Tuesday, 15 September 2015

VEGAN DEEP CONDITIONER (NATURAL HAIR)


I've been sporting my natural hair for about 4 years now and as great as it is to wear my hair this way (I can't imagine ever going back to hair relaxers), there are times when I let it slip to the point of being difficult to manage. I'm talking dry, tangled and messy. 

So recently I decided it needed a bit of extra TLC and some serious deep conditioning. A lot of hair conditioners out there contain ingredients with animal products such as egg yolks, mayonnaise and yoghurt, and so it made sense to make my own from scratch. I'm sure it's pretty easy to get a hold of vegan conditioners online or in speciality stores, but where's the fun in that? Much more interesting to put together a concoction. 
  
This deep conditioning mousse is lightweight, moisturising, nourishing and excellent for detangling dry, knotty hair. My hair is thick and full so this recipe was enough to cover my whole head. Adjust quantities in the future if you feel you need more or less of it.



How to use:
1. Divide hair into six small sections
2. Apply conditioner one section at a time, massaging from root to tip
3. Cover entire head with a shower cap
4. Leave to rest for 2 hours minimum, overnight if possible
5. Rinse hair and wash as normal

Ingredients:
- 250ml coconut cream
- 1 banana
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- juice of 1 lime
- 4 tbsp coconut oil (melted)


Blend the coconut cream, avocado and banana in a food processor until you have a thick mousse.



Strain the mousse to get rid of any lumps. The last thing you want is to pick out bits of banana from your 'fro.

Add the coconut oil, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Mix well and transfer into a small plastic container.




Monday, 7 September 2015

MANGO MACARONS


If you haven't come across aquafaba yet, then it's time to get in the know. I found out about it a few months ago while searching for a vegan meringue recipe and I've been fascinated by it ever since.

Aquafaba refers to the brine you get in a can of chickpeas (and as I've discovered, the brine from butter beans work quite well too). This unassuming liquid can be used as an egg replacer in a host of vegan recipes, most notably for meringue. For a visual on how this works, you can check out my short YouTube video below on how to make vegan meringue.


As for this particular recipe, the meringue is used as the base for the macaron batter. For the filling, I've gone for a raw, sugar-free mango cashew cream that can be whipped up in a matter of seconds. It's a fun alternative to the usual ganache or buttercream filling. Hope you like it, give it a try and experiment with other flavours.

*Note: Best to consume on the same day as the macarons soak up the moisture from the mango-cashew cream overnight!























Ingredients
For the macarons:
- liquid from 1 can of chickpeas
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup ground almonds
- chopped mango

For the mango cashew cream filling:
- 1/2 cup ground cashews
- 1 cup soaked cashews
- 1 ripe mango

To make the macarons, whisk the chickpea brine, cream of tartar, icing sugar and vanilla on high speed for 10-15 minutes until solid peaks form (watch the YouTube tutorial video).

Add the ground almonds and beat the mixture with a spoon until well combined...don't worry too much about losing air bubbles. You want a glossy, smooth batter.


Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and pipe flat rounds that are roughly the same size onto a tray lined with baking paper. 

Top half the macaron rounds with a little chopped mango and extra chopped almonds.


Leave the macarons in a warm place and allow them to dry out slightly for 3-4 hours (or overnight if possible).

Bake in the oven at 100°C for 20-25 minutes. Leave them to cool completely before peeling them off the baking paper.

To make the filling, blend the ground cashews, soaked cashews and ripe mango until you have a thick, creamy consistency. Place in the freezer for about 1 hour to allow it to thicken some more.


Sandwich the macarons together with generous amounts of the mango cashew filling. Done!

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