Red Oatmeal Spice Cookies

GOOD EATING, PLANT-BASED, WHOLE FOOD

redcookie

Hi, I’m back with a very different, scrumptious cookie recipe. I was out of nuts and raisins when my old cookies were gone, so I experimented in a way you’ll never imagine. I steamed red beets to use instead of raisins and added poppyseed for the nuts. The new cookies are surprisingly delicious as well as very nutritious! I had a young girlfriend tell me they’re the best cookies I’ve ever made (that she’s tasted).

So here’s my recipe that makes two cookie sheets or about four dozen cookies.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get out big mixing bowl.

 

3 cups hazelnut flour (almond meal could be used)

1/3 cup amaranth flour (spelt can be used)

3/4 cup arrowroot (tapioca flour could be used)

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/4 tsp seasalt (table salt or highly-processed seasalt NOT recommended)

1 tsp baking powder  (aluminum-free)

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

3/4 cup poppyseed

 

Stir together well before adding the following moist ingredients.

 

1 cup steamed red beets (not mushy) -Save 1 3/4 cup of beet juice

2 TBS ground flaxseed mixed with 6 TBS filtered water and let sit

1 ripe banana, 1/4 cup prunes or your choice of similar dried fruit like figs, and 2 TBS tahini

(blend those three together and add to dry ingredients)

1/4 cup brown rice syrup (1/3 cup would be ok, but cookie will be moister)

4 scoops pure stevia extract (or 3 if more brown rice syrup is used, none if honey used; if blackstrap molasses used, use stevia according to taste . I’ve tried Truvia before and you’d need about 1/4 or 1/3 cup at least.)

1 tsp real vanilla (I was out and used half capful of amaretto flavoring)

 

Add beets, beet juice, gelled flaxseed, syrup, banana mixture, stevia and flavoring to dry ingredients and stir well. Roll into balls, place on cookie sheet (I usually use parchment on sheet, but couldn’t find it and so oiled sheet).  Bake for eleven minutes unless your oven is hotter or colder than mine.

The cookies do not taste like beets. Actually they have a good citrusy flavor and a great consistency. Another girlfriend said she really liked them and were the most interesting cookie she’d ever eaten. They look festive too if you want diabeetic-friendly cookies for Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try Creamy Cauliflower Chickpea Sauce!

GOOD EATING, PLANT-BASED, WHOLE FOOD

alfredosauce
Here’s a great vegan alternative to high-calorie, unhealthy white sauces. I’m a big fan of potatoes and sweet potatoes, which have good nutrition and fiber, but some of you may want to go easy on them if you’re watching too many pounds accumulate on your waistline.

So this sauce is made with steamed cauliflower (boiling not recommended!) and cooked chickpeas. It’s very easy to make, delicious, and nice to your pocketbook too!

Cauliflower Chickpea Sauce

1 cup cooked chickpeas (I use raw peas soaked, drained, cooked in slow cooker with seasalt or little seaweed)

1 cup steamed cauliflower

2/3 cup cooked chickpea juice

a little squeezed lemon or lime

1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast

seasalt, crushed red pepper, turmeric, basil to taste

Blend on high until saucy consistency. I served it warm over whole wheat pasta, but any whole grain pasta or whole grain like quinoa will be yummy.

I want to mention that while I try to economize, I cannot recommend using cheap seasalt like Morton’s “Mediterranean” seasalt made in China. Seasalt should have loads of minerals including iodine and taste not real salty,  but have great, not overly processed flavor and texture.

The success of any dish is quality of ingredients and how it’s prepared. You shouldn’t need to use lots of seasonings if it’s made right.

If the sauce is too thick for you, you could add some unsweetened soy, almond or coconut milk for part of the chickpea juice.

Bon apetit!

A Purple Breakfast Smoothie And More!

GOOD EATING, PLANT-BASED, WHOLE FOOD

smoothiepic

I’ve been lovin’ my breakfast smoothies for over a decade. Breakfast is such an important meal to rev up your metabolism and even out your depressed blood sugar from having not eaten while you slept. I have few friends who make a good, healthy breakfast a priority and it shows.

They battle the pounds and cravings after the body comes out of starvation mode, which then causes your body to store fat.

I don’t make my smoothies exactly the same every time or enjoy one every morning. They’re not too expensive, but more costly than polenta for sure. Here’s my vegan, nutrition-packed, delicious recipe!

9 oz. unsweetened almond or soy milk

3 oz. full-fat coconut milk

half a frozen or ripe banana

1/2 cup frozen berries (blueberries, blackberries used here)

spoonful plant protein powder (like Nutiva hemp powder)

cinnamon or nutmeg to taste

pure stevia extract to taste (make sure it’s pure without lactose!)

Blend from low to high for a minute or so in blender, serve and enjoy!

