March 30th, 2015

Favorite Key Lime Smoothie

Written by Ka Sundance

keylime smoothiesAlso known as, “How I get my kids to eat spinach.”  And “how I get my stubborn, food-resistant eleven-year-old to eat his vegetables and ask for more.”  And oh, while we’re at it, “How the entire family feels like they’re getting a treat when they’re really eating healthy.”

Can a smoothie really be that good?  Why, yes.  Yes, it can.

Ingredients: 

:arrow: Heaping handful of frozen spinach
:arrow: Three tablespoons of juice from key limes (regular limes can be substituted if that’s what you have on hand)
:arrow: 8 oz almond milk (or coconut milk, or whatever your “milk” of preference might be)
:arrow: One frozen banana (if you’re making a big batch for multiple people, one half frozen banana per smoothie is acceptable)
:arrow: Honey or agave to taste (neither is really necessary, but children in particular may prefer it)

Add ice cubes if you want it thick; toss it all in a blender; mix until it’s the right texture and all of the banana has been pulverized into an appropriate mush (because there’s nothing worse than chunks of banana showing up in your smoothie when you’re not expecting it, right?) and the spinach has colored your entire smoothie a glorious green.  Yes, it’s green—it’s key lime green!  No one objects to green when it’s lime.  It’s only when “green” means vegetables that the kids start turning up their noses.

If your looking for more recipes like this key lime smoothies for your kids to enjoy, you can check my E-book Recipe. Click here for the article.

This has to be our favorite green smoothie recipe.  At our house, it doesn’t get to be made in small batches.  When the ingredients are sitting out on the counter, the kids wander by and stand there longingly, the bigger ones coming out and demanding to know whether or not they will be allowed to have a taste, the littlest one standing there signing “bite” until she has a cup of her own.  It’s also my favorite way to get greens into a couple of whiny boys, because after all, the spinach just adds color, right?

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cheesecakeFor today’s menu (but really, perfect for every day), you need to try this amazing raw vegan cheesecake recipe that will leave everyone–raw foodists and cooked food eaters alike–to wonder at how this cheesecake has no dairy in it at all! It’s also gluten-free, and with a prep time of just 20 minutes (not counting the freeze time), you can have a delicious dessert with very little effort! This raw vegan cheesecake recipe is a great go-to when you have a time crunch on hand.

This recipe is inspired by the amazing recipe over at the Minimalist Baker. They have it down so good, we just added a few alternatives and suggestions to the mix.

Ingredients

For the Crust

:arrow: 1 cup of pitted dates, soaked in water
:arrow: 1 cup of raw walnuts, almonds, or macadamia nuts. Feel free to mix two or three of these options!

Preparation: Soak the pitted dates in warm water for 10 minutes, then drain before use.

For the Filling

:arrow: 1 and 1/2 cups of raw cashews
:arrow: 1 juiced, large lemon (about 1/4 cup of juice)
:arrow: 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
:arrow: 1/2 cup and 2 Tablespoons full, fat coconut milk
:arrow: 1/2 cup agave or maple syrup

Preparation: Soak the raw cashews for 4-6 hours, or boil water to pour over the cashews and let it soak for an hour before draining.

For the Toppings

You pick one (or more!):berries-for-heart
:arrow: 1/4 Cup blueberries
:arrow: 1/4 Cup strawberries, halved
:arrow: 1/4 cup raspberries
:arrow: 1/4 cup pitted cherries
:arrow: 2 Tablespoons of your favorite nut butter (peanut, almond, hazelnut)

You have so many options to choose from besides the one we mentioned above to you when it comes to picking a cheesecake flavor! You can even decide to make a sauce for the top, or add a crumble of your favorite raw chocolate. Get creative!

If you decide to use a nut butter, it will get added into the cheesecake as it sets. For fruit, we like to add it on top of the plain cheesecake recipe.

Instructions

The Crust

1. Add the pre-soaked dates into the food processor and process until the dates are broken up into small pieces and form a ball. Remove from the and set to the side.

