Foodie Friday: Vegan French Toast recipe #LoveFoodHateWaste

Friday, 27 March 2020

Vegan French Toast recipe
French Toast is one of the tastiest ways to use up any leftover bread that's starting to go stale and it's a surprisingly easy recipe to make a vegan version of as well! 

The French call it pain perdu which translates as the 'lost bread' and I've always enjoyed the challenge of using up a food item so that nothing goes to waste. Food waste is a massive problem here in the UK so as part of the ongoing Love Food Hate Waste awareness campaign, I wanted to share this quick and easy recipe for how you can make some delicious Vegan French Toast.

For this recipe, you'll need some stale thick bread (fresh bread is too soft and just falls apart, so the older it is, the better!) and a couple of vegan-friendly storecupboard ingredients. I've tried to focus on the kind of ingredients that I know most of my vegan and plant-based friends usually have at home, though I understand it may be difficult to source them at the supermarket at the moment, so feel free to save this page for another day in the future if that's the case.

I really love this vegan version of French Toast and highly recommend it to anyone to try, vegan or not, I'm sure you'll love it!

Vegan French Toast recipe
Ingredients (serves 2)
  • Two slices of thick-cut, old Bread (Sourdough is the best IMO)
  • 200ml Almond or Soy Milk
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Coconut Oil, for frying
  • Fresh Berries, for serving (optional)


Method 

  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix all the ingredients together, except for the Bread and Coconut Oil, and let it stand for a few minutes to thicken slightly.
  • Dunk the Bread into the wet mixture and allow to soak for 2-3 minutes, turning it over to ensure every inch gets a good coating.
  • Place a frying pan over a medium heat and add a little Coconut Oil. Carefully add the soaked Bread to the pan and fry for a few minutes on each side, until you get a nice golden brown colour overall.
  • Transfer the French Toast to plates and top with your favourite Fresh Berries. Add an extra drizzle of Maple Syrup if you want some more sweetness - enjoy!

Vegan French Toast recipe
Have you tried making Vegan French Toast before?

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Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - March 2020 review

Thursday, 26 March 2020

LoveLula Beauty Box - March 2020 review
Looking for a cruelty-free beauty box which is packed full of natural and organic products from a range of exciting brands? Look no further - a subscription to LoveLula's monthly beauty box is just what you need! 

Inside March's box, you'll find five beauty treats to try out and with an overall value of £75, it's amazing value for money too! Here's what's inside:-

Biovène Barcelona Dreamy Ultra Hydrating Solid Shampoo & Conditioner Bars (RRP £5.99 each)

New to LoveLula, Biovène Barcelona offers a range of solid shampoo and conditioner bars for all your zero waste haircare needs so they're a brilliant way to cut down on your plastic usage. Each bar lasts as long as 1 & 1/2 plastic bottles and they're free from SLS and palm oil. I was lucky enough to try these out earlier in the year so you can check out my review here.

 Madara Purifying Foam Cleanser (RRP £18.50)

With the warmer weather now finally coming into the UK, you may find that your skin is much happier with a lighter cleanser these days and this one from Madara is perfect. It helps to balance out oily areas, whilst keeping drier parts hydrated and soft, so if you have oily/combination skin, you'll see the most benefit from using it. I've tried it a couple of times so far and really like it!

 Kathleen Sensual Rose Body & Massage Oil (RRP £34)

We could all use some relaxing 'me time' right now, and I'm smitten with this gorgeous Rose Body & Massage Oil from Kathleen. It's such a beautiful and luxurious product and it smells absolutely incredible! Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive, I will be treating myself to a self-massage with this after every bath time for a little at-home pampering.
FOM London Anti Pollution Glow Serum (travel size)

Finally, the last product in this month's LoveLula beauty box is a travel-size bottle of FOM London Anti Pollution Glow Serum. Specially formulated for dull skin types, as well as anyone who lives and works in a city, their Anti Pollution Glow Serum helps to keep skin hydrated, plumped up and protected against environmental stressors such as pollution. I can't wait to try it!

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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Health & Lifestyle: Samaya Ayurvedic Skincare Supplements - Kapha Oily Skin review

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Samaya Ayurvedic Skincare Supplements - Kapha Oily Skin review
Skincare specific supplements are a great way to give your skin all the right nutrients that it needs to look its best, and if you're looking for one that offers a more holistic approach for your complexion, health and overall wellbeing needs, look no further. This brand new release from the Ayurvedic skincare specialists SAMAYA will be right up your street!

