Vegan Housewives http://www.veganhousewives.com Because Having a Vegan Around the House is More Fun Fri, 08 Aug 2014 12:34:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.14 Vegan Recipe | Roasted Rhubarb Granola Muffins http://www.veganhousewives.com/vegan-recipe-roasted-rhubarb-granola-muffins/ http://www.veganhousewives.com/vegan-recipe-roasted-rhubarb-granola-muffins/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 12:34:52 +0000 http://www.veganhousewives.com/?p=5849

Roasted Rhubarb Muffins Title1Rhubarb gets me into a frenzy. Every year it’s the same: those pretty, slender stalks that bear my two favorite colours only visit our vegetable patches for a short while and before you know it, they’ve gone. So I panic, buy loads, try to make the most of them, but I just end up making lots of rhubarb crisp.

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But not this year, because I’ve started expanding my arsenal of rhubarb recipes. Since breakfast is my favorite meal of the day I tried making rhubarb granola, which was a great success and inspired me to make these muffins. The rhubarb, roasted in coconut sugar, softens and sweetens but retains a sharpness that perfectly complements the sweet, moist texture of the muffins. Granola replaces the traditional streusel topping to make these muffins the perfect weekend baking treat.

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Don’t be scared by the oil in this recipe – 1/2 cup divided over 9 muffins isn’t so bad. If you really do want to make this recipe low-fat, substitute the same amount of fruit puree such as apple or banana for the oil. If you don’t want to use maple syrup (or don’t have any), use 1/4 cup of coconut sugar and add an extra splash of milk to thin out the batter if it gets too lumpy.

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Makes 9 muffins

Granola topping
1/2 cup (40g) oats
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp mixed seeds (e.g. sunflower, pumpkin)
1 tbsp canola (or vegetable) oil

Muffins
2 stalks of rhubarb
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 + 1/2 cups (225g) spelt flour
1/2 cup (40g) oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 (60ml) maple syrup
1/2 cup (125ml) canola/vegetable oil
1/2 cup (125ml) non-dairy milk
2 tbsp ground flaxseed + water

1. Firstly, pre-heat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Slice the rhubarb in 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces. Toss the rhubarb and coconut sugar together in a roasting dish and roast 20 minutes while you prepare the muffin batter and granola topping.

2. For the granola topping, simply combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside until needed.

3. Whisk together the ground flaxseed and 6 tbsp water in a small bowl. Set aside to get while you gel on with the muffin batter.

4. Combine the spelt flour, oats, ground ginger and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the maple syrup, oil, non-dairy milk and gelled flaxseed and water mixture. The batter should be thick and smooth.

5. If you haven’t already, remove the rhubarb from the oven. Drain any excess juices and fold the softened pieces of rhubarb into the muffin batter.

6. Pour the batter into 9 large muffin molds. Cover generously with the granola topping.

7. Lower the oven temperature to 340ºF (170ºC). Bake the muffins for 23-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden and crisp and a skewer comes out of the muffins clean. Cool on a wire rack before enjoying still slightly warm.

 

What’s your favorite way to eat rhubarb? Leave me your recommendations in the comments below :)

Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-21

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Gluten-Free + Vegan Recipe | Almond Apricot Coconut Bars http://www.veganhousewives.com/gluten-free-vegan-recipe-almond-apricot-coconut-bars/ http://www.veganhousewives.com/gluten-free-vegan-recipe-almond-apricot-coconut-bars/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:17:40 +0000 http://www.veganhousewives.com/?p=5688

bars_plated These sticky, sweet, chewy, crunchy wonders are perfect for any summer party you’re going to. I designed the recipe to make 12-16 bars (in a 9×13 pan) so you’d have enough for a crowd. I made them, along with cream cheese brownies and chocolate peanut butter fudge squares, for a baby shower and they were a huge hit. My dear friend Ivy (whom said shower was for) has a chocolate-loving, carnivore father who proclaimed they were his favorite (after carefully taste-testing all three options). You can easily use any jam or preserve you’d like if apricots aren’t your thing. And you can mix pecans, walnuts, or any other nut into the coconut topping (or leave out nuts all together). These aren’t as precious as a lot of baked goods (meaning, they’re flexible and hard to screw up). So, experiment and enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • Oil to grease casserole baking dish
  • 5 cups almond meal/flour (which is what comes in a one-pound bag, if you’re using store bought)
  • 1/2 cup neutral-tasting oil (like grape seed or canola)
  • 1/2 cup agave
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups of apricot preserves
  • 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (or other nuts or chocolate chips or raisins)

