End of March- Turning 25

I turned 25 on the 24th of March. March is always that exciting yet stressful month of the year for me. I am a person that loves celebrating Birthdays. I have always been! I trace this excitement back to my childhood. My mother always set up a “birthday-table”, since I am a “frühlingskind” (spring baby) she would create an Easter tree for me-by placing twigs and branches in a large vase. She would then decorate the twigs, by hanging little colourful Easter eggs and pretty ornaments. She would sing for me and I would blow out my candles and we would have cake.

 

There are some memories that you hold on to as a child, especially if you lost the person that you had those memories with early.  This year I turned 25, it feels scary because there are a ton of things that I want to do and so many things that I am unsure of.

 I am currently working part-time and trying to pursue my dreams/hopes and still figuring out my life.

 

Here is a list of 25 statements/facts/thoughts/scatters that I would like to share:

  1. I hope to learn to edit videos and pictures better in the coming months
  2. I grew up with family traditions until the age of 8. I hope to start a new tradition of spending time with my family every Sunday
  3. My family is my younger brother
  4. Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin describes the relationship that I have with my brother quiet accurately
  5. My brother is 3 years younger than me
  6. I live very close to the area where my Mother used to live when she was in her 20s
  7. Berlin will always be the city where I had a mother
  8. My mother died when I was 8
  9. At nine my confidence started to diminish
  10. I used to go snorkelling a lot as a young girl. I would go alone and spend hours floating on the ocean’s surface and watching the corals below me
  11. The subject’s that I enjoyed most in primary school were English and English literature
  12. I changed school’s three times
  13. In ninth grade, I cut all my relaxed hair with a shaving razor blade and went bald. I did this because I had promised my mother that I would never put relaxer in my hair.
  14. As a teenager I looked for approval and love from boys and others. I would alter myself so much just to gain approval.
  15. Nobody told me growing up that it was ok to grieve. It was more like its over now, get over it already, so and so years have passed.
  16. I won a poetry competition once
  17. My middle name is Kondo. When I was born I had a lawyer as the German social services thought that Kondo was a boy’s name. But my mother’s mum was called Kondo so my Parents had to prove that the name was not a boy’s name :/ if only Marie Kondo’s book would have been a bestseller back then.
  18. As a teenager, I tried out several religions as I was searching for rules and guidance. Looking back, I realise that all along I was searching for something that would let me know that I was Ok.
  19. I came back to Berlin on my own when I was 19
  20.  People in Germany did ask me if I grew up with Giraffes in my backyard
  21. I did not grow up eating fruits, veggies or organic produce. I am a 90s baby. I celebrated one of my Birthdays at Mcdonalds and another at Pizza Hut.
  22. I have been plant-based for almost 3.5 years now.
  23. I have come to realise that in a long distance relationship it is not about the distance but more of what happens when you see each other again. Just because you survived 3 months or a year apart does not mean anything. It is about how strongly connected you feel once you are back together in one space again.
  24. I have learnt to let go of things that I can not control. I still miss my mother but I am not ashamed of that fact anymore, that’s why I can share all this.
  25. I am grateful to everybody that came out to celebrate me.

 

P.s I made a carrot cake. I always use the same recipe because it seriously does not disappoint get it here.

 

 

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.

In a Banana Bread life is sweet. My TOP 3 Recipes.

 

So it has been 1 month since i last blogged. I am sorry for the missing in action, action. Its a failure of time management on my part honestly, however here i am now my friends. I come bearing banana bread recipes.

Banana Bread is really a magical thing so many good memories and things have happened in my life which can all be traced back to banana bread. I have met and had awesome conversations with people all because of banana bread seriously its magic if its mixed up and done right.

Banana bread for me needs to be simple, fast and easy to prepare. I think everybody can make banana bread and share it with people, its not difficult at all trust me! it is also a great thing as it does not require fancy ingredients and is free from sugar and from gluten ( well the banana bread i make is). I have tried several recipes and i have come up with three recipes that never ever fail so here they are.

 

Recipe 1.

Gluten Free Date Sweet Banana Bread

This recipe is one of the first banana breads i made. I must admit that the original recipe was not vegan however once i became vegan i realised that i needed to vegan this recipe up. I have one of the best memories with this recipe, i had my first kiss with my boyfriend because we couldn’t go out as I had just placed the banana bread in the oven when he asked me to meet me. So i told him to come over instead and the rest is history.

Recipe adapted from Laura in the Kitchen

Ingredients:
2-1/4 cups Oat Flour
4 Ripe Bananas, mashed
1 cup Dates, pitted and chopped
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
3 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

Method:

Preheat oven to 176 degrees celsius.

In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients.

Toss in the chopped up dates.

In another bowl mix up all the wet ingredients.

Now pour the wet ingredients into the flour mix and stir well.

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour in the mixture.

