I’m completely a believer that edible gifts are better than store bought gifts any occasion, any day of the week. Baking something, making candy, putting up jams and pickles, making cooking salts all require a consideration of the tastes and best interests of the recipient. You can’t bake cookies that taste great without a good amount of care, but you can just hit “checkout” online without getting little crumbs on the kitchen counter and cookie smells up in your space. I’d prefer the latter – it seems like the most lovely way to give a little bit of care directly from gifter to giftee.
I recently had a whole host of lady friends bring babies into the world and when I went to think about what they may like to nosh on, I just wasn’t sure. And, it seems like in such a momentous time cookies were a less thoughtful gift when there might not be a moment to sit down and enjoy them (without also getting cookie crumbs on baby’s head.) So, instead, I decided to try to hand-make the time to just sit and unwind (and maybe, then, cookies would find their place.) I think we all can use a little bit more time to take care of ourselves, at least I know I feel this way. Just a few minutes to sit and think, or to relax and let the great and not-great events of the day slip away. I’m not a new mom, and what I would have loved in that moment was just an effing moment to myself to be still and feel cradled and so that’s what I tried to make them. So, these (almost edible!) Grapefruit + Rose Sea Salts came to be in my kitchen.
With a bit of help from our hero, Martha Stewart, and the fortuitous presence of a nice little stock of coarse pink Himalayan sea salt I had on hand, the salts came together in just a couple of minutes and were packed in jars, cuddled up in boxes and on their way to the new mom’s in a portion of an afternoon.
I made a few adjustments to Martha’s formula. First, I didn’t add any food coloring and instead used the pink sea salt, as I suggest you do. (You can buy this very inexpensively in bulk on Amazon.) Next, Martha used essential oils to infuse scent into her bath salts. You could absolutely do this, but I didn’t have a use for grapefruit essential oil so I used a really great naturally scented Epsom salt that’s very inexpensive and serves as a nice base along with the salts. The Epsom helps muscles to unwind and reduces inflammation. From there, I added a bit of grapefruit zest (you could add essential oils here) and some crushed whole culinary grade rose buds from Rebecca’s Apothecary here in Boulder. The rosebuds are beautiful and make the salts look (and feel!) luxurious in the bath. The baking soda is added to create a nice little fizz in the bath when the salts are added, and also to soften waters and prevent irritation.
A couple more notes here: DON’T use dried rosebuds from grocery store bought roses. They’re often sprayed with pesticides that will end up in your bath. And, mix everything up in a big bowl, then portion it out into jars. Seal them well – the salts will keep for several months sealed.
Last thing: this recipe is completely scalable and so you could swap out other scents for the grapefruit and rose to make any “flavor” of salts you like, and you can make more or less depending on the quantity of bath salts you’re desiring. The ratio below is 6 parts salts : 3 parts epsom : 1 part baking soda and the rose petals/essential oil additions are completely to taste. With a single “batch” as I’ve outlined below, you’ll have enough bath salts for 2-3 quart jars of salts.
Guys, this is one even YOU can make and trust me your lady will FLIP when she finds out you went to make her a little homemade spa. In fact, this is a great gift idea for just about anyone, for any reason, including yourself and for no reason at all. Not only is it pretty luxe to receive bath salts, but to make them yourself so you have the excellent excuse for a little extra self-care. Enjoy!
- 6 cups Coarse-grain pink Himalayan sea salt
- 3 cups Epsom salts
- 1 cup Baking soda
- finely grated zest of 3 grapefruits
- 3-4 cups whole rosebuds
- In a large bowl, mix to combine the coarse sea salt, epsom salts and baking soda. The epsom salts soothe tired muscles and reduce inflammation and the baking soda helps to soften waters and alleviate skin irritation.
- Add the grapefruit zest and rub between your fingers to combine and release the oils in the rind.
- Lastly, crush the rosebuds in a mortar and pestle, or with your hands. Be sure to leave a few whole buds for their beauty. Gently toss the rosebuds in the salts, then transfer the salts to jars, seal and share.