Peanut fudge chocolate pralines

I’ll start with a quick story about myself today.

When I was 16 I participated in a students exchange with students from LA county where we’ve had our exchange students come over to visit us for 3 weeks and we showed them our wonderful Bavaria and also took a trip to Berlin with them and then we flew over to visit them for 3 weeks and had a wonderful time in California!

This student exchange was when I fell in love with peanut butter and it’s been an epic love story ever since.

So obviously I had to create a peanut butter treat, that in my opinion is just as delicious as the famous Reese’s peanut butter cups (heads-up: it doesn’t taste exactly like a Reese’s PB cup but still is equally as delicious!)

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Ingredients:

Peanut butter filling:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tbs agave
  • 1/2 tbs salt

Chocolate coating:

  • 1 tbs coconut oil (measured when still hard, so you might want to use 2 if your coconut oil is liquid)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp agave

Instructions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the peanut butter filling and store in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  2. Melt your coconut oil and mix in the cocoa powder and the agave and let it cool down but it should still be liquid.
  3. Form little balls from your peanut butter mixtures and coat them with the chocolate. Place them on some parchment paper and if you like you can also sprinkle on some toppings, I sprinkled mine with Fleur de Sel and pink pepper.
  4. Put them in the fridge for the chocolate to set and enjoy!
  5. You can either store them in the fridge or put them in the freezer to make some delicious ice pralines.

My no-poo hair care routine

When I was a teenager I used to wash my hair daily with regular shampoo and conditioner and I still always had greasy but yet dry and damaged hair which I then straightened every day to make it somehow manageable.

But then I stumbled across natural shampoos and started experimenting with them when I was around 18. And ever since then I’ve been using mostly natural silicone-free shampoo and conditioner. I was also able to extend the time between washes to 3-4 days which made me extremely happy because let’s be honest what’s more annoying than washing your hair daily?!

Here’s a picture of what my hair looked like after I’ve been washing it with natural shampoo for a while but still straightened it (I also had some highlights in it). Unfortunately I can’t find a before picture where you can see the extent of my awful teenage hair.

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So now after going vegan and trying to live a more sustainable life I also started to not just think about the ingredients in my beauty products but also about packaging and I’m trying to produce less waste. That’s how I stumbled across no-poo which means no shampoo (as in conventional shampoo).

First I tried out some hair soaps but I didn’t find the perfect one, most of them were actually too nourishing for my hair so that they weighed my hair down and made it go greasy very quickly or they were the exact opposite and dried my hair out completely.

And then I decided to give this rye flour hair wash a try. And to anticipate it: BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE!!

Now you may think: She’s crazy! Well yes maybe, but give me a second to explain.

First of all it only works with rye flour. Don’t even try using another flour, you will never be able to get it out of your hair again (keyword: gluten!). So why is rye flour so great? Well it has lots of minerals and nutrients in it which aren’t only healthy when consumed but can also nourish your body from the outside. And rye flour also has a ph-value of 5 and your scalp has a natural ph-value of 4.5 – 5.5, so it’s perfect and doesn’t strip your scalp from it’s natural oils which means that in the long run it will produce less of these oils which then means less greasy hair. Win!

So how do I do it?

I’m currently washing my hair once a week, usually on Sundays. My hair will then look good until Thursday/Friday and the last two days I will have to wear it in a bun, but I usually wear my hair in a bun 9 out of 10 days anyway so I’m okay with that.

I experimented with my rye to flour ratio for quite a while. I started out with more of a paste-y constancy which reminded me more of just regular shampoo but this didn’t clean my hair too well, it did stay a little waxy after washing with this paste. Now I’m using a mixture of 4 tbs of rye flour mixed in with 250ml of lukewarm water.

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My hair wash routine now looks as follows:

First I brush my hair with a brush with natural brittles for about 10 minutes (I actually do this about 3 times a week to distribute the natural oils throughout my hair). Then I wet my hair with warm to hot water to loosen up the oils and then I start spreading the rye flour mixture throughout my hair focusing on my roots. It’s important to massage it in for a few minutes to really help the flour soak up the oils. After massaging my scalp a little I wash everything out with lukewarm water, this takes a little while until you get all of it out of your hair again, however it’s not a problem if you don’t get it out 100% because you can just brush out the flour crumbs once your hair is dry. After washing it out I also rinse my hair with 700ml of cold water that has 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar mixed in. This does two things: first it makes your hair shiny and second it helps with washing out limy water, because where I live we have quite hard water. I don’t wash out this mixture, your hair will smell like vinegar while it’s still wet but once it has dried the smell just vanishes, so don’t worry. Of course the hair doesn’t get this freshly washed shampoo smell either, it just smells like hair… obviously. I do not use a blow dryer or any heat in my hair so I will just let it dry on it’s own and brush it once it has dried.

