Archive | July, 2013

Healthy Grain & Dairy Free Chocolate Cake

29 Jul

Grain-and-dairy-free-choc-cake-

I know I have joked before but I have been seriously thinking that I may have to change this blog to a dessert blog!!

Nearly all my recipes are desserts, What does that say about me??

I swear we eat more than just cake!. But if I could only eat this scrummy chocolate cake for the rest of my life, I would die a happy woman.

This cake is so moist & delectable, it has a yummy hint of coconut & slight honey taste that is not overpowering at all, I hate cakes that just taste like honey, honey & more honey. This cake tastes like a Ferrero Rocher chocolate that has been rolled in coconut……….mmmmmm

This cake has even passed the toddler test, “little one” ate the whole thing & even declared it yummy!!

She has taken to spitting out Mama’s food & declaring it either “bad” or “real bad” lately, but this cake ticked all of her boxes.

Eat it on its own or top it with the chocolate frosting…….you will love it!

Grain-&-Dairy-Free-choc-cake-2

Healthy Grain & Dairy Free Chocolate Cake a’la Mama Going Natural

You will need:

  • 2/3 c coconut flour
  • 1/2 c arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 c hazelnut meal
  • 1/2 c cacao powder
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2/3 c honey
  • 6 eggs
  • 2/3 c coconut oil
  • 1 1/3 c almond milk
  • 2 t vanilla

Place the first five ingredients in a bowl & whisk to combine. Add the remaining ingredients & mix well with a blender to combine and make a wet but smooth batter. Pour your batter into greased & floured cake or cupcake pans. Bake at 175 degrees for 15 – 25 minutes depending on the size of cakes you make.

I always make mini cupcakes as I can not trust myself to cut this cake, monster wedges of cake anyone??

Top this cake with coconut frosting or leave it plain, you will love it 🙂

Grain-&-Dairy-Free-choc-cake-3

Chocolate Coconut Frosting ala Mama Going Natural

  • 1 can of coconut cream – refrigerate for several hours or leave it over night to solidify
  • 3 T cacao powder
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 – 4 T honey or maple syrup

Open your coconut cream & pour off the liquid (save it for another baking session). Pour the solid coconut cream into a bowl, add the remaining ingredients & whip till it makes frosting. If it ends up being too runny refrigerate your mixture & whip again once cold. This frosting keeps well at cool temperatures but needs to be eaten straight out of the refrigerator in the heart of summer or you will be eating chocolate sauce 🙂

Go forth, Be Merry & Eat Cake

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How Toxic is your Sunscreen?

23 Jul

barrier sunscreen close up

Being a pale skinned girl living in the land of sunshine, sunscreen & I have been in a long-term relationship.

Sometimes it has been a little bit of a love/hate relationship – sunscreen can be sticky, smell bad & irritate my skin. But getting sunburned sucks!! Red & peeling is not necessarily my best look!

According to the Environmental Working Groups 2013 survey of over 800 sunscreen brands, 75% of the sunscreens tested contained potentially harmful ingredients linked to hormone disruption & even cell damage that may lead to skin cancer. Yikes, that does not sound good.

Your skin is your largest organ. Anything  you put on your body is absorbed into your blood stream within 20 minutes. Now that is a very scary thought when the majority of our sunscreen brands contain potentially harmful chemicals.

During the past 50 years, we have increased the number of synthetic sunscreen chemicals that we use. We have done this with virtually no consideration of how vulnerable we are to these chemicals – or how little we know about their subtle and cumulative toxic effects. We assume that because they are so easily purchased at the store, they must be safe to use. Wrong! Many of these chemicals are known to be toxic; very few are carefully studied before they are put on the shelf . There is no doubt that the products in everyday sunscreens are toxic. The only real question is: what effects are they having on us and our families?

The unknown long-term consequences of the chemicals in sunscreen are just starting to be revealed and the results are shockingly horrific, going far beyond the common skin rash.

Sunscreen is supposed to protect us from harmful UV radiation from the sun, but as more people use sunscreen, the incidence of skin cancer continues to rise. This fact alone has to make you think – do sunscreens really provide skin cancer protection? Or could the chemicals in them actually be contributing to causing skin cancer?

