Peppy Living

Peppy Living for the Eco-Anxious

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Guilt Free Banana Ice Cream

This is recipe is just fantastic. Zero nasties, zero indulgence, just a great treat!
Whenever I have leftover bananas that are starting to turn black, I just slice them and pop them in the freezer. Then when it’s time for a little treat, I whizz them into this great home made ice cream. The only downside of this recipe is, that the ice cream melts quite quickly and it doesn’t re-freeze well, so you need to make it just before you eat it. Not that it’s a huge problem, making it takes about 3 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • At least 2 large bananas
  • 1/3 can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1tbsp cocoa powder (optional)
  • A little bit of vanilla extract (optional)

  • Slice the bananas and put them in the freezer for several hours until completely frozen.

    Put the bananas, the coconut milk and any optional ingredients in a blender. You will need at least two large bananas for this recipe, in order for it to really work. Add more coconut milk if needed.

    Start slowly by using the pulse button. The bananas are very hard, so let them break down a bit first. Then crank up to full speed and blend until the bananas have turned creamy. Serve immediately.

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    oil cleansing method tutorial

    The Oil Cleansing Method Tutorial

    I created this tutorial to show my customers how to use the oil cleansing method. Although these products are no longer available, the principals of oil cleansing remain the same! You can create your homemade versions of the cleansers by using some simpler ingredients and choosing the oils that you probably already have in your cupboard. Suitable oils for cleansing are:

    • Olive Oil – quite a heavy oil, good for dry, mature or weather-beaten skin
    • Almond Oil – great for sensitive skin
    • Avocado Oil – for all skin types, especially dry and mature skins
    • Coconut Oil – try for any skin type, although I’d be cautious with blemished skin
    • Hazelnut Oil – perfect for oily skin

    Read More

    body mousse vs body butter

    The Body Mousse vs The Body Butter

    It’s the battle of the body butters! Check out this video, where Peppy Galore Body Mousses challenge Your Average Body Butter in an intense five round battle.

    Round 1: Ingredients

    Peppy Galore Body Mousses are made from 4 ingredients only: mango butter, avocado oil, Vitamin E and essential oils. Your Average Body Butter is made of butters and oils too, but it also contains water, emulsifiers, several different types of preservatives, and in some cases petrochemicals and silicones.

    Read More

    Aubergine Parcels

    These parcels look like much more work than what they are. The original recipe used mozzarella, but I also made some with soft goats cheese, which in my opinion worked better. Why not try both?

    Ingredients:

    • 2 Aubergines
    • Olive oil
    • Mozzarella or soft goats cheese (or both!)
    • Basil
    • Tomatoes

    Slice the aubergines sideways and brush them with olive oil. Place on a baking tray and grill for 5minutes per side or until they look done. Season with salt and pepper.

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    Add a slice of cheese, a slice of tomato and a bit of basil on each. Fold and pop back in the oven until the cheese has melted a bit.


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    Soapy Sweeties

    I got into soap making a couple of weeks ago and can’t seem to stop now. My day is not complete without a batch of soap.

    Now all I need is more dirty hands in the house or we will soon drown in soap.

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    raw chocolate

    Raw Chocolate

    Chocolate is healthy and extremely good for you. That’s the news I’ve longed to hear all my life. Cocoa has 10 times more antioxidants than blueberries and tons of feel good ingredients, so it’s no myth that eating chocolate makes you feel good. The trick is to prepare it raw, that means without heating it above +45C degrees.

    I had to try this.

    Ingredients:

    • 250g Cacao butter
    • 250g Cacao powder
    • 250g Agave nectar
    • 7g Pure raw vanilla powder
    • Goji berries
    • Raw, unsalted cashew nuts

    raw chocolate

    I bought a kit with all the ingredients from Amazon, which was not cheap, so this ended up being probably the most expensive chocolate I’ve ever had. However, I’m sure this stuff can be made cheaper, when bought separately. This is a huge batch, so just half of the recipe will get you plenty to munch.

    raw chocolate

    First I chopped the cacao butter as finely as I could and placed it in jug. I heated some water and put the jug in the water. Now this is the tricky part. The water must not be hotter than 45C, which is enough to melt the cacao butter, but it will take time. I needed to up the heat in the pan, as the water temperature fell to about 35C and the butter stopped melting.

    raw chocolate

    Once the cacao butter had completely melted I whisked the vanilla powder in. Once it had completely dissolved into the butter, I added the cacao powder, while constantly whisking the butter.

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    Finally I added the agave nectar. Agave nectar is a sweet syrup that comes from the same plant that tequila is made of (nice bit of trivia there). It is a much healthier alternative to sugars and syrups and a bit lighter in texture than honey. Adding the agave nectar makes the chocolate quite thick and difficult to whisk. It needs good work to get mixed properly. Keep the mix in the warm water, as the chocolate starts to set very quickly.

