Hi Rebecca! First off, can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about you and what you do?


Hi! My name is Rebecca and I’m a 21-year-old student from Canberra and I run a blog and Instagram account that collectively form The Orange Kitchen (@young_rebecca). I’m extremely passionate about food, eating well, dogs, healthy living, travel, peanut butter and photography. The Orange Kitchen has evolved really organically and was initially something that I used as a form of accountability to myself. For as long as I can remember I have always struggled with being overweight. After several years of boarding school living the dream teenage diet of mostly chocolate and confectionary, as well as a gap year in Europe and the first six months of college at university, I found myself particularly unhappy with both my physical size and also my lack of health and fitness. I made the decision overnight to change the way I lived my life, which is how The Orange Kitchen came to be. Since starting The Orange Kitchen I’ve lost and kept off 25 kilograms and have truly never felt better, healthier or happier.


Aside from my foodie tendencies, I have just started my third year of a double degree in Arts and Laws in Canberra with a major in German language and culture. I’m also the proud mum to two dogs who are literally the loves of my life and I harbor serious addictions to chocolate and anything containing peanut butter.



Delicious vegan treats from @young_rebecca


What is The Orange Kitchen and what is your goal through the site and Instagram?


The Orange Kitchen is both a visual collection of the food that I eat on a daily basis via Instagram as well as a blog that contains some of my favorite recipes. I originally used both Instagram and the blog as a way of documenting to myself, and also keeping accountability for what I was eating as well as keeping track of meals and recipes that I created. I soon realized that I was absolutely not alone in wanting to eat real food that was healthy, tasted good and nutritious without the need for calorie restriction and crazy diets. My ultimate goal through The Orange Kitchen, both to myself, and also anyone who chances upon my Instagram account and blog, is to demonstrate that it is absolutely possible to eat wholesome, nutritious food and be healthy and that whilst lettuce is one of my favorite vegetables, it is not the be-all and end-all of a ‘healthy’ diet.



Not just sweet but also savoury creations + some travel!


Everything on your site is vegan – how long have you been a vegan and what do you love most about veganism?


I’ve been completely vegan now for around 6 months, however before that I had been eating a predominately vegan diet for around one year. Transitioning to veganism was a slow process for me personally. I unintentionally stumbled across some information and blogs about veganism very early in my weight loss and I was immediately in love with the idea that you could eat most things in complete abundance without need for restriction. It really bothers and upsets me that we are bombarded with messages almost on a daily basis that calorie counting and restriction, unrealistic and unsustainable diets and maintaining an insane and unhealthy amount of exercise is completely normal, healthy and something to aspire towards. Having continually battled with being overweight, I’ve tried many diets and often attempted to watch what I eat through calorie counting and found that doing so never helped in losing any weight and instead led to a really poor mindset and outlook on food and exercise. Since adopting a vegan diet I haven’t thought about or counted a single calorie and instead enjoy eating in abundance until I am satisfied, which is something no other diet or food lifestyle allowed me to do whilst simultaneously maintaining a healthy weight and physical wellbeing. For me that is absolutely my favorite thing about veganism – you can literally have your vegan cake and eat it too!


More beautiful shots @young_rebecca


How do you go about creating the recipes on your blog?


First off, I would like to say that for all the culinary successes that appear on Instagram and The Orange Kitchen, there are definitely more than a few kitchen disasters and failures. Most of the food I eat and recipes I create are products of trial and error, sometimes more error than anything else! I really enjoy the process of creating, so I’m rather experimental and I’m absolutely not scared of a challenge or deterred when something doesn’t work the first time around!


There’s no hard and fast rule about how I go about creating a recipe. Some are the products of modifying a recipe to make it healthier or veganise it, some and complete accidents that surprisingly turn out well and some recipe ideas come to me when I least expect it – for example in dreams, the middle of a lecture at uni or on my morning run. I really love using fresh ingredients, so I’m always inspired by whatever fruit and vegetables I can find. Instagram is another great source of inspiration and you can frequently find me perusing hashtags to find some inspiration for my next creation!


Rebecca's fave PSF products - Maqui, Coconut Sugar, Cacao Powder, Cacao Gold Butter Chunks


What are your favorite Power Super Foods products and why?


I have always been a massive, massive chocolate addict. In wanting to lose weight and later on when becoming a vegan, one of my primary concerns was being able to still to eat chocolate, because chocolate is typically considered unhealthy. I need not have ever worried about this though because of the delight that is raw cacao powder. These days, rarely a day goes by that I don’t use Power Super Foods Raw Cacao Powder in something, whether it be chocolate nicecream for breakfast, a sneaky afternoon dessert or in various baked goods. Other favorites of mine are Maqui Berry Powder (who doesn’t love an iridescently purple smoothie?!), coconut sugar (for all things baked) and the Cacao Gold raw cacao butter, because chocolate is life.

 



White Chocolate and Coconut Cheesecake

Vegan, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free

Ingredients;

The Base

1 cup raw almonds

10 medjool dates, pitted

½ cup shredded coconut


The Filling

1 cup raw cashew nuts, soaked in water overnight then drained

400ml coconut cream

¼ cup pure maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

½ cup finely grated and melted (double boiler) cacao butter


White Chocolate and Coconut Truffles

½ cup finely desiccated coconut

¼ cup finely grated and melted (double boiler) cacao butter

½ cup coconut cream

4 tbsp pure maple syrup

 

Method;

  1. In a high-speed blender, combine the ingredients for the base. Blend until well combined with no large chunks.
  2. Take a round cake tin and create 3 strips approx. 2cm wide using some parchment paper/baking paper. Lay these across the tin in a star-like shape with a few centimeters of excess length on either side – they’ll help you get the cheesecake out later. Tip the base mixture from the blender into the cake tin and press firmly. Place in the freezer to set.
  3. While the base is setting in the freezer, wash out your blender and then place all of the ingredients for the filling in. Blend on high speed for several minutes making sure that the mixture is not at all grainy from the cashews. If it is, be persistent because with sufficient blending it will go lovely and creamy and smooth! After a few minutes of blending, remove the base from the freezer and then pour the filling over the top. Return to the freezer overnight.
  4. To make the white chocolate and coconut truffles, place the relevant ingredients in a bowl. Take an electric mixer and combine well. Using your hands, roll the mixture into various sized balls. If the mixture is a little too runny to hold its shape, simply place in the fridge for a few minutes and then roll the balls. Store the truffles in the fridge until serving.
  5. When serving, remove the cheesecake from the freezer and allow to sit for 10/15 minutes to soften a little. Serve with the truffles and some desiccated coconut on top.

 

Thanks Rebecca!

You can connect with Rebecca at:

Blog -  http://www.the-orangekitchen.blogspot.com.au/ 

Instagram - @young_rebecca