HEALTHY FUDGESICLES

Fudsicle carobsicle collage

Or “carobsicles” if you make them like I did.  I have been using a lot more carob lately because I really enjoy the flavor.

These popsicles were inspired by a “Cocoa-Bean Ice Cream” recipe I saw on Dr. Fuhrman’s website.  The “bean” in the title is just that…beans.

You know I like packing as much nutrition into a recipe as I can and adding beans to the mix actually adds creaminess to the frozen treat in addition to fiber.  I promise you will not even taste a hint of the beans…the carob OR cocoa takes care of that.

I chose to make popsicles vs. ice cream which resulted in 7 popsicles vs. the 4 servings the recipe originally made.

This recipe is made with WHOLE FOODS and is a wonderful way to end your day.

INGREDIENTS

2 ripe bananas, frozen
1/2 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup cooked aduki beans, rinsed and drained (the original recipe called for black beans)
1/4 cup toasted carob powder (the original recipe called for 3 Tbs. cocoa powder)
4 dates, pitted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (alcohol free)
1 cup soy, hemp, or almond milk

Blend all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender until very smooth.  Pour into popsicle molds, freeze, and enjoy.

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For a printable version of this recipe click HERE.

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Dessert, Frozen Treats, Ice Cream, Recipes, Sorbet, Vegan, Vegetarian

SAN-J GLUTEN FREE ASIAN DRESSINGS

San J Dressing Collage

San-J is a favorite brand in this gluten-free Asian household.  Their Thai Peanut Sauce has been a staple in our fridge for years as has their Szechuan Sauce & Terriyaki Sauce.

That being said, I was excited to try their new salad dressings (which they sent to me free of charge).  The flavors are good basic Asian flavors:

While admittedly HIGH in sodium, I am a fan of these dressings.  I used them on seaweed salad and to lightly marinade some cucumbers (they tasted best after only marinading 30 minutes…when left overnight they became too salty).  I did however cut the dressing with a bit of rice wine vinegar because I like a more “vinegar-y” dressing and I also added some red pepper flakes to the cucumbers.

Using the dressings on a regular salad produced a great result.  My favorite 2 dressings were the Tamari Peanut and Tamari Ginger since they had more flavor than the Tamari Sesame.

Some more good news…San-J has Reduced Sodium Tamari now…yay!!!  HOPEFULLY they will come out with Reduced Sodium Travel Packs soon (I keep the travel packs in my car for when I go out to Asian restaurants).

San-J graciously shared a recipe for one of their favorite ways to use the Tamari Peanut Dressing…

TAMARI PEANUT PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI

Created by: Amie Valpone

INGREDIENTS - Serves 4.

12 oz. whole grain spaghetti
1 Tbsp. olive oil (eliminate if water sauteing)
1 large zucchini, diced
1 (15 oz.) can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
3 Tbsp. San-J Tamari Peanut Salad Dressing Sub out for either ginger or sesame dressing and add 1Tbs. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
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PREPARATION

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Then, drain and return to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat (eliminate if water sauteing). Add the zucchini; cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Add white beans, garlic, sea salt, pepper and crushed red pepper; cook for another 4 minutes. Remove from heat; add bean mixture to the spaghetti along with San-J Tamari Peanut Salad Dressing and mix well to combine.

Serve warm and top with sesame seeds.

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Recipe courtesy of San-J. www.san-j.com

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Gluten Free, Main Dish, Product Reviews, Recipes, Salad, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

CALORIE RESTRICTION

I was recently alerted to the video, “Eat, Fast, & Live Longer” through a newsletter I receive from VegSource.  The concept of elongating lifespan through calorie restriction  or intermittent fasting is fascinating.

“The CRON-diet (Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition)[1] is a nutrient-rich, very low calorie diet[2] developed by Roy WalfordLisa Walford, and Brian M. Delaney.[3][4][5] The CRON-diet involves calorie restriction in the hope that the practice will improve health and retard aging, while still attempting to provide the recommended daily amounts of various nutrients. Other names include CR-dietLongevity diet, and Anti-Aging Plan. Several people, including the Walfords and Delaney, founded the CR Society International to promote the CRON-diet.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting (usually meaning consumption of water and sometimes low-calorie drinks such as black coffee) and non-fasting.