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a food processor, place the almond flour, oil, agave, salt, and baking soda and pulse until combined and pulling away from the sides, like dough.
  • Grease a glass, 9″x13″ casserole and press in the almond flour crust with lightly oiled fingers.
  • Bake the crust on the center rack for 8-10 minutes (until fragrant, but not browning).
  • Let the crust cool to room temperature and then spread the apricot preserves all over the top with a flexible spatula.
  • Top with coconut and nut mixture and bake again for 15-20 minutes, until crust and coconut are starting to brown.
  • Let cool to room temperature before cutting and serving.
  • Store at room temperature, in a tightly-sealed container for up to three days.

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Vegan Dessert Recipe | Classic Chocolate Chip Cheesecake http://www.veganhousewives.com/vegan-dessert-recipe-classic-chocolate-chip-cheesecake/ http://www.veganhousewives.com/vegan-dessert-recipe-classic-chocolate-chip-cheesecake/#respond Fri, 04 Jul 2014 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.veganhousewives.com/?p=5713

vegan cheesecake

Hello! It’s Court from Kind Mom again! Happy 4th! This month I’m sharing my absolute FAVORITE homemade dessert! It’s a super indulgent, but easy to make, chocolate chip cheesecake. This cheesecake is always a hit at parties, and my friends & family request it often. I made this one for my Birthday so I added a bit of festive red sprinkles.

Vegan Cheesecake recipe

cheesecake

Classic Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Ingredients:

for the crust

  • 1 Tbsp Earth Balance Butter, Melted
  • 20 Chocolate Cookies, Crushed

for the filling

  • 4 8oz Cream Cheese, Soften
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 4 EnerG “eggs”
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Instructions:

for the crust

  • Preheat oven to 300
  • Crush or process cookies to fine crumbs
  • Mix in melted butter
  • Press into the bottom of your pie pan
  • Bake for 10 minutes
  • Set out to cool

for the filling

  • Preheat oven to 300
  • Blend cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla
  • Add “eggs” and mix on low
  • Stir in chocolate chips
  • Bake for 1 hour 20 min, take it out before it starts to brown
  • Cool for 4 hours+
  • Serve cold and enjoy!
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Vegan + Gluten-Free Recipe | Lavender Chocolate Truffles http://www.veganhousewives.com/vegan-gluten-free-recipe-lavender-chocolate-truffles/ http://www.veganhousewives.com/vegan-gluten-free-recipe-lavender-chocolate-truffles/#respond Wed, 25 Jun 2014 21:08:41 +0000 http://www.veganhousewives.com/?p=5743

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I am a chocolate truffle fiend. No truffle is safe from me – if it’s vegan and it’s made of chocolate, I will eat it. I’ve got a fair collection on my own blog already, from traditional praline truffles to more, shall we say, extravagant ones, but I think I’ve really pushed the boundaries of my tastebuds with these Lavender Chocolate Truffles.

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Times are changing and things are getting easier, but the fact remains that there are not enough vegan alternatives to chocolate truffles available in most supermarkets and stores. Am I right or am I right? So for now we just have to get creative and make our own.

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Lavender adds a delicious floral sweetness to the dark bitterness of cocoa – a match made in heaven, like yin and yang come together. I had my doubts but as soon as I popped the first truffle in my mouth – well, the proof is in the pudding. I used lavender extract here (easily found online for a small price) but if you have fresh lavender available to you, use a teaspoon of finely ground lavender, which will add texture to your little delicacies.