2. Add nuts and process into a meal. Then add the processed dates until a loose dough forms. You want this crust to stick together when you squeeze it between your fingers. To strike the right balance, add more nuts if too wet or more dates as it processes if too dry.

3. Grease a 12-count muffin tin and line with slips of parchment paper. The paper will help pop the cheesecakes out when done.

4. In each tin, scoop 1 Tbsp of the crust and pack it down into the pan. You can the bottom of a glass or the back of the spoon to really get inside the muffin cups. If the crust is sticking too much to the glass, you can use parchment paper to help keep them separated. Let the pan sit in the freezer to firm up the crust.

The Filling

5. Add your cashews, coconut oil, lemon juice,coconut oil, agave or maple syrup, and coconut milk (the dense, creamier part will make the cheesecake extra creamy, but don’t worry if it’s all mixed in with the rest of the milk) into a blender. Then blend that baby into a smooth mixture. Try messing with your puree and liquefy settings to help get the mixture to a smooth finish, adding a little bit of coconut milk, lemon juice, or syrup to help it get there.

6. With your chosen nut butter, blend it into the filling. If you decide to add a fruit, you will swirl it on top as you set the filling inside the cups.

7. Divide up the blended mixture into the cups as evenly as possible, and add your fruit toppings as you go. Once all filled, tap the tins to release any air bubbles, cover in plastic wrap, and freeze for 4-6 hours.

8. Once set, you can remove them from the pan using a butter knife or pulling on the parchment paper. Serve it up frozen, or let it soften for about 10 minutes!

And that’s it! The basic filling is so good, you’ll want to try it with as many topping combinations as possible. It’s a great dessert to introduce to a cooked food eater who might be skeptical about raw food. Try it out!

Serves 12, stores in freezer for 1-2 weeks.

Want to eat more raw foods like these raw vegan cheesecake recipe? You may also try our raw ice cream recipe. Click here for recipe and video.

You may always prepare this recipe ahead of time and freeze them up to 2 weeks, so whenever you crave for some desserts you can enjoy some sweet indulgence of the raw vegan cheesecake recipe.

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detox-cleansingOver the years, various detoxes have gone in and out of fashion. For this reason, many individuals see detoxes as a fad rather than as a way one can cleanse, and improve the overall health of, their body. The fact is that a good, healthy, detox can help to detoxify your body and jumpstart your metabolism. There is also a misconception of detoxes as being unhealthy as they deprive one’s body of vital nutrients.

 

If this is how you have previously perceived detoxes, then it is likely that you are thinking of those lemon water diets that have been popular in the past; however, this is not the only way to detox. There are many ways one can detoxify the body in a healthy manner that does not deprive the body of anything. Many detox programs simply require a return to eating natural foods that are healthy for your mind, body, and soul, and that flush out all the toxins that are in many of the foods we eat and now reside in your body.  If this is a type of detox program that you can see yourself getting into, here are just a few of the reasons why you should consider trying one of these natural, healthy, detox programs.

 

:arrow: Boost Your Energy

Doing a detox can help to greatly improve your energy levels, and there are several reasons that this can occur. The processed foods that we eat can cause toxins and chemicals present in these foods to build up in one’s body, which can cause your body to begin to slow down. Following a detox program can help to flush these toxins out of your body, which can give you a renewed sense of energy, strength, and vitality. Thusly, if you have begun to feel drug down, and all you want to do during your spare time is watch TV, then it is likely that you would benefit greatly from a detox as a detox can help to restore your energy and make you feel lively again.

 

:arrow: Your Immune System Will Strengthenimmune-system

Another detriment of the processed, sugar heavy, foods that we eat is that they can actually cause us to fall ill more frequently. When we eat these man-made foods, rather than the natural foods that our bodies are used to, the toxins that build up in our bodies can cause us to be more susceptible to illness. Furthermore, by not eating nutrient rich foods, it is likely that you are not getting the proper vitamins and minerals that you need to keep your body healthy. Thusly, many individuals can benefit from a detox as it not only flushes the immune system weakening toxins out of one’s body, but it also helps to boost your immune system by giving your body the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs and craves.

