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Pearls in Our Vegan Strawberry Milkshakes

11 Sep

pearls-in-my-vegan-milkshake-2

I didn’t set out to make Strawberry Milkshakes. I just didn’t know what to do with all the tapioca pearls I had cooked for my Taho, a Filipino version of the Chinese dessert called 豆腐花 or DouFuHua or DouFuFa. Basically, Taho is tofu pudding (like silky tofu) in a sweet syrup topped with tapioca pearls. I loved Taho and DouFuFa growing up and still do. I don’t know if it’s an acquired taste, but my family did not enjoy it at all. Oh well… maybe I’ll have them try it again another day.

taho-or-doufufa-with-pearls

Not wanting the Pearls to go to waste, I decided to make an American Milkshake and mix in the prepared Tapioca Pearls. Voilà! A mix of East and West that the boys couldn’t resist: a Bubble Milkshake! 

Gingered Sweet Syrup

Place in a pot:

  • 1 c coconut sugar, or your choice of sweetener
  • 1 c water

Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Leave to cool and add:

  • juice squeezed from 2 Tbsp minced ginger

Set aside.

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The Pearls

I only had small tapioca pearls in my kitchen, but if you can get Boba Black Tapioca Pearls then they would be perfect for this recipe. Cook about 1/2 c pearls in 4 or 5 c simmering water until just cooked but not mushy. The time will depend on the size of pearls, around 8 to 25 minutes. When almost done and you can see just a small speck of white dots in their centres, drain, and rinse with cold water. They should be perfectly cooked, round in shape, and not mushy. Once cooled, add to the Gingered Sweet Syrup. You can store them in the syrup for a few days.

Pearls in Our Vegan Strawberry Milkshakes (Serves 2)

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender:

  • 2 c your choice of milk, I used Rice milk today
  • 2 c fresh strawberries, feel free to adapt this recipe and use another berry or fruit
  • 16 oz frozen bananas or 2 c Vanilla Soy Ice Cream

Purée until smooth. Place in glasses and add in as many Pearls and Syrup as you want. Enjoy!

pearls-in-my-vegan-milkshake

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Raw Chocolate Pudding

29 Jun

Raw Chocolate Pudding

bananas, avocados, dates and cacao powder

DIY Raw Anti-Aging Face Mask and Moisturizer

6 Sep

DIY Face Mask

This Face Mask is so delicious… I was eating it before, during and after applying it on my face! I adapted PeggyKotsopoulos’ Anti-Aging Homemade Natural Skin Face Mask recipe into a Raw Vegan one.

Simple Face Mask Ingredients

Raw Vegan Face Mask

Puree all together:

  • 1 banana (potassium revitalizes the skin)
  • 1 avocado (for vitamins A and E to soften the skin)
  • 1/2 orange, juiced (vitamin C)
  • 1 big spoonful raw almond butter (more vitamin E and protects skin from pollutants)
  • 1 big spoonful raw honey (for blemishes and zits, and anti-aging properties) (if you don’t use honey, try olive oil or a few drops of sea buckthorn oil instead)

Step 1: Apply generously to your face. Leave it on for 10 – 20 minutes. It will begin feeling firm and tight.

Step 2: Wipe off. My face felt kind of ‘matte’. Then rinse.

Step 3: Apply just enough DIY Anti-Aging Moisturizer and feel your face loving it. Notice my cheeks are a little rosy and glowing.

Anti-Aging Moisturizer

In a small tub, mix together:

Peggy’s book Must Have Been Something I Ate also contains other very easy and simple homemade beauty products, suck as natural skin exfoliators, toners, lip balm, lip gloss, body moisturizer, cellulite treatment, acne zapper, age-spot remover, teeth whitener and breath freshener.

Step 4: Allow your face to soak it all in.

I was surprised that extra-virgin olive oil is not at all greasy. The skin soaks it all in and my skin feels wonderful!

