The simpler the recipe, the more important it is to use quality ingredients.
It is finally Friday! It has been a busy week and I need to get ready for a busy weekend ahead. The Kutty clan (Raj’s family) and the Chan clan (my family) are having a big Thanksgiving dinner together on Sunday and I am doing all my grocery shopping tomorrow. Then on Thanksgiving Monday, Raj and I have a baby shower to attend. I am so excited for everything this weekend, but tonight, I just want to relax in my pajamas with a blanket, Sex and the City reruns, and some nourishing hot chocolate…
This dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free, nut-free, and vegan hot chocolate is definitely a nourishing upgrade from the standard hot chocolate at your generic coffee shop.
- 1 cup water (filtered)
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder (raw, organic)
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil (cold-pressed, organic, extra virgin)
- healthy sugar substitute (i.e. monk fruit sweetener, stevia, erythritol, xylitol, etc.) to taste
- the tiniest pinch of sea salt
- In a small saucepan over low to medium heat, whisk all the ingredients together until the mixture heats up to a simmer.
- Pour the frothy mixture into your favourite mug and enjoy!
Enjoy a comforting mug of healthy hot chocolate this fall and winter without spiking your blood sugar and without the pro-inflammatory effects of dairy. You can also add extracts of your favourite chocolate complementary flavours (i.e. peppermint extract for chocolate mint flavour, orange extract for orange chocolate flavour, etc.). Cheers!
Larabar Fruit and Nut Energy Bars are simple (contain no more than nine whole-food ingredients), gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, low-sodium, and vegan. They are delicious right out of the wrapper, but since they are made with only such few pure and raw ingredients, I thought to myself, “Why not bake with them?” So I experimented with that thought and managed to turn one Larabar into eight delicious and nutritious cookies! It works with all the Larabar flavours, but I will be showing you how with my favourite flavour, Coconut Cream.
The Coconut Cream flavour contains ONLY dates, unsweetened coconut, almonds, cashews, and extra virgin coconut oil.
1. Select your favourite Larabar flavour (mine is Coconut Cream) and preheat the oven to 150°F.
2. Cut the Larabar into eight equally sized pieces (cut the bar into halves and then, cut each half into quarters).
3. With the palms of your hands, flatten each piece as much as possible into thin, round cookies.
4. Bake the cookies for about 30 minutes or until crispy.
5. Let the cookies cool down completely to get even more crispy and then, enjoy!
These cookies are so delicious and nutritious (high in fibre and healthy fats) since the only ingredient is Larabar. Also, this recipe, which makes eight bite-sized cookies from one Larabar, is great for portion control. So the next time you are craving cookies, try this out!
Argan oil, which is extracted from the kernels of argan fruit trees, is high in essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and other antioxidants. I use this nutrient-rich oil as a hair treatment at least once every month to help grow and maintain long, luscious, healthy hair! I love the New Roots Herbal Argan Oil, because it is pure, organic, cold-pressed, non-GMO, hand-sourced from Morocco, and very affordable (usually around $16 CAD for a 50-ml glass bottle). Here is how I use it as a hair treatment at least once every month for long, healthy hair:
Pure argan oil like this one has an earthy and slightly nutty scent. I am not fond of the scent, but it will not keep me from doing this hair treatment at least once every month!
- Pick a day when your hair does not need to look great (i.e. an uneventful day-off or a work day with no important meetings).
- In the morning, apply a generous amount of argan oil all over your hair. (For my hair length, I use about 5 full droppers.)
- Massage the argan oil well into your hair and then, tie your hair up in a bun.
- Let the argan oil sit in your hair for the entire day (at least 8 hours).
- Shampoo your hair once or twice (no need to condition it afterwards) and let it air-dry.
- Repeat steps 1 through 5 at least once every month and enjoy your beautiful hair!
Your hair will look greasy during this all-day hair treatment. That is why I tie my hair up in a bun. Another nice alternative is to braid your hair in a ponytail.
If you complement this at-least-monthly hair treatment with minimal to no use of hair-styling products and heat, a healthy diet, and minimal stress, get ready to watch your hair grow in length and volume!
I cannot stop playing with my hair every time after I do this hair treatment! It just feels extra soft and silky!
The best and easiest natural homemade blush + lip gloss ever!
In my and Raj’s lecture on “Staying Cancer-Free Through Nutrition” tomorrow night at The Big Carrot, I will be briefly touching on how the toxins that we absorb from the environment and synthetic products are just as important to consider in cancer prevention/fighting as the toxins and nutrients that we consume. Our skin is our largest organ. What we put on our skin matters and we should always try to keep our body-care and cosmetic products as natural as possible. I will admit that I struggle with trying to use more natural cosmetics, especially when natural cosmetics tend to be less readily available, less pigmented, less lasting, and/or less diverse in colours. I am taking baby steps though with the more foolproof natural cosmetic products like blushes and lip glosses (I will explore the more daunting natural cosmetics like eyeliners and mascaras another time).
Aside from a few drops of filtered water, these are the only two other ingredients!
Although there are numerous natural cosmetic companies out there making wonderful blushes and lip glosses, I wanted to make my own two-in-one (blush + lip gloss) from scratch. Unlike all the more natural blushes and lip glosses I have seen on the market, I wanted mine to be completely free of preservatives, made with minimal ingredients, and good enough to eat! I finally came up with a super easy recipe that requires only three (edible) ingredients and that makes an absolutely gorgeous blush and lip gloss!
It is LITERALLY good enough to eat!
- In a very small bowl (i.e. dipping sauce bowl), add the red beetroot powder and then stir in the hot filtered water a few drops at a time until the red beetroot powder/crystals have dissolved and the mixture has a syrup-like consistency.
- Find a small glass jar, in which you would like to store this two-in-one blush + lip gloss product. Pour the liquid raw organic virgin coconut oil and the water-dissolved red beetroot powder/crystals into this small glass jar. Close the lid tightly and then shake the jar well to mix everything together. The coconut oil should turn deep red in colour (it will apply pink on the skin though).
- Place the jar in the freezer for about a hour to let the contents solidify and then keep it stored in the refrigerator. Take it out of the refrigerator anytime you want to apply a gorgeous berry pink colour on your cheeks and/or lips. Enjoy!
Who knew beets and coconut oil could be so pretty on the skin?
I just love using this as a blush! The gorgeous berry pink colour stays on my cheeks all day (i.e. from early in the morning to when I come home from work, which is over eight hours). Not only does this easy-to-make product give a beautiful and lasting colour on my skin, but it also nourishes and moisturizes my skin. I really hope all my beauty-product junkies out there give this recipe a try, especially those who are also trying to go the more natural route. Your skin will thank you. 🙂