Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies Recipe: A Seasonal Fall Favorite Dessert

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Sugar is evil, but… Dammit. Brownies. There’s no harm, no foul indulging in a treat from time to time. And brownies are my jam. With the fall harvest in sight and pumpkins popping up everywhere, it’s hard to resist whipping up these pumpkin cheesecake brownies!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies Recipe with Pecan Streusel. A seasonal fall favorite pumpkin spice dessert recipe with everyone’s favorite - pumpkin spice! Start with a box of your favorite brownie mix (I opt for chewy and extra fudgy) and throw in some canned pumpkin, cream cheese and everyone's fall favorite - pumpkin spice! Then top it all off with some pecan streusel and you've got yourself a dessert worthy of the season!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies: The Perfect Fall Dessert

I’ll admit that I really don’t eat desserts very often. I cut out most sugar from my diet some time back. After learning that sugar causes inflammation, the last thing I wanted to do was make my body hate me more than it already does. While the fibromyalgia is mostly under control these days, there’s this mid-life hell called perimenopause. As it slowly causes an evolution that requires an equivalent of 1980s mom jeans, I’ve really tried to avoid empty calories. Meaning desserts. Two giant servings of macaroni and cheese. 500 calorie coffees from Starbucks. An entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies Recipe with Pecan Streusel. A seasonal fall favorite pumpkin spice dessert recipe with everyone’s favorite - pumpkin spice! Start with a box of your favorite brownie mix (I opt for chewy and extra fudgy) and throw in some canned pumpkin, cream cheese and everyone's fall favorite - pumpkin spice! Then top it all off with some pecan streusel and you've got yourself a dessert worthy of the season!

Unfortunately my backside is insisting on repositioning itself on the other side of my body. Prominently in the middle where it’s impossible to hide. The only plus is that, as my chin has started slink down from my cheeks, some of it seems to have given my chest a bit of extra abundance. I won’t even go into the bloating. Still, I’m not a complete masochist. There are days when self care absolutely requires something to satisfy my sweet tooth. Brownies are my go to. While I prefer them with icing so they look more like a birthday cake than a pan of brownies, swirling in cheesecake is actually crazy delish and doesn’t make my teeth ache thinking about it.

These pumpkin cheesecake brownies are easier to make than you might imagine. Start with a box of your favorite brownie mix (I opt for chewy and extra fudgy) and throw in some canned pumpkin, cream cheese and everyone’s fall favorite – pumpkin spice! Then top it all off with some pecan streusel and you’ve got yourself a dessert worthy of the season! 

Pumpkin cheesecake brownies bars recipe for the perfect pumpkin spice inspired fall dessert. A rich chocolate pumpkin brownie swirled with a pumpkin cheesecake layer and topped with pecan streusel.A seasonal fall favorite pumpkin cheesecake dessert recipe! Start with a box of your favorite brownie mix, then add some canned pumpkin, cream cheese and everyone's fall favorite - pumpkin spice to the mix for an amazing fall dessert that’s perfect for families and fall get togethers!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies Recipe

Ingredients:

1 Box brownie mix, made according to package directions

For the Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer:

½ Cup softened cream cheese
½ Cup canned pumpkin
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

For the Pecan Streusel Topping:

½ Cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp melted butter
¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions for Making Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies:

You’ll need either a 7×9 pan or an 8×8 baking pan to make these pumpkin cheesecake brownies. Start by lining your pan with parchment paper. Alternately, you can also spray the pan with a non stick spray. Begin by preheating the oven as directed on the box of brownie mix.

Now prepare the brownie mix according to the package directions. Then pour the batter into your prepared pan, reserving ½ cup of the brownie batter for later. Set both aside.

Mixing cheesecake batter for cheesecake brownies with pumpkin spice.

Next, mix together the ingredients for the cheesecake layer (cream cheese, pumpkin, sugars, egg and pumpkin pie spice) in a small bowl.

Now pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie batter in the pan. Then smooth out the batter.

How to make pumpkin cheesecake brownie bars recipe.

Drop the reserved ½ cup of brownie batter by the spoonful over the cheesecake layer, then gently swirl the two layers with a spoon or spatula. Be sure not to over mix. You simply want to create swirls.

Pecan streusel for a fall dessert topping.

Next, make the streusel topping by combining the pecans, brown sugar, flour, melted butter and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Then sprinkle streusel mix on top of the brownies.

Pumpkin cheesecake brownies bars recipe for the perfect pumpkin spice inspired fall dessert. A rich chocolate pumpkin brownie swirled with a pumpkin cheesecake layer and topped with pecan streusel. A seasonal fall favorite pumpkin cheesecake dessert recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth this fall! Easy fall dessert recipe for family gatherings or weekend treats.

Bake the pumpkin cheesecake brownies in a preheated oven for approximately 55 minutes. You’ll know their ready to come out of the oven once the edges of your brownies are set and are just beginning to brown. It’s okay if the pumpkin cheesecake brownies are still a bit soft in the middle. The brownies will firm up as they cool.

Pumpkin cheesecake brownies bars recipe for the perfect pumpkin spice inspired fall dessert. A rich chocolate pumpkin brownie swirled with a pumpkin cheesecake layer and topped with pecan streusel. A seasonal fall favorite pumpkin cheesecake dessert recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth this fall! Easy fall dessert recipe for family gatherings or weekend treats.

