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Now Selling Lard and Tallow Based Soaps

24 Sep

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-24,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

I am creating bacon grease and lard soaps with fantastic results. They lather up more than Castile soaps and feel more moisturizing to me too. I like to explain it this way: if Castile soaps feel milky, then my bacon grease and lard soaps feel creamy. Both are equally gentle on my skin. I will certainly be expanding Mama in the Kitchen soaps based on animal fats. For now, I have three new soaps with bacon grease and lard.

Bacon Grease Soap

Pure Bacon Fat Soap

Saponified Bacon Grease. No hormones, no antibiotics.

$7.00 per approx. 4.5 oz.

SOLD OUT in LESS THAN 24 hours! This is the most popular soap ever. If you think pure olive oil soap feels milky, bacon fat soap is oh-so-creamy and gentle. It is my favourite soap and my customer’s too!

Please reserve your bar by pre-ordering here or clicking the BUY NOW tab below for the next batch.

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Amber Crystal

NOW MIXED WITH LARD!

The amber scent is my favourite scent of all my soaps. An amber crystal has been added as part of the design of the soap. Although the crystal is hard when you first use the soap, the crystal will soften and melt afterwards as soon as it touches water.

A customer says: “My soaps arrived and last night the shower was fragrant with amber.  Love the amber fragrance  of the soap.  So exotic yet clean and fresh.  Love that soap and it feels so good on my skin.  Cut it in half so I can use half, use half of another time!”

Saponified olive oil, lard, and coconut oil, phthalate-free fragrance oil, mica, amber crystal.

If you want small ones, there are still some Castile versions available.

$10.25 per approx. 5 oz.

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Honeysuckle THIS 2

Honeysuckle Bacon and Tallow Soap

Saponified Bacon Grease and Tallow, fragrance oil, spices and mica for colouring.

$8.00 per 5 oz.


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Ice Pop Bars

Saponified Bacon Grease and Tallow, mica, fragrance oil.

$4.50 per 2.5 oz.

ONLY 3 BARS LEFT!

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Lavender Lard Salt Bars

Lavender Lard Salt Bars

Saponified lard, Himalayan Salt, activated charcoal, lavender essential oil.

$4.00 per approx. 2 oz.

Only 1 left.

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Lavender Fields

Now with Hungarian Lavender!

Saponified olive oil, tallow, and coconut oil, mint tea, lavender essential oil, dried lavender buds, and mica.

$5.50 per 2.5 oz bars

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$12 per 5.5 oz bars


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this one

 Lemon and Charcoal

NOW a Bastile mixture with lard to make a harder more moisturizing soap! This is my second favourite soap these days.

Masculine in aesthetics. The scent is mild and fresh. If you have acne or bumps, this soap is for you. I made this initially for my brother who complained of acne on his back and arms. It disappeared after using this soap.
Another customer says: “Okay I have been using this soap since Thursday and it is incredible. I wish I had taken a before picture so that y’all can see the difference but I have always had red bumps on my chest and under my arms really bad and it is completely clear for the first time in my life I do not have red bumps under my arms and on my chest. I’m a Believer.”

Saponified olive oil, coconut oil, and lard, activated charcoal, lemon peel, essential oil.

$9.90 per approx. 5 oz.

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Lemon Coconut

Cleansing with wonderful lather (and without the activated charcoal like the bars above).

Saponified bacon grease and coconut oil, lemon peel, and lemon essential oil.

$9.25 per approx. 5.25 oz.

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Patchouli 1

Patchouli

Perfect to lift your mood with this holiday leaf design.

Saponified organic tallow fat, coconut and olive oils, patchouli essential oil, mica.

$12.50 per approx. 5.5 oz.


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Now Selling Skin Care

24 Sep

When I turned 40, my skin was problematic and I wasn’t happy with the way my body felt. I have since changed my diet and my lifestyle. Previously Vegan, I am now adding meats and animal fats in my diet. I have also discovered that my skin feels its best when I use animal fats on it. It had been feeling dry and undernourished. For the past couple of years, I’ve tried different products from high-end, low-end, organic, mainstream and nothing made it feel that great again. The Korean Beauty Regime came close to making my skin feel better but it lacked something I couldn’t pinpoint. I decided to try animal fats on my skin and immediately, my skin soaked it all in. Not only did it feel nourished, moisturised, and hydrated, it also didn’t feel like crepe paper anymore. I got my tribe of testers to help me and they confirmed that my experience was not a one-of.

Cream 1

My skin has visibly improved within months by the simple addition of high fats both internally and externally.  Look at my hand whipped face cream!

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Here is how I use my products:

Face Serum:

Mama in the Kitchen Serum 5

Unscented. Pure pork fat only. No added ingredients. No hormones. No antibiotics. For face and body. A little goes a very long way. Only requires a very small amount for your whole face. One little dot of serum per cheek, forehead, nose, and chin and spread out thinly. It is easily absorbed by the skin and will not be greasy. I swear by it and so do my tribe of testers (see below). I also have friends who have treated their children’s rashes and eczema with this serum.

Face Balm:

Lip Balm

Face Cream:

Cream 3

Both balm and cream: Unscented. Organic and non-GMO tallow, extra virgin olive oil, and beeswax. For lips and other dry areas of the body. A small amount goes a long way so this will last a long time.

Lip Balm:

Both are made with organic and non-GMO tallow, beeswax, cold-pressed avocado oil, castor oil, peppermint essential oil. The raspberry lip balm also contains lip-safe mica.

Difference

Left photo is of lips without anything on them. Right is the same lips with Raspberry Tinted Lip Balm. You can see that it appears more moisturised, glossier, and a darker shade of natural red. Same with the photos below. Left and top photos are naked lips. Right and bottom are with the Raspberry Tinted Lip Balm, again more moisturised, glossier, and a darker red. The colourless lip balm works similarly but without the addition of more colour.

Skin Care is suitable for all skin types.

What testers and customers have said (will update as I get them):

(Serum) Ok, I have to say, I love it! It takes so little, I added a drop or 2 of lavender essential oil but honestly prob didn’t need to. Pores really did look smaller, especially around my cheeks and nose. The dog did sniff me a bunch! Lol!

(Serum and Face Cream) You are not crazy! When I researched it some last night I quickly realized that it’s been used by women for decades and that animal fat of some kind is still routinely used in cosmetics today. With your way though we can get the benefit of the animal fat without all the byproducts and preservatives. I’m totally on board!

(Serum and Face Balm) My skin is happy in winter again.

(Face Balm) I love this stuff! I’ve never used lotion because I hate the greasy feeling, but this is great!

(Face Cream) I lather this on at night. This is the best thing (on my feet)!

(Serum) I used it on my son’s diaper rash and it was so much better the next day.

(Serum) I used it on my son’s eczema and his face was so smooth the day after.

(Serum) I love it under my eyes especially. Feels great!

(Serum) This is so good, I am buying 10 to give away to all my friends!

(Serum, Face Balm, Soap) I’m on day 4 of the [serum] and day 2 of also using a bit of [balm]. I feel like I’m at a spa when I use it, it feels amazing. The [balm] is more of a lip balm type consistency but it feels amazing too. The only downside to my [serum] is that it smells like bacon. I mix frankincense into it but can still smell the bacon throughout the day. After the first time I used it [my husband] said my skin looked happier, more nourished. We have been using the lemon [charcoal soap] bar for a couple of days and I love the lather, feels luxurious. [My husband] is worried he’s using too much and that it will run out too fast haha. I think it’s helping my eczema red dots on my triceps but still too early to tell. That rash I was getting a week ago after showers around my elbow is not happening anymore thank goodness. Overall I’m hooked on all of it!!”

(Serum) But who doesn’t love the smell of bacon?!

(Serum) My skin is currently so incredibly dry. I’m using the serum on my arms and, WOW the difference. I’m going to work it into my routine for my face too. Thanks for making the video.

(Face Balm) I covered my nose with the balm last night because I had blow my nose so many times yesterday, it was raw, from all the pollen and it felt so much better in the morning.

(Face Cream) The cream is great on sun burn! Two days of your cream and no more flakiness and peeling.

(Face Cream) The dryness and crepe feeling on my hands are gone!!!

(Serum) I use SK2 which is from sake but I have to keep using it for it to work. However, I use Carissa’s serum at night and my skin looks supple in the morning! I have no water retention, like puffy eyelids or eye bags.

(Face Cream) I am using the cream on my hands.  A little does go a long way and I like the way it feels on my hands.  Will use some on my face maybe tonight.  Before going out the door I have applied the cream to my hands and it is absorbed and what is left is not at all slippery and I can drive my car without fear of my hands sliding around the steering wheel.

(Lip Balm) I love it! Makes them nice and smooth. I’ve used a couple of times and it doesn’t seem to make my lips “depend” on it like other chapstick. 🙂

(Lip Balm) Better than Lanisoh that was recommended by online beauty blogger.

