Minimalist Skin Care: Oils // Soins minimalistes: Huiles

(version en français plus bas!)

A few posts ago, I wrote about my favourite floral waters. Well, let’s talk about oils now! In the past, I had a lot of difficulties finding moisturizers that would keep me skin hydrated but not overly oily. I used to love Clinique’s yellow moisturizer, but when I realized it wasn’t cruelty-free, it had to go. I also wanted to find something that would be chemical-free and that I could play with as the seasons evolved. Again, I turned to the kitchen and grabbed a few oils.

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Before I get into the specifics of my favourite oils, I wanted to tell you how I choose my oils. First, I go to the oil section of my grocery store or health food store. I really believe that the highest quality oils (for a reasonable price) are in the food section! Chances are, they are “ingredients”, meaning that they are not fillers in the bottle. That’s actually my second tip: look at the ingredient list and make sure it is pure oil. Finally, to have all the benefits of the oil intact, make sure to buy first cold pressed oil. Each oil has properties and characteristics to I encourage you to do some research to see what oil might fit your skin best. Here is an overview of my favourite three oils that I use daily and really love.

Daytime oil, Hazelnut oil: I love the smell of this! It’s rich and nutty and very light. I use this oil in the daytime because it is a dry oil: it is quickly absorbed by my skin and doesn’t leave it greasy or shiny. I love that it is so quick to absorb into my skin because it makes it very comfortable and easy to use on busy mornings. It’s a great oil for dry skin as it is very rich in vitamin E. It’s also a great oil for sensitive or damaged skins as it is very soothing. It also helps keeps the skin elastic, while also having antibacterial and sun-protecting properties.

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Nighttime oil, Avocado oil: This is so rich! I love to use this as a night oil during the winter or colder months because it is so moisturizing. While it is oilier than hazelnut oil, it is still very comfortable on the skin and is usually absorbed in a few minutes. This oil also has wonderful anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory properties, and also cell regeneration attributes. It does wonder to really dry skin, while not being too heavy for mixed skin.

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Nighttime oil #2, Sweet almond oil: I love this because it makes my skin so smooth. It’s a bit lighter than avocado oil, but still a little bit too rich for a daytime oil. This oil is hypoallergenic, which makes it a great option if you have very delicate skin. This one is an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant oil which makes it great for irritated or fussy skin. It’s also a great option after you have been in the sun. I love to mix in a few drops of lavender essential oil and use this as a special oil for when I want to relax before going to bed.

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To use these oils, I just place a few drops on my hands, rub my hands together and apply just like a regular moisturizer. I then rub my hands on the ends of my hair to add whatever’s left on my hands there! Let me know if you use other oils!


Il y quelques billets, j’ai partagé mes eaux florales préférées. Il est maintenant temps de parler d’huiles! Dans le passé, il m’a été difficile de trouvé une crème qui hydratait ma peau sans la rendre super huileuse ou graisseuse. J’adorais la crème jaune de Clinique, mais lorsque j’ai réalisé qu’elle n’était pas sans cruauté, j’ai arrêté de m’en servir. Je voulais aussi chercher un produit qui serait sans produits chimiques et que je pourrais facilement adapter aux différentes saisons. Encore une fois, je me suis tournée vers la cuisine et j’y ai trouvé quelques huiles.

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Avant de vous présenter mes huiles préférées, j’aimerais vous expliquer comment je choisis mes huiles. Je m’approvisionne dans mon épicerie! Je suis vraiment convaincues que c’est en épicerie qu’on trouve les huiles de meilleures qualités pour un prix raisonnable. Il est également plus que probable qu’elles soient des « ingrédients », ce qui veut dire qu’elles sont 100% pure, qu’il n’y a pas d’agent de remplissage. Il est vraiment important de vérifier la liste des ingrédients pour s’en assurer. Finalement, pour s’assurer que les huiles seront aussi bénéfiques que possible, je vérifie qu’elles sont bien de première pression à froid. Comme chaque huile a des propriétés qui lui sont propres, je vous encourage fortement à faire vos propres recherches pour trouver l’huile qui conviendra le mieux à votre peau. Bon, maintenant, mes huiles préférées!

Huile de jour, Huile de noisette : J’adore l’odeur de cette huile! Riche et douce, cette huile me sert d’hydratant de jour car elle est légère et sèche : elle est rapidement absorbée par ma peau et ne laisse aucun résidut graisseux ou brillant. J’aime qu’elle soit si rapidement absorbée car cela la rend très confortable et aussi facile à utiliser le matin lorsque tout doit se faire rapidement. Elle est très hydratante car elle contient beaucoup de vitamine E, ce qui la rend parfaite pour les peaux sèches. Elle est également indiquée pour les peaux fragiles ou sensibles car elle est appaisante. Finalement, elle aide la peau à rester élastique, en plus d’avoir des propriétés antibactériennes et de protéger des rayons UV.

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Huile de nuit, Huile d’avocat : Cette huile est si riche! J’adore l’utilisé comme crème de nuit durant l’hiver ou les mois les plus froids car elle est vraiment très hydratante. Beaucoup plus « lourde » que l’huile de noisette, elle reste confortable et rapidement absorbée en quelques minutes. Cette huile a également de très bonnes propriétés anti-âge, anti-inflammatoires et encourage la régénération des cellules. Elle est merveilleuse pour les peaux très sèches, sans être trop grasses pour les peaux mixtes.

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Huile de nuit #2, Huile amande douce : J’aime cette huile car elle rend ma peau si douce. Plus légère que l’huile d’avocat, elle reste trop riche pour une huile de jour selon moi. Cette huile est hypoallergénique, ce qui en fait une bonne option pour les peaux délicates ou sensibles. Elle a également des propriétés anti-inflammatoires et anti-oxydantes qui aident beaucoup les peaux difficiles ou à problèmes. Finalement, elle est également une très bonne option comme lotion après-soleil. J’aime ajouter quelques gouttes d’huiles essentielles de lavande à mon huile d’amande douce que j’utilise avant de me coucher pour m’aider à relaxer et à dormir profondément.

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Pour utiliser ces huiles, j’en place quelques gouttes sur mes mains que je frotte ensemble. J’applique ensuite l’huile sur ma peau comme n’importe quelle crème. Une fois que j’ai fini d’hydrater mon visage et mon cou, je passe généralement mes mains sur les pointes de mes cheveux pour les hydrater elles aussi! Et vous, quelles huiles utilisez-vous?

 

Hazelnut Spread, the sugar-free edition

When I posted my nutella-dupe recipe yesterday, one of the comment I got on Facebook was that refined sugars are bad for you. In my mind I thought that if you were going to eat nutella in the first place, sugar is probably not one of your concerns, or you are at least willing to take the risk once. Anyways, it got me thinking, and so I came up with this second version of a chocolate-hazelnut spread without sugar.

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 8 medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Here is what you do:

  1. Put your dates in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak for at least 30 minutes. Once they are soaked, remove their skins and pits. The skin removal helps having a very smooth texture.
  2. On a cookie sheet, spread the hazelnuts and roast at 350F for 10 minutes. Be careful not to let them burn: you are looking for a golden color.
  3. Take out the nuts and let them cool a little. Remove the skins by rubbing a handful together with your hands, or in a clean tea towel.
  4. In your food processor, grind the nuts until you have a fine powder. Add the dates and mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients, but not the milk, and mix well until you have a dough consistency.
  5. Add the milk little by little and mix until everything is smooth.
  6. Keep in the fridge, and try not to eat it by the spoonful.

Here you go! This recipe is even simpler than the previous one, and does not contain refined sugar, while still being yummy and decadent.

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Please don’t tell me that hazelnut and cocoa powder are bad for you, because there is a limit to what you can do to make a nutella dupe. Joking, if you have any concerns or questions let me know, and I’ll try to make something up! Also let me know if you try this out or which version you prefer!

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

A few weeks ago, my amazing sister-in-law suggested that we tried to make our own version of nutella. She really loves animals and has a special spot for primates: nutella and the palm oil it contains was a no-go for her. In case you are suddenly wondering if nutella uses primates in its ingredients, the answer is no. I’m referring to the fact that palm oil production is responsible for a big part of habitat destruction for, not only primates, but many species of animals (and plants too).  Adding to this, it also contains milk which makes it also non-vegan in a more direct way.

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So we embarked on a journey across the internet, and found some interesting, weird, simple, or very complicated recipes for a vegan hazelnut spread. We had trouble agreeing on one recipe, so we decided to call on our inner hazelnut-geniuses and mash everything together to create our own.

The result was fabulous, but the process a little bit nerve-racking as we almost had it, destroyed it, fidgeted around and finally fixed it. Here is a retake on this wonderful experimenting.

