plant base dietHumans are naturally omnivorous, with front teeth that can tear meat along with molars to pulverize plant foods. Our long digestive tracts efficiently process meats, fruits, vegetables and grains. Because humans can and do eat all sorts of food, a decision to dine upon plants in lieu of animal flesh is more about ethics, ecology and philosophy than pure science.

That’s what biologists say. Take a minute to ask someone who enjoys a balanced, plant-based diet how they feel, and chances are good they’ll mention a marked improvement in many aspects of their life. Vegetarians and vegans who get their nutrition from non-meat sources report myriad benefits that include weight management, increased energy, lower grocery bills, a smaller carbon footprint and an overall sense of lightness and well-being. Great bennies, to be sure, but that’s not all you can expect from a plant based diet.

Improve heart health

Several studies conclude that people who focus their feasting on vegetables, grains, beans, legumes and fresh fruit may reduce their risk of heart attack. Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and other respected researchers affirm a plant-based diet’s efficacy at arresting and even reversing cardiac disease.

Feel full with far fewer calories

A typical American fast food meal of a burger, fries and cola drink weighs in at a whopping 1,140 calories, most of which come from unhealthful fats and white flour. For roughly the same caloric intake, a plant eater can consume eight cups of mixed salad with creamy hummus dressing, two apples, two bananas and two cups of yummy blueberries.

Reduce cancer risk

The American Cancer Society recommends reducing or eliminating consumption of beef, lamb and pork products for optimal human health. The official ACS website, Cancer.org, refers to studies that prove a link between a mostly- or all-plant diet and significantly reduced instances of colon cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

Better for you, better for the planet

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) determined that growing and preparing a single hamburger patty produces as much greenhouse gas as driving a 3,000 pound SUV a distance of ten miles, according to Scientific American magazine. Acres devoted to agriculture produce significantly more food than the same amount of land used to graze livestock.

Spend less on groceries

Americans are fooled into believing that cheap fast food is more economical than a vegetarian diet. Actually, this is not the case at all. According to registered dietician Carole Bartollo in Huffington Post, a family of four can buy a meal at McDonald’s for around $24. That’s one medium burger, an order of chicken nuggets, two Big Macs, four medium orders of French fries and four small drinks. For less than half that price, four people can share a big pot of tasty lentil soup, a mixed veggie salad, sparkling water and several pieces of fresh fruit for dessert.

Lose weight easily

Most plant foods offer far more bulk than calories. Lessen or even eliminate your daily intake of meat and cheese, limit intake of nut and plant oils, and you will probably lose weight without a whole lot of effort.

Everyone’s got to eat. Food provides energy in the form of calories, and it does make a difference where those calories come from. “Empty” calories may offer a temporary boost of short-term energy, but offer nothing in the way of nutrition. To achieve and maintain optimum health, humans should consume whole, minimally processed foods along with ample amounts of fresh, clean water.

If you intend to maintain a plant based diet, please do it the right away. You can start a plant based diet plan. Here please click for the article to find out how you can begin.

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What is a Whole Food Plant Based Diet?

A whole food plant based diet contains only plants, such as vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds; and foods made from plants.

A whole food plant based diet excludes foods that contain animal protein, i.e. dairy products, meat, fish and eggs.

It also excludes overly processed foods like white sugar, white rice, white bread, white pasta, white flour, table salt etc. and may minimize or exclude foods that contain gluten.

Healthy eating

A healthy whole food plant based diet should contain:

:arrow: plenty of fruit and vegetables– raw is best (raw, steamed or cooked) – Notetry to get at least 65-75% of your daily carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables
:arrow: starchy foods (in their whole state, i.e. brown ricenot white rice, organic potatoes, quinoa
:arrow: non-dairy sources of proteinbeans, pulses, nuts & seeds, quinoa (usually soaked before eating or sprouted)
:arrow: dairy alternatives: such as coconut, rice and nut milk
:arrow: fermented foods: packed with probiotics, such as, sauerkraut, nut cheese, kefir, miso
:arrow: sea vegetables:also high in protein like nori, sea palm, algae
:arrow: fatty and sugary foods(in small quantities; this is crucial to maintaining a healthy state)   i.e. natural Healthy sugars, like coconut nectar, raw honey, yacon

Nuts like almonds, cashews and pine nuts are a good source of essential fatty acids (note: peanuts and/or peanut butter - if not raw, can contain the mold, ‘aflatoxin’, which has been linked to liver cancer. In addition, a lot of people are allergic or peanut sensitive and display symptoms such as, indigestion, headaches, skin allergies, aching and stiff joints etc.

