DIY Household Cleaning Recipes

Making the choice to green up your home is certainly a wise one, especially given the amount of chemical whoknowswhat present in conventionally available cleaning products. Think endocrine disruptors and neurotoxins – Yikes! But where to begin? It can be very overwhelming to figure out how best to green our homes inside and out. In fact, most of us likely stand in the cleaning aisle scratching our head and wondering what to buy (trust me, we’ve been these people). It’s taken us a long time to become well-versed on better options and to avoid greenwashing, but we've finally figure it out. Best of all, some of these can be made at home by YOU! We're sharing DIY household cleaning recipes for 3 common items used in the home. Enjoy & please share your tried-and-true DIY household cleaning recipes in the comments below.

1. All-Purpose Cleaner

Ingredients:

1 part white vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 part water

Baking soda

Method:

Combine vinegar, lemon and water in a spray bottle. If you'd like a little extra oomph to your clean, sprinkle down some baking soda before your spray and scrub away.

2. Laundry Soap

Ingredients:

1 cup soap flakes

1/2 cup washing soda

1/2 cup Borax

Method:

Combine all ingredients. Use 1 Tbsp per load of laundry. If you need a little extra cleaning power you can go for 2 Tbsp.

3. Floor Cleaner

Ingredients:

¼ cup liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap)

Juice of 3 lemons

2 gallons warm water

***Add ¼ cup distilled white vinegar to the bucket for greasy floors

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a bucket and wash away!

So there you have it! You can get started on greening up your home with these DIY household cleaning recipes. We modified these recipes from one of our favourite authors (P.S. she's Canadian, too) Miss Adria Vasil. We highly recommend her Ecoholic series including Ecoholic Home.

Now, greening up the home is certainly one thing, but don't forget the importance of greening up your health. This is where I come in. Chat with me about how I can better your health from the inside out.

Thanks for stopping by, and, as always, I'd be thrilled if you'd share this with someone in need.

Time to scrub the floor now!

Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

Could you pack anymore delicious things into these wonderful muffins?!? I think not! I got creative in the kitchen this past weekend and went on, what my husband calls, a baking binge. Baking calms me. It provides me with beautiful, dependable & delicious results. Oddly enough, if I hadn't followed my calling to become a naturopathic doctor, I would have become a pastry chef instead. A healthy pastry chef, that is!

Enjoy these yummy muffins with a warm cup of tea, a swipe of all-natural nut butter, and a piece of fruit for a complete meal. Yum!

Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup spelt flour (you could change this for a gluten-free blend instead)

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 egg

2 medium bananas, mashed

1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup full-fat, plain, Greek yogurt

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup maple syrup

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line your muffin tin with liners.

2. Whisk together all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Combine all wet ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients until the mixture is well combined. If you notice it is too thick you can add a bit more yogurt.

4. Fill each muffin liner until it is about 3/4 full.

5. Bake for 18 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

6. Let cool & enjoy!

Canadian Iced Tea Mocktail Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8

It’s the Canada Day long weekend, and that means hot weather and cold drinks. Thankfully, there are alternatives to beer, wine coolers, and the other alcoholic beverages that seem to dominate during summer holidays. This Canadian Iced Tea mocktail is a perfect choice. Complete with black tea’s antioxidant power, lemon’s liver cleansing effects, and maple syrup’s satisfying sweetness, you’ve got a super summer sipper. What makes it Canadian? The maple syrup, of course! Happy Canada Day!

How does this mocktail fit into a healthy diet? Since it contains sugar in the form of maple syrup, and dehydrating black tea, it’s best to limit this to occasional enjoyment. Save it for long weekends and the odd patio evening. It shouldn’t be a part of a daily diet.

INGREDIENTS 3 litres of water 2 litres sparkling water, chilled 4-5 black tea bags of your choice 3/4 cup maple syrup 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 2 lemons, juiced 1 lemon, sliced for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a saucepan over high heat, bring 1 cup water and maple syrup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and let simmer for 5 minutes. Note: It doesn't need to reduce to the point of being an actual syrup. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside.
  2. Boil the remaining water in a large pot. Add tea bags to the pot. Let steep for 15 minutes, or longer for stronger tea.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat. Then scoop out the teabags. Add maple syrup-water combination, a splash of vanilla, and the juice of 2 lemons. Stir.
  4. Pour into a serving jug and add chilled sparkling water.
  5. Serve over ice with a lemon garnish.

Peanut Butter, Banana & Chocolate Smoothie

Most mornings of the week I prepare breakfast for my husband and myself & it is usually a smoothie.

This morning I was especially inspired to whip up something delicious because I had just had a seriously hard leg workout. My body was screaming for nutrition! So a Peanut Butter, Banana & Chocolate Smoothie it was! It definitely helps that it tastes like dessert, too.

Benefits: An awesome dose of protein to feed your muscles post-workout, lots of clean fuel to keep you going all morning, more than half of your daily fiber intake, trans-fat free & packed full of magnesium & potassium for more post-workout recovery.


Peanut Butter, Banana & Chocolate Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 Tbsp organic peanut butter (I like Nuts to You, but use whatever brand you like)
  • 1 scoop Sun Warrior Warrior Blend Vanilla protein powder (or protein powder of your choosing)
  • 1.5 Tbsp raw cacao powder (this is the chocolatey, good-for-your-brain & muscles part)
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened, almond milk

Method

Blend all ingredients together in your blender, Vitamix or Magic Bullet and enjoy!

