Looking for an easy first step to making your home cleaning nontoxic and chemical-free? Try this All-Purpose Surface Cleaner.
Making your own cleaning solutions is one way to keep your kids and pets away from toxic chemicals. Simple ingredients from the pantry can be used to make cleaning products that are kinder to the environment for a fraction of the cost. Here’s an All-Purpose Surface Cleaner to get you started:
Castile Soap Surface Cleaner
2 cups distilled water
2 TB castile soap up to 1/4 cup*
15 drops lavender essential oil or peppermint or orange
Vinegar Surface Cleaner
1 cup distilled water
1 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 lemon juiced (optional)
15 drops lavender essential oil or peppermint, orange, or lemon
For the castile soap cleaner, pour the water into a pint Mason Jar (use a funnel, if needed). Add the castile soap and essential oil. Add the ADAPTA Sprayer and gentle shake the cleaner. This cleaner may be stored at room temperature.
For the vinegar cleaner, pour all the ingredients into a pint Mason Jar (use a funnel, if needed). Add the ADAPTA Sprayer and gentle shake the cleaner. This cleaner will need to be stored in the fridge between uses due to the fresh lemon juice.
Spray the cleaner and wipe off the surface with a damp cloth (this is important when using the castile soap cleaner since it can leave a soapy residue if left to dry)! Do NOT use the vinegar cleaner on marble or granite. The castile soap (avoid the citrus variety) cleaner may be used on sealed marble or granite.
RESTFUL SLEEP MASSAGE OIL
Find it hard to unwind after a stressful day? Give yourself a foot massage! A soothing foot massage will help the body relax and improve blood circulation. These in turn will encourage restful sleep especially when combined with our aromatic diy Sleep Oil.
Using common household ingredients, you can easily make your own Sleep Oil. This natural remedy is amazingly effective and one of my favorites. It also makes a great gift.
What You'll Need:
1 cup olive oil
½ cup coconut oil
¼ tsp (25 drops) Bergamot essential oil
½ tsp (50 drops) Lavender essential oil
½ tsp (50 drops) Sandalwood essential oil (or Cedarwood)
1 pint Mason Jar with reCAP PUMP
1. Place the olive oil and coconut oil into a blender and blend together on high.
2. Turn the blender speed to low and add the essential oils.
3. Pour into a Mason jar and screw on the reCAP PUMP.
Your sleep oil is ready to use! Keep it close to your bed and massage onto feet, cover with socks, and prepare for dreamland. The large pores in your feet allow the essential oils to quickly absorb and help you relax. Also good for massaging into sore muscles. Makes 12 ounces.
These single note essential oils are staples for aromatherapy and can be used in many applications. If you’re new to using essential oils, these three are a good start. Common benefits are soothing stress, anxiety and insomnia*.
Essential Oil/Aroma/ Benefit*
Bergamot: Citrus. Uplifting & Relaxing. Mood stabilizing.
Lavender: Floral. Calming. Helps calm a worried mind.
Sandlewood: Earthy. Centering. Soothes restlessness.
BOOST the benefit with a foot bath!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent ANY disease. A decision to use/not use this information is the sole responsibility of the reader.
Ready to get started? Check out our new and improved ADAPTA Pump!
Ergonomic, sturdy, and convenient. Shop ADAPTA Pumps now.
Pin the image below, or scroll to the bottom to read the article.
What is Kefir?
Milk kefir is a tart, tangy probiotic beverage similar to yogurt. What's great about kefir is that it contains 3x more cultures and probiotic than the average yogurt plus it is easier and less expensive to make!
Kefir contains 3x more probiotics than your average yogurt! It is also naturally packed with nutrients including B12, calcium, magnesium, K2, biotin, folate, and enzymes.
Kefir works as a great subsitute for milk, buttermilk, yogurt, and sour cream! A 1-1 ratio swap works well for cooking and baking. Learn more in our latest blog post.
