Etsy News!

Hello, friends!

I’ve received quite a few emails regarding my Etsy shop – I chose to close it during my healing process, but I’m happy to report that after two months, it’s reopen with some new and improved items. I have reformulated all of my body butters to include raw, organic cacao butter for an even deeper moisturizer – it also gives each blend a rich scent and oddly enough, aids in faster absorption. I’ve brought back my popular seasonal blend from last year, along with two new scents:

  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Blueberries & Cream


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I am waiting for more tins to arrive so that I can add more scents to the shop, but in the meantime, I’d love to hear if there is anything specific you’re looking for??? Please leave me a comment below if you have any requests.

There are a few options for spray deodorant and roll-on perfume…more will be added as I restock my supplies.

ETSY

ETSY

I am also in the process of repackaging my lip balms so that my shop will officially be plastic free! I’m saying goodbye to the BPA-free tubes and introducing small tins that can also double as a quick healing balm for skin. I hope to have them in the shop within the month, but I need to figure out new labels!

Click HERE to view my shop.

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me and supported my little shop!

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week!

Love & Light

❤️

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

How many of you actually love your job? I’m talking passionate, happy, excited and motivated by the life you’ve chosen. Sadly, I don’t know too many people who would raise their hands. The last paying job (early 2010) I had just about broke me. I was at an all-time low – physically falling apart with numerous ailments, mentally and emotionally unwell and I remember day dreaming about things I wish I could be doing. I felt defeated. Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? I promise, this story has a happy ending…obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be typing this, right? After connecting the dots and realizing that my job was the cause of my unhappiness, I gave my notice and quit. I needed to take control of my life, health and well-being, as well as find my true passion…my calling. I brainstormed all sorts of ideas – everything from homemade jewelry to opening some sort of vegan, gluten-free bakery or food cart. So, I started experimenting in the kitchen with homemade donut recipes. I spent a couple of months running various trials and scribbled my creations down in an old notebook which later got lost during one of our moves. Luckily (and I owe thanks to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book) I found a few of my recipes from almost six years ago!

As for finding my true passion or calling, I’m living my dream now. Being a stay-at-home mom and being able to have fun with my hobbies (recipe creating and product making) is more than I could ask for. I actually wake up in the morning excited for what the day holds, for what adventure awaits. I feel truly blessed.

I’ve spent the last few weeks refining these recipes – adjusting the ingredients to my current way of eating and making them even “healthier” than they were originally. In the last few weeks I have gone through MANY trials and attempted to make these oil-free, but I gotta tell you, this is an instance where a little oil takes it from: “It’s OK” to “Whoa. This. Is. Amazing!”  I am SO excited to share this first donut recipe with you!

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

BAKED COCONUT PECAN MINI DONUTS: {vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free}

Makes 24 mini donuts

Soft, cake-y, sweet and almost melt in your mouth delicious! The combination of ground pecans and coconut oil create a buttery treat.

What you Need:

Mini Donut Pan(s)

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

All of the ingredients needed. Our kitchen table is always covered with large brown paper so we can doodle while we sit together…it’s also a great distraction for Willow while she waits for meals.

{DRY}

  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup finely ground raw pecans (almost flour-like, not butter)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

{WET}

  • Flax “egg” (1 Tablespoon ground flax + 3 Tablespoons filtered water)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 rounded Tablespoons raw coconut oil (no need to melt)

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

I almost didn’t post this photo because of how messy it looks, but I felt it was important to show the process – it doesn’t need to be perfect.

How To:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit & lightly grease your donut pan(s) with either coconut oil or avocado oil.
  2. In a small dish, stir together the ingredients for the flax “egg” and let it sit for five minutes.
  3. Measure out your milk, ACV and vanilla; add it to a large mixing bowl (preferably to a stand-up mixer or you can use a handheld mixer). Add in the coconut oil and flax “egg,” then mix until well combined.
  4. Next, add in all of the dry ingredients – works best if you sift your flour, sugar and finely ground pecans, but my sifter recently broke…that’s what happens when a three-year-old plays with your kitchen stuff!  Mix until just combined (be careful not to over mix). It will be a somewhat sticky, pudding-like consistency.
  5. Using a piping bag or tablespoon, fill each donut “cup” 1/2 – 2/3 full – do not fill to the brim as they will expand as they bake. Bake for 15-19 minutes. They should spring back to the touch and your tester should come back clean (no wet batter).
  6. Remove from the oven and allow the donuts to rest in the pan for five minutes before removing.
  7. You can enjoy as is OR indulge and coat them in this delicious Cinnamon-Maple Sugar mixture (see below).
  8. As for leftovers, DO NOT store in a plastic container (such as Tupperware or a Ziploc bag) otherwise they will get “wet” and sticky. They’re actually best kept on the cooling rack with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper draped over them loosely. Best eaten within the first 2-3 days.

