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Wild Rice and Butternut Blessings

October 5 2021 My New Roots 

Wild Rice and Butternut Blessings Hello friend. Its been a while. I sincerely hope that these words find you getting by as best you can in this strange world we find ourselves in. Staying centered and grounded these days is no small feat, and Im grateful to find myself here again, with the energy and space to share.  This post is actually two years in the making. The experience Im about to tell you about deserves thought, healing, and humility, and though I made a delicious recipe, I needed ample time to learn from, and honour the situation. Almost like with rich decadent food, your body and mind needs time to digest emotion and experience, and over the past 20 months of intense turmoil, discovering and uncovering, and worldly change, there is no better occasion or cultural climate than this moment to share one of my lifes most potent experiences. I hope youll join me on the entirety of this journey and take the time to read and digest it for yourself too. I welcome conscious comments and will receive your words gracefully and with humility in regards to my personal history and ask kindly that the inevitable missteps, mistakes, and /­­ or insensitivities in my story shared below are highlighted with respect and with the intention of learning, inspiring community and healing, and are supportive of a better and more just future.   The People Ill begin by introducing the people of the story that span many generations, many places of origin, and many cultures: The Anishinaabeg – an Indigenous community made up of the Ojibwa, Odawa, Potawatami, Chippewa, Mississauga, Algonquin, and Delaware peoples who stewarded the Great Lakes Basin before and through the late 1600s. A man named James Whetung of the Black Duck clan, Anishinaabe who has called this land home for his lifetime and the many generations before him. My European ancestors who arrived in this same area (Upper Canada then, and what is now known as Southern Ontario) in the early-to-mid 1800s. A young man named Mossom Boyd, my great-, great-, great-grandfather, who landed in 1833. He purchased 100 acres of land and cleared it himself in the hopes of building a prosperous life. After farming for a few years, he wasnt making the income hed hoped for, and sought work at a local sawmill, eventually taking it over, on the site which is now Bobcaygeon, Ontario.   As Boyd continued to work the land, benefitting from the abundant natural resources, he experienced great success with his lumbering enterprise. He later went on to cut forests in great swathes across Ontario, then moved out west to Vancouver Island with his son, Martin Mossom Boyd, who eventually took over the business. Needless to say, the familys enterprise had an indelible impact on the Canadian landscape and the Indigenous peoples. Me, a white, privileged woman who benefits from this history in seen and unseen ways with a mission to inspire health to the people of this world through conscious choices. Heres one of my many stories...  My Family I spent my summers in the Kawartha Lakes, just 12 kilometers upstream from the reserve where James lived and lives. My grandparents lived on the canal at the mouth of Pigeon lake, on the Trent-Severn Waterway. My grandfather owned a substantial portion of the land there (how we understand owned in our modern world), and a 1085-acre island just off the shoreline.  I was a very lucky kid to have so much wild land to explore, play with, and learn from. To say I feel connected to nature, to the earth and water, to the elements there, would be an understatement. That forest and lake are inside of me, just as much as I am inside of it – I knew every rock, nook, cranny, and crevice. I knew the plants, the poison ivy, the lichen, the cedar; the shallow soil, dry and bare rocks, the limestone; I can evoke the alchemical aroma of it all in an instant. My hideaways along the shoreline in giant rock fractures were coated in moss and gnarled cedar roots, and there I would live in worlds of my imagination, connected to natures creations and its magnetic energy. The sensation of being there, on every level, is burned into my being. It is cellular memory.    Mossom Boyd 1814-1883 /­­ My father and I canoeing on Pigeon Lake /­­ Fishing on Pigeon Lake, 1990 There is a museum in town, named after my great-great-great grandfather Mossom, honouring his vision and entrepreneurial genius (as our culture recognizes). This history was one to celebrate, an empire that spanned the country, a legacy to be proud of. We would visit the museum almost every summer when I was growing up, so that I could better understand where I came from. These truths coexisted within me — nature and empire. As I began to see the complexities of this place that is deeply a part of me, I sought out a way to understand the same land, water, air, forest through the eyes, hands, and hearts of the people with a completely different history to the shared nature and to the empire of my lineage.  The Whetungs James family has been living with the land known as the Michi Saagig Anishinaabeg territory for approximately 4,000 years, dated by wild rice fossils found by geologists. This being the same land, that Mossom Boyd purchased 3,780 years later.  When I drove up to Curve Lake First Nations to experience a wild rice (known as manoomin) harvest two years ago, I met James Whetung and his family. The man whose name I had heard before, but was admittedly afraid to come face to face with, as I had some idea of how my lineage had impacted his. At least I thought I knew. When the group of us had all arrived and settled, James introduced himself, and told his story – the side that I had never heard before. They cut all the trees, floated them down river using the highways of my people. They needed clearer waterways, so they dredged the lakes and removed the rice beds that had provided our food. The First Nations peoples were forcefully moved to reserves, and confined there, needing written permission to leave, and only in order to work for local farmers at slave wages. You had to be Christian to live on the reserve, and Natives were not allowed to practice their own spirituality or pass it on to subsequent generations. The people were starving. Listening to James, and hearing first-hand what his ancestors had gone through because of my ancestors, was heartbreaking, and it filled me with bitter shame and confusion. What was once a celebrated history of my family, became tainted and disgraceful. When he was finished, I raised my hand to speak, compelled to admit that I came from the family he was talking about. The lineage and industry that changed the landscape of his ancestors’ home. That I was deeply remorseful. He responded graciously by inviting me to canoe out with him to harvest manoomin. He said that those on the reserves eventually were able to take the remaining rice seeds and plant them. By 1920, the yields were up but only until the 1950s when destructive colonial farming practices began using chemicals (many of which still are in use today), which created chemical run-off causing imbalances in the lakes, soil, air, and water, further affecting the aquatic grasses; the nutritious, traditional food source.   Wild Rice on Pigeon Lake Canadian cottage culture took off in the area around this time as well, motor boat traffic increased destroying the rice beds, and leaked oil and gas into the water. Septic beds were added for sewage treatment, but none were regulated and leaching into lakes was a regular occurrence. In the years between 1950 and 1980, the Trent Severn Waterway underwent a weed eradication program using agent orange (a highly toxic herbicide) to make swimming more enjoyable for the cottagers. Shortly after, James started planting seeds to feed his family and community despite the many cultural and environmental concerns out of his control. Wild rice as a traditional food source is highly nutritious and is known to help prevent diabetes — a huge problem within Indigenous peoples due to a forced disconnection from their traditional practices and nourishment sources. James started sowing seeds on Pigeon lake, where his grandfather had seeded and harvested for many generations. He was healing his people, and as demand increased, he started to invent technologies to make his work easier and faster. The increased production meant that he could not only feed his community, but start selling his wild rice at local farmers markets.  Unfortunately, not everyone is as enthusiastic about the wild rice increase in Pigeon and surrounding lakes. Since 2007, a group of cottagers have been fighting against Whetungs seeding of wild rice, claiming that the shoreline is their property and that the rice beds impede recreational boating. Theyve gone so far as to form a protest group, called Save Pigeon Lake, which asks James to harvest without the use of a motorboat (he did this to increase efficiency) and to stop seeding the rice.  Canada and Curve Lake First Nation are both signatories to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This Declaration states that Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and develop their political, economic and social systems or institutions, to be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and development, and to engage freely in all their traditional and other economic activities (Article 20). And further, that Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of the sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora... (Article 31). The rice beds run along the TSW in the tri-lakes area, which includes Buckhorn, Chemong and Pigeon lakes. Despite the concerns of waterfront property owners, Whetung says the land falls under Treaty 20 and is therefore not under the jurisdiction of the TSW, which is operated by Parks Canada.  About James Im going to keep doing what I am doing. Why would I stop? Our people have starved for thousands of years. This is food; this is a livelihood, says Whetung. And personally, as an advocate for healthy food access for all, for a thriving world, and supported communities, I whole-heartedly agree. For more about James and his community’s work, please visit the Black Duck Wild Rice website. I am deeply grateful for James time, energy, heart, perseverance, and spirit. This is a forever healing journey and one I intend to continue with the peoples intrinsically linked to my own familys history here in Canada. Wild Rice Harvesting and Preparation Let’s talk about this beautiful offering, manoomin, or wild rice. Having always been drawn to this remarkable plant, I knew that when I moved back to Ontario, Canada, I had to learn more about it firsthand, and perhaps even how to harvest and process it. That is what led me to James and Black Duck Wild Rice. Every year around the September full moon, the manoomin harvest takes place, and he and his community welcome those who want to join and learn. Harvesting James taught us the traditional way, in canoes, all by hand. With two people per boat, one navigates and steers, while the other uses two long, thin sticks (bawa’iganaakoog); one to bend the rice into the canoe and the other to beat the grasses until the rice seeds fall into the hull of the canoe. Once you get the hang of it, it’s rhythmic and meditative, but still a physical and time-consuming ritual that requires community. As with most traditional food cultivation practices its a closed loop cycle, for whatever rice that doesnt fall into the canoe to be processed falls into the water, planting next years crop at the same time! Curing Once on shore, the canoes are emptied by hand onto large sheets which are transferred to a cool dark place so the rice can cure. Two or three times a day for a week or so, the rice is turned and aerated, left to dry.  Toasting /­­ Parching The rice was traditionally toasted in a cast-iron cauldron over an open fire. James showed me how to use an old canoe paddle to turn the rice constantly so as not to scorch it — its texture and scent slowly transformed. This takes about an hour of constant stirring with a keen eye on the fire so it remains at the perfect temperature for toasting. If you stop for even a second, the rice will burn. James could tell from the smell, and how the rice felt between his fingers when it was ready the mark of a true artisan, energetically connected to his craft. Nowadays, James uses a machine that he designed and built himself, that stirs the rice automatically over open flames and gets the rice toasty faster and with less manual labour. Toasting the rice increases the flavour, and helps preserve it. If properly toasted and dry, wild rice can last in storage for five years or more (a necessity to help balance the yearly ebbs and flows of the harvest).  Dancing /­­ Jigging This was my favourite part of the process because it involved several people working together, and having the pleasure and honour of wearing beautiful, specially-designed moccasins just for this process. The toasted rice is put into another large cauldron (or sometimes a hole in the ground lined with leather cloth or a tarp) while three people sit around it, with our feet in the center. Once we had our soft shoes laced all the way up, we vigorously twisted and swooshed our feet around on the rice to loosen some of the chaff from the rice kernels — this was extremely hard work! We rotated through the group as people got tired, and eventually we were ready for the last step. Winnowing The danced rice is then turned out onto a large fabric sheet, with everyone holding the edge with both hands. Count to three and up the rice goes into the air, the breeze blowing the chaff away. This needs to be repeated countless times to separate the rice from the chaff completely. This is unbelievably time-consuming work and experiencing it first hand made me appreciate every grain so much more! At the end of a grounding day of traditional work, you are gifted a few cups of cleaned wild rice. The appreciation I felt to see the yield of the countless hours by many people, not to mention the effort and contribution of this Earth truly became overwhelming. The experience solidified how food has the unparalleled ability to bring people together — requiring many enthusiastic, hard-working hands (and feet!) to get the job done, start to finish. At the end of the journey, everyone is rewarded with delicious food, straight from the Earth, her waters, her people. It is so simple, and so powerful. Wildly Nutritious Wild rice is not related to true rice nor is a grain at all in fact, but the seed of aquatic grass that grows along the shores of freshwater lakes in Canada and the Northern US. Its a little more expensive than other varieties, as it is often harvested by hand.  Wild rice is also, of course, wildly nutritious and is no surprise that Indigenous peoples made a point to cultivate this true super food. Containing high levels of protein, fiber, iron, and calcium, wild rice is also gluten-free. It is extremely high in folic acid, an essential B-complex vitamin lacking in many peoples diets. Just half a cup of cooked wild rice yields 21.3 mcg of folic acid – necessary for cardiovascular support, red blood cell production, brain and nervous system health, and of particular importance during pregnancy – where brown rice by comparison offers only 3.9 mcg. The niacin content of wild rice is also notably high with l.06 mg for every 1/­­2 cup cooked rice. Potassium packs an 83 mg punch, and zinc, which is usually available in trace amounts, registers 1.1 mg. Wild rice is a wonderful alternative to any grain that you would use in either hot or cold dishes. My favourite is to enjoy it in veggie bowls, soups and stews, as well as hearty salads. Its rich, nutty flavour pairs well with other earthy-sweet foods like beets, sweet potato, pumpkins and squash, making it the perfect ingredient to add to your fall recipes, already full of abundance and gratitude. It lasts for about a week after cooking, so making a large batch at the beginning of the week will give you the honour to grace your meals with a serious boost of nutrition and spirit with every grain! Wild Rice & Butternut Blessings This recipe was born from the desire to combine the elements that James and I had a hand in growing: wild rice from his lake, and butternut squash from my garden, coming together for one beautiful meal. Stacking the squash rounds makes for a grand, dramatic, and eye-catching presentation where the simple ingredients are made into something very special. This would be the most stunning main dish for a harvest celebration meal, or even into the winter holidays. It has the perfect balance of flavours, textures, and nutrition, so youll feel satisfied on every level. Try to find a butternut squash with a long and hefty neck. Since we are after nice big rounds, the longer your neck, the more rounds youll have! And try to source your wild rice from a local reserve or farmers market, if possible. There are several components to this recipe, but Ive written it in a way that you can juggle all the elements with seamless management of your time.    Print Wild Rice and Butternut Blessings with Mushrooms, Toasted Walnut Garlic Sauce, and Sumac Author Sarah Britton Ingredients4 lb. /­­ 2kg butternut squash about 1 large, try to find one with a long neck! 1 cup /­­ 175g wild rice soaked for at least 12 hours 9 oz. /­­ 250g mixed wild mushrooms or any mushroom of your choice 3 cloves garlic minced a couple sprigs fresh thyme and rosemary 1/­­2 cup /­­ 13g chopped flat-leaf parsley 1 batch Toasted Walnut Sauce recipe follows 1 Tbsp. sumac divided freshly cracked black pepper handful of walnuts for garnish if desired Toasted Walnut Garlic Sauce1 cup /­­ 125g raw walnuts 1 garlic clove 2 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil 4 tsp. apple cider vinegar 2 tsp. pure maple syrup 2 generous pinches of fine sea salt plus more as needed InstructionsStart by cooking the wild rice: drain and rinse the soaked rice well, place in a pot. Add 3 cups /­­ 750ml of fresh water, a couple pinches of sea salt, then bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer. Cook until rice is chewy-tender - about 45 minutes. While the rice is cooking, preheat the oven to 350°F /­­ 180°C. Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for 7 to 10 minutes, watching them carefully so they do not burn, until they are golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Turn the oven heat up to 400°F /­­ 200°C. Give the butternut squash a good scrub, making sure to remove any dust or dirt. Leaving the skin on, slice the squash neck into rounds about 1 /­­ 2.5cm thick. Place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with a little salt, and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, flipping once halfway through cooking, until the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven and drizzle with olive oil and a little more salt, if desired.  While the squash is roasting, make the Toasted Walnut Sauce. Place the toasted walnuts, garlic, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup in a blender. Blend on high, adding up to 1 cup /­­ 250ml of water to thin the dressing as needed--you are looking for the consistency of melted ice cream. Season with salt. Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Lastly, prepare the mushrooms. Clean and cut the mushrooms as desired (I used king oyster mushrooms, sliced in half lengthwise and scored diagonally). Add a knob of your favourite cooking fat to a large skillet, and once melted add the mushrooms and a couple pinches of salt. Cook the mushrooms without crowding them, and do not move them about in the pan too much. Youre looking for a nice sear and that comes after the mushrooms have been in constant, direct contact with high heat. Once golden on one side, flip, and continue cooking until golden on the other. In a large bowl, combine the wild rice and parsley. Drizzle a touch of the sauce and about 1/­­2 Tbsp. of the sumac, a few grinds of black pepper, and fold to incorporate. To assemble, drizzle or puddle some sauce on the bottom of your serving plate. Add a round of butternut squash, followed by the wild rice mixture, a couple mushrooms, then repeat the layers of squash, rice, mushrooms. Drizzle remaining sauce over top, sprinkle with additional sumac and black pepper, and a handful of walnuts. Say thank you and enjoy each bite, each grain. NotesServes 4 Makes approximately 1 cup /­­ 270ml of Sauce In Closing I would love to hear your thoughts about how we can better respect and heal our pasts culturally, together. I wanted to open up the conversation here, not try to offer some kind of solution. This is a complicated, complex, deeply layered issue that has deep roots, well beyond us here today. I feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to be in a canoe with James himself, to witness how to harvest with intention and gratitude. It felt deeply meaningful to be there with him, the place our two family lines have crossed in many ways for many years, finally converging in a peaceful, cooperative, and hopefully reciprocal way. This extends far beyond James and I, and takes many more hands and hearts. The first step of many, I am forever grateful to James for sharing the story of his family and community as it has been silenced for too long. Thank you for taking the time to read this today. Id also like to add for those who havent seen Canadian news over the past few months, that there has been uncovering of more extreme darkness in this country in relation to the Indigneous people of this land. The residential school system removed children from their Indigenous culture, communities, families, and ways of being. These Anglo-Saxon, Christian boarding schools are sites of mass unmarked graves where thousands of children’s bodies were found, taken from their families. There are many agencies working towards healing, remediation, and reconciliation in response to these unfathomable atrocities in our history. One of them is the Downie Wenjack Foundation, which aims to to aid our collective reconciliation journey through a combination of awareness, education, and action. This link will take you to their page about Reconcili-ACTION, and a list of ways to catalyze important conversations and meaningful change, recognizing that change starts with every one of us and each person can make an impact. The post Wild Rice and Butternut Blessings appeared first on My New Roots.

How to Pick a Multivitamin - and Why You Might Not Really Need to Take One

August 31 2021 Vegetarian Times 

How to Pick a Multivitamin - and Why You Might Not Really Need to Take One Is there a difference between generic and brand name? Do you even really need to take one at all? Weve got answers. The post How to Pick a Multivitamin - and Why You Might Not Really Need to Take One appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

Vegetable Balti

June 2 2021 Vegan Richa 

Vegetable BaltiThis easy Vegetable Balti is a really delicious way to get the family to eat healthy veggies like bell pepper and cauliflower, as the Balti Spices add a fantastic Indian flavor to them. Glutenfree Soyfree and Nutfree!. Serve it with rice. Meet vegetable balti! An easy veggie-forward weeknight dinner made in one casserole! What is Vegetable Balti and how is it different from other curries Balti translates to “bucket” in Hindi and refers to the style of cooking used for this dish. The food is cooked in an iron pan with two handles that looks a bit like a bucket. This style of cooking is said to have originated in a Pakistani restaurant in Birmingham, back in the 1970s. The now-famous balti curry has become a restaurant favorite as it is flavorful yet mild! My Balti spice blend really takes mere moments to make and lends such an incredible depth of flavor to the vegetables. While there are balti spice pastes available, the homemade spice blend is far superior to anything found in bottles or ready-made pastes. Think of vegetable balti as a type of stir-fry. We bake this dish in the oven. No burnt spices! If you loved my Vegetable Curry Casserole, you will love this one too! What is Balti Flavour? Balti sauce is a fragrant Indian sauce based on garlic, onions and ginger and a blend of Indian spices. Fresh whole spices are ground and used for the best flavor. They add umami flavor to the sauce. Balti sauce is generally not creamy but you can easily add coconut milk or cashew milk instead of water.  Balti gosht is eaten in Pakistan and North India, as well as other parts of the world, such as Great Britain. More veggie-forward dishes to try - Butter Tofu GF - IP Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce , with Cauliflower. GF - Tofu Amritsari Masala.GF - Instant Pot Vegan Butter Chickin(soycurls). GF - Creamy, Delicious - Mushroom Matar Masala GF - Bombay Potato and Peas GF - Tofu in Spinach Curry - Palak Tofu GF Continue reading: Vegetable BaltiThe post Vegetable Balti appeared first on Vegan Richa.

How to Thrive on a Vegan Diet

May 12 2021 Vegetarian Times 

Whether you already follow a plant-based diet or youre thinking of making the vegan transition to vegan, heres how to feel your best and avoid common nutrient deficiencies such as vitamin B12 and iron. The post How to Thrive on a Vegan Diet appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

The Case for Eating More Seeds

March 29 2021 Vegetarian Times 

The Case for Eating More Seeds Nutrient-dense and packed full of potent vitamins and minerals, seeds have a lot to offer when it comes to your health. The post The Case for Eating More Seeds appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

5 Natural Ways to Increase Vitamin D

January 12 2021 Vegetarian Times 

5 Natural Ways to Increase Vitamin D Here are five ways to naturally enhance your vitamin D intakes during winter, spring, summer or fall! The post 5 Natural Ways to Increase Vitamin D appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

How to Get Enough Calcium on a Vegan Diet

December 8 2020 Vegetarian Times 

Calcium is critical for strong bones, and other vital functions in your body--and its harder to get on a vegan diet. The good news: with a little planning, you can meet all your daily calcium needs with whole, unprocessed foods. Plus, research suggests calcium absorption from plant sources is comparable to that from cow’s milk, nutrients found in plants benefit bones, and a carefully selected vegan diet doesn’t increase osteoporosis risk. And plant foods are rich in other nutrients like magnesium, vitamin K, copper, zinc, protein, fiber, antioxidants and other nutrients, all of which play an important role in preventing osteoporosis. You dont have to drink milk; keep bones strong with these 12 plant-based foods: 1. Collard greens One cup cooked = 266 mg Daily value: 27% Milk calcium equivalent: about 3/­­4 cup* Other bone-building nutrients: magnesium, vitamin K, fiber, vitamin C, beta-carotene and other antioxidants. 2. Tofu One-half cup = 250 to 400 mg Daily value: 25-40% Milk calcium equivalent: 3/­­4 to 1 cup* Other bone-building nutrients: protein, magnesium, copper, zinc. Note: firm and extra-firm varieties, made with calcium sulfate, have the highest calcium content. 3. Spinach One cup cooked = 245 mg Daily value: 24% Milk calcium equivalent: about 3/­­4 cup* Other bone-building nutrients: magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin C, beta-carotene and other antioxidants. Related: The Well-Stocked Vegan Pantry 4. Chia seeds Two tablespoons = 177 mg Daily value: 18% Milk calcium equivalent: about 1/­­2 cup* Other bone-building nutrients: magnesium, copper, zinc, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids. 5. Bok choy One cup cooked = 158 mg Daily value: 15% Milk calcium equivalent: about 1/­­2 cup* Other bone-building nutrients: magnesium, vitamin K, fiber, vitamin C and other antioxidants. Note: Because it’s a cruciferous vegetable, bok choy is also rich in cancer-preventive compounds. 6. White beans One cup cooked = 131 mg Daily value: 13% Milk calcium equivalent: about 1/­­3 cup* Other bone-building nutrients: magnesium, zinc, copper, fiber, protein Related: Nutrition Face-Off: Raw vs. Cooked Spinach 7. Tahini Two tablespoons = 126 mg Daily value: 13% Milk calcium equivalent: about 1/­­3 cup* Biggest benefits: magnesium, zinc, copper, fiber. Note: look for raw, unsalted varieties, with no added oil 8. Navy beans One cup cooked = 126 mg Daily value: 13% Milk calcium equivalent: about 1/­­3 cup* Other bone-building nutrients: magnesium, zinc, copper, fiber, protein 9. Amaranth One cup cooked = 116 mg Daily value: 12% Milk calcium equivalent: about 1/­­3 cup* Other bone-building nutrients: magnesium, zinc, copper, fiber, protein Related: 5 Habits of the Healthiest Vegans 10. Edamame One cup cooked = 98 mg Daily value: 10% Milk calcium equivalent: about 1/­­4 cup* Other bone-building nutrients: protein, magnesium, copper, zinc 11. Almond butter One ounce (about 22 nuts) = 86 mg Daily value: 8% Milk calcium equivalent: about 1/­­4 cup* Other bone-building nutrients: magnesium, protein, copper. Note: Look for raw, unsalted varieties, with no added oil. 12. Blackstrap molasses Two tablespoons = 82 mg Daily value: 8% Milk calcium equivalent: about 1/­­4 cup* Other bone-building nutrients: magnesium, copper, zinc. Note: Because it’s high in sugar, use blackstrap molasses as a substitute for other sweeteners, to avoid overdoing your daily sugar grams. * Based on the calcium content of 352 mg in one cup 2% milk The post How to Get Enough Calcium on a Vegan Diet appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

