A few weeks ago, a few friends and I took advantage of a very good spa day bargain at Fawsley Hall. We had a massage and a cream for £59. A very good deal if you ask me. When my friend booked it, she made it clear that we needed a vegan cream tea for me. After a little confusion, where they’d forgotten about me, my little stand of vegan greatness was brought out. I wasn’t disappointed.
It was really lovely. I had two scones, just enough cream and jam and a huge pot of coffee all to myself. I was really impressed that I was able to have anything, let alone a cream tea. After a lovely massage, it was the perfect way to end the day.
It’s no secret that I love cake. Since becoming vegan, I still love cake, though, my cake choices are greatly reduced. That doesn’t stop me pinning lovely cake images on Pinterest or keeping an eye out for easy vegan cakes. They have to be easy and quick. I’m not looking to build my skill set for a GBBO entry next year. I couldn’t think of anything worse. I want instant gratification – don’t make me wait for my cake! So when I came across this image on Pinterest when I searched for vegan brownies, a quick glance at the ingredients meant that I could make these without having to go and buy more ingredients. I could make these easily and be eating them very soon.
I made two batches of these brownies. I followed the recipe exactly for the first test batch, with the exception of cooking time, due to the fact that our oven is temperamental and often undercooks things. I added an extra five minutes cooking time, then covered the tin in foil, turned the oven off, but left them in the oven for another five minutes. They were fine. In fact, they were better than some vegan brownies that I paid good money for. Even better than the taste was the fact that they take 10 minutes to make. Yep. You go from raw ingredients to going in the oven in ten quick minutes. The second batch I made was for book group on Tuesday. I was up against it time wise, as I was late coming home from school and had no other pudding option. So naturally I decided to mix things up a bit and swap the vegetable oil for olive oil. What could go wrong? Well, the batter tasted like eating a load of olives, that’s what! So I added an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder and bunged it all in the oven with my fingers firmly crossed. I cooked it for the same length of time as the first batch, let it cool for a bit before tasting. They were delicious! I couldn’t believe it! The extra cocoa was a winner and they were much more gooey than my first batch. They were slightly overcooked on the outside, but as long as they didn’t taste like olives, I didn’t really care! I’ll definitely make these again as they’re so easy and delicious.
Last week, I wrote about Earthmiles, which is a great way to earn rewards and discounts off a huge array of healthy goodies. One of the rewards I spent some of my earthmiles on was a Good Health Box. Since becoming vegan, I’ve had to change some of what I eat, mostly in a positive way, but there is an awful lot of accidentally vegan junk food out there and that’s not good for my waist line. When I saw the Good Health Box on Earthmiles, I thought I’d give it a go. I do love a good box of goodies, whether they’re paper based or delicious treats. It’s always a good way to find new products.
This box arrived towards the end of a very long day in the middle of a very long week before half term. When I got home, I was proper hangry and dived straight in to the coconut flapjack, which was lush, and had the Pulsin brownie (made of fruit!) for pudding. I’d definitely have both again. I wasn’t a fan of the naked toffee nibbles, though think they’d be great in porridge or something like that. The Good Health Box enables you to pick between a vegan, gluten free, protein or health box. There are two different sizes (the above is the smaller size) and there’s also a design your own box, where you can pick your own contents, though this is only available in the larger size. Prices range from £17.50 to £32, though I paid less for mine because of my Earthmiles reward. You can get just one trial box, which I did, or sign up to monthly boxes. A great way to treat yourself to something healthy!
Wouldn’t it be great if you got a reward for exercising? Other than, you know, a healthier life and increased fitness? Phil told me about an app that does just that. It’s called Earthmiles and for all the activity you do, you collect Earthmiles that you can use for discounts in some lovely, healthy shops. You simply sync it with your fitness app of choice, mine being the Fitbit, and over time, you accumulate earth miles that translates into discounts on nutrition, fitness and gear and wellness.
I’ve already used some of my Earthmiles points on products that I already use, as well as treating myself to a few new things. I got a discount at nakd and bought some of their bars, which are always handy to have at school. I also bought some new exfoliator from Organic Surge, using 175 em. And I signed up to a one off vegan box from Good Health and it’s full of lovely, healthy treats! I’ve also got my eye on the 10% discount from Planet Organic, when I’ve topped up my Earthmiles after the half term holiday. Lots of walking = lots of treats, thanks to Earthmiles!