Freshen Up with Essential Oils from Coborn's

Freshen Up with Essential Oils! Including 4 Essential Oil Recipes - www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com Naturally Close to Home with Rhonda
Rhonda

Spring is finally here and that’s a great time to try essential oils.  You’ve likely heard of essential oils, know someone who uses them or use them yourself.  And everyone has an opinion on what’s the best brand or the best way to use them.  I just want to share some of my favorite, easy ways to use essential oils and maybe include some education along the way!

What are Essential Oils?

So what is an essential oil, anyway?  They are highly concentrated, aromatic essences of plants.  They are 75 to 100 times more concentrated than dried herbs.  Essential oils are 100% pure plant oils and are very different from synthetic fragrance oils.

Different plants have different amounts of oils.  It takes 50 pounds of eucalyptus to make one pound of essential oil.  But it takes over 2000 pounds of rose to make the same amount!  That is why different oils have different costs.

Different oils also have very different properties.  They can be relaxing, energizing, nourishing or balancing.

Essential oils are very concentrated.  Please take time to learn about their properties and actions before you use them.  Use reputable information.  Oils are great fun, but very powerful.

Essential Oil Uses and RecipesMorning Jumpstart Recipe using Essential Oils from Coborn's - www.cobornsblog.com

Morning Jumpstart

Now, onto the fun!  There are endless ways to use oils throughout the day.  I jumpstart my morning by sprinkling a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint in the shower, away from where I stand.  The hot water activates the smell and the smell wakes me up!  Quick and easy.

Facial Mist Recipe using Essential Oils from Coborn's - www.cobornsblog.comFacial Mist

Next stop is my poor, winter weary face.  Earlier in the season, I was so dry and dull and nothing was helping.  I found a simple recipe for a facial mist.  It’s just 4 ounces water, 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin and 24 drops of the oils best suited to your skin type.  I used lavender, geranium and sandalwood that is blended with jojoba.  I put it all in a small spray bottle, shook it and spritzed it.  I use it before my moisturizer and another light spritz to set my makeup.  After a couple weeks, a salesperson in a store actually complimented me on my lovely skin.  That wouldn’t have happened a few weeks earlier!  And it was a much less expensive solution than those miracle creams.  And likely safer.

Local, Quality Skin Care from Purple Prairie. Available at Coborn's - www.cobornsblog.comRemember that your skin is the body’s largest organ.  Whatever you apply topically absorbs into your bloodstream.  It’s the reason medicine can be applied via a topical patch.  So slathering ourselves with chemicals that you wouldn’t ingest just doesn’t make good sense to me, personally.  There are so many great options. If you don’t want to make your own products, there are many high quality, safe skin care items that use essential oils, like our great local friends at Purple Prairie. (I had to get my local angle in here!)

How to Diffuse Oils for better sleep - www.cobornsblog.comDiffusing Oils

Another favorite way to use oils is with a diffuser.  There are many styles to choose from, we have three at home that are electric.  You simply fill them with water and oil.  They can be like mini humidifiers, adding moisture and great scents to your house.  My teenage son was waking up with a dry throat this winter, so we put one in his room.  Adding lavender or neroli oils give the added benefit of better sleep. Plus diffusers are a much better choice than spraying chemical air fresheners in your house.  Do you really want to breathe that in?

DIY Cleaning Supplies using Essential Oils from Coborn's - www.cobornsblog.comDIY Cleaning Products

Speaking of spraying chemicals in your house, another great way to use oils is in DIY cleaning products.  You can find great recipes online.  I get email newsletters from Aura Cacia and it just recently included tons of great ideas.  One favorite is to put 18-27 drops of your favorite oil on a cotton ball and vacuum it up!  It’ll stay in the bag and freshen while you work.

Spring is a great time to fill your house with the fresh smell of lemon, orange and grapefruit.  In the winter, I prefer the earthy smells of pine, vetiver, and sandalwood.  But when they weather warms up, I am ready for sunny citrus smells.  It’s all about what you like!

I hope you were able to find my blog helpful. Visit your local Coborn’s and fun Aura Cacia oils and Purple Prairie skin care in the Natural Foods Department.

Rhonda
Coborn’s, Inc. Natural Foods Category Manager

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What is a Leek?

What is a Leek? www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Produce Philosophy with Mike
Mike P.

“It looks like a green onion”, but it is a leek.

We hear that all the time in the Produce world. Leek is slowly growing in popularity, but still remains in the category as somewhat of a gourmet type item. They have been around for many, many years, yet many people have never heard of them. Availability is year round and prices do not fluctuate much. The fall/ winter season seems to be when people use them the most. My favorite way that I have enjoyed leek is in soup, specifically Potato Leek soup. I love the mild, creamy onion flavor that it offers. Very simple, and easy to make. Leeks can also be sliced as a relish, eaten with a dip or raw, braised in the oven, diced, or added to a salad which adds a crunchy onion flavor.