The Ultimate Wellness Gift Guide for Everyone on Your List

December 1 2020 Vegetarian Times 

The Ultimate Wellness Gift Guide for Everyone on Your ListTis the season to update your naughty or nice lists and start holiday shopping. With health and wellness remaining center stage amidst a new surge of COVID-19 cases, everyone could use an extra dose of TLC throughout the holidays and into the new year. Weve curated a collection of 25 wellness gifts at a variety of price points that are sure to fill your lucky recipients with the warm fuzzies this season is all about. Broglie Box Curated Wellbeing Kits Help a loved one on your list keep his or her anxiety or stress in check with a BroglieBox. Co-founder Julia Broglie was inspired to create the company after experiencing her own mental health challenges as a young adult and losing her older brother, Justin, to suicide. She offers a wide variety of boxes -- such as Grief Relief, Stress Less and Focus Kit -- but were partial to the Alleviate Anxiety Deluxe Box, which comes with therapy dough, a massage rollerball, mindfulness cards, a workout band, hydration reminder, journal, medication reminders and a magazine full of articles from mental health experts. BroglieBox, $40 Nap Bar Better Sleep Box Good things come to those who nap, including reduced sleep deprivation and increased productivity. Houston residents adore pay-by-the-snooze facility Nap Bar, and you can now give the same luxurious napping experience to anyone on your nice list, no matter where they live. Nap Bars Better Sleep Box features everything you need for the perfect napping environment: an aromatic soy-based candle, a vegan aromatherapy pillow mist, a blackout sleep mask, and a downloadable theta brain wave audio file. Nap Bar Better Sleep Box, $69 Dazzle Dry Mini Kit Its not as easy to get a mani/­­pedi these days, so why not gift a quick-drying, non-toxic, humane, and long-lasting manicure system that brings gorgeous nails right to your recipients house? Developed by bio-organic chemist Dr. Vivian Valenty and backed by over 30 years of research, Dazzle Dry is a unique line of naturally advanced, high-performance nail care. Its award-winning four-step nail system is vegan, never tested on animals, and dries in just five minutes without UV light. DazzleDry, $75 Landia Skincare Mens Care Starter Set No doubt, theres a man in your life who could really use his own skincare products, and the Mens Care Starter Set from Landia Skincare is the perfect choice. The whole vegan skincare line is toxin-free, and made in Oregon from organic local ingredients that are responsibly sourced. This set includes a shave cream, face cream, and beard and hair oil in two scents -- and, best of all, it comes luxuriously packaged in a wooden box complete with a wooden button. Built Marketplace, $20 Lord Jameson Dog Treats Whether your pup celebrates Christmas or Hanukkah, Lord Jamesons got you covered. Choose from Holiday Cobbler (crisp green apples and oats), Gingerbread (peanut butter and oats), or Hanukkah Gelt (blueberries) -- the entire collection is vegan, cruelty-free, plant-based, allergy-friendly, and made without any preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, or GMO ingredients. Lord Jameson, $12.99 The Dry Challenge Book If 2021 is the year someone in your life has vowed to cut back on their alcohol consumption, help support their healthy lifestyle choice with a copy of, The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free Month. The Dry Challenge is ideal for anyone who wants to complete a dry-month challenge, giving up all forms of alcohol for 31 days -- it walks you step-by-step through one drink-free month, from sharing the news with friends and family to getting back on track if you slip up and have a drink (or two). Amazon.com, $14.99 Puritize Home Sanitizing System Sanitize everything was 2020s slogan, and all signs are pointing to 2021 requiring the same vigilance with hygiene. Help protect your loved ones with a Puritize Home system, an ultraviolet light home sanitizing system that kills more than 99.9% of germs, bacteria and viruses -- in just 10 minutes. Put your cell phones, masks, glasses, keys, remote controls, headphones, toothbrushes, and electronic devices in and wait for it to work its magic. Puritize, $199.99 Vellabox Candle Subscription Do you know what really sets the mood this holiday season? Heavenly scented small-batch candles-- especially ones that are made by American artisans, are vegan and cruelty-free, use 100% natural wax with cotton wicks, and are phthalate- and paraben-free. Vellabox ticks all those boxes, with an expertly curated candle subscription box. With three sizes to choose from, your recipient will receive a candle and surprise gift each month all year long. Vellabox; starting at $10/­­month FINEX Cast Iron Skillet Set Theres no more prized culinary tool than a cast iron skillet -- you can pretty much cook anything in it, it lasts literally forever, and it even fortifies food with iron. FINEX is designed by a small team of Portland-based craftspeople who are grounded in the belief that cooking should be genuine. The Holiday Starter Set comes with a 10-inch skillet and lid (the most versatile pan youll ever own) perfect for cooking holiday meals, and a custom three-piece care kit to ensure the cookware is preserved and performs perfectly for generations to come. Finex, $229.00 Blissd Happiness Planner They say it takes 30 days to break a bad habit or create a healthy one. But what if it takes just a bit longer? Blissd will give you 100 days of goal setting, self-reflection and inspirational quotes all wrapped up in its beautiful Happiness Planner. This planner uses the power of positive thinking, mindfulness, gratitude, and self-development to help you discover and create a life in alignment with who you truly are. Bliss’d, $29.00 Saltworks Gourmet Salt Gift Set Dont get salty this season; give salty! Any foodie will love the curated selection of six signature salt fusions from SaltWorks -- including Black Truffle Sea Salt, Wild Porcini Mushroom, Vintage Merlot, Espresso Brava, Lime Fresca and Spanish Rosemary. Its housed in a limited-edition recipe box, along with six different recipes. The bold flavors absolutely come through, since SaltWorks uses a proprietary process to bind natural ingredients to each sea salt crystal. Saltworks, $49.95 Green Chef Meal Delivery Know someone doing keto? Paleo? Living a plant-powered lifestyle? No matter their dietary preference, Green Chef delivers. Literally. All of the premium ingredients you need to cook a delicious meal for two or four comes pre-measured and prepped -- all you have to do is follow the step-by-step instructions to enjoy a gourmet meal. These days, skipping the grocery store is the best gift of all. Green Chef, starting at $11.99 per serving Mala Collective Mala Bead Necklace Long-time meditators and those wishing to start their practice will appreciate receiving mala beads from Mala Collective this holiday season. Whats a mala? A string of 108 beads (an auspicious number in Buddhism) used as a tool to help count mantras. It also acts as a tactile guide as you sit in silence in a meditation practice. Each necklace is made from different gemstones (each steeped in its own symbolism) and Rudraksha seeds (which provide inner calm and peace), and is hand-knotted and blessed in Bali. Mala Collective, $96.00 Mission Farms CBD Goat Milk Soaps Sure, soap can clean, but the right soap can also heal. Thats why Mission Farms crafts soaps made from more than 25% fresh goat milk (goats milk naturally contains specific enzymes to reduce dry skin and psoriasis, such as alpha-hydroxy acid and MCT oils), coconut oil, and olive oil -- and infuses it with full-spectrum CBD and other essential oils. The goats milk comes from a farm outside of Bend, Oregon, and theres a formulation for any need: Deepen Your Sleep (lavender blossom), Ease Your Comfort (spearmint eucalyptus), Cam Your Stress (honey grapefruit) and Enhance Your Well-Being (oatmeal and honey). Mission Farms CBD, $20.00 Dr. PAWPAW Skincare Balms Is it a lip balm? Color for your cheeks? Eyeshadow? The answer is yes! Dr.PAWPAWs Hello Gorgeous Gift Set is whatever you need it to be, including the perfect stocking stuffer. This set of vegan-approved, cruelty-free, ethically sourced multipurpose natural skincare balms jazz up and nourish lips, skin and hair. They harness the power of pawpaw or papaya and contain vitamins A, C, and E, plus iron, potassium and magnesium. Ulta, $12.99 Apollo Neuro Wearable Wellness Device Since stress is at an all-time high, it makes sense to fight it with technology never seen before. A team of physicians and neuroscientists at Apollo Neuro recently developed a wearable wellness device that uses gentle vibrations (low-frequency, inaudible sound waves you can feel but not hear) to help your body recover from stress. Apollos scientifically proven technology improves heart rate variability -- a key biometric of stress -- so you can feel more calm, balanced, and perform at your best. Apollo, $349.00 NAMAR Sustainable Cutlery Set Single-use plastic is ruining the environment, so why not give a gift that will help the future of our planet? This sustainable stocking stuffer is ideal for coworkers who bring their lunch to work, frequent travelers, picnickers, or anyone leery of germs on restaurant silverware. Made from 100% wheat straw, yet gluten-free, NAMAR is biodegradable, reusable and easy to clean -- and it doesnt get soggy in soups or salads. The set includes a fork, spoon and set of chopsticks placed inside a travel-friendly wheat straw case. Namar, $12.00 White Elm Vegan Leather Tote Bag For the woman who always has her hands full, give the perfect vegan carry-all: a White Elm Aquila vegan leather tote bag. Not only does it feel like high-quality leather, but the well-thought-out design is also a favorite among traveling mothers, nurses, teachers and working professionals. It was created by a busy mom who wanted to stay organized and look good, so the super spacious bag features an adjustable shoulder strap, carry handles, three exterior pockets, five interior pockets, and a secure zip closure. White Elm, $129.00 Slumber CBN Sleep Aid Youre probably familiar with CBD, but CBN is another compound found in the cannabis plant thats primarily used as a natural sleep aid. For anyone on your list whos struggling with getting enough shut-eye, CBN may be the most priceless gift of all. This THC-free formula is made in Colorado and derived from organically grown hemp, plus its vegan and GMO-free. Slumber, $44.95 Sanabul Womens Boxing Gloves Theres no such thing as punching like a girl, but that doesnt mean she needs to wear mens boxing gloves while doing so. Sanabuls Womens Easter Egg Boxing Gloves feature a narrower silhouette that contours the female hand for a comfortable fit. And dont let the feminine array of colors (mint, coral, ice blue, and lavender) fool you -- these gloves are made for performance and durability. Amazon, $49.99 AncestryHealth Genetics and Health Kit Wouldnt it be helpful to have a little crystal ball that provides insights into your risk for commonly inherited health conditions? Well, it exists -- but in the form of a DNA kit, not a crystal ball. Simply use the AncestryHealth kit to provide a saliva sample, and your recipient will learn his or her risk for some commonly inherited conditions (such as breast cancer). By knowing this risk, users are able to work with their healthcare provider to get the screenings they need for early detection and chart a healthier path forward. Plus, AncestryHealth also includes all of the features of AncestryDNA, which allows one to discover their origins and connect to living relatives. Amazon, $119.00 OLIKA Hydrating Hand Sanitizer Clip Ons Help your loved ones maintain clean hands on the go with OLIKA hydrating hand sanitizers. These thoughtful vegan and gluten-free stocking stuffers are refillable, recyclable and come in six essential oil-based fragrances (such as mint citrus and cucumber basil). Plus, theres aloe vera in the formula to help keep frequently sanitized hands moisturized. Clip one to your purse and another to your childs backpack. Olika, $29.99 Martha Stewart CBD Holiday Sampler Sick of the CBD gummies that taste like unsophisticated kids candy? Kick things up a notch for the CBD-lover on your list with Martha Stewarts new 15-flavor CBD gummy sampler. With this special gummy sampler gift box, I was inspired by flavors from my garden, said Stewart. So, she included raspberry, rhubarb, passionfruit, Persian lime, black raspberry, strawberry, grapefruit, calamondin, green apple, black currant, blood orange, kumquat, quince, Meyer lemon and huckleberry in this 60-count box with 10mg CBD per gummy. Shop Canopy, $64.99 Moodygirl Chocolate Bars Its easy to rationalize eating dark chocolate -- its full of antioxidants, heart-healthy flavanols, and even a little brain-stimulating caffeine. But what about a chocolate bar that boosts your mood, too? Moodygirl chocolate bars contain vitamins and adaptogens designed to help women through PMS symptoms, low libido and stress relief. Plus, they are organic, vegan, gluten-free and free of refined sugars. These are the most delicious and guilt-free stocking stuffers around. Moodygirl, $9.99 Hurom Easy Clean Slow Juicer Juicing is a great way to pack more fruits and vegetables into each day, but cleaning up can be such a chore. Enter the Hurom Easy Clean Slow Juicer, which eliminates the mess thanks to a larger pulp outlet and elongated strainer grooves that rinse clean -- no scrubbing required. Its slow squeeze technology mimics the motion of squeezing fruit by hand, and youll be left with bone-dry pulp. Bonus: it can also make smoothies, nut milk and ice cream. Hurom, $499.00 The post The Ultimate Wellness Gift Guide for Everyone on Your List appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

