Jan 192014
 

We’re all hearing about the benefits of superfruits ~ in this post I’ll review the Mangosteen and share a delicious recipe for Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing!

It’s all over Dr Oz, the internet, health blogs – you name it – superfruits are hot. It is hard not to buy into the hype so I always do some research.  I rarely discuss supplements because I’m here to promote food first.  Human nature is to say shoot, I can eat whatever I want and then just take these supplements and I’ll be fine.

Baloney. First and foremost we need to eat a balanced and nutrient dense diet of mostly plants, and then add any supplementation on top of that. (And remember – always be sure to read the ingredients!) My daily regimen includes eating Mila every day, taking a liquid coral calcium & liquid daily vitamin, sub-lingual complex b-vitamin and I’m trying a few of these superfruits to see what I think.

Mangosteen

Mangosteen

Source

The Mangosteen is a tropical evergreen tree that primarily grows in Southeast Asia. The fruit is sweet, tangy and juicy ~ but it is the purple “pericarp”, or rind, that is high in tannins and contains an organic material called xanthones. The astringent rind of the fruit has been used in a variety of ways ~ to treat pain, inflammation, allergies, various infections, eczema and wounds, dysentery and urinary tract infections, and is also said to be an immune booster.

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

From doing my research please keep in mind that yes, the rind has a high nutrient content; however, it should not be used to cure any ailments, so please do not believe false claims.

Any food or nutrient can only help build your very own body’s defenses against various ailments. Our bodies are amazing symphonies of biochemistry ~ but it is up to us to treat it right. If we ingest fast food drive from the through every day and then drink mangosteen juice, we cannot expect our body to be able to defend itself against ailments.  It is much better to cleanse our bodies of toxins by eating healthfully, balance our bodies through exercise and eating a variety of colorful, organic foods and build our bodies’ defenses through nutrient dense foods ~ such as mangosteen.

Variety of organic and nutrient dense foods is one of main reasons to consider the mangosteen. This is the same reason you may want to consider joining an organic CSA/farm share ~ it enables you to obtain a variety of high quality vegetables you may not normally find at your grocer. Conventional soils are depleted in the US ~ to think that we can lay down some man made fertilizer and believe we are adding everything to the soil that it needs is ridiculous, nature is infinitely more complex, so by choosing organics you are also choosing healthy soil. This is not to say that all organics are without shortcuts and are perfect by any means; however, it is a step in the right direction.

If you ARE looking for a high quality mangosteen product ~ I have a great one in my wholesale membership club with Genesis Pure  and I do feel comfortable supporting and recommending it like I do Mila. I checked out a variety that are available out there and this one is really good. If I found anything in it I didn’t agree with, I wouldn’t talk about it ~ even though it is a product supplied by my own company. It is wild harvested and has no added preservatives or sugars.

I do suggest that you compare other products and do your own research first, any time you are looking to try something out.  Google “mangosteen juice products” and see what comes up.

Other than drinking it, making a light dressing is a great way to use it ~ especially over the organically grown veggies at KyV Farm or Native Sun. It is gently sweet and really pleasing ~ no need to add additional sweeteners!

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Fresh Salad with Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Serves 4
Printable Recipe
Vegan, Gluten Free

Ingredients

4 cups fresh chopped lettuces and greens such as kale or bok choy
1 large fresh tomato, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 cup sliced cucumber
Salt & pepper, to taste

Dressing
1/4 cup mangosteen juice
2 Tbsp roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil (plain will be fine too)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey

Directions

1. Divide lettuce, tomato and onion evenly over four plates.

2. Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl; pour 2 Tbsp dressing over each salad; season with salt and pepper.

Here is Dr Duncan talking about what the mangosteen is good for.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 64.1
Total Fat 2.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 44.2 mg
Potassium 195.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
S
ugars 8.0 g
Protein 1.1 g 

Vitamin A 29.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.2 %
Vitamin C 24.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.8 %
Calcium 2.3 %
Copper 1.7 %
Folate 19.7 %
Iron 4.0 %
Magnesium 1.5 %
Manganese 19.4 %
Niacin 1.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.2 %
Phosphorus 3.0 %
Riboflavin 3.7 %
Selenium 0.3 %
Thiamin 4.2 %
Zinc 1.2 % 

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jan 132014
 

Move over eggs ~ there’s a new perfect protein for breakfast. My Avocado and Sea Salt Toast has a healthy, balanced blend of fat, FIBER and protein with zero cholesterol.

