Black Bean Chocolate Truffles

When you think of black beans, gooey, chocolatey goodness is not exactly the first thing to spring to mind. More along the lines of savoury foods, that of Latino, Creole or Caribbean origin. However goodness, be it sweet or savoury is a key feature of these little black gems.

Nutritional Goodness

Black beans are jam packed with nutrients and fibre. Pound for pound, compared to the likes of beef, black beans contain much higher quantities of proteins.

Calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium are key nutrients found in the little beans.

They also feature a much lower fat content, no stress hormones, no carcinogens and no antibiotics.

The environmental impact of farming black beans is significantly lower as they require much less water and do not emit methane into the atmosphere.

Refined Sugar Alternative

The reason I wanted to make these truffles is because I’ve been struggling with a bit of a sugar hit addiction. Especially since I’ve had Arthur and started breastfeeding, all I want is sugar! I buy unsweetened plantbased milks and then put a sugar in my coffee anyways, all while chowing down on chocolate throughout some days. Plus the obligatory cake when I meet people out. Needless to say, my teeth are so sensitive and really feeling it! I’ve been feeling more and more groggy also so for my overall health and wellbeing, I want to take action and eat better alternatives.

We’ve also been doing a bit of research into gut health. My other half has been struggling with inflammation in his back due to a prolapsed disk – and we were reminded how inflammatory sugar can be. Although we know how bad sugar is, it’s so easy to fall back into bad habits. Especially when we’re both quite tired, it’s easy to make the wrong choices for our bodies.

Sugar V Maple Syrup

The black Bean Chocolate truffles replace the sweetness of refined sugar with pure maple syrup. I was interested to know the difference between these.

Unrefined maple syrup requires less of a process to make. The sap from the maple sugar tree is boiled down to the concentrated golden goodness we love so much.

Sugar on the other hand requires much more of a process. The sugar cane or beet are similarly boiled down, mashed then dried – usually in a factory with the addition of some chemicals to whiten it – even some use bone char meaning some sugars are not vegan!

Maple syrup however contains more calories than sugar, so just because it’s the favourable option, doesn’t mean it should be eaten limitlessly.

Maple syrup also contains a lower glycemic index compared to processed sugars, meaning the sugars are released slower and minimising a sugar spike in the blood. This would be a better option for those who have diabetes or PCOS. Having a more balanced glycemic index is beneficial for everyone.

So ok – maple syrup is still a bit sugary. But we’ve all got to start somewhere, right? The truffles contain only whole foods, meaning they are the favourable option over crappy Cadburys bournville chocolate which I regrettably have been living on.

Additionally, with the truffles, replacing sugar with maple syrup means the overall sugar content is cut back by a third (Authority Nutrition).

Black Bean Chocolate Truffles

SO! These really simple black bean truffles had to hit the spot, especially since I’ve been over indulging in treats lately. The fact they are not too sweet but totally satisfying has been a real winner and I love the cool gooey texture straight from the fridge.






Slightly decadent

Yes I am associating black beans with decadence. Don’t diss it until you’ve tried it! What more could you ask for?

Because I’m a greedy guts I’ve doubled up on ingredients so you can always halve this to try them out.


  • 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp cocoa or cacao
  • 5 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp Vanilla essence

Optional (to coat when ready)

  • Crushed pistachios
  • Toasted coconut


Chuck all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Scrape down the side and blend again if needed. Place the mixture in the fridge for 30 mins to cool. When ready, the mixture will be slightly more solid. A bit like play dough. Roll into truffle balls. Coat with toppings of your choice – the toasted coconut and pistachio was a winner!

Coconut Oil

We’ve been using The Natural Empire coconut oil for all of our baking (and beauty) needs. They are offering 20% off their jars of white gold for readers with the code “lifeveganstyle”.

Keep your Black Bean Chocolate Truffles in the fridge and eat within 3 days – or freeze an extra batch for another time to use within 3 months.

