Try-It Tuesday: Brown Rice Flour

August 25, 2009 at 8:31 am | Posted in Homemaking, Natural Living, Parenting, Recipes, Try-It Tuesday, Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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brown rice flourMy son Judah is 8 months old and has a wheat allergy. This hasn’t been confirmed by an allergist, but I kept track of the foods I’d introduced and noticed a pattern of rash forming after eating foods containing wheat flour. Since removing all wheat products from his diet, he’s been rash free.

Judah is at the age where he notices everything his big sisters are eating and desperately wants to eat it too. Pasta, bread, pancakes…we are definitely a family that enjoys it’s carbs. My intention is to gradually remove wheat from all of our diets and replace it with an alternative grain. 

Brown rice flour is the first alternative I will be trying. I chose it rather blindly when I happened to run into the health foods market, but I figured that I love brown rice and so does Judah, so it can’t be that bad, right? I purchased a package of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Brown Rice Flour ($5.48 for a 24 oz. package. It’s cheaper online!)

When we got home I went online and started doing some research on how to use it as a wheat flour substitute. Here are some things that I discovered:

 

  • Brown Rice Flour is milled from unpolished brown rice and has a higher nutrient value than white rice flour
  • this flour contains bran and has a shorter shelf life than other flours; it should be refrigerated
  • it is best to combine brown rice flour with several other flours to avoid a grainy texture
  • excellent source of protein, fiber, and minerals such as magnesium and selenium

BAKING WITH BROWN RICE FLOUR:

  • replace up to 1/4 of any wheat flour with brown rice flour
  • baked goods made with rice flour tend to be crumbly, so consider substituting a mixture of one part arrowroot or other thickener plus four parts rice flour
  • adding more eggs is another way to reduce crumbliness
  • since rice flour absorbs more moisture, you may need to add more liquid to recipe
  • FOR YEAST BREADS: replace up to 1/5 of the wheat flour in a bread recipe, and try increasing the yeast so that the bread rises more

Try-It Recipe: Brown Rice Pancakes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp honey, fruit juice concentrate or sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

PREPARATION

1. Beat egg until frothy.

2. Add buttermilk, oil, and honey and beat until well blended.

3. In another bowl mix brown rice flour and the remaining dry ingredients.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the liquids. Stir until well blended. Do not over stir. Batter will be stightly lumpy.

5. Lightly grease a frying pan and fry pancakes.

cooking pancakesFrying on the griddle

cooked pancakeBrowns nicely!

judah eatingJudah loved them!

Momma’s Verdict:

The pancakes turned out very nicely. They were quite crumbly, so I will be sure to add additional liquid next time–I’m thinking plain yogurt would be a good thing to add. I also may try to add a thickener such as cornstarch or arrowroot. My two girls didn’t notice the difference between these and their regular pancakes…and that’s saying something! I froze the leftovers so I am curious to see how they will thaw and reheat for another quick breakfast.

 

 

The Trials of Teething

August 24, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Posted in Natural Living, Parenting | 2 Comments
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Teething is no fun.

Any mom will tell you that!

My own three kids have handled teething in very different ways.

Emma was grumpy but responded well to frozen washcloths and ice cubes in mesh feeder.

Gracie was as happy as a baby could be…no fussing, just EXCESSIVE drooling.

Judah is miserable.

I mean MISERABLE.

When it first began about 2 months ago I was shocked at how Judah went from a happy, content, peaceful baby to a screaming, crying, didn’t-want-to-nurse-or-sleep baby. I was flabbergasted! We had four solid days of utter fussiness. No sleep. Engorged momma. Hungry baby. I tried Orajel, but it did nothing to soothe him. In fact, the first time I put it on his mouth he swallowed some and started to gag as if he were choking! The only thing it did was numb his gums enough to allow him to latch on without pain, but a few minutes into the nursing it would wear off, leaving me with a screaming, starving baby. 

Strangely enough, after four days it stopped. The tooth was just at the surface, and I guess it was enough to lessen the pain he had been experiencing. At the time, a friend of mine recommended a homeopathic product made by Hylands, but I was unable to find it anywhere in Honolulu. And since the pain had passed, I forgot all about it.

This past week it began again.

Crying.

Fussing.

Restlessness.

And luckily, while on a shopping romp at Walgreens, I found the product that she suggested.

ttabs-newI used them last night for the first time…3 tabs under his tongue. They dissolve immediately and are tasteless. And they seemed to work right away! Judah was much calmer, he nursed better at bedtime with less pulling off and crying. I am so relieved to have found them!

Read more about Hyland’s Teething Tablets here.

Malama Monday: Skin Care for the Confused

August 24, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Posted in Malama Monday, Natural Living | 2 Comments
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I have confused skin. 

It thinks it’s going through puberty, yet it is developing it’s first little wrinkles at the same time.

I never had problems with acne until I started having babies. Something just went haywire and now I’m an almost thirty-year-old with temperamental, irritated, blotchy skin.

*Sigh*

I’ve tried many different face washes, serums, lotions, potions, magic drying solution…the list could go on forever! And nothing works. In fact, my newest attempt at finding a good face wash ended up in the worst breakout yet, caused by a little ingredient that was mentioned in the very finest of fine print…sulphur. I am terribly allergic to sulphur! So I had an allergic reaction on top of the acne that was already painfully spreading across my face. 

After much thought I came to a realization…I’ve been using chemicals to clean my skin. I use all natural stuff for the babies and we eat organic and local as much as possible. Somehow that awareness had not translated into a more natural, healthy skin care regiment for momma.

