Warm Superfood Lattes to Jumpstart Your Morning

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Let’s be honest: the last thing you feel like on a cold winter’s morning is an icy (albeit nutrient-packed) smoothie. But we’ve come up with a brilliant alternative – warm superfood lattes that’ll warm your bones and keep your fingers toasty.

Best of all, they’re still chock-full of the good stuff – turmeric, raw cacao, goji berries, matcha and maca are all well-known superfoods that we’ve written about before. And if you’re trying to kick the caffeine habit, these are a more than appealing alternative. Enjoy!

TURMERIC VANILLA SPICE SUPERFOOD LATTE

Serves 1

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the liquid to a strong simmer, whisking a couple times. Once it’s quite warm, carefully pour the liquid into a blender and slowly blend the mixture until thoroughly combined and frothy. Pour the drink into a cup and shake a bit of cinnamon on top if you like.

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RAW CACAO & GOJI BERRY SUPERFOOD LATTE

Serves 1

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the liquid to a strong simmer, whisking a couple times. Once it’s quite warm and the date/gojis are completely soft, carefully pour the liquid and softened dried fruit into a blender and slowly blend the mixture until thoroughly combined, smooth, and frothy. Garnish with extra goji berries, a sprinkle of cacao powder or cacao nibs if you like.

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MATCHA MACA SUPERFOOD LATTE WITH TAHINI

Serves 1

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the liquid to a strong simmer, whisking a couple times. Once it’s quite warm, carefully pour the liquid into a blender and slowly blend the mixture until thoroughly combined and frothy. Garnish the drink with a sprinkle of sesame seeds if you like.

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Adapted from The First Mess.

Eating for Beauty: Superfoods & Supplements that Make You Glow

While we often think of the bathroom cabinet as the place where all our beauty essentials are kept, many of them are actually found in the kitchen and pantry instead. Eating for beauty means nourishing your skin, hair and nails from the inside out, with a balanced diet that’s abundant in nutrient-rich foods. Let’s open up our “beauty pantry” and see what delicious beauty-boosting foods are in store!

ALMONDS

These crunchy nuts are a great source of vitamin E, which is vital to skin health. Snacking on almonds protects the skin against free radicals and oxidative damage, keeping your complexion youthful and healthy. Munch on raw whole almond nuts or spread natural nut butter over almond slices, for a wholesome skin-boosting treat.

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By Nature Organic Almonds

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Oh Mega Almond Butter
                                                                                                                                            

BIOTIN

A B-vitamin that helps to keep skin in tip-top condition, relieving rashes, eczema and dryness. As a daily supplement, biotin is particularly great for the summer months, as it helps to prevent skin damage from exposure to chlorine and salt. It’s a must-have for those who spend time in the pool or the ocean! Research also shows that biotin can improve the strength and thickness of your nails.


BLUEBERRIES

The US Department of Agriculture ranks blueberries number one for antioxidant activity, compared to 40 other popular fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants found so abundantly in blueberries protect your skin from premature ageing; a truly tasty way to keep your skin looking young and beautiful.


CACAO & RAW CHOCOLATE

Possibly the best news ever – chocolate is a great beauty-boosting food! Chocolate in its real, raw form (cacao) is packed full of magnesium; this mineral is known for keeping your muscles healthy, but it also promotes clear, beautiful skin and prevents acne and irritation. So while ordinary sugary chocolate snacks cause breakouts, raw rich dark cacao-based chocolate actually prevents them! Cacao is also a great source of age-defying antioxidants.


CHIA SEEDS

These little seeds pack a big nutritional punch, with protein, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. Omegas reduce inflammation, supporting smooth and healthy skin. Plus they absorb up to10 times their weight in water, so they keep you feeling fuller for longer, which really helps to keep your weight in check and your figure looking fab.

COCONUT

The unique fatty acid profile of coconut oil makes it an ultra-nourishing food that gives your skin a glow from the inside out. Meanwhile coconut water is the ultimate natural source of electrolytes, hydrating your body which means you’re left with a smooth, healthy and radiant complexion.

