Monthly Archives: December 2012

Gluten-Free Vegan Almond Butter Chocolate Bikkies

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Vegan

Through doubling some of the ingredients and changing the flour mixture, I made a fluffier version of the Crispy Almond Butter Chocolate Cookies. Yum! These are so soft and gooey straight out of the oven. Even after they have cooled, they are a nice texture, and it is hard not to keep eating them. We even found ourselves eating the cookie batter!

{Gluten-Free & Vegan} Almond Butter Chocolate Bikkies

2 TBSP chia seeds mixed with 6 TBSP water
1/2 cup Olivani (or vegan butter)
1/2 cup homemade almond butter
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup raw sugar (You can easily get away with not adding all of the sugars)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Himalayan Crystal Salt
1 cup organic oats, blended into a flour (gluten-free)
1 cup almonds blended into flour
1 cup gluten-free flour
chopped vegan dark chocolate

-Mix chia seeds and water, set aside.

-With mixer, beat Olivani & almond butter, then add sugars and chia seed.

-Add dry ingredients, fold in chocolate chips.

-Roll into balls and bake around 11 minutes at 180 C. Enjoy.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Vegan Vegg Burrito

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The Vegg

Vegan breakfast style burrito with The Vegg scrambled tofu, potatoes, fresh salsa, & avocado.

Experimenting with the last bit of The Vegg, recreating a breakfast burrito we used to always eat after surfing.

Blend 2tsp of The Vegg with 1/2c almond milk and set aside.

Peel and cut a few potatoes into a variety of small pieces and boil to make them a bit softer.

Scramble up firm style tofu. After cooking for a bit, you can add a little bit of Olivani or dairy-free butter and continue to cook until you are happy with it. Then pour The Vegg mixture on top and continue to cook until you have scrambled Veggs.

Drain the water from the potatoes and mix in a little avocado oil. I started making my fresh salsa while cooking them in a pan. I basically just cut up up a tomato, some onion, red capsicum, and coriander.

To assemble the burrito, add the potatoes, Vegg scramble, fresh salsa, and avocado slices. You can use any vegan tortilla or wrap, mountain bread, or make it gluten-free. Yum! You can even add some vegan hot sauce or soyrizo. Endless additions to adjust the burrito just how you like it.

Anyone else tried The Vegg yet? Curious to see what others think of it.

Previous Vegg posts:

Gluten-Free Lemon Bars with The Vegg

The Vegg Review

The World’s First Vegan Egg Yolk

Vegan Christmas Cracker

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If you have been waiting to find out what was inside our Christmas cracker, Zaedyn had lots of fun opening it yesterday!

homemade cracker

Vegan Christmas Cracker

Vegan Christmas

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, & what you do are in harmony.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

Thank you, Megan from mousehouse! The cracker was beautiful, and the gifts inside were so thoughtful & perfect. Megan mentioned in her blog that she shopped at The Cruelty Free Shop. With everything in the shop 100% Vegan, it is a great place to shop for clothing, food, animal care, healthy and beauty, and items for home. If I look too long at the online shop, my cart might be filled!

Zaedyn was pretty excited about eating all of the chocolate and not wanting to share. We love bamboo toothbrushes, too. Zaedyn knows exactly where to find his toothbrush and goes and gets it himself. The quote is awesome, and the SAFE pin added a cool ring to our cracker. It was such a creative way to add some noise since it could not go through the post with a snap. Wow! I still keep thinking how awesome this is, and how it is the best cracker we have ever opened. Thank you so much for such a creative and fun Vegan Christmas Cracker :).

Gluten-Free Vegan Christmas Treats

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vegan

{Gluten-Free & Vegan} Almond Toffee Crunch

In the beginning of December, I remember seeing simplydish post about Brown Sugar Almond Toffee. The photo obviously caught my attention as it looked so yummy, and then then words underneath so similar to Almond Roca had my complete attention. Even as a young child, Almond Roca seemed to be something that I really enjoyed. I always remember choosing it over other typical chocolate. I had never made toffee before, but the ingredients and recipe sounded quite simple so I thought that I would give it a go.

