My nitrate free and smoke free home cured bacon

Featured

IMG_0989

Theres something irresistible about bacon.

Crispy, salty yumminess…

It sings Sunday mornings. School holidays. Summer. Family. Happiness. Freedom.

Yet the story behind bacon is not a good one.  Sad, forelorn pigs locked in cages far from the open paddocks they long for. Unable to turn around. Unable to walk; let alone run. Never having felt the sun on their skins. Our world is seriously f&@# up!!

The heart of my 40 year old self skips a beat every time I walk down the smallgoods aisle of a supermarket. Past the meat section with its open fridges containing long lines of cheap factory farmed meat.  The image in my mind of tortured pigs in cages in dark, cold, sterile piggeries to me are not unlike the pictures from genocide camps in WW2. I cannot, and WILL NOT ever buy this meat!!! I would rather go hungry.

Lucky for me there are choices. If you look hard enough there are options. I firmly believe that by the choices we make everyday within our food stores and our farmers markets we can change the way our food is raised.  Grown.  Produced.  And the way the human race treats it’s animals.

This is why I choose to buy only free range, organic where possible, ethically raised and slaughtered, grass fed and finished meat. The way meat should naturally be.  I don’t believe this is a financial choice only some can make. We all have options.  Reduce your portion size if you need to. Buy direct from farmers at your local market and cut out the middle man. You have a choice. We all have a choice. And if you care strongly enough, like me, have the guts to stand firm on it.

My nitrate free, smoke free, ethically raised bacon

  • A square piece of ethically raised, grass fed and finished pork loin or belly roughly 16cm squared; trimmed and rind scored thinly through to the fat
  • 1/2 cup Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Panela, Rapudura or coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tspn turmeric
  • 1 dash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 dash of bourbon

Mix together the apple cider vinegar and bourbon I a bowl. Pour mix over the meat and rub in well, making sure it gets into the score marks in the rind. Then mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Cover the entire cut of pork with the dry mix, pushing it into every nook and cranny including the score marks. When you’re happy, place meat into a sealed container or glad bag. Place into the fridge for 3 days (longer for a bigger cut of meat). Toss and turn it everyday until it feels firmer to touch.

When cured, rinse the meat well under the cold tap and pat dry with absorbent paper. Place back into the fridge, uncovered and on a rack, for 24 hrs.

Roast slowly in the centre of your oven at 100 degrees Celsius for around 90 minutes. This is the time where you could also choose to smoke your bacon. (I choose not to due to the carcinogens found in wood smoke). Once cooked, chill again in fridge.

Slice and keep in fridge for a few days or freezer for a few months.  We have bought a meat slicer from eBay as it is a much easier way to slice your bacon. We have found the best results and taste with bacon sliced in 2-3mm slices. Thick slices seem to be quite firm.

Good luck!

xx

Advertisements

My Eco Nursery

Featured

b65f6cc3599eed35cb2175cb220992edWith only 2 months to go before the birth of our first child, the nursery set up has begun.

We are determined not to overload our nursery and our child with EVERYTHING.  There are so many children around the world who grow up with nothing….  Our child is lucky through the luck of birth to be born into the first world.  We hope to teach him how lucky we all are and to teach him awareness of the world around him by showing him firsthand.

So..to the Nursery.  With what we have chosen, we have tried to remain eco-friendly and organic where possible.

THE BASSINET

slide1We have been soooo lucky to have been given a Hushamok as a newborn gift by my mother-in-law.  It’s a beautifully designed organic baby hammock that is designed to mimic movement that the newborn baby has been used to within the womb.  It is designed to cradle them and gently rock them to sleep with each movement they make.  You can find some fabulous prices on secondhand sites such as Gumtree.

tetra_snuggle_bed_white_4There is also a gorgeous little organic swaddle bed by Tetra that would be a fabulous and potable bassinet that doesn’t disrupt your child’s sleep.  They also have wonderful and sustainable cot mattresses and pillows.

THE COT

There are many wonderful sustainable cots out there on the market such as

cot-600x600This cot converts into a table as your child grows…Soleil baby bed

ubabub_plywood-room-BAnd this one grows with your child into a toddler bed…..Ubabub

961d8a7cf08b50dc_cardboardcrub.previewFor highly biodegradable…..Cardboard Album

There are so many beautiful “green” cots to create a fabulous designer nursery with an eco edge.

