Lisa's Incredible (Should Be World Famous), Granola Bar Recipe. Again!

Lisa's Incredible (Should Be World Famous), Granola Bar Recipe. Again!

Hi, this is Whitney, Lisa's husband, stepping out of the gray shadows to tell all of you this is her most famous and requested recipe of all. If I had a $1 for every time these granola bars departed the very busy GITNB kitchen for happy parts unknown, then I'd have enough to afford her for another 32 years :)

Fast and Easy Cashew Yogurt Recipe

Fast and Easy Cashew Yogurt Recipe

Cashews are a vegans best friend, allowing us to make all kinds of cheeses, sour cream and even amazing ice cream, giving dairy some competition. I've had great success with many of these recipes but was unable to find a good quality and easy yogurt recipe. Until now!

Go Green! Drink Matcha Tea!

tea package

I cherish my morning coffee. Don't we all!

I prefer it over green tea - which I am trying to like because it is so incredibly good for you. When Whitney's doctor told him to back off the coffee so he'd sleep better, I became more motivated to find a tea we’d both like. 

“Matcha” green tea continues to be the “stand out tea”…(and I continue to try it but this time I’m not giving in or: giving up my morning java). I even made an attempt at Matcha protein bread and Matcha vegan ice cream!

Here’s why all of us should be drinking more of it:

1. Matcha is an antioxidant powerhouse.

2. L-Theanine, an amino acid found in matcha, along with caffeine create increased focus and sustained energy throughout the day. L-Theanine has been found to relax the brain, muscles, and blood vessels.

3. Matcha is five times higher in chlorophyll than regular green tea. Chlorophyll benefits the immune system.

Five Benefits:

  • Reduce the risk of cancer
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Alzheimer's prevention
  • Reduces risk of diabetes
  • Liver and oral health 

My new fav is Matchaful. Hannah Habes, founder of this cult like brand is passionate about her Matcha and thinks you should be too. Her spin on the classic Matcha latte not only makes the flavor more spicy, sweet, and fragrant, but takes the healing benefits to the next level. I took her Chai Spiced Matcha Latte recipe and made my own more simplistic one. You could even try it iced or in a smoothie for the summer.

Chai Spiced Matcha Latte

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

2 cups water

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons ceremonial grade matcha (Matchaful's organic Emerald or Jade)

3 drops stevia or 1 teaspoon agave or honey (optional)

6 to 8 ounces warm or steamed almond milk

Bring the water to a boil, and add all ingredients except for chai. Reduce heat to simmer and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Strain chai mixture and pour 3 ounces into each of 4 cups. Add ½ teaspoon of matcha to each cup and whisk with a fork or matcha whisk until frothy.

Top with milk and drink immediately.

Or try in your next green smoothie!

matcha smoothie

 

Go Green. Go Matcha. But Starbucks is good too once in a while :)

The Healthiest, Best Cookies EVER (Paleo, Vegan)

The Healthiest, Best Cookies EVER (Paleo, Vegan)

My husband craves chocolate, especially after meals. He's not too particular about what kind, homemade, or out of a box. Last week he told me to stop buying cookies with so much sugar. So, the next time I went to the grocery store, I looked for some better options in the health food section - with no success whatsoever.  Sugar is in everything! Defeated, I came home and informed him that he was on his own for buying cookies as they all had sugar! 

Diet Evolution; My Journey Eating Well

Diet Evolution; My Journey Eating Well

Finding my way to better health wasn’t an easy or direct path... but I got there and that’s the message I want to share.

Get on your own health journey and stay the course, don’t give up and make it fun. It will look different than mine. 

Easy, Healthy, Yummy Granola Recipe

Easy, Healthy, Yummy Granola Recipe

A close friend surprised me recently with a copy of the "Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen", and it instantly became my new fav. The recipes are easy and delicious!... my criteria for cooking. I also love a recipe that gives you the flexibility to adapt to your particular cravings.

Yummmee! Zucchini Roll-Ups

Thanks to the amazing people that filled our house last weekend. It brings me so much joy!

We inspired each other, formed new friendships and reconnected with old ones. We started a knitting group, worked on a future “wellness retreat” (if you’re interested let me know) and tasted some vegan treats.

Raw Pumpkin Pie Tarts. Really?!

Raw Pumpkin Pie Tarts. Really?!

Indeed, raw pumpkin pie tarts! I may have gone a little pumpkin crazy lately, but when Halloween came and left without any trips to the pumpkin patch or carved pumpkins, I realized I was in a pumpkin deficient (not yet an official medical diagnosis). Plus, I would rather eat pumpkin than decorate with it!

Healthy Peanut Butter Cups, a Treat... not a Trick!

pnut butter cups

Every night after dinner I crave a little something sweet. This version of a Reese cup is a great treat, without the guilt. Stop by, there are always a few in my freezer. 

They are easy to make, healthy and delicious!  My "THREE MUSTS" for anything I make in the kitchen.

 

Ingredients:

½ cup of coconut oil
½ cup of Raw organic cacao powder (or cocoa powder) 
¼ cup of liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave or stevia)
½ tsp of vanilla
¼ tsp of salt
Organic no sugar peanut butter

pouring cacao

You've probably heard how good coconut oil is for you, but did you know this about cacao?

