Raw Mexican Cream Of Corn Chowder

After severely burning myself making breakfast this morning I decided that the rest of the days is going to be a raw day! I recall taking a Raw Vegan Challenge a year ago and thinking it was going to be torture; surprisingly, I discovered that raw vegan foods are bursting with flavour and can leave you feeling satisfied if done correctly!

During the month I took the Raw Vegan Challenge I realized I needed to adapt some of my favourite comfort foods to combat my cravings. This Mexican Creamy Corn Chowder was one of my most tasty combinations and was inspired by a base recipe by The Rawtarian! If you’re planning on going Raw Vegan her website is amazing!

Back to this fantastic soup! It’s absolutely delicious and will leave you craving more… thankfully it takes less than ten minutes to whip up so if you are looking for another bowl it won’t take long to make some more!

Enjoy!

Holly xoxo

Raw Mexican Cream Of Corn Chowder

Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free                 Prep Time: 10 Mins                     Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Fresh Corn
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Cashew Pieces
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 3/4 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Smokey Paprika

Method

  • Toss everything into a high-speed blender and blend until warm and smooth.
  • Garnish with spices, peppers, tomatoes, corn, onion
  • Enjoy!

SaveSave

Wild Berry Maca Smoothie Bowl

One of my favourite words at breakfast is “EASY”, this is partly because I have six kids to feed but also because I’m really not much of a breakfast person and usually can’t be bothered to make a big production out of making myself something to eat in the morning. 

I love a breakfast that I can make by simply tossing everything into a high-speed blender and hitting liquify! My Wild Berry Maca Smoothie Bowl is a simple yet nutrient-packed breakfast that will kickstart your day the right way!

Have kids at home? This recipe is absolutely kid approved and will leave their tummies happy and their brains ready for a busy school day! Leave me a comment and let me know how you enjoyed this recipe!

Holly xoxo

Wild Berry Maca Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients

  • 3 Small Over Ripe Bananas
  • 1 Cup Wild Blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 Cup Black Cherries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 Tbsp Maca Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 Cups Almond Milk

Method

  • Toss everything into a high-speed blender and liquify until smooth and creamy!
  • Pour into large bowl and garnish with nuts, berries, edible flowers and seeds if desired.

SaveSave

Raw Vegan Cream Of Mushroom Soup

I always try my best to give my digestive system a break and eat raw at least one day out of the week. The problem for me is that I like cooked foods and found myself dealing with cravings after a day of raw eating. This being the case I realized I need to get creative in try to hack some of my favorite cooked dishes.

A big bowl of creamy mushroom soup has always been a comfort to me and I was easily able to create a delicious and very filling raw variation! Trust me when I say you won’t believe it’s not cooked, plus this recipe is as simple as tossing everything into a high-speed blender and pressing liquify!

I hope you enjoy this healthy spin on comfort food as much as I did! Leave me a comment below and let me know how you enjoy my Raw Cream of Mushroom Soup!

Love to you all!
Holly

Raw vegan Cream Of Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 C Mushrooms (I used brown crimini, portobello, shiitake, and brown shimeji mushrooms)
  • 3/4 C Raw Cashews
  • 1 C  Water
  • 1 Tsp Diced Shallot
  • 1 Small Garlic Clove
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Raw Sauerkraut
  • 2 Large Sage Leaves Chopped
  • 1/4 Tsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Tsp Capers
  • 1 Tsp Coconut Aminos ( if you want a more salty flavour)

Method

Toss it all in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and warmed.

SaveSave

Vegan White Chocolate Tart

When I went vegan, I thought my white chocolate days were far behind me, and all that remained was a fond memory… until this morning when I decided enough was enough! I needed to hack white chocolate and veganize it!

The key to a lovely vegan white chocolate is cocoa butter, lightly sweetened with a creamy base. As many of you know, I’m a savage for raw cashews and knew immediately where I was going to find that creamy structure to support the delicateness of cocoa butter, so it was experiment time… it’s always experiment time in my kitchen!

Recipes? Where I’m going, I don’t need no recipes!… Unless I make something amazing, in which case I write it down to share with all of you. So without further ado here is my marvellous morning creation that is not only delicious but also super low maintenance and pretty foolproof!

Enjoy!!

Holly xoxo

Vegan White Chocolate Tart

 

Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Almond Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Cacao Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup or Agave
  • 1/4 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
  • Pinch of Salt

Method

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until a dough forms.
Press into tart pan and chill.

White Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Cup Raw Cashew Pieces
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa Butter Melted
  • 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup or Agave
  • 3/4 Cup Dairy Free Milk
  • 1 Tsp Maca Powder (Optional)
  • 1/8 Tsp Salt

Method

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Pour into crust and chill in freezer or refrigerator for 45 minutes.
Garnish with fruit, chocolate, flowers.

SaveSave

SaveSave

50 Ways to Connect with Yourself and Life

On my phone I have a folder for little articles and stories that I consider hidden gems, not wanting to lose these pieces of wisdom I have taken to saving them to re-read in the future. For years I have re-visited this piece written by Neil Legault from Unbelievable You which found me at a time in my life where I felt lost and desperately needing connection. Perhaps you need this in your life too!

50 Ways to Connect with Yourself and Life

1)      Practice Kindness – With everyone and everything.

2)      Exercise, sleep and listen to your body – Your body is your temple. Treat it well.

3)      Simplify your life – Your time is precious.  Spend it living your way.

4)      Be Helpful – Offer someone your help for a day.

5)      Do a Random Act of Kindness – Do a kind act out of the blue. Surprise someone.

6)      Relax and Enjoy the simple things – When you are too busy, it’s hard to enjoy anything.

7)      Do what you Love – Make the time for YOU and what you enjoy out of life.

8)      Drop the useless stuff – Eliminate the non-essential stuff cluttering your life.

9)      Focus on what matters – Remind yourself often about what’s most important in your life.

10)   Have Fun – Don’t take life or yourself too seriously. It’s meant to be an enjoyable.

11)   Reassess your priorities – Is what you’ve been focussing on a priority?

12)   Compliment others – Tell someone about a quality you admire in them.

13)   Compliment yourself – Remind yourself about the qualities you admire about you.

14)   Treat yourself to a day off – Take a mini vacation from your routine. No guilt. Just enjoy!

15)   Make a list of what you love doing – This helps you see more clearly into you.

16)   Write down what you love about you – This list reminds you how special you are.

17)   Get away from negative people – Some people drain all your energy. Be positive and say NO!

18)   Have a day off from technology – It’s amazing how quiet you feel when it’s not there.

19)   Be there for someone – Really be present and listen.

20)   Have that awkward conversation you’ve been holding off – You’ll be happy it’s done with.

21)   Find a personal mantra and live it – Find something that resonates with you and read it daily.

22)   Show someone you really care – Caring for someone is caring for yourself at the same time.

23)   Make space – Clean out your desk, closet, garage… You’ll feel better when it’s finally done.

24)   Laugh as much as you can – Watch funny movies, going out with friends and have a silly time.

25)   Stop trying to fit in – Your happiness and freedom is in being you! You’re wonderful already.

26)   Spend some time alone doing just YOU things. – This grounds you and fosters Self-Love.

27)   Go with the flow – Don’t decide. Let Life move you. If you are invited somewhere then go.

28)   Meditate – Go for a clam peaceful walk, stop thinking and feel yourself being here.

29)   Smile as much as you can – Try to be as genuine as you can.

30)   Connect with Love – See if you can let the feeling of Love be present without an attachment.

31)   Don’t take yourself too seriously – When we do, life gets heavy and grim. That’s the ego.

32)   Forgive yourself – We’re all human and we make mistakes. Let the past go. Today is a new day.

33)   Cut out what’s not working – Is it time to let go of someone or an activity and move on?

34)   Do something unexpected – Try something new. You just might REALLY like it!

35)   Listen to music – Listen to music that really inspires you and fosters joy. This works great!

36)   Practice Self-Love – This is hard but the more you get to know YOU and become the genuine person inside, the easier it gets. Love emanates from the core of your being. It cannot be possessed or given away but the more it flows out of you in every direction the more you become it.

37)   Get rid of Self criticism – We are our own worse critics. We put ourselves down way too often!

