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Recipe Book: Chocolate Avacado Cake

So I made this for my mother’s birthday yesterday, and man, was it delicious!  I was a little skeptical at first, because the recipe calls for vinegar, which made the batter a little tangy.  But it was a hit at her party, and so I thought I’d share it with you.

Ingredients:
For the cake:
-3 cups all-purpose flour
-6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used 6 heaping tablespoons)
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-2 teaspoons baking soda
-2 cups granulated sugar
-1/4 cup butter
-1/2 cup soft avocado (about 1 medium avocado), mashed until smooth and creamy
-2 cups water
-2 Tablespoons white vinegar (I used rice vinegar, which I’m starting to really like)
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the frosting:
-4 ounces (half a cup) of very ripe avocado meat
-4 ounces cream cheese (or one 8 ounce package of cream cheese if you want to skip the avacado icing)
-1/4 cup butter
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 package hot chocolate mix
-honey to taste (I used about 1/4 a cup)
(You can also just use a cup of sugar instead of the hot chocolate and honey)
-1 cup fresh, mashed fruit (optional) (I used raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and kiwi… Yumm!)

Instructions:
-Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease your cake pan.
-Sift together all of the dry ingredients except the sugar. Set that aside.
-Mix all the wet ingredients together in a bowl, including the super mashed avocado.
-Add sugar into the wet mix and stir. Mix the wet with the dry all at once, and beat with a whisk (by hand) until smooth.
-Pour batter into your prepared pan(s). Bake for 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  (Mine was in there about 45.)
-While the cake cools, make the icing. Peel and pit the soft avocados. It’s important to use the ripest avocados you can get your hands on.  Soften butter and cream cheese.  Mix all ingredients until smooth.  Spread on cake, and enjoy!

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Welcome Back, My Friends

It’s been quite a while since my last post, and I apologize deeply to the thousands of loyal readers who patiently wait for my updates.  Peak farmers’ market season at the farm + peak personal excitement (I’m engaged!) = not a lot of time for blogging.  To make up for my absence, I’m going to tell you about some of the news highlights of the past few weeks.  Brace yourselves, folks, some of it is pretty scary.

I’ll start with some good news.  On August 15, Johnson and Johnson became the first major pharmaceutical company to pledge to remove many dangerous chemicals – including phthalates, parabens, and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives – from their products by 2015.  They still test on animals, but at least they won’t be poisoning innocent babies.  Not as badly, anyway.
NY Times: J&J to Remove Questionable Chemicals in Products

In case you haven’t heard, the US government and the European Union are at war with herbal medicine.  Back in May, the EU banned dozens of herbal remedies, and those that made the cut face serious labeling and licensing changes.
Hundreds of Herbal Remedies Now Outlawed Across Europe

The US government is following suit.  I happened across a link to this story in another article, and though it’s a few years old, it still needs to be shared.  This chilled me to the bone, more so than any other Natural News article I’ve read.  Greg Caton is the owner of Alpha Omega Labs, an herbal remedy company that sells anti-cancer medicines made from Ecuadorian herbs.  In 2003, he was convicted by the FDA of selling “unapproved drugs” and spent 33 months in federal prison.  After his sentence, his presiding judge agreed to lower his 3 year probation to 18 months, after which he moved to Ecuador to escape further persecution by the FDA.  In 2009, he was arrested at gunpoint by US police in Ecuador and sent to a local jail to await a hearing.  Three days before that hearing, US official took him from the Ecuadorian jail and forced him onto an American Airlines flight to Miami.  Ecuadorian police were forced back when they attempted to reclaim him to ensure a fair hearing.  In order to kidnap him, the FDA had contacted Interpol, claiming he was convicted of “drug-related crimes and fraud.”  He was therefore given a “red listing,” the highest possible alert in the Interpol database.  Because he, like many of us, believes in the power of nature over the toxic soup Big Pharma wants to feed us.
FDA Dupes Interpol to Achieve Illegal Kidnapping and Deportation of Herbal Formulator Greg Caton

If that isn’t enough to make you fear for the health of healthcare, let’s take a deeper look at Obamacare.  Everyone has heard the debates on the costs, the options, the taxes, etc.  But no one mentions how much it benefits Big Pharma, who now has an entire nation forced to buy its services.  Or how much it will hurt the holistic health industry, whose practitioners are not covered under the new insurance policies.  And this is only the beginning.  If health insurance can be forced on us, what next?  Forced immunizations?  Forced “vitamin” regimens?  I know that sounds like something out 1984, but look at the world around you.  Natural medicines banned or prescriptionized in Europe.  Herbal medicine sellers subjugated by the government.  Mandatory health care run by companies selling toxic, deadly drugs.  It’s enough to make me vote for Romney, simply because he will overturn Obamacare.
Obamacare, the Great Swindle

There is a war being waged in the food industry, also.  Dozens of natural/green organizations and companies have fought to get the “Right to Know” initiative on the November California ballot, and if Proposition 37 is voted through,  GMOed foods will have to be labeled in California.  Of course, Big Ag doesn’t like this, because they don’t want you to know that their frankenfoods are poisoning your body, your genes, and your environment.  Many companies like Kellogg, General Mills, and Smucker have donated millions of dollars to the effort to crush Prop 37.  If this initiative is voted through, these companies will no longer be able to hide their GMOed ingredients behind labeling terms like “all natural” which have no legal definition and are used to trick consumers into thinking cheap products are healthy.  Sadly, these companies own many smaller natural food companies, and buying these delicious and often organic products means giving money to the parent company as well, which is something I am not ok with.  For example, General Mills owns Larabar (my fav! aaah!), Muir Glen, and Cascadian Farms.  Kellogg owns Kashi, though I’ve already told you why you should never buy their products anyway.  Smucker owns R.W. Knudsen and Santa Cruz Organics, both of which make excellent juices.  So while I’ll be very sad to give the products up, I can’t support a company who fights against such basic things as healthy food.
Natural Brands Betray Consumers Over GMO Labeling

I’ll end on a good note.  I hope at least some of you have heard of the website Natural News, a wonderful resource for the latest in the green world.  It announced recently that it’s opening an online store which will feature natural supplements and personal care products.  I’m curious to see how expensive their products will be, and how wide a selection they’ll offer.
NN to Launch Online Store Featuring Superfoods, Supplements and Green Living Solutions

I hope everyone is up to date now.  And I hope all this bad news wasn’t too depressing.