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Lavender Chocolate Truffles

Makes a dozen small truffles

Ingredients:

  • 7 oz/200g dark 70% chocolate, roughly chopped
  • A scant 1/4 cup/50ml coconut milk
  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp lavender extract
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, melted

Ingredients:

  • Boil water in a small saucepan. As soon as the water is boiling, remove the pan from the heat and place a heat-proof bowl on over it.
  • Add all the ingredients, except for the cocoa powder, to the bowl and patiently wait for them to melt together. Stir with a spoon until evenly combined.
  • Set aside to cool, then place in the fridge to set (for about 2 hours).
  • Take the bowl of chilled chocolate from the fridge; let it come to room temperature for about 15 minutes.  Place the cocoa powder in shallow bowl.
  • Roll a teaspoonful of chocolate into a walnut-sized ball in the palm of your hands, then roll it into the cocoa powder. Repeat this 11 more times.
What is your favourite chocolate combination?
Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-21
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Gluten-free + Vegan Recipe | Mixed Berry & Rhubarb Quinoa Crumble http://www.veganhousewives.com/gluten-free-vegan-recipe-mixed-berry-rhubarb-quinoa-crumble/ http://www.veganhousewives.com/gluten-free-vegan-recipe-mixed-berry-rhubarb-quinoa-crumble/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 12:54:21 +0000 http://www.veganhousewives.com/?p=5698

IMG_0048This might be a bit blasphemous to some, but I tend to prefer a hearty crumble to a pie any day of the week.  I think it’s because I love the combination of hearty grains and juicy, seasonal fruit.  There’s not too much prep work involved with crumbles like there is with a pie.  But, this lack of work certainly doesn’t take away from the end result.  Since they tend to be my go-to dessert, the way I make crumbles has evolved over time. I’ve started using quinoa flakes for their nutritional benefits and added depth of flavor and texture.  Like oats, they pair really well with fruit.

In this version, I used a combination of local rhubarb, strawberries, and dewberries.  It was the one week I was able to get all three locally, so I tried to use them in a way that would let their natural sweetness and flavors shine through.  In case you aren’t familiar with them, dewberries are a type of wild blackberry that grow down here in my neck of the woods.  Since it’s pretty warm here, they ripen in late spring/early summer.  Feel free to use any type of berry in their place if you can’t get your hands on some.  This combination ended up being my favorite to date.  The rhubarb really ties everything together and provides its characteristic tart contrast.

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IMG_0007If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, they keep well covered in the fridge for up to a week.  I found that this crumble makes a particularly tasty breakfast, especially when paired with a little dollop of vegan yogurt.  Also, in a moment of laziness, I found out it’s just as tasty without being reheated :)

Mixed Berry & Rhubarb Quinoa Crumble

for the crumble:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup solid coconut oil

for the fruit:

  • 1 1/2 cups dewberries or other berries of your choosing
  • 4 stalks of ruhubarb, sliced
  • 1 lb container of strawberries, halved or quartered
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

IMG_0018Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease your baking dish with a bit of coconut oil.  Add the fruit, maple syrup, ginger, lemon juice, and vanilla to the baking dish and toss everything together until combined.  In a separate bowl, toss together the oats, quinoa flakes, salt, and coconut sugar.  Add the solid coconut oil and using either your fingers or a fork, mash in the oil until the mixture starts to look crumbly.  Sprinkle the crumble mixture in an even layer over the fruit.  Bake the crumble for 40-45 minutes until the fruit is bubbling.  Cool slightly before serving.  Makes about 8 servings.

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Cruelty-free + Vegan Cosmetics | 10-Minute to Date Night Makeup http://www.veganhousewives.com/cruelty-free-vegan-cosmetics-10-minute-to-date-night-makeup/ http://www.veganhousewives.com/cruelty-free-vegan-cosmetics-10-minute-to-date-night-makeup/#respond Sun, 01 Jun 2014 17:16:32 +0000 http://www.veganhousewives.com/?p=5592

haut 10-minute makeupFrom the models on the runways to the ‘no-makeup selfies’, more natural, healthy looks are being embraced. Keeping those trends in mind, we have created a 10-minute, natural look with our vegan makeup that focuses on the basics: protecting our skin from the environmental elements with natural SPF and balancing the skin tone (mine is hyper pigmentation and cystic acne scarring). A simple and quick addition of color, just to put that extra little skip in your step, can be applied to the lips, cheeks and eyes, all with the same product.
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10-minute essentials:

