Afrofit African Virgin Coconut Oil – A Review

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Hello My Cakers Bakers and Beauties!

This is a long overdue review, I was given a jar of Afrofit virgin coconut oil to review a good while ago …but then life happened. I won’t go into all the reasons and excuses it has taken me so long to post my review but I did use the coconut oil when it was first given to me, in fact I finished the whole jar which is why I can give an honest and full review of the product now. Before I get into the review properly I owe Damola Ojo the general manager of Afrofit a huge apology.

Mr Ojo – I’m truly and sincerely sorry, for not posting my review sooner.

So as a natural hair/baking blogger I was already using coconut oil in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. I’ll try not to bore you by writing about all of the uses for coconut oil, but I will share a few of my favourite ways to use coconut oil at the end of my review.

If you are in the UK like me, one of the best reasons for you to buy Afrofit V.C.O is because it is sold and distributed by a Black owned U.K business, no crazy shipping prices or waiting time. Afrofit support local economy in West Africa by sourcing their coconut oil from small-scale farmers in Ghana who use traditional methods to process the coconut oil, they also pay the farmers a fair price for their hard work.

Afrofit V.C.O has a nice fresh coconutty scent and does not have the tendency to smell like baby sweat (shout out to Evelyn from the internets!) like some other brands do, the consistency is solid (because U.K is cold) but it melts upon contact with my hands. This coconut oil is not very grainy which can be annoying sometimes when I’m using it for my hair.

As well as applying the oil topically, I also use it for oil pulling (explanation below), I drop a tablespoon into my green smoothies for an energy and nutrient boost and of course I use it for cooking.

Afrofit V.C.O is a good alternative to butter in vegan cakes –  I don’t really use margarine unless it’s specially requested because margarine is a highly processed synthetic food and full of chemicals.

Afrofit V.C.O does taste of coconut but the flavour is not overpowering, for example in baked goods you can’t really discern a coconut flavour but if you use it to make scrambled eggs you can taste the coconut. It depends on what you are cooking with it or combining it with because shallow fried plantain or fish does not taste of coconut but I can taste it in a smoothie that does not have a strong tasting fruit/vegetable in it. I like the taste of coconut so for me I don’t mind that I can taste it sometimes, plus Afrofit coconut oil is the best tasting coconut oil i’ve ever used.

Obviously Afrofit V.C.O is suitable for vegans,vegetarians, people with a gluten intolerance and most people with treenut allergies because coconut is a fruit and even then the oil contains hardly any protein.

Lastly the Afrofit team are basically hotties, I’m not ashamed to admit that they are a bunch of beautiful black men with nice bodies, so ladies if you hear that Afrofit are going to be at an event near you, I highly suggest you book your ticket quickly!!! Not to leave the Afrofit ladies out of the mix because they are reppin fitness,faces and curves in the workout videos and in the promotional material.

As promised here a just a few of my favourite uses for Afrofit Virgin  coconut oil:

  • As a pre-poo (natural, transitioning or relaxed) to help with detangling and to help minimise hygral fatigue – hair damage resulting from the constant swelling and contracting of the hair during the uptake and loss of water. It’s important to do your pre-poo overnight if you can because although coconut oil is one of the very few oils that can penetrate into the hair strand it takes several hours for this happen.
  •  To remove make up.
  •  Added to shea butter to make a softer, multi purpose shea butter whip.
  • Oil pulling – you use the oil like mouthwash to help with oral health and hygiene.
  • Massage oil 😉
  • Used like body lotion on damp skin after a shower to lock in moisture and give my skin a sexy glow.
  • Mixed with demerara sugar for a lip/body scrub.

Afrofit do ship internationally so head over for their website to order and for more information.

Thanks for reading

Luv

Sian

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Crystallised Ginger -Easy Recipe no Thermometer needed.

Hello my Cakers Bakers and Beauties.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, (if you celebrated it in any way) and Heri Za Kwanzaa!

Today’s Principle is : Kujichagalia (Self-Determination) -To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

Now on to the recipe!

I made this Crystallised Ginger as a present for my Grandad, he really enjoys Crystallised Ginger and every year some one in the family buys some for him, but this year I decided to make it myself!

This recipe is so easy, you don’t even need a set of scales or a sugar thermometer. I know some people think that making sweets is hard or complicated and some recipes are, but trust me this one is very simple and worth the time and effort, plus Ginger is really good for you, even though it’s going to be covered in sugar you still get the healthy benefits. Ginger is known as a natural treatment/cure for nausea, loss of appetite, flatulence, motion sickness and stomach upset. Personally I have used it to help with my frequent chest infections, coughs and colds. Ginger has also been known to help ease the symptoms of arthritis, menstrual cramps and muscle pain.

