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    My baby turns 2! Here's the recipe for her Vegan Gluten Free Coconut & Raspberry Cake

    My baby turns 2! Here's the recipe for her Vegan Gluten Free Coconut & Raspberry Cake

    As my baby's birthday was approaching, I've been an emotional wreck for the last month. Anyone else know what I mean?

    My little big girl turned Two, just yesterday.

    It's weird because when she turned One, I felt nothing.

    Everyone was congratulating me on this huge milestone, saying what a big deal it is and how it must feel so incredible to celebrate. 

    It didn't.

    I know how that sounds. The truth is- I was obsessed with my little girl, but I was still healing from the trauma of birth and the challenges of breast feeding. On top of that, I was still learning how to juggle work and motherhood. I didn't feel in control of anything any more and as all Lake wanted to do was crawl, I was regretting booking a busy crowded restaurant for her 1st birthday celebrations.

    This year couldn't have felt any more different.

     

    So different in fact, that for a solid month leading up to her birthday on 13th January, I only had to think of my baby turning 2 and tears would well up in my eyes. 

    My grateful heart would feel so full, it hurt physically.

    Then on her birthday eve, as I reminisced exactly what I was doing to prepare for her birth two years earlier, I was in bits. 

    It was as if I was suddenly feeling the collective love of every parent of this world. The love that I never knew existed, so pure, so intense, and so unbelievably unexplainably unquestionably unconditional.

    I posted some highlights of her first two years earth-side on social media that night. Have a browse here if you like>>

     

    Guys, thank you so much for being here and for letting me share my joy with you.

    It literally feels like it is you that I blog for every week (well almost every week) and it means so much knowing that you're reading.

    This Raspberry & Coconut cake I made yesterday was of course for my beautiful angel but it was also for you too...

    I knew I'd be sharing the recipe with you ASAP, so just know that it was made with EVEN more love, because you were on my mind.

     

    Oh and BTW, the cake is vegan, so no dairy or animal products of any kind, but it's also gluten free. Also, I would never use refined sugars, so it feels good to feed it to my child and her little friends till their tummies and hearts are full.

    And adults LOVE it too! It's still as moist and sweet and creamy and spongy as your favourite naughty cake. Definitely one to try!

     

     

     

     

     

    PLANT BASED RASPBERRY & COCONUT CAKE

     

    For the baked cakes

    • 1.5 cups extra virgin olive oil (360ml)
    • 3 cups coconut palm sugar (375g)
    • 1 can coconut milk (400ml)
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    • 4 cups gluten free flour (I used 2 cups rice flour, 1 cup buckwheat flour, 1/2 cup coconut flour and 1/2 cup desiccated coconut)
    • 2 teaspoons bakin powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda

    For the raw icing

    • 2 cups cashews, soaked 3-8 hours
    • 1 can coconut milk (400ml)
    • 1 cup xylitol or erythritol 
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
    • Juice of 2 lemons
    • 1-2 cups desiccated coconut
    • 3 punnets fresh raspberries (450g)
    • 300g frozen raspberries

    Baking Method

    1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. Grease three 7.5 inch (19cm) removable base cake tins with some olive oil.
    2. Pour olive oil, sugar, coconut milk, cider vinegar and vanilla extract into a high speed blender and pulse till well combined.
    3. Sieve the flours, baking powder and soda into the same blender jug and blend on low till fully mixed. I used a heavy duty Dynapro jug from Tribest>> (Alternatively, beat everything in a large bowl using an electric mixer)
    4. Divide the batter equally among 3 greased tins. Bake for 30 minutes or until the knife slides out clean when cake is pricked. Cool the cakes completely in their tins (I baked them the night before Lake's party).

