Gift Wrapping Ideas for Christmas: How to Wrap Gifts for a Professional Look

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Make your gifts look like they’ve been professionally gift wrapped with this collection of 25 beautiful gift wrapping ideas for Christmas. They’re simply perfect for all of your handmade gifts for the holidays!

Christmas gifts wrapped in natural brown Kraft paper with foraged evergreens and botanicals for eco-friendly gift wrap

Beautiful Gift Wrapping Ideas for Christmas

Holiday gift giving isn’t just about the presents. It’s also about the presentation. Otherwise we wouldn’t take the time to deck the halls and fill our entire December decorating our homes for the holiday season. Christmas is that one time of the year, other than Halloween, when it’s socially acceptable to go all out. Beautiful, bold, tacky – so many lights you cause a blackout on your neighborhood block. If you’re going to put all that time and money into decorating for Christmas, then your handmade gifts must also look the part!

Eco friendly natural gift wrapping ideas for Christmas with dried botanicals, oranges and forage evergreen leaves.

Therefore, I present you with a collection of my very favorite gift wrapping ideas for Christmas. These holiday gift wrapping ideas not only look beautiful, but they’ll also give your Christmas presents a professional gift wrapped look. So friends and family will not only be delighted with the presentation, but also a wee bit jealous that you pulled off something so amazing. (And, yes! You CAN totally score that Pinterest win with everyone of these Christmas gift wrapping ideas!)

Gift Wrapping Ideas for Christmas: How to Wrap Gifts for a Professional Look for the Holidays. Make your gifts look like they've been professionally gift wrapped with this collection of 25 beautiful DIY gift wrapping ideas for Christmas. They're simply perfect for all of your handmade gifts for the holiday season! Many of these Christmas gift wrapping ideas also double as a second holiday gift themselves as a Christmas ornament or a fun seasonal holiday decor.

Many of these Christmas gift wrapping ideas also double as a second holiday gifts themselves. Whether it’s a handmade Christmas ornament or a fun addition to seasonal holiday decor, many of these gift wrap designs do more than just look the part. Therefore many of the ideas serve as unique ways to ensure your gift wrap is saved for the future (or reused for gift wrap the following year) rather than being tossed in the bin after the excitement of unwrapping gifts is over. So your Christmas gift wrap is both stunning and eco-friendly. Which DIY holiday gift wrap idea will be your new favorite way to style your handmade Christmas gifts?

Gift Wrapping Ideas for Christmas: How to Wrap Gifts for a Professional Look for the Holidays. Make your gifts look like they've been professionally gift wrapped with this collection of 25 beautiful DIY gift wrapping ideas for Christmas. They're simply perfect for all of your handmade gifts for the holiday season! Many of these Christmas gift wrapping ideas also double as a second holiday gift themselves as a Christmas ornament or a fun seasonal holiday decor.

Quick & Easy Ways to Wrap Gorgeous Gifts this Holiday Season

2-in-1 DIY Macrame Feather Christmas Ornament & Christmas Gift Topper for Professional Looking Handmade Holiday Gift Wrap

1. DIY Macrame Feather Christmas Ornaments via The DIY Mommy: These macrame feathers do double duty as both holiday gift toppers and a handmade gift. Basically two gifts in one, these delightful gift wrap design elements can also be reused next year as an ornament on a Christmas tree or pretty home decor for small spaces.

Wrapped Christmas presents in brown Kraft paper with bakers twine, holly leaves and berries and DIY clay Christmas ornaments as beautiful holiday gift toppers.

2. Eco-friendly Needle Felted Wine Bags via Soap Deli News
3. Three Easy DIY Gift Toppers via Burkatron
4. DIY Colorful Holiday Felt Bows via Lost Mom
5. Faux Mitten Gift Tag Tutorial via Tikkido

Glitter Striped Gift Wrapping Paper Tutorial for Christmas

6. Glitter Striped Gift Wrapping Paper Tutorial via Tikkido: This holiday gift wrap idea is a fun and frugal way to upgrade your washi tape into a design element for your handmade Christmas presents for the holidays. Don’t have glitter washi tape on hand? Make your own using glitter and double stick tape! A simple and easy Christmas gift wrap hack that even the kids can master!

DIY gift wrapping ideas for Christmas using brown paper, evergreens and bakers twine then using Christmas ornaments as gift toppers for holiday gifts.

7. Christmas Paper Bag Gift Bag Ideas via My Blah Blah Blahg
8. How to Festively Wrap a Christmas Loaf Cake via In  My Own Style (Plus check out these Christmas food gifts you can make!)
9. DIY Glitter Gift Tags via White House Crafts
10. Printable Holiday Treat Labels via Proper

DIY String of Light Gift Wrap: Easy DIY Gift Toppers for Holiday Gifts

11. DIY String of Lights Gift Wrap via The Crafted Life: Add some color to Christmas gift wrap with this easy Christmas gift wrapping idea for bright and merry string light gift toppers. They can be upcycled at a future date for winter crafts, holiday projects or as ornaments on a miniature Christmas tree.

Natural Christmas gift wrap inspiration with a handmade Christmas gift wrapped in brown Kraft paper tied with twine and topped with a felt Christmas tree ornament.

12. Gumdrop Treat Boxes via Oh Happy Day!
13. DIY Ruffle Fabric Gift Bag Tutorial via See Kate Sew
14. Christmas Character Gift Tags Tutorial (with Video) via SugarPea Designs
15. DIY Peppermint Favor Box with Cricut via Giggles Galore

Holiday Gift Wrapping with DIY Miniature Winter Scene Gift Toppers via Lovely Indeed: This easy gift wrapping hack is so stunning your friends and family may not want to even open their gift. Not only is it a beautiful way to present your handmade Christmas gifts for the holidays, it will also give your holiday photos of your Christmas tree and the annual unwrapping of gifts that instagram worthy punch.

16. Holiday Gift Wrapping with DIY Miniature Winter Scene Gift Toppers via Lovely Indeed: This easy gift wrapping hack is so stunning your friends and family may not want to even open their gift. Not only is it a beautiful way to present your handmade Christmas gifts for the holidays, it will also give your holiday photos of your Christmas tree and the annual unwrapping of gifts that instagram worthy punch. 

Wrapped handmade Christmas gifts in simple geo black and white holiday wrapping paper tied with bakers twine and topped with an evergreen sprig and a heart shaped Christmas gift tag.

17. DIY Christmas Ornament Favor Bags via A Pretty Fix (These make adorable gift toppers!)
18. Wrapping Your Gift with a Gift via Salvaged Living
19. Festive Holiday Candy Boxes via White House Crafts
20. Easy Gold Geometric Garland Gift Wrapping Tutorial via Tikkido

Eco-friendly natural ways to wrap gifts for Christmas

21. Beautiful Free Gift Wrap Ideas with Foraged Evergreens & Brown Kraft Paper via A Piece of Rainbow: If you’re practicing a zero waste lifestyle or simply want your handmade Christmas gifts to be wrapped as eco-friendly as possible then these natural gift wrapping tips and tricks are perfect for you! Explore a variety of free 5-minute Christmas gift wrapping ideas that incorporate foraged evergreens and wild botanicals with recyclable brown Kraft paper in this collection of DIY Christmas gift wrapping ideas for the holidays.

