The natural skincare solution:

“Mum, she won’t stop scratching, she’s made it bleed” came the tattle-tail call from my eldest. This was not long before my transition to natural skincare. “Its poorly, magic kiss mummy” My youngest was only 3. Yet again, the Keratosis she’s had since birth on her arms and legs, had flared into an angry red raw rash. Yet again, I was at a loss as to what had caused it.

Picture of keratosis

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had cut her nails short and filled them but she was so itchy she was still managing to make herself bleed. She’d had antihistamines, paracetamol, ibuprofen and so many lotions and potions I’d lost count. A friend of mine also had a 3yr old who suffered with awful eczema. This was one of those weekends that they were both at it and I just couldn’t bare it any more! Watching one three year old suffer is awful, watching two is unbearable!

It became my new mission, I’d run out of ideas from the supermarket shelves so decided to hit the internet. To say we weren’t alone was an understatement! I found blog after blog talking about how they had healed a multitude of skin concerns. They all had one thing in common. . . Making the change to natural skincare!

 

Why your skin is so important:

Let’s start by saying, your skin is the biggest organ in the human body. Not only that but it takes a lot in this day and age! Not only does it help to protect us from germs but it has many other roles as well. The skin has three main functions: protection, regulation and sensation. It consists of two layers: the epidermis and the dermis.

It protects us and helps to keep us healthy by, Maintaining the balance of fluids in the body by binding in moisture when necessary and preventing moisture loss. Regulating body temperature by insulating our body, conserves heat in cold conditions and perspires to cool the body down when it gets hot. Sensing pressure and pain by absorbing shock and alerting us to danger and guarding the whole body from external aggressors. Furthermore, our skin can not only absorb healthy nutrients, but harmful chemicals too! This is why natural skincare products are so important.

So what’s in standard skincare products and why are they so bad?

I’m not going to lie, the more I researched, the worse I felt! No wonder my little lovelies were so sore! In buying all these expensive, kids sensitive skin ranges I thought I’d been helping them but all that time I had been washing them in a cocktail of chemicals! Then I got angry. . . It is beyond me how these chemicals are not only allowed in these products, but advertised as being safe and kind to our skin. Did you know that a study by the Herb Research Foundation, revealed that the skin absorbs up to 60 per cent of the chemicals in products that it comes into contact with directly into the bloodstream?

So lets talk about some of the most commonly found chemicals, why they should be avoided and why a natural skincare routine is best.

Fragrance:

This is an umbrella word that is used to cover a wide range of different compounds including hundreds of chemicals that do not have to be listed on the label!

Mineral oil, petroleum, petrolatum, petroleum jelly, and paraffin oil:

Not only can these increase the risk of clogged poors, causing black heads and acne, but a huge health concern with petroleum products is that they can contain an 1,4-dioxane. It is an impurity, found in 22 per cent of all petroleum-based cosmetics which has been found to cause cancer in animals.

Formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers (quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, bronopol, or imidazolidinyl urea):

This irritant can be found in nail products, hair dye, hair straighteners, false eyelash adhesives, and some shampoos. It has been linked to Cancer and can be found in nearly 1 in 5 cosmetic products.

Ethanolamines (diethanolamine [DEA], monoethanolamine [MEA], and triethanolamine [TEA]):

These chemicals are found in a whole range of cosmetics including soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners and dyes, lotions, shaving creams, pharmaceutical ointments, eyeliners, mascara, eye shadows, blush, make-up bases, foundations, fragrances and sunscreens. Impurities that can appear in these chemicals, called nitrosamines, are known to cause cancers in a variety of animal species.

There’s also evidence these are a human skin toxicant. Numerous studies have classified them as respiratory and organ toxicant. Despite this, Nitrosamines are not listed on product labels!

Parabens (propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl-, and isobutyl-):

These are found in a huge host of products due to their use as a preservative. One study found that some men who use products containing parabens have lower sperm counts and less testosterone than men who do not use products. They have a chemical structure that’s similar to estrogen, which means they can mimic the effects of that hormone in the body. This is believed to be the reason that they have been found to spur the growth of breast cancer cells, even in tiny amounts.

Hydroquinone (or tocopheryl acetate) and other skin lighteners:

Let me start by saying, it saddens me that anyone would want to forcibly lighten their skin. All shades are beautiful from the palest white to the darkest black.