Once cooled, cut the brownies into bars and serve. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

Yield: 16 bars

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies Recipe with Pecan Streusel

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies Recipe with Pecan Streusel

A seasonal fall favorite pumpkin spice dessert recipe. Start with a box of your favorite brownie mix, then add some canned pumpkin, cream cheese and everyone's fall favorite - pumpkin spice to the mix for an amazing fall dessert that’s perfect for families and fall get togethers!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Box brownie mix, made according to package directions
  • ½ Cup softened cream cheese
  • ½ Cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ Cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to temperature indicated on the box of brownie mix.
  2. Line a 7x9 pan with parchment paper, or spray with non stick spray.
  3. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and pour into prepared pan, reserving ½ cup for later.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the cheesecake layer (cream cheese, pumpkin, sugars, egg and pumpkin pie spice.)  Pour over brownie and smooth out.  Drop the reserved ½ cup of brownie batter by the spoonful over the cheesecake layer, then gently swirl the two layers with a spoon or spatula. 
  5. Next, make the streusel topping by combining the pecans, brown sugar, flour, melted butter, and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl.  
  6. Sprinkle streusel mix on top of the brownies.
  7. Bake for approximately 55 min until brownies are set and edges are just beginning to brown. Allow to cool then cut into bars.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 92 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 23mg Sodium: 45mg Carbohydrates: 7g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 4g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g
Pumpkin cheesecake recipes. A seasonal fall favorite pumpkin spice dessert recipe for pumpkin cheesecake brownies recipe with pecan streusel! Start with a box of your favorite brownie mix, then add some canned pumpkin, cream cheese and everyone's fall favorite - pumpkin spice to the mix for an amazing fall dessert that’s perfect for families and fall get togethers! A fall dessert worthy of the season!

Love my pumpkin cheesecake brownies recipe? Be sure to pin it to your dessert recipe Pinterest board!

Pumpkin spice latte recipe. A 2-Ingredient healthy, gluten free vegan pumpkin spice latte for fall. This healthy dairy and gluten free pumpkin spice latte recipe is the perfect treat for fall. A vegan latte packed with healthy fats from coconut and almonds, this pumpkin spice latte makes a quick and easy breakfast swap whether you're running behind from back to school or just feeling run down.

Can’t get enough pumpkin spice this fall? Then absolutely try my healthy pumpkin spice latte recipe! It’s dairy and gluten free and only 76 calories per serving. Or try my delicious, natural brown sugar drop cookies for another easy dessert idea.

For more fall recipe ideas, you can follow Soap Deli News blog on pinterest, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up to receive my newsletter to stay in the loop.

Aromatherapy for Sleep: 3 Ways to Make An Insomnia Sleep Spray Recipe

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Sometimes, falling asleep, much less getting a good night’s sleep can be a challenge. Without proper rest, however, we suffer not just physically but emotionally as well. Luckily there are ways to help combat sleeplessness and enable you to get a good night’s rest. By utilizing aromatherapy for sleep, you can promote a restful night’s sleep. Not only can my easy DIY aromatherapy sleep spray assist in helping you fall asleep faster, it may also help you sleep more soundly.

DIY sleep sprays. Aromatherapy for Sleep: 3 Ways to Make An Insomnia Sleep Spray Recipe for Pillow Mists & Body Sprays. Help combat sleeplessness and get a good night's rest with an aromatherapeutic essential oil blend recipe. By utilizing aromatherapy for sleep, you can promote a restful night's sleep. Not only can my easy DIY aromatherapy sleep spray assist in helping you fall asleep faster, it may also help you sleep more soundly.

Trouble Sleeping?

Sleeping and night and getting a good night’s sleep are two entirely different things. As someone with fibromyalgia, my body definitely knows the difference. It also responds accordingly. Therefore, it’s important to me to get a restful sleep so I can function the next day. Sometimes, however, that can be a huge challenge. Not only do I wake to pee every two hours – a combination of age and fibro overstimulating those muscles – I’m also constantly dealing with a barge of emotional stress.

The current events as of late haven’t been pleasant. And trying to filter out that chaos with social media being what it is, has been a challenge. More recently, I found myself deeply affected by the mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso. The senselessness of the killings breaks my heart. It also leaves me a little terrified. I’m still freaked out knowing my son had just left UNC Charlotte campus the day that school shooting took place. I can’t imagine the struggle to move past that trauma as a survivor. And as someone who was previously diagnosed with agoraphobia, I have to consciously push myself to move past that fear and be present in the world, while also not allowing myself to be overwhelmed by the emotional toll we all feel from such tragedies.

Essential oils for sleep. How make essential oil blends to use in aromatherapy for sleep: 3 ways to make an insomnia sleep spray recipe for pillow mists & body sprays. Help combat sleeplessness and get a good night's rest with an aromatherapeutic essential oil blend recipe. By utilizing aromatherapy for sleep, you can promote a restful night's sleep. Not only can my easy DIY aromatherapy sleep spray assist in helping you fall asleep faster, it may also help you sleep more soundly.

Natural Aromatherapy Sleep Sprays

Luckily there are ways to make sure we get a restful sleep so we are better equipped to deal with chronic illnesses and day to day stressors. Whether you use essential oils in a diffuser, as an aromatherapy roll on or as a pillow spray, aromatherapy is a natural way to promote a good night’s sleep. And it can safely be used in conjunction with natural supplements or sleep aids if needed.

My essential oil aromatherapy sleep spray recipe is a natural way to promote rest and relaxation in order to help you fall asleep. Made with a blend of three essential oils – lavender, ylang ylang & vetiver – this DIY insomnia sleep spray is easy to make and simple to use. Simply mist the spray onto your pillow or bed linens prior to going to bed.

Following you’ll learn how to make you own natural sleep spray recipe using essential oils with three different ways to make it depending on whether or not you choose to use a preservative.

Aromatherapy sleep blends. How make essential oil blends to use in aromatherapy for sleep: 3 ways to make an insomnia sleep spray recipe for pillow mists & body sprays. Help combat sleeplessness and get a good night's rest with an aromatherapeutic essential oil blend recipe. By utilizing aromatherapy for sleep, you can promote a restful night's sleep. Not only can my easy DIY aromatherapy sleep spray assist in helping you fall asleep faster, it may also help you sleep more soundly.