Natural eco friendly rustic Christmas gift wrap inspiration

22. Printable Sewing Themed Gift Wrap with Thread Spool Gift Toppers via See Kate Sew
23. Creative Gift Wrap Ideas for Kids via What Moms Love
24. Simple Holiday Fabric Gift Wrap via Northern Feeling
25. How to Make a Gift Bag Out of Wrapping Paper via A Beautiful Mess

Creative DIY Gift Wrapping Ideas for Christmas: How to wrap professional looking handmade Christmas gifts on a budget. Make your gifts look like luxe with this collection of 25 beautiful DIY gift wrapping ideas for Christmas. They're simply perfect for all of your handmade gifts for the holiday season! Many of these Christmas gift wrapping ideas also double as a second holiday gift themselves as a Christmas ornament or a fun seasonal holiday decor.

For more holiday gift wrap ideas, be sure to check out my Pretty Packaging & Gift Wrap Ideas Pinterest Board. You can also find last minute holiday gift wrap ideas here and here. Along with some of the prettiest DIY gift wrap ideas for Christmas here. I also have a huge collection of printable Christmas gift wrap and tags here.

Wooden initial monogram Christmas ornament gift tags for handmade holiday gifts from Clouds and Currents

Or explore artisan Christmas gift wrapping ideas for inspiration (or to purchase) on Etsy via my curated collection of the prettiest packages. There are hundreds of great Christmas gift wrapping ideas including this idea for wrapping your gifts with (best selling) initial wooden Christmas ornaments from Clouds and Currents on Etsy (pictured above.)

Don’t forget to also follow Soap Deli News across all your favorite social media platforms. You can find and follow me now via Blog Lovin‘, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up for my newsletter.

Christmas Food Gifts: Ideas for Christmas Food Gifts for Friends & Family This Holiday Season

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Let’s face it. Gift giving is hard. And if you’re dating someone new or you’re simply on a budget, figuring out your Christmas gift list can be crazy stressful. However, there is an easy way to both save money this holiday season and give Christmas gifts that everyone is sure to love. Christmas food gifts are an easy way to please everyone on your list. It’s both a simple way to ensure your gift doesn’t get returned to the store, and it’s a delightful treat that your recipient will enjoy throughout the holiday season.

Snowman marshmallow in cup of hot cocoa

Ideas for Homemade Christmas Food Gifts

Rather than spending money on pre-made Christmas food gifts, I love to make my own DIY Christmas gifts. This makes gifting quick, easy and totally budget friendly. Not only am I able to make all my DIY Christmas food gifts in bulk, but the ingredients cost a lot less than the pre-made versions. Keep reading for a collection of fifty of my favorite DIY ideas for Christmas food gifts for friends and family this holiday season. Or check out this collection of handmade food gifts to get more inspiration for your holiday gift list.

Christmas gift basket filled with food

Easy Holiday Gift Ideas for Friends & Family

DIY Christmas Food Gifts: Mason Jar Whiskey Infused Maple Syrup via Country Girl's Life

1. Mason Jar Whiskey Infused Maple Syrup via Country Girl’s Life
2. Homemade Dulce de Leche with Printable Labels via Country Hill Cottage (Gift this Christmas food gift with a recipe!)
3. Homemade Holiday Pancake Mix in a Jar via Sheri Silver
4. Classic Holiday Nut Brittle via My Baking Addiction
5. Spiced Apple Cider Gifts in a Jar via Country Girl’s Life

Creative DIY mason jar gifts for Christmas. How to make a cute DIY snowman mason jar gift filled with white chocolate covered pretzels or other winter holiday food treats to gift to friends, family, teachers and neighbors this holiday season. These easy DIY Christmas gifts also include free printable Merry Christmas gift tags for your handmade Christmas gifts for the finishing touch.

6. Snowman Mason Jar Gift with White Chocolate Covered Pretzels via Soap Deli News
7. Homemade Holiday Tea Gifts with Printable Chalkboard Labels via Soap Deli News
8. Homemade Soup Mixes in a Jar via Wholefully
9. Holiday Spice Mix Gift Ideas via Club Crafted
10. Homemade Vanilla Extract via Gimme Some Oven

Easy bourbon balls recipe with Woodford Reserve. The ultimate no bake Christmas dessert for last minute DIY holiday gifts. These easy Christmas treats not only taste delicious, they’re also gluten free. So everyone can enjoy the delectable taste of chocolate and bourbon this holiday season. A delightful no bake dessert for Christmas, this easy bourbon balls recipe can also be made with rum or customized with your favorite ingredients whether it be coconut or dried raspberries for a flavorful holiday treat!

11. Easy No Bake Bourbon Balls with Woodford Reserve via Soap Deli News
12. Hot Pepper Jelly via Skip to My Lou (This one’s easy enough for first timers!)
13. Chocolate Cake in a Jar with Printable Labels via Country Hill Cottage
14. Holiday Apple Pie Jam in a Jar via The Stripe
15. Whole Wheat Santa Sugar Cookies via Sprinkle Bakes

DIY Ideas for Christmas Food Gifts: Upcycled Baby Food Jar Hot Cocoa Snowman via Crafty Morning. Here’s a cute and cheap Christmas gift to put in a stocking or give to a friend..a hot cocoa snowman jar! You could use any small jars you find at the craft store but the baby jars are a bit bigger to hold more goods.

16. Upcycled Baby Food jar Hot Cocoa Snowman via Crafty Morning (An eco-friendly & frugal Christmas food gift.)
17. Homemade Molasses Cookies via Soap Deli News (Be sure to make extras of these food gifts for yourself!)
18. Holiday Candy Bark via Country Hill Cottage
19. Peppermint Brownie Mix in a Jar via Skip to My Lou
20. Curried Lentil Soup Mix in a Jar with Printable Labels via Happy Deal Happy Day

Easy Vegan Chai Cookies via Hello Nest (Plus a chai spice mix Christmas food gift idea.)

21. Easy Vegan Chai Cookies via Hello Nest (Plus a chai spice mix Christmas food gift idea.)
22. Peppermint Bark Christmas Gift Idea with “In Case of Emergency Break Chocolate” Printable Gift Tag via Polkdot Chair
23. Vanilla Chai Tea Mix Gift via Soap Deli News
24. Whiskey Infused Vanilla Peach Jam via Everything Pretty
25. Herb & Spice Infused Honey Gifts via Lovely Greens

Marzipan Pine Cone Treats with Printable Gift Boxes via Country Hill Cottage for seasonal winter food gifts.

26. Marzipan Pine Cone Treats with Printable Winter Gift Boxes via Country Hill Cottage (This is such a unique Christmas food gift idea!)
27. Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies with Pecan Streusel via Soap Deli News
28. Lavender Hot Chocolate Mix with Printable Labels via Country Hill Cottage
29. Double Chocolate Snack Cake Mix in a Jar via Homan at Home
30. Easy Dark Chocolate Truffles via Yummy Mummy Kitchen

Pick Me Up in a Cup Coffee Christmas Food Gift Idea via Stampington & Company. This project is a simple way to grab a cup of coffee with someone, near or far this holiday season. These test tubes have all of the fixings for your favorite cup of joe or cup of tea and makes an excellent gift for your coffee-drinking friend.

