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Favorite Ingredient Friday

DIY: Cranberry & Honey Skin Brightening Mask

Skin Brightening Mask

It’s no secret that the ladies of Brown & Coconut (that’s us 😉 ) just love smearing stuff on our face. We have a super effective DIY cranberry & honey skin brightening mask that can help to give your skin a clear and glowing complexion with just 3 simple ingredients.

Cranberry & Honey Skin Brightening Mask

This mask includes:

  • 10 Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 tbsp Plain Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Honey

This Cranberry & Honey Skin Brightening Mask is great skin brightening maskfor exfoliatingbrightening, moisturizing your skin. It also reduces redness, irritation, itchiness, & inflammation. The cranberry & honey offer anti-bacterial properties which are great for acne prone skin.

Directions:

  • Crush your berries until they are pretty well mashed
  • Mix in the yogurt and honey until completely blended.
  • Spread evenly on your face and leave on for 15-20 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water

Now go enjoy that sparkly new face of yours! 🙂

~ Letisha

10 Health Benefits of Cranberries

Cranberries

We absolutely love cranberries, not only because they are delicious and a holiday favorite, but because they a powerhouse food!

With Thanksgiving around the corner, you’ve got to stay tuned for the awesome recipes coming up! In the meantime, check out why these tart little berries are just so magnificent for our health!

10 Health Benefits of Cranberries

NOTE: It is best  to consume cranberries with minimal processing and little to no sugar in order to receive the health benefits. 

  1. Loaded with antioxidants 
    • Protects cells from damage
    • Protects our bodies from heart disease
    • Anti-aging benefits
    • Can help with acne, eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions
    • Can increase metabolism & improve digestion which can aid weight loss
    • Keeps your immune system strong
  2. Can help fight urinary tract infections (UTI)
  3. Can prevent kidney stones
  4. Fights plaque buildup on teeth and helps with cavity prevention
  5. Can help prevent stomach ulcers as well as stomach cancer
  6. Can lower bad cholesterol levels (HDL) while raising good cholesterol levels (LDL) 
  7. Preliminary research shows cranberries can prevent tumor formation & growth
  8. Helps to improve brain function, memory, and mood.
  9. Good for eye health
  10. Can prevent and treat yeast infections in men and women 

After that list of health benefits, who wouldn’t want more cranberries in their life?

~ Letisha 

12 Surprising Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon has a long history of use, not only as a spice, but as a medicine,where the medicinal properties are actually derived from the oil in the cinnamon bark. Needless to say, there’s more than meets the eye with this warm and flavorful spice; much more. Read on for 12 surprising benefits of cinnamon.

Benefits of Cinnamon:

  1. Anti-microbialBenefits of Cinnamon
  2. Anti-inflammatory
  3. Anti-clotting properties: Can be helpful to those with heart disease
  4. Can potentially regulate blood sugar: by slowing the rate at which contents leave the stomach.
  5. Some studies show it may help type 2 diabetics respond better to insulin.
  6. Boost brain fiction merely by smelling the spice.
  7. Improve your colon and heart health
  8. Increase circulation & metabolism
  9. May help fight cancer cell growth
  10. Shown to alleviate PMS (including cramping/pain)
  11. Can reduce arthritis pain
  12. May reduce cholesterol

It doesn’t stop there however, cinnamon is a great source of manganese and a good source of fiber and calcium. I don’t know about you but cinnamon’s spice factor just went up about 10 notches! 😀

~ Letisha

The Amazing Benefits of Sweet Potato

Benefits of Sweet Potato

Oh, how we love this sweet root vegetable and here’s why:

Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index and are a great source of fiber, beta carotene, iron magnesium, and vitamins B6, C, & E

Just 1 cup (cubed) provides the following:

Calories: 114
Total Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 73mg (3% DV)
Potassium: 448mg (12% DV)
Total Carbohydrate: 27g (9% DV)
Dietary Fiber: 4g (16% DV)
Sugar: 6g
Protein: 2.1g (4%DV)
Vitamin A: 377% DV
Vitamin B6: 15% DV
Magnesium: 8% DV

Rich in antioxidants, this root can help keep your skin healthy and youthful in appearance, while protecting your delicate cells from damage. This also makes them great for helping to protect us from certain cancers and even help stop the reoccurrence of cancer. The high fiber content will keep your digestive system running smoothly while the potassium keeps your muscles working properly, including your heart! Sweet potatoes are also immune boosters, helping us fight off bacteria and viruses while Vitamin B6 in this veggie is said to help relieve premenstrual symptoms.

