Tuesday, 14 April 2015

More Affordable Vegan Ayurvedic Skincare products

You may remember that just over a year ago I reviewed Ayuuri Turmeric and Bergamot Wace Wash. The other day, when I went to Asda to get some more, I found that it was out of stock- but that they had lots of other Ayuuri products too, all very reasonably priced at around the £4 mark for 200ml tubes. There are no animal products in these cosmetics and toiletries, and they are not tested on animals, making them suitable for vegans despite the fact that they don't bear either the Leaping Bunny or Vegan Society marks. The "Ayurvedic" in the label means that they contain natural fruit, flower and herbal extracts in accordance with the ancient Indian health and beauty system of Ayurveda. I bought the Neem and Tea Tree Face Wash and, as I was nearly out of moisturiser, the Rose and Jasmine Face and Body Cream and after a week of using them, here's what I've found:
The face wash is cleansing but not too drying, with a pleasantly medicinal pepperminty smell. It contains no parabens but does include sls as a foaming agent. I think I would alternate between this one and the turmeric and bergamot as I have skin that sometimes gets oily. The product is easy to use; perhaps too easy though, because you don't need much and it's hard not to squirt a massive blob of it out of the tube every time.
Despite the fact it comes in a handcream-like tube, the rose and jasmine cream does make a good face and neck moisturiser, though it's not very rich so ideally I'd get something else for at night. It contains no sls, parabens or mineral oils, but it does, however, contain alcohol. It smells beautifully sweet and flowery and the scent lingers on your skin for some time. My face actually feels a little softer from using it, too. It is certainly a very good budget-friendly stopgap between my more expensive Dr Organic moisturisers, though probably not rich enough for me to use in the long term.
I would recommend both these products if you want quality at budget prices and easy availability; I found them in the "ethnic beauty" section of my local Asda superstore. Oh, and just so you know, I wasn't approached by the company to review them, nor was I sent any free samples, so this review is totally my own unbiased opinion.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Garden Pizza

The pictures were taken before the pizza was baked; it didn't really look much different afterwards. The leaves were added to the hot pizza when it came out of the oven, rather than being cooked.
We are using up the very last of 2014's pumpkins, beetroot and parsnips, and at the same time we now have this year's kale, spinach and red mustard greens- time for some creative thinking in the kitchen, and that's how this seasonal crossover pizza came to be! If basic pizza is defined as being yeast, cheese and tomato-based then this one really stretches that definition as the only conventional pizza ingredients here are a little tomato and the wheat flour. With all that veggie goodness, though, it's perfect for fuelling a sunny afternoon's work in your garden or allotment. Here's how it's made:

  • The base is organic wholemeal flour with some ground linseed (flax) added; our recipe is here. It was precooked (but not browned), the toppings added and then it was returned to the oven for about 15 minutes.
  • Instead of using tomato sauce, I pureed some pumpkin, added a little tomato puree, miso and a liberal sprinkling of sweet smoked paprika. the result was tasty, sweet and earthy.
  • Pre-cooked sliced beetroot, strips of re-hydrated sundried tomato, olives and green peppers make up the bulk of the pizza top, along with a sprinkling of black pepper.
  • The "cheese" is almond feta- get our recipe here. The salty, lemony flavour offsets the beetroot beautifully; well worth rubbing off all those almond skins for...
  • Finally, when the pizza came out of the oven I added some peppery red mustard greens and wild rocket that I found in our polytunnel.