DIY Sleep Spray Formulation

Ingredients Used to Make a Sleep Spray

My insomnia sleep spray contains several key ingredients. These include rose water, an aromatherapeutic essential oil blend and polysorbate 20. The rose water, which can be substituted with distilled water if desired, adds its natural scent to the recipe. While the polysorbate 20 is an emulsifier used to bind oil and water together. It’s derived from the lauric acid found in coconut oil.

Sleep Spray Preservative Options

There are also two preservative options. One being Optiphen ND and the other ethanol or 100 proof vodka. Optiphen ND is a paraben- and formaldehyde-free preservative design for water-based recipes. It protects against mold and bacteria growth when incorporated homemade recipes for facial toners, room sprays and perfumes. You’ll find Optiphen ND works best in products with a pH of 6 and lower.

If you choose not to use a preservative you won’t be able to include any water in your sleep spray. However, I don’t recommend this option for a linen or pillow spray as it can stain linens and takes longer to dry. You can use this sleep spray recipe as a body spray though by reducing the amount of essential oils called for in my insomnia sleep spray recipe. You can find more information on making a body spray below.

Tips & Tricks for Essential Oil Measurements

Should you desire to scale any of my insomnia sleep spray recipes, there are some tips that make measuring out the essential oils easier. You can find these tips along with an essential oil conversion chart at Mountain Rose Herbs here.

DIY sleep sprays. Aromatherapy for Sleep: 3 Ways to Make An Insomnia Sleep Spray Recipe for Pillow Mists & Body Sprays. Help combat sleeplessness and get a good night's rest with an aromatherapeutic essential oil blend recipe. By utilizing aromatherapy for sleep, you can promote a restful night's sleep. Not only can my easy DIY aromatherapy sleep spray assist in helping you fall asleep faster, it may also help you sleep more soundly.

Insomnia Sleep Spray Recipe #1

Ingredients:

1.8 oz. rose water
2 oz. 91% (or higher) isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
.2 oz. polysorbate 20
.05 oz. Optiphen ND
48 drops vetiver essential oil
32 drops lavender essential oil
32 drops ylang ylang essential oil

Recipe Notes:

This insomnia pillow mist spray uses isopropyl alcohol, more commonly known as rubbing alcohol, to help the water evaporate more quickly. This will also help prevent your pillow sleep spray from staining linens. While it does have a strong alcohol smell when first sprayed, this scent of the rubbing alcohol fades quickly as it evaporates in the air. So you are left with only the fragrance of the insomnia essential oil blend. As rubbing alcohol is not a preservative, but a disinfectant, you should use a preservative to prevent mold and bacteria growth. Optiphen ND is recommended at a usage rate of 1% for this application.

Should you choose to use this recipe and omit the preservative, your formula will last up to one month when kept store in the refrigerator.

Instructions:

Using a digital scale weigh out the polysorbate 20 in a 250 mL glass beaker. Then use a dropper to add each of the essential oils to the polysorbate 20. Mix to combine.

Now weigh out the rose water and the rubbing alcohol. Pour the liquids into the polysorbate and essential oil blend. Mix well.

Finally, weigh out the Optiphen ND and stil into the sleep spray. Mix thoroughly. Then pour your sleep spray into a single, sterilized 4 oz. spray bottle or two 2 oz. containers with a fingertip mister.

Shake your insomnia sleep spray before each use, then mist onto pillows and bed linens before going to sleep.

Natural sleep remedies for insomnia. How make essential oil blends to use in aromatherapy for sleep: 3 ways to make an insomnia sleep spray recipe for pillow mists & body sprays. Help combat sleeplessness and get a good night's rest with an aromatherapeutic essential oil blend recipe. By utilizing aromatherapy for sleep, you can promote a restful night's sleep. Not only can my easy DIY aromatherapy sleep spray assist in helping you fall asleep faster, it may also help you sleep more soundly. #essentialoilblend #essentialoilrecipes #sleepspray #aromatherapy #insomnia #sleepremedy

Insomnia Sleep Spray Recipe #2

Ingredients:

2 oz. rose water
1.8 oz. 100 proof vodka
.2 oz. vegetable glycerin (or polysorbate 20, as desired)
48 drops vetiver essential oil
32 drops lavender essential oil
32 drops ylang ylang essential oil

Recipe Notes:

This aromatherapy sleep spray recipe uses alcohol as a natural preservative. Like rubbing alcohol it helps the water evaporate more quickly. Unlike rubbing alcohol however,which can be drying to skin, vodka is not drying when used as part of a moisturizing base. It also acts as an emulsifier. This makes this recipe suitable as a body spray as well. To make a skin safe body spray, make the recipe as is, but reduce the amount of essential oils called for in the recipe by half.

As many of us don’t have access to ethanol, which is 200 proof, I formulated this insomnia sleep spray recipe using 100 proof vodka. If you have access to ethanol, you can substitute ethanol for the vodka. When doing so, increase the amount of rosewater in the recipe to 2.95 oz. and reduce the ethanol to .85 oz. (or 20% of the total recipe weight.) You can learn more about using alcohol as a preservative here.

Adding Magnesium Oil to Your Sleep Spray Recipe

If desired you can also add magnesium oil to your sleep spray when utilizing it as a body spray. To do this, you can either substitute the rosewater with ready made magnesium oil or make your own magnesium oil by adding magnesium flakes to the rosewater. If adding magnesium flakes to the rosewater, simply dissolve one Tablespoon magnesium flakes in the rosewater by mixing well. Then, with either option, reduce the essential oils to 24 drops vetiver essential oil and 16 drops each of lavender and ylang ylang. (Also be sure to try my magnesium body butter recipe to reduce the symptoms of restless leg syndrome and promote restful sleep.)

