Love for your skin

Part of growing up for me is coming to love my body for what it is.  A huge part of my body is my skin and since winter in Berlin is dry and cold, my skin suffers. I think that as a black girl the first act of self care that i was taught was to moisturise my skin daily. My mother showed me how to apply palmers cocoa butter on my skin from when i was about 6. She always applied lotion on me and my brother in such strokeful way. First the legs and then working her hands up. Of course the most important places where the knees, the area behind our knee cups and our elbows. These areas tend to get very dry if not moistorised. The way we tested if we had lotioned ourselves well enough would be by scratching our skin. If we could draw a white line on our skin we definetly had not applied the lotion on well enough.

Anyway, I am trying to cut down on plastic and on wasteful packaging as much as possible. Therefore I made my own body cocoa butter. It is so easy to make and so nourishing for your skin. Just google the ingredients and a ton of benefits will pop up. This recipe is very much based on the recipe by trash is for tossers from Lauren Singer, check her out she is a zero waste queen.

What you will need:

spatula

electric hand mixer

bowl

glass jar

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of melted raw shea butter

1/2 cup of melted raw cacao butter

1/2 cup of sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil

drops of essential oil of your choice

 

Method:

1. Mix the melted butters and almond oil in a bowl. Place in the fridge for 1 hour or until the liquids have become solid.

2. Take out the bowl and mix with a stand mixer. Mix until a creamy consistency is formed. Use the spatula to scratch it all together. Add an essential oil of your choice i used vanilla. The quantity of the esential oil depends on your preference.

3. use a spatula to place the mix in a glass jar.

store in a cool dry place.

Conscious Fashion: Kleiderei

Today i want to share with you something that i have tried out and i must say i am loving it, so far. It is not about food but it is about fashion.

I few weeks ago i signed myself up for Kleiderei. This is a magical idea that was brought to life by two super women Thekla Wilkening und Pola Fendel from Hamburg. Kleiderei is a platform where you can borrow 4 pieces of clothing and even accessories, at a flat rate price of 34 Euros a month. Its like a never ending wardrobe! Monthly you receive a new packet, once you have returned the previous items that you borrowed. The rate includes the shipping costs, and i must say that it is quiet a fair price. I mean if you think about it how much money do we waste on clothes and items that we may only wear once and then toss in some container around the corner.

The clothes from Kleiderei are made up of clothes from young local designers, vintage items and items that you yourself have sent to kleiderei that may not be for you but could be something for someone else. “Another girls trash is another girls treasure”.

I joined Kleiderei even before i had watched the documentary the true cost. Which i can only recommend everybody to watch. I mean i was never someone that went to Primark and didn’t question the price, however i learnt so much from this documentary about the fashion industry and how fast fashion is having a drastic impact on our environment.

Anyway the first box that i received from Kleiderei was a curated surprise package. This means that i answered a questionaire and gave my measurements and then Poala selected some pieces that she thought would suit me according to my answers and requests. I have always been someone that loves surprises (in boxes and envelopes) and since i am still searching for my style this was a great option for me. Below are images of the 4 items that i got 🙂

PicMonkey Image
All in all i loved all the pieces that i got.
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I received a lovely postcard and also got a magazine and a brochure with more information about what happens to the clothes that i send to them.

I can say that i loved all the pieces that i got except of one skirt that was very loose and wasn’t really something that i would wear. However all in all i can only recommend it. If you are looking for an alternative and are tired of being overwhelmed by your wardrobe, i can only urge you to try Kleiderei. It is a real wonderful concept and the website and processing also was easy and fun.

Please note that i am not getting paid for this, i am just sharing something that has helped me find a solution to my problem. I was at conflict with trying to dress fashionably and  not owning too much, and not supporting a big cooperation that sucks the living life out of people and nature.  So yes,  Kleiderei is that solution for me.

Links:

Kleiderei: https://kleiderei.com/ -sadly the website is only available in german.