38)   Let go of worry – Take a few steps and try to trust that Life will provide for you.

39)   Trust yourself – Have confidence in you and your abilities.

40)   Tell yourself the Truth – This is the foundation of respecting and loving yourself. It is also the cornerstone of your spiritual path.

41)   Grow in Spirit – You grow in spirit when you become more peaceful, kind, loving and compassionate.

42)   Appreciate yourself – Take the time to enjoy just being you.

43)   Cultivate your dreams – Focus on what brings joy and bliss to you. Take a step into it every day.

44)   Feng Shui Your Life – Make changes and surround yourself with things, people and activities that make you feel you.

45)   Try to see the Beauty in all things – So much of life is hidden in front of you.

46)   Have great Sex! – There is nothing like a deep, romantic, loving, passionate connection to make you feel really alive.

47)   Spend time with your lover – Don’t speak, just touch or caress each other. Go for a long walk and be fully present with them.

48)   Spend quality time with your pet – Pets like a dog or a cat are wonderful because they love you unconditionally most of the time. 🙂 That’s why so many people have them. It’s extremely therapeutic spending time petting an animal. It forces you to be present, it forces you to feel.

49)   Spend quality time with your kids – Your complete attention is the greatest gift you can give them.

50)   Spend quality time with yourself – The most important thing you can do 🙂 and the one we neglect often.

“To be able to look back upon one’s life in satisfaction is to live twice.” ~Kahlil Gibran

Vegan Chocolate Maca Mousse Tart

My husband Mark and I recently bought our first patio set, we had been dreaming of one ever since we moved into our home three years ago, but as life tends to go, we always had more pressing expenses to consider. As the parents of six children, we desperately needed our own little relax space and finding a moment of peace in our home to recharge our batteries was becoming scarce.

We excitedly made the purchase not really considering the size of the box it came in and were sad and felt pretty silly when we realized there was no way we would get it into the car with all of the car seats… yes, things we should have thought of in advance. So home we went to empty the Explorer, and Mark headed back to Sears to pick up the box as I scrubbed down the front balcony and hung the string lights that I purchased three years earlier. We managed to assemble the two chairs, love seat, and table before dinner as Sophia and Aston played dress up, then excitedly waited for the kid’s bed time when we could enjoy the space in peace and quiet.

In honour of our new found space, we opened up a bottle of Summer Hill Winery’s Alive Blend along with some fresh fruit and settled in to enjoy the warm summer night. Omara Portuondo played in the background, and the string lights twinkled against the dusky sky, but one thing was missing.

Mark is a savage for chocolate, and I knew the second I saw the little cheeky glimmer in his Irish eyes that he was thinking of something sweet. “You know what would be great with this wine?” he asks, “Let me guess… Chocolate?” I reply, and his smile widens. “Fine,” I say and head into the kitchen pantry, but the chocolate was gone! (One of the mysteries of having a large family is trying to figure out who the chocolate caper is.)

Not wanting to disappoint my sweet toothed husband I decided to quickly whip up a new recipe, and boy did it ever work out! Thankfully I wrote down the ingredients as I went along, (which is something I often forget to do) and I now have what I would consider the perfect Vegan Chocolate Maca Mousse Tart!

I hope you enjoy this decadent dessert as much as we have! Let me know in the comments below what garnishes you used on your tart.

Vegan Chocolate Maca Mousse Tart

Ingredients

Prep Time: 10 mins

Chill Time: 1 Hour

Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

The Crust

  • 1/2 Cup Raw Pecans
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Cashews
  • 4 Soft Medjool Dates (pitted)
  • 1/8 Cup Coconut Oil

Method

  • Toss all ingredients into a food processor and blend until a paste forms.

  • Press paste into tart pan, making sure to press the crust up the edges. (Wet hands if the paste is too sticky)

Chocolate Maca Mousse

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Raw Cashews  (I buy raw cashew pieces as it’s usually far cheaper than whole cashews)
  • 1 Cup Dairy Free Milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 1/3 Cup of Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Cacao Powder (You can use Cocoa too)
  • 1 Tbsp Maca Powder
  • 1/8 Tsp Sea Salt

Method

  • Throw all ingredients into blender and blend on high speed until a smooth creamy mousse develops. About one or two minutes.

