RECIPE // Simple Jaffa Chocolate


Vegan. Gluten Free. Dairy Free. SIMPLE. What’s not to love about this easy-as chocolate recipe? Exactly the kind of thing you need to have handy when cocoa cravings hit – all the goodness without the fillers. Winner!



1 cup cocoa butter, melted

1 cup cocoa powder

1/4 to 1/2 cup honey (err on less over more)



10 drops Doterra Wild Orange essential oil

Grated lemon, lime or orange zest of one fruit

handful nuts – sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, almonds or cashews

dried fruit for extra sweetness


On a very low heat, allow cocoa butter to melt, then stir in cocoa and honey. Add any additional extras you’d like to throw into your chocolate mix, then pour into a baking-paper lined tray and place in fridge for at least half an hour.

Cut with a knife to allow to break into bite-size pieces. Store in a mason jar or sealed container and enjoy with freshly brewed coffee, or as a little treat after dinner.



Recipe // Jalapeno Hummus

This hummus is a zing-y version of the traditional recipe and goes great with the falafels and tabbouleh. It keeps for a week in the fridge.


3 Jalapenos de-seeded and roughly chopped

can chickpeas, drained

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons tahini

1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste

1 small clove of garlic, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper


Please all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend away until combined. Sprinkle with extra cumin and olive oil.



RECIPE // Make Your Own Pickled Carrots


We made these purple pickled beauties on our Summer HQ Getaway back in January, and are just about ready to be unbottled and enjoyed in our favourite salads, or as a gut-friendly snack on the go. Our resident nutritionist Abby led our Getaway group through each step on how to make these pretty jars of goodness, but you can recreate these at home using the recipe below.

1 teaspoon black peppercorns
6 large carrots, cut into 1cm thick batons
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 sachet of vegetable starter culture
Filtered water for vegetable culture starter
1 orange zest peeled in long strips
2 cinnamon sticks
1 small cabbage leaf washed
1 tea towel

rubber bands

You will need a 1.5 litre preserving jar (or a similar volume of smaller jars) with an airlock lid for this recipe. Wash the jar and all the utensils you will be using in very hot water. Place the carrots in a stainless steel bowl and sprinkle with salt.  Mix well and set aside.

Dissolve the starter culture in water according to the packet instructions (the amount of water will depend on the brand you are using). Add to the carrot along with the peppercorns, cinnamon and orange strips.  Mix well.

Fill the prepared jar with the carrot mixture, pressing down well with a large spoon to remove any air pockets and leave 2cm of room free at the top. Pour the water culture liquid to the jar and completely submerge the carrots in the liquid. If not enough water just add it bit more. Take a clean cabbage leaf and fold it up and place on top of the carrot mixture (this ensures the mixture stays submerged).

Put lid on and wrap the teatowel around the container to block light. Store in a dark place with a temperature of 16-23 degrees for 14 – 21 days. You can also place the jar in an esky for a more consistent temperature control. The longer you leave it, the higher the good bacteria count and also the tanginess increases the longer it is left.


Once open place in fridge. They will last up to 2 months in the fridge when kept submerged in the liquid.

RECIPE // Sweet Peach Cobbler w. Vanilla Bean Yogurt

Oh hai, sweet stonefruits, the hallmark of Summer and all things sticky and delicious. We can’t tell you how happy we are to see you gracing the marketcarts and fruit aisles of our local grocers once more – hurray!

Just in time for us to make this truly delicious cobbler, and with gluten-free and vegan options it’s near impossible to go wrong. The best bits? It’s super simple to whip up, and if you’re in a pinch you can substitute fresh peaches for tinned – we won’t tell.


8 ripe peaches, halved, pits removed and chopped into wedges
1/2 cup peach or mango juice
1 cup gluten free or regular oats
1/4 cup LSA meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 Tbsp coconut sugar (or sub more brown sugar)
pinch sea salt
4 Tbsp coconut oil
Full cream vanilla bean yogurt or coconut yogurt, to serve


Preheat oven to 180* and lightly coat a loaf tin or small baking dish with coconut oil.

Add fruit directly to the dish as you chop it and spread flat. Pour 1/2 the juice over the fruits.

Combine crumble ingredients in a mixing bowl (including 4 Tbsp oil and the other 1/2 of the juice) and, using your hands, mix until everything is evenly distributed.

Evenly layer on top of the fruit and bake for 40 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and the top is crisp and golden.

Serve up warm straight out of the oven with the yogurt of your choice, or enjoy the juicy leftovers the next day – it should keep for up to 3 days covered in the refrigerator.

Finding your Bliss in the Yarra Valley – The HQ Getaway Retreat Diaries

HQ Getaway July 2015Rainforest walks. Beautiful vegetarian meals. Roaring fireplaces. Pilates, yoga, massage + meditation. Life-changing conversations. Seriously – it doesn’t get much better than this.

DAY ONE // An hour’s drive outside of Melbourne can quickly feel like you’ve been whisked a million miles away. After a short pitstop in Healesville, dropping in at the Healesville Organic Farmers Markets and the very lovely Harvest Cafe, we arrived at our home for the weekend – the beautiful Amarant Retreat, set in the lush temperate rainforests of the Yarra Valley. 

The three-level building, nestled into the hills amidst dewy ferns, towering gums and mossy rocks, provided the ultimate haven from the chilly Winter mists (it also happened to be the coldest weekend on record this Winter!). Our hearts and bodies were warmed the moment we stepped inside – toasty warm fireplaces, orange and lemongrass essential oils burning, and heated floorboards greeted our frozen feet.

After settling in, we got cozy by the fireplace and set our intentions for the weekend under the guidance of Alice of Intent Mind, and got to know our little company of bliss-seekers. Friends firmed up fast as we completed our first Pilates class and a sunset bushwalk, and were cemented around the beautiful vegetarian dinner provided by our master Chef, Laura.

We completed our first day with a Yin Yoga session in the Celestial Room, and start to wind down peacefully with some guided meditation, before finally curling up in our cozy rooms upstairs and letting the blissful feelings settle in.


DAY TWO // The melodic sounds of the Tibetan singing bowl awakens those who haven’t already risen early for morning meditation and yoga downstairs. A truly lush breakfast is served up – Sunday porridge cooked with fresh dates, oats, cinnamon, lemon peel, almond milk and coconut cream. Topped with pecans, local berries, flax oil and vanilla bean honey, we have to just about stop ourselves from licking the bowl.

After a vigorous Pilates session with Victoria, we break off to start our sessions – full body Swedish relaxation massage with Stacey, or one-on-one life coaching with Alice. Those waiting their turn enjoy a leisurely afternoon of creating vision boards, flicking through pages of inspiration to find the images that resonate with their heartfelt dreams.

Dinner in the evening is a hearty winter forest mushroom risotto, served with walnut and green leaf salad and truffle oil. The dessert blows minds – chocolate avocado mousse topped with fresh local berries, cacao nibs and maple syrup. We roll into the yoga room for a restful and restorative Yin Yoga session, resting our legs against the wall in a supported shoulder stand and feeling the worries of the world float away. In the quiet cocoon of darkness, by the flicker of candlelight, we finish our session with a collective resounding OM, sharing an unspoken connection that will live on well beyond these three days.

DAY THREE // We rise early before the sun and wander down to the Celestial Room, where we gather our bolsters and blankets, and sit peacefully in lotus pose, finding our breath and stillness in the moment. Gently, we are guided through a morning meditation, awakening to the senses of our body and mind before opening our eyes to a brand new day.

Laura has already been busily cooking in the kitchen, and has prepared us yet another delicious breakfast. The recipe cards in our goody bags come in use for the Bliss Ball making demonstration led by Abby, who shows us how to make decadent chocolate orange bliss balls from scratch. As the girls squeeze in their final massage and coaching sessions, we take in the cool mountain air on the verandah and thank our lucky stars for finding this truly special place. It feels like home.

The dates for our next HQ Getaway are already booked in at Amarant Retreat! If you’d like to join us for our next HQ Getaway (Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd January 2017), please drop us an email at and more details will hit your inbox ASAP xx 

With love,

Victoria and Abby signature

RECIPE // The Mothers Day Smoothie Edit

My beautiful mum is the proud owner of a Nutribullet (YES! They actually work. and YES! They make the smoothest of smoothies, time and time again. Oh, how I want one.)

After our last delicious adventure back at home making ‘Noosa Coolers’, she’s been asking me for a few simple yet tasty recipes that she can whizz up quickly, without too much hassle. I’m with her – who has time to get fussy with smoothies?!