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Here is what you’ll need:

  • 200g hazelnuts
  • 200g sugar
  • 100g powdered sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 40 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • dash of vanilla extract

Here is what you do:

  1. Turn your oven to 350F. On a cookie sheet, spread the hazelnuts and let them roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn them: you want them to be a nice golden colour.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan set on medium heat, add a third of the sugar and let it melt. We are making dry caramel here: exciting! Once the first third has melted, had the second third and melt. Add the final third and let everything melt into a wonderful golden color. DO NOT STIR THIS! You can roll around the caramel in the sauce pan, but stirring it while cooking will make this die, so don’t.
  3. Spread the caramel on parchment paper and let cool completely. Pour warm water in your sauce pan immediately and let sit to make your cleaning process easier.
  4. Take the hazelnuts out of the oven and let them cool a little. Then, put them in a mesh strainer and rub them until the skins are separated. This is a good time to put some music on and dance over your sink: it is a longish process.
  5. Once your hazelnut are skin-free, place them in your food processor and process until you have a fine powder. Add the cocoa powder and the powdered sugar. Mix until combined and add the vanilla extract. Mix.
  6. Break your cooled caramel into pieces and add it to your processor. Mix for a few minutes until the mixture has a dough-like consistency and balls start to form in your food processor.
  7. Add the milk and mix until you have a thick, delicious hazelnut paste.

This recipe might look scary because of the dry caramel, but taking the time to do this really adds a nice flavour to the spread. However, because caramel is a little bit more bitter than sugar, I find it is a good idea to add powdered sugar, but you can of course adjust this to your liking. DO NOT USE MAPLE SYRUP! This is one of the ways we killed our first batch: adding maple syrup made our dough separate from the oils contained in the hazelnuts and made for a very scary looking mixture.

The solution to this: milk! You’ll want to add a little bit of liquid, and instead of using oil, almond milk gives this a more spreadable consistency. The more you add the easier it will be to spread, so you can play around with this too.

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Keep this amazing chocolaty spread in the fridge, and enjoy, by the spoonful in the middle of the night… or maybe not (but I know you will!). Let me know if you try it out!

 

 

Chocolate Sea Salt Nut Bars

Yesterday I saw that I had a Kind bar lying around. After a quick taste test, I realized that they were really good and yet simple in their ingredients.

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However, their version of this chocolate and sea salt bar contains honey, which is not vegan per say. I quickly remembered that my friend La Végé d’à Côté had given me coconut syrup saying that it was even better than rice syrup for making bars. Apparently, rice syrup contains heavy metals that are not good for you, but coconut syrup does not. Huh, here you go!

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So, I went on an adventure and tried to recreate this wonderfully flavorful bar.

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup coconut syrup
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup roasted amaranth seeds (this adds a really nice corn like flavour)
  • a few pinches of sea salt

Here is what you do:

  1. In a double-boiler or in the microwave, melt the chocolate and set aside.
  2. In a sauce pan, roast the peanuts if you buy them raw and the amaranth seeds (some of these will pop just like pop-corn!) on medium heat for a few minutes. You know they are ready when they start to brown.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the nuts, amaranth and coconut syrup until everything is well coated.
  4. On a cookie tray lined with parchment paper, pour the melted chocolate and spread until you have an even layer.
  5. On top of the chocolate, spread the nuts and sprinkle with some sea salt (I used Himalayan actually).
  6. Put in the fridge over night before cutting in small bites.

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The result is a chewy, crunchy, sweet and savory bar. The only thing I have to say about it is that it is a little bit sticky, but overall I think it gives justice to the Kind bar.

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Let me know if you try this out and also tell me what’s your favourite “granola” bar recipe.

 

Christmas series: Chocolate cake!

Tonight, I am finally, officially on Christmas break! Hooray! What better way to start the break than to share my newest chocolate cake recipe! Yay!

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This cake is quite dense, which makes it perfect for a layered cake. For this, I used cranberry sauce and coconut frosting: perfect match!

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Here is what you need:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 cups rice flour
  • 1 1/2 cups or 250 g of hazelnuts
  • coconut oil for greasing the mold

Here is what you need to do:

  1. In your food processor, grind the hazelnuts until you have a fine powder. If you want hazelnut chunks in your cake, you can put some aside and add them in the food processor when you already have a nice powder. Pulse for a few seconds.
  2. In your blender or food processor, mix the bananas, maple syrup, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and milk. Blend until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, pour your chocolaty mix, the flour and hazelnuts. With a wooden spoon, mix until all the flour is incorporated.
  4. Grease your cake mold, pour your cake mix in and put in your preheated oven at 350F. Let cook for 30 minutes or until a dry toothpick comes out clean and dry.
  5. Let the cake cool before you put the cream on. You can also cut your cake in two to make a layer cake.

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This cake is very chocolaty and has a very nice texture because of the hazelnuts.

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The cranberry sauce really balances out the sweetness, and the coconut cream adds a little bit of freshness to the ensemble.

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Please try it out and let me know what you think!

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