What’s not to love?

If you are an avocado lover, like me, you may not have thought of using it in place of butter for a simple, creamy and satisfying breakfast for your busy mornings.

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Every day you get up with purpose. You get out of bed, shower, hurriedly get dressed in the dark ~ and manage to get out the door with a black shoe on your left and a brown shoe on your right. True story from my past life.  I remember it only too well.  For all of my hard working friends in Corporate America – I dedicate this post to you.

Who has time for breakfast?

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

You do! Just before grabbing your keys and leaving, toast some sesame Ezekiel bread and grab an avocado, an onion and your knife.

I’ll tell you the reason for the onion in a second.

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Take your knife and cut around the avocado, the long way; twist. For now, leave the pit in the one side because it will cut down on the oxidation (browning).


Source
 ~ The Amazing Avocado

Next, cut your slices while the avocado is still in the skin. (Technically, you don’t have to do this step ~ it just looks prettier.)

Slice Avocado
Source
 ~ Thank you to the Practical Cook

Scoop out half of the slices on one side for your toast and place the remaining avocado in a reusable airtight container. Cut an onion and half and place it in there right along with the avocado. The vapors from the onion will reduce further oxidation.

If the avocado is ripe enough you should easily be able to spread it like butter. In fact, I will be so bold as to say wherever there is butter, avocado should replace it.

Let’s look at butter and avocado nutrition facts in a head to head comparison for a two tablespoon serving.

Avocado vs. Butter

Avocado vs. Butter

Shhh….don’t tell the dairy farmers.

Avocado can even be subbed in baking! According to 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet:

“Avocado is almost like a butter, and just like butter it has a soft and creamy texture. You may have to do some experimenting, but in general you can simply substitute 1 cup of avocado for 1 cup of butter. You may have to increase other liquids as the avocado does not melt like butter.

When substituting avocado for eggs in your baking, start by substituting 2 tbsp. to 1/4 cup mashed avocado for each egg.

Avocado will make your cakes rise up higher in the center, and in some occasions may even cave. It also browns quicker, and therefore your cake may look well done on the outside, but the inside may still be doughy. To avoid these things from happening, reduce your oven temperature by about 25 percent and increase your baking time.”

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

One bite and you will be subbing avocado left and right for everything – ESPECIALLY when there is coarse sea salt involved. There is something about that tiny, salty crunch on top of creamy, satisfying avocado and nutty sesame.

Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Inspired my a request from my 5 year old daughter ~ she loves it!
Serves 1
Vegan, Gluten Free Option*
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 slice sesame Ezekiel Bread (or gluten free bread)
1/4 ripe avocado, sliced
Sprinkle of coarse sea salt

Directions

1. Toast the Ezekiel Bread; spread avocado over bread evenly; sprinkle sea salt.

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 152.2
Total Fat 7.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 83.4 mg
Potassium 299.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.7 g
Dietary Fiber 5.9 g
Sugars 1.1 g
Protein 4.8 g

Vitamin A 1.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 10.2 %
Vitamin C 6.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.9 %
Calcium 0.6 %
Copper 3.7 %
Folate 9.6 %
Iron 5.5 %
Magnesium 9.1 %
Manganese 3.2 %
Niacin 10.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.3 %
Phosphorus 10.3 %
Riboflavin 3.6 %
Selenium 0.2 %
Thiamin 10.2 %
Zinc 6.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jan 072014
 

This cheesy chia seed soup is simple, filling and comforting, and will help you lose weight naturally with the perfect blend of fiber, good fats and protein.

Conquer your New Years Resolution!

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

I have completely fallen in love with this soup. Warm, flavorful organic broth, hearty chia seeds with their good fats, fiber and micronutrients, and nutritional yeast with it’s signature cheesy flavor, packed with b-vitamins is a satisfying breakfast, quick lunch or warm, light dinner. This is an AWESOME recipe to take on the go. Pack some warm broth in a Thermos and bring a snack size cup with the chia seed and nutritional yeast – just stir in when you are ready to eat!

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

The chia I use is called Mila – and this blend happened to be blonde.  Any varietal/color can be used and it will be delicious.  Mila is microsliced so that the seeds are opened and have more surface area without damaging the cotents. It is a blend of chia seed grown at various farms along the equator in volcanic soil. For four more reasons I choose this blend visit this Mila bar recipe.