Natural sleep remedies for insomnia. How make essential oil blends to use in aromatherapy for sleep: 3 ways to make an insomnia sleep spray recipe for pillow mists & body sprays. Help combat sleeplessness and get a good night's rest with an aromatherapeutic essential oil blend recipe. By utilizing aromatherapy for sleep, you can promote a restful night's sleep. Not only can my easy DIY aromatherapy sleep spray assist in helping you fall asleep faster, it may also help you sleep more soundly. #essentialoilblend #essentialoilrecipes #sleepspray #aromatherapy #insomnia #sleepremedy

Instructions:

Using a digital scale weigh out the polysorbate 20 in a 250 mL glass beaker. Then use a dropper to add each of the essential oils to the polysorbate 20. Mix to combine.

Now weigh out the rose water and the vodka. Pour the liquids into the polysorbate and essential oil blend. Mix well.

Then pour your sleep spray into a single, sterilized 4 oz. spray bottle or two 2 oz. containers with a fingertip mister.

Shake your insomnia sleep spray before each use, then mist onto pillows and bed linens before going to sleep.

Natural insomnia remedies to promote rest & relaxation. How make essential oil blends to use in aromatherapy for sleep: 3 ways to make an insomnia sleep spray recipe for pillow mists & body sprays. Help combat sleeplessness and get a good night's rest with an aromatherapeutic essential oil blend recipe. By utilizing aromatherapy for sleep, you can promote a restful night's sleep. Not only can my easy DIY aromatherapy sleep spray assist in helping you fall asleep faster, it may also help you sleep more soundly.

Insomnia Sleep Spray Recipe #3:

Ingredients:

2 oz. jojoba oil, or other dry carrier oil
2 oz. cyclomethicone
24 drops vetiver essential oil
16 drops lavender essential oil
16 drops ylang ylang essential oil

Recipes Notes:

This recipe is designed to be used as an aromatherapeutic body spray. It is not recommended for use as a linen or pillow spray as it’s primarily oil based. As it doesn’t not contain water, there is no need to use a preservative for this body spray recipe.

Instructions:

You can use liquid measurements for this recipe. Simply measure out the jojoba oil and cyclomethicone and combine in a 250 mL glass beaker.

Then use a dropper to add each of the essential oils to body spray mixture. Mix well to combine.

Finally, pour your aromatherapeutic body spray into a single, sterilized 4 oz. spray bottle or two 2 oz. containers with a fingertip mister.

To use, simply shake your body spray before each use, then mist onto skin as desired, avoiding your face. (For a facial spray, the amount of essential oil called for in this recipe should be reduced by half.)

Once you’ve made your insomnia sleep sprays, you can easily decorate your bottles using scrapbook paper. (I like catching paper stacks when they’re on sale for $10!) Simply cut a sheet of decorative paper to fit your container. Then tape it to your spray bottle to secure it in place. (I used a strip of tape for each side of the paper.) Easy peasy!

Sleepy Head Pillow Mist. Try aromatherapy for sleep to support rest and relaxation with this natural essential oil sleep spray Made by Coopers Apothecary.

Where to Buy Ready Made Sleep Sprays

If you’d like to try an aromatherapy sleep spray for your pillows and bed linens, but aren’t ready to make your own, there are a number of ready made options that you can purchase. This Sleepy Head Pillow Mist from Made By Coopers Apothecary is made with a calming blend of lavender essential oil and a soothing blend of chamomile and frankincense to help you de-stress and unwind. You can buy it here.

Or try one of these other natural essential oil sleep remedies to explore aromatherapy for sleep.

Alternately, you can purchase other natural remedies here. Or explore home remedies you can make yourself right here on Soap Deli News or via my Home Remedies Pinterest board.

You can also follow me across your favorite social media platforms for regular DIY ideas for soap, bath and beauty recipes you can craft at home. Follow me now via facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up to receive my newsletter to stay in the loop.

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 and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult a physician prior to making any changes that may impact your health.

Is Hard Seltzer Better for You Than Wine?

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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.

Hot summer days are all about rosé & wine slushies, but is there something better? Hard seltzer, like White Claw hard seltzer, offers fewer calories and just 5% alcohol. Not only does it taste like your favorite seltzer water (with no added sugar) it also helps you stay better hydrated – even in party mode. 

Is hard seltzer better for you than wine? Hot summer days are all about rosé & wine slushies, but is there something better? Hard seltzer, like White Claw hard seltzer, offers fewer calories and just 5% alcohol. Not only does it taste like your favorite seltzer water (with no added sugar) it also helps you stay better hydrated - even in party mode.

The Drink I Didn’t Know I Was Missing

Until a few years ago, there were few non-liquor options for adult beverages besides wine, beer and coolers. All of these options are filled with added sugar. And to be honest, I’ve never liked beer. While my tastes have become more refined with age – hello, peppery dry red wine! – I don’t drink wine coolers anymore because I find them too sweet.

Then came the hard sodas, ciders and lemonades. Like coolers, they are often sweet and filled with added sugars. Being that I’m in my mid-forties, I’ve really been trying to avoid added sugar and cut calories. Not only do these drinks leave me feeling really full, really fast, they also give me massive belly bloat. Not only is the bloating uncomfortable, it’s definitely not the look I’m going for. (After all, those symptoms of perimenopause are more than enough to contend with as it is.)

Spiked seltzer however, like White Claw hard seltzer, fills a void I didn’t even realize was there. Although it’s a fairly new drink that was introduced just three years ago, it’s becoming increasingly popular.  I’m regularly running between two different Kroger stores AND Target to find my favorite multi-pack in stock as it sells out so often.

Since my discovery of spiked seltzer, I’ve pretty much given up wine expect on those special occasions. Hard seltzer has me hooked. It’s definitely a better option than wine or beer. Not only does it have zero added sugar, it’s also flavored with real fruit. And, as hard seltzer is mostly water, it helps you stay better hydrated. Meaning, it’s a lot easier to avoid a hangover the next morning.

Rosé is a summertime favorite. However, it may be time to swap out your wine for something better. Few calories, no added sugar, gluten free and zero sulfites make hard seltzer the best new summer drink! Discover the benefits of drinking hard seltzer versus wine. Plus stay better hydrated while drinking!

