Happy Valentine’s Day, lovelies! I hope you’re celebrating love in some way or another today. It doesn’t have to be anything outrageous or mushy, but maybe you could make a conscious effort to show your loved ones how much you care today (aka by baking these beauties…do you see that blackberry filling?).
This past January I went on a trip to Sri Lanka with a group of students from UW-Madison to learn about and experience food, health, and culture. It was amazing – one of the most influential experiences in my life. And one of the major things I took away from that trip is an entirely new perspective on love.
For a portion of the trip, we stayed in a rural village and lived with a family. There was a huge language barrier and we had to get creative with our communication modes at times. But despite the inability to say more than a few words, we made connections and built relationships with these people that were so filled with love. Love like I have never experienced before. Literally, a word didn’t even need to be spoken, and over the course of three days I loved these people and they loved me.
That is something that doesn’t happen in America. It made me rethink how I love my family and friends. It made me think about all the opportunities I have to show a stranger that they deserve love too. Love is powerful. Since coming back from Sri Lanka, I’ve found that changing the way I love has changed my life. I’ve been meditating on this verse from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
That definition of love has been twisted so far out of context in today’s society. As sinful humans, we throw the word love around and hold it to no standards. We say we love, but then we’re impatient, jealous, prideful, angry, revenge-seeking, dishonest people. And of course we are. We are broken people. We are flawed. We mess up. But I have to ask…what if for one day, we tried our very best to turn love into all that it was intended to be?
Blackberry Swirl Donuts (GF, Vegan)
From Babycakes NYC – adapted slightly
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 12 donuts
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (or canola)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 3/4 cup white or brown rice flour
- 1/3 cup garbanzo and fava bean flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1/4 cup arrowroot
- 1.5 t baking powder
- 1/2 t xanthan gum
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/8 t baking soda
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3-4 T vanilla extract
- 1 t lemon extract
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1/3 cup blackberry preserves
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray 2 six-mold donut trays with non-stick cooking spray.
- In medium bowl, whisk together sugars, flours, potato starch, arrowroot, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and baking soda.
- Add the 1/3 cup coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla, lemon extract, and hot water.
- Mix with rubber spatula just until the ingredients are combined.
- Fold in blackberry preserves until batter takes on a swirled pattern (or use a knife to swirl in preserves when batter is in donut pan).
- Using a tablespoon drop 2.5 T of batter into each donut mold. Spread batter evenly with knife or toothpick.
- Place in oven for 8 minutes, rotate, and continue baking for another 8 minutes or until donuts are golden brown.
- Let cool in molds for 5 minutes if sprinkling with toppings such as cinnamon sugar.
Run a knife around the donuts in the molds, lift them out, and place on cooling rack.
How are you saying I love you this Valentine’s Day?