10 Dietitians Share Their Tips to Add More Plant-Protein to Your Diet

November 19 2020 Vegetarian Times 

With the new year just weeks away, the media is honing in on the top nutrition trends we can expect to see in 2021, and to no surprise increasing plant-protein remains at the top. Whether youre eating more plant-based for sustainability, health, or just because, rest assured there are a variety of whole food options you can choose from to meet your protein needs. But, before you head straight into the freezer department at your local grocer to pick up the latest faux meat product, lets take a look at 10 whole food sources of plant-based protein you may just want to toss into your cart instead! Reader beware, you may end up saving a few bucks once you realize how convenient and affordable many of these options are. Lentils Just one cup of cooked lentils provides nearly 18 grams of plant-protein and 16 grams of fiber for just 225 calories. Lentils also contain many important nutrients, like iron, potassium, zinc and choline (a nutrient that 90% of Americans arent getting enough of!) Plus, theyre budget-friendly with a 16-ounce bag of dried lentils coming in at just $2.99.  Registered Dietitian Kim Rose of www.kimrosedietitian.com recommends making a pot of seasoned lentils on the weekends. Divide them into individual 1 cup servings, and then add them to different meals throughout the week!  Youll find me turning lentils into meatballs, or for a really quick fix, adding a little bar-b-que sauce to them to make tasty, vegan sloppy joes. Hummus This plant-based spread can be made from a variety of beans and legumes, not just the traditional garbanzo bean you may think! Depending on the bean used, the protein content will vary slightly, but a standard 1/­­4 cup serving (or about 70 grams by weight) has roughly 6 grams of protein for just 180 calories. Plus, it often packs heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids that help keep you fuller for longer too! Brynn McDowell, Registered Dietitian and cookbook author of The Mediterranean Diet Made Easy recommends using hummus in place of mayo on sandwiches or spreading it on bagels or toast! She suggests thinning it out and using it as a creamy salad dressing to add more plant-based protein to meals. Pistachios Pistachios are a good source of plant-based protein with a 1-ounce serving of the nut (shelled) providing 6 grams of it! Plus, they pack dietary fiber, potassium, and antioxidants that help keep your body in tip-top shape. While the shelled variety tends to be a tad pricier, you can still pick up a 10-ounce in-shell bag for about $5.49 at most markets. Lauren Manaker, Registered Dietitian, and author of Fueling Male Fertility, recommends to use shelled pistachios as a salad topped in place of grilled chicken or shrimp. The plant-based protein boost that also gives you fiber and healthy fats for staying power. You can also toss pistachios in trail mixes and in oatmeal as a topping for added nutrition and crunch! Related: Healthy Late-Night Snacks Chickpeas One of the most common forms of plant-based protein on the market is the good ole chickpea (aka, the garbanzo bean!) With nearly 7.5 grams of protein, 6.5 grams of fiber, and 3.7 mg of iron in just 1/­­2 cup serving of cooked chickpeas, its a great way to increase the total nutrient density of your diet. The best part: a pound of chickpeas (dried) often comes in at less than $3.00! NYC-based Registered Dietitian, Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, is a big fan of adding chickpeas to both meals and snacks! From grain bowls to veggie burgers, or roasted as a protein-filled snack, chickpeas offer a convenient and affordable plant-based protein to nearly every diet. Edamame (Soybeans) Edamame is the immature form of the soybean that is often eaten from the shell (or shelled) alongside traditional Asian dishes. Regardless of the form of soybean you eat, they can easily be incorporated into a balanced diet with two servings being a reasonable goal for adults. A half-cup of shelled edamame packs nearly 9.5 grams of plant-based protein and 4 grams of fiber, as well as iron, potassium, folate, and choline! Sarah Koszyk, Sports Nutritionist and author of 25 Anti-Aging Smoothies for Revitalizing, Glowing Skin, recommends pureeing edamame in a hummus, dip, or pesto. Spread the edamame purees on a sandwich or wrap, add it to a burrito, or toss it with a salad, pasta, or rice dish. If youre looking to venture into the other forms of soybeans (like tofu), Registered Dietitian Sylvia Klinger of Hispanic Food Communications suggests blending silken tofu with oil, spices and herbs makes for a delicious high protein dressing, or adding a soy-based curd to pancakes to boost the protein there as well! Tempeh Tempeh is a fermented product made from soybeans in addition to some whole grains, seasonings and other flavorings. A 4-ounce serving of this soy-based protein packs nearly 20 grams of protein, in addition to a host of nutrition benefits. For starters, tempeh is filled with nutrients like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins in addition to its role as a probiotic. Jenna Braddock, Florida based at MakeHealthyEasy.com recommends spending a little bit of time prepping it to make the perfect dish! Braddock suggests crumbling the tempeh, then marinating it and finishing with a sear in a hot pan to add instant protein to salads, wraps, bowls and tacos. Pill Nuts Pronounced peel-y, this nut is native to the pili tree often found in Northern Australia and the Philippines. While lower in protein comparatively speaking per serving size (a 1/­­4 cup serving provides 3 grams in comparison to some of the other nuts), it packs a nutritional punch in that it contains essential amino acids the human body needs. This nut is harder to find at local markets, and you will need to likely shop online and be willing to spend about $16.99 for a one-pound bag. Maya Feller, nationally recognized nutrition expert and author of The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook, recommends enjoying this mildly flavored nut in yogurt form (yes, brands are now popping up incorporating this nut into their yogurts!) smothered over a stack of pancakes or in their raw form as a crunchy snack. Hemp Seeds Three tablespoons of hulled hemp seeds provide nearly 10 grams of plant-based protein to your meal for just 170 calories. Plus, theyre full of iron and unsaturated fats while offering a great nut-free alternative for crunch. While a bit more pricey than other seeds (a 12-ounce bag is roughly $12.99), theyre an easy addition to boost plant-protein on simple foods. Plant-based sports dietitian, Kelly Jones of kellyjonesnutrition.com recommends adding them to oatmeal, sprinkling them onto pancakes, using as a topper for soups and salads, and incorporating into homemade energy bites! Lupini Beans Lupini beans are a staple of the Mediterranean diet and making a name for themselves in the US due to their high protein content. In just a 1/­­2 cup cooked serving of the bean it packs nearly 13 grams of plant-based protein. But, where it packs in protein it lacks in fiber, with that same 1/­­2 cup serving providing only 2 grams. Found traditionally in the jarred food section of the market, there are a few ways you can cook with them! Amy Gorin, a plant-based registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats recommends draining and rinsing the beans as you would do with any other canned beans. Then, use them in your favorite dishes, like her delicious plant-based lupini salad! Quinoa One of the only whole grains that is a complete source of protein (containing all 9 essential amino acids), this is an excellent (and affordable) gluten-free, plant-based protein addition to nearly any diet! One cup of cooked quinoa contains nearly 8 grams of protein for just 220 calories (plus nearly 5 grams of fiber.) Quinoa also contains many important B vitamins as well as potassium and antioxidants. Registered Dietitian Tamara Hoffman of Unbeetable Nutrition and Wellness recommends adding quinoa to your taco Tuesday menus with a spicy Mexican seasoning or sauteing it into your stir-fry dishes with a soy sauce. The post 10 Dietitians Share Their Tips to Add More Plant-Protein to Your Diet appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

Alternative Meats: A Convenience or a Curse?

November 2 2020 Vegetarian Times 

Have you started swinging through the drive-thru more frequently since fast-food chains decided to hop on board with plant-based burger options? Sure, Burger Kings Impossible Whopper and Carls Jr.s meatless Beyond Meat burger may seem like enticing options after a long day -- heck, even Ikea is rumored to be working on a meatless version of its famous Swedish meatballs. And of course, its an encouraging sign that a plant-based lifestyle is becoming more mainstream, especially when its accepted in restaurants known for their beefy offerings. But could racking up too many fast-food visits mean youre sacrificing some of the positive health benefits associated with a plant-based diet for the sake of convenience? Meat alternatives are taking center stage because more and more people are recognizing that taking meat off our menus is an imperative if we are to preserve the planets life support systems for future generations, says Brenda Davis, R.D., a world-renowned expert in plant-based nutrition and coauthor of Nourish: The Definitive Plant-Based Nutrition Guide for Families. Aside from being better for the planet, her coauthor, Reshma Shah, M.D., a plant-based pediatrician, notes the many health attributes with this lifestyle. Plant-based diets have been associated with longevity, a decreased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and a healthy gut, she explains. Studies suggest the people eating a plant-based diet have a lower risk of being overweight or obese. Additionally, plant-based diets have been shown to be an effective strategy for treating many of the chronic diseases that make up the leading causes of death in the United States and throughout the world. 5 Pros of Alternative Meats First, lets explore the benefits of adding alternative meats to your diet: - Easy protein source. Some people may benefit from these concentrated, and very bioavailable protein sources. For athletes who struggle meeting protein needs, these foods can rapidly boost protein intake, says Davis. Also, for seniors who have higher protein needs, and lower calorie intakes, it can be tough to meet recommended intakes. Meat alternatives can help boost protein intakes in a way that is simple and palatable for seniors. - A non-threatening way to transition to eating less meat. New to the world of plant-based eating? Or simply trying to replace a few meat-based dishes each week? Plant-based meat alternatives can offer convenience for busy families, provide an alternative in social situations, and make the transition to a plant-based diet more enjoyable and sustainable in the long run, says Dr. Shah. You may find that you rely on these foods more at the beginning of your plant-based journey. As many people become more comfortable cooking and enjoying a variety of whole, plant foods, they may end up eating these foods less often. - Cleaner fuel. Plant-based meats are lower in persistent organic pollutants that are most concentrated in products at the top of the food chain, such as meat, fish and dairy products, says Davis. Also, plant-based meats cannot form heterocyclic amines, which are carcinogenic compounds formed when meat, poultry or fish are cooked at high temperatures. - Lesser inflammatory response. Plant-based meats are much lower in endotoxins (also known as lipopolysaccharides) than ground meats, which Davis says are associated with chronic inflammation and several disease states. - Reduced risk of food poisoning. Plant-based meat alternatives don’t carry the risk of foodborne disease from bacterial contamination in the same way that animal-based foods do, says Dr. Shah. Related: Tofu: The Unsung Hero of Coronavirus-Related Meat Shortages 5 Cons of Alternative Meats There are some downsides to alternative meat consumption, too: - Processed food is still processed food. While it might be tempting to skip purchasing whole ingredients and making your meals from scratch, the tradeoffs may not be worth it. Most plant-based meat alternatives tend to be higher in calories, fat, sodium, and additives compared to whole plant foods -- like beans and rice, says Dr. Shah. While plant-based meat alternatives are higher in fiber -- animal foods contain no fiber-- and are devoid of cholesterol, they certainly would not be considered a health food when compared to a homemade burger made of black beans, quinoa, and veggies. - Budget-buster. Currently, meat alternatives are rather expensive, sometimes even more expensive than meat. As the demand increases, this may change. - Quality depends on the brand. Meat alternatives vary in their quality, but are generally fairly highly processed foods, says Davis. Some are made from extracted plant proteins, fats, seasonings and preservatives, while others are made from black beans and quinoa. Consumers who want minimally processed foods need to read the label. - Allergens abound. Are you sensitive to gluten, soy or nuts? Meat alternatives are often based on ingredients that are associated with common allergens, so be sure to read labels carefully to avoid a reaction. - Nutrient deficient options. Davis says that meat alternatives are not always fortified with vitamin B12 or zinc, both of which are relatively high in meat. Make sure youre getting enough of these nutrients via the rest of your diet or through supplements. Related: 8 Must-Try Alternative Milks How to Shop for Alternative Meats A simple ingredient list with recognizable foods is always a good place to start. Next, Dr. Shah says to consider the amount of fat (especially saturated fat), sodium, and other additives. One particular additive that has gained scrutiny is the addition of heme iron in certain plant-based meat alternatives, she says. Heme-iron is added to enhance the meaty flavor and appearance of these foods -- but its thought to be pro-inflammatory, cause increased body iron stores, and provide an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. How Often Should You Consumer Alternative Meats? As with most things in life, moderation is key. Eating plant-based meat alternatives from time to time can certainly be a part of a healthy diet, but relying on them on a regular basis -- especially if they are taking the place of whole, plant foods -- would not be considered health-promoting, concludes Dr. Shah. Its also important to note that the consumption frequency may depend on your overall state of health. What is safe and appropriate for one individual may be quite different for another, explains Davis. If you struggle with hypertension or cardiovascular disease, you will want to minimize intake of the high sodium, high-fat meat alternatives. The post Alternative Meats: A Convenience or a Curse? appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