    Look at that, that’s proper chocolate!

    raw chocolate

    I got these pretty chocolate moulds, but you can use any silicon moulds, such as ice cube trays. I added some chopped nuts and goji berries to some of them.

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    In goes the chocolate. This is messy stuff, and the chocolate is quite stiff, so it doesn’t simply pour in. I used two spoons to get it in.

    raw chocolate

    I had much more chocolate than molds, so I improvised and put some dollops on a baking tray. These turned out really cute. I then decorated them with walnuts, hazelnuts and cranberries.

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    The chocolates set quite quickly on their own. You can also pop them in the fridge or a freezer. Once they have hardened just take the molds off and enjoy.

    Raw chocolate is quite powdery in texture, so it doesn’t have that rich melt-in-your-mouth feel to it. But it has a lovely chocolate flavour to it and is very satisfying. Knowing that this is good for me raw chocolate is a wonderful treat, and just a couple will do the trick – no need to eat half a tray! These will also make a nice last minute Christmas present.

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    Aww… isn’t that cute.

    stuffed peppers

    Stuffed Peppers

    I like stuffing, clearly, but you can rarely go wrong with stuffing so here is another one. Peppers are easy to stuff as they don’t need all that hollowing-out-work. Simply fill and bake. I filled these bad boys with fennel and goats cheese. You can also try the lentil filling that I used for stuffed squash or the tomato filling from the stuffed courgette recipes.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 peppers
    • 1 fennel bulb
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 1 red onion
    • 100g soft goats cheese
    • Ground black pepper
    • Fresh basil

     

    stuffed peppersYou can use any coloured peppers you wish. I used one of each. Green peppers are great for baking, as they can be a bit bitter when eaten raw.

    stuffed peppers

    Chop fennels, garlic and onion and season with black pepper. Massage the goats cheese into the vegetables until they make a nice paste. Brush the peppers with a bit of avocado oil and fill them with the goats cheese mixture. Bake in 175C for 15-20 minutes.

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    Garnish with black pepper and chopped fresh basil. I served them with root vegetable mash.

    borscht soup

    Ruby Red Borscht Soup

    Borscht is a fantastic winter soup. Just looking at those radiant colours of the ingredients make me feel like I’m pumped with iron and other veggie goodness. The ingredients cost next to nothing and the soup is absolutely delicious. Again, this is a vegetarian version of the recipe, but you can add sausages (I’d use  frankfurters) or some non- lean meat (you want it to be very tender). A dollop of sour cream is also optional, but this is an incredibly lean soup to begin with and the cream makes it so much nicer, that I wouldn’t miss it for the world. And it does turn the soup into a very cute shade of pink!

    Ingredients:

    • 4 raw beetroots
    • Half a cabbage
    • 2 carrots
    • 1 red onion
    • 1 tbsp of butter
    • 1-1.5l of stock (beef or vegetable)
    • 1.5 tbsp vinegar
    • 1 tbsp of sour cream per serving

     

    borscht soup

    These ingredients are pretty enough for  a still life painting, don’t you think? I’m inspired.

    borscht soup

    Chop everything. I used a mandoline for the beets and carrots to get pretty evenly sized pieces, but knife is just as good.

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     Briefly fry the chopped vegetables in butter, then add stock and cook for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add vinegar.

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    Serve with a dollop of sour cream. Store any leftovers as this soup is even better the next day.

    stuffed squash

    Stuffed Squash

    I found these cute little squashes from our local green grocers and just had to do something with them. Stuffing is always a good idea and this recipe is perfect for the Halloween season. This is a veggie version to suit my vegetarian man, but feel free to add bacon or substitute the lentils with minced meat.

    Ingredients:

    • 2-3 small squashes
    • Avocado oil
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • 1 onion
    • 1 courgette
    • 1 small bell pepper
    • 1 tin of lentils
    • 2-3 fresh tomatoes
    • Seasoning, herbs
    • 100g grated cheese

    stuffed squash

    Aren’t they pretty?

    stuffed squash

    First a little top tip: shaving a little bit off the bottom of the squash will make them sit better on the tray, and will save you a lot of frustration along the way.

    The squashes are really tough and hard to carve, so I just scooped the seeds out, brushed them with avocado oil and roasted in the oven until the flesh was soft and easy to scoop out. The skin is quite tough, so they won’t slump like courgettes if cooked ripe at this point. The time needed for roasting depends on the size of the squashes, these ones took about 45 minutes.

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    While the squashes are roasting, prepare the stuffing. Fry garlic and onion in a dash of oil and add other vegetables, chopped to nice small bites. Add stock or seasoning and lentils and simmer until vegetables are just softening. This not the sexiest looking filling, as the lentils turn everything brownish green, but it doesn’t matter, as all will be nicely hidden under a cheese crust.

