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    FAQs | Soul Adventures with Tanya | Ecuador Retreat 2019

    FAQs | Soul Adventures with Tanya | Ecuador Retreat 2019

    Here are the frequently asked questions for this year’s Soul Adventures with Tanya Retreat, happening Wednesday 1st May – Tuesday 7th May.


    If there’s something I haven’t yet covered, please ask in the comments below and I’ll make sure to add your query to the post. Check in for an updated version from time to time :) 




    Vilcabamba is a small village in the southern region of Ecuador in South America. Its nearest town is Loja (45km/28mi away) and it’s nearest airport is LOH: Ciudad de Catamyo Airport, formerly known as Camilo Ponce Enríquez Airport (80km/50mi away). However small the village is, it is surrounded by majestic mountains, such as Mandango, known to protect against natural disaster. Vilcabamba is often referred to as ‘The playground of the Inca’, ‘Raw Food capital of the world’ and ‘The Valley of Longevity’.


    Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 22.17.56 Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 22.16.33 Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 22.16.03

    2. How do I get to Vilcabamba?

    It may be a long way from home, but luckily it is so frequently visited by tourists and health explores, that getting there is now easier than ever. There are two main airports in Ecuador: Quito and Guayaquil. When looking up international flights, you'll be booking for one of these destinations. From there, look up return flights to Loja. Loja is the nearest town and the airport in the Loja province, flights from either Quito or Guayaquil take 45 minutes and can be purchased via www.tame.com.ec Then, it's a 1.5 hour taxi ride to Vilcabamba. The taxis need a spacial licence to operate from the airport, so they are usually reliable and respectable. If you are arriving upto 2 days before the retreat and leaving no longer than 2 days after the retreat, we will organise a local Vilcabamba driver to pick you up.

    Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 22.20.20

    3. How much do flights to Vilcabamba cost?

    It all depends on where you are coming from and when you are booking. I recommend that you sign up for price alerts on www.kayak.com or www.skyscanner.net to get the best deal. I've flown to both Guayaquil and Quito for under GBP£600 return from London before and for under US$500 return from New York, but the price can vary. Generally, the earlier you book, the better your chances are for a good price. Return flights from Quito/Guayaquil to Loja can be anywhere from US$80 to $200. Do check www.tame.com.ec for those domestic flights simultaneously to checking international flights, as you might find that leaving from Guayaquil is not an option with their limited weekly schedule. The taxi from Loja (LOH: Ciudad de Catamyo) Airport is US$40 one way. This taxi is provided for you free of charge if you arrive upto 2 days before the retreat and depart no longer than 2 days after the retreat, however flights are your responsibility. We'll do everything we can to look after you as soon as you get to Loja!


    4. When I land in Loja, is there a special taxi to look out for? 

    Yes. We will be sending our local taxi drivers from Vilcabamba to pick you up from LOH. The driver will wait inside the airport (it is tiiiny, don't worry) with your name on a sign, please look around for a driver and check that they do indeed have a record of your name. Closer to the retreat, please double check that we have your correct arrival times in the Retreat Facebook group.


    5. Is the taxi fare from Loja prepaid or is it paid on arrival in Vilcabamba?

    The taxi fare is included in your retreat fee and we're paying the drivers on your behalf. Please note that we will arrange everything for you if you arrive/depart upto 2 days on either side of the retreat. If you choose to arrive/depart more than 2 days outside of the retreat, the taxi fee and booking will become your responsibility.


    6. What weather should I pack for?

    May is usually the end of a rainy season in Vilcabamba, and even though it is mostly nights that get rainfall, while days are sunny, it isn't uncommon for there to be periodic rain throughout the day. Night temperature could drop down to 10degrees C, while day temperature stays close to 25degrees C or higher. Double check that you've packed light clothing, yoga or easy movement clothing, long sleeve shirts and long leg trousers (mossies love newbies), a warm top, a rain jacket, swimmers, a sun hat and comfortable walking/hiking shoes. Just think of what would make you most comfortable if you were to walk up a hill and take a seat on the ground.


    7. Are there many bugs and should I bring a mosquito repellent?

    Definitely and definitely! Please bring your favourite mosquito repellent. I would refrain from chemical use if possible and bring essential oils. Mossies despise aromas of Lavender, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Cedarwood, and various oil blends, which you can read about here. If you happen to forget, there is a shop in Vilcabamba called Juice Factory, which sells pretty much anything a raw foodie might need, I'm sure you'll find a natural mossie repellent there.


    8. Since dinner is our own free time and we may like to arrive to Vilcabamba before the retreat, can you give us restaurant recommendation?

    Vilcabamba is a small village and has nearly all of its cafes located in the Central Square. I will print a map for everyone on arrival, but to give you an idea of distances- my parents' house where lunches and workshops are to be held is a 10 minute walk away from your hotel, while the main square is a 5 minute walk away. There you'll find Juice Factory (mentioned above), which is a well known 'gringo' hangout and you can get fresh juices, smoothies, snacks, lunches and raw food options. It's a good spot to meet other expats, who have made Vilcabamba their home. A big restaurant favourite of ours within the square is called Sambuca Cafe. There is always a choice of freshly made juices and smoothies, yummy salads and some great vegan options. Friends Cafe and French Cafe have salad and vegan options and Vilcabamba Pizza Factory serves amazing raw food pizza on Sundays only. Please note that Vilcabamba is ever evolving and these cafes change hands, menus and event plans all the time. We will have an updated list for you upon arrival, which may still change over your visit. It's all about staying flexible and welcoming change as it happens- such a creative and natural place as the 'Playground to the Inca' demands nothing less.


    9. If I stay extra nights outside of the retreat, does the special accommodation price ($55/single or $85/couple) include any meals?

    The usual hotel rates are $65/single and $95/couple and include a basic buffet breakfast of fruit, juice, coffee, fresh local cheese and eggs. This breakfast will be available for you over the retreat and outside of your retreat dates, as any hotel guest, even though you'll benefit from discounted accommodation. No other meals are included in this price, but the resort has a restaurant should you wish to eat there. Only during the retreat, a three course organic gourmet lunch will also be included, but dinner is your free time to explore, enjoy Vilca evenings and its offerings from local cafes.


    10. Should I be getting any travel injections and which do you recommend?

    Ecuador is one of the few Central+South American destinations, which does not require vaccination proof when you enter. I suggest that you do your own investigation and see your GP for your own peace of mind, especially if you are travelling to other countries at this time. I've never had vaccinations for Ecuador and I know that in Vilcabamba they are rather frowned upon. Your personal choice though, we don't judge!


    11. Do I need a visa for Ecuador?

    No, you can stay in Ecuador for up to 3 months without a visa. HOWEVER a majority of you are travelling via USA, where a visa waiver is required or you won't be able to fly. You must also apply for ESTA at least 72 hours before flying. The application is very straight forward and costs only about £25, so do this ASAP if you are going via USA: http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/gb/en/travel-information/getting-into-the-country/us-visa.html


    12. Are there any pre-requisites, prior knowledge or yoga ability levels required to attend?

    Absolutely not. It is also upto you to decide on how much you'd like to take part in. I called it a Soul Adventures Retreat, because it will be both full of adventure for your spirit, meditation for your soul and raw food for your wellbeing. There will be hiking, sound meditations, sweat lodges, raw food classes, road trips for wild waterfall swimming and much more. It is all pre-paid and included in your retreat, however you will be free to choose whether you'd rather relax by the resort pool or join in the adventure.


    13. How do you pick from all the applications?

    It's not an easy task and each time there more than 100 applications for an 18 person retreat. This year, I want to make it even more special and intimate, so make sure that you apply here right away. Generally, it's first in/ first served, however I make sure that I tune in and read your application carefully to check how you fit into the group vibe, how we can best serve you and how ready you are for Vilcabamba. You might've noticed that I don't ask for age/ gender/ nationality on the form, because none of that matters in the Valley of Longevity. All that matters is that you answer everything truthfully from your heart and if you need to join us, you most certainly will.


    14. Where are others travelling from?

    Some of you may like to connect ahead of time and even arrive together or share a taxi upon arrival. That's why there is a Facebook group for every retreat. I'll be sending you an invite upon confirmation of booking. Please join the group for your retreat and don't be shy posting questions or sharing your queries, insights and plans there :)


    15. What power adapters do we need?

    Prepare for USA. Everything from USD as currency and US power plugs.


    16. Do we need a yoga mat?

    The yoga mats will be provided, however you are very welcome to bring your own. I know what it's like when you have a favourite personal mat, so it's entirely your call.