Since rye flour is quite nourishing it gets a little too much for my hair every now and again so when I notice that my hair doesn’t get as fluffy anymore after washing I will wash with a paste made from baking soda and water. This does clean the hair better than the rye flour method but it also dries it out a little so I wouldn’t recommend using the baking powder method too often. Especially if your hair is on the dryer side as mine, It might work really well with greasy hair I think.

As for sweaty hair after a work out, well I usually do not really sweat on my head when working out but if the work out is really intense and my hair does get sweaty I just rinse it out with water, that’s enough to get out the sweat and also freshens it up a little in between washes.

Last but not least I’m going to show you a before and after picture. In the first picture you can see my hair after not washing it for 8 or 9 days I’m not quite sure anymore and in the second picture you can see my hair after the wash.

 

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Have you tried out any no-poo methods yet? And how did they work for you?

Chunky monkey pancakes

I’m back and I have an improved version of my chocolate pancakes for you!

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And hopefully lots of other recipes in the future, I really want to post here more often. Not just recipes but also posts about my homemade beauty experiments, zero-waste try-outs, general thoughts, etc.

Which topics are you guys interested in? What would you want to read on here? I’m also thinking about some “What I eat in a day” posts. Or some posts about self love, my vegan story, my history with disordered eating/sports addiction,… Mainly just everything that comes to my mind.

But first things first, so here’s my new favorite pancake recipe:

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Ingredients:

Pancakes:

  • 45g rolled oats
  • 15g buckwheat flour (you could also just use buckwheat groats)
  • 20g coconut flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • pinch of baking powder
  • 200ml plant milk (I used homemade cashew milk)

Toppings (just go crazy with them):

  • coconut yogurt
  • banana coins
  • blueberries
  • salted peanuts
  • salted chocolate coconut curls
  • buckinis
  • cacao nibs
  • peanutbutter (I mixed it with some water to make it easier to drizzle)

Instructions:

  1. Put the oats (and the buckwheat groats) into a blender and grind them until you have flour.
  2. Add in the the rest of the ingredients and blend until well combined but don’t overblend the batter.
  3. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to thicken up a little. Meanwhile heat up your non stick pan to low heat.
  4. Once it’s hot spoon in your batter, I used 2 tbs per pancake and wait for bubbles to appear. When the surface of your pancakes has some bubbles and the edges got darker it’s time to flip them and let them bake for a few more minutes.
  5. Once all the pancakes are done top them with your favorite toppings, I included mine above and enjoy!

Vegan and sustainable winter coat

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Last year I watched “The true cost”, a documentary about the true impact of todays fashion industry and it has changed my way of looking at my own shopping behavior not just when it comes to fashion but when it comes to buying and owning things altogether. But I’m not going to dig into this too much now, maybe this’ll be a topic for another blog post.

What I want to talk about today is one purchases I made last year.

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I have barely been buying any clothing during the second half of 2016 but by October I was in desperate need of a new winter coat because my old one that I had been wearing for the past 5 winters was about to fall apart and winter was approaching fast.

If you’ve ever looked into buying a vegan winter coat that is warm, possibly even fair produced and sustainable and affordable at the same time, you know what I’m talking about when I say I got frustrated really quickly.

I am not much of an online shopper, especially not when it comes to clothing. I want to see, touch and try on things I buy but since I wasn’t able to find anything that suited my requirements even slightly in my city I ended up looking for coats online after all.

And that’s when I stumbled across HoodLamb a company from the Netherlands that is producing outerwear made out of hemp.

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Hemp is the strongest natural fiber on earth and it is also way more sustainable than for example cotton. (source: http://blog.hanfinstitut.at/vorteile-von-hanf/ as of Feb 10th, 2017)

Here is what HoodLamb is writing about their production values on their website:

“HoodLamb garments are sewn in a few factories handpicked by us for their quality standards, excellent working conditions, and outstanding production and research facilities. Most of these facilities are family owned and HoodLamb is proud to use their centuries old wisdom, expertise, and craftsmanship to create our collection.

