Chia Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse Recipe:

Chocolate Mousse is one of our favorite desserts, with its creamy decadence proving itself a consistent winner at dinner parties.

The Chia Chocolate Mousse is one of our favorite recipes from Rawlicious's "The Magic of Super Foods" recipe book. It's both delicious and highly nutritious! Consisting of Cacao, Chia Seeds, various berries and nuts, this mousse will both entice and satisfy your taste buds. It is a treat everyone will love!

 Michigan Behn

You Will Need:

2 Cups Water

1 Cup of Raw Cacao Powder

¾ Cup of berries, such as raspberries or strawberries

½ Cup of Cashews, soaked

½ Cup of Chia Seeds, ground

¼ Cup of Cacao Butter, melted

¼ Cup of Honey

½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Making this delicious dessert could not be easier! Simply grind the Chia Seeds into a fine powder, and then, in a power blender, whizz all the ingredients together, until a smooth creamy mousse is formed. Place in a dish of your choice, and leave to set in the fridge.

 

 Michigan Behn

 

 

 

                                   

Mango Granadilla Popsicles

On those scorching hot summer days, with the kids playing happily in the pool, there is nothing better than some ice-cold popsicles to help combat the heat and add to the fun.  Harmonie’s wonderful mango and granadilla popsicles are not only a delicious alternative to store bought ice-lollies,  they are also an excellent source of essential vitamins, fibre, and antioxidants.

You will need:

2 Ripe Mangos (High in Vitamin C and antioxidants)

2 Large Granadillas (Full of Fiber, Vitamin C and antioxidants)

3 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup

1 Can of Coconut Cream

To make, simply blend your mango, maple syrup and coconut cream. Once you have a smooth pulp, add in your granadillas. Pour your popsicle mixture into silicone popsicle containers (we bought our's at our local Checkers and just love their vibrant colours).  Place in the freezer for about three hours.

Serve around the pool on a beautiful day, and enjoy the inevitable smiles from this kids’ favourite!

 Michigan Behn

The Wonders Of Rebounding!

Put simply, rebounding is bouncing up and down on a small trampoline. This may seem like a simple exercise, however, we soon discovered that the health and wellness benefits of this seemingly child-like activity, were extensive! It has been described as “The Miracle” or even “Perfect” exercise, with NASA scientists having dubbed it as “the most efficient and effective exercise yet devised by man”.

 

Rebounding is suitable for all ages and abilities, as it is safe and places no impact or strain on the joints of the body. Stabilizing bars can be fitted to the rebounder for those who are not accustomed to exercise, feel unsteady, are elderly, or disabled.

 

Rebounding impacts the entire body on a cellular level, seeing that the body’s cells are well worked, leaving you with the feeling of having just partaken in a strengthening and aerobics session, in just 30-40 minutes! It has been proven that cells in the body are strengthened when there is a stronger gravitational pull placed on them. Movement, activity or exercise increases the gravitational pull on cells, meaning the motion of bouncing up and down on the rebounder creates an efficient use of gravity and levity. When bouncing up, you halve your weight and create levity, and when you land, your weight doubles creating a gravitational pull on the cell membranes, strengthening your cells, while the mat on the rebounder absorbs the force of your landing ensuring no unnecessary strain on your joints.

 

Rebounding amplifies our body’s ability to cleanse, detoxify and boosts overall immunity. Unlike the blood circulatory system, which uses the heart as a regulating system to assist the flow of blood to even the tiniest capillary, the lymphatic circulatory system has no such thing to aid the flow of lymph around the body. Massage is one way to increase lymph flow, exercise is another. Rebounding has been proven to increase lymph flow most effectively, likening it to having a team of masseurs available to do lymph drainage massages whenever you please. When lymph fluid is able to flow freely, it allows the body to rid itself of toxic waste with great efficacy.

 

Rebounding is growing in popularity around the world as it is an excellent form of exercise, which now, many athletes are incorporating into their rigorous training regimes to further improve their performance. NASA astronauts also use rebounding to prepare for space missions, and also use it to recover from spaces zero gravity exposure. Remember, the less gravitational pull, the weaker your cells become.

 

Entire books have been written on the wonders of rebounding, but we think that the best way for you to understand why this simple activity has been described as the “Miracle” exercise is to give one of our new rebounding classes a try!

 

We will be starting with three classes a week on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7:45am, with a new comer 14 day special on offer! Please contact us for prices and package options, including our corporate rebounding classes offer, where we travel to your corporate and undertake the classes.

 

Decide to include more exercise in your daily schedule this year and enjoy the sense of wellness it brings. Let’s get rebounding! 

Rawlicious, Superfood Chocolate Chip Cookies

During these festive holidays we have a number of family gatherings planned. We have family traveling from all over the place to celebrate with us - such exciting and treasured times!

During this celebratory and busy time, we're always in search of quick, easy, delicious and nutritious recipes to serve up to our guests.

These chocolate chip cookies from “Rawlicious” are the perfect treat to wow your guests this Christmas. They're quick and easy to whip up and your children will have fun helping you make them. That's if they make it onto the baking tray - they are quite delectable!