What Is Ayurveda?
Many of you reading this may already be familiar with the concept of Ayurveda, but here's a quick and simple overview for any newbies. Ayurveda is one of the world's oldest and most interesting natural systems of medicine and it takes it names from two Sanskrit words; Ayur meaning 'life' and Veda meaning knowledge or science - so Ayurveda is basically the 'Knowledge or Science Of Life'.

Originating from India over 3,000 years ago, in Ayurveda, everything is linked together - the mind, the body, the spirit and the environment, and at its core is a lifestyle which helps to bring back and maintain balance to these key areas. To help you live your 'best life' and to keep everything in check, it's useful to know what your 'dosha' is.

Doshas
Your Dosha is made up of three energies which incorporate the five elements of life (earth, ether, air, fire and water) and these are called Pitta, Vata and Kapha. Each energy type is responsible for its own set of physical and emotional traits. The composition of these energies is unique to you so you may find that one is dominant or you may share most of your characteristics between two. Some people are also tri-doshic meaning that you have an equal share of all three energies. To find out more and to discover what your own dosha is, you can answer a short series of questions here.

Samaya Ayurvedic Skincare Supplements - Kapha Oily Skin review
Ayurvedic Supplements
There are many Ayurvedic supplements available which can support and balance your dosha in different areas, and I was pleased to discover that the British Ayurvedic natural skincare brand SAMAYA have recently launched a range of Ayurvedic skincare supplements. Their luxury, award-winning skincare has been featured many times on my blog in the past (read those reviews here), so these new supplements are a fantastic way to complement their skincare and boost your skincare routine from within. 

The Ingredients - What's In Them?
SAMAYA's supplements are available in the three main dosha types of Pitta, Kapha and Vata, so the ingredients are different in each one, but they are all made with 100% natural active ingredients. All capsules are cruelty-free, non-GM, non-irradiated and vegan-friendly, and there are no artificial fillers, binders, bulking agents or colours in them. The packaging is in frosted glass with a plastic lid and a cardboard outer tube.

I have been trying out the Kapha supplements which are made up of:-

Samayaplus™ – Proprietary Blend Of Turmeric, Triphala, Gotu Kola, Aloe Vera Concentrate 78mg | Ashwagandha Extract 67mg | Amla+ – Natural Vitamin C: Providing Vitamin C 40mg (50% EC NRV*) 80mg | Seaweed – Ascophyllum Nodosum: Providing Iodine 26mcg (17% EC NRV*) 37mg | Hyaluronic Acid 33mg | Triphala Extract 30mg | Vitamin E (Natural D-Alpha Tocopherol): Providing 10mg (83% EC NRV*) 10mg | Ginger Extract 7.5mg | Cinnamon Extract 7.5mg | Rosemary Extract 7.5mg | Green Tea Extract – 90% Polyphenols 7.5mg | Sage Extract 4mg | Aloe Vera Extract/Concentrate 4mg | Grape Seed Extract (Source Of Proanthocyanins) 4mg | Coq10 4mg | Alpha Lipoic Acid 4mg | Astaxanthin Extract 4mg | Capsule Shell: Vegetarian Cellulose.

Samaya Ayurvedic Skincare Supplements - Kapha Oily Skin review
What Do They Do?
The supplements have been formulated to help balance your dosha and this usually relates to your skin type as well - I would recommend checking out the 'find your dosha' link as mentioned above and seeing if they match up. My dosha is an almost equal composition of Pitta and Kapha, however, my skin definitely fits into the Kapha category more, so these supplements help to support and balance out oily skin types.

The Ayurvedic specific herbs such as Turmeric, Gotu Kola, Ginger, Ashwagandha and Triphala stimulate the Kapha metabolism, whilst balancing the extra sebum/oiliness in the skin. These work together with the more well known skin-boosting ingredients of Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and CoQ10 to promote healthy collagen production and repair tissue damage. In addition, the ingredients in these supplements also help to strengthen your overall immune system and combat tiredness and fatigue which is common amongst those with a Kapha dosha.

How Do I Take Them?
Simply swallow 1-2 capsules a day with a meal.

