Whole Wheat Banana Blueberry Muffins

I was trying to come up with a healthy breakfast muffin recipe, without  white flour or refined sugar. Whole wheat flour, fresh fruit & maple syrup are perfect ingredients for these morning muffins. They are not super sweet, but put a little Earth Balance spread on them while they are still warm, and YUM~breakfast is served!

Set oven to 375 degrees

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. cinnamon

1 cup almond milk

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp. vanilla

1 large banana mashed

1 cup blueberries

1/2 cup maple syrup

Mix together dry ingredients. Then add the remaining ingredients. Blend well and scoop into greased muffin pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

“Good Morning” Strawberry & Walnut Quinoa

Here is a nutrient packed energy breakfast that the whole family will enjoy!

1/2 cup quinoa

1 cup water

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen strawberries

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup almond milk

Rinse quinoa & transfer to saucepan. Stir in water, maple syrup & cinnamon. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 12 minutes or until water is absorbed. Add strawberries & walnuts. Serve with almond milk.


Homemade Granola

A friend recently shared this tasty & simple recipe for homemade granola. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :)

Ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup agave

4 Tbsp. water

1.5 tsp. almond extract

1/2 cup soy nuts

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1 cup mixed dried fruit

1/2 cup raisins

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place oats on 2 cookie sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring twice.

2. In a large bowl combine agave, water, & almond extract. Add toasted oats, soy nuts, wheat germ, sesame seeds, and stir to coat well.

3. Spread oat mixture again on 2 cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

4. Cool

5. Transfer to larger bowl & stir in dried fruits & raisins.

6. Store at room temperature in tightly covered container for up to 1 month.

Makes 18 1/2 cup servings.

Feeding Your Vegan Baby

I was recently asked a question on “The Vegan Mom” FaceBook page, about feeding a Vegan infant. I am not a doctor, and honestly my family went Vegan when my youngest child was three years old. So, I don’t have much experience in this department. BUT, I plan to have one more child, so I have done lots and LOTS of reading and research on this subject!

This newly Vegan mom was concerned about what she should be feeding her 7 month old daughter, other than breast milk. She is not currently producing enough breast milk to completely nourish her baby. The mom is using formula to supplement her daughter’s diet, and wonders if this is the best thing to be doing for her child. The answer is yes, since babies less than 12 months old need to be drinking breast milk, formula, or both. Vegan parents should be feeding their child the best possible formula, and Vegan health educator “Christina Pirello” claims that “Babies Only Organic” brand formula is the best bet for Vegan infants. It is soy based and free of corn syrup and GMO’s.

After babies turn one, they can stop drinking breast milk or formula (although, many natural health professionals feel that breast feeding your baby until he turns two is best). At this point your child is ready to thrive on a well planned, plant based diet! What does this mean? A variety of fruits, veggies & whole grains! Introduce a colorful mix of organic foods slowly. See what your little one likes and does well with! Try to stay away from white breads, pasta & rice. Buy whole wheat & whole grain versions. Offer sweet potatoes more often than white ones. Also steer clear of too much sugar and processed foods. Feel free to let your little one try some non-dairy milks, such as almond or oat. Soymilk is okay, but make sure it is organic and free from GMO’s. Processed soy products are not recommended in large amounts. Try to stick with “traditional” soy, such as organic tofu, edamame, tempeh & miso.

You may want to add a vitamin supplement to your child’s diet, if you are concerned about the lack of any nutrients. But if your toddler is a good eater, and enjoys a well balanced Vegan diet, the only thing you need to be concerned with is B-12. The bacteria known as B-12 comes from the ground, and humans obtain it through meat, eggs, & other animal bi-products, probably from the dirt the animal ate. Since we wash our veggies so well, we don’t get this vital bacteria from a whole foods, Vegan diet. We must obtain B-12 from fortified foods & beverages or supplements.

Overall, feeding a Vegan baby or toddler is easy & rewarding! It is such a great feeling to know that you are offering your child the best nutrition our planet has to offer! You are setting your child up for a life of optimum health and compassion! People will question you, and even try to persuade you to feed your child animal products, but always stand your ground. Your child will thank you….. some day. :)

Please Welcome Guest Blogger, My Mom “Why I Became Vegan”

“Why I became a Vegan”

According to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Living (Penguin, 2005) a vegan is “one who avoids causing harm or exploiting other living beings as much as humanly possible. This involves excluding all animal foods and animal-based items from their lives.”