***UPDATE*** For an oil-free version, simply omit the coconut oil and replace with coconut milk (I used full fat) – so, 3 Tablespoons of coconut milk. You might have to adjust the baking time, but start with the suggested time above.

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

You can see which donut “cups” I overfilled! Ha! That’s OK, they got eaten pretty fast!

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

A couple of the donuts before being tossed in the Cinnamon-Maple Sugar mix.

CINNAMON-MAPLE SUGAR:

If you’ve never had maple sugar before, you are missing out! We used fresh maple sugar from Graham Farms Maple in Vermont and I’m not kidding when I say, it is the BEST I’ve ever had. Rich, sweet and oh so maple-y. The smell is absolutely intoxicating. Pure heaven. If you don’t have access to maple sugar, you can substitute it with either coconut sugar or regular sugar, but I recommend whirling it through a spice grinder or coffee grinder to get it a bit finer. I’m sure you could use brown sugar too.

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

A close up of the maple sugar.

  • 3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ceylon Cinnamon

Measure out the maple sugar and cinnamon – then add it to a medium-large Ziploc bag. After the five minutes of setting in pan, remove the donuts and shake them in the cinnamon/sugar mix. I only had a small bag, so I did a couple at a time.

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

My little helper and taste tester patiently waiting for a donut!

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

Thanks for stopping by!

Recipe Review: Raw Chocolate Cream Caramel Bars

Let me first say, I am obsessed with Emily von Euw – I love her blog and creativity; her lifestyle is absolutely inspiring. She makes me want to go back to a mostly raw food diet – if you haven’t checked her out, please do @ This Rawsome Vegan Life.  We’ve made more than a handful of her raw recipes and this latest attempt might be a new favorite. If you’ve got raw nuts, coconut oil, cacao, and dates, then you’re set to make this treat!

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Raw Chocolate Cream Caramel Bars { This Rawsome Vegan Life }

Each layer is good enough to eat on its own, but when assembled all together, it’s absolutely heavenly. These buttery, rich, creamy bars melt in your mouth and satisfy the sweet tooth without feeling guilty. Despite their richness, our almost two-year-old daughter kept asking for more! There are so many things I love about this recipe – whenever I make a raw cheesecake or tart, I make a similar crust, but the tip she gives for making it is priceless. The genius way is to grind the nuts into a flour first (or close to it) and then add the dates (I chopped them first, but I don’t think that’s necessary) – this makes the process fast and doesn’t work your food processor or blender too hard. I used raw almonds, but I have also made a raw crust with pecans and walnuts.

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The caramel layer is to die for and I imagine that eating it with fresh fruit would be a great snack. The recipe calls for cashew butter, so I made my own – which is insanely easy if you have a high-speed blender. You literally just keep blending until the nuts break down and turn into a creamy butter…this takes about 3-5 minutes. Next time I make this caramel layer, I want to add in a bit of raw lucuma for added maple/caramel flavor.

Now for the chocolate cream layer – by far the best I’ve made. We doubled the recipe for this layer because we all LOVE chocolate, and I went heavier on the raw cacao – used six tablespoons, to make it extra dark. The outcome is super creamy and not overly sweet – I plan on incorporating this chocolate cream into Willow’s birthday treat in April. We had a bit leftover, so we ate it with fresh organic strawberries!

For the full recipe and drool worthy pictures, please click HERE

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Our Top 10 Must-Haves and a Review of TERRASOUL Superfoods

I’ve received a handful of emails and messages about going vegan and what items we always have on hand. So I thought I would share our must-have products, our staples.

Top 10 Must-Haves: in no particular order

1.  Coconut Oil (organic & raw) – I, seriously, could NOT live without it. We use it in our homemade body care products, raw treats, cooking, baking, and it’s all we’ve ever used on Willow in the rare case of diaper rash. We use it every day whether it’s on our skin or in our food.