31. Pick-Me-Up in a Cup Test Tube Coffee Gift via Stampington & Company
32. Organic Chai Tea Mix via Soap Deli News
33. Boston Cream Pie Fudge via Sweet ReciPEAs
34. Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe via Soap Deli News
35. Digestive Cocktail Bitters for the Foodie via Soap Deli News

Hot Apple Cider Cinnamon Spice Mix in a Jar via Savory Nothings: Easy Christmas Gifts in a Jar

36. Hot Apple Cider Cinnamon Spice Mix in a Jar via Savory Nothings
37. Vanilla Mocha Coffee Marshmallows via Soap Deli News
38. Mini Sherry Christmas Bundt Cakes via Two Sisters
39. Oven Baked Christmas Candied Pecans via Salty Side Dish
40. White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Cookies with Holly Leaves via Evermine

Homemade gingerbread pear loaf recipe for the holidays.

41. Gingerbread Pear Loaf Cake via Country Living
42. Giant Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows via Modern Parents Messy Kids (Kids love these Christmas food gifts!)
43. Homemade Gingerbread Flavored Granola via Savor + Savvy
44. DIY Hot Chocolate Ornaments via Smart School House
45. Sugar Cookie Sack Gifts via Celebrate Creativity

DIY Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix in a Jar via Evermine

46. DIY Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix in a Jar via Evermine
47. Santa Clause Rice Krispie Treats via Two Sisters (Another kid approved Christmas food gift favorite.)
48. Chocolate Dipped Snowflake Oreos via I Heart Naptime
49. Red Wine Infused Sea Salt for Foodies via Two Loves Studio
50. Festive Vegan Meringue Kisses via Lauren Caris Cooks

Holiday gifts and snowman marshmallows in hot chocolate

If you love these ideas for homemade Christmas food gifts, then be sure to check out my DIY Food Gifts Pinterest Board. Or explore more homemade holiday gift ideas here.

You can also follow Soap Deli News across all your favorite social media platforms. Find and follow me now via Blog Lovin‘, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up for my newsletter.

Mushroom Bacon Risotto Recipe: A Warming Winter Dinner Idea (Plus Heart Healthy Bacon Alternatives)

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Need a warming winter dinner idea? This easy mushroom bacon risotto recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners with family or a weekend dinner with friends. Plus easy and healthy alternatives to using bacon if you’ve made heart health a priority!

Winter Dinner Ideas: Mushroom and Bacon Risotto Recipe (Plus Heart Healthy Bacon Alternatives) Need a warming winter dinner idea? This easy mushroom bacon risotto recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners with family or a weekend dinner with friends. Plus easy and healthy alternatives to using bacon if you've made heart health a priority! This creamy mushroom bacon risotto recipe is accented with the flavor of grated parmesan and fresh thyme. You can make this winter dinner idea healthier by either omitting the bacon called for in the recipe or by substituting it with one of the healthy alternatives to bacon.

I’ve really been trying to eat healthier the past few months. My dad somehow miraculously avoid a heart attack at 72. However, he also had three heart surgeries over the course of a year. He’d been tired a lot and had been falling asleep when he’d sit down. Not being one to talk the doctor about his concerns, on top of having a super shitty primary care doctor, when he finally addressed what was going on, it wasn’t good. Tests revealed that one artery was completely blocked and another wasn’t far behind. When clearing out his arteries roto-rooter style at UVA didn’t fix the issues, he went back for stints. My parents didn’t even tell me about the third surgery. (My mom somehow thinks I’m fragile.) I heard about it, much later, through an off handed comment my brother made.

My family, on both sides, have a history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. So it’s a real concern for me, especially as I’m headed through my mid-forties. Luckily, I’m doing okay on both counts. However, I’ve tried to eat healthy and take care of myself. Unfortunately, the past two years were rather tumultuous for me emotionally. Like most things, this affected not just my emotional health, but my physical health as well. My energy levels and my weight both took a hit. 

Not only did I change the situation I was in (and more than once) I also changed my eating habits. I stopped drinking gin and (high fructose corn syrup) tonic on the reg (to deal with chronic pain) and found a supplement regimen that worked for my fibromyalgia. I gave up the muscle relaxers I’ve used for years to cope after going cold turkey off pain killers and started taking valerian instead. Then I started eating better. I moved toward (or rather closer than I’ve ever been) a more vegetarian diet with fish, seafood and eggs – with meat only occasionally and very much in moderation. I started doing push ups and going dancing again. Basically I started living with intent rather than just existing. 

Since doing these things, I’ve gone down 16 lbs. I look great and I feel better. My emotional state is much improved and my focus, though still wildly ADHD a few days a week, is better.

Sauteed onions with mushrooms, olive oil and thyme for risotto

And yet, here I am, sharing a freaking mushroom risotto recipe – with bacon. 

Bacon is delicious. Healthwise I’m totally okay with indulging every now and then. Friends and family make that practically a must on special occasions, holidays and dinner dates they host. Intellectually, I realize that pigs are pretty smart animals. As someone with a dog who I consider family, it does bother me that I enjoy pork as much as I do. So I try not to think about it for too long. But then, I remember that pigs can eat people and leave zero trace behind. That helps ease the guilt. 

In the end, I’ve found there are more reasons not to eat pork than there are to gorge myself on a plate of baby back ribs. However, food, like most things in our lives, is a personal choice. Therefore, because I enjoy treating myself from time to time, this recipe has bacon. If, however, you’d like a healthier approach to my mushroom bacon risotto recipe, feel free to substitute the bacon for a healthier alternative. 

Heart healthy alternatives to bacon in mushroom bacon risotto. Bacon is delicious. Like all things, however, too much of anything can be a bad thing. Especially where heart health is concerned. So if you've given up beef and pork, have gone totally vegetarian, or are simply taking a break from bacon because it's impossible not to overindulge, here are a few healthy alternatives for the bacon in my mushroom bacon risotto recipe. Try my warming winter dinner idea for mushroom bacon risotto now.

Healthy Alternatives to Bacon for Mushroom Bacon Risotto

Bacon is delicious. Like all things, however, too much of anything can be a bad thing. Especially where heart health is concerned. So if you’ve given up beef and pork, have gone totally vegetarian, or are simply taking a break from bacon because it’s impossible not to overindulge, here are a few healthy alternatives for the bacon in my mushroom bacon risotto recipe.

Tempeh Bacon for Vegetarian Bacon Mushroom Risotto

Tempeh bacon is a vegetarian alternative to bacon. It contains less fat and has zero cholesterol. While traditionally made from slightly fermented soybeans, tempeh bacon can be made using any type of bean including black-eyed peas, black beans and chickpeas. Not only is tempeh bacon a good source of fiber, it’s also high in both vitamin B6 and magnesium. To prepare, simply slice then cook in oil over medium-high heat about four minutes each side.

Turkey Bacon for Healthier Bacon Mushroom Risotto

Turkey bacon is most definitely not bacon, but it’s not a bad substitute if you’re still eating meat. While still not totally healthy – I mean it IS still processed meat – it’s white meat rather than red meat. It also has HALF the amount of saturated fat as the real deal.

A similar alternative to turkey bacon is duck bacon. Just be aware that duck bacon doesn’t get quite as crispy as the real deal.

Mushroom Bacon Risotto Recipe: A Warming Winter Dinner Idea (Plus Heart Healthy Bacon Alternatives) Need a warming winter dinner idea? This easy mushroom bacon risotto recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners with family or a weekend dinner with friends. Plus easy and healthy alternatives to using bacon if you've made heart health a priority! This creamy mushroom bacon risotto recipe is accented with the flavor of grated parmesan and fresh thyme. You can make this winter dinner idea healthier by either omitting the bacon called for in the recipe or by substituting it with one of the healthy alternatives to bacon.