TIPS:

Organically-grown sweet potatoes are safer since they haven’t been treated with pesticides, choose organic and eat the skin to get more nutrients. If choosing non-organic sweet potatoes, be sure to peel them before consuming.

The best way to achieve the health benefits of sweet potatoes is by steaming or boiling. This method also offers a lower glycemic index, while boiling or baking raises this level. Also, consume a little healthy fat (3-4grams, not too much!) with your sweet potato to help with the absorption of beta carotene.

Don’t forget to check out our recipe featuring this yummy veggie next Friday!

Peace, Love, & Coconuts Sweet Potatoes! (Just kidding! We still love Coconuts!) 😀

– Letisha, Nalani, & Zeena

Super Hydrating Avocado Hair Mask

Suffering from dry, damaged hair? Try a super hydrating avocado hair mask! Avocados are full of vitamins and nutrients that nourish and soften the hair, promote hair growth, treat damaged hair, and prevent hair loss. The best part: avocado hair masks are super easy to make!

You’ll need:

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1TBSP Honey
  • 1 (or 2) TBSP Olive Oil

avocado-74260_640

  1. Start by mashing the avocado in a small bowl. Mix in honey and olive oil. (Feel free to substitute the olive oil for your favorite oil like coconut oil, almond oil etc.)
  2. Apply mixture to wet hair. Allow to sit for 30 mins to 1+ hour.
  3. After desired amount of time, shampoo and condition hair.

Have you tried an avocado hair mask? What are your favorite ingredients to add?

Peace, love & coconuts!

-Zeena

Favorite Ingredient Friday: Simple Kale Mask

Kale is like the goddess of green leafy vegetables when it comes to important vitamins and minerals our body needs to stay healthy and function properly. It is SO good for us! But what about the possible benefits that come from applying this wondrous plant directly onto our face?

simple kale mask

Kale is full of vitamins A and K both of which are beneficial for the skin. Vitamin A reduces wrinkles and helps the skin repair itself, while Vitamin K helps with dark circles. Kale is also full of lutein, a carotenoid, which helps improve skin elasticity and hydrate the skin. Kale is a great way to tighten the skin, treat acne, and leave you with a glowing, radiant complexion!

After reading those benefits, why not try a skin-illuminating kale mask??

To make this SIMPLE mask, you’ll need:

  • 1 Cup Chopped Fresh Kale
  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • ½ Cup Water

Remove the stem from the kale and chop leaves into small pieces, about the size of a quarter.

In a medium size bowl, add the honey and water to the kale pieces. Using a hand blender or a Magic Bullet (or some mechanism to grind the kale pieces) blend the three ingredients until well mixed. The kale is tough to grind so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a thick, creamy mask (that’s not the goal!)

step one

Once you start to see the green liquid, strain the remaining kale pieces and collect the juice in a separate bowl.

step two

final product

Apply the VERY watery mask to a freshly washed and dried face. Leave the kale mask on for about 5 or 10 minutes, just long enough for it to dry. Once dry, simply rinse your face with cool water!

*You may have a bit of mask leftover so you can refrigerate the rest for up to 1 week! Feel free to do this mask 1 or 2 times per week.

Peace, love & coconuts!

-Zeena

DIY: Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is an amazing thing. With so many uses for this product, both internally, externally, and in our homes, it’s obvious why we love ACV. You can learn more about Apple Cider Vinegar by clicking here.

One way to use ACV is for your skin! ACV has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. Therefore, it makes it great for helping to keep you skin clear and healthy.

As I have mentioned in previous posts regarding my sensitive and acne prone skin, I use ACV has an acne treatment, skin detoxifier, and inflammation reducer.

How to use it?