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

1 Serving
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable broth
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp chia, ground (any varietal)

Directions

1. Heat vegetable broth in a small stock pot over medium high heat; stir in nutritional yeast and chia. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 195.0
Total Fat 6.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 575.1 mg
Potassium 440.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.2 g
Dietary Fiber 13.9 g
Sugars 3.0 g
Protein 14.3 g

Vitamin A 2.0 %
Vitamin B-12 133.0 %
Vitamin B-6 480.0 %
Vitamin C 0.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.0 %
Calcium 17.0 %
Copper 6.0 %
Folate 60.0 %
Iron 18.0 %
Magnesium 25.0 %
Manganese 5.0 %
Niacin 280.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.0 %
Phosphorus 17.0 %
Riboflavin 565.0 %
Selenium 32.0 %
Thiamin 640.0 %
Zinc 21.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jan 012014
 

This Eggless Breakfast Taco is a simple and flavorful twist on a traditional breakfast burrito.

Get your new year started off on the right foot – with an easy, healthy, delicious and light breakfast. If you are tired of the same old oatmeal, this recipe will knock your socks off!

Plus I’ll share my food trend predictions for 2014!

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

I’m officially declaring this year to be the year of the chickpea ~ more specifically, chickpea/garbanzo flour. In the past few weeks alone I came across several delicious recipe ideas using this versatile ingredient. The first was when my friend Vivian mentioned making tortillas from chickpea flour and then, when challenged with creating an eggless vegan breakfast taco without tofu, I came across a recipe using the chickpea flour as a replacement for eggs. Of course I had to take it a step further and add a bit of delicious nutritional yeast and smoky coconut bacon.

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

While we’re at it, I’ll call the second hot ingredient for this year…..nutritional yeast!  Ok, so maybe this won’t be one that the experts predict, but I’ll go ahead and say it should be on the hot trends for this year.  If you haven’t tried it yet you simply must go out and grab some from the bulk bin. It is high in protein and b-vitamins and has a wonderfully cheese-like flavor.  What I love about mixing the bean flour with nutritional yeast (aside from the fabulous taste and texture) is that this mixture is both high in protein and high in fiber.  This combination is something you cannot get from animal foods since they do not contain fiber.  What you won’t see in this recipe is cholesterol, so for anyone battling heart disease this is a great alternative to eggs.

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Coconut Bacon

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Coconut Bacon

Miss the bacon you say?   I have a product you will fall head over heels for.  Coconut bacon!  Top your taco with this and say bye to pig forever.  You can even make a BLT with this product! Yes it is a bit on the pricier side, but a little goes a long way.  So while you are at Native Sun grabbing the nutritional yeast and chickpea flour, add coconut bacon to your list.  Plant based “bacon” is my third prediction as a hot item for 2014.

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Perfect with Fresh Coffee

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Perfect with Fresh Coffee

My hope for this year is that awareness for locally sourced foods will finally take hold with the mainstream population ~ that people learn what a CSA is and become wary of genetically modified foods.  As gas prices increase and access to fossil fuels decreases, prices for food that must travel long distances will go up.  This one factor may help people start to question why this is happening. My second hope we begin to realize that we need to consume a greater variety of vegetables than the standard lettuce, onion and tomato.  Cauliflower is supposedly this year’s “it” vegetable, so how about kicking it up a notch and looking out for Romanesco cauliflower? Time to diversify our intake of produce, just like we should diversify our portfolio!

What are your food trend predictions for 2014?

[If you like the sound of this recipe – please share it with your friends! Many thanks and may your 2014 be your best year yet!]

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco

Inspired by Oatmeal with a Fork
Serves 4 small tacos. For larger meal, double taco mixture.
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

 

Ingredients

2 tsp coconut oil
3/4 cup chickpea/garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1-2 green onion(s), chopped
1/4 cup coconut bacon (optional, omit if soy-free is desired)
4 small gluten free (or regular) tortillas

Optional Mustard Sauce (makes extra)

6 Tbsp mustard (coarse ground, prepared)
6 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup reduced fat or regular Vegenaise
1/4 cup unsweet original non-dairy milk
1 Tbsp agave (or local honey)

Instructions

1. Mix chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, water, salt and onion powder in a medium bowl; stir in the green onions. Mix mustard sauce in small bowl (if using.)

