Monday, March 15, 2010

Vegan German Chocolate Cake

For my sugar crazed sister, Steph and my sweet friend, Ella...and anyone else who loves a great piece of cake :)

German chocolate cake was one of the things that my Mom would make and it would be gone in a matter of minutes. Seriously, you would have to make sure you got a piece or else you would be out of luck.
What makes this cake so great? It's so moist, with a true chocolate flavor and the added bonus of the candy like frosting. Yum.
I've been trying to crete a vegan version of this for awhile now. It took me quite some time just to get the cake part right and then I was on to recreating the gooey, coconutey frosting.
After using my husband as a guinea pig and bringing this cake to a few events, I beleive I may have gotten pretty darn close to the taste of my Momma's original.

Try it and let me know what you think!

3c all purpose flour
2c sugar
2tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
1/2c cocoa
2/3c vegetable or coconut oil
1tsp vanilla extract
2tsp vinegar
2c almond milk

Mix milk and vinegar and set aside
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa.
Mix sugar, oil and vanilla together. Add in almond milk/vinegar mixture.
Mix wet into dry ingredients until just combined.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
It makes 2 9x5 loaf pans or 2 round cake pans.
Let cool.

Filling and Frosting:
1 can coconut milk
2tsp vanilla
1c sugar
3/4c earth balance
1 7oz pack of flake coconut
2c chopped pecans
6tbs corn starch mixed first with enough cold water to make a paste

Mix first 4 ingredients together in a sauce pan. Cook for about 8 minutes until
sugar is melted and mix is light brown.
Add coconut and pecans.
Add in cornstarch paste and remove from heat.
Frosting will continue to thicken as it cools.

Fill and frost cake with it once cooled.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vitamin K and Newborns

To dose or not to dose, that is the question.
For us, it's not to dose. After researching the pros and cons of vitamin K right after birth and the risk of vitamin K deficiency, we decided against it. It's a personal decision for parents to make before the birth of their child. If you decide against vit K, your health care practitioner will likely have you sign a waiver before labor day.

In most hospitals, vit K is given to all newborns across the board. As a parent, you do have a choice in the matter.
For us, it is important to eliminate any unnecessary pain to our baby or unnecessary substances to our baby's system. If you opt out of vitamin k, you can still have your baby dosed in cases of a traumatic birth causing alot of bruising or scarring.

Since the 3rd trimester, I've been drinking nettles and red rasberry leaf tea daily.
At 39 weeks, I added an extra cup per day in preperation for birth. This will give my colostrum and breastmilk a vit k boost. It will not give baby as much as an injection or oral dose would, but I feel it will be sufficient enough for an average, non traumatic home birth. We also will delay cord clamping/cutting so baby won't be deprived of their natural blood volume.

Again, this is a personal decision for parents to make. Just know that you do have a choice in what happens to your baby during and after birth.

Helpful websites

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Hypnobabies teaches medical hypnosis techniques for childbirth. It aims to help you create a peaceful childbirth experience for yourself, your baby and your birth partner. You can either take the course in person or order the home study course.

I know a couple of Mamas who took the class and were very satisfied with it. They loved it, but with the expense and time it would take to do the class, I figured I would do better with the home course. I bought a used set from the hypnobabies website and after I'm done, I can sell it back to them.

I started the course at about 6 months along and I've been really pleased with it. When I first looked into hypnobabies, I was thinking you would be completely out of it. It's not like that at all. It's a way to deeply relax yourself by creating your own mental anesthesia and reprogram any negative thoughts of birth you may have.

Hypnobabies also emphasizes staying positive throughout the whole pregnancy and not letting any negative comments or visual images make you fearful of natural birth. Another thing I enjoy, are the affirmations you listen to each day. The affirmations are about everything from trusting your body to eating healthy and excepting your growing belly. They help me tremendously!

They recommend you start at about 30 weeks, because it's a 5 weeks course. However, if you're like me and get side tracked, they recommend you start earlier, so you can get through all of it and practice before baby comes. I'm currently 40 weeks and doing what's called daily maintenance.

The relaxation techniques I've used during my pregnancy have been priceless. I'm curious to see how I do with everything I've learned from hypnobabies on my baby's birthday.
I will update this post once baby is here!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Nori Rolls

Nori rolls are so versatile. You can roll whatever suits your fancy up in nori sheets to enjoy.
I have made them a couple of times, but this is my husbands area of expertise. As a carnivore, he ate sushi quite often, so I think that drives him in trying different veggie and vegan combos for us to enjoy now that he's vegetarian. Here's some of the latest ones he put together. Oh man, they were so, so good!
You can sub brown rice for these. I actually prefer it.
Also, experiment with the different varieties of rice paper available. Some don't have much flavor, but when combined with other ingredients, they taste really good!

Nori, and all other seaweed, is a rich source of calcium, zinc and iodine. It is also a good source of Lignans which help fight cancer.

Veggie Roll
nori sheets
sushi rice (prepared as directed on package)
pickled carrots (carrots soaked in rice vinegar)

Philly Roll
nori sheets
cream cheese

Philly Luau
nori sheets
cream cheese
teriyaki baked tofu

Baby Blessing

My husband and I decided that we would love to celebrate the birth of our child in the tradition of the Navaho Blessingway. I knew that the traditional American baby shower wouldn't be something we participated in, when I became pregnant. I appreciate the fact that people love to throw these events for an expecting Mom, but I wanted something deeper and more heartfelt that would bring a sense of positivity to baby and I going into baby's birthday. I wanted to gather with family and friends, eat wonderful food, enjoy each others company and receive all the wisdom and blessings everyone had to offer.

There are several ways to incorporate the traditions of a Blessingway into your gathering. During our blessing, we had an area set up where our family and friends could choose to write a letter to our unborn child for them to read when they are older. Toward the end of the evening, we passed a candle around the room and received everyone's blessing in the form of wisdom, stories, advice or whatever they chose to share with us.

I am so glad that we did this! The positive vibes were amazing. We had ours a month ago and I am still on a blissful high from everyone's beautiful words. I know that my unborn child heard every word and felt all the love that surrounded them. I will now go into baby's birthday knowing that they will be birthed in the most positive way possible.

Here are some resources I used to plan our Baby Blessing.