  1. Coconut Cream
  2. BB Cream in macadamia lays the foundation
  3. icustomblend Bio-mineral Foundation
  4. Beige Shea Brightener under the eye
  5. Pink Shea Brightener around the corners and lids
  6. Love Cocoa Balm applied to lips and remaining to cheeks and eyes.

We also created a Date Night look to encourage you to go out once in a while!! We played with highlight and contour, white liner, light pink or nude lips, a bold Raw Pigment for the eyes and fuller “schoolboy” brows. If you normally use your fingers, try our vegan brushes for a different effect. Keep it fun!

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Date Night Essentials:

  1. To freshen up your look later on in the day, try applying our Skin Elixir by gently patting a few drops between hands then lightly patting with fingers on face where you want to glow. It revives the skin and creates a smooth look to makeup applied over it. Any remaining Elixir on hands can be smoothed through hair for shine.
  2. HDD Cream in macadamia lays the foundation
  3. Shea Brighteners around eyes
  4. Highlight and Contour with Illuminating Aloe Loose Tint and Yellow Brightener
  5. A blending brush of icustomblend Bio-mineral Foundation
  6. Martini Aloe Cream Tint for fuller brows
  7. Vintage Aloe Cream Tint as a liner, taking it beyond the outer corner of the eye a little farther than usual (be dramatic!)
  8. The white brightener can be applied to the inner corners of the eyes, along lower lash lines and the inner lids. In addition, I added just a touch to the middle of my lips to create a fuller look.
  9. Amethyst Raw Pigment is a perfect shade of purple for this season on your eyelids
  10. He’s the One Aloe Cream tint  for the cheeks and last but not least
  11. Empathy Lip Gloss for my lips, or to up the drama maybe with Strawberry Lip Gloss for yours! It’s going to be a fun night….Be Dramatic! Fall In Love!

Truth: So my date night didn’t end up being with my hubby but rather my three year old son! What a great date it was!

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Healthy Living | The Optimal Way To Lose Weight http://www.veganhousewives.com/healthy-living-the-optimal-way-to-lose-weight/ http://www.veganhousewives.com/healthy-living-the-optimal-way-to-lose-weight/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 12:29:30 +0000 http://www.veganhousewives.com/?p=5466

There are many different diets. From Paleo (caveman-inspired diet), Gluten Free (a lot of people without celiac disease are adopting this diet), Raw Food (no foods cooked about 116 degrees), Vegetarian (no meat but consumes eggs and dairy), Pescatarian (no meat except fish), Vegan (no animal products), Atkins (mostly protein, no carbs), the list goes on and on…

Lose-Weight-VeganIt’s said that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise (source) so it does matter what you’re eating, but there are many different diets out there so which one is the best? It seems most fitness diets promote a high protein, low carb diet, but is that necessarily the healthiest?

High Protein/Low Carb Diets

The thing I hear most in the fitness world is “protein”. It seems like everyone trying to “lose weight” or “get in shape” is so concerned with eating a ton of protein and minimal amounts of carbs. Seems to make sense, you’re trying to gain muscle and proteins are used to build muscle. Carbs tend to cause bloating…so I get it. However, most doctors disagree with this diet trend.

Eating only protein forces the body into starvation mode because most tissues, including the brain, typically prefer to run on glucose, or blood sugar, which is supplied by carbohydrates. On a carb-deprived, high-protein diet, trouble sets in.