Kit and Kin Review

Nothing motivates and interests me more recently than striving towards zero waste goals. I am constantly in awe of those who are living a zero waste life and think it’s not only awesome but completely necessary to take action against the monster that is plastic. I’m nowhere near where I need to be but continue to make small steps and learn along the way. 

The Environment 

Ever since turning vegan almost four years ago I suddenly had an increasing awareness of how my eating habits were impacting on the environment. Roll that forward and I’m constantly aware of how my consumerism overall adds to this. Throw in a brand new little person my mind is in overdrive! Considering newborns are like nappy and clothes change conveyor belt, I had to take some action so I don’t choose complete convenience over environmental impact. I also want Arthur to know I’ve done my best for the future earth he will live in. 

When I was pregnant with Arthur I had somewhat of an idea on what to expect in relation to nappy changes, but started to freak out when I discovered your average nappy takes almost 500 years to break down. 500 years. Let that sink in. It’s an insane amount of time for one nappy, let alone the 11 he was going through in a day as a newborn – averaging around 4000 a year. We could have our own disgusting shitty nappy colony. 

Unfortunately reusable nappies are not a possibility for us currently. We’re in a one bed flat, prone to dampness and mould with half a drum washing machine. Oh yeah and we live in Britain which means drying clothes is almost zero to none come September through to April. The washing is already out the door with little man. 

Kit and Kin

Drum roll our solution! Kit and Kin nappies. These are eco-friendly, chemical free and low and behold BIODEGRADABLE nappies! It’s like my prayers were answered when I discovered them. The nappies are made with naturally derived, plant-based materials. They remain absorbent to keep little one dry and comfortable. They have all the features of your standard nappies, such as protective cuffs (or flood barriers as I like to call them) to prevent those dreaded poo explosions or sneaky wee leaks in the night resulting in a whole outfit change. The only thing missing is the pH yellow/blue strip indicator, however it’s pretty easy to figure out by touching the nappy whether it’s ready to be changed. 

Kit and Kin have also produced a very clever biodegradable nappy bag. It’s made from a sustainable corn based film that is 100% compostable. They come in handy when on the go as I don’t tend to use nappy sacks when we’re at home. 

The Baby 

There is such an overwhelming amount of baby products on the market. One thing I have been wary of with baby products is almost bogus claims. Many brands claim to be natural, however looking beyond this is usually a list of chemicals, irritants and yucky stuff. Arthur’s sensitive newborn skin is still developing so I wouldn’t want to compromise it, especially since it is prone to dryness. Luckily Kit and Kin nappies are kind and gentle on his booty, with chlorine free pulp. It does make me question whether chlorine is completely necessary in babies nappies. Even better that co-founder and Mumma Emma Bunton developed these products following her little ones having excema – that is passion right there! 

Also developed by Kit and Kin is a whole bath and skincare range. We’ve been using the baby body oil after bath time which smells beautiful and is calming for both of us to rub it all over his little bod. All the ingredients are organic and naturally derived from fruit, herb and seed oils. 

The Animals
I also find it ironic how many baby products portray happy little animals, when in reality these big companies products are environmental cling ons, test on animals and prioritise profits over care. Kit and Kin don’t test on animals and use plant based inks to print the super cute animals prints on the back. I say Kit and Kin are allowed to have happy little animals on their nappies because for every ten subscriptions on their nappy bundles, they purchase one acre of rainforest through World Land Trust. This helps preserve vital ecosystems for the worlds most vulnerable wildlife. That’s pretty awesome. 

I recently spoke to Kit and Kins co-founder Chris about his passion for the environment, with future goals of a nappy that creates renewable energy! So inspiring to hear of a company that truly has our babies and earths futures in the forefront of their ethos. 

Overall Kit and Kin have been a reliable and reassuring product. They make making a difference easy, especially in the whirlwind of having a newborn. Although they are slightly on the pricier side of nappies, this is sometimes the case with more conscious products. A discount is available for monthly nappy subscriptions. I will not rule out reusable nappies once we have the proper facilities to use them (we’re getting a new super washing machine hopefully!!), but Kit and Kin are a great start in achieving our goals in being a zero waste household.