Kefir is packed with protein! An 8 oz serving contains 11 grams, making it a nice add-on to your morning smoothie. Get a the recipe for our purple power smoothie here.
How to use kefir:
From soups and smoothies, sauces and as a starter, to marinades, in mixes and even in place of milk, there are countless – perhaps even limitless – ways to include kefir in your everyday life. You can use kefir as a substitute for yogurt, buttermilk and sour cream. Use a 1-to-1 ratio when substituting for buttermilk, sour cream, milk and yogurt when cooking or baking.
Tips from Lifeway Kefir:
For store bought kefir, we suggest Lifeway Kefir, found in most groceries.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN KEFIR:
Our DIY Kefir kit provides an easy system for making your own kefir. We provide comprehensive instructions to help you start your own supply at home. Shop Continuous Kefir DIY Kits.
KEFIR DILL DIP
1 cup of curds from dairy Kefir
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp onion powder
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on medium until smooth. This goes great with vegetables or crackers.
MINT KEFIR DIP
1 cup of curds from dairy Kefir
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
Dash of sea salt
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on medium until smooth. This goes great with fruit.
BLUEBERRY LEMON KEFIR SMOOTHIE
With the right balance of sugar, fats, and protein, this smoothie will keep you full all morning.
½ cup frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar or sugar replacement (optional)
½ cup fat free milk
½ cup Kefir (Homemade or Lifeway)
Combine blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar or sugar replacement if using. Add milk and yogurt; cover and blend for 1 minute or until smooth.
KEFIR RANCH DRESSING
1 cup of curds from dairy Kefir
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Whisk all ingredients together, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving
In need of some caffeination inspiration? Learn How to use reCAP Mason jar lids for all your coffee needs!
Whether you buy freshly ground coffee from your favorite cafe or you just grab whatever is on sale at the grocery store, I think we can all agree that coffee makes the world go ‘round. Mason jars capped with reCAP Mason jar lids make the perfect coffee storage solution, allowing for easy scooping and measuring. Plus, the reCAP's seal keeps your coffee nice and fresh.I use the FLIPs for my beans and coffee grounds since the 2” opening makes it easy to scoop out your measurement. The POURs work well for all your coffee additions like sugar or homemade coffee creamer. Taking some iced coffee to go? Put a POUR cap on your Mason jar for easy sipping and transportation.
DIY Coffee Creamer: Just add a reCAP POUR for easy pouring and storing! Photo courtesy of barefootcolo.com.
TIP: When properly stored, coffee beans will stay good for about a month after roasting. Ground coffee will last for one to two weeks after roasting. The key is to keep the coffee away from the four agents of deterioration: excessive air, moisture, heat, and light.
Feeling fancy? Impress your guests or treat yourself with these DIY Coffee Flavored Spoons:
Sugar, fats, protein, fiber…Feel full longer and fuel your brain with the correct smoothie ingredient ratio.
If you’re like I was, you dump in whatever veggies and fruits seem tasty for the day and hit “blend.” You might end up sipping a smoothie creation that's watery, too dense, very bland, or too sweet. Luckily those days of blending and praying are over. Simply follow this helpful guide to make a smoothie that's filling, tasty, AND nutritious.
Why you need a good ratio:
A good smoothie has the right balance of sugar, fiber, fats and protein. The biggest mistake people make is adding too much sugar (even from fruit.) This sugar trap- too much sugar and not enough nutrients- causes a spike in blood sugar which leaves you dragging later on in the day. To avoid this, ensure that your smoothie is balanced. With enough fiber, you'll actually feel fuller longer, and the protein and healthy fats will fuel your brain. (Remember, food is fuel!)
We've searched the web and experimented on our own to bring you the perfect smoothie formula. Follow along below and, of course, don’t forget to cap your smoothie off with a reCAP POUR Mason jar lid for easy Mason jar sipping.
