Thursday, June 30, 2011

Attempt No. 1: FAILURE (of sorts)

So a conversation on Facebook got me thinking about holiday (in this case the 4th of July) ice pops for the kids. I thought first I would try colored infusions frozen seperately (at seperate times.) Unfortunately as you can see in the picture, it didn't exactly work out as planned.
I started with blueberries mashed up with honey and a bit of water for the blue (which came out a bit more on the purple side) and let that freeze up.
Meanwhile I made and chilled some lemon balm and hibiscus infusions.
The lemon balm pops that I usually make aren't EXACTLY white, but they are close.
Unfortunately, I had to move the sticks to pour the hibiscus infusion in, and the lemon balm infusion turned into a redish swirl..... Ah well.
Ultimately they were deemed tasty by the trusty taste testers, but they weren't red, white, and blue. I do have another idea brewing in the back of my mind which I will attempt tomorrow. We shall see how it goes.
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Herbal Lotion

Today we are going to tackle herbal lotions. There are varying ways you can accomplish this. There are endless variations of herbs and oils that you can use and it can all depend upon what it is you are trying to accomplish with said lotion. Today we will discuss something basic, a calendula and st. john's wort lotion.
First you need:
1 cup of an infused oil. (in our case since I am making calendula/st. john's wort we will use 1/2 cup of each.) Note: I am talking about an infused oil NOT essential oil. (Mine are usually infused in olive oil, but there are better oils you can use such as grapeseed or almond.)
1 ounce of beeswax

Calendula flowers infusing in Olive Oil

Put both in a double boiler and heat until melted. Then pour your mixture into your blender. (At this point I should state you need a good blender and if your blender is not so good you can ruin your motor doing this to many times. ) Let mixture cool but do not let it solidify. (about 5 minutes or so.) At this point I add:

The gel of 1-2 aloe leaves (You could add more if you wanted)
1 tablespoon Shea Butter
Now you will want to turn your blender on low setting, you can push it up to medium if you want or just leave it on low.) While your blender is on you will add:

6 tablespoons of water (You may want to add distilled water, or maybe a hydrosol of some sort, or you can make an infusion of lavender or really whatever you want and use that. After you add the water and blend the oil and water mixture together you then pour the mixture into tins/jars. At this point you may want to add a few drops of essential oil, depending on your fragrance preferences. Once your creams are cooled you can check them for consistency.
You may have to play around with the oil types, amounts, and what have you until you get something you like.

I got the main recipe for this lotion at Herb Mentor . They have an in depth video about this and it's many variables on youtube. (There are 4 parts.)