Feb 102013
Ziggy Marley Organics Coconut Oil

Ziggy Marley Organics Coconut Oil

 Naomi and Tammie – this one is for you! My friend Naomi, General Manager at Native Sun Natural Food Stores, asked me if I could create something delicious with a Ziggy Marley Organics coconut oil and I chose to make a pound cake made with the orange almond version at the suggestion of Tammie, the customer service manager at the store near my house. I thought this would be a nice alternative to the standard lemon pound cake.  This coconut oil is totally worth the splurge – it has great flavor without being overpowering but a little goes a long way. The Orange Almond flavor would also be great as a glaze for a tofu dish with a little soy sauce and agave or in a dressing for a citrus salad.

Vegan and GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Vegan and GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

 Even though this cake is decadent and rich – I love that there is no cholesterol.  The texture is super moist and held up a bit better once it had cooled.   I hand sliced these almond slivers from raw almonds and then hit them with the broiler for a minute or two at the end to toast the top and give it a nice little crust.

Vegan GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Vegan GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Oranges and citrus are in season right now so it’s a great way to showcase this sunny citrus.

Florida Citrus

Florida Citrus

 This cake is the perfect finish to any meal – especially a dinner party, holiday event or Valentines day. Enjoy!

Vegan and GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Vegan and GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Orange Almond Pound Cake

Inspired by Food.com
Serves 8
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe


1/2 cup Ziggy Marley Organics Orange Almond Coconut oil
1 cup organic pure cane sugar
Egg replacer equal to two eggs
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice**
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour (or regular flour if you don’t need gluten free)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 oz sliced almonds

1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice**
1/4 cup organic pure cane sugar


1. Preheat oven to 325F; mix coconut oil and sugar until creamy; add egg replacer and orange juice.

2. In a second bowl, mix the salt, baking mix and baking powder; slowly add to coconut oil mixture and mix until moist; stir in almond milk; pour mixture into a loaf pan greased with a bit extra coconut oil; bake 40 minutes; top with almonds; bake an additional 20 minutes; pour glaze over evenly, broil for a minute or two if desired.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 347.7
Total Fat 16.4 g
Saturated Fat 11.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 144.4 mg
Potassium 55.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 51.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
Sugars 33.2 g
Protein 3.9 g

Vitamin C 5.1 %
Vitamin D 1.6 %
Vitamin E 8.0 %
Calcium 9.7 %
Copper 2.2 %
Iron 12.8 %
Magnesium 3.0 %
Manganese 4.6 %
Phosphorus 3.2 %
Riboflavin 2.2 %
Thiamin 1.3 %
Zinc 0.8 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Enjoy my Vegan and Gluten Free Orange Almond Pound Cake!

Nov 152011

Recently I flew up to Jersey, well doped for flying with a glass of wine or two at the airport Chili’s, with high hopes of a Snooki sighting upon arrival.

I know, I should be dealing with my fear of flying rather than drinking wine but that just isn’t as much fun.  And luckily I was flying up at night because technically this was a work trip.

The group that went up with me was an easy going and fun. We worked hard during the day and then after work we all gathered to have a drink or two.
After a few drinks our lively group checked out the menu for dinner.

The topic of what to eat came up and, of course, that led to a discussion about proteins after it was obvious I was looking for a plant based dish.

I was promptly advised that I can NOT get all the essential amino acids from plant based sources.

I asked which ones I’m missing out on then.

No one really knew.

Not one to shy away from a good challenge, especially one dealing with food, I got right to researching.  I knew you could get them all from plant based sources but I didn’t know exactly which ones.

Keep reading to see what I found….

These 9 essential amino acids are the only proteins our bodies can’t formulate on their own so we must obtain them from food sources.

(Here comes the technical info that I researched and compiled for the very noble purpose of winning the argument. Skip to the bottom if you are just here for the cake.)

Plant Based Sources of Essential Amino Acids.

Isoleucine (Ile)  muscle production and recovery, formation of blood clots
Some plant based sources. (Source)(Source)
Soy products such as Tofu
Low fat sesame seed flour

Leucine (Leu) tissue production and repair, produces growth hormones
Some plant based sources.(Source)(Source)
Raw peanuts
Sesame seeds

Lysine ( Lys) needed for calcium absorption and bone development, production of antibodies
Some plant based sources. (Source)
Soybeans (particularly tofu, isolated soy protein, and defatted soybean flour)
Spirulina, and fenugreek seed
Brewer’s yeast
Beans and other legumes

Methionine (Met) fat digestion and prevention of plaque in arteries
Some plant based sources (Source)
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Sesame seeds
(To a lesser extent grains and beans.)

Phenylalanine (Phe) brain function and mood
Some plant based sources (Source)(Source)
Soy products
Sesame Seeds

Threonine (Thr) protein regulation and recycling in the body
Some plant based sources (Source)(Source)
Wheat germ
Many nuts
Sesame Seeds

Tryptophan (Trp) – produces serotonin, regulates sleep and mood, pain management
Some plant based sources (Source)(Source)
Evening Primrose
Brown rice
Sesame seeds

Valine (Val) muscle growth, repair and endurance, treats brain damage from alcohol, regulates nitrogen
Some plant based sources (Source)(Source)
Sesame seeds

Histidine (His) –“ the ‘growth amino’ essential for young children. Lack of histidine is associated with impaired speech and growth.” (Source)
Some plant based sources (Source)

Now everyone is very concerned about getting all the essential amino acids in one sitting. Though it has been proven that we don’t need to do this, it’s always a good idea to eat great variety of natural foods in various combinations such as veggie, legume and grain.