So here it is — a carefully curated selection of special smoothies from some of our favourite friends on the interweb, just for mum. Oh, and for you too! Enjoy xx

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Bangin’ Breakfast Smoothie
{by the gorgeous Hannah Buttigieg of @food_intelligence}
[serves one]

– 1 cup of spinach or kale
– 1 medium banana
– 2/3 small mango
– 1 cup water
– 10 macadamia nuts (or almonds if you prefer. Macadamia nuts give it a creamier flavour)
– 2 teaspoons chia seeds
– 2 teaspoons good quality raw honey

Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Why this smoothie is good for you:

*Leafy greens are high in iron, calcium, vitamins A & C and have anti-inflammatory properties;

*Banana is a good source of carbohydrates, aid digestion, potassium and aid in the production of serotonin (the feel good chemical naturally produced by the brain);

*Mangos are full of vitamin A & C, beta-carotene and potassium;

*Nuts are full of monounsaturated (healthy) fats and protein;

*Chia seeds are a complete protein, full of vitamin C, iron, calcium and potassium. They also act as a thickening agent in smoothies as they absorb liquid;

*Honey is a good anti-inflammatory to aid recovery after training and boosts the immune system.

** Check out more of Hannah’s gorgeous pics, recipes + more over on Instagram: @food_intelligence **

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Berry Kiss Smoothie
{by the lovely Kat Harding of @yogakiss}
[serves one]

~ 1/2 cup almond milk
~ 1 banana
~ 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
~ 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
~ 1 teaspoon Arbonne fibre (or LSA, or similar fibre supplement)
~ 1 tablespoon Arbonne vanilla protein (or similar high-quality protein powder)

Blend together, add some ice if you want it extra cold and enjoy!

Why this smoothie is good for you:

*Bananas are high in fibre, a great source of vitamin C, and full of happy-making potassium, magnesium and tryptophan.

*Berries are good for your heart and high in antioxidants and polyphenols, which help fight chronic disease and cancer.

*Almond milk can help with weight management, often containing half the calories of full-cream milk. It also contains 25 per cent of your daily vitamin D requirements, reducing your risk for arthritis and osteoporosis and improving your immune function.

*Arbonne fibre supplements and vanilla protein powder are vegan, gluten-free and in recyclable packaging.

** you can download Kat’s e-book “Get Active, Nourish and Be Grateful”, a collaboration with Nicole De Valter, via her website at or visit her instagram: @yogakiss for yoga, SUP and more!! **

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Abby’s Perfect Skin Smoothie
{by our resident nutritionist, Abby McLennan! @_thegoodegg_}
[serves 1]

– 1 cup of pumpkin seeds
– 1 banana
– 3-4 fresh dates
– 1/2 small avocado
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– pinch of salt
– 3 cups of water

Combine all together and blend, blend, blend!

Why this smoothie is good for you:

* Great dose of monounsaturated fat, zinc, fibre, potassium and antioxidants – guaranteed to give you beautifully plump, luminous, happy skin by supporting your cells!

* Just the lovely delicious lift my beautiful mum (and your beautiful mum!) needs xx

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NB: This post is really just a (thinly veiled) special little shout-out to my mum in the lead-up to Mothers’ Day this weekend. You’re the most beautiful person, and I’m so lucky to have you in my life! LOVE YOU, MUM ❤

…and a Happy Mothers Day to all the mamas out there!

V xx

RECIPE // The Noosa Cooler

>> MUM AND I SHARED the most beautiful afternoon at Little Cove today, as the clouds drifted away and the late autumn heat sizzled gently.

I have a treasured memory of one glorious autumn day at this very cove, many years ago when “yellow” was number one on the radio and my love was all yellow, too. My yellow love and I ventured down through the Noosa National Park, and as we drank in the vivid blues and greens of the surrounding landscape, the pop of pretty blue butterflies suddenly engulfed the skies above. We were entranced, and we followed them to Little Cove, where they continued their flitting journey out to sea.

Today was the first day in fifteen years that I’ve experienced anything like that day, and I feel so unbelieveably blessed to have seen this mass migration once more. Mum and I floated on the gentle turquoise green tide, staring up as the butterflies softly trailed through the air above. The water was brisk but warmed to the skin quickly, and the waves were gentle enough to merit a lazy afternoon of bobbing about, watching the surfers, the lovers and the wanderers. We waded into shore, and mum turned to me and gave me a big hug. “This has healed me like nothing else could,” she said.

After such a beautiful, warm day, we felt that only a cool beverage would do. So we dropped by the Doonan fruit shop, picked up a few supplies, and went home to whip these up. Guaranteed to take the edge off a thirst made of saltwater + sweet memories!


– 1/4 medium pineapple, diced
– 1/4 cucumber, quartered
– 2 kiwis, peeled and cubed
– 1/4 lime, with rind
– 250ml coconut water
– handful of mint
– 3-4 ice cubes

Directions: In truly laidback Noosa style — chop, blend + enjoy! Simple. Xx