Zucchini Noodles with Chili

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This quick and easy lunch is packed with raw ingredients and will totally satisfy you until your next meal! And that’s because its filled with super foods and is bursting with a variety of Asian flavors such as the chili, ginger & sesame dressing, lime, and minced cilantro which really hit a home run blended all together. You don’t need some expensive or fancy spiralizer either. I have a Veggetti and it gets the job done quick for less money. The Veggetti fits right into your hand and has a thin and thick side so you can choose what size noodles you want. But you don’t even need that to make yummy raw zoodles. You can also just use a julienne peeler or a food processor. Hope you enjoy! 😀

Ingredients

  • 1 large organic zucchini
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons Ginger & Sesame salad dressing (I used  Bragg’s but you can make your own if you choose)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chili Garlic Sauce (I love Huy Fong Foods brand)
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • a few sliced red onions
  • 1/2 lime, for the juice
  • dash of Himalayan pink salt
  • For more flavor, add chopped Daiya cheese, optional (I used the Jalapeno Havarti block style)

Simply spiralize the zucchini into a bowl and then season with salt, dressing, chili, lime, and cilantro. Add the remaining ingredients and top with cubed cheese if you like or just go fully raw!

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Tempeh and “Chicken” Salad

 

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Hi everyone! Today I’ve got a super healthy recipe using tempeh and an article on why we should include it in our intake of soy foods. I don’t eat soy foods everyday but when I do, I stick with tempeh and miso. In case your not sure what tempeh is, basically its fermented soy beans and a much powerful way of eating soy. In my view on soy, tofu may be popular but overrated. Tempeh on the other hand provides so much more and here is why…

More Protein: Tempeh is an excellent source of plant based protein with all of the essential amino acids and almost double the protein than contained in tofu. Tofu has about 12 grams per 4 ounces, tempeh has about 22 grams for the same serving!

Its Whole: If your going to be on a plant based whole foods diet, one of the most important things to remember is to choose foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed as little as possible. Tempeh is a whole food by nature. The vast majority of soy consumed in the U.S. come from highly processed methods. Some of the most processed foods today include vegan foods! Manufacturing soy includes dehulling, crushing, high pressure heating which can destroy all the enzymes, and subjecting soy beans to solvents such as hexane to separate the oils. What’s left after the oil extraction is called defatted soy flour which is used to make soy protein isolates, soy protein concentrates, TSP (texturized soy protein), and animal feed. These soy protein isolates and concentrates are what’s used to make a lot of packaged foods, including vegan foods.

Less Processing: Have you seen how tofu is actually made? If anything, tofu is a denatured machine based food. Tofu is formed (watch here) through a process of curdling heated soy milk, and then adding coagulant ingredients to make blocks. In ancient times and in traditional recipes, the coagulant is natural. Today, most tofu found at the grocery store are made with chemical coagulants. Many people, including myself, believe that being whole foods plant based means getting most of our diet, if not all, from foods that come directly from the earth, not highly processed from huge tanks and machines.

More Nutrition: Although tempeh is a little higher in calories than tofu (about 60 calories more per half cup), its less processed and contains more protein and fiber. Since we shouldn’t be consuming more than 3-5 servings of soy a day anyway, getting more with less would be a pay off.

Alkaline Protein: Soy tempeh is alkaline. As most of us know, animal proteins such as meat, poultry, fish, and dairy are highly acidic foods. What many may not know is that processed grain filled “mock meats” such as seitan, otherwise known as wheat meat, and TVP (texturized vegetable protein) can also increase the acidity levels in our tissues, which is the root cause of inflammation.

Probiotic Food: Another big benefit to choosing tempeh over tofu is its fermented and easier to digest. Eating more fermented foods helps to build gut flora, something we all could use to help build our immune and improve our health. Personally, I prefer tempeh’s meat like texture over mushy tofu anytime!

