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Smoked V-Salmon Pieces

 

These are great if you are allergic to fish, or if you love salmon but eat a plant-based diet. It adds a new dimension to salads, pizzas, pastas, and is a must-have ingredient if you make your own sushi. Smoked V-Salmon pieces are best friends with avocado and make a wonderful pair to put on savoury biscuits or even toast. These jars are packed tightly to the brim and a little goes a long way. They come in three sizes: 120ml for R45; 250ml for R82 and 290ml for R95. To order click here

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Easy Peasy Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 15ml canola oil
  • 3 or 4 onions depending on the size
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3 or 4 Bay leaves
  • 5ml – 10ml crushed garlic – optional
  • 1 litre boiling water
  • 500g packet of split peas
  • 4 medium potatoes pealed and quatered
  • 10ml of soy sauce

Directions

Fry the onions in the oil over medium heat until they are translucent, not brown
Add salt, pepper and bay leaves, optional garlic and stir
Add 1 litre of boiling water, split peas and cut potatoes, stir and let it simmer for 20 minutes or until peas and potatoes are soft
Remove the bay leaves and add the soy sauce
Mash the contents of the pot using either a potato masher or a food processor for a more smooth consistency
Your soup is ready to serve!

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Unicorn Cafe July 2017 Update

 

If you are reading this, you’ve survived the storm. Well done. For some of us, it was a bit windy. For others, it filled rain tanks and, for some South Africans, tragedy struck. A lot of us made jokes about the storm’s predicted severity, some thought others were over-reacting, and then there were Knysna residents walking on the beach with their pets and belongings, watching  entire neighbourhoods burn down.

You never really know what to expect, and although we have amazing meteorologists who give us great forecasts, you can’t really determine what exactly will happen, because storms can be erratic. One can prepare for the worst and hope for the best. One could go a step further and harvest the heavy rainfall that comes with such a storm. This really seems like the way to go, considering the drought in the Western Cape. Climate change is going to make dry areas drier, so being able to store a few thousand litres of water to grow your plants in summer is essential.

We managed to connect our rainwater tanks just before the big storm hit Cape Town and collected about 1000 litres of water overnight. We will share what we learnt about that further down below.

I enjoy cooking, but I seem to be more enthusiastic about making a warm meal when it is cold. Winter is definitely an appetiser all on its own. I thought I would share an old family recipe which is really basic and economical to make. It’s both comforting and filling and you don’t need many ingredients. If you have a fire lit to keep your warm, you could make this in a potjie pot and save electricity. The iron from the pot will be good too.

Our photographer is on leave, so photos for new products are taking longer than expected. We are finding a temporary solution and listing new products regardless. With every new product sourced, we evaluate the packaging the product comes in and ask the following questions: Is the packaging re-usable? Will it compost or end up in a landfill or, worse yet, as litter somewhere? Can we supply this product with zero waste? This involves research, negotiations and sometimes we have to meet our suppliers halfway. We have had a few requests about supplying tofu and we would really like to make some seitan products and vegan cheeses available. However, the only packaging that seems to work is plastic vacuum packaging. As we are still an online store and don’t have the benefit of supplying fresh produce in a store at the moment, this packaging seems like the only practical option we have. We are always keeping an ear close to the ground for new developments and availability of more sustainable options in Cape Town, and our hearts and minds are open to new ideas and options to make ethical food and products easily available to you. We want to meet the needs of you, our customer, and still maintain a deep respect for the environment. After all, the environment is not just the planet, but us and every living being in it.

So we are in a catch 22. We may have to supply some products in  their vacuum packaging, but we will ensure that all this packaging is at the very least recyclable. Recyclable products aren’t the most ideal solution as it still takes a lot of energy to convert the product into something else rather than sterilising it and reusing it. However, as soon as better options become available, we will embrace them.

You can now buy soy mince, vegan marshmallows, walnut oil, virgin olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, and environmentally friendly biodegradable toothbrushes from our online store.

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GARDENING TIPS FOR JUNE

It is the time to plant:

– Broad Beans seeds
– Cauliflower seeds
– Celery seeds
-Mint seeds
Mizuna seedlings
– Mustard greens seeds
– Onion seedlings
– Pak Choy seedlings
– Peas
– Potatos
– Radish seeds
-Rosemary seedlings
– Shallot seedlings
– Swedes/Rutabagas seeds
– Turnip seeds

We recommend starting a gardening diary or, better yet, a gardening calendar. This will help you keep track of what you planted where. You can add notes on whether your veggies are doing well or whether they aren’t doing so well, and why. A calendar can also be used to indicate when it’s time to pull veggies out the ground, or when to harvest them.