Some of the health benefits known about leeks are that they are high in fiber and potassium. They are also known to help lower cholesterol and have many other vitamins benefits as well.

Leeks grow in the ground like a regular onion. The root and the white part are underground with the green tops sticking out. Because of this, the most important thing is to make sure that they are cleaned properly before using.  Cleaning them is quite easy. Cut the roots off of the bottom and chop off the top part between green and white. Then cut again lengthwise, and rinse under cold water. The dirt in there comes out pretty easy. Once they are clean, you are ready to dice up the leek. The white part is the part that is typically eaten. They are the most tender and have a mild flavor. The all green part is quite tough, with a strong flavor.

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup Recipe - www.cobornsblog.com

This is very simple and easy to do. You could add more ingredients if you so choose. Other things I may add from time to time might include diced carrots as another vegetable or diced ham or cooked chicken if you are looking for meat in yours. If you’re looking to try a different kind of soup, give this one a try. It is different, but oh so good.

Potato Leek Soup
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Large Leek, cut lengthwise, separate, and clean. Pale white and white part only, dice, and chop.
  • 2 T. Butter
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 Cups (1 can) Chicken Broth
  • 2 Lbs Potatoes, peeled, and diced
  • ¼ Cup Fresh or Dried Parsley
  • ½ tsp. Dried Thyme
Instructions
  1. Cook diced leek in butter with salt and pepper in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes checking often, as you do not want leeks to brown at all.
  3. Add water, broth, and potatoes.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
  5. Take about half of your soup mixture out of the pan and put in blender to puree it. This will still give you some soup that will have some chunks. You could puree all of it; if you want it real smooth and creamy with no chunks - your call.
  6. Return mixture to pan, add thyme and parsley.
  7. Season with more salt, 1 to 2 teaspoons, and ground pepper to desired taste.
Notes
Replace chicken broth with vegetable broth for a vegetarian option.

Enjoy!

Mike
Coborn’s, Inc. Produce Merchandiser

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What is Jicama?

What is Jicama? www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Produce Philosophy with Mike
Mike P.

It’s pronounced, HEE-kuh-muh and often called the Mexican Potato. It is very sweet in taste and a little starchy and has a very crunchy texture, similar to a water chestnut. When purchasing an Jicama from the Produce department, look for one that has a dry bumpy skin, is not slimy, and is free from wrinkles on the skin. The preferred size is a mid-sized Jicama, around a pound apiece; if they get too big, they tend to be less sweet. Once you purchase one, you can leave it on the counter at home until you decide to prepare it. Once you cut it up, then you can refrigerate it.

Health Benefits

  • Less than 50 calories per cup
  • High in Vitamin C
  • Fat free
  • A natural blood thinner

How to Prepare

  • Peel the outer skin off like a potato.
  • Cut it into chunks or wedges like a French fry.
  • Place it in a resealable baggie and refrigerate it until you’re going to use it so it doesn’t dry out.

What is Jicama and how to serve? www.cobornsblog.comJicama most often is eaten raw, although it is a very versatile vegetable. It can be added to a juicing recipe, stir fry, a salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing, a veggie platter, or just plain as a snack-on-the-go item.

If you are to add the Jicama to a stir fry or a salad, add it right before serving so it doesn’t take away the nice texture or absorb flavor from other ingredients. I personally like it on a relish tray with a favorite dip, or hummus. Another way I like it is to have a few in a disposable baggie to eat during the day as a snack. I simply toss some slices into the baggie, sprinkle on a little lemon or lime juice, and then add a sprinkle of salt.

Besides being delicious, I like that Jicama is very filling. Eat just a few sticks and they hold you over for a while. This is why Jicama is often a very popular item for people on diets. Jicama has some health benefits, too. I encourage you to give them a try sometime. It’s something different and might just love it!

Mike
Coborn’s, Inc. Produce Merchandiser

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Zucchini 101

Courtesy: Real Simple

Recipes for Zucchini

Zucchini is a great vegetable (although botanically it’s actually a fruit) – you can use it in so many ways! It’s in season right now too – the quality is incredible at Coborn’s and CobornsDelivers.

Zucchini is very low in calories and rich in nutrients, including folate, potassium and vitamin A. It shouldn’t be stored for more than four to five days – and keep them in your fridge’s crisper drawer if possible. Zucchini will get sunken pits in the surface if it’s gotten too cold. Continue reading “Zucchini 101”