Vegetable Bacon for Heart Healthy Bacon Mushroom Risotto

Eggplant, and other veggies properly seasoned, can take on that smokey flavor you get from bacon. Simply add some smoked paprika, dried Chipotle chili peppers or a savory sweet sauce to your vegetable of choice then grill, smoke or roast. Additions such as fresh, grated parmesan cheese as garnish once the dish is plated can make up for the loss of the “beefier” bacon texture. To prepare a healthy alternative to bacon using eggplant, simply slice the eggplant then roast at 225°F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until crispy.

Tofu Bacon for Vegetarian Bacon Mushroom Risotto

Tofu bacon is another healthy alternative to bacon. It’s processed a bit more than tempeh bacon, however it’s high in protein. In addition, tofu bacon also contains all eight essential amino acids, and a notable amount of both calcium and iron.

To make it, you’ll need to start with really thin slices of tofu. (Otherwise you won’t get that bacon-like crunch.) Then marinate the tofu in a blend of 1 cup soy sauce, 2 Tablespoons tomato paste (you can freeze the rest in Tablespoon portions in an ice cube tray), 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (Annie’s makes a vegan alternative), 2 Tablespoons maple syrup, 2 Tablespoons liquid smoke and 2 cups water. Mix to combine than marinate thinly sliced tofu at least four hours to overnight.

Once you’re ready to cook your bacon tofu, simply strain the tofu slices from the marinade. Then fry the tofu in a skillet over medium high heat until crispy. If desired, you can reserve the marinade for another veggie dish later.

Now that you know you can make substitutions for the bacon if desired, here’s my mushroom bacon risotto recipe. I hope you enjoy it in your very favorite way as an easy, warming winter dinner idea.

Mushroom bacon risotto recipe. Need a warming winter dinner idea? This easy mushroom bacon risotto recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners with family or a weekend dinner with friends. Plus easy and healthy alternatives to using bacon if you've made heart health a priority! This creamy mushroom bacon risotto recipe is accented with the flavor of grated parmesan and fresh thyme. You can make this winter dinner idea healthier by omitting the bacon or by substituting it a bacon alternative.

Mushroom Bacon Risotto Recipe

This creamy mushroom bacon risotto recipe is accented with the flavor of grated parmesan and fresh thyme. You can make this winter dinner idea healthier by either omitting the bacon called for in the recipe or by substituting it with one of the healthy alternatives to bacon, mentioned above.

Ingredients:

1 ⅔ cup arborio rice
7 cups of warmed chicken or vegetable broth
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-4 Tablespoons of olive oil or avocado oil, divided
½ to ¾ cup of finely grated parmesan cheese, divided
1.5 cups freshly chopped mushrooms of your choice
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons quality salt
Fresh sage
Fresh thyme
5 pieces of very crispy (but not burnt) bacon (or bacon alternative)
2 Tablespoons of bacon fat to cook the mushrooms (or heart healthy olive oil)
Fresh ground black peppercorns

Ingredients for making mushroom bacon risotto

Instructions:

Begin by warming the chicken or vegetable broth in a medium sized pot. While the broth is warming, you’ll start a second pot on the stove. 

In a separate medium-large pot, heat one tablespoon of either avocado or olive oil over medium heat. Then sauté the onions in the oil until fragrant. (Alternately you can also Continue to cook until the onions have browned.

Next, add two additional Tablespoons of oil to the pot with the sautéed onions. Then stir the rice into the pot of sautéd onions and oil.

Cooking Risotto Rice in Broth

Stir the rice for about a minute in the oil. (It will seem like a lot of oil to start, but it will help the rice cook.) After a minute, ladle in one cup of warm broth.

While the rice cooks, stir often. The more you stir the risotto, the creamier the final version of the mushroom bacon risotto dish you serve will end up being.

Once the rice shows signs of having absorbed the liquid, add a second cup of broth. Continue stirring the onion and risotto mixture, as in the previous step.

Sauteed mushrooms with thyme

As the risotto is cooking, sauté the mushrooms in a nonstick pan with either bacon fat or olive oil and a couple sprigs of thyme. Once sautéed, set aside.

Continue adding more broth to the rice, stirring often. Partway through stir in the salt and add some fresh sage to the pot. I used one small sprig of fresh sage with about eight leaves on it.

Creamy cooked risotto rice.

The risotto is done cooking when the rice grains are plump, creamy and completely cooked through. At this point you no longer need to add additional broth. Instead, stir in most of the freshly grated parmesan cheese, while reserving the rest for plating.

Spoon the mushroom bacon risotto into bowls or plates for serving. The top the risotto with the crispy bacon or bacon alternative, sautéd mushrooms and additional parmesan cheese. Serve immediately, while stir warm.

If desired, you can serve this warming winter dish of mushroom bacon risotto with a light bodied glass of pinot noir. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 5-6

Mushroom Bacon Risotto Recipe

Mushroom Bacon Risotto Recipe

This creamy mushroom bacon risotto recipe is the perfect warming, winter dinner idea. Accented with the flavor of grated parmesan and fresh thyme, you can make risotto dinner recipe hearty healthy by either omitting the bacon or by substituting it with one of the healthy alternatives to bacon.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ⅔ cup arborio rice
  • 7 cups of warmed chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-4 Tablespoons of olive oil or avocado oil, divided
  • ½ to ¾ cup of finely grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1.5 cups freshly chopped mushrooms of your choice
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons quality salt
  • Fresh sage
  • Fresh thyme
  • 5 pieces of crispy bacon (or bacon alternative)
  • 2 Tablespoons of bacon fat to cook the mushrooms (or heart healthy olive oil)
  • Fresh ground black peppercorns

Instructions

  1. Warm your broth of choice in a medium sized pot on the stove. Set aside.
  2. Heat one Tablespoon of either avocado or olive oil over medium heat in a medium-large pot. Sauté the chopped onions in the oil until fragrant, then continue to cook until the onions have browned.
  3. Add two additional Tablespoons of oil to the pot of sautéed onions. Then stir in the rice.
  4. Stir the rice for about a minute in the oil. After a minute, ladle in one cup of warm broth.
  5. Stir the rice often to ensure a creamy risotto.
  6. Once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, add a second cup of broth. Continue stirring the onion and risotto mixture occasionally.
  7. While the rice cooks, sauté the mushrooms in a nonstick pan with either bacon fat or olive oil and a couple sprigs of thyme. Then set aside.
  8. Continue adding more broth to the rice as it cooks. Partway through stir in the salt and about eight leaves of fresh sage.
  9. Once the rice grains are plump, creamy and completely cooked through it's ready. Stir in the bulk of the freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  10. Spoon the mushroom bacon risotto onto plates or into bowls for serving. Top with the crispy bacon, sautéd mushrooms and remaining parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 650 Total Fat: 42g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 27g Cholesterol: 167mg Sodium: 1210mg Carbohydrates: 21g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 2g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 45g

Warming winter dinner ideas.

More Warming Winter Dinner Ideas

If you enjoyed my mushroom bacon risotto recipe, then you may also like these other warming winter dinner ideas.

For more warming winter dinner ideas, be sure to visit my Food Recipes Pinterest board. You can also find and follow me on Blog Lovin‘, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up for my newsletter. 

