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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Raw Vegan Chocolate Fudge Brownies (Gluten Free, Super Healthy & DELICIOUS!)

Finding healthy sweet treats isn't always easy but these chocolate fudge brownies will tick all the right boxes. They're incredibly healthy, deliciously sweet and you can make them in minutes.

You'll need:

2 cups (approx 20) medjool dates, you can find these in the fruit section of your supermarket.
1 cup of chopped almonds, I just gave some regular almonds a wiz in my food processor before making the brownies rather than buying pre-chopped almonds, it's cheaper that way.
1 cup of almond meal, you can find this in your supermarket, most likely in the baking section
3/4 cup of raw cacao powder, you can find this in your health food store
3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, this is also at your health food store and in some Coles supermarkets
2 teaspoons of spirulina powder (optional), available at your health food store
2 tablespoons of shredded coconut

Tear open the dates to remove the seed and then throw all of your ingredients (except the coconut) into a food processor and wiz it for 1-2 minutes (or until everything is combined, depending on the power of your food processor).

Transfer the mixture into a lined tray and press it down firmly to compact the mixture, sprinkle the coconut on top and press it again into the brownie mix.

Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before taking it out of the tin and slicing it into squares.

That's all, super easy and absolutely delicious. Scroll down the bottom to read why these are so good for you.


Don't be turned off from this recipe because it contains ingredients you may not have on hand, a quick trip to your local health food store will help you find everything you need and most health food stores also let you buy by weight so you can get just the right amount of each ingredient.

It's important to use medjool dates, which is good because they're the most common variety. Medjool dates give it that sweet, 'fudgy' consistency and the flavour is milder so it's easily over powered by the cacao powder. I'm not a fan of dates but you can't taste them at all in this recipe.

You can use chopped walnuts or macadamias instead of almonds if you like to mix things up a little.

If you have difficulty measuring out your coconut oil, remove the lid and place the jar in the microwave for 30-60 seconds or submerge the jar into hot water until it softens, making sure no water gets into the jar. When it's softened, spoon out a few scoops into another container and melt it the same way (either in the microwave or submerged in hot water). It's easy to melt and is much easier to measure in it's liquid form. You can just pour whatever you don't use back into the jar so it will set again to use next time.

Why are these so good for me?

Cacao powder is full of nutrients and antioxidants to fight free radicals that cause DNA damage within the body. It is also one of the world’s best sources of magnesium and has a natural mood booster to lift your spirits a little. Cacao powder is essentially chocolate in it's natural, unprocessed, powder form, it has a more refined, friendlier taste than processed cocoa powder.

Spirulina is an algae high in chlorophyll, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and B vitamins. It has 2300% more iron than spinach and 300% more calcium than whole milk. It's also one of the  highest-protein sources in the world.  It is also incredibly alkalising, which helps balance PH levels in the body to promote general health plus it's fantastic for your skin. It smells awful and tastes the same way but the flavour is easily covered up by other ingredients when cooking. It's also not too expensive, I buy roughly 50g at a time, it costs about $4 and lasts for ages because you only need to use a small amount when you cook.

Dates are a fantastic sweetener, they're rich in vitamin B6 and also contain good amounts of potassium, copper and magnesium. They have a whole bunch of other vitamins and minerals in lower quantities also.

Coconut Oil is a fantastic fat for your body, it controls weight, eases digestion, gives you an immunity boost, manages type 2 diabetes and gives your metabolism an extra kick. It's also brilliant for your skin.

Monday, May 13, 2013

6 Beauty Products You Must Own

A go-to neutral palette

If you're ever in a rush it's good to know that your trusty neutral palette is ready and waiting to be swept over your eye lids. It's good if your palette has a shade for highlighting as well as a shade that you can use as a liner if you're short on time.

I love the Bare Minerals palette in 'The Truth' for a quick and easy eye.

A perfect blending brush

Nothing makes your eyeshadow application more simple than a perfect blending brush. You want a brush that you can reach for to apply all of your eyeshadow, rather than having to swap brushes for different things.

I love the MAC 217 brush (I have about 4 of them) for sweeping shadow over the lid, defining the crease and darkening the lash line.

A tinted moisturiser or BB cream

If you don't like to wear foundation every day then a tinted moisturiser or BB cream is perfect for those days when you're just grocery shopping or running errands but still want a little bit of coverage. This way you don't have to fuss over a perfect application and you can just buff it into your skin with clean fingers.

I love the Garnier BB Cream

 A my-lips-but-better lip colour

A perfect lip stick to make your natural lip colour shine. Your my-lips-but-better colour should be one shade lighter or darker than your natural lip colour (depending on your preference). It will be different for every person but generally it will be a rose tones colour to match your natural lip shade.

I love MAC Gem of Roses and Chanel Legende.

A rose tinted bronzer
A bronzer with a subtle rose tint to quickly make your face more awake and defined. When you don't have time (or can't be bothered) contouring, a rose tinted bronzer can be swept just above your contour line (about an inch below your cheekbones) to brighten up your face.

I love Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel in Sable Rose

An exact-match concealer

To quickly cover any imperfections on your face or under your eyes, a concealer that matches your skin tone exactly will do the trick. On most days I use a corrector before my concealer and then use a concealer slightly too light for me and take the time to blend it in properly. But when I'm running out the door and don't have time for a full face of make up, nothing beats an exact match concealer for a quick and easy cover.

I love Cle de Peau Concealer and MAC Mineralise Concealer