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Monday, August 26, 2013

Healthier Banana Chips!

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter! @ohrebeccalife

I can inhale a bag of banana chips like nobodies business, give me a bag of them and I'll make them disappear. They're delicious, cheap and easy to snack on, the only downfall is that the bananas are soaked in sugar syrup for a few hours and are then deep fried. Not the healthiest snacking option. However, you can make your own banana chips with almost no effort and no added sugar, plus they still taste amazing.

You'll need

1 Banana, bananas sweeten as they ripen so the riper, the better.
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
A little coconut oil (optional)


Preheat your oven to 80 degrees celsius, we want the bananas to cook very slowly so they dehydrate and turn into chips, rather than cooking them which will change the flavour.

Slice your banana into 2-3mm slices and place them into a bowl with your lemon juice. If you are using a solid coconut oil, melt a teaspoon and add it to the bowl also.

Gently massage the lemon juice/oil into the banana slices, careful not to squash them and then lay them out onto a lined baking tray in a single layer.

I'm using a spray coconut oil rather than a solid, I sprayed a very fine mist over the bananas once they were on the tray.

Bake on the bottom shelf of your oven for 30 minutes.

Take the bananas out of the oven to cool. When they're at room temperature, put them back in the oven for 15-25 minutes, take them out before they brown.

Leave them to cool and then enjoy! These babies will last about a week in an airtight container.


The lemon juice acts as a preservative to stop your bananas from browning or aging once they're cooked, it won't add any flavour to the chips.

The coconut oil is really just for colour, it gives the chips a beautiful golden colour and helps them to cook more easily. It also gives the chips a mild, tropical twist. The flavours combine really well together.

By dehydrating the bananas, letting them cool and then returning them to the oven the banana chips will go crispy. Cooking them all in one go will make them chewy with more of a 'dried fruit' consistency. That's fine, if that's what you're looking for.


Enjoy your banana chips! If you make this recipe, post a picture to Instagram and tag me so I'll see it! @ohrebeccalife

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Best Apple Crumble in the Entire World! (vegan)

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter! @ohrebeccalife

Is there anything better than a warm dessert on a cold, winters night? This fragrant apple crumble is warming and delicious, you're going to want to make it again and again.

I've been reading a lot of recipes for apple pies and crumbles and the healthier alternatives all follow the same basic recipe, but I've added a few of my own little twists into this one to make it as delicious and nutritional as possible. Feel free to play around with it and see what you can come up with.

The fruit in regular apple pies and crumbles are soaked in sugar syrup and left to soften which lessens the flavour and gives you an unnecessary sugar hit, apples are sweet enough as they are so I've only added a little bit of sweetener to the recipe just to bring the flavours of the apples, vanilla and cinnamon together.

Almond meal is my favourite raw flour so it's the key ingredient in my crust but if you're concerned about the (good) fat content, oat flour is a great alternative. You can buy fine oat flour in most supermarkets or you can always put rolled oats into a food processor to make your own. If you make oat flour yourself it will be a little rougher than almond meal but it still tastes wonderful. To add more fibre, you can substitute half a cup of your flour with flax-seed meal.

You'll need:

6-7 apples, chopped into small pieces, I like to use Granny Smith apples because they warm beautifully. I've left the skin on for their nutritional value, you can peel them if you want too.
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
2/3 cup of sultanas (optional)
The seeds from 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. If you need help scraping the seeds out of your vanilla pod, this video will help you.
4 teaspoons of cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 cups of almond meal, you could use oat* or coconut flour if you prefer.
2 tablespoons of sweetener, I used coconut sugar, you can use stevia or raw sugar if you prefer.
1/4 cup of coconut oil, you can use margarine if you prefer (low fat, unsalted is best)
1/4 cup of chopped macadamias or almonds


In a pie dish, mix the apples, vanilla, and 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and the lemon juice until the apples are evenly coated.


In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the cinnamon, nutmeg, almond meal, sweetener and coconut oil and mix until combined into a rough, slightly damp flour.


Press the mixture over the apples in your pie dish, the apples should be covered completely but depending on your dish size you may still have some apples poking through or some edges not covered, it's not important that everything is covered, just spread it out as much as you can.


Bake at 180 degrees celsius for about 30 minutes. The apples will be tender and the crust should be golden. Sprinkle the chopped macadamias or almonds over the top as soon as you take it out of the oven.


I serve mine with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream.


If you make this recipe, tag me on Instagram or Twitter to make sure I'll see it! @ohrebeccalife


Monday, August 12, 2013

Christian Dior Creme de Rose Lip Balm



The beauty community has been going mental for this lip balm lately so it was inevitable that I'd get my paws on it sooner or later. My lips are prone to chapping, I apply lip balm roughly 10 times per day to stop them from drying out. I've tried great balms and I've tried poor balms, I expected this one to be great.
I use a general lip balm during the day (Nivea Essential Care, usually) and then a more hydrating, intense balm in the evening and night.
Let’s start with the packaging. The cheap feeling plastic isn't what I expected from a $43 Christian Dior lip balm, it's flimsy, scratches easily and after two weeks of floating around my handbag it leaves little to be desired. I know there's only so much you can do with plastic but I expected something a little more inviting.
Inside the packaging you'll find 7.2 grams of product, it's not a lot but I knew that when I bought it. In my experience, intense and less concentrated lip balms require less product per use and just less use in general. After two weeks of use however, I've almost finished the entire thing. THE ENTIRE THING! The reason for this is that the balm only seems to provide any sort of comfort or nourishment while it's physically on your lips, once it's absorbed there's no lasting protection or hydration. This balm absorbs completely within 15 minutes, meaning that I'm reapplying it constantly.
All of this is a real shame because when it comes to consistency and texture, Creme de Rose gets it right, I'd go as far as saying that the texture of this lip balm is absolutely perfect. There's enough slip to it that I can move my lips together easily and it's not sticky at all. It feels weightless and my hair doesn't stick to it when I start dancing around my house (which I tend to do more often than not). Most thick lip balms can't perfect this like Creme de Rose has, too bad the actual product is useless.