Homemade Cold Remedy Drink for Natural Relief of Colds and Flu

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I may receive compensation from links on this site. As an Amazon Associate I also earn from qualifying purchases. See my disclosure policy.

Support your immune system with this homemade cold remedy drink. Ginger, honey, lemon and optional whiskey combine for a natural cold remedy tea that will help you feel better quickly and help shorten the duration of a cold or the flu.

Homemade Cold Remedy Drink for Natural Relief of Colds and Flu. Support your immune system with this homemade cold remedy drink. Ginger, honey, lemon and optional whiskey combine for a natural cold remedy tea that will help you feel better quickly and help shorten the duration of a cold or the flu. Life doesn’t stop when you wake up with a sore throat or a stuffy nose. At the first sign of a cold, I make this homemade cold remedy drink to give my immune system natural support.

Life doesn’t stop when you wake up with a sore throat or a stuffy nose. I still have to get up, take Jasper on a walk and keep on working. When I don’t feel good, I prefer to use natural home remedies at my first line of defense. While I’m a huge believe in fire cider vinegar, sometimes my throat isn’t always up for the task of drinking a garlic, horseradish and pepper infused apple cider vinegar tonic. This homemade cold remedy drink is easy on my throat for the days I want something warm and soothing to drink.

At the first sign of a cold, I make this homemade cold remedy drink to give my immune system natural support. It only has three ingredients plus whiskey if you want to add it, so it’s easy to make, even if you don’t feel good. For really bad colds – or even the flu – I alternate taking this natural cold remedy tea with fire cider vinegar – assuming I don’t have a sore throat. Alternately, you can also add a tablespoon of fire cider to my homemade cold remedy drink. As always, however, it is important to seek medical advice or assistance if your cold gets worse or doesn’t improve within seven days.

Natural Cold Remedy Tea for natural cold and flu relief. Support your immune system with this homemade cold and flu drink. Ginger, honey, lemon and optional whiskey combine for an easy homemade tea for cold and flu that will help you feel better quickly and help shorten the duration of a cold or the flu. Life doesn’t stop when you wake up with a sore throat or a stuffy nose. At the first sign of a cold, I make this homemade cold remedy drink to give my immune system natural support.

Homemade Cold Remedy Drink

This homemade cold and flu tea isn’t just for cold symptoms like a sore throat or runny nose; it’s also great for an upset stomach. When you were a kid, your mom probably gave you ginger ale to sip on if you weren’t feeling well.

While drinking soda probably isn’t the best thing to drink when you’re sick due to the sugars, there is some truth in that old home remedy. Ginger, in the right quantities, can help relieve an upset stomach by increasing bile production and kill some microbes so you feel better quicker. This makes it suitable for not just colds, but also the flu. (You can also learn how to make your own custom herbal tea blends for common ailments here.)

Raw honey benefits for cold and flu relief. Raw honey is a natural cold and flu remedy full of enzymes and nutrients that help support a healthy immune system. I only use local raw honey for relief of cold and flu symptoms. Most honey on the grocery store shelf can barely pass as honey. It’s been process and pasteurized. By the time it hits the shelf, most of the nutrients and enzymes have been killed by the processing it.

Benefits of Natural Cold Remedy Tea Ingredients

The Benefits of Raw Honey

Raw honey is added to this homemade cold remedy drink both for taste and for it’s natural benefits. While some people like drinking lemon water, a ginger and lemon drink is very sour drink and not very palatable for many people.

You could use white sugar to sweeten this drink, but white sugar has a lot of empty calories and little nutritional value. Raw honey, however, is full of enzymes and nutrients that help support a healthy immune system. Therefore it makes a much better alternative over sugar as a sweetener for a natural cold remedy tea.

I only use local raw honey in my homemade cold remedy drink. Most honey on the grocery store shelf can barely pass as honey. It’s been process and pasteurized. By the time it hits the shelf, most of the nutrients and enzymes have been killed by the processing it.

Raw honey isn’t pasteurized or processed. Sometimes it’s filtered to remove debris, but it keeps the nutrients and enzymes to promote better health.

Raw honey is naturally antibacterial and can even kill some types of fungi. When you eat or drink raw honey, it can help kill germs inside your body.

Honey is also high in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect healthy cells in the body by reducing free radicals. This helps support your immune system over time.

For immediate relief, honey can help reduce mucus and reduce coughing. It also coats the throat, which can soothe a sore throat for almost immediate relief. In fact, I eat raw honey by the spoonful at night if I’m coughing and can’t get to sleep. It really works incredibly well at soothing irritation in my throat.

I always recommend buying local honey. This helps support your local economy, and there is some evidence that eating local raw honey can help reduce allergies by exposing your body to pollen from your area.

Don’t forget that children under one-year-old should not eat any honey either alone or in a drink like this one.

Ginger benefits for cold and flu relief. I add ginger to my homemade cold and flu tea because it can help relieve a stomach ache and reduce nausea. Two compounds in ginger, gingerols and shaogals, are anti-inflammatories. They can help reduce inflammation from a sore throat so you feel better quickly. Ginger is also naturally antimicrobial. It can kill bacteria and some viruses, including the rhinovirus that causes colds.

The Benefits of Ginger

I add ginger to my homemade cold and flu tea because it can help relieve a stomach ache and reduce nausea.

Two compounds in ginger, gingerols and shaogals, are anti-inflammatories. They can help reduce inflammation from a sore throat so you feel better quickly.

Ginger is also naturally antimicrobial. It can kill bacteria and some viruses, including the rhinovirus that causes colds.

Over the counter cold medication can relieve your symptoms, but it can’t kill the virus that caused your cold. However, ginger may be able to kill the virus naturally. This can help shorten the duration of your cold. (Source.)

Although ginger is most known for relieving a stomach ache, it can cause an upset stomach if you take too much. If you get an upset stomach, limit this natural cold remedy tea to once a day.

Natural alternatives for cold and flu symptom relief. Naturally relieve the symptoms of cold and flu with this natural cold remedy tea recipe. Made with lemon, ginger and honey, this easy homemade cold remedy drink helps to support your immune system and give your immunity a boost so you recover faster while also relieving symptoms of cold and flu. Natural cold and flu relief with a simple homemade tea for cold and flu. Make this homemade cold remedy tea for your colds this winter.

The Benefits of Lemon

Lemon, like all citrus fruits, is high in vitamin C. Boosting vitamin C can help reduce the duration of a cold and help you feel better. Several studies have mixed results about the benefits of vitamin C for colds, but many people swear that taking extra vitamin C helps them feel better.

Lemon juice can also help reduce phlegm so you feel better right away. Drinking this homemade cold remedy drink before bed can help you sleep better by reducing phlegm help stop coughing temporarily.

For long term benefits, lemons are high in antioxidants that can help reduce free radicals in the body.

Like honey and ginger, lemons are also antimicrobial. They can help kill both bacteria and viruses in the body. This can also help shorten the duration of colds.

Make this homemade cold remedy tea for your colds this winter. A natural alternative for cold and flu symptom relief. Naturally relieve the symptoms of cold and flu with this natural cold remedy tea recipe. Made with lemon, ginger and honey, this easy homemade cold remedy drink helps to support your immune system and give your immunity a boost so you recover faster while also relieving symptoms of cold and flu. Natural cold and flu relief with a simple homemade tea for cold and flu.