Overall thoughts?
SAMAYA's skincare supplements are ideal for anyone who is interested in a more holistic approach to their daily skincare routine, as we all know that good skin starts from within. They are, of course, not a substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle, but I believe they can certainly bring many benefits to your complexion and overall health by providing it with essential vitamins and nutrients that it needs to look and feel its best as a useful daily supplement. The Ayurvedic specific herbs that are included provide an additional 'X-factor' level of protection and support which is warmly welcomed, and it gives them a USP against more generic supplements, so they are well worth considering if you want something different to try.

SAMAYA Kapha Supplements* (60 capsules, £39, link)

Are you interested in Ayurveda?

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Beauty News: I'm judging CertClean's Clean Beauty Awards 2020! #cleanbeautyawards

Monday, 16 March 2020

Beauty News: I'm judging CertClean's Clean Beauty Awards 2020! #cleanbeautyawards
I'm thrilled to announce that I've been asked to be a finalist judge for CertClean's Beauty Awards 2020! For the past couple of weeks, I've been testing out the exciting finalists for the Best Eye Care category and now that I'm in my last week of judging, I thought I would give you a quick glimpse into the products that have been gracing my vanity table.

What Are The Clean Beauty Awards?
The Clean Beauty Awards have been created by CertClean who is North America's leading certification for safer skincare. Although many of the products that I've tested out below fall into typical areas of green, vegan, natural and organic beauty, the general idea behind the awards isn't about how natural or organic a product is, it's about the overall safety of that product instead (in particular, CertClean focuses on products which are free from over 1400+ potentially harmful chemicals).

Where Can I Find Out More?
You can check out CertClean's official website here, and be sure to head on over to the PurPicks website here as well as they are basically like a Tripadvisor review site for nontoxic skincare, and a partner to the Clean Beauty Awards.

Beauty News: I'm judging CertClean's Clean Beauty Awards 2020! #cleanbeautyawards
Which products have I been judging?
I've been given the very exciting task of judging the finalists for the Best Eye Care category so I've been testing out the following which have all been new-to-me products:-

  • Polyn Cooling Under Eye Serum
  • Biossance Squalene+ Marine Algae Eye Cream
  • Puristy Yerba Mate Eye Cream
  • Eco By Sonya Eye Compost
  • Sanre Organic Skinfood Eye Candy
  • Biossance Squalene+ Peptide Eye Gel
  • Lo & Behold White Turmeric & Green Tea Eye Cream

How have I been testing them out?
With just over five weeks of time available to trial seven eye care products, I decided to follow Sali Hughes' expert skincare judging advice and test out two different products at the same time by applying one to each undereye area. I then took notes over the days of using them and switched up the products accordingly - pretty easy! I was quite surprised by some of the differences that I noticed by doing this method as it really drew attention to how my skin responded to the different ingredients and formulas of the products.

When will the winners be announced?
Juding for the finalists ends on 20th March 2020 so I will update my social media to let you know who the winners are when they are announced in due course.

Huge thanks for Cert Clean for asking me to be part of their judging panel for a third year in a row! 

Foodie Friday: Creamy Leek, Chickpea & Sweet Potato Soup (Vegan) recipe

Friday, 6 March 2020

Creamy Leek, Chickpea & Sweet Potato Soup (Vegan) recipe
It's been a chilly start to March so this comforting bowl of vegan-friendly Creamy Leek, Chickpea & Sweet Potato Soup is the perfect way to warm yourself up! 

Despite being a foodie, I've never been much of a fan of Onions and have always favoured using Leeks in their place wherever I can. Leeks have a much more subtle flavour overall, and I feel that Onions can sometimes overpower a dish, especially if you're not particularly keen on them in the first place. 

This homemade Creamy Leek, Chickpea & Sweet Potato Soup really brings out the best flavours of seasonal Leeks and when combined with the natural sweetness of the Sweet Potato and the creaminess of the Chickpeas, it's easy to see why this is a vegan-friendly favourite! The Chickpeas also add protein so this is a great recipe to try if you want something healthy, warming and filling.