Is Hard Seltzer Better For You Than Wine?

I used to have a glass of wine (or three) in the evenings. It was the perfect drink to help my body wind down and relax all that tension that builds up from working at a desk all day. But the calories were definitely making a real impact on my waistline in recent years. That, and those wine hangovers can be brutal. I’ve since switched to hard seltzer. And I’ve found, that for me, it’s a much better choice than wine or hard cider.

Not only is hard seltzer lower in calories, it has no added sugar. And with just 4 to 5 percent alcohol, depending on the brand, I don’t accidentally get caught up and over imbibe. With temperatures in the 90s, it’s also a better choice to stay hydrated in the summer. Simply put, I find White Claw hard seltzer much more refreshing than wine. Plus it’s hard to miss the belly bloating, stained lips and sulfites. So, sorry not sorry, summer rosé. It’s time to move over.

There’s good reason that you keep seeing White Claw memes all over the internet. Despite the hate (it’s ok to think it’s basic, some would say the same about pumpkin spice) there are a number of reasons to love this refreshing hard seltzer.

Hard seltzer is a refreshing summertime drink with fewer calories than wine, no sulfites and no added sugar.

What is Hard Seltzer?

Hard seltzer, sometimes called spiked seltzer, is the latest craze in adult beverages. Like its non-alcoholic cousin the trendy seltzer water, it’s mostly water with a hint of natural flavor.

Hard seltzers are comparable to a beer in alcohol content, but they offer a lighter, more refreshing taste. They just might be the perfect drink for a hot summer day, but they will taste great no matter what the weather is outside. Plus they come in skinny cans that are better suited for smaller hands (without that annoying pink tax on everything else that targets women consumers.) 

Spiked Seltzer Brands

I’ve tried a few spiked seltzer brands, including Press, White Claw Hard Seltzer, Bon & Viv, Smirnoff Spiked, Nauti Hard Seltzer, Truly, Henry’s Hard Sparkling Water and Vibe to name a few.

I haven’t tried all of them, but so far White Claw Hard Seltzer is my preferred brand. It’s made with just water, a gluten free alcohol and natural fruit for flavoring. White Claw hard seltzer has just 100 calories per can. So it’s definitely better than drinking a glass of wine.

In addition, White Claw doesn’t have the aftertaste that other spiked seltzers have. To me, it’s just more refreshing and a better tasting drink. 

White Claw hard seltzer is available in a number of natural fruit flavors. They include mango, black cherry, natural lime, raspberry, and ruby grapefruit. Mango is my favorite and the one I usually reach for. Although lime and black cherry run a close second. The mango White Claw hard seltzer is almost always sold out, however. So I’ve learned to adapt to my second choices, but rarely another brand. I’ve tried Truly brand hard seltzer and it just doesn’t measure up. While it ties with White Claw in the hard seltzer arena, I find it has an unpleasant aftertaste that I relate to fake sweeteners. 

Alcohol Content

Spiked seltzers are comparable to a beer with about 5 percent alcohol. Wine has about 10 to 15 percent alcohol, so a spiked seltzer is definitely less potent than a glass of wine.

If you tend to sip throughout the evening or enjoy more than one drink, you probably won’t get drunk if you drink a spiked seltzer instead of a glass of wine. Therefore, you’re less likely to find yourself suddenly “deep in the feels” after a few glasses (ie. a bottle) of wine. This is good news. Because what this means is that there are no drunk texts to your ex you can’t take back the next day. So really, hard seltzer is also a better break up drink. After all, more alcohol isn’t always the better choice.

Why I gave up wine for White Claw hard seltzer.

Less Sugar and Fewer Calories

Wine, beer and other alcoholic drinks are notoriously high in calories, which is made even worse because they are empty calories. The calories in just two drinks can rival those in a full meal. (With a comparable amount of bloating.)

Spiked seltzers only have about 100 calories in a 12 ounce can, so they won’t add as many calories to your daily intake. That’s less than most beers—although some light beers are comparable with 95 to 100 calories per drink—and you can expect about 125 calories for a 5-ounce glass of wine.

Carb counters will also rejoice in the fact that hard seltzers have less sugar and fewer carbs than wine. Wine will usually have 4 grams of carbs per glass, but hard seltzer has about 2 grams of carbs per 12 ounces.

Additionally, most spiked seltzers have zero added sugars. The flavor and sweetness all come from the fruit. So while I wouldn’t call them a healthy drink, they are definitely a better drink choice when compared to wine.

White Claw hard seltzer calories come in at 100 per can with 2 grams of carbs. If you drink more than a few glasses of wine a week, this could save you a lot of calories.

Gluten-Free

If you are gluten-free, you’ll be happy to know that most spiked seltzers are gluten-free (but always check the label to be sure!).

Instead of using a fermented grain to make the alcohol in a hard seltzer, it’s made from fermented sugar.

Outdoor summer party with on the go drinks in a cooler.

Portability

Hard seltzers come in a handy 12-ounce can. They are easy to take with you, easy to open, and easy to drink right from the can. Plus, as I mentioned previously, the skinny can is the perfect size for women’s hands. (I like to keep my White Claw hard seltzer cold in my Coleman Lounger Stainless Steel Can Insulator. It not only works with skinny cans, but also regular sized beer cans or bottles, as well as bottled water.)

Heading to a party? Grab a pack and toss them in a cooler. You can even carry them in a bag without worrying about them breaking or spilling.

Since they are in 12-ounce cans, it’s just the right amount for a drink. You don’t have to worry about storing leftover wine.

Wines only last anywhere from three days to two weeks, so hard seltzer is a better choice for those who don’t drink as often just because there’s less waste.

Mixing Drinks

Although hard seltzer is pretty tasty on its own, it also makes an excellent mixer. With the fruity flavor, it mixed well with vodka and can even take a sangria up a notch for added flavor.

