Vines & Roots : Vegan, Organic products

[SPONSORED POST]

Hi All,

I’m very excited to be doing my first product review today! And I’m happy to share that the products are 100% organic, vegan and environmentally friendly!

Just a little bit about Vines and Roots-

vines and roots

Vines and Roots is an online store selling organic and natural skincare products imported from South Africa. The owner, who is Singaporean, was living in South Africa for a bit and she enjoyed using the products so much that she decided to make them available here! The 3 main brands available on their website are – The Victorian Garden, Africa Organics and Pure Beginnings. All products from the 3 brands are 100% natural, not tested on animals, without synthetic preservatives and are rapidly biodegrable. Isn’t that great? 

Vines and Roots sent me a few different products from the 3 brands and I’ve selected my top 3 must haves from the lot! Here they are:

1)      Rosemary and Sweet Orange Hand Cream  – $16
The Victorian Garden (Vegan)

rosemary and orange hand cream

This has got to be my favourite product among all the products I’ve tried! First, let me start with a disclaimer. I’m a huge fan of hand creams and am the kind of person who buys more than I can use. The result is lots of half used tubes of hand creams (oops!) haha.

handcream

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Light and non greasy, well absorbed!

This hand cream is a little different from the typical hand cream I normally use. When I first applied it, I thought the smell wasn’t as strong and a little antiseptic. But after a few applications, I really grew to LOVE the citrus scent of the rosemary and sweet orange – light but uplifting. I think we’re all so used to heavily perfumed creams that we sometimes find natural products too bland. I also like that the cream isn’t sticky and very easily absorbed. The Shea Butter and Wheatgerm ingredients help to nourish my hands and they feel moisturized and soft even after a long while. I’ve let my friends try this product and so far, its gotten a big thumbs up =)

2)      Body Lotion with Kalahari Melon Soap  – $16
Africa Organics(Vegan)

kalahari melon body lotion

My other fav product is the Body Lotion. I don’t mean to scare you but I have very dry legs…my skin gets very scaly and flaky and sometimes even bleeds when I don’t properly moisturize. The result of neglecting to apply sunblock when I was younger and doing alot of outdoor sports =(  To see if this body lotion was really effective, I specifically applied it on my legs for this post.

melon body cream

The tube is small – only 200ml, but Woon ( the owner) had told me that because the ingredients are so pure and potent, I didn’t actually need to apply a large quantity. And true enough, I’m still using the tube even after 1 month plus of daily application. What I love about this product is the refreshing smell of the melon, the non-greasy feel and most of all, the fact that my legs are much more hydrated throughout the day!  After consistently applying it, I do find that my skin is less scaly and looks more healthy.  Read up and found out that the Kalahari Melon has high Omega 6 and Phytosterol levels which give it strong moisturizing, restructuring and anti-aging properties. Definitely something I would buy again for myself and for others.

3)     Shea Butter Handmade Soap (baby+adult) – $8
The Victorian Garden (Vegan)

shea butter

I chose to write about this product because it surprised me the most. I don’t have a habit of using bars of soap because I’ve always had a fear that it was dirty…but I decided to give it a try. The first thought that came to my mind when I used it was…”wow, I feel so ….clean”. Seriously haha! And despite that, it was gentle on my skin and my skin didn’t feel dry. What I also liked was that this soap was hand made (I’m a sucker for anything hand made) and its so affordable!

I think it took me a while to get used to using soap bars but I can see why people would want to. Way before we had bottles and pumps, soaps were the original cleansers. Its cheaper, uses less packaging and can last for a long time. For those who have kids, you’ll notice that this soap is suitable for both adults and babies. Think that really says alot about the gentleness and quality of the ingredients used.

Do check out the Vines and Roots website for their whole range of products – besides skin, hair and body products, they also have other items such as mosquito repellents, tooth pastes, lip balms,  massage oils, baby products (SUPER cute graphics which I’m so getting for my friend’s kid!!) and Gift Packs just in time for Christmas! Great that the prices are all very affordable too=)

Promotion: Specially for Eat Green Cake readers, get 10% off all products from now till 16 Dec 203! Simply key in the voucher code : “Sharethejoy” when you make your purchase=)

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Last but not least, a but THANK YOU to Vines and Roots because its been such fun and so beneficial using your products!

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Dehydrating 101

HI all,

dried-fruits

Dehydrating 101
If you’ve just been introduced to raw foods, you would have come across the method of Dehydrating food quite a bit. For this post, I’m going to share a very simple FAQ from  questions about Dehydrating foods:

1. What is Dehydrator?
A dehydrator is a device that removes the water content from your food and aids as a form of food preservation. It is a common equipment in the raw food movement as moisture is removed from food at a very low heat (47 degrees and below), keeping the active enzymes and nutrients intact. I like to call it an “oven that blows cool air”! Dehydrated food normally tastes more intense because when moisture is removed, it alleviates the taste of the ingredients’ natural flavour and taste.

2. Is it necessary to buy a dehydrator on a Raw Foods Diet

Raw buckwheat bread
It isn’t necessary but it definitely makes going raw more fun and interesting! Think raw pizzas, cookies, breads etc!  Espeially if you’re on a strictly raw lifestyle – after meals of salads and fruits, its common to crave warm, salty, chewy comfort food. The picture above is a sandwich I made from raw dehydrated bread and mushrooms!

3. What dehydrator do you use?
I own 2 dehydrators – An Ezi Dri snack maker and a Sedona Dehydrator.

my dehydrators

I bought the Ezi Dri snack maker around a year back. Back then I didn’t want to invest so much in a dehydrator and I thought the price for the Ezi Dri was very reasonable ( can’t really rem, I think it was around $200 plus). I think the Ezi Dri is great if you just wanna dehydrate snacks (like fruits, nuts, veggies, juice pulp etc) so its suitable for anyone really (whether raw or not). What I didn’t really like was that I couldn’t adjust the temperature because it was already preset at Low, Medium, High. Also, the hole in the middle deterred me from making items like pizzas and others that required more height (like bread loafs).

So, 2 months back for my birthday i decided to invest in something more professional. The most widely recognised dehydrator is the Excalibur but i choose to buy the up and  coming Sedona Dehydrator. I’ve used both dehydrators before while working in the kitchen and all I can say is both work well with dehydrating food. But I chose to buy the Sedona it has other functions that give it an edge over the Excalibur:

sedona-dehydrator

1) It looks aesthetically better  – sleek and black like a posh little oven
2) It has energy saving functions You can choose to dehydrate all trays or simply the top/bottom half. Probably my fav function because it allows you to dehydrate in small batches!
3) It is less noisy – Really much less noisy than the Excalibur and you can even set the night mode so that it because even quieter.
4) BPA free trays and mesh screens – important because you are using raw foods!
5) Clear glass door –  to see results without opening!
6) The digital display – which allows you to set timers and set accurate temperature settings.

*I’m not sponsored by Sedona…I’m just a big fan and I highly recommend it!

4. Where can I buy a dehydrator in Singapore?
You can purchase a dehydrator at a few places in Singapore – TOTT store, The Living Cafe, Tangs Orchard or Lemon Zest. Or you can purchase it online at Amazon, Ebay or NaturaWorks (Free SG delivery for more than $80).

5. Is it necessary to get an expensive dehydrator?

Like i mentioned in point 4, it really depends on the lifestyle you are leading. If you are fully raw, then I highly suggest getting a good dehydrator. However, if you are still experimenting with raw foods or simply want to make healthy snacks…then I think a normal dehydrator will suffice. Oh some modern ovens also allow you to adjust the temperature at vey low heat too! The last thing you would want is to buy something expensive and not use it.

6. Is consuming dehydrated food healthy?

There has been quite the debate about this question and you can probably google it online. But my two cents worth – compared to the rest of the food preservation methods out there like canning, baking, frozen food…dehydrated food is probably the least harmful and most healthy way to preserve raw fresh foods because the foods aren’t subjected to extreme temperatures and artificial preservatives. Plus dehydrating them at a low temperature minimizes nutrient loss.  Please please please drink lots of water when you are consuming dehydrated food because there is low or no moisture!

7. How long do I need to dehydrate foods for?\
It depends on the item you are dehydrating, its size, water content and the temperature. But typically, around 12 hours.

Hope the above questions were useful! Do leave a comment if you anything else you want to know and I’ll try my best to answer them! Here are some videos I found about dehydrating foods that might be useful to you too:

World Vegan Day Celebration

Hi All,

Friday (1 Nov) was World Vegan Day and I attended a Vegan Potluck party organised by the very sweet Sonal!

neopolean cake

It was my first time attending a vegan potluck and I was really excited. Got to catch up with fellow instagrammers and made new found friends! Really interesting getting to know everyone , hearing their personal stories and going “OMG, you too?”. Nice to be part of the majority for once.  One thing was pretty obvious : We may have different reasons for going vegan or vegetarian (health/animal rights/religion/environmental) but whatever they may be, we’re all working (or rather , un-eating our way) towards a common good.

Everyone contributed a dish for the potluck and the food was nothing short of DEEEELISHHCIOUS! Was so impressed by the dishes and effort put into all the dishes…we have some seriously talented home cooks amongst us!  I ate ate and ATE… don’t waste right?

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(Above: From top left, Clockwise: Raw Truffles, Vegan Blueberry Muffins, Crackers with Mushroom Pate, Biscuits)

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(Above: From top left, Clockwise: Vegan Pumpkin and Lentil Stew, Puff Pastry, Vegan Lasagne -to DIE FOR- , Guacamole)

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(Above: From top left, Clockwise: Raw Blueberry and Banana Cheesecake, Vegan Banofee Pies, Vegan Oatmeal and Chocolate Cookies, Raw Chocolate Cake )

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(Above: From top left, Clockwise: Veggies with Raw Dip, Sauteed Mixed Vegetables, Raw Zuchinni Lasagne, Nann Bread)

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(Above: From left:  Olive Fried Rice, Raw Vegetable Sushi)

Oh and this was my contribution to the vegan potluck : Raw Neopolitan Cake – three different layers of chocolate, strawberry/cranberry, coconut vanilla

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Beisdes good food and chatter, we also played games! Sonal cleverly came up with this game called “Social Veg-working” – where groups were made to answer questions and perform tasks related to the topic of Being Vegan on different social media platforms.

Ahimsa Kart wvd6 wvd5 wvd4 wvd3

Pics of everyone!

everyone

And pics of fellow instagrammers=)

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Sucha great night and I’m already looking forward to the next potluck!

Many thanks to Jing Zhi for being the photographer for the night and for these awesome shots! You can check out his blog here. Lotsa good foodie reviews!

ps, Nov is world vegan month so……Happy World Vegan Month ALL!!