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Friday, June 9, 2017

Guest Post - Cleansing Citrus Pineapple Smoothie Recipe by Suzi


I am SOOOO thrilled to be posting a Smoothie recipe from guest writer Suzi.  Check out her website for more delicious smoothie recipes !!  THANKS Suzi !!!

Suzi is a health and wellness blogger based in the UK. Her passion and goal is to inspire and encourage women to adopt a whole food, plant Based diet and lead a healthy lifestyle by making simple but positive lifestyle changes.



Ingredients:
1 cup of kale
3 celery sticks
2 bananas
1 cup of pineapple
1 orange
Juice of one lime
Inch of ginger
1 cup of water


Instructions:
1. In a high-speed blender, put in the kale with the cup of water and blend until smooth

2. Add the celery sticks, pineapple, orange and ginger and blend again

3. Lastly, add the banana and juice of lime and blend until smooth

4.Pour in a jar or glass and enjoy.



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Lentil Stew (DF, GF)


  I LOVE a good, flavorful Lentil soup !

Adapted from this recipe



Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 16-oz package frozen carrots
1 16-oz package frozen spinach
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 Tbsp minced jar garlic
1 and 1/2 cup dry lentils, rinsed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt (I used celery salt)
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 cups of broth or water


Directions:
Put everything in a crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until done.



No, the Lord is all I need.  He takes care of me. 
Psalm  16:5 (NCV)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Three Bean Salad (DF, GF)


A bean salad is always GREAT in the summer !!!  Make this for picnics, lunches, get-togethers, or a side dish for dinner. This is a GREAT way to get your fiber !!!  



Ingredients:
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup salsa (no sugar)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp cilantro flakes

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine  - serve immediately or after it has been in the fridge. 

But those who turn to idols will have much pain.  I will not offer blood to those idols or even speak their names.
Psalm 16:4 (NCV)


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Monday, May 15, 2017

Contribution from Freelance Writer Jess on Improving Your Health With a Garden


I hope you are enjoying the articles from Jess as much as I am !!!  Here is her latest on how having a garden can improve your health.  THANKS Jess !!!


How Growing Your Own Vegetables Can Improve Your Health
It's no secret that eating vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals is great for your physical health. But did you know that the very act of tending your own vegetable garden and growing your own produce can also have a number of mental and emotional health benefits too? Gardening, much like baking and sewing, has experienced somewhat of a revival among 18-24 year olds and 89% of them say they have a garden or grow their own plants. But how exactly can growing your own vegetables benefit your mind, body and soul?

Calming
Research indicates that being close to nature helps relieve stress. The beauty and tranquillity of the natural world is subconsciously calming and the repetitive, gentle act of gardening in the natural environment can be the perfect way to unwind and relax from the pressures of everyday life. Simply having your hands in the soil can relieve tension due to the natural electrons found in the earth - this process is called grounding. 

Physical
Physical exercise is great for mind and body. While gardening might not be the most traditional workout, it can be physically hard work particularly when it comes to hauling heavy watering cans, bending, lifting and stretching to prune your plants. All of this is apt to help you work up a sweat which improves everything from your heart health to your mood. Best of all, it is gentle exercise that anyone of any age and fitness level can carry out. 

Eat well
Of course the key benefit of growing your own vegetables is that you are creating fresh, organic food that is packed with nutrients and is much more financially viable than what you'd pick up in a store. Popular plants for novice vegetable gardeners include tomatoes which are full of vitamins and onions which are thought to have immunity boosting properties. Best of all you know exactly what has gone into your crops - no nasty chemicals or pesticides. And enlisting the whole family in the process will improve their diet and eating habits too - studies show that children who grow their own vegetables are more likely to take an interest in healthier foods and eat well as they grow. 

Social
With the rise of allotments and community garden schemes, gardening has become a hugely social pastime that allows people to come together and unite in a common goal. As humans, we thrive from this sort of interaction as it improves our sense of belonging and self-esteem. 