Adapted from Health.com
Follow this road map for smart sips:
Produce: 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups
Fruit: Berries, banana (half a medium one equals 1/2 cup), melon, pitted cherries, avocado, mango, or pineapples
Vegetables: Cucumber, mashed pumpkin, mashed squash, spinach or kale
Ice and/or frozen fruit: 1/2 to 1 cup
Liquid: 1/2 to 3/4 cup juice, iced tea, coconut water, H2O or unsweetened nut milk (such as almond)
Protein: 2 Tbsp. nut butter, hemp seeds, chia seeds or protein powder
Optional: 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt for extra creaminess and healthy fat
A few pointers on powering up your beverage:
Think whey and go organic
Whey protein powder dissolves well and lends a creamy texture. Plus, it's a complete protein—that is, it contains all nine essential amino acids. Choose organic to avoid the growth hormones.
Watch out for sugar
Look for the lowest-sugar options you can find. Add your own sweetener as needed. Avoid all artificial sweeteners!
Beware of the jitters
If a product promises to up your energy, check the label for mate or coffee extract; the powder may contain caffeine.
Know your power
If your blender is an older model, with dull blades or a weak motor, stick to fresh fruit instead of frozen, and blend in ice cubes gradually at the end.
Dry goes last
Add protein powder, chia seeds or hulled hemp seeds after all other ingredients to keep them from sticking to the bottom. (Ice may go last if your blender is older.)
Take a break
If you have trouble blending, stop the machine and let the ingredients sit for a few minutes to soften. Or add a little more liquid, a tablespoon at a time.
Ready to Start Sipping?
Here's a quick and tasty recipe to get started:
Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie
3/4 cup chocolate almond milk
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1&1/2 frozen bananas
Though this base recipe is tasty as is, I usually throw in some or all of the following
extras for added ﬂavor and nutrition:
1 tsp cocoa powder (This will give your smoothie a much more appealing color!)
1-2 tsp chia or ﬂax seeds
Start with the liquid and greens ﬁrst, to make sure the greens are thoroughly pureed, before adding the frozen fruit and other ingredients. Blend and reCAP!
Cranberry Honey Butter in a Mason Jar
This delicious Cranberry Honey Butter in a Mason Jar is easy to create and makes a great house-warming gift. Share the love or keep some for yourself. Trust us, you'll want some of this on hand for your breakfast.
Prep/Total Time: 10 min.
1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
In a small bowl, beat all ingredients until blended.
Store in a regular mouth Mason jar capped with a reCAP FLIP.
The butter will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks or you can freeze it up to 3 months. (Our lids are BPA-free AND freezer safe!)
Fermented Foods for Flavor and Health in the New Year
Kimchi, Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Yogurt, Kefir… Here's why you need more in your life (and your gut!)
DIY Fermentation is currently the hottest trend in plant-based eating (according to recent survey of registered dietitians by The Monday Campaigns) and for good reason. Fermented foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and enzymes. And not to mention, they're DELICIOUS. The fermentation process makes veggies extra tangy and zesty, and preserves them for a long time-sometimes months! In addition, fermented foods are easy to make and inexpensive. Instead of buying from your grocery store, you can DIY to save money and get creative.
The benefits of fermented foods (besides tastiness)
Packed with gut-friendly probiotics, fermented foods can improve digestion and boost immunity. Research is still emerging on how important these mighty microbes are for our health, but early results are promising. (They may even help us get leaner, according to Lisa D’Agrosa, M.S., R.D.)
Bioavailable Vitamins and Minerals
Fermented foods are easily digested, and produce their own B vitamins and vitamin k2, among others. The vitamins and minerals in fermented foods are also very bioavailable, meaning they are easily absorbed but your gut lining. Thanks to fermentation, you can reap the benefits of your vitamins that much faster.
Fermented foods are very inexpensive to make, due to the low cost of ingredients and the ability to make and store large batches. Our reCAP system allows you to make batches of your favorite ferment to store and serve conveniently. (Did you know- you can make a large batch of Kombucha for less than $3! Learn how.)
