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While we celebrate Christmas and New Year this holiday season by stuffing ourselves with food and maybe even wasting some of that food you can’t eat, before taking too much food think of all the people in the world that goes hungry because they don’t have food to eat and they might be even homeless.
When I looked at the charts I was in absolute awe. So many people in poverty and going hungry. Below are some things we all can do to help.
Maybe if everyone would adopt just 1 person and send some food, a nice warm blanket to somebody who needs it you can help one person at a time. If you can get someone into a shelter for a while even better. I know there are organizations who send care packages, there are some where you adopt a platoon and of course there is Marine Toys For Tots. So once the Christmas gifts are unwrapped and the celebrating is done take some time out of your day to help the people who really need it.
I’m not say quit baking but if you do bake during the Christmas and New Years Season when you bake something for your double the batch and make a batch for someone who really needs help. If you can’t cook well that’s OK because you can help out by sending care packages, helping serve food to the hungry, help out at a food pantry and etc… There are so many ways you can help.
My post has been all about people so far but we must not forget about the animals who need a forever home, need food and water, need saving from being killed. So if you are getting a gift for yourself this Christmas and New Years Season there is so much you need to know and do before getting that pet. What should you know? A few things you should consider before getting a pet is:
- If you have kids do research on what breed is best for kids.
- Consider unexpected vet bills.
- Make sure you get pet insurance(it’s worth it).
- Make sure you get your pet microchipped.
- Make sure you start looking for a pet to rescue or adopt at a reputable shelter.
- If you get a kitten, make sure they’re not flea dipped to early(always let a vet flea dip your kitten instead of a person at the shelter).
There are so many more points to research and do when you decide to get that pet it will just boggle your mind.
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We haven’t given this out for a while. Well that’s on the Queen Mom Deputy Sister. She had an unexpected accident and is going through a rough time she can’t control and the situation isn’t even her fault. The best part is there’s no links. Please Note that if you’re not in this group of nominees you were either in the previous groups or you may be in the next groups. If you know anyone who deserves this award and yes that someone could be you too please let me know. Remember to accept this award you don’t have to do anything.
Brian’s Home Blog
Pet Vacuum Girl
Speedy the Cheeky Rabbit
My GBGV Life
The Cricket Pages
Mary J Melange By bikerchick57
EEl Creek Chronicles
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Hello and Welcome to CRYSTAL AND DAISY MAE’S PHOTO-BLOGGING SITE . We are joining the blog hops for Friendly Fill – Ins and Feline Friday. We hope you join us for the fun blog hop. You will see two sets of answers. One from Queen Daisy Mae and one from me Queen Mom Crystal. Our answers will be in italics and the questions will be in black. Enjoy this fun Friendly Fill – Ins blog hop.
QUEEN DAISY MAE’S ANSWERS
On New Year’s Eve, I plan to play some and get lots of sleep. Why not what else is there for a 12 year-old cat to do?
A goal for 2019 is get as much catnip as possible since Santa Paws didn’t bring the 2 tons of catnip I asked for Christmas. **Please Note** Santa Paws saw to it that some of my family members got me catnip for Christmas.
If I had to choose a guide word for 2019, it would be positivity. With positivity comes happiness. That’s why I chose this word.
New beginnings often come after multiple tries of getting a forever home for cats. I was lucky and fortunate with my forever home. Hope other cats and animals get a loving forever home like I did.
QUEEN MOM CRYSTAL’S ANSWERS
On New Year’s Eve, I try to stay awake and watch the ball come down to bring in 2019.
A goal that I have for 2019 is to be more patient.
If I had to choose a guide word for 2019, it would be patience. I’m a very impatient person and when something isn’t there when I feel it should be I get impatient. However, I’m getting better at it.
New beginnings often come after you or someone close to you gets into a very bad situation and hit rock bottom.
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For those who don’t me(agast) nobody knows me of course you humans know me I’m the Queen Daisy Mae. On Wednesday(3 days ago) was her hhhummmm birthday. This is her birthday week and birthday month so we’re relaxing from her birthday party and it’s still not over to Jan. 1, 2019. I ask you kindly to send her birthday wishes and for anyone who sent a card she says thank you.
Queen Mom Sister Crystal(Wow that’s a mouthful) to say will be celebrating for the rest of the month and of course the first week of 2019. Thank you for doing this favor for me (Queen Daisy Mae).
