Tag Archives: Coconut oil

Orange Vanilla Coconut Scrub


I love orangey-scented things, so I thought I’d try making a scrub with epsom salt. Not long ago, I did a post on Peppermint Tea Tree Bath Salts and mentioned some of the health benefits of epsom salt. I thought they would be great to use in a body scrub, too. This scrub is thick, like a paste, and is scented with orange essential oil and pure vanilla extract. It smells so good and makes your skin really nice and soft!


  • 1 cup Epsom Salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 8 to 10 drops Orange essential oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a small or medium-size bowl or other clean container, combine Epsom Salts with coconut oil using a spoon or spatula (Note: If the coconut oil gets much above 76˚ it can turn into liquid form–so if yours is liquidy, refrigerate your coconut oil until it solidifies). Add orange essential oil a few drops at a time, stirring after each addition. Add the vanilla extract last and blend everything well. Store in a shallow jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. You don’t need to refrigerate this scrub unless the temperature in your home gets much higher than 76˚ (or when you notice the coconut oil turning to liquid form), because then the mixture will be more runny. You can use this scrub 1 to 2  times a week to keep extra dry or rough skin areas smooth and soft.

When using, wet your skin all over in the shower and massage the scrub into your skin. You don’t need to use a lot–just pinch up about 1/2 teaspoon at a time from your jar or container–a little goes a long way! This is great for rough skin areas like knees and elbows. Don’t use on face or other sensitive areas. Also, be careful when using, because the oil from the scrub can make your shower or tub a little slippery. If you want to use this on your feet as a foot scrub, it would probably be safest to give your feet a separate foot scrub/bath while you’re sitting down using a small plastic tub; that way, you don’t have to worry about slipping in your bathroom tub or shower.

It’s fun making your own bath and skin care products, and so much cheaper, too! I think they work just as well as any you can buy. Have you tried making any for yourself?


Holiday Peanut Butter Chocolate Meltaways

Peanut Butter Chocolate Meltaways2 @ NancyC

If you’re looking for quick and easy recipes for holiday sweets, this is one you’ll want to try out! There are  just 4 simple ingredients: white chocolate (or vanilla) baking chips, dark chocolate (or semi-sweet chocolate) chips, creamy peanut butter, and coconut oil (or shortening). I like using coconut oil instead of shortening myself. Now I’m not much of a candy-maker, but these are so easy, anyone can make them!

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Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

I’m a big fan of dark chocolate and granola bars. So I decided to combine these in a really yummy granola bar recipe! My recipe was inspired by one I saw at Another Lunch, with a few changes. Instead of using chocolate chips, I used a 4-ounce Ghirardelli 60% cacao dark chocolate bar, chopping it up coarsely. I used coconut oil instead of canola oil, using a few teaspoons more than the original recipe did. And I used puffed brown rice cereal instead of crisp rice cereal.

I love the way they tasted! The only downside is that, after the granola is done baking, it needs to sit overnight to fully set before cutting into bars. If you cut them sooner, they’ll fall apart. They were still slightly crumbly in some places when I cut mine the next morning, but not too bad. I found that when I refrigerated them they held together better, too.

These are great for a quick breakfast (chocolate for breakfast–YES!) or an afternoon snack. They’re easy to take to work or pack in a school lunch if you wrap each bar individually in wax paper after cutting them. Next time I make these, I may add some chopped almonds, too.

This recipe makes 10 to 12 yummy granola bars!

DARK CHOCOLATE GRANOLA BARS by NancyCreative, adapted from Another Lunch

Makes 10 to 12 bars in an 8×8″ pan

  • 2 1/2 cups quick oats (regular oats don’t hold together as well in this)
  • 1/2 cup puffed brown rice or crisp rice cereal
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons  ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, well-packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 to 2 teaspoons coconut oil (or substitute canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (4-ounce) dark chocolate bar, coarsely chopped  (I used a Ghirardelli 60% cacao bar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ square pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Mix oats, rice cereal, flaxseed or wheat germ, brown sugar, and salt, blending so ingredients are evenly distributed. Add in the oil, honey, and vanilla, and slowly blend ingredients well, taking your time, so the wet ingredients can “soak” into the dry ingredients and hold together better (you can use a big spoon or even your hands to mix the ingredients). Then stir in the coarsely chopped bar of chocolate, blending so chocolate is evenly distributed. Firmly press mixture into your parchment-lined 8×8″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until top is golden (I baked mine 22 minutes).

Let granola cool completely and set overnight in pan (if you don’t let it set long enough, the granola will fall apart when cutting).

The next morning, lift the granola out of the pan with the edges of the parchment paper.

Using a long, sharp knife, cut into bars…you’ll get 10 to 12, depending on how wide you cut them. I cut mine into 10 bars. The granola was still a little crumbly in some places when I was cutting…these bars are definitely more delicate than the store-bought kind (but I think they taste so much better!).

If you’re not eating the granola bars right away, wrap them up individually in wax paper or a waxy type of sandwich wrap (I got mine at Sam’s Club). You can store them, wrapped, in an airtight container, but I like storing them in the refrigerator better–after mine were in the fridge a bit, they held together better.

Then enjoy your granola bars whenever you’re ready for a great snack!

Do you make your own granola bars? What ingredients do you like putting in yours?