WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

SEASONAL

Spring Equinox

Seasonal, Wellbeing, Ritualsdanielle coppermanComment
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The Spring Equinox (March 20 2017) is the time when the light and dark, the yin and yang and the masculine and feminine energies of the cosmos are in perfect balance and alignment. The Universe and all its beings are reborn, refreshed and restored after a long and restful Winter, and as we transition into Spring, we let go of and leave behind what no longer serves us, and welcome the new - manifesting what we want the present and future to hold. 

This phase of the year is a powerful time to come together with those around you to celebrate and welcome the lighter, brighter energy, fresh produce and opportunities that Spring brings. It is about reassessing and manifesting the things that you desire, and now is the time to sow the seeds that you want to experience flourishing into things. 

Gather with friends to release the past and share and set intentions for things you want to see, do, feel or simply be this season. Having a clear and focused but also open approach to these things will help draw them towards you, and will ensure you feel grounded, aligned and filled with faith. As you open up to both the experiences that you manifest and also those that come to you unexpectedly as a result of this alignment, wonderful things can happen, whether physical experiences or internal shifts within your body, mind and soul. 

YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THESE CHESTNUT BROWNIES

Seasonal, Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Gluten free, Dairy Freedanielle coppermanComment

So, although it's practically sunbathing weather compared to most Decembers in the UK, winter is coming, and more importantly, (in the words of Coca Cola) the holidays are coming. Silently, alongside public Christmas light displays, Starbucks' red cups and pumpkins and chestnuts filling my local grocery store, winter is unfolding and I have an underlying suspicion that it's just gonna come out of nowhere and hit me in the face with blue lips, frozen toes (no matter how strong my sock game), and some seasonal illness for good measure. My response will be these seasonal brownie bites, inspired by the abundance of chestnuts this time of year - definitely not one of those ingredients you come across in a recipe that makes you think 'where on earth?!'.

These brownie bites are perfect as a sugar-free snack with full-on chocolate vibes during the winter, and would be well received making an appearance at duvet days, movie nights, cocktail or dinner parties, wrapped as a gift to give or kept in the freezer when the boxes of Celebrations and balls of Chocolate Orange begin to get a bit much.

INGREDIENTS

makes 8- 10 small brownies or 1 dish around 9 x 5 in

FOR THE CHESTNUT BROWNIE LAYER

170g medjool dates
80g chestnuts
90g raw almonds
70g raw walnuts
20-25g raw cacao powder
25g coconut oil - melted
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 Teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
10g coconut palm sugar or natural sweetener of choice - optional

ELEVATE IT

1/2 Teaspoon of some or all of the following:
He Shou Wu Powder / Maca Powder / Chaga Powder / Reishi / Shilajit / Cordycepts / Mucuna / Ashwaganda

FOR THE CHESTNUT CARAMEL LAYER

100g chestnuts
2 tablespoons almond butter or tahini
25g coconut oil - melted
65g dates
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup plant milk or water
1 teaspoon honey, coconut syrup or other unrefined sweetener of your choice
1 tablespoon maca

FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER

250g cacao butter (or coconut oil) (can also use half cacao butter + half coconut oil)
150g raw cacao powder
40ml coconut syrup or other unrefined sweetener of choice
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

+ Can also use store-bought dark or raw chocolate bars. I like Ombar.

METHOD

Start by making the brownie layer. place the almonds, walnuts and chia seeds into a food processor and blend until they form a flour like consistency, similar to breadcrumbs. next, add the chestnuts and blend again for 30 seconds. then add the dates, cacao powder, coconut oil, himalayan pink salt and coconut sugar, if using. blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the mixture comes together to in a slightly sticky dough-like consistency. make sure the mixture is smooth and that there are no large chunks of nuts involved, as this recipe tastes so much better when the mixture is completely smooth.

Once blended, either place into a cupcake or mini loaf tin tray (i use this one) or into a standard loaf tin or baking tray (around 9 x 5 in). Using trays with individual mini sections will be easier to handle, but you can use a larger tray and simply cut into individual pieces once set. Whichever you use, spread the mixture on the bottom of the tray/tray sections, making it about 1 to 1.5 cm in height. Place in the freezer to set.

Whilst the brownie layer sets, make the chestnut caramel layer. In a cleaned food processor or your blender, pulse the chestnuts for 20 seconds until they begin to break down into small pieces. Add the dates, almond butter or tahini, coconut oil, vanilla, syrup of choice and maca, if using and then continue to blend until smooth - about 1-2 minutes should do it.

Once the bottom layer is beginning to set and firm to touch, spread the chestnut caramel layer on top until the entire base is covered. Smooth evenly to ensure a more level finish to coat with the raw chocolate.

Return to the freezer and set for about 1-2 hours, or overnight. Unfortunately this step is necessary in order to easily coat the brownies in the chocolate layer. If you can't wait, follow the following step for drizzling the melted chocolate over the bars instead of dipping the bars into it.

Once set, start making the chocolate. Leave the brownies in the freezer until you have made the chocolate. bring a small pan of water to the boil and then set a heatproof bowl over the top. Add the cacao powder, cacao butter or coconut oil (or combination of both), salt and sweetener of choice to the bowl and whisk as the mixture melts together. Once combined, remove from the heat but leave the bowl over the water to avoid the chocolate cooling and thickening too quickly.

Remove the brownies from the freezer and remove from the tins carefully with a knife or cake slice. If you used a large dish, slice into desired sizes. Set each individual brownie onto a cooling rack with a layer of baking paper on the surface underneath the rack. One by one, add a brownie to the chocolate mixture and, working quickly, use a fork to turn the brownies through the mixture until fully coated. *You could alternatively keep the brownies on the rack and pour or spread the chocolate mixture over them, but I find this method a little messier. Sprinkle each one with chopped pecans or hazelnuts, Qnola or himalayan pink salt before the chocolate has fully set. You can also experiment with drizzling a second layer of chocolate over the smooth chocolate layer, and if you have leftover chocolate you could double dip, for a thicker, crunchier outer coating.

If the cooling rack fits, place it in your fridge or freezer once each brownie has been coated. If it doesn't fit, wait for the chocolate to set slightly at room temperature, and then transfer the brownies onto smaller plates or to tuppaware.

+ store in the freezer, and remove 5 minutes before serving.

AEVIRYONE NEEDS AN AEVI BOX

Essentials, Seasonal, Travel, Wellbeing, Review, Lifestyle, Beautydanielle coppermanComment

Aevi is a female-lead company offering seasonal gift boxes of mindfully selected body-loving beauty and lifestyle goods. Founders Marie and Natalie are fully aware of the needs of our bodys, minds and souls, and in attempt to provide exactly what each of them needs as we shift among seasons, they source the most suitable provisions to keep everything in check. They know how drastically seasonal change can effect us, whether this includes skin irritations, mood swings or something else entirely, and they do their best to provide the most powerful natural beauty and wellbeing products to cure side effects of these transitions. The word Aevi comes from an Old Norse language and translates to life, which is what each Aevi box contains.

"Everything is thoughtfully curated to help soften the affect that climate has on the body and to sustain a well loved and loving heart, mental health advocacy, and glowing beauty of your skin".

The Aevi box is here to remind us to take time to practice self love, to tune into ourselves and our surroundings, and to rediscover and evaluate the importance of ourselves. When our bodies, minds and souls are balanced and taken care of, a healthy lifestyle will evolve, and this will be reflected in our day-to-day lives, allowing us and them to thrive in harmony.

"When you take the time to love and care for yourself, you not only give yourself the power to feel grounded in your own circumstances but you also positively influence the people, situations and lives around you".

The Spring Box changed a lot of things for me. As well as discovering and connecting with new brands, the box provided me with the care my body needed to survive the climate change as we shifted from the darkness of winter to the vibrance of springtime. The Earth Tu Face body scrub helped to refresh my skins cycles, soothing dryness and giving new life to my overall complextion. The Kahina face mist served as a way to refresh and revitalise my skin upon waking each morning, and the 1509 fragrance oil worked at calming and balancing my mind as each new day unfolded.