If you’ve tried making mixed drinks with seltzer water, you might have been disappointed because the fruit flavor tends to disappear. Hard seltzer keeps the fruity flavor better, so don’t hesitate to try it mixed with other liquors.

Enjoy your spiked seltzer as a frozen boozy treat by simply freezing it. Pour it in a pan, freeze, and use an ice cream scoop to scoop it into cups for yourself or guests. It makes an incredibly easy and very yummy frozen treat that’s perfect for a hot summer evening. You can even pour it into a wine glass with edible flowers or fruit for dinner parties to elevate it to the next level.

Does Spiked Seltzer Hydrate You?

Most spiked seltzers have just three ingredients: water, alcohol and flavoring. Some brands have more ingredients, so check labels. White Claw Hard Seltzer only has these three ingredients, which is partly why it’s one of my favorite spiked seltzer brands. Due to the high water content and lower alcohol content, you’re more likely to stay hydrated. I know I do. 

Not only does this help you feel better now, but it will also help in the morning. Dehydration can make a hangover worse. While I can’t guarantee that you won’t have a hangover after a few hard seltzers, it is likely that the hangover will be less severe than if you’d been drinking wine. I’ve yet to get a hangover from drinking equivalent amounts of hard seltzer to wine. However, it’s still important to reach for a bottle of water after you’ve been drinking to help your body recover from the intake of alcohol.

Do you love hard seltzer? Share your favorite flavors or ways to drink hard seltzer in the comments. Then be sure to follow me across your favorite social media platforms including pinterest, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up to receive my newsletter to stay in the loop.

Free Online Herbalist Course: Making Herbal Preparations (with 33 Herbal Recipes)

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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.

Are you looking for basic herbalism skills you can practice in your day to day life? Then don’t miss out on this free online herbalist course from the Herbal Academy! Available for a limited time only, this free online herbalist course will teach you how herbs are used and prepared for everyday use. By the end of the course, you can begin making your own herbal recipes at home! Keep reading to learn more about this exciting herbalism course. And don’t forget to enroll by July 31st!

Online Herbalism Course. Are you looking for basic herbalism skills you can practice in your day to day life? Then don't miss out on this free online herbalist course from the Herbal Academy! Available for a limited time only, this free online herbalist course will teach you how herbs are used and prepared for everyday use. By the end of the course, you can begin making your own herbal recipes at home! Keep reading to learn more about this exciting herbalism course.

How to Get Started in Herbalism

You may have noticed the covers of major magazines when out on your shopping trips lately. Publishers like National Geographic, Time, Newsweek and almost every home, food & fashion publication are talking about herbs! And with good reason. Herbs and herbalism are more than just trendy hot topic buzz words. Herbs can actually play a very important role in our everyday wellness!

Herbal education offers a number of solutions for living a more natural, healthy lifestyle. With a little help from The Herbal Academy, you’ll learn exciting new information and skills that can follow you throughout your entire lifetime. Discover ways that herbs are used and prepared for everyday use. And start making your own herbal recipes at home. All through their free online herbalist course! This course is the perfect entry point into the wild and wonderful world of herbs, covering basic herbal preparations that will help you build your own repertoire of exciting, nourishing formulas.

Free Online Herbalist Course. Discover herbalists’ four basic categories of herbal preparations, 12 everyday safe herbs to use at home, and 33 DIY herbal recipes from teas and tinctures to salves and oils! This course will guide you through 7 convenient and compact lessons that are chock-full of hands-on activities, videos, and helpful herbal charts to guide you on your way to making herbal preparations at home. Beginners, this mini herbal course is for you!

Free Online Herbalist Course

Ready to give this free online herbalist course a try? The Making Herbal Preparations 101 Mini Course from The Herbal Academy is only available for free registration through July 31, 2019. Course registration will close after this date – and it won’t reopen until next year. You can choose to enroll in either the free online herbalist course by itself. Or take the opportunity to upgrade your course and receive an incredibly practical laminated recipe and herbal preparation tutorial guides with your registration!

Throughout this course you’ll discover herbalists’ four basic categories of herbal preparations along with 12 everyday safe herbs to use at home, and 33 DIY herbal recipes from teas and tinctures to salves and oils! This free online herbalist course will guide you through 7 convenient and compact lessons that are chock-full of hands-on activities, videos, and helpful herbal charts to guide you on your way to making herbal preparations at home. If you’re a beginning herbalist, then this mini herbal course is for you!

How to make herbal preparations as part of a free online herbalist course. Learn the basics of herbal preparations. What they are, why they work the way that they do, when to use them, and of course, how to make them. This course also covers four categories of herbal preparations. This includes valuable information on water- and sweet-based preparations to alcohol- and oil-based preparations as well as detailed, step-by-step video tutorials for each of these common preparations for everyday use.

What’s Inside Making Herbal Preparations

Designed to bring the world of herbs right into your kitchen, the Making Herbal Preparations 101 Mini Course, provides you with the information you need to get hands-on with herbs while filling your herbal toolkit and knowledgebase at the same time!

Throughout this course you’ll learn the basics of herbal preparations. What they are, why they work the way that they do, when to use them, and of course, how to make them. This course also covers four categories of herbal preparations. This includes valuable information on water- and sweet-based preparations to alcohol- and oil-based preparations as well as detailed, step-by-step video tutorials for each of these common preparations for everyday use.

How to get started in herbalism. Herbal education offers a number of solutions for living a more natural, healthy lifestyle. With a little help from The Herbal Academy, you'll learn exciting new information and skills that can follow you throughout your entire lifetime. Discover ways that herbs are used and prepared for everyday use. And start making your own herbal recipes at home. All through their free online herbalist course!

Upgrade Your Free Online Herbalist Course

To get even more from this free online herbalist course, The Herbal Academy is also offering an upgrade that comes with a 140 page herbal journey planner. So it’s even easier to bring your studies right into the kitchen with these mess-friendly, durable, and incredibly practical laminated recipe and tutorial guides. They’ve compiled the essential hands-on information from all of the lessons in this program into beautifully convenient guides so you can work offline and in your kitchen, practicing your herbalist skills! Simply upgrade your order with the charts when you sign up!

What’s Inside the Free Online Herbalist Course: Making Herbal Preparations

This free online herbalist course provides 3 months of access to 7 instructional lessons on making herbal preparations. You’ll find recipes and tutorial guides, checklist and assignments,  reference charts, resource recommendations, video demonstrations and a printable PDF lesson files. You’ll also receive a completion badge in your student dashboard upon course completion. (Sign up here.)

How to become an herbalist. Practical herbal knowledge for everyday uses. This free online herbalist course provides 3 months of access to 7 instructional lessons on making herbal preparations. You’ll find recipes and tutorial guides, checklist and assignments, reference charts, resource recommendations, video demonstrations and a printable PDF lesson files.

Here’s a breakdown of the instructional herbalism course lessons included in the course.

Lesson #1

Lesson 1 explores how herbs can help us on an everyday basis with some of our most common complaints. It begins with a brief overview of each herbal preparation category that will be covered in more detail later in the course as well as the various solvents that are used in these preparations.

Lesson #2

Lesson 2 takes us deeper into the world of herbs. It covers some foundational principles regarding herbal safety including the various safety categories of herbs, introduces 12 nutritious herbs that are safe for most people, and discusses how these herbs can be used in a variety of ways for everyday situations!

Lesson #3

Lesson 3 kicks off our first herbal preparation category—water-based herbal preparations. This lesson explores water as a solvent and discusses two of the most common types of water- based herbal preparations: infusions and decoctions. It takes a look at the various ways these preparations can be made, walking you through making them from start to finish as well as touching on shelf life considerations and suggested dosages.

How to make sweet-based herbal preparations. This lesson explores various sweet solvents, such as honey and glycerine, and discuss two common sweet-based preparations: infused honey and glycerites. It offers detailed tutorials on making each of these preparations, and takes a look at the shelf life and suggested dosages for each.

Lesson #4

Lesson 4 looks into our next herbal preparation category—sweet-based herbal preparations. This lesson explores various sweet solvents, such as honey and glycerine, and discuss two common sweet-based preparations: infused honey and glycerites. It offers detailed tutorials on making each of these preparations, and takes a look at the shelf life and suggested dosages for each.

Lesson #5

Lesson 5 investigates another herbal preparation category—alcohol-based herbal preparations. This lesson explores alcohol as a solvent and introduces two common alcohol-based preparations – tinctures and liniments. It explores the extraction process for these preparations, provides detailed steps for making each of these preparations, and discusses shelf life considerations and suggested dosages.

Lesson #6

Lesson 6 introduces the last herbal preparation category of our course—oil-based herbal preparations. It begins by looking into how oil extracts herbal constituents from plants, and then explores two common oil-based preparations: infused oils and salves. Tutorials walk you through how to make each preparation from scratch, and the lesson discusses preparation shelf life and suggested dosages.

Free online herbalism course. 33 recipes, many featuring the 12 nutritional herbs detailed in this course, that you can use for common conditions. These herbal recipes will not only give you practice in making the herbal preparations you’ve learned about in this course, they will also help you to stock your herbal toolkit and give you some experience using herbs in everyday situations.

Lesson #7

Lesson 7 takes all you’ve learned in this mini course and allows you to apply it with 33 recipes, many featuring the 12 nutritional herbs detailed in this course, that you can use for common conditions. These recipes will not only give you practice in making the herbal preparations you’ve learned about in this course, they will also help you to stock your herbal toolkit and give you some experience using herbs in everyday situations.

By the end of the Making Herbal Preparations 101 Mini Course, you will feel more confident in exploring herbal recipes on your own. You will also build a great beginner’s understanding of 12 herbs that you can incorporate into everyday use! Join us for class, and we’re certain you’ll be making herbal preparations at home in no time!

Free Online Herbalist Course. Herbal education offers a number of solutions for living a more natural, healthy lifestyle. With a little help from The Herbal Academy, you'll learn exciting new information and skills that can follow you throughout your entire lifetime. Discover ways that herbs are used and prepared for everyday use. And start making your own herbal recipes at home. All through their free online herbalist course!

Don’t delay! Register for this online course while it’s offered for FREE! The Making Herbal Preparations 101 Mini Course is only available for registration for 10 days through July 31st and will not be available again until 2020. Enroll here now.

For more information and ideas on living a healthy lifestyle, be sure to check out my boards on Pinterest board. You can also find me on your favorite social media platforms including Blog Lovin‘, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up to receive my newsletter to stay in the loop.

Why I Switched to Syndet Solid Shampoo Bars (Plus How to Make Your Own!)

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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.

Learn the benefits of switching to a solid syndet shampoo bars for both hair health and the environment. Syndet solid shampoo bars work just like a regular shampoo – but better! And, unlike cold process or melt and pour soap shampoo bars, there’s no transition period. Only happy, healthy looking hair from the start! Plus they’re gentle on even color treated hair. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of syndet shampoo bars, where to buy them and how to make them.

DIY syndet solid shampoo bars. A zero waste eco-friendly alternative to traditional liquid shampoos. Learn why you should make the switch to solid shampoo bars. With zero transition period, these solid bar shampoos promote happy, healthy looking hair from the start! Plus they're gentle on even color treated hair. Learn about the benefits of syndet shampoo bars, where to buy them and how to formulate your own DIY solid shampoo bars from scratch.

Making the Switch

As someone who makes my own bath and beauty products, I’ve tried a LOT of different skin and hair care products. Shampoos, however, were always tricky. Castile soap and even cold process shampoo bars left a lot to be desired. The PH of these products just doesn’t work for hair. Which is why it’s suggested you use an apple cider vinegar rinse afterwards. However, from experience and research, this method can actually damage your hair over time. So I’ll admit, I was super hesitant to try the trendy new shampoo bars made popular by Lush.

