Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

Benefits

This recipe was in the same magazine as the vegan pumpkin risotto recipe; what a contrast! The original recipe called for heavy cream so I just substituted almond milk creamer and coconut whip and it was delicious. What a great way to wake up on a holiday morning and its easy to make for a crowd by just multiplying the ingredients. I’m not going to pretend that this is a “health” drink but substituting the dairy products for plant based alternatives make it a healthier choice and the addition of pumpkin, cloves and cinnamon add nutritional benefits. Spices are often overlooked as the nutrient powerhouses they are.

Let’s talk about cloves.

Clove contains significant amounts of an active component called eugenol, which has made it the subject of numerous health studies, including studies on the prevention of toxicity from environmental pollutants like carbon tetrachloride, digestive tract cancers, and joint inflammation. Eugenol functions as an anti-inflammatory substance. In animal studies, the addition of clove extract to diets already high in anti-inflammatory components (like cod liver oil, with its high omega-3 fatty acid content) brings significant added benefits, and in some studies, further reduces inflammatory symptoms by another 15-30%. Clove also contains a variety of flavonoids, including kaempferol and rhamnetin, which also contribute to clove's anti-inflammatory (and antioxidant) properties.

In animal studies, the addition of clove extract to diets already high in anti-inflammatory components (like cod liver oil, with its high omega-3 fatty acid content) brings significant added benefits, and in some studies, further reduces inflammatory symptoms by another 15-30%. Clove also contains a variety of flavonoids, including kaempferol and rhamnetin, which also contribute to clove's anti-inflammatory (and antioxidant) properties.

Like its fellow spices, clove's unique phytonutrient components are accompanied by an incredible variety of traditionally recognized nutrients. Cloves are an excellent source of manganese, a very good source of vitamin K and dietary fiber, and a good source of iron, magnesium, and calcium.

Vegan Pumpkin Risotto with Sage

This delicious recipe was adapted from a recipe from Chloe Coscarelli.

A Little about this Dish!

Okay, first of all…this is a fabulous fall dish! Now that I’ve made it, I’m going to have it as the first course of our Thanksgiving dinner. It’s really simple and the taste PLUS health benefits are fantastic!

People are a little confused about Risotto. Many confuse Arborio rice with Orzo…shaped similarly but Orzo is a wheat product and Arborio rice is a type of rice whose nature makes it super absorbent without it becoming soggy so makes it really easy to imbue with intense flavors. The other thing about risotto is that most recipes call for cream, butter and cheese…not the healthiest nor weight friendly way to make it but THIS recipe is completely vegan and the addition of pumpkin, sage, garlic and onion, really pack a super nutritional “punch”!

Arborio rice is high in protein, good carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Of course brown rice has a better nutritional profile but as an Italian choice, it sure beats pasta.

Pumpkin is super high in beta-carotene (the highest of any vegetable), which converts to vitamin A…great for eyesight & cardiovascular protection, potassium: fantastic for recovery from exercise (higher than bananas!) and vitamin K, a cancer fighter. Sage has been found to have flavonoids and polyphenols beneficial to brain health as well as anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Top this off with the anti-viral, anti-bacteria, anti-cancer properties of onion and garlic and we’ve got a winner! (a little side note about onions: the outer layers are highest in the anti-oxidant quercetin, so be careful not to “over-peel”)

Gluten Free Bagels with Dairy Free Cream Cheese & Faux Lox

Benefits

Growing up in a small town, I didn’t know what bagels and lox were but once I discovered them, I was in love! Such a great way to start a lazy weekend morning! THEN…I learned that gluten, dairy and raw fish were not so good for me…boo! This recipe gave me back this guilty pleasure without all of the downsides. With the holidays coming up, This recipe is a perfect crowd pleaser AND, is something you can prep and let your guests assemble as they stumble out of bed. Make a pot of coffee and/or a pitcher of mimosas and you will be known as the best hostess ever!