(Lip Balm) I really do love it. Find myself reaching for it throughout the day.

(Lip Balm)  I was leary to try to chocolate peppermint because I dislike artificial smelling flavors but i could only smell the chocolate just the right amount!!!!

I keep a very small amount of these skin care products. If you are interested in purchasing, please join my FB group for more information!

I Am Worth It Too.

16 Mar

The question of the year: Am I Worth It?

Raw vegan 7 years, cooked vegan 1 year, vegetarian 6 years. I am Buddhist. I didn’t want to kill any animals in order to live but my body was struggling. I aged quickly towards the end of my vegan years.

I introduced meats back into my diet in May 2017 and have felt better. My skin is not dry anymore, my eczema is almost none existent, my wrinkles have subsided, I sleep better, my gut is healthier, the atmosphere at home is lighter (i.e. I’m less uptight and more easy going and relaxed), I have gained a lot of muscles, my son doesn’t need his asthma medication anymore… I could go on. I wonder how I can eat animals and still be Buddhist. All I can come up with is this: I say thank you to the animal for dying in order to feed me and keep me healthy. I keep in mind that the Dalai Lama also eats meat. It is ok. I remind myself that I am worth it too.

Edited on 14th June 2018. I wrote the paragraph above as I embarked on my Carnivore journey. I have largely eaten only from the animal kingdom since the 1st of March 2018. What started as a one month experiment has now continued into a new way of eating for me. I love how it makes me feel. I have also found my niche in creating Animal-Based Skin Care and Soaps. Another amazing discovery: we slashed our Vegan food budget by HALF. 

Coconut Chocolate Keto Milk Shake

28 Feb

I needed a break from my usual fatty coffee for breakfast. I’ve been meaning to try coconut milk in my coffee but was inspired to make this milk shake after a Keto friend posted a photo of one that she bought at a shop recently. I thought: I could easily make that at home!

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So here’s a very easy recipe. Place all the following ingredients in a mason jar and blend with immersion blender OR in high speed blender and blend well:

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  • 6 oz coconut milk, canned
  • 6 oz water (or really strong coffee if you like! Use espresso or cold brew.)
  • 1 Tbs raw cacao/cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • stevia, to taste (optional but if I want sweetness, I will use 2 doonks)
  • 1/8 tsp xanthum gum
  • dash of sea salt

Pour in a cup.

Top with whipped cream if desired and enjoy!

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Nutrition without whipped cream:

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Vegan Chocolate Protein Truffles

19 Jan

I recently decided to go on a SLOW CARB HIGH PROTEIN VEG regimen in hopes of gaining some muscles and increasing my athleticism. I’m only on my second week and have already seen amazing results. I thought I was eating enough protein on my 80:10:10 Vegan Diet, but maybe not. These last few days have shown me how favorably my body is responding to my new diet changes and it is making me think that my individual constitution may just require more than 10% protein. In short, I am loving what these new Slow Carb High Protein meals are doing for me.

Chocolate Protein Truffles (Makes around 12 pieces)

Today, I missed chocolate. I wanted to make sure my snack was high in protein too and, thus, Chocolate Protein Truffles. These have almonds, cashews, coconut, cacao, maca, flax, pea protein, chicory root fiber, chia seeds, and stevia. Enjoy!

chocolate-protein-truffles

Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl:

  • 1 scoop Bob’s Red Mill Chocolate Protein Powder Nutritional Booster
  • 1 1/2 T flax seed meal
  • 1/2 T maca
  • 1 T cacao powder
  • 1 T stevia powder

Mix into the dry ingredients by hand:

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 – 5 oz (or 8 – 10 T) nut butter, depending on consistency add more if needed so that your truffle balls are just moist enough (I used my homemade almond-cashew -coconut butter)

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Mix well until crumbly. Test by rolling one into a ball. Is it too dry? If so, add a little more nut butter. You don’t want it too moist so that it is too soft. Roll into 12 balls. Sift some cacao powder into a bowl and roll the balls in the powder.

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Refrigerate and enjoy.

Vegan Thanksgiving Apple and Cranberry Crumb Pie

24 Nov

I love experimenting in the kitchen. I especially love experimenting when I host a dinner at my house. Sometimes it is daunting because I want to impress my visitors, but at the same time, the suspense of succeeding/failing at a recipe makes it even more exciting when you can share the journey with other people.

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Tonight’s excitement was my Apple and Cranberry Crumb Pie! I cooked Thanksgiving breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 6 people today. Everything was pretty much planned and I knew my recipes would be just perfect. So, I decided I needed a surprise for myself. I’ve made many Apple Pies before. Many were good, but I wanted to try something different: boiling the apples. I thought boiling might take away the flavors of the apples, but it didn’t. In fact, I think this Apple Pie was THE BEST Apple Pie I’ve ever baked. Everyone raved about this pie and asked for seconds.

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Vegan Thanksgiving Apple and Cranberry Crumb Pie (one 9″ pie)

Crust:

Mix together in a bowl:

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Work in:

  • 1/4 c coconut oil or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks

When the mixture looks like crumbs and the oil/butter is distributed evenly, add

  • 1/4 c cold water

Mix well and form into a ball. Roll out to form a circle and place carefully on to a pie shell. Prick and bake at 400F for 10 minutes.

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Filling:

Bring a pot to boil, add:

  • 6 large Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries

Simmer for 8 – 10 minutes. It will look like mush. Drain well, saving 1/4 c of the apple water and discarding the rest. Mix the 1/4 c apple water with:

  • 2 T arrowroot powder

Simmer until thickened. Take off heat and add while whisking:

  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 1/4 c Sucanat or other unrefined sugar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Add in the cooked apples and cranberries. Mix well and pour into the pie shell.

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Crumb Topping:

Mix together in a bowl:

  • 3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c Sucanat or other unrefined sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Work in:

  • 4 T coconut oil or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks

The mixture is done when it looks like crumbs and the oil/butter is distributed evenly. Crumble the topping over the apple filling. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes until golden brown. Allow the pie to cool completely before serving.

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ENJOY and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Juicy Vegan Kidney Bean Burgers

2 Oct

I’ve been experimenting with different types of bean burgers lately: black, chickpea, and kidney beans but my family loves my kidney bean burger the best. My son took a few bites of his burger the other night and looked in amazement, “Mama! These taste just like REAL burgers!” With all the condiments and fixings, a Vegan Burger can look, smell, and taste like the real thing.

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Juicy Vegan Bean Burgers (6 Burgers)

Sauté in a pan with a little water:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

When translucent and fragrant, take off heat and cool. Place in food processor with:

  • 1 c spinach leaves, packed
  • 6 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 c cooked and drained kidney beans
  • 3/4 c cooked brown rice

Process until smooth. Place all of this mixture in a bowl with:

  • 1/4 c sunflower seeds (optional or more)
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 3/4 c cooked and drained kidney beans
  • 3/4 c quick or rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp mustard powder
  • 3 Tbs Braggs Amino or soy sauce

Mix together well. Divide into 6 portions and pan fry the burgers at least 5 minutes on each side on a non-stick or well oiled pan over medium heat until browned.

This burger will be on the wet side and hard to handle at this stage because we don’t want solid rock burgers here, but soft and juicy ones. When both sides have been browned, place in the oven at 400F for 20 minutes or until your desired texture. These burgers will hold well ONLY AFTER they bake in the oven.

To Serve

Serve your juicy patties with your favorite condiments and fixings. We love:

  • whole wheat burger buns – shape into round burger buns instead of hot dog buns
  • lettuce or more spinach
  • tomatoes
  • avocados
  • your choice of cheese
  • mayo
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • and more!

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These burgers are really popular at my house. Hope you enjoy them too!

Ready-for-Fall Creamed and Spiced Pumpkin and Apple Cider

20 Sep

Fall is my favorite season. I’ve been cooking apples and pumpkins galore. Here are some photos of our meals these past few days:

Apple and Red Cabbage

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Vegan Apple Crumble Pie

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Nutmeg Spiced Pumpkin with Vegan Thyme Butter

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Sweet Curried Pumpkin Empanaditas with Mango Chutney

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Last night, my family pleaded: “No more pumpkin!” They didn’t like pumpkin to begin with. Really. Not even Pumpkin Doughnuts. I thought I could get them to like it but I was mistaken. So, this morning, I enjoyed the last bit of pumpkin by myself. It was delicious.

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Ready-for-Fall Creamed and Spiced Pumpkin and Apple Cider (Serves 2)

The night (or at least 30 minutes) before you want to enjoy this drink, mix together in a blender:

  • 2 1/2 oz apple cider
  • 2 1/2 oz pumpkin puree
  • 5 oz thin coconut milk (If it’s hot in your kitchen, put a can of full fat coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. The coconut milk will separate into two parts: thick cream on top and liquid in the bottom. You want to take the cream out and reserve it for later in this recipe. You will be using the thinner liquid here.)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • big pinches of each: nutmeg, ginger, cloves, sea salt

Allow flavors to blend.

