Tag Archives: gluten free

Purple Sweet Potato Pie with Raw Pecan Crust

purple pie cover

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

 

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 cooked pumpkin and created a seasonal flavor for fall. I love carrot cake but what makes this one a lot healthier is most of the ingredients are 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 (cooked)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried coconut
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple (fresh)
  • 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 (cooked)
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice (fresh)
  • 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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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! 🙂

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by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Red Chili Vegan Enchiladas

red chili cover pic
I love these enchiladas! They were so rich and creamy and loaded with mouthwatering red chili flavor! If you’ve decided to try this recipe and are thinking of just buying a can of red chili sauce at the store, allow me to change your mind! The secret to making your enchiladas taste amazing is in the sauce you use. Store bought sauces don’t come close to the flavors you’ll get by simply making your own. For the rich and delicious red chili sauce my husband made, check back for my next post… 😉

Ingredients

  • 12-15 organic corn tortillas (we used Mi Rancho brand)
  • 2 cups Daiya mozerella style shredded cheese
  • 2 cups red chili (homemade is best!)
  • 1 cup black beans and brown rice mixed
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 cups minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion
  • mixed baby greens
  • garlic and onion powder
  • Olive oil spray

Instructions

1. In a glass baking dish, layer 3-4 corn tortillas. Depending on the shape of your dish, you may need to cut some tortillas in half to cover the corners.
2. Lightly spray olive oil with each layer of tortillas and then sprinkle garlic and onion powder on top.
3. Next, pour and cover red chili over corn tortillas until completely covered.
red chili layer2nd layer
4. Then layer some of the black beans and rice and some sliced mushrooms.
5. Now layer some mixed baby greens, cilantro, and red onion.
mushroom layergreens
6. Top with Daiya cheese and then some more red chili.
cheese layerlast layer
7. Repeat steps 2-5 for about 3-4 layers or depending on how much your making.
8. After your done layering, top with 3 or 4 corn tortillas and pour remaining red chili on top.
9. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

Makes about 8 servings. Goes nice with a green leaf and cucumber salad! 🙂

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

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! 🙂

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me cooking
by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer