Foodie Friday: Matcha Green Tea & Lemon Breakfast Muffins (Dairy-Free / Vegetarian / Gluten-Free recipe)

Friday, 11 October 2019

Matcha Green Tea & Lemon Muffins (Dairy-Free / Vegetarian / Gluten-Free recipe)
Matcha is a surprisingly versatile superfood ingredient to have in your cupboard and if you're a fan of the green stuff, these Matcha Green Tea & Lemon Breakfast Muffins are a healthy snack to enjoy first thing in the morning or to beat that dreaded afternoon slump.

I am partial to a good Matcha Latte (check out how to make one here), but after browsing some of my cookbooks, I decided to try it in baking for the first time last month and I loved the results! Since then, I've experimented with a couple of different recipes and have been enjoying these delicious Breakfast Muffins so much that I wanted to share it on here for Foodie Friday.

This recipe is taken from The Gut Health Diet Plan by Christine Bailey which is well worth checking out if you're interested in how you can improve your gut health. Dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free and vegetarian-friendly, these muffins are packed full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants thanks to their Matcha content. They also contain a source of the amino acid L-theanine which has been shown to relieve minor symptoms of anxiety and help the body cope with daily stress so these are perfect if you have a busy commute to work or Uni!

Tip: If you want to make these muffins vegan, simply swap the eggs for some mashed banana or try an egg replacement product like Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg.

Matcha Green Tea & Lemon Muffins (Dairy-Free / Vegetarian / Gluten-Free recipe)
Ingredients (makes 8 muffins)
  • 200g Ground Almonds
  • 30g Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp gluten-free Baking Powder
  • 60g Xylitol or Coconut Sugar
  • Zest & Juice of 2 Lemons
  • 1tbsp Matcha Green Tea powder
  • 60ml Almond or Coconut Milk
  • 4 organic, free-range Eggs, beaten
  • 2tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • Flaked Almonds (optional topping)
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4. Line an 8-cup muffin pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the Ground Almonds, Coconut Flour, Salt, Bicarbonate of Soda, Baking Powder, Sugar, Lemon Zest and Matcha, gently mixing everything together.
  • Slowly stir in the Lemon Juice and Milk, then add the rest of the wet ingredients; Eggs, Coconut Oil and Vanilla Extract. Stir until smooth.
  • Leave the mixture to stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the Chia Seeds.
  • Divide the batter into the muffin cases and add a few Flaked Almonds on top if using.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Matcha Green Tea & Lemon Muffins (Dairy-Free / Vegetarian / Gluten-Free recipe)
Have you tried using Matcha in baking?

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Autumn Beauty Buys - Under £13 - #HelloOctober

Monday, 7 October 2019

Autumn Beauty Buys #HelloOctober
Need a little beauty pick-me-up? These are some of my recommended Autumn Beauty Buys to treat your nails and hair to this season - all under £13!

Treats For Nails: Leighton Denny Slick Tips Hydrating Cuticle Oil* (12ml, £12, link) & Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Inkjet* (12ml, £12, link)

Autumn is a good time to starting taking more care of your nails, as the colder weather can cause them to become drier and more brittle than usual which can lead to weakness and breakages (central heating also has a drying effect on nails and skin). Massaging in a drop or two of cuticle oil can help though and Leighton Denny's Slick Tips Hydrating Cuticle Oil is a lovely formula to try that's enriched with Jojoba Oil and Vitamins A, B and E to instantly moisturise, smooth and soften for stronger nails overall.

I've also been embracing the return of darker colours for nails and in particular, have fallen head over heels in love with another favourite from Leighton Denny. Their Nail Polish in Inkjet is the most stunning rich navy blue with a metallic silk-like finish - I always get compliments when I wear it!

Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Inkjet review swatches
Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Inkjet

 Design. ME Puff. ME Light Hair Volumising Powder
Treats For Hair: Design. ME Puff. ME Light Hair Volumising Powder* (9.1g, £9.95, link)

It may have a long name, but Design. ME's Puff. ME Light Hair Volumising Powder is a must-try for anyone who has fine or difficult to style hair like mine. Free from sulphates, parabens and salt, this vegan-friendly magical volumiser helps to add texture and body to even baby-fine hair thanks to its super lightweight consistency - I was quite surprised by how you can't really tell or feel that you've used any product in your hair. Add it directly to the roots and style as normal - super easy!