  • Pour over crust in tart pan and place into the freezer to chill for an hour.

  • Enjoy with your choice of garnish, fruit, coconut whip cream, and cinnamon are some ideas!

Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto

One of my favourite dishes as a vegetarian was a nice creamy risotto, and like many, before me, I was one of those people who said ” I’d go vegan, but I could never give up cheese, ” and with that, I believed I could never give up risotto. Giving up dairy initially felt like a major sacrifice but after learning more about the dairy industry, and the adverse effects dairy has on the human body it became easier.

I recall a year after going vegan I was at a Sunday brunch at a popular winery where I live, and I came across a massive plate of cheese. Smoked gouda…. one of my past favourites was calling to me, so after a year dairy free I figured what would one cheese cube hurt and I had love smoked gouda so much. So I took a small piece much to the surprise of my also vegan husband who asked if I was sure I wanted to break a year of solid veganism. I decided I just had to have that one little piece and I popped it into my mouth; the flavours startled me. The cheese that I had enjoyed for years tasted nothing like I remembered and had a more oily texture and to be honest really grossed me out.

That was my moment of confirmation, I no longer needed or wanted dairy. A funny thing happens when you go vegan, your taste buds change and natural flavours start to appear that are of such a beautiful quality it leaves you wondering how you’ve lived so long with a blind tongue. I always find it funny when I hear people refer to a vegan or plant based life style as bland when it is quite the opposite!

You don’t need to sacrifice your health or flavour to enjoy a beautiful risotto, this recipe has been a labour of love for me, and I have spend years trying to get it just right. I’m so excited to finally share it with you!

Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook time: 22 mins

Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Ingerdients

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Small Onion Diced
  • 2 Cups Chopped Mushrooms (mix a variety for a gourmet flair)
  • 1 Large Garlic Clove Pressed
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme or Basil
  • 3/4 Cup Arborio Rice
  • 2 Tbsp Wine (any kind will work)
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Cup Dairy Free Milk (I use Cashew Milk)
  • 1/8 Cup Nutritional Yeast
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

  • In a pot fry the diced onion in olive oil until it is clear.

  • Add pressed garlic and mushrooms and cook on med/low until the mushrooms have softened.

  • Add Arborio rice and fry on low until the rice is evenly coated in oil, then add wine and stir.

  • Once the wine has mostly evaporated add the veggie broth, dairy free milk, and nutritional yeast, and herbs.

  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for 22 minutes.

  • Add salt and pepper to taste, serve and garnish with vegan parmesan.

ENJOY!

Teaching Compassion To Children And Teens

I think we can all agree that the world needs more compassion and teaching our children to understand the need for it is a mission we as parents must take on! With growing social media platforms we can sometimes become desensitized to the things happening around us as much of the information about the world today is filtered in some way. Yes, we have all seen photos of suffering but is that enough to teach our children to feel compassion? I think compassion needs to be taught through hands-on learning, yes some of us immediately connect with news stories or seeing a bird with a broken wing but do we actually do anything about it?

I want to see my kids stand up and help, offer kindness to someone who is down on their luck, and know that compassion ALWAYS matters. I’ve created a list of ten ideas to try with your kids that have been successful with mine in our journey to create a more compassionate world.

Ten Compassion Building Ideas

Plant A Garden: Compassion doesn’t just extend to humans and animals but to plants as well. The trees provide us the essential oxygen we need to survive, some bare fruit and essential oils. We acquire vitamins and energy, as well as maintain our health through plant foods and pharmaceuticals that have plant derived ingredients. All of this giving and we so often fail to honour and recognize all that plants and trees do for us. By planting a garden, we teach our children how to show compassion to plants; from a tiny seed in our little one’s hand to the excitement they feel when they see a little sprout appear. Children become invested in their plants; they have a natural desire to nurture and care for new life. This creates compassion not only for the plants they personally grow but the plants and trees they encounter in the outside environment.