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and coat bottom of skillet evenly; pour the chickpea mixture into skillet and let sit 3-5 minutes, or until the edges begin to set and center bubbles; gently turn with a large, flat spatula and break apart mixture to create bite sized pieces with an egg-like consistency and the mixture is fully cooked; about 1-2 minutes.

3. Divide mixture evenly between 4 tortilla shells; top each with 1 Tbsp coconut bacon and 1 Tbsp mustard sauce (if using).

**Note: Non-dairy cheddar style cheese would be delicious as a substitute for the mustard sauce in this recipe.

Estimated Nutrition Info
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 192.8
Total Fat 8.0 g
Saturated Fat 3.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 628.1 mg
Potassium 188.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22.0 g
Dietary Fiber 8.3 g
Sugars 2.4 g
Protein 13.4 g

Vitamin A 0.2 %
Vitamin B-12 66.5 %
Vitamin B-6 240.4 %
Vitamin C 0.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.1 %
Calcium 9.4 %
Copper 3.2 %
Folate 30.3 %
Iron 10.8 %
Magnesium 2.7 %
Manganese 3.0 %
Niacin 140.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.1 %
Phosphorus 8.7 %
Riboflavin 282.6 %
Selenium 16.1 %
Thiamin 320.2 %
Zinc 10.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mustard Sauce: Per Tbsp
Nutrition Facts
21 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 24.8
Total Fat 1.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 122.9 mg
Potassium 48.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2.0 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 1.2 g

Vitamin A 0.1 %
Vitamin B-12 19.0 %
Vitamin B-6 68.6 %
Vitamin C 0.0 %
Vitamin D 0.3 %
Vitamin E 0.6 %
Calcium 0.4 %
Copper 0.9 %
Folate 8.6 %
Iron 0.6 %
Magnesium 0.8 %
Manganese 0.7 %
Niacin 40.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.4 %
Phosphorus 2.5 %
Riboflavin 80.7 %
Selenium 4.6 %
Thiamin 91.4 %
Zinc 3.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dec 042013
 

 This sweet, spicy and savory Raw Thai Noodle Salad is easy to make and as an added bonus is also naturally gluten free and vegan.

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Walking through Native Sun last week I stopped and did a double take. Kelp noodles. Hmm. Interesting.
I’m embarrassed to say I have never worked with these noodles of the sea. I bought them and then visited the noodle website on line for more info.

“Kelp Noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water, Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories. Their noodle form and neutral taste allow for a variety of uses including salads, stir-fries, hot broths, and casseroles, while their healthful content provides a rich source of trace minerals including iodine, which kelp is well known for. Their unique texture completes the package, making Kelp Noodles a one-of-a-kind healthful and tasty alternative to pasta and rice noodles. Best of all, no cooking is required. Just rinse and add the noodles to any dish and they are ready to eat!”

Love the healthy convenience of a ready to eat raw food! One of the main reasons raw is great is because the healthy enzymes stay in tact since they are not heated above 115 to 118F.

nutrition_facts_kelp_noodles

nutrition_facts_kelp_noodles

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Once I opened the bag and rinsed, I had to dress them up. I chose fresh carrots, sesame seeds, raw broccoli and aromatic cilantro to add to the noodle base and, in just a few minutes time, was able to whisk a spicy, sweet and salty sauce to massage into the mixture.  This mixture can be heated, but it was delicious cold! This salad has a wonderful crunch from the veggies that work so well with the thin, semi-chewy noodles that have the perfect amount of bite.

 Have you tried kelp noodles? What do you typically do with them?

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Serves 5 1-cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

**On sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Market Nov 7 through Dec 6, 2013

Ingredients

Salad
1 pkg kelp noodles, rinsed and drained
1 small head broccoli (and stalk), chopped **
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup chopped red cabbage
3 carrots, julienned
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped (Fresh from KyV Farm)

Sauce
1/4 cup raw nut butter of choice
2 Tbsp liquid aminos
1 Tbsp ume plum vinegar (or rice vinegar will be fine)
1 Tbsp raw organic agave or raw local honey (non-vegan)
2 tsp organic chili sauce (Sriracha)
1/2 Tbsp raw sesame oil (optional)

Directions 

1. Whisk sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Add salad ingredients to a large bowl; pour dressing over salad mixture; mix with hands to combine and coat the noodles and vegetables evenly.

