Coconut and Almond Truffles

These Coconut and Almond Truffles are the perfect way to indulge in some festive cheer without overloading on sugar. Quick and easy to prepare they will provide you with a sweet fix with the addition of a nutritional kick.

These Vegan Coconut and Almond Truffles are the perfect way to indulge in some festive cheer without overloading on sugar. Quick and easy to prepare they will provide you with a sweet fix with the addition of a nutritional kick.The recipe was created by Amanda Hamilton, a TV Nutritionist working in connection with digestive health brand Udo’s Choice.

Ingredients:

  • 80g dates
  • 60g almonds ground or 60g of almond pulp from a Soyabella machine
  • 30g desiccated coconut
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 2tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2tsp vanilla essence

Method:

In a food processor blend together the dates, almonds (or leftover almond pulp) until they form a crumbly paste. If it’s too thick, add a little water, but only enough for it to just come together. Depending on personal taste, the truffle mixture doesn’t need to be totally smooth; some nutty pieces and chunks can be a good thing.

Add the cocoa powder and blend until mostly incorporated.

Remove the nut mixture from your food processor and place it in a large bowl. Stir in half of the shredded coconut, maple syrup, vanilla extract and mix until smooth.

If the truffle mixture is too sticky at this point, place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes so it firms up slightly. Measure the truffle mixture out as about 1 heaped tablespoon each.

Roll it into balls by rolling the mixture between your palms then roll the truffles in the remaining shredded coconut.

Truffles are at their best when cold so for the best results place the truffles in the freezer and allow to them harden for at least 1 hour. Store the remaining truffles in the freezer removing only what you are planning to eat now and allow them to soften at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.

If this recipe takes your fancy you should definitely pop over to Udo’s Choice website and check they extended selection of nutritional healthy recipes.

These Vegan Coconut and Almond Truffles are the perfect way to indulge in some festive cheer without overloading on sugar. Quick and easy to prepare they will provide you with a sweet fix with the addition of a nutritional kick.

MyPure Choice – Alva Caffeine Shampoo and Conditioner

If you remember my Christmas Wish List, I was after some new hair care products… I picked caffeine shampoo and conditioner for thinning hair from Alva to satisfy my need for something new.

Alva Naturkosmetik is a range of certified organic skin care products made in Osnabrück, Germany. Alva was established in 1988 and is now one of Europe’s leading natural skin care brands. The Alva range is split into several categories offering skin care items such as deodorant, shower gel, body lotion, hair care products as well as make up and a whole range of anti-ageing skin care, products for sensitive skin and acne prone skin. Their range is extensive and I am sure everyone would be able to pick something to suit their needs.

MyPure Choice – Alva Caffeine Shampoo and Conditioner for Thinning Hair

As an introduction to the brand I picked the Alva Caffeine Shampoo and Conditioner for Thinning Hair. Both these products are formulated with organic caffeine to stimulate circulation to the scalp, helping to strengthen both the roots and the hair follicles. Both, shampoo and conditioner are:

  • Natural product
  • Certified organic product
  • Not tested on animals
  • Suitable for vegetarian
  • Suitable for vegans
  • Paraben Free

Now let’s take a closer look at them.

MyPure Choice – Alva Caffeine Shampoo for Thinning Hair

Alva Caffeine Shampoo for Thinning Hair with Organic Caffeine

Ingredients: aloe vera, aqua, sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate, cocamidopropyl betaine (plant derived surfactants), citrus aurantium dulcis (orange fruit) water, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (plant derived emulsifier), caffeine, fragrance (natural), sodium hydroxide (pH regulator), citric acid, sodium phytate (antioxidants), limonene, linalool

Price: £15.00; currently on special at £13.50

Packaging: 250ml plastic bottle shaped container with top opening. The open-close mechanism is very secure and it doesn’t open as easy as one might want. I personally like it as it means that someone must really want to open it in order to get to the contents, but I can imagine this being a problem for elderly people especially those with arthritis. The bottle contains all relevant information including product description, direction for use, ingredients, manufacturer, measurements and best before date.