Volunteer At The Food Bank: Take your older children to volunteer at your local food bank, there is something interesting that happens to kids as they enter their older child to teen years; for a time many become a little ungrateful and a bit self-absorbed. This is totally normal! It’s hard to go through that tradition from child to teen, and they have a lot going on, but it’s still important for them to recognize the wellbeing of others. Volunteering at a food bank teaches your child that not everyone has the same luxuries you enjoy and many families can’t afford to put food on the table. Working with these families develops an understanding that even in our own communities a large number of families are struggling and could use the help. Even in donating a few hours of their time they can make a difference in the lives of others.

Adopt A Shelter Pet: We all get excited about baby animals but what we often fail to teach our children is that adult or senior pets are just waiting for someone to play with them too. Shelters are full of abandon, lost, or neglected animals and are often overrun with them. Two years ago we adopted a fifteen-year-old labrador who we named Deefer to teach our children about compassion. What they learnt was that even at fifteen and with his old man gray chin Deefer loved to play catch, go for walks, and run around. He lives for play time! Not only that, but he was also well trained, and we didn’t have to deal with any of the puppy drama. We often wonder what he was like as a young pup and the kids like to make up stories about him from his younger days. Of course, with shelter pets, you need to make sure they are a good fit for your family, that they are good with children, and that any health issues they may have are manageable. When we first added Deefer to our family, we were asked why we chose not to get a puppy, and the kids have no problem saying “Old dogs need love too!”.

Make Care Packages For Homeless People: Most people hurry their children away from homeless people as if hoping their children won’t notice them sitting there. I assure you, your child noticed! This is the perfect opportunity to teach your child about compassion and take it to an even higher level. Talking to your child about the homeless in a way that gives a life and story to the people they encounter turns them from someone who is begging to someone who came from somewhere just as they have. Everyone has parents, we all have a family even if some us don’t have a loving family, we didn’t just fall from the sky and become. A series of events has led us to where we are now, and unfortunately, some of us fall into hard times. This doesn’t mean we are any less worthy of compassion. A great way for children to understand compassion is by helping others, small care packages in zip lock bags are a wonderful way to support your local homeless community. Pack some essential items into the bags, like toothbrushes, mini toothpaste, snack items, hats and mittens, matches, etc. Small gestures can go a long way! Though I will say not everyone is going to want a care package, typically if given by a child they are very well received.

Sponsor A Child In Need: If you are able to, consider sponsoring a child in a third world country. Our family had a lovely sponsor child called Faith who lives in Uganda. We made the decision to sponsor through SOS Children’s Villages as after considerable research we found that this organization would make sure the majority of the money we send each month goes directly to Faith’s care and activities. We receive letters and photos from her, and our children love to write and draw pictures for her. It’s a lovely exchange and has sparked a curiosity in my children to learn more about the part of the world Faith lives and what an average day looks like for her.
http://www.sos-childrensvillages.org

Visit Seniors Homes: Caring for someone smaller and younger than ourselves seems to come naturally to most children, but age certainly doesn’t define the level of compassion we require. Visiting seniors homes is a great way for kids to connect with older souls and discover how similar we really are. Aside from learning from the people in the homes an incredible exchange happens, the children add a flair of fun and excitement in the day of the residents and in exchange they are usually given some gem of wisdom. For teens, it’s a wonderful way to make friends with a senior and form a more mature relationship or mentorship.

Consider A Plant-based Lifestyle: Plant-based lifestyles are compassion based, health-based and environmentally based. It’s very easy for us to disconnect the link between animals and food as most of us grow up eating animal products. When looking at a bigger picture it a pretty good assumption that the animals who are raised for meat would rather live, and the environmental effects of factory farming is doing a considerable amount of damage to our environment. Living a plant-based lifestyle means no longer purchasing or consuming products that are animal derived creating a more gentle way of life. Teaching your children compassion for animals through this type of lifestyle has not only health benefits but is also delicious! This doesn’t mean you have to make the change overnight, many people are making gradual changes toward a plant-based lifestyle, and that is a fantastic step to take!

Donate To A Local Cause: Hop online and check out Go Fund Me, you will be surprised at how many local causes you will find. From families that have encountered death, to injuries, and ailing family members, each of these local causes will have a story. When something happens in your life that is difficult or traumatic, community support is incredibly important. Share the stories of these people with your children and ask them how they think they can help.

