Icebox Nanaimo bars

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Hey, Y’all! It’s been a hot minute since we last chatted. And I do mean hot because I’ve been cooking up a storm!

You might be thinking: what inspired you to create a Nanaimo bar recipe? Let me tell you the story behind this recipe. Once upon a time, a young gal named Jasmine bought some V expensive vegan Nanaimo bars and she thought to herself “Instead of spending all of my income on these Nanaimo bars, how about I make my own? Then the recipe was born…

My friend helped me name them “Icebox Nanaimo bars” because they are best served cold!

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Icebox Vegan Nanaimo bars (vegan, gluten-free) 

  • Yields: 16 bars
  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 2 hours

Crust: 

  • 1 1/2 cups of almonds ground
  • Toast 3/4 cup of medium unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/tsp of vanilla
  • 3/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/8 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of dates soaked in hot water (pulse in a blender with a little bit of water (1/4 cup) until finely minced)

Directions: Mix crust in a medium-sized bowl. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper (or greased tin foil) and leave a few inches of the parchment paper on the two ends so you can easily lift it up. Grease the bottom with coconut oil,  spread crust flat.

Freeze for 30 minutes

Middle layer:

  • 1 1/2 cup of cashews soaked (soak in hot water for 1 hr)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 lemon squeezed (1/4 cup of lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup

Directions: Mix all together. Put in the freezer as you wait for the crust to harden to let it set. Pour mixture over crust. Freeze for 1 hour.

Top layer

So there are two options for the top layer:

First option:

  • 2 cups of vegan chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp of canola oil

Directions: melt chocolate chips using double boiler method. Once melted add in canola oil and mix together.

Second option:

This one is more tart

  • 1/2 cup (softened)
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp of cocoa powder

Directions: Mix ingredients in bowl. Make sure the coconut oil is softened (not fully melted!).

Cut tray of bars into squares. Dip the squares into chocolate mixture (use a spoon if needed). Freeze for 10 minutes. Plate and serve!

I hope you all enjoy!

LOVE,

Jasmine

Photos taken by my friend @thisisrebecca follow her on Instagram!

Food, fashion, fun: ice cream and Levi’s

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Hey hey friends! I’m starting this new blog series called Food, Fashion and Fun where I feature two of my loves (food and fashion) in one post!

Food: The weather has been super nice lately which is a perfect excuse for a cold treat! So I headed over to Village Ice Cream and grabbed a banana spice coconut milk ice cream. And yes, this is a vegan-friendly flavor! It tasted a bit like pumpkin spice to me and I really enjoyed it. So I would definitely recommend it to all of you Starbucks fanatics out there.

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Fashion: I decided to go on a bit of an adventure through downtown Calgary after putting together a super cute outfit fitting for the occasion. I wore a pair of high-waisted Levi’s (which added so much length to my already long legs haha), a classic Levi’s t-shirt (can you tell I love their stuff?), and a pair of fuschia strappy block heels. It was also a bit windy so I threw on a little bomber jacket! I appreciate how a few seemingly simple pieces can come together to create a pretty classic outfit. If you want to be a little less formal, instead of wearing the block heals, throw on a pair of sneakers instead.

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Fun: So this was more like work than fun but I helped my brother film an intro to his vlogging channel and in return, he took some bomb photos of me! I spent the afternoon roaming the streets of Calgary visiting a few hotspots like the downtown mall and Stephen Avenue!

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I hope you enjoyed this post, until next time!

LOVE

Jasmine

Seasons

Hi friends!

Thanks for tuning in. Apologies for my absence, I’ve been going through a really rough season. I needed a break from unnecessary stimuli and instead, channel my energy into my close relationships and myself. I’m not going to get into the details of what I have been going through but I am going to share with you what I have learned/ am learning.

If your winter was anything like mine, you can attest to the fact that it has been a long one! And now we are finally getting some sun! Can you say dress and sandals weather?!

On that note, I think this winter is a fitting metaphor for the current state of my life -hardship, after hardship, and one thing causes another- will it ever end?! I’m generally a happy person who puts on a brave face most of the time but the consequences of doing so can literally be fatal. I hope that sharing what I have learned can serve as a tool for some.

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But before I jump in, I would like to open with a Martin Luther King Jr. quote:

“One illusion is the myth of time… “And time will work that out.” You’ve heard that I’m sure. These people fail to see that time is neutral and it can be used positively or negatively. The fact is that segregation horns have made a much more effective use of time than some other sources of good will, even the federal government.  I’m afraid that we may have to repent, not only for the blatant, vitriolic words of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.” 

