by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
Do you have more peaches right now than you know what to do with? I do. I must have at least 30 on hand and I have to get to them quick before they go bad. Sure, I can make jams, cobblers and salsas but I think I’m going to use at least one of them in a home spa recipe this weekend, especially since it’s a long weekend and the last one of the summer.
See, I told you I had a lot of peaches. Photo by Maria Koropecky
Peaches originated in China several thousands of years ago and were glorified as fruits of immortality. Because peaches are packed with moisture, vitamins and minerals, they help keep your skin looking young and healthy. If you keep using peaches in your home spa recipes, you’ll notice more elasticity in your skin and you’ll find an improvement in the tone and texture as well. As an added bonus, peaches soothe and cleanse inflamed and blotchy skin, which is good to know if you get a sunburn anytime soon.
And of course eating peaches on a regular basis will help with your digestion and will flush out the system of toxins. Here’s a recipe for a refreshing peach smoothie — perfect for breakfast or as a snack.
- 1 peach, peeled, pitted and chopped — Succulent peaches are brimming with Vitamins A & C which revitalize the skin from the inside and on the surface.
- 1/2 cup plain, 0% yogurt — Cleanses, tones and moisturizes skin and leaves all skin types feeling smooth.
- 1 cup ice cubes — Extends recipe volume and adds a cooling element.
- 1 cup Perrier water — Drinking water hydrates skin and lubricates joints and muscles.
Method: Place the ingredients in a blender and blend into a healthy, smooth, but not too thick, beverage.
Peaches and Cream Shower Sachet
If you’ve ever poured boiling water over peaches to make it easier to release their skin, then you know how fragrant and perfumy peaches can be. No need for fancy equipment here, this is low-tech aromatherapy at it’s finest.
- 1 peach, pitted and roughly chopped — Succulent peaches are brimming with Vitamins A & C which revitalize the skin. Meanwhile the natural AHA’s have a cleansing and exfoliating effect.
- 1 TB cream — moisturizes, nourishes and softens skin.
- 1 TB coconut oil, fractionated — liquid at room temperature, this oil has a light, non-greasy feel and has emulsifying properties.
- 1 tsp ginger, grated — is an ideal addition to bathwater because it’s warming qualities stimulate circulation, which increases blood flow, which helps the body detoxify.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar — sugar granules are mildly abrasive and make sweet alternatives to salt in exfoliating scrubs.
You will also need:
- a blender or a mortar and pestle
- a piece of cheesecloth (or very thin and loosely woven piece of cotton or linen), at least 8″ by 8″
- a piece of ribbon, about 48″ or 2 feet long
Method: Set the brown sugar aside in a bowl. Place the peach, cream, fractionated coconut oil and ginger in a blender (or mortar and pestle) and mix into a pulp. Pour over the brown sugar and stir to combine. You should have a thick scrub. Place the scrub in the center of your cheesecloth and then tie into a bundle with a ribbon or piece of string, leaving enough slack of ribbon to suspend the sachet from the shower head.
Manner: Hang the sachet from your shower head in the path of flowing water and then reap the benefits. Then, remove the sachet from the shower head and use it to further exfoliate your skin by gently massaging it over your shoulders, arms, torso, legs and feet. Rinse your skin and pat it dry. Drink a glass of water after any spa treatments that involve detoxification.
Shelf-Life/Storage: Discard the sachet after use. If you have some leftover, the coconut oil will help preserve this mixture, if it’s unused and kept in the fridge, for a week or so.
Enjoy the peach harvest!
by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
Last week, I was asked to bake some cookies and after leafing through several cookbooks, I chose this recipe from a 1988 version of Company’s Coming Cookies by Jean Paré. I was limited by the ingredients I had to work with (no chocolate chips!) and was happy to be able to include 3/4 of an orange that was already waiting in the fridge. The cookies went over so well, I thought I’d include the recipe on my Homespunspa blog. I’ve made a few adaptations to the original recipe and have re-written the instructions for clarity, otherwise you’ll find the recipe of page 11 of Company’s Coming.
Before you say, “But Maria, it’s January and we can’t have anymore cookies,” I think this one is a fairly healthy recipe as far as cookies go. It has a lot of fibre (with the oats, coconut and orange zest) and cinnamon, which helps curb the appetite, among other things, is really good for you. Just have one or two cookies a day and enjoy every mouthful.
I think these cookies would make a really good spa snack and I plan on baking them often for my customers when I open my new spa sometime in the future. The orange is very aromatic on its own and the combination of orange, coconut, cinnamon and vanilla reminds me of Mexico. So, if you’re aching to get some sunshine into your midwinter, bake a batch of these — it’s like aromatherapy for your taste buds.
Orange, Coconut & Cinnamon Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened — Have you ever tried sculpting out of butter? You might find it fun and relaxing.
- 2 TB grated orange zest (about 3/4 of an orange) — Orange peels enhance a room’s atmosphere when tossed into a fireplace.
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar — To achieve glowing skin, add sugar crystals to your home spa exfoliating scrubs.
- 2 eggs — Are nourishing to skin and make hair smooth and shiny in home spa recipes.
- 1/4 cup of 0%, 1% or 2% milk — Cleopatra’s legacy — home spa milk baths moisturize, nourish and soften skin.
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract — Not only is vanilla relaxing, it’s comforting, and calming and is known as a popular aphrodisiac.
- 2 cups of all purpose flour — You can make homemade play dough from flour to bump up creativity and relaxation in your life.
- 2- 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder — Helps with leavening.
- 3/4 teaspoons of cinnamon — Astringent, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and aah…fragrant. Cinnamon adds a cozy nuance to spicy home spa bath recipes and has documented antioxidant properties.
- 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt — Adding sea salt to a home spa bath is an effective way to quiet the mind and relax aching muscles.
- 1 cup rolled oats — As a home spa ingredient, oatmeal nourishes, softens and cleanses skin. It’s an excellent exfoliator but mild enough for sensitive faces.
- 3/4 shredded coconut — The scent of coconut can whisk you off to a faraway beach.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Grease 2 cookie trays with Pam cooking spray or (as my mother does) with the wrapping paper or foil from the butter or margarine.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter (or margarine), orange zest and sugar with an electric beater or mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the milk.
- In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder and sea salt until everything is evenly distributed. Add the dry flour mixture to the butter mixture a little at a time and blend. With a large spoon, stir in the oats and the flakes of coconut.
- Drop the dough by the healthy spoonful onto the greased cookie sheets, evenly spaced, one to two inches apart.
- Bake on the middle wrack for 8 to 10 minutes. Give the cookies an extra 2 minutes in the oven if they’re big. They’re ready when you can see a golden edge around the bottom of the cookies and when the top of the cookies are firmish to the touch.
If you end up baking these cookies, let me know how they turned out. Also, you can find more recipes like this one in my book, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way, available for purchase through this website.