Remember how I just mentioned simple? Well, it should have been, but I managed to get a bit confused so make sure to read what I have to say. I didn’t have a candy thermometer either so I followed the instructions about timing for fifteen minutes and stirring occasionally. Well actually, I didn’t follow the stirring occasionally instructions as I seem to stir more often than I should. I was worried about burning this and didn’t actually cook it long enough the first time. I was clever enough and able to save it by continuing to cook it though.

So what do you need to remember? Even when it starts to boil, you need to wait until it thickens up and becomes more of a light brown colour. This might seem simple to others, but not having made anything like this before and without a thermometer to check the temperature, the unknowing made it a bit tricky. However, I can easily make this again very simply having made it already, and I am sure that I will as David seems to be enjoying it! Perfect for a holiday treat to share with others.

Vegan

{Gluten-Free & Vegan} Crispy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 TBSP chia seeds mixed with 3 TBSP water
1/4 cup Olivani (or vegan butter)
1/4 cup homemade almond butter
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Himalayan Crystal Salt
1 cup organic oats, blended into a flour (gluten-free)
1 cup Linseed, Sunflower, & Almonds (LSA)
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (*I always add a bit more)

-Mix chia seeds and water, set aside.

-With mixer, beat Olivani & almond butter, then add sugars and chia seed.

-Add dry ingredients, fold in chocolate chips.

-Roll into balls and bake around 11 minutes at 180 C. Enjoy.

(Adapted recipe from Oh She Glows Crispy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies)

Off to make lots more vegan goodies for the holidays. We found some special treats at the One-Stop Gluten-Free Shop. Seeing as Angel Food is all out of stock for Soymilke, we found plain and a couple caramel ones there. David is very excited about his vegan caramel slice.

Wishing everyone an awesome holiday. We plan on being out in the sunshine and enjoying time as a family so you may occasionally hear from me on Facebook or Pinterest, and I will post some of our holiday updates at some point. If you haven’t contributed to the Copono campaign, there are still 18 days left. They could really use your supports as they have raised $621 toward their $5000 goal. Check the campaign out at Copono Vegan for Kiwis, or if this is the first time you are hearing about it you can read my post about Copono: Valuable App for All Kiwis.

Copono:Valuable App for All Kiwis

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Vegan AppCopono’s mission: “to make conscious consumption simple.”

What is Copono?

As I mentioned in my last post, Copono is an app to track and rate vegan things in New Zealand. This will make life for Kiwis easier as you can scan barcodes of products to find out if they are vegan or not. 85 Kiwis are already using this app, but with your help they can share it with everyone in Aotearoa. There are 23 days left to reach their goal of $5000. Even a contribution of $10 will help them get closer to reaching their goal. Vegan or not, please consider contributing to this vegan campaign to help Copono assist you in not only buying vegan food, but also finding sustainable and ethical choices.

“Copono is quick.

Copono is simple.

Copono is easy.

Buy products that resonate with you.”

Copono

Why Vegans should support this app?

Copono will make your life easier. Taking out the time spent reading labels and researching online to find mixed answers, this app will quickly tell you if a product is vegan or not by simply scanning a barcode. Isn’t technology amazing? We also have to thank the Vegan Society of Aotearoa for creating the Vegan Big Book of Products and inspiring Copono to turn this into an app.

Being vegan for quite some time now, I do not particularly buy a lot of processed foods, and I buy at a lot of food from specialty stores where I seem to be aware of ingredients and ethical products. However, there are always new products being made or recipes that require new ingredients. At first, I thought that this app doesn’t really affect me, but actually it does and in an even bigger way than I realised. One reason this app could be helpful is the fact that my husband eats quite differently than me. Although he knows the basics of what is vegan or not, he often texts me asking about ingredients or additives. I know that this app would be great for him, and I know that I could use the app as well to find out products that he might like. I have also found myself looking at new products and reading labels for products to feed my son. If I want to make others vegan food or get asked whether or not certain products are vegan, I can easily let them know with this app. Plus, if you have friends or family who are not vegan and want to buy you something or make you a vegan meal, they can use this app to be certain that the products they buy you are vegan.

The bigger reason for supporting this app though is that even if you do not think you will use it, think about all of the others that will. Everyone is at a different point in their vegetarian, vegan curious, or vegan journey. Some have more knowledge of ingredients than others, some might have more knowledge about ethical companies, some might eat more processed foods than others, but we are all on our own journey to live a conscious lifestyle. By supporting Copono, you not only help yourself, but you are helping animals, the environment, and others with similar goals. It is bigger than just the app, but through it you are helping to support positive vegan ethics.

