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I'm Crystal Vaughn

a classically trained chef taking holistic plant-based nutrition on a grand adventure through North America. When I’m not creating in our traveling kitchen, you can usually find me on my yoga mat or a hiking trail.

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Jan 02, 2018

 

Happy New Year!  One of my intentions for this year is to be of service to others.  The best way I can do that is to use my gifts and knowledge.  I have spent the better part of the last decade learning to cook, nourish my body and figuring out how to make delicious foods that are both healthful and good for the planet.

I will be sharing processes, template recipes and how tos on here and on my new Instagram account @routewellacademy!  If you have a specific technique you would like to learn or a recipe you would like transformed into a healthier version please let me know!  I would love to help you on this journey.

Today, I am sharing this delicious coconut butter.  It is as simple as it is delicious.  All you need is a food processor or high speed blender.

First, you measure your shredded coconut and put it in your food processor.

 

Next, turn the processor on and let it run for about 15 to 20 minutes, stopping every couple of minutes to scrape down the sides.

 

It is done when it is a creamy consistency and there are no flakes left. 

 

Coconut butter is great to use in desserts, smeared on toast for breakfast, by the spoonful and so much more!

This method is also great for nut and seed butters like my Cinnamon Almond Butter.

 

Never stop learning, 

Crystal

Coconut Butter
Makes about 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

4 cups shredded coconut

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Add the shredded coconut to the bowl of a food processor.

2. Turn on your food processor and let it run for 15 to 20 minutes.  Stopping to scrape down the sides every couple of minutes. 

3. It is done when it becomes a creamy consistency and there are no more flakes. 

*This post contains affiliate link.  They are in bold.  I only share products I love and use on a regular basis.  If you are interested in seeing what products I use and recommend simply click the word(s) in bold.  If you are moved to buy it, I will receive a small commission that helps support this blog and other projects I am working on.  Thank you for your support!

Products used for this recipe:

Organic Shredded Coconut
Food Processor
Vitamix E310 Blender
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This holiday season is turning out to be a busy one.  We are hosting at our new home with both sides of the family and are super excited to share the joy of Fitz's first Christmas.  I wish you all a very happy holiday and I hope this salad is a great addition to all of the festivities and I'll leave you with one of my favorite tips that helped me on the road but is also great for holiday parties.

My philosophy on life is always to enjoy.  For a healthy lifestyle to stick it can't come with too many sacrifices and you must find some balance that works for you.  One way I do this is start meals, especially of the "cheating" variety, with a big green salad.  Even if the rest of the meal turns towards the not so good at least you have gotten some nutrient dense goodness in.  It also helps you not to over indulge.  It can take up space so you are less tempted to get seconds on that big bowl of queso, stuff your face with fried foods, eat a dozen cookies or whatever your indulgences may be. 

Eat your yummy salad and then go enjoy life.  My recommendation- make this salad and carry it around with you.  Okay, kind of joking, but it does make a great addition to wherever you are invited this holiday weekend.  Enjoy!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season,

Crystal

Persimmon Pomegranate Salad with a Maple Mustard Dressing
4

INGREDIENTS

2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
salt
pepper
5 oz mixed baby greens
1 Fuyu Persimmon, sliced
handful pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup pecans, toasted

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Whisk or stir the first four ingredients together in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Slowly drizzle olive oil in while stirring.

2. Toss the greens with dressing, to taste, you may not want all of it.

3. Top with persimmon slices, pomegranates and pecans.

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Thanksgiving, at it's core, is about coming together and giving thanks.  Thanks for the harvest, thanks for community and thanks for another year of health.  Let's keep that at the forefront as we enter this holiday season. 

I encourage you to take time to sit in gratitude.  I promise, when we focus on the things we are grateful for we actually feel better, happier and my guess is more pleasant to be around.  This year I am thankful for so much; a happy and healthy baby boy, a loving and supportive husband, an adventure loving husky, wonderful family and a safe home to call our own.   This chapter of my life isn't exactly what I pictured but it is quite wonderful and everyday I choose gratitude.

 

Now, onto this rich and creamy soup!  I can't say that I love every pumpkin soup I try.  I knew if I was going to create one it needed a little bit of a twist.  A little added intrigued and I think the combination of creamy coconut milk and spicy and flavorful ginger meld perfectly with the sweetness of pumpkin.

This is a great addition to your holiday menu and you can even make it ahead of time and heat right before serving.  One less thing to do on Thanksgiving Day!  If you try this recipe I would love to hear what you think in the comments below. 

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

In gratitude,

Crystal

Coconut Ginger Pumpkin Soup
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 baking pumpkin, around 2 1/2 lb
Cooking oil, preferably avocado
2 shallots (or 1 small onion), sliced
3 cloves of garlic
1 15 oz can of coconut milk
1 heaping tbsp ginger, peeled and grated
3 cups of vegetable stock or water
salt and pepper, to taste
toppings of choice

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 400°.  Cut your pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds.  Drizzle both sides with about 1 to 2 tbsp oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place open side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.

2. While the pumpkin cooks, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add in the sliced shallot and whole garlic cloves.  Cook for about 5 minutes and remove from heat and set aside.

3. When pumpkin is done, remove from oven.  Allow to cool and remove skins.  Rough chop the pumpkin.

4. In a blender add the can of coconut milk*, grated ginger, cooked shallots and garlic, 3 cups of vegetable stock or water and the pumpkin.  Blend until a smooth consistency is reached.  CAUTION:  if your ingredients are hot start blending very slowly and/or blend in batches.**

5. Pour soup into the large pot that was used for the shallots and garlic.  Heat over medium until starting to bubble, reduce heat to low.  Cook until warmed through and desired consistency is reached, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper to taste if needed.

6. Ladle into a bowl and serve with your favorite toppings: a swirl of coconut milk, micro greens or parsley, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds if you are feeling extra festive.

Notes: *Reserve a couple spoonfuls if you would like to use as a garnish.  **Be very careful if any of your ingredients are hot.  Hot liquids expand and can send the lid to your blender flying and liquid everywhere.  If your blender is small or you are worried about it being hot, split between multiple batches and stir together in the pot once completed.

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The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any health condition or disease. It does not replace medical advice from a licensed professional.