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Hey, people! Aldy here. Today I want to share with you this powerhouse dessert, full of flavor and also with a handful of nutrition. ‘Berries and Coconut Seeded Crumble Granola’ it’s a combination between a crumble dessert and the granola…its taste deliciously great, and needless to say it has a gooood dose of antioxidants, nutrients, minerals and fibre. Yes, I’m talking superfood dessert!

This recipe is pretty easy to put together and most of the ingredients (you probably have them at home) are easy to find as well. In this recipe, I’m using rice syrup but you can always substitute for maple syrup or agave. Or for a non-vegan version you can use honey. You can use fresh berries or frozen berries (I’m using frozen berries because we’re in autumn season here), whether you use fresh or frozen berries, just remember not to overcook the berries, when preparing the filling. It takes two to three minutes max to cook them; otherwise, they get to soft and they may lose flavor.


You can have this berries crumble granola any time of the day. For breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, as a snack…just whenever you like! We love having this after dinner, kind of our dessert of the day with a couple of spoons of natural yogurt or mascarpone cheese…it's so good (we can’t get enough of this). But if you want a more indulgent version to serve it with your favorite ice cream.



As always love hearing from you and if you have any questions just let me know!  



BERRIES and COCONUT SEEDED CRUMBLE GRANOLA (VEGAN) (REFINED SUGAR-FREE)

For the Crumble Granola

1 C. Oats
½ C. Shreded Coconut
½ C. Sesame Seeds
¼ C. Pumpkin Seeds
2 Tbsp. Coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp. Rice Syrup
Coconut Sugar to taste

For the Filling

2 ¾ C. Mix Berries (fresh or frozen)
1 Tbsp. Water
1 Tsp. Vanilla extract (optional)
2 Tbsp. Rice Syrup or to taste

Preparation:

First preheat oven to 175C/ 350F.
Lightly grease baking dish or pie dish with coconut oil.Set aside

Preparing the Crumble Granola:

In a bowl add all dry ingredients, and then add coconut oil melted + rice syrup + coconut sugar. Mix until everything is well combined. Set aside.

Preparing the Filling:

In a saucepan over medium heat, add berries + water + vanilla (if using) + rice syrup.
Cook for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

Assembling the Berries Coconut Crumble Granola:

In prepared baking dish spread half of the crumble granola mixture, then add half of the berries. Repeat with the rest of crumble mixture and berries. Bake for 15 minutes. And it’s ready!

Berries and Coconut Seeded Crumble Granola (Vegan) (Refined Sugar-Free)


Today I have the pleasure to introduce to you someone very special, sweet and super talented. Her name is Lora, and she’s the creative behind CraftivityDesigns. Her blog if full of beautiful, inspiring home décor ideas, home organizing tips, and plenty of resources to help you create a lovely home. I’ve met Lora throughout the Solidarity Sisters group and over the past two months we chat a lot back and forth about blogging and also give each other encouragement and happy thoughts. And I couldn’t be happier that she’s here today sharing some amazing tips on home and décor. Enjoy + 



We all have different visions for our homes, but many of us could agree that we desire a cozy home. We hope for a home that feels welcoming and warm, makes hospitality simple, and everyday life relaxed.

My name is Lora, and I blog at Craftivity Designs. These are some of the ways that I'd describe the vision for my home. Your personal style might be vastly different than mine, but when it comes to creating a home it's not so much style that matters. Instead, I've found that the home's story trumps its style.


What do I mean by a home's story?
 A home is created by the people who live and visit within it. It’s created by the stories of its homeowners and the families who raised them. Similarly, when we consider how our homes reflect who we are, "cozy" will be a natural result.


COZY HOME TIP #1:FUNCTION


Have you ever looked at a beautifully accessorized nightstand and thought "well that's lovely; but where do you actually put anything at night?" Our homes aren't magazines. We need spaces that actually work and function well for our family. Even though our home may look and feel cozy to a guest; we also want it to be a cozy, relaxed everyday space. Find pretty pieces that offer function in your home.