 

 

I’ve  been lovin’ polenta in the mornings too! Made with stoneground, non-gluten corn meal from Bob’s Red Mill, it needs citrus to let Vitamin Bs be absorbed.

I use a rice cooker to make it. Handy kitchen appliance.

1/4 cup organic corn meal

1 1/4 cup filtered water or cooked chickpea juice or half/half

2 minced garlic cloves or sweet onion

1/3 cup chopped kale, spinach, or fav seaweed

spoonful tahini (sesame seed paste) or almond butter maybe (my hummus works)

1/2 squeezed lime (helps you absorb B vitamins in corn meal)

tamari sauce, crushed red pepper, seasalt to taste

 

IMG_4555

I’ve also been experimenting with a no-bake breakfast cookie you just mix, roll into ball, and refrigerate the night before eating. No pic yet, but they’re not beauty contestants like the others!

1 1/2 soaked, cooked (slow cooker used) and mashed pinto beans or 2 1/2  cups steamed apples

1/2 cup slightly cooked and drained raisins, figs, or prunes

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

2-4 Tablespoons your fav nut or seed butter

2 Tablespoons brown rice syrup

teaspoon cinnamon or half teaspoon nutmeg

1 scoop pure stevia extract or to taste

SUBSTITUTION

I enjoyed the cookies a little more when I used 1/2 cup carob powder, 1 1/2 cups apples, and 1 cup oats instead of beans, but add some raisin juice for moisture.

Hope you’ll enjoy your breakfasts more now, maybe with my recipes!

Attention: Vegan Refried Beans To Love!

GOOD EATING, PLANT-BASED, WHOLE FOOD

refriedbeansAnother challenge for me as a person who happily eats a whole foods, plant-based diet is a recipe for refried beans that is not greasy or too salty with animal-based food, but is delicious using only plant-based food.

Recently I made a batch that is quite tasty. I’ve spooned it over a cooked whole grain like quinoa, bulgur wheat (also nongluten), and brown rice or spread it on 100% whole grain bread or used as a dip with veggies or chips. It can be made thinner or thicker with the pinto bean juice saved from cooking the beans or with juice from the olive jar for a saltier taste.

 

VEGAN REFRIED BEANS

 

1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans soaked overnight (I never, ever use canned) and cooked in slow cooker 3 1/2 hours on high (never tried it on continuous low)

1/4 large onion

8 green olives

1-2 teaspoons juice from olives jar

1/2 squeezed lime (large)

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon coriander (if fresh cilantro used, use up to 1/2 cup)

crushed red pepper to taste

chili powder to taste

seasalt to taste

 

Chop onion , olives, lime and olive (or pinto bean) juice in mini-chopper.

Heat up skillet (I use large cast-iron skillet) on medium-high and saute the chopped mixture in oil.

Add cooked pinto beans to skillet and mash until desired consistency.

Add seasonings to taste and stir well.

Serve over cooked grain with sliced olives or maybe cilantro for garnish.

 

SUBSTITUTIONS

 

Black beans are very good if you don’t care for pinto beans. 2 garlic cloves may be used for onion. I’ve never been a fan of black olives and they’re not salty, but if you prefer them then either use more seasalt, try tamari sauce, or a dark miso.

Squeezed lemon instead of lime doesn’t appeal to me, but maybe apple cider vinegar? Of course you can use different seasonings like basil or thyme instead of coriander/cilantro. It’s all good. Coconut oil is my favorite cooking oil and don’t be afraid to use it to lightly oil skillet.

I hope you love making and eating this recipe. Please leave a comment if you do or don’t. Thanks

 

 

 

 

Don’t Be Afraid To Make Vegan Tapioca~

GOOD EATING, PLANT-BASED, WHOLE FOOD

tapioca

When I first became a whole foods, plant-based eater, it eventually dawned on me that no vegan chefs were making tapioca, or at least not in their cookbooks. That challenged me to come up with my own. Tapioca my not be terribly nutritious as far as nutrients go, but starch is still a satisfying, delicious part of the diet, adding energy to a tiring day.

The way I make tapioca has gone through plenty of experimentation to give it as much taste and nutrition as possible and everybody who tries it just falls in love with it.

So without further ado, here is my favorite recipe:

The Best Tapioca

Get out a double boiler and add water to bottom pan. Add ingredients to top, low-heated pan:

3 c. unsweetened almond milk

3/4 c. full-fat coconut milk or silken tofu

3/4 of mashed, ripe banana

1/2 c. instant tapioca

3 tablespoons or TB brown rice syrup

1/2 c. raisins

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

11/2 teaspoons cinnamon or cardamom

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon seasalt

1 scoop stevia extract or to taste

Blend until thick and pour into little glass containers. Let cool for some minutes and refrigerate overnight.