A Cruelty-Free & Vegan-Friendly Alternative To Silk Pillowcases: Morning Glamour Satin Pillowcase
A Cruelty-Free & Vegan-Friendly Alternative To Silk Pillowcases: Morning Glamour Satin Pillowcase* (£12.99 for one, link)

Silk pillowcases have long been a traditional beauty secret of many A-list actresses and celebrities, as well as countless skincare and beauty gurus singing their praises over the years, but what if you want a cruelty-free and vegan-friendly alternative? Look no further, Morning Glamour's range of Satin Pillowcases has got your back! 

Available in several different colours to fit your bedroom colour scheme, these pillowcases are just as luxurious feeling as their silk counterparts and help to prevent hair breakages and night time skin wrinkles as it provides a smooth surface to sleep on. They're also great for damaged or frizzy hair types and are non-absorbent so your skin and hair retains moisture better throughout the night - genius!

What's on your Autumn beauty wishlist?

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September Empties: Products I've Used Up

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

September Empties: Products I've Used Up
A new month is upon us so you know what that means - it's time for another Empties round-up! Here's a short but sweet recap of the products that I've used up recently and whether I would repurchase them again or not.

Madara Daily Defence Balm*
I think this is my third tube of Madara's Daily Defence Balm that I've gone through since discovering it at a green beauty blogger event a few years ago. This is a rich and nourishing multi-purpose balm that you can use on the face, hands, body, basically anywhere that feels dry or rough which needs some extra moisturising TLC. Great to use all year round, though it comes in especially useful during the colder Winter months. Repurchase? Yes.

Intelligent Nutrients Volumizing Spray*
I've had this for a long time and just never seemed to reach for it as I've found so many other products that work a lot better for my fussy fine hair. I wouldn't say that it's terrible, but I didn't personally see much of a difference to my hair when I used it. Repurchase? No.

Tropic Vitamin Toner Pore Refining Mist* (featured here)
A brilliant toner for blemish-prone/problematic skin - it clarifies, calms and hydrates all in one. Perfect to use as a makeup setting spray as well. Repurchase? I have a couple of others to use up first but I'll definitely be picking this up again.

September Empties: Products I've Used Up
Elsa's Organic Skinfoods Natural Deodorant Stick in Love(reviewed here)
If you're looking for a natural and organic deodorant, try one of these from Elsa's - they are amazing! They keep me smelling and feeling fresh all day long and don't irritate my skin. This scent Love is my favourite from the range as it's a blend of Rose and Patchouli which is so lush. Repurchase? I'm currently using Elsa's deo in Ocean at the moment.

LJ Natural Papaya Wash-Off Lighter Cleanser(reviewed here)
I've been enjoying using this as my morning cleanser throughout the end of Summer thanks to its light gel formula. Very refreshing and thoroughly cleanses and brightens without stripping the skin - a good one for most skin types to try. Repurchase? I'll buy it again next Summer.

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask(reviewed here)
Lastly, I thought I'd end this round-up with one of my absolute favourite skincare products - Antipodes' much-loved Aura Manuka Honey Mask. I never tire of using this and always have a tube of it in my skincare stash. It hydrates, soothes and clears redness and blemishes, and always leaves my skin looking in much better shape overall. Repurchase? Already have!  

What have you used up recently?

Health & Lifestyle: Living Better Health Superfoods - Chia Seeds, Energy Blend Energiser, Baobab & Maca review

Monday, 30 September 2019

Living Better Health Superfoods - Chia Seeds, Energy Blend Energiser, Baobab & Maca review
I recently spotted that LoveLula were now stocking Living Better Health Superfoods, so I decided to place an order and stock up on a couple of healthy essentials for the new season ahead.

If you haven't heard of Living Better Health Superfoods before, the company was founded by Lisa Barnes (an award-winning transformational health and wellness coach), and they have a whole range of mainly organic superfood powders which you can easily incorporate into your daily diet. Everything is lactose and gluten-free, suitable for vegans and they all contain no added sugar or any other filler/bulking ingredients or additives.

I picked up four packs to try; Chia Seeds, Energy Blend Energiser, Baobab and Maca.

Chia Pudding
Living Better Health Superfoods Organic Chia Seeds* (125g, £5.99, link)
Perhaps the most well-known, Chia Seeds are readily available from lots of different places these days and the Instagram-famous Chia Pudding (pictured above) is one of my healthy go-to breakfasts to have during the week.