There is evidence suggesting that intermittent fasting may have beneficial effects on the health and longevity of animals—including humans—that are similar to the effects of caloric restriction (CR). There is currently no consensus as to the degree to which this is simply due to fasting or due to an (often) concomitant overall decrease in calories, but recent studies have shown support for the former.[1][2] Alternate-day calorie restriction may prolong life span.[3] Intermittent fasting and caloric restriction are forms of dietary restriction (DR), which is sometimes referred to as dietary energy restriction (DER).

Scientific study of intermittent fasting in rats (and anecdotally in humans) was carried out at least as early as 1943.[4]

A specific form of intermittent fasting is alternate day fasting (ADF), also referred to as every other day fasting (EOD), or every other day feeding (EODF), a 48-hour routine typically composed of a 24-hour fast followed by a 24-hour non-fasting period.” – Wikipedia

While this is not a short video (clocking-in at around 1 hour), it is a very intriguing watch.

Have any of you tried intermittent fasting?  Any fasting experience?

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Filed under Cancer, Cholesterol, Cleansing, Diabetes, Education, Fat, Immune System, Metabolic Syndrome, Weight Issues

ETHICAL OCEAN VEGAN RECIPE CONTEST

pineapple upside down cakes (12)

RecipeContestBannerThe Ethical Ocean and Vegan Cuts Vegan Recipe Challenge recipe contest is live!!! 25 of the most talented vegan culinary masterminds have submitted recipes for the contest, and now we need you to pick your favorite (I’d love your vote for my Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes!

You can vote daily (and for as many recipes as you want!). And if a recipe that you vote for wins, you’ll be entered into the Grand Prize draw for a chance to win a $250 shopping spree on Ethical Ocean OR a 1 year subscription to a Vegan Cuts’ Snack Pack. The more times you vote, the more chances to win you have!

Timing: The contest kicks off at 9am EST on Friday April 26 and ends at 11:59pm EST on May 17.

Note: While you must sign-up to Ethical Ocean to vote; you can choose to unsubscribe to emails at any time.

Links:

·         Click HERE to vote for my recipe

·         Click HERE to see the general contest                                                        

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SO DELICIOUS GETS MORE STABLE

So Delicious Shelf Stable Barista Creamer unsweetened vanilla almond milk

At Expo West So Delicious (you know I love them) showcased some exciting products they released in February… SHELF STABLE “Barista Style” Coconut Milk Creamers in French Vanilla and Original as well as Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk (Also available in refrigerated half gallons!).

I was excited to learn that they made their creamers shelf stable.  I like to have the creamers on hand for when I am making treats (puddings, ice creams, smoothies, etc.), but don’t always plan well and that has meant that on occasion I have had to throw away the refrigerated creamers because they expired before I needed them (again, poor planning on my part).

Now that the creamers are shelf-stable I won’t have to worry about timing it just right because they can sit in wait on my pantry shelf until I need them.  I do wish the shelf stable creamers came in more than one size though since 32 oz. is quite large.  There are times I will use that amount for a recipe, but if I am just splashing it into a beverage, it would be nice to have say an 8 or 10 oz. container available vs. opening the 32 ouncer.

Seeing as sugar is SO present in our world, I am glad So Delicious is now providing UNSWEETENED Vanilla coconut milk.  One serving provides 50% of your daily B12 and 30% of your vitamin D.  I thought you might like to take a look at the nutrition info:

Nutrition Facts - Amount Per Serving

Serving Size 1 cup (240 mL)
Calories
45
Calories from Fat
40
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.5g 7%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 15mg 1%
Potassium 50mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugar 0g
Protein 0g
 

While at the booth I got the down-low on some gluten free sweet treats they are working on developing.  It’s hush hush, but let’s just say those of you who are both gluten free and dairy free will be so excited (can you say “childhood favorites?”).  Hopefully these new products will be ready to sample at next year’s Expo.

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Mini Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes

pineapple upside down cakes (12)

It has been YEARS since I last had pineapple upside-down cake.  Out of the blue a craving hit and I decided to challenge myself to come-up with a healthier version.