On a more technical note, these are found in certain cleansers, moisturisers, and other ‘skin-lightening’ products. Not only has it been linked to a higher risk of skin cancer, but it can cause a skin disease called ochronosis with ‘disfiguring and irreversible’ blue-black lesions on exposed skin, the Food and Drugs Agency (FDA) warns.

Oxybenzone (benzophenone), octinoxate, and homosalate:

Found in many products with SPF, these chemicals are believed to mimic hormones, causing endometriosis and posing a risk to reproductive systems. It has been linked to early puberty in girls, low sperm count and male infertility. Furthermore, it is linked to an increase in hormone-related cancers in men and women. A study in 2008 revealed oxybenzone was found in the urine of 97 per cent of people tested, so we know it’s easily absorbed. Research also show oxybenzone can build up in fatty tissues and is linked to allergic reactions.

 These are just a small percentage of the chemicals found. If I covered them all, I’d be here all day. Perhaps I shall do a future post just to cover the chemicals and their effects?

Scary stuff!

Needless to say, after reading all that I went on a mission to create my own natural skincare for my family. Apparently this is not as easy as it would appear! I had many flops, but in the end I found an easy base recipe that did everything I wanted. It kept our skin soft and clean whilst leaving our hair shine and free from residue. Additionally, although it hasn’t completely cure my daughter’s issues, it has calmed it right down! I’m still working on her diet to see if I can improve it further, however, no more red raw arms and legs! Yay! I also found it greatly reduced my friends child’s eczema. Using a foaming dispenser gives it a good amount of bubble.

Natural skincare soup foam on a hand

Recipe:

380ml liquid castile soup

4 tbsp vegetable glycerin

1 tsp almond oil

1 tsp vitamin E oil

10-20 drops of your favourite essential oil (if it is for adult use, you can use a little more)

4 tbsp water

Mix all ingredients gently in a bottle with a foaming  dispenser.  This will last a very long time. Infact we’ve never had a batch last long enough to go off 😊. We use it for hair, body and hand wash.

20181008 094222 e1538991023102 225x300 - The benefits of natural skincare and our all in one recipe.

Of course, if you don’t have the time or wish to make your own, we have a wonderful range of natural body care here and hair care here. Furthermore you can fine a range of children’s products here.

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CHEESECAKE!!!!!

No, it wasn’t a miss type. Yes, this tropical cheesecake is not only Vegan, but also aip friendly. Of course it is smooth, creamy and indulgent. It is full of beautiful fruity flavours such as mango, pineapple and coconut with speckles of passion fruit through out. It doesn’t need to be served frozen, unlike many other vegan cheesecake recipes. In fact the picture below was taken after it had spent 24hrs in the fridge and it’s still beautifully firm! Further more it’s got a portion of veg in it!! Wait, what?? Veg?? Yup, stay with me people, all shall be revealed! As much as I wish I could, I can’t take the credit.

Tropical cheesecake with slices taken out of it

 

My favourite child:

Ok, so of course I love my children equally! However, after walking for 3 hours yesterday (which I’m pretty sure is the longest walk since falling ill 6yrs ago), collecting pinecones and sticks for autumn crafts, saying hello to some rather lovely piglets and leaving gifts outside fairy holes, coming home to a slice of this delicious tropical cheesecake with no guilt attached, may have made me love my 6 year old a tiny bit more!

Leaving gifts for the fairies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saying hello to the pigs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me explain. Once a month I do a massive batch cook which covers breakfast, lunch and dinners. However, on a Saturday and Sunday my kids take turns cooking. Firstly they decide on a meal, then they work out a recipe, write a shopping list, prep, cook and dish up. This has been amazing for keeping them interested in healthy eating and is teaching them important skills for later in life. I’m not going to lie, we have had some disasters, most of which I’ve seen coming, but I feel it’s equally as important to let them try and fail so they learn for next time! (Plus i have a freezer full of back up meals!).

Pudding for dinner?

As long as it’s not every weekened and not both of them on the same weekend, I let my kids make a pudding for dinner! Cue the torches and pitchforks from the parent police. Hear me out. For starters, what better way to get your kids interested in healthy eating then allowing your child to play out their fantasy of eating pudding for a main meal???  Secondly, kids have a sweet tooth. They will be surrounded by people eating sweets, chocolate and ice cream and when that happens we want them to be able to make healthy choices and enjoy doing so. What they eat now will be their comfort food as they get older.

