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Jordan St. Clair-Jackson

7 Major Health Benefits of Maca Root

bowl with maca powder on spoon

Maca root, an ancient Peruvian root crop, is gaining popularity as a vegan supplement and vegan superfood. Maca root belongs to the radish family, and is most commonly available in powder form. Grown in the mountains of Peru, anther name for this superfood is “Peruvian ginseng.” Here we discuss 7 major maca root health benefits.

No serious known side effects have been found for maca root powder, but—like any other superfood or supplement—it shouldn’t be taken in large amounts. When you first start using maca root, begin by taking smaller amounts and building up; start with as little as 1/2 teaspoon. An average daily dose amounts to about 1 tablespoon. Experts often recommend rotating a few days on and a few days off. For more on this, see 5 Easy and Tasty Ways to Use Maca Powder in Food.

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10 Easy, Inexpensive Party Snacks to Make at the Last Minute

Sweet and Savory Nuts and Pretzels

Parties and celebrations help keep the winter blues at bay, whether for New Year’s eve or day, Super Bowl (aka the big game), Oscar-watching. Or any impromptu gathering for whatever reason helps to allay the post-holiday let-down. For your next gathering, whether hosting or attending, it’s handy to have a list of healthy, yummy snack ideas that can be made at the last minute. These are all vegan, super-quick to make, don’t require special equipment or expensive ingredients, and are relatively healthy. So get your munchies on, and be prepared for any of these to disappear quickly!

Sweet and Savory Nuts and Pretzels, at top, is an easy snack or appetizer to make for the winter holiday season and beyond. It’s also good for munching on while watching movies or sports. Continue Reading…

Bento Box School Lunch Kits: Fun and Earth-Friendly

Laptop Lunches school bento box

Bento box school lunch kits are a fun route to healthy meals your kids will actually eat! If these contemporary bento boxes were available when my kids were growing up, they would have made the process of packing lunches much more enjoyable. As it was, I stood in the kitchen at 6:30 a.m. every school day for 14 years, packing adequate yet boring lunches for my kids. They grew up vegetarian until ages 10 and 12, then went vegan, and never wanted to buy lunch at school.

The ingenious bento box lunch kits that are so easy to come by these days inspires your child to enjoy his or her homemade lunches, and helps you, as the parent, enjoy making them! Older kids and teens will eventually be make and pack their own lunches in these colorful kits. And lest you think, “oh, no, unhealthy plastic!” these containers are safe in every way, including being BPA-free. Continue Reading…

10 Cool and Refreshing Watermelon Recipes

Strawberry-Watermelon Slush

When summer’s scorching heat reaches its peak, few foods are better at keeping you refreshed and hydrated than watermelon. Make sure to use plenty of this vitamin-packed summer fruit during the height of its season, July and August. Seedless watermelon has become more and more common, sparing you from removing pesky pits one by one. Chill the watermelon for a few hours if you buy it at room temperature, since that’s how it tastes best.

There are few beverages more hydrating for summer’s hottest days than a fresh watermelon slush. This semi-frozen Watermelon-Strawberry Slush, at top, will keep you cool and refreshed. Continue Reading…

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Drops

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Drops - China Study Cookbook

LeAnne Campbell used to love opening her school lunch box to find these no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies —her all-time favorites! Not surprisingly, they were also a hit with her sons. And as the one packing their lunch boxes, she loved the ease of making this treat — 5 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to chill in the freezer. Recipe and photos from The China Study Cookbook (revised and expanded edition) ©2018 by LeAnne Campbell. Published by BenBella Books, reprinted by permission. Continue Reading…

Black Bean and Avocado Wraps

Black Bean and Avocado Wraps

Here’s a recipe for easy black bean and avocado wraps that will have you enjoying lunch (or a light dinner) in minutes. If you have a snug container, they’re great to take to work or school, too. Make sure the wraps or tortillas you use are nice and fresh and pliable.

Starring in these wraps is the amazing avocado. Considered a superfood due to their cholesterol lowering properties, avocados are rich in fiber, carbs, antioxidants, potassium, and a variety of nutrients and minerals. Avocado has helped redefined the negative stigma associated with consuming fats. There’s a major difference between so-called good and bad fats, or rather trans fats versus unsaturated fats like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated; which, you guessed it — the latter is found in avocados. And lots of it.

But while you’re enjoying these wraps you won’t be thinking about any of that. Your palate will be enjoying the delicious flavors and textures, and that’s just how it should be!

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Peanut Kale Soup

Peanut Kale Soup - China Study Cookbook

Whenever LeAnne Campbell (author of The China Study Cookbook) makes this luscious peanut kale soup, she doubles the recipe. Everyone goes back to the soup pot for seconds, thirds, and yes, sometimes fourths—it’s that good! If you don’t have kale on hand, you can also use collard greens or spinach. Recipe and photos from The China Study Cookbook (revised and expanded edition) ©2018 by LeAnne Campbell. Published by BenBella Books, reprinted by permission. Continue Reading…

Crunchy Salty Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart

Crunchy Salty Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart

The combination of flavors in this salty peanut butter chocolate tart are familiar and crowd-pleasing. It’s also packed with lots of good nutrition from the oats, peanuts, and cacao. This is an impressive dessert to take to a party because unlike other tarts that may be messy to serve, this one has a thick peanut butter and oat crust that holds its shape. A dark chocolate filling and a sprinkling of flaky salt bring it over the top. We usually cut the tart into bars, but it can also be cut into triangle wedges and eaten like a New York–style slice (of pizza, that is!).

