Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

Sharing my adventures in living a more natural lifestyle, information about essential oils and natural home, health, and beauty recipes!


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Want to spice up your boring fudge recipes? Check out my Homemade Fudge Variety using Essential Oils!

 

Fudge 1 - logoHistorically I have made chocolate covered peppermint pretzels for a Christmas goodie to give out each year.  But these are extraordinarily time consuming because you have to dip each individual pretzel in chocolate, sprinkle with crushed candy canes and set them out to dry.   Plus, several family members have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity since I began this tradition (and gluten free pretzels aren’t cheap) and others have asked for pretzels without peppermint.  These special requests, while I’m happy to honor them, also add time (and money) to my project. With a tiny human to entertain, time, and definitely money, have been given new value in my home this year. Plus, I really wanted to be able to share my love of essential oils with friends and family who haven’t had the opportunity to experience them.  So I got to thinking about what I could do that would be pretty quick and easy to replace my time honored tradition with an acceptable alternative.  And then it hit me… Everyone LOVES Fudge! Why couldn’t I incorporate dietary essential oils into fudge recipes to spice them up a bit and start a new tradition.  After all, everyone loves my peppermint brownies.  How hard could peppermint fudge be to make?

You know me well enough by now to know that I start every new quest by perusing Pinterest for new ideas. Interestingly enough, there are very few fudge recipes using essential oils as flavoring on Pinterest or on the web in general.  I didn’t want to just give one flavor, so I had to experiment a bit to come up with enough recipes for a fudge variety.   I found several basic fudge recipes and chose one that seemed relatively simple.  After all, the more time I spend in the kitchen the more likely I am to hear about how disappointed my child is I’m not giving her my undivided attention!  I modified the recipe slightly after experimenting to come up with a good basic recipe that is easily adjusted to accommodate a variety of fudge flavors.

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Homemade Essential Oil Fudge Basic Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 bags of “chocolate” chips (your choice of flavor)
  • essential oils of your choice

Directions:

In small saucepan, add sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, and vanilla extract.  Heat slowly, stirring often to keep the mixture from caramelizing on the bottom of your pan and bring to almost a boil.  Reduce heat. Add “chocolate” chips and stir until chips are melted and the mixture has a smooth, creamy consistency.  Remove from heat and add essential oils.  Mix well. It will start to thicken up as the temperature cools.  Pour into wax or parchment paper lined 8×8″ pan.  Let cool until set.  This may take up to several hours.  You can put in fridge to expedite this process.  Once set, remove from pan and cut into 1″ squares.

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Once I had my basic recipe down it was time to experiment with flavorings.  I knew I wanted peppermint but wasn’t really sure what all else I would do.  I figured if I would do a fudge variety I would want milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate so I challenged myself to come up with essential oil flavors that would balance well with all three varieties.  I knew peppermint and milk chocolate was a tried and true combo.  And I used to love getting those dark chocolate orange balls in my stocking so figured I could use orange essential oil to imitate that flavor.   I must admit, this combo was spot on! White chocolate proved to be a bit of a challenge.  My first instinct was to pair it with Stress Away, Young Living’s blend of lime, vanilla, copaiba, lavender and cedarwood essential oils.  I loved it! For those of you who are already oily addicts and know the joy that is Stress Away, you will also love this combo! However, my hubby was a little concerned that the cedarwood leaves a bit of an aftertaste that is an acquired taste and wouldn’t suit all members of our family.  So I considered other options and landed on Citrus Fresh, Young Living’s blend of orange, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, and spearmint essential oils.  While I normally wouldn’t think to pair citrus with white chocolate the spearmint seems to balance this blend nicely and I was surprised by how well they complimented one another.  Here’s the ratios of my first three flavors:

  • 2-5 drops Peppermint essential oil + Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips
  • 8-10 drops Orange essential oil + Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips (you could do the semi-sweet chocolate chips instead if you find dark chocolate too bitter)
  • 6-8 drops of Stress Away essential oil blend + Ghiradelli white chocolate chips

or

  • 6-8 drops Citrus Fresh essential oil blend + Ghiradelli white chocolate chips

 

Fudge 3 - logo

After I had experimented with my three main flavors I decided that I really needed a fourth flavor to make the gift a well rounded fudge variety.  After looking at the different flavors of chips in the baking aisle the Reese’s peanut butter chips started calling to me and told me that they needed to be the base for my fourth flavor combo. I figured cinnamon would be a good partner for peanut butter but felt like it would be lacking something.  After thinking on it for awhile it came to me… Maple Syrup!  This one is to die for!

  • 3-5 drops of Cinnamon Bark essential oil + 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup + Reese’s peanut butter chips

(pic of finished fudge gift box coming soon)

Once I had all my flavor combos perfected it came time to decide on packaging.  Michael’s had these cute little holiday print take-out boxes that were just perfect! Plus, in late November/early December they were running a buy one, get one ½ off sale so I saved a little bit since I had to buy 20 for my gifts.  I created my own gift tags using Canva so I could list the flavors of the fudge and give a link to this blog in case anyone wanted the recipe, borrowed my stepdad’s laminating machine, and then tied them on with curling ribbon. Overall, I’m pleased with how they came out.  I only hope the family doesn’t revolt when they realize they aren’t getting pretzels! I hope they enjoy the fudge and maybe I can start a new holiday tradition!

(Michael’s doesn’t have the gift boxes I purchased online, they must have been an in store only thing, but check out their cute little Holiday Take-out Box with Tulle tutorial! What a cute way to package your fudge or some other small gift!)