Getting the nutrients you need

People in general need to be careful to get enough calcium, iron, vitamin D & B12. Eating a VARIETY of plant foods and eating enough calories to support your fitness enables you to get plenty of protein.

Getting enough calcium and vitamin D

Calcium is important for strong, healthy bones and teeth.

Good sources of calcium for people on a whole food plant based diet include:

:arrow: Green vegetables like: Kale, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, celery, cucumber, bok choy, mustard greens etc.
:arrow: Gluten free whole grains: such as, brown rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth and buckwheat
:arrow: Nuts & Seeds: sesame seeds sunflower seeds and tahini
:arrow: Pulses: green peas, black eye beans, garbanzo beans, adzubi beans etc.
:arrow: Sulfite Free* dried fruits: such as raisinsprunesfigsand dried apricots
Getting enough calcium and vitamin D

The body requires vitamin D to absorb calcium. Vegan sources of vitamin D are:

:arrow: Summer sunshine exposure(in moderation – at least 15mins per day) *Note, too much sunbathing can cause premature aging.
:arrow: Vitamin Dsupplements (this may be neccessary if you live in a colder climate.

Read the label to ensure the vitamin D used in a product is not of animal origin.

Getting enough Protein

We need protein to build healthy new cells, to replace enzymes, rebuild blood cells, grow hair, produce anti-bodies and for other specific tasks in our bodies.

A very common question about a plant based diet is “where do you get your protein and calcium from?” This shows the widespread misconception that still exists in our society today, namely, that people need to drink milk to get calcium and eat lots of meat to get enough protein. Yet, some of the strongest & largest animals on our plant, like elephants, the silverback gorilla and horses are a great example of the fact that we can get all the protein and calcium we need from plant based foods.

As a percentage of total calories, here’s how much protein each kind of plant base food provides

1) Vegetables: 18%
2) Fruits: 6%
3) Nuts and seeds: 11%
4) Grains: 12%
5) Legumes: 30%

All the protein you need is available from plant based nutrition.
Getting enough iron
Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells. A whole food plant based diet can be high in iron.

Good sources of iron are:

:arrow: Dark-green leafy vegetables such as watercressbroccolispring greensspinach, kale, celery, cabbage etc. It’s best to eat them raw because nutrients are not lost when cooking. Some of the best ways to make them more palatable is to add them into your smoothies, juices and salads.

It’s best to juice or steam vegetables if you have trouble digesting them. Common weeds which grow in most people’s gardens are also high in Iron, for example, nettles and dandelions – the best way to eat them is by adding them to your green smoothie, juice and salads. You can also make delicious nettle tea.

:arrow: pulses (beans)
:arrow: Gluten free grains i.e. quinoa and millet.
:arrow: nuts
:arrow: dried fruits such as apricots, prunes and figs
Getting enough Vitamin B12

The body needs vitamin B12 to maintain healthy nerve cells and heart health. There is an ongoing debate about whether it is necessary to take B12 supplements if you are on a plant based diet. From my personal experience, I try to consume a variety of organic dark leafy greens as they are known to contain B12.
Other sources of vitamin B12 for people on a whole food plant based diet:

:arrow: fortified foods like vegetarian supportformula nutritional yeast
:arrow: certain green superfoods like chlorella and spirulina(you can get these in a health food store in powder form, be sure to get organic)

Vegan sources of omega-3 fatty acids

People must get two essential fatty acids from their diet to maintain optimal health ‘omega 3 & 6’. Fatty acids are essential for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and hormone regulation. The body cannot produce fatty acids on its own; hence, consuming omega 3 & 6 fatty acids is vital.

Sources of omega-3 fatty acids suitable for people on a whole food diet are:

:arrow: leafy greens, fruits and vegetable
:arrow: flaxseeds, hempseeds, chia seed
:arrow: walnuts

Sources of omega-6 fatty acids suitable for people on a whole food diet are:

:arrow: Most nuts and seeds (i.e. sunflower, sesame, safflower)

:arrow: soy bean oil

Note: Omega 3 fats reduce inflammation and omega 6 fats promote inflammation. If you think of the mid-point of a ruler, you want the line to be exactly balanced or to be more towards the omega 3 side. This means to eat more omega 3 than 6 fatty acids. This is crucial for healthy functioning hormones, cell membranes and nervous systems.

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 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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3 Best Green Smoothie RecipesGreen smoothies are great additions to your diet, boosting your nutritional levels in just one glass. Not only do they provide energy, but they are also a lot of fun to make and tasty to drink. It will make everyone in your family wanting more–even the kids who might be hesitant to eat all their veggies. Here are the 3 best green smoothie recipes we love to drink, no matter what time of day.