Creamy Leek, Chickpea & Sweet Potato Soup (Vegan) recipe
Ingredients (makes 4-6 portions)
  • 300g Leeks (washed & finely sliced with the darkest green end parts removed)
  • 400g Sweet Potatoes (peeled & roughly chopped into small chunks)
  • 1 tin of Chickpeas (drained - save the aquafaba water for a vegan meringue or dessert!)
  • 500ml Vegetable Stock
  • 2 cloves of Garlic (peeled & crushed or finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • Nutritional Yeast or Hemp Seeds to serve (optional)

Method
  • Place the Sweet Potatoes in a large saucepan and pour over hot water so that they are fully submerged. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid for 15 minutes.
  • In a separate pan add the Leeks, Garlic and 1tbsp of the Olive Oil, sauteing for around 5 minutes until they start to caramelise. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Drain the Sweet Potatoes and return to the large saucepan. Add the Vegetable Stock, Chickpeas and sauteed Leeks, stirring everything together. Cook over a simmering heat for 5 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
  • Transfer to a food processor, add the remaining 1 tbsp of Olive Oil and blend until you reach your desired soup texture - I prefer mine to be mostly thick and smooth.
  • Serve immediately whilst still hot with a little Salt & Pepper to season. You can add Nutritional Yeast or Hemp Seeds for an optional sprinkle of extra flavour if desired.

Storage tip: I don't find that potato-based soups freeze very well, so it's best to keep this one in a suitable covered container in the fridge and consume within 2-3 days.

Are you a fan of homemade soups?

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Currently Loving: Sister & Co Almond Milk Bath Soak, True Cleansing Oil, Raw Cacao & Coffee Sugar Scrub and PURE Hydrate & Renew Face Oil review

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Sister & Co Almond Milk Bath Soak, True Cleanse Cleansing Oil, Raw Cacao & Coffee Sugar Scrub and PURE Hydrate & Renew Face Oil review
Last month, I was lucky enough to win a fantastic natural beauty giveaway on Instagram from Pure Spa & Beauty, and I've been enjoying the products that I won so much that I wanted to share a quick review of them on here!

Inside my prize package, I found three products from the London based luxury brand Sister & Co, plus a facial oil from Pure Spa & Beauty's own brand range which they were kind enough to include for me to try out.

Sister & Co True Cleanse Cleansing Oil review
 Sister & Co True Cleansing Oil*

I'm a huge fan of using cleansing oils to remove my makeup after a long day so I was delighted to discover the True Cleanse Oil from Sister & Co. Packaged in a luxurious glass bottle with a handy pump dispenser, this cleansing oil is made from 100% raw, natural and organic ingredients which are hand-blended here in England. 

This is a really lovely cleanser for all skin types as it's gentle but effective, so it would be perfectly suitable for even sensitive skin to try. Key ingredients include Apricot Kernel Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Frankincense Oil, Rose Flower extract and Vitamin E, and it feels as nourishing as it sounds! The scent is very subtle with just a hint of Rose coming through and 1-2 pumps is all you need to thoroughly cleanse your whole face - I like to apply it with my hands to dry skin, give it a good massage and then use a warm flannel to remove it. Hello beautifully soft and clean skin!

Sister & Co Almond Milk Bath Soak review
 Sister & Co Almond Milk Bath Soak*

Almond Milk is often the go-to milk alternative for those who are going dairy-free, but have you tried having a bath in the stuff?! This gorgeous Bath Soak features dehydrated Almond Milk so that you can reap all of its skin-softening benefits. There's also Kaolin Clay to purify and draw out impurities, and warm and fragrant Cardamom is added to the mix to create a seriously indulgent pampering bathtime experience that will instantly give you Cleopatra- bathing-in-milk vibes. 

Like the Cleansing Oil above, the Bath Soak is packaged in glass, made from 100% natural ingredients, is vegan-friendly and SLS-free.
Sister & Co Raw Cacao & Coffee Sugar Scrub review
Sister & Co Raw Cacao & Coffee Sugar Scrub review
 Sister & Co Raw Cacao & Coffee Sugar Scrub

Pouches of loose coffee and sugar-based body scrubs have been popular for a while now and for good reason - all of the brands that I've tried have delivered excellent results and this one from Sister & Co is no exception. Packed full of antioxidants thanks to the 100% raw and natural concoction of Coffee Seed Powder, Coconut Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil and Vitamin E, this scrub has an uplifting natural fragrance of Peppermint and Orange essential oils so it's a great product to use first thing in the morning to awaken the senses!