For The Summer Box, a niche selection of pure and calming beauty products have been sourced, to amplify a sense of lightness this time of year, and to support a sun-kissed summertime glow. Having noticed that sometimes transitions between seasons can affect one’s routines and overall wellness (from cold climates to warmer weather, dark mornings to bright nights) Aevi have created a box that will help the skin, body and mind adapt in the best ways possible. Perhaps you'll be dealing with sunburn, damaged hair or fatigue at this time of year, and in any case, Aevi has something you'll need. Eir NYC Sunset Body Oil heals dry, parched skin damaged by sun, salt and wind. Nuori Lip Balm will naturally and nourishingly hydrate dried or sun damaged lips. Lichtjuwel Liebe Spray is a natural, holistic fragrance spray containing heart opening scents and a rose quartz (the stone of love), to sooth and balance the aura and elevate mood and positivity. Living Libations Sunscreen is a natural, botanical sunshade designed to reflect the suns rays, whilst also nourishing the skin without parabens or synthetics. Captain Blankenship Golden Waves Shimmer Spray will keep your locks looking and feeling lively from the beginning of your beach day through late summer nights and the Matchaeologist Matcha Kit will help to detoxify the body with an instant natural remedy, made from hand picked virgin tea buds.

As well as offering the finest products all in one place, the individual products from each box are also available to purchase via the Aevi website. So if you have big plans for the summer, and especially if you're due to travel a lot, discover which products will suit your own personal needs and create the perfect summer survival kit.

CARAMELISED COURGETTE, PEA, MINT AND MACADAMIA DIP

Seasonal, Sides, Snacks, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lunch, Recipe, Dips + Spreads, Dairy Freedanielle copperman1 Comment

I've been on and off home turf the past couple of months but everytime I do stop by I head straight for the kitchen to regurgitate information and inspiration gathered during my time away. Some things are inspired by new places and new cultures. Some things are inspired by local cuisine. Some things are inspired by seasonal produce. And some things are inspired by me just having too much time to myself to think about fun new things I could try when I get home.

This recipe is mostly inspired by the fact that we are in peak pea season, with some influence coming merely from me having had too much time to think about the things you could do with peas. I've made pea and mint houmous in the past and I'm a huge dip lover in general, as they require next to no thinking at all, and pretty much the same amount of effort. Dips and spreads are one of my favourite things to make purely because they are so easy and customisable. You can disguise any ingredients you don't like the taste of by combining then with ones you do, and you can also invent your own new combinations by simply getting creative with whatever you can find in the kitchen (within reason).

I've been wanting to develop some good summertime recipes (although it has seemed pointless since it still feels like winter in the UK), but have been caught up in the waves of life, and by that I mainly mean work. June felt like the heaviest month. The energy was low and dull, the weather was grey and practically everyone I know was feeling totally depressed about the EU Referendum results. I honestly believe that the energy of others around you has a huge effect on your own energy, even the energy of people you don't know. But, I also believe that seasonal produce provided by the Earth exists to help us cope with certain times of the year, by providing us with what we need, when we most need it. Natural, life-rich produce has transferrable energy. It has so much to give, and all we have to do to attain it is consume it.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, the peas are here to help. I had leftovers of this for breakfast this morning and the sun is currently out. It hasn't even rained yet today (!?). I'm feeling good about July already, and sending total Bye Felicia vibes to June.

INGREDIENTS

180g Garden Peas (cooked)
200g White Beans, Butter Beans, Cannelini Beans or Chickpeas
70g Olive Oil
20g Filtered Water
30g Avocado Flesh
100g Sliced Courgette, sauteed (can also substitue for sauteed broccoli or cauliflower)
Large Pinch Himalayan Pink Salt - to taste
15g Tahini
10g Fresh Spinach
1g Lemon juice
15g Macadamia Nuts (Pumpkin Seeds + Brazil Nuts would work well too)
6g Mint - optional but v v nice
1/2-1 Clove Garlic - optional (I am mildly allergic so I didn't include this but if you're into it I think it would be a sure)

