Monday, November 30, 2009

Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

Listen to my foodcast for healthy holiday gift ideas . . . and here are the recipes:

Multigrain Pancake Mix
(Makes about 8 cups) 

The flours in this recipe are very flexible - I recommend using at least 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour - but for the rest, feel free to substitute your favorite flour or use just a couple of different ones. This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled so make extra to keep for yourself!
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 cups barley flour
  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup corn flour
  • 1/4 cup baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 cup Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup natural granulated sugar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon or pumpking pie spice (optional)
Sift or whisk all ingredients together in large bowl until completely combined. Pour into jars or plastic bags and tie with a pretty ribbon. Make a label to attach to jar or bag with the following instructions: 

Whole Grain Pancakes
  • 1 1/4+ cups milk (dairy or nondairy)
  • 2 tablespoons oil or melted unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat or Multigrain Pancake and Waffle Mix
Whisk together 1 1/3 cups nondairy milk and 2 tablespoons oil. Stir in 1 1/2 cups Multi-Grain Pancake Mix. Mixture should be fairly thick but if it does not spread on griddle, add a little more milk. Cook on preheated, lightly oiled griddle or skillet until golden brown on both sides. 

Makes 6 servings (2 pancakes per serving) 

Note: If I did any canning during the summer, I like to give a jar of homemade jam or applesauce along with the pancake mix. Maple syrup in a pretty bottle or fruit preserves from your local farmstand or gourmet shop is also a nice accompaniment. 

Millet Crunch Granola
Makes 8 servings 

Granola is great as a breakfast cereal, topping for fruit or yogurt, or on its own as a crunchy snack. Your friends will love this version that is packed with protein and essential fatty acids. It's cooked over low heat to preserve the nutrients.
  • 2 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup uncooked millet
  • 1/3 cup agave or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Optional: 1/2 to 1 cup dried fruit (raisins, dried berries, etc.)
Preheat oven to 250ºF. Place rolled oats and millet on baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour. In small pan, melt sweetener, tahini, and water together over low heat. In large bowl, toss oats, millet, and seeds with tahini mixture until completely coated. Spread on unoiled baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Stir once or twice during baking. Cool completely. Stir in dried fruit, is using. Do not bake fruit. 

Pour granola into jars or plastic bags and tie with a pretty ribbon.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

How about a commercial-free black Friday?

Instead of spending the day after Thanksgiving in crowded stores spending money, we are staying home and making gifts. It's a great way to spend time together, save money, and give gifts that are really meaningful to us.

Check out this site for a guide to commercial-free holidays.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

GE Crops and Pesticides

Contrary to what the biotech companies would like us to believe, genetically engineered crops do NOT reduce pesticide use. According to a Rueters article based on a recently released report, GE corn, soy, and cotton has "promoted increased use of pesticides, an epidemic of herbicide-resistant weeds and more chemical residues in foods"--in fact, herbicide use has grown by 383,000,000 pounds since 1996 and 46% of that was between 2007 and 2008!

Check out the article here. And remember you can avoid genetically engineered foods by buying organic.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Vegetarian Thanksgiving

If you're looking for vegetarian alternatives to the turkey dinner this Thanksgiving, check out my foodcast with ideas for meat-free meals and even alternatives to the usual sit down dinner.

Also--if you want some great vegan recipes for the holidays, check out the e-cookbook A Bountiful Vegan Thanksgiving. For just $8.95 you can get the e-book delivered right to your inbox and the profits go to a great cause. There are recipes from Nava Atlas as well as many other respected authors and bloggers (including yours truly!). 

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream -- dairy-free

The weather's been so wonderfully warm here on the central coast of California -- perfect ice cream weather. Here's a delicious flavor from Lick It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love that's perfect for fall.

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

Makes 1 generous quart

You can cook a fresh pumpkin for this recipe if you like, but canned works just fine. You can also substitute puréed sweet potato or squash for the pumpkin. Try this ice cream topped with Whipped Orange-Cashew Cream (recipe follows).

 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk

1 cup puréed cooked pumpkin

1/2 cup soymilk or other nondairy milk

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Whipped Cashew Cream

Makes 2 cups

Cashews are amazingly creamy and make a wonderful, thick topping similar to whipped cream.

1 1/2 cups raw cashews

1/2 cup rice milk

2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the cashews in a blender and grind them into a powder. Add the rice milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and process until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until cold and firm.

Whipped Orange-Cashew Cream: Add 1/8 teaspoon of orange extract along with the vanilla extract.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

rBST Milk

Dr. Samuel S. Epstein, Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, is criticizing a report claiming that milk from cows injected with the genetically engineered rBST is safe for the cows and the consumer. The report was written by paid consultants from rBST companies, including Monsanto. 

According to Epstein, rBST has about 20 toxic effects on cows including mastitis, and the pus from the mastitis infection along with the antibiotics used to treat it end up in our milk. He also says that some of the hormone ends up in the milk and is absorbed by the human body. He claims that rBST milk is chemically and nutritionally different than natural milk. Click here for more details on the report and Epstein's comments. 

If you consume dairy products, buy organic or at least rBST free. Boycott companies still allowing the use of genefically modified bovine growth hormone such as: Dreyer's, Breyer's, Edy's, Nestle, Haagen-Dazs, Klondike, and Good Humor. Better yet look for dairy-free options made from coconut milk, rice, almonds, or organic (GE-free) soy.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The HOT Lunch Box

Check out The HOT Lunch Box in the November issue of VegFamily Magazine. I had such a good response to my post about using thermoses that I expanded into a full article -- recipes included too.