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To Serve

You can either drink this Ready-for-Fall Creamed and Spiced Pumpkin Apple Cider hot or cold. Either way, top it with:

  • dollops of thick coconut cream, whisked slightly with a fork (the reserved solid from the coconut milk can above)
  • a drizzle of maple syrup
  • a pinch of cinnamon

 

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Enjoy!

Pleasure of Raspberries

7 Aug

I enjoyed picking and eating raspberries today.


“Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,

But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.

For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life,

And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love,

And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.

People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.”

– Kahlil Gibran –

Easy Baked Vegan Potato Tonkatsu

20 Jul

After 7 years of high raw veganism, I am now just exploring cooked veganism again and having a blast. This was last night’s dinner for the family:

Potato Tonkatsu, Spinach Gomaae, Tomatoes over Vegan Ramen with Homemade Broth.

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Cooking food requires much more time than preparing raw meals, but the family seems to really enjoy cooked food much more these days and I find the time spent in the kitchen very rewarding.

For Japanese food, we are really enjoying the recipes from Just One Cookbook. They are easy to adapt to a Vegan diet. I really wanted to create Vegan Tonkatsu Ramen Bowls for my family. I started with Just One Cookbook‘s Ramen recipe using rice milk instead of soy, then her Spinach Gomaae and Tonkatsu Sauce using vegan Worcestershire Sauce and Soy Sauce in place of regular Worcestershire and Oyster Sauces.  I combined all of these with my Baked Vegan Potato Tonkatsu (below) and it was a BIG HIT. My son used to refuse to eat Ramen, but now he asks for it and wants seconds. My husband really enjoys the Tonkatsu on its own just with the sauce too.

Easy Baked Vegan Potato Tonkatsu

Mix together and combine well:

  • 4 cups mashed potato, with skins for nutrients
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Now for the dredging and breading. Arrange 3 bowls with:

  • flour
  • vegan mayo mixed with some water to resemble an egg wash
  • vegan panko crumbs

Form potato patties, coat with flour, dip in vegan mayo mixture and cover with panko crumbs. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400F for 15 minutes until golden brown. This is a versatile dish that you can serve alone with sauce or over rice or with ramen (as above).

H20 at Home Review

30 May

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Aside from my own soaps, we use vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and other “green” cleaning products in our home. Admittedly, some of them do not clean as well as conventional ones so I was excited to try H20 at Home‘s products in return for a review.

Here is what came in the mail: Netepur Soap, Cleaning Clay, Dish Soap, Double Sided Microfiber Sponge and an Essential Multi-Surface Chiffonnette. While I will not review their bar soap as it would be a conflict of interest, I can review their other products.

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CLEANING CLAY with Double Sided Microfiber Sponge and Essential Multi-Surface Chiffonnette

The one thing I do have in my cleaning closet is Windex because nothing cleans shower doors and mirrors like it does. However, I read that H20’s Cleaning Clay can be used on ceramic, pots, pans, granite, sinks, ovens, mildew, glass, shower doors, silverware, stainless steel, jewellery and grout. I decided to try its powers on my son’s shower doors, which have not been cleaned purposely (yeah right) in weeks.

This is what it looked like before using the Cleaning Clay on it: pretty cloudy and dirty.

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This is what it looked after I applied the Cleaning Clay over it: almost spotless except for the bottom bit that I missed. And I didn’t try that hard.

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Cleaning it was very simple, quick and didn’t require tireless scrubbing.

  1. Soak the small white sponge inside the container with water.
  2. Place on the white clay and slide it to create a foam.
  3. Apply this foamy substance all over the dirty glass door with the white sponge.
  4. Use the scrub side of the Double Sided Microfiber Sponge to lightly mix in and spread the Clay all over the glass door properly.
  5. Clean off the Clay by rinsing the Double Sided Microfiber Sponge and wipe the door clean with the soft side of the sponge.
  6. Wipe off excess water with the Essential Multi-Surface Chiffonnette.

Notes on the Cleaning Clay: the results were much better than I was expecting. And it only took a few minutes. I really like this Cleaning Clay.

Notes on the Double Sided Microfiber Sponge: it worked well in bathroom cleaning but I wouldn’t use it to scrub pots and pans. The scrub side is a little too soft for kitchen purposes.

Notes on the Essential Multi-Surface Chiffonnette: I used it recently on my dirty computer screen and not a dust remained on the screen, although I saw some in the air as I cleaned. So, I’m not sure it works quite well in trapping all the dust.

DISH SOAP

I have both Seventh Generation and Dawn under my kitchen counter. I also use my own handmade coconut soap for pots, pans and dishes. I don’t make my own liquid dish detergent, so I feel this is not a conflict of interest to review their product.

Thoughts?

  1. The bottle is not the easiest to use. I use gloves when cleaning and when I squirt the bottle, half of the detergent goes on my gloves and not where I want it to go.
  2. That said, two small squirts are indeed enough to clean a whole pot.
  3. There isn’t a lot of lather, but it cleans well enough.
  4. Glass cleans and dries off amazingly clear without streaks and water marks. Same with stainless steel.
  5. The smell does not bother me like commercial products.
  6. I have not tried it with my gloves off to test for skin sensitivity issues.

Notes on the Dish Soap: the detergent works better than the bottle.

OVERALL RATING

I’d definitely buy the Cleaning Clay and the Double-Sided Microfiber Sponge!

Hand Eczema Under Control

16 May

Hands

Got hand eczema? Me too.

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This is what my hands have looked like everyday since I was a child: extremely dry and rough. I tried many moisturizers, lotions and products without improvement. My Chinese grandmother always shook her head as I held her hand. She would tell me that my dry hands told a future of a very hard life.

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In my recent years, this is what my hands looked like on bad days (though not the worst). Open wounds would appear especially when I used products in someone else’s house or in public places. Even if I looked at the ingredients on packaging, it was difficult to determine how exactly my skin would react. Fissures, like the one on my left pinky (above), are terribly painful. Just one use of a commercial hand soap and my rough skin would flare up and fissures would appear within hours. Unfortunately, it could take weeks to reverse the reaction.

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My son took this photo of my hands today. I don’t remember my hands ever being this smooth and soft before. What have I done differently? In the past few months, I have discovered how to create my own soaps. More importantly, I learned to make the mildest and gentlest soaps. No more rough and dry skin for me. No more fissures. I wish my grandmother could feel my hands as they are today. She would tell me that my soft hands tell a future of an easy life.

Mama in the Kitchen Soap Shop Open for Business!

8 Jan

PicMonkey Collage

Now licensed to sell soap!

Shop Now big

As a sufferer of hand eczema, I started making my own soap in search of a solution to my skin condition. On my soap making journey, I have discovered that pure 100% olive oil Castile Soaps are the mildest and gentlest soaps. In fact, it is the only soap I can use without dreading fissures on my skin. Today, Mama in the Kitchen Soap Shop focuses on creating 100% olive oil Castile Soaps for you.

100% olive oil Castile soaps moisturize and hydrate the skin. Their gentle and mild properties benefit all skin conditions from dry to oily.

 

HANDCRAFTED IN SMALL BATCHES

My soaps are handmade in small batches to ensure quality. They are cured for a couple of months to ensure gentleness.

My soaps are also attractive and luxurious. They are not over-the-top creations, but remain understated in their beauty and simplicity.

NATURAL and CLEAN

Simplicity and purity are key: the less ingredients, the better. No: Preservatives, Parabens, SLS, SLES, Unnatural Colours, Palm Oil. Non-toxic and gentle on the environment.

MILD SCENTS

If any of my soaps are scented, the smell is mild and not overpowering. I choose to use quality essential oils over fragrance oils when economical. When I do use fragrance oils, they are without parabens. Unlike strong perfume, my soaps do not give me a headache when I smell them.

VEGAN and VEGETARIAN SOAPS

No animal fats used.

Shop Now big

How To Make Liquid Soap from Homemade Bar Soaps

4 Sep

I want to buy LESS stuff from someone else and make MORE of my own stuff. One of the easiest things I have recently discovered is the DIY room temperature method for creating soap bars. I am definitely hooked.

Soap bars are great, but for washing dishes… I prefer liquid.

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I went soap-crazy the other night and decided to bevel my soaps. Don’t they look nicer?

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The result was bowls of little pieces of soaps.

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What to do with them besides making pouches of travel soaps? Liquid soap!

