We’re kickstarting the month of FebYOUbrary with a biiiig batch of vegan chocolate rolls with strawberry cream cheese frosting… perfect food for the soul!
Fall in love of who you are because that’s who you’re guaranteed to be spending for the rest of your life with.
February is the month of love, and this month we will be focussing on self-love! I’ve noticed that this is a topic that has been recurring over the media over the past year, and if someone were to tell you repeatedly that it is important to love yourself, it can quickly get annoying. Because to an extent, we all like who we are… that’s why we are who we are right? If we didn’t like ourselves, then wouldn’t we innately just change whatever we didn’t like to who we want to become? Simple… right? But of course, nothing is black and white, and we humans like to complicate things.
Self-care isn’t always glamorous. It’s not the media portraying happy couples running together without a single drop of sweat on their faces, having a perfectly chopped rainbow salad packed for lunch, or a perfectly candle-lit bath sprinkled with rose petals. It’s not going shopping, getting your nails done, going to the salon, or getting a massage. Society fools us into thinking that self-care equates to “treat yourself”. That if we do these things, we will feel prettier, which will lead to confidence and further acceptance of ourselves. Although all these things point to self-care and it’s nice to “treat yourself” once in a while, these things are only surface-fixes. Instead of fixing the real issue, they put a bandage over them. Especially the icky ones we tend to ignore.
Sometimes, self-care isn’t always looking in the mirror and looking at yourself with eyes of love. Sometimes it is about facing the hatred that you feel at yourself and disliking the feeling so much it forces you to change.
Sometimes it is making yourself get up, get out of bed to put yourself out there even when you don’t want to.
Sometimes it means sitting in silence and listening to your soul.
Sometimes it is being brutally honest with yourself to cut ties with things that aren’t adding true value to your life, no mater how hard it might be.
Sometimes it means letting go of what you want yourself to do and trusting your gut with what you need to do.
Self-care isn’t always glamorous, but it is always worth it.
My dad has always told me “Life is about balance”, and to this day, I can still hear his stern voice telling me this in my head. I’ve always been sort of an extremist, and once I put my head into something, I have a hard time holding back and I put 100% of my effort into achieving what I intend to achieve. All in, all of the time, and that is one of my weaknesses that I have been working on for the past year or so. Because sometimes when you’re so fixated on one thing, you will always neglect other things surrounding it that are just as important. Missing the big picture. I’ve learned that being ambitious and following through with your goals are a great thing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all your energy have to be put toward that one thing. One step at a time, day by day, because in the end we all arrive at the same destination.
Balance, to me, in terms of healthy eating means that you eat foods that nourish your mind, body, and soul. Eat foods that are healthy, but don’t forget to also allow yourself to enjoy the foods that make your tastebuds dance even though your body probably doesn’t need it… you know, we all have our favourite not-so-healthy-for-the-body foods. Take a wild guess what mine is (it rhymes with Drunken Spy)! (fluffy buns fresh out of the oven come a close second, especially when chocolate is involved).
We have a Pinterest board dedicated to yeast breads and the description is literally “because one of the best things in the world is fresh, fluffy, warm bread”. No statement has ever been this accurate.
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 3 tbsp organic cane sugar
- 2¼ tsp traditional yeast
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup vegan plain cream cheese
- 2 tbsp strawberry puree (about 2 large strawberries)
- ⅓ cup icing sugar (a.k.a. confectioners or powdered sugar)
- DOUGH: Warm almond milk and cane sugar in microwave for 40 to 60 seconds, or until warm to the touch but not scalding. Stir in the yeast and allow it to bloom for 10 minutes. Activated yeast should be foamy.
- Mix 2¼ cups all-purpose flour, and salt briefly in stand mixer to roughly combine.
- Pour the oil and activated yeast into the bowl of the standing mixer containing the dry ingredients.
- Mix on low speed (speed 2) until a thick and sticky dough forms. Increase to medium speed (speed 4) and knead the dough with the dough hook attachment for 5 to 7 minutes or until a soft dough forms and begins to gather around the hook. Finished dough will wrap around the hook like a smooth ball and still be a tad bit sticky. Avoid over-kneading for soft and fluffy bread.
- Oil a large mixing bowl (i.e. the stand mixer bowl) and transfer the dough into the oiled bowl. Turn the dough a few times to coat the surface of the dough with oil. This will prevent it from sticking as it rises. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and store in a warm place and draft-free place (such as a microwave that isn't turned on) to allow dough to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- FILLING: Melt coconut oil and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Add coconut sugar, cocoa powder, and salt and mix until smooth.
- ROLLING & BAKING: Preheat oven to 350°F. Once dough has doubled in size, punch down to release the gases in the dough.
- Flour a clean surface and roll the dough into rectangle about ½ inch thick.
- Spread filling over dough evenly, leaving a ½ inch border.
- Roll dough like a jelly roll and cut into 10 even pieces. I suggest using dental floss to cut the dough.
- Arrange cut rolls into 2 8-inch round pans (line the bottom with parchment paper for easy removal and cleaning). Bake for 35 minutes on the middle rack until tops are golden brown.
- After baking, remove from oven and cool completely before glazing.
- GLAZE: Mix cream cheese with strawberry puree until smooth. Whisk in icing sugar until smooth. Adjust consistency with additional strawberry puree or a drizzle of non-dairy milk. Spoon over cooled buns. Buns are best eaten within a week; store in an air tight container.