Disclaimer: I am not a Healer, a Doctor, a Herbalist or anything like that, I’m not telling you to eat Ginger instead of going to your GP or Physician, I’m just letting you know that it has helped me and people around me with the above issues.

Ginger is Yummy and that is why you should try this recipe.

All you need is:

Fresh Ginger

Chopping Board

Sharp Knife

Spoon

Sugar (or crystallised sugar substitute such as Xylitol)

Large Saucepan

Water

Measuring Jug

Wire Rack

Large plate or bowl

1. Buy fresh ginger. The roots should be firm. I froze my ginger first, it makes it easier to peel and cut up but you don’t have to freeze yours, you can do it from room temperature or chilled, up to you.

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2. Peel the ginger. It’s easier if you use the side of a spoon to scrape the peel away and you don’t waste any ginger going around the knobbly bits.

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3. Chop the ginger–in chunks or slices, it’s totally up to you. I cut mine into different sized chunks that way the heat would be different in each piece.

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4. Put the ginger in a saucepan. Use the measuring jug to measure the amount of water you put in. Put in enough water to cover the ginger.

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5. Put an equal amount of sugar in the pan, literally add the sugar to the same level the water was in the measuring jug – that’s why you needed to measure the water you added.

6. Boil for 45 minutes or so. The ginger will shrink at bit and deepen in colour as it cooks, mine deepened a lot as I used half Muscavado Sugar and half Golden Caster Sugar. Keep an eye on your Gingery goodness as it can boil over if left alone, also it will be very very hot once the sugar/water starts boiling.

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7. Drain the syrup off the ginger. Save the syrup! It’s very hot, but once it’s cooled down you can use it for so many things, alcoholic or non alcoholic ginger beer, pancakes, fruit salads, cocktails, ginger tea, cakes, etc.

8. Lay the hot ginger pieces onto a wire rack and let it dry for several hours or overnight. Make sure the pieces aren’t touching as they dry.

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9. Once your ginger is dry (it will not be bone dry it will still be slightly sticky) put some more sugar in a bowl or on a plate and toss the ginger pieces in the sugar. Mine was still too wet the first time round so I had to lay them out to dry again.)

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Once they are dry you can eat them or store them in an air tight container.

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Luv

Sian

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Vegan & Nut Free Little Boy Blue Cupcakes.

Hello Cakers!

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I haven’t forgotten about you amongst all this hair and body talk, one of my recent projects was Vegan Cupcakes for a little boy with food allergies, well they were Vegan plus because this little boy also has a nut allergy.

The Mother of this little boy Chelena, asked me to make some cupcakes for her son because he often misses out on sweet treats because of his allergies. I had to make sure that as well as being egg, nut and dairy free the cupcakes had blue frosting, the flavour was up to me. I searched online for Vegan Cupcake recipes but most of them had ground almonds or too many synthetic ingredients. As you know I try to keep my creations as natural as possible, I’m not under any illusion that cake is healthy but if you are going to indulge your sweet tooth you might as well use the best ingredients you can afford and little to no chemicals.

The other day I was watching a documentary and Tesco (a major UK Supermarket) have created a “chocolate cake” that has a shelf life of 26 days! How Disgusting!

Some of the issues I faced while making these cupcakes were: rise, density and flavour. Luckily the cakes didn’t have to be gluten free so I was left with Flour and Sugar as my two “normal” ingredients .

You might not know how much flavour is imparted into most cakes from eggs and butter, seriously it’s a lot, plus they also help create a light and fluffy texture. My first recipe attempt was awful it was heavy and doughy with little to no flavour.

To help combat the heaviness I substituted one third of my flour with cornflour it’s an old trick for when I can’t use ground almonds. I also added 4 times as much baking powder as I normally would to help with rise and fluffiness in the finished cake which is created by tiny air bubbles in the cake batter. Rather than use margarine, which I truly hate, I used Organic vegetable oil as my “fat” element in my cake, it is possible to make a cake without fat but it helps with moisture and trust me these cakes needed all the help they could get! To add and intensify flavour I used 2 whole Vanilla beans in my cake batter and switched out some of the (Unrefined Caster) Sugar for Light Muscavado Sugar, this amount of Vanilla may sound excessive but trust me it was just right for this mix as before I put the vanilla in, it just tasted sweet but not of anything in particular. I also used unsweetened soya milk in my cake batter.

