Healthier Deodorant

Okay, so deodorant isn’t exactly food, but shouldn’t the ingredients be food-grade and vegan? Your deodorant is entering your body, just through your skin.

I’ve been making my own deodorant for several years. (Yes, it works for me.) Why? Have you read the label on commercial deodorants? Those scary ingredients are applied daily to (and absorbed by) your underarms. Ehhh. Your lymphatic system is right there, under that layer of chemicals. I didn’t feel very good about that. Making your own deodorant is also cheaper than the healthier deodorant options at health food stores. It only takes a few minutes to make, and maybe thirty minutes to set up on the fridge. Plus, like many of you, I like making things myself.

Anyway, I settled on the recipe you can find on the Angry Chicken’s blog. I’m very happy with the results. I rarely have vitamin E capsules, so I just leave that out. I keep the deodorant container out of warm places and have had no spoilage. (I keep the raw ingredients in the fridge, though.)

For fragrance, I always use essential oils (never synthetic fragrance oils). I prefer oils that have anti-bacterial properties like lavender and citrus oils. One of my favorites is grapefruit essential oil. When it combines with the cocoa butter, it smells faintly of chocolate orange. (No, no one around you will notice.)

If I don’t grow my own herbs, or buy them locally, I usually order from Mountain Rose Herbs in Oregon. They are a reliable source of high quality herbs.

If you’re interested in learning more about herbs and health, I would recommend Learning Herbs.com. They have great classes and most of the “big name” herbalists can be found in interviews, on the forum, or in classes there. My favorite herbalist, especially for someone new to herbal medicines, tonics and body care is Rosemary Gladstar. She falls under the folk herbal tradition, so her recipes and writings are very user-friendly. (She’s also a vegetarian, which makes me smile.)


Hey, Where are the Cookies?

I made a batch of Isa and Terry’s Chocolate Peanut Butter cookies…and they disappeared instantly. Gone. (I did manage to grab one.) Everyone around me had chocolate-smeared smiles. Ha! Another seed planted in the minds of the the omnivores. “That was vegan…and it was good!”

My tip for the cookies is to keep the prepared balls of dough in the fridge until ready to bake. They spread less that way. Warmer dough makes cookies that look like hats with a brim. Either way, soooo good. Thanks, Isa and Terry!

On Tuesday morning, I noticed that it was Boss’ Day. Uh oh. I had just enough time to make some (no-bake) Cashew Maple Oatmeal Squares from Raw Energy to take to work. I stuck them in the freezer and the boss had a healthy sweet treat for the afternoon. She loved them, and asked where she could find the recipe.

My Feeding Omnivores confidence is slowly growing…


What’s on your mobile device? Animal rights podcasts? Vegan cooking podcasts or tv shows? I escape my cubicle (mentally) via my iPod, so I stick with upbeat vegan cooking podcasts and videos.


I love to watch Delicious TV Veg and VegEZ. These are podcasts of the Totally Vegetarian shows that aired on PBS. Except for some of the early episodes, they seem to be vegan, despite the “vegetarian” name. You can watch or download these free from iTunes.

I understand the Delicious TV crew was hoping to launch a series this fall called Vegan Mash-Up with Toni Fiore, Terry Hope Romero, and Miyoko Schinner. For this, I’d get a DVR! If it’s out, I haven’t seen this on my local PBS station yet…

Laura Theodore has a vegan cooking, health and issues podcast called the Jazzy Vegetarian. (Her tv show, by the same name is now on PBS.)

The Earth Eats podcasts often appeal to my Permaculture side. They feature local foods and food politics, with the occasional vegan segments. Unfortunately, they seem to fall back on tofu for most recipes. Vegans eat more than tofu, Earth Eats!

Do you have any favorites that you watch online or on your mobile devices?

Small Experiments

Busy day working in the yard, so a quick two-bean chili for dinner. Recipe? Nah. My chili is always seat-of-the pants chili, and I taste as I go. Cocoa and some cinnamon went in this batch, along with the usual spices. I started by heating the spices in the pan with olive oil. The experiment came in with a pinch of asafetida, which is said to make beans more digestible. (Time will tell.)

Asafetida is a resin (also available as a powder) used in Indian cooking. When cooked, it has an onion/garlic flavor. Out of the bottle…well…there’s a reason why the word “fetid” appears in the middle of asafetida. When I brought this bottle home from my local Indian market, I put it in a baggie, and I could still smell it. Now that it’s open, I think putting the bottle in a glass peanut butter jar would be wise.

Experiment number two was the Chocolate Chia Pudding from the June issue of VegNews. Bleh. I was glad I just made half the recipe. I did buzz the chia seeds in my spice grinder first, and I whisked like crazy with my favorite coil whisk, but the pudding was swamp goo. Ah well. I often put chia seeds in my smoothies, so I put the pudding in the Vitamix with some frozen banana chunks and ice cubes and made smoothies. Finally, I dropped some in vegan graham crackers and lightly blended them so the crumb texture was there and called it a chocolate almond pudding smoothie. Tasty save!


One Last Watermelon

One last melon from the farmer’s market. Super sweet, a bit soft, much destined to be frozen for smoothies. Some eaten outside in a pretty bowl with lime, salt and Sriracha, and plenty of sunshine. The simple pleasures do taste best.

Raw Energy


Stephanie Tourles’ book Raw Energy was in heavy use at my house this summer, and still is, even though I allow myself to turn on the oven now! This is a fun (no) cookbook. The recipes are for healthy, no-cook snacks or mini-meals. They have have few ingredients and are quick to prepare. Many are perfect to take to work to share, and I’ve smuggled quite a few of these treats into movie theatres.

A few favorites are; Mango Madness Parfait (left overnight in the fridge), Cucumber Avocado Cream Soup (surprisingly spicy), Chewy Apricot Macaroons, Cashew Maple Oatmeal Squares, Peanut Butter Halvah, and Raw Dark Chocolate Syrup (I skipped the cinnamon).

I like that the author tells you how to store the snacks, and how long they will stay fresh. She also gives nutritional and health benefits. Only a few of the recipes call for special equipment, such a a dehydrator or high-speed blender.

I noticed Amazon has Raw Energy in Kindle format for just $3.79. I thought you might be interested – that’s quite a bargain! If you don’t have a Kindle, you can read the book on your computer or probably your iPad, and other devices.


Thanksgiving Rehearsal

It’s a crazy, late day today. I think I’m having trouble adjusting to lessening daylight hours. The cool temps are great, but I need sunshine. So, breakfast at my desk…tea and one of Dreena Burton’s Pumpkin Pie Custards. Sooooo good! I keep looking at the empty ramekin, wondering if there is a bite left.

Have been thinking about Thanksgiving lately. Wondering if I should do a “Thanksgiving Rehearsal”, both to try out recipes, and to have a nice dinner at home. This is the first Thanksgiving since my (vegetarian) Mom died, and things are still a bit broken. We always had a mostly veggie Thanksgiving. But this year…? I suspect we single siblings and my Dad will be invited to a family dinner. If so, I will need several side dishes and a dessert that will satisfy me…and impress the omnivores. (No pressure there.) I know this is not a new dilemma for most of you, but it is for me.

I’m thinking a nice, low-key, end of October Vegan Harvest dinner would be a nice tradition to start this year. Not to mention the perfect rehearsal!