I generally use one or two large handfuls all over my body, concentrating on those 'wobbly bits' to promote a healthy circulation and smooth the skin. Yes, it's messy and you'll want to give your shower a proper rinse down after using it, but it's a lot of fun at the same time. Who doesn't want skin as soft as a baby's bottom afterwards?

PURE Hydrate & Renew Face Oil review
PURE Hydrate & Renew Face Oil*

I'd not heard of Pure Spa & Beauty before until I started to follow them on Instagram, so I was thrilled to try out one of their own-brand products - the Hydrate & Renew Face Oil which I believe is used in some of their facial treatments. Made in the UK (the brand are based in Edinburgh), this 100% natural and cruelty-free Face Oil is free from parabens and boasts many of my favourite skin-loving ingredients. 

There's Macadamia Seed Oil, Safflower Seed Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, Calendula, Jojoba Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Tamanu Seed Oil and Vitamin E to name just a few of the hydrating and Omega-rich properties that this Face Oil has, and with additional essential oils of Orange, Rose, and Frankincense, it smells naturally beautiful too. I've been using it regularly in the evenings to moisturise my poor Winter battered complexion and I simply love the glow that it gives come the morning - definitely one to try out for yourselves.

Discover more at Pure Spa & bEAUTY online - purespauk.com

Have you won anything online recently?

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February Empties: Products I've Used Up

Monday, 2 March 2020

February Empties: Products I've Used Up
It's that time again, Empties time! Here's what I've used up beauty-wise recently, my overall thoughts and which ones I'll be repurchasing again.

Mádara Cloudberry Oat Milk Hand & Body Soap*
My hands get horribly dry during the winter months so this rich and creamy Cloudberry Oat Milk Soap from Mádara has been a little saviour! It's gentle enough to use in the bath or shower all over your body, or as a simple hand soap which is how I used this one up. Repurchase? Yes.

Saint Iris Adriatica Every Body Energy Cleanse* (reviewed here)
A gorgeous luxury body wash with a creamy, hydrating texture and a beautifully uplifting and regenerating natural scent. Perfect for cold and miserable mornings when you need a boost. Repurchase? On my wishlist.  

Dr Bronners 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure Castille Soap
I've used Dr Bronners consistently for years now and always have a bottle in my stash especially for cleaning my makeup brushes (you can read one of my very old blog posts on this here!). Repurchase? Already have.

Antipodes Hosanna H20 Intensive Plumping Serum* (reviewed here)
Hydrating serums really do work well during winter to keep your moisture levels topped up and this one from Antipodes is a long-time favourite of mine. It's oil-free, suitable for all skin types and does an amazing job of protecting your skin against the harsh weather. Repurchase? Yes.

Pure Potions Skin Salvation Intense Moisturising Ointment(reviewed here)
Another long-time skincare fave that I always like to have in winter is this little pot of magic from Pure Potions. I first featured it in my recommended cold weather products for eczema and dry skin post here a few years ago, and it's still one of the best that I've tried. Apply it anywhere and everywhere! Repurchase? Yes.

February Empties: Products I've Used Up


Organii Intensive Organic Soothing Cream(reviewed here)
Similar to the product above, I've also used this several times in the past but I'm not sure if they've changed the formula as I found this pot to be much stickier and greasier in texture than I previously remembered? It still worked well but I definitely prefer the Pure Potions cream a lot more. Repurchase? Unlikely.

Bodhi & Birch Jasmin de Luna & Rosa Verde Bath & Shower Oils* (minis)
No surprise here that I've used up a few bath products as it's been so cold recently! These two bath oils from Bodhi & Birch are just so luxurious and incredible, I can't recommend them enough. Repurchase? Yes.

Weleda Citrus Body Wash & Wild Rose Body Oil(minis)
My last two empties are both minis from Weleda and again, they are gorgeous products that you can't go wrong with. These travel sizes are perfect for weekends away and holidays. Repurchase? Yes.

P.S - How To Recycle Your Beauty Empties!
All of the glass and easy-to-recycle plastic PET empties will be put into my council's blue bin kerbside recycling scheme, but for the harder-to-recycle stuff, I will be:-
  • Recycling the pumps and atomisers with Neal's Yard Remedies - more info at the bottom of their website here.
  • Recycling any other products that my local council doesn't accept, such as flexible plastic tubes at The Body Shop, L'Occitane or with Garnier's Terracycle partnership - more info here.
What have you used up recently?