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Raw C Coconut Water 1L

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Crede Organic Virgin Coconut Oil 500ml

GREEN LEAFY VEGGIES

Broccoli, kale and spinach are a must-have for gorgeous silky and shiny hair. They’re full of vitamins C and A, which your body needs to produce sebum; the “natural conditioner” secreted by the hair follicles. More greens mean more shine and strength for your locks, while the vitamin C boosts collagen and improves skin texture.


 GREEN TEA

A cup of green tea, rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, is just what your skin needs for an added glow. The antioxidant content helps to combat sun damage and free radical damage, effectively slowing the signs of ageing. This clear, clean nutrient-rich tea also helps to keep your complexion blemish-free.

RED & ORANGE FRUITS

Strawberries, oranges and papaya and jam-packed with vitamin C, which improves collagen production. Collagen is the structural protein found in your connective tissues; a higher abundance of healthy collagen means firmer, plumper and younger-looking skin. Vitamin C–rich foods help to keep wrinkles and fine lines at bay; plus they have great antioxidant and skin-brightening benefits.


TOMATOES

The tomato is one of the great vitamin C-packed fruits mentioned above; but it also deserves a special mention, because of its abundance of the antioxidant called lycopene. Packed with this anti-ageing nutrient, a tomato a day keeps wrinkles, lines and crow’s feet away. Plus lycopene has also been linked to a lower cancer risk.  Here’s an interesting fact; the lycopene in tomatoes is actually easier for your body to absorb when the tomatoes are cooked or processed. So enjoy fresh-squeezed juices, pasta sauces and warming soups made with luscious ripe tomatoes.


WALNUTS

These yummy nuts are another great source of like omega-3, vitamin E and amino acids. These nutrients are all associated with glowing skin and lustrous hair.

 


SOME DELISH BEAUTY-BOOSTING RECIPES

Here are a few creative and tasty ways to enjoy eating for beauty:

SKIN MOISTURE SMOOTHIE:

Ingredients:

Method:

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor; blend until smooth.
  • Serve & enjoy immediately.

GREEN TEA OATMEAL:

Ingredients:

Method:

  • Combine the boiling water with the green tea bag in a saucepan; let them steep for 5 minutes.
  • Add the almond milk, oats & flax meal; turn the heat up to medium, & start stirring when the liquid starts to bubble.
  • Cook for 5 min until the mixture is thick & sticky; remove from heat. Add a little extra milk or water if needed.
  • Stir in 1Tbsp honey & 1tsp vanilla extract; leave the oatmeal to sit for a minute.
  • Spoon the oatmeal into serving bowls, top with fresh fruit or nuts & enjoy.

TOMATO MELON SALSA:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cantaloupe melon, chopped
  • 1 cup watermelon, chopped
  • 1-2 ripe tomatoes, seeded & chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Pinch of salt & ground black pepper, to taste

Method:

  • Simply mix all ingredients together in a large bowl; season with salt & pepper.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Raw Cacao: The Secret to Weight-loss with Chocolate

There’s an exciting buzz going around that chocolate can help you lose weight. Sound too good to be true?

That may be because you need to distinguish between the average chocolate you buy off the shelf, filled with all sorts of fats, starches, dairy and sugars – and then its magical ingredient cacao – the food of the gods!

This superfood in its raw form is much different and holds the key to these claims. If you are wanting to experience some chocolate indulgence plus a svelt bod, cacao is best eaten raw and sweetened with healthy sweeteners such as raw honey or agave.

How Does Raw Cacao Help You Shed Those Kilos?

Metabolism: There have been studies that indicate that raw organic cocoa powder can boost your body’s metabolism by helping it convert fat into energy

Mood: Cacao is one of those feel-good foods we adore because it boosts serotonin in our brains and serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is a feel good chemical essential to our mood balance. It’s found not only in the brain, but the bowels and in blood platelets too. We all know that when we feel down we may be drawn to comfort eating, especially those carbs we crave.

Appetite suppressant: Your body produces a hormone called Ghrelin which increases your appetite. If you are insulin resistant – a major contributor to excess weight and a precursor to type 2 diabetes – you don’t ever feel properly full. A study done in the Netherlands showed that dark chocolate lowered ghrelin levels and improved insulin resistance. Serotonin is also thought to suppress appetite.