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It’s so simple:

  1. Chop or grate your homemade bar soaps.
  2. Add boiling water on top to cover by an inch or two. It all depends on how creamy or watery you prefer your liquid soap. Less water for a creamier liquid, more water for a more watery one.
  3. Let it sit for a while to cool down a little.
  4. Blend together with an immersion blender. 
  5. Make a week’s batch at a time to prevent mold. Or, make a big batch, freeze in small pieces, and defrost as needed.

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This simple chore gave me a feeling of great accomplishment. Silly, but true.

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“Nicer” Krispie Squares and Vegan CookBook Give-Away

16 Jun

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After a few months with limited sweets due to a stricter diet at home, I decided to try a couple of desserts from Dreena Burton’s Plant-Powered Families. My family needed a few healthy treats.

3 recipes

We tried her Fudgesicles, Chocolate Chia Pudding, and Oatmeal Banana Bites.

Nicer Krispie Squares

But the “Nicer” Krispie Squares, with modifications based on ingredients I had on hand, was the biggest hit with my son.

Note: I used sunflower seed butter instead of the macadamia nut butter for a nut-free version. I used maple syrup instead of brown rice syrup, which made the squares a little more brittle but still delicious. I did not use the spices she suggested and I used chocolate brown rice crisp cereal, instead of the plain.

Dreena’s “Nicer” Krispie Squares 

Nicer Krispie Squares_WEB

Makes 16 squares

This recipe first appeared in my cookbook Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, and it is such a well-loved, kid-friendly recipe that I had to share a nut-free version here! These squares taste phenomenal, with the buttery richness of the macadamia nut butter and the sweetness of brown rice syrup. They aren’t sticky or gooey like traditional Rice Krispie squares, but the flavor is remarkably similar!

1/2 cup macadamia nut butter (see note for nut free options)

1–2 tablespoons coconut sugar or other unrefined sugar (see note)

1/4 teaspoon agar powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

1–11/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

4 cups natural brown rice crisp cereal (see note)

Line an 8″ × 8″ pan with parchment paper. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the macadamia nut butter, coconut sugar, agar powder, sea salt, brown rice syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir continually as the mixture heats, until the agar powder is fully dissolved (reduce heat if mixture starts bubbling).

Remove from the heat and stir in the cereal, making sure to fully incorporate with the nut butter mixture. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press in evenly (use a nonstick spatula or a piece of parchment to press the mixture without sticking). Refrigerate to cool completely, then cut into squares.

Nut-Free Options:

  • With coconut butter: This is my suggested nut-free option; it may even rival the macadamia nut version, simply because it has a similar mellow flavor but holds together even better— and agar is not needed! Simply replace the macadamia nut butter with 1/3 packed cup coconut butter (not oil). Omit the agar. The remaining ingredients stay the same.
  • With sunflower seed butter: Sunflower seed butter has a stronger nutty taste, almost peanut-y. With this substitution the squares taste different than a traditional Rice Krispie square, but it’s still a nice option. Use 1/2 cup of sunflower seed butter, 3–4 tablespoons of coconut sugar, and add 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom to balance the seed butter flavor. Use the full 11/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and retain the sea salt and agar. A sprinkle of mini chocolate chips just before transferring to the pan is also good!

Sugar Note: I don’t always add the coconut sugar to these squares. For me, the brown rice syrup adds sufficient sweetness. If you think you’d like them a little sweeter, use the added touch of sugar.

Brown Rice Crisp Cereal Note: These squares use the crisp rice cereal similar to Rice Krispies. There are a few organic and brown rice brands available; one of my favorites is by Erewhon.

Chocolate Version: To make a chocolaty version, add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder while melting the ingredients. Whisk through to get out any small lumps. You may want the additional sweetener if using cocoa powder, since it will introduce some bitterness.

Give-Away

Dreena’s book is full of other healthy choices besides desserts: breakfast, lunch, salad, dinner recipes, as well as solutions for picky eaters, lunchbox options, and plant-powered family support. Interested in getting your own book? Let me know in the comments below WHY you would be interested in winning Dreena’s book and please LIKE my Facebook page. US/Canada residents get a physical copy, while International readers will get an e-book. The winner will be announced on the 30th of June 2015 at 9am EST.

THANK YOU!

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Successfully Treat Plantar Warts?

26 Jun

Problem

My dear friend’s daughter suffered for over a year with big plantar warts on her feet. She couldn’t walk for months!

Freezing DID NOT help. The warts only grew bigger.

Oregano oil DID NOT help either.

What helped? Soaking with Apple Cider Vinegar!

 Results

 

These are the photos after soaking the foot, from Day 1 onwards.
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After 2 weeks, the warts fell off!Photo Jun 25, 18 36 11Photo Jun 25, 18 36 30Photo Jun 25, 18 36 21

The warts are gone. The pain is gone. The foot is BETTER!

It’s hard to believe ALL the hype about apple cider vinegar, but when a friend shows you photographed proof like this… I went right to Vitacost to order some bottles of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar!

 

What Now?

Now, my friend’s question is:  what can we do internally for our daughter so that the warts don’t come back?

Here’s some preliminary research:

– BOOST the IMMUNE SYSTEM

Boost Your Immune System to Fight HPV Naturally

How to Avoid Recurring Warts

Ayurvedic Nutrition suggests boosting immunity through a Vata diet, with nuts (especially almonds and cashews), seeds (flax and sesame) and whole grains, as well as Wheat Grass, spirulina, collards, garlic, jerusalem artichokes, and mushrooms.

– VISIT a NATURAPATH. My Naturapath, Dr. Jenkins of Nature Works, suggests many methods, including:

– treating HPV (the wart virus) through NAET (and NOT vaccinate with Gardasil)

– blue light therapy which helps kill the virus

tapping the thymus gland boosts the immune system

PLEASE COMMENT below and let us all know what worked for you!

An Omni Hubby Goes RAW Vegan for One Week

17 Jun

My Vegan Homeschool buddy, Bonnie, finally succeeded in getting her Omnivore Hubby, Crosby, to go on a Raw Vegan Diet for a week. Together, they lost almost 10 pounds. Bonnie discovered more energy and Crosby discovered he could actually enjoy Raw Vegan foods.

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Day 1

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Day 2

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Day 3

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Day 4

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Day 5

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Day 6

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Day 7

Q: Why did you and hubby decide to go raw? How did you convince your hubby to do it with you?  

B – I am Vegan. I want to drop a few pounds and thought I would with a raw diet. I also think it is the most healthy way to eat.

C- Just to see if it would make me feel better. I have ulcerative colitis and wondered if a raw diet would improve my condition.

 

Q: For how long did you eat just raw foods?

B- 100% for 7 days. Now probably 90%

C- 100% for 6 days. Now 10%

 

Q: How did you feel?  

B – I feel better after having lost a few pounds. I always have more energy when I am on a raw diet. I don’t get that afternoon slump and sleep better at night.

C – I was tired the first 4 days, then I felt the way I normally feel.

 

Q: What was the best day?

B – I didn’t really have a best day.

C – The best day was when I no longer felt hungry. Probably day 3.

 

Q: What was the worst day?

B – I didn’t have a worst day.

C – Day 2. I was hungry and tired.

 

Q: What did you crave that was raw during the whole process?

B – I really enjoyed bananas and dates.

C – Avocados and nuts.

 

Q: What did you crave that was not raw during the whole process?

B – I didn’t have any cravings.

C – Meat.

 

Q: What was the best meal? Worst?

B – Collard rolls with sunflower seed pate were great. A beet salad that I made with cumin was not so good.

C – Avocado, tomato and basil plate with Italian dressing. I liked them all.

 

Q: Any side effects of this raw week?

B – I lost 4 lbs and had more energy.

C – I lost 5 lbs.

 

Q: Would you do it again?

B – I would like to eat that way all the time. Its is just hard to find time to prepare both kinds of food (cooked and raw) every day.

C – Probably not 100% raw, but maybe more raw dishes during the week.

 

Q: What was the first thing you ate after the whole week?

B – Some stir fried vegies and rice.

C – A Chick-Fil-A sandwich. A real hot-dog the next day.

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Q: What was the hardest part of the process?

B – Making a lot of different dished to keep Crosby from getting tired of the food.

C – I did not feel satiated. I never felt satisfied even if I wasn’t hungry.

 

Q: What was the most surprising part of the process?

B – I was surprised that I had so much energy and that I was not hungry.

C – I wasn’t hungry.

 

Q: How are you changed?

B – I think it will be easier to add more raw meals into our weeknow that Crosby has tried to eat this way.

C – I am more open to eating raw.

 

Q: What was the nastiest thing someone had said about your week?

B – Not really nasty, but it annoys me when people try to tell me I’m not getting enough protein.

C – No one was nasty, but I did get some razzing about not eating meat.

 

Q: How has this experience changed your relationship with food, your family, or everyday diet?

B – It made me realize that I enjoy eating simple salads and fruit more than more complicated dishes.

C – There are some really tasty raw dishes that are fun to eat. My brother encouraged me to change my diet if I thought there were benefits to my health. I appreciated his concern for my health.

 

Both Bonnie and Crosby’s efforts are inspiring: Bonnie, for preparing amazing Raw Vegan dishes for a whole week, and Crosby, who was open to eating RAW for a week. Kudos to both of them!

 

Sweet Rice Cakes: Quick, Healthy and Gluten-Free

26 Jan

When I asked my son what he wanted for breakfast, he smiled at me and hugged me tightly, “Cupcakes!”

Really?  Hmmmmpf!  Let’s just say I made an extra effort to be sure he enjoyed his healthy meals today.

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For breakfast, we had our favorite Green Sundae.  It is always a big hit!  Instead of oranges, bananas and avocado, today I substituted pears for oranges.  Delicious. My hubby actually prefers it with pears.

Sweet Rice Cakes

For a snack, I made Palitaw, which I grew up eating for ‘merienda’ (snack time).  It’s quick and easy to make.

1. Boil water.

2. Make a thick batter of Sweet Rice Flour and water. Make sure the batter is thick enough so you are able to form small balls and then flatten them in your hands to resemble pancakes. The batter is not as sticky when your hands are a little damp with cold water.

3. Carefully drop the cakes in boiling water.

4. When the cakes resurface and float, they are done.

5. Carefully lift the cakes out of the water and place on a plate.  Sprinkle with equal parts Sucanat (dehydrated cane sugar) and coconut (I used raw dehydrated coconut, but freshly grated mature coconut is traditionally used). You can also add a little mixture of sesame seeds and salt.

6. Serve.

My son ate two pieces and exclaimed, “Mama! This is the best!”

I guess he didn’t miss his cupcake.

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!

Green Giftcard and Goody Giveway time!… sponsored by Alex+Von and Green Your Beauty Routine with Veronica

29 Mar

By Veronica Medrano

What is Alex+Von?

Alex+Von is an innovative new company that is creating a chic and practical way for women to make income, selling products from natural and organic boutique brands. Consultants have the flexibility to sell in person or online and every sale supports a local, small business. Alex+Von is a unique direct-selling company that stands out because of its sustainable mission and healthy, green and eco-friendly brands that are loved by many.

Alex+Von Current Brands:

100% Pure:

  • Ingredients: Exceptional quality and high concentrations of natural ingredients to deliver antioxidant and vitamin benefits. No synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances, petrochemicals, chemical preservatives, water, cheap fillers, thickeners or any toxins. Uses organic and food-grade ingredients.
  • Cruelty Free & Vegan: Products are never tested on animals and it is the company’s mission to help and save animals.
  • Eco-Friendly Packaging: Made from recycled plastic, glass, aluminum and paper. Printing uses soy and vegetable ink. Formulas are 100% biodegradable. Shipping materials use recycled and biodegradable materials.
  • For: Everyone including women, men, teens, pregnant/nursing women, children
  • Product Lines: Fruit Pigmented Makeup, Skincare, Bath & Body, Hands, Hair, Children
  • Skin types: Dry, Oily, combination, acne, aging, extremely sensitive
  • Bestsellers: Brightening Face Scrub + Mask, Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer w/ SPF 20, Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream (as seen on Dr. Oz), Fruit Pigmented Black Tea Mascara
  • Motto: “Health food for your skin”
  • Press: 100 % Pure has been featured in over 1000 different magazines, newspapers and TV shows in the US and internationally.
  • Celebs using 100% Pure products: Dr. Oz, Kate Hudson, Reese Witherspooon, Tom Cruise, Madonna
  • Order 100% Pure: http://bit.ly/wQ1fMs

Suki:

  • Ingredients: Natural, organic or food grade high quality ingredients. Synthetic and chemical-free. Uses fair trade, organic and biodynamic ingredients from local companies whenever possible. No nanotechnology.
  • Proven Results: Spa grade, clinically-proven cosmeceutical products (marriage between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals or dermaceuticals). Cosmeceutical activity much show 70-80% efficacy in order to make a real difference on the skin.
  • Cruelty-free, vegetarian and Vegan (except a few products that contain responsibly harvested beeswax)
  • Eco-Friendly Packaging: Recycled materials, made with biodegradable, vegetable inks and is recyclable
  • For: Women, men, teens, pregnant/nursing women and babies
  • Product Lines: sukiface (exceptional antiaging line), sukibody, sukihair, sukitogo, sukispa, sukicolor makeup
  • Skin types: Dry, oily, combination, acne, rosacea, aging, eczema, extremely sensitive
  • Bestsellers: Exfoliating Foam Face Cleanser, Concentrated Face Toner, Balancing Day Face Lotion, Pure Facial Moisture
  • Motto: Clinically-proven natural solutions
  • Press: Suki has been featured in numerous magazines, in the U.S. and internationally and has received many recent Awards
  • Celebs using Suki products: Courtney Cox, Eva Longoria, Katherine Heigl, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
  • Suki info video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eywllHVV0pg
  • Order Suki: http://bit.ly/FQi09s

WeeDecor:

  • Playful, personal Eco-Friendly Decals for kids’ rooms
  • Designer brands bringing modern style to kids’ rooms without having to use a drop of paint
  • Removable and Reusable
  • High-Quality Biodegradable Fabric
  • PVC free
  • Order WeeDecor: http://bit.ly/xwsvy0

Original Moxie (new a+v brand):

  • Natural, toxic free hair care made with essential oils
  • 3D Diagnostic system which eliminates guesswork by helping you identify the products that fit for your hair type (Analysis based on Density, Dryness or Degree of Curl* – see image)
  • Ingredients: Natural and organic, whenever possible.
  • Product types: curl enhancing, volume boost, frizz fighter, wave maker, get it straight
  • Order Original Moxie: http://bit.ly/GYGFFI

Upcoming Brand: high definition, natural makeup (name reveal coming in next few weeks)

Why I chose Alex+Von…

As a stay at home mother, this opportunity appealed very much to me, especially knowing that I could share my passion for green living and products that would help others achieve the same. Having been surprised with a micro-preemie baby, gave me lots to think about with regards to what I wanted to do secularly…continue at my big city job as a techie or stay at home with our fragile preemie? The answer was obvious, and to this day I have no regrets! Alex+Von has allowed me stay at home, work flexible hours and do just that…focus on her. Alex+Von supports women who want to work from home in any type of circumstance or stage in their life. Whether you want work part-time and add some income or focus on direct selling as a full-time career.

Why should you ‘Green Your Beauty Routine’?

Green your Beauty Routine with Veronica is my green mission to promote awareness about the importance of healthy, toxic-free and chemical free brands and products. My facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/GreenYourBeautyRoutine) is dedicated to inform, warn and help consumers educate themselves about what they put on their skin…very important, since 60% of topical products enter your body bloodstream! I also love helping others learn what products are best for their skin type and families and assist them in ‘Greening their Beauty Routine’ as much as possible. I enjoy posting many general green topics, tips, makeup how-to’s, alex+von specials and givewaway info—so, make sure you tune in often!

Green and Glam Prizes

There are two GIVEAWAYS, so read carefully… 🙂

Green Your Beauty Routine! Giftcard Giveaway

One very fortunate reader will win a $25 gift card to use towards any Alex+Von brands and products. There will be a few ways to accumulate entries (up to 3 are possible): 1) Like Green Your Beauty Routine with Veronica (http://www.facebook.com/GreenYourBeautyRoutine) on FB + Like Mama’s In the Kitchen and She Ain’t Cookin’ (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mama-in-the-Kitchen-and-she-aint-cookin/104174956286423) = 1 entry. 2) Follow @GreenUrRoutine+ Follow @MamaInDKtchn on Twitter (1 entry), and for a final entry 3) fill out my skincare questionnaire here: (http://bit.ly/FQ9vbj). Up to three entries total. Simply comment here stating your type of entry so that we can track all entries. Winners will be announced on Earth Day: 22nd April 2012.

Why You Should Join My Green team! Goodies Giveaway

Roll call!…Looking for some green-loving folks to share natural, organic, eco-friendly and high-quality boutique brands. Are you looking to make some extra money while showing your love for healthy living? I was never really a ds selling girl, but after realizing my passion for green beauty came so naturally, it was such a breeze to convey this to my audience and clients. Think about it… 1) not only do you get to share your green passion, but 2) you get to sell and make commission on stuff you love, 3) you get a discount on purchasing products you need for yourself, 4) you get to show love to mother earth, 5) you get to work online in your cozy faux bunny slippers or in-person at parties, shows or events, 6) you get to work as little or as much as you want and achieve the salary you desire and 7) you get to join an amazing young company where you can be heard as an independent consultant or a founding member (yes, founding member and more commission is still up for grabs!)

Alex+Von really has a tremendous team and the owners still interact with every consultant when there are questions. All members volunteer helpful information, tips and brands! Recommend a green brand, and it might get chosen as an a+v brand based on need and natural-ness. If you want to hear more about this opportunity, there are weekly no pressure calls for prospective consultants who’d like to just get more information. I’ll post this info on my FB Page.  Btw, March has a great opportunity for anyone joining, since any party host can join and purchase their starter kits for half off.  April will have another great opportunity as well…stay tuned on my FB page.

Now let’s talk more green goodies.. To help build my team, I’d love to award the following prizes to the next 3 consecutive sign-ups. FIRST consultant who signs up on my team will win a 100% Pure .50 oz organic coffee bean eye cream (bestseller and anti-wrinkle cream as featured on Dr. Oz ), a 100% Pure shimmery cocoa berry lip and cheek stain, and a 100% Pure real fruit-pigmented lip gloss, Retail value $33.00. SECOND and THIRD place sign up will also win a 100% Pure lip gloss, Retail value $13.00.

For more information on the alex+von opportunity and to join my green team:  http://bit.ly/HpIn3j

As well, please email me at colormegreen2@yahoo.com if you have any additional questions.  Thanks again for reading my post, look forward to hearing from you!  XOXO…Veronica

New Year’s Resolutions for 2012

30 Dec

There are 3 ingredients that make eating Raw Vegan food more appealing to transitioning mamas, hubbies and kids: raw sugars, raw oils and sea salt.  It is time for me to decrease my family’s consumption of all 3.  

1. Prepare food with less sugar.

My plan:

  • use less raw sweeteners all together
  • use more fruit (fresh or dried) to replace sweeteners
  • omit any unnecessary sugars all together in Green Smoothies.

Note: I have been successful this past week in serving my boys their favourite Pooh Bear Smoothie without additional dates AND with another handful of greens without complaints!

2. Prepare food with less oils.

My plan:

  • use less extra virgin olive oil in salads
  • use more flax seed oil to replace extra virgin olive oil in salads to increase our Omega 3 intake.
We enjoy our favourite Kale Salad at least once or twice a week and it contains a lot of olive oil.  I have prepared it before by substituting 1/4 of the olive oil with plain water and we loved it just the same.  I am going to try substituting some of the olive oil with flax seed oil too.

3. Prepare food with less salt.

My plan is to:
  • simply decrease our intake of salt by using less of it.  While my general rule is to add 1 tsp sea salt for every 1 pound of food, I want to decrease this to 3/4 tsp.
This will be difficult for me because I love sea salt.  Salt brings out the flavor in food.  Will my family be ready to eat bland food?  I guess more importantly, will I?

There are 2 ingredients that have made the transition into a Vegan Diet much easier for my husband and son: soy and wheat, which has given them the texture and heaviness of animal products they have craved.  These are the 2 ingredients I struggle with the most because of the GMO’s in soy and the gluten in wheat.  

4. Avoid soy and other GMOs.

The contamination of organic products with genetically modified counterparts are increasing, as they are inevitable.  This is scary.  Now I just have to figure out what to do when preparing Asian fare without Nama Shoyu?

5. Avoid wheat.

Dr. Hyman’s Huffington Post article on Gluten opened my eyes on why eliminating wheat is very important.  He writes that “… an estimated 99 percent of people who have a problem with eating gluten don’t even know it. They ascribe their ill health or symptoms to something else–not gluten sensitivity, which is 100 percent curable.” And that a “study comparing the blood of 10,000 people from 50 years ago to 10,000 people today found that the incidences of full-blown celiac disease increased by 400 percent (elevated TTG antibodies) during that time period.”  WOW.
My plan is to:
  • eliminate all wheat
  • then substitute with spelt (although it contains gluten, people with wheat allergies and not gluten allergies, can tolerate spelt)
  • then continue to experiment with and use home-milled gluten-free flours from now on.  Here’s how to substitute for wheat with other grains.

Supplementing a Family’s Vegan Diet is important!

6. A continued search for fantastic food-based vitamin supplements for:

  • B12
  • other B vitamins
  • iron
  • zinc
  • iodine
According to Gabriel Cousens, we all need to supplement Omega 3s, minerals, carnosine, Vitamins A, B12, C, D, K.  I just found his supplement recommendations and will be working from this list!  Note: he doesn’t advice taking nutritional yeast as the B12 supplement because of fungal potential.

On Exercise

7. Continue to exercise better.

My husband is an Exercise Scientist and an Athlete.  Last month, he got me to row 120,000 meters.  I think that is more exercise than I have ever done in my entire life.  And I don’t think I have ever felt as physically well as I do today!  And yet, I took a physical test yesterday that placed me below average for my age range in cardiovascular strength… I was sorely disappointed, but I guess I have a lot of room for improvement in this department!

 

One with Nature

8. Make more time to be outdoors.

My family’s days are not complete anymore if there isn’t at least half an hour each day outdoors, rain or shine.  I/We want more!

What are your and your family’s New Year’s Resolutions for this coming year?

This Makes It All Worthwhile

1 Aug

Time is this moment.

“Time was when I chafed and grew fretful and said, ‘I can’t bear this business of having to think of supper every night.’ Time was when I dreamed of all things I could do, all the lives I could lead if I wasn’t tied down, beset, beleaguered. And time was – I’m glad to say – when the clasp of small arms around my neck and the feel of a soft face against my own stilled the restlessness and made me grateful and glad for the moment.”

– Ahdaf Soueif in The Map of Love –

Do We Have To Love What We Eat?

12 Jul
My son actually enjoying this salad!

In Ayurveda, they say that your mental state affects how your body digests food.  So, if a child doesn’t like veggies, forcing them to eat it will cause them to improperly break down their food and therefore cause toxins in the body.

But, my son has gladly eaten 2 big bags of Valentine’s candy and was ill for a month.  My son has also fought many times against our ‘veggies first’ rule, begrudgingly ate his very green salad and has become much healthier for it. Looking at the bigger picture, the chemicals contained in junk or fast foods cause consumers to have a high, cause them to crave these same foods and within weeks can wreak havoc on their healthy systems.  Cancer patients, though willing but who may not love the drastic change in diet, have cured themselves off cancer on Raw Vegan Foods.

Do we really have to love the food we eat? Compared to the quality of the food we eat, it can’t be as important, can it?

Should We Have Fun Now and Pay For It Later?

Some people may call me fanatical and extreme for being a Raw Vegan Mama.  For the past 2 1/2 years, I have been transitioning my hubby and son’s diet from a Cooked Meat-based one to a largely Plant-based diet that is high in Raw Vegan foods.  We hardly eat out.  I make most of our meals from scratch and have all the appliances I need to make it easy for me.  When my family does eat out, I secretly cringe when my hubby and son order Sweet Tea (corn syrup! yikes!), Shrimp Tempura (mercury! hydrogenated oil!), a Hamburger (not-organic meat! hormones! dioxins! cow poop!) or celebrate a friend’s birthday with a store-bought cupcake (GMOs, preservatives, artificial dyes, I give up!).

But here’s the thing: when my husband and I married, we vowed to work at being PHYSICALLY HEALTHY so that we could live a long life together.  I take this vow very seriously and now that we have a family,  I dream of a healthy and disease-free family too.  I honestly can’t sleep at night knowing I served my family foods that could potentially harm their future health.

Why Do I Believe In A Plant-Based Diet?

There are so many reasons (look under Research)!  Here are more reasons why:

  • Did you know that we can decrease our chances of cancer by 40%, heart disease by 50% and diabetes by 60% through a whole foods Vegetarian Diet? (from Kathy Freston’s Veganist)
  • A plant-based diet also reduces BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure and hypertension.
  • Did you know that Diabetes is on an upswing worldwide?  1/3 of the kids born after 2000 will get type 2 diabetes and it has been proven that it is preventable through diet and lifestyle.  Dr. Barnard has shown that beef and cheese are bigger insulin spikers than pasta and fish more than popcorn!  The Vegetarian Diet helps prevent diabetes!

My Solution

As a Mama in my kitchen, I have the power to influence what my family eats.  I am lucky that I am able to spend a big part of my day in the kitchen to create healthy, as un-processed as possible, tasty Plant-Based meals for my family.   Admittedly, I work hard at it because I want my family to enjoy and crave healthy food.

So, do we really have to love the food we eat?

Yes.  I want my family to love what I serve.  Isn’t it the only way to get them to come back for seconds?  And not only today, but tomorrow and the day after.

Easy Blueberry Peach Crisp or Crumble

10 Jul
Blueberry Peach Crisp

For breakfast, snack or dessert, this is delicious, fresh and easy!