Why contribute even if you are not vegan?

Copono is more than finding vegan products. Whether you look into healthy options or need to avoid products due to allergies or intolerances, this app will be beneficial to you, too. You might simply need to avoid dairy or eggs, but why not use this app to take out the guessing and make shopping easier. At least you know that vegan products won’t contain either. Let’s face it. Reading labels can be tricky even if you have been doing it for a long time. Companies do not always want you to know the truth, and additives can easily change.

If you don’t think this app is useful for you, what about for your children, family, or friends. You may find yourself needing to embrace changes due to an allergy within the family, or you may find yourself needing to make a meal for someone who is vegan or has allergies or intolerances. This is the perfect app to help you in all of these situations.

Although you might not be completely vegan, you may be interested in supporting sustainable, ethical, and healthy buying. Although some products might have clear labeling, you may find yourself in the shop hesitating whether to support a certain product or brand. Why not leave it up to Copono. They have done all the hard work to simplify buying for you. If you support this app, you will have instant answers at your fingertips.

Finally, curious or not, you might just be in the Christmas spirit and find yourself willing to make a contribution to something that will help a lot of people and support others who truly care about the environment.

Copono

Beta User Test Flight

Beyond New Zealand?

Even if you find yourself across the world, imagine how Copono could help you when you come for a holiday in New Zealand. Not being familiar with products, brands, or food additive numbers, the last thing you want to be doing on your holiday is standing in the supermarket reading the back of every label. This app extends beyond the use of just Kiwis.

Check out the campaign to contribute to Copono Vegan for Kiwis. 

$10 Contributor, $10 Idea Lover, $30 Early Bird, $60 Auckland Champion, $60 Wellington Champion, $100 Eternal Bliss, $1,000 Transcendental

A virtual high-five, getting Copono early, enjoying a vegan dinner, becoming a lifetime member, or joining the team retreat and future, there’s perks for all contributions. With 2,000+ members in the Vegan Society of Aotearoa, even a $10 contribution from everyone would surpass the $5,000 goal. I will put a link up on my page and there are a few of the campaign already being shared around so please take a second to re-share on your own wall. The power of social media is huge, and together we can help support Copono’s 12 month effort by simply taking a second to contribute and share with others.

Who is bringing this app to reality for your convenience? Meet the Copono Team.

Copono

Where can you find out more about Copono?

Most importantly, the current campaign: Copono Vegan for Kiwis

Copono website

Copono on Facebook

Copono on Twitter

I want to see Copono succeed…

Will You Support Sustainable Living?

Exciting Christmas Already! Karma?

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A sewing book, Christmas cracker, macadamia nuts, visit from a special friend, and emailing the winner of the Te Reo Singalong. What an exciting day! Karma? I truly spend far more time on my blog then I should because I really do enjoy telling everyone about all of the wonderful companies out there or somehow helping or inspiring you through our life. I do not make money through all this, but I do gain a whole lot by helping other people who are interested or care about similar values as us. This makes all of the companies I write about special as well because I choose carefully what I want to include and share with you. I was going to list them all here, but I think I might need to make a link to them.  The only ad I have is for Living Foods Lifestyle, simply because I really wanted to make the site easily accessible and shared with all of you, but I only gain from you making purchases through my link to their site. Even then you would be supporting me to buy more raw foods to share recipes with you so there is still a cycle of helping. This is where your comments, pins, tweets, and likes on Facebook really come in. Yes, I am on Twitter now in case you want to follow. Not completely sure of it all, but I will get there. I really do appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my blog, comment, and interact through social media. Days like this make me think about the saying “What goes around comes around :).” Positive karma of course!

