Alright, so here’s the deal. If you haven’t heard of BlendCo, sit down and take a scroll/stroll down the screen. If you have heard of BlendCo, do the same anyway because there are THREE RECIPES on this whopper here and they are awfully yummy and defo worth a make. Plus they were really fun to think up.
Basically, an ocean away (very sadly), somewhere in Melbourne, Australia under the blazing sun there is a little white truck, or van. The little white mobile juice van (I’m obviously such a vehicle connoisseur) has a long strip of black around it saying BLENDCO. SMOOTHIES. JUICES. SUPERFOODS. WE BLEND. Yeah, IT DOES. And also some cute lil fruit and veg illustrations to boot. From beneath the awning of the truck you’ll probably see some matching very friendly and cute faces and an abundance of fresh fruit, veg, and the latest blending machinery. And if you’re lucky enough to actually BE THERE, you’ll probably walk away with a gorgeous smoothie or a cup topped with superfood sprinkles and banana coins and maybe a bliss ball or two, but most definitely a giant loony grin of foodie infatuation on your face and a very happy stomach.
That is BlendCo–they call themselves blenders by definition and alchemists by trade, and I’m quoting from their about page here. They’ve got a cool funky vibe and are primarily made up of the ongoing drivers, aka the very friendly and cute faces you will see in the van–the Blend Boys Charlie, James and Morgan. Besides rolling around Melbourne and Australia’s biggest music festivals blending away and making legions of stomachs happy, they also have the superfood skin blend. It also comes in a funky fresh packaging, and is made of 7 organic superfoods with the aim of supporting healthier skin. They believe in a healthy, nourished lifestyle full of fresh ingredients that are good for you inside out–and advocate this view from the nutrition aspect, which is where their amazing juices and skin blend come in.
Yeah, that blend. If you follow my Instagram, you’ll probably see photo after photo with BlendCo tagged and with their signature golden-green-red party confetti of goodness lashed liberally across whatever I’m eating at the mo. Be it pancakes, a raw cake or oatmeal, the skin blend not only adds a funky pop of color to the dish–it’s also very darn tasty. I’m very lucky to have them sponsoring me and sending packs of this goodness my way for review every now and then–I have quite a lovely BlendCo supply right now and I’m beyond grateful. These bunch of guys are very passionate, whip-smart and witty, incredibly kind and thoughtful and I couldn’t ask for a better company to help promote–I wholeheartedly support BlendCo with every chocolate-loving cell in my body, and this is my unprejudiced personal opinion. So hopefully after reading this you’ll a) Take a look at BlendCo and hopefully love them as much as I do b) Get some skin blend in yo life c) Take a hack at one of the three recipes to come because man, are they delicious.
Alright, let’s get down to the nitty gritty–every last flake of coconut and shred of pumpkin seed. What exactly is this mysterious party confetti skin blend made of? As mentioned previously, there are 7 superfood ingredients–and in creating the formula for this blend, BlendCo applied the power of synergy – different ingredients in the right ratio’s leading to a blend that is far more healing than the ingredients taken separately. So it is, in essence, a power punch of radiant goodness, tailored carefully to ensure that you receive all the greatness of these superfoods in optimum amounts.
The ingredient list is simple: coconut, activated pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, organic raspberry, acai, himalayan salt and goji berries. It’s gluten free, dairy free, nut free and vegan so if any of you have allergies related or have diets that omit such food groups have no fear–you can still enjoy the taste and benefits of this delicious fairy dust, no problem. The BlendCo dudes have put together these ingredients with the highest concentrated percentage of antioxidants, minerals and the right sorts of fats which work to fight the free radicals doing damage to our skin, and it’s rich in iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese to boot. And the goodness doesn’t stop there–it’s very much anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-microbial too.
If you break down each ingredient, it’s already easy to see the benefits–coconut is known to be bursting with healthy fats, and these have been proven to effectively tackle acne and age spots and other facial blemishes as well as rejuvenate skin, which is why you see a lot of coconutty facial products out there. Pumpkin seeds also help to improve your skin tone, and goji berries are another sucker punch that stimulates the production of collagen in your skin, therefore helping it retain moisture and promoting anti-aging. We tend to use goji berries a lot in Chinese cuisine, and they’re often paired in herbal soups with other ingredients that are collagen rich for health benefits–so the BlendCo guys definitely know what’s up. Cacao nibs, besides being beyond delicious, also improve skin texture and hydration; and acai, the lovely super berry (a-sai-ee, not ah-kai)(on that note, it’s keen-wa not qui-no-ah for quinoa. just sayin’) helps combat against skin diseases. Fun fact: Brazilians have been eating acai berries for centuries to treat skin conditions. These together are a happy bunch that are supposed to support a healthier and happier skin.
But does it really work? The BlendCo people advise a two-week eating plan that is vegan, gluten free, alcohol and processed sugar free along with daily doses of 1-2 tablespoons of the skin blend to see a positive change in skin, more energy, a brighter complexion and a reduced appearance of dark circles. I certainly don’t drink alcohol, but I’m not vegan, nor am I gluten free, and it’s currently a not very feasible diet plan for me even if it’s two weeks so I was unable to test out this theory in full, but I can definitely attest that it does give me more energy for the day. A healthy smatter of skin blend, I’ve found, does make me feel more energized after my breakfast as compared to skin blend-free breakfasts of the same kind, and–all health benefits and magnesium and iron and whatever aside–it is very tasty. You first get the tropical, rich fragrance of coconut on your tongue in chewy shreds; then you get a hint of the salt, alongside with the sweetness of the soft chunks of goji berry which work the same way that makes salted caramel so delicious; then you get some tart fruity tang from the raspberries and the wholesome, deep nutty crunch of the pumpkin seeds. It’s a blend packed full of tangy, coconutty, salted-sweet goodness with a lovely texture as well–the skin blend can form into clusters occasionally so it becomes a kind of soft granola, and the crisp coconut and the crunchy pumpkin seeds along with the gooey softness of goji berries means that it isn’t just jaw-tiring crunch all the way or flaccid softness all the time.
So, besides taking a peep at my Instagram to see how I use BlendCo, I’ve decided to make a BlendCo Bonanza of three recipes that use this scrummy blend so you have ideas on how to use it, and also see how versatile it is! First up: we have the BlendCo Blizzard.
A nice pink frosty glass of thick, slurpworthy and refreshing smoothie pleasure–this beauty uses frozen berries for a pop of tart sweetness and berry flavor, acai for the antioxidants in acai oil that give your skin a lovely glow, bananas for that luscious creamy richness and ice cream smooth texture, and peach–which contains Vitamin A and C, making them a great natural moisturiser, and apparently according to Google helps maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin…I’m not too sure if anyone is looking to boost their mucus membranes, but this was definitely a delicious glass of fruity, creamy smoothie goodness, and topped with the BlendCo skin blend it definitely will help give your skin the nourishment it needs for the day. Plus, it takes about 5 minutes to whizz up in your blender–et voila, you have a lovely pink punch of skin goodness that will nourish you from the inside out!
You will need:
-1 large banana (freeze these in coins if you want extra thickness to the smoothie)
-1/2 cup frozen berries of choice
-2 capsules acai (I used Organicburst acai)
-1 small ripe white peach/yellow peach, sliced
-1/4 cup greek yogurt
-a splash of juice/water
-1 tbsp BlendCo Skin blend+more to top
Blitz these ingredients up in your blender, adding as much liquid as you wish to reach your desired consistency. Pour into a glass, top with more skin blend and serve up!
Next up is the BlendCo Bliss Balls–if you need a power snack to fuel you through the day, these babies have you covered. Rolled in skin blend, these taste like a nutty, caramelly cookie dough–you get chunks of almonds, a hit of fresh sunny citrus, the rich sweetness of medjool dates and the lovely texture of the skin blend. They’re sweet enough to boost your sugar levels and energy and kill those sugar cravings, ridiculously easy and quick to make (plus very much cheaper than energy bars), can fit into your bag for emergency snacks be it on the go or after exercise or when you’re feeling peckish, and have a whole host of nutrients that will make your cells happy. In short: pure goodness that will get you rolling with the punches.
blendco bliss balls
You will need:
-1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
-1/4 cup dessicated coconut
-1/2 cup almonds
-a shake of cinnamon
-zest and juice of half an orange
-1/2 cup medjool dates
-2 tbsp BlendCo skin blend+about 1/4 cup to coat
Blitz the pumpkin seeds and almonds in your food processor till gritty but not too fine–just break them down into manageable chunks. Add in your coconut, skin blend, cinnamon, dates, and orange juice plus zest and blend until a soft, slightly tacky ball forms–add in a little more juice if needed for it to come together. Roll into balls of your choice of size and then roll them into the skin blend to coat, pressing a little for the larger chunks to stick. Refrigerate till needed.
