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Good Afternoon friends! Happy Wednesday! I hope this finds you all well.

Since moving to Tasmania end of May 2016 (next week it will be one year ago!), I have had to quickly learn about becoming more environmentally friendly and more aware of our rubbish situation. I thought we were good with this until living here!

Where we live, we don’t have an ‘Otto’ bin service. What do we do then I hear you asking? Most people are baffled when we tell them this. Well, it took about a month or two of working out a system that works for us but we got it down pat and whilst it takes more work than simply throwing everything in the one big Otto bin, we all feel good that we are actually doing something productive to help the environment. After all, one small step is better than none at all isn’t it?

I have a decent size walk in Pantry and in there I have a LARGE plastic tub (you know those coloured once from the hardware store that most people put toys or beach gear in!) – in there goes the recycling. Every other day this gets taken outside to the shed where we have several large bins (large black ones with lids, once again from the hardware store) and they get separated into glass, tins, plastic etc (each bin is labelled on the lid!).

Also in the pantry I have two lidded tubs for food scraps – one for the chooks and one for the compost.

Once you take out tins, glass, paper/cardboard, plastic, food scraps – it is surprising how little rubbish is left. If there is any left, it gets popped into a bag and into it’s own labelled bin. This is generally empty.

Every 3 weeks approximately, hubby takes the black bins to the tip where it all has its place to be separated.

It works and makes us SO much more aware.

Another thing we have had to get use to since living in Tasmania is taking along our own shopping bags when buying groceries – otherwise you pay for the bags. I LOVE this concept and think that every single state should do this. I have got into the habit that once I unpack my groceries, my bags go straight back into the car so I don’t get caught out by forgetting them next time.

I am grateful that since moving here we are super close to a Bulk Wholefoods store. I understand that everyone is not as lucky to have this close by but it has been a huge help in changing the way I think and shop. I can take in my own containers and only buy what I need. No more food waste. No more plastic bags. Helping the environment. Helping me save money!

I love also that whilst I am learning all about this, so are my four kids and at a far younger age, they are going to be miles ahead of me by the time they reach my age and that is super exciting!

There are quite a few Facebook pages etc around that encourage others to make the change. I am lucky to have had 3 lovely ladies from 3 of these businesses answer a few questions to hopefully inspire you!

Alexx Stuart from LOW TOX LIFE

Why do you think it is important to ‘Reduce, Reuse or Recycle’?

It’s important because there is no ‘AWAY’ – It all comes back to us eventually and the building landfill is an alarming thing indeed, not to mention the crazy amount of waste and plastics that head out to our beautiful oceans, parks and street nature strips. Growing our own awareness and treating it as a very important education piece to pass onto our little peeps from birth, is really going to help us shift our daily habits that collectively contribute to a huge global issue. I take lots of comfort in the fact that on a house-by-house, person-by-person basis this is NOT a huge problem and the changes are so small and easy if we’re committed to making them. We often think “what can little old me do to effect change when the problem is so big” but that’s an attitude that you CAN toss because together it all adds up. 

What is some advice you would give to others who are wanting to change but hesitant as they either don’t know where to start or they think they really won’t make a difference?

CHUNK. IT. DOWN. Start with one thing, add another each week or even month and by the end of one year, I guarantee you your rubbish will be a third what it once was and you would have saved 100s of kilos of waste from landfill and single use plastics from circulation – Just one family. I mean, how exciting is that, right? So I tend to say start with the reusable shopping bags. I even created a beautiful one to inspire peeps as well as being the most practical and comfortable reusable ever made (true story. LOTS of testing!) And to make sure you don’t forget them at home, when you unpack shopping be sure to pop the bags straight back at the front door so that they’re there as a reminder to take them with you to the car or shops next time. This is often the tip that helps clinch that habit – that, plus being strict on yourself. “I am no longer ALLOWED to use plastic bags at the shops”. Once you’ve had to wrap avocados, potatoes, rice, washing powder and coconut milk in a gym towel because you forgot your bags – You’ll get very good at remembering them, trust me! Next is starting a compost bin (Love this resource online to help you learn!) Or ask if your council’s green bin takes fruit, veg, off cuts as many in the cities now do. Composting will reduce your rubbish by half, so a smaller bin, less bin liners etc. You’ll also have amazing compost to grow produce or keep your garden super healthy. Then my next faves are soft plastics from pantry staples going to the Coles Red bins, BYO bottles and cups and saying no to straws! If I’ve lost you, honestly, remember: Just start with one thing. The bags or whichever speaks to you the most, first. Once you’ve nailed it, move on to the next thing. 

What are 3 ways you personally ‘Reduce, Reuse or Recycle’?  

All of the above. My next focus is less recycling because it’s a costly exercise from a resource perspective and still brings plastic into the system and uses petroleum as a resource, something I’m always mindful of. So, that’s going to mean making more of my own crackers in the oven or dehydrator with ingredients from the bulk foods store so that I can bring my own produce bags. Then I’ll be getting stricter with myself around the rest of the pantry staples – if the frozen mango brand I buy in the cardboard  sometimes isn’t available, then I’ll abstain rather than getting the plastic pouched one. You’re never done on the this road, so rather than being stressed by that, be relaxed about it. We’re all learning, even those of us who’ve been at it a while. Once you nail something be curious and think “What’s next for our family?”. Ask the kids to come up with the next challenge and all do it together. Including kidson this education is just as important a part of life education as manners, courtesy and school work – Our planet is our home. ALL OF US live together on it. It deserves our utmost respect and to finish, I’ll share my favourite Indian saying “Act with the seventh generation in mind”. Imagine the decisions we’d make as countries and individuals if our 7 x grand children were sat in front of us holding us to account?

Best of luck everyone. We’ve got this! x



Laura Trotta

Why do you think it is important to ‘Reduce, Reuse or Recycle’?

It’s important to ‘reduce, recuse and recycle’ because the waste we produce in our homes day in day out, week in week out and year in year out, is significantly impacting the health of our planet.

We’re burying items in landfill that will take hundreds of years, if ever to break down. Of the organic wastes (such as food scraps) that do decompose, most release greenhouse gases like methane in the process, which contributes significantly to climate change.

As for our oceans? They’re becoming a toxic soup of microplastics that are accumulating in the food chain and creating havoc to marine life in the process.

You get the picture. The waste we generate is changing our landscape, changing our oceans and changing our atmosphere.

It’s changing our environment and because we’re part of our environment, it’s changing us.

Sure, waste is a significant issue and at first glance it can appear too hard to solve, but it’s much easier than most people think. Adopting a ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ mindset… and even taking it one step further and avoiding the generation of waste in the first place, is the key to addressing this local and global issue.

What is some advice you would give to others who are wanting to change but hesitant as they either don’t know where to start or they think they really won’t make a difference?

Firstly I’d say never to doubt that you can make a difference. It will take many seemingly small acts, undertaken by many, to truly change the world.

Join the movement and truly become the change you wish to see in the world and in turn you’ll inspire others to follow suit.

Secondly, I’d say if you’re unsure where to start, or if you’re feeling overwhelmed, to follow the “Power of One” principle.

Choose just one area to focus your efforts and reduce your waste, before tackling other areas. The kitchen is a good place to start in the home since the bulk of our household waste is generated there.

Once you have your area selected, then choose just one waste to focus on. It might be reducing food packaging waste or actual waste from waste. Or even one type of waste, such as replacing plastic produce bags with reusable mesh bags.

Now try and make the change for just one day.

It doesn’t seem so overwhelming now, does it?

Once you’ve successfully made the change for one day, do it another day, and another. When the change is a habit, choose the next waste to eliminate and keep on going until you have yourself a waste free home. It is possible!