Nutrition Facts
5 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 174.2
Total Fat 11.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 751.3 mg
Potassium 394.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.5 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 6.9 g
Protein 6.1 g

Vitamin A 99.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 11.8 %
Vitamin C 62.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 10.9 %
Calcium 11.4 %
Copper 17.6 %
Folate 14.1 %
Iron 10.4 %
Magnesium 15.4 %
Manganese 19.9 %
Niacin 13.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 13.2 %
Riboflavin 6.0 %
Selenium 3.6 %
Thiamin 8.2 %
Zinc 8.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 

Dec 032013
 

You will love this light and buttery Sugar Cookie Recipe made without butter! They just so happen to be super simple to make, vegan & gluten free.

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

They are cute, yes?

 It is the holidays and we all want to spend time with family and want our comfort foods.  After talking with my mother in law about her yearly cookie ritual and the amount of butter involved I thought, self, you know how many people want to be healthier so why not start now by converting a few cookie recipes so we can still have our comfort foods and feel good about eating them too! Rich coconut oil replaces butter to add a light, flakiness.  This is a perfect recipe for kids that want to help but have food allergies to dairy and wheat.  My five year old daughter cut all these  snowmen out herself and then dressed them with little candies (not shown here).

Plus, coconut oil has been shown to fight viruses and bacteria that cause illness, so therefore we can assume that instead of taking cold medicine we can just eat these cookies.  I think that is a reasonable assumption – don’t you agree?

I can see it now. Food blogger comes up with the cure for the common cold. Sugar cookies.

All joking aside, if I know many of my friends/blog followers, you will question as to whether we can leave the sugar out on this one and use agave or another sweetener. You are smart cookies. (No pun intended.) We may be able to try substituting with raw coconut sugar and I will try that myself next time.  It would be slightly lower on the glycemic index, but not by much, and the texture and sweetness could be a tad off but it would be an interesting experiment.  My goal with this recipe was to give a simple and delicious animal free alternative to those that want a holiday splurge cookie. Done and done.

What is your favorite holiday cookie or indulgence?

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Makes about 18 cookies
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
* On sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Market, Nov 7 through Dec 6, 2013

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup organic cane sugar (plus more for dusting, optional)*
2 Tbsp nut milk or water
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup gluten free baking flour such as Bob’s Red Mill
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F; prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix coconut oil in a stand mixer until smooth; add cane sugar and mix until evenly distributed through coconut oil; add nut milk or water and vanilla.

2. In a separate bowl mix baking flour, baking soda and salt; spoon dry mixture into wet in 1/2 cup portions, mixing in between until dry is completely mixed into wet ingredients.  Remove mixture from stand mixer and knead into a ball.

3. Place dough on sheet of parchment paper. Press into 1/4 inch thickness with hands or rolling pin. Cut out shapes with cookie cutter and place on prepared baking sheets. Roll remaining dough in same fashion and repeat step three until all dough is used. Refrigerate cookies for about 5 minutes; bake 10- 12 minutes or until just browned on the bottom; let cool at least 5 minutes.

**This is the perfect place for Ziggy Marley’s Orange Almond Organic Coconut oil to make an delicious variation of this cookie! 

Nutrition Facts
18 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 112.3
Total Fat 6.4 g
Saturated Fat 5.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 26.1 mg
Potassium 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Sugars 5.9 g
Protein 1.2 g

Dec 012013
 

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing is a hearty, yet easy to make salad that is sure to satisfy even the biggest appetite! 

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

“Call me, I need to share some recipes that I have been doing ….”

Last week I got a text from Vivian at KyV Farm that she came up with a few easy and delicious recipes to utilize the staples we have on hand – such as greens and beans.  Of course I called her right away so I could hear all about them because I’m always looking for new ideas aside from my go-to staple of “if in doubt, make soup”. They sounded so tasty that I had to go home and whip this one up immediately with some of the beans, quinoa and hummus I already had on hand.

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Here were some of her suggestions:

  • Utilize any greens you have – a whole mixture of bok choy, lettuce, collards, kale – whatever! Wash and dry them and use them as a base for your salads. Top with cooked beans, cooked quinoa and avocado. Now here is the kicker. Instead of using salad dressing try hummus!
  • Chickpea tacos – mix equal parts chickpea flour and water, salt and pepper. Cook them in a lightly oiled pan like a crepe. Stuff with beans and vegggies.
  • Mix greens into fresh salsa right along with any herbs.  Use this in a base for pasta sauce and no one will even notice the extra veggies.
  • Soak some beans overnight and throw them in the pressure cooker with salt-free broth, onions, garlic and sofrito. Bring the pressure up to a simmer and cook 30 minutes then remove from heat.
  • Mix some poblano peppers in with the cooked chickpeas to make a spicy hummus. (I like to throw some greens in there too.)

