialties, Poppy Seed Bread.  My mom has the best recipe ever…this didn’t stop me from making a few alterations…some out of necessity, some just because.

I will give you the original recipe because it is awesome, but will put my alterations in parenthesis.

Mom’s Poppy Seed Bread

This recipes makes two loaves or six mini loaves.  You could make muffins as well, but I have no idea how many you will get.

Prepare your pans and heat your oven to 350 degrees F.

3 cups sifted flour (I used 1/2 AP and 1/2 Whole Wheat)

1 1/2 t. salt

1 1/2 t. baking powder

3 eggs

2 1/4 cup sugar

1 1/8 cup oil

 1/2 cup milk (I used soy)

1 1/2 T. poppy-seed

1 1/2 t. almond extract (I only had about a teaspoon  :(…)

1 1/2 t. vanilla

1 1/2 t. butter flavoring

(my addition to the second loaf is a cup of finely chopped strawberries)

Frosting

1/4 cup orange juice

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 t. almond extract (I ran out remember?)

1/2 t. vanilla

1/2 t. butter flavoring

First I mixed the dry ingredients in my mixing bowl.

And against every notion I have about wet/dry ingredients and quick breads, I added the rest of the ingredients right on top of the dry.

Normally if I see this in a recipe I would mix the wet and dry separate and slowly add the dry to the wet, but I have eaten this amazing bread so many times I am not going to argue method.

Beat 1 -2 minutes (again against my normal method).

Then I poured 3 cups of batter into my first bread pan.

My helper had woken at this point just in time for the…

strawberries!

I cut about a cup of them.

My helper stirred the strawberries in,

then  poured the rest of the batter into my other pan.

I do not have matching pans and it is difficult to tell how even the loaves are, but I did the best I could.

The recipe says to bake at 350 degrees F for an hour, however both of my loaves needed an extra 10-15 minutes.

I assembled frosting ingredients when the bread was about to be pulled from the oven.

While I waited 5 minutes for the bread to cool I mixed the ingredients right in the measuring cup.

After 5 minutes pour the frosting on the hot loaves.  They will soak up all the sweet stickiness.

The hardest part was waiting for them to cool enough to get out of the pan.

Since they are sticky the loaf in my glass pan needed a little help getting out.

I also noticed that the strawberries floated to the top of the batter while cooking (this is a liquid-y batter).

Although this does not bother me or anyone else eating this loaf, the next time around I will try to replace some of the liquid with strawberries puree.

There you have it.  My mom’s poppy-seed recipe with a little whole wheat added and a touch of summer strawberries.

Lovely.

Let me know what your favorite strawberry and poppy-seed recipes are!

With heart, home and motherhood

SarahLiann