Posted By Carol L. Hunter PhD, PMHCNS, CNP,
Monday, November 7, 2016
Dr. Vasant Lad and his wife Usha, in their cookbook, entitled "Ayurvedic Cooking for Self Healing", describe sour foods: “when used in moderation, they are refreshing and delicious to the taste, stimulate appetite, improve digestion, energize the body, nourish the heart, enlighten the mind, and cause salivation.” For my birthday cake this past month, my daughter baked me a lemon vegan cake that was all of the above and more. Vegan cakes are not for everyone, not that it is so much a taste issue as one of texture. Vegan cakes are more compact and dense, lacking the usual airiness of a typical cake. If that is a concern and you want to give it fluffiness and don’t mind adding in some animal protein, you can mix in eggs into the liquid ingredients. Bon appetite!
• 2 cups of white unbleached organic flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ cup maple syrup
• zest of a lemon (organic unwaxed)
• ½ cup grapeseed or coconut oil
• 1 ½ tbsp almond milk (add more if needed for perfect consistency of batter)
• 1 tsp vanilla essence
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 2 eggs (optional)
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven at 350F. Grease a bread form pan and line the inside with a baking sheet.
2. Sift the flour in a bowl and combine with baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
3. Add maple syrup, almond milk, safflower or coconut oil, lemon juice and (beaten eggs) and quickly combine all the ingredients to a smooth batter (be careful not to overmix).
4. Pour the batter in the bread form and bake in the oven for 35-45 min or until a skewer comes out clean. Carefully remove the cake from the form and let cool completely.
5. Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice to a creamy mixture, spread over the cake and let it firm before slicing the cake. Decorate with lemon slices.
food and drink
Posted By Carol Hunter,
Monday, December 7, 2015
| Comments (0)
Vegan Tomato Soup:
Fill a blender about half full with peeled fresh tomatoes, about 12 medium.
Coarsely chop large red onion and add to blender.
Chop 3 cloves of garlic and add to blender.
Add 2 tbsps. cold pressed fresh virgin olive oil.
Add about 16 oz organic vegetable broth.
Add half teaspoon of dried or 3-4 sprigs of fresh basil.
Add half teaspoon of Herbs de Provence.
Mix well on medium speed for several minutes, then high for several minutes, then back to medium. It won’t hurt the soup to keep mixing it while you open a 16 oz can of white cannellini beans. Drain, wash and drain again.
Add the beans and mix again on medium, then high, until thoroughly mixed. If the blender is too full, you can pour off half the tomato soup and add half the can of beans and blend. Set aside and do the second batch. Some recipes call for cream and butter which this recipe avoids. The beans thicken the soup and provide plenty of good fiber at a low calorie intake. If you are needing something sweet, you won’t taste it in this soup. If it’s a bit too acidic, add some spice like cayenne pepper to zip it up. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper and add a sprig of basil. Enjoy, guilt free!
Posted By Carol L Hunter, PhD, PMHCNS, CNP,
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
If anyone would have ever told me that I would become a vegan, I would have laughed until my sides ached. You see, I am just one of those people who need mainly protein to feel well. Back in my running and competing days when a banana and a bagel were the breakfast prescription before a race, I just couldn’t go along with the recommendations. In my training runs I became aware that if I did not eat protein, meaning an egg or high protein shake, I would become uncomfortably shaky to the point that I felt weak.
In keeping with life’s oftentimes random but meaningful events, my whole life spun around last weekend when I was innocently talking to my neighbor as we irrigated our properties. He had lost 19 pounds in 6 weeks and when I asked how he had done that, he told me he had become a vegan after reading The China Study. My first reaction was hope because I could lose a few pounds. I have never been overweight but fat distribution changes for a woman after menopause and I was no exception despite my love of working out and being active. I joked about it telling others my body was preparing itself to roll when I started falling. But falling is not funny at all and a serious issue for the elderly.
And so I started reading The China Study and I am quite simply, stunned by what I have read. Having earned a doctorate, I consider myself to have the scientist mentality and I want scientific explanations with a preponderance of evidence in order to make a significant change in my life. The results of The China Study are anything but inconclusive. It is a seminal study on the difference between a plant based and a meat based diet in terms of health and risk for chronic disease. Not only does it address the specifics of the research design but it also addresses many individual diseases. However, it does not stop there and goes on to address the immense, mind blowing corruption in our great country in regard to nutrition and who is holding which reins on which national committee. Dr. Campbell challenged much of what I have believed over the last 30 or more years in terms of nutrition and I am ready to listen.
People become vegetarians or vegans for many different reasons. I want to lose weight and I want to avoid the “C” diagnosis. I am encouraging those of you who wonder about this to read the book and at least try out the diet for a period of time. It can only help to improve your health. When I make a decision, I want to immediately move forward on it and I was eager to start on my new diet. But alas, my refrigerator and freezer were filled with animal based products! What was I going to do with all that food? So I realized that this change in diet was going to be a transition which actually made sense and gave me a sigh of relief. After all, I love cheese even more than meat and giving that up will be the greatest test of all. Realizing that some transitory time was necessary, I started thinking about the practical aspects of it in my mind. The study results showed that a protein diet of 5% was noncontributory to negative health events, so I realized I could eat a bit of protein each day while incorporating some new approaches. If you go on Amazon you will find many cookbooks along with the original China Study. I didn’t order any cookbooks because I needed to read about the study results first. But I am thinking about an entirely new way of eating and like Dr. Campbell’s friend stated in his book, I am wondering “What am I going to eat?”
OK, so no dairy, no meat, no fish, no eggs; that is a lot to give up! But then I think how much I love vegetables and whole grains. Can I really make this work? Most of the animal products are now gone and I have even tested out some vegan cheese. Daiya brand is lactose, casein, gluten, soy and cholesterol free. The cheddar style slices melt well and taste is pretty good. Since I like very sharp cheddar cheese, it has been more of an adjustment for me. Another brand is Treeline, a soft creamy cheese that is made with scallions and finely ground cashew nuts and is delicious. A third product is called “Follow your Heart” by Earth Island and is made from potato starch. I found these products at my local grocery cooperative. Some other ideas for snacks are organic Kalamata olives, mixed organic nuts, raw or roasted, celery with almond butter filling and whole wheat crackers or bread with hummus spread. Dr. Campbell does not encourage calorie counting!
I thought the best place to start was to figure out some foundational recipes I could eat routinely that would be easy to prepare, so I chose hummus and blue corn enchiladas. It would sound like hummus would be very easy to make, but it is tricky how you put the ingredients together. One recipe I came across suggested mixing the lemon juice with the tahini first. When I tried that, it was just too thick and the machine kept shutting itself off. I would have to wait and I had to keep adding water. I recommend the opposite and that is adding the tahini last in small spoonfuls.