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DIY Project:  Make Your Own Laundry Soap

There are alot of things that I used to take for granted that you HAD to buy in the grocery store.  Like most everything.  How did people survive before Walmart?  It’s a big mystery…

I have been embracing several DIY projects lately for the following reasons:  1)  keeping the level of toxins in our house to a bare minimum (see my previous blog post  https://muffindiaries.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/the-sweet-smell-of-cancer-and-infertility/), 2)  COST COST COST  (a bottle of organic, natural or less toxic product seems to cost way more than it’s conventional counterparts, and I’d rather spend more money on quality food than pretty shampoo) and 3)  BECAUSE I CAN!!!  (I’m weird that way, it’s a sense of accomplishment to be able to say I made my own laundry soap!!!)

A couple months back, I made my first batch of homemade laundry soap and I haven’t looked back.  Our clothes get clean (keeping in mind that I have some outdoor loving children who frequently get VERY dirty!) and I don’t have to worry about what I’m putting on their skins (or mine or my husband’s) or back into the earth.  Two things to think of if you’re skeptical is that 80% of what goes on the skin is absorbed into the bloodstream in some capacity (it’s not armor, after all!), and that our water sources have enough other pollution (if you don’t believe me, check out http://www.ewg.org/tap-water/executive-summary).   In spite of city water filtering, etc., alot of things that I don’t care for continue to lurk there, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t get there magically…

Ok, I digress.  Sorry.  Back to the soap.  This is roughly a five minute project which makes me love it even more with our busy schedules.

You will need:

1 c. Arm and Hammer washing soap (get it here:  http://www.amazon.com/Church-Dwight-03020-Hammer-Washing/dp/B0029XNTEU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340482942&sr=8-1&keywords=washing+soda)

1 c. Borax (I have found it at Walmart but I got it here http://www.amazon.com/Dial-Corporation-Borax-Laundry-Pretreater/dp/B000RNBX0G/ref=pd_rhf_se_shvl7)

1/2 c. liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild, you can get it here http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Bronners-Castile-Liquid-Soap/dp/B0054RS1TQ/ref=sr_1_8?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1340483230&sr=1-8&keywords=dr.+bronner%27s+baby+mild)

a covered 5 gallon pail (check your local hardware store, or a farm store)

tap water

Cook the borax, washing soap and castille soap in about a cup or two of water (I don’t think this is very scientific, whatever amount of water would work) until the soaps and powders are all melted.  Put it in the five gallon pail, and fill the pail 3/4 full of water.  We have just been taking it out to the outdoor hose to fill, which works great.  And that’s it.  I use about 1 c. for a large load of laundry.   Some of the soap seems to get foamy on top which is fine, just mix it back in before using.   I do keep it covered to keep bugs and dust out of it.

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When I bought all of my ingredients, I figured that I spent roughly $30 for everything including the pail.  One five gallon pail lasted us about a month and a half (I am doing at least a load of laundry a day).  The boxes of borax and washing soda will last you for many subsequent batches.  The only thing you would need to restock any time soon is the castile soap – and Dr. Bronner’s does sell larger sizes of it’s soaps, so you could just start with more of that if you wanted.  There are other sites (Vitacost, Swanson Vitamins, drugstore.com) that also sell Dr. Bronner’s, and they might have better deals.  Shop around.

Now if only I had a clothesline to hang my clean clothes on (hint, hint to my husband will likely read this later on…)…

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Kale Lentil Curried Stew (GAPS, SCD, gluten free, grain free)

I don’t know about you, but I have greens coming out of my ears these days.  And while they’re in season, I am trying to find creative ways to use them up…  We had this for supper last night and it was a hit with two out of three kids.  And the third is notoriously picky, but he did eat anyhow, just not quite as enthusiastically…

Kale Lentil Curried Stew

2 pounds ground beef

1/4-1/2 c. pureed liver (to boost nutritional content, they won’t know it’s there!)

2 chopped onions

3-4 cloves of chopped garlic (depending on how spicy you like it)

3 quarts of homemade beef stock (here is a link to the “why” homemade, as well as further links to the “how” – http://nourishedkitchen.com/bone-broths-adrenals-bones-teeth/)

4 cups of soaked and sprouted lentils (I used green; you will want to soak and sprout them to remove phytates in the lentils which inhibit nutrient absorption and make the nutrients more “usable” – I soaked mine about two days, changing the water morning and night)

1 bunch of kale, chopped into 1″ pieces with any large ribs removed

2 T. of curry powder (or more if you like it really spicy!)

sea salt to taste

and a little coconut oil for frying!

Brown the ground beef and mix in the liver, and add the chopped onions.  Cook til meat is no longer pink and onions are tender.  I add a little coconut oil during the frying process to add beneficial fats – I suppose 3-4 T. worth.  Add the stock, lentils, sea salt and curry powder and bring to a boil.  Cook about 20 minutes or until the lentils are fairly tender but not mushy.  About the last five minutes of cooking, add the chopped kale.  At the last minute, add the raw garlic (raw garlic has many healing and nutritional benefits!).  Serve, and enjoy!

I served this soup with one (ok, more than one, probably more like three) dollop each of homemade whole milk plain yogurt, which cools the spiciness of the soup a little bit.  If you are not a fan or curry, you could season this however you want (basil, oregano, thyme) but my daughter just happened to request curry…