This cake is from my son birthday party and it's a long time I want to share it with you! So a party has been the perfect opportunity to actually count ingredients and make some pictures!
This is the Queen of the Free-From! Not a complete novelty I have to say, but if someone ask you if it's made of whipped cosmic energy, you might well answer yes! No nuts, no gluten, no sugar, no yeast no soy no baking!
Raw, full of nice vibes and easy to make. You cannot ask for more!
All this Free-From calls for a sharing of our family journey in becoming SUPs free, and soon we hope, WASTE free. The gateway for our feelings to become actual decision, has been Alps. A very well lived holiday, with a very small gear, and a lot of experiences collected. Most of the holiday it rained buckets, making dreamy landscapes, mountains softly covered in dark clouds, and wet faces peering out of the waterproof total-look. The harsh storms only enhanced the majesty of this blue planet we live on. Almost an humbling feeling of being so little, and yet so much part of the whole. And of course, we had the muddy puddles real deal.
Back home we wanted to bottle those feelings of freedom, lightness and respect we learned to be so much part of our human nature.
As designer I always found that clear spaces, almost monastic, have the best impact on creativity and serenity. But as we live our lives, our spaces start to be filled up by stuff that we consider valuable, for a reasons or an other. Looking back at our 15 days on the road in Europe, we realized that such good reasons are so very often debatable. And looking at the big picture of our planet current condition, never very good indeed.
In the past years we already cut down our waste output, with few choices based on saving money. Using only cloth napkins instead of kitchen paper, metal refillable bottles for water, washable nappies, and so on. We buy organic food in bulks, we buy only wooden toys, we buy only plant based refillable cleaning products, we buy buy buy...
Soon we realized how much we were still consuming, and probably we have started to consume even more as a result of the excitement for our new fully organic life style. Especially me, that I am a bit of a Miss Right. I wanted to have a lovely organic-vegan wardrobe, and only prime organic things for our children (who doesn't!?). But first, who can afford it? Second it isn't a very waste free approach. So, we did a decluttering ( look at the bottom of the post for some useful links) and we kept all necessary, useful and beautiful. "Beautiful is what is right", says a Japanese adagio. So do I believe.
For the kids we buymostly organic second hand clothes, and we buy plastic toys only if previously loved by other children. We learned the hard way that not all the wood intoys is responsibly sourced and the paints can be as bad as plastic.
We are going through some difficulties as we become more conscious of our impact with our everyday choices. The hard truth is that we simply consume too much anyway. Of everything, too much food, goods, paper, water, ...time. Lets say, for example, that we went to a pic-nick and I wasn't feeling well, so instead of cooking we grabbed some handmade sandwiches at the local providore. Some grapes (in a SUPs container) and one apple juice (glass, again single use). We had our stain steel bottles for water as usual with us. At the end I couldn't hold the garbage we produced with my hands together. One single meal for 2 adults and 2 toddlers. It felt pretty scary. Multiply this scenario for a week of ready made meals at work, kids juices at school or whatever, and it comes out clearly not affordable for our planet.
Personally we are in a lucky position, we work from home, so for us is a bit easier around food, but if you look at the market shelves is easy to see how much waste we produce, many beautifully designed packaging ready only to be binned. Surely one good thing is to always bring a cotton bag for the shopping, but then we need to buy plastic bags for the rubbish to be properly collected. It's a bit of a joke, ah?
One other difficulty we are currently facing is the outdoor gear. Recently we learned a scary fact. In catch fish have been found micro plastic fibers. The invisible fibers that are peeled away from our synthetic garments while washing them. Yes, those have been found in the sea life flesh. Fleeces, waterproof and high performance clothes, that are often made out of plastic, and we use them a lot.
As a bit of an help we discover that North Face and Arcterix help not only to recycle, but also to repair your old garments to don't buy new. Also we discover that Organic Bamboo have a very similar features than synthetic fast dry clothes. My husband runs marathons and he can tell the difference, but bamboo still works for him. Thumbs up!
Also came out something more personal. The consumption and waste of time and personal energy. Prior this post I was going to write about how difficult the past years have been with 3 pregnancy and 2 babies in 2 years ( shit happens but good things always follow) and then tandem breastfeeding, years of sleep deprivation, bla bla bla... . When my eyes opened on something I was totally ignoring. What I call the URTs ( unnecessary recurrent thoughts - Just designed the abbreviation for you folks!) that accompanied my daily. Basically a list of unnecessary "should".
The reality is that many things I did could well wait, and some others were completely unnecessary. Progeny of my inability to estimate my real resources. Because I need to always show to able to manage it all, by myself. These kind of "should" stay at our lives like plastic stay at food. Just waste.
Having too much opportunities, choices, even ingredients has been so tempting for me to loose a good part of my presence to the moment.
For us learning to take more care of our time and intimate resources probably will take a while longer that apply some eco-facts to our materialistic life.
But what change inside also change the outside world -the ancient Greeks said, already back then. And I believe so.
Soo! let's make an impact starting form our kitchen. The less is more and this cake is the proof. Yay!
1 full cup soft dates
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup hulled hemp seeds
1/4 cup raw cocoa powder
pinch of pink salt
2+1/2 cups coconut flour
1/3 to 1/2 cup of rice malt or similar
1 vanilla bean scraped
2/3 limes juice+zest, depending on taste
1/4 tsp pink salt
2 Tbsp of coconut cream
3 Tbsp coconut oil, softened.
Chocolate (topping and filling)
1/3 cup of raw cacao powder
1/4 cup virgin cacao butter, gently melted
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, gently melted
1/4 cup or to taste of coconut jam, gently melted (or set honey)
pinch of pink salt
or if sensitive to chocolate gently melt few pure carob bars in a bath-marie.
Base-Pulse together the base ingredients until a sticky dough forms in the food processor, if dates are too dry add a little rice malt to ease.
Cake -Pulse together the cake ingredients until a something similar to a dough forms in the food-processor.
Chocolate - Mix the chocolate ingredients until completely melted and well combined, leave to cool a bit before using so it makes a good chunky dripping.
Press the base into a deep 16cmø cake tin.
Over the base press half the coconut. Leave in the freezer for 15 min.
Take out and pour half the chocolate in the tin, freeze until solid.
Repeat with the coconut layer. Freeze few moment to cool it.
Free the cake from the tin and pour over the remaining chocolate so it drips down the sides. Freeze for a few minutes to stop the dripping. You are done!
Serve with some fruit topping. For a layered cake double the ingredients. For a fun presentation turn the cake upside down so the dripping "goes" towards the ceiling.
Keeps in the fridge for 3/4 days.
Some useful tips about recicling:
For getting rid of unwanted but still functional stuff : The Freecycle Network (an on-line platform where you can give away unwanted but still working stuff of any kind, who is interest will collect at your place or where agreed - every country has one local network ), or go to charity shop, different shops take different things, from clothes to furniture, phone before to ensure where they can take what you are bringing.
This number of Chickpea Magazine focus on a waste free approach and has some useful tips for beginner and advanced.
And if to feel motivated to change, you need to scare yourself, go ahead and listen to this TED talk. And if you don't find it scary, well, I really don't know what does the trick for you. And if you didn't get scared of this TED, but you went under the blanket watching the Battle of the Bastards, ...then you know you got something to work on. And, BTW, I can hardly watch both!