    17. Do you have a suggestion for a short layover in Quito?

    For some the stopover is only a few hours long, so you may prefer to wait at the airport. It is brand new and very clean, but doesn't look like there is a lounge. Some travellers have taken the punt to sleep on the floor. I'll leave that one up to you, but you might like to have a read of everyone's comments>> If you prefer to stay in a hotel, it's always a good idea to ask at the airport helpdesk, they can arrange transfers and accommodation for you. And cost-wise there isn't much difference booking ahead of time or on the day.

    If you prefer to book ahead, here are four different places to stay near new Quito airport as recommended by readers of expat forum http://www.gringotree.com


    Bed & Breakfast Tumbaco, La Ceramica

    Lovely personal home in a gated community about 15 minutes from the new Quito Airport, with 3 or 4 “cabins” for guests. Each has its own bathroom and kitchenette. Breakfast is served in the home’s large kitchen and dining area. The grounds are gorgeous with a pool area, volleyball court, a large vegetable and fruit garden, tropical birds, and wonderful flora. Hotel will arrange for personal pickup at the airport (we needed 2 taxis due to all our suitcases!), and also arrange for taxi back to airport when you are flying elsewhere. We loved the gorgeous flowers and shrubs all around the huge complex and the owners were so friendly and welcoming to us. We will return.

    Contact: 1-855-662-5048


    Recommended by Sarah Canez, sarahgcanez@yahoo.com


    Su Merced Casa de Hacienda near Quito Airport

    First-class Quito accommodation 10 minutes from new airport. If you are looking for a really really nice place to stay after arriving from the U.S. and waiting for a flight the next day this may be the place for you. The owners and their totally renovated Hacienda are truly first class (but with a reasonable price). They will meet you upon arrival and return you to the airport. Accommodation and facilities are totally renovated with Ecuadorian antiques in a beautiful secured quite comfortable setting very close to the airport.

    Along with other friends in Cuenca we totally recommend Rafsel, his family staff, and their hacienda as a great hotel that is really convenient to the new Quito airport.

    Contact: Rafael Andrade, 098-536-0545, rafael@sumerced.com,www.sumerced.com Calle Julio Tobar Donoso Casa @12 Puembo

    Recommended by Bob Pirtle, repirtle@gmail.com.


    Quito Airport Suites

    We tried it. Pleasant surprise. Beautiful very clean new units 5 minutes from the new Quito airport. Single $49, double $55, with breakfast. 24-hour airport transportation $7-$8. (If you take a taxi, write down address; no sign on building.) Quiet, walled in location. We loved it. Young owner Dominic will treat you royally.

    Make reservations at quitoairportsuites@gmail.com.


    Hostería San Carlos, Quito Airport

    For a great place to stay if you’re flying out of Quito and don’t want the hour-plus ride into the city, try Hostería San Carlos in Tababela, just 7- 10 minutes from the new airport. It is clean, comfortable, and reasonable, and the owners/staff are helpful and considerate. When we found out our flight was delayed, they let us stay onsite for the entire afternoon and served a delicious lunch. They also provide a free shuttle Service from the airport (even at midnight when the flight from Houston gets in).

    Recommended by Greg, gregboydcaveart@gmail.com


     18. Did I read somewhere that your parents' spiritual home is for sale?

    You did indeed. This could very well be my final retreat in Ecuador! The energy portal, the AirBnB property, the 100's of fruit trees and crops, the purpose-built family home with stunning views... it's all for sale.  Here's more info on the property if you're interested: https://tanyasliving.com/blogs/tanyas-blog/for-sale-spiritual-home-in-the-valley-of-longevity-ecuador


    Got another question? I'd love to answer it. Just add it to the comments below...


    Ready to join us? Apply here>>

    Welcome to the world, my son

    Welcome to the world, my son

    And then there were 4.

    Our son (aka 'Lake's baby') has been earthside now for 3 weeks. If you haven't yet seen the announcement all over social media, then I'll post his weekly pictures so far for you below...


