6 Multi-Purpose Foods for Cooking, Cleaning & Body

by | Aug 12, 2021 | Lifestyle

I love a good multi-purpose item. Here are 6 multi-purpose foods you can use for cooking, cleaning, or body!

I love a good multi-purpose item that can be used for more than just one thing. So I’m pretty darn excited to share 6 foods you can use for cooking, cleaning and body in today’s post.

These are great ways to get the most use out of these foods, especially if you already have them lying around in your pantry or kitchen (which I bet you do!)

Let me know if you use any of these items or if there are other versatile foods you’d add to this list. Keep reading or watch my video below:

1. Arrowroot/Corn starch

Starches like arrowroot, corn, or even tapioca have several uses. I personally like using arrowroot starch.

As a thickener: starch works great for thickening sauces, gravies, or stews. Be sure to mix with cold water before adding to hot liquids because it has a tendency to clump!

Baking: to add a doughy stretch to gluten-free baking, mix in some starch. It pairs especially well in combination with almond flour and coconut flour, like in my Carrot Cake Muffins.

Dry shampoo: If you’re used to using store-bought dry shampoo in aerosol cans, you have to give this a try! Starches work wonderfully for absorbing oils and grease in your hair. Simply sprinkle some onto your hands and fluff through your roots. If you have dark hair, add some cocoa powder.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is good for so many kinds of things. I like the aluminum-free baking soda by Bob’s Red Mill.

Baking: baking soda is a staple for… baking! It helps baked goods rise. I always have some in my pantry for this purpose!

Deodorizer: baking soda makes a fantastic refrigerator deodorizer. We like to buy a box of Arm & Hammer’s baking soda to keep at the back of our fridge to help absorb odours. We just change it every few months.

DIY Deodorant: speaking of odours, baking soda is a common ingredient in homemade deodorants. Learn how to make your own DIY deodorant here. Just be aware that baking soda can irritate the skin, so take note of the amount that works best for you.

Cleaning: did you know that you can use baking soda for cleaning your home? It works so well in sinks and sparkling your drains. Sprinkle some into your sink, add a dollop of soap and water and scrub! Your sink will be so shiny and clean.

3. Vinegar

Both apple cider vinegar and distilled white vinegar are very versatile foods. Here are some of my favourite ways to use them:

Salad dressings: apple cider vinegar is a staple in my pantry for salad dressings, like for making my Easy Thyme Vinaigrette.

Digestion: add 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water to aid digestion and help heartburn too (however, please speak to your doctor if you have any concerns here!)

Hair Conditioner: believe it or not, apple cider vinegar will make your hair so soft! To give this a try, mix 1:1 with water in a spray bottle and spritz generously into your hair after you’ve shampoo’d. Then rinse it out!

Deodorizer: yep, vinegar can also be used as a deodorizer. My mom taught me this one! Simply pour vinegar into a bowl and place into the desired rooms in your home to absorb odours or reduce musty smells.

Glass Cleaner: Use a 2:1 ratio of vinegar to water in a spray bottle. Spray on glass surfaces and wipe clean. Works great for a streak-free shine. And if you don’t love the smell of vinegar, add some lemon juice to cut the smell.

As a cleaner, vinegar shouldn’t be used on every surface. Avoid on granite, marble, and hardwood. But it works great on glass!

4. Lemon

Ah, the humble lemon. Who knew you could use it in so many different ways?

Salad dressings: yet another salad dressing staple. Adds a punch of acidity and delightful taste. You can also use the rind in cooking/baking, like in my Lemon Grain Salad.

Lemon Water: add some slices or some fresh juice into your water for a refreshing twist.

Cleaning: you take take a lemon halve and use the flesh-side for cleaning your faucets and even soap scum on bathtub tile. Simply rub and rinse away.

Sticky Residues: lemon essential oil works incredibly for removing sticky, stuck-on residues or adhesives from floors and other surfaces. Just add a few drops to the residue, scratch off with a putty knife if needed, and wipe away.

5. Olive Oil

Cooking/Sautéing: extra virgin olive oil is one of my favourite cooking oils for sautéing up garlic or veggies . Just be careful not to let it smoke.

Salad Dressings: olive oil makes a great heart-healthy base for salad dressings. I use a 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar.

Wood Polish: this is quite the magic trick, but olive oil can be used as a wood polish for either simply shining wood surfaces or even removing tough water stains. Simply apply to a paper towel or damp microfibre cloth and rub in the direction of the wood grain. For super tough water stains, you can add some vinegar. You may need some elbow grease, but I’ve gotten out some very stubborn white water stains on my wood furniture using this method! Works every time!

Moisturizer: olive oil can conveniently be used on the skin as a moisturizer.

Flyaways: use a dab of olive oil to tame flyaways in your hair!

6. Sea Salt

Cooking & Baking: a staple for enhancing flavour in your meals and sweetness in baked goods.

Homemade Body Scrub: I love using sea salt in my homemade body scrub. It works great as a body exfoliant and leaves your skin feeling really soft and smooth.

Cleaning: sprinkle salt on garlic-smelling cutting boards and scrub with the flesh-cut side of lemon. This will help remove stains and reduce odours!

Let me know in the comments below if you use any of these foods for these purposes, or if there are any other uses I missed!

by Meghan Livingstone

Note: this post may contain affiliate links. Learn more here.

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Hi, I’m Meghan. I’m a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, blogger, and YouTuber with a passion for healthy, simple living. I’m here to inspire you to listen to your body, eat mindfully and wholesomely, and create a fulfilling life that’s completely unique to you.