I know what you’re thinking, “Jasmine, Martin Luther King Jr. is great and all but what does his American Dream speech have to do with seasons?” I think, in this speech, he highlights an irrevocable fact about time- that it maintains a neutral position, therefore each individual has the freedom to choose how they will use it and merely doing nothing with will not suffice. So with each difficult season don’t just say to yourself “it will pass”, consider what you will do amidst it.

So here are a few of my reflective points during this heavy period.

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Get supported

One of the best things that I ever did was get a mentor. She has supported, advised, and celebrated with me during my setbacks and milestones. If you don’t already have a mentor or two (or three), get one! When you’re going through a difficult time the last thing you want to be doing is figuring out who you can talk to. You need to be able to talk to someone who is intentionally invested in your life, familiar with your situation, and detached enough to give you sound advice. Another huge source of support, besides my family, has been my friends. There are quite a few people that I know will be there for me when I am in need of some emergency TLC.

Sometimes getting support looks like seeing a professional. This can be extremely beneficial especially considering that they are well-equipped to help you deal with your situation. I understand that there may be a monetary deterrence but most professionals in these fields take your financial circumstances into consideration, using a sliding scale to determine the cost. If you are a student, your school may have free resources such as counselors, “boot camps”, and support groups.

Be grateful 

The last thing we want to do when we are going through a rough time is write down all of the things we can be grateful for. It’s tough, I know, but it’s so necessary especially if you want to remain remotely sane. When we choose to dwell on the negative (and sometimes we will) we must remember that it is our responsibility to take every thought captive and decide whether or not we are going to let it weigh us down.

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -if anything is praiseworthy or excellent, think about such things” -Philippians 4:8 

I have a tough time doing this consistently so a few things that I do are: 1) Pray– tell God what you are grateful for. 2) Keep a gratitude journal -before you go to bed every night write down at least three specific things that you were grateful for that day. It can be something as simple as hearing the sound of the birds chirping when you woke up. It’s also great to be able to look back on your blessings. 3) Talk it out with friends- My friends have shed a positive light on my tough situations. Sometimes what I need is an external perspective.

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Use the quieter seasons to equip you for the stormy ones

Quiet/ reflective seasons are opportune times to do some introspection and consider what areas in your life need some revision. Something I personally need to work on is my self-talk. A lot of the time I can be my own worst enemy -choosing to internalize negative beliefs about myself and replaying them in my head over and over again. I know that when things get busy I almost immediately revert to this type of thinking. So when I find myself in a position where I have a little more time on my hands, it’s the perfect opportunity to pick up my bible and fill my heart with truth, go to life-giving events, and work on cultivating positive relationships. Again, it all comes down to what you choose to do with your time.

A few books that have really helped me combat this cognitive disposition are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies and Me, Myself and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild. Both books have challenged my way of thinking and provide practical ways to equip myself when these negative thoughts come to mind.

Another thing I have been challenged to do is intentionally rest. This looks different for everyone, whether it be sleeping-in a few days a week, hanging out with people you haven’t seen for a while, or reading a book or two. This is something I’m still learning to do but it has been a rewarding process.

Do the exact opposite of what you want to do

When I find myself in a rut all I want to do is stay in my bed and sulk in self-pity. But in no way is that helpful. It ends up turning into a self-perpetuating cycle. For example, I neglect exercise and become more prone to stress and anxiety. More often than not, the best thing to do is that healthy habit you’re neglecting.

So what is it that you don’t feel like doing today that you know will benefit you after it’s been done? Is it going for a walk? Eating a good meal? Hanging out with friends? Go do it!

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This too shall pass

I can’t take credit for this last point. One of my good friends constantly reminds me that a season is just that, a season. She told me “You may be upset now, but you won’t be upset forever, you may be anxious now, but you won’t be anxious forever.” With this insightful perspective, I can now see the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel.

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I don’t think that my season has ended just yet but after winter does come spring so I’m hopeful. Stay hopeful friends.

LOVE,

Jasmine

 

Welcome!

IMG_2820.jpgHey! Welcome to my blog! My name is Jasmine, I am a university student on this little journey called life. On this journey, I have learned a lot about my gifts, talents, my faith, and myself. A friend once told me “You’re already twenty (one) and you’re not famous yet!” So I decided to create this blog… All jokes aside, I hope you all enjoy what I share.

LOVE

Jasmine