So, just a few health notes: Benefits! You know how I rave about onions and tomatoes…so many antioxidants. Lycopene is the best known antioxidant in tomatoes and is associated with reduction in the risk of many cancers, improved bone health and cardiovascular function. Tomatoes are also high in Vitamin C, biotin, molybdenum, vitamin K and many other vitamins and minerals. Onions are loaded with anti-cancer, anti-fungal and overall disease preventing nutrients. You can read more about these 2 amazing foods at www.whfoods.org. Capers are a little known power house full of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fiber. They are particularly beneficial for hair and skin health and are helpful for reducing rheumatism, diabetes, congestion and flatulence!

Gluten Free Bagel Vegan Cream Cheese Faux Lox

 

Dairy links to cancer: (this info is from www.drmitraray.com)

I recommend two excellent best-selling books by Prof. T. Colin Campbell, ‘the father of nutritional biochemistry ‘are The China Study and Whole. These books describe decades of research linking cancer with the consumption of casein (the predominant protein in dairy), and animal food consumption in general.

The New York Times calls the China Study “the Grand Prix of Epidemiology” –http://www.nytimes.com/1990/05/08/science/huge-study-of-diet-indicts-fat-and-meat.html. –http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/nutrition-advice-from-the-china-study/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 http://nutritionstudies.org/no-whey-man-ill-pass-on-protein-powder/

Also here is a quick list of papers on the topic.

[1]. Rohrmann S, Platz EA, Kavanaugh CJ, et al. Meat and dairy consumption and subsequent risk of prostate cancer in a US cohort study. Cancer Causes Control 2007; 18: 41-50.

[2]. Mitrou PN, Albanes D, Weinstein SJ, et al. A prospective study of dietary calcium, dairy products and prostate cancer risk (Finland). Int J Cancer 2007;

[3]. Willett WC. Nutrition and cancer. Salud Publica Mex 1997; 39: 298–309.

[4]. Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, et al. Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians’ Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2001; 74: 549-54

[5]. Tseng M, Breslow RA, Graubard BI, Ziegler RG. Dairy, calcium, and vitamin D intakes and prostate cancer risk in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Epidemiologic Follow-up Study cohort. Am J Clin Nutr 2005; 81:

[6]. Veierod MB, Laake P, Thelle DS. Dietary fat intake and risk of prostate cancer: a prospective study of 25,708 Norwegian men. Int J Cancer 1997; 73:

[7]. Grant WB. An ecologic study of dietary links to prostate cancer. Altern Med Rev 1999; 4: 162-9.

[8]. Kushi LH, Mink PJ, Folsom AR, et al. Prospective study of diet and ovarian cancer. Am J Epidemiol 1999; 149: 21-31.

[9]. Fairfield KM, Hunter DJ, Colditz GA, et al. A prospective study of dietary lactose and ovarian cancer. Int J Cancer 2004; 110: 271-7

[10]. Schwartz GG, Hulka BS. Is vitamin D deficiency a risk factor for prostate cancer? (Hypothesis). Anticancer Res 1990; 10: 1307-11.

[11]. Miller A, Stanton C, Murphy J, Devery R. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)-enriched milk fat inhibits growth and modulates CLA-responsive biomarkers in MCF-7 and SW480 human cancer cell lines. Br J Nutr 2003; 90: 877-85.

Walnut Basil Loaf

Benefits

One of my favorite recipes of all time: thank you Christie Tom!

Christie turned me onto this recipe years ago when we were all moving toward a more plant-based diet.

It has become a staple for our family.

We love the hearty “sturdiness” of it as a main course (or sandwich) but also LOVE it on gluten-free crackers or endive “boats” with or without a little faux egg salad (another episode) and a splash of our favorite red pepper “Miso Mayo” as a loved appetizer or snack.

It feels “fancy” but is so satisfying! Every one of the 5 ingredients in this recipe is not just “safe” they’re also SO GOOD for us!

There is a folk explanation of foods’ shapes in relation to the organ in the body that it supports. If this is true, walnuts have a “brain shape” which would suggest benefits for brain health. When we look at the makeup of walnuts, we find that this is true!

