First time ever, buying a raw Aloe—something I had my eyes on doing! I had to go on YouTube to see how I would peel it, (never eat the skin!) and by cutting the two edges, and carefully removing the large surfaces, (though with very slim-ey hands at the end) I was able to get some nice filets of transparent rectangles of aloe pulp! I used the pulp for a smoothie, and the rind…I rubbed on my skin (of course the inside facing the skin) for hydration! Feels gooey at first, but drys up quickly for a a toner. (Remove if you feel any itching!)
For the smoothie:
- 5-10 cm of aloe (the aloe is a bit amer-bitter so adjust at your preference)
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 kiwi
- 2 cubes of frozen pineapple juice OR simply ice cubes
- 1/2 water
- Not pictured, but I added some fresh pomegranate, which is also highly recommended!
Seeing all that chocolate in town made me motivated to debark on some original chocolate-making of my own. As I had a pack of non-opened hemp flour we had gotten on sale, some whole rice flour—and a bar of 90% lindts chocolate, I just needed some eggs and was ready to go. Here’s the line up of ingredients:
- 6 squares of 90% chocolate (melted)
- 1/2 cup of virgin coconut oil (melted)
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup of maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
- A teaspoon of instant coffee powder
- 1/2 cup of hemp flour
- 1/2 whole rice flour
- 1/3 cup of unsweetened cacao powder
- a pinch of salt
- Almonds for topping
Mix up the coconut oil and chocolate first, add in all the ingredients, and voila! 18-20 minutes in the oven at 175 degrees.
Result? Well, not bad for healthy brownies, but they turned out a bit dry. Still need to improve on that fudge-y texture! Happy Valentines!
“Liquide vaiselle maison”— Another one to add to the list! Gradually I’m transitioning home products to home-made ones, and loving the process.
- 25g Savon de Marseille (True Marseille soap contains at least 72% of olive oil. Recommended makers: La Corvette, Fer à Cheval, Marius Fabre. Choose either green or black colored — the white or cream colored is based on palm oil or coconut oil)
- 400 ml hot water
- Baking soda 2 teaspoons
- White vinegar 2 teaspoons
- Sodium carbonate 2 teaspoons
- Liquid savon noir (black soap) 2 teaspoons
- Essential oils (lavender, lemon, tea tree) of your choice 10 drops
In a bowl, let the grated soap melt in hot water, then add all ingredients. (A brief pshhhh when combining baking soda & vinegar!) And here you have it!
Again, looking to maybe find a way to thicken the formula, which will also help to lessen the consommation. (When it’s watery, it tends to skirt out a lot, sometimes more necessary!)
I’ve heard lots about avocado being used in chocolate recipes, but never really stepped into the game. It had been a while since I’ve spotted some good ripe organic avocados, so decided to give it a go! I still need to brush up the recipe—(chunks and taste of avocado lingers in the mouth…added a pinch too much of salt…I would add some maple syrup next time…) but overall I think we are heading in the right direction for a decadent chocolate truffle. Here’s the recipe below! Certainly wouldn’t be bad for a new take for Saint Valentin!
- Avocado (pitted, peeled and mashed)
- 1/4 cup of melted 90% chocolate
- 1 tablespoon, coconut oil
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup of cacao powder
Mix the avocado, chocolate and coconut oil together until smooth (smooth as in no chunks–learned!) and add the salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Leave it in the fridge for 20 minutes. Create small balls with your hand and dip them into the cacao powder to coat. Voila! Into the fridge until dessert!
After having tidy-ed up the house, I love to give it a finishing touch with some natural air purifiers. I honestly believe that it makes the air serene and calm, and brings everything back to zero. I often freshen up with these even when I just feel like my mind is cloudy, energy is low or body feels sluggish. My three big magic methods:
- Aroma diffuser : Oils depending on the day & moment but combinations like lavender–citron–eucalyptus is 100%.
- Dried sage: I’ve been using this for a long time now–when I teach I sometimes like to burn sage in the room before class to create a clean feel-good ambiance. At the moment, we also are growing our own sage which will be dried out for future use.
- Palo Santo: A recent favorite. There is something so calming about the scent of pure wood, which also works as an incense. (*I would’t burn it for long–sometimes the aroma can get a bit strong)
So, we happily finished our first day of our bee-keeping introduction session–a fitting for our combinaison (yes, bought!) and a 3 hour lecture on a general outline of the art of apiculture. Not only is the practice of moving our hands important, but also the theory. Although quite scientific (which can be difficult for me at times), it’s quite interesting to learn the anatomy of bees (apis millefera millefera—to be exact) we will be handling, and much much more. The 3-hour intro was insightful, thorough but compact, as the presenter ended saying ‘we can still go on for hours’. At least, this thick bible of apiculture we have at home seems a bit more accessible now… more to come!
Book: Le traité d’apiculture (Rustica)
We popped into a magasin de bio (an organic shop) to find some nice medjool dates. These actually needed a good soak in water, but after that they were ready to use for a new recipe. I took out randomly, all ingredients in our pantry that might be interesting for this recipe, whipped them together, and I think I have a new favorite snack maison. Here’s the recipe:
- 4 Organic Medjool dates
- A handful of crushed pecan nuts
- 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of cacao powder
- 2 raw cacao feves crushed, or cacao nibs
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 2 pinches of salt (fleur de sel)
- 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut
Cut up the dates (soaked in water and drained), mash them up with a fork in a bowl. Add ALL the ingredients, mix them up, and spread the batter on a piece of parchment paper. Let it solidify in the freezer for 15-30 minutes, and voilà!, ready to cut into bar shapes of your preference!