And last but DEFINITELY not least…these bebes are the BlendCo Bombs. And yes, they are the bomb. Dot com. Little raw cakes in which I have snuck the different components of the skin blend into, so it’s like deconstructed BlendCo in cake form! The base is a thick layer of cacao nib goji fudge brownie–chewy, fudgy, chocolaty brownie studded with crunchy cacao nibs that utilises 3 skin blend ingredients: pumpkin seeds, goji berries and cacao nibs. Next up you have a salted caramel layer–date caramel with himalayan salt, which is the skin blend ingredient in this jazz. And on the top, a thick wodge of raspberry-coconut cheezecake–luscious creamy cashew cheezecake flavored with the tart berry burst of raspberries and the tropical rich toasty flavor of coconut, and this layer is also a minefield of dark chocolate buckini bark chunks–essentially crunch bombs of luscious dark chocolate and shatteringly crispy toasted buckwheat. To top it off, I drizzled these bubs in tahini and skin blend–so good. These are absolutely divine, so tasty, and absolutely decadent. When you bite in you get the extremely chocolaty and fudgy soft, almost melty brownie layer with a sort of nuttiness from the pumpkin seeds and a crackle of cacao nibs; then you get a salty sweet hit of salted date caramel, oozy and luscious, smooth and sassy; and then the cheezecake–rich creamy berry mousse with a roasty-toasty coconut fragrance, punctuated and cut through with slivers and splinters of crisp buckini dark chocolate crunch bark. Beyond amazing–do give these a try!
You will need:
For the cacao nib goji fudge brownie
-1/3 cup almonds
-1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
-1/3 cup pitted medjool dates
-1/3 cup goji berries
-1.5 tbs cacao
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-1 tbs tahini
-2 tbs cacao nibs
-2 tbs BlendCo skin blend
Blitz the almonds and pumpkin seeds until a mealy flour, then add the dates, cacao, goji berries, vanilla, and tahini. Process till a slightly sticky dough forms, pulse briefly to incorporate the cacao nibs and skin blend, and press into the base of a 6-cup silicone mould, or a muffin tin lined with parchment paper. Freeze while you make the other layers.
For the salted date caramel:
-1/4 cup medjool dates, soaked
-2 tbsp tahini
-1 tsp vanilla
-liberal pinch himalayan salt
Blend the soaked medjool dates, the tahini, vanilla, salt and enough soaking liquid for it to form a pasty caramel. Divide evenly over the silicone mould and spread out evenly. Return to the freezer.
For the dark chocolate buckini crunch bark chunks:
-about 60g melted dark chocolate
-1/4 cup buckwheat groats
Toast the buckwheat groats in a dry pan over low heat for about 5-10 minutes, stirring every now and then, till they are crisp. Pour into the melted dark chocolate, stir to combine, and spread out in a thin even layer over parchment paper. Freeze till solid and break up into chunks of desired size.
For the raspberry-coconut cheezecake:
-1/2 cup frozen raspberries
-1/3 cup cashews, soaked overnight
-2 tbs coconut flakes
-2 tbs coconut oil
-3 tbs plant based milk
-3 tbs maple syrup
-1/2 tsp lemon juice
-1 capsule acai (optional, but for the sake of the skin blend I put it in) (I use OrganicBurst acai)
Process ingredients together in a food processor, adding more plant based milk if needed, till a creamy smooth mix forms. Scatter in the previously prepared buckini crunch bark and stir in before dividing evenly into the moulds. Freeze for 3 hours at least or overnight before removing from moulds and serving with a drizzle of tahini and more skin blend.
(disclaimer: I was not paid to advertise these products, BlendCo sent them to me for review. All opinions expressed are mine, and I think it’s pretty darn delicious.)
BlendCo Blog: http://blendco.com.au/the-blog/