Rewarding
On the subject of self-esteem, gardening is a great way to feel a real sense of achievement. Planting something and nurturing it into a product can be harvested to feed yourself and your family in a real back-to-basics approach to life that will fill you with a sense of self-sufficiency that we no longer get to experience often in the modern world.

Where to begin?
If you have decided to give vegetable gardening a go, it can be daunting to know where to begin - especially for novice gardeners. Setting up a vegetable garden is actually quite straightforward but it does require a little planning. The location of your garden is important. You'll need an area that gets plenty of direct sunlight but that can also ideally offer some shelter from the elements. The ground should be cleared of any roots or perennial weeds and it’s important to invest in good quality seeds for your produce. It's important to have a good understanding of the maintenance and growing patterns of specific plants. Some will only thrive at certain times of year while others (such as root vegetables) tend to be able to withstand colder, winter temperatures. Do your research and plan ahead - soon you could be reaping the mental and physical health benefits of growing a vegetable garden. 


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Contribution from Freelance Writer Jess on Refreshing Summer Drinks

THANKS Jess for writing another interesting and fun article !!!  As warm weather is now approaching, this article is PERFECT !!!  Jess gives GREAT suggestions for some refreshing vegan drinks to make this summer !!

5 Vegan-Friendly Drinks to Make Yourself This Summer
With summer around the corner, the time has come to sit back, relax, and enjoy a tasty drink. For vegans, this can be easier said than done, as wine, certain juices, and even some types of sugar are off limits. This can make it difficult to create a crisp, refreshing summertime drink. However, with the right mix of ingredients and a little creativity, you can concoct these five tasty and vegan-friendly drinks this summer.

The Kit You’ll Need
For these drinks, you’ll need three things: a blender, plenty of crushed ice, and tons of fruit. Having some mint, soy milk, coconut milk, as well as some vodka and bourbon will help too. You’ll also be wise to have a few tall, chilled glasses handy, as they will help to enhance these cool, summertime drinks that much more.

Tropical Fruit Freeze 
As long as you have enough fruit, this summer drink is about as easy as it gets. All you need to do is toss a peeled orange, banana, and mango in a blender with either soy or rice milk and whip it up until it's smooth. It’s guaranteed to be fruity and refreshing, perfect for a summer’s day.

Dragon Fruit and Coconut Shake
Odds are, you haven’t had this combination of fruits before, but drinking this shake will make you feel like you’re on a beach somewhere. You’ll need a dragon fruit and a banana mixed with a cup of coconut juice or coconut milk. Put all that into a blender with a cup of ice cubes and half a cup of coconut meat. Blend it all up and you’ll have the perfect summer drink.

Watermelonade 
Regular lemonade can be a little boring, but feel free to add a new twist to a classic drink by making yourself a tall glass of watermelonade. Simply liquify five cups of watermelon in a blender and add a touch of lemon juice and a few ice cubes. It’s that easy to make yourself a cool summer drink, and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, feel free to add a little mint, just to make the drink feel a little fancier.

Cranberry-Ginger Martini
For those hot summer nights, nothing will hit the spot like a cranberry-ginger martini. Throw some ice, 2 oz. of cranberry juice, and half an ounce of lime juice into a martini shaker (with some vodka, of course). Pour the mixture into a martini glass with half an ounce of tonic water and just a touch of powdered ginger. At the end of a long summer day, it’ll hit the spot.

Mint Julep 
This is an old-school cocktail, and fortunately, it’s vegan-friendly. First, mix a cup of water with a cup of sugar and bring to the boil for five minutes in a saucepan. Then pour into a container with seven sprigs of fresh mint and cool in the refrigerator to create a mint simple syrup. Next, crush three mint leaves at the bottom of a glass before adding two oz. of bourbon whiskey, one Tbsp. of your simple syrup, and plenty of ice. Stir it up and you’ll have a classic mint julep.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Lentil Potato Barley Stew (DF, GF)



This is a thick soup/stew chocked full of lentils and veggies !  Both my dad and I REALLY liked this.   It did not last long !!!!



