I've starting putting aside some soap recipes that include different kinds of food (and beverages!) because, well, mostly I like the idea of it. And some do lend some nice properties to soap too! So I am starting a little "Food In Soap" series to show you what I am up to, and how it turns out!
I decided to start with a hot process batch using pumpkin. For it I bought a can of pumpkin, not fresh. I'd have no idea where to find one this time of year, besides the canned stuff is just easier. And cheaper I imagine. I checked the ingredients to make sure I was just getting straight up pumpkin, no spices or sugars or additives.
I used a different recipe for this batch, using only lard and olive oil. My required distilled water amount was 12 ounces, so I used 10 ounces of the pumpkin plus two ounces of water to thin it out a bit. I added my lye to this mixture. It stunk. I've learned by now that is pretty well expected when you add lye to anything besides just plain water. So be ready. (Coffee is the worst by far!)
|The pumpkin and lye mixture|
Just in case, I put the container in the sink and ran cold water into it (the sink, not the pyrex!) to keep it from getting incredibly hot and scorching or turning brown. Not sure if that is possible, but I know it can happen with other things, so I took the extra precaution.
After I stick-blended this together with the melted lard and olive oil in the crock pot, I turned it on to low to cook to the right consistency and pass the zap test (sticking your tongue to some batter: you get shocked, you keep cooking till you don't!). For me, this usually takes anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half.
While it was cooking, the mixture separated, which basically means it kind of started to curdle. I was prepared for this from reading up on pumpkin soap, and had my stick blender nearby to mix it all back together. After that, it behaved itself. (Sorry no picture!)
|Absinthe fragrance oil from naturesgardencandles.com|
After it cooked through, I removed it into another bowl to cool and used a fragrance with a high flash point, so it wouldn't essentially burn off and not really smell at all. The fragrance I picked was one of the smaller 1 ounce bottles that I recently got in the mail called Absinthe (yes, like the alcohol!). It turned out to have a very spicy and warm aroma, so I thought that would be perfect for pumpkin.
It smelled great, but definitely more of a fall season sort of soap. I'll hang on to the idea for later in the year I think.
Overall, I wasn't very happy with this lard/olive oil recipe and won't be using it again. The lather was pretty pathetic unless I scrubbed the heck out of it with a washcloth, and I just didn't like the texture of the soap much. It is to be noted that I was supposed to add 2/3 cup of sugar at the end of cooking and forgot, so that might have made a bit of difference I suppose! (doh!) I probably won't be wasting the materials to find out any time soon though.
Here is the finished soap. It does look pretty smooth! And a great color too, without having to add any pigments. As far as any skin nourishing benefits with pumpkin, I don't think there really is any. It's more of a novelty I suppose.
Next up in the Food in Soap series: Coconut Milk!