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Good Day/Night depending where you are at. I had originally written two posts entitled Wordless Wednesday: What Are These Big Birds Doing Here? and Update: What Are These Big Birds Doing Here? were my previous posts. I gave you a chance to vote on your favorite caption by a poll and you could vote over and over and below are the results. From least favorite to most favorite. I’ve taken a look at the results already and guess what? We have a tie for favorite caption. Without further adieu let’s look at the results.
POLL RESULTS(FROM LEAST FAVORITE TO MOST FAVORITE)
3. The ‘other’ White meat for Thanksgiving.
2. What Are These Big Birds Doing Here?(tied for 1st).
1. Deerversity(tied for 1st).
As you see even though my caption tied for 1st I put Deerversity 1st. Deerversity is our official caption winner.
Thank you to all who gave me possible captions. They were all great.
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This is Friendly Fill – Ins: Christmas Edition. Daisy Mae And I want to wish you everyone a very Merry Christmas And a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year. We would Love for you to join us in this blog hop along with 15 And Meowing and Four-Legged Furballs. Both Daisy Mae And I will be answering the set of 4 questions. So you will see 2 sets of questions. Answers will be in italics.
DAISY MAE’S ANSWER’S
Every Christmas, I get either put upstairs or put down in the basement since the other humans bring a dog. That’s OK though because that means the dog isn’t going after me. I also make sure there is enough room under the Christmas tree for all the catnip I’m expecting to get from Santa Paws. I have Santa Paws wrapped around my 4 little white paws with pink pads.
The day after Christmas, I explore all the boxes and bags that my wonderful humans get out again even if it’s just briefly.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and what was I doing but making room for all the catnip and other gifts I asked Santa Paws under the Christmas tree.
All I want for Christmas is catnip, catnip, catnip and even more catnip. I will also take toys and more catnip. Any questions Santa Paws?
Every Christmas, I try to get together with most of my family and celebrate the real reason why we celebrate Christmas. I also ask for an impossible present I know I probably won’t get.
The day after Christmas, I usually help Mom and Dad take down Christmas decorations and the Christmas tree. We believe that you can’t go into the next year with your Christmas tree up and you certainly don’t want the problems of 2018 to follow you. Start the next year on a clean slate.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house I was making sure that there was room under the tree for ALL my gifts and big gifts I asked Santa Clause for. I don’t know why he wouldn’t bring them because he told me what lists I was on when I was checking with Santa Paws what lists my Queen Daisy Mae was on. As it so happened Santa Clause and Santa Paws said we were both on the nice and very nice lists so why wouldn’t he give me what I asked for?
All I want for Christmas is a printer for my computer(not very expensive) and a huge prayer to be answered that I’ve been praying for a while now.
We are joining 15AndMeowing and Four-Legged Furballs for the friendly fill – ins bloghop.
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Well Vegan’s it’s your turn. I wondered after doing recipes for chocolate is there such a thing as Vegan Chocolate? I’m happy to say there is. Also, if you haven’t read my other cooking posts I did previously, you can read them by going to A Simple Cooking Life Hack, Christmas Cooking Hacks And Helpful Cooking Hacks……, and 🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂Simple Chocolate Recipes……🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂. I hope you not on go to these posts but read and comment on this one too. Now let’s move on to those delicious-looking Vegan Chocolate Recipes.
EASY VEGAN CHOCOLATE:
Prep Time: Cook Time: Total Time:
20 minutes 3 minutes 23 minutes
- 1 cup cocoa butter (finely chopped, packed)
- 5 tablespoons agave nectar (or maple syrup)
- 1/2 cup cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- to taste pinch sea salt (optional/plus more)
- add cacao nibs (optional/for topping)
- Arrange 14 (amount as original recipe is written//adjust if altering batch size)mini cupcake liners on a small baking sheet. Set aside.
- Add 2 inches of water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Then set a glass or ceramic bowl on top, making sure it’s not touching the water (this creates a “double boiler”).
- To the mixing bowl, add finely chopped cocoa butter and let melt-2-3 minutes.
- Once melted, add the maple syrup or agave nectar and use a whisk or wooden spoon to mix until fluid and thoroughly combined. Remove bowl and set on a flat surface. Also, turn off stove – top heat and set saucepan aside.
- Add cacao or cocoa powder, vanilla (optional), and sea salt (optional), and whisk to combine until there are no clumps.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed. (amounts as original recipe is written//adjust if altering batch size), but it’s completely up to how sweet you prefer your chocolate.
- Carefully pour chocolate into 12 – 14 mini cupcake liners* (or 7 large cupcake liners//amount as original recipe is written//adjust if altering batch) and top with more sea salt or cacao nibs (optional).