A popular probiotic drink with a tangy flavor, Kombucha is made by adding a bacterial culture and yeast to a mixture of tea and sugar. After fermentation, the result is an acidic beverage packed with B vitamins and antioxidants. Learn how to brew your own ‘Bucha here.
The classic sandwich-topper is made from shredded or chopped cabbage, salted and jarred in its own liquid, then left to ferment for a few weeks before going into the refrigerator. Sauerkraut is the easiest ferment and often the “the gateway drug” for the DIY fermenter. Besides your classic kraut (recipe here) you can get creative with apples, oranges, and ginger (recipe here.)
A traditional Korean side dish that often starts with cabbage and can include other vegetables and seasonings such as chili peppers.
Kefir is a fermented milk product (cow, goat or sheep milk) that tastes like a drinkable yogurt. Kefir benefits include high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics. Our Continuous Kefir Kit provides instructions and convenient storage!
Our favorite ferments:
Don’t worry if sauerkraut and kefir aren’t your thing. Some of the best ferments can be created with a mixture of garden veggies:
Contributing to the inspiration of reCAP was Karen Rzepecki's commitment to multi-functional design, especially in the kitchen.
I’m often reminded of how useful Mason jars and reCAP are in the moment that I need them most. Just this past weekend, I made apple cider caramel sauce, mignonette for oysters, and a pot roast with a homemade, Mason jar-created au jus. Here’s my original marinade that cooks into a flavorful sauce for roasts and mashed potatoes or rice.
1 - 3 lb. eye of round roast
1 large white onion, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
Prepare the marinade:
½ cup soy sauce
2 tsp. whole grain Dijon mustard
½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. meat tenderizer
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional – add for spicy heat)
6 bay leaves
Add all of the marinade ingredients to a Mason jar. Add reCAP and shake vigorously until well mixed. Place eye of round roast into a Dutch oven with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sear all sides until lightly browned. Pour marinade mixture over and allow to sit for 1 hour in the refrigerator (turning after 30 minutes).
Remove from refrigerator and place the roast on a plate. Pour the mixture back into the Mason jar. Return the roast to the Dutch oven, and add one large onion, chopped into large pieces. Pour the mixture over the roast and onions, straining the leaves and any clumps. Bake at 350 F for 1-2 hours. Refer to a temperature guide to determine the best internal temperature for your beef roast.
DIY Mason Jar Lid Ornaments
A fun and easy holiday craft for moms, kids, and pets! All you need is a few metal Mason jar lids and bands, 3 ingredients, and creativity. Learn how in our latest video!
* 2 cups FLOUR
* 1 cup salt
* 1 cup water
Mason jar lids
Rolling pins, cookie cutters, paints, glitter
Ready to get started? Get 50 lids and bands for only $15:
Or, check out our 2017 Holiday DIY Gift Guide:
1. DIY Mason Jar Lid Ornaments:
A fun and easy holiday craft for moms, kids, and pets! All you need is a few metal Mason jar lids and bands, 3 ingredients, and creativity!
2. Peppermint Sugar Scrub
This sugar scrub smells like a cozy holiday candle and will hydrate even the driest of winter skin. It is so easy and quick to whip up. You’ll want to give this scrub to everyone on your list!
3. Gingerbread Playdough
4. Cookie Dough in a Jar
A Mason jar filled with pre-measured dry ingredients and capped off with a reCAP FLIP Mason jar lid makes a sweet gift that everyone will enjoy!
5. FLIP 10 Pack Sale:
Give everyone on your list a Mason jar capped off with a reusable reCAP FLIP.
Discount applies in cart.
6. Metal lids and bands sale:
For DIY ornaments! Get 50 for only $15 here.
7. Free Holiday Hershey Kiss Sticker download:
Fill a jar with hershey kisses labeled with different fun winter actitvities.