Why not give these super healthy and super yummy, “Rawlicious Superfood chocolate chip cookies” a try.

Rawlicious, Superfood Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Ingredients:

1.     1 ½ cups raw cashews
2.     1 cup vanilla supershake
3.     1/3 cup raw honey
4.     ¼ cup water
5.     ¼ cup cacao nibs

Method:
-       Blend the cashews in a food processor until they resemble fine bread crumbs
-       Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until well mixed
-       Roll into balls and flatten them
-       Dehydrate until desired crispiness is achieved!

Relax and Enjoy!

raw-vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies-fg-600x600.jpg

Christmas Cake With a Difference

If you are anything like us, you absolutely love this time of the year and all the many wonderful festive traditions. There is nothing like a traditional Christmas fruit cake to bring the family together over the holidays.

Try this wonderful raw and vegan Christmas cake recipe we found. It is full of all sorts of delicious dried fruits, and nuts and seeds for added nutrients. This is one the whole family will love.

Wet ingredients:
50g raw cacao nibs
50g coconut flakes
100g dried figs
50g dried cherries
50g raisins
50g goji berries
50ml brandy (optional)
2 oranges juice & zest
2 lemons zest only

Binding ingredients:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
8 Tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1 cup water (use orange juice for added flavor)

Dry ingredients:
350g activated nut mix
150g pumpkin seeds

Garnish:
10g goji berries
10g coconut flakes
10g raw cacao nibs

Method:
-       Place dry and wet ingredients into food processor
-     Combine the binding ingredients in a separate bowl first and then add to the food processor
-     Combine everything by pulsing so that the mixture still has some texture
-     Pour mixture into a suitable container
-     Dehydrate on a low setting for 4 to 24 hours depending on how moist you would like your              cake

Merry Christmas! We hope you enjoy this delicious Christmas Cake as much as we do.

Best wishes,
Tricia

Image via: roarfood.co.nz

Image via: roarfood.co.nz

Our Ultimate Chocolate Brownies

Here in Kwa- Zulu Natal the festive season is all about fun, sun and spending quality “downtime” with the family. 

With this in mind, we have put together some wonderful Christmas treats for you to enjoy making at home.  I love to spend time in the kitchen with my children and grandchildren.  It is a time of learning and laughter.  Time in the kitchen offers the true relaxation we so desperately need to include into our busy schedules.

These raw food treats are nourishing for your body and totally free of all the preservatives, additives and sugar.  The process we go through in making them also ensures that none of the valuable nutrients are destroyed whilst you make them.

Our first recipe is our ultimate chocolate brownies made with cacao.  Did you know cacao is an incredible source of magnesium and iron, and is full of antioxidants! It can reduce the risk of heart disease, shed fat, boost immunity and is a great source of energy.

Please do let us know if you enjoy them as much as we do?  We would love to hear from you.

Best wishes,
Tricia 

The ultimate, healthy and delicious Chocolate Brownies:

Ingredients:
1.    2 cups brazil nuts
2.    2 cups cacao powder
3.    1 cup coconut flakes
4.    1 cup raw honey
5.    ¾ cup water
6.    1 tablespoon vanilla powder
7.    ¼ teaspoon salt

Method:
-   Blend coconut flakes into a fine flour
-  Blend nuts and water until smooth
-  Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend
-   Rub coconut oil on to solid sheets to prevent mixture from sticking
-  Pour mixture into solid sheets and spread it out to about 150mm thick
-  Dry for about 6 hours and then cut into squares
-  Dry for a further 18 hours
-  Remove from solid sheets and dry on mesh sheets for another 24 hours

Ravishing Radishes

Did you know that Peter Rabbit from Beatrix Potter’s stories is depicted eating long scarlet radishes, not carrots, in Mr McGregor’s garden?

Radishes typically have a sharp, peppery flavor.  They’re rather a forgotten vegetable which have a host of health benefits and are well worth adding into your diet. They are rich in folate, fibre, Vitamin B2, potassium, copper, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese and calcium – making them one of the most nutritious vegetables around! Their pungent flavor and natural spice can help eliminate excess mucus in the body and can be especially helpful when fighting a cold. Radishes can help clear the sinuses and soothe sore throats too. Radishes are a powerful detoxifier that helps aid in digestion and can assist in the relief of bloating and indigestion.

Radish Harvest

Radishes are Brassicas (or cruciferous veg like broccoli, kale and cabbage).  They were grown in Europe in Pre-Roman times, although they are thought to have originated from Southeast Asia.

There are numerous varieties that differ in size, shape, flavor and colour.  Growing your own radishes is simple and you’ll reap plenty of rewards. The entire plant can be used – so nothing goes to waste! The leaves and stems can be incorporated into juices and the roots into salads. Radishes germinate quickly and grow rapidly – some varieties are ready for harvesting in about 3 weeks. They serve as wonderful companion plants as their pungent odor deters pests and diseases.

Radishes are usually a cool season crop although they can tolerate a fair amount of heat. With a high water content and lots of vitamin C, as well as phosphorus and zinc, radishes can help keep your body hydrated and your skin healthy and glowing all summer long!

Radish straight from the garden.

Snap Pea Radish Salad with a Lime Dressing.

2 cups sugar snap peas trimmed and sliced diagonally

1 shucked ear of yellow sweet corn

10 to 12 round red radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced

Dressing –

3 Tablespoons Lime Juice

½ Cup Coriander

Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

Mix the salad ingredients with their beautiful reds, yellows and greens. Blend the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad to coat and give a lovely glossy shine to your dish. Allow the flavors to marry for a minimum of about 30 minutes and then tuck in!

If you’d like a more substantial meal, then add in a medium sized steamed, cooled peeled and diced orange sweet potato and then dot with some delicious roasted chili and goji berry chutney (made by Little Herb Garden).

Scrumptious and satisfying! 

Coriander dressing 

Coriander dressing 

Radish Salad 

Radish Salad 

Superfood Coffee

Calling all coffee snobs! Are you looking for a new bestie? Upgrade your daily coffee ritual to provide you with a balanced boost, improved focus and peak performance with out the usual caffeine spike jitters. When you feel like you're hitting the wall and the ideas are struggling to come to you, this amazing mix of organic ground coffee with functional and adaptogenic Superfoods will awaken your inspiration.

Highly regarded as an adaptogen and the King of the mushrooms, Chaga mushrooms naturally support your adrenal system in charge of managing the body's hormonal response to stress, enhancing its ability to cope with anxiety and fight fatigue - slowly and gently.

You'll Need:

+\- 250 ml warm water (60-70 degrees Celsius)

A coffee plunger/French press

Your favorite coffee mug

A teaspoon to stir with

2 Tablespoons Certified Organic Direct Fair Trade Coffee (preferably ground for a coffee plunger/French press)

1/4 teaspoon Wildcrafted Chaga Mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon Certified Raw Organic Cacao powder

1/8 teaspoon Certified Organic Cinnamon powder

1/8 teaspoon Certified Organic Turmeric powder       

1/8 teaspoon Certified Organic Spirilina powder

1/2 teaspoon (hard) or 1 teaspoon (melted) Organic Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

*1/8 teaspoon Certified Organic Maca Root powder

*   1/8 teaspoon Certified Organic Lucuma powder

(*Optional)

 

Brewing the Perfect Cup of Joy:

1.     Preheat your coffee plunger/French press

2.     Spoon the measured amounts of coffee powder and superfood powders into your coffee plunger/French press and mix the powders together.

3.     Add your freshly warmed water into your coffee plunger/French press

4.     Stir gently for 10 seconds

5.     Allow to brew for 5 to 10 minutes depending on your desired strength

6.     Plunge and pour into your favorite mug and add the measured amount of coconut oil (this allows for optimum absorption of the various Superfoods)

 

Cheers - to awakening your potential! One cuppa at a time.

❤️

Liesel. 

Superfood Coffee

Talking About Spring - Part 2

Talking About Spring - part 2


Spring brings with it new life and new opportunities. In our last blog post we offered a few ideas to encourage and inspire you to step out of a few comfort zones and embrace something new. In this blog we take one step further and focus on the importance of cleansing and why Spring is a good time to do this.

The definition of cleanse is: "to free or rid yourself of something unpleasant". Most of us are running at full pace on the treadmill of life and take little to no time to stop, breathe and consider our state of health. To keep up this high pace, feel energized and maximize our potential - deeply nourishing and cleansing our systems is vital.

 

TIP -  Prior to embarking on a cleansing program, we advise you to prepare your body for the cleanse. Reduce your intake of fatty foods, refined sugars, alcohol and coffee. Add in a variety of brightly colored fresh fruit, vegetables and leafy greens with the emphasis on the greens. Be sure to drink plenty of filtered or spring water, to hydrate and flush out on a cellular level; thus giving your body the opportunity to gently move into your formal cleansing program.

Ancient traditional wisdom teaches us that the most powerful times to do a cleanse is on the Spring and/or Autumn Equinoxes and Solstices. This causes our energies to move around having a positive and powerful effect on us. Be aware that the cleansing action can bring about some unpleasant symptoms of detoxification. These can vary depending on your state of wellbeing.

If you are a newbie to cleansing, we strongly encourage you to opt for a guided cleansing program. There is a wealth of information around cleansing programs. You can quickly become overwhelmed and shy away from it altogether.


Contact us to find out more about our two guided cleansing packages, which are listed on our website http://harmoniehealth.co.za/services/. We would love to work with you and guide you through an essential and most rewarding progression in your journey towards a balanced state of harmonie.

HARMONIE FINAL

Talking About Spring - Part 1

The Spirit of the Spring

With the sunbeams in her hair…

Shakes the sleeping earth…

And with the pilgrim by her side…

She murmurs in the trees…

And in the ears of all who listen…

“Now… Time to wake…

For Winter has gone”

-        Magna Carta from their album entitled Seasons

Harmonie Garden Flowers

Spring has sprung! Many thoughts and feelings have been evoked in us as we enjoy the newness this season brings. We’d like to share our thoughts and feelings about Spring to encourage and inspire both you (and us too) to step out of a few comfort zones and step in and embrace something new. 