For a heavier consistency, replace water with ice! It will make all the smoothies a bit thicker. For a creamier taste, replace water with your favorite fresh nut milk.

1. Sweet Apple Kale Green Smoothie

This is a great morning smoothie, with so much nutritional benefits from the kale, celery, cucumber and apples. The kale provides vitamins A, C, and K for energy, and includes the B vitamin folate for boosting brain health and function. Kale is also very good for eye health! Paired with the celery, you also get lots of vitamins, compounds, and minerals that help fight cancer, promote kidney health, boost your immune system, cleanses your body, and improves your blood pressure. One other secret ingredient is the spirulina, which has anti-inflammatory properties, a high concentration of chlorophyll to remove toxins from the body, and contains a lot of Omega-3s.

:arrow: 1 1/2 cup of kale
:arrow: 3 small apples, de-cored and chopped (or less, depending on taste)
:arrow: 3 sticks of celery, chopped
:arrow: 1/2 cucumber, chopped
:arrow: 1 tablespoon lemon juice
:arrow: 1/2 Tablespoon of spirulina

Taking your kale and apples first, blend slowly. Pour some water at a time if it looks like the kale and apples need a little more juice for consistency. Add the celery and cucumber little by little, and top off with the lemon juice. Blend all together until it looks like a smooth, light green treat. For more sweetness, add some more apple slices.

Serves 2 individuals needing a morning boost.

2. Collard Greens Smoothie (Inspired by recipe at Real Simple)

Collard greens are a great addition to smoothies, as they provide lots of vitamin C, A, and K, with a healthy dose of protein and fiber. The chia seeds are a great addition to boost the fiber, while providing a high amount of antioxidants to fight dangerous cancer-forming cells, lower the risk of heart disease, and help increase bone density. This smoothie is the perfect smoothie to down before or after a morning work out, giving sweet, tangy flavors from the mango and the lime.

:arrow: 2 cups of raw collard greens
:arrow: 1 1/2 cups of frozen mango
:arrow: 1/2 cup of filtered water
:arrow: 1/2 cup of green grapes
:arrow: 2 Tablespoons of fresh lime juice
:arrow: 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds

Starting with the water, greens, and mango, blend on low. Add the grapes with the lime juice, and blend the chia seeds in last.

This recipe serves 2, or 1 thirsty person!

3. Tropical Green Smoothie

This delight is packed with so many health benefits while tasting like a sweet tropical dream. The star of this smoothie is the papaya, which is known to improve colon health (due to the beta-carotene in the fruit), help bones, prevent asthma, and promote healthy eyes. The avocado also provides a creamy texture, plus its healthy fat helps your body absorb the nutrients from all the plants in this drink. The relaxing quality of this drink is also due to the fact that avocados are known to relieve tension and pains, especially for those suffering from arthritis. This is our go-to smoothie when we are relaxing and enjoying summer days, and it can be your tropical getaway as well.

:arrow: 2 cups of spinach
:arrow: 1-2 bananas (according to sweetness preference)
:arrow: 1/4 cup of filtered water
:arrow: 1/2 cup of chopped papaya
:arrow: 1/2 of ripe avocado
:arrow: 1/4 cup of pineapple
:arrow: 3 Tablespoons of fresh, minced cilantro

Starting with the spinach and cilantro, blend while adding water a little at a time. Don’t worry about using less than 1/4 cup or more of water. Break up your bananas and add to blend, then your papaya, avocado, and pineapple. 

Serves about 3-4 small glasses.

We also suggest that you learn the basic key benefits of green smoothies. Click here for video and article.

Enjoy this tropical treat by yourself or with your family!
Make green smoothie a part of your daily diet.

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Making Friends with Fats

Does fat equals weight gain? Not necessarily. In fact the opposite is true.

Healthy fats like avocadoes, almonds, olive oil contain vitamin E and healthy oils that our bodies need to make skin, to absorb fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K) and for hormone regulation.

Essential fatty acids (also known as EFAs) are fats that the body cannot produce on its own so we must get them from our diet. There are two essential fatty acids we must get from our diet.

Omega 6, linoleic acid (LA)

Omega 3, Alpha linoleic acid (ALA)

:arrow: Omega 6, linoleic acid (LA)

Animal based foods and processed foods including oils from corn, soybean, sunflower and many nuts and seeds contain Omega 6 fats.

However animal based foods are not the best source of Omega 6 fats because there are issues surrounding high cholesterol, the zero fiber content, contaminants & inhumane growing and farming practises.