- Transfer chocolate to the freezer or refrigerator to set – about 10 minutes.
- Enjoy straight from the freezer, refrigerator, or at room temperature. Store leftovers in a well – sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer up to 1 month.
*You can sub up to 2 Tbsp (amount as original recipe is written//adjust if altering batch size) of the cocoa butter with coconut oil in the recipe. However, cocoa butter is superior! Coconut oil tends to separate, get a little oily, and melts easily when touched.
*Between both raw cacao and cocoa powder the raw cacao tastes a bit more bitter, while the cocoa was a little less stark and had a more familiar taste on the palette. Cacao wins in health benefits, but cocoa powder wins in taste.
* To keep this chocolate raw, use cacao powder and (water bath).
*If you don’t have mini cupcake liners, lay parchment paper down on a baking sheet and spread the chocolate into an even layer. Once set, break into bark, or cut into bars.
*If you’re afraid to try cocoa butter, don’t be! It’s so versatile. Definitely worth it if you’re a chocolate fan!
Nutrition Information is a rough estimate.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 13):
Calories: Fat: Saturated Fat: Sodium: Carbohydrates: Fiber: Sugar: Protein:
162 16.5 g 9.9 g 12 mg 5.4 g 1.8 g 2.5 g 1.1 g
VEGAN CHOCOLATE TURTLES
- 1 c. non-dairy chocolate chips, divided in half.
- 1/2 c. pecans
- 1 recipe for raw caramel sauce (see below).
For Raw Date Caramel:
- 4 Medjool dates, soaked in water for 1 hour and drained.
- 1 Tbsp. water.
- 1 tsp. maple syrup.
- 1 tsp. coconut oil, solid.
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract.
- In a high-speed blender, whip up all the ingredients for the raw caramel sauce until completely smooth. Allow to chill in the refrigerator to cool down.
- Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
- Melt 1/2 c. of the non-dairy chocolate chips. Place in a Ziploc bag with a slit cut out of the corner and drip 1 tsp. of chocolate onto the parchment paper, making circles. You may want to use the back of a spoon to flatten down a little bit.
- For each chocolate circle, place 6 pecan slices on top of the chocolate in the position for the head, legs and tail. Fill in the remainder of the chocolate with smaller pecan pieces. Place the baking in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the sheet and pour the raw caramel sauce into a Ziploc baggie to pipe on top, about 1 tsp. worth. Freeze again while you melt the remainder 1/2 c. of chocolate.
- Pipe the remaining chocolate on top of the caramel. Smooth out with the back of a spoon to ensure it is evenly spread. PLEASE READ: Do this one at a time because the warm chocolate hitting the items that have been in the freezer will cause the chocolate to quickly harden. If you wait too long, your chocolate will be unworkable.
- Allow the turtles to fully set (either back in the freezer or if you keep them on the counter, they will harden as well).
Serving Size: 1 Turtle
Sugar: 13.5 g
Sodium: 13 mg
Fat: 7.5 g
Carbohydrates: 15.7 g
Fiber: 1.4 g
Protein: 1.7 g
CARAMEL CHOCOLATE VEGAN POPCORN
For the Popcorn:
- 75 g | 1/3 cup popcorn kernels.
For the caramel:
- 100 g | 1/2 cup coconut sugar.
- 2 tablespoons water.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil.
- 2 tablespoons tahini.
- 1/4 heaping teaspoon salt.
For the chocolate drizzle:
- 90 g | 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips.
- Warm a large heavy bottomed pan with a lid, over medium heat until hot. Pour in the popcorn kernels and put the lid on tightly. Move them around frequently by gently moving the pan. They will start popping after about 30 seconds.
- Keep watching/listening until the popping stops then remove from the heat but keep the lid on in case a rogue kernel decides to surprise you!
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Add the coconut sugar and water to a small saucepan and warm over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and it is just starting the bubble.
- Remove from the heat and add the coconut oil, tahini and salt. Stir really well until it is smooth. It is normal to see some pale flecks throughout. If lumps persist or it doesn’t combine well put the pan over a low heat and continue stirring. It will come together.
- Remove the lid from the popcorn kernels and pour over the caramel. Be careful as it will be very hot. Stir until evenly coated evenly.
- Pour onto a baking tray lined with either Silpat or baking parchment and spread out into a single layer. Put in the oven and bake for around 15 minutes until crunchy and golden.
- Melt the chocolate chips over simmering water, or gently in a microwave, then drizzle over the popcorn with a spoon.