Disclosure: I had the benefit of Kit and Kin send me some samples of their nappy and skin care range for an honest review. All the words are my own. 

Cafe Van Gogh

I am so excited to share with you my experience at Cafe Van Gogh. The wonderful Precious Vegan invited me to share this with her after a sweet morning of yoga on Southbank.

Where and what

Cafe Van Gogh started out as a vegetarian restaurant – celebrating more recently turning all vegan! As you can probably tell I was loving life trying out the hearty, home cooked menu.

Cafe Van Gogh resides in a listed building, in between Brixton and Oval. I was wondering why it took its name after the notorious artist until I discovered he once lived in the building around the corner in the 1830’s. A bit of history for you there. 

The venue itself has a couple of different feels, from the cosy cafe vibe inside with candles to the beautiful terrace outside with the trickling fountain and beautiful flowers. They also have a private hire area upstairs suitable for birthday bashes or work parties – with a view for soon to be BYOB. 

Social Enterprise 

Not only is it now an all vegan restaurant, Cafe Van Gogh has the added benefit of having a social mission. Being a social enterprise business, they reinvest in the local community by providing opportunities for local youth and for people with mental health and learning difficulties to gain real skills in the kitchen. 
They’ve now got a link with a local primary school in Brixton who supplies the kitchen with local, organic and seasonal vegetables. And to top it off, Cafe Van Gogh offers food nutrition workshops to share their expertise. 

The staff are attentive and friendly, advising us on what to order so we could maximise the tastiest treats on the menu. 

So down to the food! 

The menu is so varied with beautiful inspired tastes. The main influences are Carribean and South Asian dishes, alongside some veganised comfort foods. 

First of all the portions are so generous. So you can certainly fill your boots. You might like us, get excited and want to try a bit of everything. Here’s what we ordered:


Sri-Lankan Pulled jackfruit and Aubergine stuffed chapatti, dhal, salad and pineapple chutney. This was a delicious blend of flavours on one plate. The jackfruit and chutney were a win for me.

Seitan ribs

Famous Seitan Sticky Ribs with grilled corn and bacon butter, potato and pickled onion and salad. This was in the owners words – hangover heaven! I found this was the most filling of the mains. It was hearty, sticky and messy – as far as ribs go. I’ve always been a fan of sticky BBQ sauce. I sometimes get a little weirded out by some mock meats but knowing what seitan is was reassuring. The whole dish was tasty especially with the well thought out trimmings. People often ask what’s the point in being vegan and having mock meats – but if I’m honest growing up eating meat, some meals bring back fond memories, despite the concept of meat making me feel a bit queesy now. I personally have fond memories as a child of sticky ribs from Roches Stores in the Square after doing a big shop with my Mam. 


Jerk Plantain

Jerk Plantain with smoky beans, brown rice and mango salsa. This was delicious with the spice just perfect. 

Vegan Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese – this side dish was made avoiding the usual highly processed vegan cheese. The cheese is made from a base of whole foods – butternut squash and nooch – it made this dish a little less guilty amongst our feast and more nutritious.


Black Forrest Oreo Sundae – this was naturally my favourite dessert as black forrest has always been a classic for me. So nice that it is served up vegan here.

Sticky Toffee Pudding with hot toffee sauce and cream – this was so good and luscious as sticky toffee pudding goes. You might want to save some room for this though, if you can! 


  • Iced tumeric lattes – so good we drank them dry of it! Ok it was a hot day. 
  • Oat milk latte 

All in all – gastronomic alchemists some might say. Cafe Van Gogh have nailed all the latest vegan food trends. You will certainly leave with a satisfied palate and a full belly. All this with the added satisfaction that they are making a real difference in the local area, which personally makes my heart sing! Cafe Van Gogh is a hidden gem amongst the hustle and bustle of busy London. 

They are also now running a competition to eat free for a month – click this link to follow to their website. 

Thanks to Cafe Van Gogh for this delicious food experience. 

Golden Milk

Golden Milk
Ayurvedic writings suggests Golden Milk is a wholly cleansing, grounding and nourishing drink. Liver function, improved circulation and digestion are some of the calming and healing properties Golden Milk can bring, all while making the skin glow. It is sometimes referred to “Holy Golden Milk” due to it’s powerful ingredients. This is no surprise with all the goodness you can pack into this creamy, golden, warming drink.

What are these powerful ingredients?

  • Turmeric’s medicinal uses dates back to almost 4000 years in South East Asia. Turmeric’s powerful and vibrant curcumin is renowned for detoxifying the body and alleviating inflammation. It is therefore well known as an anti-carcinogen. A recent 2011 study further suggest tumeric’s activity in the body includes: antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-septic, anti-tumor, with added protection to the heart, kidneys and liver.
  • Cinnamon is known to balance blood sugar levels. It is anti-inflammatory, detoxifying and protects cognitive functioning. Cinnamon is thought to help prevent virus and infection.
  • Ginger enhances digestion and the transportation of nutrients throughout the body. It is also known for reducing joint and muscle pain, which is handy after a workout! Lots of women swear by ginger during pregnancy to prevent morning sickness – with modern research suggesting it aids with travel sickness.
  • Cardamon is rich in antioxidants and packed with heart loving minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. It is thought to give protection with cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and cholesterol issues. It’s easy to be weary at first of adding cardamon to a drink because it is so fragrant – however one little pod gives it just the right hit.

Golden Milk

Are the benefits of Golden Milk convincing you? Although a tumeric drink can sound off-putting, it only calls for  a little bit and the taste is balanced out by the other ingredients, like the vanilla and maple syrup.

It’s usually a go to in the winter months due to it’s warming properties, however equally as tasty all year round. It can  be used on your morning oats or cooled and drank with ice. I do find myself craving it’s goodness year round. It’s honestly such a delicious and satisfying drink. It is also more noticeable that high street coffee shops have clocked onto Golden Milk and started to sell turmeric lattes – the West are always a bit late with capitalising on ancient traditions!
I’ve tried and tested a couple of combos previou

sly, however found this one a winner more recently.

Golden Milk
Recipe (2 cups)

  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 thumb grated ginger
  • 1 cardamom Pod
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Drop vanilla essence
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup


1. Dissolve turmeric in boiling water

2. Add all ingredients to a pot and simmer gently for 8 minutes – stirring regularly

3. Use a strainer to filter out any lumps into a jug

Golden Milk

4. Pour into your favourite mug and enjoy the goodness!

Some people opt for a sprinkle of black or cayenne pepper, nutmeg or a little blob of coconut oil for good fats. It’s fun to play around with the different ingredients to get your own personal winning combo. Make sure to add a comment below and share what your favourite additions are!

Golden Milk

Further Information:

Herbal Medicines: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects

Made in Hackney

I had the opportunity to attend a raw dessert making masterclass at Made in Hackney, Stoke Newington. I learnt how to make lots of delicious, beautiful raw chocolates, raw tarts and petit fours. Sounds fancy, and delicious right? 

But first, before I chat about the day let me tell you a little about Made In Hackney.

Made in Hackney is an eco-community based kitchen set up with locals at heart. It is a non-profit organisation, offering free and pay by donation food growing and healthy cooking classes to a diverse community, particularly inclusive of vulnerable and marginalised groups. 

Not only does Made in Hackney equip people with healthy eating knowledge and skills to benefit ones self and the environment, a sense of social inclusion is promoted. London, despite being a great city, has high levels of social isolation which can lead to physical and mental health problems. Coming from a background in mental health, I could totally appreciate the importance of having a community. 

I loved hearing the story of a recently widowed gentleman who’s wife had cooked for him his whole life. Although he attended to learn how to make himself eggs and bacon, he kept returning to the classes as they made a difference to him, despite it being plant based cooking! 

