VEGAN PEAR CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE WITH RED WINE PEAR COMPOTE

Vegan pear chocolate layer cake with a red wine pear compote & chocolate ganache

I must say that this recipe turned out pretty great, although it was a spontaneous creation that I came up with. I knew it was time to try a new layer cake. Way too long time no such thing. One that I created and totally suits my taste and eating habits. I wanted to have a recipe that it is a hundred percent me. All good ingredients and enjoying without regrets. Continue reading “VEGAN PEAR CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE WITH RED WINE PEAR COMPOTE”

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VEGAN CHESTNUT NUTELLA

VEGAN CHESTNUT NUTELLA

Vegan chestnut Nutella cream

You know these traditions that remain a lifetime? I think collecting chestnuts in the forest during Autumn season is one of those special every year traditions to me, very certainly. I love those memories that jump into my mind from time to time how I used to  enjoy those special days in the forest searching for the biggest and prettiest chestnuts that could be found. Continue reading “VEGAN CHESTNUT NUTELLA”

SWEET VEGAN PUMPKIN BUTTER WITH ROASTED HAZELNUTS

SWEET VEGAN PUMPKIN BUTTER WITH ROASTED HAZELNUTS

A delicious sweet vegan pumpkin butter with roasted hazelnuts

I can not tell you how much I am enjoying this season right now. Although currently living here in Germany and mornings can be very foggy, Autumn is showing its best side and bluest skies. Warm and sunny days with the perfect temperature and oh all these colors outside. It´s just marvelous. And of course the best part: I can eat even more pumpkin every day.

A delicious sweet vegan pumpkin butter recipe
A delicious sweet vegan pumpkin butter recipe with roasted hazelnuts

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I try to to be outside as much as possible with my dog Capper to absorb the last sun in this year while trying to accomplish all the plans I made for pumpkinupyourlife. Since I found what I love, I really am just doing my best to keep this going. I have to admit that I am not a very patient person, at least not when it has to do with me. I want to (or have to) trust more in the process and all the little steps it takes you finish something. Sometimes I wish I could just snip with my fingers and what I planned would be done in just a second. Or I should just learn to more patient 🙂 Whatever comes first.

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This time I won´t talk to much blabla and hand over my recipe of this sweet pumpkin butter with roasted hazelnuts, served on my favorite ALNATURA pumpkin seeds bread that I fried in coconut oil. Oh yes, delicious as it sounds.

I am sure during this fall season one or the other pumpkin will come along your way. And in case you really have no clue what to do with it, this is a great easy, healthy and vegan recipe that you should try. I am not 100% vegan, but when I can I really try to avoid using animal products and for this pumpkin butter that is made super easily.

SWEET VEGAN PUMPKIN BUTTER WITH ROASTED HAZELNUTS

Ingredients

  • 300 g pumpkin puree (Hokkaido)
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil + 1 tbsp. for roasting the bread
  • 100 g grounded hazelnuts
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3-4 tbsp. Agave syrup (or sweetener of choice)

Directions

PUMPKIN PUREE

  1. Cut an about 1 kg Hokkaido pumpkin into half and remove the seeds using a spoon (I used in this recipe a green Hokkaido – great nutty taste and no need to peel!)
  2. Use just one half of the pumpkin and bring it to a boil in a sauce pan filled up with water.
  3. Let cook on medium heat about 15-20 minutes. Stick into pumpkin with a fork to test if its ready cooked. Once it is soft, remove from heat and pure pumpkin over a sieve to remove the water. Let cool.
  4. Using a hand blender or a food processor puree the soft cooked pumpkin until you have smooth mixture.

SWEET PUMPKIN BUTTER

  1. In a small pot melt coconut oil on low heat. Once liquid pour over pumpkin puree and stir until combined.
  2. Add cinnamon and Agave syrup (or other sweetener) and mix ingredients until mixture gets shiny and smooth.
  3. In a pan roast the grounded hazelnuts over medium heat until light gold brown. Make sure to stir gently constantly, because they can burn very quick.
  4. Once there is a delicious roasted hazelnut smell in the air, remove pan from heat and add to the pumpkin puree mixture. Blend until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Pumpkin butter is storable up to 5 days in the fridge.

COCONUT OIL ROASTED PUMPKIN SEED BREAD

  1. In a pan melt the coconut oil on medium heat and add 2 bread slices.
  2. Roast each side 2 minutes. Until gold brown.
  3. Remove from heat and spread the pumpkin butter over your bread slices as much you like. Optional add some grated dark chocolate or/and hazelnuts over it.
  4. Listo!

 

 

 

Vegan almond milk cocoa drink with date syrup

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About happiness & sadness and what

almond milk cocoa has to do with it

(Tip: Turn on music to your right – Soundcloud) – Attention: long text coming, for recipe only just scroll down!

We all know that the sun isn’t always shining 365 days of the year. Some days (in Germany quite too many) it just seems that it will never stop being rainy and grey outside. As much as we want it to be sunny every day, it is just not possible. The weather as in real life isn’t perfect all the time. If the word “perfect” even exists. 

When I recognize myself getting in bad mood – yes this happens – though I am a mainly positive person, I now am able to let these feelings just be present for a moment or two, maybe three. Because ignoring or hiding them won’t make these “bad” feelings go away. It is just suppressing your emotions and not allowing them to exist. This is not solving the problem, just making it worse. Being sad doesn´t mean that you are not strong or unstable. For me strong people are those, who allow themselves to be sad or confused sometimes. Or whatever not positive emotion they are going through. I think that it is super important to recognize your emotions without judging them immediately. Let them be and then try to focus on something good. Something that makes you happy. 