     

    Icing Method

    Rinse the soaked cashews in warm water and transfer to a blender jug (cashews must be warm, otherwise the coconut oil will solidify too fast). Also add the coconut milk, xylitol, lemon juice and melted coconut oil to the jug and blend until runny and smooth.
    Pour out about 1/2 cup of the mixture for use later and add 1 cup of desiccated coconut to the blender jug. Blend using a tamper rod. If this mixture is still runny, add more desiccated coconut and continue to add then blend, till the mixture becomes easy to scoop and spread.
    Remove all three cakes from their tins and place one onto the cake stand or plate which you'll be using to display the finished masterpiece. Spread the thick icing like pancake batter in the middle of the cake, leaving approximated 1 inch around the perimeter clean. 
    Take fresh raspberries, one at a time, use the point of each to slide from edge of the cake towards the icing, until it sticks. Place raspberries side by side, always having the round opening facing out. You should have an assemble resembling a flower.
    Take little spoonfuls of the smooth runny cream and carefully pour it on top of the raspberries. Some cream will naturally drip between the berries, but don't overdo it. Sprinkle some frozen raspberries all over the thick icing and gently press on each one until it touches the cake. Spread a little more of the thick icing on top to create an even surface.
    Place the second cake layer on top and repeat the steps above.
    Place the third cake layer on top and now spread more of the thick icing but in a much smaller circle. Create another raspberry flower and continue to create another flower within it, until you reach the middle.

     

    Tanya Maher's vegan dairy free gluten free healthy allergen free birthday cake recipe

    Tanya Maher's vegan dairy free gluten free healthy allergen free birthday cake recipe

    Tanya Maher's vegan dairy free gluten free healthy allergen free birthday cake recipe

    Tanya Maher's vegan dairy free gluten free healthy allergen free birthday cake recipe

    Tanya Maher's vegan dairy free gluten free healthy allergen free birthday cake recipe

    Tanya Maher's vegan dairy free gluten free healthy allergen free birthday cake recipe

    Tanya Maher's vegan dairy free gluten free healthy allergen free birthday cake recipe

    Tanya Maher's vegan dairy free gluten free healthy allergen free birthday cake recipe

    Tanya Maher's vegan dairy free gluten free healthy allergen free birthday cake recipe

    Tanya Maher's vegan dairy free gluten free healthy allergen free birthday cake recipe

    Tanya Maher's vegan dairy free gluten free healthy allergen free birthday cake recipe

    Tanya Maher's vegan dairy free gluten free healthy allergen free birthday cake recipe

     

     

     

     

     

    Allergen free birthday cake (no nuts, dairy, eggs or gluten!)

    Allergen free birthday cake (no nuts, dairy, eggs or gluten!)

    lake maher turns 1

    My baby turned ONE on 13th January.

    I still can’t believe it.

    Our NCT teacher once said that ‘It’s long days and short years with little ones’ and wowee is it true…

    It now takes me two days to respond to a text, three days to finish an email and based on the date of this blog post- over a month to publish a recipe.

    Gone are the days of going to the bathroom in peace; you can’t finish a single cup of tea, ever; you teach everyone to slow down and chew chew chew while eating but swallow your own plate of food, whole, together with the plate, I think, wait where is the plate then? You tidy up for more hours in a day than you’ve ever done in any given month before, yet nothing looks tidy. Daylight Savings is now about being woken up a whole hour earlier, instead of gaining an hour. You could stare marvelling at your bundle of joy for hours, yet count down the minutes till daddy gets home for bath time.

    Your days are loooong, yet a year flies by.

    It’s all so confusing being a mother and yet it’s what makes the most sense. Every emotion intensifies with a child- your hard days are really really hard and your good days make you feel like a superhuman. You look at your little person in disbelief that they’ve been here for a whole year already, but most of all that you’ve ever lived without them.


    Happy Birthday Little Lady Lakey Lake, you probably won’t remember it, but your cake was so so tasty!

    It was a moist, decadent baked banana cake, which was also free from dairy, egg or any animal food. It was of course free from anything refined and so that I don’t have to worry about you overdosing on nuts, I made the icing free from cashews too!