You can also add moon phases, mark which spots receive morning sun, which receive afternoon sun, which are the sunniest spots, and which  spots have the most shade. Gardening is something learnt over time through experience, and this is a great way to track your performance and record your triumphs.

There is not much to plant in June, so it is a good time to clean, sharpen and repair garden tools.

You can also construct permanent cropping beds and make a cold frame or two. This allows early sowing and planting to occur in a more sheltered environment

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EACH ONE TEACH ONE

 

EACH ONE TEACH ONE

We often think about how to make the world a better place. In order to create more harmony, humans need to change. We try to change policies, demand justice, and spread ideas. Some people sign petitions, others volunteer their time to non-profit organisations or for things like a beach or river clean-up. Some donate money to worthy causes.

But one powerful tool to change the way people think, is to educate others.

Each One Teach One is an African-American proverb. It was during slavery in the United States, when Africans were denied education, that this phrase originated. Many slaves were kept in a state of ignorance about the their immediate circumstances and when one enslaved person learnt how to read, it was his or her duty to teach someone else. This is how the phrase came about.

Each One Teach One was used with political prisoners in the apartheid era and is one of the guiding principles in one of the largest events in South Africa, Afrikaburn.

The Each One Teach One principle is also a fantastic way to raise awareness of environmental issues. Recently, the Animal Planet channel on DSTV aired an interesting programme with the title Racing Extinction. It delivered a lot of information, but what was truly inspiring was how a team of people that included National Geographic photographers set out to educate people who were largely responsible for a mass decline in a certain species. They created a beautiful movie showing the beauty and grace of this particular animal with a simple message, and they shared this with the villagers and their children. They also showed how a few people could change the way a community supports itself. Instead of hunting a species for consumption, as was done previously, these fishing boats now take people out to see them in their natural habitat. “My goal is to make a film that doesn’t just create awareness, but inspires people to get motivated to change this insane path we’re on.”- Louie Pslhoyos – Photographer and documentary film director

We did some research and found some brilliant teaching tips:

DESIRE – INTEREST AND EXPLANATION
You can lose your audience’s attention if you begin the wrong way. When our interest in something is aroused, we enjoy applying our minds to it. Establish the relevance of the topic and construct explanations that enable others to understand what you are communicating. Explain how your topic will benefit your audience so that they can in some way own it and use it to make sense of the world around them. You will need to know what your audience knows already and build on that to convey your message.

EMPATHY
Help your audience feel that they can master the subject. A little bit of humility can go a long way in encouraging people to try something for themselves and succeeding.

ENHANCE THE SENSORY EXPERIENCE
Most people fall into three categories of learning: visual; audio and kinesthetic. The ideal learning environment is created when the audience sees, hears and feels the material themselves.

LEARN FROM YOUR AUDIENCE
A good communicator is open to change, constantly assessing the effects and modifying communication methods according to the evidence collected.

IT’S ALL IN THE DELIVERY
It’s not only about the content, but also how you deliver it. Being assertive from a position of power can put people off, and focusing on the positive is better than starting with doom and gloom.

We encourage you to go out and share your knowledge with others who can use it for the greater good. The media of today mainly focus on sensationalism and many environmental and other pertinent issues are ignored. We need to integrate and talk more. There are revolutions happening out there and you can join one or even start one. You are more powerful than you know.

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Level 4 Water Restrictions

If you are living in the Western Cape, you will know that the drought here is severe. In the spirit of a healthier environment, we all need to take water conservation more seriously and save even more water than we were saving before. The dam levels are at an all-time low and, while we are all waiting and wishing for rain, we must remember that even when it does start raining, it will take a long time for our dams to recover fully. We must continue to save water always, even when seeing the rain leads us to think that water is bountiful.

It doesn’t hurt to self-evaluate and see room for improvement. This is why we are pushing hard on water conservation. Every single drop that is being wasted or saved is making a difference to our dam levels, so let’s be as creative as possible to save water.