Ingredients:
2 cans lentils (about 3 cups of cooked lentils or about 1 and 1/2 cups dry)
1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup brown rice
1 can diced tomatoes, with liquid
4 cups veggie broth or water
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup diced celery
2 cups of cubed potatoes
1 Tbsp minced jar garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 Tbsp dried cilantro flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
Put everything in a crockpot and cook on low for 10-12 hours.

As for the godly people in the world, they are the wonderful ones I enjoy.
Psalm 16:3 (NCV)



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Chickpeas Quinoa and Spinach (DF,GF)



Cook the spinach by itself and add to the quinoa after the quinoa is cooked. 

This can be eaten "as is" ... or .... as a topping on potatoes ... or ... in a burrito.  I also like adding in chunks of sweet potatoes.


Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cups dry quinoa
2 cans chickpeas, with liquid 
2 tsp ground curry powder
2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
1 and 1/2 cups water
========
1 16-oz package spinach, cooked

Directions:
Place all ingredients (EXCEPT spinach) in a rice cooker and cook until done.  Stir in cooked spinach after the quinoa is cooked.


I really like the Rival 6-cup Rice Cooker w/Steamer.   It makes cooking rice SOOO easy.  I just put all the ingredients in the cooker .  So my rice dish is complete with spices and veggies when the rice is cooked.  The 6 cup isn't a big rice cooker, but it is plenty for 2 people.  

I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord.  Every good thing I have comes from you."
Psalm 16:2 (NCV)


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Double Chocolate Muffins (GF)


These are moist, rich, chocolaty muffins !!  I LOVE the addition of the chocolate chips !!!


Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cups gluten free flour 
1 cup Quaker old fashioned oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup Sucanat   (or brown sugar)
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
========
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup almond milk
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl.

Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl.    

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  

Pour into muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

I like using the silicone bakeware for my muffins.  The muffins  come out so easily and I don't need to grease the pan.  My favorites are:   Casabella Silicone Standard Muffin PanCasabella Silicone Large Muffin Pan,  Casabella Jumbo Muffin Cups.

The OXO Large Scoop is GREAT for scooping out batter into the muffin pan.  It is MUCH neater than when I used a spoon to scoop the batter into the pan - I no longer get batter all over the muffin pan !!!



Protect me, God, because I trust in you.
Psalm 16:1 (NCV)



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Contribution From Freelance Writer on Green Juice

I LOVE this article from Jessica on juicing - it is SOOO informative and interesting. The articles from the links are VERY interesting to read also !!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did !!!


Boost Your Superpowers With Green Juice

We all know from childhood experiences how important it is to eat our greens. But when it comes to boosting your vegan diet, nothing packs a punch quite like green juices. By taking your green power on-board as a tasty juice, your body absorbs all the nutrients without any of the digestive issues that come from eating your greens in solid form.

That means no feeling tired or bloated, just the great nutrition and energy that comes from green juices.

Why Green Juice?

A typical shop-bought green juice contains more than a third of your daily recommended potassium and 20% of the recommended daily Vitamin A. Juicing your own fresh vegetables will produce even higher levels of beneficial nutrients.

The great thing about vegetable juice is that it is far more healthy than sweet fruit juices and smoothies, which release large quantities of sugar directly into your bloodstream.

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine carried out a research project on fruit and vegetables juices, which found that those drinking green juices were less likely to develop diabetes.  A related study also found a positive correlation between green juice and reduced cholesterol.

Which vegetables are best for juicing?

There are plenty of options available for a healthy green juice to give a boost to your diet.
Spinach is full of essential vitamins and minerals and contains a folate element that is particularly good for expectant mothers to support a healthy pregnancy. Spinach is also rich in Vitamin A.

Celery is rapidly gaining in popularity due to its low-calorie content and multiple health benefits, including combating inflammation, improving blood pressure and replenishing important electrolytes to keep you full of energy on the go.