More benefits or click here to learn more about Tempeh:

  • Excellent source of protein, contains all 9 of the essential amino acids
  • Excellent source of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron
  • High in B vitamins including folic acid (B9)
  • High in enzymes which can help to preserve our own
  • High in soluble and insoluble dietary fiber
  • Low in sodium
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Cholesterol free
  • Better flavor and texture and as mentioned, less refined than tofu

Your in for a surprise with this incredible “chicken” salad recipe because not only does it taste great, its super easy to make! So let’s get started:

Ingredients

  • 8 ounce package organic soy tempeh (I use Lightlife)
  • 1/2 large cucumber, partially peeled and minced
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, minced
  • 3/4 cup rainbow tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons minced olives (green or black)
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro or flat leaf parsely
  • 2 tablespoons soy free Vegenaise (to avoid processed soy)
  • 1 tablespoon non dairy greek yogurt (helps reduce overall fat)
  • 1 tablespoon relish
  • 2 tsps mustard
  • 2-3 limes, juiced
  • onion powder and Himalayan pink salt

Instructions

  1. Start by chopping the tempeh into small pieces and juicing the limes. In a  bowl, marinate the tempeh for about 20 minutes or until you’ve chopped the rest of your ingredients. This helps to brighten its flavor. Tofu is extremely porous and soaks up flavors more quickly, but tempeh needs marinating before cooking for maximum flavor, just like real meat! You can also add garlic for more flavor. tempeh chopped
  2. Drain the tempeh and in a small frying pan sprayed with olive oil, lightly sizzle the soy for about 7-10 minutes with salt and onion powder. Cool for 5 minutes.tempeh fried
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked tempeh, Vegenaise, greek yogurt, mustard and relish until the tempeh is fully covered.creamed tempeh
  4. Next, fold in the cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, olives, onions, and cilantro. I like cherry or grape tomatoes because they are loaded with flavor and tend to stay firm in recipes. I used these lovely rainbow cherry tomatoes in mine.rainbowt tomatoes2tomatoes and tempeh
  5. Your done! Now you can serve it by topping it on gluten free toast, making a sandwich, stuffing a pita bread, or wrapping it in greens as I did! Enjoy. 😀
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by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

sources:
1. http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm
2. Brown, Susan E., and Larry Trivieri. The Acid Alkaline Food Guide: A Quick Reference to Foods & Their Effect on PH Levels. Garden City Park, NY: Square One, 2006.
3. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/too-much-soy-may-neutralize-plant-based-benefits/
4. Daniel, Kaayla T. The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food. Washington, DC: New Trends, 2005.
5. http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/00346650610664904
6. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-much-soy-is-too-much/
7. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=126
8. http://www.cornucopia.org/hexane-guides/nvo_hexane_report.pdf

Just An Apple A Day? Why Whole Foods Are Best

apples

“Eat an apple on going to bed, And you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” ~1866 Welsh folk proverb

We are all familiar with this well known saying about an apple a day but do we know why? We know apples are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and carbohydrates. Some other benefits with eating apples are vitamins K, B6, boron, pectin, and natural sugar for energy. But are these the only reasons? No. These nutrients are actually just the surface of an “iceberg” of elements contained in apples, and for that matter, elements in all fruits and vegetables.

Apples and other fruits and vegetables contain thousands of phyto-chemicals whose names are almost nowhere to be found in books or would even be familiar to us. But these natural components all work together interdependently, like a huge team of doctors each with a unique function to build our health. That’s a lot of doctors! What nutrition researchers have been doing for far too long is looking at single components in food. What they should be doing is focusing on how these phytonutrients interact as a “whole.” Analyzing nutrients in an isolated sense will not only leave “holes” in discovering their full potential, they will likely produce an incomplete effect on the body and our health.

For the most part, this “standard” of research in isolating nutrients has been part of the problem in the field of nutrition. As a result of these studies, self interested food companies have been successful at selling us processed and packaged food and supplements marketed with a good source of (pick one!) nutrients such as vitamin A, C, calcium or fiber. In the end, we’ve become obsessed with these “parts”for the sake of convenience. Much to our loss, extracting or manipulating nutritional components as an attempt to “improve” what we eat would be like removing the door from a house. What can our body do with just a door?? Protection from disease requires the whole house!

Enriching our food with isolated “plant fragments” may be helpful to a certain point, but it doesn’t provide us with optimal nutrition for preventing disease. The bottom line is, we will never get ALL of the nutrients, phytochemicals, and their interactions with each other as a whole and the effects on our health from any bottle as we would from real food. So long as research scientists continue to work in this way of evaluating single pieces of the puzzle instead of gaining knowledge with the “bigger picture,” medical schools, hospitals, and government agencies will continue to downgrade the whole foods concept as the true path to health.