Level 4 restrictions will most probably be implemented on the 1st of June, and this is what they are:

ONLY 100 LITRES OF WATER WILL BE ALLOCATED PER PERSON PER DAY

This amounts to 4 large buckets that you will use for washing yourself, your clothes, drinking, cooking, washing your dishes and flushing your toilet. Say goodbye to bathing – it’s irresponsible to do that now. It is unwise to drink water from the tap now as it can cause you to get sick. People are turning to bottled water or boiling water for consumption.

ALL NON-ESSENTIAL USES OF MUNICIPAL WATER WILL BE BANNED

This means that you cannot use water to fill your swimming pool, wash your car, boat or other vehicles. You cannot water you garden and no new golf courses or sports fields may be built unless they are watered with non-potable water.
The level 3 restrictions allowed garden watering using a watering can for an hour on Tuesday and Saturday. However, if level 4 restrictions are passed, you will no longer be allowed this privilege. A city statement said to “use water only for drinking, cooking and essential washing”.

WE NEED TO LIMIT OURSELVES TO TWO-MINUTE SHOWERS

Showers use about 16 litres a minute. It’s time to speed up and streamline your washing routine. Not only will you save water, but also precious time for other therapeutic rituals. A great way to save water, is to shower the Navy way. Turn on the water, get wet, and turn the water off. Scrub down and then turn on the water to rinse.

OVERUSE OF MUNICIPAL WATER MAY RESULT IN FINES

The proposed fines for overuse must be approved by the council and Chief Magistrate, and they range between R1000 and R5000 for a spot fine.

SOME WATER SAVING TIPS

  • Collect grey water using a bucket from your washing machine, washing dishes, mopping the floor and showering in order to flush the toilet. Flush for faeces only or after a few urinations.
  • Divert your grey water into the garden and use biodegradable cleaning products. You can find an easy and effective way to do this in the May 2017 newsletter.
  • Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth and rinse your mouth and toothbrush in a small glass of water
  • Fix dripping taps
  • Turn off the water while lathering your hands
  • Always put full loads in the washing machine or dishwasher. It’s OK to wear clothes again. Wash what you really need to wash.
  • Collect rainwater: Collecting rainwater off your roof via the gutters can supply you with a large amount of water
  • Stop eating meat or reduce your intake
  • Showering for 2 minutes – We thought it would a great idea to give you a list of 2 minute songs to play while showering. When the song ends, your time is up. We suggest you make your own mixed CD to play while showering. Old songs tend to be shorter than more modern songs. By searching your music on your PC, select view by content and then sort them by length. It’s an easy way to find all the songs that are 2 minutes and shorter. You can listen to a new song each time you shower.
  • Blur – Song 2
  • Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues
  • Elvis Presley – All Shook Up
  • Randy Newman – You’ve got a friend in me (Toy Story version)
  • David Bowie – Breaking Glass
  • Shirley Bassey – Big Spender
  • The Box Tops – The Letter
  • Tom Jones – It’s Not Unusual
  • The Beatles – From me to You
  • The Beach Boys – Surfin Safari
  • Joey Dee & The Starliters – Peppermint Twist
  • Frank Sinatra – Don’t Take Your Love From Me/ When You’re Smiling/ It All Depends On You/ My Blue Heaven/Almost Like Being In Love
  • The Black Keys – Yearnin
  • Tom Petty – Full Moon Fever
  • Bo Diddley – Crackin Up
  • Bill Withers  – Aint No Sunshine When She’s Gone
  • Karen Zoid – Katherine Anne
  • Rodriguez – Forget It/HalfwayUp The Stairs
  • The Lumineers – Flowers In Your Hair
  • Buddy Holly – Dearest
  • Mumford & Sons – Babel
  • Bob Marley – No Water/Cheer Up/Soul Captive
  • Green Day – Brat
  • 30 Seconds To Mars – 100 Suns
  • Clutch – One Eye Dollar/Animal Farm
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Coconut Vinegar – What is so special about it?

Not only do we support a healthier planet, but also healthier inhabitants. That’s why we want you to know about this fantastic product.

Coconut Secret vinegar is made from the sap of coconut blossoms from trees that are grown in mineral rich volcanic soil along a coastline of a mineral rich ocean. This results in a product abundant in potassium, containing 192mg per tablespoon. Potassium is good for balancing electrolytes, regulating high blood pressure and metabolizing sugar. Other minerals present are iron, zinc, and calcium, as well as antioxidants. It also contains 17 health-promoting amino acids, including 9 essential amino acids which help build protein in the body, and 8 non-essential amino acids. These amino acids balance immune function, alleviate stomach problems, and aid digestion.  In addition to this already impressive list of beneficial properties, it also contains broad-spectrum B vitamins, vitamin C, and a naturally occurring  fructooligosaccharide. Fructoologosaccharides (FOS)are prebiotics that provide food for beneficial bacteria in the gut, and enhance magnesium and calcium absorption.

