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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Vegan And Gluten Free Donuts



    Happy Tuesday everybody!! As always, I hope everybody had a great weekend! This week, I decided to go down the similar vegan route, but I also want to talk about another lifestyle: Gluten-free. FThe gluten-free diet consists of omitting gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, grains, barley, and rye. Usually, people who follow this diet, are people with Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is when your body cannot break down and absorb the proper nutrients in gluten, and as a result, does damage to the small intestines.

     A list of products that people cannot have while on the gluten-free diet are as follows: Wheat, Barley, Rye, Bulgur, Couscous, Farina, Semolina, Spelt, and All Purpose Flour. Most foods that have gluten are soups, bouillon cubes, French fries, processed cheeses, mayo, ketchup, and processed packaged foods (TV Dinners), etc. 

     Now that we have grasped what a gluten-free diet is, and what is 'allowed' or what the body doesn't tolerate, let's discuss how we are going to make doughnuts. Vegan AND gluten-free!
So for a typical doughnut, the ingredients that we will be substituting are as follows: bread flour, egg yolks, and sugar. (Surprisingly, not a lot needs to be altered which is fantastic!).



First, we will start with the vegan substitutes.
Egg yolks: use egg substitutes. Some brands are also gluten-free like Energ-G Egg Replacer. It uses potato and tapioca starch as main leavening agents. , I used applesauce, but you can always add water instead.

Sugar: You can use just about any alternative. I personally used Monk Fruit sweetener. It makes it REALLY sweet and I highly recommend that sweetener for any sorts of baking. 

    Now for the gluten-free portion. For the flours, you can actually buy gluten free bread flour, or gluten free all purpose flour. Others use potato starch, tapioca starch, or brown rice flour. I prefer brown rice flour when it comes to donuts. Always keep in mind that when you're using an alternative, that it will change the taste or texture.

I had a great time making these donuts, but there was a lot to learn. I made some with holes and without holes. Just as a heads up, the donuts with the holes tasted a lot better. For me, I really enjoyed making (and eating the donuts). But if you stick with the gluten-free recipe, also keep in mind that it may come out slightly more dense than a typical donut. Again, this factors of what type of flour you use, and how much of it you use. I really hope you guys enjoy this recipe!!!



Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp sorghum powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp flax meal mixed with 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Monk fruit sweetener
  • 1 tsp molasses

Directions

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl
  • Mix all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl
  • Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until fully incorporated
  • Lay out the dough on a cutting board (not fully flat, but spread out)
  • Take a circular cookie cutter and start cutting out your donuts (if you have a mini circular cutter as well, you can use that to cut out the center hole, otherwise don't worry about that).
  • Lay out your donuts on a pan and cover it. Since most homes don't have proofers, what I do is isolate the product in a room (so the bathroom for example), and then I will turn on the heater and let it proof for 10-20 minutes. (it may take longer, but always check to make sure they're not proofing for too long). 
  • Your donuts are ready to be made! Go ahead and fill it 1/3 full of vegetable oil. Turn on the temp on medium heat. Wait until you see the vegetable oil start to bubble.
  • Start dropping your donuts in the pot, frying the donut for about 5-7 minutes on each side. 
  • Take out your donuts and lay them on a cookie rack so that the vegetable oil can drain. 
  • You can eat them as is, or roll them in some cinnamon or powdered sugar! Or glaze them. (Use rice milk, and vanilla extract, heat it up until almost boiling, then just spoon it over the donuts).

Enjoy!






Monday, September 18, 2017

7 Tips For Buying Products That Last




It was requested on our Youtube channel to talk about my opinions on Fast Fashion and I did just that in our latest video (it can be found at the bottom of this article). When I was pulling together my ideas for the video, I thought it would be really cool to also talk about tips for buying items that last.

When I was a teenager I had no idea how to buy items that would last. I would just find something I really liked at the store and I would wing it. Sometimes it would last, and sometimes it would not. As I got older and more concerned with how my actions affected the internet and the world around me, I started to care more about purchasing items that would last.

These are my tips and tricks for buying items that will last



-Avoid red and orange items. Red and orange items always fade first. This rule only applies when buying clothing and anything that is made out of fabric. If red is your absolute favorite color, then you might want to make sure that you will be able to redye it at a later time.

-Items that last a long time, also tend to cost more. Items that last longer cost, in some cases, 30% more than it's lesser quality counterparts. This doesn't mean that every item that cost more will last longer, you also want to check the quality of the item you are purchasing.

-Avoid purchasing products made out of plastic. Not only is plastic horrible for the environment, it is not very durable either. Try buying items that are made out of wood, metal, or glass.

- Check and see how "bendy" it is. For example, when I am purchasing a cutting board I always pick it up and see how easily it can bend. If it gives easily, then it may not be the best choice. The easier it bends the easier it will be to break it.



- Try to avoid the newest fashion trends. The more fashionable something is, the less likely it will last very long. There are new trends every few months, so those items are only meant to last a few months.

- Learn to make simple repairs. Unfortunately, items will have some wear and tear after years of use. This is when it is useful to know how to repair it or know of a service that can repair it for you. I have found, that you can find easy to follow tutorials on Youtube for most simple repairs.

- When an item finally reaches the point where it can no longer be used for its original purpose, try to upcycle it! Make it into something else that you can use. If it is completely broken and can not be reused, make sure that you are recycling that item correctly so it does not end up in the landfill.


Vegan Apple Pie Recipe!!

We’ve had an exciting week, my sister, Sam turned 25 years old today! She has been my best friend since I can remember, and she's always been the most supportive of my vegan lifestyle. When I want to try a new vegan restaurant, she joins me. When I try to make a traditional comfort food vegan, she's my taste-tester. I take her opinions to heart and she always gives it to me straight.

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Sam is unique in every way. Even when she celebrates her birthday, she doesn't want a traditional birthday cake, she asks for pie. Apple pie.

For about 3 or 4 years now I've baked her an apple pie, and my mom also brings a store bought one to the party. Sam isn't shy about her opinions (BRUTALLY honest is putting it lightly), and in past years my pies have been not sweet enough, too crusty, and had ugly lattice work.

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Last year's pie... the bottom crust was too thick!
Every year I try to perfect the recipe, so when she told me today that my apple pie recipe was the best she's ever tasted, I could have cried. When the rest of the family started complementing the taste, I started daydreaming about opening a bakery and serving vegan fruit pies nationwide.

Vegan Apple Pie

Ingredients

  • 3-5 Granny Smith apples depending on size
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar, separated
  • 3 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp flour, separated
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • dash of salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening or coconut oil (I used Crisco today)
  • 3/4 cup ice cold water


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I already had everything but apples to make this

1.Peel and thinly slice the apples, set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

     2. To make the pie crust dough, mix the 3 1/2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the solid oil and mix until it has a crumbly consistency. Add the cold water, 1/4 cup at a time, until a flaky, dry dough ball forms. Try to make it as dry as possible while still staying together, because this makes a flakier crust.

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3. Split the dough ball into two smaller dough balls, and roll them both out as thin as possible while remaining even. To do this, I flip my pie pan upside down and use it as a guide to make a circle, then roll the cut-out circle out a little larger than the top of the pie pan.

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If there isn't flour all over your kitchen, you're doing it wrong.

4. To make the filling, combine the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and juice of 1 lemon in a small bowl or cup. The lemon will clump the sugar mixture up, so be sure to combine well.


5. To assemble the pie, first lay one of the two dough circles inside your pie pan. Add about 1/3 of the apple slices to the pie, then top with about 1/3 of the filling mixture. Continue layering the apples and sugar mixture until you run out, with the remainder of the sugar mix on top. Cover all the filling with the second dough circle. Press together the edges of the pie crusts to seal, and I like to put a little design on top, so it doesn't steam inside.

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Apples and filling.


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pressed the edges together with a fork and tried to make cuts resembling the inside of an apple... Looks more like a sand dollar!

6. Top with a vegan "egg wash" of choice (or don't). I'll admit this is something I forgot about while making my pie. I did top it with a little sugar water, but next time I may use maple syrup and see it that will brown a little nicer. Bake for about 30-40 minutes! My pie was a little brown around the edges, that could have been avoided by putting tin foil around the edge of the pie for the last 10 minutes.

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Happy 25th Birthday Sam!!

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Make a wish!
Shortly after she blew out the candles, we all dove right into the pie. It was delicious!
Do you guys celebrate your birthdays with something other than the traditional cake? Let me know in a comment!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My Blood Test Results: Is a Vegan Diet Really Safe?




 With so many conflicting views in the media about whether a vegan diet is healthy or not, I thought some of you may be interested to see how my blood test results looked after becoming vegan. Of course, please keep in mind that there are MANY kinds of ways to eat as a vegan so not everyone’s levels of nutrients will look the same. However, including a variety of whole, plant foods in your day-to-day meals will help you reach optimal levels of almost every nutrient your body needs. The exceptions, however, are B12 and vitamin D. I take a vegan B12 supplement to ensure I have enough. For vitamin D, I get plenty of sunshine and use almond milk fortified with vitamin D. If you are eating a vegan diet and are not feeling your best, you should get your levels tested to see if there is a nutrient you should eat more of. There is no reason to be eating animal products when we can be at our optimal health eating plants!

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  I highlighted some of the nutrients I thought people might find most important. Protein seems to be everyone’s favorite because everyone is always asking, “Where do vegans get their protein?!”. Contrary to popular belief, we can get plenty of protein just from eating a variety of vegan foods. Some of my favorite foods that are high in protein are beans, chickpeas, broccoli, tofu, peanut butter, vegan protein powder, spinach, lentils, and quinoa. Do not worry about ever being protein deficient, it is not possible unless you simply are not eating enough calories. I also highlighted calcium because everyone thinks we need cow’s milk to reach out calcium needs. This is definitely not true at all! Why would we ever need another animal’s milk in our body? I get plenty of calcium by incorporating plenty of vegetables, beans, and legumes into my diet. I also like to use non-dairy milk in my smoothies, cereals, protein shakes, and oatmeal. Almond milk, soy milk, and other nondairy milks are often fortified with calcium and other nutrients (sometimes even b12!).



    Just remember, if you are feeling unhealthy on a vegan diet, get your blood tested to see if there is a nutrient you can improve. Any nutrient deficiency can be improved without animal products. For example, if you are low in iron, you can take a vegan iron supplement or add more iron-rich foods into your diet such as quinoa, collard greens, tofu, lentils, and mushrooms. I hope this post helped calm the worries that anyone may have about whether vegans are prone to deficiencies. I have never felt better than I do now and I want others to have the ability to feel this way too!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Real and True Benefits of Raw Veganism




Raw veganism as a Lifestyle is in my opinion the easiest and most simple to undertake as well as most beneficial. Here, I shall outline why. First, I will clarify that I am referring to a simple whole food, natural plant based, uncooked dietary intake with a 90 -95% fresh fruit and vegetable composition.

Improved Health:

Studies have shown a major reduction of occurrence in and reversal of all main diseases, from cancer to diabetes to heart disease to IBS, ADHD and more, with a raw vegan lifestyle over a specific period of time and often coupled with other known health promoting protocols. This is not only a healthy diet; it is a sustainable one as well. Many diseases of the modern day thought incurable are healed or at the least significantly reduced by simply eating this way. Hereditary diseases have been shown to have lowered to nil relevance in these cases also. Look out for the improved skin and digestion !

Reduction of Carbon Footprint – Environmentally Friendly:

Simply going plant based reduces one’s contribution to methane emissions mainly released by the meat and dairy industries.

For more details on this, I highly recommend the documentary Cowspiracy or event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-XP79o8gqQ



Stable Weight:

A high fruit diet is very cleansing, reduces inflammation and results in natural weight loss initially with eventual stabilization ( loss of unwanted weight and/or possible gain of needed weight) over time once practiced correctly, not restricting and only incorporating a variety of different healthful fresh foods.

Cost Effective:

Eating simple meals composed of whole plant foods in their most natural state means produce directly from farmers or even in bulk from stores is the most cost effective food purchases one can find, no doubt. Mono fruit meals are the most beneficial and easiest digested of all meals ever.


The Original Diet:

The digestive tract of humans is 1. Shorter than that of a carnivorous creature’s and thus does not effectively facilitate digestion of non - plants,  and most likely why toxicity of the human anatomy occurs on a high meat diet, and by extrapolation,  promotes putrefaction in the gut. 2. The stomach acid is not of a strength which can break down meat kind. It is my belief that the studies which conclude that the human specific diet is that of a fruitarian is accurate. Man’s first and most ideal food was high fruit raw vegan and the more we stray from this, the more apt we are to being diseased, particularly with processed and genetically modified versions of food.

These facts as presented, urge me to invite all to give this a try, I guarantee you shall not regret it and you have nothing to lose !


Jan P. López

Friday, September 15, 2017

Vegan Taco and Nacho Recipe Ideas!

I am a huge fan of spicy food and people look at me like I’m crazy for putting sriracha sauce, salsa, and jalapenos on my food. I like to make a lot of spicy recipes like tacos and nachos because those are some of my of my favorite foods. If you do not want any of these recipes in a tortilla you can also change the recipe and use tortilla chips to make nachos, burritos, fajitas, or another dish instead.

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(photos by Danielle)


I like to make several variations of each type of recipe so that each time I make a dish of the same type, it will be a bit different each time I prepare the recipe. Instead of using plain white tortillas, for this recipe, I used the Habanero Lime Tortillas from Trader Joe's to put a twist on the meal.

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(photos by Danielle)

I topped these tortillas with Gardein’s Fishless Fillets after they were baked. Then, I put in all my other ingredients. In this photo, I used orange bell peppers, beets, some greens, jalapeno, and a spicy sauce. Nutritional yeast seasoning can also be added for extra flavor.

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(photos by Danielle)


I use a lot of Gardein products when I am cooking for my family, but I am trying to eat less processed foods lately. However, my family has been asking for their products a lot lately! We have been making healthier choices for many reasons and have been feeling so much better. I am very excited about showing people these products and getting the word out about them because it shows that I can still eat the same way as I was before, but much healthier. It is nice to be able to eat things like this with even more nutrients and more natural ingredients.

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(photos by Danielle)

For these tacos, I like to use the Gardein Beefless Crumble. You can use any meat alternative in these recipes. In these images, I have added tomato, red bell pepper, lettuce, onion, and any sauce. For the sauce, I like to use a dairy free ranch, sriracha, or chipotle sauce. You can also top it with black beans, salsa, jalapenos, or any other plant based ingredient as well.

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(photos by Danielle)


These recipes are great because they have a lot of healthy ingredients with a lot of nutrients. There is always additional room to add a wider range of veggies as well for more health benefits.

Hopefully, some of you will try something similar to this over the weekend.
Have a great weekend everybody!

-Danielle

Thursday, September 14, 2017

We are back! New Youtube Video!


After a long 6 month break, I have decided to start producing videos for our Youtube channel! Check out the video and if you love our content, subscribe to stay in the loop!

As always, your support means the world!

-Stella-