Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's Steaming Day!

Use a facial steam to clear your complexion, mosturize and renew your skin.

Basic Herbal Facial Steam Recipe:
1 quart water
1 large handful of herbs (chosen to suit your skin's needs)
5 drops of essential oils (chosen for your skin's needs) (optional)
Bring water to a boil in a 2 quart sauce pan, remove from heat and throw in your herbs and cover for 5-10 minutes. Remove lid, add your essential oils and hover over the pot with a towel draped over your head to keep the steam from escaping. Steam your face for 10 minutes.
How to chose the herbs right for you:
Most skin types can combine Lavendar, Rose and Chamomile for cleansing properties, rejuvenation, reduce puffiness or irritations and calming
Normal skin:
Calendula, Rose petals and Lavender
Essential oils (pick 1 or 2):Lavendar,Rose or Geranium
Dry skin:
*Dry skin can be sensitive so let the steam cool a little before starting and only steam face for 5 mins.
Red clover flowers, Rose petals, Elder flowers and St John's Wort or Comfrey Leaves
Essential Oils(pick 1 or 2): Cypress,Patchouli,Rosemary, Ylang-ylang or Sandalwood
Oily skin:
Yarrow or Witch hazel with Lavender and Rose
Essential Oils(pick 1 or 2):Normalizing: Basil, Eucalyptus,Rosmary or Ylang-ylang
To slow down oil production: Sage or Lemongrass
Good all around: Geranium or rose
Combination skin:
Calendula, lavender and rose
Essential oils: Geranium or lavender
Mature skin:
Marshmallow or Comfrey, and Gotu Kola
Essential Oils(pick 1 or 2): Anti-aging: Lavender, Geranium or Rose
Rejuvenate: Jasmine, Frankincense or myrrh
Dryness: Rose hip seed oil
Red clover flowers or licorice root and strawberry leaves
Essential Oils(Pick 1 or 2): Antiseptic: Spike lavender,Eucalyptus or Sage
If you have dryness alone with acne: Rosemary or Tea Tree
Healing: Lavender,Geranium or Rosemary
Lavender may help slow wrinkles
*you can find dried herbs at any natural foods store however specialty herbal stores may have more variety. In the Denver Area to of my go-to spots are Vitamin Cottage and Artemisia and Rue
*Keep in mind that your skin type and needs may change throughout the year
*Your skin should feel refreshed and moisterized afterward. If it feels tight or irritated the heat may be too intense or herb choses may irritate your skin. If you wish to try again let the water cool a little first or try a shorter duration.
* Once a week is appropriate for almost all skin types you can alter the frequency based on your needs anywhere from once every couple of weeks to twice a week.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

I discovered this recipe this fall and it's become one of my favorites!
3-3.5 lbs butternut squash, halved
1 Tbsp ginger root, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 limes
1/4 c chopped cilantro leaves
2 Tbsp peanut or canola oil
1 1/2 c coconut milk
1 1/2 c vegetable broth
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more for a little heat)
salt and pepper to taste
Kitchen tools:
Blender or food processor
6 qt pot
9x13 baking dish or rimmed cookie sheet
1. Preheat the oven to 400
2. Cut Butternut squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out seeds.* Place in 9X13 baking dish, with the rind side up and roast for about 1 hour. Test the squash to see if it is tender enough to be scooped out, then let cool for a few minutes.
3.While squash is roasting, Prepare all of your ingredients
4. While the squash is cooling, heat the oil in pot over medium-low heat. Add curry,ginger, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Simmer until fragrant or about 3 minutes. Add garlic and simmer for another 2 mins or until garlic begins to color. Remove from pan and set aside in a dish so it doesn't over cook and lose flavor.
5. Scoop flesh from squash and scoop half into the blender along with half of the sauted spices and half of the broth. Puree until smooth then pour into your pot. Repeat with the remaining squash, broth and spices.
6. Add coconut milk, squeeze in lime juice, and add salt and pepper, stir and heat being careful not to let it boil.
7. Once heated through stir in cilantro and serve. You can add some cilantro full cilantro leaves on top for garnish.
Weigh the squash! If it is too big you will dull the flavor of the soup.
If you have trouble cutting through the squash try microwaving the squash whole for 2 mins or so to soften it.
Don't overheat your spices as they will lose flavor.
*Tip below