“I think I will just keep that in case I need it later”. We are certain this statement does not just ring true for us, but for many others too. Spring is the most opportune time to take a closer inspection of your kitchen grocery cupboards/pantry and clear out less desirable foods in preparation for making better nutrient-dense choices of foods in beautiful rainbow colours to tantalize the eyes, nose and mouth. A quick tip – when deciding what to keep and what to ditch, look at the list of ingredients of the particular item. If there are a whole lot of things you can’t even read let alone pronounce, chances are your body won’t recognise them as food either. 

Allow the new season to open up opportunities to adopt better habits. There is always room to learn, grow and upgrade your state of wellbeing. How about opting for filtered water over tap water, first prize would be spring water. Drinking spring water deeply hydrates the body. Spring water perfectly hydrates every cell in the body. 

Spring into action! The sun is rising earlier, now is the best time to dust off those walking/running/cycling shoes and do some form of daily exercise outdoors. Come on! Don’t wait for someone else to invite you to join them, take the plunge and be the first to phone up a friend and ask them to join you. Exercising with others may just be what you need to encourage and inspire you to step out of an unhealthy comfort zone. 

Reaching out to old friends or new ones is a wonderful way to re-new your mind. Surround yourself with positive people who will uplift you. 

Spring brings new growth and a wonderful sense of freshness and newness. The potential energy of a coiled up spring comes to mind – once it is compressed and then released it shoots up with seemingly boundless energy. If it is well oiled, it will function optimally. If it oxidises- it becomes rusty and ceases to be able to move- so get out there and include good fatsin nourishing your body and brain; as well as incorporating stretching exercises like yoga into your daily routine. 

We love this excerpt from the Spring Song by Magna Carta, off the album Seasons:

“The sun is rising from the a cloud

Above your head

When you instead are sleeping,

All is knowing…

All is growing…

And no one knows which way their mind is blowing”

Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity the season of Spring brings, to turn over a new leaf. 

Tricia and Liesel
Harmonie Garden Flowers

That's Just How We Roll

Pineapple is one of our more popular ingredients to use when making fruit roll-ups! Besides it’s happy yellow colour that makes it visually appealing, it’s fruity tropical fragrance makes it an appealing addition to many dishes. We enjoy having fresh pineapple in the morning, dried pineapple for a mid-morning snack or as an accompaniment to a delicious smoothie. This week we have been inspired to make a pina-colada style breakfast shake to go along with these tropical treats.

When choosing a pineapple you should smell its stem. It should have a fresh tropical smell that will indicate how fresh and ripe it is. Pineapple has high quantities of vitamin B1and B6; these aid in maintaining a healthy nervous system and plays an important role in converting food into energy. They are also rich in antioxidants, manganese and copper; which protect against free radicals that attack and damage normal cells. Pineapple core also contains bromelain. This has potential anti-inflammatory qualities and digestive benefits.

We often use pineapple in Hawaiian or tropical-style salads, coleslaw and carrot salads. With Spring around the corner it’s the perfect time to start experimenting with this tropical treat.

Pinacolada Style Breakfast Shake

⅓ Cup Whole Rolled Oats

1 Cup Pineapple H2coco

¼ Cup Coconut Flakes

1 Cup Frozen Pineapple

Blend ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Serve in a chilled glass and enjoy!

Pineapple Roll-up’s

Pineapple Coconut Water - we used H2coco Pineapple flavour

Pineapple Pulp

The quantities here need to be twice as much pulp as there is liquid.

  1. Blend together and then pour it out on to a solid dehydrator tray.

  2. When the mixture is dry to the touch, score it with a knife , so that it peels away neatly.

  3. Dehydrate until the mixture is sufficiently dry and is able to be gently peeled away from the tray.

  4. Roll it up whilst it is warm.

Packed with Delicious Goodness!

This month we’ve mentioned H2coco water a lot! We’ve used their products for inspiration to mix up some of our favourite recipes. The recipe featured today is made using their unflavoured coconut water - H2coco Original. If this cold weather is inspiring you to cook up something comforting then our Thai tea is the perfect choice!

f you are looking for something to warm you up on these chilly mornings then this Thai tea is perfect! Once again we’re using coconut water, so you’re getting all the amazing nutritional benefits we mentioned above. Traditionally Thai tea is made with condensed milk, we have adapted the recipe to up the nutrient value. You can alternatively add honey or agave. Honey balances your blood sugar levels, boosts your immune system and it has anti-viral qualities.

For this recipe you will be creating a perfectly balanced spice infused almond mylk. We love using almond mylk as a replacement for dairy as it is filled with health benefits. Almond mylk is low in calories which is helpful for weight management, it contains heart healthy omega fatty acids, it contributes to muscle strength, keeps your bones strong and skin glowing and it barely impacts your blood sugar levels. The spices we have used in this recipe are combined in such a way that they are warming and comforting as well as being packed with goodness. Cinnamon helps to control your blood sugar levels, cardamon aids in maintaining regular blood pressure levels and star anise is said to be antibacterial and anti-fungal which means that it is a good remedy for coughs and sore throats. Green tea has also been included in the mix for its well known antioxidant qualities.

