A Family Act

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If there’s one dish my mom loves to make it’s blueberry buckle. A cake like breakfast dish packed with berries and topped with a delicious streusel topping. I remember many weekend mornings walking into the kitchen sleepy-eyed and seeing her busy at work surrounded by flour, sugars and mixing bowls. It’s the dish a friend would receive in a time of need, a dish we would take to my grandma’s with hot coffee in hand.

And it’s very not-vegan. Butter, milk, egg. All play a hand in it’s creation.

Over this Christmas break my parents have been eating and cooking vegan meals with me a most every night. We had a vegan Christmas Eve and a vegan Christmas. They really enjoyed all the dishes we made and were enthusiastic to cook their own. (The Isa Does it cookbook has been our go-to).

We’re now in the post-holidays stretch and I’ll be heading back to school on Sunday. (boo) We’ve been trying to make all the dishes we wanted to try before I leave and trust me there are plenty. So many great vegan recipes and blogs out there! So when my mom asked me last night: “Hey do you think we could veganize the blueberry buckle recipe?” I was game. I’ve gotten a lot better at learning how to successfully adapt recipes and make them vegan.

We switched out the butter for solid coconut oil, the egg for a flax egg, and the milk for almond milk. It turned out so good! Just like the original.

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Mom’s Blueberry Buckle (Veganized)


2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup raw cane sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup solid coconut oil

1/2 cup almond milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 2 tbsp water)

5 1/2 cups fresh or frozen berries (thaw the frozen first and include all juice!!)

Streusel topping ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

6 tbs solid coconut oil



1) In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Using a pastry blender or fork cut in oil until fine crumbs form.

2) Using hands squeeze together most of the mixture to form large clumps. The topping can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 6 months.


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use coconut oil to grease a springform pan and dust with flour. Mix flax with water and set aside.

2) In a large bowl cream coconut oil and sugar. Add flax egg and vanilla beat again.

3) In a second bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt. Add alternating almond milk with flour mixture into oil and sugar. Fold in blueberries.

4) Pour into a springform pan and then sprinkle with streusel topping. Bake 60-70 minutes until an inserted knife comes out clean.

It may take longer to bake…don’t worry! It will take longer with thawed frozen berries than fresh. Enjoy a slice best when heated up! Good for breakfast or dessert. Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!

Saturdays in Santa Cruz+ Coconut, Almond, Pistachio Granola Recipe

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Every other Saturday morning I get up early, grab breakfast and rush out to the bus stop to make my way downtown. I spend my Saturday mornings volunteering at the Downtown library with the Tails to Tales program. It’s a really sweet program where kids read to service dogs and promotes literacy. A lot of kids may not feel comfortable reading to adults or other children, so this provides an opportunity for them to practice and enhance their skills in a nonjudgmental environment

Overall it’s just a wonderful way to begin my weekend and get out of the apartment nice and early! This Saturday after I finished volunteering I ran some errands around downtown and then begin to feel the hunger bug striking and was craving a nice big salad with lots of fixings. Of course Cafe Gratitude could fix that!


And since it was so sunny I ordered it to go and enjoyed it at a table outside!


Their I am Fulfilled salad loaded with beets, carrots, avocado, almond parmesan, and teriyaki almonds with a raw carrot flax cracker and goji chipotle dressing! With a small carrot, pear, ginger juice. I love that they source local and organic ingredients and everything is vegan!

The day was simply too nice to waste so before I headed home I decided to take a nice long walk out along Westcliff Drive. My favorite view in Santa Cruz! Plus it’s always fun to watch the surfers on these really sunny breezy days!


Today the water was full of surfers and Westcliff Drive was populated with bikers and dog walkers ๐Ÿ™‚


I got about an hour of reading in before I walked back to catch a bus up to campus. It was wonderful to soak in some sun and watch the ocean waves. I’m committing myself to going out here at least once a week for the rest of the school year. I have this beautiful view at my fingertips! Why waste it?

Now on to the granola! I LOVE whipping up a batch of homemade granola to have on hand during the week. it’s super simple and fun to experiment with whatever I have on hand! This week I made Coconut, Almond, Pistachio Granola

  • 1 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup almond and pistachios
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup agave or pure maple syrup Image

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Then add in oil, almond butter, and sweetener of choice and mix well!

Pour onto a baking sheet (I use silicone baking sheets when I make granola, but parchment paper would work!)


Bake for between 12-20 minutes checking about every 5 minutes and stirring on pan until golden brown! Allow to cool completely before moving into a storage container.ย ImageImage

Great on top of non dairy yogurt, sprinkled on top of smoothies, or even eaten with some almond milk and fresh fruit! Or straight out of the container as I often do