“When there is not enough carbohydrate to convert into blood sugar, the body is forced to use stored blood sugar from the liver and muscles,” says Dr. Watson. “This process results in muscle breakdown. Because muscle is mostly water, one will lose weight very rapidly in the first few days. If the carbohydrate restriction is prolonged, the brain eventually will run on fat stores for fuel, called ketosis. Unfortunately, ketosis brings with it more than weight loss, but a host of problems — some serious. Ketosis is associated with irritability, headaches, and enhanced kidney work,” says Watson. “Also, ketosis may cause heart palpitations and has been implicated in cardiac arrest.” The effect of high-protein diets on the heart doesn’t stop there — the cardiovascular system comes into play as well. “High-protein diets are often also high in saturated fat,” says Watson.

“Increased saturated fat intake raises the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. In addition, some high-protein/low-carbohydrate diets limit intake of high-fiber plant foods, which can help lower cholesterol.’  Overall, these diets might be power-packed in the protein department, but beyond that, they’re lacking. High-protein diets lack critical nutrients,” says Watson. “Restricting carbohydrates means you restrict plant-based foods, which are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants. These chemicals offer protection against cancer and other diseases.” (source)

What Should You Do?

The reason why dieters constantly battle with losing weight then gain it all back is because what they’re doing is not sustainable. Any fad diet is going to be a “yo-yo diet” where you lose weight while on it, but you will eventually gain some, if not all, back. Choosing a healthy lifestyle is the only way to lose weight for good. Obviously, I always suggest a vegan lifestyle. Vegans typically are skinnier and healthier than meat eaters (source). Just eating vegan isn’t going to help shed the pounds because there’s a myriad of AMAZING vegan junk food on the market and I know it’s a big weakness for me!

Recently, I started adopting a lifestyle where I eat 80% raw foods and 20% processed. For me it’s sustainable because I’m still getting my carb fix but I’m still eating mostly fruits and veggies. Win-win!

Luckily with being vegan, the heaviest weight I have ever been is still the same weight doctor’s recommend is optimal for my height, however I still can’t fit into my pre-baby clothes and I’m used to being about 8 lbs. lighter. I can lose a few pounds here and there,  if I can squeeze a workout in every single day and calorie count, but guess what? It’s not sustainable for a mom with toddlers to do that all the time. When I have busy weeks and no time to work out, I gain it all back. I’m active, we go on walks and I chase my little guys around outside and at play dates. However, when I have a few precious moments of quiet the last thing I want to do is a work out. Horrible, I know!

I knew I had to find a lifestyle that was sustainable for me, something where I can control my eating without dieting. I’m the queen of wanting sugary snacks and lots of carbs. After the initial carb cravings and feeling like I might starve to death (I don’t calorie count but sometimes there aren’t enough fruits or veggies in the world for me to eat, when I really want is a cookie), I saw the results. After the first week I lost 4 lbs, the second week I lost 3 lbs and the third week I lost another 2 lbs. and now I’m sustaining it all at my ideal weight, where my clothes fit me well and I feel good. Oh, and I still haven’t had a chance to exercise besides my usual daily activities.

I am not saying that you don’t need to work out, I think working out is great for the body. However, if you’re a busy mom and you can only focus on one thing (diet or exercise) at a time, then you don’t have to beat yourself up about missing a workout, I know I used to.

The Science Behind It

In a recent article on restoring alkalinity in the body, it was noted that changing your diet and introducing an abundance of living and raw foods provide a much safer alternative than traditional medicine in restoring the body’s alkalinity, and subsequently ensuring good health.

This notion has been an integral part of the Foundation’s philosophy, and one we continually share with our Scleroderma patients and their families. We believe that with a commitment by patients to changing their diets and add living and raw foods to their meals, will reverse any acidic imbalance in the body, and help them to live longer, healthier lives. A diet of raw food involves eating whole, live, nutritionally-dense organic uncooked and un-processed foods as a large percentage of one’s diet – as much as 75 -80%. These would include for example, fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, nuts, dried fruit, and seaweed.

