Inside The Mind Of A Vegan Alchemist. Carnivore Approved.

Posts tagged “diy

Natural Beauty: Behind Your Ears & in Your Belly Button

Hair Rinses
Brunette: after shampooing, rinse your hair with a mixture of half water and half apple cider vinegar. This will leave your hair clean, soft and will define your highlights.
Blonde: After shampooing, rinse your hair with a mixture of half water and half lemon juice. This will have a…


Natural Beauty: Behind Your Ears & in Your Belly Button

Hair Rinses

Brunette: after shampooing, rinse your hair with a mixture of half water and half apple cider vinegar. This will leave your hair clean, soft and will define your highlights.

Blonde: After shampooing, rinse your hair with a mixture of half water and half lemon juice. This will have a lightening effect on your hair. keep the lemon out of your eyes!!

 

Your Other Parts

Mouth rinse
Brew a cup of organic peppermint tea and add a teaspoon of rosemary leaves. Steep for a few minutes, let cool, strain, and pour into a bottle. This will keep in the fridge for a 5 days.

Tooth Whitener

Rub the inside of an orange rind on your teeth. Quick, easy and a great way to use up those peels!

Vegetable Oil Nail Strengthener

2 tsp castor oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp wheat germ oil

Pour all ingredients into a sealable bottle and shake well.

  • Rub a small amount of the mixture onto your nails
  • Leave on for 3-5 minutes
  • Wipe off with a cotton pad

 

Hawaiian Body Scrub
1/2 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp freshly grated, peeled ginger
Zest from one lemon

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well. Scrub your body lightly with the mixture and rinse well. This can be kept in the fridge for one week.


Cheat Sheet: Vegan Baking

Baking scares most people. Mainly because if you’re like me, you hate measuring anything! Usually when I cook I use unconventional measurements like a handful of… Or a pinch of… Or a shot glass full…

When it comes to baking it’s all a science. Chemical reactions need to happen in order for your treat to turn out correctly; therefore my darling, you must measure. It is this general knowledge that turns most people off of vegan baking. They think, “If regular baking is hard, then vegan baking must be impossible!” FALSE, nothing is impossible…

So, because I believe that baked goods are a food group, and the key to happiness, I have made an easy cheat sheet for all you aspiring vegan bakers out there.

Milk

To replace milk, substitute a non-dairy milk in a one-for-one ratio. I really like the mild flavour of natural almond milk but you can use soy milk, rice milk, or oat milk as well. There are many types and brands out there so experiment until you find the one that fits your desire for texture and mouth feel. <—– diiiiirty

Eggs

If your recipe calls for 3 eggs or less, I recommend using flax eggs. Yes, you can make eggs out of flax! This gooey dollop of fun mimics eggs perfectly, are super easy to make, and is really good for you! 1 Tbsp of flax egg = 1 normal egg.

To make flax eggs just grind 1/3 Cup flax seeds in a high speed blender ( or buy preground) and slowly mix with 1 Cup water until the mixture becomes gooey. This makes 6 flax eggs.

Butter

STEP AWAY FROM THE MARGARINE! Hydrogenation = cellulite ass!! Instead, go for a non-hydrogenated butter substitute. I love Earth Balance. It tastes just like butter, and you can even get shortening, and flavoured butter!

Oil

Most people assume that they can just switch to extra-virgin olive oil, but this is not the case as olives are not very tasty in baked goods. So instead, use organic coconut oil. It works beautifully for nearly all vegan baking needs when an oil or butter is needed. Plus, it’s good for you.

Buttermilk

To substitute buttermilk in your vegan baking, mix 1 Cup of your favorite non-dairy milk with 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Cream

I’ve been on the hunt for a cream substitute for years but nothing really made me jump for joy. Silk’s Original Flavor Soy Creamer does the trick, but is very processed so use it in small amounts.

Flour

No one likes bonechar! I recommend a mixture of 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 unbleached white flour to replace traditional white flour. I don’t like to use whole wheat flour in cakes, brownies or cookies; because of its high protein content it creates very dense treats.