 

:arrow: Improve Your Mental Health

While a detox can have profound positive effects on the body, it can also work to improve your mental and emotional state of being. This is due to the fact that when your body is unhealthy and filled with toxins, you are more likely to find yourself distracted, stressed, unable to focus; furthermore these toxins can make you more likely to suffer from emotional illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Thusly, healing the body through a detox regimen has been shown to have the dual effect of also healing the mind. After detoxing your body, you will likely find that you have a stronger mental focus, and that mental and emotional stress does not affect you as severely as it once did.

Now that you want to start your detox we want to help you with some more tips about Juicing. Click here for the video and article.

There are many reasons why you should consider detoxing your body if you have never done so before. A detox regimen can help to improve the health of your entire body as well as your mind and soul. If you are considering how beneficial a detox could be for you, contact us to find out more about the many benefits a detox can provide, as well as to learn about how you can detoxify your body.

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March 23rd, 2015

Raw Butter

Written by Ka Sundance

Fresh Butter In Bar Form And A Knife

Butter:  it’s a staple of the American diet.  When moving toward a vegan diet, however, butter made out of cream is something that you’re going to have to give up–but that’s okay!  Butter doesn’t have to come from cows.  There are many other sources of raw butter that will give you a great creamy flavor, add some healthy fat to your diet, and still keep your diet on track.

Peanut butter.  This favorite of parents and kids alike is packed with fiber and protein.  It seems counter intuitive to call peanut butter a diet food, but it fills you up and keeps you full longer, making it a great choice for both meals and snacks.  Peanut butter is excellent straight off the spoon, or pair it with chocolate or honey for a sweet treat!

Almond butter.  When you think of a peanut butter alternative (especially in schools where peanuts are forbidden), almond butter is often one of the first choices to come to mind.  Almond butter’s high iron content even gives it a nutritional advantage over peanut butter–and its richer, denser flavor will help change things up.

Cashew butter is less common than almond butter (and often more expensive if you do manage to find it), but don’t pass this nutritional powerhouse by on your quest to add protein and healthy fats to your vegan diet.  Cashew butter contains fewer calories than almond and peanut butter and an incredible six grams of protein per one tablespoon serving, but it doesn’t have nearly the fiber content of peanut or almond butter.  Cashew butter is an excellent additive for flavor in smoothies and sauces, but keep it in moderation–it’s got a fairly high fat count for its size.  Also, as you’re selecting cashew butter, make sure you take a look at the sodium content. Salted cashew butter can contain as much as twenty-six percent of your daily sodium allotment in a single serving.Mixed Nuts

Macadamia nut butter is a great source of iron, though its protein content is a little bit lower than its nut butter cousins.  If you’re going to be making your own nut butters, macadamia nut butter could be a great place to start–it’s harder to find on store shelves, but simple enough to pop a few nuts into a food processor and grind them down into butter.  Macadamia nut butter is an excellent topping to a bowl of fruit or mixed into oatmeal for some added fiber and protein.

Hazelnut butter has a rich, nutty flavor that can’t be beat.  Hazelnut butter is most frequently found coupled with chocolate (which you can do when making it yourself–just add a little cocoa powder and some natural sweetener to your food processor as it’s grinding down), but on its own, it’s a great snack as well.  Hazelnut butter makes a great topping for vegan-friendly ice cream or over fruit.

Coconut butter is more like a traditional butter than the nut butters mentioned above.  Coconut butter contains the “meat” of a coconut, and while it does have a “coconutty” flavor (that’s what happens when you have a jar of butter that’s essentially made out of coconut), it’s a wonderful, rich coconut flavor that will likely make you stick your spoon in the jar and just eat it straight.  Coconut butter has many of the same nutritional benefits of coconut oil and can easily be added into your diet in smoothies, poured over berries, or in most of the ways that you would use traditional butter.