As a matter of fact, identifying this whole foods “whole house” concept isn’t an unrealized theory either. We already have information on how we can multiply the nutritional value slide_249911_1504867_freefrom our food through a strategy known as food synergy. Instead of thinking of food in terms of 1+1 equals 2, research has already shown us that combining certain whole foods such as tomatoes and avocado, apples and grapes, spinach and lemon, oatmeal and orange juice, turmeric and black pepper, broccoli and tomatoes, can actually equal to far more nutrition than we thought we could get. What’s been discovered about food synergy is just the tip of the iceburg. Researchers need to continue focusing on finding these food relationships in order to fully unleash the amazing power of our food.

For now, its time we start thinking for ourselves and eat food in its original form as much as possible while ditching its manipulated and packaged profit selling version. An apple a day is a good start but on average, Americans only consume around 20 pounds of apples a year, around 1 apple a week. Nowhere near the ideal of everyday. But if we’re eating many other whole fruits and vegetables everyday, and in the right combinations, we will have enough “doctors” in the house!

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

sources:
http://www.bspcn.com/2007/08/05/9-reasons-why-an-apple-a-day-really-keeps-the-doctor-away/
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=15&tname=foodspice
Campbell, T. Colin. Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition. Dallas: BenBella Books, 2013
http://www.publichealthreviews.eu/upload/pdf_files/10/00_Jacobs.pdf
http://www.amazon.com/Food-Synergy-Hundreds-Powerful-Combinations/dp/1594866228

Purple Sweet Potato Pie with Raw Pecan Crust

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This pie was absolutely fabulous! It not only tasted great, its mostly raw so its super healthy! While I was making it, the taste and the aroma kept my toddler coming back for “tastes” so if your a mom, your kids will love it. We’re told to eat more fruits and vegetables to keep us healthy but if you want to live longer, we need to eat more purple foods. Their simply packed with antioxidants but most people don’t get enough of this color in their diet. According to a Nielson poll, over 2,400 people were asked which color from produce they eat in a typical day; 85 percent said green, 79 percent said yellow and orange, and only 18 percent said blue and purple!

So what could be smarter than sneaking in those purple foods into desserts and pies? Studies have shown purple foods contain properties such as anthocyanins that improve our memory and vision, slows aging, controls blood pressure, fights heart disease, and prevents cancer. According to the USDA, darker potatoes have more than 4x the antioxidants than other potatoes.

I’m a big fan of raw food but sometimes we can absorb more nutrients by cooking certain foods. But not all cooking methods are equal in retaining the most nutrients. A study has shown boiling sweet potatoes can help keep most of the antioxidant power than roasting, steaming, or baking. This is because boiling thins out the cell walls of potatoes and gelatinizes the starch, which enhances the bio-availability of nutrients. Another bonus in boiling is the glycemic index ends up about half that of baking or roasting giving us a lower spike in blood sugar!

The skin of sweet potatoes have almost 10x the antioxidant power as the inside flesh. When you bake sweet potatoes, the peel loses most of its nutritional power. Baking also reduces its vitamin A by a whopping 80% while boiling, substantially less. From a nutritional stand point, boiling is just better for cooking sweet potatoes. I didn’t use the skin for this recipe but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat them after peeling them off! 😉

If you want to retain ALL of the antioxidant power of purple foods, I recommend using them in juices and smoothies. I love juicing purple fruits and vegetables for their superior antioxidant and anti-aging benefits. Click here for a delicious and super anti-aging juice, Purple Roots of the Earth posted right here on Vegan Health and Yoga.

Ingredients for Purple Pie Filling

  • 2 large purple sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or raw honey if you prefer)
  • 2-3 packets stevia sweetener (I use Sweet Leaf)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice

Ingredients for Fully Raw Pecan Crust

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup soaked & chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup raw pecans
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder

Instructions

  1. Boil thickly cut purple sweet potatoes with the skin on for about 20 minutes. Leaving the skin on prevents them from getting too mushy for this recipe. After their cooked, allow them to cool.
  2. Peel off the skin. Using the skin in the recipe will give you lumps in your pie which is why I left them out but if you want to include them you can.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir in all the pie filling ingredients. Fluff up the batter with a hand mixer for about 3 minutes on high.

purple potato filling

4. Next, add all the pie crust ingredients into a high speed blender and pulse until everything is incorporated. Use a spatula to push down the sides. Mixture should be sticky and minced.