Upon one taste of this salad I knew Vivian had hit the jackpot! What a way to get your greens in! I love the hummus as a creamy dressing and with 12 grams of fiber and almost 12 grams of protein this is a sure-to-fill-you-up meal.

Do you have any easy and favorite ways to use what you usually have on hand?

Greens Salad with Avocado and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves 1
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient from KyV Farm

Ingredients

2 cups mixed greens, chopped**
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup raw broccoli florets, chopped**
1/4 Florida avocado, chopped
2 Tbsp hummus
Salt and pepper

Directions

1. Top greens with quinoa, chickpeas, broccoli, avocado and hummus; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 313.6
Total Fat 12.3 g
Saturated Fat 2.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 304.0 mg
Potassium 505.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 41.7 g
Dietary Fiber 12.1 g
Sugars 2.5 g
Protein 11.7 g

Vitamin A 69.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 21.7 %
Vitamin C 73.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.8 %
Calcium 7.1 %
Copper 24.9 %
Folate 26.4 %
Iron 17.8 %
Magnesium 15.3 %
Manganese 35.1 %
Niacin 4.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.4 %
Phosphorus 14.8 %
Riboflavin 6.1 %
Selenium 4.4 %
Thiamin 6.5 %
Zinc 10.3 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nov 252013
 

 Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary. Need I say more?

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Sometimes an unexpectedly happy email pops into your inbox ~ maybe it is from an old friend, maybe it is a response to a job opportunity or maybe it is from Mommypage for an interview!

This is an AWESOME resource for moms out there!

Mommypage  is an online community of like minded women to share stories, advice, recipes, craft ideas, coupons and more. You can be caught for hours browsing around the useful information and connecting with people.

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When I got the email asking if I would be open to sharing some recipes and writing up an interview I said of course!

I was so excited to be able to share a little snapshot of information about plant based diets and how it can benefit people and especially their children. Here is one of the questions I was asked….I loved this question because it enabled me to expand on the difference between vegan and plant based. Yes there are lots of reasons to go vegan, but when it comes to health for our bodies and the environment, plant based is a great way to go. It essentially is vegan but is based around as many whole foods as possible.

Are you raising your daughter to be vegan? Do you think parents should consider this food lifestyle for their kids?

No, I’m simply teaching her the principals of plant-based nutrition – why it is healing, what happens in the body, the effects of animal foods and where food comes from – especially the conditions of the animals in factory farms.  Every man, woman and child should learn about the centralized feeding operations that supply our meats and dairy and the ties between the USDA and these industries.  Many times the bottom line is not our health, it is money.  She has a dairy allergy and I don’t buy or cook with meats but she will occasionally have local honey. Also important to note is that even if someone calls themselves vegan they can still eat junk food all day!

No, I don’t think people should consider a “vegan” lifestyle for their kids, instead consider a whole foods plant-based lifestyle where they eat plants as close to the source as possible.

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

 While you are reading Mommypage I have a fabulous recipe for you to nosh – guilt free! There is something about fresh citrus in a dressing. It is so zingy, invigorating and sunny! This time I threw the whole orange in – yup the pulp and all – and I loved the texture. Feel free to juice the orange first instead, but you will miss out on all that glorious pulp!

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Serves 4-6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale now at Native Sun Nov 7 thru Dec 6

Ingredients

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 small pears**
3 small apples**
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
1/8 tsp sea salt & dash fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp chopped natural almonds

Dressing
1 fresh orange, peeled
1 (to 2) Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp local honey or agave
2 Tbsp water

Directions

1. Mix salad ingredients in a large bowl; mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl; toss dressing over salad mixture.

2. Garnish with fresh rosemary.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 213.4
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 77.6 mg
Potassium 498.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 38.3 g
Dietary Fiber 7.3 g
Sugars 24.1 g
Protein 3.2 g

Vitamin A 31.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 4.3 %
Vitamin C 66.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 15.9 %
Calcium 7.1 %
Copper 8.9 %
Folate 24.0 %
Iron 7.7 %
Magnesium 8.8 %
Manganese 24.8 %
Niacin 2.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.4 %
Phosphorus 4.3 %
Riboflavin 6.6 %
Selenium 2.1 %
Thiamin 6.0 %
Zinc 2.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nov 062013
 

This “Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch” is tangy, creamy and super easy to throw together. Your kids will love you (and their veggies) for it!