To ensure the consistent quality of HoodLamb garments and working conditions, our team makes annual visits to the hemp fields, mills and factories where HoodLamb’s raw materials and garments are grown, harvested, and sewn.”

(source: http://www.hoodlamb.com/pages/our-production-1 as of Feb 10th, 2017)

When I was looking at their coats I instantly fell in love with the design and how cozy they looked but looking at the prizes I was put off again. Spending over 300 € on a coat just wasn’t what I considered appropriate at that moment. Especially not since I have never actually seen and tried it on in real life.

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When I was in Munich at the beginning of November I was strolling through town and ended up at DearGoods, my favorite store with all vegan, fair and sustainable clothing. And there it was the HoodLamb Parka I’ve been looking at online a couple of times already. I looked at it closely, touched it (the faux fur that’s all over the inner layer of the jacket is soooo soft and it is made from recycled plastic bottles, isn’t that crazy?) and tried it on and it was 100% exactly what I was looking for. So I made the investment and got it.

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You can feel that the quality is extremely good, the coat is super heavy, super cozy and very warm. I’ve been wearing it practically every day since I got it and have not once regretted making the splurge.

If you are still looking for a vegan coat I can highly recommend checking out HoodLamb. Coming from fast fashion the prizes may seem high at the beginning but I can tell you it’s worth spending the extra money. You will get a high quality product that you will probably be able to wear for many, many years. You don’t have to feel bad about it because no animals or people were harmed in the process of making it and you are also making an environmentally friendly choice.

Never forget you are always voting with your dollar!

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Please note that this post has not been sponsored in any way. In fact HoodLamb doesn’t even know anything about me owning, loving or writing about this coat.

Chocolate pancakes

I love Sundays, I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before.
To me Sundays are all about sleeping in, spending hours in bed even after waking up and having a decadent breakfast once I actually manage to get out of bed.
Most Sundays, my treat of choice are pancakes they are so easy to make and are super versatile. I love experimenting with different flavor combinations in my pancakes and this time I wanted something super chocolaty.

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Ingredients:

For the pancakes:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 – 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk
  • pinch of baking soda

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • almond milk

 

Instructions:

  1. Put the oats into a blender and grind them until you have oat flour. For these I blended it quite long to get a rather fine flour.
  2. Add in the banana, the cacao powder (if you don’t like your pancakes to have a tart chocolate flavor I’d recommend you using only 1 – 1.5 tbsp but I like them quite tart so I used 2 tbsp), almond milk and a pinch of baking soda.
  3. Blend everything nicely and let it sit for about 10 minutes to thicken up a little.
  4. Meanwhile heat up your non.stick pan to low heat.
  5. Once it’s hot spoon in your batter, I used 2 tbs per pancake and wait for bubbles to appear. When the surface of your pancakes has some bubbles and the edges got darker it’s time to flip them and let them bake for a few more minutes.
  6. If you are able to multi task you can now start making your chocolate sauce by simply adding the cacao and the agave in a small bowl and slowly adding sips of almond milk. Whisk it and add more almond milk until you achieved your desired consistency.
  7. Once all the pancakes are done top them with your chocolate sauce and any other toppings you’d like and enjoy!

Basic granola recipe (oil-free & sugar-free)

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Anyone else as obsessed with granola as I am?

I wasn’t able to go a day without granola for the last couple of weeks. It makes a perfect addition to my breakfast oatmeals and smoothie bowls and it’s also perfect as a study snack or dessert with some fruit.

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If there was a vitamin granola I would definitely not be deficient in that one.

Since I made quite a few batches of that stuff lately I have figured out my personal favorite basic recipe that I make some additions to here and there depending on what flavors I feel like that day.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 3/4 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup raisins/cranberries
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F).
  2. Chop up the cashews, almonds and dates.
  3. Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. (At this point you might want to add any other additions. I also love to add some pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, cacao nibs,…)
  4. In a smaller bowl stir together the wet ingredients.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and and mix until everything is well combined.
  6. Spread your mixture and a baking sheet on your baking tray and bake for about 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. I would recommend to open the oven every 10 minutes to let out the steam and also stir your mixture a bit so it gets nice and crumbly.
  8. Let it cool down completely before you can store it in an airtight container.
  9. Enjoy!