From Chocolate Every Day: 85+ Plant-Based Recipes for Cacao Treats that Support Your Health and Well-Being by Bennett Coffey and Kyleen Keenan, Copyright © 2018. Published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC, reprinted by permission. Continue Reading…

10 Incredible No-Bake Vegan Pies — Perfect for Summer Dessert

Vegan and Raw Blueberry Cheesecake

Whether fruity, creamy, chocolatey, nutty, or a combination, these no-bake vegan pies are cool, refreshing, and insanely delicious.So let’s get started, especially because these are incredibly easy to make as well.

Blueberry Cheesecake (shown at top) might just be the best cheesecake you’ve ever tasted. Rich with nuts and flavored with summer blueberries, you won’t believe that this is a raw, vegan dessert. Other than the 20 minutes of prep time, there are about 4 hours of freezing time.  Continue Reading…

Follow the Billions: The Future is Meatless

VeganBros - Vodka is Vegan

This excerpt is reprinted from Vodka is Vegan: A Manifesto for Better Living and Not Being an A**hole by Matt and Phil Letten © 2018 by arrangement with Tarcher Perigee, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

What does the future hold for meatless eating?

We’re sure the future will have lots of pretty cool things. Like flying cars, and computer chips that you can install in your brain to record both every visual image and every bit of trivia, and clothes that are all shiny and formfitting to make people look like foiled-up baked potatoes (which are also vegan). Continue Reading…

Pairing Vegan Food & Wine with Pro Sommelier Sunny Gandara

chickpea and vegetable curry

What wine to serve with vegan food is a perennial question. Pairings work “when the food makes the wine taste better, and the wine makes the food taste better.”

So says wine consultant Sunny Gandara, DWS, CWE, the in-house sommelier for Vegan Wines. She has nearly 15 years of experience in the wine and spirits industry, holds multiple certificates and diplomas for as a wine educator – and she’s an ethical vegan.

She also happens to be professionally trained chef who loves demystifying vegan food and wine. She’s given us three original recipes that she created exclusively for Vegan Wine’s club members, and today, for the first time, she is making them available to non-members. Continue Reading…

EWG’s 2018 Dirty Dozen™ and Clean Fifteen™ Produce List

Strawberries in a bowl

VegKitchen regularly shares the Environmental Working Group’s annual lists of the Dirty Dozen™ and Clean Fifteen™ produce. The Dirty Dozen are the fruits and vegetables that are the most pesticide-laden. Consumers would do well to buy the organic varieties of the produce on this list.

On the other hand, the Clean Fifteen list features fruits and vegetables that have little or no pesticide residue. That’s where you can make an informed choice and save a bit of money on your food bill, though you’re always welcome to buy these in organic form if available.

There’s always the argument that organic fruits and vegetables aren’t necessarily more nutritious than conventionally grown. That may be true, but who needs to consume all those toxins? Remember also that pesticides become part of the soil, groundwater, and air. And the human factor is rarely discussed. We gloss over the fact that farm workers who harvest pesticide-laden produce get sick at a far higher rate. Continue Reading…

Vegan Jackfruit Crab Dip

Vegan jackfruit crab dip

This vegan crab dip, made with jackfruit, is so creamy and mild in flavor, perfect for spreading on crackers or for dipping with your favorite veggies. Our vegan version is every bit as good as the conventional version. Shredded young jackfruit is surprisingly similar in texture to crab, and the flavors of the Dijon, Old Bay seasoning and the other spices are spot on.

In case you’re not familiar with Old Bay seasoning, let us acquaint you. Old Bay is a fragrant mix of spices, such as celery salt, mace, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and more. It’s what gives most crab cakes their flavor, and it’s what brings this crab dip to life. Continue Reading…

De-Bugging Your Beauty Routine: Vegan Makeup

Pacifica makeup

Not all women wear makeup, but for those of us who do, we often devote a lot of time and energy to putting it on, especially when we’re going on a date. I usually begin to plan what cosmetics I’m going to wear when I pick out an outfit for a special occasion. For many of us, it is a fun and important part of preparing for a big night out with a partner or meeting someone new.

Although many cosmetics contain animal products, or were tested on animals, there is an abundance of cruelty-free and vegan makeup available. There’s no need to worry—with an all-vegan makeup collection, as Prince said, “U Got the Look.” Excerpted from Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal by Maya Gottfried © 2018. Published by Skyhorse Publishing, reprinted by permission. Photo at top:  Pacifica Cruelty Free Vegan Makeup. Continue Reading…

7 Nearly Recipe-Free Flavor-Packed Veggie Pizza Ideas

Eggplant, fresh tomato, and olive pizza

When you start with a good-quality whole-grain prepared pizza crust and an all-natural sauce, honestly, you don’t need to follow an exact recipe to make creative, delicious veggie pizzas. Vegan mozzarella-style cheese is optional in any of these variations. 

If you make too much of a topping, no worries, you can use it as a side dish, stir it into a grain, or make into a wrap with fresh greens the next day. As with most pizza recipes, preheat the oven to 425º F for standard pizza crust, or 400º F. for flatbreads or Italian bread. Read on and enjoy your veggie pizza improvisations!
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Vanilla and Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake

Vanilla Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake

This raw cheesecake is much lighter and fresher-tasting than a dairy cheesecake and the cashew topping is such a good medium for color and decoration. Even though it looks stunning as a whole cake, we sometimes make individual ones in a silicone muffin tray.

It makes a fantastic light dessert, or, with a bit of imaginative decoration it makes a tastefully subtle celebration cake too—with a bit of planning needed for the freezing time. Freeze-dried raspberry powder may seem like a futuristic ingredient, but it is well worth having in your pantry as it has so many uses. Try stirring it into oatmeal and adding to your smoothies.

Recipe and photos from Super Loaves and Simple Treats: Modern Baking for Healthier Living by Melissa Sharp © 2018, Avery Publishing. Reprinted by permission.

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Vegan recipes by VegKitchen