Hairspray is one of the worst offenders when it comes to chemicals in beauty products. It typically has aerosol, plastics, VOCs and more.

Luckily, like most beauty products, there is a simple, natural and easy to make alternative that is also less expensive and healthier for hair.

Surprisingly, it uses only a couple ingredients, including white sugar (an ingredient that is terrible for the body but can be great for skin and hair).

If you use hairspray, try this natural alternative… your health and the environment will thank you! If you are looking more for a texturizing and volumizing spray, check out this sea spray for hair instead.

Natural Hair Spray Recipe

 

Author: Wellness MamaA super-simple homemade hair spray that is all natural and works well!

Recipe type: Beauty

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups filtered water (boil if you can’t filter)
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar (darker ones don’t really work here)
  • 1 tablespoon of high proof alcohol like vodka (I actually like spiced rum for the scent)
  • 10-15 drops of essential oil of choice

Instructions

  1. Boil water and dissolve sugar in it.
  2. Allow to cool to room temp and add alcohol and essential oils.
  3. Store in spray bottle and use as regular hair spray.

Notes

This recipe lasts indefinitely if kept in an air tight container. Adjust the sugar up or down for more or less stiffness/hold (more sugar=stronger hold) but don’t add too much or hair will feel sticky. I have had some luck combining this with the salt from my beach waves spray for a texturizing spray. I reduced the sugar by half and added half of the magnesium.

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BANANA AND COCONUT BEEF STEW - GAMBIA

Ingredients

2 lb lean beef

5 firm, green bananas (ensure that they are not ripe)

2 large onions

1 large tomato

2 cups coconut milk

1 cup water

2 tbsp vegetable oil

½ lb peas

6 oz snow peas, mange tout, washed

·salt and pepper (to taste)

Peel and dice the onions finely

Dice the tomato into coarse pieces

Peel the bananas and cut into 1 to 1 ½ inch [2½ to 4cm] pieces

Dice the beef into approximately ½ inch [1½cm] pieces

Place the meat in a saucepan, cover with water, add salt, bring to the boil and then simmer until tender.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions without browning.

Add the tomato as well as the meat mixture.

Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Continue cooking until the tomatoes soften.

Add the coconut milk, stirring continuously and bring the mixture to the boil.

Add the banana pieces and the peas to the stew.

Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until the bananas are cooked, soft but not mushy.

The Banana and Coconut Beef Stew should be served hot, over rice or accompanied by one of the stiff maize porridges (Ugali,)

3
  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs, soaked in 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 egg
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, grated and drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup flour (any kind)
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Lingonberry or cranberry sauce (optional)
Peanut Citrus Quinoa Salad with Crostini

Here we go kiddies!

I used my favorite Crostini recipe for this, which is simple, flavorful, and pairs well with almost any topping for a 10 minute appetizer.

Josh’s Crostini:

Ingredients

2 Baguettes, fresh or a couple days old is fine but it depends on your preference

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Fresh cracked black pepper

Dried Oregano and Dried Thyme

Preheat over to 425 degrees. Cut your Baguette into 1/4 inch slices on a bias to create a nice long surface area. Place slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle sea salt first over the slices, then a pinch of each thyme and oregano on each piece. Dried Herbs tend to weather the hot oven better, but you may use fresh if you like. Finally crack the black pepper over the slices of bread. Insert into oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted around the edges.

It is ok to let the Crostini cool while you cook the rest of the recipe. You can even prepare them a day in advance.

Quinoa Salad:

Ingredients

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

White Quinoa

2 small sweet apples, diced

1 large onion, diced

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bunch Italian kale, chopped small

1/4 cup golden raisins

2 tblspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon black bean sauce

1/4 cup orange juice 

1 lemon, zest and juice

1 leek, sliced into thin rings

1/2 tsp kosher salt

fresh cracked pepper to taste

3 shakes of marjoram

1 tsp basil or thai basil, chopped

2 tblspoon peanut butter or favorite peanut sauce

2 tblspoon brown sugar ( if using peanut butter)

1 teaspoon chili paste or sweet hot sauce

Follow directions to cook 1 cup Quinoa, using 3 cloves garlic and leeks to season water and add 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Lace a large saute pan with  olive oil and set to medium heat. Place onions, apples and garlic in the pan. Sprinkle in kosher salt and let sweat until onions are translucent. Add in soy sauce and orange juice, and squeeze in juice of half a lemon. Add kale and let wilt for about 10 minutes. By this time the apples will have broken down, add raisins. Add peanut Butter, black bean sauce, brown sugar and chili paste or hot sauce. let ingredients mix. Add spices. Once quinoa is cooked, mix into saute pan with other ingredients. The extra moisture ion the quinoa should make the sauce just thick enough to coat. If it looks gummy, thats ok. The moisture is only important in that it helps make the salad stick on the Crostini. If it looks too dry, mix in a small amount of stock or water. Turn off heat. 

Once mixture is ready, spoon a tablespoon onto each crostini. Place back in 400 degree over for 10 minutes. The excess moisture from the salad will help make the bread a bit soft in the center while the edges will get a bit crispier. Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes, and garnish how you like. I used small julienned orange bell peppers, but a sprig of thai basil or cilantro would work as well. Be on the lookout for salty fried raisins that may have fallen off a crostini. Eat them fast because they are a delicious pre-appetizer treat!