Get Your Teens and Children Excited About Volunteer Work: Get your kids involved in volunteer work and helping others! The organization Change Gamers has developed an app that makes charity work and volunteering fun, with a great community they are making positive contributions to communities near you! Great online discussion and brainstorming add to the community lead by the Change Gamers Ambassadors who empower kids to change the world! Check them out at https://www.changegamers.com

Donate Gently Used Toys To Children: Have you ever walked into your child’s room, looked around and thought “Where did all of this stuff some from?!” I am with you! With six kids in our home we are at a surplus of barely used toys, and every year around the holidays we get our kids to go through their rooms and find the toys they no longer use. We always make sure these toys are clean and gently used and explain to our kids how happy another child will be to have them to play with. These toys can be dropped off at your local food bank for holiday hampers or to many various organizations such as The Women’s Shelter and the Salvation Army.

Many little things that can go a long way! Let me know in the comments what you have tried that worked for you. Of course, this goes without saying, safety is always the number one priority, I encourage my kids to be as compassionate as possible, but never at the expense of their personal safety. Unfortunately, not everyone is full of kindness, and this too is a lesson we should inform our kids about.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Island Energy For The Empath

There is something magical about islands, it’s almost as if they are little vortexes of concentrated energy dotted all over the world. I’m not just talking about tropical islands but islands in general; I arrived in Maui for a writers workshop on Thursday and noticed immediately on my arrival that the energy of this incredible place was identical to the energy I feel when visiting Ireland and Vancouver Island.

I’ve always been incredibly sensitive to energy (here is where I go hippie on you, the site is called Hippie On The Grid… you were warned!), since childhood I’ve been able to sense the energies of other people, plants, animals, and the general energy of a place or situation. As a child this was incredibly confusing because I would automatically think I had angered someone if they were having a bad day as I was picking up on that unhappy energy, in reality, I had nothing to do with their mood, but because I could feel it, I assumed I caused it. It wasn’t until my twenties when my lovely friend Maartje taught me about empathic people. Those who carry this trait or ability often can’t identify it and live their lives constantly absorbing the energy put out by the world around them; this can be both confusing and stressful if you don’t know what you are dealing with.

We are all energy, everything around us is energy, so it makes sense that we can feel and absorb the energy around us. We all do this every day, but some of us are hypersensitive to it, and without the proper protections we can easily become heavily overwhelmed causing depression, anxiety, and avoidance.

There are a few things empathic people can do to alleviate this intake of energy, protecting themselves from the more negative or lower vibrating energy out there. One is to create what is called a psychic shield; this is simply a visualization of protective white and gold light covering your body bouncing the dark energy away. I do this every morning when I wake and often pause throughout my day to recharge this protective shield by repeating the visual. Another great tool for empathic people is the use of crystals; I truly believe they help and always have either my pockets or bra full of these precious gems. The three crystals I have found most helpful are hematite (reflects negative energy away), smokey quartz (protects and blocks negative energy), and rose quartz (inviting love in).

Let’s talk about island energy; islands are grounding places for empaths, it’s as if the surrounding water acts as a buffer from the mainland chaos. The term “island time” is often thrown about jokingly due to the slower pace and more relaxed disposition of the inhabitants. Island energy is almost like being caught in a time warp for an empathic person, our heart rate slows, we become more connected to our environment, and we are more easily able to repel those invasive type energies.

Islands are usually dense in vegetation, and because plants and trees are incredibly healing and raise the energetic vibration of the land, they create an energy cleanse. If you consider the mainland which is often highly populated with much of the vegetation cut away to create infrastructure; the energetic vibration will be lower allowing those unpleasant energies to thrive.

Even with an arsenal of tools to help alleviate the symptoms known to visit empathic people, we all need a break from the constant demand on our consciousness to sort out what feelings are ours and what is just energy put off by others. Islands are the perfect place to reset and recharge ourselves quickly when we have taken on too much.

I try to take some kind of island holiday once a year to clear my system and feel grounded again. It wasn’t until this past week in Maui that I realized the connection between the islands I’ve visited and the healing effect it has had for me. I have always naturally been drawn to islands, and I think I’ve finally figured out why. Our subconscious is incredible and knows exactly what it needs to thrive, guiding us in its gentle manner to our greatest potential if we would only listen and follow along.