Well this weekend, my gorgeous little 6yr old started with the idea of a cheesecake with mango, pineapple and passion fruit. She then wanted a base that tasted like ginger biscuits. Then I challenged her to come up with a way to make it healthy enough for dinner. . . Cauliflower!! “Because it’s white like cheesecake and doesn’t taste of a lot”. Smart kid! How will we make it stay hard? “Coconut butter, because it’s white and hard” again, smart kid!

Tropical cheesecake recipe:

Thus the tropical cheesecake recipe was born. Then she made me take lots of pictures so “you can share it for work, but everyone will know I made it” little blogger in the making that kid!

Ingredients:

This makes two 8inch cheesecakes as I like to freeze one or tub up in portions for the rest of the month!

Base:

1 cup tiger nut flour

1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut

1/2 cup coconut sugar

3 tsp ginger (adjust to your own taste)

1tbsp molasses

2/3 cup melted coconut butter

A bowl of dry base ingredients Start by adding all the dry ingredients to a bowl and Mix well to combine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using hands to rub the mixture into a crumbAdd the molasses and coconut butter and use your fingers to rub the mixture together until they form a breadcrumb texture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Messy hands after pressing the base into the pansPress into the base of your cake pan. We love these silicone ones with a glass bottom or a springform pan as they make it much easier to get the cake out! Then put in the fridge while you make the filling.

 

 

 

 

 

For the filling:

2 small cauliflowers

350g mango chunks

2 cups pineapple chunks

2-3 tbsp palm sugar (not the brown granulated sugar as this will make the cheesecake darker. This is the kind you find in chunks in oriental stores. If you are local check out fusion in Bedford!)

Just the thick cream from 1 can of coconut milk

400g melted coconut butter

6 passion fruit

Cutting the cauliflowerFirst start by prepping your cauliflower. Cut into pieces and cook until soft. We put it in the pressure cooker for a few minutes on high. Allow to cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scooping the insides out of a passionfruit

Put everything, apart from the passion fruit, into a blender and blend until completely smooth. Transfer into a bowl and stir in the seeds from the 6 passion fruit.

 

 

 

Smoothing out the cheesecake fillingPour on top of your bases and smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Place into the freezer to set. My daughter also assures me that at this point it is absolutely vital to lick the spoon and bowl!

 

 

 

 

Set cheesecakeRemove the cake from the pan whilst still frozen to get a smooth edge. ( not sure how well this would work with a metal tin, but the silicone ones are very easy!)

 

 

 

Topping:

1 large fresh mango peeled and in chunks

1/2 pineapple peeled and in chunks

1 pomegranate (seeds only)

Juice of one lime

3 passion fruit

Tropical cheesecake with a ginger base, topped with fresh fruitIn a bowl toss the mango, pineapple and pomegranate in the lime juice. Pile the mixture on Top of the tropical cheesecake. I split my mix between both of them. Drizzle over the insides of the passion fruit. We are not vegan so we added a drizzle of out local raw Bedfordshire honey and used bee pollen as sprinkles!

 

Top of the cheesecakes Look at that beauty! Can you believe it’s healthy???

 

 

 

 

 

Slice of tropical cheesecakeGuess what I’m having for lunch. . . Bet ya jealous aren’t you?? Yup, I tell you that kid can have anything she wants for about the next 48hrs while I’m still revaling in her genius!

 

 

 

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Last week I posted about the benefits of turmeric and our recipe for golden paste. Find it here. Since then I’ve had a few questions regarding rumours followers have heard about the safety of this spice. So, I’ve do my research and decided to do another post answering these questions and getting to the bottom of some turmeric fact and myths!

Turmeric fact or fiction?

Statement: Turmeric does not interact with any medications.

Hate to start on a negative, but this is a very important one! Although it is generally very safe, it may slow blood clotting. It should not be taken in large doses alongside medications that do the same. These include: aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others. Also those preparing for surgery would be best off avoiding large doses for about a week before hand.

Statement: Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory.

This is undoubtedly, a Turmeric fact. Turmeric contains curcumin. Read more about this powerful anti-inflammatory here.

