This month’s theme: Simple, low-tox makeup
The Facebook Group
Habit of the month
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- Healthy chocolate Easter eggs
- Jelly Easter Eggs (refined sugar free)
- Checkerboard hot cross buns
- Giant savoury hot cross bun
Healthy chocolate Easter eggs
prep 1 hour 30 mins
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 4 tbsp raw cacao
- 6 tbsp pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup puffed brown rice
- 1 tbsp extra pure maple syrup
- 1 drop pure peppermint essential oil
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
- Easter egg moulds
- Pre-heat the oven to 120C (248F) fan-forced and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Toss the puffed rice with the maple syrup then spread out on the tray and make for 20-30 minutes or until golden then remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on the tray.
- Place the coconut oil, cacao and maple syrup in a heat-proof jug and whisk together over a bowl of boiling water until the mixture is smooth.
- Divide into three portions.
- Separate the cooled rice puffs and divide them between ⅓ of your moulds then cover them with the chocolate coconut oil.
- Add the peppermint essential oil to another third of the chocolate mixture then pour into moulds.
- Pour half of the remaining mixture into the moulds so that they are filled just ⅓ of the way and then refrigerate all the chocolates (you should still have chocolate mixture left over).
- When solid (about 30 minutes), remove the ones that are only ⅓ full and scoop ½ a tsp of peanut butter into each one then top with the remaining chocolate mixture and refrigerate again for at least 2 hours.
- Remove the chocolates from the moulds and store in an airtight container in the fridge until serving.
These will start to melt as soon as they’re out of the fridge.
prep 6 hours : cook 10 min : serves 5
- 2 tsp gelatine
- 125ml freshly-squeeze orange juice
- 125ml fresh apple juice
- 2 tbsp frozen mixed berries
- Coconut oil to grease the inside of the plastic eggs
- 5 plastic easter eggs
- Hot glue gun
- Small syringe
- Take your syringe and find a drill bit that is just a bit wider than the end of the syringe – you need to make a hole big enough for the syringe to fit in.
- Drill a hole through the top end of each egg.
- Use the glue gun to fill in any other holes in the egg.
- In one saucepan, heat the orange juice until it starts to simmer then stir in the gelatine.
- When the gelatine has dissolved, turn off the heat.
- Place the apple juice in a separate saucepan and heat to a simmer, stirring through the mixed frozen berries until it comes to a simmer then add the gelatine.
- Keep stirring and when the gelatine has dissolved, turn off the heat.
- Use your finger to spread a layer of melted coconut oil around the inside of each plastic egg. This is to stop the jelly sticking to the shells.
- Place the eggs in egg cups, a recycled egg carton or aluminium foil case (just scrunch some and make a little stand).
- Using the syringe, suck up some of the orange jelly and pipe into three of the eggs. Each egg is about 50ml so if you want 5 layers you will need 2-3 syringes per layer.
- Repeat with the apple juice berry mixture in the remaining two eggs.
- Refrigerate the eggs for at least an hour.
- Repeat, alternating the different jellies for each layer.
- If the jelly in the pan firms, just heat gently until it turns back to liquid.
- Refrigerate between each layer and for at least 2 hours before attempting to remove the jelly eggs.
- To remove the jelly egg, run the egg under warm water to melt the coconut oil and help the jelly come out easily.
- Squeeze the sides of the egg together near the opening then gently pull the top away.
- You may need to run a knife around it to get it out of the bottom and break the seal.
- Keep eggs refrigerated until serving.
Checkerboard hot cross buns
- 7g sachet or 2 tsp dry yeast
- 1½ cups milk, warmed
- ¼ cup caster (superfine) sugar
- 4 cups plain AP flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 60g (2oz) butter, chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate bits
- ⅓ cup sultanas and a sprinkle of sugar
- Grease and line a 23cm square cake tin.
- Place the yeast, milk and sugar in a jug, mix until the sugar has dissolved then set aside for about 10 minutes until it froths.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, place the sifted flour and butter. Using the dough hook, mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix. Pour the egg into the bowl and mix it then then finally add the yeast mixture. Knead the mixture using the dough hook until it comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.
- Halve the dough and shape one half into a ball then place in a lightly oiled bowl.
- Knead the cocoa into the other portion of dough, form it into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowls and leave the dough to rise for 1 hour.
- When the doughs have doubled in size, working with one at a time, turn them out onto a floured surface. Knead the chocolate chips into the chocolate dough then separate the dough into 8 round portions and set aside.
- Knead the sultanas into the white dough and divide it into 8 round portions.
- Arrange the dough in the tin in a checkerboard pattern, cover and set aside for about 30 minutes until they have slightly risen.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C(360F) fan-forced.
- The original recipe uses icing after the buns have been cooked and cooled to form the crosses. I wanted a more traditional baked-on cross on mine so I mixed together flour and water and piped it on before the buns went in the oven.
- Bake the buns for 10 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 160C and bake for a further 25 minutes.
- When cooked, leave them in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
- Serve the buns warm with butter.
The above steps can all be done by hand and if you are after a more even chocolate colour in the chocolate buns, you can separate the two doughs from the start working with half of the ingredients at a time and adding the cocoa to the flour in step one.
Giant savoury hot cross bun
serves 1 large loaf
- 7g sachet or 1 tbsp dry yeast
- 1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 cups bread flour
- 2 tsp sea salt plus extra for dusting
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan plus 3 tbsp grated parmesan for decorating
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh or dry oregano
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 2 tbsp plain AP flour
- ½ tsp salt
- In a large jug, combine the water, sugar and yeast then set them aside for 10 minutes or until the mixture is frothy.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, or another large bowl, sift in the flour. Pour in the yeast mixture then add the salt and oil.
- Use the dough hook to bring the ingredients all together and then continue to mix until it all comes together in a ball in the center. It will take at least 5 minutes.
- Alternatively, mix the ingredients together in a bowl and then tip out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Spray a large bowl with oil and transfer the dough ball into the bowl. Cover it with lightly-oiled plastic wrap and leave it to rise for one hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Give the dough a big punch with your fist to deflate it and then tip it out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Knead it until it is smooth then carefully fold in the oregano, parmesan and garlic.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place it on a lined oven tray. Cover it in oiled plastic wrap and leave it to rise again for 30 minutes or until is has almost doubled again.
- While the dough is rising, pre-heat the oven to 180C (356F) fan-forced.
- Make the paste for the cross by mixing the flour and salt with 2 tablespoons of cold water. You may need to add a bit more to get it to a pipable consistency.
- Spoon it into a zip-lock bag and snip off a corner.
- Pipe a cross onto the top of the bread.
- Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes or until it sounds hollow when you tap it on the bottom.
- To make the cross stand out a bit better, when it comes out of the oven, spread the extra grated parmesan along the cross and put the loaf under the grill for a minute or two.
- Leave it to cool on a wire rack.
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