Nuts & seeds therefore are the best source of omega 6 because they contain a reasonable amount of this nutrient.

:arrow: Omega 3, alpha linoleic acid (ALA)

Omega 3 fatty acids are in leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, flax seeds, hemp, chia seeds, cold water fish and walnuts.

If you think of a ruler where Omega 3 fats which help reduce inflammation are on one end and omega 6 fats which promote inflammation on the other end. You want to keep the ruler exactly balanced or slightly more on the omega 3 side. This means to eat more omega 3 than 6 fatty acids.

By doing this we help our bodies to maintain healthy and balanced hormones, cell membranes and nervous system.

:arrow: Eating Habits Today

Unfortunately on a standard diet a lot of people eat 15 times more omega 6 than 3 fatty acids. This leads to inflammation and many more heath issues.

:arrow: Pregnant and Nursing Mothers

There are 3 types of Omega 3 fatty acids (ALA, EPA and DHA). When we eat plant foods we get ALA which converts to EPA & DHA.

Pregnant women and nursing mothers especially must make sure they get sufficient DHA.

:arrow: Food for thought

Many doctors recommend taking fish oils in capsules or eating more oily fish because the fats in fish are “pre-converted”. Although fresh fish may have certain nutritional benefits compared to land based animal protein. It is however worth remembering that unsaturated fats (found in oily fish and from vegetable oils) are very sensitive to light and heat. Cooked fish therefore may not be able to provide our body with the best from of these fats. There are also issues with toxicity found in marine life and unsustainable and inhumane fishing practices which make fish consumption on a regular basis, to help promote optimal health, questionable.

If you are eating fresh, low in sugar plant foods with minerals obtained from nuts and seeds your body should be able to convert Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) into EPA. A great source of ALA is hemp oil i.e. the oil blend found in Udo’s choice, and Flax oil. Research suggests that flax oil is less stable than hemp oil. Hemp or flax oil should be stored in a fridge. This is also important when you purchase it. Dark glass is better for storing these oils rather than plastic bottles.

 

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 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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I am sharing these tips with you today in response to a lot of questions I get about fasting/detoxing and liver cleansing – which is something I do on a very regular basis – either a short or longer cleanse, or I juice fast frequently throughout the year.

I want to share my insights with you so that you can successfully practice cleansing or fasting in order to lead a more healthy, vibrant life.

First of all, why is it necessary to go to such lengths in order to detox like this?  People can’t understand why, when I eat so healthily already, I need to do a detox – they assume I would be so clean already!  Well, I think the reason I am so clean and healthy is because I do these detoxes.  Also, the way I see it, it’s not just eating a clean diet (and you may or may not agree with me on this) – it’s the combination of a clean, healthy diet, frequent detoxing, lots of exercise, spending time outside in nature and having healthy relationships with yourself and others in your life.  It’s basically a bit of a jigsaw puzzle – and all the pieces are needed to make up the whole picture – we are holistic beings, so our approach to health must be holistic too.

successfuldetoxAlso, even though I’ve been eating mainly a raw diet for the past 10 years now, the previous nearly 30 years of my life I was eating a standard diet – and I feel I’m still not completely cleansed from all the wrongdoing of those years!  There was a lot of alcohol, I drank coffee, ate meat – I wasn’t eating at all healthily during that time.  So I still feel – rightly or wrongly – that from time to time I am still being affected to some degree by the residue of these toxins in my body.  I understand that this may or may not be true – perhaps I am just energetically connected to those times in some way, but it does feel to me that by supporting my body to help it clean itself , by pushing the re-set button, by lightening the load on my body – that I am doing a good thing.   The way I see it, the body can heal itself perfectly but if we are eating several times a day the body is constantly occupied with processing our food – extracting the nutrients and energy and then eliminating the waste – and this takes so much time and energy so that the body is unable to heal itself as it would like to.

So this is why I feel it is so important to press the “Pause” button from time to time and give the body a break!  And even though we live in Costa Rica, in the jungle and spend a lot of time at the beach and totally away from big cities, we are still exposed to car exhaust fumes, paint fumes and other chemicals – it is so hard to avoid these living in this world at this time!

