Valentine Day’s - a day for the exchange of tokens of affection.
Most think that if you don’t have a significant other (aka: a boyfriend, husband, girlfriend, wife) then Valentine’s Day is not for you.
I’m here to prove you wrong. “Tokens of affection” aren’t just meant to be exchanged between couples. Showing love is something that we can do with anyone we care about. In high school our French club used to sell Carnations on Valentine’s Day for $1.25 apiece. It was all very exciting with filling out an order form, choosing the flower color, and including a message for the desired recipient.
I never had a boyfriend during February 14th, and yet every year I still always received at least one carnation. No, not from any secret admirer, but from my friends and from my mother. Not once did I feel embarrassed or like I was receiving a consolation prize. I felt just as happy to receive those as anyone else did. And seeing the smiles on my friends’ faces when they received a carnation from me? It just made the day that much better.
Now, I’ve never been one much for going the traditional route on holidays. I rarely give out boxes of expensive chocolate or those sugary sweet candy hearts. Instead, I show my love in much more common everyday activities. Take for instance this year. Knowing that I wouldn’t be home on Valentine’s Day, I decided to whip up this sweet snack cake for my mom and dad. My mom’s was actually much fancier with a double recipe of both the cakes and the creamy nut butter frosting spread in between, then drizzled with a coconut oil-based chocolate glazed over the top.
So while yes, I did include chocolate for this year’s gift, it was done with heart, not my wallet. And it was not between me and a boyfriend but between me and my family.
Because that’s what LOVE is to me.
Last week I was asked to join in on Brilliant Earth‘s Create a Little Love Campaign. The mission was simple: Explain what love means to you.
We were also tasked with sharing a picture spelling out the word… L-O-V-E. I chose to spell out the word with fruits and vegetables. Cliche? Maybe. However, like I said before, I think showing love can be done in common day things. I express my love by my recipes, whether they be making them for friends and family, or sharing them with you. Love is doing things for people you care about, not because you have to, but because you want to. I make and share allergy-friendly and unprocessed sweets like the one I have for you today because I care about the health of those that I love. Simple as that.
Just because something is ordinary doesn’t mean it can’t make someone feel extraordinary.
Microwave Banana Cake with Frosting
Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Egg/Dairy-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free, Paleo/GAPS-Friendly
Makes 1 serving
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 6 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- dash of salt
- sweetener (optional*)
- 1/2 tsp coconut oil
- 2-3 tbsp coconut milk
- 1-2 tsp coconut flour
- 1 tsp honey (or maple syrup to make vegan)
- 1 tsp nut butter (or seed butter to make nut-free)
- In bowl combine the mashed banana, ground flaxseed and water. Add the remaining cake ingredients and stir until well combined. Let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the flaxseed and coconut flour to thicken the mixture.
- While you let that rest, mix up the frosting ingredients. Start first with adding your coconut milk to a small bowl/cup, then mixing the coconut flour into that. After you have mixed the milk and flour until all of the clumps are out and it is smooth, you can mix in the honey and nut butter. If the frosting appears too thin, add a little bit more coconut flour, and if it appears to thick, thin it out with a little coconut milk. When you get the frosting to your desired consistency place it in the fridge.
- Next take a small bowl or ramekin (I used a cereal bowl about 4-5 inches in diameter at the base) and put the 1/2 tsp of coconut oil in the bowl. Microwave the coconut oil for 10-15 seconds until melted, then using your fingers spread the melted oil over the inside of the bowl to prevent sticking.
- After greasing the bowl, scoop out the banana cake batter and distribute it evenly throughout the bowl. Microwave the batter for 5-8 minutes or until the edges start to pull away from the side of the bowl and the cake springs back at the touch.
- Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, and then top with the frosting and any additional toppings as desired (I used banana slices).
- If you like naturally sweet recipes then make the recipe as-is without the added sweetener. You do have the option to make this sweeter though with 1 tbsp honey/maple syrup, a few drops of stevia, date paste, coconut sugar, etc.
- The coconut flour here is essential to the texture. If you want to try replacing the coconut flour with another flour you will need to at least double it and then decrease the liquid ingredients (water). I have not tried any alternative methods and cannot guarantee the results.
- I have not tried this recipe with anything other than flaxseed, but ground chia seeds are usually a suitable substitution (again, I have not tried this, but if anyone does, let me know!).
Sometimes you also need to give yourself some self-love, which is why you haven’t seen me around the blogging world much in the past few days. I’m drained and tired as school has been getting tougher these past few weeks. Unfortunately it is not slowing down anytime soon and I have several exams right on my tail. I’ll still be posting, just not as frequently as I’d like. Commenting and updating my new self-hosted blog will also be taking a backseat. Hopefully after the exams are over I’ll have a little reprieve and can get some solid work done again. Until then, I’ll be commenting whenever I can…. spreading the love
Questions for you:
How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? I will be going apartment hunting, and perhaps watch a good romantic comedy on Netflix… suggestions?
If you were to spell out the word LOVE, how would you do it?
What has been your most memorable February 14th? (It can be for whatever reason!)
And after you answer these questions, don’t forget to check out WIAW today with Jenn over at Peas and Crayons. I can guarantee that there will be a bazillion Valentine’s Day ideas from some fabulous bloggers.