Raw Pecan Crust

5. Spray olive oil onto a round pie pan to prevent the crust from sticking and breaking apart when serving. Empty the mixture into the pan and push down to form your crust.

raw crust ready

6. Now add the purple pie filling and smooth it out. You can top your pie with anything you like but I used extra pecans and coconut to compliment the ingredients in the pie.

purple pie

7. Refrigerate for a few hours to set. You can serve your pie warm by placing it in a 350 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes.

I served this for Thanksgiving with some cranberry sauce and it was perfect! You can also use your preferred whipped cream or fruit sauce.
Hope you enjoy it! 😀

slice of lifeslice of pieslice2

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Resources:
Why You Should Eat More Purple Fruits and Vegetables
Is it Better to Bake, Boil, or Steam Sweet Potatoes?
The Power of Purple Foods-Dr. Oz
Americans Don’t Eat Healthy

 

Black Bean Walnut Brownies with Avocado Chocolate Frosting

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Would you believe these brownies have absolutely no sugar, no dairy, no eggs, no flour, no gluten, and not drenched in oil?! Its true! These plant based brownies are actually very healthy and full of fiber and heart healthy ingredients! Contrary to what most people believe about the vegan diet, this dessert proves there are infinite possibilities in being plant based.

Transitioning from the usual “boxed” desserts found at the store filled with processed ingredients doesn’t have to be hard and certainly not tasteless. Making brownies from scratch using plant based ingredients is so easy. Avocado frosting may not sound appealing at first but honestly, you won’t even taste it. This frosting is simply amazing and powers up these heart healthy brownies with an ultimate chocolate rich flavor! I used the pineapple to keep the mix moist and for added sweetness. The cranberries give another dimension of tart and sweet. Black pepper brings out the flavor of chocolate.

Ingredients for Brownies

  • 1 can organic black beans, drained and lightly rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pitted soaked dates
  • 1/3 cup carob chips (or vegan chocolate chips)
  • 1/3 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 heaping tablespoons carob powder (or cacao powder)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Ingredients for Frosting

  • 1 fully ripened medium avocado
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey if you prefer)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon carob powder (or cacao if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil

Instructions for Brownies

  1. Preheat the oven at 375 degrees. Start by soaking the dates in water for about 10 minutes. Medjool dates are softer and would be ideal, otherwise drain the water and chop dates into little pieces for easier blending.
  2. In the mean time, drain and lightly rinse the beans but don’t soak them. Gently shake out the water from a filter bowl.
  3. In a high powered blender, add beans, pineapple, cranberries, dates, carob powder, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, lemon zest, baking powder, pepper and salt. Everything EXCEPT the carob chips and only 1/2 cup of the walnuts. Pulse blend until everything is fully incorporated. Push down ingredients sticking to the sides as needed. Mix should turn out sticky and heavily minced.
  4. Next, remove the blade and fold in the carob chips and the remaining walnuts.
  5. Spray some olive oil in a square glass baking dish to lightly cover the sides and bottom. Spread and press down the batter into the pan evenly. Spray the top with a light mist of olive oil to keep from getting too dry.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Sides should be toasty and slightly dark. A knife should come out mostly clean.

baked brownies

Instructions for Frosting

  1. Add and mix all ingredients for the avocado frosting into a mixing bowl with a fork.
  2. Then, with a hand mixer, blend all ingredients thoroughly for a minimum of 5 minutes. The hand mixer works to fluff up the frosting more generously than using your hand.

avocado chocolate frostingfrosted brownies

After the brownies have cooled, spread the frosting on top. The coconut oil in the frosting gives your brownies a beautiful sheen and keeps the frosting from becoming too runny. Serves a minimum of 9 people.

ready to eat

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Pumpkin Granola Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Granola Cookies

If your looking for ideas on using that pumpkin, here is a great recipe for fall! These cookies have got it all, oatmeal, figs, almonds, coconut, and the best fall flavor of all, pumpkin! Their very healthy and packed with satisfying taste, fiber, loads of nutrients and is a great snack for taking on hikes for sustained energy! Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3-4 minced dried figs
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour or other gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup wide sliced coconut shreds
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup vegan carob chips (or if you prefer, cacao chips)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, smash and whisk bananas until as smooth as possible. Add and stir in stack of cookiespumpkin puree, baking powder, vanilla, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and brown rice flour until fully blended.
  2. Next, mix in rolled oats, coconut shreds, almonds, figs, and carob or chocolate chips.
  3. On a cookie sheet, drop and form cookies with about 2 tablespoons worth of batter for each cookie.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Edges should be golden brown.