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

I’m “the Garden Mom”.

This means that when volunteer requests came around at school I put my hand up to help fill the garden beds at my daughter’s school that were established by her teacher Sarah. Sarah’s passion for teaching kids about veggies and where they come from is inspirational and I hope that more teachers follow her lead in growing healthy minds AND bodies!

To fill the garden I called my friends at KyV farm and guess what they did…..

They donated TONS of organic seedlings and one of the owners, Vivian, came over to help me and the kids plant them. Vivian is just as passionate about teaching kids about farming and where veggies are grown. She patiently helped each child dig a small hole in the soil and gently place their delicate seedling. Each child left with a deeper connection to the earth and where food comes from. I can only hope that this experience will ignite a passion for conservation, local and sustainable farming and the importance of consuming lots of plants.

Many thanks to KyV Farm!

School Garden

School Garden

Here is a recent photo of the fruits of our labor. Gorgeous!

School Garden

School Garden

So far we have created “Monster Smoothies” at Halloween and the kids enjoyed delicious veggie and fruit smoothies made with several kale varieties and Swiss chard.

Today some of the kohlrabi and a few more of the greens were harvested to be eaten raw. What better way to eat raw veggies than with ranch dressing right? Except….my daughter is allergic to dairy and frankly, I’m not that excited about the idea of her having dairy anyway. So just this morning I created this recipe.

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

I was SO happy with the results that I simply had to share.  Three ingredients almost doesn’t seem like a recipe at all, but it is a great way to get skeptical kids to eat a whole variety of veggies. I can’t wait to use this for all the veggies we will get next week from our first KyV Farm Share installment!

**Please keep in mind that this is meant to be used sparingly. You’ll definitely want to stick to 1-2 tablespoons because it is fairly calorie dense.  Use this as a treat to help kids dip their toe into trying new veggies or as a fun party dip.

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Serves 4 Generous 1-Tbsp
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1/4 cups Pesto Vegenaise
1 Tbsp plain non-dairy milk (I used rice milk)
1 tsp coarse ground prepared mustard

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl or dish. Use as dip, dressing or spread!

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 93.1
Total Fat 9.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 116.4 mg
Potassium 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.0
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 0.0 g
Vitamin E 0.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Proof that kids will eat raw vegetables….

 

 Posted by at 11:28 am
Oct 152013
 

Gently sweet, soft, moist and comforting – these kale and flax cornbread muffins are supremely satisfying.

They are perfect for breakfast or as a great accompaniment for dinner (and your kids will love eating kale and flax). Imagine that!

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

There is something comforting about cornbread – it’s a little sweet and a unique texture that can only be a cornbread. For anyone thinking about adding more plant based foods into their diet this is a great start!

If you have been following my blog, you know that I’m taking plant based nutrition courses with Cornell University to obtain my Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition.  I did a review of my first class and have finished with the second called diseases of affluence. We are learning more and more about the healing power of plants as a whole ~ plants are filled with the right amounts of protein, are high in fiber, low in fat, and packed with vitamins and nutrients. Inversely, animal foods (including dairy) have cholesterol, saturated fats and high amounts of animal protein that are fuel for the fire when it comes to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and many more.

 Instead of doing a boring old review, I will share a moving story with you that one of my fellow students posted. He is a doctor that obviously cares very much about his patients. One in particular was a very sick lady…..

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

Story courtesy of Doctor Anthony Stugan.  Dr Stugan ~ we all thank you so much for this moving story. You will change many lives through your caring and commitment to health.

“While I find all of Dr. Campbell’s Principles of Health important and compelling, I would like to take this opportunity to tell a brief story relating to Principle #6: The same nutrition that prevents disease in its early stages – that is, before diagnosis- can also halt or reverse disease in its later stages, after diagnosis.

