SOAP NUTS – A NATURAL DETERGENT

Good morning beautiful souls,

Today I thought I would tackle the next change on my plant based eco journey, namely switching to a low impact laundry detergent. As with many household items we are just so used to seeing them stacked in single use containers along the supermarket aisles that we don’t stop to consider the impact they have anymore or what less harmful & low impact alternatives might be out there. Most laundry detergents are packaged in plastic, tested on animals and of course contain many chemicals which especially for sensitive skins aren’t often great. However there are some great alternatives out there (for example my cousin washes her clothes with walnuts which contain a natural soap element – who knew!?!) all you need to do is set aside a little time to have a browse to see what works best for you. Now I can’t speak for all alternatives as I’ve personally only tried one so far, but I am so happy with the results of this swap that I had to share it with you.

I have swapped form the usual detergent culprits such as Persil to using Soapnuts – a natural, organic, biodegradable, vegan, ethical & sustainable laundry detergent (now you can’t get more eco-friendly than that can you!?!).

Soapnuts or Soapberries are dried fruit shells which contain real natural soap and are 100% completely natural. They are a vegan friendly, non-polluting, compostable, alternative to conventional laundry detergents and synthetic soaps. No fillers, foaming agents, bleach, phthalates, phosphates or parabens. The Soapberries contain a natural soap called saponin, which is released when they come into contact with water and thus they wash your laundry as good as any other conventional detergent.

There are a couple of ways to use the soap nuts; you can soak them in water to release the detergent and then pour the liquid into your washing machine as you would other laundry detergents, or you can pop a couple of soapnuts into the muslin bag provided and then pop that into the washing machine with your laundry. I use the latter method.

In our day and age we are so used to freshly washed clothes smelling “clean” because of all the chemical scents added to detergents. Soapnuts don’t really release a scent, so you won’t get that “clean” smell; however you can add a scent to your laundry by using an essential oil. One of my favourite oils to use is lavender; I put about 10 drops onto the muslin bag containing the soapnuts and then pop it into the wash – and voila out come your clothes with a fresh scent of lavender – the results are great!

I really cannot recommend this natural vegan biodegradable laundry detergent enough and urge you all to try it! They sell starter packs (a great way to give soapnuts a trial) which contain soapnuts, a stain remover bar, soda crystals and an essential oil. The small starter pack costs £14.70 which admittedly you might first think sounds expensive, but let me assure you, the sopanuts go a long way – one filled muslin bag can be used for about 3 washes until all the soap has been released.

(the starter pack pictured in my photos is a large)

The Living Naturally Soapnut Company also not only sell laundry detergent but have haircare and skincare products on offer too. I have yet to try these but if the laundry detergent is anything to go by, I know I’ll love these products too.

So I hope I have given you something to think about. Again, I can’t recommend these highly enough and would love to know – do you think this is a change/a swap you would be willing to try?! I’d love to hear some of you giving soapnuts a go! If you’d like to inform yourselves more on the products available and further benefits of soapnuts go have a look on their website here.

Until next time lovelies ❤

received_10215069146586537.jpeg

BEETROOT BROWNIES

Good evening beautiful souls,

It’s time for me to share one of my favourite recipes with you – I hope you are excited!!!

This recipe is from the beautiful vegan cookbook Peace & Parsnips. I love this book and everything I have tried so far has been super tasty, so I can’t wait to try more recipes in the future!

I’ve made this beetroot brownie recipe a couple of times now; the brownies are super easy to make, perfectly moist and of course taste amazing! So no excuse not to try this recipe for yourselves!

I have altered the original recipe a little, but it is quite flexible so don’t worry about experimenting. Anyway, let’s jump right into it!

Ingredients:

  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 125g Flour
  • 100g Prunes
  • 100g Nuts
  • 200g Silken tofu
  • 125g Beetroot, finely grated
  • 150g Unrefined brown sugar

(I also added some dried apricots and a little rosewater – although apparently not enough of the latter as I couldn’t taste the rose flavour – I need to experiment more with this I future)

Method:

Firstly, melt the dark chocolate carefully in the microwave on a low heat/defrost setting making sure you don’t burn it. Once melted stir in oil. Leave to cool.