Along the way I discovered that this recipe makes a wonderful pancake batter as well (you have to love the dual purpose nature of this batter!).

I have been invited to enter the Ethical Ocean recipe contest and this will be my entry…more information to come.

INGREDIENTS - Makes 12-16 muffins

Wet Ingredients
12 pineapple slices, drained (reserve 2 Tbs. juice from the can)
12 Morello cherries
1 1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple
1 cup applesauce
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Dry Ingredients
2 Tbs SweetLeaf SugarLeaf
1-2 Tbsp pineapple juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup King Arthur’s Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup GFree pancake mix
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
honey or maple syrup
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METHOD

pineapple upside down cake collage 1

  1. Preheat oven to 350° (I used convection bake).
  2. Trim the pineapple slices to the size of the bottom of your muffin tin (I used a biscuit cutter).
  3. In a large mixing bowl add 1 cup applesauce, crushed pineapple, pineapple juice, and vanilla. Mix.
  4. Add baking soda, salt, xanthan gum, pancake mix, and flours to a separate bowl and whisk to evenly distribute.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well to incorporate.
  6. Lightly grease the muffin tins (I used coconut oil).
  7. Line the bottom of each tin with one slice of pineapple and a cherry in the middle.
  8. Cover each pineapple and cherry slice with batter until the muffin tins are 3/4 full.
  9. Bake for approx. 15 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean.
  10. Allow the pan to cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack and top with maple syrup or honey while still warm.

pineapple upside down cake collage 2

Don’t forget that this batter also makes AMAZING pancakes!!!  Feel free to add a smidgen more pineapple juice to thin the batter if you plan on using it for pancakes.

pineapple upside down cakes (6)

For a printable version of this recipe CLICK HERE.

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Filed under Breakfast, Cake, Cooked Fruit, Dessert, Fruit, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

CHINESE-STYLE GRAPEFRUIT

grapefruit (4)

I have learned so much marrying into a Chinese family.  One of the first observations my husband and I made relating to our cultural differences was that (in general) Chinese people do not eat raw vegetables (salad is not a very Chinese dish) and they don’t cook their fruit (he tried apple pie for the first time with me).

Chinese people are also very big on peeling fruit.  Whereas I LOVE apple peels, etc. my husband had to acquire the taste since his father always peeled his apples (and the rest of the fruit he ate).

My father-in-law will painstakingly remove the membranes from my children’s tangerines.  Tangerine membranes are quite thin which makes this a very time-consuming job.

Fortunately it is SO EASY to remove the membranes from grapefruit and pomelos.  I had never eaten a pomelo before meeting my husband.  I always liked grapefruit, but I hated the time it took to prepare them buy cutting around the membranes, etc.  All of this changed when my hubby showed me the Chinese way.  The membranes on grapefruits and pomelos are very thick and loose which makes removing them a cinch.

grapefruit chinese style collage

The white grapefruits at my local farmer’s market are so sweet and juicy right now which means that I have been eating a lot of them…always the Chinese way.  I remove the peel from the grapefruit and keep them in the fridge (whole) so they are ready for a quick snack.  Remove the membranes as you eat them (this will keep them fresh).

Have any of you tried eating grapefruit or pomelos this way?

grapefruit segment collage

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Filed under Quick, Raw, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

PROBIOTICS

Renew Life Collage photo 1.

I am a big believer in the benefits of probiotics.  I take them on a daily basis as do my children. I find that many people are unaware of the fact that our gut is a large part of our immune system.  According to Brenda Watson, one of the founders of Renew Life

“[T]he gut is the root and core of our total general well being.  It’s the place where food is broken down into the building blocks of our cells.  It’s the first line of defense against invading pathogens and infectious diseases.” 

Our bodies are filled with bacteria…some good, some bad.  With probiotics we can tip the scales in our favor by introducing large amount of GOOD bacteria that will overrun the bad. There are many different ways to ingest probiotics.  In addition to taking a capsule every morning (a MUST for me), I try to eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi. I also treat myself to probiotic drinks every so often (my absolute favorite is KeVita…they sweeten their drinks with stevia…yay!).