    The tiger nuts I used in the recipe aren’t actually nuts at all, they are root vegetables. They are naturally sweet, which means that you don’t need to add as much sweetener to recipes. They are also mighty nutritious…

    Tiger nuts have MORE iron than red meat! 

    According to Dr Axe, 1 ounce of tiger nuts has 1.8 milligrams of iron (10% of DV in a 1 ounce/30g serving) and according to Authority Nutrition, 1 ounce of beef has just 0.8 milligrams of iron (29% of DV in a 3 ounce/ 85g serving)!

    20-Tiger-Nuts_Nutrition-Graph

    More to that, tiger nuts are also full of potassium, magnesium, zinc, Vitamins C and E, plus they are high in fibre and work as a prebiotic, which is all great news to beautiful skin and a healthy digestive tract.

    These little nutty sweet nuggets can be eaten on their own, but I find them a little too chewy for my liking, so I make mylk, using the exact the same method that I do for making my almond mylk, here>>

    Here's the recipe of Lake's Birthday cake, using tiger nut milk in the icing:

    healthy dairy free gluten free birthday cake

    THE HEALTHY BANANA CAKE

    For the baked cake:

    [I made 2 of these recipes and stacked both cakes for Lake’s birthday]

    4 ripe bananas
    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
    1.5 cups rye (or a GF) flour
    1 teaspoon vanilla powder (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/3 teaspoon Himalayan salt
    1 cup chopped chocolate, cacao nibs or your favourite nuts (I use pecans or cashews and add a little more coconut sugar if using anything other than already sweetened chocolate)

    -Preheat the oven to 180C.
    -Mash up the bananas in a large bowl, using a fork. Stir the olive oil through, sprinkle with all remaining ingredients, except the chocolate/nuts, and stir really well. Finally add the chocolate/nuts and stir again.
    -Oil the inside of a removable base cake tin or line a cake tin with tin foil (I use 7inch tins). Pour in the mixture, not forgetting to scoop out everything from the bowl with a good spatula (invest in a quality soft spatula!)
    -Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out semi clean after being inserted (don’t worry if there’s a little smudge on the knife, because when it comes out too dry, the cake can be overcooked).

     

    For the Tiger Nut Mylk Frosting:

    [This recipe makes enough to cover 2 x cakes, halve it if only making 1]

    1 cup tiger nut mylk (same method as Almond Mylk)
    2 cups desiccated coconut
    3/4-1 cup xylitol, depending on taste
    1.5 cup melted coconut oil
    1 teaspoon turmeric powder
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    5 drops lemon or sweet orange extract

    -Tiger nut mylk doesn’t keep very well so it’s best to make it fresh for this recipe. Also, if you get yours out of the fridge, it will be super cold and can make the coconut oil solidify inside your blender jug WHILE blending! (Speaking from experience here :))
    -Add all the ingredients into the blender and blend on high using a tamper.
    -If you’re making this icing for a raw cake, simply pour it over the cake whilst it’s still in the ring tin and transfer to the fridge to set for 3 hours. If you’re making this icing for a baked cake, let the cake cool down completely before applying. You will notice that the icing is quite runny, so if that works for you, simply pour spoon-fulls over the top of the cake. I like the icing nice and thick (looks more lush too!), so I transfer the entire mixture into a container and place in the freezer. Every 5-10 minutes (for up to an hour), I take it out and stir it really well to avoid the development of any clumps. Do not leave it in the freezer for more than 10 minutes and if you do and the icing turns lumpy, just blend it all again.
    -Pour the icing over the top of the cake and using the back of a spoon, gently let some of it slide down the sides. You can carry on and cover the entire cake if you prefer that look.

    lady lake allergen free cake

    The most important thing I do all year...

    The most important thing I do all year...


    THIS IS US 5 YEARS AGO TO THE DAY (FACEBOOK JUST TOLD ME!)

    Every year before it ends, Elliot and I sit down to write out all the big, small and tiny accomplishments of the previous 12 months.

    This has become the single most important task I do all year.