Sugar

Over half of the cane refineries in the United States use bone char (charcoal made from animal bones) in their filtering process. I prefer to stay away from ground up bones, so I like to use unbleached cane sugar or dehydrated cane juice, both of which are available in natural food stores. These products can replace white sugar measure for measure, so 1 Cup regular sugar can be replaced by 1 Cup cane sugar. These products are typically darker in color, ranging from light amber to rich brown but they taste just as good!!! Please do keep in mind that sugar is sugar…


A Toast! To Your Coconut

Shredded coconut has a sweet coconut taste and a chewy texture. When used for cooking or baking the possibilities are endless. Try toasting it for a caramelized, nutty flavour and a crisp-chewy texture. It’s easy to toast coconut and a great way to maximize the coconut flavor in a recipe. This can easily be done in the oven or on a stove top, and takes only a few minutes. Make sure to keep a close eye and do not rush the toasting as coconut burn quite easily.

Oven:

  • Spread shredded coconut in a thin layer on a baking sheet.
  • Bake at 300F for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to make sure that the coconut browns evenly.

 Stove Top:

  • In a large skillet, spread out shredded coconut.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until coconut is mostly golden brown.

Pizza D’oh!

This recipe is from my Joy of Cooking book. A create guide, for recipe ideas.

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
3 1/2 – 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour*
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs rock salt
1 tbs agave (Optional. it makes the crust puffier)

* I usually use 1 cup multigrain flour & 2 cups unbleached organic white flour.

Combine the yeast and the warm water in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 – 10 minutes until yeast is dissolved and is starting to foam up.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Turn the dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and not sticky. Coast a bowl with olive oil, and ad the dough. Turn the dough over to coat completely with oil. Cover with a clean and floured dishtowel and let rise in a warm place. I like to place it on top of my oven.  it will double in size.

Punch the dough down and divide it in half. I like to freeze one half for next time, or if I’m feeding a large group I make two different pizzas.

Roll your dough into a ball and let it rest, loosely covered, for about 10-15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450F. Dust your baking sheet. The dough will be fairly elastic, so you’ll have to stretch it out with your rolling pin. Place the dough on your baking sheet. To prevent the toppings from making the crust soggy, brush the top of the dough with a bit of additional olive oil. pierce the surface area of the dough with a fork, this will prevent air holes bubbling up as it bakes.

Now add the toppings – whatever you like. Sometimes I do the tomato sauce thing as a base, sometimes I’ll use pesto, avocado or just plain olive oil.

When you’re ready, pop it in the oven. Depending on your crust, the dough will take about 12 minutes.


I’m a Hoarder Baby, I Just Want You to Know…

The other day a friend asked me the following question, “Quick, the house is on fire, you can only grab three things, nothing sentimental…” After 5 minutes of thinking (yes I realize I would probably have passed out due to smoke inhalation…), I reluctantly answered, my iPhone, my iPad and my duvet. Wow. Not only did this exercise teach me that I am not at all attached to my belongings- a shocking discovery. But also that I place a higher value on my electronics, than anything else I have purchased over the last 24 years. Hey, at least my duvet would keep me warm right?

The wheels started turning. As a nomad and wanderer I have always hated that I had so much ‘stuff’ weighing me down. Weird trinkets I was convinced I needed as memories, 4 closets worth of clothing that I might decide to wear one day, and old electronics that I haven’t turned on in years. After I realised that I didn’t really care that much for any of it I came to this conclusion. I am slimming down my worldly belongings by half. That’s a huge number and I plan on being successful in my task. Others need more clothing than I do, and my memories are in my head in a knick knack someone once gave me.

There is a song by The Red Hot Chili Peppers entitled Give it Away. This song is one that has always spoken to me, and after reading Anthony Keidis’s autobiography I realized why. The lyrical meaning behind “Give It Away” is centered on the philosophy of selflessness and altruistic behavior. The lyrics were written in homage to an experience Kiedis had with his former girlfriend—punk rock singer Nina Hagen. When Anthony was looking through her closet he came across her favorite jean jacket, he told her how much he liked it. Upon expressing this, Nina immediately told him to keep it. She told him, “If you have a closet full of clothes and you try to keep them all, your life will get very small. But if you have a full closet and someone sees something they like, if you give it to them, the world is a better place.” So think about that…

Here are a few tricks to cleaning out your closet:

Start with one category of clothing at a time (pants, skirts, shoes) and evaluate each item individually and ask yourself:

  •   Do I still like this and feel good when I wear it?
  •   Is this item still in relatively good shape (no stains, rips, etc.)?
  •   Is this item a classic or still in fashion?
  •   Have you worn it in the past year?
  •  Does it fit?

Try things on, if it doesn’t make you look incredible; you don’t need it and can do better.

Anything you have decided that you can part with put it in a bag and ask your friends if they want to look through it, then give the rest to charity. You are left with a feeling of lightness and a warm heart- and less stuff to save if your home is on fire. Yay!

 

I then turned to my other belongings. When I moved to this apartment I had no storage space. So i put things in boxes and threw then under my bed. Well, isn’t that just disgusting? If you don’t have respect for the things you currently own then you do NOT deserve to anything new, its just that simple. What are these items doing under my bed? They definitely aren’t serving any purpose, and if they don’t serve a purpose then you don’t need them. You must respect your things; you’ve spent money on it and it costs money to store it. Take care of your things and not only will you be respecting your stuff, you’ll also be respecting your money.

So again, here are some tips to cleaning out clutter:


Tax returns & Paperwork

·         You can toss supporting personal documents after three years and supporting business materials after six. Be sure to shred any items that include your social security, credit card or account numbers, and recycle the ragged results.

Family photos

·         Place family snapshots in acid-free archival albums to make sure they’ll be in happy-to-hand-down condition for generations to come. Remember to make prints of your digital photos so they don’t get lost or forgotten on your hard drive.

Old computers or electronics

·         Before donating any piece of electronic equipment, make sure that it’s functional and reusable (of not why do you still have it in the first place?). Check with your local donation organization to see what their requirements might be. If your electronics or computer equipment have simply decided to move on; it’s important to recycle or dispose of them properly.

Books

·         Consider giving art books and good-condition hard covers to a local library, school, or college.

Spend 15 minutes once a day tiding. This will ensure that you are not left with one huge mess when your super clean rolls around. Doing your dishes as soon as you are finished eating and sweeping at the end of the day are fast and simple tasks. Clean your apartment at least once a week from top to bottom. It is shocking and just plain disgusting to think about what can happen to your apartment otherwise. Trust me I’ve been there.  Then once a month, clean items such a windows, behind the stove or refrigerator and reorganize your furniture for a new flow of energy. 

After successfully going through all of my things I have realized how much of a hoarder I really was. And I didn’t have the mental breakdown I thought I would after getting rid of old items I saw as memories. Win!

Give this a try and let me know how it makes you feel or tell me what you did with the items. Ready, Set, Clean!


How to Bust a (coco)Nut

So as a vegan and raw foodist I have experimented with different kinds of fun fruit, veg and grains. One that I have wanted to tackle for a while has been the coconut. I LOVE coconut, and wanted to use the flesh for raw icing. Doesn’t that sound delightful? WELL, to my surprise this rather large nut has a very tough exterior protecting the beautiful fruit inside. I used every knife I could find, a chisel, a screw driver and even a saw in my attempt at cracking this thing. No success… Here is journey through pictures of my attempts.

After I managed puncture a hole using a screw driver and a chisel I propped it up on a cup to drain it of its water…


Andy came home and recognized my struggle with the stupid thing and said that he might have a saw, (who has a saw in the city?!) So I gave that a go.


I ended up with a slightly bigger hole… but no success worth celebrating…


So I looked up how others have managed to get their hands on the meaty flesh and learned one very important thing… I need a machete or meat cleaver.

Right… I guess as a vegan, you wouldn’t find that sort of item in my tool belt. Where does one buy a machete anyway?

If you do own a machete or meat cleaver check out this link for step by step instructions to opening one up and enjoying it. I will try this again when I have scoured the city for a machete.