    Day 1  #BanksWeekly

    Banks Maher _ Banks Weekly _ Baby Boy Banksy


    Our little man is here at last!
    Introducing Banks Vasiliy Maher.
    ‘Banks’ because another nature name and we thought it sounded pretty cool for both baby and a grown up dude .  ‘Vasiliy’, because his sister has a Russian middle name too and this is the name of both my grandfathers whom I dearly miss.
    Born 18:18 on 17.01.19
    55cm, 8.4 lbs
    This is officially the Day 1 pic of #BanksWeekly so he will get a nice little collection just like #LakeWeekly after a year. We are crazy crazy in love.



    Week 1  #BanksWeekly

    Banks Maher _ Banks Weekly _ Baby Boy Banksy


    Baby Banks is 7 days old today. The best 7 days of my life. Not even kidding. I just can’t get enough of you baby boy. Can’t put you down. Can’t stop kissing you. Can’t stop cuddling you. Can’t believe my luck. Can’t get over how amazing your big sister is. Can’t get enough of seeing the two of you together- you listening to her, her gently kissing your whole face. I want these moments to last forever.
    P.S. the gorgeous knitting is by Gran who is here with us, the blankey is from Auntie Alissa and the toy doggie is a gift from big sister Lake.
    #BanksMaher #BanksWeekly



    Week 2  #BanksWeekly

    Baby Boy Banksy _ Banks Maher _ BanksWeekly


    ‘I like naps & I like you’...Auntie BB’s gift that keeps on giving, because Banksy’s big sister wore this onesie 3 years ago. Though she was more like 8 weeks old, not 2 weeks! This boy is going to be tall no doubt. And just check out those booties 😍 literally obsessed with Gran’s knitting. #mustlearntoknit. For those familiar with ‘My Breastfeeding Nightmare’ blog post, I’m pumped to report that BF this time around is a veeeerrry different experience and the little munchkin was already back to his birth weight by day 5, then by day 10 he already gained 200g. He truly is a dream. THE dream. Doesn’t really cry, just feeds, then folds into a froggie for cuddles on my chest, sleeps for 3-4 hour stretches and only wakes up once in the night. I just love love love being a mama of 2! #BanksWeekly#BanksMaher


    Week 3  #BanksWeekly

    Baby Boy Banks Maher


    This tiny bundle of love is 3 weeks old today. Two big events for the past week- we parted with our beloved Gran who’s been here Banks’s whole life 😜 as she flew back to NZ and then just yesterday, on his Babushka’s birthday, baby boy gave us his first full on awake smile! In other news, we seem to have established a routine without even knowing it. At first I was just ‘feeding on demand’, then started to add regular fresh air walks to the equation, then daily chamomile tea baths. Also, we spent the first week co-sleeping and once he transitioned to his baby hammock (still right next to me), I tried to stick to this bed situ only for night sleeping so in turn he rewarded us with staying asleep in it for upto 5 hours at a time which meant only getting up once in the night to feed. I’m sure the feeding times will change again soon but here’s what they’ve been for the past 2 weeks:
    #notetoself #babyacne #handknitting#banksmaher #banksweekly


    Money & Peanut Butter | Vegan Chocolate Cake

    Money & Peanut Butter | Vegan Chocolate Cake

    While this sweet little 3 year old was expecting a baby brother for her birthday, he was gracious enough to leave 13th January especially to her and arrived a couple of days later.


    It was the first year Lake truly looked forward to her birthday, learned about making a wish, picked her own outfit (and matched it with a hair ribbon) and even ordered her very own cake flavour…


    She specifically asked for ‘Money & Peanut Butter’.


    Money is Chocolate 😜because when she was 1 and 1/2, I let her try a dairy free chocolate coin and because ‘money’ was much easier to say than ‘chocolate’, that’s what it’s been ever since 🤣.


    The cake is gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and baked, the icing is a raw, dairy free, refined sugar free ganache type.


    The icing remains moist, shiny and creamy for days. The cake itself is super soft, a little crumbly and fudgey. It is equally indulgent to feed an adult as it is healthy'ish to feed a child of mine :)


    Lake's Money & Peanut Butter Cake

    the best vegan chocolate peanut butter cake


    For the cake

    225g Brown rice flour or another Gluten free flour

    320g Coconut palm sugar

    250ml Hot water (1 cup)

    130g Peanut butter

    90g Extra virgin coconut oil, melted

    50g Cacao powder

    1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

    1 tsp Himalayan salt


    For the icing

    40g Peanut butter

    40g Hot water

    80g Maple syrup

    65g Extra virgin coconut oil, melted

    2 Tbsp Cacao powder

    1/3 tsp Himalayan salt




    -You will  need a 20cm/8in round springform cake tine or a standard rectangular loaf pan which you will line with tin foil.

