Top low-tox baby products

I am so thrilled every time I hear from a friend who wants to low-tox their home. Although we often decide we want an immediate change, please be mindful of wastage – if you can longer tolerate a product, can you pass it on to a family member or friend rather than throwing it out?

As a family with a 7 year old, 5 year old & 5 month old, I am conscious of not only what they eat, but what goes onto their skin & into their body by other means.

Low-tox baby wipes – Tooshies by Tom are my absolute favourite, with the added bonus of being compostable.

Low-tox baby moisturisers. I use a few different ones – as a side note, I embrace minimalism but a couple were given by friends as gifts so I also use these on myself:

  1. Wotnot baby lotion – contains no sulphates, petrochemicals, parabens, caustics, glycols, artificial fragrances or preservatives.
  2. Thank-you baby lotion – contains no SLS, SLES or parabens. Contains avocado oil, rosehip oil, marshmallow & chamomile.
  3. Weleda calendula cream – even the smell makes me feel calm with light notes of lavender, but also a soft sweetness.

Talc-free mineral powder: Little Innoscents. I’ve been using this on my 5 mmonth old since the day she was born & she has never once had nappy rash.

Compostable bamboo toothbrushes. How many toothbrushes does your household throw out each year to contribute directly to landfill? You can buy these in brown paper packaging through Nourished Life.

Toothpaste: Little Innoscents Milky Whites organic toothpaste – I’ve added a photo comparing this toothpaste to a standard supermarket purchased Colgate kids toothpaste. Until recently, I had never read the ingredients of kids toothpaste – perhaps as I regarded it as an “essential” product & wasn’t aware of the alternatives.

Baby bottom cream: Bubba Organics – proudly contain no parabens, petrochemicals, sulphates (SLS), mineral oils, synthetic fragrances or colours. It does contain delicious ingredients including aloe vera juice, olive fruit oil, shea butter , goat milk, lavender & rosemary.

Compostable nappy bags: Wotnot

A few other things to note – it can be a hard balance to choose something sustainable, ethical, local, environmentally friendly & low-tox. Have a logical think before you make your purchases – for example, my baby has been given all hand me down clothes. They are not all from the most ethical producers however I feel that as they have been purchased & already worn by at least 2 children, it would be more sustainable for her to wear them than to buy something new that she will only get a few wears out of before she grows into the next size.

Low-fructose vegan caramel slice

VEGAN | GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | CANE SUGAR FREE | LOW FRUCTOSE

Yep, that’s right – a low fructose caramel slice that contains no gluten, dairy, cane sugar or dates.

BASE
1/3 cup almond meal
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Sprinkle of vanilla powder
Sprinkle of salt
The base doesn’t need any sweeteners as the ‘caramel’ & chocolate layers contain no-fructose rice malt syrup. The coconut oil binds the almond meal

CARAMEL LAYER
1/3 cup almond butter
1/4 cup coconut yoghurt (I used coyo)
1 tablespoon rice malt syrup (I always use Pureharvest)
1 tablespoon coconut oil

CHOCOLATE
1/3 cup cacao
1/3 cup coconut oil OR cacao butter OR a combination – personally I prefer cacao butter to coconut oil in home made chocolate; it also works better as it has a higher melting point so won’t melt on those hot summer days.
1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
1 tablespoon tahini (not essential if you don’t have it, just gives it a ‘creamy’ texture)

  1. METHOD
    For the base, simply mix the almond meal, melted coconut oil, vanilla powder & salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Press the mixture into a vessel of your choice lined with baking paper – I recommend a square or rectangular glass dish in order to cut it easily. The one I used was approx 14cm x 14cm. Then pop this into the freezer
  3. For the middle layer, pop the almond butter & coconut oil into a small pan & put on the lowest heat. Warm it up until it mixes easily. Turn off the heat & stir through the coconut yoghurt & rice malt syrup. Using a spatula, spread this over the almond meal layer & pop back in the freezer
  4. Wait one hour or longer for the caramel layer to set in the freezer, then make the chocolate layer: in the same pan (don’t worry if there are some dregs of the caramel) – on a low heat, mix cacao, coconut oil/cacao butter, tahini & rice malt syrup until well combined. Pour the mixture onto the caramel layer & you guessed it, pop it back in the freezer for about one hour.

