15 Feb 2015


These are happy cupcakes. 

The ingredients are good for you in every way. They are healthy, wholesome, delicious and easy to make. They are lovely to look at, and fun to share. They are a mini celebrations of all that is good in this world! 

You might think I am giving them too much credit, but I have to tell you something: when you're as happy about life as I am right now, they really do seem this great. The past couple weeks I have been focusing much of my time to meditation, being outdoors, and most importantly, enjoying the little things and living in the moment as it happens. Of course I know meditation is important, and that when I am outside with my music is when I am happiest and feel the most fulfilled. But knowing that and maintaining it are two different things. When you have a ton of other responsibilities to take care of every day - no matter what they are - you tend to put your "me-time" on the back burner, and that's a huge mistake. I am pretty sure we all do this, right? 

So a couple weeks ago I basically had a melt down because I felt so stressed and anxious about aaall the things I think are so important that I need to get done. School work (essays, readings, exams, presentations), blog stuff (recipe creation, photography, social media sharing), and another project I am working on that may or may not a be a cookbook about savoury vegan recipes. On top of that there are the endless little tasks of simply maintaining a social existence (meeting up with friends, being polite, loving my partner). I am not saying I do not enjoy school, "work", friends, family or Jack. But I am saying all these responsibilities add up to a whole lotta pressure to be perfect and please others. I think most of us spend the majority of our days (and thus our lives) working to make other people happy, in ways that often don't really matter. For example, yes I have a paper this semester that is worth 40% of my grade, and in some ways it's important I do it and get a good grade so I can graduate with a decent GPA aaaand of course writing the paper will open my eyes to a whole story I didn't know existed (I think I'm gonna write about the history of abortion in Canada). But REALLY, does it matter? Even in the worst case scenario all that will happen is I fail the course. But I will still be healthy, loved, comfortable, able-bodied, able-minded, self-aware, and alive in this amazing world! 

I don't know how much sense I am making. What I am trying to say is that I think so many of us  - namely middle/upper class people in developed countries with access to stuff we take for granted like food, internet, human rights, fridges, mattresses and Netflix - let ourselves become perpetually stressed about shit that doesn't actually have anything to do with us being happy. We worry way too much about deadlines for papers and numbers instead of saying "Hey, I am alive today and that feels pretty great." Stress is a catalyst for virtually every lifestyle disease. Let's throw it out. Let's be grateful for what we HAVE and who we ARE. Let's look at the sky, stars, moon or sun and recognize and that we are merely fragments of energy in an organic multi-verse of scientific amazement and spiritual connectedness, here for a moment until our cells are once again recycled into the elegant, magnificent cosmos. Does that report due on Friday REALLY matter? It's time to ask yourself if you are truly happy. If not, find a way to be happy. 

For me that means no job in a cubicle, and not living in an environment based on capitalism and exploitation. I need to be around trees, sunshine, mountains, rivers, gardens and people who inspire me. I need to focus a large part of my days to MYSELF, breathing deeply and letting anxiety fall away. Some of you might be saying "Easy for you to say, you already have your dream job and are young and don't have to do a job you dislike. I need to keep doing what makes me unhappy because I can't afford to do anything else." Stop right there! Let go of the excuses and find out HOW you can finally live the life you know you deserve. Work towards your goal, be thankful for what you already have, and you will succeed.

My goal? Travel the world and then settle down in the interior of BC, buying my own patch of property and building an off-the-grid home. Sounds pretty unrealistic, but I'm gonna make it happen. You'd be surprised at how affordable land can be in certain spots. You'd also be surprised at how inexpensive homes can be to build. For inspiration, look no further than this. You don't HAVE to stay in a job you hate, you don't HAVE to keep paying rent or a mortgage, you don't HAVE to be in this never-ending state of stress and irritability. You can live simply, happily and peacefully as soon as you want to. Enjoy the things in life that actually matter. For me that's being with people I love, hiking to the tops of mountains, eating baked yams, dancing like no one's watching, and improving my own self every day with meditation and yoga. There is no reason you cannot have the life you want. Go for it! And on the way, try out this cupcake recipe.

Makes 5 big cupcakes; 5-10 servings (with leftover frosting) 

1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dried coconut meat
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons carob powder

Use this recipe

Coconut powder:
1/2 cup dried coconut meat

To make the cupcakes: stir the chia seeds into 1/4 cup water and let them sit for 5-10 minutes so they puff up. Grind the oats and coconut into a fine powder and set that aside in a bowl. Blend the dates with 1/2 cup water and the carob powder until smooth, mix this into the oat/coconut powder by hand and then mix in the puffed up chia mixture as well, until it’s all well combined and like a dense, slightly wet chocolate dough. If it’s too crumbly, add a little more water. Press into cupcake papers and let them sit in the fridge until set (I let them sit overnight, covered with a cloth). 

To make the coconut powder: grind into powder in a high speed blender. 

Frost with the buttercream, then sprinkle with your powdered coconut, and enjoy! 

SUBSTITUTIONS: use buckwheat, almond, coconut or quinoa flour instead of rolled oats and/or coconut; use cocoa or cacao instead of carob. 

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KJ said...

You are so inspirational Em! I've been looking into tiny homes, and that link you posted is of an awesome house- with a pretty legit kitchen!.. which is easily the thing I would hate to give up to live tiny. You definitely given me some inspiration to contemplate a life that isn't on the main path :] And in the meantime I can try all your tasty recipes :D

Lauren said...

