Saturday, 13 December 2014

Notice Board: The Konjac Sponge with Red Clay Review

Its been a while......................

I've had a lot going on during the last 2½ months in my personal life, with loved ones in and out of hospital and a few worrying moments. We're not out of the woods yet but things are starting to get back to normal. Let's just hope 2015 can bring us all health and happiness :o)

In a previous post I told you I spent a couple of hours at the West Midlands Vegan Festival, which was a welcome distraction. I came away with so many goodies, I was a human pack horse!

One of the items I came away with was a konjac sponge and I'm in love with it! I chose the red clay one, which is perfect for dry, mature or sensitive skin.

I got mine from the fabulous I Choose What I Use, go and check out all the vegan products they sell on their website 

I've been using my konjac sponge in the morning so I have no make up on, and I would recommend taking off your make up before use. You don't need any soap when using the sponge as it naturally cleanses your skin, but you can if you want. One word of advice reduce the amount of soap you use as it keeps on giving!

My skin looks and feels amazing, I even feel like I'm glowing! Normally during the winter months I suffer with dry skin and with all the stress I've been under, worrying about my family and over two months of hospital visits I thought my skin would suffer. 

I know my diet is obviously better than it has been previously thanks to the amount of goodness a vegan diet provides but I really do believe that the konjac sponge has helped too. I've used it nearly every day and your skin feels clean and refreshed after using. You really won't believe how soft it is against your skin, I just love it!

The konjac sponge looks rather shrivelled when it is dry but don't let that put you off.

Once you've soaked in water it will look more like a sponge. 

If you've never heard of them, konjac is a type of potato from Asia and over the last century its properties as a beauty treatment has been recognised. We're some what 1,500 years behind the Japanese with this one! The Japenese originally used konjac as a medicine in the sixth century.

The konjac is a naturally moisture rich plant fibre which is alkaline, which balances the acidity of the skins impurities and oils. Red clay is said to help with regeneration so a fabulous combination.

The konjac sponge is 100% natural, colour free, additive free, biodegradable, environmentally safe, naturally sustainable and it moisturises naturally. Why would you not want one? 

There are four different ones to choose from, click here to take you to the page

  • The Konjac Sponge Co - 100% Pure Sponge (All Skin Types)
  • The Konjac Sponge Co - Pink Clay Sponge (Tired/Devitalized Skin)
  • The Konjac Sponge Co - Red Clay Sponge (Dry/Mature/Sensitive Skin)
  • The Konjac Sponge Co - Green Clay Sponge (Combination Skin)

There's still time to order too as the last post is Thursday 18th December for 2nd class and Friday 19th December for 1st class, but I personally wouldn't leave it that late, so drop on by I Choose What I Use and go and treat yourself and your loved ones to a konjac sponge. 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Suma Bloggers Network - Homemade Vegan Cheese x 3

How do you start a post when you've been off line for nearly 2 months? 

Dive straight into the recipe or in this case recipes, I'm a little late posting my Suma recipe due to circumstances out of my control but better late than never eh?

Suma Recipe - Homemade Vegan Cheese x 3
This is my third recipe for the Suma Bloggers Network, please check out my other two recipes; Vegetable Tagine and Blueberry Cheesecake and the other bloggers recipes, there are lots of tasty creations waiting for you to try.

Suma is the UK's largest independent whole food wholesaler/distributor and are a workers' co-operative committed to ethical business. They have a fantastic range, everything they sell is vegetarian and many products are vegan.

When I first transferred to a vegan diet I thought I would miss cheese the most, I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't. There are many vegan cheeses out there in case you do miss the taste but its far more rewarding to make your own. You can play around with flavours there is no limit, whatever flavour takes you fancy.

I decided to make three different ones with the ingredients that I chose from Suma. Two spreadable and one you could slice.

The herb cream cheese uses cashew nuts, the cheddary cheese uses almonds and the third which is baked uses almonds too, although you would never know.

Herb Cream Cheese

100g Cashew nuts
400ml Water
2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
½ Tsp Onion granules
½ Tsp Smoked garlic granules
½ Tsp Herbanare
2 Tbsp Fresh herbs, finely chopped
I used parsley, coriander and basil (predominately basil)
1 Garlic, crushed
60ml Almond milk (unsweetened)

Soak the cashew nuts in the water overnight and then drain well. Add the drained cashew nuts to a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blitz to a thick paste.

Add the mixture to a small bowl lined with clingfilm, press the mixture down and fold over the clingfilm adding a weight to the top. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or over night and remove the herb cream cheese from the bowl and the clingfilm to a board.

Spreadable Cheddary Cheese

75g Ground almonds
2 Tbsp White miso
25g Nutritional yeast
¼ Tsp Turmeric
1 Tsp English mustard
½ Tsp Smoked Garlic powder
½ Tsp Herbamare
200ml Almond milk 
1-2 Tbsp Agar agar

Add the ground almonds, miso, herbs & spices and 100ml of the almond milk to a food processor and whiz to a paste.

Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and whisk in the remaining almond milk.

Sprinkle over 1 Tbsp of the agar agar and slowly bring the mixture to a simmer. When the mixture starts to bubble, the agar agar will have melted a little and you can stir it in. Let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes.

If the mixture is still a little thin, add the remaining agar agar and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool. Transfer to the fridge and let set before turning out onto a board.

Baked Almond Cheese

1 Lemon - juice only - about 45ml
2 Tbsp Olive oil
120g Ground almonds
1 Garlic clove
1 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
40ml Water

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and whiz until you have a thick paste. Spoon the mixture out onto a piece of clingfilm and wrap tightly shaping into a circular mound.

Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up a little more. Spritz a baking dish with olive oil and turn the 'cheese' onto the dish, removing the clingfilm.

Bake in a moderate oven for 15-20 minutes until a crust has formed.

Slice and eat with crackers.

So, if you're spending Christmas with loved ones who aren't vegan, why not make and take your own cheese board. You don't have to be vegan to enjoy delicious food.

Back again soon

Jasmine x

Friday, 31 October 2014

Notice Board: West MidlandsVeganFestival

Hi there!

In my last post I said that I had "got a lot going on at the moment" and that was just the tip of the iceberg. Things haven't got back to normal just yet but I did find a couple of hours to visit the West Midlands Vegan Festival and I'm glad I did!

The West Midlands Vegan Festival was the 7th festival, the first being back in 2008 and it didn't disappoint. There were over 100 stalls covering both the civic hall and wulfrun hall in Wolverhampton. 

As soon as I got there I headed straight to my twitter friend Karris @TheVeganKind Subscription box scheme. 

If you've not heard of The Vegan Kind Subscription Box where have you been? They are celebrating their first birthday and I for one can't wait for the birthday box. Go check it out I will be reviewing the contents of this box very soon, so watch this space. They have recently started a vegan beauty subscription box too, which I treated myself too.

Next I headed over to another twitter friend Marrie-Anne over @heavenlyskin who makes all her Heavenly Oganics products, and they are heavenly. 

I asked Marrie-Anne which product she was most proud of and it was the first product she created; her body scrubs. Once again I treated myself and Marrie-Ann was offering a fantastic offer of buy 3 products for the price of 2 - how could I resist. To top it off Anne-Marrie gave me a fourth product for free, how lovely is that. I couldn't go without one of her body scrubs and I chose the orange and lime body scrub as it smelt divine. Once again I will be reviewing the products I left with, I've already tried the scrub and the name of her company says it all - Heavenly Organics! Go try it for yourself

I couldn't leave out another beauty company and twitter friend @ichoosy, this company was set up out of the frustration of having to read the label of every beauty product to check whether it was vegetarian or not and that's something we can all relate to. 

My eyes were drawn to a funny looking spongey object on the table, a Konjac Sponge. Konjac is a type of potato from Asia and over the last century its properties as a beauty treatment has been recognised. I just had to have one of these! There are a range of Konjac sponges to choose from and I chose the red clay one which is for dry and sensitive skin. I was overwhelmed when I was given this free in return of writing a review. So watch this space to see what I thought of this fascinating product. Go and check out all the vegan products on the web site

I couldn't leave the festival without a present for Marco so I headed straight to the Ethical Pets stall, where I picked up a few treats.

There was also lots and lots of cakes to choose from but I felt myself drawn to the soda bread cakes. I ended up buying a slice of chocolate mudcake, which was huge! I also bought a strawberry and champagne cake which was out of this world. I definitely need to try and re-create this. I loved it with a scoop of vegan ice cream it kind of reminded me of arctic roll! Now there's an idea!

There were lots of food stalls there to chose your lunch, although most of them were fake meats, which I'm not that in to, but I did find a Jamaican stall which had just what I was looking for, I had rice and peas, callaloo and spinach, chick pea curry and a chunk of plantain, delicious!

Overall, I spent a great couple of hours there, with everything going on in my personal life at the moment I nearly didn't go, but I'm so glad I did! I came away with a couple of bags of treasures, including my favourite crisps; Ten Acre Cheese and Onion and a couple of tins of condensed soya milk, now I wonder what I'll make with that? 

I'll be back again soon, but please bare with me whilst things are a little topsy turvey at the moment. Next post will be my review of the Konjac Sponge, so watch this space

Saturday, 4 October 2014

I have a lot going on at the moment but I'll be back soon, with more delicious vegan recipes. Keep checking by, or you can find me on bloglovin'.