Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Green Cleaning, Using Essential Oils

Assalamu alaikum Homemakers!

Insha'Allah all is well with you and yours.

I have been researching and experimenting with essential oils for years now. There are a lot of blogs and such online that provide recipes and concoctions but I like to make sure I have science to back it up so I am including some resources for you to learn in depth about the essential oils I recommend. 




I like to use various essential oils for aromatherapy and in green (earth friendly) cleaning products, recently I started incorporating them in homemade toiletries and beauty products. There are so many benefits derived from essential oils (subhan'Allah) its hard to talk about it in just one blog post, I will do my best to write more posts regarding essential oils in the near future insha'Allah :)

In this post I will share with you cleaning recipes using a select few essential oils. I started making my own cleaning products after my fist child was born because I was concerned about the chemicals in most store brought cleaning products.....

The essential oils I tend to use most are...

1. Tea tree oil: Anti-inflammatory, antifungal (general), antimicrobial.
Tea Tree Oil Mayo Clinic info

2. Eucalyptus oil: Topical antiseptic...inhalation therapy for asthma, cough, sore throat.
NYU Langone Medical Center Eucalyptus info

3. Lemon oil: Aromatherapeutic, reduces anxiety, mood enhancer.
Alternative Medicine Expert Lemon info

I bought lavender oil before but was shocked to find it smelled NOTHING like lavender scented products from the store! The essential oil is definitely not as fragrant as I'd hope it to be but beyond the smell lavender does have a lot of uses/benefits, so I may give it another try soon insha'Allah.

Now the three essential oils listed above are my favorite to work with because they are so versatile. Lemon oil is used in my house mainly as a deodorizer, it also neutralizes the scents of the tea tree oil and the eucalyptus (these can be pretty strong in scent although I love the smell of eucalyptus, for beginners balancing the smell may prove beneficial). On to the good stuff, cleaning uses.....

1. Disinfectant Cleaner:
  • 1 part vinegar (don't despair, the smell of the vinegar fade as it dries)
  • 1 part water (distilled preferred but tap water can be used)
  • few drops of tea tree oil (start with 3-5 because the smell can be intense)
I use the above mix to clean hard surfaces in my kitchen and I also use it in my tub to fight mold. If you feel the tea tree is too strong in scent add a couple drops of lemon oil.


2. Floor Cleaner/Mopping 

  • 1-2 tablespoons unscented liquid soap 
  • 4 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 3/4 cup Grapeseed oil, (jojoba oil or olive oil can be used instead)
  • 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 30 drops lemon essential oil
First mix essential oils and liquid soap. Pour mix into a one gallon bucket of warm water, happy mopping!



3. Dusting Spray/Wood Cleaner
  • 4 ounces grapeseed oil, or jojoba oil
  • 2 Tablespoons distilled vinegar
  • 20-30 drops lemon essential oil
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray directly on furniture (in moderation) and buff with a clean, dry cloth!
Please do share any cleaning uses you have for essential oils, I love learning about the possibilities!




Friday, February 20, 2015

Online Inspirations

Assalamu alaikum Homemakers!

Insha'Allah all is well with you and yours.

I wanted to share the names of some Muslims online who I have personally benefited from Alhamdulillah. I have a confession, I don't really like chores, ok maybe that's not such a big confession but it's important for me to find interesting and entertaining ways to help me get through daily chores. One way I do this is by listening to lectures. I try not to play music, TV or movies because I find it more distracting than anything else. So, here are some Muslim speakers I find engaging and helpful, insha'Allah you will too :)



1. Nouman Ali Khan:


This Brother is AMAZING masha'Allah, he gives practical advice, he's funny, and down to Earth. He has a lot of videos touching on so many different topics....insha'Allah in the near future I'll make a "top 5" list of his videos. In the meanwhile here is one of his lectures I found so motivating, particularly as a newly wed (the video quality itself is not too great but the lecture can be very beneficial for married as well as unmarried people).