Sounds buttery right? You may also try our Cheesecake Recipes here. Click here for the recipe.

There are plenty of vegan alternatives to raw butter available these days, especially if you check out the natural foods aisles of your grocery store.  Go on–give it a look, and try something new.  You might be surprised by what you fall in love with.

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chlorella

Any diet that is deficient in vitamins will take a toll on a person’s health. One of the super-foods that contain these essential nutrients is chlorella. Chlorella is light green and offers a variety of vitamins that support’s a persons different bodily systems. It is excellent for reducing the chances of osteoarthritis, for example. Chlorella contains glucosamine which is proven to strengthen cartilage and ligaments. Chlorella is an anti-inflammatory food that contains chlorophyll, which attacks osteoarthritis naturally. Since arthritis is often due to an overactive immune response, adding chlorella to your diet can relieve arthritis pain.

Green in color, chlorella is an incredibly rejuvenating food source that is often used in a smoothie as a part of a daily health regimen. The components in chlorella encourage the growth of flora, which promotes digestive healthRestoring digestive health also reduces inflammation throughout the entire body, which is an added benefit. A balanced digestive system enhances the body’s defense mechanisms. Chlorella also counteracts with toxic chemicals ingested over time, such as pesticides and pollutants. It attacks the waste from the cells and tissues of the body.

Many people refer to chlorella as nature’s multivitamin and its simple to see why. Chlorella also provides the following health benefits:

Higher immunity to illnesses

Chlorella is also known to battle the onslaught of chronic illnesses such as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Lupus, among others. Because of its detoxifying nature and chlorella’s ability to nourish the immune system, it is also a anti-carcinogenic agent, which aids in oxidation. Chlorella offers cancer-fighting benefits, along with the rest of these diseases of the immune system.

Increases energy levels

After eating chlorella, many people claim to have more energy, feel healthier and achieve an elevated mood. This is due to the fact that this nutritious green leafy vegetable is full of vitamins like A, B1, B2, B6, and B12.

Higher insulin sensitivity

Chlorella may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels with daily usage. It may even fight against the side effects of diabetes. Chlorella is full of magnesium, which also lowers blood sugar levels.

Full of healthy amino acids

Chlorella is a source of protein which includes amino acids, some of which cannot be manufactured by the body by itself. They rebuild the body’s tissues and contribute to maintaining the health of many bodily functions.

Detoxification

We live with toxins everywhere, in the food we eat, the air we breathe, and even the water that we drink. Chlorella actually adheres to these toxins and move them away from our body. A simple way to detox is to add chlorella to your water and tea via a concentrated powder.

The normal amount for chlorella is 3-6 grams per day, but many go as high as 30 grams, especially when someone is seeking to detox their body. A general rule is to start slow until you reach the recommended dosage.

Improved triglyceride levels and lowered blood pressure

There are so many benefits, it actually boggles the mind a bit. With those who have high blood pressure, chlorella’s antioxidant properties, it even offers protection against heart disease.

Maintaining a healthy body weight

Chlorella also has another superpower; the ability to keep the weight off and to reduce overall body fat by raising a persons metabolism Also, by replacing empty foods that are full of sugar and carbohydrates with chlorella, you will notice that your craving for junk food will lessen.

Also we have some green juice recipe that you may love. Click here for the article and video

Chlorella contains nucleic acids which promote cellular growth. Production of these acids in the body can slow down over time, so by eating chlorella, you are helping your body repair itself and absorb nutrients more easily. This super-food has long been thought of as a key to improving ones overall health, immune system and longevity.

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Eat Raw

Do you feel tired and sluggish from the time you wake up until you fall into bed at night? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Our busy lifestyles are leaving most of us in a constant state of energy crisis. We rely on caffeine and sugar to get us through the day only to feel worse than ever once the crash hits. The good news is that we have a safe and economical solution. A much better and safer alternative to energy drinks that will keep your energy levels up all day long is to incorporate raw foods into your daily diet.

