When Cooking Vegan, Consider Nutrients Your Body Needs

When Cooking Vegan, Consider Nutrients Your Body Needs

Cooking vegan has been a fun exploration for me since starting this blog a couple of years ago. I started it as a kitchen experiment, wanting to give myself encouragement to stay on a vegan diet, and share my research with others. What I uncovered was that, unless you are cooking vegan with a focus on right nutrients and health, you can easily make yourself sick. This is true, whether you commit to cooking vegan or not.

Recently one of my excellent Twitter followers sent me a message that said,

“@AllVeganFoods you should publish a cookery page as you are queen of all things delicious. quit the #nhs love and focus on #vegan.”

First off, thank you so much, @MartinStill1, for naming me “Queen of All Things Delicious.” I’m thrilled that others enjoy the recipes I publish as much as I enjoy researching and testing them. And yes, I promise to keep giving more!

Yet, I want to express to the world why I also focus on health. Too many ex-vegans out there blame the vegan diet for their health woes. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie who speak out about how a vegan diet “almost killed her” beg to have the question asked, well, exactly what were you stuffing yourself with in the first place? While I do not believe that Dr. Mercola tells the whole story.

Cooking vegan or not, pay attention to essential nutrients

Meat and vegetarian diets can still be lacking in essential vitamins and minerals for the body. Here below is an excerpt from a post on The Full Helping that makes this point well:

The vast majority of women I’ve worked with who had a bad experience with veganism in the past simply were not eating enough variety and caloric density to supply their bodies’ needs; they also frequently paired veganism with other drastic and overnight dietary changes (giving up certain food allergens, or going 100% raw). The overall effect was a devastatingly restrictive pattern of eating. I have absolute respect for anyone who has followed a well balanced vegan diet and found it wanting, but I know from experience that many people who try veganism and fail to thrive simply haven’t bothered to modify the lifestyle to suit their own needs. Any new way of eating involves guesswork, patience, and trial and error: you figure out what’s working and what isn’t, and you modify it until you feel great.

This is actually why I so admire my buddy Brendan: many of you may be surprised to hear that Brendan’s first run with veganism was a big flop! He was tired, sluggish, and hungry all the time. Rather than decide right away that veganism itself was to blame, Brendan studied nutrition carefully and identified precisely what was lacking in his diet. In his case the culprits were, among a few other things, iron and Omega-3 fatty acids. As soon as he took care to find vegan sources of these nutrients, he found his own best health, and the rest is history. [Read the whole post here]

The bottom line is, whether you are cooking vegan, vegetarian or otherwise, know the essential ingredients that keep you in optimum health, so you can continue to support the whys of cooking vegan, in optimal health. And yes, Martin, I promise to live up to the compliment, “Queen of All Things Delicious,” with many more recipes to come!

Thanks to all for reading and visiting often!

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First Vegan Supermarket in U.S. to Open in Oregon

First Vegan Supermarket in U.S. to Open in Oregon

A vegan supermarket is a dream come true for many of us. Europe is ahead of the trend, with vegan supermarkets popping up since 2011. Well, I have some good news for my American friends, at least those on the West Coast. The German vegan supermarket chain Veganz is scheduled to open a store in Portland, Oregon later this year ,in 2016. Veganz also plans to open a shoe and clothing store, as well as a restaurant, in the same city.

Here is a snippet from the company’s press release:

The chain was founded in February 2011 in Berlin, Germany by former Mercedes-Benz manager Jan Bredack after he found bountiful vegan options during his travels around the U.S. and Russia, German news site The Local reported.
Bredack, who became a vegan in 2009, said he found it hard to “shop normally” at home. Germany, after all, is the meat-loving home to 1,500 different types of sausages and cold cuts.

Bredack said he wants to make vegan shopping easier for everyone and noted that his stores appeal to omnivores as well, estimating that 80 percent of his customers are neither vegan nor vegetarian.

I admit, it’s not easy to be vegan in our modern society. Just last week I went to the health store and bought some new supplements to try. And even though I told the shop owner that I am striving to buy only vegan products, she still recommended a chewable D vitamin, and I bought a bottle to try. I got mad at myself for not reading the label until I had reached home and already opened it One of the ingredients was palm oil. Now, palm oil is technically a plant. But because the harvest and production of palm oil leads to the destruction of rain forest habitats, I was not happy about supporting a product so destructive to the environment. I chalked it up to a learning experience, and promised myself to practice mindfulness by reading all labels in the future.