Made in Hackney also maintains an ethos of sustainability, with the foods used in classes being 100% plant based, primarily locally farmed, organic and seasonal.

Additionally, they provide training and volunteer experience – helping people into longer term employment by providing a space to enhance ethical food entrepreneurship. This whole model, if replicated, would bring innumerable benefits to local communities across the country. 

Made in Hackney promotes a real sense of empowerment whilst having a positive impact on the community. It left a great impression on me and left me feeling quite inspired. I could really resonate with it’s ethos and core values. And that was in addition to what I learnt at the cooking class.

✨ The Masterclass ✨

The whole day was informative yet informal. I attended the “Food For All” health food shop at 11:45, where Made in Hackney is located on the bottom floor. I had the chance to buy some treats in the health food store before commencing class at 12:00.
There was a group of around 7 learners, 2 volunteers and the wonderful instructor, Natural Chef Ceri Jones. Ceri’s approach was relaxed, warm and engaging – ready to answer any questions the group had.

Following introductions, we talked through the pantry essentials for raw dessert making, alongside the process behind it and useful equipment. We had the opportunity to observe demonstrations then built on the basics of making raw chocolates to the more skilled cheesecakes and tarts. All ingredients may I mention are supplied by the kitchen.

I loved breaking for lunch half way through with the group – enjoying some (ok lots) of home made hummus and a big plate of roasted veggie buckwheat tabbouleh with rocket salad and balsamic glaze – all freshly prepared by Ceri. It was great to chat to the others about their passions for plant-based living, permaculture, sustainability and natural cooking. 

We also had the opportunity to find out more about Made in Hackney’s journey. I’ve included founder Sarah Bentley’s recent TEDx talk at the bottom of this page about how she built this organisation. 

Getting back to the kitchen afterwards – we learned how to make pretty garnishes from fruit and other ingredients. Garnishing is always my favourite part of making food.

Another memorable moment of the day was at the end when all the desserts were cooled and ready to be eaten. Rather than tucking right in – we each took a piece of chocolate and tasted it mindfully with our eyes closed, allowing us to appreciate it’s texture and flavour.

Overall, the masterclass was a truly immersive experience. We all had the chance to put our own individual style to each dish. We finished up at 16:30 – and thanks to the volunteers, we didnt have to wash up. I managed to make the journey home without eating all of my take home treats. I felt the need to share them with the other half and not be a complete greedy guts!

What we made:

  • Basic Raw Chocolate – little raw chocolate buttons, various shapes and after eights, dehydrated blood arranged dipped in choc. 
  • Chocolate orange mousse in chocolate cups 
  • Avocado Lime Cheesecake
  • Individual Lemon Tarts
  • Apricot and ginger bliss balls.

 So by attending a masterclass at Made in Hackney, not only have you got a day jam packed with learning and delicious food, you are also contributing to this vital work they do with the community. It’s a win win. Remember you can book this experience through

Watch founder, Sarah Bentley’s TEDx talk here.

Also check out Ceri’s Natural Kitchen Adventure website for more raw food, seasonal and plant based recipes – although not entirely plant based – Ceri does provide some good recipes. 

Choco Mylkshake

This has to be one of my go to shakes!

It’s creamy, satisfying and gives that sweet kick you’d get from a standard milkshake – but only wholefoods used here, so completely guilt free – you can have as much as you want 😋

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 5 frozen nanas
  • 1 pint almond milk 
  • 3 medjool dates 
  • 1 tbsp cacao
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter 

If you’ve not got any frozen nanas you can use some ripe ones and chuck some ice cubes in there to make it refreshing. If you’ve not got almond milk you could just use water and add some extra nanas for creaminess 😋

Blend all up and enjoy! 

I have to rate metal straws quite highly also – they make it so much nicer and refreshing to drink a cold drink from. You can get them from amazon as a pack of four for under a fiver – saves all those plastic ones going to the dump!