The buffet that sits at the end of our dining room acts as a serving space during parties. However, inside the buffet, we store board games, card decks, puzzles, and office supplies. Why? Even though we use our dining room to eat, we also use it to play games at the table. My husband works in here when he is paying bills. Don't get stuck on the original purpose of furniture -- or even an entire room -- use it in the way that functions best for your family.


COZY HOME TIP #2:TEXTURE

Texture adds depth, interest and warmth a room. When you walk through a store -- what do you want to reach out and touch? For example, when I'm in a furniture store, it's the rustic, worn wood finishes that I want to run my hands over. Maybe you love soft, thick, knitted blankets... or are drawn to crisp linens. Pull those textures into your home.

I didn't want our master bath to feel like a cold, white box so I hung an aged wood shelf. Plus, it's full of more textures which I'm drawn to; such as knitted baskets, soft towels, and stoneware.



COZY HOME TIP #3:HISTORY


I love vintage items. I'd rather buy furniture from a flea market, than new, most any day. Even if you aren't interested in thrifting, still consider a few key pieces that have a history. When a few aged pieces are mixed in with new itemsyou start to create a more collected, cozy home. We don't typically feel cozy on a showroom floor. Why? Everything is new, everything is perfect and it all feels untouchable.

In contrast, the dresser in our entryway has been beaten up. It has dings and scratches. The kids can touch it... they can run into it... and I don't have to stress about it. Furniture that has been "pre-loved" allows us to breath a little easier and creates a relaxing, cozy home.




COZY HOME TIP #4:VARIETY


Rome wasn't built in a day... and neither is a home. You've got belongings that have been collected throughout your life -- and that is a good thing. Embrace a variety of styles, finishes, and colors. If your family loves an item, keep it, even if it doesn't match. Homes with items collected over a lifetime feel natural and not staged.


Our bedroom breaks all the old rules about matching. I am a recovering match-aholic. Never could I have mixed shades of navy, or cream with white, or varying wood tones; but now I do it in every room -- and I love it.  We are surrounded by pieces that we love, not pieces that match.


COZY HOME TIP #5:MEANING


This is where the coziness really starts to exude in a home, I think. Fill your home with items that are meaningful. Your walls are an especially simple place to do this.

The walls in our stairwell are filled with photos, scripture verses, antiques, and heirlooms that have significance. The art throughout our home is representative of who we are, which results in a place that feels personal, comfortable and lived-in.





Have you gotten some ideas on how to make your space feel cozy? Focus on incorporating your family's personality into a room, and less on defining your style. The style will develop naturally as you collect meaningful, beautiful, functional pieces over time.


I have to mention one more bonus tip for a cozy home -- the delicious aroma of food being prepared in the kitchen -- which is what Aldy has already nailed. Thanks so much to Aldy for having me here -- it's been such a blessing to get to know her over the last two months!


5 Tips to Create a Cozy Home // Beautiful + Inspirational Tips from The Craftivity Designs Blog //


Hey, Everyone! Superfoods are very popular right now, and I bet you heard a lot about them lately. They're incredibly powerful and they can do a lot for your health and well-being.

Today I'm talking about ''Superfoods'' over Lora's blog from craftivity designsI'll be sharing my favorites superfoods, their properties, health benefits and some recipes on how you can incorporate these into your everyday eating.



So I invite you to head over her blog 'craftivity designs' and get to know more on superfoods! 


Happy Weekend!

///////////////////////////////////////

Talking About Super Foods! ///


I’m loving this week so far! And let me tell you that I can't wait for this upcoming weekend to begin. Weekends are the most precious days of the week, right?... For us mean to slow down and to do things one step at a time. Waking up late and have a nice late breakfast in our pajamas!

While preparing our breaky-lunch (I think it sounds cheerful than brunch, don’t you think so too?!) on weekends, we enjoy food that can satisfy our taste buds but also foods that are load with nutrients, that way we know will get the energy our body need to feel great throughout the day.

Trust me simple + wholesome ingredients can make a huge difference to feel nourished inside and out! But “Simple Ingredients” with a 'kick' of power, full of rich nutrients that can be delicious too.