    There is nothing as incredibly thrilling, motivating, inspirational, fun, eye opening, gratifying, healing and self-appreciating all at the same time.

    It’s too easy to say that another year just flew by and there are many things you never got a chance to do, but when you start to write down all the things you DID do, the experience is entirely different. The deep gratitude stirring within you, makes it so much easier to plan for the year ahead.

    If I ever struggle to remember all the details on the spot, I open up my diary and go through it carefully. All those meetings, trips, events, tasks, highlighted dates, dinners and bookings in my calendar never fail to amaze and delight even the most pushy-never-enough-accomplished-critic within me.

    It really is that powerful! And simple. And fun! So fun, what are you waiting for?

    Happy Happy Happy New Year!
    xTanya

    P.S. Originally, I wrote out a few of my accomplishments as an example for you to read. They were so damn good and I was so madly proud that I figured it’s probably not the most inspirational example for anyone but me. It could even put you off starting your own list, not because no one would ever top my examples but because they couldn’t possibly compete with YOUR examples. There is no one (I repeat ‘NO ONE’) that has achieved what you have, do yourself a favour and stop reading already, unless it’s your online calendar of 2016 and you’re making notes!

    P.P.S. Screw New Year resolutions, it’s all about the Old Year solutions!

    P.P.P.S. Don’t ever listen to anyone that tries to tell you that 1st of January is just another day. It isn’t. It’s the best day ever!

    P.P.P.P.S. If you’re still reading this, then it’s very likely that there’s nothing to do in the office at this time of year and my email was possibly the only email you’ll receive all day, so why not play a game. Here’s a game>>

    How I knew a little girl was coming... before I was even pregnant

    How I knew a little girl was coming... before I was even pregnant

    Hi guys,

    If we are not yet best buds on social media where I announced the safe and natural arrival of my mini-me, then you might’ve wondered if she’s even here yet.

    And she is!

    IMG_3212

    Not only has she been here since 8:16AM 13th January, but I have no idea how I ever lived without my little lady Lake.

    In fact she’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. Ever. I’d hear other parents say that about their children and I thought that it’s just something you say, like ‘My wedding day was the best day of my life’. Perhaps it is very much true for many, but both Elliot and I went to bed that night high-fiving each other because it was over. Heehee. Not that we didn’t enjoy it -it was the most incredible day with our favourite people, in the best location, best food, best speeches, best so many things- but we were just way too happy the planning was over and especially the first dance which we practiced in his work’s meeting room for just enough after-work hours for the security guard to get seriously suspicious.

    Back to Lake.. she is the best thing that’s happened to me and Elliot, we can’t say it enough and can’t get enough of our delicious little girl.

    Girl.

    We knew that we were going to have a girl way before we were pregnant. How?

    Every NYE we sit down with our note pads and list off all the amazing things that happened in a year. They don’t have to all be super happy, but they are all the things we are super happy they happened (everything eventually leads to happiness). In other words, we make a gratitude list to start off the new chapter in a state of bliss.

    DSC_0767

    On 31st December 2014, we decided to fancy up our little tradition and along with Elliot’s sis, went for a walk to my favourite place in London, Holland Park, to burn stuff. Let me explain…

    1. We wrote down our greatest wishes and desires for the new year.
    2. We read them over, breathed them in and put ourselves in a state of feeling as though everything on that paper was ours right now.
    3. Then to release all attachment to the outcome, we set fire to our folded paper. It was now up to the universe to get to work.

    DSC_0780

    I personally wrote down 3 wishes, one of which was a happy healthy pregnancy in 2015. By the time Saskia and Elliot’s bits of paper transformed into magical fairy dust, we were all ready to head back for some warmth, except we didn’t, because my bit of paper hasn’t burned out. No matter how many matches I lit or how hard I tried to shield it from the wind, we could’ve been there all night waiting for it to be finish burning.

    I decided it would be just as effective if I buried the remaining piece under all the fallen leaves and let nature degrade it when it’s ready. When my wish is ready…

    Just before I went ahead and left it behind, I was curious to see what could’ve been on that paper which didn’t want to burn.