So in order to get rid of these toxins, even when if you eat 100% organic foods as I am, every so often I think one can assume that the food will have somehow been contaminated with pesticides.  So, here are my 3 tips in order to detox successfully…

  1. Contrary to what you may think, I don’t think the most important thing is in the preparation leading up to the fast, but it is more about getting into the right mindset.  You need to know that you want to do this and why – make that decision, keep your eye on the goal, on how you want to feel afterwards and know you are going to feel better if you stick with it.  Basically it’s about cultivating the DISCIPLINE to achieve your goal – all goals require discipline to accomplish – because sometimes it is a struggle to get there!  But worth it!
  2. It is also good to expect the possible downside of fasting/cleansing.  If you only concentrate on how good you’re going to feel you may end up being disappointed and give up!  So bear in mind that you may not feel great at times – physically and/or emotionally – and that this is perfectly normal!  You may feel angry, you may feel sad, you may need to cry as old stuff comes up to be released.  You may have an achy body, you may have headaches – not necessarily, but it can happen, so just remember that this is normal!  I like to say that the deeper the valley you have to go through the more light you will experience on the summit of the next mountain!  It isn’t always like this though – some cleanses go so smoothly and you just feel awesome all the way through.   But sometimes you may have to go through darkness, it’s just the way it is – just remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS!
  3. My third tip is about breaking the fast – so many times when working with other people I’ve seen them fall straight back into bad habits as soon as the fast is over – in fact, sometimes even worse!  It is really advisable to consciously break the fast as this is such an opportunity to take the changes you have made over the past days/weeks and “up your game” health-wise, so that that the fast isn’t just a quick break but a chance to move forward by implementing improvements on an ongoing basis.  This is a smart and wise way to look at the process you’ve just gone through and to use it in order to propel yourself to new health heights on a daily basis!

So those are my 3 tips  about a successful detox / cleanse or fast – I really hope they are useful for you!  Please share yours too – what are your experiences, insights and advice about cleansing?  Let us know!

Website: http://www.TheRawfoodfamily.com 
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Rawfoodfamilylife 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheRawfoodfamily 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Rawfoodfamily

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Raw Easter EggsWe’ll be celebrating Easter very soon. One of the first things that might come to your mind when you think of Easter symbols is most probably the egg. This is also the case in the Orthodox tradition. The biggest joy of Eater Sunday for many people simply comes from enjoying food – eggs and sweet Easter cake – that they did not eat for the past 6 weeks during lent. Lent – the period of fasting before Easter — is practiced in Ukraine much as it is elsewhere. I make a Raw Easter Cake for my family and Raw Easter Eggs. These eggs have a lemon flavor, but you can make your favorite taste and decoration. You can make them different colors or chocolate as well. If you like to sculpt, you will definitely like this recipe :) Kids really love to make these Raw Easter Eggs, let them help you ;)

Ingredients:

for a white part
:arrow: 1 cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours
:arrow: 1 cup cacao butter, liquefied
:arrow: 1/2 cup coconut oil
:arrow: 1 cup sweetener (maple syrup, coconut syrup, honey or agave). If you want to keep your eggs very white color, then select a very light color sweetener.
:arrow: 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
:arrow: 4 tablespoons water
:arrow: 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
:arrow: 1 tbs lemon juice
:arrow: pinch of salt

 for a yellow part
:arrow: 2 tsp turmeric powder
:arrow:1 tbs lemon juice
:arrow:1 tbs lemon zest

Assembly:

Blend all ingredients for the white part until smooth and divide the dough into half. One-half is for yellow color and second for white. Add turmeric, lemon juice, and zest for the yellow part and blend until smooth. Prepare two pans by greasing the sides with coconut oil and lining the bottom with parchment paper. Pour blended ingredients into prepared pans. Freeze for at least 30 minutes to set. Make small yellow balls with your hands and cover with white dough. Sculpt the shape of eggs. Can be stored in the freezer or refrigerator for several weeks.

To melt your cacao butter, you may place in the dehydrator until soft, or melt in a bowl, over another bowl of hot water. If you use this method, be careful not to burn the butter. It is temperature sensitive and will behave differently (and taste different) if burned.

If you want to make colorful eggs, you can add a little beet juice for red and pink colors, spinach juice for green color. For chocolate flavor add 2 tsp of carob or cacao powder or cover them with raw chocolate. You can decorate your eggs with nuts, seeds, superfood or dry fruits.

Celebrate this Easter with a heart filled with love and peace. Have a blessed and wonderful Easter!

Tonya OginoHi! My name is Tonya Ogino, I am a raw food chef (Matthew Kenney Academy), nutritionist and raw foodist from Ukraine. Now I live in Tokyo where I teach people how to be raw vegan and share my good experience of vegan life. My website: www.tonyaogino.com
With Love from Japan!

 

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March 30th, 2015

Favorite Key Lime Smoothie

Written by Ka Sundance

Key Lime SmoothieAlso 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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raw cheesecake recipeFor 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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