What are 3 ways you personally ‘Reduce, Reuse or Recycle’?

Oh there’s so many to mention – I absolutely LOVE this topic and get a real high from reducing household waste. Here’s some simple ways we reduce, reuse and recycle.

Reduce – Considering food waste is typically the largest component of household waste, we focus on reducing our food waste by planning our meals in advance and shopping and cooking to plan. I share my weekly meal planning process here –

Reuse – We have a “single use sucks” mentality to goods and aim to purchase items that can be reused as much as possible. From handkerchiefs to my menstrual cup, to cloth nappies when the boys were babies, to reusable food wraps rather than plastic wrap, to my trusty thermos and travel mug to satisfy my herbal tea habit, we make an effort to reuse as much as possible.  Any food waste we generate is fed to either our chickens or placed in our compost bin or worm farm to make nutrient-dense fertilizer for our vegetable garden.

Recycle – When we haven’t been able to avoid generating the waste or reusing it in some way, we then look to recycle. Fortunately we live in South Australia where there’s a cash incentive to recycle bottles. This policy makes for a very tidy State! We also pass clothing items to the local opportunity shop and collect items such as printer cartridges and batteries for recycling.

Here is some more just in case you want some more tips…..

My Five Top Tips to Reducing Your Household Waste

  1. Waste Not, Want Not – Food waste is actually the largest component of waste in a typical Australian household, making up around 40% of the waste stream. By planning your meals, shopping to plan and composting or giving your scraps to chickens or a worm farm, you’ll keep a heap of food out of your bin.
  2. Smarten up your Shopping – Obviously it takes a mindset shift to look at every single-use item you use in your home and ask if there’s a better reusable alternative but it’s a mindset that will save you heaps of money and reduce your waste considerably. From using reusable drink bottles to replacing your snap lock bag habit with reusable food pouches, this mindset is fundamental to becoming an eco-goddess.
  3. Aspire for your WHOLE diet to be wholefoods – I appreciate that packaged, processed foods are convenient, but they’re also costly, nutritionally poor and produce sooo much waste in packaging alone! So, bit by bit, try and replace one processed food on your shopping list each week with a “real food”.
  4. Go for QUALITY over quantity – When it comes to purchasing most items including toys, clothing, appliances etc. buy the best quality you can afford. Of course this will mean you buy less stuff, and this less stuff won’t break down as much as the large amount of cheaper stuff, resulting in less rubbish (and less crap in your house to try and keep tidy!).
  5. Say NO to freebies – I know freebies make us feel fabulous (for a split second anyway), but no household needs fifty thousand pens, stubby coolers, magnets or a bathroom cabinet brimming with mini hotel shampoos and conditioners. For extra brownie points, see how long you can go without falling for a “gift with purchase” advertising campaign…..
– 3 Ways To Keep Food Scraps Out Of Your Bin –



Anna Wiese – from Unpacked Bulk Wholefoods

Why do you think it is important to ‘Reduce, Reuse or Recycle’?

It’s important to reduce our footprint on the earth, tonnes of single use items make their way into the environment where they wreak havoc destroying natural habitats and the animals/organisms that live there. I want to make sure some of this amazing world is still around for my grandkids and their kids to enjoy too!

What is some advice you would give to others who are wanting to change but hesitant as they either don’t know where to start or they think they really won’t make a difference?

Make just one small change at a time! Big changes come from lots of people making one small change. Things like using stainless steel lunchboxes, bottles & straws – they don’t weather or break like plastic does either. Keep a reusable bag in your handbag is also a good way to make sure you have a bag on hand when needed, and buying locally from places like farmers markets not only mean you are supporting local small business but are reducing food miles too.

What are 3 ways you personally ‘Reduce, Reuse or Recycle’?  

–       We shop from bulk to avoid packaging where we can – we reuse jars and containers for this

–       We use REDcycle to recycle soft plastics that can’t go in our recycling bin (found at some Coles and Woollies)

–       We buy secondhand where we can including things like school uniforms, this also saves us money! Amazing what you can buy from gumtree, fb groups, thrift shops and tips shops!


I know this information is so much to take in which is why I am going to keep the rest for another day! I still have so much more to say, so much more to share and of course, so much more to learn! I am incredibly ready and eager to keep learning with you. If there are any particular tips you would like, let me know in the comments and I will do my best to get some information to put into the next blog post.

Until next time,

Take Care of You,

Collette x

How to make Sushi – tips

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Good Morning Friends! Happy Thursday! I hope this finds you all well.

I am popping by quickly today to post on here my ‘how to make Sushi – tips’ …  the last time I posted on Facebook that I made Sushi, I got loads of comments & messages about “how” …. so when I made it again I thought I would take some photos along the way to hopefully help.

I must say, I don’t say I’m a Sushi expert or that this is the correct way to make it! But it works for me! If you have any other tips to offer please feel free to suggest them!

1. Make sushi rice as per packet & allow to cool to room temp ((For 6 large rolls & 3 small rolls I used 3 cups of Sushi rice))
2. Prepare your fillings, have a clean small bowl of water & a hand towel out
3. Put a decent (approx 1/2-2/3 cup?) amount of rice on a nori sheet. Flatten out all the way to 3 edges & leave a 2-3cm gap at top. To make the rice easy to spread, keep your fingers wet by popping them in the bowl of water
4. Lay a row of fillings at the bottom of the rice
5. Use the mat to start to roll the sushi TIGHT
6. Keep rolling tight
7. When you get to the end, add a little water along the edge to stick the nori sheet down
8. Place in a container & refrigerate for 1 hour to make it easier to cut (optional)

I hope this helps!

Wishing you all a lovely day … I look forward to connecting with you all again soon!

Take Care of You,
Collette x

I share my Lunchbox photos each day on Instagram. This day my kids had Sushi (Tamari Soy Sauce in the little container), greengages, a tub of fruit and salted caramel popcorn slice (RECIPE in Cookbook ‘Cut out the Crap Lunchbox Solutions’)

Meat-free sources of Protein


Good Afternoon friends! I hope this finds you well (can you believe it is only 12 more sleeps until Christmas! You can tell I have young children around who are on the countdown!)

I am popping by today to share with you some interesting information on ‘MEAT-FREE PROTEIN’ – something I am asked quite often about. As you know, I am a Mumma of 4 who loves to cook and I do not proclaim to have any dietary knowledge etc, so I have called in my trusted Naturopath, Peter, from ‘Mullen Health Hamilton‘ to offer some expert advice on this topic. Peter is one of Australia’s leading Naturopaths, who has helped thousands of people achieve their health goals during his 25 years of practice. Peter specialises in Iridology, children’s health and digestive disorders, and has a particular interest in working out the cause of health complaints that have been plaguing people for a long time.



– by Peter Mullen – Naturopath 

There are so many reasons to eat more meat-free meals: they are almost always cheaper, lower in kilojoules and better for the environment. Vegetarianism has also been associated with  lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and the risk of heart disease!

Even if you are a meat-lover, it is beneficial to have a couple of meat-free days a week (particularly red meat) to give your gut a break. It’s also important to get protein from a wide variety of foods to reduce your risk of becoming intolerant to any one source (like eggs or milk).

One thing you should be wary of is that many vegetarian sources of protein are not “complete”. There are 20 different amino acids that can form a protein, and nine that the body can’t produce on its own (known as essential amino acids). In order to be considered “complete,” a protein must contain all nine essential amino acids in roughly equal amounts.

But don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Most plant-based diets contain such a wide variety of amino acid profiles that you are virtually guaranteed to get all of your amino acids with very little effort.

As you can see, we often rely on animal sources of protein because they are easy, but here are five of my favourite meat-free proteins that you can use every day.