Unlike cooked foods, raw foods have a high enzyme and nutrient content. That’s because foods lose start losing their enzymes and nutrient content once they are cooked above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. So even if you’re eating veggies like broccoli and carrots, you’re not getting the full nutritional and enzymatic value when you stem or bake them as you could by just eating them raw. You’ll save time by skipping the cooking process and still enjoy the same foods you already love!

Instead of reaching for a sugary energy drink in the morning, start your day with some raw fruit for breakfast, either whole or in the form of a juice or smoothie if you’re the type who likes to take breakfast to-go. Keep snacks handy, such as nuts, fruits, or even humus and veggies so you can refuel throughout the day instead of reaching for a can of soda when you start feeling drowsy. Dinners should include some protein sources such as beans, nuts, or seeds to keep your energy levels up and your appetite satisfied.

We can also help you to try different styles of eating raw foods. Click here for the article and video.

You will start to notice extraordinary changes in your energy levels once you start incorporating raw foods into your diet. We want you to feel your best, which is why we’re so passionate about the raw food diet. Give it a try to start feeling more energetic and more alive today!

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March 16th, 2015

The 8 Amazing Benefits of Celery

Written by Ka Sundance

Celery Juice

Celery known as a”negative calorie” food, the celery stick doesn’t usually get marketed as a healthy superfood, like spinach or kale. But all its parts, from its leaves to its ribs, its seeds to roots, can give your body the healthy boost it needs. While its pale-green, unassuming look does not make it a likely candidate, this plant can be the key to a healthier body and improved you today. Here are just 7 amazing benefits of celery that will give you reason to incorporate the stick into your diet.

1) Packed with so much vitamins and minerals. All celery, no matter the variety, has an excellent amount of vitamins and minerals. Celery has vitamin A, B2, B6, C, and K, which all contributes to better skin, healthy weight loss, and all the benefits below, described in-depth. It also has the much-needed minerals potassium, manganese, calcium, magnesium, and sodium. Together, celery can strengthen teeth, aid in mental stimulation and clarity, avoid exhaustion, and prevent so many diseases. With this many healthy compounds, you should elevate celery as a superfood in your diet.

2) Lowers cholesterol. Celery is known to lower total and bad (LDL) cholesterol, due to the phthalides in celery. Phthalides stimulates bile juices, which help lower cholesterol, while also acting as smooth muscle relaxants.

3) Natural anti-inflammation support. Celery has polyacetylene, which helps to act as an anti-inflammatory. This provides relief for those suffering from bronchitis, arthritis, osteoarthritis, muscular pains, rheumatism, and gout. It also can help with regrowing tissue between inflamed joints. Along with vitamin C, individuals suffering from asthma can benefit from celery’s anti-inflammatory properties.

4) Prevents cancer. The many antioxidants and compounds in celery are known to help fight against many types of cancer by removing free radicals in the body. Three of them–phthalides, flavonoids, and polyacetylenes–are known to detoxify carcinogens, while acetylenics and phenolic acids block and stop the growth of tumor cells. The phytochemical coumarins especially help to fight off stomach and colon cancers. With at least 8 family compounds in celery that prevent cancer in these ways, giving you plenty of reason to eat it regularly.

5) Keeps your kidneys healthy. As a natural antiseptic, celery eliminates many toxins that can get in the way of normal kidney function. It also prevents kidney stones from forming.

6) Lowers blood pressure. The same phthalides that lowers cholesterol also lowers blood pressure, providing healthy cardiovascular support. By relaxing the muscles around the arteries, blood vessels expand to allow blood to flow normally.

7) Boosts your immune system. The amount of vitamin C in celery paired with its antioxidants makes it a great aid for boosting your immune system. Eating celery regularly can prevent you from catching the common cold, and keep you safe from other diseases.

8) Acts as a great cleanser. Celery is a natural diuretic and is great at relaxing constipation. It helps regulate body fluid, prevent urinary tract infections for women, stimulates urination for all, and can even help break up and get rid of gall and bladder stones. Eating celery and its seeds and drinking celery juice therefore helps your body get rid of excess fluid and toxic build ups, making it a great cleanser for daily use. Athletes can especially benefit from celery juice, since its minerals can help rehydrate athletes after a workout and replace electrolytes.