After that quick, “DUH!” moment, I found this new line from Burt’s Bees. I’ve been a fan of their products FOREVER and am so glad they are making skin care for gals like me!

Burts-Bees-Natural-Acne-Solutions-Free-Sample-300x274I found it at Walgreen’s and also saw it at Down To Earth markets here in Honolulu. I’ve been using the Purifying Gel Cleanser for three days and it has done MIRACULOUS work so far. No redness, no drying, less pimples. I’m amazed. The Burt’s Bees Acne Solutions series uses salicylic acid derived from willow bark. As with all of their products, the washes, serums and gels are almost 100% natural and packaged in recycled/recyclable bottles.

In addition to the Acne Solutions wash, I’ve been using witch hazel as a toner. It was on sale at Walgreen’s this weekend for $1.99 for a gigantic bottle! Witch hazel has many medicinal properties and has myriad uses, including:

 

  • astringent for skin– acne, cuts, scrapes, contusions
  • temporarily tighten and soothe aching varicose veins
  • relieve the pain of hemorrhoids 
  • a throat gargle of witch hazel, myrrh, and cloves reduces the pain of an uncomfortable sore throat (DO NOT USE THE DRUGSTORE VARIETY. A tincture should be made using fresh herbs.)
  • a cotton swab dipped in a witch hazel, goldenseal, and calendula tea and applied to the outer ear is useful in treating swimmer’s ear

 

 


Try-It Tuesday: Natural Household Cleansers

August 11, 2009 at 1:32 pm | Posted in Homemaking, Natural Living, Recipes, Try-It Tuesday | 1 Comment
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vinegar-_baking-sodaToday’s try-it is in line with my desire to live a more natural, chemical-free, sustainable life. I’ve been using Clorox Green Works products for about a year now, but it doesn’t take a chemist to know that there are still some far-from-natural ingredients in their products. So, after a little internet research and reading through some natural parenting books, I’ve come up with several recipes to try today as I scrub, wash and disinfect. These are the ones I will try today. My bathroom is looking a little scary!

 

ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER

Mix the following in a large container. Store and use to clean mirrors, windows, water deposits in showers, chrome fixtures, etc. 

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water

 

BATHROOM MOLD BUSTER

  • MIX 1 part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray directly on mold and wait at least one hour before rinsing.

I’ll update again later to let you know how it all turns out!

 

RESOURCES

eartheasy

Green Living Ideas

Soap Nuts Giveaway!

August 1, 2009 at 9:44 am | Posted in Homemaking, Natural Living | Leave a comment
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I first learned about the wonders of soap nuts on Passionate Homemaking. It’s a wonderful blog! I highly recommend you add it to your favorite reads. Well, today Lindsay is hosting a fabulous Naturoli soap nut giveaway. Just click here to connect to the post and enter!

Here is a link to more info about soap nuts on Wikipedia. 

What’s the Deal with Soap Nuts?

July 16, 2009 at 10:33 am | Posted in Homemaking, Natural Living | 3 Comments
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My son Judah has pretty sensitive skin. We’ve been battling with eczema for the past few months and luckily it has only claimed a very tiny little spot on his back. As a nursing mom, I’ve had to monitor my diet very closely. I try to avoid eggs completely and have been trying to cut out wheat and dairy as well. (My current battle is with Mr. Haagen Daz. He’s winning so far, but I’ve been diligently fighting anyway!) 

Gracie had terrible eczema from around 6 months old until she turned two. If I don’t monitor her dairy intake it will pop back up in little patches on her hands and cheeks. Emma seems to have the least allergenic skin, but she has seasonal allergies and asthma as well. 
Needless to say, I am a momma with a dilemma. A while back the Lord put it on my heart to begin moving towards a more natural, “green” lifestyle. This is a big reason for our move back to Hilo, amongst other things. So I have been trying to go the organic, plastic-free, as-natural-as-possible way. It’s been difficult and full of baby steps.
My latest baby step led me to soap nuts. I’ve been researching alternatives to store-bought laundry detergent for a while now. At first, I thought I would try making my own using Borax. But then I came across a few articles about how Borax is considered a toxin by the US government and decided that was not the way for me to go. 
A wonderful blog, Passionate Homemaking, featured an article on soap nuts. (You can read it here.) After reading it, I did some additional research on the web and was delighted at what I discovered! 
Soap nuts are:
  • sustainable, wild-crafted, dried fruit shells from the Sapindus Mukorossi tree (native to Northern India and Nepal) that contain saponins (soap)
  • hypoallergenic and fragrance free
  • free of synthetic chemicals, fillers, toxins, dyes and perfumes
  • ideal for washing cloth diapers–no chemicals or fillers to clog the diaper and make it less absorbent!
I ordered my soap nuts from NaturOli and have been so pleased with the results! My clothes are clean, soft and fresh-smelling, and our skin has never been healthier! I highly recommend this 100% natural product!

Natural Toys

April 22, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Posted in Natural Living | 1 Comment

I’m trying to be more aware of the things my children are exposed to and I really want to provide natural, safe toys for Judah as he grows. Today his teething ring from Little Sapling Toys arrived, and he just loves it! It is made from maple wood and is left untreated so none of the yucky chemicals found in paint and varnish get into his sweet little body. 

I’m so looking forward to our move to Hilo. I plan on getting rid of all our plastic toys and scary tupperware and restocking our new home with environmentally safe items. It just seems like a natural time to make a big change in our lifestyle!

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