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For me, part of being green is to cook my own food.  I occasionally like a treat so this is my recipe for Vegan Chocolate and Lime Cookies.

Vegan Chocolate and Lime Cookies

Ingredients

zest of one lime.

1/2 cup of plain flour

1tsp baking powder

1 small packet vegan chocolate buttons

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup vitalite or vegan margarine

1/4 cup caster sugar and 1 tbsp

Chop the lime finely and put 2/3 into a mixing bowl, put the rest aside.  Add to the mixing bowl, the flour, baking powder, sugar, margarine and coconut oil.  I used the coconut oil solid and worked the mixture until it was melted.  Kneed together ingredients with your hands until all fats are dissolved and you have a dough.  Chop the chocolate buttons and add, kneed them in.  Take a small piece of mixture into your hand and roll into a ball, slightly larger than a walnut and place onto a baking tray with parchment, press your thumb into the centre to make a dent, you don’t see it when cooked, but it helps them spread evenly.  Chop together the sugar and zest until you get a lime sugar and sprinkle onto each cookie.  Cook on 190 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, check after 15, they should be golden.

OK, so again, it’s taken months to finally come to my ideal products and original recipes have not worked so well on a continual basis.  So, the winners of the bunch are lip balm, shampoo, body wash, household cleaner, fabric softener, furniture polish and deodorant.  They don’t take long to make.

Lip Balm Recipe

1 tsp grated beeswax

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp shea butter

1 tsp cocoa butter

a few drops of chosen essential oil, I use 3 rose, 2 chamomile and about 8 peppermint.  Heat all except essential oil in a small pan, on a low heat, I use mess tins.  Once it is melted, turn off the heat and add the essential oils and pour into an appropriate container (or take an old tube you have cleaned out, squeeze out the air, hold it in the melted ingredients and suck it up into the tube, you may need to repeat this to fill it).  Takes about 5 minutes.

Shampoo

I was using melt and pour soap, which works fine, you just mix it with about 2/3 of the amount of soap with boiled water and add essential oils, but you have to keep mixing it so it stays smooth, which is a bit of a pain, so now I cheat.  I get a large bottle of castille soap, this makes 2 500ml bottles of shampoo, 2 household cleaners, 2 bottles of body wash.

So get about 60 chunks of melt and pour soap and melt.

Pour in about 250ml of the castille soap

Add 100ml of boiled water

Mix and add essential oil, I use rosemary, tea tree and peppermint, I’ve been told this shampoo helps with irritated scalps.

OK I’ve decided to amend this to pure vegetable or castille soap as this mix left some of the hair with a residue.

Takes about 5 minutes.

Body Wash

50 chunks of melt and pour soap

About a cup of castille soap

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

an equal amount of water to the liquid you now have, so about 2 cups of water.

I use sandalwood, orange and rose in mine and hubby has bergamot, kiwi and lemongrass.  Add oils to scent but don’t add more than 30 in total.  It’s meant to be mild.  Takes about 5 minutes.

Household Cleaner

1 cup of distilled white vinegar

1 cup of castille soap

2 cup of boiled water

30 drops of lemon essential oil, 10 of tea tree, in the bathroom I use this but add eucalyptus and peppermint.

Takes less than 5 minutes.

Fabric Softener

The EASIEST of them all.

Boiled, cooled water, I use about a litre

4 tbsp of Bicarbonate of soda

Essential oils of choice, about 10, done.  Takes about 2 minutes.

Furniture Polish

Melt 2tbsp of grated beeswax

Add about 5 tbsp of olive oil

10 drops of orange oil

1 tbsp distilled white vinegar

Put into a spray bottle and shake until the ingredients emulsify, spray and polish as normal, takes about 10 minutes with melting the beeswax, it will settle but give it a shake and it will emulsify again.

Deodorant

Ok, I did make and use the deodorant for a while, but during my experimenting I made one with alcohol in, big mistake, I burned the underneath of my arms and when they were healed they were horribly discoloured, so I stopped using any of the home made and started using crystal clear, however the recipe does work and it doesn’t have alcohol but my poor pits are awfully sensitive now!  I will tell you how I cured it also, but beware, it works and is potent.

Equal quantities of bicarbonate of soda, cornflour and coconut oil, mixed, I used a roll on I had cleaned and warmed it up in the mornings in my hands, I added sandalwood essential oil, but anything goes, takes about 5 minutes.

Discoloured Skin Treatment

Please be careful with this, it really does work, I had a lot of dead skin so it flaked off revealing healed skin underneath but on normal skin it will bleach it.

1 potato

1/2 a cucumber

Blend as much as you can and get as much of the juice out, apply 4 times a day if you can, twice if not, I didn’t wash off but some sites recommend you do.

Facial Toner/Moisturiser

1/2 cucumber

blend and squeeze, or pass through muslin/cloth to remove liquid, add half the amount of boiled water, 5 drops of rose oil, 5 drops of chamomile and if you have oily skin 3 drops of tea tree, smooth over skin twice a day or when you need to feel refreshed.

Body Butter

I make up small amounts at a time of this, a little goes a long way, but I like to change the scents I wear so make a small pot, then just make more when I fancy a change.

Equal quantities of cocoa butter, coconut oil and beeswax, and double that amount of shea butter, melted and add essential oils to the scent you like.

Eye Gel

1 tsp cucumber juice

1 tsp witch hazel

2.5 tsp aloe vera gel

Cut a couple of slices of cucumber (I did 4, but used the remainder to make my facial toner, the slices were about 1cm thick.  Blend and squeeze through muslin or similar cloth to get the juice out.  Add 1 tsp witch hazel (pure and pharmaceutical grade) and 2.5 tsp aloe vera gel and stir together, I used a mini jam jar for mine, the kind you find as single serving, I mixed it in the jar and I keep it in the fridge.

All of these recipes take about 5 minutes each to prepare and at the most 15, you could set aside an evening and do them all with plenty of time to spare, the ingredients can be found at a reasonable price and it works out slightly cheaper than buying from stores, plus you are using natural products, without the chemicals and those pesky corporations are receiving less demand for their products, without the demand there is no need for supply and maybe when they realise that we want products without the impact and excess packaging, maybe they will start producing ethically.

I use all these products on myself, but you should check for any allergies.  I use food grade products in their natural form, with the exception of soap, which isn’t food grade but is in the most natural form I can find it.  Rose essential oil is good as a moisturiser and for ageing skin, chamomile should soothe, tea trea is antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial as is Lemon.  Lemongrass can be used to lift mood.  Bergamot for deodorising and refreshing, lemon can cause sensitivity to sunlight on the skin so should be avoided in skin care, peppermint is good for the hair as is Rosemary.  I love sandalwood for it’s calming, fresh almost soapy smell.  These are personal choices selected for their respective properties and scents.  In aromatherapy it is often the case that if you don’t like the smell, don’t use it.  I would always recommend you do your own research and if you use any recipes you do so at your own risk.

UPDATE: 15/09/13 – A great site for home remedies and products. http://www.jameswong.co.uk/#/remedies/4569723827