Asparagus tastes delicious and is packed full of nutritional elements. They are concentrated in the stalk, so get the smallest stalks you can find for the greatest health benefits.

Broccoli is another great choice, and is high in in Vitamin C.

Finally, you might consider various pulses such as split peas, beans and lentils. These are higher in fibre and protein, and so provide a more substantial juice.

 These are just a few of the numerous vegetable choices that are great for juicing.  Also, bear in mind that it makes sense to choose vegetables that are seasonal, natural, and locally sourced. Always choose organic where possible.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Baked Oatmeal with Mixed Berries (DF, GF)


I think this is DELICIOUS !!!!    The almonds give it a nice crunch !!!  Everyone liked the flavor and mixture of spices.
This is a very filling breakfast !!!  It will keep you from being hungry for hours !!!!

The batter will be a little on the "soupy" side, but it will firm up when baking.  It came out the perfect consistency - I did not need to add any additional milk when eating it the next day - it was moist but not "runny".

Adapted from this recipe. 


Ingredients:
10 large medjool dates
1 cup unsweetened applesauce 
--------
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed 
--------
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk 
--------
2 cups frozen mixed berries, thawed (with 1/2 cup of juice)
1 large banana, sliced
1 large apple, sliced or chunked

Directions:
Blend the dates and applesauce in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl.    

Mix the wet ingredients (INCLUDING blended dates) in another bowl. 

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Mix in berries, apple and banana and stir until combined.

Pour into casserole dish bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

My favorite food processor is the  KitchenAid  7-Cup Food Processor

For blenders, I use both the  Vitamix Blender and Ninja Master Prep Professional Blender

For the Lord is good.  His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. 
Psalm 100:5 (NCV)


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Contribution from Freelance Writer on Healthy Skin with a Vegan Diet

I am SOOOO thrilled to have another article from Jessica, a Freelance Writer.  This article is on how a Vegan Diet is beneficial for the skin.   Enjoy !!!!  THANKS Jessica !!!!


Stop the Spots and Break Up with Breakouts - Hidden Skin Benefits of Becoming Vegan

At first the changes are subtle as a general feeling of wellbeing overcomes the newly-appointed vegan disciple. This is soon followed by the realization that the world is indeed a better place, not just because the new recruit is doing something about the environment and the general wellbeing of animals. No, this sense of wellbeing stems from a body that experiences food from a whole new perspective. Wholesome, satisfying dishes that have a surprising side effect - a clearer skin.

The Science Behind this Wonderful Revelation

According to Dr Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D. from the Mayo Clinic, some of the best foods for a healthy skin include yellow fruits and vegetables, green leafy vegetables, blueberries, tomatoes, beans, peas, lentils, and nuts. Although salmon, mackerel, and other oily fish also make the list, these are the only non-vegan items.  Dr. Gibson also states that although these items may feature high on a healthy diet list, it’s also important that the patient refrains from a diet high in processed or refined carbohydrates or unhealthy fats. This corresponds closely to a vegan lifestyle as well.

Everyone Is Different

Although there are different skin types and dietary requirements, it’s important to know that the introduction of fresh and organic fruits and vegetables are a welcome addition to any healthy lifestyle. For those who aren’t seeing the effects of a healthy diet on their skin, a trip to the dermatologist will make a world of difference. Concern about the vegan diet is often caused by the lack of proper nutrition.

Nutritional Benefits - A Closer Look


All the different nutritional groups need to be represented to ensure that vegans experience all the health-related benefits. Skipping out on one or two food groups doesn’t only have an effect on the body, it can also be dangerous as it results in malnutrition. Vegans should take care to have enough zinc, Vitamin C and E, and unsaturated fats to experience the health benefits of the vegan lifestyle. These are perfect for combatting inflammation and getting rid of pimples. Brown spots and wrinkles are also out the door where these foods are concerned. Fibre is also a must, to eliminate waste and prevent a pasty complexion. Water is the final addition to the diet and provides hydration from the inside for that fresh-faced, glowing appearance.