Mother Earth Living

Food Matters

All about fresh, flavorful food

Add to My MSN

11/6/2015

This bread is a true quick bread, in that it prepares for the oven in about 10 minutes. Its great slathered with whole fruit preserves or your favorite nut butter.

loaf of banana bread 

Vegan Banana Bread Recipe with Sunflower Seeds

Makes 1 loaf | Ease Factor: 2

Ingredients

• 1-1/3 cups sliced bananas (about 1 very large or 2 small)
• 1-2/3 cups nondairy milk (a thicker variety works best)
• 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
• 4 tablespoons ground golden flaxseeds
• 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 cup raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut
• 1/2 cup Sucanat, brown sugar, or your preferred dry sweetener
• 1/2 cup pitted and diced dates
• 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with vegan margarine.

2. Put the banana slices and 1⁄3 cup of the nondairy milk in a small bowl and mash until smooth using a potato masher or large fork.

3. Put the flour, flaxseeds, baking powder, cinnamon and sea salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the coconut and Sucanat (or brown sugar); stir with the whisk to combine. Stir in the remaining 1-1⁄3 cups of nondairy milk and mix until incorporated. Fold in the dates and sunflower seeds. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and smooth the top.

4. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes. Loosen the sides of the bread with a knife. Carefully invert the loaf onto a wire rack. Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing.

5. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, the loaf will keep for 3 days.

Amount per serving, based on 1 loaf (12 slices): 258 Calories; 10g Fat; 6g Saturated fat; 6g Protein; 22mg Sodium; 39g Total Carbohydrate; 16g Sugars; 6g Fiber

Recipe reprinted with permission from Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease, ©2015 by Laura Theodore.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio.



10/30/2015

If there were a jazzy recipe that gets the “most popular dessert award” award, it would be this quick-to-prepare, rich and creamy confection. When I have little time to prep a dessert, but want to really WOW my guests, I make this delicious pudding.

This delicate, rich dessert is based on a recipe my grandma often made. When I was a child it was my favorite dessert, but it was packed with eggs and heavy cream. Here’s a fail-safe vegan version that faithfully reproduces the taste of Grandma’s specialty. Served in tiny espresso cups, it provides an elegant ending to any fancy meal. Plus, you can make it the day before serving if you wish—always a bonus when entertaining.

vegan pots de creme 

Pots de Crème Recipe

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

• 3⁄4 cup vanilla nondairy milk
• 12 ounces soft regular or silken tofu, drained and cubed
• 2 teaspoons brown sugar
• 1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips

Instructions

1. Heat the nondairy milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming hot but not boiling.

2. Put the tofu and brown sugar in a blender, then add the chocolate chips. Pour in the nondairy milk and process until completely smooth.

3. Spoon the mixture into tiny dessert bowls or espresso cups and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours. Serve chilled.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio.



10/26/2015

This time every year, my mom and I start planning our Spooky Halloween dinner. The house is decked out with cob webs, ghosts, pumpkins, lights and candles when everyone shows up in their costumes. The table is filled with a feast of ghoulishly named dishes and treats.

We wanted to share some of the nutritious, or boo-tricious, ideas that we put on the table so you can do something a little better than a bowl full of artificially flavored goo (aka candy). I sat down with my mom and came up with some of our favorites.

Halloween punch 

Blood Bath Punch

We always use a veggie and fruit juice blend. There are a ton of 100 percent blends that have tomato juice in them, so they’ll have a good red color. You can also use cranberry or red grape. I would recommend diluting full-fruit blends with some filtered water because of all the sugar, eek!

Roasted Ears with or without Wax

You might have guessed it, but this one is oven-roasted corn, with or without butter. We like to leave the husks on when roasting, so gently pull them back to clean, remove the silks, salt and brush with a little olive oil. Pull the husk back over the corn and roast for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Crow Poop

Any spinach and artichoke dip recipe will do for this funny concoction. Stay away from ones that use butter or mayo, and opt for ones that use Greek yogurt or another healthy choice. We use veggies, such as carrots, broccoli or cucumbers, for dipping.

healthy Halloween "tonsilitis" treat 

Tonsillitis

Not for the faint of heart, this one comes straight from the creative mind of my mom herself. Tomatoes, balsamic vinegar dressing and feta cheese make up this simply sinister side dish. Enjoy!

cheese ball bats 

Cheese Ball Bats

This is basically a cheese ball made into a bunch of tiny cheese balls. Roll them in crushed organic, blue corn chips and use sliced olives for eyes. Use whole chips for wings.

Rats in the Garden

If you are looking for something easy, this one fits the bill. Just toss all your favorite veggies on a plate with some yummy dip and add the rats—fake ones, of course. You'll have plenty of time left to spend with your little ghouls.

Halloween maggot stew

Maggot Stew

My mom makes the best chicken stew with okra, corn, onions, tomatoes, beans and rice. She puts a spin on it for Halloween by tossing the cooked rice on top. Any stew will work! Voilà, maggot stew.

On the Dark Side

We take adorable skeleton hand cups and fill them with dark chocolate candies. Our talking skeleton holds them on a silver tray for guests to take as they please.

mini pumpkin muffins

Witch's Warts

You can really do a lot with this one, however, we make whole-grain mini pumpkin muffins. A quick Google search will provide multiple recipes to choose from. They’re always a hit and taste incredibly festive.

Poisoned Apples

I’ve always thought of a candy apple as a "better" choice when it comes to fall treats. However, there is no denying that the caramel coating, containing corn syrup and food coloring, is usually pretty bad. I went online and was surprised to find a lot of natural candy apple recipes. Some recipes made caramel out of dates or even apple juice. We haven’t tried these recipes, but we like to dip apples in dark chocolate and roll them in nuts. Here comes the fun part: We spike them with just a tiny bit of cayenne pepper, hence, "poisoned apples."

The last thing you need to do is create a truly haunting table! We hope that these Halloween goodies will help make you and your little monsters happy and healthy this Halloween.


Karyn WoffordKaryn Wofford is a type 1 diabetic, EMT and Certified Wellness Specialist. For years she has educated herself on wellness and natural, wholesome living. Karyn’s goal is to help people be the healthiest they can be while living fun, happy lives.




10/23/2015

October is here and it's time for soup! Here's a warming vegetable soup that's great for a casual supper or hearty weekend lunch. Anytime you serve it, it's jazzylicious!

vegetarian veggie soup

Warming Winter Veggie Soup Recipe

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

• 6 stalks celery, with leaves, chopped
• 1 sweet onion, chopped
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or other herb blend
• 8 cups vegetable broth
• 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari
• 3 cups water, plus more as needed
• 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
• 5 medium red potatoes, peeled and chopped
• 5 carrots, chopped
• 2 cups chopped green beans
• 6 large cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
• 1 can (15 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed
• Sea salt
• Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

1. Put the celery, onion, Italian seasoning, and 1⁄4 cup of the broth in a large soup pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes, adding more broth as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the mixture becomes dry.

2. Stir in the tamari and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery and onion are tender, about 8 minutes.

3. Stir in the remaining broth, the water, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, carrots, green beans, and mushrooms. Decrease the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

4. Stir in the white beans and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes longer, adding more water as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve piping hot.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio.



10/19/2015

Whatever the reason you decide to go vegan, there’s likely to be some challenges along the way. Whether it’s choosing something to order at a restaurant when you’re out with friends or finding a delicious recipe to cook at home, vegan options are sometimes hard to come by. However, more and more restaurants are offering vegan dishes and chefs are creating meatless recipes as this healthy trend continues to grow.

vegan eggplant meal
Photo by shutterstock.

It’s not surprising why the health conscious are making the switch to a vegan diet. It is lower in fat than a meat diet, and people who follow a vegan diet consume more fiber and vitamin C than their meat-eating peers, according to data from The Dietary Guidelines. If you’re considering making the switch to a vegan diet, read on to learn more and find tips for making the transition easy.

Going Vegan: The Facts

According to shocking data from PETA, each day 2,400 Americans die from cardiovascular diseases. In many cases, cardiovascular diseases are caused by diets full of animal products. The average cholesterol of a meat eater is 210, while the average vegan cholesterol is much lower at 133.

In addition to the serious health risks, production of animal products and foods has a harsh impact on the planet. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. In 2009, meat producers used 235 trillion gallons of water, while soybean producers used only 5 trillion gallons. And, if one U.S. family were to skip just one chicken dinner a week, the carbon dioxide savings would be equivalent to taking more than half a million cars off American roads.

Apps to Locate Restaurants and Find Recipes

These two apps are recommended by The Vegan Woman, a website dedicated to the vegan lifestyle.

HappyCow: Developed by HappyCow.net, this vegan-only app helps healthy eaters locate vegan-friendly restaurants nearby. The app also includes helpful reviews, ratings and contact information for the restaurant. HappyCow is available via the App Store and Google Play.

Go Vegan!: This app, which is compatible with Apple devices, gives healthy cooks access to Sarah Kramer’s cookbooks. Sarah has been dubbed “the world’s coolest vegan” by Herbivore Magazine, and her iOS app is pretty cool, too. You can email yourself a shopping list and audio from Sarah as you whip together a vegan dish. The price tag is $4.99, but it’s well worth it if you’re just starting out on your journey to veganism.

Grocery Shopping

Once you go vegan, your ordinary shopping experience changes drastically. Now, you have to be more ingredient-conscious than ever before. The experts from PETA have put together a vegan grocery list that offers suggestions such as Daiya vegan cheeses, Earth Balance Vegan butters, Gardein vegan meats and soy milks from Silk. From the website you can select your vegan items from a long list of products, and when you’re finished you have the option to print or email your new vegan grocery list. Most grocery stores have a natural foods or health foods section; however, if you’re having trouble finding a certain item, be sure to ask the store clerk for help.