The Crust

Pulse together in a food processor:

1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbspn extra virgin coconut oil, liquified by placing bottle in warm water
3 tbspns raw local honey or your choice of sweetener, or 6 tbspns pitted dates
2 cups raw almonds, unsoaked, grind to crumb-like consistency (not into a fine powder)

Filling

blueberries and sliced peaches

To Serve

Quick and Not That Involved: Like an easy granola and fruit dish, simply place fruit in a bowl and top with crust. Enjoy!

Prettier and More Involved: More like a Crumb Cake, pat down crust on a pie plate, top with peach slices and place some blueberries around the edge, top with more crust and pat down firmly, add one more layer of peaches and blueberries around the edge and top with the last layer of crust. Pat down firmly. The peaches and crust compliment each other very well – so you want more peaches than blueberries. Freeze slightly before serving to make slicing easier (use a sharp knife). Enjoy! Top with orange cream or banana ice cream, if desired.

Why Is The Sugar Always Sweeter On The Other Side?

5 Jul

MAMA: "Yes, that's seaweed! And it is green!"

The Problem

I hardly hear of other health conscious Mamas discuss how their children behave in community settings that serve Standard American Diet (SAD) Foods.  Many claim their children only want the perfectly healthy foods they are used to and avoid any junk altogether.  Let me tell you – this simply cannot be true!

It’s human isn’t it: to want what you don’t have?  The grass is always greener on the other side. And for kids, at least mine, the sugar is always sweeter on the other side!

And this is something I struggle with.  Can I sleep at night knowing I have served my son foods with dioxins, GMO products, allergens and other toxins that negatively affect his future health?

What Happens

At our neighbor’s Fourth of July Celebration, my son made a B line for the store-bought lemonade and the processed cupcakes.  Forget about lunch, he just wanted the sweets!  After a full glass of high fructose corn syrup sweet lemonade, he kept asking for more.  And before lunch was even served, he kept eyeing the cupcakes and asked at least 5 times when he could have his cupcake (can I have it now?  can I have it now? now? now? NOW?).

My Realization

In my quest for my family’s health, the last thing I want to do is to create an environment in my home that pushes my son to choose unhealthy foods or lead him to gravitate towards an unhealthy lifestyle. Yet, as I watched my son demand for MORE and MORE, one word kept popping into my mind: DEPRIVED. In promoting fruits, greens, unrefined and un-processed foods at home, I have inadvertently created a little processed food junkie who, when away from home, craves his white sugar/corn syrup rush and his fat high.  Admittedly, children will ‘test’ and want what they cannot always have.  But there needs to be a balance so that depravity does not lead to such intense craving. 

It’s sad, isn’t it? And it makes me angry because it is so difficult and challenging for a Mama to educate the family about health and nutrition, when we are all living in a culture that supports disease.

The Solution

Yesterday, we sat down as a family to go over 1 month’s worth of menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks, sweets and other miscellaneous fave foods – and we agreed on every item on each menu.  We agreed on the Raw Vegan Foods, the Cooked Vegetarian Foods and the handful Cooked Animal Products.  We also agreed that I will make the healthiest and freshest Vegan versions of some of the verboten Standard American Diet (SAD) foods my son so craves so that he doesn’t feel so deprived. 

In discussing these menus with them, I have made my husband and son more a part of the process of being a Mama in the Kitchen and I have allowed them to have more responsibility for their own nutrition.

I hope it works!

Help This Mama Be a Hot Raw Chef! Please Vote For Me!

2 Jul

What’s in it for you?

You’ll receive a FREE 5 in 5 eBook of the contestants’ recipes when the contest ends JUST for voting! PLUS, a FREE DRAWING to win a Living Light FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods class for two, along with a weekend stay at the Stanford Inn by the Sea!

What do you have to do?

Simply register to vote for the next Hot Raw Chef on HotRawChef.com till the 15th of July. Watch the 5 in 5 Video Recipe Contest Entries, scroll down to input your information and vote for Carissa Leventis-Cox’s Raw Coconut Gazpacho! That’s Contestant Lucky #13! Feel free to pass this great opportunity to your co-workers, friends, and family so they can vote, have their name entering into the drawing, and receive their very own copy of the Next Hot Raw Chef eBook.

What’s in it for Mama in the Kitchen?

20% of the points are from PEOPLE’s VOTES! I can show that Mamas can still be Hot Raw Chefs! I can get more people interested in what I offer here and let them know about the benefits of adding more RAW Vegan foods into our family’s diets!

Ready? I know you’ll love this recipe!

Raw Coconut Gazpacho

Perfect for a hot summer day!


The Video

The Recipe Here.

Please VOTE for me! I truly appreciate it!

Vegan Family Meals Blog Tour: My Niçoise

27 Jun

Last week on the Vegan Family Meals Blog Tour, I  re-created Ann Gentry’s Garlic-Sesame Kale Chips RAW with great success.  This week, I am attempting to re-create her Niçoise salad – mostly RAW.  This is DELICIOUS!!!

Ann Gentry's My Niçoise

Ann Gentry’s My Niçoise

Serves 4

8 ounces slender green beans (such as haricots verts), trimmed

4 medium red-skinned potatoes (about 1 pound total), cut into ½-inch-thick wedges

Vinaigrette:

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

 Salad:

1 large head butter lettuce, leaves separated and larger leaves torn in half

3 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges, or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 log Peppercorn-Crusted Tofu Chèvre (recipe follows), sliced into rounds

¹⁄3 cup

olives or kalamata olives

2 tablespoons capers, drained

1½ tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until they are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and submerge the green beans in a bowl of ice water just until they are cold. Drain the green beans again and pat dry. Set aside.

Place the potatoes in a steamer basket set in a saucepan filled with 1 inch of simmering water. Cover and steam until they are just tender and still hold their shape, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

Vinaigrette: While the vegetables are cooling, whisk the lemon juice, shallot, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil to blend well.

Salad: Arrange the lettuce on a serving platter or in a large shallow salad bowl. Place the green beans, potatoes, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Toss with enough of the vinaigrette to coat, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the beans, potatoes, and tomatoes atop the lettuce. Arrange the tofu cheese slices amid the vegetables. Sprinkle the olives, capers, and parsley over the salad. Spoon more vinaigrette over the salad and serve immediately.

Tofu Chèvre:

Makes 1 (13-ounce) log

1 (12-ounce) container waterpacked extra-firm tofu, drained and halved
1 large clove garlic
2 tablespoons yellow miso
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

Pat the tofu dry with paper towels. Set the tofu in a colander and set the colander over a bowl to collect all the liquid that drains from the tofu. Cover the tofu with plastic wrap, then place 3 heavy cans, each at least 14 ounces, on the tofu to weigh it down. This weight will help extract all the excess liquid from the tofu. Refrigerate the tofu for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Mince the garlic in a food processor. Pat the tofu halves with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture, then add the tofu to the food processor. Add the miso, 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, and the salt, and blend until the mixture is very smooth, stopping the machine occasionally and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Lay a sheet of plastic wrap flat on the work surface. Scrape the tofu cheese onto the center of the plastic wrap, then wrap the cheese, forming a log. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Unwrap the cheese log and place it on a baking sheet. Brush the log lightly with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Bake just until the cheese is warmed through, but the center is still creamy, about 25 minutes.

Serve warm or cold.

Peppercorn-Crusted Variation: Coarsely grind whole black or multicolored peppercorns, then sprinkle them over the cheese, patting them gently to adhere.

Sunflower Niçoise

Sunflower Niçoise – a Mostly Raw Niçoise

I follow everything on the recipe, except for:

1. I steam the potatoes and the green beans in the same pot.  The potatoes are first steamed for 4 minutes, then I simply add the green beans to the steamer for an additional 4 minutes.  If you want your salad completely raw, simply omit the potatoes and add raw jicama and raw green beans.  (Note, I never did well with raw green beans…)

2. I make a Raw Sunflower Chèvre instead.  I simply substitute the tofu with soaked sunflower seeds.  Soak 1 cup of sunflower seeds overnight.  Rinse and drain.  Mix in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients: garlic, miso (I used unpasteurized white miso), oil and sea salt.  Use a small ice cream scoop to place tablespoons of the soft cheese onto a texflex sheet, flatten if you wish.  Place in a dehydrator for 1 hour on 150F, then decrease to 105F for the next hour.  The cheese will be a little crusty on the top, but still soft inside and at the base – perfect for this salad.

Raw Blueberry Bars

26 Jun

A Raw Blueberry Bar

Thinking about really nutritious, fresh, un-processed, Raw Pop Tarts or Raw Cereal Bars or Raw Fig Newtons?  Either for breakfast, a snack or a dessert, this is it! This truly healthy recipe is very easy, simple and the family will love it.  Blueberries are now in season and tastes fantastic with vanilla, coconut, lemon and maple syrup!