The Benefits of Warm Water

It’s important to drink this homemade cold remedy drink warm because the warm water also has benefits for your body.

The warmth can help open nasal passages, which helps reduce a stuffy nose and helps you sleep. It also helps lubricate your throat to make your sore throat feel better.

It’s important to stay hydrated when you are sick. Drinking plenty of water will help you feel better.

The Benefits of Whiskey

Adding whiskey to this natural cold remedy tea is optional. Alcohol can help dilate blood vessels in your body. This helps thin mucus, which can help you breathe better. However, you need to make sure you increase your water intake so your body stays hydrated. Otherwise, including alcohol in your homemade cold remedy drink can actually have opposite the intended effect. 

Also, if you do add whiskey to your homemade cold remedy drink, be responsible. Don’t add it if you may be driving. 

Natural Cold Remedy Tea for natural cold and flu relief. Support your immune system and soothe symptoms with this natural cold remedy tea. Ginger, honey, lemon and optional whiskey combine for an easy homemade tea for cold and flu that will help you feel better quickly and help shorten the duration of a cold or the flu. Life doesn’t stop when you wake up with a sore throat or a stuffy nose. At the first sign of a cold, I make this homemade cold and flu drink to give my immune system natural support.

Homemade Cold Remedy Drink Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup boiling water
1 inch fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 ounce whiskey (optional)

Directions:

To make my homemade cold remedy drink, grate the ginger or slice into thin slices and then mince. (For best results, you want the ginger to be in very small pieces.)

Then place the grated or minced ginger inside a teapot or medium sized bowl.

Pour the boiling water over the grated or minced ginger. Let this steep for three minutes.

While the ginger is steeping, place the lemon juice and raw honey in a mug.

Strain the ginger out of the water and pour over the lemon juice and honey. Then stir well until the honey is dissolved.

You can add more honey to taste, if desired.

Next, add whiskey if you’re using it.

How to Use My Homemade Cold Remedy Drink

You can drink this homemade cold and flu tea three or four times a day to relieve your cold symptoms naturally. If your stomach gets upset from the ginger, just use ginger tea once a day and drink warm water, honey, and lemon the rest of the day.

Tips for Reusing Your Ginger

You can reuse the grated or minced ginger you used for your first cup of homemade cold and flu tea. I reuse mine two or three more times before I discard it. Just steep the ginger for a few extra minutes for the second and third steep to get more ginger out of it. 

Natural Cold and Flu Remedies: Fire Cider Vinegar Recipe. Learn how to make a homemade fire cider vinegar as a natural cold and flu remedy. This traditional, warming apple cider vinegar tonic acts as a holistic decongestant while also supporting immune health.

More Natural Cold and Flu Remedies

If you like my recipe for making a homemade cold remedy drink, then you may also enjoy some of my other natural cold and flu remedies.

For more natural ways to care for your body throughout cold and flu season, be sure to visit my Home Remedies Pinterest board. You can also find and follow me on Blog Lovin‘, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up for my newsletter. 

This article is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Information on products mentioned are based on my own personal experience or research and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult a physician prior to making any changes that may impact your health.

Exfoliating Body Polish Recipe with Anti-Aging Essential Oils for Natural Skin Care

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Skip the synthetic foaming agents, fragrances and other artificial ingredients in Dove exfoliating body polish and make your own! My natural exfoliating body polish with anti-aging essential oils is a natural alternative that you’ll absolutely fall in love with. Plus discover more natural ways to care for your skin through whole body care using natural plant-based ingredients, botanicals and essential oils.

Exfoliating Body Polish Recipe with Anti-Aging Essential Oils for Your Natural Skin Care Routine. This non-toxic, natural exfoliating body polish with anti-aging essential oils is a natural alternative to anti-aging skin care that you'll absolutely fall in love with. Discover this clean beauty skin care recipe along with other natural ways to care for your skin through whole body care using natural plant-based ingredients, botanicals and essential oils for your natural beauty regimen.

If your skin is like mine, you probably grew up with itchy bumps from dry skin. Or maybe dairy triggered excruciating eczema. My mom used to rinse our clothes twice because the synthetic fragrances in everything (EVERYTHING!) back then would break both my brother and I out in hives. Luckily, we know more about the ingredients in the everyday products we use. And there are a lot more options.

Unfortunately, factors outside of our control such as seasonal changes and age, can still make skin care a challenge. As we age it becomes more important than ever to care for your skin both from the inside and on the outside. There are a number of herbal remedies and foods we can ingest to care for our skin in addition to staying hydrated by drinking more water. But sometimes that’s not always enough. That’s where external skin care comes in. Together, both nutrition and external skin care are able to work in tandem for skin that looks and feels healthy. 

Using An Exfoliating Body Polish for Natural Anti-Aging Skin Care

As winter weather starts sneaking in, I always always have to increase my water intake. Unfortunately, dry skin still likes to sneak in – even if I keep my gut health in check. And, as I’ve ventured into my forties, it’s actually gotten worse. My biggest skin care pet peeve has to be unsightly skin tags though. I mean, what are those? Due to the cold weather coupled with aging (OMG my hands betray my age every single time if not properly moisturized) I really have to amp up my natural skin care care routine in the winter. 

My favorite way to fight both the visible effects of aging as well as dry skin is by using an exfoliating body polish. It’s really an incredibly simple and easy way to exfoliate and hydrate skin. Plus, by simply adding a few essential oils, I can give my exfoliating body polish an extra anti-aging boost to help fight the visible signs of aging and encourage cellular turnover. Used regularly, my natural exfoliating body polish not only gives me beautiful soft skin, it also helps to diminish the visible signs of aging. So (fingers crossed) I can on looking a decade younger than my real age. 

Exfoliating body polish DIY for anti-aging skin care and natural clean beauty. Skip the synthetic foaming agents, fragrances and other artificial ingredients in Dove exfoliating body polish and make your own! My natural exfoliating body polish with anti-aging essential oils is a natural alternative that you'll absolutely fall in love with. Plus discover more natural ways to care for your skin through whole body care using natural plant-based ingredients, botanicals and essential oils.

Why Use a Natural Exfoliating Body Polish?

If you have sensitive skin or even chronic health issues, then you probably already avoid artificial fragrances and other synthetic ingredients. It’s through personal experience, and that unpleasant reaction, that you understand the impact certain ingredients can have. For me, I know artificial fragrances not only irritate my skin but often they trigger an allergic reaction in other ways, whether it’s a pounding headache or sneezing. Likewise, the aluminum in many commercial deodorants also throws my body out wack. (Since switching to natural deodorant, I have fewer problems. I also sweat less AND my sweat doesn’t stink like it did.)

As my exfoliating body polish recipe is all natural, I don’t have to worry about allergies or sensitivities to synthetic ingredients. I’m able to source my ingredients for my skin care recipes from businesses I trust. Therefore I always know what’s going onto (and possibly into) my skin. Because skin care is so important to me, I love to use fair trade and organic ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs whenever possible. I’ve been shopping with them since 1995 and I’ve found that their ingredients make a huge difference in my natural skin care recipes. I also know I can always trust them to provide pure essential oils at a reasonable price for  maximum quality. 

By choosing quality skin care ingredients and combining them in recipes designed for anti-aging skin care, I’m able to naturally care for my maturing skin without the fear of accelerating aging or causing additional skin damage.

Botanical skin care recipes for natural beauty. Learn how to craft custom herbal skin care products for your natural skin care routine using botanicals, essential oils and other plant based ingredients.