Statement: Pregnant women should not consume turmeric.

Interestingly, this is a bit of both. High levels found in supplements should be avoided. This is due to the risk of it stimulating the uterus, possibly leading to a miscarriage. However, in the small amounts you would find in food, not only is it generally considered safe but may be beneficial due to its many positive effects.

Statement: Turmeric causes kidney stones.

Again, this is a little bit of turmeric fact but it’s important to break it down as it’s not quite as simple as that! It’s all about oxalates. Oxawhatnows??? I hear you ask. Well, oxalates are substances that are naturally occurring in a variety of foods. We need them for certain metabolism related reactions in the body. We not only consume oxalates, but also create it. Foods high in this substance include rhubarb, chocolate, spinach, almonds, cashews and more! Some people tend to absorb more via the intestines than others which can cause an over accumulation in the body. This causes more to be excreted which, combined with high urinary calcium content increases the risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones (just one of a few forms).

This is not the same for everyone. For starters, only soluble oxalates get absorbed in the body. Secondly, the healthy bacteria in your intestines breaks down oxalates and thirdly it is only recommended that those who are already prone to kidney stones should limit their intake to no more than 50mg of oxalates per day.

The study:

The concern was raised by a study that was done called “Effect of cinnamon and turmeric on urinary oxalates excretion, plasma lipids and plasma glucose in healthy subjects”. For this study they used 11 healthy individuals. For 4 weeks they consumed either 3mg of cinnamon or 2.8g of turmeric (about 1.3 tsp). Cinnamon, due to its high calcium content, provided only 6% soluble oxalates whereas turmeric provided 91%. They monitored levels excreted via urine and found that within 6hrs the absorption was 8.2% for turmeric and 2.6% for cinnamon. Hyperoxaluria is when urinary oxalate excretion is 40mg. At 24.9mg, turmeric was below the cut off.

However, due to the 6 hour absorption rate being significantly higher in turmeric then in cinnamon, the researchers suggested it could increase the risk of developing kidney stones.

Conclusion:

So, the bottom line is this. . . If you are high risk for kidney stones, then yes, high levels of turmeric powder may increase your risk factor particularly if you are eating other foods high in oxalates. However , in the standard dietary amounts of 1tsp a day it is likely to be completely safe for most people. For example, my sleepy tea recipe uses 3tbsp of paste. However, this is for 5 servings which, by the time you have taken into account the other ingredients in the paste, amounts to approximately 1tsp turmeric per serving.

Keep in mind that not only did they give closer to 1.5tsp a day, which is more then the standard intake, they also gave over the recommended daily limit of 50mg oxalates per day and the excretion level was still below the cut off.

It is also worth noting that many curcumin suppliments contain lower amounts of oxalates then the pure spice.

So that’s the lot for now. Just as with all good things Natural or otherwise, more is not always better. . . Let’s face it, chocolate is a great antioxidant but sit and eat a few kilos and your probably not going to feel all that great!

Of course if you think of anything I haven’t covered, just let me know and I’ll add it in!

 

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Three cups of frothy golden milk or turmeric tea topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon

Sleepy tea:

“But I can’t sleep, you didn’t give me my sleepy tea!!”

That was my 6 year old daughter, two nights ago, making me feel like the worst mother alive. It’s been a busy week?. . . Month?. . Year?. . How long has it been since my eldest was born??? Anyway, I’m a tired mummy, a working tired mummy, a working tired mummy with chronic illness, which all translates to. . . I forget things A LOT! Seriously, if it’s not written down we have a problem and of course there are the times I lose the piece of paper I’ve written my list on.

The end of days

However, on this particular night, I had broken my solemn vow to my children. The vow that every night I would provide them with a warming, healing, tasty drink to help them drift off to sleep. Cue the dramatic meltdown from my youngest little darling. As she cried, you could hear the life slipping away from her. She flailed over the edge of her bed, sliding to the floor as her body could no longer hold her. . . Oh the weakness brought on by the lack of her beloved golden milk. It should be noted that she was not, in any way, at all, not even a little bit, tired! She assured me of that. . . Over. . . And over. . . And over. . . The cat had retreated back to the living room.

