Salted Caramel Choc Bites

SALTED CARAMEL CHOC BITES

A match made in heaven; chocolate and salted caramel….just thinking about it makes my mouth water with anticipation. Even better, there is a healthy way to have it so you can eat these delicious pieces of heaven guilt free!!

Salted Caramel Choc Bites

A few years ago I came across a little book called I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson and it has changed my life.  I did the 8 week sugar detox and it was so hard at the time, you really discover how much you rely on sugar on a daily basis.  I also discovered how much sugar is in so many processed food products that you would never suspect had sugar.  These books have shaped my food journey not only to quit sugar (refined, processed sugar) but to eliminate processed foods.

You may be thinking to yourself I could never give up sugar…I love chocolate and cake and sweets and biscuits and all the delicious things that make life worth living.  Well, you don’t have to!! There is no need to deprive yourself…you can still enjoy all of these things..but even better than the processed chemical filled things that you can buy at the shops.  After detoxing my body from processed sugar,don’t get me wrong, I do still occasionally indulge in a naughty treat every so often, but I usually always find it too sickly sweet and not as enjoyable as I imagined…or as it used to be.  I much prefer what I can make myself!

Salted Caramel Choc Bites

Making things from scratch can be so fulfilling, you know what you are going to be putting into your body and you can choose what you are going to use to fuel your body so it can function to its greatest potential. Natural unprocessed chocolate can be found in cacao, it has so many health benefits and gives your home made creations a rich chocolate flavour, that goes perfectly with salted caramel…salty, sweet rich chocolate pieces of joy 🙂

Salted Caramel Choc Bites

Recipe

                                               Salted Caramel Choc Bites

Ingredients:

Salted Caramel filling

8 medjool dates

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 tablespoon almond butter (or any nut butter you prefer)

1/3 cup almond milk

pinch of salt

Chocolate

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup cacao

2 tablespoon maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)

Method:

To make the chocolate, melt the coconut oil, then add the cacao and maple syrup and stir to combine. Spoon the chocolate mixture into the moulds until they are roughly half full, then place in the freezer to set.

While the chocolate is setting in the moulds you can start preparing the salted caramel. Place all of the ingredients into a blender and whizz until the mixture is nice and smooth. Once the chocolate in the moulds has become firm you can spoon the salted caramel mixture on top (approximately half a teaspoon but will depend on the size or your moulds).

Now simply spoon the remaining chocolate mixture on top until level with the top of the mould. Place back into the freezer to set. Once set pop the salted caramel choc bites out of the mould and enjoy!

SALTED CARAMEL CHOC BITES

Warning these are seriously addictive!!…try not to eat them all at once 🙂

Stay Hippy 🙂

Roller Top Desk Restoration With Chalk Paint

This is a post about my first experience with Annie Sloan chalk paint, how easy I found using it and how I revived this old roller top desk with this amazing product.

before and after desk

There’s nothing greater than the satisfaction you can receive from turning something old, run down and out of date into a funky like-new piece of furniture. What better and easier way to do this than chalk paint…my new favourite craft item! It can make anything look awesome and it’s so easy to use.

chalk paint

I inherited this roller top desk from my parents who no longer had any use for it. Now looking at it you would think it’s so dated it would be so much easier to throw it out and buy a new one. But with a little love and elbow grease it has so much potential to be a funky retro, one off, functional piece of furniture.

I started googling how I could bring this piece back to life and I came across Annie Sloan chalk paint. I had heard of this product before but never had a chance to use it, and this was the perfect opportunity. Now came the hard job of picking a colour…there are so many great ones to choose from! I eventually settled on paris grey as it would be more versatile for future use (I was very tempted to do a bright loud colour). Now the fun could begin 🙂

taping before chalk paint

 

  • Taping before I started painting to stop the paint getting on the green laminate.

 

prepping desk

 

 

  • Removing the handles
  • Make sure you have a clean dry painting surface

 

One of the great perks of chalk paint is there is very little prep necessary as it paints on nearly any surface. So to start just make sure your surface is nice and clean and dry. With this desk I used painters masking tape to tape around the edges to keep the paint work neat as I planned to leave the green laminate. With all this sorted it was time to begin painting. The chalk paint went on nice and smooth and coated really well and is quick drying.

painting chalk paint

  • The chalk paint goes on nice and smooth…and my little helper 🙂

chalk paint helper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once it was dry there were still patches not covered completely so a second coat was needed.

after first coat of chalk paint

 

  • As you can see after the first coat of chalk paint in was still quite patchy so I did a second coat.
  • Because it’s so quick drying you do not have to wait long 🙂

 

 

With the painting completed the next step was waxing. This was something that I was not familiar with and I got some very helpful hints and inspiration from The Thinking Closet on how to do this. Although it was tough work (built up the biceps) it really was worth it and finished the roller top desk off to be a funky retro piece.

Annie Sloan wax

 

  • Get a small amount of wax on your wax brush

Annie Sloan wax

 

 

 

 

  • Work the wax in by rubbing in an circular motion, getting right into the nooks and crannies. Apply the wax in a thin even layer.
  • Do a small area at a time work the wax right in and then wipe the excess off straight away. You really only need a small amount of wax…the less the better your end result will be.

chalk paint polished handles

 

  • I then used this orange oil to polish the handles, they came up really well a nice brassy/gold colour.
  • Once it was all waxed I put it all back together and I’m so pleased with the end result!!

 

 

chalk paint finished paris grey desk

finished chalk paint desk

 

 

 

 

 

So now I’m totally hooked! I have already painted multiple other things which I’ll share with you in future posts. It’s amazing how a little paint can bring something that some people may consider junk to life again and give it a new and improved look. So go on take the plunge and give it a go! You won’t be disappointed!

Stay hippy 🙂

Be Inspired

quote leonardo da vinci

Sometimes the key to life is keeping it simple. Take a step back from the rat race and slow down. Take the time to do the things that you enjoy and that bring a smile to your face…after all what else is life for if not enjoyment. Take a break from technology and sit and talk to the people around you. Keep it simple, do things the old fashioned way…it may be slower and more time consuming but it can be so much more rewarding in the end.

Stay hippy xx

Decadently Divine Healthy Chocolate Smoothie

decadently divine chocolate smoothie

Smoothies are an awesome nutritious way to start the day…or to have as a snack any time of the day really. As I have talked about in “up and go green smoothie” they are a great way to get vitamins and minerals into your morning routine when you are short of time. This smoothie that I made the other day is not only deliciously chocolaty and tasty but it is packed full of all the essential goodies that your body needs to start the day.

chocolate smoothie

The green goodness of spinach; it is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, magnesium, folate, iron, copper, calcium, potassium, vitamin C. It is an amazing source of fibre and phosphorous. Now doesn’t that just make you want to go out and eat a whole bag of the stuff…no wonder Popeye used it as the source of his super strength…amazing stuff and when used in this smoothie you can’t even tell your eating all of this nutritional goodness so it’s easily hidden from the kiddies or fussy eaters.

chocolate smoothie

Berries are a way of adding some sweetness to this smoothie while providing your body with vitamin C to boost your immunity. They’re high in antioxidants and a great source of fibre. Research has linked blueberries to good vision, acuity and brain development. Using food as a way to keep your body healthy and running to its full potential, now what could be more rewarding and satisfying than that!

I also added some pumpkin puree that I had in the freezer for some natural, low-fructose, sweetness.  Also high in all the goodies as well as lots of vitamins and minerals…Yummy yummy.
chocolate smoothie

Along with these wholesome whole foods, I also added some powders for flavour and nutritional value.  Cacao being the main one for that healthy, chocolate hit.  Raw cacao is made by cold pressing unroasted cacao beans.  This process keeps the living enzymes in and removes the fat. There are multiple health benefits to raw cacao, including reducing insulin resistance, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and high blood pressure.  It is a powerful antioxidant that can help to repair the damage caused by free radicals and guards agains toxins.  It is an excellent mood booster as well; it increases the level of certain neurotransmitters that promote a sense of well-being.  Finally, its rich in magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese. What an amazingly powerful thing to include in your diet and so tasty 🙂

Maca is the energising, and revitalising super food of the Incas; packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and all essential amino acids. Maca powder can increase energy levels and stamina and can just give you that little boost you need to keep you going throughout the day.  It also has the power to help alleviate anxiety, stress, depression and mood swings and increase mental energy and focus.

Finally one last amazing magic powder just to make this a turbo charged smoothie that will leave you feeling amazing and super energised for whatever your day has to throw at you.  It’s a raw super food blend of spirulina, acai, chlorella, broccoli sprout, beetroot MSM, wheatgrass, barleygrass, and speltgrass, alfalfa sprout, kelp and stevia.

chocolate smoothie

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Handful of spinach
  • 1/2 cup of berries either frozen of fresh depending on the seasonal availability
  • 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons cacao
  • 1 tablespoon maca powder
  • 1 teaspoon raw superfood blend
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • cacao nibs (optional to sprinkle on top)

If I need this quickly for the morning I will place all of the ingredients in the blender the night before all ready to just quickly whizz up in the morning. Then top with the cacao nibs if using, and enjoy the delicious goodness knowing that you’re doing something amazing for your body.

Stay hippy xx

Wholesome Whole Foods

So I started off this whole experience wanting to eat a purely paleo diet.  But as I have gone along this journey that I have struggled to really stick to this. I have had a few bumps in the road on this journey with a bout of the dreaded winter cold which really knocked the stuffing out of me for a good couple of weeks.  During this time I did manage to stick to a paleo way of eating pretty well with only a couple of moments of weakness when I just needed some “comfort food”.  Although, looking back it was just a loss of will power and not having the energy to do the level of cooking required to sustain this way of life so the cupboards were bare.

This bout of sickness knocked me about a bit and I got into a bit of a depression, that this was all just too hard….but as my energy returned, so did my motivation to pick myself back up again and keep going. I think by having this little hiccup I have come to learn not to be so hard on myself, this is a lifelong change that I’m making and it’s not going to magically happen overnight.  It’s a lot of work and motivation on my part and I’m still learning so many things and adjusting my whole way of living.

So at this point in my journey I have decided to just focus on eating only whole foods and not to be so strict on eliminating all natural grains. I’ve been doing some research into this and I think at this stage I am happy to eat these in moderation.  I feel that if I can master this I can slowly just do more and more of a paleo style. At the moment I’m probably doing about 70% paleo which I’m pretty happy with, everyone is different and has a different situation and different aims out of life and their health.

The main thing that I want to achieve by having all whole foods is to have nothing processed…no “numbers” in any food, no ingredients and chemicals that I have no clue what they are. I want to know what I’m putting into my body. So I will continue to eat lots of fresh, local, seasonal produce sourced from the local farmers markets, and stay motivated to make lots of yummy food at home. If I can achieve this I’ll be one happy camper!  So this is my story so far and I feel I can stay motivated to stick to this goal 🙂 After all half the battle is all in the mind, to keep the body a lean, mean, fit, fighting machine.

I hope that by sharing my journey it gives you motivation to make a change in your life…it can be done…one step at a time!

Orange Flower

Stay hippy xx