About a year ago I had made the switch from fat free sour cream to an all natural full fat kind. 
Here is the ingredient list on the fat free version I had been using:
Cultured Lowfat Milk, Modified Corn Starch, Whey Protein Concentrate, Propylene Glycol Monoester, Artificial Color, Gelatin, Sodium Phosphate, Agar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Citrate, Locust Bean Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate.
I decided, now knowing what was in the fat free, that I was probably better off using the full fat and just adjusting my portion size. I liked the regular sour cream, but it was difficult to use in recipes requiring large amounts. Some fat is good, but I would cringe every time I looked at the HUGE amount of fats in it.
My next thought was to take a look at a low fat version. 
Well, here was the ingredient list of the low fat:
Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Milk and Cream, Agar, Vitamin A Palmitate, Enzymes. 
It seemed to be that in order to make the lower and fat free sour creams palatable, the more fat removed, the more additives they have. 
Then, da da da dummmm, Trader Joe's to the rescue! I found an all natural, fat free sour cream called Simply Sour Cream! 
Here's the ingredients:
Grade A Cultured Pasteurized Non Fat Milk, Vitamin A Palmitate.
This sour cream tastes great and I can use it in all of my dips and feel a lot less guilty! It's only 15 calories for a two tablespoon serving and no fat.

It was really, really expensive to find an all natural ice cream made with organic ingredients. The largest brand of an all natural ice cream was pretty pricey too! I really, really love ice cream and really, really wanted to make my own. I even tried one recipe where you mixed the ingredients together, put it in the freezer, and I went back every half hour and mixed it with a spoon. Aggggghhhh! I've always wanted an ice cream maker, but most of them seemed to be beyond what I was capable of. I didn't want to mess with salt and ice and I always pictured what a disaster I could make of that.
One day I was walking around Costco and I found a  great deal on the Cuisinart Ice-20. This ice cream maker stated on the box that you pour in the ingredients and press on. Ahhh, my kind of ice cream maker. I bought it and pulled it out the box, put the bowl in the freezer and waited until the following day. The next day I bought some organic ingredients, came home and mixed them together, put them in the maker, and voila, the most delicious ice cream that was made with my love. I know it sounds a little dreamy, but oh it was good!
I've used this thing weekly and i even make healthy treats. I've put yogurt in it, orange juice in it, and even pineapple juice in it. It makes a great healthy slushy, or you can put the slush in the freezer for later and it turns out like an italian ice kind of treat. My next plan is to try a watermelon granita!!!!
Click here for the recipe I used from Cuisinart, which could be used in any ice cream maker.

Corn Tortillas



Once upon a time I would pick up a package of corn tortillas, toss 'em in the cart and go on my happy way. The first time I checked the ingredients, I sadly came home without corn tortillas. Every package I checked that day had preservatives, and some even included artificial coloring! Now I happily buy my corn tortillas at Trader Joe's and here's the ingredients: Stone Ground Corn, Water and Traces of Lime!
One day I ran out of chips and my salsa was lonely,  so here's my recipe for homemade tortilla chips!

Let me start at the beginning. I was conditioning my hair one day and I started reading the shampoo bottle. I had never noticed it before, but the bottom of the bottle stated "PARABEN FREE". I thought, "Hmm, what are parabens?" 
After a quick Google search I came to the conclusion that parabens are not good. After finding this out I decided to look up some of the other ingredients in my shampoo. I'll reiterate, not good. My next thought was to try out some homemade shampoos. It seems every time I've ever tried someone's "homemade" recipe the result is always...not good. Then, I suddenly remembered watching a documentary last year about Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap. Some of the folks were using it to shower, wash their clothes, brush their teeth and...wait for it...as SHAMPOO! If you don't like the classic mint you can buy it in a baby formula, lavender, tea tree, or citrus.  
I have now been using Dr. Bronner's as my shampoo and I'll tell you, it really works for me. I have very difficult, slightly curly, overly frizzy with the wrong shampoo kind of hair. I needed to find a conditioner and I remembered hearing about people using vinegar. I took an old water bottle and filled it with 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water; I use the vinegar 3 to 4 times per week. 
Back to Dr. Bronner's. One day I ran out of laundry detergent. Another day I ran out of hand soap. And another day I was out of my bar soap for my shower. In all instances I just used Dr. Bronner's. This soap is really potent, so a little goes a long way. For the laundry I only used a few squeezes of the bottle. For the hand soap I put just a squirt in the hand soap bottle and filled the rest with water. When I use it on my hair I really only need about a dime sized amount in the palm of my hand. It is made with mint, so when you use it there is a spa-like feel for your senses and a cool sensation on the skin. Amazing and all natural!! I know that things work for some and not for others, but give it a try and if it doesn't work the uses for what you have left are endless!

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