Heating food above 46 degrees celcius is believed to destroy enzymes in food that can assist in the digestion and absorption of food, thus diminshing its nutritional value. Heating has also been shown to create the carcinogens, mutagens, free-radicals and other toxins that are associated with many of today’s chronic diseases, from diabetes and arthritis to heart disease and cancer. The raw food diet contains fewer trans fats and saturated fat than the typical Western diet. It is also low in sodium and high in potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber and health-promoting plant chemicals called phytochemicals. Proponents of the diet believe it has numerous health benefits, including:

  • Increased energy
  • Improved skin appearance
  • Better digestion
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced risk of heart disease

(source)

When regarding our fitness, nutrition is a massive component. It’s what helps our bodies heal, regenerate and rebuild itself. We need to make sure we are taking care of it and giving ourselves vital nutrients. Not just to lose weight, but to be the healthiest we can be. It’s not about a number on the scale, it’s about being feeling confident and knowing that you’re healthy.

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Gluten-free + Vegan Recipe | Almond, Orange + Cardamom Cookies http://www.veganhousewives.com/gluten-free-vegan-recipe-almond-orange-cardamom-cookies/ http://www.veganhousewives.com/gluten-free-vegan-recipe-almond-orange-cardamom-cookies/#respond Mon, 26 May 2014 01:38:52 +0000 http://www.veganhousewives.com/?p=5652

almondorangecardamomcookies 1I don’t know if these qualify as “cookies”. In the UK, these would most definitely be biscuits. In French, you would call these “sablés” (“sandy”) because of their crumbly texture. I guess “shortbread” is the appropriate term for these little treats, and you could almost imagine them patiently waiting in a tartan tin box for a greedy little hand to steal one away.

IMG_1700 copyI’m only twenty-one but someday when I’m older (much older) and have grandchildren, I could easily see myself preparing a batch of these cookies for them. Glancing up at the clock – they’ll nearly be home now – and just then the timer rings, skittering across the kitchen counter. Take the cookies out of the oven, display them on a pretty plate and as they come running through the door, offer them a cookie and a cup of tea while we talk about their day. I like to think I’d be a pretty cool grandmother someday.

IMG_1705I’ve made these starry treats gluten-free to accommodate various diets (because you know,  my grandkids could be coeliacs) but if you’re not sensitive to gluten, feel free to replace the gluten-free flour with any you might have available (spelt flour is my favourite). Do keep the almond flour, though: it’s what makes these cookies so crumbly and gives them a nutty, delicate flavour that pairs so well with the orange and cardamom. A slightly grown-up, sophisticated flavour, but one that anyone of any age will appreciate.

IMG_1697 copyI’ve also kept the sugar to a minimum (don’t want to give my grandkids a sugar rush, now do I?) but feel free to add a bit more if this is not sweet enough for you.

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Almond, Orange & Cardamom Cookies {gluten and wheat-free}

Makes 15 medium-sized stars

Ingredients:

  • 1¾ + 1 tbsp (200g) almond flour
  • 4 tbsp gluten-free flour
  • 6 cardamom pods, ground to powder
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) coconut oil, melted
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp warm water)

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

Using a fork, lightly combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, inc. the spices and zest . Add in the coconut oil and flax egg and mix well. You’ll need your hands to work the dough, but don’t overwork it. Just get everything smoothly combined.

Chill for 30 mins. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick, on a floured surface. Cut out stars. Gather the leftover strands of dough into a ball, roll it out again and repeat the process until there is no more dough left to cut out stars of.

Place the stars on a lined baking tray. Bake for 10-12 mins. Keep on eye on your stars while they’re cooking; as soon as the edges are brown and crisp, the cookies are ready.

What do you see yourself making for your grandchildren someday (or if you have them already, what do you make for them)?

Love and Cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-21
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Vegan Wedding Series | Part 3: The Food http://www.veganhousewives.com/vegan-wedding-series-part-3-the-food/ http://www.veganhousewives.com/vegan-wedding-series-part-3-the-food/#comments Tue, 20 May 2014 20:06:49 +0000 http://www.veganhousewives.com/?p=5579

VeganWedding3As wedding season approaches, I want to talk about one of the most important parts of a vegan wedding, or any wedding in fact: the food.

You’ve probably already though about this, and maybe even decided on your menu. If so, great. Feel free to skip this instalment of the Vegan Wedding Series. If not, however, I hope this post might give you a few ideas on how to get started.

For us, it was pretty clear from the start that we wanted an all-vegan menu and that we weren’t going to compromise on that. Many wedding guides will tell you that this isn’t the right time to ‘force’ your ethical ‘beliefs’ ‘down your family’s throat’ (what a fitting analogy). This statement seems to be really common, and I just can’t get over it. Without going into too much detail about why you would want to keep your menu all-vegan (I’m sure Vegan Housewives readers are aware of all of those reasons), I’m going to tell you one thing: This is a day that is supposed to make you and your partner happy. If you’re okay with compromising and having some non-vegan dishes, cool! If the thought makes you squeamish, you should in no way feel obliged to incorporate animal products. You shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable at your own wedding.

If you do decide that you want an all-vegan menu and start getting odd looks from friends and family (this hasn’t happened to us too much, thankfully), you might want to spend a bit of time thinking about the types of dishes you could offer. Ideally, you want something that is absolutely delicious and will simultaneously make your guests feel at ease. Think about the people you’ll be sharing your day with. Where are they from? What do they like, what might they be a little apprehensive about? What type of food is usually served at celebrations in their circles? This should give you a good idea of what types of food you could incorporate. When you have that, you can start figuring out how to veganise the whole concept.

For concrete menu ideas, we spent lots of time going through all of our cookbooks. We asked ourselves which dishes sounded appealing and whether they might be crowd pleasers. Since we’re going with a buffet, we also considered whether each dish would look presentable and whether it was something that could be easily self-served. Rather than going with a specific meal concept, we ended up just picking and choosing foods we liked, with the goal of achieving and all-round delicious meal. I won’t tell you exactly what we’ve chosen, as it’s still a secret, but we went for simple, familiar flavours and individual portions ;).

If you’re still really stuck, I would recommend googling existing menu ideas. My experience is that most caterers nowadays are very willing to make vegan food and have a fair bit of knowledge on how to veganise almost any dish. Make sure you meet with the chef or wedding planner to discuss the menu and see what they can do!

Have you ever planned or attended an all-vegan celebration? How did guests react to the menu?

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Vegan Lifestyle | Transitioning From Vegetarian to Vegan http://www.veganhousewives.com/vegan-lifestyle-transitioning-from-vegetarian-to-vegan/ http://www.veganhousewives.com/vegan-lifestyle-transitioning-from-vegetarian-to-vegan/#comments Sat, 17 May 2014 13:52:52 +0000 http://www.veganhousewives.com/?p=5576

Vegetarian-to-veganWhen I started my plant based lifestyle, I started out vegetarian. I am a picky eater and I really wanted this to be a lifestyle change, not just some fad diet. Going vegetarian gave me a way to ease into it. I gave myself one year to figure out how to adopt more of a vegan lifestyle. When I went vegetarian I started eating dairy more than ever before.I found instead of food with meat, I was just adding cheese. I had gained about 5 pounds in a couple months, I had acne like I was 14 years old again and I felt bloated all day. I knew I had to be fully vegan since I wasn’t mastering the vegetarian diet.

Often people ask me why vegan is better then vegetarian, how animals are treated in dairy and egg farms and why vegetarians should transition. I don’t like telling people what to do, but I do love to give them information and tools to decide what is best for them. If you are vegetarian, good for you! You’re helping animals and the environment and we applaud your efforts. I hope we can help further your journey into the lifestyle of plant based foods.

Vegetarian vs. Vegan

Being vegan has many other health benefits than just being vegetarian. Vegetarians are still consuming cholesterol through eggs and dairy. Whereas vegans do not. Our bodies make the exact amount of cholesterol that we need. Anything else that we add to it, affects our body negatively. (source) Vegans also consume very low levels of saturated and trans fats. All animal products are very high in saturated fats and even dairy has trans fat that naturally occurs. High levels of saturated fats contribute to heart disease which is one of the top 5 killers in America right now. These fats have also been linked with gall stones, some cancers, kidney disease and possibly Type 2 diabetes. (source) Dairy actually inhibits iron absorption so people who eat a lot of dairy can actually have lower levels of iron than those who do not. (source)