NZ sewing
Thank you so much to Penny from Little Housewife. I was so excited to receive Home Sewn in the mail today. I recently bought a Bernette Bernina sewing machine and have lots of projects I hope to make next year. Sewing my own clothes is definitely a goal of mine so I am really thankful to have won this giveaway. I also love that this book profiles 10 leading New Zealand Designers. I am looking forward to hopefully practicing sewing on my new machine over the holidays. Thanks again, Penny! Make sure to check out Penny’s blog and Facebook page about “a blissful childhood of happy memories which she passes on to her children through cooking, baking, crafts, gardening, places to visit, tips and tricks, & their happy home.”

homemade cracker

Then our beautiful Christmas cracker arrived today! Megan from mousehouse made this lovely cracker. Zaedyn had been a bit impatient, sneaking around our living tree to untie the string, and attempting to peak in. I kept retying the strings on, and I think it became a game to him. As you can tell, we will both try to wait patiently until Christmas to open it, however, it is a bit tempting! For those of you who don’t know, this all started with Katie from Mummy Adventures who set up this Christmas cracker swap. After signing up, we received our swap partners who we could then make our handmade crackers for and send off to wherever they live in New Zealand. Do you think you can wait until Christmas to find out what is inside? I will let you know once the cracker has been opened. In the meantime, check out Megan’s blog or Facebook page for “crafty projects, home and garden ideas, fun things for kids to make and do, eco-friendly ideas and home organising tips.”

Now the macadamia nuts I received are not the ones I ordered, but ones given to me just because the topic came up about them. I am so grateful for these even being passed onto me. Now for the hard part. Opening them all up!

Then a very special friend came to visit us. Zaedyn was happy and cheeky as ever running around. Even if this included throwing pegs. It is lovely to have a friend that you get along with and can share all sorts with, talking so much and forgetting how much time has passed.

Oh, and I finally upgraded to a Canon 60D after 6 1/2 years taking heaps of photos with my Canon Rebel XT. I can already see how busy I am going to be next year between sewing my own clothes and sewing in general, making raw foods, and learning about my new camera. Zaedyn loves it already because there is a big screen and he can see the picture I took of the lawnmower. At 19 months, he is pretty clever with all the words he says. At the moment, all we hear about is the lawn mower over and over again. He is very fascinated by them and will repeatedly get excited about them shouting, “LAWN MOWER!”

lawn

It has been so busy lately, but I really appreciate everyone who entered the Te Reo Singalong Giveaway. I have emailed the winner. If you did not win, they are definitely books that are worth buying. If you are interested, you can buy directly from the Te Reo Singalong website.

Although the bamboodie sale has ended, there is still time to enter our eco peko giveaway for a 100% organic cotton t-shirt for your child or someone you know. Simply go to the post and comment or add multiple comments to gain extra entries before Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 8:00PM NZ time.

karmaFinally, if you have not heard of Copono, please check out their current campaign. I have more to tell you soon, but in short, Copono is an app to track and rate vegan things in New Zealand. This will make life for Kiwis easier as you can scan barcodes of products to find out if they are vegan or not. 85 Kiwis are already using this app, but with your help they can share it with everyone in Aotearoa. There are 24 days left to reach their goal of $5000. Even a contribution of $10 will help them get closer to reaching their goal. Vegan or not, please consider contributing to this vegan campaign to help Copono assist you in not only buying vegan food, but also finding sustainable and ethical choices. Thanks!

What goes around comes around 🙂

eco peko bamboodie sale + giveaway *CLOSED*

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organic

I love how social media connects you to things that you may not ever come across through your own searches, but things that you absolutely love. Even through all of our organic searches, I had never heard about eco peko. Have you?

Eco peko is an Australian family business that I want everyone to know about.

eco : concerned with living things in relation to their environment
peko : Ancient god of crops. The protector of the fields.  

It can be really hard to find stylish organic clothing, but eco peko has a lovely range for children and adults. Made from 100% Certified organic cotton or bamboo with a super high thread count and even green knitting, stitching, and dyeing processes. With this kind of commitment to sustainability and pure products, what’s not to like? They are even members of 1% for the Planet so your purchases mean donations to local environmental groups.

Being good for your skin and the environment, I could not resist buying a few tops for Zaedyn. The top I would love to have which is not currently on their website is Gimmie ABCs not GMOs. It was a hard decision as I like quite a few things, but here is what we decided on…

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a2 cow organic t-shirt, a picture of Daisy from the local organic farm

It's Easy Being Green

it’s easy being green t-shirt, of course we chose retro green!

