Avocado & Radish Toast

img_3394My favorite meal for breakfast is probably one of the healthiest & simplest to make!

Avocado toast takes only a few minutes to prepare and will keep you energized & satisfied for hours.

As you may be aware, avocados are a super food!  They are high in healthy fats, low in saturated fat and are of course cholesterol free!

Avocados are a pear shaped fruit that contain 20 different vitamins & minerals including, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, & vitamin E.

Avocados contain more potassium than bananas which can lower your risk of a heart attack & stroke.

They are filled with fiber and the fabulous ‘oleic acid’, which can help with inflammation and possibly reduce your risk of certain cancers.

So yes, I think avocados have earned the right to be called a ‘super food’!!

I’m not quite sure how radishes are supposed to follow ‘that’…but I will tell you that those tiny red veggies are jam packed with some nutrients as well.

Radishes are a root vegetable and cousin to the cabbage. They are a good source of vitamin C, folate, fiber, riboflavin & potassium.

Radishes also serve as a natural diuretic and according to Dr. Mercola, they purify the kidneys, urinary systems and relieve inflammation.

Oh how I love radishes!! Would you believe that my daughter eats them whole, like tiny apples? 😋She loves them!

Radishes tend to be a bit bitter, but when sliced extra thin with a mandolin, they compliment the avocado and toast nicely.

Here’s my crazy easy recipe!

Ingredients:

high quality sliced grain bread. (I prefer Eureka Organic or Daves Killer Bread)

1 avocado

1 red radish thinly sliced

Juice from 1/4 lemon

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Pinch of crushed red pepper

Toast your bread and mash avocado, lemon, black pepper, salt & crushed red pepper with a fork, in a small bowl.

spread over toast and add sliced radishes.

Sprinkle with a bit more salt & pepper if needed.

Enjoy! 😁

Oatmeal Banana Blueberry Lactation Muffins

 

IMG_8064

As a nursing mother myself, I’ve been hearing a lot about lactation cookies. Becoming quite intrigued with them, I began to research exactly what is in these magical treats.

Two of the most beneficial ingredients to increase milk supply are believed to be brewers yeast & oatmeal. I did notice however that many of these seemingly healthy cookie recipes  were loaded with sugar! Up to TWO cups of sugar! Plus a full cup of butter and white flour. That’s dessert, not a snack. If  you want dessert, find one of those recipes, but if you want a plant based muffin that can energize your body and provide your baby with much needed nutrients, give my muffin recipe a try.

 

Oatmeal is full of fiber and is a great vegan source of iron. Maternal anemia is shown to result in a lower milk supply, which may be why some women struggle to produce enough milk. Oatmeal is also thought to create a relaxing affect  causing the body to release oxytocin which may help with letdown.

Brewers Yeast is a galactagogue herb, (aka an herb that increases milk supply in nursing mothers), and is considered safe for breastfeeding. it’s a good source of iron, chromium and selenium along with several B vitamins.

Coconut oil  is not only believed to increase milk supply, but it also produces fattier & more nutritious breast milk, as it contains high levels of lauric acid.

I understand that busy moms struggle to find time for baking, but I assure you that these muffins take only minutes to prepare and you can whip them up in one bowl. I make them them twice a week and my ten year old goes crazy for them!

As always, I encourage you to use organic ingredients if possible, especially while breastfeeding. 

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas mashed

2 cups oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons brewers yeast

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 1/2 cups almond milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

powdered sugar optional

preheat oven ro 350 degrees

combine all ingredients except powdered sugar and pour into greased muffin pan.

Bake 25-30 min

sprinkle with a dusting of powdered sugar if desired

makes 12-14 muffins

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

How To Cope With An Anti-Vegan Spouse

article-new-ds-photo-getty-article-171-173-80402787_XS

So often I am asked by readers, “I want to raise our kids Vegan but my husband won’t allow it”. Obviously this issue could also concern men who want to go Vegan as a family. But so far, I have only been contacted by women with this problem.

First I want to make clear that I do not judge a parent for being weary of feeding their children a plant based diet. We are a meat & dairy obsessed society. Most of us grew up on milk, cheese, hamburgers & chicken tenders. Our mothers & grandmothers made delicious home cooked meals like meatloaf and mac & cheese that will always be close to our hearts. Our fathers cooked ribs & hot dogs on the grill every summer. Food means more to most people than just nourishment. Food represents our childhoods, our family, our heritage, our most cherished memories. How can you blame people people for not wanting to give all of this up?

The good thing is, veganism does not require that we erase our childhood memories of special meals. Even I smile when I think of my mom’s tuna casserole. And I’m not ashamed to say it. What your spouse needs to understand is, plant based foods are not only extremely healthy, but they can be delicious & satisfying as well.

Spaghetti dinners & pizza night are here to stay, and veggie burgers are amazing cooked on the grill. Childhood is still fun & memorable without animal products in our children’s diets. The food we feed them may be different than the food our parent’s fed us, but their childhood memories will be just as special. I imagine my children will think back fondly on my tempeh piccata with mashed potatoes and my fettucini with kale walnut pesto.

Dad may also worry that having a Vegan child will ensure that his son will be the scrawny kid, chosen last for dodgeball. Of course this is ridiculous, but many people still associate protein with meat. The great thing is, that plant based diets offer us loads of protein. Truthfully, many people are getting too much protein from their Standard American Diet (SAD diet) and this can lead to major health consequences.

I recommend compiling as much current information about the benefits of vegan diets and sharing this information with your spouse. Encourage him to read books by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Watch Forks Over Knives or Vegucated together. Attend a veg conference, lecture or workshop. Explain about the cruelty of animal farming. If you are lucky maybe there is a vegan friendly nutritionist or dietitian in your area. The Vegan RD has loads of great information on her website.

Even if your spouse does not approve of a completely vegan diet for your children, I’m assuming that he does allow them to eat vegetables. So feed them as many plant based foods as possible!! Enjoy “Meatless Mondays” and try excluding meat, dairy and eggs from your child’s bagged lunch. Your children will benefit from this.

There is no magic answer to the question “how do I deal with my anti Vegan spouse”? Every relationship is different. If the kids are old enough, ask them what they want to do. Of course, you should never put them in the middle of the argument. At the very least, your Vegan lifestyle will be a great influence on your children, and they may follow in your footsteps when they are old enough to make their own decisions. 😉

Benefits Of Spelt Flour

Benefits Of Spelt Flour

Spelt is an ancient grain which has been referred to as “The Grandfather Of Wheat”. Spelt flour is high in fiber & manganese. If you are not familiar with the trace mineral “manganese”, just take note that it helps your body utilize key nutrients, protects cells from free radical damage, maintains normal blood sugar levels, promotes optimal function of your thyroid gland and keeps bones strong. And only 2 oz. of spelt pasta contains 8 grams of protein.

Spelt flour is more easily digested than wheat and is often tolerated by those with “Gluten Sensitivity”. This is not a gluten free food however, so those who have a gluten allergy should not try spelt without their doctor’s approval.

Spelt has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of diabetes. A complex carbohydrate found in spelt known as mucopolysaccharide, is thought to boost immunity & prevent blood clotting.

If you are thinking that this information sounds great, but are wondering how you will get your kids to actually eat spelt, no need to worry. Spelt flour pasta is delicious, and truthfully my kids don’t even taste any difference from their usual whole wheat pasta.

My favorite brand is “Vita Spelt”, and they offer many varieties of pasta including spaghetti, angel hair, penne & rotini. I recently made spelt penne tossed with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, parsley & olive oil. So easy. So healthy. And truly delicious!

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.

A Review Of “Raw Star Recipes” Organic Meals, Snacks & Desserts In 10 Minutes

Apparently the universe has been listening to my constant jibber jabber about my desire to incorporate more “fun” raw food recipes into my family’s life. We do eat lots of raw fruits & veggies, and gallons of homemade green smoothies, but nothing too exciting… I picked up a raw foods cookbook a few months back, but most of the recipes called for a dehydrator, which I have had sitting in my Amazon.com cart since last summer. Yeah, yeah, I’ll get around to buying it one of these days.


A couple of weeks ago a friendly, cookbook author & Eco Chef named Bryan Au contacted me, and asked if I would test out some recipes from his Award Winning cookbook “Raw Star Recipes”, and give my opinion. Of course I happily agreed since this was the extra little push I needed, to come out of my Vegan comfort zone and try something new.

Over the past week I have made Fruity “Tuna” Wraps, Carrot Ginger Soup, Energy Bars, Spinach Herb Dip, Chocolate Shakes & Cinnamon Donuts! And YES all of these recipes are completely RAW!!

I love the fact that Chef Bryan uses organic ingredients, most of which are completely whole & in their natural state. A majority of the recipes do not call for any appliances other than a blender. Each meal can be prepared in around 10 minutes and costs somewhere in the $10 range. This is music to this mom’s ears!

Energy Bars

I began my raw food adventure with “Energy Bars”. I combined nuts, seeds, dates, buckwheat groats & goji berries to create yummy & healthy snacks for my family. They were quick, easy & totally yummy! I will surely make these again soon!

Carrot Ginger Soup

My favorite recipe is the “Carrot Ginger Soup”. The zesty flavor of the fresh ginger combined with carrots & chickpea miso is incredible! I basically threw the ingredients into my Vitamix, and I had a healthy & delicious lunch for myself. This is a great soup that you can throw together quickly, that will wow your house guests!

Fruity "Tuna" Wraps

Fruity “Tuna” Wraps, was the first recipe from the book that I made for my husband. He is a huge hummus fan, but he doesn’t love cauliflower, which is a key ingredient. I knew that he would enjoy the texture, but I was not sure about the flavor. Surprisingly, blended with the walnuts, lemon, miso & spices, he didn’t even notice the cauliflower and he ate 4 wraps! I garnished them with yellow pepper & crunchy apple. So Good!

Spinach Herb Dip

Guacamole lovers will go crazy for this flavorful “Spinach Herb Dip”! Avocado blended with spinach, herbs & spices make for a delicious dip experience. I strongly recommend dipping and array of raw veggies. This may be the perfect way to get your kids to eat raw broccoli, it worked for me!

I was really excited to make raw “Donuts”! The recipe shows how to make cinnamon, chocolate & glazed varieties. I stuck with cinnamon, but I will be trying the other two very soon. I think I whipped these up in about 5 minutes and I made a new best friend along the way.. “Coconut Nectar”!! Have you ever tried this? It’s not quite as sweet as Agave, but much better for your body. I drizzled it over the flax & banana donuts, along with lots of cinnamon. I ate them for breakfast and had no guilt, because they were incredibly healthy and very,very, yummy!

Chocolate Shake

The last recipe that I made was a “Chocolate Shake”. It actually calls for carob powder, but you would never know it from the look on my kid’s faces after they took a sip! I never let it slip, that their creamy, delicious, chocolate shake, didn’t actually contain chocolate!! That was priceless!!

Eco Chef Bryan Au has created an amazing array of raw meals that will delight & entice your entire family. If your children are hesitant to eat raw foods, give this book a try. The health benefits of organic, uncooked, plant foods are practically endless, and all human beings will benefit from adding more raw foods to their diet. These recipes are good for our bodies, friendly to the planet and safe for kids to help prepare! 🙂

 Be a “Raw Star” and buy this book!!

Visit Bryan’s website at www.rawstarrecipes.com 

“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.