There are three things you’ll always find on the verge of going bad in my kitchen:
- Sauerkraut, which I’ve made religiously by hand every six months for the last two years, and I’ve never eaten. I buy a cabbage, ferment it, and then forget that it exists. By “forget,” I mean ignore. The idea of sauerkraut is good in theory, but when it comes to actually eating it, well … my sock looks more appetizing. By “looks,” I mean “smells.
- A quarter cup of homemade hamburger helper. We have “hamburger helper” every two weeks or so here, and no matter what, no matter how hungry everyone is or how full everyone is or how many dogs I threaten to adopt to eat our leftovers, we always have exactly one quarter cup of it still in the pan when dinner is over. It’s enough to where you feel a guilty pit in your stomach for even considering throwing it out. But it’s not enough for another meal for one person the next day. So into a glass jar it goes, and in the refrigerator it stays, for three weeks, until my conscience is clear enough to say, “Well, if anyone tried to eat it now, they’d just get sick. Even that imaginary dog. Might as well throw it out.” It’s a system; who am I to change it?
- One mushy, brown avocado. If you want to ripen avocados quickly, you store them in your cupboard for two or so days. And then you take them out and cook with them, or put them in your fridge to slow the ripening process. Unless you’re me. Then, you buy three avocados, even if you only need two, and forget that there’s one in the cupboard for a week. Then, one day you’re filling your water glass, and a little voice from the cupboard goes, “Hey. Hey. If you don’t pay attention to me, I’m going to grow legs and hair, move to Portland, and start an indie band called mono:unsaturated.”
Yes. You can steal that band name.
Anyway, if you’re anything like me – although you’re probably not, because you actually eat your sauerkraut – you’ll have an avocado ready to go for this easy-peasy, food-on-your-hands, super mono:unsaturated hand treatment.
I actually put together this recipe, not because my hands are terribly dry – because it’s 67 degrees in December in Colorado with a relative humidity of 15%, which is like a sauna around here – but because Crunchy Betty is going to be in Vegetarian Times Magazine!
We should see one recipe (using rice) show up in the next issue or two (I think), but that danged incredibly beautiful, tempting and tantalizing magazine invited me back to submit more recipes for the April/May (or April or May, I’m not sure) edition. The moral of the story is, just look for ’em in Vegetarian Times magazine every month between today and, say, July 2015. Just to be safe.
Anyway, this isn’t the exact recipe I submitted along with the recipes to Vegetarian Times. It’s a riff on that recipe, if you will. A drum solo in the middle of the mono:unsaturated’s 15-song set. This particular recipe is meant to be used over the course of three days, for dry winter hands that need extra tender lovin’.
Yes, it is for dry, winter hands – and to ease my guilty conscience about all the over-ripe, mushy avocados in your cabinets, just waiting to be used for practical purpose. Let’s be honest. No avocado really wants to be in a band.
The Lean, Green Avocado Hand Moisturizing Machine Recipe
This recipe, you’ll store in your refrigerator and use twice a day for three days.
It’s quick to mix up, and it’s quick to use, but the results are easy to see – and your hands will soon be back to their mid-summer, dewy and moist (but not in a creepy way) condition. In the middle of winter.
Do, though, be careful with this recipe if you have broken skin anywhere. It might sting a bit. Wait until your skin has healed to apply fresh foods to it, mkay?
Ready to soften your hands, the avocado way? Here’s what you need:
Half of an avocado, olive oil, sugar, and patchouli essential oil.
Slice your avocado in half, and save the pit to throw at an unsuspecting cat. You can skip the last part. But I don’t.
Anyway, you want to mush it as well as you absolutely, possibly can. My avocado was actually a little unripe (gasp), because the overripe one I had in my cabinet had grown hair and legs and was packing its bags for Portland already.
So, my recipe may look a little more lumpy than your does. That just means you’re better than me.
Add in your olive oil and stir, stir, stir until it’s all mixed together.
But be prepared. You’re going to stir a little more. And then a little more. But not any more after that.
Now you add in 4-5 drops of patchouli essential oil, which, despite what everyone says, isn’t just for hippies anymore. It’s actually a warm, cozy scent that makes you want to snuggle with your cat, but he won’t come near you because you threw an avocado pit at him earlier.
Patchouli, by the way, is an excellent essential oil for healing and nourishing dry and/or flaky skin. It also happens to smell divine with the rich, thick, green scent of avocados.
Now you stir in 1/8 c. of sugar. And that’s all you have to do.
Except, of course, you still have to apply it, and that’s SO much easier than making it.
Scrub your hands with the mixture, and let the alpha-hydroxy acids in the sugar soften old, dead skin cells, while the avocado, olive oil, and patchouli essential oil moisturize and nourish your hands underneath. Scrub for a few minutes, and then rinse off well.
Here’s the whole recipe/instructions:
The Lean, Green Hand Moisturizing Machine Recipe
- 1/2 of an over-ripe avocado
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/8 c. sugar
- 4-5 drops patchouli essential oil
Mash the avocado well, until you have a thick paste. Blend the olive oil in completely, and continue stirring as you add the patchouli essential oil. Quickly stir in the sugar.
To use: Over the sink, place a healthy-sized glob of avocado hand treatment in your hands. Rub your hands together, scrubbing every inch, but concentrating on super dry areas. Leave this on for 30 seconds to a minute, and then scrub your hands together while rinsing off under lukewarm water. Finish with shea butter or a moisturizer of your choice. Repeat this treatment once or twice a day for three days.
Put the remainder of your avocado hand treatment in a glass container with a lid, and store in your fridge for up to three days. If the sugar in your avocado hand treatment dissolves too much, just add a bit more sugar before using.
That’s it. You’re done.
Your hands are soft and touchable, and you’ve just saved Portland from one more avocado indie rock band.
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Okay, gonna go make this right NOW! I have the avo, the dry hands, the evoo, sugar, hmmmm no patchouli or cat. Can I borrow the neighbors’ cat?
My cat always forgets about the avocado pit in like three minutes (she’s sweet, fluffy, affectionate, talkative and very pretty, but she’s no Stephen Hawking), so we’re good.
Anything for the half tin of baked beans and the small bowl containing three slices of slightly blackened beetroot?
Now I finally know what to do with that last avocado that is a little past its prime. Wonderfully written post.
I love your blog! I didn’t know you live in Colorado, I’m living in Denver right now 🙂 Do you ever do events or homemade markets? I’d love to drop by if you did!
Hope you’re doing ok haven’t heard from you in a while. This recipe inspired me, and I love your sense of humor!
Where did you go? I miss you!
Hi Betty, this isn’t related to this post but I’ve been going no ‘poo for a while now and all was well but for the past few weeks I’ve noticed my hair gets greasy two days later and I’ve got waxy dandruff. I use the baking soda and water solution. Why is this happening now?
Great post – love your style 🙂
Missing out on my doses of crunchy betty 🙁 hope you are well and coming back soon!
I hope you know that there are people out here thinking of you and wishing you well 🙂
I just made this tonight (minus the patchouli because I don’t have any) and it was AWESOME! Thank you for the recipe, Betty. (And I didn’t toss the pit at the cat but only because he would have eaten it. And then thrown up.)
Miss your posts, where are you?
Yes! Where are you?? I miss your posts!
Any ideas for dry, cracked, painful dishpan hands?? Between having kids and housecleaning and snow Winters my hands take quite a beating.
Another use for the pit – grow it! Stick a toothpick in each side near the pointy part and suspend it in a cup of water. Place it near a natural light source and wait. Keep the cup filled up to the toothpicks. Eventually, the pit will split and shoot a root, then a sprout from the top. You can leave it in water for a bit longer or plant it in soil so that the pit is nearly completely covered. I have one plan that is nearing the ceiling. Not all are as successful and all look different. Some have huge, broad leaves and other have tiny ones. It’s just a fun way to continue to enjoy the avocado.
I miss you. Where did you go? Come back… please. 🙂
I miss you. That is all. 🙂
Have you ever thought about getting a vacuum sealer to prolong the life of your fruit & veg leftovers?
Hey, I know this isn’t really related to this post, but how do I use the vitacost coupon? When I click the link from older posts, it just brings me to the vitacost website but doesn’t say anything about a coupon. I’ve never ordered anything from there before, so I don’t know why it’s not working. Any advice anyone? By the way, I love this blog! I use my tamanu/jojoba moisturizer every night.
I stopped reading after the idiot wrote that about throwing the avocado pit at an unsuspecting cat. Is that supposed to be funny or something? That was totally unnecessary and sick. I hope your stuff flops completely. You’re soulless and selfish, and think you’re witty, but you’re not, at all.
Pat, you need a hug.
Here you go
Throwing a dried avocado pit towards your own pet cat is not the same as hurling it with intent to harm! It’s a bit of fun, & the cat most likely would investigate it, sniff it & maybe even pat it around the room a bit. Yes the comment was a bit silly at best, but certainly not sick. I think you maybe need to lighten up & learn the difference between humour & being serious!
Uh oh guys, PETA’s here.
Don’t be silly folks, cats are NEVER unsuspecting 🙂
Do you buy your lip balm jars from sunburst bottles? Only asking because SOMEONE wiped out all the stock they have, and then I saw speckle n’ smush at your natural market. 😀
Avocado is amazing!
Oh as luck would have it, I have an overripe avocado half sitting in my fridge browning and dry hands! No pachoulli though, I’ll have to find something else…..
Can you suggest another essential oil instead of patchouli? I really dislike that smell.
haha, you’re too funny.
No, no!!! Don’t throw or throw away that pit. Dry it out, chop it up, then whiz it in a coffee/spice grinder until fine and use for…a GREAT exfoliating scrub for your face. Seriously. I keep it in a small container and put just a bit (like 1/2 tsp) on my damp face, gently massage in and rinse. Great to do while in the shower.
Awesome! How do you dry it out? How long does that take? I would totally do this.
I cut it into very small pieces or chips and put them on some aluminum foil or a plate in a sunny window for several days, maybe a week, until they felt completely dry. It really leaves my face feeling so soft after I use it. Enjoy!
Thanks so much! I have got to try this the next time I get an avocado.
Hey Betty, could we use this on our faces? If it’s good for softening skin is there anything to stop facial scrubbage?? I’m keen to have a face that’s oh so soft and touchable…
I don’t see why you couldn’t! I would use a lighter oil than olive oil, like grapeseed or sweet almond oil…That way it won’t clog your pores.
I love laughing when reading about cabbage, hamburger helper and avocados. I live in the Denver Metro area and am amazed at our 72 degree weather. Short and flip flops in December, really? Of course, once 3:30 hits so does the much cooler feeling. Great hand smoothing recipe!
Wild Iris Rose
Another alchemical maestra-piece. Think I’ll use honey & Queen of the Faeries e.o.’s and call it a face mask. Thx. for your Crunchiness. W.I.R.
Wild Iris Rose
Another alchemical maestra-piece. Think I’ll use honey & Queen of the Faeries e.o.’s and call it a face mask. Thx. for your Crunchiness. W.I.R.
I found that eating avocado for breakfast with fruit,nuts, seeds and yogurt is really good for you and tasty. I use the avo left on the peel for a face scrub and when done with breakfast I wash it off and have wonderfully smooth and clean skin.
LOL! I too am guilty of sauerkraut making and non-eating AND buying too many avocados and forgetting about them. Now I have a use for them (and no excuse for crusty hands). Very funny post 🙂
Is there another natural oil that will have a similar effect? I don’t normally have patchouli on hand.
Oh, hey! I just found this serendipitously (mindless internet browsing while waiting for coffee to kick in DOES pay off); this Living Social deal is good for another day – $6 for a year’s subscription to Vegetarian Times: http://www.livingsocial.com/cities/48-colorado-springs/deals/523560-one-year-food-magazine-subscription
Is the patchouli oil essential? (sorry, couldn’t resist) What I mean is, would any oil (i.e. one I already have) work?
To Melissa – I put that spotty brown banana in the freezer and when I have a collection of them I make banana bread, or something else banana-y. They are gross and slimy when thawed but perfect for baking.
Hilarious, well written post! I loved it!
When i learnt how rich avocado can be, i posted ‘Who needs botox, when there’s avocado and EVOO!?! ;D
i use it for hair mask but only sparingly as its tad too rich for my greasy hair, body scrub on those days when i wear bare-back top (my flawless smooth back has drawn more than a few compliments ;)) so yup, tis is a must-have anti-aging smoothener for all crunchy divas ;))
The only setback, i can’t seem to mash it direct from the fruit. I tried but couldn’t rid of the pit nor sufficiently scrape or mash it well. Thankfully i can get mashed avocado spread in the supermarket. More costly than the fruit but its still much lower than those commercial creams and what not ;p
To use the fruit itself (because it’s the most fun experience!), make sure you wait to slice it until when you grab the avocado, you feel it’s a bit mushy and has a soft give to the fruit. Then slice from the pointier top to the bottom and back around (not around the equator). To remove the pit (which is impossible to do if it’s not ripe enough), whack it with a sharp knife so the knife sticks in the pit, and then wiggle it until the pit pops out, still attached to the knife, and then carefully remove the slippery pit from the knife. Don’t slice your hand open! 🙂 You can also use a spoon to scoop the pit out, but the important thing is that the avocado has to be ripe enough to remove it at all.
Hope that helps save you some money, and you have fun working with avocados!
Thanks! Will follow your steps when i feel adventurous ;p
If you don’t mind covering your hands with the avocado (which to me is part of the fun!), you can also peel it and slice around the pit.
Melissa @ thebluehouseblog
Well now I HAVE to go buy three avocados. And if you can tell me what to do with that ONE bad banana I always have (we never, ever eat the last one in the bunch) I’d be grateful.
Freeze the banana in the peel and use it for smoothies!
Peel the overripe banana, freeze, then wait until you have enough to make banana bread! I keep a freezer bag of frozen bad bananas on hand so I can always make banana bread or smoothies (like Traci mentioned). Just don’t freeze the banana with the peel on! That was gross when it thawed.
And for beauty, Betty answered your question in this post!
besides the yummy suggestions, i have tried a banana face mask with yoghurt and cinnamon powder… wonderfully aromatic! And i was pleasantly surprised to find it a great zit zapper! Banana is another great hair mask but personally its just too messy to wash away completely ;o well thank goodness for avocado and coconut milk hair boosters ;D
If you have light hair, mix it with a little mayo and put it on your hair. Use a shower cap and let it sit 30 min. Rinse out, and then shampoo hair. The mayo helps with the shine, but the Banana’s potassium makes light hair’s color become more vibrant.
That sounds awesome! I’m going to buy an avacado especially for this purpose. I might double it and do my feet too. Glad to see you back, I’ve missed your posts.
I have an avocado that is right on the verge of being unusable. Now, I have a jolly use for it. The skin on my hands is pretty dry. Dry enough. Well….I don’t care if they are dry or not, I’m making this TODAY. Thank you!
its a fab hair mask too… very rich so use it sparingly on ends unless you have dry/ frizzy hair ;D
Had enough to do my arms and legs. I feel fabulous. And smooth. 😀