SUBSTITUTIONS

Dark molasses instead of brown rice syrup is pretty tasty. Figs or sweetened cranberries instead of raisins are great too. Soy milk can be used. A tablespoon of carob powder makes it chocolatey. Tapioca flour or pearls may be used instead of instant tapioca,  but you’ll need twice the amount or thereabouts.

Hope you’ll love the recipe!

YUM Hummus!

GOOD EATING, PLANT-BASED, WHOLE FOOD

Hi there, Heather here. I made the hummus this morning for a BBQ that we are having.  I used the blender instead of the mini chopper, and it made the consistency a little more smooth than it does using the mini chopper.  Also replaced the Hemp oil (didn’t have any) with Olive oil, and for a kick used about 1/4 tsp of horseradish.  My picky husband loved it, and Alex, my 15 year old said it was ok.  Serving it with fresh vegetables.

Eating for me now has taken on a new life of its own.  I find myself trying new things and attempting to add new flavor to what I am cooking.  I am making more health-conscious decisions on what is going into my body, and feel a lot better because of it.   I am finding that eating more fiber and less meats and processed foods, actually keep me feeling full longer., therefore reducing my caloric intake for the day.   I am feeling less bloated than before because my body isn’t working so hard to process the foods that I eat.

Have a great weekend to everyone.

FORGET STORE-BOUGHT HUMMUS FOREVER!

GOOD EATING, PLANT-BASED, WHOLE FOOD

hummus

It usually comes as a huge surprise that homemade hummus is much more delicious than that well-preserved, oily, store-bought hummus,. My friend Heather’s husband asked what my hummus was because he thought hummus was supposed to be dark-colored and of a harder consistency. Mine is a beige color like real garbanzo beans and has a fresh, softer consistency.

The most important thing for you to know about making great hummus is that you need to use raw garbanzo beans, not canned or dried like those stored in grocery stores.

I buy a five pound bag of them from a Wisconsin farm for about fifteen dollars that’s found on amazon.com and now Heather has too. Super bargain! The wonderful thing about buying them raw is that after soaking them overnight in water and cooking them a few hours in a slow cooker, the chickpeas are not mushy, but retain a slight chewiness. They also have the luscious taste they’re supposed to deliver and the bag lasts me for many months.

Another point of interest in making homemade hummus like this is that the cooked juice may be used as another kind of egg replacer. I’ve only recently read about this vegan discovery and haven’t baked with it, called aquafaba, but it doesn’t surprise me because I’ve used it in hummus and other main dishes for years. Aquafaba has a jelly-like consistency that helps bind together dips or sauces.

Other cooked, raw beans, like white beans, are recommended for their juices. Look for a recipe or two that uses them (besides this one).

I make hummus a little differently each time, but have learned to not make it too moist so it won’t spoil so quickly or lose its consistency and become watery. Feel free to use my substitution ideas, according to taste. I make enough to freeze, but it always tastes better fresh.

As for the nutrition of homemade hummus, it’s a very good source of plant protein, which is nothing to scoff at. It has lots of most of the vitamins with many micronutrients and enzymes from being made from a whole food. I don’t admire reductionist science that you get with heavily-processed foods found in the center aisles of supermarkets. Buy instead from the outer areas.

SPINACH HUMMUS

Soak 1 1/2 cups raw garbanzo beans (no canned or dried, not sure about frozen raw) overnight. Rinse and cover with filtered water (a few inches over beans). Cook in slow cooker on high for a little over three hours or experiment with high and low settings if preferred. Save juice.

Get out mini-chopper or mixer.

Add 2 garlic cloves now to cooked beans or while cooking.

Squeeze half a big lemon or lime

Use as much chickpea juice as needed for smooth consistency

Add 5 green olives

Add big handful of torn, fresh baby spinach

Add 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)

Add 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (Bragg’s brand is great)

Add 2 tablespoons brown n’ spicy mustard (or more to taste!)

Add 1 teaspoon hempseed oil

Add 1 teaspoon oregano (fresh would be outstanding)

Add 2 teaspoons crushed red peppers or to taste

Add 1/2 teaspoon seasalt (not table salt)

Blend together until thick and smooth. If you’ve added too much juice and it’s runny, you could add perhaps 3 tablespoons of cooked bulgur wheat, which is non-gluten as well as full of flavor and nutrition. I love it cold in taboulleh salad too. A little goes a long ways.

Instead of spinach you may prefer kale. Instead of green olives I suggest miso for its saltiness and nutrition, but you may enjoy black olives or tamari sauce.

Hempseed oil is my favorite, nongreasy, EFA-rich oil, but olive or grapeseed oil is good.

I often add a little seaweed while beans are cooking, my favorites being kombu and wakame. They give you iodine which is deficient in most American diets and extremely important for thyroid health and women’s reproductive health. Use less seasalt if you add seaweed.

Hope it turns out for you!

Heather has decided to leave comments on my posts, but maybe she’ll instead add to my posts when visiting me. Thanks for reading.