The true cost documentary: http://truecostmovie.com/

 

 

Chapatti + Potato Curry or Potato Curry in a Chapatti or Chapadilla

 

So this is a delicious recipe that was inspired by my boyfriend.

I love chapatti’s, my mother taught me at a very young age how to make them, while my friends where eating toast with jam  i was enjoying my chapatti with jam during school break. My sister and i used to make them together, since i was too young to handle the stove, i loved those nights and enjoyed kneading the dough and rolling it out and how the whole house smelled of utter deliciousness.

When i moved to Mombasa, Chapattis where easily available ( My best friends are of Indian decent so yeah lunches where always crazy good chapattis or parathas mmmhh dont get me started)  so i stopped making my own chapattis, instead i missed the German sourdough bread. I tell you its always the thing that you cant have!

So when i moved back to Berlin and i had my fair share of sour dough, to no surprise i started to miss chapattis again and naturally i started to experiment and make my own.

There are two types of chapattis that i am familiar with one is the Indian type that uses almost no oil and is flat and firm. Then there is the Coast Mombasa Chapo which is more oily, soft and is layered in texture. My mother taught me a blend of the two something in between an Indian and a Mombasa Chapo ( a hybrid chapatti)

Its crazy the reaction that you get when you tell people ok lets make bread then, or when you serve it. Its like as if people think that you have some kind of magic power when in reality making chapatti is so easy and cheap. Cheaper than bread and good for you as you can twerk it up and make it nutritious with ingredients such as seeds and wholewheat flour instead of white flour its really very easy, delicious and stores very well -therefore it can be prepared and frozen and enjoyed throughout.

I experiment a lot with chapattis and my boyfriend does too now, he recently made a quesadilla chapatti which inspired me to make one as well with a potato green pea curry filling which was delicious and then one with wilmersburger vegan cheese alternative and it turned out so delicious as well.

Hope you enjoy it too and  get crazy creative with filling !!

Ingredients:

makes 6 chapatti this depends though on how big you make them

Chapatti Dough

2 cups of flour ( of your choice i used organic wholewheat feel free to use spelt or wheat)

1 cup of room temp water

pinch of salt

1 tbsp of oil ( again your choice or feel free to omit)

Potato ‘Aloo’ filing/curry (Option 2)

4 diced potatoes the ones that get mashy in german we say nicht festkochend sondern mehlig

1 diced carrot

1 cup of frozen, canned or precooked green peas

1 diced red onion

1 tbsp of coconut oil

1 crushed garlic clove

1/2 tsp of mustard seeds (optional)

1tsp garam masala

1tsp of madras curry ( or whatever curry powder you prefer)

1tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

dash of chilli flakes

1 cup of water

salt to taste

 

Cheesy version ( Option 2)

Vegan cheese alternative i used Wilmersburger Classic 

salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

Chapatti mix:

In a bowl mix the flour and salt add in the water and mix first with a spoon. Once everything is mixed together it is time to get your hands dirty. Flour a flat surface and get kneading, punch, slap, throw and pinch that dough do this workout a minimum of 10 minutes. The dough should be elastic not sticky and not dry and hard either, it should be soft and elastic. once you are done kneading roll it into a log and cut into 6 even pieces. Roll all six pieces into balls brush some oil on the pieces and let them rest on the floured surface. ( if you only want to make chapattis without the filling let them rest for up to 30 minutes before you roll them out and cook them)

Potato curry

While the chapatti dough is resting you can start making the aloo mix.

Heat the coconut oil in a medium sized pot on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot add in the onions and mustard seeds. Stir constantly once the onions are glassy add in the garlic and all the spices. stir everything well together once the spices are fragrant add in the potatoes and carrots mix well and then add in 1/2 cup of water, reduce the heat to a simmer. let it simmer for 16 minutes make sure to check on it in so that once the water has evaporated add in the other 1/2 cup. Once the potatoes are soft and mashy add in the peas and salt to taste stir well and turn off the stove.

This potato curry can also be enjoyed as a side to chapattis or with rice.