Chia Seeds may not look like much, but these teeny tiny seeds are packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids (60% of their nutritional profile is just Omega-3 making them one of the richest plant-based sources of fatty acids) which is essential for a healthy diet as the body cannot make its own Omega-3. Clinically proven to reduce cholesterol and inflammation, Chia Seeds are also beneficial as they are a good source of Fibre, Calcium, Manganese, Magnesium and Phosphorous. 

How to use: Add a teaspoon to smoothies, or sprinkle over porridge, soups or salads. Or make a tasty Chia Pudding by adding a tbsp to 200ml of water or dairy-free milk in a container with a pinch of Cinnamon and leave overnight for a yummy breakfast come the morning.

Energy smoothie
Living Better Health Organic Superfoods Energy Blend The Energiser* (125g, £14.99, link)
I'm always looking for ways to boost my energy levels as I suffer from fatigue on a regular basis, so I was curious to try out The Energiser, a superfood blend of six natural ingredients; Chia Seeds, Baobab Powder, Guarana Powder, Hemp Protein Powder, Lucuma Powder and Maca Powder. 

This blend has been specially designed to help you beat that mid-afternoon slump, and you can use it first thing in the morning to kickstart your day thanks to its mix of Fibre, Protein, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc. I've been taking it for about a month now and it's definitely been helping!

How to use: Add 1/2 tsp to a glass of juice or your smoothie once or twice a day for the first week, after which you can increase to 1 tsp a day. You can also sprinkle or stir it into cereal, porridge, muesli, and even add it to homemade raw chocolate and cakes.

Living Better Health Superfoods - Chia Seeds, Energy Blend Energiser, Baobab & Maca review
Living Better Health Superfoods Organic Baobab Powder* (125g, £6.99, link)
If you prefer a singular superfood powders, Living Better Health also has a range of those including this delicious Baobab Powder. Baobab is really quite special as it contains almost fifty per cent fibre and boasts an impressive count of antioxidants which is amongst the highest for any known fruit in the world. It has fourteen essential vitamins and minerals and is great for supporting a healthy metabolism, improving skin conditions, reducing inflammation and supporting gut health to name but a few of its benefits.

Best of all though? It tastes a bit like sherbet - yum!

How to use: Add 1/2 tsp to juices and smoothies, increasing to 1tsp afer the first week of use if desired. Like the other superfood powders, you can also sprinkle it onto yoghurts, acai bowls, cereal and porridge etc.

Living Better Health Superfoods - Chia Seeds, Energy Blend Energiser, Baobab & Maca review
Living Better Health Superfoods Organic Maca Powder* (125g, £5.99, link)
Saving my personal favourite to last, Maca Powder is a highly nutritional food which is growing in popularity. It contains a source of Fibre, Protein, Vitamins B1, B2 and B6, Calcium, Iron and Zinc, and is a good one to use every day if you do a lot of exercise or have a busy lifestyle as it helps to support your adrenal glands. There's also a number of studies that suggest it can be useful for balancing hormones as well.

The flavour of Maca though is just heavenly - it has a sort of sweet caramel/toffee/malty taste which works particularly well in smoothies and sweet recipes.

How to use: Add 1/2 tsp to smoothies and juices, increasing to 1tsp a day if desired. It's great stirred into porridge, overnight oats, acai bowls, chia puddings etc, and can be used in raw cake and biscuit recipes.


Shop the full range at LoveLula.com

Have you tried any of these superfoods?

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Foodie Friday: Warming Ginger & Garlic Veggie Broth with Quorn Chicken (Vegetarian recipe)

Friday, 27 September 2019

Warming Ginger & Garlic Veggie Broth with Quorn Chicken (Vegetarian recipe)
Blast away those cold and wet Autumnal blues with this delicious Warming Ginger & Garlic Veggie Broth, topped with seasonal organic vegetables and vegetarian-friendly Quorn Chicken pieces for added protein.

Autumn is officially here and whilst many of you are rejoicing over the annual re-appearance of Pumpkin Spice everything and digging out your favourite jumpers from the back of your wardrobes, I'm begrudgingly putting away my flip-flops and mourning the end of Summer :(

But it's not all doom and gloom! Whilst I personally despise the longer, darker, colder months of the British year (can you tell that I'm a Summer gal through and through?!), I do enjoy indulging in all of the simple comfort foods that help to warm your belly up, such as this oh-so-delicious bowl of Warming Ginger & Garlic Veggie Broth with Quorn Chicken pieces.