Holly

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Autumn Pumpkin Bunt Cake with Raisin Whisky Drizzle

 

img_5344

Okay! This is hands down the best cake I have ever created… so far! I am so excited to share it with you today, as I have mentioned in previous posts I live for Autumn and all of the hearty comfort meals that come with the season. This cake is not only dense but moist and full of flavour that is perfectly complimented by a warm raisin whisky drizzle. I am beyond delighted with how this cake turned out and I am sure you will be delighted too.

I could go on and on about how great this cake is but I’d prefer for a moment to talk about Autumn and what the season brings to us. Autumn or more specifically the Autumn Equinox is the time when light and darkness have balanced letting us know that the darkness of winter is coming. It is a wonderful time to go within an work on ourselves; snuggle up, have a cup of tea with a slice of cake and journal about how the year went for you, in a few months this year will be coming to an end.

photo-1446236230627-42f8d9b4ac33

Autumn is also a time of celebration, ancient civilizations would gather and celebrate the bounty of their harvests that would nourish them and allow them to survive the harsh winter. Yes, most of us no longer have to worry about how we will make this through the winter but we certainly have reason to celebrate! We may not have been out harvesting produce but have been working hard in various different areas in our lives and should celebrate that.

For myself, I will be celebrating the hard work and completion of acting in my first Shakespeare play, Macbeth! So much work and time has been put in to learning lines, understanding what my character was saying, developing trusting relationships with fellow cast mates. For me opening night will be the beginning of my harvest and closing night will be a great reason to celebrate!

What have you accomplished this year? No matter how big or small there is always reason to celebrate your victories! Make merry with those you love, smell the smoke on the Autumn breeze, and for goodness sake reward yourself every now and then 😉

Autumn Pumpkin Bunt Cake with Raisin Whisky Drizzle

img_5345

Prep Time: 15-20 mins                                                                                                   Serves: 8

Bake Time: 50 minutes at 350

Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Almond Sour Cream (Blend 1 Cup Ground Almonds with 3/4 Cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk, 1 tsp Lemon Juice, 1 tsp Rice Vinegar, and 1 tsp Sea Salt  until smooth and develops the texture of sour cream)
  • 2 Flax Eggs ( 1 tbsp Ground Flax Seed mixed with 3 tbsp of water per egg you wish to replace and allow to sit for five minutes)
  • 1/3 Cup Grape Seed Oil
  • 1 1/4 Cup Organic Cane Sugar
  • 1 (15oz) Can of Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp All Spice
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp Himalaya Pink Salt or Sea Salt

Method

  • In the bowl of a mixer add Almond Sour Cream, Flax Eggs, Grape Seed Oil, Organic Cane Sugar, and Pumpkin Puree and mix until combined evenly.img_5323
  • In a separate bowl combine Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, All Spice, Nutmeg, Cloves, and Salt.img_5327
  • Add dry mixture to wet mixture in mixer bowl and combined; stopping every now and then to scrape the side of the bowl.img_5329
  • Pour batter into greased bunt cake pan and place in the oven at 350 for 50 minutes.img_5331
  • Once baked remove from oven and place on cooling rack for ten minutes and then flip pan onto the cooling rack to release the cake from the pan and allow to cool completely.img_5337
  • Drizzle with Raisin Whiskey Sauce and serve!img_5351

 

Raisin Whisky Sauce

img_5352

Prep Time: 5-10 mins                                                                                             Makes: 1 Cup of Sauce

Vegan

Ingredients

img_5335

  • 1 Cup Raisins
  • 1/3 Cup Melted Vegan Butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 Cup Icing Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Dairy Free Milk
  • 2-3 Tbsp Irish Whisky

Method

  • Add Raisins, Melted Vegan Butter, Icing Sugar, Dairy Free Milk, and Irish Whisky to a blender and blend until a smooth sauce forms, you will need to scrape down the side a few times.img_5336
  • Put sauce into a piping bag and drizzle over the fully cooled Bunt Cake.
  • Enjoy!img_5348