Creamy Plantain Green Smoothie

9 Apr

Plantain Bananas

Because they are in season all year round in the tropics, I grew up eating plantains fried or baked or boiled or steamed almost daily.  They were one of my fave foods.  I was told not to eat them raw, but I couldn’t resist trying one as it ripened on my kitchen counter one day a few years ago.  Now I love them RAW when they are all black, soft and super sweet.  Sometimes, I can’t wait and eat them when they are a little soft, but still quite yellow (like in the photo above).  For breakfast, I love them with a little raw almond butter and raw honey or with cayenne spices.  For lunch, I like to eat them plain with a huge salad to bulk up my meal when I am really hungry.  Sometimes, we love them in smoothies because they create really lovely creamy drinks.  For days when you are really hungry, these smoothies have a heavier creaminess than regular bananas.  Plantains are an excellent source of potassium, magnesium and vitamins B6 and C.

Today, my whole family enjoyed a Strawberry Plantain Green Smoothie.  For me, the fewer ingredients, the better.   I like keeping things simple.  I used to add dates when my family was transitioning to a more raw food diet, but we find dates in green smoothies too sweet now.  We prefer them a little plainer these days – so we can really taste the ingredients in the smoothie.  I also used to add only 4 cups of greens, but now we prefer 6 cups or more.  But feel free to experiment with other veggies and fruits and add your fave raw ingredients too like nuts and/seeds.  Here’s my basic recipe.

Blend all in a high speed blender:

2 really ripe, soft and black plantains, peeled

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 cup water

1 pint of strawberries or fruits in season

6 cups of greens, or more

I find it easier to add the greens to the blender first, so I can measure it to make sure I have at least more than 6 cups.

Then I add the strawberries.

Then I add the orange juice and water.

Then I add the plantains last.

Puree it all together for a creamy green smoothie.

The Sweeter Side of Cayenne

17 Jan

A perfect way to spice up your Valentine’s Day Chocolate Treat!

Dip Mama’s Easy Raw Chocolate in some Sweet and Spicy Cayenne Dip (I prefer using 3/4 tsp cayenne in the dip mix for this one) for a kick!

Add some Sweet and Spicy Cayenne Sprinkles on banana slices and enjoy with homemade Raw Almond Butter on the side!  Delish!

I love eating apples (especially sour ones) with a side of sea salt. Dipping apple slices in some Sweet and Spicy Cayenne Rub brings apple slices up to a whole different level! Try it also with freshly sliced jicama ‘fries’!

Very Cherry Smoothie

9 Jul

Very Cherry Smoothie

A lot of parents always ask: “What is the easiest and quickest way to get my kids to eat vegetables?”

As many will exclaim, I do too: “GREEN SMOOTHIES!”

The Winnie-The-Pooh Bear Smoothie was our gold standard, but then I discovered I could add 50% more greens in what I like to call our  “More Greens Please” Strawberry Smoothie.  And it works even better with fresh summer cherries!

Cherries seem to be the ‘in’ fruit these days. They are a wonderful fruit for cleansing the blood, detoxifying acids in the body and strengthening our heart and plasma.  Just 1 cup of cherries contains 2% Vitamin A, 2 % calcium, 3% iron, 12% dietary fiber and 16% vitamin C. They also contain beta carotene, potassium, magnesium and melatonin.  Dr. Oz has been promoting the amazing antioxidant filled tart cherry juice that helps ease arthritis and gout and reduces the risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.  Whole Foods Market is now promoting their Summer Cherry Fest with a Kid-Friendly Cherry Recipe Contest.  So I thought I’d send in my Raw Recipe that really gets kids to drink a bunch of greens too!

But, first thing’s first: here is the quickest and simplest way to pit cherries… with a paperclip!

Yummy for the Tummy ingredients!

Puree in a high speed blender:

2 pitted dates

3 bananas (I sometimes freeze my bananas for a cooler drink in the Summer)

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

16 oz of pitted cherries

6 cups kale, stemmed

Enjoy!

“More Greens Please!” Strawberry Smoothie

1 Jul

More-Greens-Please Strawberry Smoothie

Want to WOW your 4th of July guests with a yummy Strawberry Smoothie full of undetectable Greens?  Look no further!  This recipe is a variation from our Basic Smoothie, but with 50% more greens!  With Strawberries in season the past 2 months, we have enjoyed drinking this immensely.