**If you want you can chop up a banana in to slices and place them on top of your bread. This is purely for optical reasons as it will look nice**

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes

let it cool for a while before serving did someone say Peanut butter!

Recipe 2:  Taline Gabriels Banana Bread

Sadly i do not have the rights to share this recipe since it is not my own recipe. However i would recommend all of you to check out Taline Gabriel’s Hippielaneapp. This is an amazing app ( FYI this is not a paid promotion or some rubbish like that), I only promote things that i personally also use and have bought with my few student budget pennies. I would recommend this app to anyone who wants to try making their own vegan, raw, gluten free and refined sugar free treats. She has some real awesome and simple recipes. On her website there are a few free recipes that one can test out before deciding to download her app. Her banana bread recipe is gluten free and i made it because a housemate of mine is glutenfree and i wanted to bake something healthy that all my housemates could enjoy and then i tried her recipe and everybody loved it. We have all made this banana bread several times again in the house and it always tasted awesome.

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Image is from the hippielaneapp. not my image.

Recipe 3: Super Simple Banana Bread

This is a recipe that i came up with when i was broke( which is usually towards the end of the month, student problems!) but i still wanted to make banana bread i had just written my last exam and wanted to spread the love and joy. I had four ripe bananas and lotsa oats so i went ahead and came up with this super easy recipe which was inspired by a banana bread that a friend had made and brought over a week prior. His banana bread was awesome ( sadly i do not have the recipe…YET).

Ingredients:

3 Cups of Oats flour ( place oats in a food processor and voila)

3 mashed bananas, chop up the fourth one and keep aside

1/2 cup of rice syrup

1 cup of plantbased milk

1 tsp of cinnamon

2 tsp of baking powder

1 cup of chopped up walnuts and pecans

Method:

Preheat oven to 160 degree celsius.

add all you dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.

mix all your wet ingredients in a separate bowl first and then add to the flour mix. Fold in half a cup of the nut mix.

line a loaf pan with baking paper and pour in the mixture. place the chopped banana pieces neatly on top and sprinkle the remaining nuts on top.

put in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until the fork comes out clean 🙂

Nomnom!!!

Untraditional Versions of Hummus

Berlin is a fast growing and evolving city, and you could say I am a somewhat proud Berliner. Its been a bumpy road reconnecting with the city but I am in tune with the flow now. I have found my place here, and I am loving it. Berlin has taught me a lot, and has introduced me to so many new sounds, people and tastes. Especially tastes such as Hummus. Hummus, you good friend of mine. I dollop hummus on so many things now it’s insane. I always have a jar in the fridge for all occasions be it mixed in my veggie bowls, on my rice, in my quinoa, spread on my bread(sprinkled with pomegranate seeds nomnom) or dunking my veggies in it, I simply love it! Hummus is a good and cheap source of protein for vegans and a tablespoon goes a long way. Since it is protein rich it can curb cravings as you get satisfied and get full faster and longer. It is also very easy to prepare at home and can be made in so many different flavors. Below I share two of my favorite recipes.

IMG_1119   Idea: Hummus tastes great spread in a baked sweet potato with salad. It makes a simple but real yummy, nutritious and healthy dinner. Simply Good!

Tip: I also always buy 1kg of dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans from the various Turkish stores that exist in Berlin. This is not only better than buying a can as cans are such a waste, canned beans are also highly processed. Futhermore it is cheaper to buy beans of any kind in its dry form, as it lasts longer and is better for you and you can cook huge batches and freeze them for letter use. To prepare the beans soak them overnight.Drain the beans place in a pot fill with water so that all the beans are covered and bring water to boil, reduce the heat  and cook on low heat. Place a piece of onion in and do not salt the water yet as this slows the beans from becoming cooked through. Cook for an hour on low medium heat and spoon out the foam that may form. During the cooking process study, read do something anything don’t waste time 😀 and blame it on cooking! Once your beans are ready prepare them how you wish or freeze them for later use.  

1. Habibis Hummus

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas

3 Tbsp. of Tahini

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

Juice of 1 lemon

2 pinches of Garam masala (or more if you like the taste)

½ cup of water

Method:

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process till smooth. *if you don’t like garam masala or don’t have any use ground cumin

2.Baba Gahummous

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas

3 Tbsp. of Tahini

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

Juice of 1 lemon

½ cup of water

2 pinches of Garam masala (or more if you like the taste)

½ tsp of paprika powder

½ red bell pepper ½

eggplant 3 medium sized mushrooms (like locally grown brown champignons)

Method:

Rub some olive oil on the bell pepper and eggplant and chopped up mushrooms. Place everything in a preheated 175 degree Celsius oven and let it bake for about 10 minutes. Just make sure that the bell pepper and eggplant are well browned (not burnt). Add all the other ingredients in a food processor place the roasted mushrooms, eggplant and bell paper into the mix and process till creamy.