Earth Baby

earth baby t-shirt to “take up the greenie cause by knitting themselves out in sustainable clothing”

I joked with David about buying the my dad recycles more than your dad t-shirt if only it were true. He quickly responded, “Depends on who you are talking to.” As a family we are actually very good at recycling and limiting our waste. We don’t even put trash out every week because we are conscious of the products we buy so that we limit the amount of waste that we send to landfill. I do not often like the sort of tops that compare Dads, however, I am somewhat regretting that we didn’t buy this top because it is quite unique. We enjoy leading by example, and I would love for Zaedyn to be quite proud of reducing, reusing, and recycling as I am sure that he will.

Check out the details for the items you like because most of them are generous sizing to get the most wear possible, but we ended up getting some of them in smaller sizes to fit now. Daisy the cow and it’s easy being green modeled by Zaedyn are size 6-12 months, and the earth baby t-shirt is 1 year. Plus, there are colour choices for each shirt. The smaller sizes come in an envelope neck while the bigger sizes come in a round neck.

I absolutely love the baby bamboodies! Go to the website to see what they look like. Zaedyn’s size was out of stock, otherwise I would have ordered him one. Guess what? You’re in luck! Eco peko has a new shipment that just arrived for the…

organicBIGGEST BAMBOODIE SALE EVER!!!!

I just ordered a few so be in quick as the sale is all weekend for baby, child, and adult bamboodies and then the shop will be packed up until February!

What is a bamboodie?

bamboo + hoodie = bamboodie

*high uv protection, hypoallergenic, antibacterial, light and silky soft, superior breathability, dries super quick

Make sure to check out eco peko on Facebook, their website, & even join their tree free mail list to keep updated with upcoming products and eco-news. You might be interested in their adults range as well as their eco peko bags.

If you like what you see, which I am sure that you will, enter our giveaway to win your child or someone you know a green house music, not gasses t-shirt. As the Te Reo Singalong Giveaway is currently being run through Rafflecopter on our Facebook Page, I have decided to run this competition through my blog. The competition will end on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 8:00PM NZ time. Please write a new comment to gain an extra entry for each. You can gain entries by choosing one, a few, or all of the options by telling us that you have liked eco peko on Facebook, liked Arohanui Vegan Love on Facebook, shared the giveaway through Facebook, made a bamboodie or other eco peko purchase, following Arohanui Vegan Love blog by email and/or bloglovin’, tweeted the giveaway, re-pinned my eco peko link through Pinterest, following Arohanui on Pinterest, following Arohanui on twitter, following eco peko on twitter, telling us your favourite product from the eco peko website…

organic

Again, this particular giveaway is only open to New Zealand, but if you like their range you can order online. If you are in Australia, check out the stockists page as there might be one near you.

Thank you so much to Justine, a mum of 2 little greenie’s, for creating this sustainable business and giving you a chance to win one of her green house music, not gasses organic cotton eco peko t-shirt for your little one.

Don’t forget to check out the bamboodie sale and other awesome products on the eco peko website! 

Gluten-free, Organic, Raw, Vegan Food

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Raw Foods

We received boxes of food from Living Foods Lifestyle New Zealand and Revolution Food Co. I ordered a few new ingredients that I am excited to experiment with, and the other day we were super busy in the kitchen making Sushi Rolls, Pad Thai, & Goji Chocolate Chip Brownies with Lucuma Ice Cream. Everything was most importantly vegan as well as raw, gluten-free, and organic.

{RAW} Gluten-Free Vegan Sushi Rolls

The sushi rolls were pretty easy as I utilised the raw veggies that I had prepared for the Pad Thai. The Nori sheet that I used is very different to the ones that can typically be purchased from a general supermarket. This sea superfood can be purchased from Living Foods and is another amazing product of Navitas. These Nori Sheets are raw and certified organic. A new ingredient that we have just come across is Raw Coconut Aminos.

Soy-free sauce

What is this Coconut Secret?

Raw Coconut Aminos, a soy-free seasoning sauce

-Raw

-Vegan

-17 amino acids (2-14 times the content of soy), mineral, vitamins

-nearly neutral pH

-65% less sodium than soy sauce

-100% Organic

-Gluten-free, Dairy-free, GMO-free

-Low glycemic

What a great alternative to soy sauce, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, and Nama Shoyu. We seem to love most things that have to do with coconuts, apparently even the sap now! I poured some on top of the veggies and put them aside while I made some raw almond butter. When the almonds were processed, I spread some on the seaweed, added the raw veggies and avocado, and rolled them up. Then I cut them into small sushi roll wraps for Zaedyn. I didn’t use it this time, but another handy gadget we have to make sushi is a Sushezi. Does anyone else have one of these?