Cauliflower Spinach and Chickpeas with Mustard Seed Curry Leaf Sauce

May 7 2020 Vegan Richa 

Cauliflower Spinach and Chickpeas with Mustard Seed Curry Leaf SauceThis easy cauliflower chickpea and spinach sauté features a fragrant Mustard seed & Curry Leaf Sauce – an easy vegan meal that is ready in under 45 minutes. Packed with healthy cauliflower, creamy chickpeas, and superfood spinach in every bite.  Grain-free and gluten-free! Jump to Recipe Coming at you with a dish that is as simple as it is delicious! Could I possibly interest you in some cauliflower, chickpeas and spinach? And South Indian flavors! In my book, these ingredients are just about the greatest things ever. Toss them in a pan with a delicious mustard seed and curry leaf sauce and serve with quinoa, rice, or have it as-is and youve got yourself a simple dish that is sure to please. Toasted mustard seeds, Urad dal lentils, crisp curry leaves, and Sambhar masala add a fabulous complex flavor. An unexpected, sensational combination of simple ingredients that makes for a well-rounded recipe that is a must-try! You got your iron, you got your protein, you got your vitamins. Check, check, check.Continue reading: Cauliflower Spinach and Chickpeas with Mustard Seed Curry Leaf SauceThe post Cauliflower Spinach and Chickpeas with Mustard Seed Curry Leaf Sauce appeared first on Vegan Richa.

Our Top 10 Favorite Bean Recipes

April 6 2020 Meatless Monday 

Our Top 10 Favorite Bean Recipes Beans are the pillars of the pantry; theyre easy to prepare, packed with plant-based protein and a host of other vitamins and minerals, versatile, flavorful, and adaptable. We love adding them to stews, transforming them into burgers, or serving them cold and dressed for a bright and hearty salad. With so many varieties available, from pinto beans and black-eye peas to navy beans and chickpeas, your recipe options are truly endless. Depending on how you cook them, beans can be creamy and elegant or toothsome and refreshing, which is why its important to have a stock of both canned beans and dried beans in your pantry. This Monday, grab a can of beans and experiment with one of our top 10 favorite bean recipes. Hearty White Bean and Millet Soup All the flavors of your favorite Italian restaurant -- roasted garlic, crushed tomatoes, dry white wine -- packed into one hearty, comforting bowl of soup. For the Hearty White Bean and Millet Soup recipe, click here .     Tahini Quinoa Bean Salad Tahini is made from pulverized sesame seeds; its creamy nuttiness is magic when used as a dressing for this colorful quinoa bean salad. For the Tahini Quinoa Bean Salad recipe, click here .     Navy Bean Bruschetta  Sure, traditional bruschetta is made with diced fresh tomatoes, but this version boasts a bit more protein thanks to a base of navy beans. For the Navy Bean Bruschetta recipe, click here .     New Orleans Red Beans and Rice For authentic red beans and rice, youve got to start with dry beans. Soak overnight and boil with some aromatics for a bean dish that is unlike anything youve ever tasted before. For the New Orleans Red Beans and Rice recipe, click here .     Farro and White Bean Veggie Burger Although the recipe calls for a handful of ingredients, you can make the base of these burgers using just farro (a yummy, toothsome grain) and white beans. Add any other additional vegetables, seasonings, or bread crumbs to round out the flavor and texture. For the Farro and White Bean Veggie Burger recipe, click here .       Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili This chili is rich and smoky thanks to the liberal use of chipotle and ancho chili powder, cumin, and, of course, lots and lots of black beans. For the Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili recipe, click here .       Quick and Easy Hummus To make hummus requires four ingredients -- chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt -- and a food processor. Yep, thats it. Enjoy. For the Quick and Easy Hummus recipe, click here .       Vegetarian Hoppin John Though traditionally made with ham or bacon, this vegetarian version of Hoppin John doesnt lack for flavor thanks to hot sauce, liquid smoke, and yummy black-eyed peas. For the Vegetarian Hoppin John recipe, click here .     Roasted Red Pepper and Red Bean Meatballs Meatless meatballs made with roasted red peppers and kidney beans mimic beautifully the meat versions. The flavor is all there, too, with onion and garlic, herbs, and non-dairy Parmesan cheese. For the Roasted Red Pepper and Red Bean Meatballs recipe, click here .   Pinto Bean Falafel Most falafel recipes call for chickpeas, but this version using pinto beans is creamier than traditional versions, but with all the same flavor. For the Pinto Bean Falafel recipe, click here .     Click here  for more Meatless Monday recipes. When posting pictures of recipes to your social media network, tag @MeatlessMonday use #MeatlessMonday to show the plant-based community your creation.   The post Our Top 10 Favorite Bean Recipes appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Blondies (somehow I must've known it would come to this)

March 12 2020 Vegan Thyme 

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Blondies (somehow I must've known it would come to this) I threw these blondies together as I prepped a big batch of black bean burgers to freeze for later. (Yes, I am food prepping.) Probably made over a dozen batches of these cookies over the past few months. As usual, I took a break from sugary carb-craving in February. Things are much different now. Even though the grass is beginning to green up and my daffodils are blooming, the urge to bake and soothe my soul with comfort foods normally reserved for dark, winter months has returned with a vengeance.  (As a news-obsessed individual, I'm sure you can guess why.) My cookbooks lining the kitchen walls are more precious to me than ever right now. I've collected hundreds over the decades. I drop into flea markets looking for Pyrex and instead find myself with a two-dollar cookbook I'd wanted years ago. One more for the collection. Call me crazy, but in my Marie Kondo cleaning frenzy last spring--very few cookbooks left this house. Very. Few. One of my old stand-by cookbooks, an Alice Medrich classic, stands the test of time.   Published in 2010, my dog-eared, taped-page and post-it noted guides indicate the cookbook's utility.  Here's my vegan version blondie--and don't bake these in an 8" square pan. Use instead a rectangle if you can. Mine is 10 x 6" pan I purchased for eight bucks at the grocery store. Once you add the batter to the pan, you may look at it and think: this cannot be right--there's barely enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan. Trust the recipe, they bake up beautifully. And after a night in the fridge, even better.  Vegan Blondies (adapted) 3/­­4 cup unbleached AP flour 1/­­4 cup whole wheat flour 1/­­2 t. baking powder 1/­­4 t. fine sea salt 1 stick vegan butter 3/­­4 cup light brown sugar 1 t. vanilla extract 2 T. ground flax, plus 3 T. water, 1 t. olive oil (vegan egg) 2/­­3 cup walnuts or pecans 1/­­2 cup chocolate chunks Preheat oven to 350. Line pan with parchment paper, lightly spray. Mix dry ingredients together, set aside. Place small saucepan over low heat, add butter and sugar and stir until butter melts and sugar is mostly dissolved. Remove from heat. Add vanilla extract and flax egg. Mix well. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix just until flour is mostly incorporated. Add half nuts and half chocolate. Spread batter in pan, then sprinkle remaining nuts and chocolate over. Bake for about 20 minutes or just until the sides begin to turn golden. Let cool completely, then cut into squares and store in fridge. With all the bleak AF stuff out in the world lately, my own version of self-care includes a nice vitamin rich juice first thing in the morning. I've had my juicer for a dozen or so years now. It's come in very handy lately (even though it sat literally unused for about eight of these). If you think, "Hey, nice blondie recipe, but then juicing...how's that work?" Um, resistance is futile. I will always have chocolate in my life in one form or another. This is my favorite juicing recipe: 1 beet 1 carrot 1 celery stick 1 knob ginger 1 granny smith apple juice of half a lemon When I can, I make enough for two small pints (one before I eat oatmeal for breakfast, another to drink later in the day--you know, around three in the afternoon when I'd rather scarf down a whole package of M&Ms). I've been a believer in juicing for ages...has it helped? I have no damned idea. It makes me feel good. So yes. It "helps". Also been intermittent fasting. So basically the day goes like this: Eat between nine and five. Stop.  Went to my local WM on Tuesday, just as a precaution, trying to get my hands on bleach cleaner. Wow. I happened to turn the corner and spotted an out of place single bottle left. I was like: "Thank you retail-eagle-eye for helping me spot the thing that wasn't like the other things."