Chapatti

Place a pan on a medium high heat stove. While the pan is heating up on a floured surface get a rolling pin ( if you do not have one, a wine bottle works perfectly well for this) and roll out one ball into a thin flat disc shape ‘think chapatti’. The thickness of the chapatti depends on you however i like mine thin. Place the rolled out chapatti on the hot pan, if you are adding the filing take one spoon of the filling and spread evenly on one side of the chapatti. Close the chapatti with the other half ( that has no filling) and flip over now cook till both sides are brown ( usually 3 minutes that’s 1,5 minutes on both sides depends on your stove top) you can spread some coconut oil or whatever kind of oil you prefer on both sides before taking it off the pan ( Important if you are adding oil do this at the end that is once the chapatti is about to get off the pan). REPEAT FOR THE REST.

Cheeeeeeesee Variation

For the cheesy variation cut up your cheese and place on one half of the chapatti add salt and pepper and then close with the other half. Then its the same procedure as above- cook till both sides are brown.

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Simply Good: Cauliflower-rice fry

This is part of a series of recipes that are easy and very simple to make. They are also inexpensive, full of nutrients and delicious.

I constantly hear from people that they do not have time to make a meal for themselves and that a quick fix is all that they want ( by quick fix they mean a sandwich with some processed topping or a bar of chocolate) . I think that this is a false approach, i think that we should make the time to prepare meals for ourselves of course we do not need to spend hours and hours in the kitchen ( unless you like that) however i do think that we should cook for ourselves its an act of self love and in order for you to do all the things that are eating your time you need to fuel yourself properly first.

This recipe is easy and full of nutrients as it is made up veggies and some more veggies.

Ingredients:


Vegetables

1 1/2 cup of cauliflower florets ( ‘Rice’)

1 celery stalk

1/2 cup of leek

2 Carrots chopped

crushed garlic (optional)

some chopped parsley

half  a red paprika

squeeze of lemon juice


Spices

**1/2 tsp of red ras al hanout spice ( or any other spice that you like you can get creative here)

1/2 teaspoon of paprika

pinch of cayenne pepper


Oil

1/2 tsp Coconut oil


Other things

1tbsp of tomato puree

1 tsp of Miso red paste

1 cup of water

Tahini ( optional)


Method:

Start by chopping up the cauliflower into very small pieces. If you have a food processor than place the florets in there and chop them to a rice consistency.

Place a pan on a medium high stove top and add in the oil.

Place the leek, celery and garlic into the pan and Saute for 1 minute.

Add in the cauliflower followed by the carrots and the spices and cook for 3 minutes constantly tossing everything together to avoid the veggies from getting burnt.

Place in the Miso  and tomato puree, mix eveything well. Add the water and reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

cook to a consistency that you prefer i do not like overcooked veggies so 5 minutes is enough for me.

serve with a squeeze of lemon juice, parsley, a dub of tahini and some freshly raw chopped up paprika.

 

Make your on Chocolate : Raw Chocolate barks

 

I sprinkeled some lacuma powder and aronia powder it added so much flavor.
I sprinkled some lacuma powder and aronia powder it added so much flavor.

So seeing that it is getting colder here in these parts of the world and soon there will be Christmas and hot cups of cacao and lots and lots of chocolate. I have decided to make some chocolate myself, it is much better than all that stuff you can buy in the supermarkets and it is cheaper than buying that fancy expensive chocolate and  it tastes amazing. Its also super easy to make. Less processed, vegan, refined sugar free, nourishing full of antioxidants and vitamins… the list of the goodness of making your own chocolate is endless. Make these for your friends and family, gift them, share them eat them and feel good.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of melted coconut oil

1/2 cup of cacao

3 tablespoons of rice syrup or maple syrup

Method:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, if the mix is too liquidy add more cacao if its too dry please add more coconut oil. mix it well it should be moldable pour on parchment paper and shape like a chocolate bar-make it which ever size you want really. Place in the freezer once it has firmed up remove from the freezer and let it sit outside for 20 minutes now cut it into barks and place in a container and keep cool, or wrap them and gift them.