METHOD

If using frozen peas, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and add the peas. Simmer for about 5 minutes until soft, then strain and leave to cool. If your peas are pre-cooked and ready to go, start by sauteeing the courgette in a little olive oil and salt, over a medium heat. Meanwhile, blend the peas, your beans of choice, olive oil, water, salt, avocado flesh, tahini, spinach, lemon juice, nuts and mint and garlic - if using - in a high speed blender. Blend for about 1-2 minutes, using a tamper to get things moving properly. Keep an eye on the courgette and flip them as they begin to sizzle and brown. Once cooked well on both sides and soft in the middle, add them to the blender and blend for a further 1-2 minutes. Ideally, the blender should be able to run smoothly without the help of the tamper, as this will create the smoothest result. If it's really struggling, add a little more water.

Once you are happy with the texture, taste and season with extra lemon, garlic or salt, until you are happy with it. Transfer to a bowl or tuppaware and leave in the fridge to cool before serving.

To serve, drizzle with a little extra olive oil and either some chopped macadamia, sesame seeds or hemp seeds, dukkah or za'atar, to add a little crunch.

 

Why You Should Celebrate The 20th March 2016

Wellbeing, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment

What a powerful moment we are nearing. Whilst many of us might be too busy to notice the seasons officially change (and with Britain so attached to the grey, gloomy days it is famous for, sometimes there isn't any obvious change at all), some of us are aware that, in fact, there is an actual day when the world and all its inhabitants make this transition from old days to new ones. The Spring Equinox is upon us. Yep yep my friends, Spring arrives on Sunday.

Any seasonal shift is a big deal. It's the process of things relaligning in new ways and the Earth renewing and refreshing itself and its cycles. While the Winter Solstice signifies the Earth's last light days before entering winter's hibernation, the Spring Equinox heralds the end of winter. This is why the Spring Equinox is a bigger deal to me. Hi to all longer, brighter, warmer days - you're very welcome here.

I prefer Spring to Winter for many reasons. Winter is grey and I feel like the Earth is as dark when I wake up as it is when I'm eating lunch and then when I'm going back to sleep. The daily cycles seem so short and the lack of light makes everything less fun, less beautiful, less doable and less good. This is no good for making me feel awake, making me feel happy, or making food photography possible in the any way at all. It's also why nothing growns in Winter. Everything is falling apart and dying. God, why aren't we given the whole winter off to sit in our most unacceptable comfortable clothes watching boxsets, listening to podcasts, eating comfort food and having cuddles? Now that I'm seeing this written down I'm finding it hard to believe that I survived the struggles of such a horrible season. No wait, I do love it - duvet days! soup! christmas! snow!

But Spring. Just the word, it's so springy and full of energy like the season itself. Spring is a celebration season. We come out of what would be a long hibernation if jobs had never been invented but which is instead just the Earth's chance to cool down and chill, and are awoken by new energy, rebirth, growth and rebalance. The Earth realigns and the sunlight offers more of itself each day, allowing everything and everyone to thrive. I even prefer Spring to Summer. In Britain, that is. Summer is somehow anticlimatic, especially in the City. It is cursed for commonly arriving too late, and then when we do get hot days, we spend most of them stuck to other people inside a tube carriage, or confined by the walls of an office unable to enjoy it anyway. And every time we plan a barbeque it changes. How can it just do that? These should all be rules surely. But Spring. Spring is full of hope, full of energy and a sign of greater things to come. The days are bright and the temperature is fresh, light and crisp, rather than muggy, humid and heavy. Spring arrives and reminds us of the Earth's potential to be a positive, vibrant habitat filled with good vibrations, peaceful energy and both beautiful and delicious natural provisions.

Take time to chill as the season shifts, as this transition has more of an affect on our bodies and minds than you might think, both physically and mentally. It's a time to focus on new beginnings and a chance to reflect on the past. So on Saturday 19th March, if you're not staying up to experience the change early on Sunday morning, take time to chill, enjoy the last wintery meal of the season, breath deeply and think, or even journal, about any feelings that may be surfacing.