We have chosen not to purchase one of these cots (as much as I would like to) because we have been very lucky to have been given a cot from a friend that is no longer needed.  Now I call that sustainable.  Recycling at it’s best.  Once again, if you’re not so lucky to be given a cot, check out Gumtree or a similar site to buy a secondhand cot.  Just remember, if you choose to paint it make sure you use low VOC or VOC free paints.  Just ask at your local hardware and tell them you need kid friendly paint.

SHEETS AND SWADDLES

product_images_ecoLinen_organic_bassinet_sheet_set1Now if you read my blog regularly, you would know how much I love Ecolinen Organic.  Ecolinen Organic have some beautiful cot and bassinet sheet sets for your special little oone.  Think the most beautiful sheets you have ever slept in, imagine they were 100% organic cotton and Whalllaaaaa!!! Divine!!

little_bamboo_muslin_wrap_-_mainFor swaddling, we have purchased some beautiful 100% bamboo swaddling muslin wraps from Little Bamboo.  Bamboo is such an absorbent, breathable and sustainable fabric designed to keep your child warm in winter and cool in summer.

gro-swaddle-fv1For something a little thicker Groswaddle make some 100% organic cotton swaddles designed especially for newborns.  They are cut specifically and are such a beautiful warm cotton weave that keeps babies so warm and snug.

REUSABLE MODERN CLOTH NAPPIES

I am a firm believer in using cloth nappies.  I understand every family is different and I will never judge others, but for myself there is no option other than cloth nappies.  Besides being reusable, they are better for the environment and your child’s skin.  Some question the water used for nappy washes and the detergent, but today’s modern cloth nappies are sooooo much more than the terry towelling squares that were used on us as kids.  Once rinsed, they can be placed in a normal washing load with other clothes, require biodegradable detergents only and do not require soaking or whiteners as they are designed to remain white when dried on the clothes line in the sun!

CBHomeCollageCocobaby have THE most beautiful designs for their MCN’s.  Butterflies, spots, floral patterns…… I can’t tell you how divine they are! Their sizing is one-size-fits-all from birth to toilet training.

9807d420-d7ba-4419-8739-84c17e1683e7If you are looking for one-size-fits-all pocket nappies with insertable bamboo liners that you can adjust depending on your requirements, look no further than Green Kids. I think the design of their nappies is pretty clever and the bamboo inserts are so absorbent.  Within the pocket, they draw any moisture away from your child’s skin meaning the nappy can be worn for longer between changes.  They also stock fabulous bamboo reusable and washable wipes that I intend to use each and every nappy change.  So soft and absorbent on your child’s skin.

I have also been very lucky to have been given some fabulous new nappies from a girlfriend.  These nappies are from some fabulous companies.  Baby Beehinds, and Bonnibuns as well as other brands.

Every child is different and I have been told that what nappy brand leaks for a friend’s child might fit your child perfectly.  Therefore, I suggest you purchase one or two of each nappy brand you like and try them before purchasing a full set.  A full set can be around $600 but if you compare that to the $2000-$4000 cost of disposables over the same period, I think it’s fabulously worth it!!

TEETHING AND SOOTHERS

There is much debate over whether you should “dummy” your child.  I say whatever works for you and your family.  Hevea_children_forside_rubber_naturally_designed_1Hevea manufacture some fabulous natural rubber dummies and teethers.

logoVULLI_0250(800x532)My mother-in-law knows me so well and had given us a beautiful Parisian “Sophie le Giraffe.”  A wonderful 100% natural rubber teething toy that has been a favourite with French children since 1961!  How stylish!!