RASP-NANA Thermomix Muffins

VEGETARIAN | GLUTEN-FREE | NO  ADDED SUGAR |  CONTAINS NUTS | THERMOMIX RECIPE

Although this one is not lunchbox friendly (contains almond meal), it’s a great breakfast on the run or a nutritious afternoon tea for little people. My 7 year old loved these & usually he is quite fussy with my healthy treats!

INGREDIENTS
1 cup (105g) almond meal
1/2 cup (60g) buckwheat flour [I buy a 1kg tub from About Life, or from Naked Foods]
1 medium (100g) banana
100g organic natural yoghurt
2 (110g) organic eggs
75g cooked organic apple [you could substitute this for an alternate fruit like pear, or just add more banana]
1 tbspn coconout oil
1 cup berries [I used frozen raspberries but mixed berries also work a treat]
2 tspns vanilla powder [I have been using Heilala brand for a couple of years & love it]
1 tspn aluminium-free baking powder [I use Honest to Goodness]

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius
  2. Throw the banana, yoghurt, eggs, apple puree, vanilla powder & coconut oil in the thermomix. Set the timer for 7 seconds, speed 4
  3. Add the almond meal & buckwheat flour. Set to reverse, speed 2 for 10 seconds. Check it is well combined
  4. you have the option of putting in berries evenly into each muffin case or putting the whole mixture into a bowl & stirring through the berries.
  5. Throw in the oven for 35 minutes 

    I also found this an easy snack while breastfeeding seeing as I still (after 3 children) cannot coordinate eating with a fork while feeding…

Thermomix banana & carrot buckwheat loaf

VEGETARIAN | GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | NUT-FREE | JERF

I have posted a couple of variations on this loaf, but here’s another one for Thermomix users. It is a great loaf for school lunchboxes (nut-free), with enough sweetness, but of course no added cane sugar, dates, agave or maple syrup. It also consists of only 7 incgredients, all of which I have at home almost all the time. If you’re not making it for school, you can sub in almond meal.

150g (approx 2 small) carrots, chopped into 4 equal sized pieces
250g (approx 3 small) bananas, cut in thirds
1.5 tspns vanilla powder (I recommend Heilala – no added sugar)
150g (1 cup) buckwheat flour
1 tspn aluminium-free baking powder
150g (approx 3) organic eggs
2 tbspns coconut oil

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius
  2. Put carrots, bananas, vanilla & coconut oil in the Thermomix – set to speed 6 for 10 seconds. The mix will be basically a puree [this may or may not be delicious by itself]
  3. Add the 3 eggs, blend 5 seconds on speed 3
  4. Add the buckwheat flour & baking powder. Set to reverse, for 7 seconds on speed 4
  5. Pour whole mixture into a loaf tin
  6. Put in the oven & set the timer for 40 minutes

Note on oven temperature: as nice as it would be that all ovens are actually the temperature they say they are, there is variation. Set for 35 minutes & check if preferred.

If you’re enjoying a slice yourself, I highly recommend slathering it in almond butter

Thermomix mayonnaise

VEGETARIAN | DAIRY-FREE | NUT-FREE | GLUTEN-FREE

Knowing I can whip up mayonnaise in less than 2 minutes is dangerous for me. In the past I just didn’t buy it because I would use up a whole jar in days. Yup.