Chickpeas (sometimes known as garbanzo beans) are part of the legume family, a food group Australians should be eating a LOT more of. Chickpeas are rich in protein (19g per 100), however the protein is not complete.

I love chickpeas because they are so versatile – add cooked chickpeas to your salad, blend them into hummus and have as a dip (or add a dollop in your salad too), put them in curries, make them into flatbread, or even make pancakes with them!

Mung Beans

These small green legumes might not have the best-sounding name, but mung beans pack a protein punch (24g per 100g) and are rich in lycine, an essential amino acid and building block of protein that helps with the building of lean muscle. They are also an excellent source of fibre, antioxidents and phytonutrients. Mung beans aren’t that popular in Australia, but they have been part of traditional Ayurvedic diets in India for thousands of years.

You can get them fresh from most grocers or supermarkets in their sprouted form (perfect for salads or to decorate your dish) and you can also buy them dry which makes them great for soups and stews and dhal – dishes that can be made on a Sunday and eaten throughout the week.


Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) as we buy it is actually the seed of a grain crop. It was known as “the gold of the Incas” as they used it to increase the stamina of their warriors. And it’s no wonder! Quinoa contains 13g of protein per 100g and is a “complete protein,” meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. Just remember to wash before using – this will remove any traces of the saponin (a naturally-occurring chemical that has a bitter soapy taste).

There are so many ways to eat quinoa – use it as a substitute for rice, put it in salads, make it into porridge, put it in soup, use it as a crust on salmon or as a pizza base!

Chia seeds

Chia has been promoted as a ‘superfood’ in recent years, but does it deserve its status? In my opinion, yes!

Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family. They come in black or white, and although small, they pack a big nutritional punch. This complete protein contains a whopping 17g of protein per 100g (complete) and is also unusually high in omega-3 fatty acids (18%), which are essential for heart health and brain function. Chia is packed with fibre (34%), calcium (631mg per 100g or five times the level in milk), minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc, and is gluten-free to boot. Importantly, chia seeds are also high in antioxidants such as flavonoids, which inhibit cancer development and stabilize highly-reactive free radicals. You can now understand why research has shown chia can help to achieve joint, heart and brain health, weight management and provide longer-lasting energy.

These seeds are extremely versatile and easy to include in your diet – sprinkle on your cereal, make into porridge, pop in your pikelets, have a chia sundae for breakfast or snack, make a chia pudding, or try chia and almond bread. Chia can also be used instead of egg as a binder in recipes. 1 egg = 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water. Mix for several minutes until you get a smooth consistency without clumps.

Fermented Soy Products

Soy is another complete protein and is my go-to substitute for meat in dishes, however it has copped a pretty bad wrap lately. The concerns relate to soy’s phytoestrogens, a compound that mimics estrogen in the body. But rest assured, soy is not source of estrogen. If you are worried, give tofu a miss and opt for fermented, organic and non-GMO sources. Fermentation has been shown to reduce the level of phytoestrogens in soy by as much as a third. Fermented products include tamari (variety of soy sauce that is MSG-free), miso, tempeh, and (for the more daring among us) natto.

Tofu is the best-known soy product, and is made from soybean curds pressed into white blocks to make a protein-rich meat alternative (10g per 100g) often used in stir-frys. However it is not fermented and can be quite processed, so it’s best not to overdo it.

I prefer to use tempeh, which is made from fermented soybeans. It is firmer and chewier than tofu, and contains more protein (19g per 100g). It has a nutty, slightly sweet flavour which is perfect for stir-frys, baking, steaming or grilling. It even makes a delicious meat-ball alternative! It also absorbs the flavour of whatever it is cooked with, making it just as versatile as tofu.

Another fermented soybean product that you should include in your diet is natto, which packs a protein punch at 18g per 100g. It looks similar to kidney beans and is a Japanese favourite at breakfast time, eaten with sushi rice or in a maki roll. It is a bit harder to find, but try your local Asian grocer.

Finally, miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans which is a complete source of protein (12g per 100g). This thick salty paste can be used for sauces, spreads, glazes and can be made into a soup. While it may have a high sodium content, recent research has shown that miso does not appear to affect our cardiovascular system in the way that other high-sodium foods sometimes can. It’s also a great source of iron, calcium, potassium, B vitamins and polyunsaturated fats, which lower ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Miso’s health benefits don’t stop there. The fermentation process required to make miso results in increased lactobacilli, which facilitates the absorption of nutrients while promoting a healthy pH in the digestive system. Finally, it contains the isoflavon Genistein, which has been shown to inhibit the uncontrolled growth and spread of cancer cells, as well as eliminating free radicals.

As you can see, there’s definitely no shortage of protein when you eat a plant-based diet.

Why not consider giving Meat-free Mondays a try – it’s good for your gut, your overall health, and the planet!







BANANA CHIA PUDDING  – Cut out the Crap

TABOULI  – Cut out the Crap


VEGETARIAN NACHOS – Cut out the Crap

Wishing you a GREAT lead up to Christmas!

We will connect again soon I am sure!

Take Care of You,

Collette x

Photo of me with my hubby last week – taken by the very talented Naomi at Blue Rust Images

The Shakti Acupressure Mat!


Good Morning friends! I hope this finds you all well! We are all well here. We are loving Tasmania! People told us that it was still cool in October but honestly I didn’t believe them all that much! It’s SO true though, we still have the fire going some days and every night!

I am over the moon to share with you my new favourite product today … and be sure to read all the way to the end as there is a GIVE-AWAY involved! YAY!

I came across ‘The Shakti Acupressure Mat’ on Facebook and it sparked my curiosity instantly. After doing a little research I bought one, fell in love and contacted the Company (two LOVELY guys Jonathan and George and their team) to see if we could collaborate and do a give-away for you guys! SO thrilled they said YES!

In all honesty though, falling in love with this mat wasn’t that simple and instant … but actually quite funny! When it first arrived, I pulled it out of the bag, by shoving my hand in the bag and was greeted with sharp spikes. NOW, researching the Mat, I knew there would be spikes but I didn’t expect them to be THAT sharp. I am not kidding, I threw the mat AND bag from where I was opening it from one side of my kitchen all the way across my dining room out of some kind of automatic reflex and reaction. I then laughed at myself for a while and was glad no one was watching!

After composing myself, I removed the mat from the bag more carefully, read over the instructions booklet and decided to give it a try. At first I couldn’t stand on it for more than 30 seconds – funny enough though, my hubby, who has sensitive feet, could stand on it for a full 5 minutes the first time. For my feet, I have gradually worked up to being able to stand on there for 3 minutes. The sensation and  ‘feelings’ in my feet and getting circulation moving after I get off the mat is the best feeling. It is like walking along the beach barefoot afterwards .. it’s bizarre, beautiful and relaxing … I love walking barefoot but here in Tassie it hasn’t been the weather to do it, so this gives me the same amazing feeling and I love it!

It really is ‘Happiness in a Bag’!


My favourite way to use this mat (and I now use it 1-2 times a day) is on my back and neck area. I roll a towel or blanket up to mould the shape of my back and neck and lay on it for 20 minutes. I do this topless or just my bra on (too much information?!) to get the best and direct impact on my skin rather than less impact through a shirt. At first I could only do it for 5 minutes but quite quickly I have worked up the the 20 minutes and it only takes about 2 minutes now before I start to truly relax. I suffer from depression and anxiety (both high functioning) and carry a lot of tension in my shoulders and neck area (plus I look down SO much because of all the computer work I do and all the cooking I do!) and so this mat has been the best thing for that tension. It has helped me more than I thought it would and I am seriously addicted to it. I generally lay on it once during the day and always every night, it is a great way for me to relax and unwind after busy and sometimes stressful days PLUS it forces me to STOP and switch off and simply be.