This is kind of a super food bonanza. You have fruits and vegetables, Quinoa which is high in protein and fiber, hearty kale for iron and nutrients, and good fats and protein from peanut butter. I felt really good and full after eating this. It is earthy and bright and savory and sweet all at the same time. I’m also happy to answer any substitution questions! Enjoy.

Watch on richardblainesezcooking.tumblr.com

Anchovies are one of those foods that are unfortunately misunderstood. Too many people hate anchovies, and while an aversion to them may be understandable, the stigma that surrounds them is undeserved. This is Alici Marinati or Alici Marinate. This is Italian marinated anchovies. A very special starter that you only find in the finer Italian restaurants. Watch and enjoy! The recipe can be found below.

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2 LBS OF FRESH ANCHOVIES.
2 CUPS OF EITHER WHITE OR RED WINE VINEGAR ENOUGH TO COVER THE ANCHOVIES.
1-2 CUP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL OR JUST ENOUGH TO COVER THE ANCHOVIES.
4 CLOVES OF GARLIC FINELY MINCED.
CRUSHED DRIED OREGANO TO TASTE.
RED CHILI FLAKES TO TASTE.
CRUSHED SEA SALT TO TASTE.
CRUSHED BLACK PEPPER TO TASTE.
FINELY CHOPPED MINT OR ITALIAN FLAT PARSLEY.
SOME LEMON WEDGES WHICH ARE OPTIONAL AS A LITTLE SPRITZ BEFORE SERVING.
SOME FINELY SLIVERED ONION TO USE DURING MARINATING OR SLIVERED ON TOP BEFORE SERVING.
(THIS USE OF ONION LEANS A LITTLE CLOSER TOWARD THE SPANISH VERSION OF THIS DISH CALLED “BOQUERONES”)
OPTIONAL: CAPERS ON THE PLATE BEFORE SERVING.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. CLEAN THE ANCHOVIES BY PULLING THE HEAD DOWNWARD TOWARD THE BELLY OF THE FISH FROM THE GILL FLANGE THIS WILL REMOVE THE HEAD AND THE GUTS.

2. THEN WITH YOUR FINGER YOU CAN SPLIT THE ANCHOVY THE REST OF THE WAY DOWN AND RINSE THEM WELL.

3. THEN YOU REMOVE THE SPINE FROM THE TAIL SECTION OF THE ANCHOVY USING YOUR INDEX FINGER AND THUMB AND PULL THE SPINE DOWNWARD TOWARD THE HEAD TO REMOVE THE SPINE COMPLETELY.

4. NOW LAY THE ANCHOVIES OUT IN A GLASS BAKING DISH AND ADD ENOUGH RED/WHITE VINEGAR TO COVER THEM.

5. DEPENDING ON HOW BIG THE BAKING/CASSEROLE DISH IS YOU MAY HAVE ONE OR MORE LAYERS OF ANCHOVY TO COVER WITH YOUR VINEGAR.

6. PUT A COVER OR USE PLASTIC WRAP TO COVER THE ANCHOVIES AND PUT IN REFRIGERATOR FOR A MINIMUM OF 5 HOURS AT ROOM TEMPERATURE TO COOK IN THE ACID OF THE VINEGAR. IF YOU WANT TO BE ABSOLUTELY SURE THEN MARINATE 12-24 HOURS IN THE FRIDGE.

7. WHEN READY TAKE THE ANCHOVIES OUT OF THE FRIDGE IF YOU PUT THEM THERE AND DRAIN THE VINEGAR FROM THE BAKING DISH. LAY THE FISH ON A CUTTING BOARD AND DRY THEM WITH PAPER TOWELS OR CLEAN DISH TOWEL.

8. PLATE THE ANCHOVIES IN A DECORATIVE FASHION ON THE PLATE.

9. NOW TAKE A LITTLE OF YOUR MINCED GARLIC AND RUB A TINY BIT ON EACH ANCHOVY.

10. NOW SPRINKLE THE ANCHOVIES WITH SOME SEA SALT, BLACK PEPPER, RED CHILI FLAKES AND CRUSHED OREGANO AND AN OPTIONAL LEMON SHPRITZ..

11. NOW DRIZZLE SOME EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL OVER THE ANCHOVIES AND SERVE.

OPTIONAL: ADD SOME CAPERS TO THE PLATE BEFORE DRIZZLING OLIVE OIL ON TOP.

OPTIONAL: ADD SOME SLIVERED ONIONS TO PLATE BEFORE DRIZZLING WITH OLIVE OIL.(THIS IS MORE THE WAY THE SPANISH MAKE MARINATED ANCHOVIES CALLED “BOQUERONES.”

NOTE: MAKE SURE THERE IS ENOUGH OLIVE OIL ON THE PLATE OF ANCHOVIES SO THAT YOUR GUESS CAN SPOON SOME OF THE OIL ONTO THEIR PLATES WITH THE ANCHOVIES AND GIVE THEM SOME BREAD TO MOP THE PLATE UP WITH. YUM!

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