I made one bar with raisins and walnuts and sprinkled some lacuma and aronia powder on top before freezing which made the chocolate really delicious and gave it a sweet rich taste. The second bar i made peanut butter with pecans which was also delicious, i just added a teaspoon of Peanut butter into the wet mixture and sprinkled some pecans on top before freezing.

Optional:

1.Add in nuts to batter

or

2.top with nuts and then place in the freezer

or

3. Add raisins

or

4.Mix in peanut butter in the mix

or

5.Mix in hemp seeds

or

6. lavender

or

7. Cardamom seeds

The possibilities are really endless, i have decided to share a video by Taline Gabriel as she illustrates really well how to mix the mixture to make the chocolate.

http://https://youtu.be/2XRbeRtWbRE

Autumn feelings: Oat ginger cookies.

So it has been a while… i know i haven’t been as consistent as i’d wish to be. I guess that is life but this blog has always been on my mind and i have so many ideas that i would love to share with all of you. Ideas that i have been wanting to share for such a long time, i have to write all these ideas down and bring them together somehow, so that i do not forget  and actually get to share them with you all.

I am happy though that i am no longer very hard on myself, i used to really be mean to myself if everything that i set out to do didn’t turn out the way i had planned. I am a huge writer of lists and plans, I write a plan almost every night! Thing is that i hope to achieve most of the things and someday i will but wouldn’t life be a bore if every single day goes as planned its nice to have a guideline an outline but i think randomness and surprises are what makes life. Not everything needs to be fixed.

 

I think that if you try to predict everything, it can lead to a lot of disappointment and instead of understanding the new thing or unexpected event,person or action you start to beat yourself up because things didn’t go as planned and you miss an opportunity in actually learning or accepting this change.

A little spontaneity can create wonderful experiences, thoughts, things and feelings. I am all about good feelings! This is exactly how i stumbled on this recipe. A friend of mine told me how she tried to make oat cookies the other day and that the recipe didn’t quiet turn out the way she had hoped so she asked me if i had a good recipe. I said i would get back to her. The whole week i was planning on trying a good recipe, sadly several things got in the way till yesterday when i was talking to one of my housemates, I told her that i had been meaning to make oat cookies she said ‘me too’ and had a recipe on her phone that she had browsed earlier that day. It was a ginger cookie recipe from my green kitchen stories we looked at each other and said lets do it (even though i hadn’t planned on baking at all)  and i got out the ingredients as we had almost everything and within 40 minutes we were munching on these delicious gluten free, refined sugar free and vegan cookies. All the other housemates loved them too!

My green kitchen stories is an amazing vegetarian blog run by the perfect couple. I love their recipes as they can all be veganised. When i got into the vegan lifestyle i used most of their recipes, which are super easy and i have never been disappointed. Till this day whenever i am planning a dinner or something i turn to their blog for inspiration. I can only recommend their website.

Now here is the recipe adapted from my green kitchen stories we added a bit of a twist and used fresh ginger and instead of maple syrup we used rice syrup. The original recipe can be found here http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/thin-oat-ginger-crisps/ check their site out really do!

Ingredients:
4 tbsp of room temp. coconut oil

3 tbsp of rice syrup

2 tbsp of buckwheat flour

2 tbsp of any plantbased milk that you prefer or have

70g rolled oats

1 tbsp of freshly grated ginger

pinch of clove

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of salt

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. One tablespoon should equal one cookie, this recipe should make twelve thin small round cookies however if you like bigger  cookies you can make 6 big cookies. Press the cookies flat using the backside of a spoon or use your palms (wet them before though to avoid sticking).

Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, bake longer if your oven is weak they should be golden brown.

Take the cookies off the tray and let them cool. Let them cool as this well let them form and set, the wait is worth it!

Now enjoy, these cookies are great for dunking in tea or cold almond milk nomnomnom!

