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Recipes with Shea Butter

The following is a recipe for making traditional shea butter soap, or also referred to as Kabakuruni(n) soap in Bambara. This is a very useful soap in village; women use it for domestic tasks like laundry and dish washing. All of the ingredients are fairly easy to find and can be purchased in your local market. Soap making is also a great small income generating activity because women can produce soap and sell it locally to neighbors and friends or in the market for a profit. Womens associations often produce Kabakuruni and sell it to benefit the association as a whole. The funds can be deposited into their caisse (or bank account) for financing future collaborative projects. After the harvest of the shea fruit, women must prepare the fruits for processing and sort out the bad nuts. As mentioned earlier, moldy and insect ridden nuts will harm the good nuts if they are stored together. Germinated nuts will produce bitter, low quality shea butter. Separating the good nuts from the bad nuts is essential! Inferior shea nuts, however, can still be saved and utilized. Shea butter produced from the poor quality nuts is ideal for soap making. Women can produce butter from these low quality nuts for personal uses like soap making. This is an important point considering that most women may question or disagree with discarding the poor quality shea nuts they have spent time harvesting. Suggesting alternatives, like soap making, is a way to encourage them to clearly sort and categorize the nuts---the good nuts are sold for profit and the bad ones are kept for soap making later on. Shea Butter Soap Recipe Ingredients: 7 kilos of shea butter 6 liters water 1 kilo lye 2-4 packages Barikatigi 3 tablespoons of flour Tools: Cooking pot Long handled cooking spoon (wood is good) 1 sheet plastic (enough to make gloves to wrap your hands!) large plastic bucket Directions:

1. Melt the shea butter in the cooking pot until completely melted. 2. In large plastic bucket, fill with the water and stir in the lye. Stir until completely dissolved. Be careful when handling the lye, it will burn your skin on contact. It is always a good idea to wear plastic around your hands. 3. Once the shea butter is melted and the lye is dissolved, pour the butter into the water/lye mixture. 4. Stir in one direction (do not change directions). 5. Mix in the Barikatigi and flour and continue to stir in one direction until it becomes solid enough to form into soap balls. This hardening process can take up to an hour sometimes. 6. Once it is solid enough, create soap balls and place on plastic sheet to completely dry for two to three days. Again, make sure your hands are covered throughout this process. Makes around 35 to 40 medium sized soap balls. These soap balls are generally sold for 100-150 CFA per ball depending on size.

Shea Butter Soap Shavings Day 1 Materials/equipment: 1 bath cup of caustic soda (approx. 4-5 bags from market) 6 bath cups of water gloves long wooden stick large plastic basin Two people - one to stir and one to add water Steps: 1. mix soda and water in basin using long stick to stir, and wearing gloves 2. Measure soda in pan first then add water slowly and while stirring, careful of toxic fumes do not inhale or splash on skin. 3. Mix ten minutes using clockwise motion vigorously until soda has fully dissolved. 4. It will be very hot as soda is extremely strong and toxic. 5. Let it sit aside for three hours or overnight until mixture has cooled. Day 2 Materials/equipment: 6 bath cups of shea/peanut/vegetable oil (a heavy/fat oil) Soda/water mixture Basin

Long wooden stick Gloves Plastic sheet Two people - one to stir and one to add oil. Steps: 6. Using 2nd basin, long stick and gloves re-measure your soda/water mixture, 7. Making sure to fill cups to the same level each time, mix the same amount of oil (6 bath cups) slowly and consistently while stirring vigorously. 8. Mix one cup of oil at a time into soda/water mixture. 9. Continue to stir until mixture begins to thicken like a thick soup 10. Let sit overnight or until firm, covered with plastic sheet Day 3 Materials/equipment: Sieve Cheese grater or locally made grater from a tomato paste can Piece of fabric Hardened Soap Knife Gloves Clear plastic kilo size sugar bags Steps: 11. When it has hardened turn upside down onto fabric to soak up any extra moisture 12. Let sit to become dry and hard all the way. This might even take a couple days 13. When firm it is ready to be cut using knife into workable pieces, which can then be grated into shavings 14. Using gloves scrape on grater to make powder you can also use the sieve if needed. 15. It is now ready to put into sacks for sale.

Neem Cream Mosquito Repellent (with Shea) Materials 1 liter of water 2 bars of soap (donkey soap or body soap) 1 large tin of neem leaves 1 liter of oil or melted shea butter

Notes: This recipe makes a sizeable portion and can easily be halved. Be sure to use standard forms of measurement that villagers will understand. 1 liter is approximately equal to the common plastic cup used with household water jars or 12 teacups. This recipe was created by Olga Samborska and Nyima Camara (PCVs in the Gambia) Directions: 1. Pluck the neem leaves from the tree and wash them. 2. Put the neem leaves in one liter of water. 3. Boil the water and leaves together until the water turns green. For about 20 minutes. 4. Cut the soap into tiny pieces. The pieces need to be small enough to dissolve in hot water. If the soap is dry, you can cut it up and then pound it with a mortar and pestle. Place the pieces of soap in a large bowl. 5. Strain the green neem water liquid into the bowl with the soap in it. (Throw away the leaves). Stir until soap dissolves. *You do not need to cook the mixture. 6. Add 1 liter cup of oil (shea, peanut, etc.) and continue stirring until the cream thickens and cools. 7. Put the cream in an airtight container. 8. Apply to skin at sunset, after having washed. 9. For better smell and texture: Boil a handful of citrus leaves with the neem, or add a scented soap or perfume.