In use: I must admit it is totally different to all my previous shampoos. Alva Caffeine Shampoo comes in the form of a see-through watery like liquid. It is very runny and its texture is more like water than a gel, which I would expect from the shampoo. On the first wash it does lather, on the second wash it lathers slightly. Intellectually I know that less lathering means less chemicals in the product, so I am totally fine with this lack of “foam”. The shampoo must be left for 2 minutes before rinsing, which is not a problem but it helps to read the instructions 😉

Final thoughts: Water like texture takes a little time to get used to. I like the gentle orange fragrance, which doesn’t stay on your hair for long but does make the whole bathroom smell lovely when the shampoo is in use. The two minute leave in time possibly makes it unsuitable for that quick morning shower routine. It is however perfect for an evening bath time routine, when you really want to pamper yourself.

MyPure Choice – Alva Caffeine Conditioner for Thinning Hair

Alva Caffeine Conditioner for Thinning Hair with Organic Caffeine

Ingredients: aloe vera, aqua, citrus medica limonum (lemon fruit) water, jojoba oil, cetearyl alcohol (stabilizer), fragrance (natural), glyceryl stearate citrate (plant derived emulsifier, caffeine, galactoarabinan (larch extract), xanthan gum, pca glyceryl oleate (plant derived conditioning agent), citric cid, limonene, linalool

Price: £14.35; currently on special at £12.92

Packaging: 250ml plastic bottle shaped container with bottom opening. It is the same style of bottle that the shampoo is sold in but this time it stands upside down. This is actually very clever as the conditioner has a much thicker texture and the upright position helps with getting the contents near the exit thus helping with the dispensing of it. The bottle has the same secure open-close mechanism and it contains all the relevant information including product description, direction for use, ingredients, manufacturer, measurements and best before date.

In use: Again, something different to what I was expecting. The conditioner comes in the form of a pure while gel (it really reminds me of an old style toothpaste) but with one key difference – it is extremely light. It is a pure pleasure to use. I am not really sure how to describe it… maybe Jojoba Oil or Aloe Vera gives it this “magic” texture… whatever it is, I really like it.

Final thoughts: I am unable to fault it in any way. It spreads with ease, it smells lovely and it leaves my hair well nourished and smooth (which isn’t the case with every conditioner). Again it has to stay on your hair for 2 minutes but I would expect that from a “healing” conditioner.

#MyPure Choice – Alva Caffeine Shampoo and Conditioner for Thinning Hair

So would I buy it again?

Yes. I would definitely buy both shampoo and conditioner. As a team this products work really well. I remember feeling the difference after just one use. My hair felt somehow stronger and they had much more life in them. After weeks of using it (which actually amounts to 6 uses, as with my dry hair I do not have a need for daily wash) I can see less shedding for sure. My brush doesn’t pick up so many “loose” hairs and my pillow is no longer covered with them in the morning.

Would I change anything?

If I could, I would make both products smell the same. I know that this might not be an option as they aren’t made from the same ingredients but I like harmony and different fragrant are not ideal for my nose.

Would I recommend it?

Yes. If you experiencing increased hair loss due to thinning hair this duo might be perfect for you. Their price isn’t outrageous and in my humble opinion they really work well, so it is worth paying.

Have you ever used any Alva products?

Do you have any experience with hair care products designed to strengthen your hair?

I would love to hear about any other recommendations you might have.

* Products featured in this post were provided for free by MyPure for review purpose.

MyPure Choice – A’kin Body Wash

MyPure Choice – A’kin Body Wash

For the last month I have been indulging myself during bath and shower time with some lovely A’kin body wash.

I picked two totally different scents – orange blossom and sandalwood – to give myself either a fresh start to the day or a calming bedtime chill-out.

If you have never heard about A’kin this is what the MyPure website states about them:

A’kin is made from the finest natural ingredients, chosen for their purity and skin friendly compatibility. A’kin does not contain: sulfates, ethoxylates, parabens, propylene glycol, petrochemical cleansers, silicones, phthalates, mineral oils, DEA and artificial colours.

A’kin Body WashA’kin body wash is:

  • Cruelty free
  • Natural – they use certified organic ingredients where possible
  • Suitable for vegans – certified by the Australian Vegan Society
  • Suitable for vegetarians – they have been formulated without any animal ingredients
  • Halal Certified

A’kin body wash comes in a 500ml bottle with a pump, which makes it the ideal packaging in my eyes. They are prices at £14 (currently on special offer at £12.60), which makes them a bit on the high side – price wise – but like with everything else, good quality products always cost more. However they do go a long way as you only need a little bit to actually wash yourself.