PRAM AND CAR SEAT

productimage-picture-stroller-g2-119_jpg_580x420_q90The “greenest” pram I can find is the Orbit G2.  Made with Orbitgreen certified fabric, it is the world’s first stroller with all fabrics and foams certified safe by Oeko-Tex® Standard 100.  It is also BPA and PVC free.  Only problem is it is not currently available in Australia.  Orbit also make a fabulous baby car capsule that clips into the Orbit G2.  It uses safe flame retardants in it’s manufacture without the potentially harmful chemicals, PBBs and PBDEs, used in most other car seats.  I looked at importing one of these into Australia, but as they are not currently certified to Australian standards, if you have a car crash and the child is injured or worse, you as the parent must wear any court findings including manslaughter….. Scary I know!!  Therefore, I have chosen instead to purchase a secondhand running pram on Gumtree and a new baby-to-4-years Australian certified car seat and fit them out with a natural sheepskin fitted liner that is washable and will minimise skin contact between our child and certified flame retardant fabrics.

CLOTHING AND TOYS

PurebabyPure Baby is a truly beautiful organic Australian children’s clothing brand that is all about social conscience.  Their clothing is divine!

cocoome_pj_bj_and_romper__20174.1365908723.1280.1280A friend of mine runs a fabulous organic children’s sleepwear company called Cocoome.  Many children’s pyjamas and onesies are coated in a flame retardant chemical, hence why organic is so important for our children’s sleep.  Amanda’s designs are beautiful.  Tell her I sent you.  You’ll love them!

eco_toys_1Ecotoys have fabulous wooden toys and organic cotton dolls for when your little one grows and starts to interact.  Wonderful toys that are also highly stimulating.

Some other companies that have toys that I love are Alimrose Designs and Moulin Roty.  bg-000-009Alimrose Designs are stunning Australian designed dolls, toys, bibs etc that are sooooo unique and divine!  The company gives back to Save the Children Australia and Bear Cottage, a respite and palliative care hospice for children & young people with life limiting illnesses & their families in Sydney, Australia.

2_Biscotte_et_PomponMoulin Roty, as far as I know, are not eco but they do have some of the most beautiful traditional wooden toys and plush toys you will ever see designed by a French toymaker.  For a classic, unique toy that will be pride of place for a lifetime, look no further…

NAPPY BAG

Screen_Shot 2012-05-22 at 4.49.36 PMI have chosen a tote bag from Apple and Bee as my nappy bag.  A fabulous Australian company that is carbon neutral and commits itself to having the lowest minimal impact on the environment that it possibly can.  They also stock a fabulous range of bibs, nappy mats, library bags, lunch boxes, totes and accessories for kids and adults of all ages.

MOBILES

mobilecribPetit Collage have some stunning mobiles for your child’s nursery.  Made in the US from sustainably harvested bamboo, all the images are laser cut and assembled by hand.

I have chosen though, a beautiful white handmade Indian dream catcher similar to this to be hung over our baby’s cot.

98e8d4de0094675b0b541bce17c5d935Sweet dreams baby…….xx

0dfeb4de0501a272e2a6054ee0d9e529♥♥♥

Honey Lemon Sugar Body Scrub

honey+sugar+scrub

  • 1 cup raw castor Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • The juice of 1 Lemon

Conbine ingredients well.   Massage the gorgeously fluffy mixture onto gently into moist skin and then rinse.  I use it in the shower.   Pat dry.  And then moisturise your skin well.  I use organic raw pressed coconut oil on my body and a beautiful organic body butter on my hands, feet and elbows.

The smell of summer.  Yum!

bar-refaeli-beach-beautiful-blonde-girl-Favim.com-125358

Toxic free skin care

“Your body is a temple.”

fenner-1s-800

Your body has the ability to absorb up to two and a half kilograms of toxic chemicals every year through your skin.  So why not make today the day you choose to start in your detox of your bathroom cabinet and your health.

This is the second post in my series on Greening your bathroom cabinet and your health.

So where do you start in your detox of your bathroom cabinet and your health?

The truth is there are some FABULOUS healthy and totally toxic free products out there on the market and for NO more than you already pay for those mainstream toxic bottles of chemicals found in supermarkets, department stores and chemists.  So, where do you go to find these FABULOUS products from companies that are leading the way in healthy, non-toxic skin care and make-up that is world class and that really does work?

I am soooo excited to share my findings with you!!

I can assure you that I am not paid for any of my opinions and that I will only blog about a product I have found that is fabulous.  And a product I have thoroughly tested.  Therefore my results can only contain the products I have been blessed to sample so far.  And I can vouch 100% (to the best of my knowledge) that the products I have listed are toxic free, chemical free and are not tested on animals.