Shopping at a vegan supermarket is an exciting prospect for me, because I know I will not have to read labels in caution for animal welfare when I shop there!

If you want to get updated you can do so by signing up for their newsletter in English or on social platforms.

Veganz on Twitter

Veganz on Facebook

In case you want to know why we are vegans here are a three videos below, each with a different perspective that explain why:

Dairy:

 

To watch why we don´t eat eggs click on Next

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Is Chocolate Really a Superfood?

Is Chocolate Really a Superfood?

Chocolate a superfood? Yes, it is true! Dark chocolate which is high in cocoa solid, minimum 70%, is now recognized as having many qualities that are beneficial to our health. For many years, chocolate has been viewed as the ultimate comfort food and it has become one of the most popular foods in the world.

The question is, are there any health benefits to consuming dark chocolate? Yes, over-consumption of any food can have a bad effect on general health. Recent studies have shown that eating, in moderation, of dark chocolate has many health benefits. So eating about an ounce of dark chocolate every day is actually a good thing for your health!

The first question that you may ask is why dark chocolate, not milk chocolate? Because dark chocolate comes out in favor when it comes to nutritional benefit. Dark chocolate has more fiber and nutrients and fewer sugars and cholesterol.

The Main Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate

• Lowers cholesterol. In studies, dark chocolate has proven to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol). As we know, too much bad cholesterol is not good for us. These studies showed that dark chocolate provided health benefits when it comes to cholesterol.

• It’s good for the heart. Perhaps this is the most well-known reason. Dark chocolate contains nutrients that are known to help lower blood sugar and increase blood flow. Besides, anything that lowers cholesterol is good for the heart. Some factual studies have showed that dark chocolate can reduce cardiovascular death in men by up to 50%. These aren’t scientific studies, but as dark chocolate lowers cholesterol as well as lower blood pressure, these findings are significant.

• It boosts your skin. Dark chocolate contains lots of flavanols, which protect the skin against sun damage. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can do without sun cream! But, it does mean that the flavanols will reduce the damage on the skin due to the sun. So, if you are planning a summer vacation, then you could start increasing your intake of dark chocolate a few weeks before your holiday. In general, dark chocolate has a positive effect on the skin.

• Can prevent diabetes. Insulin is a word associated with diabetes. Many studies have shown that dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity. This means that dark chocolate can improve blood sugar levels. Because of its properties, it can be a part of a diabetic diet.

• It’s nutritious. There are many good reasons to chocolate. Of course, chocolate contains calories – up to 242 per 100 grams. This means that we should eat it in moderation. Yet, dark chocolate contains minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and manganese, zinc, potassium, and selenium. It is also a good source of fiber, containing about 11 grams.

• Good source of antioxidants. Dark chocolate also contains a good amount of antioxidants, which are great for promoting heart health. As well as decreasing the risk of infection, and fighting free radicals in the body. The cocoa tree is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. This means that its fruits – the cocoa pods also have antioxidant properties. Many studies have shown dark chocolate to have a higher amount of antioxidants than blueberries or Acai berries.

Although dark chocolate has a higher calorie, fat and saturated fat content than milk chocolate, its health benefits are much higher than milk chocolate. If you consider that dark chocolate has 22% more iron, four times more fiber, and 242 grams more theobromine (the alkaloid which reduces blood pressure) per half bar than milk chocolate, then the picture becomes clearer that dark chocolate has many health benefits.

It is also worth considering that dark chocolate has fewer carbs and half the sugar of milk chocolate. It’s easy to see why dark chocolate has many health benefits.

Dark chocolate is definitely the preferred flavor of chocolate when it comes to those midnight snacks or holiday treats. Just make sure you don’t overindulge!

Visit our Vegan Chocolate Recipe page http://allveganfoods.com/best-vegan-chocolate-recipes/

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Our Best Vegan Chocolate Recipes

Our Best Vegan Chocolate Recipes

You asked, here are our best vegan chocolate recipes in one place. You will find recipes for chocolate mousse, chocolate hummus, almond bites, fudges, chocolate with marzipan, cakes and other yummy recipes.