Eat Your Way to a Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

February 3 2020 Meatless Monday 

Eat Your Way to a Reduced Risk of Heart DiseaseHeart disease (also referred to as cardiovascular disease) is a term that covers an array of health conditions affecting the heart such as coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias), and congenital heart defects. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, with half of all Americans (47%) qualifying for at least one of the three key risk factors (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking cigarettes). For more information about the relationship between diet and heart disease, check out our Meatless Monday heart-health guide . The good news is that you can manage two of these risk factors -- high blood pressure and high cholesterol --by making a few simple adjustments to your daily diet, without missing out on flavor. In honor of American Heart Month, weve put together a list of tips to help you eat your way to a reduced risk of heart disease. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Fruits and vegetables contain the nutrients your body needs to function properly and ward off disease. Many fruits and vegetables, regardless of how theyre prepared (sans the deep fryer), are low in calories and contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber that help prevent heart disease. Focus on the Right Fats The American Heart Association emphasizes the importance of eating the right type of fats and oils. Saturated fats from animal products, trans fats, and hydrogenated vegetable oils should be replaced with healthy fats like olive oil and canola oil. Go with Whole Grains Whole grains provide the body with fiber and other nutrients that regulate blood pressure and promote heart health. Improve your diet by swapping out white rice, bread, and pasta for brown rice and whole-wheat varieties of your favorite carbohydrates. Maintain a Healthy Weight Excess weight and a large waist size have been found to raise the risk of developing heart disease. Reaching a healthy weight doesnt require an extreme diet, but rather a commitment to weekly exercise and an eating plan rooted in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and other minimally processed foods. Limit Consumption of Red and Processed Meats Processed meats contain high amounts of additives, chemicals, and sodium. These foods, which include deli meats, hot dogs, sausages, and bacon, should only be consumed in moderation. Think Mediterranean Studies show that a Mediterranean-style diet which includes a balanced proportion of fruits, vegetables, legumes, healthy oils, and monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats, reduced incidences of major cardiovascular disease. Avoid Too Much Sugar and Processed Carbohydrates Foods of minimum nutritional value like sugar-sweetened carbonated soft drinks, white breads, pastas, and other heavily processed carbohydrates are major sources of excess calories and can lead to weight gain and insulin resistance. Control Portion Size Moderation is key to any healthy diet. Reducing serving sizes grants you the flexibility to eat a wider variety of foods you enjoy. For more information on meat reduction and heart health: Reduce your risk of heart disease by starting healthy habits on Monday Check out the Meatless Monday Recipe Gallery for healthy, tasty recipes Join the community and share photos of your own plant-based creations by using the hashtag #MeatlessMonday and tag @MeatlessMonday. The post Eat Your Way to a Reduced Risk of Heart Disease appeared first on Meatless Monday.

8 Supplements Every Plant-Based Eater Should Consider

March 30 2021 Vegetarian Times 

8 Supplements Every Plant-Based Eater Should Consider Wondering if youre missing the mark on any key areas of nutrition? Its common to balance vegan and vegetarian meal plans with these pills and powders The post 8 Supplements Every Plant-Based Eater Should Consider appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

5 Amazing Mushrooms for Whole-Body Health

March 8 2021 Vegetarian Times 

5 Amazing Mushrooms for Whole-Body Health Heal and recharge your body, reach your full potential, and become the best version of yourself--all with the help of mushrooms. The post 5 Amazing Mushrooms for Whole-Body Health appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

Vegan Green Smoothie with Chia Seeds

January 11 2021 VegKitchen 

Vegan Green Smoothie with Chia Seeds Everybody loves a great vegan green smoothie. They’re full of things like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and of course, they taste amazing. And that’s before we talk about add-ins, whether they’re for flavor or for an extra boost of nutrients. Chia seeds are my favorite thing to add to a green smoothie. And for good reason! Chia Seeds Chia seeds are an excellent add-in for smoothies. They pack a protein punch, they’re full of antioxidants and are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds also contain vitamins A, B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), C (ascorbic acid), E, choline, and Folate (folic acid). Chia also contains vitamins B3, B5, B6, B15, B17, D, K, inositol, and PABA. The main Minerals are Boron, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, strontium, sulfur, and zinc. It also has amylose and plenty of electrolytes. And they also contain 18 of the 22 amino acids, including all nine essential amino acids. You can literally never have too much chia. This recipe and photo below are from Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood*by Wayne Coates, PhD. Used with permission. This article was first published on October 5, 2001. It has since […] The post Vegan Green Smoothie with Chia Seeds appeared first on VegKitchen.

How a Plant-Based Diet Can Affect Your Mood

December 2 2020 Vegetarian Times 

When most people hear the phrase, You are what you eat, they think about it in terms of body size or physical medical issues -- such as being overweight or underweight or having Type 2 diabetes. But research shows your food choices also affect your mental health, mood, and temperament. Eating a healthy diet containing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds --with the addition of fortified foods and supplements when indicated -- can support mental well-being, says Reshma Shah, M.D., a plant-based pediatrician and coauthor of Nourish: The Definitive Plant-Based Nutrition Guide for Families. Phytonutrients, which have a protective effect, and fiber, which is responsible for the health of our gut microbiome, are exclusive to plants and have been associated with improved mental health outcomes. Mental Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet Theres no shortage of research being done on the mood-boosting and mental health effects associated with the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based fuel. These include: - Anxiety and stress. The arachidonic acid, found only in animal products like eggs and chicken, sets off multiple chemical reactions in the body that eventually lead to an increase in inflammation, says Dr. Kasey Nichols, NMD, licensed physician and member of the Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association (AzNMA). When this inflammation reaches the brain, it subsequently can cause feelings of anxiety and stress, as well as depression. People who avoid foods with arachidonic acid typically report a more positive mood and improved mental health. One survey-based study found decreased rates of stress and anxiety in those eating a vegan vs. omnivorous diet, and that vegetarians had reported better mood than non-vegetarians. - Depression. Research suggests eating more plant-based foods can improve quality of life, mood and reduce symptoms of depression. A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry analyzed the dietary patterns and risk of depression in 3,486 participants over a five-year period. Individuals eating whole foods reported fewer symptoms of depression compared to those who ate mostly processed foods. - ADHD. Although diet isn’t the driving cause or cure for ADHD, Dr. Nichols says some research has shown that switching to a plant-based diet could help with its symptoms. One study showed that preschoolers who chose processed dietary patterns were significantly and positively correlated with ADHD symptoms, while those who chose vegetarian dietary patterns were negatively correlated with ADHD symptoms. Cognition. Some research has shown that eating more plant foods can prevent a cognitive decline later in life, says Dr. Nichols. One study found that those who consistently ate more plant-based foods were 18-33% less likely to develop cognitive impairment than those who didn’t. - Focus. Looking to improve productivity in the workplace? One study showed that employees who ate plant-based foods reported improved job performance and missed fewer workdays. Related: 8 Ways to Improve Your Gut Health & Mood 2 Things to Watch on a Plant-Based Diet While eschewing animal products is a healthy lifestyle choice, it requires a thorough understanding of how to create balanced and complete meals. There are a couple areas youll need to pay special attention to, to ensure youre reaping all of the healthy benefits: - Nutrient deficiency. If done improperly, a plant-based diet could lack important nutritional needs that can negatively affect mental health. A deficiency in nutrients found in animal products -- like choline, vitamin B-12, folate, omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids -- have been linked to depression, poor mood regulation, poor metabolism, low energy, as well as memory and attention span difficulties. Plant-based eaters in developed countries need to be the most concerned about lacking brain-healthy nutrients like DHA, vitamin B12, vitamin K2, zinc, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin D3, says Dr. Nichols. It is usually common knowledge that vegan diets need to be supplemented with B12, but many people are under the impression that colorful fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of most other vital nutrients. Dietary supplements are a great way counter any deficiency. - Caloric deficiency. Switching to a plant-based diet may end up resulting in a significant reduction in calories. Many find that they lose a few pounds, but if the reduction becomes too extreme and lacks key nutrients and carbohydrates, you may become more irritable, or hangry, and easily distracted, says Dr. Nichols. If youre losing too much weight, add some more healthy fats (such as coconut oil and avocados) into your diet. Related: Plant-Powered Brain Health Boost Your Mood with These Plant-Based Must-Haves Its easy to fall into a rut during meal prep and planning -- many people are creatures of habit who gravitate toward the same menu week after week. But if your go-to meals arent well-rounded, this could leave you lacking in essential nutrients. In order to ensure youre getting the full spectrum of nutrition your body and mind need to thrive, make sure youre including the following: - Omega 3s. Omega 3 fatty acids have been implicated in improved mental health outcomes, says Dr. Shah. Plant-based diets generally limit or exclude fish, which is a major source of omega 3 fatty acids, so they may be low in this key nutrient. Instead, youll find your omega 3s in foods such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seed, and walnuts. - Tryptophan. The brain uses the amino acid tryptophan to produce serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter. Its found in chicken, eggs, cheese and fish, but plant-based sources of tryptophan include leafy greens, sunflower seeds, watercress, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, broccoli and peas. - B vitamins. Known to boost mood by increasing such neurotransmitters as serotonin, dopamine, and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), B vitamins may be the key to boosting your spirits, too. Choose from beans, legumes and lentils, fortified cereals and sunflower seeds. The effects of going plant-based vary from person to person, so it’s best to consult your doctor first to make sure it’s the right move for you, says Dr. Nichols.   The post How a Plant-Based Diet Can Affect Your Mood appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

5 Vegetarian Swaps to Boost Nutrition in Sweet Treats

November 23 2020 Vegetarian Times 

Choose Whole Grains Theres a reason the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend to make at least 50% of your grains whole: theyre packed with essential vitamins and minerals that keep your body running at its peak! When gearing up to bake that family favorite sugar cookie or bread loaf, consider swapping half of the all-purpose flour for a whole-wheat flour until you can make the full switch (this Healthy Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Loaf is a great recipe to start with!) Traditionally, when you start small like this its an easy way to slowly get your pallet to adjust to the change while boosting the fiber of the entire slice (or cookie) too! If youre gluten-free, consider using a recipe that calls for gluten-free oat flour or almond flour (like these Healthy Pumpkin Muffins) so you also reap the benefits of the fiber. Amp Up Those Omegas with Walnuts Pumpkin, pecan, or apple pie calling your name this season? Consider swapping out that white flour and butter crust for a delicious (and nutritious) walnut-based crust. Walnuts pack 2.5 grams of the plant-based version of the omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), in addition to 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber in a one-ounce portion. While many name brands have begun selling their own walnut crusts in the baking section at your local market, they often contain flour and butter in small amounts to help hold the crust together. Not a deal-breaker if youre tight on time, but defeats the purpose of the swap if youre trying to keep this treat gluten-free and vegan. Consider making your own (check out a simple recipe idea here) by pulsing walnuts with a date paste or syrup in your food processor, then shaping into a pie crust and freezing until ready to bake. Related: 7 Tips for Shaking Sugar Think natural When It Comes to Sugar Its no secret most people eat WAY more added sugar than recommended (for reference, on average Americans eat about 17 teaspoons of added sugar a day when the recommendation is closer to 12 teaspoons or below for a 2000 calorie diet!) And friends, beware, coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, and good ole cane sugar are ALL just different types of added sugars (one isnt better than the other.) To help satisfy that sweet tooth, consider using the natural sugars found in sweet fruits and vegetables, like apples, dates, and sweet potatoes, in your baked goods. Depending on the type of recipe youre making, you should be able to reduce the added sugar by at least a third when you sub in unsweetened applesauce (like these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars do!) Note you will also need to modify the fat amount (like the oil or butter used) so the texture continues to be the same. Boost Fiber with Beans Chocolate is abundant this season and for good reason: its delicious and its packed with flavonoids. But what if you took that decadent chocolate and brought it up a notch to boost the fiber and create a decadent dark chocolate dip to serve alongside graham crackers, gingerbread, or fresh fruit? Youd be the hostess with the most-ess for sure! Begin by pureeing a cup of beans alongside melted dark chocolate or dark cocoa powder, dates for natural sweetness, and your favorite nut or seed butter of choice. Blend until its a smooth, hummus-like consistency and enjoy! (Use this Sweet Hummus Recipe as your guide.) Power Up with Protein Cream pies and bundt cakes are certainly popular around the holiday season, but that doesnt mean you cant do over the dairy! Swapping in a portion of reduced-fat Greek or skyr yogurt for sour cream helps to boost the protein while minimizing the saturated fat of your treat. If youre still not a big fan of Greek yogurt, then ease into it by starting small with the swap, with roughly a third used in place of the sour cream. In no time youll be adjusted and making the full swap, pinky promise! (Try this Butterscotch Cheesecake Pie for a nice addition to your menu this year!) The post 5 Vegetarian Swaps to Boost Nutrition in Sweet Treats appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

