Monthly Archives: July 2015

Chocolate Cherry Walnut Ice Cream!

chocolate cherry

Another no guilt healthy dessert using only 5 simple ingredients. Absolutely no sugar is needed when you use carob and whole fruit. The walnuts give it a nutty flavor plus the healthy fats help make this recipe decadent! For a more tart flavor, use more cherries. Hope you enjoy this delicious raw and vegan chocolate cherry ice cream!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen bananas
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen pitted cherries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 heaping tablespoon carob powder (or cacao if preferred)
  • up to 1/4 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk

Add all ingredients into a high powered blender with just half of the milk. Spill in the vegan milk only to keep the ingredients moving. The texture can come out too runny if you use too much. It only took about 1 minute to blend everything in but it depends on your blender. Serve immediately or refreeze in a covered container. Will stay fresh for about 2 days. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

ingredientsblender

ice cream

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

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Oatmeal: 8 Types and The Differences

oats
As most people know by now, eating oatmeal is very healthy and heart protecting because it provides fiber and lowers cholesterol. What they may not know is the type to eat for the most nutrition! Some forms of oatmeal may not even be good for us. This is because since oat grains can undergo various stages of processing, some forms of oatmeal can therefore not be as nutritious. Becoming aware of how oatmeal is made or milled can help us make a better choice, which can make a real difference to our health.

The star phytonutrient in oatmeal is Beta-Glucan, well known to reduce the risk of heart disease and control blood sugar in diabetics. It is also known to boost the immune system. Just one bowl each day can reduce high LDL levels, the bad cholesterol, by 8-23%.

To get the most of oatmeal’s nutritional benefits, we should choose oats that are the least processed since cooking and processing will destroy some of Beta-Glucan’s effectiveness.  Here is a list of 8 types of oatmeal in the order of least processed to most and how their formed:

1. GROATS– This is oatmeal as whole as you can get! Only the inedible hull is removed. They take the longest to cook, 50-60 minutes, and are best if soaked before using but you get the most nutrition so its definitely worth the time!

2. STEEL CUT OATS– This type of oatmeal is basically groats cut with steel blades into small pieces, which reduces its cooking time to 10-20 minutes. Their also known as Irish or pinhead oats. This type of oat also packs the most nutrition and has a chewier texture.

3. SCOTTISH OATMEAL– This oatmeal is basically the groats broken into bits. They are stone ground instead of cut and cooks in about 10 minutes. Stone grounding is a form of processing so they may not be as nutritious as groats and steel cut.

4. OAT FLOUR– Oat flour is still a whole grain because nothing is removed. Its basically just pulverized groats that can be used in recipes. Keep in mind oat flour is gluten free so it won’t behave like wheat and rise if used alone. It should be mixed with other flours if used for breads and baking.

5. OAT BRAN– This is the high-fibered part of the oat. The bran is normally discarded during the milling process but in this case, the bran is kept and sold separately for those who want the fiber. Its commonly used as an additive in breads, muffins, and cereals and adds a distinctive flavor. It can go rancid so it needs to be kept in a cool and dry place.

6. OLD FASHIONED or ROLLED OATS– This oatmeal is basically groats that are steamed and pressed flat. It can cook in 5 minutes. Rolled oats are often thought of as more nutritious but as you can see they are heated which is processing. They can be thick or thin and can be used to make old fashioned oatmeal, cookies, or granola. Thinner rolled oats can be used in baby food.

7. QUICK OATS– These oats are made by taking oat grains and breaking them into pieces before rolling them out. Rolled or old fashioned oats on the other hand, are just rolled out and not cut. The cutting reduces their size to ensure the oats cook very quickly. They are rolled much thinner then steamed and will only take 1-2 minutes to cook.

8. INSTANT OATMEAL– This form of oatmeal is the most processed. Its cooked and steamed much longer and then rolled the thinnest possible. This way you only need add hot water to “instantly” cook and plump them up. This type usually has stuff added in such as sugar, salt, and artificial flavors because its sold as convenience food.

Keep in mind that quick and instant oatmeal usually have their oat bran removed, which is the high fibered part of the grain. Much of the oat’s fiber and nutrients are contained within the bran, so removing it diminishes its nutritional value.

