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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chocolate Coconut Brownies (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I have made these brownies for the last few potlucks I have gone to - and even omnivores love them. I have yet to bring home any leftovers.

Makes 24 brownies (depending on how you cut them)
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw pecans
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup dehydrated coconut flake
3 cups fresh dates, pitted
2 Tbs coconut oil

  1. Process nuts, vanilla bean and salt in a food processor fitted with the "S" blade until nuts are powder.
  2. Add cacao powder and pulse to incorporate
  3. Add coconut flake and pulse to incorporate.
  4. Add dates and coconut oil and pulse until mixture starts to form a dough ball.
  5. Press into a 9"x13" pan and let set in the refrigerator for about an hour.
  6. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tie Dye

My camera battery needed charging so I didn't get any pictures of our process, (just the final product) but as a fun homeschool project we recently did a single color tie-dye. I also learned that there are a lot of people out there who have never experimented with coloring fabric on their own.

My son picked the color - purple, lavender and pink are currently his favorites so we went for purple. We picked a onesie for his sibling we will meet this summer, and a shirt for him so we could make them matching shirts. Of course, with tie-dye, there is no such thing as tie dye.
  1. To make a circular, almost web pattern, I took the center of the t-shirt, poked my finger through so there was a bit of fabric to twist, then wrapped a rubber band around that area. I did the same thing to the onesie.
  2. Anywhere we want the white of the shirt to show is where we added rubber bands. This is a great exercise for finger dexterity and prepping for other fine motor skills.
  3. Continue wrapping rubber bands around the shirts until you get a "tube" of shirt - keeping in mind that all the white areas you see will be colored with the dye.
  4. We used Rit dye and the washing machine method.
  5. Submerse all the material to be dyed in very hot water so it is completely wet.
  6. We took a packet of dye, added it to the machine, then added all the clothing to be colored to the machine and let it sit for the recommended 30 minutes for more vibrant colors.
  7. Once the color process is complete, you can then either hang the clothing to dry or put it in the dryer.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Gluten Free, Vegan)

I have been craving Pineapple Upside down cake for the last few days, so finally decided I needed to take a stab at it. I did got he easy way here and bought a Pamela's Vanilla Cake Mix - I just didn't have the various GF flours to make a good cake batter, so here is my alteration to make this cake mix into an awesome cake!

1/4 cup coconut oil
Egg replacer for 3 eggs
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 bag Pamela's Classic Vanilla Cake Mix
2/3 cup pineapple juice (reserved from pineapple rings)

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 can pineapple slices in water (10 slices)
10 cherries without stems (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Melt coconut oil (if solid) in a 9-inch x 13-inch pan in preheated oven.
  3. When melted, remove pan and sprinkle brown sugar over oil.
  4. Place pineapple slices side by side in top.
  5. Place cherries in the centers of the pineapple rings.
  6. Whisk egg replacer in a large bowl until frothy.
  7. Add coconut oil and whisk until incorporated.
  8. Add almond extract.
  9. Mix cake mix into the oil/egg replacer mixture.
  10. Add pineapple juice and mix until incorporated - in a mixer, turn on med for about 60 seconds.
  11. Spoon cake mix evenly over pineapple rings and cherries - do not pour or you will likely make the rings move around in the pan.
  12. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  13. Let stand for 5 minutes then invert cake onto plate.
  14. Spoon any remaining syrup from pan over cake.
Of course, after I made this, I realized as a kid, my mom used to put pecans in the topping as well because my dad loves pecans. I was going to do this too and completely forgot until I had already put the batter over the pineapple, so maybe next time there will be a few pecans in our topping.

No Mother Left Behind