Formulating Your Own Custom Skin Care Products

While making your own natural skin care products is fine and dandy, it’s important to know if the recipes you’re using are safe. It’s also important to have a solid understanding of the ingredients that are beneficial to your skin in addition to why and how they are useful. This lays the foundation for you to begin formulating your own customer skin care recipes. Therefore, before I share my natural exfoliating body polish recipe with you, I first want to tell you how to get started creating your own custom body formulations. 

Getting Started Making Natural Skin Care Recipes

Twenty short years ago, I started making my own soap.  The Internet was in its infancy, so there weren’t a lot of resources available online. I had to go to the actual library and order real books online to get more information. When I made the natural transition to DIY natural beauty and skin care seven years ago, there still wasn’t a lot of information online. What was available was hard to find and not always reliable or even safe. (The very first olive oil Castile soap recipe I tried didn’t even mention WEIGHING the ingredients!)

Even though I consider myself somewhat advanced when it comes to making natural skin care products, I still have a lot to learn. And I’m amazed by just how much there is to learn. There are so many different ingredients I don’t know enough about. Not to mention safe usage for herbs and essential oils. These vary not just based on the ingredient but a person’s age as well as health can play a huge factor as well.

Of course, going back to school is not an option for me. Tuition, as you know, is completely out of control. (My son’s college was $43k a year to live off campus! Thank goodness scholarships covered the bulk of it.) So instead, I take the courses offered by The Herbal Academy. I recently took their Botanical Skin Care course and learned so much about herbs and their role in natural beauty. Not only is this course full of skin care recipes for the face and body, but it also has advice for using herbal supplements for better skin health. And that additional insight was invaluable! I love how everything I need to know is one place so I don’t have to hunt down information. And, if I want to learn more, additional resources are provided so I can access more research if needed.

How to make natural skin care recipes. Learn how to formulate custom skin care recipes for your natural beauty regimen using plant based ingredients including carrier oils, body butters, essential oils, botanicals and herbal infusions. Everything you need to know to get started making homemade beauty products for your natural skin care routine.

What’s In The Botanical Skin Care Course?

If you’re new to The Herbal Academy, they offer full courses on how to use herbs in your daily life. The courses are all online, and you can complete them at your own pace. Once you buy access to a course, you’ll have online access to the course for one year. Once completed, you’ll earn your certificate. (Don’t worry about losing access to the course after a year, however. The entire course can be downloaded via PDF format so you can refer back to it for as long as you need. Just like old school paper books.)

They have classes for general herbalism learning from beginner to advanced, so you can take classes no matter your current skill level. They also offer specialized courses a few times a year. (Alternately, if you can’t take on a huge course at this time – because life – then consider a membership to The Herbarium.)

In the Botanical Skin Care Course, you’ll learn:
  • The Foundations of Supporting the Skin
  • Skin and Sun
  • Choosing Herbs for Your Skin Type
  • Support for Chronic Skin Conditions (including topical and how to care for your skin from the inside out)
  • Support for Acute Skin Conditions

This course is full of natural skin care recipes that you can make at home. The best part is that the recipes are formulated for every skin type. They give several recipes for cleansing, masks, scrubs, toners, serums and moisturizers for your daily skin care routine. Each recipe has information about the type of skin it’s best for, so you can create a custom skin care routine for your skin’s needs.

It also has a module on protecting your skin from the sun, which can help reduce the signs of aging from sun damage. There are several natural skin care recipes to use on your skin after spending time in the sun to keep your skin looking amazing after sun exposure.

One module is devoted to choosing the best herbs for your skin type beyond the typical dry or oily skin. It takes into consideration both your natural skin type and the climate in which you live. There’s a printable worksheet so you can determine your skin’s needs and choose the best herbs for your skin type.

Learn more about both chronic and acute skin conditions in the next two modules. Internal factors can cause some chronic skin conditions like eczema, acne, psoriasis and rosacea. It not only teaches you about the best herbs for these conditions both topically and to use as a supplement, but it also has several recipes to make at home.

The Herbal Academy recommends using Mountain Rose Herbs. As previously mentioned, I’ve been using Mountain Rose Herbs for many many years. They offer high quality herbs at affordable prices. Pus, when you sign up for the Botanical Skin Care Course, you’ll get a discount on herbs through Mountain Rose Herbs as an extra perk.

Exfoliating body scrub DIY. How to make natural skin care recipes to moisturize and exfoliate skin for soft, beautiful skin. Learn how to formulate custom skin care recipes for your natural beauty regimen using plant based ingredients including carrier oils, body butters, essential oils, botanicals and herbal infusions. Plus try my new non-toxic plant based exfoliating body scrub recipe with anti-aging essential oils. Everything you need to know to get started making homemade beauty products for your natural skin care routine.

Why I Love the Botanical Skin Care Course

Like I said, when I started making DIY bath and body products, there wasn’t a lot of information available. Now there is, but I want to make sure that I’m using being responsible with herbs, essential oils and other natural ingredients. I also want to make sure that you, my readers, are getting the most accurate information.

The Herbal Academy is a trusted source for using herbs at home. Their team of herbalists have studied herbs and how to use them safely for years. I feel confident using their courses because they have done the research and know how to use herbs for natural beauty.

I love the fact that I can learn at my own pace. Some weeks I have several hours to devote to working on the course, but other weeks I only have an hour or two to learn. Since the courses are self guided and available for download, you have plenty of time to read through the course and learn.

The online format is very convenient for me. It’s perfect for most people because you can learn at any time, day or night. For those who have full time jobs or families, this is an easier way to learn than taking a class. You can also learn on your couch in your pajamas if you want to. It’s also a great option for those who don’t live close to an herbal class because you don’t need to worry about getting there for each class.

Not only is The Herbal Academy convenient, but it’s also affordable. If you attended these classes in person, expect to pay a lot more per class. Taking an online course is a great way to learn about herbs without investing a lot of money.

As you read through the course, you may have some questions. The Herbal Academy offers support with printed materials and live forums. They are also active on social media. They answer phone calls and emails to help you understand the course and answer questions that you may have.

I’ve taken several courses at The Herbal Academy, but the Botanical Skin Care course is probably my favorite so far. It has a lot of information in it, but it’s broken down into manageable modules for easier learning.

I use herbs both as natural supplements and topically for skin care. This course taught me more about using them as a supplement to help my skin from the inside out. There are recipes for herbal teas that you can make to support your skin’s health.

The course is also available as a PDF, so you can print it and read it on paper if you want. I like that option so I can highlight and make notes. After spending most of my day on the computer editing photos and writing, my eyes need a break from the screen. This is a great option for those who want to reduce screen time or eye strain from blue light.

In fact, it was the Herbal Academy Botanical Skin Care course that inspired my anti-aging, exfoliating body polish recipe! (Which you can learn to make – and customize -below!) 

About My Natural Exfoliating Body Polish

Helping your skin from the inside out with herbs takes a while. You won’t see the effects for weeks or even months, so don’t get discouraged. If you want to see a more immediate result, try my natural exfoliating body polish recipe.

My exfoliating body polish is similar a body scrub. It helps slough off dead skin cells for brighter and fresher looking skin. If you have dry skin, this can help reduce itching and flaking by removing the top layer of dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. The sweet almond oil and mango butter also help to hydrate skin with fatty acids and nourish the skin with vitamins and minerals.