Foodie Friday: Healthier Snickers Bars (Vegan, Dairy-Free & Refined Sugar-Free) recipe

Friday, 28 February 2020

Healthier Snickers Bars (Vegan / Dairy-Free) recipe
For this week's Foodie Friday, I've made a healthier, vegan, refined sugar-free and dairy-free version of one of my favourite childhood chocolate bars - Snickers!

This terrible weather has made me want to raid the cupboard in search of sweet, chocolatey snacks every evening and whilst I don't mind indulging every now and then, it was becoming a little problematic for my weight to be scoffing chocolate bars every single day. My metabolism just isn't what it used to be sadly!

So I decided to try my hand at making a healthier version of a Snickers bar and I'm really pleased by how these have turned out. I tested out a couple of 'raw food' recipes for them that I found online, but in the end, I decided to use roasted nuts as they gave the bars a much more realistic 'Snickers' flavour.

The date caramel on the top layer is just the most amazing thing ever, and even though the bottom layer is made from oats and coconut flour, it's still incredibly satisfying to eat - these really do hit the spot when you have a chocolate bar craving!

P.S: Don't be put off with the list of ingredients and the steps - these are actually VERY easy to make as you're mostly just blending and layering everything together.
Healthier Snickers Bars (Vegan / Dairy-Free) recipe
Ingredients (makes around 6-8 bars)

For the date caramel layer:
  • 10 Medjool Dates
  • 75g Peanuts, unsalted roasted or raw
  • 2 tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 1 tbsp Tahini
  • 50ml Coconut Oil, melted
  • 40ml Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

For the oaty base layer:
  • 60g Wholegrain Oats
  • 40g Coconut Flour
  • 2 tbsp Rice Malt Syrup
  • 40ml Almond or Cashew Milk
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil, melted

For the chocolate flavoured coating:
  • 100g Cacao Powder
  • 200ml Cacao Butter, melted
  • 60ml Maple Syrup
  • Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

Healthier Snickers Bars (Vegan / Dairy-Free) recipe
Method
  • First, discard the pits from the Medjool Dates and add to a bowl. Pour hot water over them and allow to soak for at least 10 minutes to soften up. Drain and set aside.
  • Add the Oats and Coconut Flour to a blender or food processor and blitz until you get a fine texture, and then add this to a mixing bowl.
  • Next, add the rest of ingredients of the base layer to the mixing bowl - Rice Malt Syrup, Coconut Oil, Salt and Almond Milk, adding the Almond Milk a few tbsp at a time. Mix together with your hands to create a soft dough.
  • Press the dough into a lined loaf tin, smoothing out the top and then place in the freezer.

  • Now for the caramel layer - add all of the caramel ingredients, except the Peanuts, to a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. Add a little water if needed.
  • Remove the loaf tin from the freezer and carefully spoon the caramel layer on top. Sprinkle in the Peanuts and roughly smooth everything out. Return to the freezer for 3-4 hours.

  • For the chocolate coating, melt the Cacao Butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, remove from the heat and sift in the Cacao Powder. Add the Maple Syrup and Salt, and whisk together so that you have a smooth and glossy liquid chocolate.
  • Remove the loaf tin from the freezer and lift it out so that you can slice it into 6-8 bars. Dip each bar into the chocolate coating and place on a flat board that will fit into your freezer. Once all the bars are dipped, pop the board back into the freezer to set for 30 minutes.
  • Once set, you can store the bars in an airtight tub in the freezer for up to a month - enjoy!

Serving tip: Don't fancy a whole bar? Cut them in half for smaller 'bites' and remove from the freezer to defrost slightly before eating.

Have you made healthier chocolate bars before?

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Payday Treats: Petits Rituels By The Fire & Orange Gourmande Luxury Candles review

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Petits Rituels By The Fire & Orange Gourmande Luxury Candles review
Fed up with this awful weather? Need something to lift your mood? Get your Hygge on and cosy up to these beautiful luxury candles from Petits Rituels

Handmade in England using only 100% natural plant-based wax and pure essential oils, Petits Rituels luxury candles are part of their home fragrance range which has been created with therapeutic benefits in mind. I'm a huge fan of aromatherapy so this brand immediately appealed to me when I saw it - naturally, I just had to pick up some of their candles to try out!