Raw Pastry

Grind into a fine flour with a Vitamix or Coffee grinder:

1 cup sprouted and dehyrated soft wheat berries*

* Alternatives: sprouted and dehydrated oat groats (or simply grind rolled oats if this is easier), soaked, rinsed and drained nuts (make sure they are dry thoroughly – I usually store them in the fridge for a few hours in a sieve after rinsing them)

Place in a bowl and add:

1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (without alcohol)
1 tbspn extra virgin coconut oil
2 – 3 tbspns maple syrup, according to taste

Mix together.  Flatten with the palm of your hands or a roller on a flat surface. Refrigerate or freeze until hard.  Carefully separate pastry from surface.  Cut into long strips and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Blueberry Jam

Mix together in a food processor:

1 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional but brings out the taste of sweet blueberries)
1/4 cup dates, soak if required
1 cup fresh blueberries*

*Alternatives: You can use your choice  of seasonal fruits here, like strawberries, figs, etc.

To Serve A La Minute

Place pastry strips on a flat surface.  Top half of each strip with blueberry jam and fold the other half on top to form a type of sandwich.  Serve immediately.

Vegan Family Meals Blog Tour: Kale Chips

23 Jun

Mama in the Kitchen is proud to be part of Ann Gentry‘s Blog Tour for her new book Vegan Family Meals.  Ann Gentry is the creator of Real Food Daily, organic gourmet Vegan restaurants in Santa Monica and West Hollywood that serve 100 percent Vegan foods grown exclusively with organic farming methods.  She has successfully promoted and raised the standard of Vegan Cuisine through her work as chef, author and mother.  This week, the Vegan Family Meals Blog Tour is on Kale Chips.  Although Ann Gentry’s Kale Chips are baked, her recipe can easily be adapted to a delicious raw dehydrated family snack.

Ann Gentry's Kale Chips

Anne Gentry’s Kale Chips

Serves 2 to 4

1 (8-ounce) bunch large curly kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
¹⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line 2 large, heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.

Spin the kale pieces in a salad spinner, or pat them with paper towels, until they’re dry. It is important that the leaves are very dry, as oil doesn’t mix with water.

Cut away the center spine from each kale leaf and discard the spine. When removing the spine, go ahead and cut through to the top of the leaf so you have 2 pieces. Keep the leaves as halves, or cut each piece in half again. (I cut or tear these pieces so I get 4 pieces from each leaf, or I just leave them as whole as possible, since the kale shrinks to less than half its size while baking.)

Place the kale, oil, and salt in a large bowl and, using your hands, rub the oil to coat the kale pieces thoroughly. (Be prepared to get your hands oily and salty.)

Arrange the kale pieces in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets and then bake until they are crisp, about 25 minutes. Check the kale every 10 minutes or so and turn some pieces over if they look too toasty. The kale chips will stay crisp and fresh for up to 1 week, stored in a sealed container or bag.

Variations: Wash, cut, coat, and bake the kale according to the directions above. Instead of seasoning the kale with just olive oil and salt, try any of these variations. Because some of these variations include maple syrup, which makes the kale brown faster, cooking times will range from 15 to 25 minutes, so check the kale often to determine doneness.

Vinegar and Sea Salt: Combine 1 tablespoon vinegar (balsamic, apple cider, or brown rice), 1 tablespoon olive oil or a neutral cooking oil, and ¹⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt.

Maple-Coconut: Combine 2 tablespoons finely shredded unsweetened dried coconut, 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, 1 tablespoon sunflower oil or a neutral cooking oil, and ¹⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt.

Garlic-Sesame: Combine 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or hemp seeds, 1 tablespoon olive oil or a neutral cooking oil, 1 tablespoon tamari, and 1 clove garlic, minced.

Hot and Spicy: Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil or a neutral cooking oil, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, ¹⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¹⁄8 teaspoon chili powder, and ¹⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt.

Kale Dust for Popcorn: Crush the baked kale chips with your fingers or with a mortar and pestle into a fine powder. Sprinkle the crushed kale over popcorn. It’s colorful and nutritious; my kids love this one.

Garlic-Sesame Kale Chips

Raw Kale Chips Version

Follow the recipe above and dehydrate instead of bake, but read my notes first. I use Lacinato Kale here instead of Curly Kale.  I tried the Vinegar and Sea Salt and the Garlic-Sesame recipes today.  We wished the Vinegar and Sea Salt was stronger in flavor, but we were happy with the Garlic-Sesame Kale Chips.

Notes:

1. For an easier and quicker method to remove the spine of kale leaves, I don’t use a knife – I just use my fingers.  I hold the end of the spine and slowly tear the leaves off as I move my fingers up the spine.

I use my fingers to separate leaves from spine

Easy does it! No need for knives!

2. I soak my Kale leaves in water and vinegar, then rinse in water to clean them and dry them in my salad spinner.  Click here for my Top 5 Ways To Clean Produce.

3. I prefer to keep my kale leaves whole.  I figure I can simply cut them into smaller pieces after they are dehydrated, if needed.

Massage Dressing into Kale

4. I massage my leaves by hand in my preferred dressing.

5. I place my dressed leaves on my dehydrator mesh screens – haphazardly.  I don’t even bother to lay them in one layer properly… it would take too much time.  Plus, they dehydrate well without the added effort.

6. Some people prefer to dehydrate their kale chips at 105F until dry.  I set my dehydrator at the maximum heat of 150F for 1 hour (the kale will not have an internal temperature of 150F, the internal temperature will be below 105F and this step quickens the dehydration proces), then decrease it to 105F thereafter.  My chips were ready in 4 hours.

When A Green Salad Just Won’t Do! Top 6 Ways To Get Kids To Love Plant-Based Food Again!

21 Jun

Look familiar? This is the "I don't think I can eat this!" look.

My fabulous niece Lia loves raw Kale Salad and Green Smoothies, but a piece of plain lettuce may be asking her for too much!  How many kids have you seen do this exact same thing? Many! And there are even more who won’t even touch any kind of vegetable.

A few months ago, when Karen Ranzi came to speak at our local university, she was so excited to see my 4 year old son eat a Banana Lettuce Wrap (below) and exclaimed “Wow! We need to take a picture of that!”  Unfortunately, as he grows up and gets more exposed to the Standard American Diet, his preference for unhealthy ‘normal American’ foods has escalated.  Recently, he has exclaimed: “No more Green Salads for me!  Only Green Smoothies!”

Banana Date Lettuce Wrap: a very simple meal

What’s a Mama to do? 

I knew this wouldn’t be easy.  So I have armed myself with new ways to get my little one to love eating unprocessed plant-based whole foods again. Here’s what I make sure we have:

1. A variety of fresh fruit in the house, for breakfast, snacks and/or pre-dinner munchies.

2. Lots of GREEN Smoothies in the house.

3. My niece Lia just discovered GREEN Smoothie Popsicles and loves them.  We have loved them in the summer time too!  Simply place leftover Green Smoothie into your popsicle molds and voila! another treat with nutritional benefits! By the way, we love our BPA free popsicle molds!

My son loves his popsicle from a Blueberry Green Smoothie!

3. Get the JUICER out for GREEN Juices.  If they won’t eat the salad, they can definitely drink them (as long as they are yummy!).  For most kids, this means a mixture of fruit and vegetable juices.  Although it is hard work, it is worth any Mama’s time: fresh green juices go directly into our cells and work their wonders.

4. Mix raw and cooked together for Half & Half! Yes, definitely the easier way to get the family to eat more fresh raw veggies.

Asparagus and Tomato Salad: cooked asparagus and raw tomatoes with Balsamic Vinaigrette (this is great with Broccoli and Tomatoes too!)

Zucchini Pasta topped with Cooked Lentils... you can always try!

Vegetable Sushi: my family loves Avocado, we use raw untoasted Nori... and yes that's white rice, they prefer it that way... maybe because they feel it's more authentic?

5. Prepare more COOKED PLANT-BASED options at each meal so that the family doesn’t crave other SAD (Standard American Diet) Foods.  This is important and something I often forget because I am so involved in making something Raw Vegan at each meal.  As I add more home-cooked vegan options at every meal, my family craves less for the unhealthier cooked fare.  Some of their Vegan faves: Japanese Vegetable Pancakes, Buckwheat Soba Noodles, Vegetable Sushi, Steamed Sweet Potato, Steamed Artichokes, Baked Potato Chips, Peanut (or Raw Almond) Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, Pasta Alfredo, Pasta with a very simple Tomato Sauce, Chinese Dumplings, Sloppy Joes, Fajitas, Zucchini Bread… They don’t seem to like beans all that much.

6. Remind them that there are Raw Vegan Cookies and other Sweets too.  While I prefer fresh foods, I do make some treats for my family occasionally as well.

Other Resources:

How To Transition The Family Into More Raw Vegan Foods

Top 10 Tips To Get Your Kids To Eat Fruits and Veggies

Top 12 Kid-Friendly Year-Round Raw Superfoods