I am excited to announce that I have become an ambassador for Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora products.  I am extremely picky about which supplements I take and I did my due diligence before signing on to this role.  I really want a product to be of superb quality if I am going to align myself with it and I want it to be a reasonable price, which these are (They start at around $20 per month).

To further illustrate how diligent I was prior to signing on, I went so far as to take the probiotics with me to my appointment with one of my personal physicians, Dr. Michael Galitzer, so he could test it against my body.  As soon as he saw Renew Life he mentioned that he knew them to be a good company and I am happy to report that the probiotic passed his test with flying colors.

I really like that the Ultimate Flora line has sooooo many different offerings for different conditions.  It is such a benefit to be able to pick the probiotic YOU specifically need vs. a one-size-fits-all approach. I have been taking the Ultimate Flora Women’s Care (25 Billion) which is specific to women since it:

  • Helps balance yeast‡
  • Promotes vaginal heath‡
  • Supports urinary tract‡
  • Helps replenish healthy vaginal flora levels‡
  • Delayed Release

The  other probiotic offerings in the line are:

  • Ultimate Flora Critical Care 50
  • Ultimate Flora Senior Formula 30 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Adult Formula 15 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Vaginal Formula 50 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Critical Colon 80 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Super Critical 200 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Extra Care 30 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora RTS Daily 15 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Daily Care 15 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Ultra Potent 100 Billion
  • Ultimate Flora Advanced Immunity
  • Ultimate Flora Daily Probiotic Plus Fiber
  • Ultimate Flora Constipation Relief
  • Ultimate Flora Kid’s Probiotic
If you are new to probiotics, your body may go through an adjustment period which can range anywhere from a little gas to more frequent bowel movements.  If you have a lot of symptoms, scale back and take less until your body adjusts.  I recommend starting slowly and building-up from there.  For example, if a bottle states that the dose is 2 capsules, use 1 capsule for a few weeks and then add in the second capsule.
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For more information about Renew Life probiotics, or to order click HERE. .To learn more about Ultimate Flora by Renew Life, click HERE.
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Please note that as an affiliate I receive a small percentage of each Renew Life sale generated from this site…I believe in their products.

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Filed under Education, Gut Health, Immune System

Mary’s Gone Graham Crackers!!!

Mary's Gone Crackers Graham Crackers COMPRESS
This is easily one of the new products that got me the most excited at Expo West.  Mary’s Gone Crackers, a brand known to all with gluten issues, has developed the most bomb-diggity graham cracker!!!

I don’t know about you, but I have been underwhelmed by the gluten-free graham crackers I have been buying for my daughter for years now.  She eats them and when you crumb them and use them to make a “graham” cracker pie crust they work, but the taste is not graham-like whatsoever.

Another issue I have with the gluten-free graham crackers on the market is how brittle they are.  Inevitably when you open up a box at least 1/3  are cracked before you even get them out of the container.  S’mores end-up a broken mess.

Mary’s Gone Crackers’ grahams are completely hearty and thick and will rise to the s’more challenge for sure.

How about the taste?  I am not joking when I say that I actually PREFER THESE GRAHAMS OVER REGULAR GLUTEN-FILLED GRAHAMS!!!!!

I wished I remembered specifically when they will be coming out in stores.  Most of the products debuted at the Expo will be rolling onto shelves late spring / early summer and I am sure these will be too.

Are you as psyched about these as I am?

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TWO WINNERS – Mystery Box Giveaway!!!

Thank you to all who entered the Mystery Box Giveaway!  Through the use of Random.org I randomly selected TWO winners and they are…

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Renee

Submitted on 2013/03/20 at 5:58 pm

LOVE your FACEBOOK page… there is ALWAYS something I Learn that I didn’t know! Great to share the information with others as well! Thanks for using the USPS flat rate shipping Boxes too!

Miss.Zoe

Oooh I’m both!

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I contacted Renee and Miss Zoe via e-mail.  Renee and Zoe, please e-mail me at gretchen (at) veggiegrettie (dot) com with your mailing address and I will get the boxes out to you ASAP.  Please respond within 3 days or I will be forced to choose an alternate winner.

Congratulations and thank you for being a Veggie Grettie reader!

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Remember…I can not guarantee that all of the samples are vegan or gluten free…please read the labels.

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