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The trick to healthy Halloween treats

health hallowen treats

We all know how tempting it is when the shops stack their shelves low and high with spooky sweets and terrifying treats, but it is possible to have a horrifying and healthy Halloween. The trick is to make a number of simple swaps that reduce saturated fat and sugar, but still allow you to satisfy your sweet-tooth. Easy alternatives include switching milk chocolate to dark, as it has less sugar, more fibre, and more iron! Try these bloody cups by the Elephantastic Vegan made simply of dark chocolate, frozen raspberries and rice syrup. You just heat and mash the raspberries, add in a squirt of rice syrup and then spoon it into muffin cases after spreading melted chocolate across the bottom and sides. They look great and taste even better!

ghost cupcakes for Hallowen

Or, you could use cacao powder to achieve a chocolatey taste. These coconut and cacao ghosts by Feasting On Fruit look amazing and take less than 30 minutes to make! They're made with oat flour, dates, non-dairy milk (like almond or soy), cacao, baking powder and coconut milk powder for the frosting. A treat the whole family can enjoy, and one you can recreate for all the seasons - we're thinking snowmen for Christmas and bunnies for Easter.

apple mummies. Healthy treats for Hallowen

Fruit is another great alternative that can satisfy your sweet cravings with their natural sugars. Two Healthy Kitchens have some ghoulish recipes like the apple mummies below, and mini Frankenstein heads made by peeling kiwis and adding pretzel sticks for the screw and chocolate chips or raisins for eyes. They're both quick, easy and cheap recipes, loved by kids and adults alike. The apple mummies are also great when sliced and spread with a nut butter for that divine sweet and salty combination!

watermelon brain hallowen healthy treats

Or how about this watermelon brain for a real show-stopping party piece? Let your friends and family get all Hannibal Lecter and devour chunks of the brain. And if it's adults only, you could always soak it in a spirit!

healthy halloween treats

Finally, for those of you that go crazy for candy corn over this holiday, why not try these candy corn coloured popsicles by The Girl Inspired? They're made by scooping Greek yoghurt, 100% orange juice and 100% pineapple juice into popsicle moulds and leaving to freeze for a few hours. Chillingly simple yet devilishly delightful!

Have a happy and healthy Halloween!

Bibico x

World Vegetarian Day

world vegetarian day

October 1st marks World Vegetarian Day, a day to bring awareness about the ethical, environmental and health benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. Vegetarianism has the obvious ethical benefit avoiding killing animals for food, but there are many other environmental and health benefits that may be less obvious.

Let’s start with your health: a plant-based diet has been found to reduce the likelihood of chronic illness (Harvard Health, 2016). This is largely due to the fact that vegetarians tend to consume less saturated fat and cholesterol, and more dietary fibres, vitamins and minerals, which results in them likely to have lower cholesterol, blood pressure and a lower BMI, and therefore a reduced risk of chronic disease. A long-term study involving over 76,000 participants found vegetarians were on average 25% less likely to die of heart disease compared to meat eaters. Similarly, large studies in England and Germany have found that vegetarians, with a diet low in saturated fat and high in fibre, are 40% less likely to develop cancers (PCRM, 2015).

 

vegetarian versus meat consumer

 

There are also major environmental benefits for becoming vegetarian or eating more vegetarian meals. Raising animals for food, including land for grazing and growing feed, requires significantly more resources than a vegetarian diet. To produce one pound of meat, it takes about 12 times the amount of land, 13 times the amount of fossil fuels and 15 times as much water as it takes to produce one pound of soy protein (Choose Veg). Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhausts of all methods of transportation (FAO). By switching to a plant-based diet, you can reduce your carbon footprint by 50% (Cowspiracy). You can also significantly reduce your water footprint by eating more vegetarian meals. It takes approximately 660 litres of water to produce one hamburger, equivalent to showering for 2 months!! So whilst timing yourself in the shower and not using unnecessary water is important, you can have a much bigger impact by swapping that beef patty for a bean one.

