Whole Food Soul Nourishment

Let them eat cake…for breakfast.

I’m not a fan of food bloggers who need to write a novel, or a biography about how the cabbage in their sauerkraut found its true purpose in life, and thus make you scroll for kilometres until they give away their recipe. I’m a fan of food bloggers who just get to the damn recipe already. Having said that, I’m not really a food blogger, I’m crap at food styling, and the only camera I own is on my iPhone. But I do love the food I eat. It’s satisfying, it’s wholesome, it’s nutrient-dense, it tastes amazeballs, and that’s food worth sharing.

One of my favourite cakes in the whole wide multiverse is carrot cake. But because I advocate and have lived on a whole-foods plant-based diet for the last 2o-odd years, I’m not going to give you a recipe that will destroy your health just for a few brief moments of pleasure. No, this is the cake that keeps on giving.

And I’m doing it. I’m giving a backstory. Apologies. Here’s the recipe already (But first, an artsy picture);

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The Most Awesomesauce Carrot Cake Ever

(Makes one 20cm or 8inch round slice/cake)

Cake Ingredients:
  • 4 small carrots (or 2 large) – grated.
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw honey, maple syrup, or date paste*
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbs psyllium husk or powder
Directions:

Pre-grease your 20cm spring-form pan with coconut oil and line the bottom with parchment paper. This makes it easier to remove when set. Grate the carrots and then combine in your food processor with the remaining ingredients. Pulse or process on a low setting until you get a crumbly cake-like texture. You don’t want it to become a paste. When you’ve reached the desired texture, press into the base of your pan. Set in the freezer while you make the icing (frosting).

Icing ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup softened coconut butter**
  • 1/4 cup raw honey, maple syrup, or thinned date paste.
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs coconut or cashew mylk.
Icing directions:

Blend all icing ingredients in your food processor until well combined and smooth.

Remove cake from freezer. It should be firm enough now to turn out onto a plate or cake board. Gently remove the outer casing of the pan, place the plate or cake board on top of the cake and flip over. Remove the base of the pan, and gently peel off the parchment paper. Your cake is now ready to frost. Use an offset spatula to evenly spread the icing over the top and around the sides of the cake. Dust with ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg and decorate to your liking. This cake is best stored in the fridge.

And yes, I have eaten it for breakfast. fullsizeoutput_93a

Footnotes:

* For a vegan version use maple syrup, coconut nectar, or date paste as your desired sweetener. To make date paste, soak 1 cup of dates in warm water for half an hour or so, drain, then add one cup of water and blend until you’ve reached a syrup consistency. Adjust the amount of water you use to get the consistency you desire.

**If you can’t find coconut butter (also referred to as coconut manna), you can use soaked cashews and blend to make a thick cream. But you’ll need to add about 1/4 cup coconut oil so that the icing remains firm and doesn’t drip off your cake.

NB: Credit is given where credit is due. This recipe, a variation of many raw vegan carrot cake recipes that have been shared in the community over the years, is an adaptation of the carrot cupcake recipe found over at The Unconventional Baker. I’ve adapted it by adding psyllium. I feel that this gives a slightly more cakey texture, and it also serves a functional role of supporting colon health.

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I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do!

Michelle xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Musings, Reflections, Spirituality, Reflections, Spirituality

On Transitions & Accountability – An Equinox Recipe

It’s impossibly early. Its dark, and cold. There’s a storm blowing outside and I’ve been woken by the sound of sheet rain pummeling relentless onto the tin roof, while overhanging branches slap against the shed in rhythm with the wild dance. After an apparently unseasonable run of hot, humid weather, these are the winds of change that herald the final birth pangs of summer giving way to autumn. It is a welcome relief.

The equinox looms. If you are in the northern hemisphere, the first appearance of snowdrops signals the beginning of new life, new hope with Spring and there may be a welling up in you, an urge to clear away the cobwebs of winter and do a Spring clean. Sure you could hire someone to do it for you, but there is no personal catharsis in this, and with the coming lighter energies of Spring this is something that we all seem to need to do. Here in the southern hemisphere just now, the Hawthorn berries are in full swing, pomegranates are ripe with their precious ruby jewels, and  the leaves of deciduous trees are beginning to turn on their show of gold and crimson hue. And as many plants do, Autumn also invites us to begin gathering our resources for the cooler months, to turn inward on preparing ourselves and our homes. Both experiences of the Equinox draw us to focus on the hearth – both of our homes and our souls. The Equinox elicits a stir to change, to reflect, to set new goals, to learn and to grow.

In less than five weeks, the Passover season will be upon us. I’ll be de-leavening my home and clearing out the physical remnants of bread that I don’t actually eat, and generally decluttering the accumulated flotsam of the previous year. As I do this, I also reflect on the lessons that I have learnt over the past year. What have I learnt? Have I grown, in my character and my spirit? Is there anything that I should have done differently? Is there anything lurking in the shadows that I still need to overcome? How is my relationship with my Creator? This is a time of deep soul-searching and accountability.

An important component of the Passover meal is the bitter herbs. The inclusion of the bitter herbs represents the bitterness of being in the bondage of slavery while we were in Egypt. After the sacrifice of the Messiah (the Passover Lamb), this bondage of slavery in Egypt came to be synonymous with being in bondage to the slavery of this world, to the system that is run by greed and narcissistic lawlessness. The bitter herbs however, are not the focus of the meal, if they were we’d be stuck in victim mentality, and we wouldn’t be able to move forward. This would then become a root of bitterness in our being that keeps us stuck in slavery, often not to the system but to our own negativity.

You see this is the funny thing about bitters, the bitter principle whether it be in a plant, or in life, invites us to change. It stirs us up and ignites a fire deep in our belly, our own personal hearth. Physically, this helps us to digest our food properly, so that we can absorb it and utilise it’s nutrients for our growth and repair. Spiritually, if we allow it, it spurs us to draw closer to the Creator, whose Light helps us to reflect on what we’ve been through, learn it’s lessons and then grow or begin to heal from it.
Many of the bitter herbs are also blood-cleaners and anti-inflammatories.

My last post eluded to the ability of Rosemary (Rosmarinus off.) to stir up change. I wanted to make use of the beautiful stately bush growing where I currently live, while it was at it’s peak, so I developed the following bitters recipe based around that. It can be used before meals or whenever you’re feeling a bit stagnant. Take between 1/2 tsp to 1 Tbs depending on taste, and the heaviness of the meal.

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Last of the Summer Bitters

Raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother.

2 parts fresh rosemary, flowering tops
2 parts dandelion root (raw – dried or fresh)
2 parts burdock root (raw, dried or fresh)
1 part fennel seeds
1 part dried orange peel.

(optional: add a 1-2 Tbs raw honey or sustainably-sourced vegetable glycerin to add a touch of sweetness.)

Mason jar large enough to hold all of your herbs. (I used a 475ml jar).

Fill the mason jar with the herbs and pour over the ACV. You will need to stir as you pour to loosen the herb so it becomes completely saturated. When you think you’ve filled the jar with ACV, let it sit for an hour and you’ll see that much of the herb has absorbed the ACV and there’s exposed herb left on top. Pour on more ACV, stirring as you go, until you absolutely can’t get any more in the jar. Cap tightly, and let sit for up to 6 weeks. Give it a shake every so often. After 6 weeks or so, strain the mixture through a nut milk bag, and rebottle. I like to use 50ml bottles so I can take some with me wherever I go. It also makes a great gift.

Bitter is a taste that is often missing from the Standard Western Diet, much to our detriment. I encourage you to explore the world of bitters and Be the Change.

Many Blessings,
Michelle x