You are simply amazing!

Millie | Add A Little said...

This looks amazing - so creamy and rich and decadent!

Iselin Amanda St√łylen said...

Wow, these are beautiful! Thanks for sharing, both your recipe and your thoughts :)

Anna said...

Ohh WOW This looks insane!!! <3


The Vegan Cookie Fairy said...


Girl, I am totally making these cupcakes for my man (and myself, because I seriously need my chocolate fix) and he is going to scoff them down, I just know that.

As for the rest of this post, ALL OF IT MADE SENSE TO ME! I have been feeling exactly like this for weeks now because I'm going through stressful times and dealing with lots of things all at once, and I find it very hard to express to people exactly how I feel. But you just did it right there!

Since I was feeling so awful I took my boyfriend along to the Pentland Hills just outside Edinburgh and we spent a few glorious hours outside in the sun and the wind just breathing in nature. As soon as I'd climbed those hills I realised if I could that, I could do anything. Amazing how nature can help you put things in perspective and let you see what's really important.

Anyway, I'm babbling. Thanks for this post -- it really made my day!

Cassie said...

These cupcakes look so good---you can't even tell they're raw! Just wanna say that I love your free e-book and all of its recipes!

Foxi Mumma said...

Every time you post a new recipe I think this one can't be as good as the last, because the last one was amazing, yet it always is!

Nicole {VeganShowOff.com} said...

That's awesome! I'm so obsessed with tiny houses (and tree houses!). Kirsten Dirksen has a tiny house Youtube channel I love. Everything you said in your post made complete sense and it really amazes me what a good head you have on your shoulders for someone so young! I know you will have no problem achieving all of your dreams in life and then some! Cupcakes look ridiculously good too by the way!

Unknown said...

Awesome post Em! I needed to remember all those things about the cosmos and whatnot. We get so caught up with things that have no bearing on REAL life. Just take a moment and realize that you are a breathing entity in a galaxy far far away :)


Lynn said...

I just have to try this recipe. We first feast with our eyes and these pictures certainly do that.

I recently discovered your website after seeing the picture of your Marshmellow Cream Cake on Twitter.

I stopped trying to please everyone a long time ago, as it is an impossible task. Having some 'Me Time' is very important too.

Jimjams panjandrum said...

"Does that report due on Friday REALLY matter? It's time to ask yourself if you are truly happy."
I'll use that on my supervisor and let you know how it goes ;)

I saw Nicole Foss speak at the Sustainability Festival in Melbourne, and she had some really interesting things to say about property and how the economy is likely to be in the future (some video is up here: http://www.slf.org.au/event/the-great-debate/ and some audio here: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/search/?query=Nicole+Foss). Made me think about about my plans for the future anyway.

Samantha Shea said...

This post spoke to my soul, thanks for the inspiration and reminders. ❤️

Matea said...

How is it that I never knew raw vegan cupcakes were possible? And chocolate buttercream? This looks AMAZING!!

Keara McGraw said...

Beautiful, Emily! Loving these high vibrations. <3

Nicole @ Fitful Focus said...

Wow! these look amazing! I can't wait to make these :)

Kimberly/TheLittlePlantation said...

Thank you for your inspirig words and inspiring recipe. Beautiful!

Sophia said...

umm.... these are amazing!!

jackie connelly photography said...

I'm curious about the coconut meat - you link to Hippie Foods' website, but I'm only seeing 4 products of theirs, none of which are coconut meat (one is coconut chips - same thing?).


RawFruitBasedLiving said...

That looks like one satisfying treat!!

Sally @ The-Fit-Foodie.com said...

Ohh WOW These looks insanely delicious!!! <3 Can;t believe they've not been sat in an oven for 30 minutes. Great work, as ever, Em. x

Aradhana S said...

Ah these are delicious

fitfoodiele said...

they look incredibly RICH and yummy. officially #obsessed with your blog, Emily!

Becki said...

okay these are just plain evil!! omgosh now i have to make them! they look so food

i love baking and have been since I was old enough to sit on the counter next to the kitchen aid mixer (which was about as big as i was) and turn the little knob which turns it on/off. flour spilt everywhere. needless to say, i was moved to the side that controls the speed of mixing.

so as a baker who now likes to eat healthier! like no gluten because i have an allergy and try to be raw food/healthy, THESE ARE JUST OMG wow. i have to make them. the baker and the healthfoodist inside are just screaming Make!!

Thank you for sharing. It takes real courage to put your recipes out there.

Samidasilva said...

I couldn't agree more in terms of doing what makes you happy, I left a great job in the uk and now live in Greece, I have never looked back, it's been 9 years. Follow your dreams

Rita said...

Hiya Emily! You have done it again! I want to try making this, but I can't find dried coconut meat ANYWHERE. ): How much coconut flour do you think would be good to substitute, seeing as it (coco flour) absorbs more water?

Thank you!

Rita, xX

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your radical sanity. You give me a bit of hope for the future of the planet.

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Emily Gunter said...

College student without a mixer/food processor, so I tried to mash and grind everything the best I could. The taste is wonderful and I've been eating it wirth strawberries like a thick pudding! I can't wait to make it again, but properly! It is going in my books.