Ok, so enough about my love for it. Here is some information about the team and ‘The Shakti Mat”: 

Owners Jonathan and George fell in love with The Shakti Mat at a yoga retreat in Thailand in 2014 and it all snow balled from there. They live in New Zealand and this mat is going CRAZY over there, so it was time they started sending to Australia, which they now do, YAY!
Studies show that after two weeks of using this mat 96% were more relaxed, 94% of people were sleeping better and 98% of people had some form of pain relief from it.
This mat is Organic and Ethically handmade in their Charity workshop on Varanasi, India.

Need to know more? The Shakti Mat FAQ’s are HERE!

SO! I hope you love the sound of them as much as I love using it!  …. WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN ONE???

** ONE lucky and random person is going to win a SHAKTI MAT (Valued at $69 plus p&h)
** Simply enter here on THIS BLOG by telling us that YES you would LOVE to win one!
** If you could head over and LIKE their FACEBOOK PAGE that would be grand, but please know this is not a condition of entry!
** SHARE also with your friends if you can OR get your family to enter also so you have a greater chance of winning!
** Australia and New Zealand residents only

The one winner will be chosen by a random number app on Friday 21/10 – approx 9pm and notified on here and by email!


If you don’t want to wait to see if you win and are desperate to start relaxing and de-stressing now, then you can head over and PURCHASE here (they are on special for $60 plus p&h at the moment too!) … perfect timing for Christmas presents for others … or for yourself!

Wishing you all a wonderful day …. Good Luck …. and we will connect again soon!

Take Care of You,
Collette x


Cocoa V Cacao


Good Morning friends! Happy Friday!

Over time I have been asked often (especially when I post a recipe with Cacao in it) … ‘exactly, WHAT is the difference (besides the spelling and price) between Cacao and Cocoa?’ … SO I have called in my trusted friends and experts to answer this for us all! I hope you find it helpful and informative!

Peter from ‘Mullen Health Hamilton‘ is one of Australia’s leading Naturopaths, who has helped thousands of people achieve their health goals during his 25 years of practice. Peter specialises in Iridology, children’s health and digestive disorders, and has a particular interest in working out the cause of health complaints that have been plaguing people for a long time.

Gina from ‘Nutrition by Gina Rose’  who is a Clinical Nutritionist based in Brisbane, with a special interest in women’s health and infant nutrition. Gina has over 10 year experience in the health care industry and is a mother to 2 young children.


Cocoa V Cacao – Peter Mullen

Until recently, you have probably never even heard of cacao. Growing up, mum would use cocoa when baking treats like chocolate brownies and muffins, slices and rum balls.

Now, cacao is considered a healthier alternative. But do you really know the difference? And no, the answer isn’t just a few letters!

Both cacao powder and cocoa powder come from the same source – the cacao bean – but there is a big difference when it comes to nutrition.


Cacao is the basically the raw, unprocessed form of chocolate. The cacao fruit tree produces pods, which are cracked open to release beans. Raw cacao powder is made by cold-pressing the uncooked cacao beans, meaning they are unprocessed and additive free. Cacao therefore contains nearly four times the antioxidants found in dark chocolate, and also retains its nutritional benefits of protein, fibre, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, calcium and essential fatty acids.

There are many health benefits of cacao, including:

  • reducing free radical activity
  • lowering insulin resistance
  • lowering blood pressure
  • reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • protecting your nervous system
  • boosting your mood!

Other products made from the cacao fruit tree include cacao butter (made from the white, fatty lining of the bean) and cacao nibs (beans that have been chopped into edible pieces).


Cocoa powder may look the same, but there’s a very big difference – heat treatment. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures, destroying its nutritional benefits and changing its molecular structure.

So there you have it!