26 things I am grateful for…

Another year has passed. It’s really true what they say the older you get the faster time passes.

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It’s my 26th birthday today and instead of partying (which I have actually never had a really big party for my birthday because I hate being the center of attention and I hate partying) I am taking some time for myself to just be mindful.

I always like to take some time on my birthdays and reflect on what has happened during the last year and today I thought I’d make a list of 26 things from the past years that I am grateful for.

  1. Being healthy: It’s the most important and most obvious one for sure.
  2. Being happy: I can truly say that it has been a year filled with mostly happiness for me.
  3. My parents: For helping me with yet another move and supporting my decisions. And obviously so many more things!
  4. Quitting my job: That was probably one of the toughest decisions of my life so far because I really liked my job but it just wasn’t where I wanted to be longterm.
  5. Starting to study Online-Media-Management: Even though it’s stressful with exams coming up at the moment I think it was the right decision because it connects so many  of my passions.
  6. Still having my grandparents around: It’s definitely not a given to still have your grandparents alive and quite healthy at 26 and I’m really happy about it even though I barely see them anymore.
  7. Starting to practice yoga: By now it’s probably been a year since I really started doing yoga more frequently and it is amazing. It keeps me grounded and really helps de-stressing my body and my mind.
  8. My body: It does all this amazing things like breathing and pumping blood though my veins and it keeps me going every single day.
  9. All the traveling I’ve done: I started the year out in Tyrol with lovely friends which was awesome, then I met up with some old friends in Berlin in February, spent an amazing week in London with my sister in March, in the summer went on a trip to Hamburg, Stockholm and Berlin again to visit lovely people, afterwards I went on two weekend getaways to Tyrol with wonderful friends and lastly in September I traveled to Mallorca with my lovely friend Nina. I also spent quite a few times in Munich since I moved away but I count that as going home and not traveling.
  10. Munich: As I was just speaking of Munich, it has to be on this list. I didn’t realize just how grateful I am for Munich until I moved away.
  11. Being vegan: This was the first full year that I have been entirely vegan and it has been the best choice of my life so far (not an exaggeration). I have never felt so good, happy, calm and in peace with myself and the world around me ever before.
  12. New friends: I have met some wonderful people throughout the past year that I can now call really close friends.
  13. Old friends: Nevertheless I’m grateful for all my old friends that have stuck with me all throughout the year.
  14. Kind people: I am truly grateful for every person that has been kind to me and all the other people around them!
  15. Peace: I think this year was the year that I truly realized just how privileged I am for living in a part of the world where there is no war going on.
  16. Summer: Oh and what a summer it was! I had so many great days this summer out and about with friends. Picknicks, swims in the lake, late night strolls through Munich,…
  17. Finding a new passion: I have really gotten into Instagram over the last year and it’s become a great passion of mine.
  18. Starting this blog: I have been thinking about starting a blog for years now and I never really knew what it should be about. And to be honest I still don’t know and I’m not really consistent with posting yet. But at least I started and I can go on from there.
  19. Food: I love food and everything that comes with it. Cooking, decorating, going out to eat with friends. I just love food.
  20. Nature: I’ve spent so many wonderful moments in nature this year.
  21. Getting into minimalism: I am by far not a minimalist. But I started going into the direction of leading a more minimalistic life and it’s made me realize that I don’t need most of my stuff and that I can be happy with just a few things.
  22. Books: They are there whenever I feel like I just need to escape reality for a little while.
  23. Music: For always being there as well and playing the perfect soundtrack for this life.
  24. Sleep: You know sleep and I we’re having some trouble from time to time. There have been consecutive weeks where I only got 3-5 hours of sleep per night because I’ve had trouble falling asleep. But it got so much better over the past few month. I still suffer from insomnia from time to time but that’s okay because I can appreciate the nights where I have a good night sleep even more.
  25. Dreaming big: I started dreaming big this year. I’ve set up dreams and turned them into goals. And I’m working towards them every day.
  26. YOU: The people who are reading this and also bare with me on Instagram day in and day out. You are awesome!

There we go: Happy Birthday to myself!