Raw Vegan Almond Orange Doughnuts

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Currently I'm back in my hometown of Camden, Maine after having been away for two years. Before I left I got rid of nearly all my belongings but left all of my plants to take over my space after I left. I came back to see my beautiful philodendrons and succulents that were spilling out of their pots climbing the walls, wrapping around bookcases and windowsills. Plants are magic, plants are life.

I will say that coming back to the states after being away for so long has taken several adjustments. What is happening in this country is enough to discourage anyone, but thankfully I was given the opportunity to be the head chef at the Youth Empowered Action YEA Camp for both the Oregon and New York sessions which gave me a full boost of inspiration. If this is your first time hearing about this camp, check it out, it's nothing short of life-changing: yeacamp.org

And food! I've been eating so well during all of my travels. I love visiting friends, making them vegan dinner and exploring new/ old cities and all they have to offer in the way of vegan food!

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Raw Vegan Doughnuts

I love food. These doughnuts are one of the many love letters I will write to food.

Dough:

2 cups almond flour

1 cup pitted dates

1/4 cup almond butter

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

pinch of nutmeg

Cashew Icing:

1 cup cashews, soaked overnight

5 tablespoons coconut oil

3 tablespoons maple syrup

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

Frosting colors:

purple - handful of blueberries

pink - cherries or beet juice

green - spirulina

orange - turmeric

Toppings (optional): lemon and orange zest, cherries, chia seeds, coconut, dried apricots, cacao, blueberries.

To make the dough: Pulse dates in a food processor until they become a paste without any large chunks. Add the rest of your ingredients to the food processor and mix well. Transfer your dough mixture into a bowl and place it in the fridge while you make the icing.

To make the icing: strain and rinse the cashews. Combine cashews, coconut oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla and salt in a high-speed blender until creamy. Decide how many different colors of icing you would like - I chose pink, purple, orange, green and cream. Divide your frosting into as many containers as your choose and add the natural food coloring of your choice (for a color guide, see the list above). Turmeric powder and spirulina can just be mixed in with the icing directly. Note: spirulina has a strong taste so just add a small bit at a time and see if you like the taste, personally I love it. For the blueberry (purple) and cherry (pink) icing, you will need to blend these with your icing base in a blender. The "cream" colored frosting is made without any natural food coloring. When you have all the colors you like, place the frosting containers in the freezer to thicken.

To make the doughnuts: remove the dough from the fridge and roll out part of the dough between two sheets of wax paper until it's about 1.5cm (1/2 inch) thick. For the next part you can use a doughnut cutter to cut out the doughnut shapes or, if you don't have one, just use a jar to make a circle and  then poke a hole through the middle. Alternatively, if you want rounder doughnuts, you could just form each one by hand.

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Once your doughnuts are formed, top with the icing of your choice. Feel free to combine colors and go wild! Sprinkle on your favorite colorful toppings and enjoy with love!

<3 <3 <3

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I want to end this post by giving special thanks to all the humans in my life who provide me with so much love, support and humor. Thank you to my family and friends - those that are already in my life and those I meet along the way - I feel very blessed to share time with you, each and every one of you has touched my heart.

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