Cocoa V Cacao – Nutrition by Gina Rose

I haven’t met anyone in my life that doesn’t like chocolate. It’s a rich, indulging, food for the soul that can be extremely rich in nutrients, if and only if you are eating the right kind of chocolate. Not all chocolate is created equally, I’m sorry to say that the sweets isle of your supermarket does not offer the potent nutritional qualities that I’m about to talk to you about.

Cacao is becoming increasingly popular in the nutritional health world with raw deserts, hot chocolates & healthy super foods popping up all over social media. So let me tell you the difference between cacao & cocoa.

They sound very similar, but they are quite unique when it comes to taste, nutrition & cost.


Comes form Theobroma Cacao Tree, which produces pods containing cacao beans. Cacao beans can be processed in different ways to produce either cacao butter, which is the fattiest part of the part of the bean. It is creamy and has a delicious buttery texture and kind of resembles white chocolate.

When the cacao butter is removed the inner remaining part of the bean is used to produce cacao powder.

Cacao powder is rich in antioxidants, magnesium vitamins & enzymes. It is actually considered raw as it is slightly heated but at a low temperature to retain all of the nutrients.

Research has proven cacao benefits in lowering insulin levels, which helps our bodies break down sugar. Great for those with type 2 diabetes & polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Another study has found daily consumption of cacao improves heart health. It is the flavanols that naturally occur in cacao that are cardio protective.

It is also seen to dilate the blood vessels reducing high blood pressure.

The reason I love it is because it is a potent antioxidant preventing free radical damage. It has more than 20 times the antioxidant power of blueberries! Antioxidants protect us from free radical damage caused by stress, toxic exposure & inflammation. I think everyone needs this protection and especially my clients trying to conceive. Antioxidants protect our DNA that goes into the blueprint of your children. Great little fertility booster.

You may have also heard of cacao nibs, they are simply the whole beans that have been chopped up into little chocolate chips. They hold all the nutritional value of the butter & inner antioxidant rich powder. They are quite bitter on their own but complement sweet treats perfectly.


Cocoa is a lot cheaper to cacao but non-the less it still holds nutritional value. Cacao has certainly stolen the limelight but the good old-fashioned cocoa is still a great source of antioxidants that support your heart, skin & fertility.

The difference between the two is the extreme heating process that cocoa goes though which makes it less bitter. This heating process does destroy some of the nutritional value but it still yields a good source of antioxidants. You also need to be mindful of added fillers like powered milk & sugar that further detracts form the nutritional benefits.

So whilst the cacao & cocoa have a huge nutritional punch they can actually go from hero to zero as soon as they are turned into a block of chocolate. It is the addition of dairy that blocks the absorption of the nutrients found in chocolate.

There are some lovely vegan chocolate’s out there or make your own sweet chocolatey treats.



By Nutrition by Gina Rose

1 cup sweet potato puree*

¾ cup almond or hazelnut meal

¾ cup coconut flour

1/2 cup coconut palm sugar

½ cup unsweetened cacao powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ cup virgin coconut oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the real stuff)

1 cup freshly brewed coffee (or hot chocolate)

½ cup dark chocolate chips

plus more for topping (optional)

METHOD: *To puree sweet potato, peel & cut into small chunks then steam until tender. Cool & puree in the food processor, blender or mixer. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 9” springform pan with butter. In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, coconut flour, coconut palm sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add sweet potato puree, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla. Use an electric mixer and mix on low until combined. Stir cooled coffee into the mixture. Fold chocolate chips into batter. Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of the cake. (optional) Bake 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.


Protein Balls

Coconut Condensed Milk Cake

Peppermint Patties

A MASSIVE Thank you to Peter and Gina for their time and expertise with writing these information posts for me. If there are any other topics you would like to know about, I would love to hear your suggestions. In the meantime, be sure to head over and LIKE their FB pages as you will gain a wealth of knowledge from them.



Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead! I look forward to connecting with you all again soon!
Take Care of You,
Collette x