- Place the tray in the fridge to allow the chocolate to set. If you are in a hurry you can put it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Once the chocolate is set break into pieces and store in an airtight container where it will keep well for a few days.
Feel free to omit the chocolate if you prefer to just have caramel flavor.
Serving: 1 1/2 cup serving |Calories: 124 k cal | Carbohydrates: 18 g | Protein: 1.4 g| Fat: 6 g | Saturated Fat: 3.4 g |Sodium: 53 mg |Fiber: 1.5 g |Sugar: 2112 g |Calcium: 51% |Iron: 4%
Daisy Mae and I have joined the Blessing Train on Deziz World . I hope you hop on over for a visit and get a car to add to the Blessing Train. Angel Tigger when she found out about the Blessing Train she insisted being on the Blessing Train. So I couldn’t say no. Angel Tigger is on the left and Queen Daisy Mae is on the right. You’ll see some of their blessings in the think cloud.Our car is below.
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DAISY MAE’S FRIENDLY FILL – IN ANSWERS
I really need to get my Humans Christmas gift.
My favorite Christmas (or Hanukkah)decoration is the Santa throw my Human bought and goes over the rocking chair to make a wonderful tent to sleep or play in.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Meowy Christmas with the exception of no presents or gifts under the tree.
This time of year, I eat my fare share of dry Meow Mix. My Human gives me a mix of Indoor Health, Tender Centers and Hairball food. It’s good stuff and I like to eat it. YUM!!
CRYSTAL’S FRIENDLY FILL – IN ANSWERS
I really need to get motivated and get my Christmas cards out in “snail mail”. Even though my gifts are bought they are not wrapped or gift bagged so I need to do that yet too.
My favorite Christmas (or Hanukkah) decoration is the Nativity scene. Love this Christmas Decoration. Personally this decoration could be left up all year round.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas now that the gifts have been bought, Christmas cards have started coming to me and one of the spare bedrooms is almost filled with gifts, wrapping paper and gift bags and of course stockings.
This time of year, I eat my fare share of chicken wings and Homemade Orange cookies with Orange Icing. Yumm!!
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As you know I’ve done two cooking hacks post they can be at A Simple Cooking Life Hack and Christmas Cooking Hacks And Helpful Cooking Hacks……. So that got me to thinking what are some simple chocolate recipes and alternatives to chocolate are there. Who doesn’t love chocolate? Who doesn’t love chocolate? I love chocolate except for chocolate coffee. Yes I have tried chocolate coffee too. Vegan’s I didn’t forget about you. I will have a separate post for you. Because there are so many good chocolate recipes I’m only listing 5 but will give you the link for all the recipes for your recipes.
SOME SIMPLE CHOCOLATE RECIPES
Chocolate-Banana Pudding Ingredients:
- 2 cups of heavy cream.
- tablespoons confectioners’ sugar.
- 3 bananas, thinly sliced lengthwise, plus 1/2 banana, sliced into rounds.
- 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped.
- 26 chocolate wafers.
- In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil over medium-high. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let sit 5 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar and whisk to combine. Let cool to room temperature.
- Layer 13 chocolate wafers in a 2-quart baking dish. Add half the chocolate mixture, then top with lengthwise banana slices. Top with 13 more cookies and remaining mixture. Cover and refrigerate until pudding is set and cookies are tender, about 2 hours (or up to 1 day). Top with round banana slices and serve.
Chocolate-Covered Strawberries Ingredients:
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped.
- 1/3 cup of pistachios(optional).
- 1 pound large strawberries (about 20), washed and dried well.
- Place chocolate in a bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally, until melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. One at a time, dip each strawberry in chocolate, twirling to coat; then sprinkle chocolate-covered portion with pistachios, if using, and place on waxed paper.
- Chill chocolate-dipped strawberries at least 15 minutes to set chocolate. (Strawberries should not be stored in refrigerator longer than 1 hour as condensation may collect on the chocolate.)
Total Time: Prep Time: Servings:
35 minutes 20 minutes Makes About 20
Peppermint Hot Fudge Sundaes Ingredients:
- 1 cup heavy cream.
- One 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips.
- Best-quality vanilla ice cream.
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup, plus more to adjust consistency.
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract.
- Peppermint candy, coarsely chopped.
- Combine heavy cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Stir to combine, and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, and add chocolate and peppermint extract.
- Whisk until chocolate is melted. If necessary, adjust consistency with additional corn syrup. Serve over ice cream. Garnish with chopped peppermint candy.