    -Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F/gas mark 4.

    -Place a baking sheet under your cake tin if using a springform round tin (note it needs to be a good leakproof one as the batter is runny) or line the entire rectangular loaf pan with tin foil.

    -Mix the sugar and hot water in a food processor or a blender, add the remaining ingredients and blend again till smooth. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes. Do check at the 30 minute mark to see if the cake is done and the knife comes out clean. This cake is fudgy so it’s better a little wet than too dry, don’t over-do it and remove from the oven to cool.

    -Once the cake has completely cooled down in its tin, remove it and start on the icing. I bake the cake the day before to make sure it is entirely cooled but you can speed up this step by holding it in a fridge for an hour after cooling a little on a wire rack.

    -Place all the icing ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth. Pour generously all over the middle of the cake, then using the back of a spoon carefully spread the icing to the edges to let it drip a little off the top. Do this last step slowly and space out the drips no closer than an inch apart.

    Lake Maher 3rd birthday cake vegan chocolate peanut butter

    In The Wild Afternoon Tea dates for the next 6 months revealed

    In The Wild Afternoon Tea dates for the next 6 months revealed

    Vegan. Gluten free. Dairy free. Half raw. Half baked. Superfood packed. Organic. Indulgently healthful. Crazy delicious. 

    After a successful launch in 2018, we are back with our monthly #InTheWildAfternoonTea and what a better way to kick things off than celebrate Love Day!

    Saturday 16th February will be the Valentines Day Edition. For more dates and to reserve your spot, see below...


    [Cover photo credit @harriettui on Instagram]

    DIY Christmas Hampers- all the recipes to make your own raw vegan gifts

    DIY Christmas Hampers- all the recipes to make your own raw vegan gifts

    Prior to moving to the UK from NZ  (9.5 years ago now... Whaaaat!), Christmas Day always meant a full day of sun, sand, family fun and picnic feasting at Piha beach.

    We always had the very best of times and although there wasn't a thing to complain about while being brought up in the Southern Hemisphere, I must admit that I also adore the polar opposite Christmas festivities which London has to offer.

    And now that I have a family of my own, every single moment of Christmas time is all the more special.

    Also, I literally could not be more grateful that I have this time of year to get fully absorbed in and take my mind off the discomforts of final month of my pregnancy with No2.

    And how fun is it to visit Santa's Grottos!!? So fun!

    Here we are just last night:

    Tanya Maher Santa's Grotto London


    Super into anything and everything FESTIVE this year, I got a major urge to create and have been spending all of my days (and nights) recently making our Raw Organic Christmas Gift Hampers. 

    Did you see? tanyasliving.com/collections/raw-organic-christmas-hampers


    I realise that not all of you live in the UK to order yours and some of you have just purchased a dehydrator and are super keen to put it to good use this Christmas...

    Soooo, I put together a whole recipe collection that covers every single yummy item in my own hampers.



    Pick and choose what you'd like to make and if you post it on social, remember to tag #TanyasChristmas so I can find your pics and like them a million times!



    Tanya's Festive Grawnola

    Tanya Maher Raw Food Christmas Recipes Vegan DIY Gift Hampers


    1 cup almonds, soaked overnight

    1 cup sprouted buckwheat*

    3/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked overnight

    1/2 cup pecans/walnuts, soaked overnight

    1/2 cup oats

    1/2 cup cranberries (I use cranberries that have been preserved in apple juice)

    1.5 cups dates, soaked overnight

    1/2 cup water from soaking dates

    1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

    2 tbsp Tanya’s Chai Mix (Cinnamon, coconut palm sugar, clove, cardamom, all spice, nutmeg, ginger, coriander)


    -Process almonds, sunflower seeds and walnuts/pecans only for a few seconds in the Food Processor, until roughly chopped. What you are looking for are shards and fragments of nuts, as though you were roughly chopping them with a knife. Careful not to over-do or you'll create a paste.

    -Stir all the chopped/processed nuts together with buckwheat, oats and cranberries in a large bowl.

    -Process all the dates, coconut sugar and spices to a smooth paste in a Food Processor. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.

    -Pour this paste over all the nuts and mix everything really well using your hands.

    -Distribute the mixture over a few dehydrator teflex sheets in rough chunks, making sure you don't have really thick pieces or they will take forever to dehydrate. 

    -After 6-10 hours, transfer onto mesh sheets and dehydrate for another 20-24 hours until dry and crunchy.

    -Store in an airtight container.





    3/4 cup raw buckwheat groats


    -Cover with plenty of water and leave to soak for 4 hours.

    -Pour the water out and rinse the buckwheat in cold water 4-5 times. The liquid will be really gooey, so you are looking to continue rinsing until only thin water leaves the buckwheat, no goo.

    -Distribute the buckwheat over a tray and leave at room temperature for 24 hours, rinsing 2-3 times in cold water over this time. 



    Tanya's Christmas Mince Pies

    Tanya Maher Raw Food Christmas Recipes Vegan DIY Gift Hampers


    For the crust

    150g almonds

    100g cashews

    1/2 cup (75g) buckwheat flour

    1/2 cup (65g) oat flour

    1 tbsp chia seeds, ground

    3 tbsp water

    1/4 cup (60g) maple syrup

    1/2 tsp Himalayan salt


    -Process all the almonds, cashews and flours in a good processor with an S blade, till powder like.

    -In a separate bowl, stir ground chia seeds with water till well combined without clumps.

    -Add the chia paste, maple and salt to the food processor and blend till you get a dough-like consistency. You may need to scrape down the sides a couple of times.

    -Line a shallow 12 muffin tray with cling film. Distribute the dough mixture evenly among all muffin moulds, pressing in gently to take the shape of the mould.

    -Place the full tray into a dehydrator set to 48 degrees C, for 12 hours. Carefully remove the crusts one at a time and transfer onto mesh trays of the dehydrator. Return to dehydrate for a further 24 hours.

    Tanya Maher Raw Food Christmas Recipes Vegan DIY Gift Hampers


    For the filling

    1.5 cups sultanas

    1/4 cup quality brandy*

    3/4 cup dried apricots

    1/2 cup dried cranberries

    zest of 2 oranges

    1/3 cup orange or pineapple juice

    1/4 goji berries

    1 tbsp Tanya’s chai blend (cinnamon, coconut palm sugar, clove, cardamom, all spice, nutmeg, ginger, coriander)

    20 drops sweet orange essential oil

    10 drops cardamom essential oil


    *To check whether your brandy (or any wine, beer or liquor) is vegan, check out http://www.barnivore.com


    -Pour the brandy over sultanas and leave to absorb for 2-3 hours.

    -Mix apricots, cranberries, orange zest and juice in a separate bowl. Leave to soak for 2-3 hours also.

    -Place all the ingredients into a food processor with an S blade and pulse till well combined but still slightly chunky.

    -Scoop the filling into ready bases, smoothing out the surface as you go.



    For the icing

    1 cup cashews, soaked 4-8 hours

    1/4 cup xylitol or erythritol

    1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted

    1 tbsp lemon juice


    -Rinse the soaked cashews, then blend everything in a high speed blender till creamy.

    -Scoop a spoonful over each pie, spread to the surface or leave like a dollop of snow fall. Decorate if you wish!



    You can also make a simplified version of my Christmas Mince Pies, which requires no dehydrator at all. Take a look here: tanyasliving.com/blogs/tanyas-blog/christmas-in-the-raw-no-dehydrator-needed



    Tanya's Christmas Pudding


    For the puds

    165g walnuts, soaked overnight

    100g hazelnuts, soaked overnight

    120g sultanas 

    25ml quality brandy*

    65g dried figs

    50g cranberries

    35g dried apricots

    6g orange peel

    juice of 1/3 orange (20ml)

    60g carob powder

    1 tbsp (10g) Tanya’s Chai Mix (Cinnamon, coconut palm sugar, clove, cardamom, all spice, nutmeg, ginger, coriander)

    10 drops sweet orange essential oil


    *To check whether your brandy (or any wine, beer or liquor) is vegan, check out http://www.barnivore.com


    -Pour the brandy over sultanas and leave to absorb for 2-3 hours.

    -Mix figs, apricots, cranberries, orange zest and juice in a separate bowl. Leave to soak for 2-3 hours also.

    -Place all the ingredients into a food processor with an S blade and pulse till well combined. You may need to scrape the sides once in a while and pulse your machine.

    -I use a medium sized ice cream scoop to form standing puds, then smooth them out with my hands, but you can also roll a ball and press it onto non-stick sheets to create a bit of a base.


    For the icing

    1 cup cashews, soaked 4-8 hours

    1/4 cup xylitol or erythritol

    1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted

    1 tbsp lemon juice


    -Rinse the soaked cashews, then blend everything in a high speed blender till creamy.

    -Scoop a spoonful over each pudding and leave like a dollop of snow fall. Decorate as you wish!




    Tanya's Salted Caramel Fortune Dates


    12 pitted dates

    1/3 cup grated cacao butter, melted

    1/4 cup grated cacao paste, melted

    2 tbsp maple syrup

    2 tbsp Algarroba powder

    1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

    1/3 squirt Medicinal Flower caramel extract

    Optional: desiccated coconut for sprinkling


    -Print 12 of your favourite quotes* or feel good wishes* and messages*, roll them up, wrap in a little cling film and insert each into a date. Transfer dates to a freezer to cool for a minimum of 1 hour.

    -Melt your cacao butter and paste in a double boiler, remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Stir gently until the mixture cools down slightly and is no longer thin and runny.

    -Drop in a date, one at a time, immediately removing it so it doesn’t cool down (and solidify) the remaining chocolate in the bowl. Sprinkle some coconut if using. Continue to coat the dates in this way. 


    *If you need some inspiration for what lovely messages you can print, take a look at this collection: tanyasliving.com/blogs/tanyas-blog/inspirational-quotes-of-the-year


    Tanya's BBQ Spiced Nuts


    250g pumpkin seeds, soaked

    150g walnuts, soaked

    140g almonds, soaked

    110g hazelnuts, soaked

    110g Brazil nuts, soaked

    40g maple syrup

    20g extra virgin olive oil

    15g Himalayan salt

    10g garlic powder

    10g nutritional yeast

    9g sweet smoked paprika

    7g coconut palm sugar

    4g ground coriander

    3g coconut flour

    3g dried mixed herbs


    -Rinse all the nuts, place them in a tupperware container, then drizzle in maple syrup and olive oil.

    -In a separate bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients/spices and then sprinkle them over the nuts and cover with lid. Shake the container so coating covers all of the nuts and seeds evenly.

    -Spread over mesh trays of your dehydrator and dehydrate for 35 hours at 48 degrees C.


    Tanya's Coconut Jerky


    360g young coconut meat (about 2 cups)

    3 tablespoons date paste (this is just soaked dates blended in the water they were soaking in)

    2 tablespoons garam masala

    2 tablespoons tamari

    1 teaspoon Himalayan salt


    -Scrape off any rough bits from the coconut flesh and slice it into long 1 centimetre strips.

    -Transfer all the ingredients to a large bowl and stir them together using your hands.

    -Distribute over 2 teflex sheets so the coconut strips aren’t bunched together. Dehydrate at 47 degrees C for 5 hours, transfer onto mesh trays and dehydrate for another 5-15 hours depending on whether you prefer these chewy or crunchy.


    Tanya's Festive Truffles


    1/2 cup maple syrup

    1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted

    1/3 cup cacao powder

    zest of 2 oranges

    2 tbsp Tanya’s Chai Mix (Cinnamon, coconut palm sugar, clove, cardamom, all spice, nutmeg, ginger, coriander)


    200g 70% dark raw chocolate


    -Blend all the truffle ingredients (except the raw chocolate) in a blender and pour the sauce into a lined container.

    -Freeze to set for 2 hours, then cut into desired size squares and return to the freezer.

    -Grate the block of chocolate and melt it in a double boiler. 

    -One at a time, enrobe the frozen truffle squares by placing each on a fork and pouring the melted chocolate over every side for an even coat.



    And now it's your turn!


    P.S. If you're still after more recipes or maybe some savoury meals to go with your Christmas Feast, there's more in my downloadable book:




    P.P.S. If you'd rather I make this hamper of dreams for you, then check out what's on offer. (Those dates below are dispatch dates FYI, actual delivery dates will be 1-3 days later)