real food. real life.
End of July? Really?
I have so many food posts I want to make and not enough time in my days to do them!
When I looked at my dwindling days left in July and the list of food posts waiting to be shared with the world, I decided you all might like this one. Tasty, sweet, decadent, and ridiculously easy chocolate cupcakes and icing. I can't go wrong, really. Anyone will give these a try. I think.
Until I mention they're vegan, of course. They might be absolutely amazing and even just a wee bit healthy for you, but dare I say they're vegan.
On our journey through health and happiness over the past... 5 years? 10 years? I'm not sure how you would calculate the journey. I mean, every step of it counts if you figure how we even got to the point of caring about health and happiness. Anyway, what's important here is that we discovered over the years that food is key. It is essential, delicious, and unfortunately, unevenly produced/distributed/packaged/disguised. At any given point, it's actually far too difficult to know exactly what you're eating, where it came from, and how it it plays a role in your body's health.
So, what we learned is that if we truly valued our health and happiness so much, we had to know more about food. And so we learned. We are still learning, and have found a love for a specific kind of food far beyond what we ever would have imagined. And our love has grown to this solely because of our quest for health and happiness. Vegan food.
It's more than just saving animals. But I won't get into that now. That's what makes people tune out and think I'm a nut case. (Which I kind of am, anyway, self-proclaimed) All I gotta tell ya is it's not always easy being a lover of vegan food. It's not always looked at with open minds and open hearts. It's a bit exhausting to be met with such resistance, when honestly, it's from the heart that it all comes from.
If more and more are investing in health and happiness, it means more and more will most likely discover veganism. Which means more people might actually give these delightful chocolate cupcakes a try. I hope, anyway.
Give them a try! You might surprise yourself to enjoy such a simple, dairy/egg-free treat. And the icing - don't even get me started. DATES! Yet another fantabulous way to use them. Sweet!
Ingredients: (makes 12-ish)
What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit and put muffin liners in your muffin pan.
2. Combine milk & vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add sugar & oil, blend until combined and frothy.
3. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients.
4. Slowly add dry to wet ingredients until no longer lumpy.
5. Scoop batter into muffin liners, about 3/4 way up. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Let cool.
Adapted just a wee bit from this excellent site: Wholefully
What to do:
Life is nuts. Super crazy busy. Especially when you're working hard to continue living your dreams, while also feeling like you're constantly living against the grain by choosing an eating lifestyle for yourself that goes against tradition, against how you were raised, and against mainstream. It can be tough. Workable, but tough. Especially when holidays roll around. But no worries, we survived Easter. With chocolate. Chocolate macaroons.
We survived Easter with a 2 1/2 year old and little to no typical Easter chocolates. How did we do it? We hosted, to start. We also strayed from tradition, as per usual for us. Lunch of fresh soup, salads, and sandwiches and we didn't provide any typical Easter treats at all. Sorry tradition, but we're trying to be kind to ourselves. The Easter got the hint though! The hidden eggs throughout the house were filled with blueberries, grapes, strawberries and stickers. And a delicious morning treat of banana ice cream for breakfast and a chocolate Larabar tucked in a stuffed bunny's arms in an Easter basket. Our granola Easter bunny is the best! And then, to top it all off, a lovely spaghetti supper with cousins and a hike through the woods.
Easter was lovely. It brought many good times with family and good food in our bellies. It also brought our little Hannah new crocs, water bottle, paints, and a watering can. Couldn't have been better. Great memories. Little time spent on the phone and lots of time in the kitchen. Aaaahhh.
Best of all? I now have this recipe. Without Easter and the attempt to have new traditional Easter treats, we wouldn't have adapted these Chocolate Macaroons that now fit with the ingredients in our kitchen. Our bellies and tastebuds were thankful for the few leftovers shared the next evening!
Total Time: 10 minutes + time to cool in refrigerator
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup almond milk
1/3 cup cocoa
3 cups oats
What to do:
1) Melt coconut oil over low-medium heat.
2) Add sugar and milk. Mix well.
3) Add cocoa and oats. Mix until well incorporated, adding a bit more milk if needed.
4) Scoop by the spoonful onto baking sheet and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!!
Okay, this recipe happened by accident, really. And it's not really my recipe. I didn't steal it or anything, I've just borrowed it and am keeping it as a favourite. Technically speaking, my name is still attached to it, but it wasn't me who created it or adapted it. It's from one of our school recipes.
And by school, I really mean my co-worker, Alicia. I may have dreamed of a school that held weekly cooking classes for every student, young and old, where students gain life skills, apply academic skill, and become food experts to take care of themselves and the world they grow up in. But, she, really, is the brains behind most of the actual cooking and baking that happens in that kitchen. She adapted it from an online recipe to make it dairy-free, refined-sugar free, and nut-free for our students to bake back in the fall. It was one of those - 'hey, we have a ton of pumpkin puree, we need to use it up, and all the kids want to make is cookies' recipes.
I have to say, Alicia is pretty amazing at whipping things like this up, adapting recipes, and cooking on the fly. Really, she's pretty amazing all round. But the kitchen is most definitely her happy place. She has transformed our weekly cooking classes into an amazing curriculum for our students (and teachers!) It makes my heart smile to see a teacher and students loving their time together, creating amazing memories.
I love my school. You know that, so I'll get back to the cookies. The real reason you're here anyway! These cookies were sweet, savoury, soft, chewy, and paired perfectly with an afternoon or morning tea. Oh, so delicious. I really enjoyed them - more than Alicia may realize! I've made them numerous times since. I was quite content to eat more than my share. ... :)
They come together quickly and easily, store well, and everyone eats them up. Sweet! So, here you go! Soft, sweet, chewy, and easy-peasy.
Total Time: 15-20 minutes!! Seriously!
½ cup coconut oil
¾ cup coconut sugar
1 large egg or flax egg
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour of choice
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
We really cooked these things. From scratch. On weeknights. And we even had time to do the dishes.
They have real, simple ingredients that you'll find in your cupboards. They're healthy and delicious. No lies.
Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below!
Here's a pic of me and my babies. Just because.
A Bit About Me...