Phytonutrient research on the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of walnuts has moved this food further and further up the ladder of foods that are protective against metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular problems, and type 2 diabetes. Some phytonutrients found in walnuts—for example, the quinone juglone—are found in virtually no other commonly eaten foods. Other phytonutrients—like the tannin tellimagrandin or the flavonol Morin—are also rare and valuable as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. These anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytonutrients also help explain the decreased risk of certain cancers—including prostate cancer and breast cancer—in relationship to walnut consumption: http://www.whfoods.com.

Scientific studies show the following benefits of basil:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Cancer-fighter
  • Pain-reducer (analgesic)
  • Fever-reducer (antipyretic)
  • Diabetes-preventer
  • Liver-protector (hepatoprotective)
  • Blood vessel-protector
  • Anti-stress solution
  • Immune-booster

Combine these 2 super foods with the other 3 plants in this recipe for an “over-the-top” nutritious AND delicious all-occasion dish!

walnut-basil-loaf-gluten-free-vegan

vegan-gf-walnut-basil-loaf

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Super Yummy, Nutritious, Delicious, Crowd Pleasing Vegan Chili

Paired with Vegan, Gluten Free Corn Bread, and maybe a salad, this is an amazing meal!

Benefits

Do I really need to tell you the health benefits of this dish? Tomatoes, Beams, Mushrooms, Onions, Garlic and Chili! Wow! If you make this dish right, it’s tough to find anything that tops it in nutrition AND deliciousness.

homemade gluten free healthy chili

homemade gluten free healthy chili

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Bean, Corn and Avocado Tostadas

Benefits

Oh, my goodness! Where do I start? Let’s start with beans! (the magical fruit!)

Beans provide myriad health benefits, and they fit into several different food groups: Although they are rich in complex carbs like breads and starches, as a plant-based food, they are also part of the vegetable group, offering an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, like their veggie companions. They can also hold their own in the protein group, supplying protein aplenty. Unlike some other members of this group, beans provide little to no fat and are cholesterol-free. In fact, beans actually lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels instead of potentially causing them to increase, as animal proteins do. Though they’ve been around for centuries, beans are a modern-day super food.

  1. They Are Heart-Helpers Beans are “heart healthy” because they contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  2. They Are Low In Fat Most beans are about 2 to 3 percent fat, and contain no cholesterol.
  3. They Pack Protein The Dietary Guidelines for Americans say we should be eating more plant proteins. About 1/2 cup of beans provides 7 grams of protein, the same amount as in 1 ounce of chicken, meat or fish.
  4. They Balance Blood Sugar With a low glycemic index; beans contain a blend of complex carbohydrates and protein. Because of this, beans are digested slowly, which helps keep blood glucose stable, and may curtail fatigue and irritability.
  5. They Cut Cancer Risk Scientists recommend that adults consume 3 cups of beans per week to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, like cancer because of their abundance of fiber and antioxidants.
  6. They Will Move You Filled with fiber, beans can promote regularity by preventing constipation. Weighing in at 5 to 8 grams of fiber per 100 grams (3 ounces), beans are ideal for those who are sensitive to gluten.
  7. They’ll Satisfy You Because beans are metabolized more slowly than other complex carbs, they may aid in weight loss by keeping us feeling full without being excessively high in calories.
  8. They’re Convenient Canned, frozen or dry, beans are a breeze to purchase, prepare, and store.
  9. They Are Wallet-Friendly Beans are the least expensive source of protein, especially when compared to meat.
  10. They Are Nutrient-Rich Aside from protein, complex carbs and fiber, beans contain a powerhouse of nutrients including antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals, such as copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans refer to many of these important nutrients as “shortfall nutrients,” meaning most of us aren’t getting enough of them. Beans can help you step up to a more complete plate.
  11. They’re Versatile They can be incorporated into a main dish (chili), side dish (rice and beans), appetizer (soup) or snack (dip). Be creative by having a variety in your pantry.

Avocados, Salsa, Corn, Cilantro, Onions & Garlic: I won’t go into the many, many benefits of these healthful ingredients as we will use the in subsequent recipes. Just keep in mind that all of these plant foods provide tremendous benefits for our health on top of being delicious!