The new solid shampoo bars are a different approach to hair care. And they aren’t made with soap at all. Known as syndet shampoo bars, these solid shampoo bars are everything you always wanted from your bottle shampoo. And more! The short and long of it is, shampoo bars are pretty amazing!

What Are Syndet Solid Shampoo Bars?

The term “syndet” comes from the combination of the words “synthetic” and “detergent.” It sounds scary, but with the right combination of ingredients, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. By combining variations of different synthetic detergents, a syndet bar is formed. Syndet bars have, in fact, been around a long time. Dove beauty bars, which were first developed in 1955, are actually the first syndet bar.

The one thing syndet bars are not, however, is soap. Likewise, syndet solid shampoo bars also aren’t quite the same as a syndet “soap” bar such as Dove. Like syndet bars, syndet solid shampoo bars are crafted from a combination of mild detergent based cleansers formulated to wash and care for hair. These shampoo bars are typically formulated with a gentle surfactant such as Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI.) Additional ingredients are then added to nourish and condition hair.

What to Avoid When Shopping for Syndet Hair Care Products

It is important to note, however, that some syndet solid shampoo bars also contain Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Amphosol CG) – which can cause skin irritation – as well as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS.) For example, the solid shampoo bars sold by Lush contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS.) SLS is a harsh detergent based surfactant that can irritate skin which can lead to itchy scalp and dandruff.  It also has potentially toxic effects on aquatic organisms. Because of potentially negative effects both on my hair and scalp – as well as the environment – I make sure to avoid shampoo bars containing SLS.

Likewise, I also avoid shampoo bars that contain Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Amphosol CG) as I do have sensitive skin that’s easily irritated by surfactants as well as artificial fragrances. While a milder surfactant, Cocamidopropyl Betaine is made by combining raw coconut oil with 3-dimethylaminopropylamine (DMAPA.) 3-dimethylaminopropylamine is a known skin allergen and sensitizer that can cause both skin and eye irritation as well as an allergic reaction. Cocamidopropyl Betaine is also believed to be toxic to aquatic life. (Learn more here.)

While ultimately the type of shampoo bar you choose for your hair care routine is up to you, I highly encourage you to take the time to read the list of ingredients before making a decision. After all, you don’t want to swap out your liquid shampoo for a solid shampoo bar that leads to the same concerns in regards to the condition and care of your hair and scalp.

The Many Benefits of Syndet Solid Shampoo Bars

Now that you know what solids shampoo bars are – and what they aren’t – following are all of the many reasons I’m head over heels for syndet shampoo bars.

  • They lather. Unlike some shampoo bars, such as soap based melt and pour shampoo bars, syndet shampoo bars have a lovely foamy lather that gets hair clean. They also tend to have a better lather than liquid shampoos.
  • These solid shampoo bars won’t strip hair of oils and they’re gentle enough for even color treated hair. (I use mine before and after henna treatments for my thinning hair.)
  • There’s no plastic waste with solid shampoo bars because there are no bottles.  Therefore these little beauties are zero waste & eco friendly. Plus it’s an easy way to reduce plastic waste in your home.
  • I can use way less of my syndet bars on my hair than I do for traditional bottled shampoo. Just a few swipes and there’s enough lather to wash my long hair. As a result these bars outlive even a large bottle of shampoo.
  • Because they’re made using gentle surfactants, they don’t cause scalp irritation. Unlike my liquid shampoos, I found these bars reduced build up and works like a clarifying liquid shampoo. My itchy scalp stopped itching entirely when I made the switch.
  • Shampoo bars have a lower PH than soap based shampoo bars. Therefore there’s no awkward transition period while your hair adjusts.
  • Finally, they just work! They do they job they were made to perform better than bottled shampoo brands.

Why I Switched to Syndet Solid Shampoo Bars. Solid shampoo bars, like this Orange Peel Shampoo Bar from Mountain Madness Soap, work just like a regular shampoo - but better! And, unlike cold process or melt and pour soap shampoo bars, there's no transition period. Only happy, healthy looking hair from the start! Plus they're gentle on even color treated hair. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of syndet shampoo bars, where to buy them and how to make them.

Where to Buy Solid Shampoo Bars

If you’re ready to make the switch, there are a number of handmade bath and beauty artisans that sell homemade syndet solid shampoo bars. Following are some of my favorites – most of which are best sellers on Etsy.

  • Tea Tree Shampoo Bar from NMJ Handmade Creations (Buy it.)
  • Vegan Friendly Shampoo Bars from Dirt Honey Soap (Buy it.)
  • Passionfruit Solid Shampoo & Conditioner from Soul and Soap (Buy it.)
  • 2-in-1 SLS Free Shampoo Bar & Conditioner from Green Living Soap Company (Buy it.)
  • Orange Peel Shampoo Bar from Mountain Madness Soap, pictured (Buy it.)
  • Honeysuckle & Calendula Solid Conditioning Shampoo Bar from East Tn Soap Works (Buy it.)
  • Sea Kelp & Agave Shampoo Bar from Just Soapin’ Around (Buy it.)

How to Make Syndet Shampoo Bars

Already in love with this new way to shampoo your hair? Then take the next step in your hair care journey and learn how to make your own syndet solid shampoo bars! These recipes are a great place to start if you’re not quite ready to formulate your own unique shampoo bars.

Want to personalize your hair care formulations? The School of Natural Skin Care offers a free introductory class on how to become a natural hair care formulator. You can sign up to learn more here. Alternately, It’s All In My Hands offers an introductory guide to formulating syndet solid shampoo bars.

For more hair care recipes, including shine sprays and dry shampoo, visit Soap Deli News blog here. You can also explore more DIY ideas via my Pinterest boards. Also be sure to follow me across your favorite social media platforms including Blog Lovin‘, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up to receive my newsletter to stay in the loop.