Using salt in an exfoliating body polish can help slough off more dead skin cells than sugar can because of the texture of the salt. For my exfoliating body polish recipe I chose to use fine grain Himalayan pink salt as it’s rich in trace minerals. The salt is then balanced with pink kaolin clay, which is a milder exfoliant. Since it is more abrasive than sugar, use this no more than once a week. Alternately, you can easily substitute the exfoliants to make my exfoliating body polish suitable for everyday use, as well as a scrub for facial care. (I’ll explain more after the recipe.) 

Anti-aging essential oil blend recipe. Learn how to make a natural anti-aging essential oil blend for your natural beauty regimen to use in DIY facial serums, body scrubs, night creams and other natural skin care products you can make at home.

Anti-Aging Essential Oil Blend

Of course, because I am in my mid-forties (shhhhhh.) I used an anti-aging essential oil blend for this exfoliating body polish recipe. It kept the essential oil usage low. However, you can increase the them if desired. Typically you can use essential oils up to 2% of your natural skin care recipes for a wash off product. However, it is important to note that some essential oils, such as cinnamon or clove, should be used at a lesser percentage to avoid skin irritation.

I used the following essential oils for my exfoliating body polish recipe:

  • Frankincense essential oil
  • Rose essential oil
  • Helichrysum essential oil
  • Myrrh essential oil
  • Lavender essential oil

Frankincense is probably the most common anti-aging essential oil. It can help even the skin tone by reducing dark spots. It also helps tone and tighten the skin. (There are four varieties of frankincense essential oil available. You can learn about the different types and their properties here as well as discover my natural rose body butter recipe.)

Rose essential oil is excellent for dry skin. It has vitamin C to promote collagen production to decrease the signs of aging. (You can try either geranium essential oil or palmarosa essential oil in lieu of the rose if it is cost prohibitive.)

Helichrysum is excellent for the skin. It can help rejuvenate and restore the skin and help make your skin glow.

Myrrh essential oil is often used for its anti-aging properties. It also helps fade age spots and can reduce the appearance of fine lines.

Lavender has some anti-aging properties and can help reduce the appearance of lines. It’s a gentle oil and can help soothe the skin.

My anti-aging essential oil blend, while effective, doesn’t smell like roses. (Despite the inclusion of rose essential oil.) So feel free to swap out the essential oil blend with one of your choosing if scents are important to you. One of my favorite multi-purpose essential oil blends for natural skin care is my eucalyptus and orange essential oil blend. (You can find that essential oil blend recipe here.)

Anti-aging beauty recipe with essential oils. Learn how to make a natural exfoliating body polish recipe with the benefits of anti-aging essential oils for a clean beauty alternative for natural skin care for soft, beautiful skin. Discover this hydrating clean beauty recipe for a DIY exfoliating body polish along with other natural ways to care for your skin through whole body care using natural plant-based ingredients, botanicals and essential oils. A great addition to your weekly beauty regimen!

Natural Exfoliating Body Polish Recipe

© Rebecca D. Dillon

Ingredients:

.25 ounces emulsifying wax
.4 ounces stearic acid
1.5 ounces sweet almond oil
1.25 ounces mango butter
.15 ounces pink kaolin clay
10 ounces Himalayan pink salt, finely ground
5 drops rose essential oil
5 drops frankincense essential oil
3 drops helichrysum essential oil
2 drops myrrh essential oil
2 drops lavender essential oil

Instructions:

A natural preservative is recommended for this product as it may come in contact with water doing use. Should you choose to omit a preservative, I would remove desired amount from the container before showering or bathing to retain the integrity of this exfoliating body polish. 

You will need to digital scale to weigh all the ingredients for my exfoliating body polish recipe. If you are using a natural preservative (covered in the Botanical Skin Care course) then use the percentage called for by the manufacturer. Also be sure to the add the preservative at or below the temperature called for by the manufacturer based on the preservative you’ve chosen.

To begin, use a double boiler to melt the emulsifying wax, stearic acid and mango butter. When these ingredients are fully melted, remove from heat.

Stir in the sweet almond oil. Then, using a glass dropper, add each of the essential oils called for in my exfoliating body polish recipe. Stir well.

In a separate container, combine the pink kaolin clay and the pink Himalayan salt,  Mix well to ensure all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Then add the dry ingredients to the melted wax, oils and butter. Stir well. Allow the mixture to thicken, then restir before packaging.

Spoon evenly into three 4 oz. low profile jars. You can also use a 6 oz. mason jar. Screw on the lid then label as desired for personal use or homemade gifts.

How to Use Your Exfoliating Body Polish

To use your exfoliating body polish, scoop about ¼ of a cup of the body polish out of the jar and massage onto wet skin in a circular motion. Rinse well, then pat dry.

I recommend using this natural, exfoliating body polish once a week for soft, beautiful skin.

Argan oil for anti-aging skin care. Learn how to use anti-aging carrier oils such as argan oil and rosehip seed oil in your homemade skin care products for your natural beauty regimen. Easy beauty recipes you can make at home for natural, plant-based botanical skin care.

Customizing Your Exfoliating Body Wash

Exfoliant Alternatives for Your Exfoliating Body Polish

To use this exfoliating body polish recipe for sensitive skin or for facial care, try using an extra fine Himalayan pink salt. Alternately, you can also use superfine caster sugar or a combination of both depending on your skin’s sensitivity. You can also mix the two together at a 50/50 ratio or a 25/75 salt to sugar ratio. Using a milder exfoliant makes this exfoliating body polish suitable for daily use.

How to Make a Skin Cleansing Version of This Body Polish

Making a natural skin cleansing version of my exfoliating body polish recipe is easy. And you won’t need to add any synthetic cleansers or foaming agents, such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate, that the Dove exfoliating body polish has. Simply substitute part of the carrier oil with a natural, unscented liquid Castile soap. I recommend subbing between .25 oz. and .5 oz. 

Swap Out Your Carrier Oil for More Custom Skin Care

You don’t have to use sweet almond oil for my exfoliating body polish recipe. My favorite anti-aging carrier oils include rosehip seed oil, pomegranate seed oil, camellia (tea) seed oil and argan oil. Hemp seed oil is also a great option. To learn more about the benefits and properties of carrier oils, check out the book, Carrier Oils, by Cari Dunn. This book is a beginner’s guide to using over 40 carrier oils in bath and beauty recipes.

Best beauty tips for natural anti-aging skin care. Learn how to make a natural exfoliating body polish recipe with an anti-aging essential oil blend for your daily beauty regimen. It’s non-toxic natural alternative to anti-aging skin care that you'll absolutely fall in love with. Discover this DIY clean beauty recipe along with other natural ways to care for your skin through whole body care using natural plant-based ingredients, botanicals and essential oils for your natural skin care routine.

If you love my natural exfoliating body polish recipe with anti-aging essential oils, then don’t forget to pin this natural skin care recipe for later. Or, if you’re ready to learn more about the Botanical Skin Care course, click here to sign up. (You can also check out my detailed review of the Botanical Skin Care course here.)

More Exfoliating Body Polish Recipes

If you like my natural exfoliating body polish recipe with anti-aging essential oils, then you’ll also want to try these other homemade body scrub recipes.

To discover more great, natural skin care recipes from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me on PinterestBlog Lovin‘, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up for my newsletter. Alternately, you can explore my own easy melt and pour soap recipes for beginners here.