2. Yasmin Mogahed


This Sister shares so many pearls of wisdom in her lectures masha'Allah. Sister Yasmin has a way of putting things that really causes me to reflect, her analogies are truly thought provoking. I will share one of my favorites here




3. Imam Khalid Latif


Imam Khalid Latif is Executive Director and Chaplain for the Islamic Center at New York University. I find his lectures both entertaining & informative, Imam Latif speaks eloquently, he makes a lot of appearances in the media, most recently he spoke with Katie Couric in regards to President Obama's press release on Feb 18th, 2015. Below is one of my favorite lectures by Imam Khalid Latif.






These are my top three Muslims to listen to. I also listen to Joel Osteen from time to time, I find him to be  a Protestant version of Nouman Ali Khan :) sharing very inspirational and practical words or wisdom masha'Allah. I'd love to hear who you listen to, whether its while cleaning/cooking like me or whenever, who have you benefited from online?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Raw Carrot Cake with Yogurt Frosting



This Raw Carrot Cake tastes just like the baked version (if not Better). Nutritious and delicious, this guilt-free dessert will satisfy any sweet tooth. Refreshing yogurt frosting compliments this cake perfectly and is sure to impress your friends and family. Great for any occasion, this recipe is a true winner!

Raw Carrot Cake Ingredients:

3 cups shredded carrots (about 1 lb.)
8 oz. (about 1 cup) pitted dates
1 cup raw walnuts
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
pinch of salt

Yogurt Frosting Ingredients:

2 cups vanilla flavored Greek yogurt 
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 Tablespoons Maple syrup ( honey, or agave nectar can be substituted)


Method:

for the raw carrot cake

  1. Place carrots in food processor and process for one minute to reduce their size.  Leave carrots in food processor. 
  2. Add all of the other ingredients and process until well-blended.
  3. Press mixture into an 8-inch baking pan and carefully cut into desired portions. 
  4. Cover and place in fridge for at least 4 hours to set. 
  5. Top with Yogurt Frosting just before serving (recipe below).

for the yogurt frosting

  1. Strain yogurt using a cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl, cover and leave to strain for at least two hours or preferably overnight. This step is key for a creamy texture.
  2. Whisk the coconut and Maple syrup together.
  3. Add strained yogurt and whip until well incorporated.
  4. Use a spatula to spread frosting on pieces of cake. Serve immediately.

Suggestion: 

For a smoother frosting, process the 1/4 cup shredded coconut to a finer texture before mixing with Maple syrup.

I'm Back!

Assalamu alaikum homemakers!


Insha'Allah (God willing) all is well with you and yours! I know it's been QUITE a while since I have posted. After the birth of my second child I had to prioritize my efforts and pace myself but Alhamdulillah I am now able to multitask a little more successfully :)

I have big plans for the blog and hope to post a lot more consistently insha'Allah. If you have any topics you'd like me to discuss or any suggestions as to what you'd like to see on the blog please do share!

I really hope to create a community for halal homemakers...whether you work outside the home or not, if you put love, time, and care into your home, in my eyes you ARE a homemaker!

I'd like to thank everyone for reading, please stay tuned for great things to come insha'Allah!

<3 Halal Homemaker


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Halal or Not? Islamic Services of America Info

Assalamu'alaikum,


Happy New Year! I hope 2014 proves to be a positive and productive year for everyone insha'Allah.

I wanted to use this post to help spread information made available by the Islamic Services of America. Below is the link which will take you to their website page providing halal terminology.

http://www.isaiowa.org/Content/Halal-Information/Halal-Education/Terminology.aspx

Another informative link directs the public to different categories such as "Health and Beauty" & "Pharmaceutical" listing their halal compliance....

http://www.isaiowa.org/Content/Services/Consumer.aspx


It's important for us as consumers to make sure we know what we are spending our money on but more importantly what we are exposing ourselves and our loved ones to! Please do take the time to become better aware of such things insha'Allah as I too hope to do so as well :)

Whatever good lies in this post is from Allah (swt ) alone, and any bad is from myself and shaitan.