Let me know how yours turns out in the comment section below.

Grain-Free "Corn" Bread Recipe

It's a hot summer day and I'm busy preparing a delicious meal for me and my significant other. Spicy, barbeque chicken is on the menu along with roasted sweet potatoes and a vibrant green salad. But something is missing from this mid-August meal. Something - warm and soft. Southern. Sweet. Corn bread!

I sigh as I remember I've been following a grain-free diet for the past 2 months, and treats like corn bread fall right into that category - corn and all.

Then I remember almond flour makes a pretty fantastic replacement for grain flours in most baked goods. There must be a recipe out there. I search, and indeed there are a few. I meld them together into my own little creation and here's what happened...


Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups almond flour (try JK Gourmet or Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Coconut butter (for greasing the pan)

Methods:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 6" round pan or 8" square pan with coconut butter.
  2. Combine all ingredient in a large bowl and mix at until fluffy for about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into your baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown, the center is springy and a knife comes out clean.
  4. Spoon out hot and steamy and enjoy with your meal.

Caesar Dressing Recipe

It's summer & with that comes the desire to enjoy delicious, crunchy & cool salads. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine principles, changes of season like going from winter to spring/summer and summer to fall/winter signals our body to a change in cravings. Soups and stews (unless chilled) take a back burner to salads and raw veg. Unfortunately, many of us know how laden with crap regular salad dressings can be. I encourage you to try out a homemade dressing like the Caesar Dressing recipe I have included here. I Cleaned it up from my favourite Joy of Cooking selection.

From my kitchen to yours...

Caesar Salad Dressing

Serves 6 – 8


Ingredients:

  • 5 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a small bowl well combine 5 anchovy fillets, 2 cloves minced garlic and ½ tsp salt.
  2. Then whisk in lemon juice and Worcestshire sauce.
  3. Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream while constantly whisking.
  4. Serve with loosely chopped Romaine lettuce and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (optional).

Tip: Looking for an extra crunch, but don't want to resort to croutons? Try breaking up Mary's Gone Crackers overtop of your salad or use roasted sunflower seeds or chickpeas.

Quinoa Dessert Recipe

I’m sure by now you all have heard of quinoa (keen-wa). It is that little grain/seed that everyone in the health world seems to fawn over. Quinoa does indeed deserve a lot of praise. It is a grain-like crop harvested for its seeds. Did you know you can even eat quinoa greens? You can, but they are very difficult to find commercially. For now let’s stick to learning more about quinoa seeds. In ancient Peruvian times it coined its funny name, which means “mother of all grains”. It provided a great deal of nutrition to these people and has now resurged amongst the healthy crowds of North America.

½ c of quinoa contains half of your recommended folate (B9), magnesium and phosphorus and a third of your thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), B6, iron, and zinc. Wow! That is impressive. Better yet, it also contains 14g of complete protein, meaning all of the essential amino acids are present. This is a rare find in plant form.

Best of all, quinoa is gluten-free. No wonder it is so popular.

Quinoa is best-prepared like rice or couscous. But one extremely important tip is to remove the saponin coating on the quinoa before using. To do this, strain quinoa under cool water for a few minutes until all of the bubbles disappear. Now you are ready for cooking. Do 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and let simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until all of the water has absorbed. Now you are ready to use quinoa in whatever way you would like – as a breakfast food, in quinoa cakes, as a side dish, or as a main.

Scouring the internet will lead you to lots of quinoa recipes, but here is one of my favorites specially donated by Tosca Reno, author The Eat-Clean Diet.


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup / 240 ml quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 4 or 5 dates, chopped
  • 2 cups / 480 ml no-sugar-added grape juice
  • ½ cup / 120 ml raisins

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot and cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until quinoa grains are cooked.
  2. Serve hot or cold.

Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia Seeds and Chia Seed Jam Recipe

Gone are the days of chia seeds being known only for their ability to create chia pets! This seed is an all-around super food with star nutrients being fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, & iron. They also contain a host of powerful antioxidants, including caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and quercetin. Chia’s fiber content really is something to marvel.

Chia seed has more fiber per 100 grams than barley, wheat, oats, corn, and rice.

The soluble fiber present in chia seeds creates a gel in the stomach when exposed to carbohydrates thereby slowing down the digestive process of carbohydrates and reducing the spike in blood sugar after a meal. Chia seeds are also very high in protein and antioxidants. This is especially beneficial for diabetics.

Chia seeds have become exceedingly popular amongst the healthy crowds over the years. It is an excellent appetite suppressant because of its high amounts of fiber and protein. Chia seed can sustain you for hours, which is why it was used by the ancient Aztecs to sustain warriors during battle. In fact, 1 Tbsp of chia seed would sustain Aztec warriors for 24 hours during battle! In this day and age when food variety is certainly not  a problem, it is still important to maintain a balanced diet. Chia can be incorporated into your nutritional plan as a topping on oatmeal, an addition to smoothies, and in baked goods. But my favorite use of chia is as a healthy a jam. Chia seed contains about 5% soluble fiber. It soaks up lots of water and appears as clear mucilage (that means gel). Imagine that beautiful gel coating and soothing your intestines. Glorious!

Here’s a quick recipe for Chia Jam:


Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds (black or white)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Stevia to taste

Method:

  1. In a medium bowl combine chia seeds, stevia, and water.
  2. Let chill for 30 minutes. During this time the chia will absorb all of the liquid and gel.
  3. Serve cold on toast or on its own.