For the Thai Tea you will need -

2 Star Anise

1 ½ cups Hot Water

1 ½  Plain Coconut Water

1 cup Soaked Almonds

6 Cardamon Pods

2 Tablespoons Cinnamon

2 Bags of Green Tea

Tear open the green tea bags and empty the contents into the blender jug.  Add in all the ingredients and blend well until frothy. Strain the liquid through a nut milk bag into a beautiful teapot.  Squeeze the nutmilk bag gently to get as much liquid through as possible. Spread the damp almond pulp onto a solid dehydrator tray and dehydrate until dry.  Then using a dry blender jug, grind the dried pulp into flour and store it in your freezer ready to use to make spice infused almond flour cookies at a later stage.

Nothing beats drinking this version of Thai tea on a cold Winter’s evening!

A Delectable Dessert with Cocoespresso

This month we’ve been rapidly at work in the kitchen developing new recipes with a cool brand of coconut water- H2coco. One of our more popular recipes has been the “Banoffee Chia Pudding” we created using cocoespresso from H2coco. The added kick from a shot of espresso makes this an ideal option for a midmorning snack or an on-the-go breakfast.  

We’ve used chia seeds in this recipe not only because of their superfood qualities, but also because of their texture. When in liquid they absorb what’s around them, giving them a soft and tapioca like quality. Chia means ‘strength’ in Mayan, and they are an ancient mega-energy seed that have been used for thousands of years.  Chia seeds are naturally free from gluten and despite their tiny size they are among some of the most nutritious foods around. They are loaded with fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making them perfect brain food. Their spectacular nutritional profile brings them to the top of our shopping list.

How can you not add these bitsy bites to yours?

Banoffee Chia Pudding

You will need …

½ Cup Chia Seeds

1 Cup Hazelnuts, that have been soaked overnight and then drained and rinsed

½ Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Cocoespresso

1 Cup Mashed Banana - this should be about 2 medium sized bananas

1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

½ Cup Honey


Blend all the ingredients on high for about 1 minute until they have combined together well. Allow the mixture to sit for about 15 minutes in the fridge, this allows the chia seeds to soak up some of the liquid and swell. We suggest sprinkling flaked coconut or crushed hazelnuts on top for some crisp crunch.

Due to this extremely cold weather we’ve included a second recipe for you to enjoy...

Hot coco-water Cappuccino.

In a blender combine 500 ml cocoespresso and ½ a cup of soaked hazelnuts (you can also use cashews) on high until the nuts have been broken down and the mixture has been slightly heated. Warm your mugs and then serve with cinnamon or cacao powder sprinkled on top.

Our H2coco Inventions! #Part 1

We have been working with H2coco and their refreshing range of coconut waters to reinvent some of our favorite recipes! H2coco comes in four delicious flavors and as a part of this blog feature we’ve used the pomegranate and acai berry to create a colourful and oh so delicious cocktail- the perfect weekend treat!


Usually cocktails are a signature summer speciality, but we feel that this delicious drink works well in winter as the Vodka has a beautifully warming effect, inside and out!

The Pomegranate and Acai Berry H2coco is full of flavour, it tastes organic and isn’t too sweet. You can taste that the flavours are the #RealDeal- there’s definitely no artificial flavours, preservatives and other “nasties” in there! Pomegranates offer a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants, not to mention that they’re packed with fibre and anti-inflammatory properties.  More than that, studies show that eating the fruit or drinking pomegranate juice can help protect against disease like certain cancers as well as Alzheimer's.


Acai berries are less well known, however they too are packed with vitamins and minerals. These berries are antioxidant-rich and have been trumpeted for centuries as a healing, immune-stimulating and energy-boosting fruit.

Here’s our favorite way to use H2coco Pomegranate and Acai juice:

Pomegranate Granita Cocktail

For the Granita -

1 Cup H2coco Pomegranate Coconut Water

2 Tablespoons Agave

3 Cups Frozen Berries (fresh would be ideal, yet they aren’t in season this time of year)

Mix these ingredients together in a blender. Pour them into a baking tray and place into the freezer. As it begins to freeze, scrape it with a fork every 10 mins to create a snow like texture.

For the cocktail syrup-

2 Cups Pomegranate Juice

8cm Fresh Ginger Root

Bring to the boil, turning down the heat to keep the liquid at a gentle rolling boil until it has reduced by about half.

Now to make the cocktail!  

¾ cup Pomegranate Acai Berry coconut water

¼ cup Pomegranate syrup

¼ cup vodka

Serve in a beautiful cocktail glass topped with granita and left over berries - enjoy!

Oh Wow - Cacao!

Although we are on our way to summer, we’re still experiencing some cold weather. During these chillier days we love making a healthy Hot Chilli “Chocolate” to warm and nourish our bodies. One of the reasons for this is that cold weather constricts the arteries causing us to feel cold, eating foods with chilli dilates (widens) the arteries thus warming us up.

Cacao is rich in magnesium and full of antioxidants, we like to add chilli to cacao dishes as it enhances the flavour and gives it a full bodied taste with an extra bit of zing. Chilli is excellent for  speeding up your metabolism, which is great during these winter months. Cacao is not to be confused with cocoa, it may seem like their spelling is the only difference, however it’s the process in which they’re made that sets them apart.