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Pancake Saturday with plum and pear sauce ( Autumn Edition)

 

So after a long week of doing all kinds of things that have been filling the first five days of the week. It feels nice to have a Saturday morning that is relaxing. On Saturdays i like to treat myself to a nice breakfast. Under the week i usually just eat porridge or a quick smoothie and rush out of the house. However Saturday is a whole other story for me, its much more relaxed and slow.

However sometimes i must admit that i feel awfully guilty, because in that time i could have done something for university or done some more exploring of my new environment. It feels like ever since i started university i have this constant feeling that i could be doing something for university because there is always something to do for university…

But I am learning to also appreciate the time that i spend for me.

So here is a simple vegan refined sugar free pancake recipe to treat yourself with on Saturday or on any day actually always take care of yourself!

 

Ingredients:

makes 4 fluffy pancakes

1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds

1 tablespoon of chiaseeds

6 tablespoons of water

1 1/2 cups of whole wheat spelt flour

1 1/2 cups of water

2 teaspoons of baking powder

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of rice syrup or raw cane molasses ( add more if you like it sweeter)

1 tablespoon of cinnamon ( add more or less depending on how cinamony you like it)

coconut oil

Method:

Mix the flax seeds and chiaseeds in a mixing bowl with the 6 tbsp of water. Set aside and let it gel up for 5 minutes. Add in the syrup, salt, baking powder and cinnamon and mix. Now add in the flour and water and mix well make sure there are no lumps because nobody likes lumpy pancakes!

The batter should be smooth but not too runny and not to dry it should drip off a wooden spoon but not run. I don’t know if i am making sense here.. but if you find it too runny add more flour and if it is not dripping or running at all add more water.

heat a pan on medium high heat and add as much coconut oil as you prefer if you have a non stick pan you don’t need any oil if that is what you prefer. I used 1 teaspoon of coconut for this whole recipe. Take a soup serving spoon and pure on pan( 1 spoonful equals one pancake) flip over once bubbles form on surface. Once both sides are golden brown then its done, now go on and make the rest of the batter 🙂

Since it is Autumn here, organic and locally grown plums and pears are available in abundance so that is exactly what i used for my toppings.

Extra topping recipe:

Pear sauce

ingredients:

2 small very ripe pears

handful of raisins

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tablespoons of water

Method

chop up the pears add cinnamon and put in a pot pour in the water bring to boil and then turn heat very low simmer for 10 mins. Serve warm on top of pancakes.

Plum Sauce:

5 overripe plums

2 Tablespoons of water

vanilla bean (optional)

Method:

remove the seed from each plum and chop up roughly place in pot add water and vanilla simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes. It should be mashed up well if this is not the case let it simmer a bit longer. Serve and enjoy!IMG_2838

Generation of eating smoothies out of a bowl : The Basic Bowl

Smoothie bowls are just the best thing ever. Besides smoothies and a spoon are a match made in heaven, i love to eat my smoothie like a soup. I am a huge fan of smoothie bowls and i usually always have a bowl for breakfast -especially in summer- topped with all kinds of goodies; raw nuts, cocoa nibs, chia seeds, muesli, goji. maca powder, hemp seeds. flax seeds etc etc the list of toppings is really endless. It is a really good way to get a lot of nutrients in, i sometimes also sneak in some greens like spinach into my bowl. Today i want to share with you a recipe that i usually use as a base for my smoothie bowls, this should act as a rough guide, because in the end it is really up to you, what you make of it. Make it awesome!

The Basic Smoothie Bowl.

Serves one human.

Ingredients

2 frozen nanas

handful of frozen berries

1 1/2 cup of oat milk ( i like to use the natural oatly type) but feel free to use water or coconut water

1 tablespoon of oats or millet flakes

a handful of fresh spinach

(Toppings used here: Chia, Goji, shaved dried coconut pieces)

Method:

put everything in a blender -apart from your toppings- and blend that baby up. When all is creamy and smooth pour into one of you favorite bowls sprinkle your toppings on top and enjoy.