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.

Fizzy Lemonade

 

This is not about Queen B, but trust me it is as good. Summer is finally upon us in Berlin, skirts and shorts are out skin and ice cream licking shaded faces are all over the place….

 

I am going to get right into the recipe, this is possibly the easiest  cooling and soothing lemonade recipe, that will really fulfill that fizzy crave that we all get when the temperatures are up.

Ingredients:

1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (in Berlin currently there are no available lemons from Europe so i used lemon concentrate from Alnatura which is also good as it is 100/ lemon juice)

1 liter of Sparkling Water (if you cant stomach the fizz than just use still water)

2 Tbsp of Maple syrup (or any syrup you prefer)

1 cup of fresh or frozen berries (whichever berries  you prefer, i used blueberries and strawberries)

A handful of fresh basil leaves or Mint or both

 

Method:

1.place all the ingredients in a jug stir together and enjoy!

p.s If your water is not cold you can use frozen berries which can act as ice cubes.

p.s.s You can also store it in the fridge to cool and enjoy it later. Drink the lemonade within 24 hours so that everything still tastes fresh!

Enjoy!

 

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.

 

Pizza me

 

So today is the day that i will share my pizza recipe and talk a bit about this blog and myself.

I am Esther i am 22 years old and i am a vegan. I have not always been vegan i was a vegetarian for close to 2 years and became a vegan due to ethical reasons. I actually just informed myself and realized that i don’t want to be a part of the madness. Simple as that. There exists enough media and research on veganism so if you want to get informed, you will get informed. Its all a matter of consciously making a decision, i think everything else is just excuses. I feel that it is possible to live a vegan lifestyle in the world that we live in now, and it is possible to eat plant based whole foods.

I made this Blog to document my plant-based adventures, to share recipes, places and people that i like and find inspiring. I am not here to tell you what to eat, how many calories, or how many crunches you should be doing or how you should look.  I am not an expert i am just sharing things that i find make me feel good and that i hope will make you feel good too.

I am not sure about a lot of things and i am aware of that, yet through eating consciously and bringing awareness to what is happening around me and my surroundings, my environment and the planet, I am getting closer to figuring things out. I think most of the time we are not aware of what is happening or of what exactly we are doing. I am trying to be mindful of my actions and its consequences. This has helped me so far overcome a lot of things and appreciate a lot of the people and moments that make up my life. I want to bring awareness to the fact that if we all actively think about the things that we eat then i think that we will be able to make clearer choices in other aspects of our lives too. Food is what makes us human i mean we have to eat to survive and i think that we shouldn’t be compromising food. The fact is that when you eat more plant based foods your body gets nutrients that help to positively influence your mood, energy and the body as whole. This  is vital as all these things influence all other aspects of your life. This blog is not about following a strict diet to lose weight or whatever, it is about going back to the basics and cooking and making your own food with the most natural ingredients in order to nourish yourself so that you can actively live your life and influence those around you positively to do the same thing for themselves and the planet as a whole.

So for those of you who are here for Pizza here it is. You see how bad can a plant-based diet? you can eat pizza and still feel great afterwards. I have used this recipe multiple times and i have always gotten positive feedback. The last time i made it was two days ago for my new housemate and he liked it. This recipe is not Gluten free but it is Cruelty Free 😀

Ingredients:

makes four medium sized pizzas depending how thick you make the crust

Pizza dough

1 Sachet of dry active vegan yeast ( about 9 grams)

4 cups of organic wholewheat spelt flour ( or 2 cups of spelt flour and 2 cups of wholewheat or 4 cups of whole wheat flour)

pinch of salt

5 Tablespoons of lukewarm water

2 and 1/2 cup of lukewarm water

some olive oil

2 table spoons of polenta flour or maize meal

Pizza Sauce

1 diced onion

1 crushed garlic glove

1 tablespoon of olive oil

pinch of dried chili peppers ( more if you like it spicy)

pinch of cinnamon

2 Tablespoons of white wine or red wine

1 can of crushed tomatoes or 1/2 liter of pureed tomatoes

1/2 cup of water

salt to taste

rubbed dried Italian mix herbs( oregano, parsley, sage if you like)

Topping

round sliced Eggplant

round sliced zucchini

some chopped mushrooms

red bell pepper

onion

fresh pepperoni

baby spinach

sliced tomato

IMG_2315

USE WHATEVER TOPPINGS YOU WANT, MAKE THE PIZZA TO YOUR LIKING THE ABOVE IS JUST SOME INSPO AND A COMBO THAT I PERSONALLY LOVE.

Method:

#1.Place the yeast in a bowl and add in the salt. Mix with 5 tablespoons of water set aside and let it bubble or activate for 10 minutes.