Presented in white frosted glass, these paraffin-free, French-inspired candles look incredibly chic in any room and have an excellent scent throw. I've been smitten with two scents in particular; By The Fire and Orange Gourmande.

Petits Rituels By The Fire & Orange Gourmande Luxury Candles review
Petits Rituels By The Fire Candle* (200g, £36, link)

Described by Petits Rituels as the brand's signature Winter candle, By The Fire embodies all of those warm and cosy vibes that you want to come home to after a long day.  This wonderfully festive blend features seasonal favourites such as spicy notes of Cinnamon and Clove, infused with zesty and uplifting hints of Orange and Lemongrass. These key essential oils help to create such a happy and inviting atmosphere and with up to 40 hours of burn time, this large 200g candle is perfect for living rooms.

Petits Rituels By The Fire & Orange Gourmande Luxury Candles review
Petits Rituels Orange Gourmande Travel Candle* (70g, £16, link)

During stressful or difficult times, I find the small ritual of lighting an aromatherapy candle as comforting as making a cup of tea and Petits Rituels' Orange Gourmande fragrance is definitely worth a try when you're feeling a bit blue or anxious. This scent is gloriously happy and uplifting with fresh citrusy notes of Sweet Orange married together with the relaxing and floral notes of Rose Geranium. It's the ideal candle for when you need some 'me time' so it's a good one to keep on standby in bedrooms and bathrooms. 

Do you enjoy using aromatherapy candles in your home?

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Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - February 2020 review

Monday, 24 February 2020

LoveLula Beauty Box - February 2020 review
Fans of green beauty will love the LoveLula Beauty Box - a monthly subscription service that delivers a surprise selection of natural and organic beauty products straight to your door. It's a great way to discover something new, or a brand or product that you may not have come across before! February's edition is worth £44 so let's check out what's inside, shall we?

My. Haircare Rescue My Hair Shampoo Bar - Pollution Patrol
 My. Haircare Rescue My Hair Shampoo Bar - Pollution Patrol (RRP £13.95)

I was lucky enough to be sent this Pollution Patrol Shampoo Bar from My. Haircare to try out last month (read my review here), so it's great to see it included in this month's box so that more people can test it out for themselves! Formulated without any sulphates and silicones, this vegan-friendly Shampoo Bar helps to remove product and pollution build-up on the hair and is 100% plastic-free which is awesome.

Laidbare DIY! Cleanser & Toner
 Laidbare DIY! Cleanser & Toner (30ml travel size)

Next up, I found an old favourite of mine - a travel size of Laidbare's popular DIY! Cleanser & Toner, which I first reviewed way back in 2012 here. I've used it on and off over the years and find it particularly useful when my combination skin is being troublesome to help bring it back to a normal balance. It has a gel-like consistency and can be used both morning and night. 

Laidbare For Richer For Porer Face Masque
 Laidbare For Richer For Porer Face Masque (RRP £7.99)

Another brilliant budget-friendly skincare gem from Laidbare is this For Richer For Porer Face Masque, and like the cleanser above, it's something that I've used many times over the years too. Infused with ingredients such as Kaolin Clay, Japanese Seaweed Extract, Shea Butter, Liquorice and Rose Water, it's a deep cleansing treatment that draws out impurities, but it also hydrates so it won't leave your skin feeling stripped afterwards.

Ooh! Oils Of Heaven Raspberry Seed Oil
 Ooh! Oils Of Heaven Raspberry Seed Oil (RRP £19)

A brand new release from Ooh! Oils Of Heaven, this Raspberry Seed Oil is rich in essential fatty acids which have high levels of natural anti-inflammatory properties that are particularly beneficial for acne-prone skin. It's also useful for dehydrated and sensitive skin types as well so I'm very excited to try it out, especially as my skin feels like it's all over the place like the weather at the moment!

Ayumi Turmeric & Bergamot Face Scrub
Ayumi Turmeric & Bergamot Face Scrub (20ml travel size)

Last, but not least, I found a travel size of Ayumi Turmeric & Bergamot Face Scrub to complete this month's LoveLula Beauty Box. Packed with exfoliating Bamboo Powder to gently buff away dead skin cells and impurities, this ayurvedic inspired facial scrub also contains Turmeric to brighten dull complexions.

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.

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