My 9 year old was TRYING to help by shouting over her siblings wails “You don’t NEED it, if you don’t stop mummy will take a teddy away.” “Thank you darling, but I didn’t ask for your input” this of course set off World War 3. “I was only trying to help” ” But your not a grown up, your just my sister” “We’ll you shouldn’t be shouting, it’s not mummy fault she forgot” “But I need my sleepy tea!!” Even most of the teddies had fallen face down by this point,  even they had given up. . . I’m pretty sure one or two are now missing, having fled in the night for calmer shores!

“It’s fine!! I’m making It!!”

I know, I know. . . Don’t let them dictate to you. However, by this point I was in serious need of something to calm and relax me and in her defence, i had forgotten. . . So had she until she was in bed of course but I do my best not to get into tit for tat with a 6 year old (not always successfully!). Off I trotted to the kitchen. Thankfully, I’d made a batch of golden paste the day before! Both children snuggled under blankets on the sofa in anticipation. “She stole the corner of my blan. . .” “Its ready! Here you are, my beautiful little darlings!” Ah, bliss. There I sat, in my recliner sipping on my warming, sleepy tea while my children did the same. Most importantly, they did it in silence. . . “Thank you mummy, it’s made me all sleepy now. Can I please go to bed” “yes my sweet little angel, yes you most certainly can!”

Why golden milk?

Well, for starters it’s delicious!! Regardless of its many health benefits, it just feels good to drink. It’s warming, soothing, soul healing even. It’s the kind of drink that, when made, makes your troubles melt away. All this from a drink? You’d better believe it! If you want to find out more about the health benefits of turmeric, I’ve done a whole blog post on it here! But for now let me just say,you can feel confident that this drink does a lot more than just tasting great. I will also confess, i always have a stash of this mix in my cupboard for the times i run out of paste and dont have the time to make more. (Hey, im only human and it has enhanced levels of curcumin so i can still feel confident we’re getting the benefits 😉)

Ingredients:

1 Ltr Almond milk (or milk of choice, use coconut milk for AIP)

3 Tbsp Golden paste

1/2 cup raw honey

Sprinkle of cinnamon

 

1. Whilst Bringing the milk to a simmer over a medium heat, constantly whisk to avoid burning. Once simmering, add the paste and continue to whisk over the heat for 2-3 minutes. This step helps to take out the bitterness from the turmeric but we must avoid heating for too long or it can damage the curcumin. Learn more about the benefits of curcumin here.

Pan of golden milk or sleepy tea simmering on the hob

2. Allow to cool slightly before adding the honey. You don’t want to add it while it’s too hot or it will damage the beneficial properties of the honey. Then pour into cups before finishing off with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

This makes about 5 cups as I also top each cup with a little cold milk or water.  If you are drinking larger portions I advice cutting down the amount of paste you use.

Three cups of frothy golden milk or sleepy tea topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon

Adding protein powder (or collagen for aip) when you add the paste can help make it more filling and give you another boost of goodness. I tend to use a stick blender when I do this to ensure it’s completely mixed in and it gives it that lovely frothy top as well!

If you don’t have time to make your own, you can buy these fantastic drink mix here.

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Don’t want to make your own? Then check out our turmeric suppliments and drink mixes. Now its even easier to get all the benefits of curcumin.

The Tonsillitis Miracle!:

“Turmeric??? All these months back and forth to the gp, followed by dose after dose of antibiotics. Sleepless nights with a crying child and all the while the cure was in my spice cupboard?” *Insert manic laughing through tears of joy.

This was me a couple of years ago. I should explain, at that time I had recently been diagnosed with sjogrens syndrome, fibromyalgia and ME. I had a 2yr old that was pretty much feral (still my wild child!) And a 5yr old that constantly had tonsillitis. I had tried everything, had hardly slept in months and was at my wits end. I wasn’t much into the natural scene at that point but I was desperate for anything that might save my daughter from needing yet another bout of antibiotics! Someone suggested making a drink out of turmeric, honey, black pepper and milk and at that point they could of told me I needed to do a fire dance whilst chanting “death to tonsillitis”, in Latin, by the light of the blood moon and I’d have tried it!

I made up a huge batch and had her drink as much as she could for two days. . . First night, she slept through. . . On just some Calpol! Second night, she slept through with no Calpol. By day four, all the white spots had gone and off she went to school as if nothing had happened. Best of all, no antibiotics had been needed!!