Immune Protector: Studies have shown that the powerful antioxidants in cacao protect your body against poor health such as heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as strokes. It raises good cholesterol and thins your blood which helps prevent plaque build-up in your arteries.

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Gayleen’s Decadence Vanilla Chocolate sweetened with raw honey 100g, R39.90

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Honest Raw Chocolate Slab 72% with Kalahari Desert Salt 60g, sweetened with agave, R60

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Gayleen’s Decadence Mint Chocolate 100g, sweetened with raw honey, R39.90
[add-to-bag productid=”7131″] [add-to-bag productid=”2378″] [add-to-bag productid=”7129.” variantgroup=”1176″ variantvalue=”3950″]

Detoxifier: Cocoa powder is high in fibre which keeps your digestive system working properly – an essential part of removing waste from your body. It’s also very rich in flavonoids and natural antioxidants that protect your body from toxic substances. It has been found that toxins can impede weight loss, so keeping your body as toxin-free as possible is important. Your body uses fat to store toxins it can’t cope with.

Anti-inflammatory: A study at the Louisiana State University showed that cacao can help reduce inflammation, particularly in the digestive tract. For those of us that have experienced the bloating effects of inflammation, you’ll know that it’s very much a part of the weight-loss dilemma. Digestive bloating has an impact on our wellbeing in many ways.

In the mood: Beyond serotonin, anandamide and phenylethylamine are chemicals that create a feeling of euphoria and act as an aphrodisiac – nothing like a bit of happy loving for a good body self-image!

Nutrition: Cacao is extremely nutritious. A slab of 70% dark chocolate contains 16% of your daily fiber needs, as much protein as a cup of broccoli and the fat in the cacao gives you that fuller for longer feeling so you can feel satisfied and avoid binge eating.

Increased energy: Polyphenols found in high-cocoa chocolate increases the energy-producing mitochondria in your muscles, giving you more energy to ward off fatigue and to burn fat.


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Make Your Own Chocolate Gift Pack with Honey, R599

This handy Make Your Own Chocolate kit includes everything you need to whip up delicious hand crafted treats, including ultra-flexible silicone chocolate moulds from Kitchen Craft, organic virgin coconut oil from Credé, raw organic cacao powder from Soaring Free Superfoods, a jar of raw fynbos honey from Simply Bee or a bottle of pure organic grade B maple syrup from Great Northern. A perfect gift for chocolate lovers!


Make Your Own: Homemade Raw Vegan Chocolate

If you want benefit from the goodness of unadulterated cacao, make your own divinely delicious homemade chocolate. You get to choose healthier sweeteners such as low-carb agave nectar, or fragrant raw honey (for non-vegans) and can add all sorts of nutritious and delicious boosters like nuts, seeds, berries and superfoods.

These make a wonderfully thoughtful festive gift too – package them in a prettily decorated box.

Ingredients

• ¾ cup (170g) cacao butter, melted
• ¼ cup (65g) agave nectar
• ⅔ cup (60g) cacao powder
• ¼ tsp vanilla powder or vanilla extract
• ¼ tsp salt, finely ground

Play around with this recipe by mixing in:

• Dried fruit such as cranberries, goji berries, chopped dates, raisins
• Chopped nuts such as almonds, cashews, pecans
• Natural extracts such as vanilla, peppermint, coffee, orange
• Superfood powders such as maca root, matcha or hempseed
• Spices such as chilli, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne

Useful Equipment

Chocolate moulds
• Double boiler

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Chocolate Moulds Cubes, R89

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Silicone Chocolate Moulds Round, R89

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Silicone Chocolate Moulds Hearts, R89

How to

• Use a double boiler to melt the cacao butter or place in a heat proof bowl in a pan of heated water to make your own double boiler
• Add the agave nectar to the melted cacao butter
• Sieve cacao powder, vanilla powder and salt into the cacao butter
• Whisk until smooth and all ingredients are incorporated
• If you are adding extras, add them now and mix in
• Pour into moulds or paper cookie cups
• Pop in the fridge to set

(Adapted from: eatingvibrantly)

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Superfoods Raw Organic Cacao Powder 500g R265

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Superfoods Raw Organic Cacao Butter 500g, R360

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Health Connection Organic Agave Syrup 250ml, R62

Great for making your own vegan chocolates