    Once the squashes are soft, scoop the insides of them out, chop and add to the stuffing. Then fill the squashes with the stuffing and cover with grated cheese. Roast in the oven until the cheese has melted and turned nice and brown.

     

    stuffed squash

    These bad boys are super-filling, so I served them only with a bit of braised savoy cabbage. One is enough, actually, so this portion served me twice. Don’t hesitate to eat the skin, too. It’s the best bit!

     

    almond milk and berry shake

    Almond Milk Berry Shake

    Drinking lots of milk in the morning gives me tummy ache, so I’ve been trying alternatives like soy milk, which I quite like although it takes a little getting used to. However, soy milk is often sweetened and there seems to be a bit of controversy over its health benefits as it apparently raises estrogen levels. Recently I’ve seen a lot positive comments about almond milk, so decided to give it a go.

    You can make almond milk by blending almonds and water and filtering the leftover almonds out, but it’s also easily available in supermarkets so I didn’t bother. Verdict? Yummy! On its own it definitely has the distinctive flavour of almonds, so not sure how well it would work with cereals and such. The texture is much thicker and creamier than in skimmed milk or soy milk, which I liked. I  just love the subtle nutty flavour it adds to this berry shake. This immediately became my favourite breakfast.

    Ingredients:

    • 250 ml/1 cup of almond milk
    • 250 ml/1 cup of frozen berries
    • 1 banana
    • 50 ml/ quarter cup of walnuts
    • 50 ml/ quarter cup of pumpkin seeds

    almond milk berry shake

    The raw ingredients. The walnuts and pumpkin seeds add crunchiness and keep the hunger at bay till lunch time. You can try using cashew nuts and sunflower seeds, if preferred.

    almond milk berry shake

    Ready for a spin in the blender. The frozen berries cool the shake nicely.

    almond milk and berry shake

    Elegantly served in a Guinness pint glass.

    Nutty Green Curry

    I believe you can never go wrong with Thai food. It’s just beautiful, fragrant, tasty, light and filling all at the same time. This is a veggie version of the good old chicken green curry, where I substituted chicken with nuts. The secret to a good home made green curry is in finding really good curry paste, which can be a tough job. I suggest shopping at ethnic food shops and trying out different pastes until you find the one that does the trick. The rest is easy.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • 1 red onion
    • 1 large courgette
    • 2 bell peppers
    • 2 carrots
    • 1/2 litre or 2 cups of water
    • 1 stock pot or cube or salt
    • 1 sachet of green curry paste
    • A handful of cashew nuts
    • 1 tin of coconut milk

    nutty green curry

    Ahh… look at the rainbow colours of these veggies. Carrots are probably not the most orthodox choice for a thai curry, but I like the bit of crunch they add to the mix.

    nutty green curry

    Fry the veg lightly and add the curry paste. Add water and stock or seasoning. I find you still need a bit of salt despite the curry paste. Let the vegetables cook until they are al dente, 15-20 minutes will probably do. Careful, they are very easy to overcook!

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    If you’re in the UK I can recommend Sharwood’s thai paste. It’s really good, available in all supermarkets and costs 99p.

    nutty green curry recipe

    Add the cashew nuts and the coconut milk. Then quickly bring the sauce to boil. If you boil the coconut for long it will lose its lovely coconuttiness, which I like. I also like to add the cashew nuts towards the end as they can become soggy and chewy if added with the veg in the beginning.

    nutty green curry recipe

    Serve with jasmine rice and garnish with fresh coriander. If you have any left over, you can also add a bit more stock and eat it as a soup the next day.

     

    Toms & Tortellini

    Tomatoes were the most successful thing that my Gardening Experiment produced. Over the weekend I got rid of the plants for the winter and harvested the remaining fruit. That means I have plenty of tomatoes, so it was time to do something with them and quickly.

    I usually make this sauce with tinned tomatoes, but this time I used fresh ones. What a world of difference it makes! I didn’t bother with poaching and peeling the tomatoes like you’re supposed to. The peels don’t really matter in my opinion.

    This is super quick, cheap and tasty. Choose tortellinis that you like, there’s tons of varieties around. I used Spinach & Ricotta. This doesn’t look like very much, but the sauce is so rich that you don’t need a lot of it. Obviously keep adding more tomatoes, if you want more.

    Ingredients:

    • 6-8 tomatoes, depending on size.
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • 1 red onion
    • 1/2 yellow pepper
    • Fond, stock or salt for seasoning
    • A pinch of chilli

     

    Tomatoes from the garden

    Here are my beautiful tomatoes. Remains to be seen whether the green ones will mature off the vine before going off.

     

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    Chop the garlic, onions tomatoes and peppers and fry them in a pan. Season and simmer until all have softened. If you need a bit of extra liquid, add some water. The sauce is ready when tomatoes are all mushy. This will take about 15 minutes.

     

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    Tortellinis take about 3 minutes to cook, so I do them once the sauce is ready. Garnish with fresh basil.

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