Makes about 14 cookies.

cookie batter

`baked batch

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Fat Burning Energy Boosting Beet Juice

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Need an energy boost? Look no further! This juice has all that you need to put that “pep” in your step, boost your workout, or if your an athlete, provide that last needed bit of competitive edge. Beets have actually become the new secret weapon among athletes. A study showed cyclists who drank a large serving of beet juice rode 20% longer! Beets are so under appreciated but they shouldn’t be. If you don’t like the taste of beets, I encourage you to try this juice recipe because it really does taste amazing!

Excellent health benefits of beets:

Lower high blood pressure
Oxygenate and strengthen the blood
Improves circulation
Prevents and fights cancer with betaine
Supports detoxification
Fights inflammation
High in immune boosting vitamins A, B, and C
High in many minerals such as Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Iron
Improves mental health with tryptophan
Boosts muscle power in heart patients

Check out my ingredients below…

INGREDIENTS 4 JUICE

Once everything is juiced, filter it for a smoother taste.
Optional: add in 1/2 teaspoon Maca powder for an extra boost of energy

Other ingredients in this juice that support weight loss and boost energy…

COCONUT WATER: Hydrating the body has been scientifically proven to help with weight loss because a dehydrated body slows the metabolism. Hydrating the body fights fatigue and can suppress the appetite, increasing the body’s ability to metabolize stored fat.

PINEAPPLE: Fights inflammation and is a high water content food, helping you feel full and curb your appetite. It also contains an enzyme known as bromelain, which speeds up digestion and boosts the metabolism.

APPLE: Apple peels have a component known as ursolic acid, linked to a lower risk of obesity. Apples have been shown to energize you better than coffee!

CUCUMBER: Provides hydration and cleansing properties. They are a natural diuretic which can help banish water retention and bloating.

LEMON: Excellent toxin eliminators and alkalizers for the body. They can also acts as a mild diuretic helping to reduce bloat.

GINGER ROOT: Researchers at the Institute for Human Nutrition at Columbia University found enhanced thermogenesis and reduced feelings of hunger with ginger consumption. This thermogenic effect activates the metabolism.

CAYENNE: Peppers boosts the metabolism with fat burning properties and decrease the appetite. Eating spicy foods raise the body temperature. When the body temperature rises, it needs to be cooled so you burn more calories when the body goes through a cooling process.

beet rush
Love the color of this juice! I like my juices cold so I stuck my pitcher in the freezer for about an hour, excellent way to keep you going during your workout!

freezer

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/heart/news/20150921/beet-juice-boosts-muscle-power-in-heart-patients
http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/research/title_145007_en.html
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-beet-benefits-aphrodisiac-brain-booster-more.html
http://www.livescience.com/36482-apple-peel-ursolic-acid-prevents-obesity.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22538118
http://www.webmd.com/diet/20110427/cayenne-pepper-may-burn-calories-curb-appetite

Raw Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Pumpkin Cashew Frosting

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Pumpkin flavor is back and what better way to celebrate than with a pumpkin flavored carrot cake! I already stocked up my shelf with some canned pumpkin puree for smoothies but yesterday I decided to get a little more creative. I’ve made raw carrot cake before but for this one, I added pumpkin and created a seasonal flavor for fall. I love carrot cake but what makes eating it more enjoyable is when ALL the ingredients are healthy and raw! Adding pumpkin and carrots to any dessert can only maximize your intake of beta carotene and who couldn’t use that?? Even the frosting was perfect and complimented the cake with just the right amount of pumpkin flavor!

Ingredients for Cake

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups moistened dried plums
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried coconut
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • juice of 1 lemon

Ingredients for Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder

Other Ingredients

  • raw slivered almonds
  • raw sprouted pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. After soaking cashews for about an hour, drain the water. Blend all the ingredients for about 2-3 minutes. Mixture should be very thick and smooth. Scrape out the frosting with a plastic spatula into a bowl, cover and chill until ready to use. The frosting will thicken up by the time your ready to frost the cake.
    frosting
    2. In a high powered blender or mixer, add lemon juice, pineapple, and pumpkin puree first. Then add the remaining ingredients. Pulse blend and stop to push down ingredients as needed until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed . Be careful not to over blend. You want to aim for a MINCED batter, not a smoothie batter.
    batter

    2. Add half the batter into a small springform cake pan. If you don’t have a springform pan, you can just use a regular cake pan and line it with wax paper. Just make sure you leave enough sticking outside of the pan to be able to pull out the cake. The wax paper helps make removing the cake easier after its frozen. Press the cake batter down firmly into the pan. Create your middle layer by adding some frosting and almonds on top. You can add fruit such as crushed pineapple instead if you choose.

raw cakefrosting layeralmonds layer
3. Now add the remaining cake batter on top of the middle layer and press down firmly smoothing out the top. Cover and freeze for about 2-3 hours.
4. Once frozen, remove side rings and frost your cake. Its much easier to frost a raw cake when its frozen. Feel free to decorate your cake as you please. I kept it simple and just added almonds and sprouted pumpkin seeds on top. Hope you enjoy! 😉

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer
whole cake

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Creamy Peppers and Mexican Squash

Cover pic squash

We should all eat more squash. For one, they are grown all over the U.S. and easy to find. We can find them at our grocery store, local farmers market, or at any roadside vegetable stand. Second, they contain a litany of health benefits. They are low in calories which supports healthy weight loss. They provide a good source of vitamin A & C, folate, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. They are also high in fiber and heart healthy. They fight cancer and help us see better with a healthy dose of beta carotene and lutein. Best of all they are easy to cook or “uncook” since we can eat them raw too! Among the many ways of cooking squash, this dish was quick and simple yet gave a satisfying creamy and delicious taste! Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients

  • 3 Mexican squash, cut into 1 inch thick pieces
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut the same way
  • 1/2 red onion, cut long and somewhat thin
  • 1 cup Daiya mozzarella shreds
  • 3 tablespoons Tofutti sour cream or plain vegan yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • salt, pepper, onion powder to taste

Instructions

1. Start by spraying olive oil in a hot skillet on medium heat. Cook the squash, peppers, and onions until 90% softened, about 10 minutes.
2. Add spices, salt, and garlic and cook another 3 minutes.
3. Lower heat and stir in vegan sour cream until all the veggies are coated
4. Top with vegan cheese shreds and cover. Remove from heat and allow the steam to melt the cheese. Serves 4-6 persons.

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

squash

Raw Cauliflower Couscous Salad

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If your trying to cut back on calories and get more veggies in your diet, here is a great recipe holding the grains. You can actually imitate the texture of rice and couscous by simply preparing cauliflower using a high powered blender for only a few seconds. Most people don’t eat enough broccoli much less cauliflower but these foods fight cancer! There are many studies linking cauliflower and cruciferous vegetables to preventing bladder, breast, colon, prostate, and ovarian cancers. Steaming or boiling cauliflower which is the most common way of preparing it can destroy most of its precious phyto-nutrients, specifically sulforaphane. The benefit of pulverizing cauliflower raw in the blender is that this process counts as “chopping” which is how sulforaphane is born in broccoli and cauliflower. This is the phyto-nutrient known to fight cancer. So change it up and get more raw with this delicious recipe!

Health benefits of eating more cauliflower:

High in vitamin C
High in B vitamins
High in fiber
High in folate
Builds the immune system
Very low calorie
Super rich in antioxidants
Anti-inflammation
Prevents and fights cancer
Supports digestion
Detoxifies the body

Ingredients

  • 1 head organic cauliflower
  • 2-3 rainbow radishes, minced
  • 2-3 shredded carrots
  • 1 small green bell pepper, minced
  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup or more minced flat-leafed parsley (forgot to add it in mine)
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegenaise
  • 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • dash or 2 of pepper

Instructions

1. Add one fully chopped cauliflower into high powered blender and pulverize until shredded. It literally will look like couscous or rice.

shredded cauliflower
2. In a large bowl, mix in all ingredients.

raw couscous mix

Depending on how big your cauliflower was, this recipe makes about 6-8 servings. It can stay fresh stored in the refrigerator for about 2 days. Feel free to add any other spices or ingredients you wish such as cucumbers, olives, sun dried tomatoes, etc. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did! My toddler loved it! 🙂

cover pic

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer