Did You Know?

Did you know??
Although using avocados and bananas are all the buzz now to get soft and shiny hair, all it will get you is a messy kitchen and bathroom. These products are great to help your hair for one day, but the proteins in them are way too big for your hair to absorb. And unless you are going to use them each day (yikes!), then you should head to a beauty supply store and check out some Vegan products that use "hydrolyzed" proteins - proteins from avocados and bananas that actually are small enough to help your hair.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vegan Low-Fat Carrot Cake Smoothie


This smoothie was inspired by Angela Liddon at ohsheglows.com-- I really didn't need to do much to it to adjust for my own tastes, but it's so awesome that I felt that I should spread the word (also check out her website for some fanastic treats)!  I have always been on the fence about smoothies due to their high sugar content (see below at the nutrional info), green (or in this case, orange) smoothies are usually much better than the traditional kind.  And, of course, these sugars are not the same sugars you'll get from, say, an Icee at Cumby's.  Even still, I try to stay away from smoothies unless it's been a high-energy day.  Typically, I smoothie-approve days that I get to the gym twice or some other ridiculous exertion of energy.  That said, this is absolutely delicious and at the very least, this is a huge improvement to the calorie and sugar content of a real carrot cake.  Enjoy!

1 large carrot, chopped
1 1/4 cup almond milk
1 large frozen banana
2 large ice cubes
1.5 tbsp ground flax seeds
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of cinnamon
 You can also top it with shredded coconut

Place all ingredients into the blender, starting with the almond milk and blend until smooth. Like all smoothies, place the lightest ingredients in first, and allow the heaviest to sit on top and push the rest down.

Makes 2 cups.

Caloric Info
Servings 2
Total Fat: 4.1 grams
Sat Fat: 0.4 grams
Polyunsat. Fat 1.5 grams
Monosat. Fat: 0.5 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 157.3 mg
Potassium: 614.2 mg
Carbs: 24.9 grams
Dietary Fiber: 5.5 grams
Sugar: 11.3 grams
Protein: 3.0 grams

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Vegan Thai Coconut Mango Sticky Rice


This delicious recipe represents all that is amazing about spring and warmth.  Close your eyes and take a bite, you can imagine yourself on a white beach somewhere in the Caribbean (the part where pirates and poor people don't live, of course).  More like what they show you on the cruise commercials.  Anyways, this recipe is a bit high in sugar, but hey, after all that working in the garden you've earned it, right?

1 1/2 cups uncooked sticky rice
2 cups water
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup and 1 tbsp organic sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp tapioca starch
3 mangoes, peeled and sliced

Combine the rice and water in the saucepan and bring to a boil.  Allow to boil for 1 minute and reduce heat to low.  Simmer until water is absorbed, roughly 15 to 20 minutes. 

While the rice is simmering, mix 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt in another saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil.  When it starts to boil heavily remove from heat and set aside.

When the rice is done, stir into the coconut milk mixture and cover.

Leave to cool for at least 1 hour.

The sauce to cover the rice is made by mixing together the remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and tapioca starch in a saucepan and bring to a boil and remove from heat.

When the sauce has cooled a bit, arrange the sliced mangoes on the top of the rice and pour the sauce over the mangoes and rice... and done!

Caloric Info
Servings 8
Total Fat: 12.3 grams
Sat Fat: 10.8 grams
Polyunsat. Fat .2 grams
Monosat. Fat: 0.6 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 301.4 mg
Potassium: 249.3 mg
Carbs: 49.2 grams
Dietary Fiber: 1.7 grams
Sugar: 37.5 grams
Protein: 2.2 grams

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Larabar Imitation Recipes

I started making homemade raw bars when I worked part time at a gym. I got into a bad habit of snacking constantly because of boredom and watching everyone work out didn't help. I wanted to be healthier, but I couldn't think of a way to curb the obnoxious snacking without replacing it with chewing gum or smoking a pack a day, so I went all out and decided to become a raw vegan.

Obviously, it didn't work out for me - it was expensive and time consuming, and to be honest, I didn't stick around to see if it made me feel better or more energized. I'm happy with being Vegan. (Besides, there really isn't anything better than a nice bowl of steaming hot soup on a cold and dreary day.) But, I did keep these helpful little guys as part of my snacking routine - now that I work in an office most of the day, I find that I still have this bad snacking-from-boredom habit. These help because they are full of natural sugars and nuts to make my stomach feel fuller - plus they are delicious and require only a little effort.

My best advice if you want to make these is to get a really good food processor or blender. The better one you have, the less likely it is that you will need all the agave in the recipe - since I only use it as a binder. (Our blender is on the fritz, so I try to play nice). In all honestly, the dates should break down enough to provide a sticky "batter" for the whole thing to stay together.

As a tip, don't buy the pre-chopped dates, since most of the time they are coated in sugar and not usually sticky enough. Try getting your hands on some nice Medjool or Deglet Noor.

For all the recipes below, the process is the same. Roughly chop your dates and add them to your blender/processor, and blend them down to a paste (if you can get your machinery to do this. If not, get them as close as you can). Add the nuts first, and blend them together with the date paste. Add in the remaining ingredients and blend until you have a nice sticky "dough". Spread it out on a sheet of wax paper in a large square (spread evenly), and top with more wax paper. Then refrigerate for 1 hour at least. Your bar will cut into bars a bit more easily when it's cold.

Banana Nut Muffin
1/2 c dried bananas
1/4 c oats
1/2 c cashews
1/4 c walnuts
1/2 c dates
2 tbsps agave

Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie
3 tbsp cacao nibs
3 tbsps agave
1/4 c dates
1/2 c coco oil
1/2 shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/2 c walnuts

Apple Pie
1/3 c dates
1/2 c almonds
1/2 c dried apples
1/4 c walnuts
1/4 c raisins
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 of a vanilla bean
1 tsp agave

Peanut Butter Cookie
1/3 c dates
1/2 c peanuts
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp agave

To make it a PB&J, add 1/4 c dried raspberries or cherries.

Strawberry Shortcake
1/2 c cashews
1/4 c almonds
1/4 c dried strawberries
1/4 c dates
2 tbsps agave

Blueberry Fudge Brownie
1/3 c dates
1/3 c walnuts and almonds
3 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp agave
1/4 c dried blueberries

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
1 c oats
1/3  dates
1/3 c raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsps molasses or agave

Cookie Dough
1/2 c cashews
1/2 c mini chocolate chips (Try Enjoy Life Dairy Free)
1/3 c dates
2 tbsps agave or molasses
1/4 vanilla bean