Thursday, 27 June 2013

Good Eats : Vegan Guilt-free Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Avocados: some love 'em, some are delusional.
Holy guacamole? Close enough.

You might not think of dessert when you hear the word 'avocado', but in fact, this bodacious berry makes one of the smoothest and creamiest mousses I've ever had the pleasure of nomming.

Sweet cravings are never celebrated, but for someone who's been eating paleo and mostly vegan, I decided to stick to it and kill my cravings without going off the deep end and eating an entire bar of chocolate (or worse!)..

I've been known to scour through the pretty Pintrest boards for recipes and inspiration, and I've always seen these healthy desserts placed in perfectly lit pictures depicting guilt-free indulgences that promise to satisfy the foodiest of all foodie cravings without the setbacks nutrition-wise.

So I tried it out. And I love it.

I mean, why not? Avocado? Cocoa? Raspberries and blueberries (my toppings on choice)? What's there not to love?!

So let's get on with the recipe:

I eye-balled it but these measurements should come out right....


1 ripe avocado
1 heaped spoon of organic/raw cocoa
Approx 1/4 cup coconut milk (OR almond milk OR rice milk, whatever your substitute is) Add as much as you need to make the consistency NOT clumpy, but not too much to make a runny chocolate paste.
Vanilla essence (I used one vanilla bean)
Sweeten to your liking with either HONEY or COCONUT SUGAR. (I don't recommend Stevia here because it can add a slight bitterness afterwards.)

Simply mash up the avocado and add in the other ingredients. You can blend with a hand mixer or in a food processor, but I just mixed it by hand with a whisk.
Pop it in the fridge for a little while to firm up slightly and then serve with your toppings of choice.

I mixed in come shredded coconut and vanilla with a tspn of coconut milk so
Since I have some berries in the fridge already I decided to plop them in a bowl and enjoy them alongside the mousse for an extra yum factor.

And, here it is:

 ENJOY guilt free yumminess!!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

If it ain't sweet, it's Bitte.(part 1)

Who doesn't love a bit of suga suga? 
Let's face it, we all know sugar is bad for you. And not in the Micheal Jackson Bad sorta way.

Most forms of sugar are horrible for you and have the same effects on you and your body as any other addictive drug would. 

One of the first big steps in becoming healthy has to be cutting out all bad sugar. This means any white sugars, artificial sweeteners, aspartame, and especially HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). Also, Agave syrup! I'll explain why that's included in there as well in another post....

Giving up sugar can be one of the hardest things to do (I know this from personal experience) because the chemicals and formation of the sugars program your mind and body in a way that the more you have, the more your body CRAVES it and anything with it. 

This is why it takes so long to "Kick the habit", so to speak, when you're trying to cut out sugar. You're literally in a withdrawal phase. It's just like alcoholism or nicotine addiction. It's tough, but stick with it!
If you can go 3 weeks without any sugar, you won't be wanting anything to do with it afterwards!
Trust me on this one.. Just get your sugar from NATURAL alternatives (Dates are wonderful treats and are fantabulous with a bit of peanut butter. The natural and raw version of a Snickers bar, I kid you not. See below).

I could go into detail about why each artificial sweetener isn't good for you, but that would take up an insane in the membrane amount of writing. Let's keep this as concise as possible. Info in a nutshell? Yes? Yes.

Sweeteners; Part Uno: Stevia

The myth of Stevia. What it is and why it's the lesser of many evils of the sugar pyramid.

First off:
What IS Stevia?

Stevia (also known as Reb A, Rebiana, Truvia, PureVia, Enliten, and Sun Crystals
is a sweet little herb that's derived from the leaves of a plant that's related to sunflowers.

Many a health guru is doting it as the best solution for the pesky sweet tooth.
Regardless of being 300 times as sweet as sugar, it lacks calories or carbohydrates, so this might make it sound like the holy grail of sweeteners; but with everything that the FDA approves, we have to have a stern eye over it. Personally, I use stevia and coconut sugar as my sweeteners for teas/baking. I've read up on all there is to know about it and I'm convinced that with the amounts I'm taking in, and the quality of the product, I should be bueno.

-on a slightly tangent note-
Personally, I don't trust the FDA with their approval of anything. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that their judgement is shot to shit when it comes to "safety standards". I'm sure you've heard of many examples of the FDA letting pus and blood into pasteurized cow's milk (LINK HERE FOR MORE DETS), or how certain percentages of worms and fungi into fruits that are being imported and exported. It's disgusting, plain and simple. If you want to know the truth about food, I suggest you watch "FOOD INC.". I prefer to do my own research.
-Anyway, going back to the point..-

I've read up on certain side effects that people are concerned with when it comes to Stevia. Even though I've never experienced them myself, you can check out the pros and cons here.

How does it effect our bodies?

Unlike aspartame and other sugar substitutes, stevia has very little effect on blood glucose. Some sugar substitutes have been shown to produce a rebound effect, in which the substitute triggers the body to produce additional, unneeded insulin. Due to this effect, some studies have even shown that sugar substitutes can cause people to gain weight rather than helping them lose it.
Stevia does not have this effect on the body, making it a sweetener of choice for many people suffering from diabetes or other forms of glucose intolerance. Some studies even indicate that using stevia may increase overall glucose tolerance. In addition, stevia may prove to be effective in treating high blood pressure, obesity, and possibly even osteoporosis.
From all the reading I've done on this, the conclusions always lead to "as long as it's used in controlled doses, it's the healthiest alternative to sugar". Honestly, who's going to dowse a jar of stevia on their oatmeal?
You? No. there's a reason why it's packaged in little eeny teeny packets. It's a bunch times sweeter than sugar!! Take it easy peasy lemon squeesy. 

The bottom line?

The thing about Stevia, or ANYTHING for that matter, is that you should have it in moderation.
Don't overdo it. That way you won't have any side effects :)

Here are some links for you to read up on that I highly suggest reading if you want to know more about Stevia

5 Health benefits of stevia
The truth about artificial sweeteners and stevia in the market.
The science behind stevia.
Why stevia should be taken in MODERATION

One thing that I'd highly recommend you to read is this article with a side by side chart of all sweeteners and their make up/side effects etc.
It'll open your eyes up to the bitter truth of sweeteners (aaaaaaaaa puns everywhere).

In the next post I'll be explaining why HFCS (high fructose corn syrup)  and Agave nectar is basically a liquid poison. May sound dramatic but y'all have got to start being aware of this shi.

Sending love and healthy habits your way :)
PLEASE ask more questions. The more you ask, the more I learn and can pass on to you.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Just a sprinkle.

Well, hello there.

I'm guessing you were linked here and haven't just stumbled upon this place by chance. If you have, welcome. Have some tea. Green tea is all I've got. Sugar? Oh no no, not here, darling. Stevia. There you go.

Let's pass on the coffee cake and get right to the introductions.

Call me the mother of dragons. Wait. That's not right. I need to put down my George RR Martin's and pick up my spatula.

Is that a woman-in-the-kitchen-joke? No, because this spatula is made of bamboo and I've taken enough martial arts classes to know how to smack you right side up with it till it hurts.


I'm one other person on a large piece of rock we call Earth that is willing to break out rusty writing skills and share my experiences. From food, to love, to health, to beauty, all the way to collaborating with artists and fitness coaches.
It'll be a hub. A place where we can build a community of scantily-clad honesty and good energy.
Somewhere where pride is only in the form of a lion's metaphor and ego is kicked out the front door for smoking. It's our place. And I?

I'm Salma.

I flirt with photography, I periodically paint, and I'm a big fan of the theatre.
My dream is to spend forever in BoraBora and the Maldives just soaking up every ray of sunshine that I can.
I love cooking. I love eating, and recently I've fallen in love with a pair of dumbbells.

This is my new blog (yes, the old one is still up, but idle), in which I will promise to share with you what I know about food. GOOD food. CLEAN eating... with the occasional hoop-lah and hallo of the naughty bits.
It will also piggy back onto what I used to write about: DIY beauty.
That will be not as often though. This is a process. For myself and for whoever you are.
It doesn't stop there, oh no.

Fitness. It's a popular thing here on the interwebs, but over here, it's raw. Raw, honest fitness that even the most cynical, stubborn person will look at and admit: I think I have time for that.
This is going to be a bunch of things that will seem confusing, but that's only because I've got a weird way of organizing things.

I want you to put a smile on that wonderful face of yours, because you're witnessing the beginning of a very awkward person's attempt to connect with the millions of people out there. You. And him. And her. And that one woman that smells of moth balls and owns two parrots, yes, even her.

Welcome, to my kaleidoscope fun house...

..take off your shoes.