The icing was also tricky but I used half a tablespoon of Vitalite (a Vegan margarine)  and half a tablespoon of Trex, as my butter substitute then I creamed the two together and added a ton of icing sugar. I used soya milk to make the icing more creamy and used Maple syrup and half a Vanilla bean for flavour. I added natural blue food colouring in the cake batter and icing since that is what the little boy – Zach had asked for.

It took a long time to make a recipe that I was happy with and thanks to my lovely husband for tasting and eating all of the not so great recipe tests. If you would like this recipe then let me know in the comments and I’d be happy to share it with you.

It was all worth it in the end as you can see from the Videos Chelena sent me, the videos are shared with permission.

 

Who is Aunty Sian? That’s ME!!!!

Thanks for Reading and Watching

Luv

Sian

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The Natural Lounge Swap Meet 6th July 2013

Hello My Cakers, Bakers and Beauties!

Sorry that this post is so late, as I explained a couple of posts ago I was having terrible “technical difficulties” earlier on this summer so I was unable to blog for a while. I went to quite a few events that I intended to write about and now my technology is sort-of behaving I will be posting about events that have happened a little while ago.

The Natural Lounge Swap meet was organised by Angel from The Natural Lounge, it was originally supposed to happen in April but some of the suppliers Angel was working with let her down so it it was postponed until July, in April Angel emailed everyone who had bought tickets (£7) and let them know that they could keep their tickets until July or get a refund. I’m so glad I decided to keep my ticket!

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6th July 2013 was a gorgeous day and I attended the event with my beautiful friend Georgia (natural newbie.)

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Georgia

Even though it took us a little while to find the venue ( Once we found it, I remembered it used to be called “Mustard Bar” back in the day when I used to go raving…) we eventually made it in and were greeted by Angel personally.  I know that it seems odd to mention that but I have been to enough events where the organisers have considered themselves too special and famous to greet their own guests, I’m delighted to say that Angel is not like that at all. Angel is really down to earth and humble.  6th July was during the “heatwave” but the bar had three sets of French style windows which were open the whole day the giving us a delicious  breeze on such a hot day.

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The Swapping Table

Apart from Angel and the regular folks like me , the event was attended by UK Product Company Afrocenchix, Author Kandace Chimbiri, Nutritionist Shaherah Jordon and nail technicians from bjouxbeauty.

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The Afrocenchix Chicks!

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Kandace Chimbiri

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Shaherah Jordan

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Bjoux Beauty Nail Technicians

The whole idea of the swap meet was for us to bring brand new or more than half- full hair products, and accessories that for whatever reason we don’t want any more and swap them for other items. For every item you brought that was suitable for swapping you received a “stamp”, you would then browse the other items, select what you want and take the stamp to the front desk to get ticked off, you could bring/swap a maximum of ten items.

I brought more then 10 items but I bundled some of the smaller accessories together in gift bags. I thought I was only going to off load items but I ended up taking quite a few items home too!

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My Haul!

Before the actual swapping began we had a welcome speech from Angel a quiz about natural hair and talks from Afrocenchix, Kandace Chimbiri and Shaherha Jordan, the atmosphere was so relaxed and I really enjoyed myself at this event.

I have already grown bored of “natural hair” events, as this year I have seen that many of them repeat the same formula as each other and I don’t benefit from attending, the same “well known” faces always pop up and pose for photos while pouting and fluffing their natural hair/wig and I personally don’t learn anything new except maybe who is a bit stuck up in real life…

When I first went natural I spent days and weeks researching how to look  look after and maintain my hair and really went deep into the science and biology of hair, even now I’m still studying and learning so for that reason I don’t really gain any useful knowledge at these events, however for newbies and people not inclined to study about hair themselves you can learn something helpful and new  at these natural hair events and it can be nice to get out and socialise with like minded individuals.

But I’ve found that a lot of these events are mainly money making schemes with a little bit of light hair info sprinkled in for good measure and as much as I support my “Sisters” entrepreneurial efforts  I’m not paying to attend any more natural hair events unless I know the organiser/s personally or I really believe that the event will benefit me or a worthy cause in some way and not just waste my time, after all I can donate money to practically any cause without leaving the confines of my cosy apartment…

Rant over, here are some more photos of the day:

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Me on the left and Angel on the right.

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A selection of the swap items

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Some of Shaherah’s healthy vegan cookies

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Shaherah’s healthy “chocolate truffles”

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The winner of the Bjoux Beauty raffle prize

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Look at that gorgeous colour!

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I brought this MASSIVE tub of Eco Styler Gel to the Swap and Ms Crystal Afro nabbed it first!

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Take Care

Luv

S

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