Sushi

Raw Vegan Sushi with veggies, coconut aminos, avocado, raw almond butter, & seaweed

Why Sushi?

Zaedyn absolutely loves seaweed. Many of you have witnessed him shoving piece after piece into his mouth. I am happy that he loves his seaweed strips so much because they are highly nutritious. The Nori sheets are even more nutritious as they are not heated and are saturated with “minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, lignans, and protein”.

{RAW} Gluten-Free Vegan Pad Thai

Pad Thai

To prepare the veggies, I used my spiralizer, or turning slicer. It is very easy to use and turns my veggies into “noodles” by just turning the handle. I used purple cabbage, courgettes, and carrot. You can choose from a variety of blades to make each vegetable a different spiral or cut.
Saladacco
Vegetables

Then, I rinsed my kelp noodles under filtered water. Believe it or not, this is the first time that we have ever tried kelp noodles! They are basically just a raw sea vegetable noodle made from kelp. Kelp noodles are vegan, fat-free, gluten-free, and low in carbohydrates and calories. I love that you do not have to cook these noodles, plus you get the benefits of kelp.

With my kelp noodles and vegetables mixed together, I was ready to add my sauce. I have never been a huge fan of sauces and even eat my salads with no dressing and lots of avocado, but I thought that I would try out a sauce for my pad thai. I found very similar adapted sauces which all seemed to link back to Ani Phyo. My sauce included:Kelp

-1/4 cup of raw almond butter (I make my own using raw almonds in my food processor)

-1/2 c raw liquid coconut oil

-2 TBSP Raw Coconut Aminos

-1/4 c fresh lemon juice

-dash of cayenne pepper

-fresh coriander from our garden

-3/4 cup filtered water

I blended my sauce and tossed it amongst all my vegetables and kelp noodles. My pad thai was complete.

{RAW} Gluten-Free Vegan Goji Chocolate Chip Brownies with Lucuma Ice Cream

Lucuma

Adapted from Ani Phyo

What is Lucuma Powder?

A fine powder “made from whole Peruvian lucuma fruit that has been dried at low temperatures and milled”. It is a natural sweetener that has a caramel taste, but I also found that the lucuma ice cream reminded me of a coffee ice cream. Might just be me though!

*Vegan, Raw, Organic, Low Glycemic, Contains Beta-Carotene, Iron, Zinc, vitamin B3, Calcium, Protein

I did not have Yacón syrup so I used agave, but I only added 1 TBSP. I am not sure if this is why mine ended up a bit more frozen, but I just placed one of the containers in the fridge to defrost a bit. Then I added a scoop on top of the Goji Chocolate Chip Brownies and sprinkled with raw cacao nibs. I am out of carob powder so I only used raw cacao powder, and I used a vanilla bean instead of vanilla powder. I have made raw brownies many times, but usually the basic. It was exciting to try something a bit different with goji berries and cacao nibs. I knew that I was going to be adding my lucuma ice cream on top, but the Goji Chocolate Sauce sounds yummy for next time! I usually do not make up such a big batch either. Depending on what it is for, you may not want to make as much, or you can store in the freezer up to three months.

Vegan

Lucuma
Enjoy! Let me know if you have any favourite raw food recipes.

Don’t forget to order your raw, organic, super foods from my blog link to Living Foods Lifestyle New Zealand

Vegan

Te Reo Singalong Books + Giveaway *CLOSED*

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“Learn Te Reo Māori the easy way with these innovative picture song books”

Te Reo Maori

Zaedyn Tai reading all of his Te Reo Singalong Books

Te Reo Singalong Books are easy to use Māori resources for young children that easily teach them the language in an exciting way. I have used them within an early childhood education setting as well as with my 19-month old son. I believe that they are a great resource for all ages. Tamariki get so excited about these books through the powerful illustrations and catchy music. Whether you play the CDs or follow the guitar chords, waiata is an easy way to learn and reinforce Te Reo Māori.