Chickpea Crepes! Protein rich, fibre, iron, potassium…just to name a few amazing properties of chickpeas. Plus completely gluten-free and a great substitute for all-purpose flour and wheat flour. We love preparing these on weekends with sauteed tomatoes, vegetables and adding natural or Greek yogurt, ricotta or pesto. But you can also serve these crepes with a fresh or warm salad too. They’re extremely satisfying and so good! 


CHICKPEA CREPES with SAUTEED CHERRY TOMATOES + SPINACH (VEGAN) (GLUTEN-FREE)


1 C. Chickpea Flour (aka garbanzo flour or Besan flour)
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 C. Water
1 Tbsp. Olive oil


To Cook the Crepes:

To cook the crepes you can use coconut butter, olive oil or unsalted butter.

Preparation:

> In a bowl add chickpea flour and the teaspoon of salt. Mix well.

> Add the tablespoon of olive oil to the water. Now, start by slowly adding the water + oil to the flour and mix vigorously.

> Heat an 20 cm frying pan over medium-high heat, add butter or oil and swirl around until frying pan is evenly coated with it. 

> Add scoop /pour 1/4 cup batter into the pan and with a circular motion coats the surface of the pan evenly with the batter. Cook (one side) for about 20 seconds or until lightly golden, then using a spatula turn over and cook the other side for a further 20 second. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the rest of the batter


For The Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes and Spinach:

Cherry Tomatoes or Regular Tomatoes 
Spinach Leaves
1 Garlic clove, optional
Olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste, optional

Preparation:
In a frying pan heat oil over medium high heat, add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute shaking frying pan frequently or using a wooden spoon. After a couple of minutes add chopped garlic and cook for a couple more minutes, until tomatoes are soft and skin start to wrinkle. Add spinach leaves and cook briefly (no more than 30 seconds). And is ready! 


Chickpea Crepes with Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes and Spinach /// (Vegan) (Gluten-Free)


Happy Earth Day! I hope you’re celebrating and enjoying our planet today! I’m celebrating with a bowl of granola with homemade coconut milk here while picking tomatoes from our little veggie patch (I’ll show you some pictures of it soon).

So It has been granola making-week at home. Just coconut flakes, hazelnuts and a few seeds and we are ready! Easy + quick + fun and way more nutritious and budget friendly than any store-bought granola or cereal out there.

And when you make your own granola, you know what’s in it, and the best part is that you can experiment with all kind of seeds, nuts and make it just to your taste.



So here it is another version of this buckwheat granola I made last year (which by the way has been our favorite). This new vegan granola recipe is refined sugar-free like this one, but we used fewer nuts and more seeds to add more nutritional power in it.

Enjoy + eat to nourish!


SIMPLE VEGAN GRANOLA W/ HAZELNUT + COCONUT + SEEDS (REFINED SUGAR-FREE)



1 C. Raw Buckwheat Groats (no toasted buckwheat / kasha)
Oats
1/2 C. Pumpkin Seeds
1/4 C. Sesame Seeds
1 C. Hazelnuts, chopped or substitute w/ cashews or almonds
1 1/2 C. Coconut Flakes

Natural Sweetener:
10 Regular Dates chopped in small pieces (Soaked in hot water for 30 minutes) 
1/2 C. Coconut Sugar 
Rice syrup to taste
1/4 C. Coconut oil (melted) or Olive oil

Preparation:
Preheat oven at 150C/300F.  

In a large bowl add the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a separate bowl combine soaked dates, coconut syrup, coconut sugar.

Pour sweetener mixture + oil over dry ingredients and give it a good stir so everything gets covered. 

Place vegan granola mixture over a large baking tray / or two medium baking trays and spread evenly, bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven stir and bake for another 5-8 minutes. It will be ready when its nice, crispy and golden brown. Let it cool and transfer the granola into a glass jar!

Simple Vegan Granola with Hazelnut + Coconut + Seeds /// (Refined Sugar-Free)


While we love eating nutritious and healthy in our home, we know certain foods are way out of the budget sometimes. So we’re always making our foods. Mainly for two reasons, one to save some money in our pockets and two; because we like to know what's inside our food. And I promise you; we make 'a lot' of food in our tiny kitchen (and I'll tell you more in another post).


However, one food that we can’t stop making is “Coconut Milk”. Making this can certainly keep your pantry (and pocket) budget friendly. Needless to say; much healthier too. It’s super rich in fiber, has lots of vitamins, minerals, healthy fatty acids and is lactose-free.

We make this milk all the time. We use it in our smoothies, chai lattes, porridge, and also add it to our drinking chocolate; which by the way is insanely delicious!


The process of making coconut milk is beyond easy and totally foolproof. You can use Desiccated coconut, shredded coconut or coconut flakes. And the only equipment you’ll need is a blender and a mesh colander or muslin/cheesecloth. That’s pretty amazing, right?!...Yes, I think so too!


So now, you too can make fresh plant-based milk at home by simply using two ingredients; Coconut + Water. Oh, and it tastes incredible refreshing poured right out of the cold refrigerator. I made a short video just for you to show you the texture and deliciousness of homemade coconut milk.



Eat to Nourish!





HOMEMADE COCONUT MILK RECIPE

1 C. Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut, Shredded Coconut or Coconut Flakes  (I use Desiccated Coconut)
1 Lt. Hot Water (75C-80C)

Blender
Mesh Colander or Muslin/ Cheesecloth

Preparation:

> Heat water,( about 75C-80C), but do not boil. Set aside.

> In a blender add coconut, slowly add the hot water. Cover the lid with folded kitchen towel so it's completely covered. Remember is hot, so be careful.  Blend on high for a couple of minutes.

> Pour mixture though a mesh colander and using a wooden spoon press to get most of the coconut milk out (like in the picture above). Pour into a glass jar and keep it refrigerated.


How To Make Coconut Milk at Home + Video


I’m always behind schedule lately. There’s this and that plus that little thing that I needed to do, and then suddenly I remembered that I was about to go shopping for some free range eggs to make this pear gluten free cake that J. have been asking me for almost a month now.

Adulthood-land right?! But hey, there’s always that moment at night, after putting Lia to bed, when J. and I reward ourselves with something sweet. Just a cup of warm peppermint tea and one of these chia + cacao power balls and everything becomes a happy place. So today I’m sharing with you these super raw cacao power sweet treats. We always enjoy having these in the fridge; they’re very rich in taste, not to mention healthy, quick to make and delicious. And it also makes a lovely gift.



Raw chocolate/ cacao is full of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, healthy fat and protein. So if you never have tried making these treats before and you’re not sure where to find cacao powder or any of the ingredients mention in the recipe, don’t worry. Just head to your nearby health food store, bulk food store or look at your local supermarket in the healthy food section, and you’ll find them. But in any case you are unable to find cacao powder you can try my other recipe; Chocolate + Almond Truffles, using unsweetened cocoa powder. Enjoy your weekend!




CHIA + CACAO POWER BALLS /// RAW/ VEGAN/ GLUTEN-FREE/ 

REFINED SUGAR-FREE

Make 10


In this recipe I'm using regular dates, but you can always use Medjool Dates. Just keep in mind that medjool dates are much sweeter than regular dates, so you'll have to adjust the quantity of  rice syrup. Follow the same process by soaking them in hot water and remove seeds.

1/3 C. Cacao Powder
1/3 C. Desiccated coconut
3/4 C. Almond meal
1 1/2 Regular Dates soaked in hot water for about an hour
1 tsp. Coconut oil
3 Tbsp. Rice Syrup or to taste
10 tsp. water 

*Chia Seeds, for coating 
*Desiccated Coconut, for coating

Preparation:

> In a food processor cacao powder, desiccated coconut, almond meal, dates, coconut oil, rice syrup and water. Then pulse everything together into a paste-- just like in the picture above

> Make small-medium balls by rolling cacao paste with your hands. In a small dish add some chia seeds and some desiccated coconut in another. Roll some of them in chia seeds and some in coconut. Store in the fridge and enjoy your healthy treat!    



Chia + Cacao Power Balls /// (Raw) (Vegan) (Gluten-Free) (Refined Sugar-Free)


Hey, here I am! I told you I would be back to show you my recipe on how to incorporate cauliflower rice into meals-- and if you haven't seen the previous post yet + the video just click here to check it out. And since you have been asking for more vegetarian quick week-meals I’m positive you’re going to love this one.

So moving on, this recipe is one of our favorite meals, and it is by far the most heartwarming, quick and needles to say nutritious dish to satisfy every inch of hungriness. It doesn’t take more than 30 minutes to make, is super budget friendly and the most fun way to trick toddlers (or fussy adults) to eat more vegetables. I’m telling you Lia can barely resist getting the spoon to start eating it, as soon as I put the plate in front of her, she just take a handful of this cauliflower risotto and doesn’t stop until there’s almost nothing left on the plate. Yes, that's her in the picture below.


In this recipe, I use Indian brown basmati rice, but the cooking process is the same as the risotto. The basmati rice adds a soft crunch to this dish, and it has a lot of goodness in it too. A lot of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and zero sugar. But if you can't find it, you can substitute for regular brown rice. The texture and aroma of this rice are incredible and combined with the cauliflower rice and pumpkin…well is like eating a plate of happiness. 





CAULIFLOWER + PUMPKIN CRUNCHY RISOTTO RECIPE

Serves 2 adults and 1 (cute) toddler


3/4 C. Brown Basmati Rice 
1/2 Onion, finely diced
1/2 Celery stalk  (leaves included) finely chopped
1 C. Pumpkin, (any kind you like) cut roughly into cubes
3 1/4 C. Boiled Water
1 Cube of Vegetable Bouillon 
3-4 Tbsp. Olive oil or Coconut Oil

Parmesan Cheese to serve

Preparation:

1- Wash basmati brown rice under water  for a couple minutes. Until water is clear. Set aside.

2- In a saucepan over medium heat add oil, once the oil is hot add onions and saute for about 5-8 minutes. Then add celery and rice, and give it a stir. Add boiling water, vegetable bouillon, cauliflower rice and pumpkin. Stir one more time and cook for 25 minutes over medium-low heat. Once ready serve with grated parmesan cheese and enjoy.


Cauliflower + Pumpkin Crunchy Risotto /// (How to Incorporate Cauliflower Rice into Meals) ///


Hey, hey, hey! Aldy here. Today I'm sharing this super easy How-To with you and also my first (photo) video! I hope you like it. Oh, by the way, I'm a total novice about video making...so bare with me. And of course, I'd love to hear your thoughts about it. A new post will follow after this, where I'll share with you my favorite way of preparing and cooking cauliflower rice. So expect another post in the next few days.


One of the things about making cauliflower rice is that is by far the most incredible and fun way to incorporate more green vegetables into your everyday eating-- it still tastes like cauliflower though but by doing this process, the cauliflower becomes the size of a grain of regular rice. And combined with other ingredients, it just tastes Super Delish! So if you have children, and they are a bit (extremely) picky about veggies, and one of them is cauliflower, well let me tell you that once you make it this way they would not even realize they're eating it. I mean I can eat cauliflower mostly in all forms, raw, roasted, sauteed, but Lia…would ‘only’ eat it when I make it into rice-like pieces. Sometimes the simplest trick can make a difference.



I use color cauliflower or white just whatever color I'd find available. I’m using a box grater here because the consistency and texture of the florets become more evenly. But with a food processor—which is faster; you need to process the florets with a bit of care, since sometimes they become too small in size or to uneven, and also a bit soggy-wet consistency. But this is just me! You’re more than welcome to try both methods and see which one you like the most. I’ve used both methods but –as you can see-- using the box grater is by far my favorite. So I included both methods.





HOW TO MAKE CAULIFLOWER RICE 


1 cauliflower head, any type you’d like You can use color cauliflower or white cauliflower, they both work great.


Preparation:

1- Wash cauliflower.
2- Remove the outer leaves.
3- And cut the core.
4- Cut any tough stems


+ Using a Box Grater: 

start by grating one floret on the medium or large holes of the box grater), do the same with remaining florets until you get pieces that reach a consistency similar to regular rice-grain. (Just like in the video above!)


+ Using a Food Processor: 

place pieces of cauliflower florets, (one by one) and press the pulse button in your food processor for a few times, until you get the right consistency. 




How to make Cauliflower Rice ///