So this October 1st, try missing out meat and experimenting with vegetarian dishes you may not have tried before. Here are some Bibico-approved recipes to get you started:

Baked Banana, Blueberry and Raisin Oatmeal

vegetarian breakfast ideas

Ella’s oatmeal bake is truly delicious! Made with oats, berries, banana, and nuts, it’s a simple and scrumptious breakfast filled with anti-oxidants, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids, supporting many of your bodily functions. And it’s perfect for those of you that like to sleep in: you could bake the night before and heat up in the morning; after you’ve test-tasted it that it – it’s hard not to try a piece when it’s fresh out of the oven! We’ve also experimented by adding raspberries, chia seeds and dark choc chips, it was gooood!

Halloumi lunch wraps

vegetarian lunch recipes

Halloumi is a veggie favourite. It’s a Cypriot cheese made from a mixture of goat's and sheep's milk. Quick and easy to fry up and flip into a wrap, it’s the perfect lunch food. Experiment with humus, red pepper, aubergine and falafel, it tastes good with most ingredients. We love April Everyday’s recipe with rocket, falafel, humus and homemade tzatziki.

Coconut red curry

vegetarian red cocunot recipe

Who doesn’t love a good curry?! A flavoursome pot of nutritious deliciousness. That’s exactly what Minimalist Baker’s coconut red curry is. Your taste buds will be tingling after this one-pot dish, full of plant-based protein and fibre. Minimalist Baker uses red pepper, aubergine, chickpeas and green peas in her recipe, but you can experiment with whatever veg you like best; we like adding some sweet potato or mushrooms to ours. And for those of you that can’t handle spice, simply skip the use of chilli and increase your ratio of coconut milk to curry paste. And if there’s any left (unlikely in our household) pop it in the fridge and take it for lunch the next day, leftovers can be kept for up to 4 days!

What are your favourite vegetarian recipes? Let us know!

What's Good About Spring?

what's good about spring

Aaah, Spring. This glorious season brings us longer daylight hours, warmer temperatures, flowers in bloom, and lots of seasonal fruit and veg to enjoy. So what are the best things about Spring and how can you get the most out of this season?

 health benefits of brighter mornings

1. Brighter mornings

You will finally wake up and open the curtains to sunlight! Not only will it make you feel brighter about the day ahead, the sun is also supposed to make your brain work better through its provision of vitamin D (Glerup et al., 2000; Kesby et al., 2011). This essential vitamin also helps improve your immune system and fight off your winter cold. So wake up happy and enjoy your extended exposure to sunlight this Spring!

 grey boyfriend cardigan by bibico

2. Warmer temperatures

You can ditch your winter thermals and swap that thick water-proof coat for a warm wool jumper or cardigan like our grey boyfriend cardigan perfect for every occasion. Braving bare legs in one of our sweet cotton skirts will also become a genuine possibility. 

 flowers in bloom in spring

    3. Flowers are in bloom

      Floral displays will brighten up the season, with cherry blossom covering the trees and tulips in their prime. Bring their beautiful colours into your wardrobe by opting for pretty, printed day dresses like our organic cotton day dress.

       organic cotton t-shirts and plimsolls

        4. Outdoor activities

          Outdoor activities are finally bearable again. It's time to bring out your bicycle and go for a picnic, or pick the perfect playlist for a run in the park. For an easy, everyday look, why not try our classic crew neck organic cotton t-shirts and slip on cotton plimsolls, perfect for an active weekend.

           striped organic cotton t-shirt

            5. Seasonal fruit and veg

              There are lots of delicious fruit and vegetables in season throughout Spring:

              • apple
              • asparagus
              • Brussels sprouts
              • cabbage (savoy)
              • carrot
              • cauliflower
              • cucumber
              • lettuce
              • onion
              • parsley (flat -leaf)
              • potato
              • purple sprouting broccoli
              • radish
              • red onion
              • rhubarb

               asparagus and potato salad

              Why not try Oh She Glow's asparagus and potato salad? Or Cooking Light's rhubarb and apple pie? Buying in-season goods helps to support local farmers and means your food hasn't be transported long distances, reducing your carbon footprint and the need for chemical ripening agents, wax coatings and other preservatives!