Life is about learning and discovering. It is about change. I think that this process never stops, even if we are old and gray. And that is what gives meaning to eat, isn´t it? Accepting the good and the bad. I am 30 now. I really have no clue how that could happen, but I am. I used to think that I need special things or circumstances in my life to be happy. But I now realized that I just want to be able being happy in any kind of situation, may they be good or bad. And I start to be able to not let any event take that happiness from me.

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Many years in my life earlier I didn´t really have any worthy goals in my life. I was without any perspective. Just doing jobs to earn a living. Since I discovered my passion I am more calm and content. Just finding out what I want to do in life, having goals gives me deep chills and I am so thankful for that. Of course, I am not nearly where I want to be, but that is OK. That is the journey of life and we should embrace this!

“The journey is the destination.”

I learned for myself that, every time I start being sad or I am feeling unhappy, what really helps me, is to immediately begin finding a solution. A way out of a bad feeling. Don´t allow that emotion to destroy my inner peace. Because I know that it is not really helping the situation. Negative thoughts don´t help solving the problem. Sometimes a problem or hard times that you are going through can´t be fix in just a short moment. It is a longer process that you cannot change itself. The only thing you can do is to change the way you think about it. Not starting to panic and just try to comfort your soul.

 

What really helps me is to remember what used to make me happy when I was a little girl. I had many things that brought me into a moment of happiness. Just remembering that I exist. When we grow old we forget to live in the moment. We always think of the past or are scared of what the future may bring to us. We are not able to inhale the current moment. I often have problems with that. And when I catch myself in a negative feeling or if I am worrying too much about something, I try to just breathe in deeply a few times and then think of what used to make me happy when I was little. A hot chocolate always pleased myself. It just warmed my body and soul. Uuh, that cozy feeling a hot cacao can give to you. I adore those childhood memories. Covered in a blanket, sipping your hot drink and watching your favorite Disney movie. Not worrying about a damn thing. How easy and uncomplicated everything seemed to be. But guess what, it still is possible to bring that child chills back to you even as a grown up. 

I am even discovering my old passion for drawing again. As a child I painted a lot. Especially pencil sketches from still life were my favorite. Silk painting and drawing Mandalas also gave me the opportunity to deeply relax and just live in the moment. Over the years I somehow lost that passion. When I started creating my logo for Pumpkinupyourlife I slowly realized how I used to love doing this. And that´s wonderful. I am sure you too still have these childhood hobbies you used to like so much. Why not bring them back again to find happiness in that so rough seeming life? 

Sure there is a reason why this blog post is about happiness and sadness and comforting your soul when you are feeling sad. A few weeks ago my little dog started to have problems with walking. He obviously felt pain and wasn´t able to jump and run around like he used to. He always was a very active dog and we were out in the woods almost every day. At the moment it is just not possible. After several visits at the doctor, I have to take care of him now not moving too much. It may be a disc prolapse (I am really hoping not) or kind of arthrosis. No matter what it is, it´s painful for him. So no running in the forest. When I started seeing my dog suffering from pain in his back, I felt so deeply sorry for him. I was always looking at him and got so sad. That feeling was so hard and I was really scared and imagined the worst things in my mind. He was never really sick until now. I was crying all the time and he was looking back at me like he was thinking: What is wrong with her? That being sad about him being not so well doesn´t make him any better. I think it is the opposite. It only gets worse. So instead of torturing him with my endless tears I try to support him with my positivity and try to be his personal trainer. And every day I recognize an improvement what is making me super hopeful. I know a hundred percent that he will be same again and I will go this way with him. 

 

So that is the main reason why I came up with this blog post about emotions and my recipe for almond milk cocoa with date syrup. It is helping me to relax when times are hard. Maybe it helps you too. Finding peace and love for the little things in life. Especially when times are so tough right now with all that bad things going on in the world. We should be thankful that we are alive and see the beauty that still exists all around us. Just be more awake and look around you. Try to remember what made you happy as a child. I am sure that it was something so little, but in that time all you needed. Let´s be a kid again. 

Oh and btw: Ever heard of Palo Santo (used in my photography below)? Well, if not, it is a so called healing wood from trees that grow mainly in Peru and Ecuador. For thousands of years Indians from South America use it to banish negative energies.  It is said to have healing powers. I am currently discovering my spiritual side a little bit and highly love Palo Santo. It just smells heavenly. It is a sweet scent with a hint of coconut. I never smelled something comparable before. Every day I burn a peace of it until it starts to glow and smoke the apartment with it. I will never ever stop using it. The Palo Santo tree is under nature protection, so make sure to buy it from a good source where they just sell the fallen wood. If interested in buying it I can recommend this shop: Palo Santo – Sensatonics

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Vegan almond milk cacao with date syrup


Serves: 3 (cups)

Ingredients

  • 600 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tbsp. natural cacao powder (organic)
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp. date syrup (or sweetener of choice)

Instructions

  1. In a sauce pan heat up almond milk on medium heat until a little smoke comes up.
  2. Stir in cacao powder and cinnamon. Mix until combined completely.
  3. Take off from heat and set sauce pan aside.
  4. Add date syrup and mix well.
  5. Fill almond milk cacao into cups and enjoy. Be happy.

Yours, Zoe

RAW DARK CHOCOLATE BITES WITH ROASTED, SALTED & CARAMELIZED HAZELNUTS


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These raw (vegan) dark chocolate bites are a dream come true for every chocolate fan out there, including me. For a long time now I wanted to make my own chocolate, but I always thought that it would be too complicated. So I tended to reserve it for an uncertain moment in the future. Once I found out how ridiculously simple it is, I got kind of addicted to it. Continue reading “RAW DARK CHOCOLATE BITES WITH ROASTED, SALTED & CARAMELIZED HAZELNUTS”