I have been a Jurlique girl for years.  Loving their products.  Loving their ethics.  Loving that they are natural based.  Loving that they are Australian made.  Loving that they are cruelty free.  Loving their recyclable packaging.  Loving how my skin felt whilst using their products.  What I didn’t know was that they still use some pretty harsh preservers in some of their products.  The good thing is that every product lists their entire ingredients, therefore giving you full power as to what you buy.

These chemicals led me on a journey to try and find alternatives to my favourite products, but by no means compromising quality and results.  I would describe my skin as normal/sensitive and pigmented in parts.   As my skin ages, I find that quality and results becomes so very much more important.  It is more than slapping on some cream and heading out the door.  It is about preserving and protecting what I have now, for the future.

Through this blog I have been blessed to have had the luxury of sampling some wonderful toxic free products and have also come into contact with some fabulous online stores that stock them.

Below are the products that I have firmly planted into my new GREEN bathroom cabinet.

So let’s start with the basics.  Our cleanse, tone and moisturise routine.

CLEANSERS

Unfortunately, I can only speak of my results and I have tried numerous cream cleansers over the past few months but no foaming cleansers.  I do have to say I am a “foaming” cleanser girl so I was not sold on any of the products I tried.  Therefore I am not able to make comment on cleansers at this time.

EXFOLIATORS

I “lurve” Sodashi’s Rejuvenating Concentrate.  An oil based steaming exfoliant with lavender, geranium and lemon that you compress onto your face with a wash cloth.  It smells beautiful and opens up your pores so effectively.  My skin feels so supple, fresh, clean and alive after using this product.  Highly Recommended.

My skin also appreciates a manual exfoliant.  I sampled Evohe’s Exfoliant that I really enjoyed but unfortunately I didn’t have enough for more than two scrubs so I cannot vouch for the long term effectiveness on my skin.  With cacao powder and lotus seeds, it is truly a beautiful product.  My skin felt clearer, smoother and lighter and absorbed my moisturiser beautifully!  Highly Recommended.

TONERS

Evohe’s Mist is lovely.  With Colloidal Silver and Vitamin E, this anti-inflammatory mist contains an Australian bush blend of lovely natural scents.

MOISTURISERS

There are three moisturisers that I am loving.  The first is Evohe’s Moisture 24/7 Lite, a really easy moisturiser to wear in humid Australian summer conditions.  Non oily it absorbs well without leaving a layer of residue.  For a little bit more punch, I tried adding a pump of Evohe’s 3.6.9 Omega and also my favourite, Inessence Rosehip Oil.  Both combined really well and gave a little more moisturisation if needed.

The second is Sodashi’s Calming Face and Neck Moisturiser.  For night, I found this product fantastic!  It is great for drier, temperate Australian climates.  My skin felt wrapped, safe and nurtured.

The last product I have been loving is Mokosh’s Light Face Cream.  I recently had a work trip to Taiwan during a bitterly cold Taiwanese typhoon winter.  OMG! It was cold!  To give you an idea, my job is an outside job, so for a week I was exposed to the elements for 8-10 hours a day.  This cream was truly remarkable in the way that it protected my skin from the extreme conditions and kept it moisturised!   This cream was my lifesaver!Since returning home, I have been using this cream instead of my eye cream and I believe it is THE best eye cream I have EVER used!  Highly Recommend.

NATURAL FACE OIL

As you know, I am a HUGE Rosehip Oil fan.  For something a little lighter, there is another oil I have been enjoying and that is Mokosh’s Natural Face Oil for Normal and Combination Skin.  A beautiful blend of unrefined, organic and biodynamic oils, this oil smells beautiful and feels divine.

In my next posts I will share with you some beautiful organic and toxic free body creams and hair care, toxic free make-up brands and removers, organic self tanners and some fabulous online web sites that only sell guaranteed toxic free products.  These stores and their creators are inspirational people!!!  I am sooo proud to be able to share them with you.

xx

Greening-your-bathroom-cabinet-and-your-health/

How-to-detox-your-hair-and-skin/