In early August, about three weeks after I had changed to a WFPB [Whole Foods Plant Based] diet, I began to recommend this to my patients. One patient who I had been seeing for the past five years was a sixty-six year old female who was obese at five-feet two inches and just over 280lbs. She had undergone a left breast lumpectomy for cancer, was an uncontrolled Type II diabetic on three oral hypoglycemics, had previously undergone triple bypass for coronary artery disease, had hypertension, dyslipidemia, osteoarthritis, hyperuricemia, obstructive sleep apnea, renal insufficiency, and chronic venous stasis with intermittent ulcerations on lower extremities. She was taking more than a dozen prescribed medications from myself and other medical sub-specialists. At the time of her appointment I recall she was wearing UNA Boots (medicated wraps for venous stasis ulcerations) on both legs. We had previously adjusted her diuretics to try and diminish the weeping edema in her legs only to add further insult to her kidney function. Sodium restriction to her meant not adding salt to her food–which consisted of sausage, hot dogs, and a favorite in this area–biscuits and gravy.

We discussed her disappointing lab results, her weight gain, her chronic edema, and then I just told her that my approach to treating her was failing and I then asked her if she would be agreeable to exploring an entirely different path. I explained that since her last appointment, I had learned a considerable amount about the benefits of whole food plant based nutrition and that if she would consider this option, we could possibly reverse her diabetes, help her lose weight, improve her blood pressure and even reduce or eliminate the possibility of her breast cancer returning. I sat with her and we leafed through some pages of Dr. Fuhrman’s book: Eat to Live, and we talked about several of his patients whose stories are featured in the book and who were able to successfully lose weight and discontinue many or all of their medications and regain their health. I explained to her that after 20 years of medical practice, I was still learning new things. I shared with her that I had recently changed my diet and that this enabled me to discontinue my cholesterol and blood pressure medications which I had taken for 17 and 10 years respectively. She was shocked that I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. “But Dcotor, you’re so thin, you mean you have high cholesterol too?” Prior to changing my diet I was 5ft 10 and weighed 170 lbs. I explained that even though I was not overweight and my cholesterol and blood pressure were controlled with medication, I didn’t feel good and I was willing to change my diet to see what would happen. I told her that I now had much more energy throughout the day and that I felt ten years younger! Better still, I felt empowered by the fact that I was now in control of my own health instead of simply taking a handful of pills everyday. I explained to her that with respect to her diabetes, we were in a sense just chasing our tails by periodically trying new medications to lower her glucose and A1c levels. With the WFPB diet, she could potentially eliminate the need for all of the diabetic medications altogether. She embraced this idea, agreed to order a copy of the book and try to join me on this new healthy eating lifestyle. We kept all of her medications the same and scheduled a follow up appointment for six weeks later.

In two weeks, she called the office because she experienced her first ever near-hypoglycemic episode, a finger stick glucose of 74. She told me that although she had “cheated” once or twice, she was enjoying the book and was committed to the lifestyle change. I recommended that she immediately discontinue all three of her diabetic medications.

On her follow up appointment, we rejoiced over her 21lb weight loss, normal blood pressure, complete resolution of her lower extremity edema, and glycohemoglobin A1c of 5.8% — now in normal range. I am so proud of her, I told her that in all of my years of practice, I had never seen such a dramatic improvement in such a short time. No medication will ever accomplish this.

She is now even more committed to continuing this lifestyle and she has gone on to support one of her friends adopt a WFPB diet.

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

For anyone that is looking to cut out oils – including extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil – you can try substituting some or all of the oil with unsweet apple sauce. I will definitely be trying this in future batches!

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

Serves 12
Vegan, Gluten Free Option
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 Tbsp ground flax seed
3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp plain non-dairy milk
1 cup whole wheat or gluten free flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup agave or local honey
1/2 cup pure coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup finely chopped raw kale
2 green onions, chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F.   Mix 1 Tbsp flax with 3 Tbsp non dairy milk and place in refrigerator. Mix flour, cornmeal, sea salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add agave or honey, coconut oil, 3/4 cup non-dairy milk, flax mixture and stir to combine. Fold in kale and green onions. Spoon evenly into 12 muffin tins and bake 17 -20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 207.4
Total Fat 9.9 g
Saturated Fat 7.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 232.3 mg
Potassium 59.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 29.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g

Sugars 11.8 g
Protein 2.6 g
Vitamin A 22.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.3 %
Vitamin C 5.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.1 %
Calcium 7.8 %
Copper 1.9 %
Folate 1.0 %
Iron 3.6 %
Magnesium 3.8 %
Manganese 4.9 %
Niacin 2.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.6 %
Phosphorus 5.3 %
Riboflavin 1.9 %
Selenium 2.5 %
Thiamin 2.9 %
Zinc 1.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.