So start introducing more celery into your diet today. There’s really no wrong way to eat it, try it by itself, add it in salads and meals, juice it for your morning cleanse, and eat it as a yummy snack with your favorite nut butter.

If you want more green recipe like our “Green Burger Recipe” click here.

The potential benefits of celery far outweigh its low cost, and can get you on a healthier, happier diet for an improved you.

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Raw Vegan Buckwheat Granola/ Gluten Free Cereal

This is one of my favorite breakfasts and it’s quite easy to prepare once you get the hang of it.  I usually make my raw vegan buckwheat granola in my £40 dehydrator which I purchased from Amazon. This is how you can get the fluffy, crunchy, granola-like texture. However, if you don’t have a dehydrator sitting on your kitchen counter (taking up all of the space in your kitchen. Ha Ha Ha!!!), then bake the granola in the oven for 3 ½ -4 hrs at 175°F (80°C) or until it dries.

I usually have buckwheat granola at weekends when I have more time to soak my buckwheat and seeds, as well as dehydrate them.  I tend to make big batches (see ingredients below) so that I can store them in the fridge for later use. The buckwheat granola will keep fresh and crunchy in the fridge for about 2 weeks so it can be a great snack and breakfast cereal.

Buckwheat is a complete protein. It is filled with antioxidants, prebiotics and fiber; plus, it is easy to digest and doesn’t cause bloating, gas or indigestion. Just be sure to rinse your buckwheat very well after soaking them to remove the slimy part of it which can be indigestible.

I personally love this recipe because it allows me to consume buckwheat on a regular basis. I would probably otherwise struggle finding ways to prepare buckwheat as it tends to have a very earthy taste. I eat this granola with nut or rice milk, cashew cream, berry jam or simply as a snack.

Mmh, delicious.

Ingredient:

:arrow:2½ cups buckwheat groats soaked for 4 hours or more.
:arrow:3 medium apples chopped
:arrow:2 tablespoons raw Tahini paste or 2½ tbsp sesame seeds
:arrow:2 ½ tablespoons favorite sweetener (raw honey/ maple syrup/ coconut nectar or 3 medjool dates)
:arrow:2 Tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
:arrow:¼ cup goji berries or raisins
:arrow:2 tbsp. coconut flakes, sunflower, pumpkin seeds (optional)
:arrow:2 table spoons ground cinnamon
:arrow:½ teaspoon sea salt
:arrow:¼ cup plant based milk (nut milk or rice milk – to help blend the wet ingredients)

Preparation:

1)    Pulse diced apples in food processor till they are chunky.
2)    Add nut butter, sweetener, and coconut oil. Add plant milk and blend till well mixed.
3)    Hand-stir buckwheat, cinnamon and salt together.  This will help to coat them in the cinnamon, distributing the flavour.
4)    Pour the contents from the food processor over the dry ingredients and stir until buckwheat is well covered.:5)    Add the goji berries, sunflower and pumpkin seeds in the mixture and stir.
6)    Spread mixture evenly onto non-stick teflex dehydrator sheets or lined parchment paper. Mixture should be no more than 1/2-inch thick, the thinner you spread the mixture the quicker it will dry.
7)    Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 10-14 hrs. You can try putting them in the oven but I am not sure how they will turn out.
8)    If keep mine well-sealed, this will keep fresh for 2 weeks in the fridge.

 

DorothyMy name’s Dorothy.
I’m a qualified teacher, author, traveler, ‘nutrition nerd’, blogger, creator, knowledge seeker and dancer. I love sharing knowledge and inspiring others to thrive and be happy.

EAT FOR BEAUTY ebook

“Eat well and live radiantly with over 50 easy and delicious recipes for a raw & cooked whole food lifestyle ebook.

MY WEBSITE ADDRESS IS : www.naturalvita.net

 

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