 

Research

Could it really have been that easy?? If it could help with her tonsils that well, what else could it do??? I decided I needed to learn more. Thinking back, that was probably the beginning of my transition to a more healthy, natural lifestyle. Through my research I found out a few key things,

1. CURCUMIN

This is the active component in turmeric. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries due to its strong antioxidant properties.

2. Anti-inflammatory

Diets rich in anti-inflammatory compounds may reduce your risk certain health conditions that are thought to be strongly linked to chronic inflammation. These include, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Studies suggest that the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin could be compared to those of some pharmaceutical drugs with none of the side effects. In fact, one study in 45 people with rheumatoid arthritis found that 500 grams of curcumin daily reduced joint pain more than 50 grams of a common arthritis drug or a combination of curcumin and the drug.

3. May improve digestion

Turmeric may improve digestion of fat by increasing your production of bile by up to 62%. Also studies have shown that turmeric can prevent flare-ups in individuals with ulcerative colitis whilst maintaining proper digestion.

3. May improve brain function and reduce risk of brain deseases

Curcumin can increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. This is a type of hormone that is one of the main drivers of the process allowing neurons to multiply. Despite what we used to believe, it is now known that this process is able to happen not just through adolescence but also adulthood. Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of this hormone, including Alzheimer’s disease and depression.

4. Low bioavailability

When you take turmeric as a spice, only 3% is curcumin with about 1% bioavailability. This makes it tricky to get the amount you would need to make any real effect. Therefore we need to find ways to increase the bioavailability to make sure we get the most benefit! The best way to do this is to add black pepper as it contains piperine that is known to increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%. Adding black pepper to foods have shown good absorption of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals present in the food as well.

But what if your following the aip diet or are sensitive to pepper? Thankfully, there are other options that work well. Heating turmeric for a short time (about 10 minutes) can increase the bioavailabiliy, but be careful not to heat for too long as this can be counter productive distroying the curcumin. Also, when adding to meals try to include foods rich in quercetin such as onion and capers. It is a flavonoid that ensures that curcumin in turmeric is absorbed without being destroyed.

Adding ginger ensures absorption of curcumin in intestines and speeds the absorption. Lastly, don’t be afraid of fat!  When turmeric is mixed with coconut oil or other healthy fats it gets absorbed in the lymphatic system directly without reaching the liver.

5. More antiinflammatory power!

Not only can ginger aid the absorption of curcumin but it also has it’s own anti inflammatory benefits along with cinnamon. Better yet, they go beautifully with golden milk so all the more reason to add them in!

My golden paste recipe

15374458959751039993121 e1537446369285 225x300 - Why we love Turmeric, curcumin and our recipe for golden paste.

So after all that, I wanted a way that I could get the maximum benefits, without having to measure ingredients every night and that was tasty enough me and the kids would be happy to have a cup every night (or more when needed). Having autoimmune issues, I also wanted it to last a while so I didn’t feel like I was constantly making new batches. That’s where golden paste comes in. Super quick and easy to make and a sterilized jar lasts 3 of us a couple of weeks in the fridge (unless we get I’ll, then we drink tons of the stuff!!).

Ingredients:

1 cup turmeric powder
2 cup water
2 tsp ground black pepper (omit for aip)
1 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup ginger
Pinch of saffron
20180918 170836 300x225 - Why we love Turmeric, curcumin and our recipe for golden paste.

1. In a pan, heat the water until simmering. Add all the other ingredients.

 

 

 

 

 

20180918 171638 300x225 - Why we love Turmeric, curcumin and our recipe for golden paste.

2. Whisk continuously  over a medium high heat until it has thickened into a paste.

 

 

 

 

4. Pour into a sterilized jar allow to cool before keeping in the fridge. This should be good for around two weeks or more.

Don’t want to make your own? Why not try our range or turmeric suppliments and drink mixes making it even easier to enjoy all the benefits of this wonderful spice!

I will be sharing some of my favourite recipes using this paste in upcoming posts that I shall link below.

1. Turmeric tea/Golden milk/sleepy tea

 

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Bread glorious Bread!!