Ginger and Garlic are both fantastic ingredients for helping to boost your immune system which is vital at this time of the year when cold and flu season kicks in, but the real key player in this recipe is a good quality vegetable stock to use as the base for your broth. If you are absolutely pressed for time, you could use a ready-made stock, but trust me, it won't be as flavourful so save this one for when you're not in a rush.

Yyou can use any type of vegetarian or vegan chicken pieces here (this post isn't sponsored by Quorn, I just personally like them!) and I've added them for protein, however, you can leave them out or use pieces of Tofu instead if you'd prefer. This meal is perfect for a light lunch or even as a late-night healthy snack if you're feeling peckish before bedtime.

Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 300ml of Vegetable Stock (I often use this BBC Food recipe here)
  • 1 large clove of Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 thumb-size of fresh Ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • Handful of seasonal vegetables (I've used Kale, Carrot and Courgette)
  • Handful of Quorn Chicken pieces or other chicken/protein alternative
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • Tamari & squeeze of fresh Lemon Juice (optional)


Method
  • If you're using veggies such as Carrots, peel and chop them first, and then add to a pan of boiling water to simmer for around 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In a saucepan, add the Vegetable Stock, Garlic, Ginger, Salt, Pepper, and any other 'quick-cook' veggies that you want to use such as Courgette and Kale. Slowly bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes with a lid on. Towards the end, add in the cooked Carrots if using and give it a stir before replacing the lid.
  • Whilst the broth is simmering, in a frying pan, add the Olive Oil and let it heat up before adding the Quorn Chicken pieces. Fry the pieces for 7-10 minutes.
  • Now all you need to do is assemble your meal - pour the Veggie Broth into a bowl and top with the cooked Quorn Chicken pieces. Season with a splash of Tamari and freshly squeezed Lemon Juice if desired for even more flavour - enjoy!

What are your favourite warming dishes for Autumn?

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Beauty Box: LoveLula Beauty Box - September 2019 review

Thursday, 26 September 2019

LoveLula Beauty Box - September 2019 review
This month is just flying by - it's time again for a look at the latest LoveLula beauty box! September's edit of cruelty-freenatural and organic products is worth £65, so let's check out what's inside.

Kathleen Natural Tranquil Fields Bubble Bath (full size, RRP £18)
It's that time of the year when I want to start reaching for the bath products again and I was pleased to see this one from Kathleen Natural in the box. I've used their gorgeous Body Oil in the same Tranquil Fields scent in the past and adored it. Perfect for a relaxing evening at home to unwind from a busy day.

Madara Infusion Vert Body Cream (full size, RRP £17)
Having dry skin means that I always appreciate receiving a body cream, especially a full-size, luxury one from Madara! Their Infusion Vert Body Cream is a seriously rich and pampering moisturiser which helps to rejuvenate and restore elasticity, leaving your skin softer, smoother and more supple overall. This will definitely come in handy as the colder weather sets in.

Emani Organic Soy Mascara in Midnight (full size, RRP £18)
For makeup this month, there's a full-size luxury mascara from Emani, a brand that I've been meaning to try for a long time. Featuring a vegan-friendly, soy-infused formula, this mascara acts as both a mascara and a lash treatment and promises to be smudge-proof which is ideal for sensitive eyes including contact lens wearers. 

Balm Balm Little Miracle Cleanser (deluxe travel size 30ml, RRP £12)
A new release from Balm Balm's bestselling Little Miracle range, this is a nourishing cleansing oil which effectively removes all traces of makeup and dirt, without stripping the skin. Instead, it leaves your complexion soft and perfectly clean - I've tried it twice so far and love it!

Urban Veda Reviving Body Wash (sample sachet)
As an extra bonus, LoveLula have included an assorted sample sachet from Urban Veda and I received the Reviving Body Wash which smells lovely - very fresh and floral.

LoveLula Beauty Box - September 2019 review
LoveLula Beauty Box* is a monthly subscription box priced at £13.95 with free postage in the UK. Visit lovelula.com to find out more.

Have you subscribed to LoveLula's Beauty Box?

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