Deliciously Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake

Hey there!

So I made up a recipe today for carrot cake and would love to share it with you!

I knew it was a goodie when the husband and I devoured half of it within the afternoon and didn’t feel sickly horrible.

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It’s quite hearty as it’s made with a base of oats, but still fabulous for an afternoon treat with a cup of tea.

It also happens to be gluten free for all you people with the sensitive tummies.

Alrightly then.

So.

VEGAN CARROT CAKE/LOAF (because it could be made into a loaf if you so desire)

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups of crated carrot (around 2 medium large carrots).
  • 2 cups of rolled oats (ground up)
  • 1/3 cup of rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp ground flax seed.
  • 1 tsp mixed spice.
  • 1 tsp cinnamon.
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup Almond milk or any other plant milk
  • 1 Tbsp Black strap Molasses
  • Around a 1/2 cup of crushed Walnuts (optional)
  • Around a 1/3 cup finely chopped dates (optional)

 

  1. Set the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Ok, so first off mixed the milk, vinegar and molasses in a bowl or mug or container of choice. Set aside to curdle.
  3. Grind the 2 cups of oats into a powder. Put into a bowl and add the rest of the dry ingredients except the carrot (which isn’t really dry).
  4. Mix, BUT don’t over mix the wet ingredients into the dry and then fold in the carrot and the walnuts and dates if you want them (but I’d highly recommend).
  5. Spoon the mixture into a lined loaf tin and bake for around 45-50 minutes. If you’re unsure if it’s ready, put a toothpick into the cake and if it comes out clean it should be ready. Mine came out clean around 35 minutes, but I wanted my cake to be a little browner on top so I left it in the oven for longer. Up to you.

If you were to double the recipe it’d probably be high enough to call a “loaf” as the cake doesn’t rise a large amount,

Serve with whatever you want. I hear you can make some sort of cashew “cream cheese” icing. There is probably something online…like THIS? (click)

I like to eat mine with blueberry jam and tahini. Because as you probably would know by now, tahini is an obsession on mine. I eat it every day without fail.

 

I hope you enjoy it!!! The ingredients aren’t expensive which is a great, and it’s quite tasty, so make it! Let me know how it goes 🙂

 

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Change your life in the Kitchen (Serious)

Ok, Ok.

I’ve discovered the most life changing and incredibly brilliant kitchen tool.

Like, seriously man. I’m not even kidding.

The first time I tried this beautiful device, I….I actually almost cried with joy. No exaggeration.

Alright. So, this tool is a can opener. But no ordinary can opener. This is a MagiCan. *enter choir from heaven*.

So you know how over time can openers get rusty and loose their sharpness? And when you’re just happily opening a can of tinned tomatoes, the can opener decides to just SKIP a little bit of the can and you have to release your grip and try and attach the opener to just that iddy biddy little bit of metal and then it doesn’t work and you loose hope and just try and open it by stabbing the can with a knife?

Or, the handle starts rusting, and…. it just falls apart?

Or, the opener has just decided to stuff all, and not even attach itself in the first place?

Or, when you take the lid off the can you accidentally cut yourself on the sharp metal?

Or, maybe none of this has happened to you, but you are just intrigued now?

WELL. Let me say, the MagiCan is the end to all your problems my friends.

Let me explain.

My humble $10 can opener decided to stop working one day, and I said “NO MORE!”. So my husband and I went to the store, More Wilsons (a fancy homeware and grocery store) to purchase a more worthwhile opener.

We looked at the selection (and I’m going to be honest, we searched for the cheapest one there) and lo and behold, the MagiCan was there for around $20. It didn’t look like much because it was made from white plastic, not metal. But once it proved itself, it’s appearance was no longer a turn off.

Now, I could explain how to use it, or I could leave it to the brilliant advertising of this fella:

 

Here are some photos of my MagiCan.

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So if you want to save yourself a lot of unnecessary stress in the kitchen, do yourself a favour. Purchase one of these beauties. Seriously. What a JOY. No more cut fingers, no more struggles and the smoothest experience of can opening in your life.

Arg, ok. I’ll end the advertisement now.

So off topic, if you have Netflix, I encourage you to watch the film, “Okja”. You’ll enjoy it!

 

See you again!

The “Sup” War

Hi!!!

It’s been an awfully long time hasn’t it. I apologise. Why haven’t I been writing for the last few months? To be perfectly honest, I felt a little uninspired. I know that there is a view that you should just keep pushing on and keep going with a project even if you have to squeeze out a single drop of creativity, but I just couldn’t. I feel weird posting things that aren’t interesting in my opinion. Maybe I’ll explain things another time.

I also felt a little embarrassed about sharing my personal life and I felt like this blog was going down a weird route, but hey, you only live once. It doesn’t really matter.

SOOOOOO what has happened since…..the 19th of March? (gosh it HAS been a while!)

Well, I have been doing a few doodles. Remember how I challenged myself to draw every day this year? Well, that didn’t happen. But I must say, I have drawn the most amount of pictures EVER in one year since….I was a kid probably.

monster tray

Ok, Ok. The picture above has a story. My brother went to some band’s concert and the lead singer’s nickname is “Monster Tray”. So he asked me to draw it….literally, and send it to him so he could give the picture to the singer. It never happened, but that’s ok  – I ended up with some wacko drawing.

Recognise this character below?

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Some girl and flowers.

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If you live in NZ you’ll recognise these washing lines. I swung on these as a kid and was told off repetitively.

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Autumn is pure bliss because of this alone:

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A birthday card I drew for my favourite younger brother. Just look at him, so handsome, with a hot cuppa and a flower between his toes. Haha.

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My beautiful mummy.

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So. yes, I hope you enjoyed those.

I’ve also been making and eating a lot of delicious food. You can click on each picture individually if you want to see the food up close. I won’t judge…I mean, I’d do the same.

 

From above you can see the hot cross buns I made for Easter. They were so good. So very good.

I’ve seen some pretty views. Again, you can click on them to see a fuller photo.

 

As you can tell, my life joys revolve around food and views.

Anyway, the title of this post – “Sup Wars”. You might be thinking what the heck man?!

Let me explain.

I have a seven year old piano student who is awesome. While his sister is having a lesson, he draws. Some of his drawings are so hilarious that I just had to take a photo of them. Here are a few:

 

Maybe they’re not as awesome to you, but I think they’re great. Click on each one to see everything.

So, in his last lesson, my student left a book that he wrote called “Sup”. It was about a Sup war. Click on the pictures and enjoy the pure simple entertainment and creativity of a young child who doesn’t care what other people think.

 

Ok, I better go to bed, but I hope you enjoyed this post! Hopefully you’ll see me again very soon!

If there is anything you want to say, write a comment! If there is anything you want me to write about specifically, ask me 🙂

 

Ask WHY.

[WARNING: This blog post is long…and potentially won’t make much sense, so have fun!]

Hello!

I’m still alive. I just had a wee moment to breathe, and now I’m back.

Here are a few drawings from the last 2 weeks.

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The green diamond above the girl is a symbol from the game “the Sims”….just in case you didn’t know.

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The last one is a tad random…but whatever.

How’s it going?

I think it’s interesting how a person’s mind develops as they grow up and have to make their own moral decisions.

We all grow up in a household of rules, regulations and morals. Our parents teach us the way we should live, and what our morals should be according to their beliefs. School also presents rules and morals (some of which our parents may not be a fan of). Society and the media gives us laws and tries to make us question our morals.

There comes a point when we’re thrown into the world as an adult and have to live by the laws of our country and live by the morals we choose.

I remember seeing this a lot during university. Students would be living without parents and spend their days pushing the limits of what they thought was appropriate and/or questioning every value that they were previously adamant of when living in their family home. Sometimes it was a good thing, and sometimes a bad thing.

As adults in a country like New Zealand we have the freedom to question about why we live and believe a certain way.

Why do I do this thing? Why do I believe in this moral? Why do I believe this religion? Why do I wear this thing? Why do I study this subject? Why, why, why, whhhyyyyyy?

Questions are good. Asking why is good.

I know, for me, I held onto my beliefs firmly and strongly all the way through to university, which I think was good (thanks mum and dad). I never questioned anything because I didn’t need to. I was living safely in a stable home. I was free to ask whatever I wanted if I did have some giant questions about life lurking in my mind.

At university I was surrounded by students questioning life and all of it’s meanings. I saw the stalls, I read the magazines and I heard the discussions, but I never really questioned my morals, my beliefs or what I studied.

Finally, I got married, and then I started to think about life a bit more. Perhaps it’s because my time is no longer fixated on studying music history and passing all of my papers. Perhaps it’s because I am feel more responsible about my life and my husbands. Or perhaps I’ve just been reading a bit more… I don’t really know, by I’ve been thinking about how great it is to ask WHY.

Some examples:

My Christian faith: I grew up in a stable and passionate Christian home. It was great. I encountered God. My parents were and are amazing people of faith. It is the foundation of my life. This is actually one thing I’ve been forced to question all of my life, so I’m pretty happy with this belief in my life. Jesus is cool. If you want to learn more about God, people at churches are nice people to talk to 🙂

My degree: This is something I kind of “fell” into I’d say. I left school not really knowing what I wanted to do ( I still don’t have a definite answer), but I knew that I liked playing music as it was something I grew up with and felt stable in. So I did. Do I question it? All the time! But that’s OK. Life’s a journey right?