#2.Add in the flour and mix. Now add 2 1/2 cups of water and mix. The dough should be soft not too sticky, but also not too dry and hard it should stick a bit but still be moldable, it should be elastic if this is not the case add more water or flour. Think elastic! now it is time for a 12 min HIIT arm workout time to Knead that baby into a ball and i mean you have to give it all you have, punch ,throw and pinch just do it! The dough should be elastic and soft and your arms should be sore 😀 Unless you are a pro then all this was just a warm up.

#3.Oil the bowl and wipe the dough ball with with the oil, cover the bowl with a kitchen cloth but let the dough breath so leave a small opening, keep it in a warm dark space to grow for about 1 hour to 1hr 30 mins.

IMG_2322

#4. Prepare the pizza sauce. Take a cooking pot, a deep pan works too, put the heat on medium high and add in a tablespoon of olive oil (or whatever you prefer). When the oil is warm add in the diced onions,and toss around to avoid them getting burn.Once the onions have turned glassy add in the garlic and the chili flakes and cinnamon. Stir all together and splash in the wine and lower the heat and mix everything and let the wine visibly reduce a bit. Pour in the crushed tomato and water, reduce heat to very low and let it simmer for 45 minutes stir occasionally. Add the salt and rubbed herbs in the end and stir.

IMG_2321

The Pizza dough should have doubled in size. Preheat oven to 275 degrees, if you don’t have a pizza stone turn your oven baking tray upside down and let it act as a stone. ( i hope this makes sense) If not prepare how you normally would prepare store bought pizza.

IMG_2324

#5. Divide the dough into four equal parts and roll each part into a ball. Dust a flat surface with maize flour (polenta flour) and roll out your pizza base and crust to your liking if you like it thick than make the crust thicker if thin is your preference than roll the crust thinner.

#6. Once you have rolled out your pizza base. Spread some pizza sauce on it and dress it up with your loving toppings. Place the pizza on the upside down oven tray or on a pizza stone shove it in the oven and let it bake for 8 minutes, if your oven is good and well preheated this is all the time it needs. Last but not least be careful not to burn yourself when you take the Pizza out as the oven is hot 😀

Voila let there be Pizzzaaaaa 😀

P.S if anything was not clear please don’t hesitate to ask me:)

Essentials: Oatly + milk rice recipe

The first product that i want to feature is Oatly. Oatly is a proud Swedish company, that makes oat drinks that are a great alternative to milk. I am all about making my own milk alternatives but sometimes the time is not there to clean everything up, therefore when i buy, i buy Oatly. Other milk alternatives brands which are available in stores contain a ton of crap like sunflower oil, i don’t understand what oil is doing in there! I recommend Oatly because it tastes amazing, contains simple readable minimal ingredients, is creamy and delicious-making it great to cook and bake with. I love their vanilla, chocolate and pure oat drink. I find all three the bombdiggity 😀

 

 

Oatly’s products are organic and place a deep emphasis on producing only plant-based products that are environmentally and eco friendly. Their website is very informative, colorful, has funny illustrations and is enjoyable to read.

Oatly also contributed at the Way out West festival which is one of Sweden’s biggest music festival which decided back in 2012 to go completely meat free this cut the festivals carbon footprint by 25%. They topped this in 2015 by going milk free too with Oatly changing the festivals name to Way oat west. (see video below)

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPTtwsFqwE0

Toni Petersson the CEO of Oatly he also posts YouTube videos under a series called Toni Tv were he posts hilarious videos like the wow no cow song and also shares his thoughts.

Oatly has made it possible for me to remake a childhood dish that i loved and still love and that is Milchreis. As a child i would have done everything for Milk rice i was a milk rice monster. Milk rice is something that is known by most people in Germany and is especially loved by children, it is like a sweet milk risotto that is topped with hot cherries, applemus/applesauce or cinnamon usually.  I have tried making milk rice with coconut milk but that reminded me more of the Thai sticky rice which i also like -don’t get me wrong- but i never really found the milk rice from my childhood till i tried to make it with Oatly. I hope you enjoy it, its super quick and easy  to make and doesn’t really require much stuff 🙂

What you need:

Stove

cooking pot with a lid

wooden spoon

Ingredients:

1 cup of milk rice or risotto rice

4 1/2 cup of vanilla oatly 

toppings: cinnamon, berries or whatever you prefer

Method:

Place the 4 1/2 Cups of Oatly and the rice in a pot and bring to boil once it is boiling turn down the heat to low and let it simmer. Stir occasionally, if it gets to dry add more Oatly. This takes about 25 minutes. Once the rice is ready turn off the heat take the pot away from the stove top and let the rice rest for 10 minutes in the pot with the lid on. Serve in a bowl add your toppings and enjoy. This is a great breakfast, lunch dinner or dessert! 😉

blll