Ah bread, what a strange relationship we have had. The many years of the gluten filled delight being a major part of my diet. . . Toast for breakfast, wraps for lunch and pizza or something with garlic bread or the ultimate sin, pot noodle with a slice of white bread slathered with butter, oh the shame!!!!! Later, came the gluten free rock solid shop brought loaves of 2011 that, lets face it, were only edible toasted. After a year or so, i finally came up with a decent gluten free recipe just to discover that all grains of any form flare up my autoimmune issues. (Although gluten is still by far the worst offender!)
2018 07 31 14 06 18 889 300x300 - Almond flour wraps

Hitting the wraps jackpot:

I tried a few paleo breads but they all lacked the chew i missed from the gluten filled kind. Plus i later realised tapioca and cassava flours also upset my gut so it left me with even fewr options! Finally i hit the jackpot. After months of playing around with different flours i finally came up with a recipe that really fills that bread shaped hole in my sole. I am yet to make a role or loaf that fits the bill, but these wraps get not only me but my kids excited too!!
They are pretty simple, super yummy and hold up well to all kinds of fillings. Super win!!
20180731 141954 300x225 - Almond flour wraps

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Almond flour

2 cups Arrowroot starch

1tsp xanthium gum

1tsp Pink Himalayan salt

2 tbsp Raw honey

1/2 – 1 cup hot water

1. Add all your dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix well.

2.Melt the honey in 1/2 cup hot water (not boiling). Add to your dry ingredients and mix. If needed add a little more hot water until you have a neadable dough.

2018 08 19 15 01 06 668 225x300 - Almond flour wraps

3. Split into 8 balls and store in an airtight bag or cling film to keep from drying out, while you roll and cook each wrap.

4. Dust your surface and rolling pin with arrowroot and roll out 1 ball until nearly paper thin and place in a dry, non stick pan on a medium high heat. It should start to bubble up nicely. Give it 3-4 minutes or until it is browned on the bottom. Then flip over and give it another 3-4 minutes.

2018 07 31 14 03 19 242 300x300 - Almond flour wraps

5. Once cooked through, wrap in tinfoil or similar to keep them from drying out.

Lastly, enjoy!!!

 

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2018 09 12 16 50 52 311 1 300x225 - Lime and coriander cashew sour cream

 My journey to dairy free:
A couple of years ago I gave up dairy. However, that wasn’t the original plan. . . My youngest was having some issues with her bowels and I thought I’d try taking her off of dairy for a couple of months to see what difference it made. Needless to say, she was not exactly over joyed at the idea so I decided to join her. I turned it into a fun thing just for her and mummy, eating all the “special” dairy free alternatives.

By the end of the two months her bowels had dramatically improved which I was very grateful for but what I hadn’t expected was for my autoimmune issues to also ease. Much to my despair, when I tried reintroducing my beloved cheese, i was left with crippling fatigue, muscle pain and a sinus headache that had me tempted to pull my own teeth out just to get some kind of relief! How would I ever survive without my precious dairy??? Seriously, I put cheese on everything and had followed the low carb diet for some time meaning lots of cheese, cream and milk. (No wonder I was still struggling with my fatigue so much!)

That was about 2 years ago now and thankfully it’s become second nature. . . In fact, the couple of times I have fallen off the wagon, I’ve not really enjoyed the taste and the side effects were just not worth it at all. I’ve also gone a step further since then and joined the autoimmune paleo wagon.

Anyway, sour cream. . .Oh how I have missed you! For a while I was making a cauliflower version which is nice, however you just don’t get the creamy richness you can get from using cashews. Therefore, I was over the moon when I successfully reintroduced nuts last month!!! I went on a shopping spree, cashews, peacans, almond flour, almond butter, salted roasted pistachios . . . Food of the gods!!

Tonight the kids and I wanted something to dip our vegetable crisps in. I just so happened to have some cashews soaking in the fridge and some fresh coriander left over. This is a super easy recipe and  most importantly, the end result is creamy, tangy goodness that in the words of my 9yr old “is way to yummy to be healthy!” So that’s score 1 to mummy!! 😊

2018 09 12 16 51 00 284 1 300x225 - Lime and coriander cashew sour cream

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups cashew nuts, soaked over night

1.5 cups lime juice

2tsp nutritional yeast

Small handful fresh coriander

1-2  cups water

Mix all ingredients in a blender on high, starting with 1 cup of water and adding more until smooth. This is delicious as a dip or as a topping for wraps or on chilli or tacos …..or just with a spoon.

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