Simple & Natural Soapmaking (Page Steet Publishing, 2017)by Jan Berry presents 50 easy, unique soap recipes with ingredients and scents inspired by the herb garden, veggie garden, farm, forest and more. Beginners can join in the sudsy fun with detailed tutorials and step-by-step photographs for making traditional cold-process soap and the more modern hot-process method with a slow cooker.
Loaded with vitamin A and other powerhouse nutrients, real pumpkin puree gives soap a natural hint of yellow-orange color. Ground oats help soothe irritations or itchiness, while honey boosts bubbles and adds extra nourishment. Cocoa butter not only protects skin, but also results in a harder bar of soap. Both almond and sunflower oil work equally well in this recipe to help nourish and condition. I left this soap unscented so it would be suitable for sensitive skin types, but you could also choose to add essential oils for natural fragrance.
Yield: 7 to 8 bars of soap (2.5 LBS)
- 6.5 oz (184 g) distilled water
- 3.9 oz (111 g) sodium hydroxide (lye)
- 2.5 oz (71 g) pumpkin puree
- 7.5 oz (213 g) coconut oil (26.8%)
- 4 oz (113 g) cocoa butter (14.3%)
- 13.5 oz (383 g) olive oil (48.2%)
- 3 oz (85 g) sweet almond or sunflower oil (10.7%)
- 1 tbsp (7 g) rolled oats, ground to a very fine powder
- 1 tsp (5 ml) honey mixed with 1 tsp (5 ml) water
- Wearing protective gloves and eyewear, carefully stir the lye into the distilled water. The lye solution will be more concentrated than normal lye solutions to compensate for the added moisture of the pumpkin puree, so be extra sure that the lye is completely dissolved before proceeding. Set the lye solution aside in a safe place to cool for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the temperature drops to around 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the coconut oil and cocoa butter, then add to the other oils. Using the immersion blender, thoroughly blend the pumpkin puree into the warm oils. Combine the pumpkin and oil mixture with the cooled lye solution. Using a combination of hand stirring and an immersion blender, stir the soap until it reaches light trace.
- At trace, stir in the ground oats and honey until thoroughly combined. Pour the soap batter into a prepared mold. Cover lightly with a sheet of wax or freezer paper, then a towel or light blanket. The natural sugars found in honey and pumpkin may make the soap heat up more than normal. Peek at the soap every so often; if it starts developing a crack, move it to a cooler location. Keep the soap in the mold for 1 to 2 days, or until it̕s easy to remove, then slice it into bars when it̕s firm enough not to stick to your cutting tool. Cure on coated cooling racks or sheets of wax paper about 4 weeks before using.
Both canned and homemade cooked puree will work well in this recipe. No pumpkin handy? Try butternut squash puree as a replacement.
Instead of cocoa butter, try an equal amount of kokum butter, tallow or lard. The lye amount will remain unchanged.
More from Simple & Natural Soapmaking:
- Troubleshooting the Soapmaking Process
- Lavender Chamomile Shampoo and Body Bars
- How To Handle Lye Safely
Excerpted from Simple & Natural Soapmaking by Jan Berry. Copyright © 2017 (Page Street Publishing. Used by permission of the publisher.