It has a strong rose scent but it doesn't smell artificial and coming from a beauty house that prides itself on perfumes, I would expect nothing less. The scent it a little bitter with just a hint of sweet, much like real roses. The scent doesn't linger for long but it's nice while it does.
There is no colour transfer, while the balm looks pink in the pot it will apply clear which is to be expected
So this balm definitely isn't for me, perhaps those with less need for hydration, nourishment and protection will like it a bit better but personally, I'd give it a miss.
Creme de Rose will cost you $43 at Dior counters in Australia (or $27 at Dior counters, Sephora and Nordstrom in the US)

Christian Dior Creme de Rose Lip Balm



The beauty community has been going mental for this lip balm lately so it was inevitable that I'd get my paws on it sooner or later. My lips are prone to chapping, I apply lip balm roughly 10 times per day to stop them from drying out. I've tried great balms and I've tried poor balms, I expected this one to be great.
I use a general lip balm during the day (Nivea Essential Care, usually) and then a more hydrating, intense balm in the evening and night.
Let’s start with the packaging. The cheap feeling plastic isn't what I expected from a $43 Christian Dior lip balm, it's flimsy, scratches easily and after two weeks of floating around my handbag it leaves little to be desired. I know there's only so much you can do with plastic but I expected something a little more inviting.
Inside the packaging you'll find 7.2 grams of product, it's not a lot but I knew that when I bought it. In my experience, intense and less concentrated lip balms require less product per use and just less use in general. After two weeks of use however, I've almost finished the entire thing. THE ENTIRE THING! The reason for this is that the balm only seems to provide any sort of comfort or nourishment while it's physically on your lips, once it's absorbed there's no lasting protection or hydration. This balm absorbs completely within 15 minutes, meaning that I'm reapplying it constantly.
All of this is a real shame because when it comes to consistency and texture, Creme de Rose gets it right, I'd go as far as saying that the texture of this lip balm is absolutely perfect. There's enough slip to it that I can move my lips together easily and it's not sticky at all. It feels weightless and my hair doesn't stick to it when I start dancing around my house (which I tend to do more often than not). Most thick lip balms can't perfect this like Creme de Rose has, too bad the actual product is useless.


It has a strong rose scent but it doesn't smell artificial and coming from a beauty house that prides itself on perfumes, I would expect nothing less. The scent it a little bitter with just a hint of sweet, much like real roses. The scent doesn't linger for long but it's nice while it does.
There is no colour transfer, while the balm looks pink in the pot it will apply clear which is to be expected
So this balm definitely isn't for me, perhaps those with less need for hydration, nourishment and protection will like it a bit better but personally, I'd give it a miss.
Creme de Rose will cost you $43 at Dior counters in Australia (or $27 at Dior counters, Sephora and Nordstrom in the US)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pumpkin, Spinach and Ricotta Lasagne!



(Cue Friends reference)
Pumpkin? Good. Spinach? Good. Lasagne? Good!

This lasagne is not only delicious but it has far less fat and carbohydrates than regular lasagne.

It also stores really well so you can make enough for a few meals and keep it in your refrigerator or freeze it for later.

You'll need:

Roughly 3 cups of diced pumpkin (about 3/4 of a butternut)
300g of Ricotta
3 handfulls of baby spinach, chopped roughly.
4 Spring Onions, chopped finely.
1/4 cup of light shredded cheese, plus a little extra for the top.
Lasagne sheets (I used 4)
1 jar of basic pasta sauce, I use Ragulette Classic Tomato Bolognese
A sprinkle of salt and pepper

About your lasagne sheets:
I used fresh sheets so I didn't have to prepare them prior to using them. If you are using dried pasta then you will need to boil them until almost cooked (4-6 minutes) before using them in your lasagne. This dish doesn't have the amount of sauce and oil that a regular lasagne has and therefore won't cook the sheets if they're dried. 

First, steam your pumpkin until it's soft then roughly mash it with a fork.

In a bowl, mix the ricotta (you may need to dice it first), baby spinach, spring onion, cheese and salt and pepper until it's well combined and the cheese has broken into smaller pieces.

Spread a thin layer of the pasta sauce on the bottom of your baking dish, this is to stop it from sticking.

Lay a lasagne sheet on top of the pasta sauce. You may find you need to cut a few sheets to fill in the gaps, depending on the size of your dish.

Next, spread all of the mashed pumpkin over the lasagne to make a thick layer. Lay another lasagne sheet over the top.

Then layer your ricotta mixture over the lasagne and put another lasagne sheet on top. I actually used two sheets on this layer just to make the top a little thicker, it's up to you.

Pour your pasta sauce over the top of the lasagne until it's covered and about half a centremeter thick, sprinkle it with a little cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees.


Now try not to eat it all at once!
I recommend serving with a green salad or steamed green vegetables.

If you make this recipe, post a picture to Instagram and tag me with @ohrebeccalife so I can see it!

Enjoy!