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Sources
How Oats are Processed – Buzzle.com
Types of Oatmeal – You Tube

Pineapple Lime Ice Cream

main pic
We all like to splurge, especially with ice cream in the summer when its hot. But buying anything made with dairy and refined sugar isn’t splurging at all, its down right wrecking! So if you want to splurge, it pays to just make your own. Doing so isn’t hard. In fact, it doesn’t even require an ice cream maker! All you need is a good blender and some creativity. For raw vegan ice creams, the simpler the better. Pineapple ice cream needs only 3 ingredients, pineapple, bananas, and lime!  So you don’t need to give up on that occasional ice cream splurge to cool off and enjoy your summer. Most importantly, you don’t have to put a pause on health!

Ingredients

  • 5 large frozen bananas, cut 1 inch chunks
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Blend all ingredients until thick and creamy. You may need to spill in a little more lime juice or coconut water if your chunks are too big. Once its completely whipped, refreeze the ice cream for another hour or so for a better texture. Place in the freezer using a bowl with a lid or fill up popsicle molds. My toddler couldn’t wait and wanted an ice cream cone right away! 🙂

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

zaya and cone

Spicy Black Bean Kale Veggie Burgers

the veggie burger
Veggie burgers can be found in most grocery stores today but their usually not cheap. Sometimes their not even that good. Making your own is the real way to go and can help you save money while feeding your family something healthy. These super food vegan burgers are not only juicy, spicy, and loaded with fiber, the combined rice and beans provide complete protein with all the essential amino acids. They also serve up a good serving of vegetables with the kale, mushrooms, and bell peppers.

Ingredients

  • 1 can organic black beans, drained
  • 1 cup organic rolled oats
  • 6 large dinosaur kale leaves, stemmed
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup minced yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup minced portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup minced red onions
  • 1 large minced jalapeno
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (not sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon each paprika and turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • dash of Himalayan pink salt

Instructions

  1. Drain the black beans in a filter bowl for a minimum of 5 minutes. Shake it periodically to make sure all the beans are thoroughly drained. This is important if you don’t want mushy burgers.
    drained beans
  2. In the meantime, juice the limes and chop the kale to roughly 1/2 inch chopped pieces. Pour the lime juice and a few dashes of salt into a bowl with the kale. Gently “tenderize” it with your hands for about 30 seconds until the kale is completely soaked. Set aside allowing it to marinate. This process allows the kale to cook easily in the veggie burgers.
    kale
  3. Mince the bell pepper, mushrooms, onions, and jalapeno. The yellow bell pepper gives a hint of sweetness and texture to the burgers. Mincing your veggies here helps to keep them in form once they start cooking. The last thing you want are heavy pieces breaking off.
    minced veggies
  4. Now we add the beans into another bowl and smash them with a bean masher. They should end up somewhat dry yet creamy.
    smashing beans
  5. Next, add in the tomato paste, garlic, yeast, onion flakes, paprika, turmeric and pepper. The tomato paste gives the “meat mixture” another dimension of flavor, plus it adds a boost of lycopene! If your using store bought minced garlic, try to avoid adding in the juice and drain it from your tablespoon.
    seasoningmixture
  6. With washed hands, gently mix the burger batter until everything is blended. If you’ve ever made regular hamburgers, most people use their hands so nothing different here. This will season up those beans very nicely!
    veggie burger mixture
  7. Next, collect all the kale from the bowl and gently squeeze out the lime juice. Add it into the mixture along with the rolled oats and the rice. Blend and work everything in with your hands for a few minutes and then form your burgers .
  8. Place a frying pan on medium heat sprayed with olive oil and cook the burgers for about 15-20 minutes. Important, make sure to cover the pan to keep the juices sealed in!
    veggie burgers
  9. Avoid flipping your patties too many times. Two or three times is plenty and will help to keep them intact. Allowing them too cool down first before serving also helps.
    cooked burgers

This recipe makes about 7 vegan burgers. Serve on your choice of whole grain or gluten free bread, Enjoy! 🙂

brgrdone2

me cooking
by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer