Raw Chocolate Super Food

 

Yummy Chocolate Super Food  just in time for Valentines!

photo 2 (Peanut Butter Cups)

 

I’ve got issues when it comes to chocolate…let’s just say my love runs deep! Thankfully I prefer the organic dark variety that does have some nutrition to it and is not crazy high in sugar. Though combined with having two tweens in the house who’ve taken to baking it seems our cupboard is always full of sweets (ok kinda fabulous!). Unfortunately, when it comes to the abundance of chocolate and treats in our household the two grown-ups (Ma & Pa) have poor personal moderation skills. So I have recently explored making my own chocolate that is low in sugar and containing some smatterings of nutritional value. To my surprise it is incredibly easy to make quality vegan raw chocolate that offers super-food heath benefits and tastes amazing! I can make the following chocolate peanut butter cups in a flash while doing laundry, cooking dinner and/or helping with homework. I store them in the freezer for easy access and consume them with total exuberant joy and utter satisfaction! YUM!!

 

What’s needed:

A double boiler or microwave

1 ½ cup organic raw cacao powder

¾ cup organic raw cocoa butter

Pinch of Himalayan (high mineral content) Sea Salt

½ cup quality peanut butter (fresh ground is best)

A couple tablespoons of maple syrup (adjust according to desired sweetness)

Mini cupcake liners

pb ingredients

How to make:

*I use a bit of raw coconut oil because I always have tons but it’s not necessary OR you can substitute it for the cocoa butter if that’s what you have on hand.

Simply melt approximately ¾ cup cocoa butter in double boiler or Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave.

Remove from heat and add about 1 ½ cups cocoa powder, a few tablespoons of maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt then stir well.

Fill a tray with around 50 mini cupcake liners then fill them up about ¼ full with melted chocolate and pop into the freezer a few minutes until solid.

Remove tray from freezer and place a dollop of peanut butter over the cold chocolate then cover with the leftover chocolate.

Place back in freezer. I actually find storing them there to be the most ideal and they taste yummy cold.

This literally takes me 15 min to make.

cocc cup photo 1

 

 

 

Nutritional Benefits:

Raw cacao- High in antioxidants, reservatrol, phenethylamine (feel good neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of love), Omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin C, Iron, amino acids and it is the highest whole food source of magnesium. There are many more compounds yet to be discovered in this live super-food!

Raw cocoa butter- Contains loads of C, E and B vitamins. Also this butter is high in oleic acid (like olive oil) and polyphenol which has numerous health benefits.

 

There you have it, organic and raw cacao peanut butter cups that give the candy version a run for their money! Speaking of money, some of the ingredients like the raw cocoa butter and raw cacao have a high price tag, however you can truly make a ton of chocolates with them. I’m already at 100+ peanut butter cups (yes I have issues!) and still have half a bag of cacao left so it’s worth every penny. I’m now having some Valentines Day inspirations….hmm..

coco beans      coco powder

 

Raw Cacao in it’s natural state (above) then ground up for super food consumption.

 

 

 

Aura Soma/ Window to the Soul

AS book

   A short while ago I came across images of these gorgeous bottles filled with layered liquid colour, seeing them immediately made my mind stop and my heart open, in other words it kind of woke me up. The colours and their combinations kept appearing in my mind long afterwards, so I figured I’d investigate them a little more. Turns out that they’re part of a natural healing system called Aura Soma. I found a book about it online and ordered it right away.  I had a feeling there would be something in it for me.  And boy was I right!  When it arrived I was surprised to find that it was an autobiography of sorts.  Within the pages I discovered not only the purpose and function of the bottles but the life story of a remarkable and inspiring healer named Vicky Wall.
   Vicky Wall had a somewhat challenging and complicated childhood growing up in England in the 1920’s. Her mother passed away leaving her and her six older siblings with a caustic stepmother.  Leaving home at sixteen, her luck changed and she found work as an assistant to an Apothecary under who’s tutelage she eagerly soaked up knowledge of many plant-based medicines. After making an error in a formulation and desperately attempting to salvage it, she began experimenting with the ingredients and concocted various skincare creams which turned out to be effective and eventually popular.
   This aspect of her life as a skincare hand-crafter was fascinating to me and would likely be of interest to any of us who follow this passion. As she matured she went off to University and became one of England’s first female Chiropody Surgeons, opening a clinic with her good friend Margaret Cockbain who practiced osteopathy. Once again, as an R.M.T. I was inspired by her skills and pioneering nature with regards to her alternative approach to healthcare. Later in life however, as she was nearing her sixties and diabetic, her health was such that she could no longer work in the same capacity.
   One fateful evening inspiration came to her and she somewhat mysteriously began to create what would become known as Aura Soma (translates as ‘light-being‘); glass bottles containing layered liquid colors, made of organic olive oil, biodynamic herbs, hydrosols, essences and natural colors. These oils were to be applied to various places on the body and taken-in visually and vibrationally as well. In truth Vicky had a deep understanding of the profound influence of color upon physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing through research and her own ability to see auras since childhood. Her work has resonated (literally!) with thousands of people since. There are now over one hundred different coloured bottles (known as Equilibrium Bottles) that have been created that serve our greater awareness and pure consciousness.
   What was particularly fascinating to me is that I had been curious how aspects of Colour Therapy would work for a blind person and was amazed to find that by this point Vicky was legally blind! A renaissance woman to be sure, Vicky brought her creative vision forth and despite many odds created a wondrous residential training centre called Dev Aura “House of Light” in the English countryside where self-discovery through colour is taught.
Vicky Wall passed away in 1991 graciously leaving us her healing gemlike potions.
Today her protege Mike Booth continues her mission.
XO Susannah
5 bottles...dev aura

The Holidays/ Tis the season to be frazzled!

book

With the holidays fast approaching and a new year soon beginning there is so much going on in our lives that we may feel a jumbled mix of joy and anxiousness during this time period. For many of us, despite our best intentions, the actual experience of the “holidays” may be somewhat uncomfortable as our many roles, obligations, or expectations cloud our awareness of who we are.
The diamond in your pocket is a refreshingly straight forward book about consciousness and awareness of true self. As always, Gangaji offers an invitation for self inquiry that goes straight to the heart of the matter, without bells and whistles, to “call off the search” and be fully open to what is right here, right now. “Who are you.. really?” she asks and you may be surprised by what you find.  Even amongst the apparent chaos and over-streched feelings the ever abiding present moment is here for you to rediscover.  Unwrap this most generous gift and you’ll find that the truth of who you are is good news.

Below is a clip of Gangaji reading an excerpt from her book, it’s a breath of fresh air!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUtH0DDJorM

Also, Alanis Morissette recently had  a chat with Gangaji.

http://alanis.com

 

Massage Oils/ What the heck is in them?

photo 3-1relax massage

Have you ever wondered just what kind of oils are being used on your body when you receive a massage? If so you can always ask your therapist, and kinda should. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and it absorbs approximately 70% of what we put on it, think smokers patches, birth control patches or any other transdermal patch and you get the idea. Well I’ve gotta tell you that often in spas and 
clinics the oils used are not the best quality (we’re talking parabens and mineral oil) I should know I’ve worked in many!  As a therapist I have acquired skin irritations myself from using some of the standard massage oils, creams and gels that contain synthetic ingredients. I have also found when being on the receiving end that I have experienced breakouts as well  (back acne? ugh!), I often feel the need to shower off the oil immediately. What nonsense, a massage should not only be healing to your musculoskeletal system, but to your skin as well. I think we’re all starting to come  around to the beautiful nourishing plant based oils that mother-nature has to offer. I have found using oils such as pure avocado, coconut, cherry kernel, jojoba and many others that my skin is balanced, soft, clear and I dare say, radiant. Quality oils
should never be washed off, they’re beneficial to our skin and with the subtle use of organic essential  oils….Heaven!

Japanese Konjac Sponges

konjak shower                     hanging k             trees

YAY! So pleased to announce that we are now offering 100% natural and eco friendly Konjac Sponges. It took us awhile to source out a company that also provides completely recyclable packaging, and allows us to support local business.

There’s a lot of hype about these simple sponges in the skincare world and it’s true that they really are wonderfully effective. Often products that are either crappy for the environment (recall those horrible plastic exfoliating beads!?), or expensive contraptions like the Clarisonic, or ladened with toxins that are unsafe for both our bodies and the planet, are the ones receiving the hype. This exceptional product is a Japanese plant, literally, and is therfore explicitly safe for the planet and safe for personal use. It’s a bit hard to describe how these little things work, the words that comes to mind are ‘polishing’ and ‘lustrous’.  Although they’re described as exfoliating these sponges are infact utterly gentle on delicate skin, even the eye area. They are a dream come true for those with very sensitive skin! You can scrub as hard as you like and you will not damage or irritate your skin, yet the results are incredibly smooth and soft skin. I use my sponge each night with  WM’s Facial Soap, I then massage in some Facial Serum and Face Cream around my eyes, by the morning my skin looks luminous. Konjac sponges that are handcrafted in Japan are yet another rediscovery of mother natures healthy, helpful bounty. And, heck, they really do make your skin look and feel fantastic!