Monday, February 25, 2013

Homemade Vegan Skin Care Treatments

Though it has been one of the mildest winters we can remember here in Maryland, this dry cold weather is still doing a number on our skin! Skin is dry, chapped, all over uneven, & not smooth. So we decided to feature some of our favorite homemade skin care treatments we make in the winter to help ease our skin into spring & wearing more skin bearing spring clothes! Here are some of our favorites:

Sweet Mint Sugar Scrub - This scrub will help to rid that top layer of dry skin & allow for hydration & smooth skin!

Ingredients:
•3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
•1/4 to 1/2 cup raw cold pressed olive oil
•5-8 drops mint essential oil

Directions: Combine all ingredients & stir well until the sugar is moist. Package in a mason jar. Massage gently into dry skin area. We love to use this scrub on elbows & hands! Rinse with warm water, pat dry, & hydrate well with an all-natural chemical-free lotion or oil.  We love using coconut oil as a moisturizer or msm lotion when we want a glow! Cacao butter is also nice when you want to smell scrumptious! It's also on sale right now at www.NaturalZing.com.

Vanilla Bean Sugar Scrub - Another great sugar scrub which is soothing after a stressful day, smells great, is super relaxing & really helps to exfoliate those dead skin cells!

Ingredients:
•1 1/2 cups vanilla scented sugar (see recipe below)
•3/4 cup celtic sea salt
•1 cup raw, organic coconut oil
•1 - 2 tablespoons of dried lavender buds, optional

Directions: Make the vanilla sugar ahead of time as instructed in the recipe (see below). Combine the sugar & salt in a medium bowl. Add the oil and stir until moistened. If desired, add the lavender buds & stir to combine. Alternatively, you may add a few drops of an essential oil that pairs well with vanilla for different scent combinations (i.e. vanilla mint, lemon vanilla, etc.).


Vanilla Scented Sugar Recipe - A great way to get another use out of leftover vanilla bean pods.

Ingredients:
•2 cups coconut sugar
•2 - 4 whole vanilla beans, empty pods work too

Directions: Layer sugar & vanilla beans (you can slice them in half for smaller jars and for stronger scents) in a jar. Let sit for at least 24 hours for the sugar to become scented. Sugar can be used in recipes, tea, or anything else you'd want a lightly flavored natural sugar for. Makes a perfect, simple & inexpensive gift. Variations: Use citrus peels, herbs or rose petals for other scented sugar options. You can also adjust the number of vanilla bean pods you use to make the vanilla sugar to vary the strength of the vanilla scent.


 Oatmeal & Onion Puree Face Mask - For anyone who suffers from acne we've noticed this has a great effect on your skin & really helps generate clear skin. And it uses two simple ingredients that are kitchen staples - Oatmeal: which is known to help clogged pores, & Onions: which are known to be anti-inflammatory. (Adapted from the Green Beauty Guide.)

Ingredients:

•1 ounce purified mineral water
•3 tablespoons raw, organic oats
•1 medium onion, peeled

Directions: Boil water & pour over oatmeal, letting steep for five minutes. Finely grind onion in a food processor, making a smooth puree. Add to the oatmeal while still warm. If the mask is not thick enough, add some raw honey or green clay until the mask is thick enough to sit comfortably on your face. The solution will stay fresh for one week in the refrigerator.

Aromatherapy Hot Oil Hair Mask - We use this hair mask monthly to bring back the shine, plus the essential oils are like a aromatherapy treatment for the mind & spirit!

Ingredients:

•6 tbsp. raw organic coconut oil, or raw avocado oil
•3 drops rosemary essential oil
•2 drops tea tree essential oil
•2 drops lavender essential oil



Directions: Pour all ingredients into a bottle or mason jar & mix. Use oil sparingly on dry hair.  Massage oil in, then cover your head with warm towel for 20 minutes. Shampoo as usual. Try this hair mask monthly & you will see a difference!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Banana Cacao Mint Chocolate Chip Soft Serve Recipe


"This recipe uses bananas, raw cacao, a dash of spice, & some fresh mint to create a luscious palette of cooling flavors that will kick those taste buds into simple dessert heaven." Recipe adapted from NataliaKW.

Ingredients:
2-3 large, frozen bananas, chopped
1 tbsp raw organic cacao powder
1 tsp organic cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp organic vanilla extract (optional)
1 tsp raw organic honey (optional depending on how sweet your bananas are)
1-2 tbsp fresh, chopped mint
Toppings:
1 tbsp raw organic cacao nibs
a few mint sprigs for garnish

Directions:
1) Place the desired ingredients in your food processor. Using the 's' blade, process the mixture until it starts to resemble an ice cream, or soft serve, consistency.
2) Scoop out the desired amount and serve in a dish of your choice, topped with a sprig of mint, sprinkle of cacao or cinnamon, or even some cacao nibs. Enjoy your healthy dessert on National Chocolate Mint Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Easy Romantic Raw Recipe Ideas


Happy Valentine's Day from Natural Zing!
Here are a couple of our favorite raw, romantic & low maintenance recipes - so you have more time to share with your loved ones!

Zucchini Bisque - "This warming bisque is flavorful & super easy, garnish it with fresh herbs or spices for a restaurant style look"


Ingredients:
1 large zucchini
1 handful (about 5) raw, organic sun-dried tomatoes with sea salt
1 tbsp raw, organic olive oil
1 cup of water

Directions: Blend ingredients in your high speed blender until warm. Garnish with your favorite fresh herbs or spices!

Beet Ravioli Hearts - "A savory, delicious raw vegan meal perfect for celebrating this season of LOVE. Thinly sliced marinated beet ravioli with a rich yet simple cashew cheese seasoned with italian herbs. " *Recipe & Photo By: Lisa Viger

Ingredients:
2 beets
2 tablespoons lemon juice (use our handheld citrus juicer for fresh juice quickly!)
2 tablespoons raw, organic olive oil
2 tablespoons raw, organic agave
1/2 cup raw, organic cashews
1/4 cup water, for blending (add more if needed)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 clove garlic

Directions:
Slice the beets very thinly. They can used as is, or stacked a few at a time & cut into heart shapes with kitchen scissors. Then, in a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, & agave, until emulsified. Add the beets and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate for a few hours or even overnight in the fridge. When the beets are softened and ready to use. blend the remaining ingredients in a high speed blender for several minutes until creamy. To assemble, lay one slice of beet down & place about a teaspoon of the cashew cream in the center. Top with another slice of beet and lightly press. Finally, add a small drizzle of olive oil (optional). Serves 2.

Sweet & Easy Avocado Cacao Mousse -

Ingredients:
4 ripe avocados
1/3 cup raw coconut nectar
1/2 cup raw, organic cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Fresh or Dried organic fruit & raw organic nuts for garnish

In the bowl of a blender or food processor, blend avocado until smooth. Add all other ingredients, blending until mixture is uniform. Chill for about 2 hours in the fridge or half an hour in the freezer. Garnish with your favorite fruit or chopped nuts. We love strawberries or goji berries for Valentine's Day!

Note: Feel free to substitute your favorite sweetener in place of the coconut nectar. Some natural sweeteners that would be great in this recipe include raw, organic honey, raw agave, stevia, & yacon syrup.

Superfood Aphrodisiacs

Also why not throw in a few aphrodisiacs like raw, organic Maca, raw cacao, arugula, durian, asparagus, & truffles to name a few. And don't forget the candles, fresh flowers/herbs & essential oils for ambiance!