Yogurt, moisturizer, and sunscreen are easy to make, making them yourself will save you money, and they can all be made in an afternoon.
First, please allow me to apologize for the lack of photos. I got so caught up in my afternoon that I forgot to take pictures. I will provide a much more detailed post for each one of these topics, including picture, in the future. Please check back or sign up for our email updates.
The kids finished school shortly after lunch, which left me the whole afternoon to work outside in the gardens. Then, the rain started and it rained all afternoon.
With my original plans washed away, I decided to turn to some tasks in the kitchen that needed attention. I spent the rest of the day making some much needed items for my family.
Why take the time?
It is also very important to me that we eat healthy, organic food whenever possible and we use products on our skin that promote good health and do not cause harm. Fixed budget with a desire for organic, healthy food and skin care products don’t always work together.
How do I solve this problem? Well, like most everything I do, I make my own. Today I focused on delicious yogurt, natural sunscreen full of beneficial oils, and a rich, moisturizing cream.
Yogurt is so easy to make at home. I prefer to make raw milk yogurt, but our sweet, little Jersey cow, Martha, is currently not producing milk. We are hoping to have a new calf from her by fall and with that will come plenty of creamy, raw milk.
Until then, we are fortunate to live near a local dairy, Hartzler’s Dairy, that produces non-homogenized, low-temperature pasturized, organic milk. This is as close to raw milk as we can get right now and it is not a bad alternative.
Supplies needed to make yogurt
- Stock pot
- Yogurt culture
- Crockpot with a “keep warm” setting
First, I pour a half-gallon of milk into the stockpot. You could make a quart, but we eat a lot of yogurt so a half-gallon makes more sense for us.
Warm the milk to 120 degrees F. Most recipes suggest warming the milk to 180 degrees and letting it cool down to 120 degrees. I skip this step since I want my yogurt as close to “raw” as possible.
By heating to a lower temperature, I am able to preserve more of the “good” bacteria in the milk. Once my milk reaches the correct temperature, I stir in my yogurt culture. You can either use a good quality yogurt as your culture or a pre-made culture such as Yogourmet.
If you choose to use yogurt as your culture, use 3 tablespoons per quart (4 cups). If you use a culture like Yogourmet, follow the directions on the package. Most of the time, one package will culture one quart. In my case, I would double that to 6 Tablespoons or 2 packages of starter culture.
- Now pour the cultured milk into your Crockpot
- Set the Crockpot to the “keep warm” setting and wrap the entire Crockpot in a thick towel
- After about 30 minutes, turn off your Crockpot
- Every couple of hours, turn it back on for about 15 minutes
- Keep repeating this process for 8 – 12 hours
- The cultured milk will thicken, but it will not be as thick as store bought yogurts, which typically contain extra thickeners
- Pour your yogurt into a glass jar, store in the fridge and enjoy
You can also add flavorings and sweeteners if you prefer. We sometimes add vanilla and maple syrup. When your yogurt jar starts to run low, simply use the remaining few tablespoons to start a new batch.
While my yogurt was incubating, I turned my attention to making moisturizer.
I have been making this cream for years. I have sold it at farmers’ markets, given it away as gifts, and it is the only cream I use for myself and my family.
The recipe was originally developed by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar of Sage Mountain. It can be found in Rosemary’s book Family Herbal. With this luxurious cream, a little goes a long way when using it on your face, but feel free to indulge the rest of your body.
Rosemary’s Perfect Cream
- 2/3 cup distilled water (or rose water)
- 1/2 cup aloe vera gel
- 1 to 2 drop essential oil of choice
- Vitamins A and E (optional)
- 3/4 cup almond oil
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon lanolin
- 1 ounce grated beeswax
- Combine the waters in a glass measuring cup. Set aside.
- In a double boiler over low heat, combine the oils. Heat them just enough to melt.
- Pour the oils into a blender and let them cool to room temperature. Note: I have a dedicated blender for this process. It is a bit of a mess to get the blender clean afterwards.
- The mixture should become thick, creamy, semisolid, and cream colored.
- When the mixture has cooled, turn on the blender at its highest speed. In a slow, thin drizzle, pour the water mixture into the center vortex of the whirling oil mixture.
- When most of the water mixture has been added to the oils, listen to the blender and watch the cream. When the blender coughs and chokes, the cream looks thick and white like buttercream frosting, turn off the blender. The cream will thicken more as it sits.
- Pour into cream or lotion jars. Store in a cool location.
Natural Homemade Sunscreen
While I had oils, beeswax and double boilers on the kitchen counter, I turned my energy to making some much needed sunscreen.
With the start of gardening, baseball season, and swimming just around the corner, my fair skinned family needs to be protected from sunburns. We have used this recipe for a couple of years and I have been well pleased. It does need to be re-applied frequently when you are swimming or sweating.
Recipe for homemade natural sunscreen
- 1/2 cup almond oil
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup beeswax
- 2 – 3 Tablespoons of zinc oxide (Use the non-nano version that won’t be absorbed into the skin and do to inhale the powder.)
- 1 teaspoon Red Raspberry Seed Oil
- 1 teaspoon Carrot Seed Oil
- 1 teaspoon Vitamin E Oil
- 2 Tablespoons of Shea Butter
- Combine the ingredients, except zinc oxide, in a double boiler.
- As the water heats, the ingredients will melt. When all ingredients are completely melted, stir in the zinc oxide.
- While it’s warm, pour into glass jars for storage.
- Before use, stir a few times to make sure the zinc oxide is incorporated.
Use as you would any sunscreen. The beeswax provides some water resistance, but I still suggest reapplying often if you are swimming.
A couple of hours of my time yielded us some products that will be good for us and at the same time, I was able to save quite a bit of money by making them myself. Plus it is a lot of fun! A win-win all the way around.