Vegan Makeup

I was asked by an old school friend to do a blog post on cruelty free and vegan makeup – which I was so happy to do. It is awesome that more and more people are purchasing more consciously. 

Dogs, rabbits, mice and rats are subject to allergy tests in the most sensitive areas – nose, mouth and eyes. These have little or no comparable results to that of humans and can cause burning, irritation, pain and death due to infection. This is why it’s so important not to contribute to companies who practice such testing.

I will be completely honest and say vegan makeup took me a bit longer to get my head around than vegan food as it wasn’t so straight forward. There are lots of smoke and mirrors around some brands who change their policies based on profits regularly. Some who claim to be cruelty free or who previously were cruelty free but are not anymore. 

And what actually constitutes cruelty free and vegan makeup? 

Cruelty free makeup is usually signified by the leaping bunny sign – meaning it is not tested on animals. The leaping bunny logo means the product is recognised internationally by the Humane Cosmetics and Humane Household Products Standards and has not been tested anywhere worldwide. 

This does not necessarily make it vegan as it legally can still contain animal products such as beeswax, lanolin, carmine and shellac. 

Vegan makeup means it is cruelty free but also does not contain animal products such as the ones just mentioned. You may find however that many cruelty free brands offer lots of vegan products – which is where familiarising with ingredients and looking online is handy.

There has been great progress recently with certain countries like Australia banning animal testing. The EU banned testing in 2013. However any product that is sold in China – has to by Chinese law be tested on animals. These include some of the bigger brands such as L’Oréal, MAC and Lancôme. Previously MAC were cruelty free – until they began selling in China where they test so MAC are no longer kind to animals. Profits over compassion. 

It’s useful to know the main perpetrators in the beauty industry – but also to know your options are not limited with vegan makeup – there is in fact an abundance out there! 

Vegan makeup, like all makeup is extremely varied. It ranges from high street to high end so you never have to compromise on quality or cost depending what you’re after. 

When replacing my makeup bag – I decided to either give away my old stuff or to use it up. I figured there was no point in wasting it. I did this bit by bit as I did my research and tried and tested some products.

Brands that test on animals:

  • Mac 
  • Benefit 
  • Lancôme 
  • Rimmell 
  • Este Lauder 
  • Avon 
  • Bobby Brown 
  • Clarins 
  • Dior 
  • L’Oréal 
  • Maybelline
  • Max factor 
  • Revlon

Cruelty free brands with vegan products:

  • Barry M 
  • Gosh 
  • St. Tropez 
  • Urban decay 
  • Kat Von D 
  • Anastasia Beverley Hills 
  • Makeup Revolution 
  • Charlotte Tilbury
  • Sleek 
  • Too Faced 
  • Face Atalier 
  • Body shop 
  • Tarte
  • Soap and glory 
  • elf 
  • NYX
  • Wet and wild 
  • Lush
  • Smashbox 
  • Models Own 
  • Real Techniques

Vegan brands:

  • B by Superdrug 
  • Lime crime 
  • Jeffrey Star 
  • Flique Cosmetics 
  • Arbonne 
  • Pacifica 
  • Ringana 
  • Hourglass 
  • OCC
  • Ecotools 
  • Dose of colours
  • Furless
  • Spectrum 
  • Geek chic 
  • Beautiful me 

A lot of these brands are available online – so it’s helpful to match your usual shade with this website: 

✨ Findation ✨

It’s an automated system where you put in what shade and brand you usually use and gives you what alternatives are available for you – clever right? 

I’ve included what’s in my make up bag at the moment – I definitely don’t use them all daily but have ended up with a few bits experimenting with new vegan makeup. 

