Earth Day 2012 – Get Kneading!

Hello and welcome to The Beauty Botaneer and Living Lusciously

I thought it an auspicious day to start my blog – so here it is!

It’s been germinating for a while; as part of my job (Complementary Therapist, specialising in Aromatherapy and Essential Oil science), I always seem to email news tidbits or recommend ideas, recipes and current health tips to friends and clients.   It dawned on me that maybe I should put it all in one place; a virtual space to share my tips, experiences, recommendations, news and recipes on natural beauty, holistic health and wellbeing.

That old maxim ‘your health is your wealth’ truly resonates with me; when I am eating well, resting, doing activities that I enjoy,  keeping active and fit and enjoying life I feel resilient and in balance; so much more positive and motivated to pursue life and my goals with zest.  I am not always a paragon of virtue – so if anything this blog will help me to stay on track and be accountable!

I love creating botanical skincare and developing workshops and courses so I am always researching and creating new recipes (which I hope to share with you in time); you will notice a lot of ‘smell’ and ‘foodie’ threads and references, as these are my two greatest passions!

It is possible to enjoy natures’ bounty and simple luxuries whilst treading lightly on the earth and respecting its resources, as we (ideally!) respect our own.   But, don’t worry this is a hairshirt-free zone (although a raw salad may creep in somewhere!)

So, here’s a toast to good health, living radiantly and sucking the sunshine out of life.

And, since it is  Earth Day,  it would be nice to honour it in some way, even if you don’t see this post for a while, why not make a date with yourself to get out in nature sometime this week, or do something that connects you to this wonderful planet.

  • Go buy a plant for the home or office,
  • Plant some seeds – herbs are easy, peasy
  • Sit by a tree and meditate, or cloudburst!
  • Or for the ultimate feel good therapy, bake some bread.  This is an easy recipe to follow and Spelt is an ancient grain with a lower gluten level than wheat.  I added green olives to it, but you can  jazz it up with walnuts & raisins, dates, apricots, sunflower or pumpkin seeds – in any combination you wish:

Olive & Spelt Loaf Recipe

I got this recipe from a packet of Doves Farm Organic Wholegrain Spelt flour (snappy title!).  It’s sooo  therapeutic to make your own bread – this was my FIRST ever attempt.  Put kettle on, some music of choice in the background and fuelled by a pot of tea  away you go.  You can  knead away with a virtuous inner glow,  knowing that there are no fillers, extra gluten, sugar and trans-fats creeping in.

Use your loaf - my olive and spelt experiment!


  • 10oz/250g Wholegrain Spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp Yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 175ml/ 6 fl.oz warm water
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 75g/30z Pitted Olives


In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, quick yeast and sugar.

Carefully measure the water and roughly mix into the flour.  While dough is still craggy add the olive oil and knead well until it feels smooth and pliable.

Leave the dough in a bowl covered with a cloth, in a draught free place for the dough to double in size.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, add the olives (or your substitutions) and  knead firmly for several minutes.

Shape the dough and put into a 1kg/2lb bread tin, or (like me) place on an oiled baking sheet and leave to rise for about 25 mins in a warm place (I turned the oven on in advance and then left my baking tray on top of the hob – ideal to help the bread rise!).

Then place in the oven (pre-heated) for 35/40 mins.  I have a gas oven and to err on side of caution I put on gas mark 5, but I checked in after 25 mins to ensure it was browning just nicely.


It taste delicious, quite dense but not heavy  – lovely served with hummous or with butter and a good jam (if using the olives-free version!!).  I also made a date and sunflower seed one…scrummy.

Send me your pics or easy bread recipes you have tried!


1 Comment

Filed under Bread, Recipes, Well-being

One response to “Earth Day 2012 – Get Kneading!

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