Thursday, August 21, 2014

Premium Nylon Nut Milk Bag by Everyday Kitchen Essentials: Reviewed

Our family loves using essential oils for everything. We also use natural health and body products when possible. We like oils for skin healing and soothing. My favorite has always been Calendula Oil. Calendula is made from Marigold flowers. Calendula oil is an excellent remedy for soothing and moisturizing dry, irritated, and chapped skin. This oil is gentle enough to be used on children, babies and infants. It works wonders for diaper rashes and cuts in our household. It makes an excellent base for salves, creams and many other natural cosmetics. We make our own diaper rash balm with it and have not had any problems with using with our cloth diapers. My husband uses it for soothing his razor burn on his face when he gets a little too aggressive or in a hurry.

I used to spend about $15 or so (often there was additional cost for shipping) on ONLY 4 oz. of Calendula oil. The crazy thing is, the oil that the Marigolds were infused into was just simply olive oil. Wow, how crazy is that? I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to make my own Calendula. I would know exactly how strong the infusion was, and what oils the petals were infused into and for how long. I have always loved Argan oil as it is a luxurious oil, rich in natural vitamin E, squalene, and fatty acids. It is loaded with other skin (and hair) loving ingredients as well. It is rather expensive, but I want my infused oil to be extra potent in its healing capabilities for myself and my family. I also wanted to add jojoba oil, grape seed oil, and sweet almond oil as they also make for happy skin.

I bought a large 1 pound bag of dried Calendula flowers (only $12 and free "add on shipping). I have enough flowers in this bag for a year or more of use, depending on how fast we go through the oil or salve. I added enough dried flowers to fill a glass mason jar almost halfway. I poured enough oil (mixture of the oils above) to cover them over by 1 inch. I screwed on the lid tight and put this in a sunny window for 4-6 weeks (6 weeks is best). On really hot and sunny days, I let my mixture sun bathe outside.

After the desired curing time has passed, the oil needs to be extracted from the flowers and then put into a dark glass container. I knew just the item to do this. I had been sent a mesh nylon Nut Milk Bag from the Everyday Kitchen Essentials company for review. I was super excited as I knew exactly how I would use the bag. The 10x13 inch bag is designed to strain nutrient rich milk from almonds or other foods such as coconuts or fruit. It is a durable white nylon fabric bag with a rounded bottom and drawstring. This bag easily fits over bowls or jars for easy straining.

I wanted to strain enough oil to put it in a small cobalt blue glass dropper bottle, and planned to save the rest of the oil for further curing/infusing. The longer it cures, the more potent the healing infused oils. I wanted the rest of the oil to infuse another 2 weeks or so. I put on a glove (bonus points for matching the blue glove to my blue glass bottle), put a funnel over the bottle, and the mesh nut strainer bag over the funnel. This is a huge bag, and much bigger than what I needed it for, so I folded down the top part twice to make a smaller strainer bag.

I put a few small scoops of oily herbs in the strainer and used the gloved hand to squeeze out the oil. There was oil loose in the jar as well, but the infused oil squeezed from the oil soaked herbs is the most potent. Once my small blue bottle was full of oil (this happened fast and I lost some precious oil over the sides into the sink from over fill)I wiped up the bottle and it was done. This oil will be used in homemade baby wipes solution, and skin care products.

The Nut Milk Bag has a draw string on it, and I noticed the drawstring is located on the inside rim of the bag, not the outside. I am thinking this makes it easier for putting the bag over a jar or bowl (with the top rim of the bag folded over the jar rim). It did not hinder my use of the bag in any way. I decided to put some extra oil in an amber bottle I had, and will keep that oil in the medicine cabinet to treat cuts, wounds, and general skin irritations.

I have not tried using this bag for making almond nut milk yet, but am seriously thinking about purchasing a second one to have on hand (keep one for herbs and oils and one for food use). The drawstring also would be helpful in securing nuts the bag in while straining. This bag is well constructed and keeps pulp/herbs/seeds out of whatever you are making. I found that this bag cleans easily, especially due to the bottom being rounded. There is no issue with debris getting stuck in square corners. The bag is serged at the end and has a nice hem/seam. It does not appear that this will wear out anytime soon. It worked well for what I needed it for.

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