My makeup bag


  • Arbonne – primer. Silky and smooth
  • B liquid foundation – great coverage 
  • Beautiful me mineral powder from H&B 
  • Gosh mineral powder with B powder brush (devine)
  • Autograph mousse from M&S


  • St. Tropez powder bronzer – swear by this and have done for years.
  • Barry M – strobe shimmer 
  • Sleek – highlighting kit 
  • Barry M – dazzle dust 
  • Too faced – powder contour 
  • I Love Makeup blush shimmer – Superdrug 


  • Makeup Revolution – eyebrow kit


  • Barry M – Lash Vegas 
  • Arbonne – Bamboo Mascara 
  • Barry M – Liquid Liner 
  • Barry M – Shimmer Pots
  • Makeup Revolution – smokey eyeshadow palette
  • Too faced – Chocolate Bar, eye shadow palette 


  • Barry M – Lip Liners 
  • Barry M – Super Slick Lip Paint
  • Kat Von D -Studded Kiss Lippy
  • I Love Makeup – Lip Lave (Superdrug)
  • Hurraw Lip Balms


  • Barry M – nail polishes are all vegan! So this is all I usually buy and have the best range of colours which last long without chipping. My favourite is the nail hardener which makes my nails super strong. 

               Barry M red lip liner 💄

                Wedding makeup no. 1

                 Wedding makeup no. 2 

             Barry M – strobe shimmer 

Au Naturel – because I love my bare face days too ✨

Almond Milk

🥛 A L M O N D – M I L K 🥛
What’s the hardest thing about being vegan? Waking up at 5am to milk the almonds 😭

NOT! I did not wake up at that ridiculous hour but have actually gained a sense of smugness and satisfaction having milked almonds! And you can do it too.!


Homemade and everything – I’ve been wanting to make this for a long time but as usual procrastinate and just buy the pre-made stuff, which has minimal almond milk in it anyways.


Homemade almond milk does not disappoint – it was so creamy, fresh and delicous.



  • 2 cups almonds – soaked for 2 nights
  • Water to soak
  • 4 cups fresh water
  • 2 medjool dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


  • Bowl for soaking
  • High speed blender
  • Muslin cloth
  • Sieve
  • Bottle to store
  • Spoon


1. Soak your almonds overnight or for a second night if needed to soften (place in fridge for second night)

2. Rinse before use – washing off all the released Phytic acid (browny colour)

3. Place almonds in a high speed blender with 4 cups fresh water, vanilla essence and medjool dates.

4. Blend on a high speed for around 2 minutes – make sure to gradually increase the speed and use the lid cover or you risk it exploding out the top like I did (precious milk lost – noooo)

5. Place sieve on top of jug, covered by appropriate sized muslin cloth

6. Begin the filtering process – adding enough milk through the cloth – using a spoon to encourage it through. You will see almond meal collecting in the cloth and the glorious milk filtering through to the jug

7. When there has been a build up of almond meal – take the cloth and squeeze the rest of the milk out

8. This process will probably be repeated around 3-4 times with the remaining milk – depending on size of your sieve and cloth.

9. Fill up the milk jug and refrigerate! Use within 2 days

10. Bake something tasty with the almond meal (recipe for banana bread to follow!)


We used this almond milk on our homemade granola and in a blueberry smoothie – it was delicous! Have you made your own milk before? How did you find the process and what did you use? I hear you can use most nuts, some seeds and even coconut 🌴

Vegan Lasagne 

Who doesn’t love vegan lasagne?

Well Brad was cynical when I said I wanted to make him a nice meal. “When do you ever see me eat lasagne?” he said haha. I admitted that actually I’ve wanted to make a vegan lasagne for a long time – and made the effort to buy the ingredients but equally I always want to make him a nice meal not just when I’m being selfish and want to try a new dish all veganized 😜
Sometimes my meals are a fail – but I’m getting better. It’s usually because I’m so crap at following recipes and always want to try new things or use what we have in the kitchen.

Anyways recipe for a vegan lasagne – that Brad ended up eating HALF of. For a bloke that doesn’t like lasagne – he could have passed for Garfield 😊 I also coaxed him by crumbling some nachos on top. It was mainly the cheese sauce he was wary of as he hates the cream sauce on usual lasagne (future vegan)? 😂 luckily this recipe uses just enough cheese sauce –  it too much and naturally the aubergine makes it creamy.