    Then as I unfolded the wish list, it wasn’t what I wrote which shocked me, it was what I saw:

    DSC_0789

    Wow, right?

    I couldn’t have created this shape with a magic wand, let alone a match. That was the moment I knew that when we were ready to start trying, a little girl will be ready for us.

    Do you ever wonder how many messages from the universe you might be missing? Or how to look for them? Or how to interpret them when they pop up? Or maybe how to receive them when you need some guidance?..

    Then there’s nothing I could possibly recommend any more than getting involved in a Hay House World Summit this year!

    In a month’s time I’ll be writing to you to let you know how you can get the very best advice, from the very best authors, in the comfort of your own home, completely free of charge. But like with everything super mega valuable, it will also be for a limited time, so make sure you’re on the list not to miss my reminder!

     

    Have the best day!

    On Sri Lanka, feeling like a failure and the best remedy for a cold

    On Sri Lanka, feeling like a failure and the best remedy for a cold

    sri lanka better raw travels

    Today marks one week since we returned from our Sri Lankan adventures.

    This destination has been on our list of places to visit for a long time (anything with tropical fruit for me and surfing for Elliot is on that list), but there was always something- either wedding planning, opening of Tanya’s, retreat in Ecuador or The Uncook Book deadline- which made it impossible for us to get away for more than 3 consecutive days.

    The baby wasn’t going to be a reason though.

    We decided early on that we’d have a travelling family and that our children would grow up learning about different cultures, foods and adventure. Why not start when they are still inside you, right?

    So at six months of pregnancy, a big growing bump and really the final month I’d be covered by insurance while flying, we finally took off for the honeymoon that was 18 months overdue. I learned a new word: babymoon!

    tanya maher pregnancy

    [Sri Lanka was magical and there is soooo much I can write about it, but I’ve already posted a daily highlight on Better Raw social channels and if you are on Instagram, I even tagged all the locations we stopped at. Just look up the hashtag #BetterRawTravels to follow along].

    Then after 10 blissful days of swimming, tanning, eating and relaxing like champions, I wake up aching all over, throat too sore to speak, nose too blocked up to breathe and eyes so watery, we had to head for the airport with my sarong instead of a hanky.

    In complete denial that I may have my first cold after 7 whole years of doing the proud raw food walk and intuitive eating, we landed back in London and I headed straight for my speaking appearance at a NZ Business Women’s Network event held at Tanya’s.

    That was last Monday and then on Tuesday I attended a bunch of meetings regarding the cafe and our recent pop-up in Selfridges, a preggie hospital check-up and even a magazine interview.

    By the time Wednesday rolled around, I was well and truly lacking all sense of desire, getting out of bed was suddenly the most tedious chore and worst of all, I was feeling so deeply sad and down, I couldn’t recognise the person experiencing any of this.

    Could this be post-holiday blues?

    Surely not, I felt so satisfied with this much-needed break and I truly looked forward to getting back to work and applying all the awesome ideas to my business which came up in Sri Lanka. And I’m also one of those super lucky/weird people that doesn’t experience jet lag.

    Could this be pregnancy blues?

    I doubt that, I’m loving every single day of being pregnant, the tiny ninja-turtle-alien dancing and bouncing inside me, observing how she reacts to various voices, the light and the positions I’m sitting or laying in, I’m loving how good my skin feels, how rarely my hair gets oily these days, how fast I tan, how full my breasts feel, how much energy I have, how peaceful I am and how natural it feels to be feeding and growing a happy little miracle.

    Then what could be making me so deeply sad?

    I couldn’t make sense of my own feelings and after various attempts to cheer myself up either with an uplifting film, feel-good-quotes, a cup of hot melted raw chocolate, switching off all wifi devices, bonding with the cutest little reptile, going for a walk to breathe in my favourite time of the year or taking a bath full of healing oils and herbs, it wasn’t until I sat down to meditate, when the answer landed on my head like a brick!

