CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER COCONUT BALLS & 10 TIPS TO LOVING THE HOLIDAYS AS A VEGAN
Oh my! Day 1 of our 25 days of holiday recipes! I feel like this is going to be such a beautiful way to help you guide some of you through the holiday season while transitioning to a more plant based diet. I’ve been told some of you want to be vegan but want to wait until after the holidays because they don’t believe they can survive Christmas. Well I saw this as an opportunity to help you get through Christmas while transitioning to a more plant based diet. Make these recipes, eat these recipes and bring these recipes wherever you go. If you guys are allergic to nuts or someone in your family is you can switch out all the nut mylk for soy or coconut (the stuff in a box made for drinking–not the can!) and skip the nuts in dishes. For things like peanut butter feel free to try more plant based milk and maple syrup instead. Here are some tips to enjoying the holidays without sacrificing anything. If you’re not transitioning to a plant based diet and you’re just here for the food–skip these tips and enjoy the recipes. We are SO excited and can’t wait to show what we’ve been creating in the kitchen.
10 TIPS TO ENJOYING A PLANT BASED HOLIDAY SEASON:
1. Always bring a dish wherever you go. I totally say I don’t preach but what a beautiful opportunity to show others just how satisfying a vegan life is (haha). This will help you feel less obligated to eat what others prepare if it isn’t vegan and it’ll also help educate others on how amazing vegan food is. I know it creates for an awkward moment if there is nothing for you to eat and you feel rude and would rather please someone than make anyone feel uncomfortable. Stop this before it becomes and issue and come prepared. I felt so strongly about my vegan choice I discovered it helps when you have something to eat so others don’t feel bad when there aren’t very many plant based options for you to eat.
2. Eat something before you go. This sound horrible and sad but it actually isn’t and will also help you make healthier choices. There are always salads, and veggie trays and options no matter what but it’s nice not to arrive starving so you feel mo likely to follow a plant based life.
3. Be understanding of family members who don’t understand your choices. I think the first five years consisted of so much, “are you crazy” “aren’t you starving” “don’t you feel so restricted” etc etc etc. We’ve been conditioned as a society to believe we need milk, eggs and meat products to survive and for our children to survive but fortunately that isn’t that truth. We don’t actually need anything from another animal other than our own babies needing our milk. Now every holiday dinner in our family has 1 million vegan options, not just for me but because others have grown to love it too.
4. Educate yourself! I found this helped me so much in being confident in my choices and why I was doing it. When I was a kid I totally thought diary cows just made milk and that was their job. Sadly, this isn’t how they make their milk and once I learned more and more it was just easier for me to follow what I believed in. I won’t head down a preachy tangent but the same happens in the egg industry, meat industry etc. I’ll let you do the research here.
5. Find alternatives for your favourite holiday treats and dishes. Eggnog comes in coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk and most grocery stores carry it. Baking can all be done vegan. Dishes can all be made vegan, well mostly. Ask me questions any time and I can help guide you or create it for you. If there is something you’re really looking forward to and don’t think you can manage ask me and I can give it a whirl.
6. Be patient with yourself. This is a lifestyle that should be fun and enjoyed and beautiful. NO one is perfect and being vegan doesn’t mean you have to be. Now even though I personally follow a super strict vegan life, this doesn’t mean you need to. Small changes are what make all the difference so take it slow and be good to yourself if that’s what works for you. If going 100% overnight like I did works for you–do that then. There isn’t a script you have to follow–do you.
7. Count your blessings. We have the CHOICE to be vegan, to buy vegan foods, to live a vegan life. This is a privilege and I’m not naive to this. Be grateful for this opportunity and allow it to be a blessing in your life rather than a restriction.
8. Try not to educate about The Vegan Life at Christmas dinner. I know it seems like the most beautiful time to talk about all the sad things about the meat, dairy and egg industry, how lots and lots of meat has been linked to too many diseases to count and how thou shall be greater than the killing of animals….. I GET IT! But if there is anything I’ve learned, it is that this doesn’t work. At least not for myself. I prefer to just live my life the way I want to, educate people on how AMAZING vegan and plant based foods are instead of trying to convince everyone else what they are doing wrong. Remember our elementary schools were plastered with posters telling us we NEEDED milk for strong bones, we have to be understanding of where we have all come from.
9. Lead by example. If you have children they’ll want to do what mommy and daddy are doing and if they don’t that needs to be okay too. We have to start by offering as many healthy, nutrient dense, plant based options for our families and do it in a loving non confrontational way. Everyone always makes fun of me, tells me they are going to laugh when Harlow is 16 and wants a steak and to be honest I’d be fine with it! Her life–her choice. BUT I do believe that she will also choose to want to eat plants because she will know how delicious and self serving they are. I don’t ever want to force her to eat anything or live a way she isn’t comfortable with doing but for now I’m going to provide her with all the healthiest options that I have found based on science and research and evidence based practices.
10. DON’T TAKE THE VEGAN LIFE TOO SERIOUSLY! Okay, I’m laughing because I keep saying “The Vegan Life” but it’s true. Now with this being said, I’m very serious about not eating ANY animal products but I try not to be snobby about it. I don’t think I’m better than anyone and I think this is VERY important. We can have our beliefs and believe in them so strongly but sometimes others just don’t agree and that needs to be ok. Keep providing delicious vegan foods when you’re hosting or going somewhere and let it be an opportunity for a positive open discussion.
- 1/2 cup of coconut flour
- 1/2 cup of oat flour
- 1 tbsp of milled flax
- 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup of natural peanut butter
- 1 tbsp of cacao
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1 bag of non dairy chocolate chips or any chocolate to melt
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil
- Add all the ingredients (except the chocolate to melt and the coconut oil) to a bowl and mix well with your hands.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll the mixture into balls the size of a loonie or whatever you prefer.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, in a heat safe bowl add your chocolate and coconut oil to melt. Place the bowl on top of the water and allow the chocolate to melt with the coconut oil.
- Dip your balls in the melted mixture and place on cookie sheet.
- Once all balls are dipped, place in the freezer on the baking sheet for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the baking sheet and place in a freezer safe storage container and store in the freezer to prevent the balls from melting.