Veganism: Society and being in my household taught me that eating meat, eggs, dairy, honey, wearing leather, wearing wool, going to the zoo, going to the aquarium and many other things were fine and non harmful because they’re just seen as normal. I started questioning these things without the influence of anyone in my life. I stumbled upon veganism by learning about plant-based baking and cooking on the internet. I watched some YouTube videos and some documentaries, chatted to God, and felt incredibly convicted about it and also felt an extreme sense of relief when I made my decision. I tell you what, it is tricky being a Christian sometimes but being a Christian and a Vegan is a hilarious combo.

Reactions: Why do I react in a certain way? Well, generally it’s a habit from childhood or influence of people around me. I might automatically react angrily without thinking about it just because it was something I did as a child or witnessed most of my life. So, I have been asking WHY. Why do I react in a certain way. This a good “why”.

Then there are little things that I like to question…like, why do I shave? I don’t need to. It’s only because society tells me to. But I choose to because I like the feeling of smooth skin.

Why do I wear bras? It’s been scientifically proven that wearing them (excluding sport) is doing more harm than good for women who don’t have enormous chests. So why do I keep wearing them? Society tells women that they need to. No one wants to see nipples or something. So I feel pressured to wear them. It that was too much info for you…sorry…not sorry. Haha.

I’ve been looking at a few things that I’ve lived by in my life without really thinking about why. I’ve taken a good look at them, thought about whether I really want to live by that, then placed in part of my mind where I want to continue to live by it.

I guess what I want to say is that it’s good to ask WHY. Think about something that you’ve done all of your life and ask WHY. Think of a moral that you’ve lived by and ask WHY. Do you really believe something or are you just believing it because you’ve been brought up that way, or society has been telling you it’s correct, or school always told you something was impossible or it was to be only done a certain way.

Educate yourself in things your interested in! Don’t just assume because you’re doing something, it is good for you, or is the only way. Watch documentaries! Seriously!!

I hope this post wasn’t a big rambling, generalized mess…but actually got you thinking in some way.

Here is a wonderful photo of something delicious. I made some “healthy” cookies the other day (maybe I’ll share the recipe). I cut them up, placed them in a bowl, poured some soy milk on them and ate it like cereal. LIFE. CHANGING.

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I hope you have a wonderful day!

Also, if you want to watch some interesting street interviews, watch this:

 

 

 

Chocolate Brownie/Cake

Yo!

Ok, so today I have the recipe I promised last time. It was very much an experiment, but it turned out well, so I thought I’d share it!

First off, Drawings.

I did actually draw another lovely picture, but I forgot to take a photo of it as I sent it away as a card. So oh well.

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Also, Wayne and I had an enjoyable walk up Makara Peak a few mornings ago.

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It felt like we were in the sky! It was very cool 🙂

RIGHT

Brownie time!

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Mmmmm 🙂

Tahini Chocolate Brownie/Cake.

You will need:

  • 2 Flax Eggs (2Tbsp ground Flaxseed plus 6 Tbsp warm water)
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Smooth Tahini
  • 2 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 1/2 Cup of Plant Milk (I used Soy)
  • 1/4 Cup Dark Cocoa
  • 3/4 Cup Plain Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Chopped Chocolate of Choice (I used Whittakers Rum and Raisin).

Turn oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a loaf tin with some baking paper.

Mix flax seed and warm water together and leave so it becomes a gel (around 3 minutes).

Mix Sugar, Tahini, vanilla, milk and flax eggs together with a whisk. Sift in all the dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate.

Pour the batter into the lined tin and bake for around 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Or if you really want, leave it for less time for a more gooey brownie. I mean, lets be honest, there are no raw eggs in this batter, so you can eat it raw. Haha.

It’s quite a crumbly brownie, so I suggest leaving it in the fridge to become a little more firm.

Also, if you’re living in New Zealand, I reeeeally suggest using Rum and Raisin Whittakers. It’s beautiful.

 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. We ended up eating the whole batch in one day…ooops.

I have made another slightly more healthy brownie recipe in the past if you want to check it out HERE.

A Story about Dominion…and a Duck.

Hello!

How’s your Sunday going?

Mine is going fairly smoothly. I just made a glorious pizza for dinner. The “cheese” sauce was bang on this evening. Perhaps I’ll write up a recipe for this particular one. I had put up a post in the past with one version. Click here for that 🙂

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Here are a couple of drawings:

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And finally,

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So the next part of this post may be a little unnerving for some, but I think it’s really really important to be informed. Please continue reading 🙂

Also, I talk a lot about my faith, so it may not resonate with you a whole lot, but bear with me 🙂

First off, I want to show you a couple of photos from my Nephews’ children’s bible:

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These pages are from the creation story. It highlights God’s absolute love for his creation and everything in it. I love how it quotes “God saw all that he had made and he loved them. And they were lovely because he loved them.” I love how it shows that God talked to his creations: “Hello animals!…You’re good!” and “You look like me (Adam and Eve), You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made”.