Preheat oven to 190 degree.

Whisk tofu and sugar together in a bowl before stirring in the cooled down molten chocolate. Next add the beetroot, Prunes, and nuts (as well as apricots or whatever else you want to add) then slowly fold in the flour until all is combined.

Pour the mixture into a ca. 27×17 cm tin lined with banking paper and level out.

Pop in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes on the middle shelf.

Leave to cool in tray then lift out onto wire wrack and cut into squares. The brownies should be nice and moist with a slight crust on the outer edges.

Best served warm with vegan vanilla ice cream or fruit compote.

And there you have it! Brew yourself a nice cup of coffee, sit down, pick up your favourite book and enjoy this yummy treat!!

Please let me know if you try these as I’d love to see what you think!

received_10215069146586537.jpeg

DIY SPRING POT

Good evening beautiful souls,

A couple of days ago I had the urge to be crafty and put together this cute little spring/easter pot. It’s really easy to do and such a lovely way to bring some colour and spring vibes into your home that I had to share this with you! So without further ado let’s go…

What you will need:

  • Spring bulbs (whatever flowers you’d like – you could even mix in some succulents or other small plants)
  • Styrofoam eggs (I got these from the Works)
  • Acrylic paint
  • A plant pot (inner plastic one and outer ceramic one)
  • Paper
  • Ribbon
  • Wooden skewers
  • Soil
  • Moss

To begin with fill your plastic pot with a little soil, then arrange your bulbs however you’d like. Next fill with soil to top of pot making sure you compress the soil around the bulbs. Once this is done you can place the moss around the flowers and plants.

Skewer your Styrofoam eggs and give them an acrylic white base coat.

Once the base coat is dry, paint your eggs with whatever designs you fancy.

Tip – try and match the colours to the flowers and plants you’ve chosen for a more cohesive visual effect. Unless you want a multicoloured mix and match effect, which of course is also cool!

Stick the skewers into the soil of your plant pot. Shorten the wooden skewers as desired for different height levels.

To finish make a little label. Get a bit of card, write a message, quote whatever you desire and attach to another skewer. Add some ribbon for another touch of colour.

Et voila – you have yourself a little pot of spring joy! Oh and don’t forget to water!

I hope you enjoyed this post and do be sure to let me know if you create one of these cute little pots too! I’d love to see what you create!

received_10215069146586537.jpeg

QUINOA BUTTERNUT SALAD

Good evening beautiful souls,

I’m very excited to share one of my favourite recipes with you tonight. This dish is a perfect light delicious salad that can be eaten warm or cold, as a main or side. It’s great for a great dish for BBQ’s, garden parties or any get together really as it’s really easy to prepare and relatively quick to make too. I hope you all save this recipe, have a go at making it and let me know what you think. So without further ado let me share my favourite recipe with you:

Ingredients (for 4 ppl):

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 2 stock cubes
  • Fresh corriander
  • 250g quinoa
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

First of all put your favourite tunes on and make yourself a nice drink – cause cooking is always more fun whilst sipping at a cocktail and dancing around the kitchen!

Now you’re all set, peel your butternut, scoop out the seeds and chop into small bite-size pieces and put onto a tray. Next chop up your onion and garlic in small pieces and mix with the butternut pieces. Drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and pop in the oven to roast at 200-220 degrees Celsius (fan oven) for about 30 mins.

Next cook your quinoa, rinse first then bring 500ml of water to the boil. Add your two vegetable stock cubes before adding the quinoa and turning the heat down to simmer for about 15 mins until tender or the water is absorbed (add more water if necessary).

Next peel your pomegranate and cute up your coriander.

Once everything is cooked, mix all together (I only didn’t add the pomegranate here because my mum can’t eat it). Et voila – enjoy!!!

You can eat it warm, or pop it into the fridge and eat cold the next day – very refreshing and tasty too!

And there you have it my lovely readers, a scrumptious healthy vegan quinoa butternut salad! I hope you enjoyed this post and will try making this sometime; for now I wish you a relaxing evening and I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend.