Homemade Blueberry Vanilla Cashew “Kind” Bars

 

Homemade Blueberry Vanilla Cashew "Kind" BarsOne of my favorite varieties of “Kind Bars” is their “Blueberry Vanilla & Cashew Bar”. Starbucks is our only local source for this yumminess, and we all know it’s not easy on the budget to visit that great spot on a daily basis. So I modified a recipe from Camilla’s awesome website “Power Hungry”, and my whole family is delighted with the result.

Homemade Blueberry Vanilla Cashew “Kind” Bars (makes approximately 16 bars)

  • 2 cups Cashews
  • 1/2 cup Almonds
  • 1/2 cup Dried Blueberries (*or any dried berries of your choice)
  • 3/4 cup Crisp (Brown) Rice Cereal
  • 2 (hearty) pinches Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup Brown Rice Syrup (be sure your brown rice syrup is from a good source)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Coconut Oil (for pan)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9×13 pan (I use stoneware) with wax paper. Rub wax paper with small amount of coconut oil.

Put pre-measured cashews and almonds in ziplock bag and break/crush into smaller pieces using a rolling pin. Combine crushed nuts, dried berries, crisp rice cereal and sea salt in bowl. Measure brown rice syrup mix in the vanilla extract, then add this mixture to the nut combo. Stir well.

Place combined ingredients into lined pan, and press flat. (I put a piece of coconut “greased” wax paper on top, then press down using a container.) Bake for 18-20 minutes. Bars will still be soft and pliable. Cool for 15 minutes.

Remove from pan by lifting edges of the wax paper. Cut into desired size, wrap with wax paper and store in airtight container.

Enjoy!

~ Justina Dee

Many thanks again, to “Power Hungry” for the excellent recipe base. 

(Please scroll down for additional photos.)

Combine ingredients

Combine ingredients

Press into pan

Press into pan

Bake, cool, remove from pan and cut into desired size.

Bake, cool, remove from pan and cut into desired size.

We wrapped our bars in wax paper, and tied with a string. Such fun!

We wrapped our bars in wax paper, and tied with a string. Such fun!

Homemade Laundering Soap {Hand Selected Scents}

Laundry Soap Ingredients

A few months ago I shared a post about tackling the dragon in my life called LAUNDRY. I’ve discovered one reason this chore didn’t excite me. You see, I enjoy creativity, beauty and special moments. And although doing laundry certainly adds many desirable things to anyone’s character, it didn’t ignite the “artsy” side of me. So, it was boring.

Enter; Homemade Laundry Soap! Why do I get excited about this? Because I can create my very own, exclusive, hand selected laundering concoctions. For the 20 minutes or so that it takes to create this loveliness we call laundry detergent, my kitchen transforms into a perfume maker’s chemistry lab of creativity and scented delight. The excitement carries over into my laundry routine, as I can’t help but smell the soap and smile every time I wash a load of dirty clothes, linens or towels! And the bonus is a giant savings over supermarket “natural” detergents.

Laundry Soap Supplies

I modified a basic recipe I found on Pinterest, sourced from “The Frugal Girls”. I purchased a canning kettle which I use exclusively for laundry soap making, and then I store all my supplies in it when I’m finished. This recipe makes 2 gallons of beautiful, fresh, delicious-smelling homemade laundering soap. *Note I use this in my front-loading washing machine, and works beautifully.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Homemade Laundering Soap Recipe

1/2 bar castile soap, grated

1/2 cup borax

1/2 cup washing soda

Water: 6 cups hot water, then 6 cups hot water, then 1 gallon + 6 cups cold water

IMG_0288

Grate your soap, place into large pot and combine with 6 cups hot water (from the faucet). Stir and heat until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and add washing soda and borax. Keep this mixture on the stove (low to medium heat) for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. After 5 minutes, turn off the burner. Add 4 cups hot water. Stir. Then add 1 gallon plus 6 cups cold water. Place in empty laundry detergent containers, a bucket, or you can do as I did, and purchase your very own special gallon jugs. Your laundering soap will thicken into a gel-like consistency in about 24 hours. That’s it! You made your own laundry soap. We use 1/2 cup per load, always shaking well before each use. 

Now comes the fun part; adding scents!

Homemade Laundering Soap

Our favorite are “Lavender & Rose”, and “Melaleuca & Citrus”.

For the first, I add 25 drops each of Lavender essential oil and 50 drops of Rosewater essential oil to one gallon of laundering soap. I also like to add a few drops of  Young Living’s “Thieves” essential oil. For the second, I use 25 drops each of Melaleuca (Tea Tree) essential oil, Lemon essential oil and Grapefruit essential oil per gallon. I also add “Thieves” to this mixture. Then I label the gallon container, and make sure to shake well before each use. (Note: I also experiment with different scents of castile bar soap. My favorites are Lavender, Tea Tree and Citrus.) There are many great brands and scents when it comes to essential oils, and you can certainly experiment with your own likes, preferences and ideas. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it just as much as I do.

Happy Laundering!

~ Justina Dee