So what do you do??

First off Read your labels & avoid all products that don’t list their full ingredient’s or any products that contain the below ingredients

Oxybenzone – 
This is a hormone disruptor which penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream. It is the most popular ingredient in chemical based sunscreens and only blocks UVB ray (sun’s good rays that provide vitamin D production), not UVA which are the most free radical damaging rays.  Avoid any sunscreen that has this chemical at all costs, especially for children.
Octyl- mrthoxycinnamate –
Reported to cause photosensitization & photoallergic effects. It is a hormone disruptor that increases endocrine activity and has been linked to cancer in several studies by the Danish EPA
Methylbenzylidende camphor (4 MBC)
Linked to sperm anomalies, testicular & breast cancer. It is thought that it is especially harmful for children as it is a hormone disruptor & can cause troubles in pre-pubescent children.
Benzophenones
A potent free radical generator that can cause dermatitis, rosacea, burning & itching.
PABA
Was the most widely used active ingredients until the mid-1980’s when it almost completely disappeared because of the high incidence of adverse skin effects. It is banned in Canada & only allowed at 5% concentrations in Europe but we still continue to use it here in Australia.
Padimate O
Forms free radicals that cause DNA disruptions.
Dibenxoylmethanes
Is used as a UVA absorber but can cause photo allergy  & contact allergy.           Parsol 1789 –                                                      
DNA damaging.
Psolaren
A known carcinogenic.
Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) –
A 2009 study by U.S. government scientists released by the National Toxicology Program found when this is applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, it may speed the development of skin cancers & lesions.
Fragrance – 
Sure it may make the product smell nice, but this is a petroleum based product that is linked to toxicity & allergy.
Sprays or Powders –
Generally speaking, sprays and powders have additional chemicals added to them for performance purposes. These additional chemicals are usually not something you want to be spraying on your body and can be toxic to the lungs.
Titanium Dioxide
This mineral is often touted as a safe sun barrier but research has shown that the particles are not photo safe & that on exposure to the sun the titanium dioxide creates singlet oxygen, superoxide anions & hydroxyl radicals all of which are potent free radicals which can lead to mutant skin cells, skin cancers & premature ageing of your skin – who the heck wants that???

Barrier Sunscreen

So what should you look for?

  • Zinc Oxide is your safest option for a barrier sunscreen as unlike titanium dioxide it is photo stable.
  • Buy Organic where possible
  • Buy only from companies that list ALL ingredients on their packaging not just the “active” sun barrier ingredients.
  • Look for fragrance free or products scented by essential oils
  • Look for products that use oils that are naturally high in SPF, Carrot seed, Raspberry seed, wheat germ, coconut oil etc.

Going sunscreen free is not always an option, neither is covering up. Sunscreen is a necessity in my part of the world, so instead of trusting & hoping the big companies are delivering me a safe & natural product I have chosen to make my own sunscreen -that I know is 100% safe for my family and yours.

You can purchase my 100% Natural, Organic sunscreen from  Etsy or direct from
our Shop
Stay Sun Safe
Mama-going-natural-signature

Chocolate Orange Chick Pea cake – Gluten Free

16 Jul

I visited the “Kitchen” section of this blog today & I think I can see a theme here.

Raspberry Frozen yoghurt ice cream, Spiced banana Chocolate chip blondie, Caramelised chick pea fudge, Chocolate fudge, Spelt raspberry tea cake ……………

Lots of fudge recipes, lots of cake recipes & a couple of food recipes thrown in for good measure.

Anyone reading this blog would think all we do is sit around eating dessert all day, but I can assure you that is not true!! We eat our vegetables before we have our dessert 😉

One of the hardest things I have found (as a natural-born sweet tooth) in trying to eat healthy is finding healthy substitutes that will satisfy my sweet tooth. Little after dinner treats that hit the spot, little things that taste good that you can pack in lunch boxes, treats you can keep on hand for when the evil “Cadbury” is calling your name.

This is one of those very treats that we keep in our arsenal. My “little one” loves these little cakes & even her little friends at playgroup want to share her lunch when she takes these yummy little cakes along. I of course never let on that they might be “healthy”, that is a Mama’s secret after all…….

chocolate-orange-chick-pea-cake

Chocolate Orange Chick Pea Cake a’la Mama Going Natural

You will need:

  • 425gm cooked cooled chick peas (or canned if you prefer)
  • 2/3 c fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 4 eggs
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 1/2 c coconut sugar
  • 2/3 c cacoa powder
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t bicarb soda
  • 1 T vanilla extract

Combine top 3 ingredients in a blender & blend till smooth. Stir in the rest of the ingredients gently. Pour mix into a well greased & floured pan as this mixture is very sticky. The mixture looks very wet, sort of like a smoothie consistency but don’t worry it will all be fine in the end. Bake at 170 degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes completely cool before taking them out of the pan as otherwise they will crack.

This cake tastes better on the second day, the flavours seem to develop more & it seems more rich & chocolatey on the second day.

Enjoy your cake & eat it too

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Kefir Water from milk grains

11 Jul

Kefir Water, the healthy Soda!!

Kefir Water may not look like much, but it tastes good.

It is seriously delicious. Our family is hooked, I can not make Kefir Water fast enough. My “little one” loves it so much, plain, flavoured, anyway it comes.

Kefir-water-2

Kefir Water is a fermented beverage teeming with beneficial bacteria, it’s easily flavoured, simple to make & a perfect replacement for commercial fizzy drink. It tastes like a slightly dry, mildly alcoholic & gently fizzy soda that has a faint fermented taste.

Kefir Water not only tastes great but it is impressively rich in micronutrients, enzymes & benefical bacteria, it is a great DAIRY free source of probiotics. Kefir Water is made be fermenting a scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria & yeasts) in sugar water. The beneficial bacteria & yeasts present in the grains metabolize the sugar & turn it into actic acid and thus making yummy Kefir Water.

How to make basic Kefir Water a’la Mama Going Natural

  • 600ml Glass Jar
  • 500ml lukewarm boiled off water
  • 2 T Sugar (raw, brown, rapadurra, palm, coconut etc)
  • 1/4 c Kefir grains

Stir your sugar into the lukewarm water. Pour it into your glass jar and add your grains. Screw on the lid & leave out on the counter for 24-72 hours depending how warm your home is. In cooler climates the Kefir will take longer to brew, when its warm you can have Kefir Water in 24 hours.

Once your Kefir water has reached your required taste, strain out the grains & repeat the above process with a different sugar. Bottle your Kefir water & screw the lid on. If you want your kefir to be more bubbly leave it out on the counter for another 1-2 days. If your happy with it refridgerate & enjoy.

*Water Kefir grains like variety to keep growing, I feed mine with raw sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, rapadura sugar & palm sugar. Alternating the sugars on a regular basis so that my grains stay nice & happy.

*Water quality is important but I have read that the grains do not like RO water, they need minerals to keep growing so I prefer to use boiled tap water even though we have RO water on tap. I boil the kettle with the lid off for several minutes to try & boil off some of the impurities. If you use filtered water it is recommended that you add egg shells to the water to re-mineralise the water, but I have never actually done this.

*Never use Honey – the honey’s anti-microbial properties will attack your grains.

converting-milk-grains

How to convert your Milk Grains into Kefir Water Grains

The process to convert your grains takes about a week in total.

Take your milk grains that you want to convert & wash them gently in purified water (I use R.O water – but you could use boiled or bottled water). Rinse your grains several times until there is absolutely no milk residue.

Boil the kettle with the lid off for several minutes to try to boil off as many chemicals in your tap water as you can. Leave the water to cool, pour in 500ml of warm water into your jar & stir in 2 T of sugar. Let the sugar dissolve & add the grains, screw on the lid & leave to do its magic.

Leave for 48 hours, giving the jar a shake every 12 hours or so. Once the 48 hours are up, pour out the contents & repeat.

Repeat 3 – 4 times before trying to drink your Kefir.

*I have converted about 1/4 c of milk grains & that makes 500ml of Kefir water within 24 to 48 hours.

*You can add a variety of fruits & spices to your Kefir water to make all sorts of different lightly carbonated beverages.

Kefir-water

Ginger Ale

Add a few slices of ginger to your Kefir Water when you make it & viola you will have Ginger Ale

Creaming Soda

When bottling add 2 t Vanilla extract

Fruit Soda

Instead of bottling your Kefir pour it into another glass jar & add 1/4 c berries & let it ferment on the bench for another 2 days, strain off the berries refridgerate & enjoy

Lemonade

When bottling your Kefir add the juice of one lemon for instant lemonade.

Dr Pepper

Instead of bottling your Kefir pour it into another glass jar & add 1/4 c raisons & let it ferment on the bench for another 2 days, strain off the raisons refridgerate & enjoy

ENJOY

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Natural, home made Leave in Hair Conditioner

4 Jul

I love my hair, vain I know!!!

But a girls gotta have something she loves about herself & for me, its my hair.

When its behaving itself I have glossy luscious brown ringlets & curls, that cascade down to my shoulders.

Leave-in-Conditioner

When its not – I have frizzy, fly away, kinky, wavy, dry hair that sticks out very unattractively all over my head. You can imagine how much I love “rocking” that look…………. not!!

I recently tried to go No-Poo & my hair & I are still recovering.

I tried people, I went weeks (weeks) with frizzy, greasy, coarse, fluffy hair. Weeks……..I can not stress that enough!!

Then I relented & snuck my Shampoo & Conditioner into the shower & welcomed back my glossy, curly hair.

So it seems my hair is not made for No-Poo, I tried it all……….Soap Nuts, Bicarb, Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey. To no avail. They all gave me varying degrees of awful frizzy, fluffy hair & zapped the bounce out of my curls.

So now I am on a mission to create my own “more natural” hair products that don’t kill my curls, because a girl has got to have something she loves.

So this is my first recipe in my quest to “de-toxify” my hair cabinet.

I love leave-in conditioner, it makes my hair glossy, manageable & keeps my curls moisturised so they hang nicely. So it was first on my “Hit List”.

This Leave in Conditioner is lovely & soft, but not too greasy, it has a nice whipped, fluffy texture to it, that absorbs nicely into damp hair. I use about a 5 to 10cm amount in the center of wet hands & then smooth it all over damp hair.

This conditioner is chock full of hair loving ingredients. The burdock is to treat dandruff, prevent hair loss & promote hair growth. Wheatgerm & jojoba oil’s are great hair moisturisers, promote hair growth & make hair more manageable. While the peppermint oil stimulates the scalp & promotes hair growth & the orange oil – well it just smells divine!

Zesty Fresh Leave-in Hair Conditioner a’la Mama Going Natural

You will need:

  • 1 c hot water
  • 3 t burdock tea
  • 1 T emulsifying wax
  • 1 T wheatgerm oil
  • 1 T jojoba oil
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 10 drops orange essential oil

Steep the 3 teaspoons of burdock in the 1 cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. Once the tea is cool strain out the tea leaves & keep the tea lukewarm. In a glass or ceramic bowl heat the 1 T emulsifying wax, 1 T wheatgerm oil & 1 T of Jojoba oil until the wax melts. Pour the warm tea into the melted wax & oils & stir to combine. When the conditioner is at room temperature add the essential oils & let the conditioner cool until it begins to form solids. Whisk vigorously while thickening to ensure that your conditioner has a nice fluffy texture. Pour it into clean sterilised bottles & enjoy moisturised, glossy hair.

Zesty-Leave-in-Conditioner

I keep the bulk of mine in the refrigerator & a small bottle out on the bathroom counter for day to day use, this way no preservatives are required.

I have only made this with emulsifying wax, as I think the conditioner may split without some form of emulsifying agent.

If you are looking for a lighter detangling product then try out my Detangler Recipe its great for coming knots of little one’s hair & is slightly more moisturising for dry hair.

Go forth & enjoy your hair 🙂

 

Mama-going-natural-signature

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