The Perfect Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Vegan Chocolate Hummus Recipe

20 Minutes Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Chocolate Almond Bitter Bites – Healthy!

Chocolate Cookie Fudge Raw Vegan!

Vegan and Raw Christmas Chocolate Marzipan

Chocolate Pralines – Video

Week-end Vegan Chocolate Cake

How to make Your own Vegan Chocolate

6 Ingredient Vegan Chocolate chip cookies!

Vegan Homemade Chocolate Bars

The easiest (and best) Vegan chocolate mousse.


http://allveganfoods.com/vegan-chill-hemp-chocolate-smoothie/

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Laughter Yoga May Help You Be A Better Vegan

Laughter Yoga May Help You Be A Better Vegan

laughter yogaLaughter yoga may be a good thing to start practicing this holiday season if you don’t already laugh often. Year end brings festivities, family obligations and stress for many. As a vegan, do you choose to get argumentative with “close-minded” meat eaters, or do you focus on your own growing mindfulness? If holiday frustrations are making you stressed, laughter yoga may help.

 

Laughter Yoga And The Happy Vegan

In my own experience, I know I cannot simply change the mind of relatives who delight in meat eating. These relatives scoff at the notion that meat may cause cancer. I had no idea how deeply set their convictions were until what I thought was a casual conversation about healthy eating turned ugly. “How ridiculous to think that meat causes cancer!” was a shared sentiment at a recent family reunion dinner. I had a decision to make: should I insist on my perspective, or relax and enjoy the party? I chose laughter yoga.

Laughing exercises help melt self-induced stress

Laughter yoga, an exercise that combines laughter exercises with yoga breathing, was born in a public park in 1995 with Dr. Madan Kataris. Here is how he began:

While researching the benefits of laughter, he was amazed by the number of studies showing profound physiological and psychological benefits of laughter. He [Dr. Kataris] decided to find a way to deliver these benefits to his patients and other people. The result is Laughter Yoga, a unique exercise routine that combines group laughter exercises with yoga breathing which allows anyone to laugh without using jokes, humor or comedies. Started with just with just five people in a public park in Mumbai in 1995, it has grown into a worldwide movement of more than 6000 Laughter Yoga clubs in over 60 countries. Read more at Laughter Yoga.

Laughter Yoga can have unexpected benefits

As I grow stronger in my commitment to a vegan path, it’s more important to me to explore healthy non-animal food choices than to fall into arguments with non-vegans. After all, I used to be a serious meat eater just like them. Lately, I’ve been focusing on laughing instead of getting upset because of another’s point of view. This has not only melted much of my stress, but also empowered me in ways I did not expect. I find it easier to make vegan choices daily, and the arguments of non-vegans don’t cause anger or doubts in my own head.

Decades ago, Napoleon Hill said that laughter helps change the chemistry of the brain. He was doing laughter yoga long before it was ever coined as a concept. He suggested starting the day with a good laugh:
Adopt the habit of having a good hearted laugh every time you become irritated or angry. Begin each day with one minute of hearty laughing; this will change the chemistry of your brain and start you off with a positive mental attitude. Read more at Daring to Live Fully.

On the next page is a sampling of laughter videos to help get you started. Click on the round 3 below to watch them:

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7 Herbs To Help You Use Less Salt

7 Herbs To Help You Use Less Salt

Use these 7 herbs to use less salBefore you decide to use less salt, know that humans need salt. We need 1500 mg of sodium, or 3.8 grams of salt, to replace the amount lost daily on average through sweat and urination. Besides helping to maintain fluid balance and cardiovascular function, sodium and chloride ions also play an important role in the nervous system. So keep your salt intake at a healthy level.

Salt is also the most common ingredient used in cooking. It acts as a preservative, a way to counteract the sweetness of a dish. And it satisfies our taste buds because it enhances the flavor of food.

Almost everybody loves that extra pinch or tablespoon of salt, but, too much salt can lead to several diseases.  High blood pressure being the most common.

Less salt, more herbs

If you need to or are choosing to decrease the amount of salt that goes into your food, consider using herbs as a taste replacement. You may already have these as a staple in your kitchen or in your herb garden.

Most of the food that we consume contains a fair amount of salt in them in their natural state. There isn’t a need to throw in some more.

One of the things people fail to realize is that eating healthy does not have to be misery. In fact, we all want flavor from our food. So, if that extra pinch of salt is important to you then take a look at the seven herbs below that can be used to replace salt.

Dill

Dill is a slightly sour herb that can be  paired with other herbs/spices to create a one of a kind flavor for your meals.

Consider pairing dill with a sweeter herb such as thyme to achieve a nice balance of sweet and sour. Dill can be used in the form of a leaf or in a crushed/dried form, it all depends on what you prefer.

Chives

 Chives are an age-old source of added flavor and it is used and grow worldwide. Chives add a hint of onion to your dish and they already have natural salt content within them.

Chives are perfect for potato soup, chili, or a vegetable stew. They are also great in small amounts, such as sprinkled on your potatoes.

Thyme

Thyme is a great alternative to salt because it comes in several flavor varieties including lemon and orange. There is a slightly salty undertone to thyme, but you also get the bonus of added flavor.

Thyme has a slightly sweet flavor as well and is best used in combination with parsley, oregano, and rosemary.

Thyme blends nicely  with roasted vegetables.

Mint

 Mint is a common herb used that comes in a variety of strengths. You can choose a mint leaf that will give a slight kick or a mint leaf that will change up the entire flavor of your meal.

Mint also comes in several different flavor combinations. You can buy flavors like chocolate mint and orange mint in your local grocery store. These flavors work great in pasta, in baking, and in salads.  Yet, Swiss mint is for desserts only as the taste is sweeter.

Oregano

Oregano is an Italian spice that works best with pasta dishes or added onto the pizza! Due to the spice’s potency and spicy undertones, the herb is an excellent substitute for salt. For an added kick, combine oregano with basil and parsley.

 Allspice

Allspice is a common herb blend amongst several cultures. There is no real “flavor” of allspice; the herb tastes like a blend of juniper, nutmeg, peppercorn, and cinnamon. Yet, it actually comes from a dried berry four in Jamaica.

 The variety of flavors that we taste with allspice makes it a great substitute for salt. Because it can add a unique flavor to your dishes and draw out the flavors of the dish itself.

Basil

Basil leaves are the most common herbs that are used for cooking in India. These leaves are pungent in taste and slightly sweet in nature. It is not just known for its medicinal benefits but also known as a salt alternatives.

Basil is a well-known ingredient in pestos, but it’s also great in soups, stews, vegetable bakes and even desserts.

Less salt does not mean less flavor

 There is no need to add loads of salt to your meals in to enhance the flavor or just get that salty kick you crave.

Also, fresh herbs tend to be more flavorful and luscious than dried varieties. Make sure and get fresh whenever you can or grown your own.

There are many herbs that can help you add unique flavors to your dishes and still keep the salty undertones you desire. Take some time to experiment with the herbs mentioned above and decide which flavor combination you like the most!

Should you wish to buy a combination of salt and herbs, then take a look at Herb Salts

Sources:

Institute of Medicine

NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL LIBRARY

 

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Laughter is the best Medicine

Laughter is the best Medicine

laughter is the best medicineFor great health, the diet plays an important role, yet that’s not all there is to it. To achieve optimal health, you need a combination of a healthy diet, exercise, and a positive mood. This is where “Laughter is the best medicine” comes in.

Every fall I travel to the South of Europe a nice warm village to stay over the winter. Usually, it’s a great time of the year. I enjoy planning and packing, yet, this year it was stressful for me. It started the month before, not knowing if we were going at all, something was needed and fast. Then it was I remembered Laughter Therapy – After a few laughs I started to feel much better,  I stayed stress-free and enjoyed the planning, packing and trip.

Laughter can be infectious. When you hear the sound of laughter, you can’t help but laugh yourself. When laughter is shared among others, it causes a binding between people. It increases both intimacy and happiness.

It is well known that laughter triggers healthy bodily changes and healthy changes in the mind. Laughter can increase your energy level, lessen pain, strengthen the immune system, and protect you from stress. Laughter is the best medicine because it is free, fun, and easy.

Every fall I travel

Laughter is Strong Medicine

Laughter can be a strong antidote to conflict, pain, and stress. There is nothing else that works more dependably or quicker to bring your body and mind into balance than laughter. The use of humor can lighten your burdens, connect you to others, inspire your hope, and keep you focused, alert, and grounded.

With this ability to renew your health and heal you, laughter can be a great resource for whatever problems you may have. It can also strengthen your relationships. It can support your emotional and physical health and well-being.

How Is Laughter Good For Your Health?

Laughter can do many things for your health. These include the following:

  • Laughter can increase your immune system. It can decrease the level of stress hormones within the body and increase the number of immune cells and antibodies you have, which will help you become more resistant to disease
  • Laughter is relaxing. A wonderful laugh can relieve you of stress and physical tension so that your muscles can be relaxed for up to 45 minutes following laughing.
  • Laughter releases endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s feel-good hormones. When your endogenous endorphins are released, you feel a sense of well-being and a reduction in the sensation of pain
  • Laughter can help the heart. Laughter can increase the ability of the blood vessels to nourish all parts of the body. It can increase your blood flow, which can help prevent heart attacks and other types of heart diseases.

The Benefits Of Laughter

Laughter is known to have many health benefits, including physical, emotional, and social benefits.
Some of these include the following:

•    Decreases your stress levels
•    Increases your immunity
•    Relaxes your muscles
•    Protects your heart
•    Lessens pain
•    Lessens fear and anxiety
•    Relieves stress
•    Adds joy to your life
•    Enhances your mood
•    Improves your resilience
•    Attracts other people to us
•    Promotes the bonding among group members
•    Improves teamwork
•    Strengthens relationships

Laughter Can Help Your Emotional Health

Laughter simply makes a person feel good. This good feeling persists even when you are done laughing. Laughter helps you maintain an optimistic and positive outlook. Which means  you can easier get through situations of loss, disappointments, and other difficult situations.

Laughter is more than just a protection against pain and sadness. It gives you the strength and courage to find other sources of hope and meaning. Even when you find yourself in the most difficult of times, laughter or even a smile can take you far when it comes to feeling better. Laughter really is a bit contagious. When you hear someone else laugh, it primes your brain and sets you up to join that person in laughing, too.

Laughter And Mental Health

Laughter is associated with better mental health. Some things laughter can do to improve your mental health include the following:

•    Laughter allows you to relax. A good laugh can lessen stress and increase your energy levels so that you can remain focused and get more things accomplished.
•    Laughter can lessen distress. It is hard to feel sad, anxious, or angry when you are instead laughing.
•    Laughter shifts your perspective. It allows you to see things in a less threatening and more realistic light. Being humorous helps create a psychological distance between you and stressful events so that you don’t feel so overwhelmed.

Laughter Has Social Benefits

When you use humor and engage in playful communication with others, your relationships become stronger. You trigger positive emotions and an emotional connection with those you are laughing with. A positive bond develops—one that can act as a powerful buffer against disappointment, disagreements, and stress. When you laugh with others, this is a more powerful thing than when you laugh alone.

How To Create More Opportunities To Laugh

There are things you can do to increase your chances of laughing. Here are some you might try:

•    Attend a comedy club
•    Watch something funny on television
•    Watch videos of funny animals there are tons on YouTube, or just add the search term “funny   into the YouTube search bar
•    Read the comics in the newspaper
•    Be with people who are funny
•    Share a funny story or joke with another
•    Read a funny book
•    Sponsor a game night with your friends
•    Play with your pet
•    Play with children
•    Do something you think is silly
•    Engage in activities you consider fun

Laughter can do a lot to help you feel better on a physical, emotional, and cognitive level. Don’t be afraid to share a good laugh with others for all around better health.

If you still need suggestions for laughter then click the book cover below:

 

Interesting fact about we can cheat the brain with laughter PubMed

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A Guide to Vegan Boots

A Guide to Vegan Boots

A vegan guide to buy boots

Vegan Boots: A Boot Whose Time Has Come

I got a pair of vegan boots a Target about four years ago for $30. They are adorable, durable, and still get plenty of compliments. If you’re looking for hiking boots or for fashion boots to wear downtown, it may appear challenging to find leather-free options. Yet, with a few tips, finding cruelty-free boots becomes a piece of cake.

When you begin your search for the perfect pair of boots, you’ll want to consider two things:

  1. Material is the most significant. Luckily shoe labels make it easy to distinguish between animal materials and vegan materials. You can expect boots are made from leather or other animal fabrics unless the label says, “All Man-Made Materials” or “100% Synthetic.” Then you’re in the clear! Just be careful, some shoes have a synthetic outer but a leather sole or a wooly interior.
  2. Glue is one of those “how vegan are you?” questions. It can be difficult to determine whether the glue that binds the boot together is vegan or made using trace animal ingredients. Many vegans decide not to worry about such details. Others commit to buying only vegan-certified footwear.

Vegan Boots List For Mindful Shopping

We are including two lists, the first with 100% vegan shoes and boots. The second with retailers that carry footwear made without leather or wool, yet, could contain trace animal ingredients in the glue.

100% Vegan Boots And Shoes Companies & Shops:

Big Retailers That Carry Man-Made Boots:

We wish you the best of luck in finding the perfect cruelty-free boots this season!

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Guinness no longer fishy

Guinness no longer fishy

If you are a beer drinker you already know about Guinness´ plan to go vegan in 2016. What is the buzz about? Guinness has been around for 256 years and it that time never felt the pressure from vegan, that is until now. Maybe it´s an Irish thing. The brand has decided it is time for an improvement, although they call it change. Great news for vegans either way.

Since the 19th century, Guinness has filtered out yeast from its signature stout with isinglass. A by-product of fish bladders. Most of the isinglass is removed before the beer hits the market. Guinness answered in several emails, that there are still leftovers in the finished product. You may want to check the answers at http://www.barnivore.com/beer/26/Guinness . This is the reason, Guinness is off-limits.

Yet, many of us vegans still love our Guinness. According to CNBC, online petitions have been circulating asking Guinness to change their filtration process. The brand has announced that, indeed, they are planning to open a new filtration plant in 2016. A plant will finally make our beer vegan-friendly. “Whilst isinglass is a very effective means of clarification, and has been used for many years, we expect to stop using it as the new filtration asset is introduced,” a spokesman told Ireland’s The Times.

Now if only we can petition Baileys to replace  cream with coconut cream, finally we vegans can drink our favorite drinks. :)

Should you wish to check other beers for being vegan here´s a fine website dedicated to inform you about just that.

http://www.barnivore.com/ – their search base also includes wine and liquor.

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How To Buy Fruit: Fresh Or Frozen?

How To Buy Fruit: Fresh Or Frozen?

how to buy fruit.Hola my friend!

I’m having such an amazing odyssey this fall, than I just wanted to tell you about what I’m doing. I’m learning a lot about how to buy fruit from the locals on this tropical island where I am currently living.

This winter snowbird season 2015-16 I am spending on the Spanish island Tenerife. The weather is great! But the real reason I stay there is for the wine and fresh fruits and vegetables. I have been here for more than a month now. But I haven´t visited one of the outdoor farmers´ markets yet. It´s a bit embarrassing, as one of them is only 2 km from our house.

How to Buy Fresh Fruit: Go to the Farmers’ Market

A Finnish couple who is staying in the same village as us told us about the local farmers’ market. You can find loads of fresh produce from the local farmers. It’s open every Saturday and Sunday. At the moment bananas, or plátanos as they are called here, are in season. In fact, it seems they are in season all year round. Must be this amazing climate.

My dear readers in more northern climates are moving into the winter season. From what many of you tell me, Saturday morning farmers’ markets are quite popular through the winter. As the weather gets colder the weekend market moves inside.

Back here in Tenerife, mangos are nearing the end of their season. The end of November will be last harvest this season. My American friend in Hawaii told me she’d buy a big bag of them, chop them up into chunks, and then freeze them. She put them separately into serving size plastic bags and containers.

For the most part, I buy fresh whenever I can. I’m not a big fan of pre-frozen anything. That’s just my personal preference. Nevertheless, frozen fruit – as long as you don’t leave it in there forever – still holds nutrients and taste, a welcome addition to a smoothie.

Ask the farm experts for tips on how to buy fruit

When you go to the farmers’ market, ask questions at the stands about recipes, and how to choose fruit to buy. Depending on the fruit, you may want to smell it, and see if it is hard or gives a little to your touch. Color may make a difference as well.

  • Cherimoyas, or Buddha fruits, are grown here.  They are also called Ice cream fruit because they do taste like ice cream. I bet they are great in fruit salads, too.
  • Dragon fruit is the most exotic fruit I have ever tasted. They are commonly grown in private gardens. But if you are lucky, you can find them at farmers’ markets, too.
  • Tomatoes here have a special, crisp and romantic flavor.The pineapple tomato is what I use when I make salsa. And last but not least is the…
  • Avocado. It also grows all year round. If you go to a fruteria (special fruit and veggie shop) you can always ask for “avocados to eat today” and the owner will have a few put away for you.

Well, I don’t know what the chances are of you coming to lovely Tenerife. Wherever you are, you can make a similar list of local produce. If your region is challenged to find fresh, frozen is the next best thing. It lasts longer, and the nutrients  last.

Life is good.

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These Stuffed Squash Recipes Will Stuff Your Parties With Cheer

These Stuffed Squash Recipes Will Stuff Your Parties With Cheer

At a party last week, I saw a big platter of stuffed squash at the buffet table. Many other vegan choices filled the space. Yet those fat little acorn squash halves attracted me like a moth to a flame. In previous years, I gravitated to the vegetarian dishes, filled with cheese and eggs. But the more steps I take on the vegan journey, the more excited my body gets about trying new combinations of vegan ingredients, bursting with flavor.

Tasty Stuffed Squash To Drool Over

Here are a few tasty recipes that I can’t wait to try:

stuffed squash

Monster Boston Marrow squash!

Three Sisters Squash Recipe from NYT Cooking. I love how the three native American staples – beans, corn and squash – are called the three sisters.

Roasted Acorn Squash With Wild Rice Stuffing. After all my years in Asia, I got into the habit of eating only white rice. Exploring with all the wonderful wild rice variations available now is adding delicious dimensions to my meals. This recipe is a meal in itself.

Quinoa-Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash. New England has the best cranberries anywhere, ever. Ya, I’m a little biased. The first time I tried them with quinoa, the flavor burst in my mouth. I’m bringing this one to the Thanksgiving table, for sure.

Avocado & Quinoa Stuffed Squash. Avocado in stuffing, yummy. What more can I say?

Stuffed Squash With Jasmine Rice, Cranberries & Raisins. If a recipe calls for vegan butter, you can always make a quick substitute with your favorite oil, or coconut oil.

Do you have a favorite stuffed squash recipe? Please share!

Boston Marrow squash image by Janelle Orsi

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Are You Throwing Away The Big Healthy Banana Peel Benefit?

Are You Throwing Away The Big Healthy Banana Peel Benefit?

Healthy banana peels are a shock to find out about for us Westerners. I can’t believe I’ve been throwing away this great source of nutrients all these years. But it makes sense. If fruits and vegetables are so good for us, why bother cutting off ends and skins that contain the same rich elements? So much of the food preparation I grew up with – cutting the tops off strawberries, tossing beet greens in the trash bin – seems a bit crazy now.

The Healthy Banana Peel Secret

Organic bananas, like any organic choices, will probably be better to eat than the common store variety. Yet even this claim I challenge. We’ve read so much over the years about things that are good or bad for us, only to find out, years and much research later, the opposite holds true. So regardless of whether the peels come from organic fruits or not, I’m going to give them a try.

Dr. Paul Haider from Om Times writes that banana peels help lower cholesterol and are a great source of probiotics. And given that heart disease and cancer are the two top killers in America, I love what else he has to say:

Cardiovascular Health – And Banana Peels can help eliminate atherosclerosis from your body by preventing cholesterol from sticking to the walls of your arteries.

Anticancer Agents – Banana Peels contain powerful anticarcinogenic compounds that help to prevent cancer. And they also contain cytoprotective agents and antimutagenic agents that reduce your chances of coming down with cancer. At the same time have lots of carotenoids and polyphenols like that found in green tea that help to keep your immune system healthy. Read the whole report at OmTimes.

Add a healthy banana peel to your smoothie

I have been quite good about cutting back on my chocolate addiction, especially the more committed I become to eliminating dairy from my diet. Cravings are taken care of with vegan protein shakes, and I use vegan chocolate protein powder for mine, with a banana. Now, I don’t bother peeling it any more. I just throw the whole banana in.

vegan protein shake

Click to the next page (the round 2 below) to see a video how to make fried banana peels, and other healthy banana peel recipe resources.

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