 

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2.  Superfoods – Since we believe in natural health and healing, we keep our pantry stocked with superfoods – our 100% natural vitamins. This is how we prevent colds and various ailments Here is what we always have on hand:

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  • Raw Organic Cacao Powder
  • Raw Organic Cacao Nibs
  • Raw Organic Cacao Butter
  • Raw Organic Maca Powder
  • Raw Organic Lucuma
  • Raw Organic Mesquite
  • Raw Organic Maqui Powder
  • Raw Organic Acai
  • Raw Organic Chlorella
  • Raw Organic Spirulina
  • Raw Organic Camu Camu
  • Raw Organic Hemp Seeds
  • Raw Organic Goji Berries
  • Raw Organic White Mulberries

You can find the above list in some natural food stores or online – we’ve ordered through Ultimate Superfoods, Raw Food World, Earth Shift, Navitas, and Vitacost. I recently learned about TERRASOUL Superfoods through this great blog PlantStrongVegan and thought I’d give them a shot. They’re a family-run business out of Fort Worth, Texas who sells all certified organic and fair-trade products. I ordered a variety of samples to compare them to the ones we already have. Everything arrived yesterday and I couldn’t be happier! I love the simplicity of their labels and packaging (especially that they don’t use clear, transparent bags) and everything smelled and tasted super fresh. Our daughter polished off the sample bag of White Mulberries as soon as we opened it! I will definitely be ordering through them again because I believe in supporting the family-run businesses, not to mention, they’re prices are the best I’ve seen. Please check them out!!

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3.  Raw Almond Butter – We use it in smoothies, on top of pancakes, stuffed in Medjool dates for a treat, raw goodies, baked goods, or right out of the jar. We always have a jar of Trader Joe’s raw almond butter in the fridge for daily use and JEM raw almond butter for a treat! JEM is made right here in Bend, OR and it is BY FAR the best raw almond butter we’ve tried. It is super creamy, rich, and slightly sweet – they use coconut sugar to sweeten, so nothing refined. Our daughter is their biggest fan and would eat a jar in its entirety if we let her!

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4.  Raw Nuts & Seeds – We use raw nuts and seeds in our smoothies, on salad, to make sauces and dips, as a quick protein rich snack, and our favorite – to make homemade raw milks. Raw cashews are our go-to when we’re looking to make a “cheezy” or creamy sauce. Here are our top ones to have on hand:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds

5.  Almond Milk – As mentioned above, we love to make our own nut milks, but almond milk is our favorite. It is so easy to do and a lot less expensive. If you are unable to make your own, Trader Joe’s carries a great unsweetened almond milk that does not have Carrageenan in it, which is hard to find.

6.  Dried Beans – It is significantly cheaper to buy dried beans in bulk than from a can…besides, most of the canned beans are packaged in a BPA lined container. If you do go the route of canned, I recommend either Trader Joe’s private labeled beans or Eden Foods organic beans – their cans are BPA-free. In my opinion, dried beans taste far better and a little goes a long way, as after they’ve soaked, they grow in size.

7.  Quinoa – It’s an excellent source of protein, iron, magnesium, and fiber – and the ways to incorporate it into your diet are endless – soups, salads, cookies, and more!

8.  Fresh Organic Fruits & Vegetables – No explanation necessary 🙂

9.  Raw Organic Coconut Sugar & Pure Vermont Maple Syrup – We don’t use any refined sugar, so we use coconut sugar instead. I bake with it, use it in raw treats, and anytime a recipe calls for sugar or brown sugar, I replace it with coconut sugar. Most natural food stores carry it, if not, it’s available online. We also use maple syrup pretty much on a daily basis – sounds crazy, I know! My husband’s family has a sugar house in Vermont – I’ve turned into quite the maple syrup snob…so if you haven’t tried pure maple syrup, you don’t know what you’re missing! So we order our maple syrup through them – and they’ve got the best prices. In case you’re interested, click HERE to learn more about Graham Farms Maple in Williamstown, VT. My one addiction, besides dark chocolate, is coffee. I used to drink it all doctored up with sugar and/or creamer, but now I just add a small drizzle of maple syrup to my cup of coffee and it seems to bring out the flavor more. We also bake with it when recipes call for agave or honey.

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10.  BRAGG APPLE CIDER VINEGAR – I absolutely could NOT live without ACV! Like coconut oil, the possibilities are endless. We bake with it, use it in salad dressings, dips, drink it daily (I mix 2 TBSP ACV with 6-8oz of water and you can sweeten a bit if needed), AND I rinse my hair with it….check out my post about hair tips, I go into more detail there. The health benefits alone are amazing:

  • Helps digestion
  • Supports the immune system (wards off colds/flu or heals them)
  • Can aid in weight loss
  • Healthy skin and hair
  • Calms an upset tummy
  • Contains potassium and enzymes that can help fight exhaustion/fatigue
  • Can relieve cramps (muscle, joint, and menstrual)
  • Lower cholesterol

The list could go on!

*If you’ve never ordered anything through Vitacost, which is where we order a number of our superfoods and staples,  I highly recommend it. They’re always offering great deals, free shipping on orders over $49 and if you use this link: https://www.vitacostrewards.com/Kb6eyTr we’ll both receive a $10 Coupon – for your first $30 or more purchase!