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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Earth Hour "I Will If You Will"

WHAT: Earth Hour
WHEN: March 31st 2012 8:30pm
WHERE: Everywhere in the world!
WHY: To help reduce the planet's energy usage... in turn saving mother nature!
HOW: For one hour wherever you are at 8:30pm this Saturday turn off all lights and unplug electronic devices.

If 100 people participate and tweet me a photo of your dark adventure I will send each of you a signed photo from my Playboy pictorial!

While it is important that you participate it's also important that you make it fun.
Some ideas of things you can do: Cook outside, go for a swim in the dark, candle lit family game night, prepare a raw vegan candlelit meal, or have friends over to host a candle lit clothing exchange. It would be great if you could host a party because it gets more people involved.

Chace and I will be having a candle lit raw vegan meal and might play a game or add to our inspiration board.

Aside from Earth Hour it is important to take care of our planet every day. Here are some tips below, also be sure to watch my YouTube video for more tips.

  1. Recycle (well duh) But also when buying products try and choose those without as much packaging, or that have recyclable packaging. If you have a garden use your leftover food scraps for compost. Your soil will be happy!
  2. Reuse: A lot of the containers I buy I end up washing and throwing other things into them.
  3. Buy in bulk. Try and shop in the bulk section to reduce packaging. I love buying almonds, dried fruit, spelt flour, coconut sugar, flax seeds and all sorts of other things from the Bulk Section at health food stores. This way I save money and I can place all of these items in glass jars or tins that were once used held another product.
  4. Choose Organic. Organics are chemical free & all natural this means its healthier for you and the planet.
  5. Shop locally. I try and shop at farmers markets. Its fun, supports the local economy, you can find unique items that aren't typically available in a supermarket, food is fresher, and large trucks aren't driving it around polluting the earth so it can be delivered to you.
  6. Use your own canvas bag. If you must: choose paper; plastic bags end up in landfills and do not ever absorb into the earth. 
  7. Don't buy greeting cards. People read them and throw them away a few days later. Why not create your loved ones something more sentimental like a frame, pillow, candle, or plate. 
  8. Give gifts in reusable bags. Adds a little bit more value to the gift also! 
  9. Buy organic/natural beauty products. If this idea seems new to you then look up the ingredients on your beauty products, lots of them cause cancer and most are bad for the environment.
  10. Plant trees
  11. Use alternative transportation. Bikes, subways, walk, carpool.
  12. Maximize your gas mileage by getting the proper tires, changing your oil, and if you can afford it switching your car that gets a better MPG at best it would be an electric or hybrid vehicle. 
  13. Switch your animals food to organic and use biodegradable cat litter. 
Hope some of these help!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wheat Free Dairy Free S'More Cupcakes

Hey everyone I decided to try and make s'more cupcakes that were as healthy as possible while still being delicious! They turned out amazing and I made them for my little brothers birthday. I was inspired by Sprinkles' s'more cupcake that Blake Lively designed so I created a recipe that I could enjoy being wheat and dairy free.

A S'more cupcake is pretty much a chocolate cupcake with a graham cracker crust and toasted marshmallow top.


-Preheat Oven to 325

-Place cupcake papers in cupcake pan. I made 12 big cupcakes and 24 minis. 

-For the graham cracker crust:
  • 1 Box Organic Gluten Free Graham Crackers (minus one cracker if you plan to use pieces as a garnish after) I used S'moreables by Betty Mills. 
  • 1/4 cup melted Earth Balance (natural vegan butter substitute) or organic extra virgin raw coconut oil. (I used Soy Free Earth Balance) 
  • Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until they are crumbly. 
  • Pour in melted Earth Balance or coconut oil while pulsing until mixture is combined but still crumbly. Do not pulse too much or the mixture will be gooey, and we want crunchy for this recipe. 
  • Press the mixture into the bottom of the cupcake papers.

-For the Chocolate cake:
  • 1 cup organic unsweetened raw cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups raw organic coconut palm sugar or 1 Cup agave
  • 1 cup organic spelt flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoons Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 cup cultured coconut or soy yogurt (plain or vanilla flavor) *if you eat dairy you can use goat or greek yogurt.
  • 2 eggs, preferably organic and free-range *to make vegan substitute two flax eggs. I'll show you how to make flax eggs below.
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance (vegan all natural butter substitute) If you can't find this simply use all coconut oil.
  • 2 Table spoons Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Mix liquid and dry ingredients separately then combine in a mixer. Cake batter should look like gelato if done properly!
  • Pour cake batter on top of graham cracker crust into the cupcake wells. 
-Chocolate filling
  • For a chewy chocolate filling drop an organic dark chocolate truffle into each cupcake. I used Vegan dark chocolate balls from Whole Foods, you could also use something that resembles a Hershey Kiss (except please don't use processed/artificial chocolate.)
  • Bake until center is set and a tooth pick comes out with a few crumbs on it. If you bake until the tooth pick comes out clean cake will be too dry. 
-Marshmallow topping
  • One 10 oz package of All-Natural Vegan Gluten Free Marshmallows. (I used Dandie's) 
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance
  • Melt both ingredients into a saucepan on low.
  • Pour Marshmallow cream into a frosting/piping bag and top the cooked cupcakes
  • Use a kitchen torch to "toast" the marshmallow. If you don't have a torch try the broiler for a few seconds. Don't walk away from it, sugar burns easily! 


*** To make Vegan-- Substitute two eggs for two Flax Eggs.
Flax egg is 1 TBSP Flax to 3 TBSP water refrigerated for at least 15 min until it is a gummy gelatinous texture. 

***To make Gluten Free sub equal parts Spelt Flour for Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour