“Can we have spinach for dinner”, my 5-year-old son asked me. “I want to be as strong as Popeye”. I bought spinach, steamed it and served. He didn't like it, but he wanted to be strong so he ate it. Unfortunately, we dined at Grandma's house 3 days later and she served spinach in cream sauce. “Mum, this is how spinach is supposed to taste” was his verdict. Yes, I agree. Yet, because of the amounts of calories there's no way I would serve that version. Now 26 years later he agrees that this vegan version of “Granma's spinach” is just as good.
Vegan Spinach in Cream Sauce
If you have a high-speed blender, go ahead and start preparing the meal. If you don't then start to soak the cashew nuts the night before, 12 hours soaking makes them soft and suitable to the blender.
The sun is shining, it's hot, I want a snack, I don't want to cook. In my freezer I have chickpeas, in my fridge I have lemons, a cucumber, and tahini. Hummus comes to mind, why not add cucumber to a hummus? it would make it lighter and healthier. Yes, I'll give that a try with crackers. Goes well with a glass of chill white wine. The best thing about this recipe is, you just toss everything in a mini chopper or a food processor.
Start – pulse – ready to serve.
I use avocado oil, you can of, course use your favorite or none at all.
Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse/blend until smooth, scraping down the sides if needed.
Scoop hummus into a bowl and drizzle with avocado oil.
Can be served with crackers, veggies or spread on bread.
1) Cucumber hummus will keep in fridge for up to 5 days, in an airtight container. 2) If the hummus becomes too watery, add more chickpeas. If the hummus becomes too thick, add more cucumber or a bit of water. 3) This recipe is kid approved. Yet, if it tastes too dull for you add more garlic, salt, and pepper. Flakes of chili or cayenne pepper are also great in this dish.
Why would you want to make a homemade Nutella? Because Nutella is not vegan, yet there are some Nutella-alike products for you to buy. If you are anything like me, you will spend endless hours reading the labels – yes I know you do, you love Nutella too. So Nutella is not vegan? no, read this ingredient list for the original Nutella Hazelnut Spread:
Sugar (may or may not be vegan)
Palm oil (vegan but not for the environment-friendly)
Reduced minerals whey (and that's milk)
Lecithin as emulsifier (soy, unless labeled “organic” it's GMO)
Vanillin: An artificial flavor (can contain anything)
Amaranth is a food cultivated by nature to be highly nutritious, versatile. It is also full of health benefits for both physical and mental wellbeing. Such foods cannot be man-made or otherwise synthetically produced. Which makes these nature made wonder foods something you should be adding to your diet right away.
What Is Amaranth?
Amaranth, or amaranthus, refers to over 60 species of tall, green plants that sport vibrant purple, red, or gold flowers. Its name comes from the Greek ‘amarantos’ which means ‘unfading’ or ‘one that does not fade.’
This plant does live up to its name for the flowers are as vibrant and beautiful as ever. Also after they are harvested and dried. Often found as a beautiful member of showy gardens, amaranth has been around for centuries. It was a staple for the Aztec Empire and used for both food and ceremonial reasons.
While it is commonly thought of as a cereal grain, amaranth is not exactly a “true” whole grain. Yet, thanks to its glowing nutrient profile, it is often lumped together with other cereals due to its versatility.
Health Benefits of Amaranth
1. It’s Packed with Vitamins and Minerals:
There is a long and winding list of health benefits found in amaranth that does wonder for the body. Amaranth contains over three times the average amount of calcium than most plant foods. And is also a great source of
These nutrients are important for:
regulating your appetite
building strong bones
oxygenating the blood
and a host of other housekeeping functions for bodily systems.
This is also the only grain that has been shown to contain vitamin C. Which is well known for boosting the immune system and aiding in the fight against disease and illnesses.
2. It’s An Excellent Source of Protein: Amaranth is also an excellent source of protein. It contains much more protein than most other grains and contains lysine. Which is an amino acid often missing from whole grains. When added to a diet, amaranth offers boosted energy levels. And promotes bowel regularity and a healthy metabolism. It also contains lunasin, a peptide that was before identified in soybeans. It was thought to help prevent cancer and reduce inflammation. That is present with certain chronic health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
3. It Promotes Heart Health: Studies have shown that amaranth is a whole grain that can potentially lower cholesterol effective. Through various studies conducted over the last decade, findings have shown that, when fed to chickens, the amount of bad cholesterol in the body was lowered significantly. This study was duplicated in Canada, the U.S., and Russia, and each study offered similar results. While promising, whether amaranth will have the same effect on human’s remains open. But, it can’t hurt to add this to your daily heart-healthy regimen.
4. It’s Gluten-Free: Today, gluten-free diets are popular and sought after. Those with Celiac disease must follow them, but those without Celiac disease have also found them to be a healthy option in their lives. Many find that cutting out gluten makes them feel better, lighter, and more alert. Luckily, adding amaranth to your gluten-free diet is easy. It can be used as a great substitute for other grains used in a dough to increase elasticity and allow for leavening.
Make This Versatile Plant A Part Of Your Lifestyle
For centuries, amaranth has been used by humans for many different reasons. Besides to the listed health benefits, just about every inch of this plant can be used for something.
The seed is an excellent source of protein and is easy to cook and the seed flour is ideal for healthy baked goods. The leaves, roots, and stems are also consumed as leafy veggies in many parts of the world and used for cooking and various dishes. They can be steamed, mashed, or seasoned and added to a favorite dish.
Besides being used as food, the amaranth plant is also used for aesthetic reasons. The gorgeous flowers of this plant have been used for dye as a source of a deep red dye that comes from the flowers. It is also used for ornamental reasons in gardens or in homes and is grown for both its beauty and its many uses.
If you want to order Amaranth online you can get them at Amazon
I have collected 5 Amaranth recipes, they are all my list to-try.
This healing white vegan gazpacho soup has many vitamins and minerals. It contains highly anti-inflammatory vitamin E and B and riboflavin in the almonds. The olive oil, cauliflower are also highly anti-inflammatory. The apple is rich in histamine, which lowers quercetin.
Apple cider vinegar is the lowest histamine of all vinegar. It is made from apples which have significant antihistamine and mast cell stabilising activity. Garlic is not only anti-inflammatory but also anti-bacterial. Cucumber is antioxidant which is good for your skin as well as an analgesic, which might decrease pain.
A healthy and cooling soup excellent to beat the summer heat.
Sometimes you don’t have the time or are simply too lazy to cook – no shame in either. Even in lazy periods we still want to cook healthy vegan meals; the trick is to be well prepared. The following list for lazy vegan cooks comes from my experience of more than 45 years of lazy cooking, with interruptions of time-consuming meals and cooking classes.
At the end of this post, I’ve added links to sources that have helped me cut corners without sacrificing a healthy diet.
1. Spices: spice up your food! not only does the right combination of spices make your meals taste like from a five-star restaurant, they also have healing effects. Here are some of the basic spices I keep on hand:
Himalayan salt black pepper
Black pepper pink peppercorn (or a good pepper mix)
Pink peppercorn (or a good pepper mix)
Smoked paprika is another great staple spice I like. It's a must for “vegan bacon”
2. Herbs: I do not cook without herbs. Same as spices, apart of tasting great they also contain healing properties. The best are those you pick in the wild; if you live in the country or an area with natural surroundings, check which herbs grow there. In the mountains, you will often find oregano; in the forest you will often find red clover, burdock, yarrow and Dandelion. Remember leaves from berry bushes are excellent too. My dry herb collection is:
Flaxseed (yes flaxseed is a herb).
3. Sauces: like teriyaki, soy, mustard, balsamic vinegar and “oyster sauce” are great starters in marinades for plant-protein sources like tofu, beans or tempeh. They are also brilliant in salad dressings.
4. Satisfying ingredients: This means staying away from processed foods and choosing fresh or frozen vegetables and grains instead. I don’t recommend canned/tinned foods, they are not good for us; as an example canned tomatoes, nothing wrong with the tomatoes it’s the packing that’s the problem – the BPA (Bisphenol A), tomatoes are highly acidic, it draws out more of the BPA into the food from the lining. Tomatoes in bottles or glass containers are fine.
5. Take a cooking class: When you have been trained by a chef, you will be able to cook faster and pair foods in more interesting and healthy ways. It's well worth taking a class. Maybe you can find a local class that will be fun to meet and learn with like-minded folks. There’s also quite a few online classes, Udemy has high-quality e-cooking classes, I recommend “Raw Vegan Desserts – Gluten and Dairy-Free” and “Online Vegan Vegetarian Cooking School”.
Last but not least, the following are 5 vegan recipes for lazy cooks. Click on the recipe name to get to the recipe.