Kaia’s 2nd Vegan Birthday Party!
So, Kaia is two years old already. It’s almost unbelievable that it’s been two years since I gave birth to my little wild child. The struggle was real at first, I will never forget it. The sleepless nights, the sore nipples, the desperation… yet, the unconditional love, the un-explainable bliss, the timeless moments holding an amazing miracle of life asleep at my breast. Ohhhh, those times are gone now. And, in their place are new experiences with a beautifully curious toddler who colors on the walls, screams “MAMA!” fifty times a day, and makes me laugh more than anyone in the world. She’s the love of my life.
Ok, so, wasn’t I going to talk about a birthday party? Yes, yes I was! Ok, so her birthday party was sweet. Only close family and friends came to our tiny apartment. We were all crammed in there “like sardines” but, hey, we fit!
At first, Kaia was nervous to have SO many people wanting to see her, in her own home, but after awhile she warmed up and was acting her usual crazy self. (By “crazy self” I mean she was riding her Strider bike around the apartment, dressed up in a tie-dye shirt wearing John Lennon style glasses! haha)
At the party we served snacks like guacamole, corn chips, mango salsa, veggies and hummus, a fruit tray, and baked kale chips (I baked them only because we don’t have a dehydrator).
It’s no surprise that most guests gravitated towards the foods that they were familiar and comfortable with… the guacamole, salsa, and corn chips. But, that’s ok! I think it’s important to keep in mind that people have their own comfort zones when it comes to food, and we have to try our best to respect them. Some raw vegan foods might just be a little too weird or nuts-o for them right now. But I have found that most people are willing to at least TRY new foods, and if they aren’t.. that’s OK too.
So, what did we do for the “cake”?
We opted not to make a traditional birthday cake. Kaia doesn’t eat processed foods, so I wanted to make something she could enjoy with everyone. I could have made a raw vegan birthday cake, but I didn’t want to. Mostly, because I didn’t feel like it. Making big raw cakes is too much work for me.
And nothing would have made me more upset than to see big cake slices being thrown in the trash (with only a tiny bite taken from them). At least with cookies and cup cakes the portion is small enough that people can finish eating them even if they don’t enjoy them.
Instead, I made my own “Raw Almond Butter Cookies”, and “Raw Chocolate Cup Cakes” (recipes below). They are simple to make, and most of the party guests liked at least one of them. I LOVED them both. & Kaia’s sweet 5 year old cousin ate THREE of the cupcakes, not even knowing what they were! 🙂
Raw Almond Butter Cookies
(Makes about 8-10 cookies)
20 dates, pitted (soak in warm water to re-hydrate if needed)
10 tbsp raw almond meal (and a little extra to roll the “dough” in)
1 tbsp raw almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
Combined 20 dates, 6 tbsp of the almond meal, and 1 tsp vanilla in a food processor and pulse. Once the ingredients are combined (and there’s no big date pieces) remove mixture from food processor into a large bowl, add the almond butter, and the rest of the almond meal. Mix together with clean hands, and roll into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls in the almond meal. Press down with a fork (make an X), to make the traditional butter cookie look. Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour. Walaa!
(makes about 20 cupcakes)
For the “Cake” mix (recipe from www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com):
4 cups dates, pitted (re-hydrate in water if needed)
4 cups oats
8 tbsp carob powder (or cacao powder)
4 tsp vanilla
For the Frosting (recipe by my friend Ellen at www.mangoislandmamma.com)*:
1 creamy avocado
1 young coconut meat
12-14 Medjool dates, pitted slices
2 tbsp carob or raw cacao powder
a splash of coconut water, only if needed to help blend
3 tbsp coconut flakes
Pulse the 4 cups oats (2 cups at a time, since it won’t all fit at once) in a food processor until they become flour-like. Set the oat flour aside.
Make the cup cake mix in 4 batches (again, since it won’t all fit at once) by mixing 1 cup dates, 1 cup oats, 2 tbsp carob powder, and 1 tsp vanilla in a food processor. Once it’s all mixed, mold into cupcake shapes and place in cup cake liners. To make the frosting put all ingredients into a high speed blender until frosting constancy. Top the cupcakes with the frosting either with a spoon, or a pastry bag. Garnish with strawberries slices, and coconut flakes. Chill in fridge for at least 1-2 hours. & walaa!
After dessert Luke opened up some young thai coconuts! We passed around dixie cups with coco water, and coco meat in them. Not everyone was willing to try it, but some people really enjoyed it. We were planning on having people open their own coconuts with our new coco-jack, but unfortunately it came in the mail the day AFTER the party. haha.
Kaia was so happy to share her favorite things with her family, and everything turned out pretty great. So, don’t be afraid to show your family and friends your new lifestyle. You never know who you will inspire, or who will be interested in eating new things.
*There is a YouTube video of the highlights from her party up on YouTube! Go check it out! www.youtube.com/lovingkaia
I hope this post helps you with your next family gathering!
Bye for now friends!