Label Lingo: Plant-Based Diet vs. Vegan Diet

November 6 2020 Vegetarian Times 

Plant-based products have never been hotter. From grocery store aisles to restaurant menus, the term plant-based is everywhere these days. Meanwhile, vegan has become so mainstream that it seems like every day, you hear about another celebrity or athlete going vegan. So does plant-based mean vegan and vice versa? Its hard enough reading labels on food products let alone figuring out the difference between these terms, especially when you throw whole food in front of plant-based. While they do have things in common, there are differences between these labels. Experts untangle them below. Related: 5 Plant-Based Subscription Meal Kits Guaranteed to Make Your Taste Buds Happy Plant-Based Versus Vegan As the name implies, plant-based dieters are focused on increasing the amount of plant-based food sources in their meals. This means more fruits, vegetables, legumes, tubers, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains. Although a person on a plant-based diet may still consume foods with animal products and/­­or byproducts, the ratio of plant-based sources increases while foods from animal and seafood sources are minimized, says Dan Nguyen, R.D.N., registered dietitian and nutritionist at HelloFresh. Of course, the based part of plant-based can be confusing, namely because it has wide-ranging meanings. For some, it could indicate that theyre eating 51 percent of their diet from plants while others might be closer to 90 or 95 percent. They can both be called plant-based eaters, but only if youre eating 100 percent plants can you say that youre a whole-food, plant-based eater, says Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Vegan, on the other hand, means that this person eats zero animal products. That translates into no meat, poultry, dairy, seafood, or any animal byproducts. Yet vegan extends beyond the diet, as it also affects what people wear and what purchases they make. According to the Vegan Society, vegan is defined as a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude--as far as is possible and practicable--all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms, it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals. Related: Tofu: The Unsung Hero of Coronavirus-Related Meat Shortages Why Plant-Based and Vegan Labels Arent a Health Halo Eating more plants is the key to better health and even longer life, according to numerous studies. Plants are a powerhouse of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, Nguyen says. By eating more plants and fewer animals, youll get more of these valuable nutrients. As a result, you might experience lower blood sugar, LDL (or bad) cholesterol, and blood pressure, to name a few beneficial side effects. Plus, eating fewer animal foods and seafood will help decrease your carbon footprint, which is a win for the planet. Yet dont get duped into thinking that foods labeled plant-based or vegan are automatically healthy. The surprise? Many of these foods are still highly processed. Foods marketed as plant-based may not necessarily be healthy or contain many whole plant foods, Nguyen says. These foods can be high in fat, sugar and/­­or sodium and could still make you sick, putting you at greater risk for chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Thats true even if youre a junk food vegan who primarily eats processed vegan food. Just taking animal products out of your diet doesnt guarantee that youll be healthier, as you may not be getting the fiber and nutrients you need, Levin says. Related: Less Meat, Less Problems How to eat healthy, no matter whether youre plant-based or vegan While going plant-based, more so vegan because youre eliminating all animal products, is an admirable first step, it shouldnt be your end step if youre prioritizing health, Levin says. Instead, think about moving as close as you can to a 100 percent whole-food diet. To get there, Levin suggests reading food labels and keying in on fiber. Fiber is often a good indicator of how processed the product is, she says. If you dont see much fiber in a food, chances are its on the low end of the healthy food scale. Then check the added sugar and the ingredient list in general. If you see ingredients you dont know how to pronounce, you should probably avoid putting that food in your cart, Levin says. The post Label Lingo: Plant-Based Diet vs. Vegan Diet appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

12 Road Trip-Worthy Snacks

September 25 2020 Vegetarian Times 

If the walls of your home feel like theyre closing in, youre not alone. Two-thirds of Americans (67%) say that staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic has made them want to take a vacation, according to a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Shell.  But with so many travel restrictions and concerns about health safety while flying, its no wonder that many people trying to scratch their travel itch are turning to good, old fashioned road trips -- 36% of Americans say that they are more likely to take a road trip now than they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and 61% of Americans are now more interested in taking a local road trip to explore areas close to home.  Before you hit the open road, theres plenty to do: packing, creating a playlist that captures the vibe of your destination, planning your itinerary and, of course, stocking up on car-friendly snacks. While vacation may seem like the perfect excuse to indulge in junk food, those snacks could leave you feeling lethargic and bloated during a time when youd much rather feel energetic and carefree.  Thankfully, theres no shortage of vegan-friendly snacks that are mess-free, nutritious, and tasty. Weve rounded up some of our favorites: Quinn Grain-Free Pretzel Chips Nothing beats the crunch of a pretzel -- and everyone living a gluten-free lifestyle knows that grain-free pretzel replacements typically leave a lot to be desired. Not the case with Quinn Grain-Free Pretzel Chips; youd never know it was grain-free thanks to its near-identical texture (they are made from cassava flour, a gluten-free root vegetable) and spot-on flavoring (shout out to the Cracked Black Pepper variety!). Theyre non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and the shape makes them perfect for dipping into your favorite condiment (but maybe not in the car, okay?). Shop now Pans Mushroom Jerky Beef jerky is a classic road-trip snack -- but who needs the beef? Pans mushroom jerky is made from shitake mushrooms, which is one of the meatiest mushrooms. Plus, mushrooms impart that beloved umami flavor everyone craves. These fiber-filled snacks are rich in vitamin D, vegan, gluten-free and theres flavor for any mood youre in: Zesty Thai, Applewood BBQ, Salty & Pepper and Original.  Shop now SkinnyDipped Nuts When you cant decide if you want salty or sweet or chocolate, reach for a bag of SkinnyDipped Super Dark + Sea Salt almonds -- these almonds are dipped with extra dark 73% artisan cacao, and sprinkled with a hint of sea salt. A serving size of these vegan goodies offers 5 grams of plant protein and less sugar than an apple. The whole line is vegetarian, including the SkinnyDipped Cashews in Dark Chocolate Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel. Shop now Undressed Salad Bar Salads arent exactly considered a portable snack, which is why Anne Klassman founded Undressed to throw in her purse or glove compartment -- its a salad in a bar form, with 5-7 grams of protein from its toasted almond base and a full serving of vegetables. Choose from Chipotle Cranberry, Cilantro Lime, Honey Mustard and Sesame Ginger depending on your craving. Theres no sugar added, and these vegan bars are gluten-free, too. Shop now Omnom SuperChocoBerryBarleyNibblyNuttylicious Nope, that wasnt a typo -- when something is this tasty, it deserves a name that stands out from the crowd! Picture a delicious, nutritious dark chocolate bar made from organic Tanzanian cocoa beans thats sprinkled with cranberries, salted almonds, puffed Icelandic barley and cacao nibs. And voila, you have a SuperChocoBerryBarleyNibblyNuttylicious bar. Hot tip: Theres no need to relegate Omnoms superfood creation to your car -- its also a great way to boost your energy on a hike. Shop now Natures Garden Omega-3 Deluxe Mix No road trip is complete without a healthy dose of trail mix, but traditional peanuts and granola dont hold a candle to Natures Gardens Omega-3 Deluxe Mix. This blend of ingredients was thoughtfully chosen for its nutritional qualities: almonds for vitamin E, pecans for fiber, walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids, cranberries for adding more fruit to your day, pistachios for protein and vitamin B6, and pepitas for magnesium and iron. Bonus: The bag is resealable, so you wont have any messy spills in the car. Shop now LesserEvil Veggie Sticks A salad you can eat with your fingers? Its not rude, its LesserEvils new Grain Free Veggie Snacks! The two flavors -- Himalayan Pink Salt and Vegan Ranch -- offer up grain-free goodness made with organic olive oil. Organic veggies are the first ingredient (a blend of vegetable flours and powders), and they are certified USDA organic, vegan, paleo, non-GMO, grain-free, gluten-free and kosher to boot. Pro tip: Your kids will love them and have no idea they are ingesting an extra helping of veggies. Shop now Seven Sundays Muesli While road trips may evoke fond memories of your childhood, the sugar-laden and gluten-packed muesli of your formative years are best left behind. Instead, choose Seven Sundays Muesli, which is chockfull of nutrient-dense superfoods. The Rise & Shine Strawberry Banana Nut Mix -- a cereal/­­trail mix hybrid, so feel free to add almond or oat milk as desired -- has only 5 net carbs, and is grain-free, gluten-free, and keto-friendly. Plus, you can easily pronounce every ingredient: Almonds, coconut, sunflower seeds, dates, Bing cherries, pecans, chia seeds, sesame seeds, bananas, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, strawberries, cinnamon, and pure vanilla extract.  Shop now Biena Chickpea Snacks Chickpeas to go? Yes please! Bienas Chickpea Snacks are light, crispy roasted chickpeas that boast 5-6 grams of plant protein and fiber. The vegan varieties include Barbecue, Habanero, Ranch and Sea Salt -- and they are non-GMO, grain-free, gluten-free, and nut-free. They are perfect to pop in your mouth on the road, and back home they work well as salad and soup toppers. Shop now CaPao Smoothie Balls Missing your morning smoothie while on the road? CaPao Smoothie Balls may help keep your routine intact. These plant-based snacks are made from zesty cacao fruit pulp, nuts and seeds. Choose from Apricot, Plant Protein and Golden Berries, Golden Berries, Apricot and Chia Seeds, and Mango, Cashew and Coconut. Cacao is the same magical plant that gives us chocolate -- but 75% of the cacaofruit is underutilized or simply thrown away after the cocoa beans are extracted for making chocolate, leaving behind husk, pulp and cocoa butter. So, CaPao uses the wasted nutrition found in the pulp and husk in its products, as these components contain magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, fiber and many essential B vitamins. Shop now ZENB Veggie Bites Veggies are one of the healthiest snacks, but who has time to peel and prep a bunch of produce before a road trip? When youre away from home, rely on ZENBs Veggie Bites. They offer a full cup of vegetables in each pouch and use the whole vegetable -- stems, skin, seeds and all -- so you get extra nutrition, like fiber. The vegan, non-GMO, organic and gluten-free bites come in a resealable package with five flavors: Edamame, Red Bell Pepper, Summer Beets, Sweet Potato and Sweet Corn. Shop now The Goods Mart Vegan Snack Box Dont have time to shop for individual snacks? Want to try something new? Let The Goods Mart -- a socially conscious convenience store in Soho, NYC -- curate and ship a vegan snack box especially for you. Simply choose the size of your box, let them know whether youre craving salty, sweet or savory, and alert them to any allergies. All the snacks are non-GMO, contain no artificial colors or flavors, and are sure to satisfy any craving that pops up during your travels. Shop now The post 12 Road Trip-Worthy Snacks appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

