Coconut oil is best known as a curry ingredient, smoothie additive, and beauty product. It also belongs in the cleaning cabinet as a natural and powerful cleanser and polisher.
If you haven’t switched to non-toxic household products yet, now is the time. Each year the U.S Poison Control hotline receives thousands of calls regarding accidental poisoning by common household cleaners and products. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) warns that 53 percent of the household cleaners they reviewed contain ingredients that can harm our lungs. Some products also contain carcinogens, such as formaldehyde and chloroform. Even more concerning, just seven percent of cleaners adequately disclose harmful ingredients. And the EWG warns many commercial “green cleaners” are equally misleading.
But there’s good news: Keeping a house clean does not require the use of any toxic chemicals. Simple, inexpensive ingredients, such as baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and salt get the job done.
Coconut oil is a must-have ingredient to add to the mix. Traditional island communities have used coconuts and their sweet-tasting oil for thousands of years. Modern research suggests the oil has powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal abilities. It can handle the toughest scrubbing, reconditioning, and greasing jobs.
“As the vegan diet becomes more popular, more people are looking for milk substitutes. In fact, many of the people I know who drink almond milk or enjoy substituting coconut milk into baking aren’t even vegans. They’re people with lactose intolerance or people who enjoy eating healthy real foods.
I always warn people when they try a milk replacement to keep in mind that they have different flavors than cow’s milk. It can be disconcerting to try something and assume its flavor and texture is going to mimic the milk you’ve been drinking for 20 years, but if you think of it as an entirely different drink, the first sip should be very enjoyable.
Because there are now so many options for nondairy milks, it can actually get pretty confusing. If you became a vegan in the 1980s or 1990s, your only option was really soy milk, with the occasional rice milk indulgence. Now there are many different brands for dozens of nut milks, bean milks, and even grain milks. “
The number of sweeteners available today is staggering. We see high fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, dextrose, xylitol, and sugar in our packaged foods along with white, blue, pink, brown and now green packets to spruce up that iced tea in restaurants. If you are keeping up with the trends, agave nectar and stevia are all the rage. But have you ever stopped to wonder what all the sweeteners really are? Regardless of where you ended up on the flowchart or what you think of your choice, understanding what the sweetener is and where it comes from is the first step.