Vegan foods are typically devoid of unhealthy fats or at the very least extremely low in unhealthy fats. Which helps vegans maintain a healthy weight. Plant foods are also generally low in calories compared to animal foods and plant based foods are high in fiber which maintains a healthy digestive system and reduces risk for colon cancer. (source)

Vegans also absorb more calcium. Leafy greens have lots of calcium and it’s easier to absorb. Dairy actually extracts more calcium from your bones than it puts in. This is due to naturally occurring sulfur in the milk. It also causes acne, contributes to colon cancer, asthma, breast cancer and many other health conditions. (source)

Eggs can play a pivotal role in some female reproductive diseases including fibroid tumors, uterine cysts, breast cancer and tumors, and menstrual irregularities. Also, since these chicken eggs are sterilized or infertile, they are in fact impairing their own sexual fertility and potency. Eating eggs can certainly change or alter your bio-chemical, genetic, and molecular makeup and make you susceptible to a host of diseases and pathologies.The sterilization process of commercial eggs is used to prevent the eggs from decaying but it creates health risks for women who consume the sterilized eggs. Everything you eat whether its negative or positive, natural or unnatural, effects your entire being. Also implicating prostate woes, egg consumption can not make a man more sexually potent. (source)

Plus many more health benefits, I could write about health benefits all day!

Animal Life on Dairy and Egg Farms

A lot of vegetarians think they’re preventing animal cruelty by not eating meat and they assume that dairy farms are just farmer’s milking cows and releasing them of pain in their udders. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Dairy cows live in stalls that they can’t even turn around in. They are constantly impregnated to keep producing milk and eventually their body collapses and they’re sent to slaughter. A usual cow will give birth to 1-2 calves in her life. Thanks to the dairy industry, a cow will give birth 7-8 times. Right after she gives birth, they rip the calf away from her and put the males into a veal crate and the females go into a pen to be raised as a dairy cow. Cows are mammals like humans and they also form very strong bonds with their babies. Many dairy farm workers say that they’ll forever be haunted by the bellowing of a mother grieving over the loss of her baby. In the wild, a calf will be by their mother constantly and their mothers are very affectionate and protective. Veal calves often cry out so much their throats are raw. They’re thrown into a crate that they can’t turn around in, stand up and fed a low iron diet so that the meat is soft and tender. By Day 30, they’re sent to slaughter, if they lived that long. (source)

The mothers are milked by machines that are very rough, they often bleed and have pus come out of their udders and into the milk. In addition to blood and pus, dairy also carries tons of antibiotics to reduce infection in the cow’s udders. (source)

The egg industry is no better. Chickens sent to lay eggs have their beaks seared off without anesthesia so they don’t kill other chickens in their pens. They are in wire crates stacked high, so the chickens above them poop on them and the ammonia burns their eyes and causes lesions on their bodies. They never see the light of day. Male chicks are useless to the egg industry so they’re thrown in garbage bags alive left to suffocate or thrown into macerators where they are chopped up alive. (source)

Even cage free chickens have their beaks chopped off and live in their own filth, they’re packed so tightly in these barns they are on top of each other. It’s a breeding ground for disease and germs.

How To Transition

If you’ve decided to transition, a lot of people struggle with, how? It does seem as if dairy is in everything, but I promise you it is not. For me, I just decided no more, it was cruel and it was affecting my body negatively so I decided enough was enough. I bake with Ener-G Egg Replacer, I do tofu scrambles, bananas and applesauce are also good egg replacers for baked goods. For dairy I stick with almond milk, but there are so many milk alternatives out there and they’re all delightful! I use Tofutti American cheese slices on my grilled cheese sandwiches, there are tons of vegan cream cheeses, sour cream, craft cheese alternatives (Daiya makes a delicious havarti jalapeno cheese alternative), Tofurky makes vegan frozen pizzas. The list goes on, it’s easy to make any of your favorite dishes, vegan. If you’re traveling, read my last blog post on how to eat Vegan on The Go.

Good luck with your journey. If you made the transition, what was the best advice you received?

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