Please note – I did take a couple of short cuts as I haven’t quite mastered home made cheese sauce or pesto, so a couple of bits are from the jar – but equally as tasty. It’s great that there are so many more alternatives out there now. I’ve added some pictures of these products down below so you can spot them on the supermarket.


4 servings. Used a medium sized baking dish.

9 lasagne sheets

6 tbsp vegan pesto (Sacla)

300mls vegan cheese sauce (Free and Easy)

2 slices of vegan cheese (Violife)

Large handful of nachos
The filling:

2 celery sticks

1 onions

5 cloves garlic

200g mushrooms

1 small aubergine

3/4 cup of red split lentils

300mls veggie stock

1 can chopped tomatoes

Italian seasoning/oregano


1 tblsp paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tblsp tomato puree

1tbsp olive oil
1. Fry up the chopped celery onion and garlic in a little oil. If this isn’t enough I add a little boiling water to keep fat content down.

2. Add the rest of veggies. Add chopped tomatoes, puree, lentils and veggie stock. Stir all together with your seasoning, bring to boil then simmer on a low heat – ensuring you stir and add a little more hot water if looking like it might stick.

3. Preheat oven to 180c

4. Grease lasagne dish lightly.

5. Boil water and soak lasagne sheets in a bowl

6. Make cheese sauce (as per packet) making it with milk makes it creamier

7. Layer up your lasagne – bolonegse first, then cheese sauce, lasagne sheets, then pesto. Make sure you leave enough cheese sauce to cover the top.

8. Tear up cheese pieces and sprinkle on top (or use grated cheese – in hindsight would be more effective)

9. Bake for around 30 minutes

10. If your feeling fancy – sprinkle some crumpled up nachos on top for the last few minutes

11. Leave it set for a few minutes and it will be easier to serve – enjoy 😊

Maria Nila Review 

Having tried out a few different vegan option shampoos – I was finding it tricky to find a good quality one that was doing my hair good. I had tried some high street brands and some more natural alternatives. I found some of them very drying on my already thin hair. Maria Nila was recommended on a group page – and people were raving about it so I had to give it a go.

This amazing creation comes from Sweden and has been in business for 30 years.

I found Maria Nila’s shampoo and conditioner combo to be extremely nourishing. Not only is it 100% vegan, it is free from sulphates and parabens and has repairing algae – how clever is that? It also acts as a colour guard complex.

Although Maria Nila is slightly pricey compared to high street brands, it is still affordable and definitely worth paying that bit extra in order to give your hair the love it deserves. I paid £30.95 including postage and packaging – and it arrived fairly quick. I hear you can also find it in some salons in the UK.

This is the structure repair one which I felt would do good after a year of highlighted hair. Originally I was thinking I need to sort out my hair and maintain it for my upcoming wedding – which we have now postponed because of little baby bubba due – roll on lush pregnancy hair!

I have since made a decision that Maria Nila will be a staple product for my hair. It is that good!

I’ve had complements on how nice it smells. I can honestly say the conditioner is one of the best I’ve used. A small blob leaves your hair so silky and the easiest to brush. Especially if you’ve got thin hair, also that tangles easily, but equally I’m sure would work great in other hair types. It certainly leaves no feeling of greasiness which some conditioners do.

I’ve been swimming almost everyday while on holidays – seawater and swimming pool and honestly do not feel my hair condition has been compromised. It lasts a good while also – with my first lot still going about 2 months strong now.

Overall – I found Maria Nila to keep my hair in great condition. I no longer have those fly away hairs noticeable with highlighted hair (although I have since gone darker). It’s been nourishing, leaving my hair strong, soft and healthy.

Next time I’m going to give the pure volume set a go and am already excited. They also have a range of colour refresh products that have great reviews.

So if your looking for a delicous, animal friendly alternative to your usual hair washing routine – check out this Maria Nila’s wonderful brand 🐰