I hope this recipe becomes one of your family’s favorites! It’s a staple for ours.

cook-with-joy-tostada

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Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup

Health Benefits of Ingredients:

Tomatoes: Where do I start? Lycopene for prostate health, skin cancer prevention. Intake of tomatoes has long been linked to heart health. Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In addition, tomato extracts have been shown to help prevent unwanted clumping together of platelet cells in the blood – a factor that is especially important in lowering risk of heart problems like atherosclerosis. As our knowledge of unique tomato phytonutrients expands, we are likely to learn more about the unique role played by tomatoes in support of heart health. Tomatoes are also likely to rise further and further toward the top of the list as heart healthy.

Onion: The phytochemicals in onions help improve immunity, reduce inflammation and heal infections. Chromium, assists in regulating blood sugar, Raw onion lowers the production of bad cholesterol (LDL), thus keeping your heart healthy. A powerful compound called quercetin in onions is known to play a significant role in preventing cancer.. Onions scavenge free radicals, thereby reducing your risk of developing gastric ulcers.

Garlic: Helps Fight Off Viruses and Bacterial Infections, Helps Cleanse The Body of Heavy Metals, Strengthens Bones, Helps Maintain Healthy Cognitive Function Lengthens Lifespan, Lowers Blood Pressure, Helps Reduce Cholesterol, Used By Athletes to Perform Better, Cheap and Easy to Cook With. High Nutrient Content!

Cashews: Lower Risk of Weight Gain, Help Prevent Gallstones, Contain Heart-Protective Monounsaturated Fats along with many other health benefits.

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Grilled, Gluten-free, Vegan Cheese Sandwiches

Benefits

Where should I start? Not eating animal products will do much to lower risks of high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, stroke, colitis…. you get the drift.

Gluten has recently come under much scrutiny as a health risk largely because grains are now being bred to contain much more gluten than ancient grains because they make the resulting bread products much “fluffier” and commercially appealing.

According to many experts, no human has the ability to break down this protein. Ancient methods of bread making utilized naturally occurring yeast, which helped breakdown the gluten.

Effects of gluten consumption may include inflammation, especially in the gut and disturbance of the gut “biome”, but also systemic inflammation that can lead to any condition with an “itis” at the end (arthritis, colitis, etc.), auto-immune disorders, fatigue, congestion and brain fog.

It is widely thought that gluten largely contributes to breaking down the protective sheath around nerve fibers (myelin), which is a large contributor to multiple sclerosis and other nerve disorders.

Adding the onion and other veggies to the sandwich greatly increases the nutritional value, instead of just “not being so bad for you”.

Thus, I have turned my beloved grilled cheese and tomato soup into a veritable health food! Enjoy!

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The Benefits of Eating Gluten-Free

Do you ever wonder if eating gluten-free is for you? Below is a list of the benefits that can come from having a gluten-free diet. If they resonate with you, maybe it’s worth it to give it a try!

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Vegan, Gluten Free Gnocchi

Benefits

10 Benefits of Eating Gluten-free

  1. Better Digestive Health
  2. Increased Energy Levels
  3. Reduced Inflammation
  4. Healthier Diet for a Healthier Life
  5. Better Mood
  6. Improved Cholesterol Levels
  7. Reduced Risk of Heart Disease & Diabetes
  8. Ward off Viruses and Germs
  9. Promotes Healthy Weight-loss
  10. Lower Chance of getting another Auto-immune Disease

The nutrients in your gnocchi

Other vegetable toppings contain nutrients that promote better health.. Onions contain chromium & vitamin C, & can help regulate blood sugar, blood pressure & cholesterol. Bell peppers contain high levels of antioxidants & vitamins C, B6, & A, which help keep cells healthy. These vitamins also support the immune system, metabolism, digestive health & good vision. Mushrooms contain zinc, riboflavin & potassium, all necessary for many important functions in the body & help keep the central nervous system healthy. Combined, these nutrients go a long way to protect your heart & prevent disease.

gnocchi-1

gnicchi2

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