Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Solar Powered Art

Bonjour art aficionados! I recently spotted this unique solar panel in London, Ontario Canada. The "solar tree" as it's called, is designed to mimic the city's logo (seen below), and provides energy to power the local tourist information centre ... okay well with the help of 3 larger panels behind the tree. But there's even more good news; this eco-art structure cost the city's taxpayers a grand total of $0. The provincial power authority provided a loan and the city is using the GREEN that they're saving (pun totally intended!) to pay for the contact. Here's some more info on the solar tree:
  • The "tree" is 23 feet high with 27 power generating "leaves"
  • All the solar panels together generate 10,000 kWh's per year
  • When the sun is shining the amount of powered generated by the entire system is enough to power 7 homes!
  • It is estimated that the city will save over $165,000 over a twenty year period
  • Up to 10 tonnes of CO2 will be offset each year

I can't wait to see what other eco ideas this city has in store ...

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Carob, Carob & Carob: 3 Recipes

I love carob! Not everyone does, but I do. It has a sharper taste than chocolate, but isn't as bitter. Most importantly it's naturally caffeine-free, which makes it a great sattvic substitute for chocolate! Here are some ways to enjoy carob:

Carob Chip Ice "Cream"

Another one of my raw serve concoctions. This time topped with a sprinkling of carob chips.

Carob Clusters
Using a double boiler, heat some carob until melted & gooey. Toss in a few nuts (I used peanuts in this picture). You could also use dried fruit or a combination of nuts & fruit. I also made almond raisin clusters. Mix everything in the double boiler until everything is coated in the melted carob. Spoon the mixture onto parchment paper and let sit until the carob hardens.

Here's a cross section of one of the peanut carob clusters ...

Carob PB Cups

This is my second attempt at making my own peanut butter cups. The recipe is from Averie's Love Veggies and Yoga blog (fabulous blog by the way. Check it out for TONS of vegan recipes, lots are raw).

The recipe is super quick & easy! Simply melt the carob chips in a double boiler. Pour half the melted carob into paper muffin cups. Wait a few minutes for the carob to harden. Mix a few tablespoons of peanut butter (make sure there is only ONE ingredient on the label: peanuts) with 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast. Spoon the PB nutritional yeast mixture into the muffin cup. Then top with the rest of the melted carob. Let sit until completely hardened.

If you don't have (or don't like) nutritional yeast, you can skip that ingredient, but the PB might be too gooey. In my first attempt I skipped the nutritional yeast and used the thicker PB at the bottom of the jar and that worked just fine.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

DIY # 9: Travel Sewing Kit

Are you ready for another quick & easy craft using my new favourite medium, felt? This summer I made a present for my niece with pink felt. Felt is so easy to work with (& inexpensive too!). I've been a busy bee packing for my trip and figuring out what I need and what I want to take with me. Well I definitely need to pack some crafting supplies, so I whipped up this little travel sewing kit booklet. Isn't it cute?

I was inspired by a charming sewing kit featured on Nini Makes that I first saw years ago. I love how customizable this is, and you can use scrap felt that you already have. Here's how I made it:

Cut the felt into a rectangular shape. Turn the bottom long edge up 2-3 inches to create a pocket. Pin in place and sew (I sewed around the felt creating 2 squares shapes in a contrasting thread colour for a decorative effect. This will be the back & front of the booklet).

Cut another rectangular piece of felt that is 1-1.5 inches smaller than the first piece. This will be the pages of the booklet. I only put 2 pages in my book because it's for travelling and I didn't want it to be too thick (& take up too much space in my suitcase), but you can add as many pages as you'd like. Centre the pages in the cover piece and sew down the centre.

And that's pretty much it! The rest is up to you to embellish and fill your booklet with all your sewing goodies. I tucked this paper measuring tape (the ones they have at Ikea) into the front pocket ...

Okay, it looks extremely plain jane now, but I plan on embroidering and decorating the kit when I'm gone. Here is the before shot of the front cover:

I'm thinking of embroidering the words 'sewing kit' onto the front. This will be one of my projects while I'm away. I can't wait to reveal the after shots!!

*UPDATE:  check out the finished kit here.

Do you like to craft things for your travels? I like being able to personalize things, so I often end up making what ever I need. Here are some other travel crafts that I've used in the past:
And check out some of my other pre-flight crafts & goodies from last year's trip ...
If you're planning a trip this winter, may your journey be blissful & safe ...

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Raw Vegan Flax Yum Porridge

When I asked my friend and fellow yoga teacher: "What raw dish can you make with ground flax?" She told me to make a raw porridge! Why didn't I think of that? Here's the simple & easy recipe (of course it's sattvic too).

Flax Yum Porridge
  • 2-3 tablespoons ground flax
  • handful of raisins
  • handful of dates, pitted
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of walnuts, chopped (or other raw nut/seed)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried, unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini (or other raw nut butter)
  • 1 banana, sliced

Combine everything in a bowl & mix well. Next add some warm water and continue mixing. The water will help mix all the ingredients and soften the raisins. Add as much water for the consistency you desire.

After my friend suggested it to me, I think I ate this porridge for breakfast everyday in August!! Yes, it's that good.

In case you're wondering, here's some FAQ's from the Flax Council of Canada ... yes, there's a council in Canada especially for FLAX.

  • Flax seeds are high in fibre and contain more than 50% alpha-linolenic acid, which is an Omega-3 fatty acid.
  • Ground flax is more nutritious than whole flax seeds. The outer shell of flax seeds are very tough and it's hard to crack them with your teeth when chewing. Grinding up the seeds makes them easier to digest and thus easier for the body absorb the nutrients. Whole seeds may pass through the body undigested.
  • Whole flax seeds can be kept for up to one year at room temperature. Ground flax, on the other hand must be kept in the fridge in an airtight container. Ground flax will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.
  • There are no nutritional differences between brown or golden flax seeds.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Fall Fotos

Here's a little eye candy to brighten up your day. Sometimes I'm less than thrilled to be living somewhere so cold (hence my winter trips to India). But there's also a lot of beauty in the changing of the seasons, and Summer becoming Fall is my favourite.

These photos were all taken where I've been teaching yoga these past few months.  

How would you like to get your downward dog on in this beautiful yoga shala??

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Organic Canada Logo Spotted Once More

Remember my obsession with finding the new Canada Organic logo?? Well I've fallen back on my old ways, and the obsession has begun again (LOL! Good thing I'm leaving for India soon). This time the logo was spotted on Natur-a organic soy milk individual drink boxes. I'm so incredibly happy to see this logo proliferating, and helping consumers identify products that are genuinely organic. In case you missed this post, there's lots of fakers out there pretending to be organic and using their marketing cons to make your believe their product is organic. To learn more about organics read my previous posts on the Canada Organic logo, or visit the Canadian Organic Grower's (COG) website.
See more products that I've spotted the new logo on:

'Til next time organic fans (or maybe I'm the only organic nerd who loves this stuff??)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Yet Another Raw Serve Variation

Enjoy this simple, nutritious, raw, vegan & sattvic snack ...

Raw Vegan Peaches & (ice) "Cream"

  • 1 banana, peeled, cut up into small pieces & frozen
  • 1 peach, half fresh, half frozen
Combine the frozen fruit in a food processor until it looks like soft serve ice cream (don't blend too long or it will melt). Spoon the mixture into a chilled bowl and top with the fresh peaches.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

What's New This Winter for Angelic Monkey

Each day another leaf falls off the tree in my front yard. The once warm air is becoming cool and crisp. Soon there will be icicles hanging from the roof and we'll be able to see our breath in the cold icy air. What does all this mean? That I'm going to India of course!!

This will be my second winter in India. Last year I left in January. This year I'm getting a head start on escaping the harsh Canadian winter and leaving in November. I have a few posts already written and scheduled to release after I'm gone, so don't think this is the last you've heard from me in a while.

I'll be going to the same place in southern India that I went last year. I'll be teaching yoga and basking in the warm Indian sunshine for 6 whole months. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for having this opportunity present itself into my life. I am blessed. I plan on enjoying every single second in India, working, teaching, learning and growing spiritually.


Monday, 1 November 2010

Check Out My New Pages

Hello Bloggy Friends (& anonymous lurkers!). I've added 4 new pages to the blog - located on the right. Now you'll have super quick access to links of my favourite vegan recipes (mostly raw), raw vegan green smoothie recipes, crafts and of course yoga (did you know I'm a certified yoga instructor?).

Happy surfin' ...
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