Tag Archives: a natural home

Naturally Healthy, Vegan Banana Bread Recipe

Banana bread.  It’s such a yummy way to use up old bananas; which are actually some of the best bananas nutritionally.  However, brown bananas aren’t always that appetizing.  Enter, banana bread.  Of course, you can use ripe bananas too (like in the photo), but the closer to rotten the bananas are, the sweeter and more flavorful they are, and, as we said, the more nutritionally optimal.

Now, we’ll readily admit that there are a lot of banana bread recipes out there many of which are very tasty.  But, some rely on a lot of refined sugars and are heavy on the fat.  This one we’re going to share here though has some amazing extras that helps it stand out while staying healthy.  Plus, it’s all  natural and totally vegan!

Don’t let those brown, nutrition filled bananas go to waste – use them in this natural banana bread recipe that’s super healthy, vegan; and that the whole family will enjoy.


vegan banana bread loaf on white plateorganic bananas in glass bread baking dishvegan banana bread recipe mix


Naturally Healthy, Vegan Banana Bread Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 3 ripe bananas (1 c)
  • ⅓ C applesauce (or oil)
  • ¼ C lemon juice
  • ½ C maple (or sugar)
  • 1½ C flour
  • ½ C wheat germ
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t baking powder
  • ½ t baking soda
  • 1 C chopped dates
  • 1 C chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mash bananas and mix with lemon juice, and applesauce (or oil).
  3. Add to sugar and mix well.
  4. Combine flour, wheat germ, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  5. Add to banana mixture and stir until combined.
  6. Add dates and nuts.
  7. Spoon mixture into greased loaf pan (4x8) and bake for 45-50 min.
  8. If you'd like to make muffins bake for about 25-30 min


How to Clean Your Dishwasher Naturally

If you have a dishwasher, then you probably know it too needs to be cleaned periodically in order for it to continue to clean all your dishes the way its supposed to.  If you’re someone like me though who didn’t know that, hopefully you found this post before your dishwasher alerted you via its new stanky smell.

Once I “got wind” of the issue so to speak, I tried cleaning out the dishwasher myself with my rag and spray bottle of vinegar water and essential oils.  But, while I did find some funk, the machine still had an odor itself once it was running.

Since I had no more answers, I headed to the “answer box”; AKA the computer.  Everything I read said use bleach.  I really didn’t like that idea.  Most said use just a bit, and it’s no big deal.  But, I figured there had to be a better, more natural way to clean the dishwasher.  So I decided to try and use my tried and true natural cleaning buds, baking soda and vinegar.

Of course, they worked like a charm!  I share what I did so you too can avoid bleach and clean your dishwasher naturally.

  • Wipe down the inside, outside, nooks and crannies of the dishwasher so there’s no visible gunk or grime using vinegar water spray and a rag.
  • Put some baking soda into the soap dispenser.
  • Fill 2 small- medium sized bowls with white vinegar and tea tree oil.
  • Put a bowl of vinegar/tea tree oil water on the top rack of  the dishwasher an done on the bottom in whatever spot you have where it can sit there and have water splash it all around the machine during the cleaning cycle.
  • Set the dishwasher on a short cycle.

baking soda in soap dispenser of dishwasher for natural cleaning

bowl of white vinegar and essential oils to clean a dishwasher naturallyOnce the dishwasher completes the cycle, the smells should be gone.  Depending on the machine though and how dirty it is, it may take a second run through to really work.  Do this regularly (monthly would be good) to keep the odors at bay naturally too and you can easily keep your dishwasher spic and span without using any harsh, chemical ingredients.







Got Wood? Then Cordwood Masonry Might Be the Right Green Building Method for You!

Do you have a wooded property or easy access to cord wood?  If so, then you might want to check out the Cordwood Masonry Method for building a green home, office, spa, chicken coop – or whatever else you’re building!

It’s difficult to pinpoint who “invented” the cordwood style of building.  Also known as cordwood masonry, stackwood construction, and stackwall construction, this style of building has been found as far back as 1,000 years ago in portions of Greece and Syberia.

Cordwood is a very easy, affordable and, depending on where you live, very green method of building a structure.  It can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like, and the style offers a look of natural beauty all it’s own once complete.

This unique building style involves stacking pieces of cord wood, also known as fire wood, as you would bricks, using mortar in between them to seal up the holes and gaps around the logs.  Wherever you can manage to get your own logs, you can build a very eco friendly, natural home with the help of this green building technique.

cordwood home from the 1950s in oregon
Early 1900s Cordwood Masonry home in Oregon


For example, in the United States, Cordwood Masonry became popular in places like Wisconsin, Vermont, and Upstate New York during the Depression because these areas are heavily wooded.  Generally, you need to clear the trees for your home in these locations.  As a result, it becomes quite economical when you can use the same trees you’re cutting for your home site anyway as the building materials for your actual structure.

You do need some time to season your wood which requires planning and preparation, but, in many situations, time is far cheaper than materials costs.  You’ll also need to buy the ingredients for your mortar.

Speaking of which – Experts differ on the exact amounts and combinations of ingredients to use for cordwood mortar, but most recommend a mixture of sand, lime, portland cement, and soaked saw dust.  This is all mixed by hand and applied between each log.

cordwood house at night with recycled glass windows shining
Cordwood house in Del Norte, Colorado showing it’s colors at night via cordwoodmasonry.com


When done correctly these walls offer and exceptional R value and their thermal mass (or ability to absorb heat and slowly radiate it back to the surrounding space) is fantastic.  They also look really really cool inside and out!  Many even incorporate recycled glass bottles, stones, or unique wood ends to add even more style to their finished project.

Want to learn more about cordwood masonry?  There are many wonderful books and even classes you can go to in order to learn more about this building style.  Even novice builders can excel at building their own cordwoood building, but, they should complete a few practice projects first in order to hone their construction skills before delving into a large structure.  To help this along there are also places that facilitate building parties/classes in which participants help build a host’s home.  You get the benefit of experience and they get help with their home.

However you do it, if you have the right property and the right project, cordwood masonry is a green building style that will help you build an earth friendly, natural home or other structure easily.

cordwood peace sign