Everything that God had planned for this earth was perfect and made in his Glory.

But you know the story. Sin entered the world, so therefore creation experienced death, violence and suffering. God had given us freewill and we fell into temptation and it resulted in the world today. However, because God loved us so flippin much, he sent Jesus to teach us the right way to live, and to actually die for all our sins so we could have that beautiful Garden of Eden relationship with God again and live with him forever. Jesus was the last sacrifice.

So, I’m going to backtrack a little. Back to the creation story. God gave Adam and Eve an extremely important commandment. In fact, it’s actually the first commandment in the bible. Dominion. Or in other words, Stewardship. Like a king looking over his kingdom. He gave them the task of looking after creation and everything in it. Not to oppress and destroy. They were to be the representatives of God to God’s creation. And we all know how much God loved his creation! His plan was perfect from the start!

So when sin entered the world, not only did humans get affected, but animals. They did and now still experience death, suffering and pain. But what do humans have that animals do not? We have dominion. We are to be good stewards of this earth. We are so lucky in this age to have the ability to educate ourselves about what is going on in the world we live in, and how we can reduce the suffering afflicted on creation and all that lives in it. Here’s a quote from a book called Animal Gospel. “We are the species who can dream divine-like dreams and by divine grace actually actualize them. Humans are the one species capable of continuing the story of God incarnate”.

Now, I want to share a story about some ducks. Perhaps you have some pillows or a jacket that is filled with down. Have you ever wondered where these down feathers come from?

Maybe you think that people collect them as they fall of these birds, or maybe once they kill these ducks quickly they remove the down? So, just to remind you all that down feathers are the feathers that come off ducks before the large mature feathers come through.

Sadly there is nothing nice about down feathers. 80% of the down feathers bought globally come from China. 90% from ducks and the others usually from geese. Most of the down feathers come from egg laying birds or birds grown for meat. The large majority of down feathers are plucked off the birds while they are still alive and conscious. As you can imagine, that’d be extremely painful. The reason they do this is because once they remove the down, the birds will grow more down – and so the cycle continues…until they die.

To read more information about this, please click here 

When you purchase an item with down, you’re supporting an industry that kills billions of birds every year that have been crammed into horribly confined and unhygienic places.

Many of these ducks are also being force fed via tubes so they can produce an extremely fatty liver  – ten times the normal size to be exact! Just for Pâté – a “delicacy”.

I encourage you to watch this if you have time 🙂 If it’s too horrible for you to watch, then it shouldn’t be good enough for you to support.

 

So, now that you’re informed. Please think again when purchasing an item with down, or feathers in general. They always only belonged on these creatures. They don’t belong to humans. God made feathers for birds. Would God want these creatures to suffer?

You don’t have to support it. We are extremely lucky in this age to have so many alternatives! It’s wonderful 🙂

So, I know this is only one of many (sadly) terrible industries that cause animals to suffer, but I thought perhaps this is something that most people wouldn’t think about?

I believe in you! You can be a good Steward!

Stay tuned for a chocolaty recipe coming soon!!!! 🙂

 

 

 

Parties in the Streets of Napier

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
– Matthew 6:25-27

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I hope you’ve all been having a good week. I returned to Wellington from a fun ten days in Napier.

I was lucky enough to be there for the art deco weekend that Napier puts on. The entire inner city transforms into a 1920’s flashback for a few days as people dress up, big bands and dancers take over the walk ways and vintage cars fill the streets.

 

And me in the most cliche photo …

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Yes. I love Napier. I love the Hawkes Bay. I’d be happy living there.

Oh, and remember how I went to a waterfall the other day? Well here are some photos of me jumping into the water. You can click on them for a closer look.

 

Anyway, I am still terribly behind on my pictures, but here are a few more.

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Wayne and I had our third wedding anniversary yesterday 🙂 We went to watch a Shakespeare play, to which we got through half of it. I claim that a victory since we had little idea of what was going on and it was cold outside. We also went out for fancy tacos at a place called BoquitaAll their food is fully plant-based. They are extremely delicious and the tastes are out of this world, but just a warning – you’ll probably be wanting at least three tacos. The serving size is small. I had two and it was a big mistake as I was still craving more.

This is a little drawing I drew for him.

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It is a little different for me. Yes, I did follow a step by step on how to draw this 😛 But I made it my own.

And finally one more.

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Wellington is due for many more sunny days, so I am excited. See you soon!