One of the most unique characteristics of coconut vinegar is that it forms its own mother culture as it naturally ages. This particular brand is aged for 8 months to a year and is an unheated, enzymatically alive product.  Raw, unfiltered coconut vinegar is full of prebiotics and probiotics, making it extremely good for digestive health.

Compared to the taste of other vinegars, coconut vinegar is mild with a slightly sweet taste and no bitter aftertaste. It only makes sense to make your own salad dressing with this vinegar and benefit from the gifts of Mother Nature. Simply mix a little with olive oil and you have a basic dressing!

Unicorn Cafe newsletter subscribers will get a special discount when purchasing this product during the month of June. Coconut vinegar retails at R199, however if you respond to this newsletter with the word PROBIOTIC in the subject line, you can get your bottle for R179. This offer expires on the 1st of July 2017.

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Nutty Buttermilk Rusks (Vegan)

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 4 cups self raising flour
  • 2½ cups of all bran cereal crushed
  • 60ml mixed roasted nuts
  • 10ml of sesame seeds
  • 15ml of sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup of pumpkin seeds
  • ⅓ cup caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup of raisins

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds (ground)
  • ½ cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 cup & 3 tablespoons of almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180°C
Line a small bread loaf tin with wax paper
Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl
Finely crush the bran flakes using your hands
Crush the mixed nuts in a bag using a rolling pin or something heavy
Mix in the bran flakes, nuts, seeds and the rest of the dry ingredients into the flour
Put the tablespoon of ground flax seeds into a small bowl and mix in the water. Stir well and leave for 5 minutes until it has thickened a bit
Measure out the almond milk and stir in the lemon juice. Set aside for a couple of minutes
Whisk together the flax mixture and the almond milk mixture with the melted coconut oil
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix well until fully combined
Put the mixture into the baking tin. It will be quite dry and you can push it down and even it out with your hands
Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 40 minutesUsing a large, sharp knife, carefully slice the dough into rectangles
Spread the rusks out on a larger baking tray, or two smaller trays, and return to the oven. Bake for 30 mins (checking regularly) until golden brown. If they’re browning too quickly, cover them with foil again. If they don’t look fully cooked, give them 10 more minutes. Then turn the oven right down to 50°C.

Leave the rusks to dry out for a minumum of 3 hours. You could also leave them in the oven overnight with the pilot light on.

Once finished drying out, remove the rusks from the oven
When the rusks are completely cool, store them in an airtight tin.

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Unicorn Cafe Update June 2017

We hope you enjoyed our first newsletter! It’s with great pleasure that we are delivering the second one. We believe in a greener planet, a more sustainable way of living, and a harmonious approach to business. Through these beliefs, we hope to make a green lifestyle more easily attainable for you.

We’ve received a few enquires on whether our cafe is open yet, and we are as eager to create the space as you are to visit it. We are, however, adopting a prudent approach: we will open up when we are able to handle commercial rental rates without strain, so that when we open, we stay open.

During May, we’ve made dark chocolate available on the website. We have ordered in vegan marshmallows and we have some poetry CDs available. Click here to view our new products.

Camping and hiking are wonderful ways to spend time and energy. It’s a reminder of how beautiful nature can be without our buildings, roads, cars and traffic. The air is cleaner and the sounds of the birds and other wildlife put one’s mind in a state of serenity. Taking even a brief trip through the wild can feel like a real holiday, and we tend to overindulge a little bit on these adventures. One of the easiest breakfasts to pack  (besides fruit or cereal) is rusks to dunk in your morning coffee or tea. Vegan rusks are hard to find, so we thought we would give you a rusk recipe. If you are looking for something healthier, you can find another recipe here

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Guerilla House

 

Guerrilla House holds workshops and facilitates spaces for volunteering and learning simultaneously. We have attended their workshops on low-tech mushroom growing and biodegradable soap making. They also offer workshops on permaculture, grey water systems, growing your own food and more. Their interactive approach to teaching makes the workshops fun and inspiring. We highly recommend them and you can find their Facebook page here