A’kin Orange Blossom Body WashMyPure Choice - A’kin Body Wash

I found it to be a perfect body wash to start my day with. It delivers a fresh fragrant aroma bursting with energy. It leaves my skin nicely moisturised and I feel ready to face the day ahead.

A’kin Orange Blossom Body Wash comes in the form of a see-through gel like texture. It is easy to use and it spreads very well. It doesn’t foam a great deal but for me this isn’t a problem. It leaves a gentle fragrant smell on the skin after a good rinse. But don’t you worry, it doesn’t last long, so it will not interfere with any perfumes you might want to use.

A’kin Sandalwood Body WashMyPure Choice -- A’kin Body Wash

If you love the scent of sandalwood this one is truly for you. The scent is amazing – very woody and calming with those lovely hints of something oriental. It is an ideal body wash before bedtime as it’s really puts you into a calm, relaxed dream like state.

Same as with the Orange Blossom, the Sandalwood body wash comes in a see-through gel like texture. Again, you will not experience a great deal of foaming from it but it will leave a nice very gentle scent on your skin.

In general I am very pleased with my choice. I think A’kin offers some fantastic products which are good for your skin and a pure pleasure to use.

Did you ever use any of A’kin products?

* Products featured in this post were provided for free by MyPure for review purpose.

Review – Cocofina – The real taste of coconuts

I don’t know about you, but I just love coconut… coconut water, coconut milk, dried coconut… anything coconut related is on my favourite foods list. This is one of my happy foods, there is something about it that just makes me want to have more and more and I never get bored of it. Pair my coconut obsession with a lovely offer of reviewing some of Cocofina products (all coconut based) and you have one happy me!

I’ve never tried Cocofina before so I wasn’t picky with my selection of products. I asked their PR to make the choice for me, simply because I just wouldn’t be able to decide what I want; I would want it all.

Cocofina

This is what arrived in the post – a great selection of products for a Cocofina noob.

Cocofina – The real taste of coconuts - bars

After the initial pictures were taken the first thing eaten were the bars. Yummy! There is a choice of three flavours:

  • Organic Coconut & Date Bar
  • Organic Coconut & Cocoa Bar
  • Macaroon Bar

Both date and cocoa bars are certified organic. They are 100% vegan and have no GMOs. The ingredients list is clear and easy to read, there are no chemical wording or symbols we might not understand. Let’s take a look at the date bar for example…

Cocofina – The real taste of coconuts - date bar

Ingredients of Cocofina Organic Coconut & Date Bar: Raisins (99% raisins, 1% sunflower oil) (39%), coconut (28%), dates (28%), oats (5%), water. That’s all. And not to forget all these ingredients are 100% organic certified.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

My macaroon bar came in just a silver wrapping, so I actually have no idea what’s inside of it, but trust me, whatever it is, it taste divine.

After I munched on some bars (I didn’t eat them all at once and all by myself… I was a good girl and shared the love), I really needed a drink so it was very handy I had some coconut water around 🙂

Cocofina – The real taste of coconuts

The flavoured coconut water comes in three flavour combination:

  • Coconut Water Mango & Guava
  • Coconut Water Apple & Blueberry
  • Coconut Water Tea and Passion Fruit

The last one was my favourite, but this said they all tasted really nice. You know sometimes when you have a flavoured drink you get a weird aftertaste or the flavours feel just a bit off, fake like… this isn’t happening here. All the drinks taste genuine and simply nice. You get a base line of coconut and all the other flavours on top. They are quite subtle and for sure not overpowering. The same applies with the bars. All the drinks are 100% vegan and with no GMOs addition. Despite me loving all the drinks I was a little bit disappointed to see that they are made from concentrate and have natural flavouring and sweetener added to them.

Cocofina – The real taste of coconuts - coconut water

So I checked the coconut water packaging. Woot! 100% coconut water, nothing else. How great is that? The small note on the side of the box made me smile: “Cocofina coconut water may vary in taste, colour and sweetness depending on the season”. At least you know that this is a natural product and not modified to fit the “standard”.

If you are like me are a coconut fan you should really try Cocofina products, especially the water. It really tastes like the real deal.

Cocofina products

Do you love coconut and coconut based products?

MyPure Choice – Madara Purifying Foam and Cleansing Milk

As most of you know I have dry, sensitive skin, which means that I can’t just put anything on my face… ok, I guess technically I could but it wouldn’t do me any good, that’s for sure.