I’m one simple person who has recently made a conscious decision to live my life with greater compassion toward all living creatures. This premise of compassion is the heart of what it means to be a vegan. When you become aware of the animal suffering going on in the world, and you become determined you will no longer contribute to it, you have already taken the first step in bringing your compassion to the next level. The following is my personal story on how I’ve arrived to this point….

My oldest daughter, Lisa, became a vegan (along with her beautiful family) a couple of years ago. She’d read the The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health (Benbella Books, 2004) and become convinced that becoming a vegan would be a much healthier, more compassionate lifestyle.

My first thought was, “I have to give up CHEESE? Oh my.” I’ll be honest with you: I didn’t become vegan overnight. I more or less inched myself along, learning along the way. First, my husband and I cut out all meat. Surprisingly, it was not a difficult transition. I could be a vegetarian, I’d thought! I invested in a couple of vegetarian cookbooks. I also discovered an informative and inspiring cooking show on PBS called, “Christina Cooks.” Christina Pirello had been diagnosed with cancer at a young age and went into total remission after she chose to follow an organic, vegan lifestyle. My path of discovery continued….

This past summer my daughter, my grandchildren, and I journeyed to upstate New York to spend the night and visit a farm sanctuary there. When I entered the car in Connecticut, I was a vegetarian. When I returned from New York, I had committed to becoming vegan.

For the past 50 years animal agriculture in the U.S. has been taken over by large corporations that dominate the marketplace for meat, dairy and eggs. Industrial farming conditions are so harsh that animals commonly succumb to injury, illness and disease and millions die before reaching the slaughterhouse every year. On today’s industrialized farms animals are denied even the most basic humane consideration. Every year in the U.S. nearly 10 billion animals are raised, marketed and slaughtered under the most unconscionably cruel conditions. I had to ask myself, “How can I continue to support this?”

Visiting a farm sanctuary proved to be a very moving experience for me. My family and I discovered first-hand that farm animals are gentle, smart and friendly, just like dogs and cats! Like us, they want to be free of pain, live in a clean place and be treated with kindness. (For more information, please visit farmsanctuary.org)

According to a report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, raising animals for meat generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, trucks, planes and other form of transportation combined. Going vegan is not only a compassionate choice for animals it’s a greener choice for our beautiful Earth!

As chef Christina Pirello would say… “Cows are vegetarian. They eat grass. Skip the middleman and go for grains, beans and veggies that are loaded with protein!”

I choose to be vegan because I truly believe each of us has the capacity to make the world a better place. I choose not to be overwhelmed by what I can’t do. I choose to be EMPOWERED by what I can do. I am now making an effort to make more conscious and compassionate choices.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1869-1948)

I invite you to join me.

“Organic Tempeh & Garden Veggie Pasta”

I am especially proud to share this recipe with you, because it is my own. I am also excited to say that most of the ingredients, came from my very own garden. This might not seem like a big deal to some…. but to me, it is HUGE! This is the first year that I have ever had a vegetable garden, and I jump up and down for joy each time I find a new ripened veggie.

Please give this delicious, super easy and very healthy recipe a try!

Ingredients:

1 bag organic fusilli pasta

1 package organic Tempeh crumbled

1 med. green pepper chopped

1 med. red pepper chopped

1. large white onion chopped

1 bulb garlic, each clove thinly sliced

2 med. tomatoes chopped

1 cup fresh green beans trimmed

handful of both, fresh basil & fresh cilantro chopped

About 6 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil.

Boil water for pasta & cook aldente. While pasta is being prepared, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of oil to large saute’ pan over med. heat. When oil is warm add  crumbled Tempeh to pan. Cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and onion, cook for another minute. Add peppers, green beans & herbs. Cook for another few minutes, stirring everything often.

Drain water from pasta and return pasta to the pot. Add the Tempeh, veggie/herb mixture & the rest of the oil. Mix well. Stir in some extra olive oil if needed.

Sprinkle with Vegan Parmesan if desired.

Enjoy!

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