Simply use ACV as a toner. That’s it! A toner is simply a solution (generally in liquid form) that is meant remove excess dirt and bacteria and benefit skin (depending on skin issue). For example for a person with red, irritated skin might want to use a toner (alcohol free) that contains chamomile and rose water to calm the complexion. My recipe ACV toner is super simple!

photo-33

Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

  • ¼ cup distilled water
  • ¼ cup organic unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar

Simply combine the water and apple cider vinegar and put into any small bottle. Apply toner to cotton ball and wipe over entire face (except lips, and don’t get too close to eyes.)

I like to put mine into a mini spray bottle that I got from the drugstore, so I can spray onto a cotton pad or directly to my face and back. I only apply this toner at night because you will smell slightly like vinegar, so it may be best to just stay home when you apply.

ACV has helped so much with breakouts, and made my pores smaller, while giving my complexion an overall cleaner appearance.

It is also worthy to note that I find much better results using the unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar. Many medicinal properties of ACV can be reduced or destroyed by processing (i.e. becoming white vinegar or clear brown apple cider vinegar.) Be sure to look for a bottle that says “unpasteurized” and refrigerate if necessary.

– Nalani

Favorite Ingredient Friday: Apple Cider Vinegar!

A new month means a new favorite for Favorite Ingredient Fridays. For the month of April, our favorite ingredient is..

Apple Cider Vinegar!

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used for thousands of years and primarily for its apple cider vinegarmedicinal properties and as a condiment for food. In many regions in the United States and around the world ACV is being reintroduced to populations and praised as an all-in-one health promoter.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

This great ingredient is made from exactly what you think…apple cider. Apples are crushed and strained to produce a cider which is then fermented. The result is a health beneficial acidic product.

Why is Apple Cider Vinegar so great?

There are many reasons!

First, ACV possess anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. This is why for thousands of years it has been used for preventing or treating illness such as the common cold to more severe ailments such as cancer.

Many of the benefits of ACV are believed to stem from its ability to balance the body’s pH. When in the body, the vinegar produces malic acid and acetic acid which makes the body become alkaline (pH level 7.35 to 7.45). It is good to have your body be in this alkaline range because if it is too acidic or basic then it can lead to a variety of health issues such as formation of kidney stones (this also depends on the foods you consume and your lifestyle).

The second reason that ACV is so great is that it can be used so many different ways in order to treat a number of health ailments and provide health benefits. Vinegar has been used for:apple-5764_640

  • Personal Care:
    • Acne treatment
    • Weight Loss
    • Dandruff relief
    • Immune system booster
    • Allergy relief
    • Acid Reflux
    • Detoxifier
    • Inflammation reduction
    • Whiter teeth
  • Home Care:
    • Bathtubs
    • Toilets
    • Floors
    • Laundry

Here are some other great resources for Apple Cider Vinegar…

Check back every Friday this month to learn about our favorite ways to use this natural magical ingredient!

– Nalani

Coconut Curry Noodle Soup!

So this month’s Favorite Ingredient is the lovely coconut! As a reminder, the 1st Friday of every month, we will reveal our favorite ingredient for that month. Each following Friday for that month, we will feature a recipe using that favorite ingredient! Today we’d like to share a recipe for Coconut Curry Noodle Soup!

Try out this YUMMY vegan recipe. And remember, peace, love, and coconuts!

coconut curry noodle soup

Recipe: Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

coconut curry noodle soup

  • 8 oz Brown rice noodles
  • 3½ cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1.5 oz Thai curry paste
  • 1 13.5oz can coconut milk
  • 2 cups sliced bell peppers
  • 1 cup roughly chopped mushrooms
  • 1 handful of cilantro

In a large pot, place coconut oil and allow to coat bottom. Add in bell peppers and mushrooms, and sautee for 1 minute.

coconut curry noodle soup

Add in coconut milk, then curry paste, then vegetable broth.

coconut curry noodle soup

When at a simmer, add in brown rice noodles .

coconut curry noodle soup

Stir and let cook for 10 minutes. When you’re about to serve, add in cilantro. And now it’s ready to enjoy.

coconut curry noodle soup

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 534
Total Fat: 5g
Saturated Fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 491mg
Total Carbs: 37g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 4g
Protein: 2g

ENJOY!!

– Nalani