Puree in a high speed blender:

2 dates, optional but children prefer a sweeter smoothie

3 bananas (I sometimes freeze my bananas for a cooler drink in the Summer)

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

16 oz of strawberries

6 cups seasonal leafy greens (we love microgreens from City Roots!)

Enjoy!

Raw Almond Butter and Banana Open Sandwiches

7 Apr

Raw Almond Butter Honey Spread and Banana over Raw Buckwheat Bread

Peanut Butter Sandwiches are still very popular with kids, despite peanut allergies for many.   I was craving a raw version, so here is a raw Almond Butter and Banana Sandwich that is just as delicious.  Almonds are one of the best tonic foods to increase immunity and rejuvenate the body after illness.

Assemble the open sandwich, start with:

raw flat buckwheat bread (recipe below)

top with the Almond Butter Spread, mix together equal amounts of:

raw almond butter

raw local honey

and top with:

slices of bananas

Enjoy!

Flat Buckwheat Bread

Buckwheat is gluten-free and contains all 8 essential amino acids.  It is light and yet makes a great alternative to wheat, oats, rye or barley.  Although this started as a granola recipe, I discovered it is better as a good basic sweet bread best with a topping.

Soak overnight:

1/2 cup flax seed with 1/2 cup water in one bowl

1 cup buckwheat with a lot of water, drain and rinse the next day

In a food processor, chop together:

1 cup almonds

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup dried fruit, your choice of dates, figs, raisins or other you have on hand

Add all ingredients above into the food processor with the addition of:

pinch sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tbspn cinnamon

1 tbspn raw local honey

additional water if needed

Pulse until well combined.  Spread batter onto 2 or 3 Teflex sheets around 1/2 inch thick on mesh screens and place in a dehydrator.  Dehydrate at 150F for the first 2 – 3 hours.  Take off Teflex sheets, turn the bread over onto mesh screens and continue to dehydrate for another few hours at 110F until bread is firm but still soft and very pliable.  Store in the refrigerator in airtight containers.

Coco-Nutty Banana Cream Pie

2 Apr

 

Coco-Nutty Banana Cream Pie

 

After a few experiments to create one with the least ingredients and the least amount of time, here is a very easy, quick and ultra creamy Banana Cream with a sugar cookie Coco-Nutty Crust!  How can you beat a healthy banana pie like this: nutritious, unprocessed, quick for Mama in the Kitchen and yummy for your little (and big) one’s tummy!

 

Coco-Nutty Cookie Crust

Place in a food processor and process until small and almost powdery. Make sure not to over process as to turn into a paste:

1/2 cup macadamia nut

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

Add in and process together:

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbspn extra virgin coconut oil, liquefy by placing bottle in hot water and pouring the melted oil out

3 tbspns raw local honey

Press onto the bottoms of 4 (4 1/2″) springform pans (the kinds where the bottom can be separated from the sides, pie shown above) or press onto bottom and sides of a 9″ pie pan (as shown below).  Place in freezer while you make the banana pudding.

 

Coco-Nutty Banana Cream Pie

Banana Pudding

In a high speed blender, process to a paste. It will first turn into powder and then into a thick paste:

1 ½ cups shredded coconut

Add in and puree together very well:

½ tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup raw local honey

5 bananas

Pour into your spring form or pie pans with crust. Refrigerate.  You can also freeze the pie and thaw them in the refrigerator before serving.


Garnish with

thin slices of fresh bananas or coconut pieces

 

Enjoy!

Top 12 Kid-Friendly Year-Round Raw Superfoods

7 Mar

After discussing the top 5 reasons to feed our children more raw vegan foods, I thought it would be good to list the most kid-friendly raw foods that are in-season all year round and/or available all year round.  It is best to find organic, local and in-season foods, but sometimes it is just not possible for many reasons (one being I have a monkey who loves bananas and we don’t grow bananas where we live).

So, here is a list of 12 superfoods that are full of, as my son says, “En-zines! En-zines!”

Hope your kids enjoy these living and enzyme rich foods!