  1. 40 Times the Antioxidants of Blueberries.
  2. Highest Plant-Based Source of Iron.
  3. Full of Magnesium for a Healthy Heart & Brain.
  4. More Calcium Than Cow's Milk.
  5. A Natural Anti-Depressant.
pnut butter with butter

Directions

  1. Melt the coconut oil
  2.  Add cacao or cocoa powder and stir until no lumps
  3. Add sweetener
  4.  Pour into mini muffin tin (I use paper mini muffin cups to line)
  5. Place a tsp. of peanut butter in each cup
  6. Roll to cover the peanut butter or top with leftover chocolate/coconut oil mix
  7. Freeze for 30 minutes (I keep in freezer)

Try substituting peanut butter with any nut butter like almond or cashew, or adding chia, hemp seeds, coconut or raisins for your own creation. A crowd pleaser anytime, but especially with holidays ahead!

Morning Puddin'

No, I'm not talking to Whitney.

Life is busy and I can get in a rut making the same green smoothie for breakfast every day. Sure it's healthy. But it gets boring after awhile - and I LOVE meal time (something to look forward to when I get to the old folks home one day, right?).

I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, MIND BODY GREEN, massaging it a bit to fit my personal taste and the ingredients available in my frig.

thankful chia.jpg

This brightly colored beauty blew away my green smoothie routine. I’m a just little obsessed with how great it tastes and how cool it looks.

BTW,  it is soooo good for you too:

Beets - high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas).

Raw cacao - improves memory, increases your bliss, reduces heart disease, boost immunity, and create loads of energy. (you had me at - improves memory!)

Chia - packed with omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fiber, and even a little bit of protein.

The night before, mix the following in a mason jar (could be any container but fun to eat breakfast out of the jar the next morning) or serve to guests in town!

  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup (I left out or used liquid stevia)
  • 3/4 cup of almond milk
beet ingredients
beets in spoon

The next morning blend the ingredients below together and pour over the chia pudding, top with unsweetened coconut and enjoy.

  • 1 raw beet
  • 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 frozen or fresh banana
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut cream (I used plain kefir one day, fresh coconut meat another day, could add vanilla yogurt too)
chia beet pudding

The chocolate chia pudding thickens over night. When combined with the beet and frozen fruit, well, OMG. Such a YUMMY combo!

Try starting your day with my Morning Puddin'!

 

Chill Out! With Vegan Ice Cream on the 4th.

Chill Out! With Vegan Ice Cream on the 4th.

I finally hung my American flag this week, just in time to celebrate the 4th of July, that annual time to celebrate our birthday with food, fun, and friends.

My patriotic treat, (vanilla ice cream topped with raspberries and blueberries) will cool you off, taste amazing and is good for you!

A Plant Based Diet. It's Good For You and Planet Earth!

A Plant Based Diet. It's Good For You and Planet Earth!

I am not sure when my love affair with fruits and vegetables started. Perhaps it is my deep rooted farming heritage as both my grandfather and father were farmers. It certainly did not impact me at an early age because I was the princess of slow roasted BBQ pig, raw hotdogs and frozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts!

Too Cleanse or not to cleanse?

Too Cleanse or not to cleanse?

I’ve never done a cleanse or been a fan of them. Maybe because I LOVE to eat and my attempts in the past to fast or cleanse for even just a day have failed.  My other excuse not to cleanse is, “I eat healthy anyway, why do I need to?” But, over the holidays I had minor surgery and was not able to exercise, have caffeine or enjoy a glass of wine.

Healthy "Raw" Cheesecake Recipe Even Non-Vegans Love!!!

Healthy "Raw" Cheesecake Recipe Even Non-Vegans Love!!!

If you've had too much holiday cheer and the plethora of sweets that go with it,  or if you are like me, you are craving something sweet, try this delicious raw healthy cheesecake I first enjoyed years ago - and still make all the time. This is a simple recipe and one even my non-vegan friends love to eat!

Dessert for dinner tonight...why not?

Dessert for dinner tonight...why not?

A plant based diet works great for me. I get excited about preparing fruits and veggies in new creative ways. I even catch myself dreaming about which ones I want to enjoy next. But sometimes after a crazy day at work, I need comfort food for dinner. My "go to" comfort food is not mac and cheese or Krispy Kreme doughnuts, like in my younger days; it’s better!

Johnny Appleseed Bread Recipe

Johnny Appleseed Bread Recipe

I recently discovered this great new recipe and tweaked it a little to make it vegan. Now I make a batch every week that I can't wait to enjoy, mostly for breakfast along with fresh fruit and Ancient Awakenings plain coconut kefir (which I am crazy about). If you want to be truly inspired to live a healthy, holistic life, read the Ancient Awakenings story - a company based in Woodstock, Georgia. I found this kefir at the Alpharetta Farmer's Market, but now buy it at Whole Foods.

I'd rather do "Raw-way, than Broadway...

I'd rather do "Raw-way, than Broadway...

Call me crazy, but these days when visiting my daughter in NYC, I would rather spend my time and money in all the cool, healthy grocery stores and organic restaurants in NYC, than at the theater.