Cacao is the bean that comes from the cacao tree, scientifically known as Theobroma cacao. This bean is harvested, fermented and then dried. This is where cacao and cocoa go their separate ways. Cocoa is roasted at a high temperature and cacao is either cold pressed or roasted at a very low temperature. This is the reason for their difference in flavour and nutritional value. Cacao has remained ‘raw’ which means that it’s enzymes, vitamins and minerals are all still intact as they haven’t been damaged by extreme heat.

This is the recipe for our delicious Hot Cacao -

4 cups warm water

1 cup Cashew Nuts

1Tbl Sp. Honey pp (we generally go with 1 Tablespoon Honey per cup of water)

1 Tbl Sp. Cacao Powder per cup of water

1 small knob of Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil

1 Pinch of Salt

*Chilli to taste

Method: Blend everything together on high for about 1 minute and serve in warmed mugs. You can add more Cacao if you would like it to be stronger or more honey if you’d prefer for it to be sweeter. Let us know how you use Cacao powder- we’d love to share recipes with you!

hot chocolate

Going Co-Co-Nutty!

Coconuts fell out their tree onto the superfood scene a little late and didn’t look all that impressive with their hairy brown exterior and watery interior, if you even managed to crack them open! However, once eventually opened they spill out what every wellness warrior wishes for, a multitude of benefits and even more ways in which to use them!


Coconuts are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, these tropical temptations are rolling around filled with copper, zinc, iron and magnesium, just to name a few.  Copper helps with energy production and the absorption of iron and zinc helps combat fatigue and poor appetite.  Iron helps with anaemia and magnesium is excellent with kidney problems.

The most popular food trend with coconuts is coconut oil. This is excellent for cooking with as it contains medium-chain fatty acids which produce a whole host of health benefits. These MCFAs go directly to your liver, that then converts them into energy and helps to stimulate your metabolism. This is perfect for when you’re low on energy and looking for something super healthy to give you the kick you need. Coconut oil can be used instead of butter or vegetable oil when cooking or baking, this comes highly recommended as it is fructose free! Fructose is a simple sugar that is instantly absorbed by the body and results in a sugar rush, where as coconut oil allows your body to have sustained energy while encouraging thyroid activity and increasing weight loss.

Overall coconut is a naturally sweet ingredient that can be added to almost anything - mix it into your breakfast granola or morning porridge instead of honey or sugar. If you’re looking for a snack in the afternoon, when that slump strikes and you aren’t sure how to handle the cravings, reach for a handful of toasted coconut flakes. Their ratio of fat to protein is perfect for providing you with long lasting, slow releasing energy that will help you keep going until supper time arrives. We recently developed a recipe for Creamy Coconut Porridge and now it’s a firm favorite of ours that we;ve been dying to share with you!

 

Here it is …

Creamy Coconut Porridge

 

For one serving:

1/3 cup oats (as natural as possible, but jungle oats can be used as well)

1 cup hot water

4 Tablespoons or 50 ml coconut milk  (can buy this from most grocery stores in a tin)

1 generous Tablespoon of almond butter (try and find one that is not homogenized and as natural as possible)

1 Tablespoon of coconut oil (the Crede one is best)

1 ripe banana (needs to have spots on it)

1 small Table spoon of Maca

Topping ideas:

A pinch of chia seeds

A pinch of hemp seeds

A pinch of pumpkin seeds

A drizzle of raw honey

A pinch of goji berries

Fresh raspberries or blueberries

Method:

In a sauce pan on a low heat, pour in your oats, warm water and coconut milk. Stir when you see it needs it. I used a wooden spoon for this. It should take about 10 minutes for the liquid to be almost absorbed into the oats. Just before it's completely ready and more lumpy, mix in your almond butter and chop in your banana. Mix it all up. Then add the coconut oil (for extra creaminess). Lastly you can add and mix in the maca. Pour into a bowl, add the toppings and enjoy!

Oatmeal porridge with dried apricots, blueberries, cranberries and chopped almonds on bright wooden table. Jar of honey on background. Selective focus. Bright healthy breakfast image

Finding Good in the Darker Side of the Leaf.

We are always on the lookout for new and exciting flavours that can be added to our kitchen pantry to make a meal go from delicious to “Oh wow”! This week we rediscovered our love for Pak Choi. This smaller Asian cousin to cabbage is a dark  leafy green, which is always a sign of something having an added boost of goodness. This is all too true for this green guy, Pak Choi is filled with amazing health benefits. Let’s start with the one that managed to get our attention in the first place - Vitamin K.

Pak Choi is filled with vitamin K which helps our bodies build healthy bones and also helps maintain that bone strength. It does this by redirecting calcium to your bones rather than to your arteries. This is aided by the high quantity of Vitamin C that’s also found in this delicious and bright Asian cabbage, which is a super food when it comes to cardiovascular health. Vitamin C helps your skin, bones, and gums to become strong and healthy, but it also helps prevent iron deficiency by improving your body's capability to absorb iron from foods.

There are a number of ways in which to use this vitamin-dense leaf, but we prefer to incorporate it into salads. Its dark green leaves provide contrast in a salad bowl and their extra crisp texture complements lettuce well, if you choose to mix the two. As this is an Asian vegetable it does tend to work best with flavours such as ginger, soy, sesame and chilli. It can be incorporated into an everyday salad as well.

Here is our recipe for a delicious Pak Choi salad.

For the sauce:

  • 125 ml Olive Oil

  • 60ml Rice Vinegar

  • 80 ml Honey

  • 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

  • 5cm Knob of Ginger, peeled and finely grated

  • 1 Clove of Garlic, grated

  • 1 tsp Toasted Sesame oil

  • 1 tsp Chilli (optional)

Mix these ingredients together for the sauce. This can be done in a small blender or just by hand using a whisk.

In a bowl combine :

  • 6-8 bunches of Pak Choi, sliced in half lengthways

  • 2 ripe Avocados, sliced

  • 125ml Cashews

  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds

  • 3ml Sea Salt Flakes

Drizzle the sauce over the salad just before serving to ensure the nuts and leaves remain as crisp as possible.

Enjoy!

 

They came, they stayed, and they loved the experience of it.

As promised, we said we would publish our journaled experiences as we welcomed our first guests to Harmonie. We hope you enjoy the read.

It was most certainly a busy few days leading up to this historic occasion, but it was spiced with lots of fun and smothered in tons of excitement!

At last the day of the arrival of our first guests dawned! After adding some little finishing touches to their suites, we were ready and listening out for the intercom. The sun had already set and we had set out some ingredients to make a delicious red cappuccino for our guests to enjoy once they had settled into their rooms. It was an honour to welcome: Anver and Carolyn; and Ahmed and Limia to Harmonie! The red cappuccino made with frothy cashew nut milk, delicately sweetened with honey and lightly dusted with cinnamon, was really well received. And after a short meet and greet, our guests, weary from the journey, retired for the night.

The warm summer sun heralded the day. After an early morning introductory “lymphasizing” or rebounding class (we will dedicate a separate blog to this in the near future), our guests had the opportunity to work with Tricia Hoffmann in the kitchen, learning how to make a most delicious and nutritious buckwheat cereal.

Fellowshipping around the breakfast table, while enjoying the fruits of our labour; was a special time getting to know our guests a little more. We had this opportunity again at lunch. Our guests were only too happy to get stuck in and help prepare the meals. This, they felt, equipped them with the knowledge and skill to attempt to make it, back at home.

The gardens at Harmonie at this time of year, are abuzz with insects and birds; and with most of the flowers in full bloom, the sight is breath-taking. Our guests enjoyed time by the pool, under the shade of the umbrellas surrounded by all the beautiful fauna and flora – relaxing and absorbing some vitamin D whilst reading. As the weather cooled down in the afternoon the steam room was enjoyed by some of our guests.

It was heart-warming to know that this place we have lovingly named, Harmonie is now a place where people (of all ages and from all walks of life) can come and retreat to revive, balance and sustain their lives.

It was sad to say our goodbyes at the end of the weekend, but we know it is not goodbye forever, as we had also made some wonderful new friends. What a joy to work with such peaceful, gracious people, with an eager willingness to learn and expand their own knowledge around wellness.

Dear Anver and Carolyn; Ahmed and Limia,

We at Harmonie extend our deepest thanks to you for taking a leap of faith, being game and making our work so enjoyable.

Yours in vibrant wellness

Tricia and Liesel of Harmonie xoxo

P.S.

We were thrilled to receive the below thank you letter from our inaugural guests:

"Dear Tricia and Liesel

Thank you once again for an incredible weekend, it was such a pleasure meeting you and Peter. We thoroughly enjoyed the fitness class, cooking demonstrations and of course the delicious raw vegan feasts that we were served.

We look forward to welcoming you for dinner when you are in Cape Town next month. Please let us know which day would be most convenient for you.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Carolyn and Limia."

 

 

 

Our Story Behind the Conception of Harmonie - Tricia's Story

As a teenager (about 16) I showed an interest in diet; being influenced by many people who crossed my path.

Macrobiotics was my initial interest much to my Mother’s irritation.  The idea of producing different meals didn’t gel with her.

Many different diets were (unsuccessfully) attempted.  One that comes to mind is the Mayo clinic diet – lots of eggs!

What a trial for me as I’ve always disliked eggs.  The result was CONSTIPATION!

A vivid egg memory at age 5 was organizing to get myself discharged from hospital after my tonsillectomy. A nurse was trying to shovel soft egg down my throat with me protesting vehemently.

“Please phone my mother.  She’s a nurse and can care for me at home,” I successfully insisted.

When I reflect on my childhood, regular and vigorous exercise was noticeably missing.  From the ages of about 8 to 10, I was a keen, but hopeless baby elephant ballerina. I played tennis half-heartedly once a week from about 11 to 14 -  so not much raised heart rate happening there.  I was blessed with musical talents, not physical talents (or so I thought).  In the early years of marriage, I sporadically attended gym and for a time, dance classes.

 

My focus was on weight loss and diets only – clearly not sustainable.  Simply existing through the given diet, weight loss occurs, but then it was always followed by lapsing back into the same bad habits and ultimately gaining even more weight than before beginning the diet -  accompanied by miserable emotions of failure.

 

Through my first pregnancy, at age 21, I was totally uninformed and had the attitude that I didn’t have a waistline so what did it matter what I ate?  If only we could re-live times like this when we know so much better.

Over the years I graduated to excluding red meat as I found it was a heavy meal and the fibres got stuck in my teeth.  Then I excluded white meat because I’d lost the taste for it and didn’t enjoy the texture.  Through reading I also found that I didn’t agree with the ethics around meat farming and production.  Last to go was fish as a result of the possible mercury and other pollution contaminations of the sea.  I have never experienced any cravings for any of these foods. At this point I read all Mary-Ann shearer’s books.

Over the years as a teacher, I struggled with regular bouts of colds, sinusitis and laryngitis.  This disappeared when I stopped ingesting all dairy products.

The turning point for me was some 10 years ago when recovering from having had a hysterectomy, I read a lot of Patrick Holfords books.  I had an epiphany – I started to make meaningful and lasting dietary and lifestyle changes including daily exercise: walking andyoga.

 

In the last 6 years I’ve been influenced by people like Jen Chapman,  Antonia de Luca, Beryn & Peter Daniel; Barbara Leiman, Natalie Reid & Noel Marten, The Hippocrates Institute, Dr Gabriel Cousens, serna Kramer, Elna van Coller and David Wolfe amongst many others.  I’m currently doing the David Wolfe certification course.

Included in my daily diet are green juices and algaes, superfood and herbal smoothies, a variety of whole fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, sprouts and fermented foods and importantly, good quality water.

I’ve most recently added Rebounding to my daily routine – this is essential for efficient lymphatic drainage amongst numerous other benefits.

 

The outcome for me has been phenomenal. Improved energy levels, balanced blood sugar levels, improved eye sight, an enthusiasm and joie de vivre.  My taste buds have changed to sing with joy when eating delicious whole foods in their natural state.

Out of all of this flows a passion to live an ecologically sustainable life-style:

·         growing my own fruit and veggies in mineral- rich soil.

·         Recycling as much as possible including wormeries and Bokashi composting

·         Reducing my carbon footprint as much as possible

This in spite of the fact that I live in an urban environment which comes with pollution and other challenges.

 

Now in my latter 50’s, I’m passionate to assist people to a better state of wellness – REVIVING them, assisting them to a BALANCED state and SUSTAINING them on their journey to continued optimum wellness. It has been, and continues to be, an exciting journey.

When you introduce nutrient dense and mineral rich foods into your body, it responds by healing itself in the most remarkable way.

 

I love this quote from Project Happiness: 

“If you listen to your body when it whispers,

You won’t have to hear it scream!”

Yours in vibrant wellness.

Tricia Hoffmann.

Our Story Behind the Conception of Harmonie - Liesel's Story

On entering High School, I discovered a new interest in track running and race walking. As I became more involved and dedicated to bettering my performance, I became increasingly mindful about what and how much food I was putting into my body. I must confess, I moved into a not so healthy place where I became obsessed with how much I weighed and how much I ate, all in the name of “getting a better time” or better still, winning the race.

It took a good number of years to re work my mind set and come to a place where vibrant health, became what I craved with every fibre of my being.

Even though, I struggled to comprehend that true health and being extremely skinny, are not linked, my love for health was still growing. Towards the end of high school, I completed a diploma in Aromatherapy, I had to give up my weekends for a couple of years, but I believe it was well worth the sacrifice. I learnt a lot about interacting with people from a business perspective, and in so doing, I discovered a great love for working with people and offering those I worked with, the opportunity to add value to their lives through health and wellness. I then took my love for track running, onto the road and enjoyed the challenge of training up for half marathons. My body became my teacher, I endured many upsets, during my strict training regime, through injuries as well as suffering many head colds and episodes of bronchitis, due to over training. I went on to become involved with personal fitness training, while I studied theology and then teaching, all the while growing my keen interest in health and wellbeing.

The more I learned, in a personal capacity, about health and wellness the more I felt the need to share this knowledge with others – I believe this was a deep passion being birthed deep within me. I have now embarked on formal studies in nutrition and all things natural, and so my passion to share my experiences and knowledge in this field is being fed, daily! I share this same passion with my gorgeous Mum, Tricia Hoffmann, and slowly but surely we began to weave and craft a magnificent dream together,  to open up a unique health and wellness retreat “one day”.

It is with splendiferous excitement which we can hardly contain, that we can finally say, that day has now come - our beautiful and magnificent retreat is ready and we can’t wait to extend a warm welcome to you at Harmonie! A place to come and revive, create balance in your life and be given the tools to sustain this balance.

Look out for our next couple of blog posts, where we will publish our daily journal, detailing our wonderful experiences as we prepare for and welcome our inaugural guests to Harmonie this weekend. Tricia would also love to share her story behind the conception of Harmonie.

We look forward to hearing from and getting to know you through our various social media platforms, so please don’t be shy, join the Harmonie social scene, leave comments, share a plenty, we would love to interact and engage with you – yay!

Yours in vibrant wellness,

Love Liesel and Tricia xoxo

 

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