Lauren Topor is a lifestyle writer based in the Southwest who spends her days writing about food and health, fashion, fitness and entertainment.




10/16/2015

This tasty dip is a satisfying appetizer year-round, but it’s particularly inviting during the fall holidays. It truly mimics the texture and taste of traditional pâté. I like to serve this snazzy appetizer with a variety of dippers, such as crudités, pita chips, whole-grain crackers or flatbread.

vegetarian liver pate

Jazzy Vegetarian “Liver” Recipe

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
• 3 onions, chopped
• 1 can (15 ounces) sweet peas, drained
• 3⁄4 cup chopped walnuts
• 4 ounces firm regular tofu, drained and cubed
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
• Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and lightly browned, about 25 minutes, adding more oil or water, 1 teaspoon at a time, as needed to prevent sticking. Let cool slightly.

2. Transfer to a food processor. Add the peas, walnuts, tofu, tomato paste, and salt. Process until slightly chunky, stopping to scrape down the sides of the work bowl as needed. (Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to process the mixture in batches.)

3. Season with pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture into a serving bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate for about 4 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio.



10/9/2015

One of my favorite smells to come home to as a child was that of baking granola. My mother used to make huge batches of it, freezing a chunk for later while keeping the other half in our pantry. I would eat it by the bowl full, mixed with yogurt or milk, for breakfast, desserts, and afternoon snacks. I’ve continued this tradition in my own home (making a few changes to the base ingredients), and I make it about once a week in the mornings now.

Homemade Granola Recipe

• 4 cups rolled oats
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the dry ingredients together before integrating the honey, oil, and extract. The mixture does not need to be wet, just gently coated. Spread evenly over a lined baking tray.  Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Stir the contents and continue cooking for at least 5 more minutes. Do not exceed 30 minutes total in the oven.

Granola on baking tray

While the granola is cooling, stir the contents occasionally. It will not feel hard to the touch until it has cooled entirely. If you forget to stir the contents as it cools, you will likely get chunks of granola rather than loose pieces.

Chunks are great for eating with your hands on the go! Some batches of granola I intentionally form into chunks so that I can eat them while walking my dogs, in the car, etc.

Once it’s entirely cooled you can add dried fruit such as cherries, cranberries, or raisins. You can also add raw and toasted nuts, or bits of candy and chocolate. Be sure to mix it up nicely before storing in an airtight container.

Changing Up the Recipe

The beauty of granola is that it is incredibly versatile. You can easily swap around ingredients and add extra spices to make it seasonal or simply to change it to your desired taste.

Almond Granola Recipe

I love almond granola in the mornings. Something about it is so nourishing that I’ll crave it first thing waking up!

• 4 cups rolled oats
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 cup chopped almonds

Valentine’s Day Granola

This recipe is like a dessert and you can eat it with yogurt, milk, or even ice-cream!

• 4 cups rolled oats
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup dried cherries
• 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Autumn Granola

This recipe differs from the others as it has an extra step before baking in the oven.

• 4 cups rolled oats
• 1 cup shredded coconut
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/4 cup maple syrup
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon cloves
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries

Autumn Granola Dry Mixture 

Combine oats, brown sugar, shredded coconut, and pecans in a bowl, set aside. On the stove over medium heat, combine the coconut oil, honey, maple syrup, and spices. When mixture begins to simmer, quickly stir so that it does not burn. Once it comes to a boil, remove from heat and mix in vanilla extract before pouring over dry ingredients in the bowl and mixing everything together. Spread evenly on a tray and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Stir the contents and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Follow previous steps listed above.

Autumn Granola glaze on stove

The End Result

Granola is an easy fix on a hungry morning when there’s nothing in the pantry. And the best part is that it comes together quickly so you can be eating it within the hour. I generally suggest eating it up within 7-10 days. If you think that the batch is too large to finish in that time, freeze it. It will thaw rapidly when needed next, and the freezing process doesn’t alter the taste or texture in my experience.

I want to suggest creativity within this recipe. If you don’t have refined coconut oil, you can use other oils such as canola or vegetable. If you don’t have any nuts or dried fruit, that’s fine too! You don’t need to add them for it to be delicious. No brown sugar? Not a problem! You can use granulated sugar, more honey, or even fruit juices to sweeten it instead. Work with what you have and remember that cooking and baking is an experiment as well as an experience. Enjoy it, have fun, and don’t worry if you burn something or it comes out odd (even inedible!) We’ve all done it, and we should strive to keep doing it, because that’s what experimenting is all about.

I hope you enjoy! Please feel free to leave a comment below on your own baking experiments and granola recipes!


Leslie DianeWith a background in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and a minor in English, Leslie Diane is currently studying at Prairie Wise Herbal School in Leavenworth, Kansas, with a goal of becoming a Master Herbalist. She is an avid gardener and a maker of tinctures, teas and baked goods. An aspiring author as well, she weaves tales of fantasy along with scarves, baby and pet blankets, and shawls on her table loom.






Subscribe Today!

Pay Now & Save 58% Off the Cover Price

(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here