MyPure

MyPure is an online store selling purely natural and organic skin care. Perfect for me! I was over the moon when I received an offer to work with them. Every month I get a budget of £30 to spend on my chosen product / products.

Madara from MyPureIt took me a while to select my first order as there are so many lovely brands and products I want to try. I started my selection from choosing the brand.

I picked Madara.

Their cosmetics are entirely natural and ecologically sound. As for the choice of the product, I went for a make-up remover, two of them exactly:

  • Madara Purifying Foam
  • Madara Cleansing Milk

Both of these products are natural, certified organic products, not tested on animals and suitable for vegetarians as well as vegans.

Madara Purifying Foam
Madara Purifying Foam

Madara Purifying Foam according to the website description: Rich and soft foam with Northern Yarrow extract deeply and gently purifies the skin. Removes make-up. Regulates oily zones while soothing dry areas. Skin feels refreshed and soft. Suitable for use around the eyes.

Ingredients: Aqua Sodium Cocamphoacetate Rosa Damascena (Rosa) Flower Water, Alcohol Glycerin, Lactic Acid Surcose Cocoate Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Camomile) Flower Extract, Aroma

Packaging: 150ml bottle fitted with pump and a cap. Bottle has all the relevant information present: ingredients list, description and directions for use, manufacturer details and use by date (which is not coded).

Madara Purifying Foam in action
Madara Purifying Foam in action

Texture: it is foam, not sure what else I can tell you. It is quite “loose” when touched, it disappears / absorbs very quickly. It requires only gentle spreading to get it to work; this must be the reason why it is suitable for delicate eye areas.

Fragrant: there is something there, so it is not fragrant free but it is very, very gentle. Whatever it is, it is pleasant and hardly noticeable (at first I actually thought that it was totally fragrant free, but it is not)

Price: £15

After use thoughts: As a make-up remover it works perfectly and it is very gentle. Skin is left clean and feeling fresh but it is lacking a good moisturising effect for me.

Madara Cleansing Milk
Madara Cleansing Milk

Madara Cleansing Milk according to the website description: Creamy and soothing milk with Northern Oat and Linden Flower cleanses gently and effectively. Removes makeup. Helps maintain the skin’s moisture barrier. Skin feels soft, supple and comfortably clean, never dry. Suitable for use around the eyes. Great for dry skin types.

Ingredients: Aqua Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Alcohol Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate Tilia Cordata (Linden) Flower Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Plantago Major (Plantain) Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Tocopherol Ascorbyl Palmitate Sodium Phytate Potassium Hydroxide Aroma, Citronellol, Geraniol

Packaging: 200ml bottle fitted with pump. Bottle has all the relevant information present: ingredients list, description and directions for use, manufacturer details and use by date (which is not coded).

Madara Cleansing Milk in action
Madara Cleansing Milk in action

Texture: milky and creamy with texture similar to most face moisturisers; very easy to apply and spread around.

Fragrant: gentle and very pleasant. It is based on linden flower so maybe this is it. The fragrant doesn’t stay with you for long, it is gone within few minutes.

Price: £15

After use thoughts: leaves your skin smooth and soft and well moisturised, which was a very nice surprise due to the inclusion of content number three, which is alcohol. It removes make-up with such ease, even the waterproof stuff. Skin is left soft and moist with a visible healthy glow.

My Madara order from MyPure

Both these product perform just as stated and do their job well. Madara Purifying Foam for me works best as a cleanser plus it is perfect as an eye make-up remover due to its texture. There is very little “scrubbing” motion needed, it penetrates your skin under just a gentle touch.

Madara Cleansing Milk gives you a bit extra, it leaves your skin moist and for someone with a balanced skin type, I would even suggest it could work as a moisturiser, so you could treat it as 2 in 1 product 🙂

When picking these products I was thinking that they will do the same job, but actually they do vary in their main tasks a little. After my first go I was thinking that I would not find a use for the purifying foam due to my overwhelming preference for the cleansing milk, but as the days were passing by I found myself reaching for it more and more often in order to do just the eye areas. It really makes a difference. There is no irritation, no redness; it is perfect for this task.

I am very pleased with my first MyPure choices. I would recommend both products I chose and I would be happy to purchase them again.

Did you have any experience with MyPure or Madara?

Family Fever

*Products featured in this post were provided for free by MyPure for review purpose.