My Journey with Alex

May 3 2020 Manjula's kitchen 

My Journey with Alex Many of you have asked me about the man behind-the-scenes of Manjula’s Kitchen…Well as many of you know, that person is my husband Sikander aka Alex. Alex is responsible for me being in the spotlight of Manjula’s Kitchen, while he prefers to stay in the background. The simple truth is my YouTube channel exists only because of his hard work and dedication. He introduced me to this new concept for me at the time, YouTube. Alex takes the lead on all of the hard work these videos take, from the editing to ensuring the recipes meet his quality control (i.e. taste testing!) Every recipe has to meet Alex’s high standards for being posted. Alex feels so proud when reading the comments on my posts and always tells me that he is my biggest fan. With a huge smile on his face, he will tell me your fans don’t know that the biggest fan of yours is standing right next to you! Alex and I have spent over 50 memorable years together and of course with that comes ups and downs. Sometimes it feels like Alex and I still don’t know everything about each other, and I think that is a good thing! We still love to learn new things about each other. Every day is unique with different challenges. During another lifetime, we ran a business together. For 20 years, we worked in an office together, sitting side by side. It was nice that we got to spend so much quality time together. Now as we enter our golden years, we still enjoy working together, even though we are partially retired. We both work from home and can still enjoy sitting side by side! I cherish the fact that we are never alone. Our marriage was an arranged marriage. In todays times, I recognize that it sounds really outdated. However, ours was an arranged marriage with a happy ending. Alex was my fathers choice. At their first meeting, my father was extremely impressed with him. They first met Alex for about an hour, but it felt like they knew him for a lifetime. My father described him to me with great detail. I was amazed my father could pick up so much on someone he just met! What stuck with me is my father finished by emphasizing that Alex would love and respect me and that because we shared the same values I would be proud of the person I was when with him. My father invited Alex and his family for afternoon tea so that I could meet him myself. I was so curious to see what my father had seen in Alex. I knew that Alex had already decided to marry me and told his father that he was already in love with me. Alex had been working abroad in the U.S. and at this time and was in India visiting his family and to get married. We had just one month before he had to go back to the U.S. for his work. It happened so quickly. We got married within the week. It was at that point it hit me. I would have to move to the U.S. too. My mother was not happy with this situation and was upset at my father. Of course, she didn’t want her daughter to move so far away. I was very confused, but I knew my father he will not take such a big step unless he was sure it was absolutely the right decision. We got married and moved to the U.S. and settled into a brand new way of life. It took some time to get used to a new country, a new language, and most importantly new food. But it was a life we enjoyed discovering together. When my parents visited us in the U.S. the first time, my mother and Alex spent a lot of time together. The immediately formed a great bond, becoming best friends. My parents noticed just how much Alex cared for me and how happy we were together. They would say Alex would light up when I was near him. Alex really enjoys pampering me. The gestures were small, but with great care. Alex happily makes me the best cups of hot tea and always with a smile. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I made tea for myself. He always makes sure I take care of myself, leaving my daily vitamins/­­medicines and water on the kitchen table to make sure I don’t forget. Then there are those times he can sense I need a break and I will see a fresh hot grilled cheese sandwich waiting for me. Everyone (especially our grandkids!) in our family has decided that Alex makes the “world’s best” tea and grilled cheese sandwiches. Of course, we have our share of disagreements and arguments, as every couple does. Alex is not one to say sorry very easily so most of the time I’ll give in and say sorry. The next day I will see a beautiful bouquet of colorful flowers waiting for me and all is well again. I suppose that is how a good marriage works – you know when to give in. I can say with confidence that my father chose correctly for me and I married a man who truly takes care of me. We’ve made a good life for ourselves, with our two sons and their lovely families. More on them later… Stay safe & healthy everyone! The post My Journey with Alex appeared first on Manjula's Kitchen.

Inexpensive Plant-Based Ingredients That Won’t Go Bad

March 30 2020 Meatless Monday 

Inexpensive Plant-Based Ingredients That Won’t Go BadEvery food item will eventually go bad, but there are many food staples that offer a terrific value, can be prepared in big batches, and have an incredibly long shelf-life. Some of these ingredients can serve as the centerpiece of a meal, like potatoes, beans, and pasta, while others act as supporting actors, providing quick bursts of flavor to ordinary dishes. Best of all, many of these foods are completely plant-based and rich in many of the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy body. Our list of plant-based ingredients all have a shelf life of over two months (when stored properly) and are relatively inexpensive. But most importantly, these pantry staples give you the opportunity to get in the kitchen and experiment with flavors and ingredients that you may have overlooked in the past. And Meatless Mondays are always a great opportunity to start a new healthy ritual. Beans Often sold for less than a dollar a can, beans are the ultimate plant-based protein. With so many different types to choose from -- kidney, black, pinto, cannellini, pigeon peas, butter beans -- the recipe possibilities are endless. Make a stew, vegetable chili , bean salad, or these black bean meatless balls with zucchini noodles . Diced Tomatoes (canned) Take a simple stew, stir-fry, or sauce to the next level with a can of diced tomatoes. At only a buck a can, diced tomatoes will become your new secret weapon in the kitchen. Try adding them to this boldly-seasoned spicy chickpea ragout. Frozen Fruits and Vegetables Toss them into a blender, soup pot or sauté pan to add some nutrients and heft to your mid-week meals. When stored properly, frozen fruits and vegetables will last years (but please dont make them wait that long). Some frozen vegetables -- spinach, collards, broccoli rabe -- should be thawed and drained before cooking, while others like broccoli, peas, and peppers can be thrown into a hot pan as-is and easily transformed into a garlic-ginger fried rice. Granola A bag of granola wont run you much more than $4.00, depending on the brand, but it will impart an invaluable crunch to yogurt and oatmeal. Many manufacturers sell granola with a shelf life of up to six months, but it should be good to eat it even past that point (although it might not retain its full crunch). Lentils (dry) At $1.50 per pound, a bag of dried lentils is one of the best bargains in the grocery store. Besides an almost indefinite shelf life, the lentil contains a laundry-list of essential minerals like iron, folate, and manganese, is packed with protein, and is a great source of fiber. If youve never before cooked with dried lentils, start with a simple stew or this easy French lentil salad with cherry tomatoes. Onions When stored in the refrigerator, onions can last for up to two months (sometimes longer). Theyre pretty cheap, too, costing only around $1.00 – $1.50 per pound. Sear on the stove top for a smoky, charred flavor or cook them low-and-slow to unlock their natural, caramel-like sweetness and sprinkle them over this sweet potato caramelized onion stew. Oatmeal Think of oatmeal as a blank canvas. Costing less than a quarter per serving, let your imagination run wild when it comes to cooking breakfast. Mix in everything from peanut butter, jam, nuts, seeds, or even savory spices. Dried oatmeal can last longer than a year when properly stored. Use oatmeal in this vanilla almond milk oatmeal or try using it to make dessert, like this apple cranberry oatmeal bread. Pasta Costing only $1.00 per box, your pantry should be loaded with pasta, but we recommend going beyond the standard semolina/­­durum wheat flour varieties and experiment with pastas made from whole grains, vegetables, lentils, and chickpeas. Try some unique flavor combinations to keep things interesting, like this recipe for green tea pesto pasta . Peanut Butter Whether you like it creamy or crunchy, peanut is the ideal pantry staple . A serving of peanut butter is packed with protein and healthy fats, both of which will keep you feeling nice and satiated. Peanut butter has a shelf life of more than a year (unopened), and many brands of sell for less than $2.00 a jar. Polenta (corn meal) Polenta is made by mixing cornmeal (dried, ground corn) with either water or milk. Inexpensive and versatile, polenta can serve as the foundation of any number of meals, pairing especially well with tomato sauce, like in this recipe for Italian white beans with kale and polenta.  Potatoes These starchy staples dont last forever, but when stored in a cool dark space they can last for between 2 - 3 months. At around .50 cents per pound, the potato is an excellent source of fiber, nutrients, and calories; they can add creaminess to soups or serve as a vessel for a delicious stuffed potatoes primavera . Rice Whether its white, brown, or wild, rice costs less than a quarter per serving. Rice can serve as an accompanying carbohydrate or act as the main meal. For a new take on everyones favorite grain, try this vegetarian biryani or meatless brown rice jambalaya . Salsa Jarred salsa is an excellent (and convenient) alternative to fresh varieties. Add a tablespoon to anything bean burritos and taco bowls to spicy puttanesca pasta and gallo pinto ; mash some together with a ripe avocado and youve got a quick-and-easy guacamole. Soy Sauce Drizzle soy sauce into your stir fry, salad, sautéed vegetable, or tomato sauce for a boost of salty umami flavor. You can also use it liberally in this yummy Asian noodle bowl with spicy almond sauce . Soy sauce can cost as little as $2.00 a bottle and can last nearly two years after opening when stored in the refrigerator. Sweet Potatoes The sweet potato is natures candy; slice it down the middle and heat in the microwave for five minutes and out comes tasting reminiscent of a sugary soufflé. If you want to try making a dish that requires a little more technique, cook up this spicy and aromatic sweet potato chana or a coconut milk sweet potato white bean soup . Vegetable Broth/­­ Bouillon A box of vegetable broth is a staple of any kitchen, but you can expand your soup selection by adding some chickn bouillon cubes to your pantry. Add some beans, frozen vegetables, and seasonings and you have a clean and simple dinner for around $1.00 per serving, or add some flour, nut-milk, and noodles for a creamy vegetable noodle soup . Curious about what other plant-based ingredients you should be storing in your pantry? Check out our list of 20 Essential Meatless Monday Ingredients . The post Inexpensive Plant-Based Ingredients That Won’t Go Bad appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Boosting Your Immune System with Plant-Forward Eating

March 10 2020 Meatless Monday 

Boosting Your Immune System with Plant-Forward EatingThe recent COVID-19 outbreak has caused concern across the world, and many people are taking measures to make sure they do not fall sick. Besides washing your hands and staying home if youre sick, theres a lot you can do from a nutrition standpoint to boost your immune system  – eat more vegetables and fruits, legumes and whole grains .  Vegetables and fruits especially, have nutrients and special natural compounds called phytochemicals that serve as antioxidants to neutralize damage to cells and fight nasty pathogens like COVID-19, the flu and the common cold. Will they prevent you from getting sick? Maybe not. But a healthy diet can help strengthen your immune system to help fight the virus and recover quickly. Below are some nutrients found in plant-based foods that are vital for a strong and robust immune system: Vitamin C An antioxidant that increases production of white blood cells, is key to fighting infections. Citrus fruits, papaya, dark green and yellow vegetables, red bell pepper, strawberries, tomatoes and watermelons are great sources of Vitamin C. Try this recipe.  Vitamin E An antioxidant that protects your cells from free radical damages, enhances the immune system to fight off bacteria and viruses. Foods high in vitamin E are sunflower seeds, nuts and green vegetables. Try this recipe. Vitamin A Functions mainly by keeping the skin, vision, and tissues of the mouth, stomach, intestine, and respiratory system healthy. Its anti-inflammatory properties enhance the immune system. Good sources of vitamin A are sweet potatoes, spinach, pumpkins, carrots, peppers, cantaloupes. Try this recipe. Zinc An important mineral that helps in wound healing, functions in the development of immune cells, which is needed for the immune system to work properly. Food sources of zinc are legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Try this recipe.  Dietary protein Plays a major role in the bodys immune response. They activate cells that help fight off infections in the body. Good plant sources of dietary protein are: legumes, beans, peas, soy, and nuts. Try this recipe.    Overall, if pondering about which vegetable or fruit to eat, think of colors – purple, blue, red, yellow and orange, because it usually means they are packed with antioxidants that are great for your health and immune system.     Resources: 1. Zinc in Human Health: Effect of Zinc on Immune Cells. https:/­­/­­www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/­­pmc/­­articles/­­PMC2277319/­­ . Accessed March 5, 2020 2. Health Professional Fact Sheet. NIH, Office of Dietary Supplement. https:/­­/­­ods.od.nih.gov/­­factsheets/­­VitaminA-HealthProfessional/­­ . Accessed March 5, 2020 3. Li P, Yin YL, Li D, Kim SW, Wu G. Amino Acid and Immune Function. Br J  Nutr, 2007 Aug:98(2):237-52.  4. Protect your Health with Immune-Boosting Nutrition. https:/­­/­­www.eatright.org/­­health/­­wellness/­­preventing-illness/­­protect-your-health-with-immune-boosting-nutrition . Accessed March 5, 2020 The post Boosting Your Immune System with Plant-Forward Eating appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Freezer-Friendly Greens & Tofu Scramble Wraps

January 6 2020 Oh My Veggies 

It’s always my goal to create recipes that aren’t just tasty, but that are doable. For me, part of “doable” is ingredients that are readily available. This isn’t just about you, it’s also about me--I live in a smallish town and I don’t want to be schlepping all over the place for ingredients either. But I was working on a tofu scramble for a while and it just wasn’t coming together and I finally had to acknowledge the fact that I needed to go to Raleigh to get some nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a flaky little deactivated yeast that tastes like cheese. So it’s great for vegan cooking. It’s a good source of vitamins (some brands, like Bob’s Red Mill, are fortified with Vitamin B12) and even contains some protein. If, like me, you can’t find it at your local grocery store, you can buy nutritional yeast on Amazon. But since I needed the nutritional yeast right away, I didn’t order it online and went to Earth Fare, 40 minutes away, to get it. I got home and since I was going to use it the next day, I decided to leave it on the countertop, as I sometimes […]


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