Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe

homemade sugar scrub recipe with chocolate and coffee

By Stacy Karen, contributing writer

Coffee and cocoa are a delightful combination when it comes to a warm beverage. Turns out, it’s a great mix for natural body care, too!

Body scrubs are a fantastic way to remove dead skin cells and brighten skin, giving it a more youthful and vibrant appearance and a softer smoother feel. Body scrubs are also invigorating and enjoyable to apply.

Most body scrubs are made by mixing two parts sugar and one part oil. This creates an excellent and effective sugar scrub, but today I want to share a different method of preparing body scrubs that makes them even more nourishing and unique.

Instead of using oil alone, we will be adding cocoa butter. (Other butters would also work well too, but will have different consistencies due to varying degrees of softness/hardness.)

Cocoa butter is a solid butter, so it needs to be melted prior to mixing with the sugar. This adds a little extra work, but I think you’ll find it worthwhile.

By using cocoa butter in the place of oil, we are creating a body care product that is both exfoliating and extremely moisturizing. Cocoa butter also helps the scrub hold together much better than when using oil alone.

This simple coffee sugar scrub recipe would make a wonderful gift.

If you don’t enjoy the smell of coffee, simply leave it out. The scrub will still be successful and luxurious.

homemade sugar scrub recipe with chocolate and coffee

Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe

(this post contains affiliate links)

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 ounces coconut oil (where to buy)
  • 2 ounces avocado oil (where to buy --can be replaced with grapeseed, sweet almond, or sunflower oil)
  • 1.25 ounces cocoa butter (where to buy)
  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee beans
  • Seeds of one vanilla bean (optional) (where to buy)
  • Ice (for cooling cocoa butter after it has melted)

coffee cocoa scrub ingredients


Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.… [Continue Reading]

Homemade Peppermint Patties

homemade peppermint patties -- a healthier version made with coconut oil!

The chore list of a busy homestead mom:

Making sure the animals are fed and watered? Check.

Making sure the kids are at least partially clothed? Check.

Making sure there is something semi-edible on the table for supper? Check.

Making sure the floors are mopped? Probably not…

Making homemade candy? Yeah right.

I don’t have the patience to make homemade candy anyway– the incessant stirring, the monotonous dipping, and those darn candy thermometers. Too tedious for me.

However, there are a few exceptions to my rule: homemade tootsie rolls and these knock-your-socks-off homemade peppermint patties.

homemade peppermint patties -- a healthier version made with coconut oil!

Seriously guys– if you are even just slightly enjoy York® peppermint patties, you must try this healthy peppermint patty recipe I’m sharing with you today. You MUST.

When I say healthy, I’m referring to the fact they use honey and coconut oil in the filling, instead of powdered sugar and corn syrup like most homemade peppermint patties.

But the crazy part? YOU CAN’T TELL. Even my hubby, who has finely-tuned radar when it comes to my “healthy” substitutions in dessert recipes, was blown away when I told him these little patties-from-heaven were made with coconut oil.

(this post contains affiliate links)

homemade peppermint patties -- a healthier version made with coconut oil!

Homemade Peppermint Patties (Healthy Version)

Makes 12 patties


With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla until very smooth.

Drip in the peppermint essential oil or extract. Taste as you go to make sure you are satisfied with the level of mintiness.

Place this mixture in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to allow it to slightly harden (It will be far too sticky to handle at this point.)

Once the mixture is firm enough to handle, divide the coconut oil mixture into 12 portions, and roll them into small balls.… [Continue Reading]

Raising Pigs: Pros and Cons

raising pigs - pros and cons

By Heather Jackson, contributing writer

I blame Craigslist.

A year ago we added a new adventure to our lives when we responded to an ad on Craigslist and went to pick up three cute, squealing, pink pigs from a nearby farm to add to our homestead.  While we have thoroughly enjoyed having pigs on our little farm and having the pork in the freezer, owning pigs isn’t for everyone.  Here are some pros and cons to consider before you make the leap into raising pigs.

Homestead pigs

Raising Pigs: The Pros and Cons

Pro:  With pigs on our homestead, we have zero food waste.  Like, ever.  The pigs eat all food scraps we throw their way.  We scrape our dishes into the “pig bucket” that sits on our kitchen counter.  We also pour in leftover milk, stale cereal, and whey from cheese making.  Basically, if it’s edible (not moldy) they will love it.  This keeps the cost of feeding them very low for animals so large!

Con:  Pigs eat a lot, which means that pigs poop a lot.  While they are much cleaner than we are often lead to believe, their pens can really stink on a hot day!  They generally designate a corner of their pen as the restroom, which seems rather civilized, but is still quite smelly when you are downwind.  If you have close neighbors, they might have well-founded objections to your pigs.

Pro:  Pigs are smart!  Some are even sweet and friendly and interacting with a friendly pig can be a delightful experience.

Con:  Pigs are smart!  They can figure out ways to escape their pen and once they do, they are difficult to catch!  They will need a strong enclosure, likely electrified, in order to keep them where you want them. (Jill: TRUTH. You should see what our pigs did to our front yard this summer…) 


vertical pig pic

Pro:  Pigs are fun to watch.  … [Continue Reading]

Eggnog Recipe

homemade eggnog recipe

As a kid, I was absolutely certain…

I was taking my own life into my hands every time I would eat raw cookie dough.

My mom did a very thorough job of scaring us silly about the life-threatening dangers of raw eggs. Sad to say, it didn’t stop my sister and I from pinching off bits of dough when she wasn’t looking…

Without fail, I’d get a stomachache an hour or two later (Not from the raw eggs, but rather the raw sugar and flour. Or maybe the guilty conscience.) and I would lie there, positive I was going to die a slow death as a result of my forbidden nibbling.

Therefore, thanks to my cookie-dough experiences, I was leery of drinking eggnog for quite a while. Not the store-bought stuff, as that’s always thoroughly pasteurized (and full of other junk, of course), but rather any raw eggnog recipe I would see floating around.

eggnog recipe

Risks of Eating Raw Eggs

Becoming a homesteader has turned me into quite the risk-taking rebel… First raw milk, and now homemade eggnog made with raw eggs. What can I say… we like to live on the edge around here…

However, as I’ve learned more about food production and fresh foods, my fear of raw eggs has decreased significantly. Especially if said eggs come from healthy pastured chickens, like the ones we raise.

According to Dr. Mercola,

“The salmonella risk is increased when hens are raised in unsanitary conditions, which is extremely rare for small organic farms where the chickens are raised in clean, spacious coops, have access to sunlight, and forage for their natural food. Conventional eggs, making up the vast majority of eggs in typical grocery stores, have an increased risk for salmonella, which is why I advise against eating conventional eggs raw.

[Continue Reading]