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I also packed some Peppermint fudge up in these cute little DIY dotted Sharpie mugs and threw in some homemade Raspberry Mint lip balm for my daughter’s preschool teachers.  I’m really pleased with how cute the whole package turned out!

Do you have a favorite Holiday goodie you make using essential oils or an idea for an essential oil fudge combo? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below!

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils, especially in any edible recipe.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount plus a chance to earn amazing promotional gifts.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

Want to spice up your boring fudge recipes? Check out my Homemade Fudge Variety using Essential Oils! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures

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How To Clean Your Toilet Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals)!

Part 3 of my Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) series: How To Clean Your Toilet Naturally.

Let’s face, no one really enjoys cleaning the toilet. And when you factor in all the gross chemicals involved it makes the whole process even less desirable. When I caught the spring cleaning bug over the weekend I knew I had to find a way to clean my toilet naturally so that I could at least generate some excitement about the process. I was surprised at the number of natural cleaning methods I found so I’ll share them below as well as share what method I used (I’ll spare you the before and after pics this time!).

Let’s begin by looking at some common store-bought toilet cleaners and why you’ll want to avoid them!

Bleach – Sodium Hypochlorite is the main ingredient in bleach and is a known allergen and skin irritant. It can cause severe skin burns and eye damage and is toxic to aquatic life. (Not to mention that if you are clumsy like me you’ll wind up bleaching everything else in your home by accident…)
Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner – The main ingredient in Lysol’s Toilet Bowl Cleaner is Hydrochloric Acid which can not only cause severe skin burns and eye damage but also acts as an upper respiratory irritant and can contribute to asthma attacks and pulmonary edema.
Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel – Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel contains Polymers, which are not only toxic to aquatic life but also skin and eye irritants, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, another skin irritant, and artificial Fragrance which can be an allergen or skin irritant.
2000 Flushes Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner – 2000 Flushes Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner, while convenient (IF it truly does “clean with every flush”) also contains several harmful ingredients, including Surfactants, which are toxic to aquatic life as well as being skin and respiratory irritants; 1,3-Dichloro-5-Ethyl-5-Methylhydantion, which is a known allergen and skin irritant; Chlorine Bleach (see above); and artificial Fragrance.

So now that you’re ready to throw out your toilet bowl cleaners, let’s look at some common household ingredients that you already have on hand that help clean naturally!

Baking Soda – Baking Soda is a natural abrasive that can help you scour your toilet bowl and act as a natural deodorizer. However it does not have any germ-fighting qualities. Pair it with Vinegar for the ultimate toilet bowl cleaning duo!
Borax – Not everyone has this on hand but it is easily found at your local grocery store. Borax is often mistaken as Boric Acid (which is toxic!) but it is NOT the same thing! Borax is actually Sodium Tetraborate which is non-toxic unless ingested in very large amounts. It’s a great, old-fashioned multi-purpose cleaner. It is commonly used as a natural laundry detergent but can also be used to clean, whiten (it doesn’t bleach, just removes stains) and deodorize your bathroom or kitchen and even used to rid your home of ants naturally!
Citric Acid (or Lemon Juice) – Citric acid is a natural, eco-friendly and cost-effective cleaning agent/ingredient, especially effective at removing stains and hard water buildup. Citric acid is also found in lemon juice and while we may not all have citric acid laying around our home, many of us have lemon juice in our fridge! (Note: Lemon essential oil does NOT contain citric acid) You can order citric acid through Mountain Rose Herbs here: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/produ…/citric-acid/profile
Essential Oils – I’ve already discussed how awesome I think essential oils are as additions to homemade cleaners (because of germ-fighting properties and ability to prohibit bacteria and fungal growth) and cleaning the toilet is no exception! Oils such as Tea Tree and Thieves are especially effective. But others oils, such as Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Rosemary, and Citrus oils, also have germ-fighting properties as well!
Vinegar – Vinegar is a natural acid that is mild enough to not irritate the skin but is effective at cleaning, disinfecting, and eliminating odors. Use in combination with Baking Soda or Borax for an especially effective toilet bowl cleaner!

Another wonderful way to help rid your toilet of those awful rings (especially if you get the hard ones around the rim of the toilet that never seem to come out no matter how much you scrub) is to invest in a natural Pumice Stone (just like the one your grandmother uses on her feet!). I found mine on Amazon for less than $5. Buy it here:http://www.amazon.com/Pumice-Scouring-S…/…/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1…

I found several great methods of using the above ingredients to clean my toilet over at DIY Natural but opted for my own method, which I’ve included below.

How to Clean Your Toilet Naturally:

Ingredients:
• Borax (or Baking Soda)
• Thieves cleaner (find my recipe here)
• Pumice Stone

Directions:
• Pour ½ – ¾ cup of Borax (or Baking Soda) in toilet bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes to 1 hour. Use toilet brush to scrub inside of toilet then flush.
• Use Thieves cleaner to spray the inside and outside walls of the toilet bowl and clean with sponge.
• Use the Pumice stone on any hard surface stains or toilet bowl rings that did not come out with the above methods.

Keep the conversation going! What’s your favorite all natural method of cleaning the toilet? Comment below!

Did you miss Part 1 and 2 of my Clean Your Home Naturally Series? Find them below:

Intro: Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) this Summer!

Part 1: How To Clean Your Microwave Naturally

Part 2: How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Appliances Naturally