FRESH FRUITS

1. bananas – all kids love bananas.  They are rich in enzymes, best eaten just ripe when there are brown spots on the skin.  Many kids are monkey bananas for them in

  • breakfast – cereals, granola, porridge, pudding
  • green smoothies – a must in any
  • ice cream – with the texture of real ice cream, you can add different ingredients to change its flavor
  • lollipops – name me a kid who doesn’t like them!

2. apples – sweet and crunchy!  Full of phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants, what’s there not to love in

  • breakfast – in our favorite Raw Muesli and a yummy accompaniment to Almond Yogurt.
  • easy snacks – simply slice one up and serve with or without a dip, or create Apple Sandwiches
  • raw Applesauce
  • immune booster ‘tea’: mix together equal parts of apple cider vinegar and honey, add water to taste
  • veggie juices – to make it more palatable for kids. I know my son prefers apple green juices over carrot ones.

3. lemons – rich in raw vitamin C and bioflavanoids.  Enjoy in

  • salad dressings: 1 tbspn lemon juice, 2-4 tbspns extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt, spices and herbs
  • raw lemonade

4. avocado – rich in protein, enzymes, fiber, potassium, vitamin E and healthy fats.  Avocados add a richness and creaminess in

  • dips – Guacamole
  • soups
  • a simple side – sliced with a little sea salt and extra virgin olive oil
  • desserts – creamy chocolate Sundae

5. papaya – loaded with living enzymes, papaya contains papain, a digestive enzyme which helps break down protein and soothes the stomach.  Enjoy in

FRESH VEGGIES

6. romaine lettuce – rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, manganese, and chromium, it is also a very good source of dietary fiber.  It is the mildest of all leafy greens and the easiest for kids to learn to love.  Enjoy in

  • easy salads – Kid’s Only Salad and South Asian Salad
  • smoothies – in any smoothie, this is the easiest way to get kids to eat them
  • as wraps – simply place a banana in a leaf, topped with almond butter and honey or dates or nama shoyu, or other filling

SPROUTED GRAINS

7. sprouted oat groats: a good source of dietary fiber, significant amount of vitamin B1, potassium, iron, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, manganese and magnesium.  Enjoy in

RAW NUTS and SEEDS

8. almonds – higher in fiber than other nuts, contains healthy omega-9 oleic fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Enjoy in

  • Almond Butter – use it instead of peanut butter on bananas with honey, or in lettuce wraps
  • Almond Orange Salad Dressing
  • Raw Almond Milk – soak 1 cup of almonds overnight, rinse and drain the next day, process in a high speed blender with 4 cups of water and your choices of sweetener (honey, dates, to taste) and flavor (cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom)
  • Raw Almond Yogurt

9. coconut – besides being anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal (Coconut Research Center), coconuts are highly nutritious, rich in fiber (4x as much as oat bran and 2x as much as wheat bran or flaxseed meal), vitamins and minerals.  We have a tub of coconut oil in my son’s bathroom and he enjoys eating the butter as I lather moisturize his skin with it. Enjoy in

  • breakfast – granola
  • coconut oil – in desserts, pit a date and place a little coconut oil inside, close and enjoy
  • creamy milk – simply blend together fresh raw coconut water and meat from one coconut.
  • Pina Colada smoothie – blend together water and meat from 1 coconut, 1 banana, 1 cup pineapple, 1 tbspn honey.
  • soups – we love my Coconut Gazpacho, but you can make a simple Avocado Coconut Soup by blending 1 avocado and water and meat from 1 coconut and your choice of flavours (curry, vanilla, sea salt or honey)

10. sunflower seeds – excellent source of vitamin E, as well as vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B5 and folate.  We enjoy this is our son’s fave salad

11. flax seeds – great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, good source of dietary fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and lignan phytonutrients.  Enjoy as

SWEETENER

12. raw local honey – not only will this help with seasonal allergies, but this is an unprocessed sweetener that kids just love.  Since finding out more about the negatives of agave syrup, honey is now our favorite liquid sweetener.  Enjoy in

  • breakfast
  • chocolate syrup with raw cacao or carob powder
  • desserts
  • toppings or dips for cut fruit