What sets these books apart is the gap they fill as useful Māori resources. As a teacher, I know how hard it can be to find resources that get used on a daily basis. I love the language and would include it within my practice as much as possible, but in mainstream settings it can sometimes be a challenge to move forward and find resources to help support your knowledge. There are often resources that attempt to teach children words, but Te Reo Singalong books help promote the use of sentences and making relevant connections. Not long after introducing them to the centre where I worked, I remember hearing a child later on in the day sing “Kei te Peke Ahau.” It was amazing to hear how tamariki were responding and using the language that they were learning through these new books.

As a Mum, I can provide my son, Zaedyn, with easy tools to learn Te Reo Māori and be able to support him. These books have helped me feel even more comfortable with my use of Te Reo and learn practical words that I normally do not use. They have also helped me continue to use words that I know and make me more conscious in using them more with Zaedyn. He has even taught my family overseas some of the words that he knows in Te Reo Māori. I can see the excitement on his face when we play these songs, and he looks through his books. Pakipaki was one of the first words and actions that he learned.

Pakipaki

Kei te pakipaki, kei te pakipaki. Pakipaki, pakipaki.

The CDs are a huge asset to these books if you are unfamiliar or not confident with the language. Instead of getting left on the bookshelf, you can play the CD alongside each book. However, I am sure that you will quickly pick up on the language and find yourself singing along to these catchy tunes. I find myself randomly singing along throughout the day. The repetition and actions link together to help children remember their learning. We also use the CDs in a variety of ways as we have the songs recorded in our car and on our iPad so that they are always accessible. Born in California, I began to learn Māori through waiata and developed a passion to learn more where I decided to complete my Te Ara Reo Māori Level 2 from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. I am still continuing to learn and share my knowledge with my son, but I do not believe that I would have gained as much knowledge as I have without waiata, and these books continue to further support my learning. If you are from overseas or have not grown up knowing the language, these books are very useful tools.

All of the books include an English translation, Ngā kupu hou – New words section, guitar chords, a CD, and ideas on how to use the books. There are so many possibilities to keep everyone interested and using them on an ongoing basis.

Now for the books that have been published so far…

Te Reo Singalong BooksMaranga Mai!

Most children I know love learning about animals and hearing animal noises. Maranga Mai brings together animal illustrations that will capture your little one’s attention along with Te Reo Māori and the noises that each animal make. These work together to help your children remember and make these connections that they can relate to real life.

Te Reo Singalong BooksKei te Peke Ahau

This book is very interactive and fun through animal actions. Even if you or your children know words such as peke for jumping or oma for running, you can make these connections to animals as you jump like a rabbit and run like a pūkeko. There are even some animals that you may not have heard in Te Reo Māori before.

Te Reo Singalong BooksAnei Kē!

The sound effects help bring this book to life and support meaningful connections to real life. As you go through the seasons, you can learn how to ask where your hat is when the sun is out for summer or ask where your gumboots are when it is raining.

What I love about these books is that they are extremely relevant to children’s lives and allow you to learn words and phrases that can and will be used. If you want to hear what others have to say about these books, check out the Testimonials on the website. There is so much positive feedback about these amazing books that I am so happy to be able to share with you. You can even view sample pages from each book and listen to the songs through the website.

Besides learning Te Reo Māori, these books support many learning aspects embedded within Te Whāriki, the Early Childhood Curriculum. I can think of many ways while using this book where tamariki will become more confident, develop communication which can be expressed through language and dance, gain control of their bodies, learn alongside others, and where their own culture is supported or they are learning about their friend’s culture. My friend that first introduced me to these books used them while on practicum teaching a new entrants class. The children responded very quickly. Now the older classes are even using these books. Although I found them useful within early childhood, they seem to be a great asset to older tamariki as well. Even as an adult, I think that they are a fantastic learning resource. No wonder they were a Māori Language Awards 2012 Finalist!

Thank you for reading, and thank you to Sharon Holt for providing a copy of one of her books to a lucky reader. Make sure to enter this awesome giveaway. I can’t wait until Book 4 about vehicles is published!

Kei te Peke Ahau

Did you already know about these books? Please share your feedback and what you, your children, or children you are working with think of them.

*Disclaimer: This post is completely my honest opinion about these books and is not sponsored. We just love them and want everyone else to know about these amazing Māori resources which we have been using since they were first released. The author, Sharon Holt, is kindly donating a book of your choice that will be sent to one of our readers who enters the giveaway.Te Reo Maori

Your choice of Te Reo Singalong Book 1, 2, OR 3

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