How about pumpkin, chickpeas and oats to start?

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Serves 10
Vegan, Gluten Free
1 cup gluten free rolled oats, such as Bob’s Red Mill
1 ½ cups sucanat or brown sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or more if you like a lot of spice)
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 cans (or 500g cooked) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¼ cup canned pureed pumpkin
3 Tbsp coconut oil (melted) or oil of choice
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped dried fruit such as cranberries, dates, cherries and apricots
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Pour 1 cup gluten free rolled oats into a food processor or Vitamix.  Process until well ground.
3. Add 1 ½ cups sucanat and process to fine powder; add salt through baking powder and mix well; pour into a medium bowl.
4. Add 500 g chickpeas, ¼ cup pumpkin, oil and vanilla to processor or Vitamix; process until smooth.  Stir in dry ingredients; blend until well mixed. Stir in dried fruit and press into a 10 inch spring form pan sprayed with cooking spray.
5. Bake at 350F for 35 minutes; let cool 10 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

10 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 267.2
Total Fat 5.4 g
Saturated Fat 3.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 267.5 mg
Potassium 239.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 54.3 g
Dietary Fiber 4.2 g
Sugars 36.2 g
Protein 4.0 g

Vitamin A 24.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.8 %
Vitamin C 3.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.0 %
Calcium 2.7 %
Copper 6.7 %
Folate 8.7 %
Iron 8.1 %
Magnesium 4.8 %
Manganese 19.3 %
Niacin 2.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.2 %
Phosphorus 5.5 %
Riboflavin 1.6 %
Selenium 2.5 %
Thiamin 1.1 %
Zinc 3.9 %

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

Aug 312011
Did I mention that I made my own birthday cake for my birthday last weekend?
I figured eh…why not?  I wanted to try out a new recipe and I could make exactly what I was craving.
Coconut, banana and chocolate.

I can’t think of a better mix of flavors. 
It was so good I wrote my cake a little love letter. 
Oh Coconut-Banana Ice Cake with Chocolate Pecan Crust, how do I love the?
Let me count the ways.
1) You are sweet and creamy and luscious.
2) You are so easy to prepare even a 3-year-old can help.
3) You don’t involve any baking and opening of the oven door so you don’t crack (or other cheesecake techniques that always seem to elude me.)
5) Your crust is so nutty and chocolately delicious.
6) You contain no belly busting sugar or animal products but are still so rich and divine.
7) You have 0 grams cholesterol and so many less calories than regular cheesecake but are just as delicious.
8) You have fiber, protein and tons of vitamins and minerals from the healthy and minimally processed ingredients.
Ok, ok so I am not the best at love letters.
Tell me. What is your idea of the perfect birthday cake?  

Coconut-Banana Ice Cake with Chocolate Pecan Crust

Inspiration from Taste Space and My New Roots
Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves 10


1/2 cup raw pecans, toasted for a few minutes in a skillet over medium heat.
2/3 cup soft Medjool dates, pits removed
1/4 cup cocoa nibs (or dark chocolate chips for non-vegan)
1/4 cup finely shredded coconut, Lets Do Organic
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours, overnight is best
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract, divided
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup agave (or honey for non-vegans)  
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 3 super ripe)
1/3 cup shredded coconut, Let’s Do Organic 


1. Place pecans, dates, coconut and chips in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are just combined and stick together nicely.  Press into a small spring form pan (7 or 8 inch) or anything similar sized that can be frozen, (such as the microwave steamer I found and covered in plastic wrap.)

2. Heat agave or honey and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat until coconut oil melts, stirring frequently.  

3. In a Vitamix or food processor mix the soaked cashews, lemon juice, 1 tsp vanilla and melted coconut oil-agave mixture; process on high for several minutes until VERY smooth.

4. Pour about 3/4 of the mixture (does not have to be exact) out onto the crust and spread with a spoon or spatula.  Place into the freezer while you work on the next step.  

5.  Add the bananas, second 1 tsp vanilla and coconut to the remaining 1/4 mixture in the Vitamix or food processor; process or blend again on high until very smooth.  Remove cake from freezer and pour banana layer over the first cashew layer.  Place back into freezer until well frozen. Cover well with plastic wrap until ready to serve to prevent freezer burn.

6. Remove from freezer and place in refrigerator for 1 hour or at room temperature for just over 30 minutes prior to serving.  Cut slices with a knife run under hot water.  Rewrap any leftovers and place back in freezer.  

Estimated Nutrition Facts

10 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 379.8
Total Fat 26.8 g
Saturated Fat 12.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 61.9 mg
Potassium 218.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 34.6 g
Dietary Fiber 5.8 g
Sugars 22.9 g
Protein 4.7 g

Vitamin A 0.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 10.4 %
Vitamin C 12.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.7 %
Calcium 1.1 %
Copper 6.1 %
Folate 2.5 %
Iron 2.4 %
Magnesium 5.0 %
Manganese 16.2 %
Niacin 1.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.9 %
Phosphorus 2.7 %
Riboflavin 2.9 %
Selenium 1.3 %
Thiamin 3.8 %
Zinc 2.3 %

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