    I didn’t like the answer, but at the end of the day ‘the truth will set you free’ and my truth was simple: I am sick. I used to proudly stand up in my classes, demos or talks and tell everyone that if they ate like me, they too will stay immunised. And now I am sick. I failed.

    Ouch. That brick is going to leave a bruise.

    It’s a pretty shitty realisation to be feeling like a complete failure at what you supposedly do best.

    But I know better. I know that the toughest job of getting out of your slump is to work out what the cause is, because a problem well defined is a problem half solved. Then once you work it out, the next step is not to turn your back on it but to acknowledge your feelings and to properly ‘feel’ them out, to let yourself get as low as those feelings will take you and to stay in that space until you have no more tears to cry and nothing else left to feel.

    That’s the power of release.

    No bottling anything in, because it’s when you hold on to negativity that it might eat at you like slow-releasing poison, breaking you down like acid.

    It’s the most liberating experience that will stretch beyond your own imagination. It’s also the moment, you will know what to do next. It’s not the step to be missed because the process itself is a divine intervention and only when you surrender to the truth, that you are able to hear guidance so clearly, your whole world becomes an effortless playground.

    In my case, when the time was right, I got up, walked into the kitchen, opened up the cupboards and after going through stashes of herbs and remedies which I’ve been saving up for a ‘rainy day’ like this, I was guided to the only thing that my body must’ve been needing at the time: Cinnamon oil.

    The very next day I was well again.

    cinnamon tree and bark

    So I wanted to share with you my top 3 remedies and how to apply them next time you have a nasty cold or a flu, but hopefully before they even get a chance to develop, because…

    NEXT TIME YOU’RE UNDER THE WEATHER, USE ONE OF THESE METHODS AND YOU’LL BE BACK TO NORMAL THE VERY NEXT DAY:

    1. CINNAMON BARK OIL.

    What helped me rid of my full blown cold also happens to be something I bought in Sri Lanka, as if the angels told me I’m going to need it in a few days. There are many places you can buy it online, just make sure it’s top quality, for example Young Living brand. Cinnamon oil promotes healthy cardiovascular and immune function, relieves symptoms of sore throats, colds and congestion and is an excellent antibacterial and anti fungal agent, great for treating infections or supporting you during detox. It’s very very strong to taste and may cause irritation for some, so I’d urge you to use it with caution, however what worked for me was putting a drop into my hot herbal tea, adding slices of ginger and dried cinnamon bark to this infusion, then deeply breathing in the aromatic steam before taking each sip.

    2. OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT.

    This remedy has been a favourite of my entire family’s and something I would’ve definitely gone for this time to help with my cold if I only had it at home. As you’ve heard, I haven’t been ill for many years so I stopped buying it a while back. What it is is a pure extraction from olive leaves and you just swallow it by the dessert spoonful straight up or diluted in cooled down herbal tea or freshly made juice. It’s a potent liquid tonic, absolutely packed with antioxidants and contains 5 times the antioxidant activity of Vitamin C and 30 times the polyphonic content of extra virgin olive oil, which fight free radicals and help destroy bad bacteria. My trusted brand is a New Zealand company called Comvita, but you can find Olive Leaf Extract is produced by many others.

    3. BEE POLLEN AND CAMU CAMU.

    These two key superfoods, particularly when taken together, are truly a God-send. We always tend to have them at home, because whenever I feel that my body is working hard to fight something or Elliot feels a bit under the weather, we mix a heaping tablespoon of Bee Pollen with a tablespoon of Camu Camu and chew this powdery mix with a cup of herbal tea. Usually once or twice is enough to wake up the next day feeling back to normal. Bee Pollen is a complete superfood, packed with amino acids and trace minerals, while Camu Camu is a sour berry containing the highest amount of vitamin C in comparison to any natural plant food. You can find both on DetoxYourWorld.com or many other online superfood stores and physical health shops.

     

    Have the best healthiest week!