Peppermint extract can be found in most supermarkets.
Crispy Chocolate-Marshmallow Treats Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar.
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled).
- 1/2 cup of chopped nuts, such as cashews, pecans or walnuts.
- 1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips.
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar.
- 2 large eggs.
- 1 cup miniature marshmallows.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper.
- In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine butter and 1 cup chocolate chips. Heat, stirring occasionally, just until melted, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove mixture from heat; stir in sugars and salt, then eggs, and finally flour, stirring just until combined. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips, then marshmallows and nuts. Bake until chocolate is shiny and marshmallows are puffed, about 5 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 squares.
To prevent toppings from sinking into the batter, sprinkle them on after brownies are baked. An extra 5 minutes in the oven melts the topping together for easy slicing.
Total Time: Prep Time: Servings:
45 minutes 10 minutes Make 16
Ricotta Tart With Chocolate And Kumquats Ingredients-For Crust:
- 5 ounces chocolate wafers (about 24 cookies).
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted.
- Pinch of salt.
FOR THE FILLING:
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta. (12 ounces).
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
- 5 kumquats, thinly sliced crosswise.
- 1/2 cup heavy cream.
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
- 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped.
- For The Crust: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pulse wafers in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in butter, sugar and salt. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch tart pan. Bake for 10 minutes . Let cool.
- For The Filling: Beat together ricotta, cream, sugar, and cinnamon until fluffy. Fold in half the kumquats and half the chocolate. Pour into cooled crust. Top with remaining kumquats and chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes ( or overnight) before serving.
Total Time Prep Time Servings
1 hour 10 minutes 8
To stay with my chocolate theme and to keep my promise below is what you can use if you don’t have chocolate handy or someone can’t eat chocolate this is what you can do.
5 HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES TO CHOCOLATE
1. Cocoa Powder
Cocoa powder is a mixture of many substances that are left over after cocoa butter is extracted from cacao beans. One tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa power contains about 10 calories, and has virtually no fat, cholesterol, or sugar. And because it is 100% cacao, it is jam-packed with antioxidants.
Try mixing cocoa powder with almond or coconut milk for a homemade hot chocolate, or add a scoop to plain or vanilla Greek yogurt or as an addition to your favorite smoothie. Cocoa powder can be used in savory dishes as well – especially in many traditional Mexican dishes (cocoa and chili pepper!). For a crunchy snack, try cocoa dusted almonds (lightly drizzle almonds with honey and roll them in cocoa powder).
2. Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are basically Cocoa beans themselves, which have been roasted, removed from their husks, and broken into small pieces. In other words, they are a less processed form of cocoa. Cacao nibs are crunchy and taste similarly to unsweetened chocolate. They can be ground into a powder and used just like cocoa powder, or they can be eaten as is and added to yogurt, trail mixes, smoothies, or in your favorite baked good. Cacao nibs are naturally low in calories (just one ounce contains about 130 calories), are a good source of heart-healthy fiber, (9 g per ounce) and contain a number of beneficial minerals and antioxidants.
3. Dark Chocolate (at least > 70% cacao)
It is important to choose dark chocolate with at least 70%cacao in order to reap all the antioxidant benefits. Plus, the darker the chocolate (aka the higher % of cacao), the less sugar will be in the bar.
Carob is a tropical pod that is derived from a tree in the Mediterranean. Its pulp is roasted and ground into a fine powder that tastes very similar to cocoa powder. Carob is naturally low in fat, high in fiber, contains calcium, and unlike cocoa or chocolate, does not contain caffeine or theobromine (a good alternative to those who are sensitive to caffeine or migraines). Additionally, it is naturally less bitter than cocoa, so it does not need additional sweetening.
Carob comes in many forms which can be used in cooking, such as powders, liquids, and carob chips. Add carob chips to trail mix, fruit, yogurt, or use it as a substitute for chocolate chips in baking (but set your oven about 25 degrees lower or it could burn!).
I can’t think of a better way to satisfy a sweet craving while still staying within a healthy eating plan than with fruit. Most fruits are high in vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants, fiber, and health-promoting phytonutrients. Generally, the darker the fruit’s color pigment, the more nutrients it will have! Strawberries and whipped coconut cream, anyone? Or try mixing up a medley of cherries, raspberries, blueberries, and pomegranate seeds, with some carob chips or cacao nibs sprinkled over top for a delicious and healthy treat!
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SEE SMALLS ON #TRT.