INGREDIENTS
250g rice bran oil – you will see it written everywhere you look at mayonnaise recipes, do NOT use olive oil – it actually doesn’t taste nice [yes, of course being the stubborn person I am, I tried it]
1 egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon
2-3 teaspoons organic Dijon mustard [I err on the heavy handed side when it comes to mustard]
1/2 teaspoon salt

METHOD

  1. Throw the egg, mustard, lemon & salt in the thermomix. Turn to speed 4 & set the timer for 2 minutes
  2. Slowwwwwwwwly tip in the oil, I take over a minute to tip it all in
  3. When the timer’s up, spoon it out & put it in the fridge. Or don’t. Dip your sweet potatoes in it. Mix your tuna with it. Split it into 4 smaller jars & add different flavours [wasabi / turmeric / chilli / dill]. Use it as a salad dressing. Have it to accompany your salmon fillet. It’s great on a salad sandwich in place of cheese. Mash up a hard boiled egg with some & add some curry powder. Just don’t blame me when you become addicted.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
Only stays fresh for a week, refrigerated at all times – after 7 days, throw it out
Raw eggs are not recommended for pregnant women. I am not a Doctor, or Nutritionist. If unsure, do NOT consume this during pregnancy

Finally, another reason why this gets a big thumbs up is: purchase one less processed food from the supermarket, less packaging.

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petroleum in cosmetics

The saying “knowledge is power” has really rung true for me in the last year. I feel that learning everything I did through my studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition has helped me to reform my life & make so many different decisions moving forward.

Let’s talk about petroleum. Use vaseline? petroleum based. Use Vicks on your kids? Also petroleum.

What is petroleum? It is a fossil fuel produced by the earth over millions of years, from the breakdown of animal & plant remains. So maybe it doesn’t sound so bad when you put it like that, but there are many reasons it is bad:

  1. Some contain hormone disruptors, potentially causing cancer
  2. Can clog your pores, potentially causing blackheads & acne
  3. Your skin absorbs the products, then going into your bloodstream

How do I know if my cosmetics contain petroleum derivatives? Just like with sugar, Companies like to use big words that we often skim over, here are some: benzene, butanol, names with butyl, diethanolamine, ethanolamine, ethanol, ethyl, methanol, methyl, mineral oil, parabens, paraffin wax, phenoxyethanol, propyl including isopropyl, toluene & words ending in “eth” such as laureth, myleth, oleth.

So how do we avoid these products? First of all look for products that are labelled “Free from [all the ingredients listed above – eg laureth sulfates]”.

Second of all, what would happen if all consumers stopped buying cosmetics with petroleum derivatives? That’s right, companies would refine their ingredients.

Every dollar you spend, is a vote, and a form of activism – when I buy organic apples, it’s encouraging that Farmer to grow more. When I support a company that doesn’t use petroleum/mineral oils, they produce more. When I buy nappies produced with a sustainable contents, this is a vote for them AND a vote against the conventional nappies. When I buy compostable bin liners, I’m increasing their market & decreasing the demand for non-degradable plastic bags.

broccolini & sweet potato quiche

I loved making a simple quiche, but I never seem to have the same ingredients in the pantry so it is different each time. This is also the first time I’ve prepped in the Thermomix.

CRUST
1 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 organic egg
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white chia seeds
1 tablespoon thyme (can replace with parsley or rosemary)

  1. Turn the oven to 170 degrees celsius
  2. Blend all ingredients on reverse speed 3 for 10 seconds
  3. Put in a pie tin & set a timer for 15 minutes

FILLING
3 stalks (approx 130g) broccolini
1/2 small (approx 85g) sweet potato
6 organic eggs (aprox 340g)

  1. While the pie crust is cooking, throw broccolini & sweet potato in the Thermomix for 10 seconds on speed 4
  2. Add in the eggs & put on reverse speed 3 for 5 seconds
  3. When you remove the pie crust from the oven, turn the oven temperature up to 180 degrees
  4. Slowly tip the egg & vegetable mixture into the pie tin. Set the timer for 25 minutes.